Page 1

Fall/Winter 2013

Volume 22

Issue 2


Going Global

To Bolivia and Back

Samuel Ginn College of Engineering

History on Display The rich heritage of engineering is on display in the terra cotta artwork that greets visitors as they enter the north perimeter of the engineering quad from Magnolia Avenue. Sculpted by artists Gary Wagoner, head of the university’s art department, and Joanna Blake, an Auburn alumna, the terra cotta panels recall both historic and modern aspects of Auburn Engineering. Pictured on this panel are a suspension bridge and a turnof-century engineer at a surveying table; other panels highlight engineering achievements in space, nanotechnology and composite materials, as well as visual cues from chemical, computer and electrical engineering. The engineering installation is similar to others around campus, each keyed to the university’s various disciplines.

Auburn Engineering


Fall/Winter 2013 Volume 22, Issue 2 Office of the Dean Christopher B. Roberts, dean Bob Karcher, assistant dean of student services Oliver Kingsley, associate dean for special projects Nels Madsen, associate dean for assessment Ralph Zee, associate dean for research

From the Dean




Office of Engineering Communications and Marketing Jim Killian, director Sally Credille, editor Contributors Beth L. Smith Morgan Stashick Photography Auburn University Photographic Services Josh Brinkerhoff, Katie Haon, Jim Killian

It's my job


To Bolivia and Back


Securing a Virtual World


Red Rocket


Into the Lab


First Here, Then There



Katie Haon, graphic designer Office of Engineering Development Veronica Chesnut, director Dan Bush, associate director Patrick Allen, development officer Kori Caldwell, development officer David Mattox, development officer Margaret Schlereth, development officer Jon Wilson, development officer Experience Auburn Engineering online at e n g.a u b u r n . e du / m a g a z i n e

Auburn Engineering is published twice yearly by the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. Please send news items, suggestions and comments to: Engineering Communications and Marketing c/o Editor 1320 Shelby Center Auburn, AL 36849 eng.auburn.edu/youtube 334.844.2308 editor@eng.auburn.edu

minutes with

Fro m th e De sk o f . . .


And the Winner is . . .




eng.auburn.edu/facebook eng.auburn.edu/twitter

Š2012 Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, Auburn University

From the Dea n I am pleased to have recently begun my tenure as dean of engineering following the retirement of Larry Benefield. Dr. Benefield did a truly outstanding job in his 14 years as dean, most notably as a visionary leader who transformed the face of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. Our college advanced in numerous capacities under his leadership, and he is going to be quite an act to follow. I am ready for the challenge — which is to elevate us to the next level of academic and research performance, and to continue to build upon our reputation as one of our nation’s premier colleges of engineering. To this end, we will: • Aggressively recruit, mentor, retain and support outstanding faculty who exemplify excellence and innovation in the pursuit of knowledge; some of their groundbreaking work is featured in this issue • Offer world-class undergraduate and graduate programs at the frontier of engineering education, with a committed focus on being the best student-centered engineering experience in America; you’ll find stories throughout the magazine about the growth and success of our academic programs, and generous support for them provided by our passionate and dedicated alumni • Train our students to serve as exemplary leaders in technological development and engineering practice that anticipates, and meets, the needs of tomorrow’s world; as you continue reading, you’ll learn more about one exceptional project where our students are developing accessible technology for the village of Quesimpuco, Bolivia •

Double our research enterprise to more than $100 million in annual expenditures, while significantly increasing the number of doctoral degrees awarded and peer-reviewed papers published; these pages highlight a number of those graduate-level projects and the collaborative effort to showcase this work in the newly formed Council of Engineering Graduate Students

Engage in innovative research and technology that really matters to our society — research that addresses the grand challenges of our nation while improving our quality of life and industrial competitiveness; for example, our college’s research in cyber security and work to protect online privacy, as well as our nation’s secure information

I am extremely honored to have this opportunity to play a defining role in shaping the future of our fine college. We have been on a strong upward trajectory, and as dean of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering I can assure you that I will work tirelessly to foster and build upon our strengths. It is my strong desire to nurture a culture of excellence, innovation and collaboration, and our success will hinge on a high level of engagement from the entire Auburn Engineering family. I hope that you will join me in this endeavor.

Dean Christopher B. Roberts

2 Auburn Engineering

Auburn Engineering 3

4 Auburn Engineering

Flying High As part of Military Appreciation Day, the U.S. Army has partnered with Auburn University to explore opportunities for collaboration in the field of unmanned aircraft systems. Faculty and students will be able to develop payloads that can be tested and demonstrated on unmanned aircraft and perform security tests of wireless control systems, with emphasis on the RQ-11B Raven, the smallest of the Army's unmanned aircraft. This partnership serves as another building block to greater opportunities for Auburn students and faculty to work with defense partners in Huntsville. On field during the presentation at the Auburn-Texas A&M football game were, from left, John Mason, Auburn University's vice president for research; Lt. Col. Nick Kioutas, product manager for small unmanned aircraft systems; Lt. Col. Robb Walker, director of external programs in the UAS project office; Richard Kretzschmar, deputy project manager of unmanned aircraft systems at U.S. Army PEO Aviation; and Rodney Robertson, executive director of Auburn's Huntsville Research Center.

Auburn Engineering 5



b r i g h t e r,


Alice E. Smith, faculty member in industrial and systems engineering, has been awarded a Fulbright grant to teach and conduct research at Bilkent University in Ankara, Turkey, in the spring. Smith, whose research and teaching involves modeling and optimizing complex systems, will instruct a series of courses on adaptive optimization and advanced modeling to Turkish graduate students in technical disciplines, including engineering. She also plans to focus her research on gender issues related to engineering academia, for which she has been awarded several National Science Foundation grants. Smith has previously hosted six visiting scholars from Turkey, where industrial engineering is one of the fastest growing technical fields of study. “Engineering, among all professions, is the most acutely male dominated,” says Smith. “With the world facing a myriad of challenging technical problems, it is imperative to train more engineers, especially those who are creative and collaborative. Women offer the best source for increasing the number of skilled engineers worldwide.”

A little help from your friends The college’s Office of Engineering Student Services now offers free individual and group tutoring sessions to all engineering students, including all pre-engineering subjects in math and science, as well as sophomore-level supporting courses in engineering. Individual tutoring sessions are made by appointment and are held in specially designated rooms throughout the Shelby Center. No appointment is necessary for group or live stream tutoring, which is held in 201 Ramsay Hall. Group tutoring sessions are accompanied by a live online feed for students who are unable to attend a group session and include high-demand subjects such as calculus and physics. Students can log in online between 3:30 and 5 p.m. to watch a live feed of their group tutoring session, as well participate by asking questions to the tutor and group through an online chat. 6 Auburn Engineering

Called to office Dwayne Brown, 1990 civil engineering graduate, has been named assistant vice president of alumni affairs at Auburn University. His move up the ladder comes three years after beginning to volunteer with the office. Brown began his career as a Navy officer after graduating from Auburn’s Navy ROTC program. He then became a service manager for Cintas uniform company before taking on managerial positions at Target stores in Panama City Beach, Fla., and Opelika. Brown credits these experiences for the leadership, financial and organizational skills he has gained over the past 20 years in preparing him for this new role.


Climbing the ranks It’s that time again, and the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering has increased in this year’s U.S. News & World Report rankings to 30th among public universities offering doctoral programs in engineering and 53rd overall. “These rankings are among the highest in the history of the College of Engineering ... they are a testament to the strength of our faculty and reflect a commitment by our students to succeed in a rigorous curriculum,” said Dean Christopher B. Roberts. “They also represent our ongoing

Auburn University and Huntsville-based Dynetics are working

commitment to position the

together to pursue science and technology focused research

college among the nation’s

and economic development projects, such as collaborations in

premier engineering institutions.”

cyber security, food safety, supply chain management, computer software and avionics. Auburn and Dynetics have partnered to

Auburn University is ranked

join the Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable,

37th among public universities

GUIRR, an organization sponsored by the National Academies

nationwide for its undergraduate

of Science and Engineering and the Institute of Medicine. By

programs, making this the 20th

participating in GUIRR, Auburn and Dynetics now work more

consecutive year Auburn has been

closely with senior research leaders in federal agencies, industry

ranked among the nation’s top 50

and academia.

public universities.

“Together with Dynetics, we’re in a better position to play a role in developing solutions and promoting economic growth in Alabama and beyond,” said Rodney Robertson, executive director of Auburn’s research center in Huntsville. Auburn Engineering 7


War Eagle Kitty Fictional folk hero Paul Bunyan had his big blue ox, Babe. A very real Auburn engineer and artist, James Dean Thomas (who later dropped Thomas from his name), electrical engineering ‘82 and a native of Fort Payne, Ala., has his little blue cat, Pete. Since 1999, Dean, a former engineer at Georgia Power turned artist, has been painting Pete the Cat — a small blue cat who was inspired by his own cat Pete — among watercolors of rural landscapes, classic cars and even vintage Auburn scenes. While Dean’s cat was black, he decided to paint Pete blue, believing that black cats might be bad luck. Pete the Cat has been featured in Dean’s familiar paintings of Samford Hall, Sani-Freeze and Aubie, as well as vintage-style country landscapes throughout the South. His original artwork hangs in downtown shops on College Street. In 2008, Dean and writer Eric Litwin created a Pete the Cat children’s book series, which has spent time on the New York Times Best Seller List for children’s books, including the latest release, “Pete Saves Christmas.” The next chapter in the Pete the Cat series will be released early next year.

8 Auburn Engineering

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as od, ng h bati t. Ho e r e g e , d em bu ring extr od’s inee o — g r n H a e are than and st ye oftw ans Jona so la s o r t l s d i n t g y fo an en ude onin nce o pa stud t g st p e ei f n s u c i o e r o s at ut ll fre ee er ec b a o t n ( i e u m t r g 7 p e p n 1 Extr s to o com ail-in ed e 11,6 bate of $ nt in ith m -how form l e s w w a d n t 9 re o e u a o 2 t n t tr s 7 m k l a o d a c e ng ctor s for that eeri earn a do bate ngin has ems e t r e i d s 7 n i n i 3 a h ear, ed 3 sted used inve his y earn t s d ) a a e t h inste reba . He tion fter i a u t s s ar . em his e ye er it t e t r the e h st t or-b rom a f p d e the gain and over ge I nce d e i e l c l w ter S vera kno mpu the p se o me u g C t n i e f give to “Us ,Is t n a g e h n i t s r artm inee com plain Dep Eng ” ex bby. , u e s l r c l a e e y w me s it s em Soft ook te so s lik e o b r t i itor n s w o s, I mon web ion e y t s l s a e i reb mm activ , and the a co that eals d s For “ e m . t a a d e rogr Hoo r-reb Twenty-five area middle and high school th th ter p afte will u e p p wi e u r m f e or o p r v c e o a teams competed in the War Eagle BEST f e h k s site tes I s to web reba gram robotics competition on Saturday, Oct. 13, e o r h t p f r ch o othe at Smiths Station High School. The event rus f ea o s st ntivi u o t a d a , m t s s g s an be followed six weeks of preparation for this p ba uld ve.” dset e i o l o a i t e c e p c p h s k l re as la dea stoc did year’s game, Warp XX, which features a ooth such hich luet ems le to t s B i w b , a m e g s s th in nt ite prototype robot to transport cargo and d wa y. If one ate now eBa Hoo By k omp r-reb , n c e e t o r l f ll equipment on a space elevator tower. Five itab pute ee-a ll we prof of fr , com ould se s k d n i e winning teams — Columbus Consortium w dr em. er, hun new d th pap k e , t e e a r h n of Columbus, Ga., Stanhope Elmore High wa that d do soft ems Hoo t , i g School in Millbrook, Wetumpka High School, r n othe selli it re b i Saint James School in Montgomery and h pro Brewbaker Technology Magnet High School



War Eagle -


in Montgomery –— will advance to South’s BEST regional competition Dec. 1-2 in the Auburn Arena.

Auburn Engineering 9


In good hands Mario Eden, Joe T. and Billie Carole McMillan associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, was named chair of the department effective July 1. He succeeds Christopher B. Roberts, who was recently named dean of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering following Larry Benefield’s retirement after 33 years at Auburn. Eden’s research includes process systems engineering focusing on developing methodologies for process and product design; process integration and optimization; sustainable and environmentally benign technologies; and optimization of integrated biorefineries and logistical fuel processing systems. He has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on nearly $18 million in extramural grants and contracts, including the collaborative project, “IGERT: Integrated Biorefining for Sustainable Production of Fuels and Chemicals,” a $3 million, five-year grant awarded this past year by the National Science Foundation

Computing for first Yuan Tian, doctoral student in computer science and software engineering, earned first place at the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) student research competition grand finals for her research, “Smart-IO: System-Aware TwoLevel Data Organization for Efficient Scientific Analytics.” She accepted her award at a banquet held in San Francisco on June 16. The student research competition is sponsored by Microsoft Research to encourage students to pursue careers in computer science. Tian is studying high performance computing at Auburn while working for faculty member Weikuan Yu in the department. Tian and Yu’s work was recognized by ACM last year as one of 11 projects selected for the student research competition, earning a first place award. Tian earned her master’s degree in software engineering from Auburn in May 2009.

to instruct more than 30 doctoral students in the sustainable production of biofuels and chemicals, and the first IGERT grant awarded at Auburn. “I am honored to be appointed as the

New name, same great program

department’s chair,” says Eden. “Auburn

Auburn University has named

chemical engineering

the Samuel Ginn College of

is known for providing

Engineering’s nuclear power

unique opportunities

generation systems program

to our students in an

in recognition of support

environment that fosters

from the Alabama Power

academic excellence and

Foundation and Southern

innovative research.

Nuclear. The new program,

Under Dr. Roberts’

which was added to teach

leadership the

the next generation of plant

department has grown

engineers for the nuclear

in size and reputation, and

power generation industry,

I am looking forward to

has been named the Alabama

continuing that tradition.”

Power Nuclear Power Generation Systems program.

10 Auburn Engineering

Innovation at its finest Four Auburn faculty members have been awarded grants totaling more than $600,000 through

Show us what you got The college hosted the Engineering Graduate Research Showcase on Thursday, Sept. 13, and featured a graduate student poster showcase and competition in the Shelby Center Grand Foyer, as well as remarks by Engineering Dean Christopher B. Roberts and opportunities to network with faculty and students. Courtney Ober, chemical engineering graduate student from Carlisle, Penn., earned first place in the poster competition while second place went to Hamed Ghaednia, mechanical engineering graduate student from Tehran, Iran, and third place was awarded to Robert Herring III, chemical engineering graduate student from Mobile.

the Alabama Innovation Fund as part of Accelerate Alabama, the state’s long-term plan to prioritize economic development. Oladiran Fasina in the Department of Biosystems Engineering, and engineering faculty members Weikuan Yu in the Department of Computer Science and Software, Bruce Tatarchuk in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Marko Hakovirta, director of the Alabama Center for Paper

Young Gun Mark Spencer, a 2000 computer science and software engineering graduate, was recently named a recipient of one of the university’s 2012 Young Alumni Achievement Awards. The award, sponsored by the Office of Alumni Affairs, was created in 2011 to recognize extraordinary accomplishments by members of the Auburn family who are 40 years old and younger. Spencer is the chairman and chief technology officer of Digium, the leading open source telecommunication provider in the world. He began his first start-

and Bioresource Engineering, are among 15 first-round grant recipients chosen as part of Gov. Robert Bentley’s efforts to further prioritize innovation and entrepreneurship in the Education Trust Fund budget. The Alabama Innovation Fund includes the Renewal Program, which distributes grants to public universities based on each university’s federally financed research and development expenditures as reported over the preceding three years by the National Science Foundation, while the Research Program stimulates economic development.

up company, Linux Support Services, while he was still an Auburn student, exercising his engineering and entrepreneurial expertise at a young age. But it wasn’t his first time in business. He wrote a grading program that he sold to his eighth grade teacher for $5. Auburn Engineering 11


On the surface Several sections on the National Center for Asphalt Technology’s Pavement Test Track have been reconstructed in preparation for the track’s fifth research cycle, which will explore ways to stretch transportation dollars. Track sections are sponsored for three-year cycles by state highway agencies and private industries, which have both specific research objectives for their section and shared objectives for the track as a whole. Many sections from the fourth cycle also remained in place, allowing sponsors to continue evaluating the effects of live heavy trafficking on their special mix type or pavement construction technique. Fifth-cycle trafficking began at the end of September and will continue through 2015.

Seeing things (inside) clearly Auburn Engineering held a dedication ceremony this summer for the three-story, $21 million, 45,000-square-foot MRI Research Center that houses 7 Tesla and 3 Tesla scanners — two of the most powerful research and clinical scanners in the world. Both scanners are housed on the first floor of the facility, which was completed in September 2010. The second floor includes office space for Auburn faculty and staff, as well as clinical offices for local orthopedic surgeons and a distance-enabled classroom and conference room. The third floor houses East Alabama Medical Center’s RehabWorks, an outpatient physical therapy facility, and clinics for the U.S. Army Warrior Research Center and Auburn’s Department of Kinesiology. Surgeon Lee Warren operates a clinic on the third floor that specializes in minimallyinvasive back and neck pain management, brain tumors and neurological disorders. Auburn researchers have also collaborated with partners at the University of Alabama–Birmingham to hold an inaugural brain imaging retreat sponsored jointly by the Auburn University MRI Research Center and the UAB Comprehensive Neuroscience Center. The invitation-only retreat included presentations on laboratories and collaborative projects between the universities, including MRI spectroscopy and structural MRI at 7 Tesla.

12 Auburn Engineering




Auburn engineer David Riddle, aerospace engineering ‘04 and ‘07 and Madison, Ala., native, is fast. Really fast. Riddle is a lead engineer at GE Aviation in Cincinnati, but he is also a distance runner, competing in marathons and running ultra-distance races, those longer than a traditional 26.2 mile marathon. His personal best marathon time is 2 hours and 26 minutes, only 7 minutes off of the Olympic trials qualifying time. In 2000, he walked on to Auburn’s Track and Cross-Country teams. He became a four-year varsity letterman after redshirting his freshman year. At the same time, he earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aerospace engineering — no small feat for a student athlete. Today, Riddle holds a course record for the JFK 50-mile trail race, which he broke last year after it stood untouched for 17 years. He has qualified for two U.S. National World Championship 100 kilometer teams and competed in the Netherlands and Italy. In April 2012, Riddle placed fifth in the world in the 100-kilometer road event and was the race’s top American finisher. This summer, he completed a 100-mile trail race at the Western States Endurance Run in the Sierra Mountains of California, which features 41,000 feet of elevation change — Riddle finished in 16 hours and 43 minutes for 11th place. “In between runs, I am still putting my Auburn Engineering education to work,” says Riddle. Read more about Riddle’s training and competitions at www. ri ddl eruns . bl ogs pot. com Auburn Engineering 13

Hickey-Davis, referred to by friends as “Dr. Diamond,” incorporates thin film diamond for global semiconductor companies. Pictured here in front of a Class 1000 clean room, she is holding a patterned diamond-on-silicon wafer designed for advanced computing. With a passion for conveying her love of engineering and science to others, she also leads demonstrations for Nanodays at Northwestern University and Sisters-for-Science, participates in robotics competitions and leads sessions at science camps with hands-on nanotechnology demonstrations for kids. In fact, she even met her husband, Mike Davis, a.k.a. “the science guy of Chicago,” at a NSF Nanotechnology Outreach Conference. Hickey-Davis says their 2-year-old son Giovanni is already exhibiting the signs of an engineer.

14 Auburn Engineering

Turning point . . . assisting with the development of a non-profit science education foundation and realizing how much I missed science. I wanted to know why glass is transparent, why metal feels cold to the touch and how a computer works, so I pursued my master’s and then realized that grad school was just a big science camp! They paid me a stipend, and let me play on multi-million dollar microscopes and look at rows of atoms in man-made diamonds! How cool is that? Geek moment . . . designing my own orange and blue class ring and choosing diamonds with visible defects because I studied defects - two blue diamonds . . . for every one million carbon atoms, there is one boron atom sitting in the lattice - and one orange diamond – for every 10,000 carbon atoms, there’s one nitrogen atom. Boron and nitrogen are "p" and "n" type dopants, making my ring a "p-n-p" junction. Engineers love it. Sense of pride . . . the common thread that runs throughout my career started at Auburn - I helped initiate the Cupola Engineering Ambassadors with a mission to “promote, unify and serve the College of Engineering.” Those tenets have impacted every aspect of my life - promoting science and engineering, explaining the impact it has on our lives and unifying people for common causes.

How will you estimate the flow rate of the small stream that will supply water to the planned storage reservoir? You do not have any tools other than your watch, the ubiquitous machete and the natural resources around you.


My Auburn Engineering . . . taught me to estimate a reasonable answer range before I begin work on the solution, to be reasonable with my significant digits and include error in my answers. Almost daily, I ask for the thickness of a thin-film being produced with data taken using a profilometer and software – and read by a human. Any engineer knows that specs and tolerances are extremely important - so is being practical and reasonable.

You are working for a humanitarian organization in a tropical, developing-world country. Your task is to help a community develop a water storage structure to take advantage of seasonal rains through rainwater harvesting for storage and subsequent use in food production.

First, select a section of flowing stream that is fairly uniform in depth and width. Then, use your machete to cut some sticks and/or vines to use for measuring distances and depths. Estimate the length of the sticks or the vines. For the vines, you will need to tie a stone on one end.

Current projects . . . working with a world-famous scientist to incorporate thin film diamond into a project for the renewable energy industry; coordinating testing for a thermal diamond product that could increase the heat transfer rate in electronic devices to increase efficiency; introducing a new product - an all-diamond probe - into the force microscopy industry.


Now, estimate both the depth and width of the water using sticks and vines. Use these measurements to calculate the cross-sectional area of the flowing stream.

Typical day . . . I make, study and sell diamond, which is an amazing material - it has a very low coefficient of friction meaning it is slippery. Man-made diamonds, like those that are mined, are made of carbon. The material we make is a polycrystalline thin-film, which is many diamond crystals grown together from carbon in a gas, similar to the way that ice crystals form on a windshield using the water vapor in the air.

Try your hand at this freshman engineering problem and find out for yourself.

Once you have an estimate of the cross-sectional area, drop one or two floatable fruits such as orange or grapefruit into an upstream station ‘A’ of known distance to a downstream station ‘B’ (you can measure the distance with your vines or sticks). Using your watch (or by counting by 1000, 1001, 1002, etc.) determine the time it takes the float to travel downstream over the known distance between points A and B. Then, calculate the velocity using the travel time and distance between points A and B.

Early years . . . my father, brother, two uncles and grandfather are engineers – it’s in my blood; my mother worked for a scientific instrument company - I was the only 5-year-old who had “infrared spectrophotometer” in her vocabulary.

Multiply the velocity by the previously determined average cross-sectional area in the general flow equation Q = V x A to determine the flow rate of the stream.

by Beth Smith

Diane Hickey-Davis ’96, chemical engineering ’04, M.S.,‘07 Ph.D., materials science and engineering, University of Florida General manager, Semiconductor Business Unit Advanced Diamond Technologies, Chicago

Are YOU smarter than a freshman?

Now you know the approximate flow rate of water in the stream (at least at this point in time). You can use this flow rate to help you plan for projected uses and ultimately the optimum size of the storage structure.

It’s my job

Auburn Engineering 15

Travis Bugg, left, a senior in civil engineering, and Will McCartney, a senior in biosystems engineering, measure across a pad that will hold an irrigation tank as part of an ambitious project to ensure food security for Bolivians living in the Andean mountains. As they work, Kevin Fichtner from the university’s Office of Communications and Marketing shoots video. See the final result at http://ocm.auburn.edu/featured_story/bolivia.html

by Jim Killian

To Bolivia and Back

Editor’s Note: When Jim Killian, who directs communications and marketing for the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, was invited to join a media team covering students traveling to Bolivia, he was not sure what to expect — just that it wouldn’t be a conventional assignment. A group of eight engineering students (and one in zoology) would be making the trip as part of a five-year commitment to help the residents of the small Andean village of Quesimpuco acquire sustainable, accessible technology. The following are some of his observations. PLANNING FOR BOLIVIA IS NOT AN EASY SHOT. It’s not really a tourist venue, at least not a mainstream one, and our destination was about as remote as it gets — a tiny Quechuan village in the southern section of the altiplano, the high plateaus that give way to the grey substance of the Andean mountains. It was chosen, according to Will McCartney, a biosystems engineering major on the student team, in part for that very

16 Auburn Engineering

reason — “We’re not going to make it that easy on ourselves,” he explained. So my planning began a month before, starting with office visits to Steve Duke, a faculty member in the Department of Chemical Engineering who was coordinating the trip, and by reading through the thick, tabbed manual offered through SIFAT — Servants in Faith and Technology — who would help guide us. The students began their journey a full six months before, meeting formally on campus every week, and informally more often as the departure date drew near. In addition to the logistics, they had to pull together plans and equipment for the two projects they would take to Quesimpuco — a bench-scale hydroponics demo and an irrigation survey. For most, it would be their first trip; two undergraduate students, McCartney and Travis Bugg, had gone before. Mary Robbins, a

doctoral student in civil engineering had also made the trip. She would prove to be an incredible asset. The trip began in the last week of Auburn’s typically hot August, to a country just coming out of its winter season. Heeding the SIFAT manual, I packed in layers to the extent that my bag would allow, but then I wasn’t too worried. I’m a fairly seasoned camper. I was also blissfully ignorant of what I would be facing in the mountains. It all turned out okay. I was also advised to bring lots of “sports” bars, a.k.a. candy bars, just in case — what? I didn’t get fed? This turned out fine as well. Nobody starved. We arrived in La Paz, Bolivia’s administrative capital, just before dawn on a flight that left Miami at 10 p.m. the night before. It was light before we cleared customs, exiting the terminal to see mountains in the distance, including snow-capped Illimani at more than 21,000 feet. We were greeted by Isaac Paredes and Angel Roman, who work for SIFAT’s sister organization, CENATEC — an acronym in Spanish for National Center of Technology for Integrated Development. They were joined by Freddy Churata, a ministry student, and Tommy Corson, SIFAT’s executive director, who flew down separately, coming through Atlanta and Miami from his Lineville campus 70 miles north of Auburn. We piled into two Nissan Patrols, four-wheel drive SUV’S that would take us through the altiplano at 12,000-14,000 feet into the Andean divide. It would be an all-day trip lasting nearly 13 hours, maybe more. Even though daylight lingers in the mountains, it was dark when we got to Quesimpuco. It did not occur to me that our arrival would be anything but unnoticed, so it was a real surprise when a delegation of villagers came to greet us. We were introduced to our quarters, a bunkhouse that was also used by missionary teams and other village guests. It was divided into four small bedrooms, all double bunked, and a general

Colton Martinez, sophomore, chemical

purpose room for eating and meeting. A kitchen sat off to the side. After we stowed our luggage and camera equipment, we were each given a plate, a bowl, a cup, spoon and fork and told to keep up with them. The following morning we awoke to independence day in Bolivia, and went into town for the first time. Quesimpuco is one of a string of small villages in the Chayanta Valley, and is comprised of a couple of hundred families clustered around a town square. Electricity was introduced to the city a couple of years ago and is used mainly for lighting. Cooking and heating are still done with charcoal, dung and scrub. Wood is scarce. The climate is challenging for farmers. They rely on a short wet season to get their crops in, and have essentially one harvest. The Auburn students were looking at two areas to improve crop levels: the irrigation of a 40- to 80-acre area of terraces and a bench-scale hydroponics installation. They worked long and hard on both projects, building on the progress of earlier teams. The hydroponics project required the construction of an approximately 8-foot long structure fed by a perforated PVC pipe running along the top. It ran water and nutrients into a row of plastic containers that were, in turn, perforated and allowed the row below to be watered, and so on through several levels. The nutrient-rich water was collected at the bottom of the structure so that it could be recycled. The first run-through was planted in alfalfa, a crop common to the area, and used for both human consumption and livestock feed. The Quechua in the area also grow fava beans, potatoes, peas and wheat. It’s an agrarian community where shepherds run flocks past terraced fields, as they have for centuries. Four members of Auburn’s student team worked on the bulk of the hydroponics project: Michael Ciuzio, a sophomore in mechanical engineering; Colton Martinez, a sophomore in

Mary Robbins, doctoral candidate, civil

Will McCartney, senior, biosystems

Auburn Engineering 17

chemical engineering; Logan Kennedy, a junior in biosystems engineering; and Micaela Sandoval, a junior in zoology and prevet. Their design of an indoor tray system was transformed into a working model over a period of a week, with village workmen assisting in the construction, using the kind of hollow brick masonry that is common to the area. While they labored down a street just off the town center, the irrigation team went into the countryside with new technology, such as a GPS, old survey tapes and a simple transit and rod to measure elevations along the sometimes steeply raked terraces that the Quechua farm. Led by Robbins, the team included Bugg, a senior in civil engineering, McCartney, a senior in biosystems engineering, Whitney Brown, a junior in chemical engineering, and Michael Brennan, a sophomore in chemical engineering. The local farmers have worked the area for centuries, and have developed a sophisticated series of small aqueducts that carry water from springs and a waterfall to some of the fields; however, there are not enough acres in irrigation. The student team focused on a more complete and useful survey of the area where the irrigation would be expanded, including a better characterization of flow rates from the water sources. Another aspect of the overall project was the construction of a water tank — the local farmers had spent the past six months or so leveling a pad into a hillside, where it would sit above the fields. While the students ran their elevations and collected GPS points, the farmers blasted rock from the mountain, and pushed, rolled and carted rocks to form a stone wall around the lip of the pad. It was much like any other of the hundreds of rock walls built into the mountains, but it was amazing to see how it went together, with few wasted moves, and men who knew how to keep sight lines level without using anything but their eyes and their experience. The rocks pieced together like a puzzle with crush runs, not mortar, between the tiers.

Michael Brennan, sophomore, chemical

18 Auburn Engineering

A few months before departure, Brown told her aunt, Melissa Herkt, about her plans, and she became fascinated. A 1977 graduate in civil engineering and retired president and COO of Emerson Process Management, Herkt asked Duke, the group’s faculty adviser, if she could join in the trip. Duke, who had already led two student teams into the area, was enthusiastic and welcomed her on board. Herkt didn’t just show up. When she got the go-ahead, she embarked on a strenuous two-month program to get in shape. A resident of Austin, Texas, she moved to Lake Tahoe for a month and walked four miles a day at the 7,000 foot elevation to get ready for the trip. Already in good shape, she jumped into weight management as well. When she arrived in Quesimpuco, she was as ready as anyone for the challenge. “I am a construction girl, and I can show these kids how to see things in a different light — as an experienced practicing engineer,” she pointed out. “These students have such energy, and they’re so smart. I honestly don’t remember being either when I was at Auburn,” she adds with a laugh. “It was so nice to be accepted by them.” She had also spent a good deal of time in South America during her career, and carried with her a street-smart vocabulary in Spanish that helped her translate for the rest of the team. Back in the bunkhouse at night, she helped Robbins input data into the laptop to bring the survey into a useful model. She was quietly amazed, she said, how the student team made her a part of the everyday dialog without ceremony or boundary. Indeed, at night the bunkhouse was the center of a wide range of activity. Some of the students took the time to work through what they had learned that day, as their projects moved forward, and made plans for the next day — what to keep, what to modify, what to push for, and even what to give up as

Melissa Herkt, '77 civil; Whitney Brown, junior, chemical

Travis Bugg, senior, civil

Auburn Engineering 19

unworkable. Some team members took time to rest or read. The media team, which in only a day or two had been absorbed into the students’ lives, made notes, planned the next day’s video shots, or sorted through digital photo files. The media team from Auburn's Office of Communications and Marketing consisted of Mike Clardy and Kevin Fichtner, who worked together as a video team; myself and Jeff Etheridge, who took digital photos; and Camille Barkley, who assisted in bringing the media tasks together. We were joined in the bunkhouse by Benjo Paredes, his son Isaac and Ivan Roman, who served as the group's hosts for the week. Ivan works with Corson on the SIFAT team as its Latin America coordinator. Their deep knowledge of the area made them an inseparable part of the Auburn team. In what can only be another story, Corson, the son of missionaries who worked in the Amazon basin of Bolivia decades earlier, met Parades when he was a displaced, would-be silver miner turned cocoa farmer who was also a firebrand Marxist. Now in his seventies, Parades’ politics have been weathered by time and circumstance, and his reputation is that of a revered community leader. Respected wherever he walked, it seemed even the smallest child knew there was a larger life behind the soft, searching eyes. Corson heads SIFAT while Benjo and Isaac manage the Bolivian counterpart CENATEC, which is roughly the same in terms of purpose. The idea behind both is to bring, and leave behind, the kinds of technology that the people of the Potosí, the region where Quesimpuco is located, can use in daily life. As Corson explains, it means not bringing tractors into a place where there are no garages and no parts; and not bringing in structures, equipment and processes that require trips to stores in places where there are none.

Michael Ciuzio, sophomore, mechanical

20 Auburn Engineering

It requires, he explains, listening to what the people need, and not telling them what they want. The student team understood this before going in, but appreciated it all the more as they undertook their projects. What they learned, said one, was to develop a cultural sensitivity to meet their needs in a sustainable and collaborative way. In the end, it’s a lot tougher than bringing a tractor in. “Having lived and worked in Latin America, I have seen a world where people just don’t have a lot,” Herkt remarked. “The people here are not lazy, in fact they work so hard. They just don’t have a lot to work with. They raise kids, they laugh and play, and it’s all so difficult, and at the same time, so simple from a western point of view. Should we feel sorry? “We Americans are constantly in search of things. The real keys are food, water and shelter . . . after that, what do we really need? The people here have survived, and thrived for hundreds of years. As the students — and myself — have worked here, we have come to a beginning in understanding the culture, and the technology that can be introduced here in a way that will be a real benefit.” Indeed, that was one of the lessons that the Auburn students took home with them — to recognize that their own priorities were not always the same as those of the Quechua they had come to serve — that sometimes they met, and sometimes they didn’t. “You can’t go to Lowe’s for a piece of PVC — most of the everyday materials you see here are local, in an economy that is for the most part not based on money,” one team member remarked. “It is also humbling to realize we’re students, and that we will fail in some of our attempts.”

Micaela Sandoval, junior, zoology

Logan Kennedy, junior, biosystems

Auburn’s student irrigation team members prepare to run elevations on a section of field terraces that is mirrored in the ridge facing them. While the Quechua farmers have used a great deal of ingenuity in stoning the terraces into tiers, water to feed crops moves quickly across the mountain face and into the Chayanta valley below.

Auburn Engineering 21

22 Auburn Engineering

Duke adds, “What we’re doing here is important . . . we are teaching students who are not yet engineers how to become engineers, and it’s not like getting an A or a B or a C; the people who live here are going to depend on the solutions our students find to these engineering problems. Food security is a real issue here.” And so the week goes, as the hydroponics unit and the field surveys take shape. The astonishment of the first couple of days in the Andes has led to a slow awakening of some of the patterns of life in Quesimpuco: gathering the harvest in the day, watching the morning and evening "commute" of the herders as they seek forage for their sheep and goats. Surely the shepherds’ lives will be easier when their day is less disturbed by visitors like us — whom they don’t call westerners but northerners. At the end of the last day, gifts and honors are distributed in the bunkhouse. Suddenly you realize that the people you have been working with all week — such as Casimiro, a Quechua who heads a 40-man village water association — are friends now, gathered around a table that is sometimes separated by language, but never by spirit. We leave at three in the morning, the last opportunity to see stars spilling into the southern sky. We crawl past the brown

adobe houses with their small windows, the switchbacks in the road so tight that we see headlights from our other vehicles on the road as often as we see taillights. At 14,000 feet, the car struggles like it is out of breath. There are a few drifts of snow, and the temperature is in the mid-teens in the early mountain air. A couple of hours south of La Paz a throttle cable goes out on one of the SUV’s carrying us back. Not a problem for Isaac and Benjo, who pull a couple of extra cables out of a box of spares. Aided by Huber Ramos, who is also affiliated with CENATEC, they find that neither one fits. But a little bit of filing here, and some crimping there, and we are back on the road with a working fix. Illimani comes back into view along the dusty road, and La Paz again shows itself. Nobody has had a shower for a week, and now they’re just ahead. But then nobody really seems to care that they missed these western comforts. Nobody got dirty so much as they became, in a way, much fresher and ready to face a new day, and to make a new bridge across cultures that don’t usually meet. In a real way this Auburn team was able to do just that. In the week they worked in Quesimpuco, they were not just students, but guests and partners, teachers and learners, builders and engineers. They were something else as well — the face of Auburn.

Steve Duke, left, faculty member in chemical engineering who coordinated the trip, and Jim Killian

Auburn Engineering 23


HOW MUCH PERSONAL INFORMATION DO YOU HAVE STORED ON THE INTERNET? Think about how many times you have entered your phone number, address and even your social security number into an online bill payment, application or form. Auburn Engineering is responding to a crisis facing the United States — the country’s need for digital forensic experts — and is tackling head on the challenge of keeping our information safe and secure. Drew Hamilton, Alumni professor in computer science and software engineering and director of Auburn’s Cyber Research Center, is teaching the next generation of cyber security specialists and is working to bolster education in cyber security and bring awareness to the field.

Auburn University is a National Security Agency Center of Academic Excellence in both cyber security education and research. Since 2005, the university has participated in the National Science Foundation’s Scholarship for Service program (SFS), which offers students the opportunity to conduct research in cyber security and information assurance. In return for their scholarships, recipients work for a federal, state, local or tribal government organization after graduation in a position related to cyber security for a period equal to the length of their scholarship. Hamilton was recently awarded a $122,000 NSF grant to support the SFS program, as well as assist Western New Mexico University in establishing a digital forensics academy. The goal of the academy is to enable minority students to be more competitive for positions in the federal government. “There is a real need for this in the state of New Mexico, but there is a shortage of digital forensics experts everywhere,” says Hamilton. “We hosted a workshop that several law enforcement officers traveled more than 100 miles to attend. Digital forensics, like tracking cell phone records, is playing a much larger role in 24 Auburn Engineering

law enforcement. Police officers need to be trained in this as well as students.” Hamilton’s group is working to replicate the digital forensics academy effort in Alabama, collaborating with Auburn University at Montgomery. The NSF award brings Auburn’s total funding for the SFS program to $5.3 million since an initial grant in 2005. Hamilton awarded more than $100,000 in cyber scholarships to seven computer science and software engineering students this semester under the NSF CyberCorps program, as well as one industrial and systems engineering student under the National Security Agency information assurance scholarship program. “The world is using computers, but the whole world is not made up of computer scientists,” Hamilton says. “As we move more and more into using shared databases, we need to defend cloud architectures to make them more secure. We need people who know how to safeguard information from unauthorized access.”

Devin Cook, doctoral student leading Hamilton’s lab, is doing just that. He’s working to leverage the benefits of cloud computing — the technology behind the newest services that companies such as Amazon, Google and Apple are offering through their websites — to ensure that information stored in the cloud is safe. Cloud servers store information on a virtual “cloud drive” that can be accessed by logging in through any computer. “All cloud services are based on the concept of virtualization, where you run multiple ‘virtual machines’ on one physical computer,” he says. “We’re working toward providing a way to ensure those virtual machines, and the data stored on them, are protected.”

by Morgan Stashick

RTU AL W ORL D Cook and his research team use artificial intelligence techniques to train a detector that monitors a virtual machine and seeks out suspicious activity. Once an intrusion has been detected, the computer can be paused to ensure that no further intrusions take place until the situation is reviewed or the cloud drive can be rolled back to a known good state, as if the intrusion has not occurred. “We are focusing less on keeping the bad guys out and more on keeping them from stealing useful information once they’re into the cloud server,” he says. “It turns out that trying to prevent the intrusion itself is a losing battle. There will always be a way in.” Preventing this issue is imperative in today’s age of digital bill payments, online forms that request social security numbers, and the constant flow of email. Cook points out that any service utilizing virtualization stands to gain from the Auburn team’s research. “We need to defend the cloud architecture to make it more secure since everything seems to stem from it nowadays,” says Hamilton. “Think about how much your doctor knows about you and what information is stored on the office computer. Anyone can break into almost any username as long as you know the account.” Cook is no stranger to ensuring virtual safety. An SFS scholarship recipient as well as a dean’s fellowship scholar, he spent this past summer working for the Department of Energy and will serve in the Federal Civil Service when he completes his doctorate.

cyber security conference. When the conference concluded, the weekend-long hacking competition, Capture the Flag, began. Cook’s team, code-named Samurai, won the competition. Twenty teams were given custom services — built by Capture the Flag organizers to be intentionally vulnerable — to run on their computers, with a hidden file imbedded in one program. Teams were on the search for the file while defending their own programs and attacking others — a virtual game of capture the flag. “A lot of reverse engineering is involved,” says Cook. Cook’s team consisted of 80 hackers, 30 of whom were at the conference, and 50 who were participating from around the world. “We would start at 9 or 10 a.m. and finish for the day at 9 p.m., but with those team members across the country, we could have people working 24 hours a day,” explains Cook. By the end of the weekend, Team Samurai proved to be the champion hackers at DefCon. Sometimes, in order to better protect the cyber world, someone has to break in to it first. With students like Cook, and faculty like Hamilton, Auburn has the resources and expertise to pursue advanced research that meets tomorrow’s needs, train students for careers in information assurance that develop leaders in the industry and keep society safe. Auburn Engineering is up to the challenge.

But when he is not preventing virtual trespassing, Cook is also the one executing the hacking. In July, the most elite spymasters gathered at the Rio Hotel in Las Vegas for DefCon, a major Auburn Engineering 25

26 Auburn Engineering


eD OC eT

A Russian missile has found a new home at Auburn University. The Department of Aerospace Engineering is the proud owner of a piece of military history, a Russian SA-2 Guideline Surface-to-Air Missile donated by the Defense Intelligence Agency’s Missile and Space Intelligence Center to support Auburn’s academic programs in electrical, mechanical and aerospace engineering. Students and faculty will section the missile to show the critical components of the propulsion system and use it as a teaching tool in propulsion classes. Read more about Auburn's SA-2 at eng.auburn.edu/magazine

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Into the lab

A EROSPACE B r i a n T h u r o w, W. A l l e n a n d M a r t h a Re e d a s s o c i a t e professor in aerospace engineering, is working to adapt a camera technology called a plenoptic c a m e r a, o r l i g h t- f i e l d c a m e r a, t o s t u d y n e w m e t h o d s f o r 3 D ve l o c i t y m e a s u r e m e n t s i n t u r b u l e n t f l o w s . Pl e n o p t i c c a m e r a s u s e a m i c r o l e n s a r r a y p l a c e d near an image sensor to record both the position a n d a n g l e o f l i g h t r ay s e n t e r i n g t h e c a m e r a . A c o nv e n t i o n a l c a m e r a o n l y r e c o r d s t h e p o s i t i o n a t w h i c h l i g h t r a y s s t r i ke a n i m a g e s e n s o r, c a u s i n g d e p t h - o f- f i e l d a n d i m a g e b l u r. T h e a d d i t i o n a l l i g h t f ield information captured by a plenoptic camera allows for refocusing the image or changing the viewing perspec tive af ter the image has been captured. This technology can be used to produce m o r e a c c u r a t e 3 D m o d e l s i n d y n a m i c e nv i r o n m e n t s where a scene is constantly and rapidly changing, such as a wind tunnel experiment. 28 Auburn Engineering

Through grant s from the Air Force Of fice of S c i e n t i f i c Re s e a r c h, A r my Re s e a r c h O f f i c e, D e p a r t m e n t o f D e f e n s e U n i ve r s i t y Re s e a r c h I n s t r u m e n t a t i o n P r o g r a m ( D U R I P) a n d t h e N a t i o n a l S c i e n c e F o u n d a t i o n ( N S F ), T h u r o w ’s t e a m h a s u s e d their plenoptic camera technique for measurement s i n a t u r b u l e n t b o u n d a r y l ay e r. T h r o u g h t h e D U R I P grant, Thurow has teamed with researchers from F l o r i d a St a t e U n i ve r s i t y t o d e s i g n a n d b u i l d a n e w generation of plenoptic cameras for advanced wind t u n n e l t e s t i n g . W i t h f u n d i n g f r o m t h e N S F, h e h a s also par tnered with researchers from the Universit y o f I l l i n o i s t o s t u d y t h e e f f e c t s t h a t a p o r o u s m e d i u m, s u c h a s a g r a ve l r i ve r b e d, h a s o n t h e t u r b u l e n t f l o w ove r t h e m e d i u m .

Into the Lab BIOS YS TEMS that have low site impacts and employ several energy saving features, such as a high-speed shear felling head and an energy recovery swing system. The entire harvest, processing and transport system is capable of producing different biomass forms and sizes for a variety of biorefining customers. The project could produce new biomass logistics technologies ready for market, as well as a database of productivity and cost information for producing biomass from Southern pine plantations. Implementation of these systems could provide new jobs in the logging and equipment manufacturing A high-productivity system to harvest Southern pine industries while helping meet U.S. goals for The consortium, led by Auburn, has biofuel production and energy security. designed and manufactured tree-length harvesting machines Biosystems engineering faculty members Steve Taylor, Tim McDonald, Oladiran Fasina, John Fulton and Sushil Adhikari are collaborating with forestry and wildlife science faculty members Tom Gallagher, Mathew Smidt and Brian Via, as well as Auburn forest engineering alumni Frank Corley, president of Corley Land Services, and Johnny Boyd, forest engineer at Tigercat, to develop a high productivity system to harvest, process and transport woody biomass from Southern pine energy plantations.

CI V IL Ahjeong Son, assistant professor in environmental engineering, is developing a miniaturized, transportable pathogen detection tool that is the size of a briefcase for in-situ monitoring of Alabama’s water resources. Her detection technique is based on the use of both fluorescent and magnetic nanoparticles which will be specifically assembled together only in the presence of the target pathogen DNA. Her work is funded by a grant from the U.S. Geological Survey Alabama Water Resources Research Institute and could support timely management and response of pathogen detection in water supplies. Portable sensor system for water quality monitoring

CHEMIC A L Allan David, John W. Brown assistant professor in chemical engineering, is conducting research in “smart nanomaterials,” nanoparticles and nanocomposites that respond to changes in their environment. While David will explore a wide array of applications for “smart nanomaterials,” his primary focus will be biomedicine. One project, for example, will utilize multimodal imaging agents to improve cancer diagnostics. Using nanoparticles with a controlled shape, size and composition, David is developing injectable materials that seek out cancer cells, recognize the presence of biologically active markers and identify the cancer’s rate of growth. By using diagnostic tools such as magnetic resonance imaging and positron emission tomography, or a PET scan, practitioners can observe the nanoparticles and study signal responses to analyze the aggressiveness of various cancers, such as brain and prostate cancer, as well as how to effectively treat them. “In some cases, such as with brain tumors or prostate cancer, patients are told to ‘wait and see’ because no effective therapies

are available and the risk of side-effects is greater than the benefits of therapy,” says David. “If we could non-invasively measure whether the cancer is aggressive or indolent, a more effective and personalized therapeutic regimen can be designed for each patient.” While nanoparticles are not new, David’s research explores making an impact in their application. His project will focus on developing nanoparticles and targeting them to specific cancers, making them sensitive to tumor-specific processes, and then evaluating their safety and efficacy. “We have these materials, but they’re not really in a form that’s easily translated to the clinic,” says David. He will be collaborating with faculty members Robert Arnold and David Riese in Auburn’s Harrison School of Pharmacy and Valery Petrenko in the College of Veterinary Medicine, as well as Engineering Dean Christopher Roberts and MRI Center Director Thomas Denney. Auburn Engineering 29

Into the Lab COMPUTER SCIENCE A ND SOF T WA RE Saad Biaz, faculty member in computer science and software engineering, hosted Auburn’s 10th Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) on smart unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) this summer. An REU is an 8-10 week summer program funded by the National Science Foundation to introduce undergraduate students to research and encourage them to pursue graduate studies. Auburn’s REU site on UAVs offers a diverse group of undergraduate students from universities across the country the opportunity to conduct research on the challenges of flying UAVs autonomously, safely and efficiently within a limited space. Biaz’s group designed collision avoidance algorithms that allow smart UAVs to alter their course and avoid conflict without requiring intervention from human operators. The team produced a software architecture that allows 32 UAVs to fly safely and autonomously within a 1km x 1km airspace. “The number of applicants to Auburn’s REU program has been increasing each year, and this summer we received 174 applications with some from Princeton University, MIT and UC Berkeley,” says Biaz. “The average GPA of this year’s participants was 3.85. Twelve students were selected from Auburn, College of Saint Benedict, Drake University, Emory University, Olin College, Lehigh University, MIT, Monmouth College, Ohio Northern University and University of Puerto Rico in Humacao.”

David Jones, senior in software engineering, performs a hardware-in-the-loop simulation on XPlane software to test the autopilot function that equips the UAVs

ELEC TR IC A L A ND COMPUTER Electrical and computer engineering faculty member Shumin Wang is looking deep — he is researching the use of 7 Tesla MRI scanners for deep-brain imaging. Wang is investigating a new phased array transceiver technique that combines safe, anatomy-specific radio frequency transmission and low-noise multi-channel signal reception in a single device to produce improved visuals of the deep brain. This new technique could be used in the diagnosis and treatment of neurological disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease, epilepsy and Parkinson’s disease.

A 16-channel transceiver array designed for 7T MRI imaging

30 Auburn Engineering

Into the Lab INDUS TR IA L A ND S YS TEMS Industrial and systems engineering faculty members Jerry Davis, Rich Sesek and Sean Gallagher have been awarded two grants totaling $1.5 million from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) to support occupational safety and ergonomics and occupational injury prevention graduate programs in the department. “We are very pleased that our peer-reviewed proposals have once again received meritorious scores and were approved for an additional five years of funding,” says Davis, who is the principal investigator for Auburn’s occupational safety and ergonomics training program, which received $1 million from

NIOSH. “Our graduates have earned more than 50 master’s degrees or doctorates in industrial and systems engineering during the past five years. They acquire highly specialized knowledge in occupational and systems safety, ergonomics and human factors engineering.” A second NIOSH grant for Auburn’s occupational injury prevention training program will provide $500,000 for an additional five years and be led by Gallagher. The funding will allow a cadre of doctoral students to study scientific principles of injury control and will help support student engineers learning the public health model of injury control.

MECHA NIC A L Hareesh Tippur, McWane professor in mechanical engineering, has been awarded a three year grant from the National Science Foundation to develop a full-field digital stress gradient sensor that can optically measure small angular deflections of light rays to one thousandth of a degree in transparent structural materials that are subjected to mechanical loads. Tippur’s new method could contribute towards understanding the mechanical failure of transparent materials under rapid loading conditions due to projectile impact. Tippur also hopes

to utilize the sensor for mechanical characterization of a range of other materials such as hydrogels and electronic materials, as well as for the materials’ nondestructive evaluation. Optical transparency is a common characteristic of solids used in various engineering applications including electronic display covers, automotive windshields, aircraft windows and canopies, hurricane resistant windows, helmet visors and hydrogels, as well as in electronic materials such as silicon that are transparent to certain infrared wavelengths.

POLYMER AND FIBER Maria Auad, associate professor in the Department of Polymer

from the United States, Costa Rica, Argentina and Colombia

and Fiber Engineering, will lead an institute on environmentally-

will discuss “Polymer and Composite Materials from Renewable

friendly materials. She has been awarded a $100,000 National

Resources and Bio-refinery: From Chemistry to Applications.”

Science Foundation grant to organize and direct the Pan-

Through collaborative presentations, discussions and training

American Advanced Studies Institute, a jointly supported

on state-of-the-art green materials, participants, including

initiative between the Department of Energy and the National

field-specific experts, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows

Science Foundation to foster collaborations and promote

and young researchers, will investigate the basic chemistry

scientific research in Central and South America.

and properties of green polymers and composites based on natural resources. These complex structures could replace

The institute will take place next year at Centro Nacional de

environmentally and energy-unfavorable products derived from

Alta Tecnología located in San José, Costa Rica, where scholars

fossil feedstock.

Auburn Engineering 31

First Here, Then There Alum recalls professional experience overseas In the fall of 1967, David Brubaker made his way to Auburn from Pensacola, Fla., during the social and cultural phenomenon known simply as the “Sixties.” Like most Auburn students, he had no idea where the journey would take him. In the spring of ’70, while working on an undergraduate degree in chemical engineering, he met an Auburn High School student through a friend. The relationship blossomed quickly, and upon graduation in August 1971, David did the logical thing — he enrolled in graduate school. In March 1972, Theresa Gentle became his wife. Today, he will tell you that the two degrees he earned in chemical engineering from Auburn led him to a career — and world travels — that he never imagined. In 1973, David graduated with his master’s degree and went to work for the U.S. Air Force as an engineer. Less than three years later, he began a career with Eastman Kodak Company that would last more than 30 years. He started in Kingsport, Tenn., but three years later relocated to Batesville, Ark., where he would manage the environmental and plant services operations, and ultimately, oversee a major chemical plant expansion at that site.

32 Auburn Engineering

by Beth Smith

“They asked if I would be willing to go to Arkansas for two to three years . . . we were there for more than 10,” says David. In 1994, when Eastman Kodak spun off Eastman Chemical Company, David went with the spin-off. His experience made him an ideal candidate to oversee the building of a number of chemical plants for Eastman Chemical Company in Asia. Following a second stint in Kingsport, and with their daughter and son grown and off to college, David and Theresa agreed to a relocation to Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia, for David to manage the building of Eastman’s first chemical plant in Asia. Behind schedule and looking to be over budget, the project needed some leadership. David’s meticulous attention to detail and his unwavering commitment to deadlines kept the project on schedule — in fact, ahead of schedule. “All of the local employees and I would often work seven days a week to ensure the schedule was on target,” says David. “People would tell me there was no way we could get it done on time. I would say, ‘We are going to find a way.’”

The Brubakers spent two years in Kuala Lumpur before moving to Kuantan, Malaysia for three years, and then on to Singapore for another six years. During this time, he oversaw the construction, startup and operation of five new plants, including two in Malaysia, one in Singapore and two in China. With David working, Theresa immersed herself in the culture of each city they encountered. “In Malaysia, at first I thought I would just stay home and cross-stitch,” she says. “But that only lasted a week. I wanted to get out and experience the people and the culture.” Before long, Theresa was so on-the-go that David had to buy her a car to get around.

“My 33 years in the chemical industry made the need for quality engineers very apparent,” he recalls. “I realized that we need more top students going into engineering to meet the upcoming needs.” This view is one that is shared among many engineering alumni, and is a major focus of Auburn Engineering’s strategic plan. As the college works to produce engineers who can impact the future and contribute to the global workforce, it needs resources to recruit students who can succeed in a challenging and rigorous curriculum. This need gave David an opportunity to help the college recruit top students. This summer, Auburn University completed a campaign to increase its scholarship endowment in an effort to compete with other universities for the nation’s brightest students, and David and Theresa were ready to offer support.

“It was challenging in each place to adjust to a completely different culture,” she says. “But “It all began for me at Auburn,” says David’s work provided us David at the grand opening of the Shanghai, China office David, “and we wanted to provide with opportunities to travel opportunities for future students.” and experience local cultures we never dreamed of.” “That graduate degree from Auburn made a big difference in my career,” says David. “The minor degree in environmental engineering was important for my work in Arkansas and overseas. It was a critical part of my ability to determine and manage important environmental issues for each plant, and a major reason I had those opportunities.” Following 11 years overseas, David returned to Kingsport and retired three years later as vice president of global manufacturing. He and Theresa relocated to Canton, Ga., last year to be closer to their families and enjoy their grandchildren.

Le s s o n s f ro m A b roa d Like many Auburn engineers, David will tell you his college experience laid the ground work for his career. “Auburn taught me how to work with people,” he recalls. “I was on the wrestling team, in academic societies and played intramural sports. These experiences helped me grow not only as an engineer, but also as a person. My four years of ROTC experience, two of which were on ROTC scholarship, helped me understand when to take orders and when to lead — that knowledge was invaluable in my work at Eastman both in the U.S.A. and overseas.” David also became keenly aware of today’s pressing need for good engineers.

In the summer of 2010, David and Theresa established an endowed scholarship in chemical engineering that can be paired with the university’s Spirit of Auburn and Academic Scholarships, which are awarded to exceptional students. These funds create a more competitive scholarship award and enable the college to attract students who get offers from many institutions. The Brubakers created the scholarship in memory of their first grandchild, Adrian Marcus Rodric, who passed away as an infant in 2003. “He was a fighter,” said David. “He was born early and lived for seven weeks. We wanted to do something to honor his life.” The endowed scholarship will help create four-year renewable scholarships for incoming freshmen based on academic achievement, and will provide a means for the Brubakers and the College of Engineering to partner in preparing tomorrow’s leading engineers. Currently, there are four chemical engineering students receiving funding from the endowment. “We are giving back to Auburn through this scholarship, not for our sake, but in memory of Adrian, and for future generations of engineers,” says David. “Auburn gives you character, and we need more engineers who are prepared to make a difference in our world.”

Auburn Engineering 33

minutes with Dean Christopher B. Roberts Interviewed by Beth Smith Growing up in the small town of St. Genevieve, Mo., Christopher B. Roberts was surrounded by music — more importantly, by musical instruments. His father owned a music store and it was where Roberts hung out after school. His favorite part was fiddling around with the instruments, a pastime that would largely influence his career choice and chart the course for where he is today — dean of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn University.

BS: With a family in the music business, what drew you to engineering? CR: In hindsight, I can now see that there were obvious reasons why I pursued engineering as a profession, and I am very glad I did. However, when I was growing up in our family music store, I had never known an engineer, and I really didn’t understand what they did. I was always fascinated with the “musical gear” in my dad’s shop, and I would spend tremendous amounts of time trying to rewire my amplifier or rig up my guitar effects so that they might sound differently. Eventually, I found myself trying to understand why certain things worked the way they did. Once I started college, I took my first chemistry class and was fascinated with this new world. I really connected with my professor and he truly inspired me. Frankly, he made me realize that people in science and engineering are really cool, and I began to realize that I would be able to use my interest in engineering and science to improve the world we live in. This is why I believe so strongly in our engineering faculty members at Auburn. They are committed to our students and passionate about introducing them to the impact of engineering in our world.

BS: And . . . are you an engineering nerd? CR: I may be a little bit of a nerd, but that’s okay, because right now, my 11-year-old daughter Natalie thinks it is cool to be an engineering nerd. 34 Auburn Engineering

BS: Why chemical engineering? CR: I chose chemical engineering largely because it matched my desire to apply chemistry, physics and math in the development of things that affect people. At the University of Missouri, I worked as a lab technician in the neonatal intensive care unit at the medical school to help pay for college. I worked the midnight shift and my job was to collect blood gas samples from infants. More specifically, I was responsible for measuring oxygen content using gas chromatography in order to aid the doctors in ensuring proper lung development. That was a very formative experience for me; it gave me perspective on what is really important. It also illustrated to me firsthand the impact that technology has in our lives. That experience also reinforced something that I already knew — that I was fascinated with the equipment and its design and function. As a kid, I was always more interested in my dad’s musical equipment than I was in actually making music with it. In the neonatal lab, I knew the equipment had to provide accurate results because it really did matter! This technical experience is what further motivated me to pursue graduate school in chemical engineering rather than pursue medical school.

From left, Joe Morgan, his wife Rita and their son David

BS: You hold a master’s degree and Ph.D. from Notre Dame in chemical engineering. Why do you think advanced degrees are important to the future of engineering? CR: Graduate students, and the faculty with whom they work, are incredibly important to our ability to engage in innovative research that truly does impact our quality of life and our country’s economic competitiveness. During my Ph.D. studies, I was privileged to work with professor Joan Brennecke, who in fact was recently inducted into the National Academy of Engineering. I was her first doctoral graduate — she taught me many things, not the least of which was to dream big and challenge my thinking. One of my goals for our college is to increase our emphasis on highly competitive graduate programs, with particular focus on our Ph.D. students. This is so critical to our college’s research endeavors and our faculty’s ability to compete for extramural funding.

BS: What did you learn from your nine years as chair of Auburn’s Department of Chemical Engineering? CR: That my successes were not my own. The progress we made in the department was the result of our tremendous students and my faculty colleagues who took so much pride in their work. They were incredibly committed to exceptional education and research. It is the same approach that I will take with the college as a whole. We all have something to contribute to the success of Auburn Engineering, and we will work together to continue to build a program that we can all be proud of. BS: What do you see as the College of Engineering’s greatest potential? CR: Our ability to produce engineers who go on to meaningful careers that contribute to our economic development, solve our world’s greatest challenges and impact future generations.

BS: You came to Auburn as an assistant professor in chemical engineering. What brought you here?

BS: If you weren’t dean of engineering, you would be . . . what?

CR: One of the things I loved most about Notre Dame was the connection that people had with each other and their passion for the institution. Of all of the places where I interviewed, Auburn was the only one that had that same feel. I knew after being on campus for only a few hours, that this was where I wanted to be.

CR: I really enjoy music. I started my first band in junior high school and we played teen dances all over town. In fact, I still enjoy playing and recording music. But, I am realistic about my musical ability and I can’t imagine doing anything other than being an engineer. So, truthfully, being the dean of engineering at Auburn University is a dream come true for me. Auburn Engineering 35

From the desk of... Sabit Adanur, faculty member in polymer and fiber engineering, gave a talk on higher education in the United States and participated in a panel discussion as part of a workshop at Marmara University in Istanbul, Turkey, on July 6. The workshop, “Restructuring of Higher Education: Opportunities and Solutions,” featured enhancements that could be made to Turkey’s higher education system.

Maria Auad, faculty member in polymer and fiber engineering, has been awarded a $100,000 National Science Foundation grant to study green polymers and composites based on natural resources. Her project, “Pan American Advanced Studies Institute on Polymer and Composite Materials from Renewable Resources and Biorefinery: from Chemistry to Applications,” will include collaboration with researchers from Centro Nacional de Alta Tecnologia (CeNAT) in San Jose, California. Prabhakar Clement and Joel Hayworth, faculty members in civil engineering, have completed a preliminary field study showing that tar balls and tar mat fragments found on Alabama beaches after Hurricane Isaac slammed the coast on Aug. 28 have the same chemical makeup as BP’s Deepwater Horizon oil. The team found that these tar mat fragments are likely fragmented from tar mats buried offshore. The concentration of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) in the post Hurricane Isaac samples are not substantially different from PAH concentrations in emulsified oil that first arrived on Alabama’s beaches three years ago.

Allan David, John W. Brown assistant professor in chemical engineering, recently joined the Auburn engineering faculty. He holds a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of Maryland. His research focus includes the structure-property relationship of nanomaterials; elucidating and controlling the interaction of nanomaterials with biological systems; drug delivery; “smart” nanomaterials; theranostics; nanocomposites; and the hierarchical

36 Auburn Engineering

structure control by self-assembling nanosystems.

Oladiran Fasina, faculty member in biosystems engineering, has received more than $200,000 for his project, “Naval Stores Chemicals Productions from Southern Forests by Innovative Treating,” as part of the Alabama Innovation Fund’s Renewal Program. Through collaborations with Auburn University’s Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts, Fasina’s team will work to develop new collection and processing systems of chemical byproducts and products from Southern pine trees, called naval stores, which are less labor-intensive than traditional tapping and collecting methods and use existing timber-harvesting equipment with minimal modifications.

Sean Gallagher joined the industrial and systems engineering faculty in January. He received his doctorate in industrial and systems engineering from Ohio State University in 2003. His research involves establishing the physical demands associated with work in underground coal mine environments, as well as human factors and ergonomics projects.

Roy Hartfield, Walt and Virginia Woltosz professor in aerospace engineering, gave a talk on supersonic and hypersonic air breathing propulsion to engineers at Korea’s Agency for Defense Development in Daejeon in July. Hartfield discussed ramjet and scramjet engine performance, design and evaluation as part of a visiting foreign professionals program. The Korean agency is responsible for planning and conducting defense acquisition, including research, development, testing and evaluation. Marko Hakovirta, director of Auburn University’s Alabama Center for Paper and Bioresource Engineering (AC-PABE) and a faculty member in chemical engineering, has received more than $140,000 for his project, “Intelligent Control Solution for Smart Manufacturing and Energy Reduction in Pulp Mills,” as part of the Alabama Innovation Fund’s Research Program. Through collaboration with R.E.

faculty highlights Hodges LLC and Tuskegee University, the project could create considerable energy savings for pulp mills, improving their competitiveness as well as helping to retain and grow jobs in Alabama and throughout the region.

Joel Hayworth, faculty member in civil engineering, is leading a team of Auburn researchers to assist the Alabama Department of Environmental Management (ADEM) in evaluating the state’s current solid waste management procedures and requirements for new solid waste landfills, as well as encouraging recycling, waste reduction and converting waste to energy. The Auburn University Solid Waste Management Research Team and ADEM are holding a series of public meetings across the state to discuss Alabama’s current solid waste management procedures. The public input will be compiled into a final report and presented to the Alabama Legislature. Pradeep Lall, Thomas Walter professor in mechanical engineering and director of the NSF Center for Advanced Vehicle and Extreme Environment Electronics, has been ranked in the top 100 out of a million engineering researchers and publications by Microsoft Academic Search. Lall has published 146 journals and papers and has collaborated with 183 co-authors from 1990 to 2011. His work has been cited in 881 publications. Lall’s research interests include algorithms and theory, electrical and electronic engineering, and software engineering. Fadel Megahed joined the industrial and systems engineering faculty in August. He received his doctorate and master’s degree in industrial and systems engineering from Virginia Tech, and a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the American University in Cairo. His research includes creating new tools to store, organize, analyze, model and visualize large heterogeneous data sets associated with modern manufacturing and service environments.

Paul Swamidass, director of Auburn’s Thomas Walter Center for Technology Management and the BusinessEngineering-Technology Program, has published a new book, “The Early Phases of Technological Innovation for Engineering and Business Students.” Designed for engineering and business students unfamiliar with the elements of technological innovation, the book attempts to make the seven-stage process of technological innovations easier to comprehend.

It’s a girl thing

Bruce Tatarchuk, faculty member in chemical engineering, has received more than $200,000 for his project, “Ultra High Thermal Conductivity Catalyst Carriers,” as part of the Alabama Innovation Fund’s Research Program. His team is working to commercialize high thermal conductivity catalyst carriers and pilot test them for reactions that can convert relatively small volumes of coal, biomass or natural gas into useful fuels and chemicals.

Levent Yilmaz, faculty member in computer science and software engineering, has been named vice president of publications by the Society for Modeling and Simulation International (SCS). Yilmaz was also recently recognized at this year’s International Summer Simulation Multiconference, held July 8-11 in Genoa, Italy. He received the SCS Distinguished Service Award, an honor that represents an individual’s contributions to the profession through editorial service and as an executive officer, as well as a best paper award for his research, “Scholarly Communication of Reproducible Modeling and Simulation Research using e-Portfolios.”

Weikuan Yu, faculty member in computer science and software engineering, has received more than $68,000 for his project, “Smart Network Backplane for Fast Analytics of Big Data,” as part of the Alabama Innovation Fund’s Renewal Program. He is working with department chair Kai Chang to accelerate network-based data movement for the analysis of big data in various computing environments.

Every day, more and more women are considering engineering as a field of study ­— and ultimatel y, as a career. The Samuel Ginn College of Engineering’s 100 Women Strong is a group of alumni and friends dedicated to the future of women in engineering. Their participation and financial support provide resources and programming that enable Auburn Engineering to attract, support and retain female students. 100 Women Strong members recognize the importance of connecting with the next generation of female engineers — those who will bring innovation and discovery to bear on the quality of life for people throughout the world. If you are interested in 100 Women Strong, and would like additional information, contact: Mindy Street Office of Engineering Development 334.844.7741 mindy.s treet@auburn.edu

Auburn Engineering 37

And the Winner is . . . 38 Auburn Engineering

The Auburn Alumni Engineering Council has selected four Auburn Engineering graduates and a veteran faculty member as recipients of the group’s 2012 recognition awards. Presented during the council’s homecoming honors banquet, this year’s Distinguished Auburn Engineer awards went to Buzz Miller, Ed Reynolds and Jeff Stone; the Outstanding Young Auburn Engineer award to Emily Zieman; and the Superior Service award to Joe Morgan.

Buzz Miller, an Atlanta-based 1983 graduate

Ed Reynolds is a retired telecommunications executive who began his career as a co-op student with South Central Bell in 1967. He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering in 1970, as well as an MBA from the University of Alabama in 1986. Reynolds continued at South Central Bell following graduation, and worked through a number of assignments in operations. His work in reengineering the company’s PBX system brought him

in chemical engineering, serves as executive vice

to the attention of AT&T,

president of nuclear

and he was transferred to corporate headquarters in

development for Georgia

1982. Throughout the ’80s he worked with BellSouth

Power and Southern Nuclear.

Services, directing the development of engineering

Responsible for overseeing

guidelines and policies for what would be one of the

the development of

most extensive fiber optic networks of the time. He

Southern Company’s nuclear

closed out the decade as vice president of BellSouth

generation expansion efforts,

Government Systems before moving into the wireless

he is also a graduate of MIT’s

arena in the ’90s. As regional vice president of

reactor technology course

BellSouth Mobility, he built the business from 30,000

for utility executives. Miller

customers in 1989 to 600,000 in 1995. Reynolds

joined Alabama Power in

then transitioned to president of BellSouth Wireless

1986 in the chemistry and

where he was responsible for the management of the

environmental support section of Nuclear Generation

company’s worldwide communications strategy. He

and proceeded through a series of assignments at

continued in top executive positions as the industry

Alabama Power and Southern Nuclear before moving

entered the new century, and is the only person to

to Washington, D.C., as federal affairs manager. While

serve as president of all three of BellSouth’s wireless

there, he served at the Nuclear Energy Institute as

operating companies — BellSouth Mobility, BellSouth

acting vice president of legislative affairs. In 1999,

Mobility DCS and American Cellular Communications.

he was elected Southern Company’s vice president

Reynolds was recently appointed to serve a three-year

of government relations, and was responsible for

term on the board of directors of the First Responder

managing the company’s Washington office, including

Network Authority, which is charged with creating

its activities with congressional delegations and

a nationwide integrated voice and data network to

executive branch agencies. He moved to his current

seamlessly integrate police, fire and EMS services on

position as a senior vice president in 2006. Miller is

the local, state and national level. He is a member

responsible for coordinating the construction and

of the State of Alabama

operation activities for the $14 billion Vogtle Units 3&4

Engineering Hall of Fame.

project, which represents the first nuclear project on U.S. soil in more than 30 years. He is responsible for

Jeff Stone joined

quality oversight, staffing and training, engineering,

Birmingham-based contractor

and federal and state regulatory compliance. At

Brasfield & Gorrie following his

Auburn, he is a member of the Ginn Society’s Ramsay

graduation in civil engineering

Circle, and was active in the development of the

from Auburn in 1979 and has

Alabama Power Nuclear Power Generations Systems

remained with the company,

program in the College of Engineering.

rising to the position of chief

operating officer. He began his career in estimating

Navy and Air Force clients, and assists the system’s

and progressed through project management to

prime contractor with field retrofits and related

overall management of office, retail and hospital

activities. Zieman met her husband Mike, a graduate

projects in Alabama and Florida. Notable projects that

in computer science and software engineering, on

he has been associated with include the Collonade,

the Auburn Baja SAE team in 2002, and both have

BellSouth Services headquarters, Kirklin Clinic and

remained active on the team as alumni, helping

the McWane Center, all located in Birmingham.

College of Engineering faculty and administration with

He has held the positions of division manager for

the preparation and organization of three on-campus

the healthcare division, division manager for the

events that Auburn has hosted — in 2006, 2009

institutional division, vice president of operations

and spring of this year. They have also been active

and president of the company’s central region. In his

as judges in Baja events that have been scheduled

current role as COO, he oversees approximately

elsewhere in the country. Zieman is a member of the

$2 billion in annual construction revenues throughout

Society of Women Engineers as well as the Society of

19 states and 29 operating divisions. He also serves

Automotive Engineers.

on Brasfield & Gorrie’s executive committee. Stone has maintained a close relationship with Auburn

Joe Morgan joined the faculty of the College

Engineering since his school days, when he served

of Engineering in 1971 as an assistant professor of civil

as an ex-officio member of the university’s board of

engineering. He retired four decades later as associate

trustees as the student body representative. He has

dean for academics, a position he held for a decade

served on the Auburn University Foundation board of

in the college. He has since become professor and

directors since 2007 and will take over as chairman in

chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental

2013-14. He has served on the university’s campaign

Engineering at Lipscomb University in Nashville.

executive committee since 2011, and is chairman of

Morgan has taught virtually every undergraduate

the Auburn Engineering campaign committee. He

and graduate environmental

is also a member of the industrial advisory board

engineering course offered

for the Department of Civil Engineering, and is the

by the Department of Civil

namesake for the Stone Fund for Excellence and Stone

Engineering, including

Leadership awards in that department. He is also

introduction to environmental

a member of the Engineering Keystone Society, as

science, water and wastewater

well as several other recognition societies within the

treatment, air pollution and


water quality modeling. He has been honored by his

Emily Zieman

students and peers with

graduated in aerospace

a number of awards for

engineering in 2002 and

teaching excellence, and has received a commendation

completed a master’s

for special service from the U.S. Army. He has

degree, also in aerospace,

been elected to numerous university boards and

in 2004. She then joined

committees, including service as chair of the College

the Aviation and Missile

of Engineering’s scholarship committee, the State of

Research Development

Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame board of directors

and Engineering Center

and the university’s academic affairs committee.

(AMRDEC) at Redstone

Morgan graduated in civil engineering from Tennessee

Arsenal. At AMRDEC, she

Tech, and received his master’s and doctoral degrees

began working on dynamic analysis for the HELLFIRE

from Virginia Tech.

missile, Hydra rocket and Javelin missile systems. She has worked through a number of assignments at AMRDEC, and has been appointed as lead for the HELLFIRE Legacy Launcher integrated product team. She currently provides technical support to all Army, Auburn Engineering 39

40 Auburn Engineering

Make an Entrance The completion of a comprehensive overhaul of the College of Engineering’s physical plant was recently capped with a new entrance on the north side of the engineering quad that serves pedestrian traffic moving south from the apartment complexes on the north side of the Auburn campus, as well as east-west motor traffic moving along Magnolia Avenue. The campus entry, which includes a Tiger Transit bus stop and shelter for commuters, uses architectural elements to call attention to both Auburn University and the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering.

41 Auburn Engineering

Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Permit # 5377 Denver, CO

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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