THIS IS ENGINEERING. THIS IS AUBURN. Samuel Ginn College of Engineering 2015 Annual Report
FROM THE DEAN What an incredible year 2015 was for the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. I am proud to report the college surpassed its initial $200 million Because This is Auburn comprehensive campaign goal and made history by receiving the largest amount of gifts by any college or unit in the university within a single year. Auburn alumni John and Rosemary Brown kicked off the campaign by generously giving $57 million to the university, $30 million of which will support construction of the Brown-Kopel Engineering Student Achievement Center. You’ll read more about this gift and the generosity of additional alumni who have made transformational contributions to the college. Because of these remarkable gifts and overwhelming support from you:
• Critical research is helping save lives. Elizabeth Lipke, Mary and John H. Sanders associate professor of chemical engineering, is developing models to aid medical experts in the study of tumor growth for breast, prostate and colon cancer. Inside this publication, we share her amazing work and provide a glimpse of additional dynamic faculty who exemplify excellence and innovation.
$2.1 million in undergraduate scholarship support. We enrolled the largest freshman class at Auburn, one with an impressive average high school GPA of 3.95. Detailed college enrollment figures and rankings are provided inside this report.
• Donations are fueling the capital to sustain grants, programs,
activities and professional development. We are delighted to share with you a few of the many outstanding achievements by our students, departments, faculty and alumni during the past year.
On behalf of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, I want to thank you for supporting our college and Auburn University. You are helping to not only meet the needs of our students, faculty and staff, but also many others throughout the state, the nation and across the globe. We look forward to building on our successes and becoming one of the nation’s best engineering programs. Why will we achieve this goal? Because this is engineering. Because this is Auburn.
• Endowments and scholarships are allowing us to attract
outstanding scholars. In 2015, our college provided more than
Christopher B. Roberts
THIS IS ADVANCEMENT.
Engineered tumor models will drive new cancer cures
Elizabeth Lipke, Mary and John H. Sanders associate professor of chemical engineering, and her team are developing 3D in vitro cancer models for use in drug testing applications. Employing a range of metastatic and non-metastatic cancer cell lines, they are encapsulating the cells in hydrogel materials to create tissue-engineered “tumor microspheres” and “tumor millibeads.”
multiple contributing cell types or from non-self-aggregating metastatic cancer cells. Models are formed through the encapsulation of cancer cells within poly(ethylene glycol)-fibrinogen (PEG-Fb) hydrogels. The tumor microspheres support long-term 3D culture of the cancer cells and, by more accurately mimicking the properties of tumors within cancer patients, results could provide a platform for identifying more effective candidate drugs for animal and clinical testing. The model will not only help medical experts more carefully examine the tumor microenvironment, which is known to play a significant role in the malignant progression of cancer, but will also aid in the study of tumor growth for breast, prostate and colon cancer.
Using 2D monolayer cultures and self-aggregated 3D tumor models, researchers and scientists are unable to capture key features of complex tumors in vivo, severely limiting their ability to obtain clinically-relevant data in cancer drug testing applications. In addition, the information acquired from these models, including identification of new cancer drug candidates, does not reflect the actual response seen in animal testing and human trials.
“Engineered tumor model research could revolutionize our understanding of chemotherapy and optimizing treatment of cancer patients,” Lipke says. “Traditional cell culture models show poor correlation to animals and humans, which impedes identification of effective drug candidates. The models we’re currently developing better recapitulate human tumor characteristics. In the long run, these models could be used not only to increase our understanding of the role of tumor microenvironment in cancer progression, but also to determine better treatment strategies for cancer patients and thereby increase their chances of survival.”
Imagine a world where a patient who is diagnosed with cancer can have a significantly higher chance of survival, thanks to more effective drug treatments. Researchers within the Department of Chemical Engineering are trying to achieve just that.
By using novel fabrication techniques, the tissue-engineered tumor models developed by Lipke and research team members reproduce native tumor characteristics not emulated by traditional models. Importantly, these techniques can be used to form engineered tumors with
Lipke is collaborating with Michael Greene, faculty member in Auburn’s Department of Nutrition, Dietetics, and Hospitality Management, on a twoyear grant awarded by the Auburn University Research Initiative, as well as on National Institutes of Health funded research with other academic and industry partners.
THIS IS CUTTING EDGE.
Auburn leads harsh environment electronics center
Auburn University has been selected to lead a national manufacturing effort on harsh environment electronics as part of a U.S. Department of Defense-led flexible hybrid electronics institute. Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter announced a cooperative agreement to the research consortium FlexTech Alliance to establish and manage a Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Flexible Hybrid Electronics. Leading Auburn’s node on harsh environments is Pradeep Lall, John and Anne MacFarlane professor of mechanical engineering and director of Auburn’s NSF Center for Advanced Vehicle and Extreme Environment Electronics. FlexTech Alliance, based in San Jose, California, will coordinate the FHE MII, which comprises 96 companies, 11 laboratories and non-profits, 43 universities and 15 state and regional organizations. Auburn University will head the only center in the state. “This establishment will provide engineers with the integrated skills and theoretical background for the manufacture of flexible hybrid electronics for extreme environment applications,” Lall says. “It will create intellectual property and expenditures on research, education and related activities, as well
as catalyze development of technologies which can be manufactured in the state. We have developed strategic partnerships with industry and research labs in Alabama and nationally for development and demonstration of technologies for harsh environment operation.” The FHE MII will be awarded $75 million in federal funding over five years and is matched by more than $96 million in cost sharing from non-federal sources including private companies, universities, not-forprofit organizations and several states, including Alabama. The new institute is part of the National Network for Manufacturing Innovation program. The FHE MII is the seventh manufacturing innovation institute announced and the fifth under DOD management. The institutes are intended to bridge Lall the gap between applied research and large-scale product manufacturing, and it is anticipated that Auburn’s harsh environment node will create technologies for the benefit of the nation’s commercial and national defense interests.
THIS IS PROTECTION.
Researchers investigate micropollutants in estuaries
As more and more people choose to live near the water, the world’s estuaries are increasingly impacted by chemical compounds from the land. Researchers from Auburn University’s Estuarine Environments Research Program, led by the environmental engineering group in the Department of Civil Engineering, are investigating the behavior and fate of these compounds, and the threat it may pose to aquatic organisms living in estuaries. Estuaries are partially enclosed bodies of water along the coast where freshwater from rivers and streams mixes with saltwater from the ocean. Estuarine environments have evolved to produce unique and diverse communities of plants and animals. More than half of the world’s population lives or works adjacent to estuaries, a proximity that creates increased risks to estuarine organisms. The EERP researchers use a variety of tools to collect sediment and water samples from nearshore coastal and estuarine waters along the Gulf Coast, Hayworth including a 34-foot tri-pontoon boat with a customdesigned vibracore system to collect long sediment cores (4-inch diameter, up to 6-foot length), and a 21-foot shallow water research vessel for water and sediment sampling in shallow estuarine waters. In an advanced analytical chemistry laboratory designed specifically for Auburn’s EERP program, the team examines samples for known or suspected endocrine disrupting chemicals. These are predominantly synthetic organic compounds used in a variety of industrial, agricultural, household and pharmaceutical products. Laboratory instrumentation includes a state-ofthe-art Agilent Technologies triple quadrupole liquid chromatography/mass
spectrometer, allowing for quantitative analysis of environmental samples having trace amounts of endocrine disrupting compounds. This analytical capability is critical, since trace amounts of these compounds can inhibit the reproductive processes, development, gender distributions and immune functions in estuarine aquatic organisms by disrupting endocrine biochemistry. As one example, endocrine disrupting compounds mimicking the natural hormone estradiol have been shown to cause long-term and transgenerational changes in oyster gender distributions. “Endocrine disrupting chemicals can flow into estuarine systems in a variety of ways, including stormwater runoff and through water treatment systems,” explains Joel Hayworth, associate professor of civil engineering and a principal investigator of the project. “Micropollutants exist in systems in very low concentrations and are almost impossible to detect or remove by conventional water and wastewater treatment methods. Nevertheless, they often have profound and lasting effects on sensitive estuarine organisms.” Hayworth says the team looks to better understand the physical and chemical behavior of endocrine disrupting compounds in Gulf Coast estuarine systems. The ultimate goal is to develop methods for predicting the fate of endocrine disruptors from its introduction into coastal estuarine systems to its sequestration or removal from these systems. In the coming years, the team will expand their investigations to estuaries on the eastern and western coasts of the United States, as well as to other estuaries worldwide. In addition to Hayworth, the research team includes civil engineering faculty members Mark Barnett, professor; Xing Fang, Arthur H. Feagin professor; Jose Vasconcelos, assistant professor; Vanisree Mulabagal, research fellow; and several undergraduate and graduate students.
THIS IS COLLABORATION.
Partnership advances the future of smart plants
In a cross-disciplinary collaboration merging computer science with chemical engineering, Auburn University professors have partnered to explore cyber manufacturing and big data analytics to advance the future of smart plants. Anthony Skjellum, director of Auburn Universityâ€™s Cyber Research Center and the COLSA professor of cybersecurity and information assurance, and Jin Wang, Walt and Virginia Woltosz associate professor of chemical engineering, are building a testbed of chemical reactors, as well as Internet of Things sensors, to monitor and examine big data analytics and create improved control of complex systems in the next generation of smart plants.
The duo is developing a process data analytics framework to provide smart diagnostics and prognostics for cyber manufacturing, as well as an IoT-enabled manufacturing technology testbed to better understand the properties, capacities and performances of these devices. Information obtained from the study will allow researchers to identify opportunities and challenges of future IoT-enabled cyber manufacturing. The project can have a significant impact on future smart plants by detecting and correcting possible faults and failures earlier and reducing plant downtimes by upwards of 50 Wang percent in five years and 90 percent in 10 years. In addition, Skjellum and Wang foresee this research will increase plant efficiency and cost savings.
THIS IS INNOVATION.
‘Awake-dog’ MRI scans predict a dog’s detection ability
A dog’s remarkable nose has helped mankind for ages, from the hunting of game animals to more recently sniffing out explosives and contraband. However, the field of neuroscience knows only a fractional amount of how the canine brain works, particularly when it is using the sense of smell. Auburn University researchers are shedding light on this aspect through functional MRI brain scans of awake, non-anesthetized dogs. “We are the first group in the world to use functional MRI of awake dogs to study how their brains process odorant information,” says assistant professor Gopikrishna “Gopi” Deshpande of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “This lets us see their brains in action when they are smelling odors. Best of all, the dogs don’t have to be anesthetized.” Auburn’s College of Veterinary Medicine developed the unique awakedog training system that Deshpande is using in his research to establish an MRI baseline test, which would determine a dog’s ability to become a good detector before it goes through training. “The dogs are not restrained in any way,” notes Paul Waggoner, co-director of Canine Performance Sciences in the veterinary college. “We trained them to get up on the scanner; place their head in the correct position; and then remain still while the scanning occurs. We’re really the first ones to have dogs scanned in this awake fashion.”
The project is being conducted in collaboration with the iK9 company, the College of Veterinary Medicine and the Department of Psychology in the College of Liberal Arts. Auburn and iK9 are using
a $1 million grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, to perform the study. iK9, which has an office in the Auburn Research Park, is providing the dogs and training while Auburn researchers conduct the MRI scans at Auburn’s MRI Research Center. “The dogs are undergoing MRI brain scans before and after they are trained so we can look for baseline neural features that would predict the dogs’ future detection performance,” Deshpande explains. “This would enable us to scan a prospective dog’s brain and determine the likelihood of its success.” Forty dogs are undergoing the scans and training during the two-year project. “After a dog gets its initial scan, we train that dog to be a detection dog,” iK9 President Roland Beason says. “After four to six weeks, we scan it again. At two other time points we will again scan the dog.” During the MRI scanning, various odors are presented to the dog’s nose, with the idea that researchers can determine a specific neural marker in the brain image to determine if a dog has the makings of a detector dog. Current methods of finding and training suitable dogs are time consuming and costly for agencies around the globe. “If we can pinpoint a specific neural marker on the scan, this could result in tremendous financial savings for the government and private companies since they would not use training resources on unsuitable dogs,” remarks Deshpande, who adds that training a highly specialized detector dog can cost up to $30,000. The researchers hope their findings will result in a test that can used by agencies nationwide. “Auburn is known around the world for its canine programs,” Deshpande says. “We have an excellent team.”
academics National Rankings
31st among public universities Graduate program 39th among public universities Graduate Online Program 27th among all engineering colleges Graduate Computer Information Technology Program 16th 18th in engineering degrees awarded to African-Americans 27th in undergraduate enrollment among all engineering colleges 44th in research expenditures among all engineering colleges 34th in bachelorâ€™s degrees awarded among all engineering colleges 43rd in bachelorâ€™s degrees awarded to women among all engineering colleges Undergraduate program
Freshman Class Snapshot
1,317 Average ACT/SAT 29.1/1,252 National Merit Scholars 33 Freshmen
Largest college at Auburn University with
27 percent of freshman enrollment
Biosystems Engineering Forestry Engineering Ecological Engineering
Computer Science and Software Engineering Computer Science Software Engineering Electrical and Computer Engineering Electrical Engineering Electrical Engineering Computer Option
Industrial and Systems Engineering
Wireless Engineering Hardware Option Software Option
Information in this report is from Auburn University except as noted. 1 2 U.S. News & World Report Diverse Issues in Higher Education 3American Society for Engineering Education
4,000 3,500 3,000 2,500
4,968 20,629 851 5,283 5,819 25,912
20 percent female 11 percent underrepresented
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
51 109 115
2,851 2,843 3,053 3,383 3,595 3,890 4,018 4,157 4,294 4,618 4,968
692 570 672 478 418
Automotive Engineering and Manufacturing Systems Business-Engineering-Technology Computer Science Information Technology Materials Engineering Materials Science Nuclear Power Generation Systems Tribology and Lubrication Science
Undergraduate Students by Department
Aerospace Engineering Chemical Engineering Civil Engineering Computer Science and Software Engineering
Electrical and Computer Engineering
900 850 800 750 700 600
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
651 653 671 720 754 810 834 853 885 917 851
Industrial and Systems Engineering
463 Doctoral 388 21 percent female Masters
Graduate Online Degrees
Graduate Students by Department
Strategic Research Areas
• Biomedical and Pharmaceutical Engineering
Tenured/tenure track faculty Non-tenure track
• Advanced Manufacturing • Cyber Security and Information Technology • Energy and Environment
$58.3 million in research expenditures 44th in nation in research expenditures,
• Engineered Materials and Nanotechnology • Infrastructure and Transportation
ranked in the top 50 for the past nine years
65 60 55 50 45 40 35 30
54.8 47.1 49.5 55.5 57.4 60.1 61.3 60.0 58.3
Research Expenditures (in millions)
2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
American Society for Engineering Education, 2014 (latest available data)
2015 Fundraising Priorities (in millions)
$21.9 $20.4 $13.3 $19.1 $21.2 $28.8 $43.4 $62.4
Fundraising History (in millions)
$30 million 2015 raised $62.4 million 208 percent of goal raised 2015 goal
2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015
In April 2015, Because This is Auburn — A Campaign for Auburn University, a $1 billion fundraising effort, was publicly launched to propel the university forward through a renewed commitment to students, a continued promise to the state and a shared responsibility to the world. Less than one year later, the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering has surpassed its $200 million goal by raising $206,642,262 to date. In fact, during the 2015 fiscal year, the college raised $62,356,049, or 208 percent of its goal. The development efforts by the college were the largest by any college or unit in a single year in the university’s history.
relations center. The center will also create student maker spaces and an engineering international experience office. Dorothy Davidson, chair and CEO of Huntsville’s Davidson Technologies, also announced a transformational gift — a $5 million donation — during a Huntsville, Alabama, campaign event in October. The gift will go toward renovating portions of Broun Hall, the home of electrical engineering. Her gift honors her late husband, Julian Davidson, a 1950 Auburn electrical engineering graduate and defense industry pioneer.
John and Rosemary Brown, both 1957 Auburn graduates, announced the largest gift in university history through their commitment of $57 million to fund two major new facilities: the Brown-Kopel Engineering Student Achievement Center will be constructed with $30 million of the gift, with most of the remainder used to build a new performing arts center.
Thomas Walter, a 1955 engineering physics graduate, and his wife, Jean, are strengthening the programs of the university’s Thomas Walter Center for Technology Management with a $2 million gift made through their Fund of the Communities Foundation of Texas. The gift will ensure the center’s Business-Engineering-Technology Program continues to prepare students for careers that integrate both business and engineering disciplines.
This state-of-the-art engineering achievement center will enhance a multitude of student support activities, including student recruitment, curriculum advising, tutoring, career mentoring, job placement and an industrial
As of January 2016, Auburn University’s comprehensive campaign, Because This is Auburn, has raised $917 million of its $1 billion goal. The campaign runs through December 2017.
SELECTED HIGHLIGHTS students • Chemical engineering and Honors College students Christy Pickering and Connor
Dobson were chosen as Barry M. Goldwater Scholars. This honor is considered the most prestigious award in the U.S. for undergraduates in science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines.
• Two undergraduate biosystems engineering student teams received international
recognition, winning the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers student ethics video competition. Team members for “Biological Systems” were Leyla Battista, Connor Henderson and N. Eric Shotts; “The Corn Ethanol Issue” team included Cris Bangert, C. Preston Waid and Emily Ong.
• Mechanical engineering senior design students, advised by professor David Beale,
won the Neil Armstrong Best Design Award at the NASA Human Exploration Lunar Rover Challenge held in Huntsville, Alabama. Team members included team leader Kayla Reid, Jason Smith, Ross Bonner, John McCall, Richard Golden, Robert French, Joel Gann, Paul Hattenstein, Colton Wingard and Dinglong Li.
• The Alabama Association of Colleges and Employers selected Andrea Charlton,
electrical and computer engineering senior, as the Outstanding Co-Op Student of the Year for the State of Alabama. Charlton graduated summa cum laude after completing a four semester co-op assignment with Johnson Outdoor Marine Electronics, Inc./Humminbird in Eufaula, Alabama.
• Sara Kouroupis, a 2015 electrical engineering graduate, was the recipient of the Alton
B. Zerby and Carl T. Koerner Outstanding Electrical and Computer Engineering Student Award by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers honor society, Eta Kappa Nu. Following graduation, Kouroupis accepted a position with Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in a two-year rotational program while pursuing a master’s degree in electrical engineering at the university.
• Students in aerospace engineering set a new record by winning an unprecedented five best paper awards at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Southeastern Regional Student Conference. Seniors Wil Roberts and AJ Pollard
earned first place in the best undergraduate paper and best community outreach paper categories, respectively. In addition, graduate students Orie Cecil, Tim Marquardt and Viraja Khollam earned the top three prizes in the best graduate paper category (masters division), respectively.
• Civil engineering student Rebecca Nylen received the 2015 Eugene Glysson National
Chi Epsilon scholarship, one of only 11 national and nine district scholarships presented by the civil engineering honor society annually. She was also named the 2015 Student Civil Engineer of the Year by the Alabama section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.
• Andrew Eiland, a civil engineering graduate research assistant working with the Auburn University Highway Research Center, was awarded the American Concrete Institute’s Richard N. White Student Fellowship Award for the 2015-16 academic year.
• Elizabeth Stallings, civil engineering graduate student, was the 2015-16 recipient
of the International Association of Foundation Drilling Industry Advancement Fellowship. Stallings is a research assistant working with Brian Anderson, associate professor, on the impact and remediation of vegetation on swelling clays found under roads in rural western Alabama.
• Civil engineering doctoral candidates Mohammad Jalayer and Mahdi Pour Rouholamin won the 2015 GRITS Scholarship Award from the Gulf Region Intelligent Transportation Society. The award is based on academic performance, awards and honors, extracurricular involvement and work experience. The students worked with civil engineering professor Huaguo Zhou.
• Michael Vrtis, a doctoral candidate in civil engineering, was awarded the Ward
K. Parr scholarship from the Association of Asphalt Paving Technologists. This annual international scholarship is designed to increase the number of scientists and engineers available for careers in the general area of asphalt cement or asphalt concrete technology.
• Meredith Reid, a post-doctoral fellow at the Auburn University MRI Research Center,
was awarded a three-year grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a combination of functional MRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy to study the root causes of memory problems in patients with schizophrenia.
• Zhifeng He, doctoral student in electrical and computer engineering, won a best
paper award with Shiwen Mao, Samuel Ginn professor and director of the Wireless
Engineering Research and Education Center, at the 2015 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Global Communications conference in San Diego.
• Yu Wang, doctoral student in electrical and computer engineering, with Shiwen
Mao, earned a best paper award at the 2015 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Wireless Communications and Networking conference in New Orleans.
departments • Recognized by the university for teaching excellence, the Department of Biosystems Engineering received the Auburn University Departmental Award for Excellence in Education. The honor includes $30,000 that will be administered in three annual installments to fund several initiatives.
• The Auburn University MRI Research Center was inducted into the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame. The 45,000-square-foot facility houses two of the most powerful research and clinical MRI scanners in the world. Engineers collaborate with scholars and clinicians to advance healthcare in cardiovascular disease, neuroscience, biomedical engineering and MRI technology. The center also led the establishment of the Alabama Advanced Imaging Consortium, which is composed of Auburn University and the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
• The college established a new interdisciplinary center to advance polymer and
composite engineering. The Center for Polymer and Advanced Composites will focus on research, graduate education and collaborative outreach opportunities to advance economic growth in Alabama and the Southeast. With more than 20 years of experience in polymer research, Maria Auad, associate professor of chemical engineering, serves as the center’s interim director.
• The National Center for Asphalt Technology Test Track began its sixth cycle of
provides college and university faculty with clear and up-to-date instructional resources to teach the asphalt portion of an undergraduate civil engineering materials course.
• Wesley Zech, Brasfield & Gorrie associate professor of construction engineering and
management, and others from Auburn’s Highway Research Center collaborated with the Alabama Department of Transportation to construct the Auburn University Erosion and Sediment Control Testing Facility, located in Opelika. The AUESCTF was designed and constructed to assist ALDOT in meeting its environmental commitments to protect state waterways from polluted stormwater runoff associated with construction activity. Two training events offered at the facility were attended by 148 participants.
faculty • Puneet Srivastava, professor of biosystems engineering, was named director of the
Auburn University Water Resources Center. The center fosters collaborative research among faculty and staff on multidisciplinary water-related research, education and outreach. Srivastava also was named the Butler-Cunningham Eminent Scholar in Agriculture and the Environment. Srivastava’s research targets agriculture’s effects on water quality and biological diversity, environmental education and enhancement of ecological stability in areas such as forests, parks or communities.
• Steven Taylor, head of the Department of Biosystems Engineering and director of
the Auburn University Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts, received the James R. and Karen A. Gilley Academic Leadership Award from the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers. The award honors an ASABE member who provides outstanding academic leadership while serving as a biological and/or agricultural engineering department head.
pavement research, with 19 of the track’s 46 pavement test sections rebuilt for new experiments in 2015. The Alabama Asphalt Pavement Association recognized this paving project for excellence in its special projects category. Research in the sixth cycle is funded by 10 state departments of transportation, the Federal Highway Administration, the Alabama Department of Environmental Management, and industry related businesses as well.
• Jeremiah Davis, associate professor of biosystems engineering and associate director
• The National Center for Asphalt Technology held its 23rd Professor Training Course
• David Bevly, Bill and Lana McNair professor of mechanical engineering and director
in June with participants from 17 universities. This five-day educational program
of the National Poultry Technology Center, was a member of a team that received an American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers’ Superior Paper Award. Their article, “Effect of Measurement Density on Characterizing Air Velocity Distribution in Commercial Broiler Houses,” was published in Transactions of ASABE. of the GPS and Vehicle Dynamics Laboratory, is leading an interdisciplinary team of
researchers on a $1 million Federal Highway Administration project to develop a drive-assistive truck platooning prototype. The goal of the project is to save fuel and decrease traffic congestion without compromising safety.
• Virginia Davis, Mario Eden, Elizabeth Lipke, Oladiran Fasina and Sushil Adhikari
received the university’s highest honors at the 2015-16 Faculty Awards ceremony.
``Virginia Davis, Alumni professor of chemical engineering, was honored with the
Award for Excellence in Faculty Outreach, which recognizes the engagement of exemplary faculty members and demonstrates the tremendous impact outreach has on the community, state and nation.
``Mario Eden, Joe T. and Billie Carole McMillan professor and chair of the
Department of Chemical Engineering, received the Creative Research and Scholarship Award, which honors the research achievements and contributions of faculty who have distinguished themselves through research, scholarly works and creative contributions to their fields.
``Elizabeth Lipke, Mary and John H. Sanders associate professor of chemical engineering, received the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Fostering Undergraduate Research and Creative Scholarship.
``Professor Oladiran Fasina and associate professor Sushil Adhikari, both in
biosystems engineering, were recognized as Alumni Professors. The awards are five-year, nonrenewable professorships sponsored by the Auburn Alumni Association and are presented on the basis of research, publishing and teaching.
• Hulya Kirkici, professor of electrical and computer engineering, received the Eric
O. Forster Distinguished Service Award, the highest service award given by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Dielectrics and Electrical Insulation Society. She was also named Auburn University’s presidential administrative fellow for the 2015 spring and fall semesters. Kirkici’s research interests include the fields of space power systems; dielectrics and electrical insulation in high-altitude space environment; and plasma physics.
• Vic Nelson, professor of electrical and computer engineering, was the recipient of
the Edwin C. Jones Jr., Meritorious Service Award by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ Education Society. This award is given to a member of the IEEE Education Society in recognition of pioneering contributions to the administrative efforts of the society over a period of years.
• Brian Thurow, W. Allen and Martha Reed associate professor of aerospace
engineering, was selected as the Konrad Dannenberg Educator of the Year by the Greater Huntsville section of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. The award is given each year to an AIAA section member in recognition of outstanding service to education and promotion of math and science within the community.
• Joe Majdalani, professor of aerospace engineering, was honored at the American
Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Science and Technology Forum as the AIAA National Faculty Advisor. The award is presented to a faculty member who has made outstanding service contributions as a student branch adviser in local, regional and national activities.
• Gisela Buschle-Diller, professor of biosystems engineering and faculty fellow associate director at Auburn’s Biggio Center for the Enhancement of Teaching and Learning, was named to the Global Teaching Academy by the Auburn University Office of International Programs.
• Jeffrey LaMondia, assistant professor of civil engineering, and civil engineering senior
Nathan Moore received the 2015 Fred Burggraf Award from the National Academy’s Transportation Research Board. One of the highest honors presented by TRB, the international award recognizes the year’s best research paper by individuals 35 years of age or under. LaMondia and Moore were selected for their paper, “Comparing Bicycle Level of Service Measures, Roadway Characteristics, and Perceived Bike Route Suitability.”
• Christopher B. Roberts, dean of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, received the
Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Notre Dame’s graduate school, where he earned master’s and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering.
• Jeffrey Suhling, Quina professor and chair of mechanical engineering, was awarded an Alabama Innovation Fund grant through the Alabama Department of Commerce for research in efficient energy systems. The funds will support a state-of-the-art experimental laboratory for research in scalable energy conversion systems. It will have the capability to reproduce climate conditions from around the world, including tropical to continental, and dry desert to polar tundra.
• Richard Sesek, Tim Cook professor of industrial and systems engineering, was the
recipient of the Outstanding Graduate Mentor Award from the Auburn University Graduate Student Council.
• Shiwen Mao, Ginn professor of electrical and computer engineering, was selected as
director of the Wireless Engineering Research and Education Center in the college.
• Cordelia Brown was named the director of the Alabama Power Academic Excellence Program in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. She will also serve as a senior lecturer in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Brown comes to Auburn from Purdue University, where she served as an assistant professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering and School of Engineering Education.
• Larry Crowley, associate professor of construction in the Department of Civil
Engineering, received the 2015 Glenn Howze Academic Freedom Award from the Auburn chapter of the American Association of University Professors. The award represents Crowley’s high ethical standards and professionalism, while providing active and ongoing support for the faculty’s role in shared university governance.
• Anton Schindler, Mountain Spirit professor of civil engineering and director of
Auburn’s Highway Research Center, was selected to serve as chairman of the American Concrete Institute’s self-consolidating concrete committee. The 100-member group includes engineers, architects, researchers, educators, contractors and materials specialists from around the world. He also was awarded a 2015-16 Fulbright U.S. Scholar grant and is working at the VTT Technical Research Center in Helsinki, Finland.
alumni • Todd May, ’90 materials engineering, was appointed director of NASA’s Marshall
Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. In this position, he leads nearly 6,000 civil service and contractor employees, manages a $2.5 billion annual budget and oversees a broad spectrum of human spaceflight, science and technology development missions. Before serving as MSFC’s acting director and deputy director, May helmed the Space Launch System program. Upon completion, the SLS heavy launch vehicle will carry astronauts and equipment to destinations deeper into the solar system, including Mars.
• Michael A. DeMaioribus, J. David Irwin and Joseph A. “Buzz” Miller were inducted into the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame.
``DeMaioribus is executive vice president of business operations of Dynetics, a Huntsville-based company that provides high-tech products and services to
security, satellite, automotive and cybersecurity sectors. He is also a member of the Auburn University Board of Trustees. DeMaioribus earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Auburn in 1976 and 1977, respectively.
``Irwin, retired eminent scholar in the Department of Electrical and Computer
Engineering, worked in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering for 46 years, 36 of which he served as department head. Irwin earned a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from Auburn in 1961 and master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Tennessee in 1962 and 1967, respectively.
``Miller is president of nuclear development for Southern Nuclear and executive
vice president of nuclear development for Georgia Power, both subsidiaries of Southern Company. He oversees construction of two new nuclear reactors at the Alvin W. Vogtle Electric Generating Plant. Miller graduated in 1983 with a degree in chemical engineering.
• Samuel Ginn, ’59 industrial management, namesake of the College of Engineering
and retired chairman of Vodafone, and Melissa Herkt, ’77 civil engineering, retired president of Process Systems and Solutions – Americas, a division of Emerson Process Management, received the Auburn University Alumni Association Lifetime Achievement Award for extraordinary personal and professional achievements and outstanding service to the university.
• Charlie Ping, ’04 mechanical engineering and engineering development manager
for Pratt & Miller Engineering in Melbourne, Australia, is a member of a team that won the Louis Schwitzer Award. Presented by the Indiana section of the Society of Automotive Engineers and BorgWarner, a powertrain technologies company, the award recognizes individuals for innovation and engineering excellence in racing technology associated with the Indianapolis 500.
• Dwayne McCay, who earned his bachelor’s degree in physics in 1968, his master’s
degree in aerospace engineering in 1969, and became the first doctoral graduate from aerospace engineering in 1974, was selected as president-elect of the Florida Institute of Technology.
Samuel Ginn College of Engineering 1301 Shelby Center 735 Extension Loop Auburn, AL 36849-7350
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Auburn Engineering 2015 annual report