2014 annual report

Page 1

Samuel Ginn

College of Engineering

2014 Annual Report

from the dean I am delighted to share with you the 2014 Annual Report from the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn University. Inside this publication, we showcase a few of our exceptional and innovative faculty, talented and motivated students and supportive alumni who care about our college and its future generations of Auburn engineers. We also reveal our plan to raise $200 million for the college as part of the university’s “Because This is Auburn” $1 billion capital campaign. We have embraced a bold vision to become one of the nation’s premier engineering institutions and our success in this campaign is critical to our ability to achieve this aspiration. One key component of this campaign, planned as part of our facility and student programmatic support upgrades, includes a proposed Auburn Engineering Student Achievement Center. Funding for this center will enable our college to consolidate a multitude of student support services within a single facility including student recruitment, career mentoring, job placement and an industrial relations center. The building will also provide space for student projects and an engineering international experience office. Finally, a snapshot of activities and achievements in the college is provided, including our rankings, enrollment, research expenditures and fundraising efforts. In fact, in 2014 we initiated a new young alumni giving campaign that yielded great results. We remain dedicated to a high level of academic and research performance in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. With the Auburn Engineering family’s generous support, I know we will continue to achieve even greater successes in our future. With warm regards,

Christopher B. Roberts


outstanding faculty Bruce Tatarchuk Chemical Engineering Bruce Tatarchuk, director of Auburn’s Microfibrous Materials Manufacturing Center and professor of chemical engineering, continues to be recognized on a national scale through his dedication and groundbreaking research. In fact, Tatarchuk was named fellow of the National Academy of Inventors for his significant contributions to patents and licensing, innovative discovery and technology and societal impact. The 17-member selection committee inducted only 170 national nominees in 2014. He is also the inaugural recipient of the Charles E. Gavin III and Carol Ann Gavin Endowed Chair in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, established through an endowment by the Gavins.


Charles, ’59 textile engineering, and wife Carol Ann funded the chair to attract and retain the College of Engineering’s highest caliber of faculty. Past recognition includes Auburn University’s Creative Research Award, the College of Engineering Research Award of Excellence and the U.S. Department of Energy Industrial Energy Efficiency Award. Tatarchuk’s pioneering work on microfibrous materials used in air handling, fuel reforming and fuel cell systems has earned him a well-deserved reputation as a leading authority and global expert in the energy field.

Michael C. Hamilton Electrical and Computer Engineering Michael C. Hamilton, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering and assistant director of the Alabama Micro/Nano Science and Technology Center, is advancing the College of Engineering’s mission through novel research and hands-on student experience. Hamilton focuses on engineering micro- and nanoscale systems for computing and communications technologies, and strives to advance performance for faster, more efficient devices. With sponsorship from the U.S. Department of Defense, as well as the private sector, he generates an average of $1 million annually to pursue research initiatives. Hamilton mentors more than

20 undergraduate and graduate students who receive real world experience in the laboratory and discover solutions to complex hardware and software systems. These students have also been accepted into post-graduate programs and are employed by major international companies, including ON Semiconductor, Freescale Semiconductor, Broadcom Corporation and Harris Corporation. He has received the Auburn Alumni Engineering Council Junior Research Award and is a member of the International Microelectronics Assembly and Packaging Society, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Materials Research Society.


outstanding students David Shuckerow Computer Science and Software Engineering David Shuckerow, senior in computer science with minors in business and music, exemplifies the highest academic standards that embody the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. A 2015 Engineering Student of the Year candidate, as well as a Rhodes Scholar nominee, Shuckerow not only excels in academia but also is a leader in Auburn’s computer science community. He serves as president of both Auburn’s chapter of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM)


and the computer science honor society Upsilon Pi Epsilon. He has been part of the computing team that placed first and fourth nationally in a 2012 ReadyForce Coding Challenge, and has coached Auburn’s team in the ACM international collegiate programming contest. He will put his computing and coding knowledge to further use as a software engineer at Google following his graduation in 2015.

MariAnne Sullivan Materials Engineering From her talent to her passion for encouraging younger generations to enter the science and engineering fields, MariAnne Sullivan goes beyond the classroom to show her dedication and enthusiasm. A doctoral candidate in materials engineering, Sullivan is a Woltosz fellow and a recipient of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Integrated Graduate Education and Research Traineeship. In her role as a graduate teaching assistant and research assistant, she studies the effects of nanoindentation, a technique in which films and multilayers can be tested for material strength and hardness. Applications for this

research range from small-scale electronics, such as microchips, to thin protective coatings for armor. Sullivan served as a mentor for the NSF Research Experience for Undergraduates program. She is the social committee chair for the Auburn Council of Engineering Graduate Students, a senator for the Auburn University Graduate Student Council and an event planner for NanoDays, a nationwide outreach program to engage elementary to high school-age students in nanoscale science through hands-on experiments.


outstanding alumni James (Jim) Heilbron ’94 Civil and ’96 Environmental Engineering Jim Heilbron has been a powerful force in the energy industry in the Southeast for nearly two decades. A Florida native, Heilbron earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil and environmental engineering from Auburn University in 1994 and 1996, respectively. Upon graduation from Auburn, he worked for Milliken & Company in various production-management roles. He joined Georgia Power in 1998 as a plant engineer and completed his MBA at Emory University in 2001. He continued to advance with roles of increasing responsibility, including the leadership of largescale projects and plant management. In 2010, Heilbron was elected senior vice president and senior production officer for Southern Power,

overseeing the operation of natural gas, solar and biomass facilities that serve wholesale markets across the country. In March 2013, Heilbron moved to Alabama Power, where he currently serves as senior vice president and senior production officer. He is responsible for the company’s generation functions, including its fossil and hydro plants. Heilbron is active in the Birmingham community, serving on the Magic Moments board and participating in Leadership Birmingham. He is also involved in Auburn’s engineering community, serving on the college’s Alabama Power Academic Excellence Program board. Heilbron and his wife, Markell, live in Vestavia Hills with their two children.

Pictured above, Jim Heilbron with his wife, Markell, and their two children 6

Melissa Herkt ’77 Civil Engineering Since her graduation from Auburn in 1977, Melissa Herkt has been breaking through the glass ceiling. Herkt, who earned her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, was the first female co-op student at Auburn and was the first female engineer in Exxon’s research and engineering unit sent overseas. During her tenure at Exxon, Herkt oversaw more than $700 million in projects in countries including France, Denmark and the United Kingdom. She then became president of Process Systems and Solutions, a division of Emerson Process Management, overseeing more than 4,000 employees and producing almost $900 million in annual revenue. She was inducted into the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame in

2008 and the National Academy of Construction in 2009. She was also awarded the 2015 Auburn Alumni Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Now retired, Herkt maintains a close relationship with Auburn University and the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. She serves on the Auburn Alumni Engineering Council and the Auburn University Foundation board. Herkt is engaged with engineering students through her support of endowed scholarships and involvement with the college’s student outreach program, traveling twice to Bolivia with student teams to help solve local ecological and economic development issues.

Pictured above, Melissa Herkt with her niece Whitney Brown, ’14 chemical engineering 7

academics National Rankings

28th among public universities Graduate program 37th among public universities Graduate Online Program 17th Graduate Computer Information Technology Program 6th 20th in engineering degrees awarded to African-Americans 26th in undergraduate engineering enrollment Academic Programs 42nd in research expenditures Aerospace Engineering Undergraduate program








Minors Automotive Engineering and Manufacturing Systems

Biosystems Engineering Chemical Engineering Civil Engineering


Computer Science and Software Engineering

Computer Science

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Information Technology

Industrial and Systems Engineering

Materials Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Materials Science

Materials Engineering

Nuclear Power Generation Systems

Polymer and Fiber Engineering

Tribology and Lubrication Science

Wireless Engineering

Graduate Online Degrees Aerospace Engineering Chemical Engineering Civil Engineering Computer Science and Software Engineering Electrical and Computer Engineering Industrial and Systems Engineering Mechanical Engineering Materials Engineering 8

Information in this report is from Auburn University except as noted. 1 2 U.S. News & World Report Diverse Issues in Higher Education

American Society for Engineering Education



4,618 917 5,535

Undergraduate Graduate Total

Freshman Class Snapshot

1,188 Average ACT/SAT 28.7/1234 National Merit Scholars 35 Freshmen

Largest college at Auburn University with

Graduate Snapshot

26 percent of freshman enrollment

514 403




2014 Fall Enrollment 1200

Undergraduate Graduate


63 11


Polymer and Fiber

39 31 Materials

Industrial and Systems

Electrical and Computer

Comp. Science and Software















154 46












research The Samuel Ginn College of Engineering is committed to providing research that improves the quality of life for people around the world – research that makes a difference by ensuring economic prosperity, health and security. Faculty and staff are dedicated to the discovery of new engineering technologies, concepts and processes and the hardware necessary to realize them. In addition, a strong research program also brings cuttingedge ideas and practices into the classroom, enhancing the graduate and undergraduate experience. With an innovative and dynamic research program, the college fosters economic development and industrial competitiveness, providing collaborative opportunities with government agencies, businesses and foundations.

Faculty Snapshot


Tenured/tenure track faculty


Non-tenure track (full time and part time combined)

Research Snapshot

$61.3 million in research expenditures 42nd in nation in research expenditures, ranked in the top 50 for the past eight years


American Society for Engineering Education



Strategic Research Areas • Advanced Manufacturing • Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Engineering • Cyber Security and Information Technology • Energy and Environment • Engineered Materials and Nanotechnology • Infrastructure and Transportation 11

philanthropy 2014 Fundraising Priorities (in millions) Program support

Facilities support

$1.1 Student support



Faculty support

Philanthropy Snapshot


$27 million 2014 raised $43.4 million 161% Percentage of goal raised 2014 goal


Fundraising History (in millions)





$21.9 $20.4

$21.2 $19.1

$13.3 10



2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014

Young Alumni Campaign Gifts Enhance Auburn Engineering Auburn Engineering’s young alumni donated nearly $100,000 in 2014 as part of the inaugural 14for14 campaign. The group is comprised of individuals who have graduated from Auburn within the past 10 years. The initiative, created and promoted by the Young Alumni Council, was developed as a way to encourage young alumni to give back to the college by donating $14 per month for 12 months, resulting in each individual giving $168 in 2014. These gifts furthered Auburn Engineering’s initiatives by contributing to additional support for scholarships and professorships.




Biosystems Chemical





Comp. Science and Software Electrical and Computer Industrial and Systems








Polymer and Fiber


Wireless 0

14for14 Donors by Degree 10





Auburn University Launches $1 Billion Campaign “Because This is Auburn” is a $1 billion campaign going public in April to propel the university forward through a renewed commitment to the students, a continued promise to the state and a shared responsibility to the world. As part of the campaign, the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering is committed to raising $200 million, with $105 million going toward student programmatic support. These funds will allow the college to provide a rich student-centered experience in areas such as job placement, student recruiting, tutoring and academic support, as well as international studies, student projects and competitions. Scholarships and fellowships will account for $40 million of the campaign, creating the funding necessary to attract the best and brightest students to Auburn. Student financial support is

a key component in the growth of the college and professional development of the students. Facility renovations and additions will comprise $31 million of the campaign. The college recently celebrated the dedication of the Woltosz Engineering Research Laboratory, and will begin renovations of the Textile Building and Ramsay Hall. These improvements will include the Carol Ann and Charles E. Gavin III Engineering Research Laboratory, housing stateof-the-art laboratories, while Ramsay Hall will be remodeled to include the Charles D. McCrary Institute. Faculty support will include $24 million of the campaign, as the college continues to build a leading engineering program by securing the resources necessary to attract and retain the highest caliber engineering educators and researchers. 13

2014 highlights Students • A team of mechanical engineering undergraduate senior design students advised by David Beale, professor of mechanical engineering, won first place in the Air Force Research Laboratory Student Challenge held at the Wright Patterson Air Force base in Ohio. • Auburn University’s ergonomics team in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering took top honors among 36 teams from across the U.S. and the world to win the Seventh Annual Ergonomics Design competition held at Auburn. • Graduate and undergraduate students in the Department of Aerospace Engineering won first place in the research paper portion of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Southeastern regional conference. At the graduate level, this event was the fifth consecutive year the team has won the prizes. • Computer science and software engineering student teams placed first, second and fifth in the Southeast Regional Division II of the 2014 Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming contest.

Departments • Recognized as the top department throughout campus for teaching excellence, Mechanical Engineering received the inaugural Auburn University Departmental Award for Excellence in Education. The department will receive $30,000 during a three-year period to fund several initiatives. • The Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering launched a new online non-thesis master’s degree program. • The Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering received accreditation status from the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society for its occupational safety and ergonomics and occupational injury prevention programs. • In 2014, researchers at the National Center for Asphalt Technology (NCAT) made 112 presentations at conferences or workshops in the U.S., Canada and abroad. NCAT training courses included advanced mix design, general asphalt technologies, Superpave mix design and Superpave binder training. The main research facility and pavement test track welcomed more than 400 visitors, not including class or meeting attendees. • An advanced liquid fuel production laboratory was commissioned in the Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts to allow long-term research and development for catalytic production of hydrocarbons from biomass derived synthesis gas, pyrolysis oils and algae.


Faculty • A new associate dean for assessment and graduate studies was appointed, with Jeff Fergus taking the helm. Fergus, professor of materials engineering at Auburn, joined the faculty in 1992. He is widely recognized as an advocate for undergraduate and graduate focused initiatives. He is also a member of the ABET Engineering Accreditation Commission executive committee. • Cheryl Seals was appointed acting director of the Alabama Power Academic Excellence Program (AEP). Seals, associate professor of computer science and software engineering, has been a member of the AEP advisory board and involved with the program since joining Auburn nearly 11 years ago. • Tony Skjellum was named director of the Auburn Cyber Research Center and COLSA cyber security and information assurance professor. He came from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where he served as chair and professor of the Department of Computer and Information Sciences. • John Evans, professor of industrial and systems engineering, was elected to the Alabama Automotive Manufacturers Association board of directors. He is also leading a new vehicle manufacturing research initiative, the Southern Alliance for Advanced Vehicle Manufacturing, for universities and automakers. It is configured as a National Science Foundation center with industry-driven, multidisciplinary research. Evans was also named interim director of the Thomas Walter Center for Technology Management. • Robert Ashurst, Elizabeth Lipke and Jin Wang, faculty members in chemical engineering, were selected for the National Academy of Engineering education symposium, a program that brings together innovative engineering educators to promote discussion of best practices in student learning and new approaches in preparing graduates for leadership roles. • Mario Eden, department chair and Joe T. and Billie Carole McMillan professor of chemical engineering, received the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Computing and Systems Technology division Outstanding Young Researcher award. • Hulya Kirkici, professor of electrical and computer engineering, was the recipient of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers William G. Dunbar Award for continuing contribution to high-voltage and high-frequency insulation research and engineering education. • Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s Safety and Health Planning Committee honored Robert Thomas, professor emeritus in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, with the William H. Weems Lifetime Achievement award. Thomas was recognized for his dedicated service to the occupational safety and health industry. • Roy Broughton Jr., professor emeritus in the Department of Polymer and Fiber Engineering, was named a 2014 Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper Industry fellow.


Alumni • Charles E. and Carol Ann Gavin have made significant philanthropic contributions to the college. Through an endowment, they have created the Charles E. Gavin III and Carol Ann Gavin Endowed Chair in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. Bruce Tatarchuk, director of Auburn’s Microfibrous Materials Manufacturing Center and professor of chemical engineering, is the inaugural recipient. In addition, their generous support will allow for the renovation of the Textile Building. When converted, the building will house laboratories and provide new space for engineering research and be renamed as the Carol Ann and Charles E. Gavin III Engineering Research Laboratory. • Walt and Ginger Woltosz provided the second-largest private gift in the college’s history. Their charitable donation will support student educational needs and provide funds for faculty research and technical advances. The gift also creates a new endowed professorship and establishes a fund for excellence to support strategic initiatives. In recognition of their support, the college’s central research facility was named the Woltosz Engineering Research Laboratory. • Charles D. McCrary was recognized for his commitment to his profession and devotion to the advancement of Auburn University and the College of Engineering by the Alabama Power Foundation, through the establishment of the Charles D. McCrary Institute at Auburn University. The new institute will focus on interdisciplinary research and advanced technologies to improve the security and operations of our nation’s infrastructure. McCrary recently completed a distinguished 40-year career with Alabama Power Company as its president and chief executive officer. • Michael and Leta DeMaioribus have made substantial contributions to further the college’s mission and vision. To honor their generosity, the College of Engineering has named the area located at the Shelby Center for Engineering Technology between the central building and west wing as the Michael Arthur and Leta Hornbuckle DeMaioribus Archway. • Alumni Larry Benefield, ’66 civil engineering, ’72 environmental engineering and dean emeritus of the college; John W. Brown, ’57 chemical engineering and chairman emeritus of Stryker Corp.; and Tim Cook, ’82 industrial engineering and Apple CEO received the Auburn University Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award for outstanding achievements in their professional lives, personal integrity and stature and service to the university. • H. Vincent Poor and Jeffrey I. Stone were inducted into the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame. Poor is dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science and Michael Henry Strater University Professor of Electrical Engineering at Princeton University. He received a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1972, and a master’s degree in 1974 from Auburn. Stone serves as chief operating officer of Brasfield & Gorrie, a Birmingham-based construction firm. He earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1979 from Auburn.


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Samuel Ginn College of Engineering 1301 Shelby Center 735 Extension Loop Auburn, AL 36849-7350


Auburn University is an equal opportunity educational institution/employer.


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