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Staying a HEARTBEAT Ahead of Hackers PLUS


UA Engineering Design Day 2017 A Date to Remember

10 The Sound of the Future Phononics-Based Quantum Computing

11 Paying Tribute Students Thank Scholarship Donors


Spring 2017




Programs to meet changing industry needs, students wise to the work world, inventions leading to patents, startups and life-changing products…

Succeeding Today and Investing in Tomorrow, in Every Possible Way

WHAT A TIME to be part of the UA College of Engineering! Engineering Design Day 2017 perhaps best illustrates the excitement. From an exoskeleton that helps a person walk to a UAV that pollinates date trees 10 times faster than usual, more than 100 senior projects were on display May 1 for the world to see. Thousands crowded into the Student Union as alumni from throughout the United States marveled at how engineering education has changed, schoolchildren caught a glimpse of their futures, industry partners and team mentors applauded jobs well done, and judges from the ranks of professional engineers chose the best projects for more than $25,000 in sponsored prizes. Remember the proverbial engineering welcome message: “Look to your left; look to your right. Those students will not be here next year”? Those days are long gone. Four- and six-year graduation rates are at a 15-year high and far above national averages, student retention is well beyond expectations and job prospects are looking good. About 75 percent of the undergraduates who started with the College in 2010 attained bachelor’s degrees at the University, and more than 50 percent got their degrees in engineering. Every mining engineering undergraduate and 95 percent of civil engineering undergraduates were employed by commencement day 2017! Keeping student enrollment up means being able to invest in new faculty – the key not only to quality education but also to research and invention. The College gained 10 faculty members in fall 2016 and expects another 10 arrivals in fall 2017. Our faculty are studying air flow around vehicles flying at hypersonic speeds and predicting crack propagation in composites. A prestigious Keck Foundation grant is advancing strategies for building quantum computers that may someday replace today’s digital computers. Three projects resulted in technologies acquired by the company MetOxs, which won Tech Launch Arizona’s Startup of the Year Award. One faculty member had 13 invention disclosures and was named TLA’s Inventor of the Year for the physical sciences. Team spirit is high, and we are marching forward. We urge you to visit and celebrate with us. Mark your calendars: Homecoming 2017, October 27-28, is only five months away! Until then… Bear Down!




Jeff Goldberg, Dean jgoldberg@arizona.edu • 520.621.6594 @UA_ENGR_ Jeff_G








6 Staying a Heartbeat Ahead of Hackers

2 Dean’s Message

UA electrical and computer engineer Roman Lysecky is developing technologies to better detect malware in pacemakers and other life-critical devices.

13 Support Future Alumni 14 Class Notes



Framing Their Futures—Class of 2017 shines at Engineering Design Day.


Sound Effects—Pierre Deymier wins W.M. Keck Foundation award to build prototype phonon-based computer.

The University of Arizona College of Engineering P.O. Box 210072 Tucson, AZ 85721-0072 engineering.arizona.edu Twitter: @azengineering Facebook: @UACollegeofEngineering 520.621.3754 • classnotes@engr.arizona.edu

Partners in Progress—Donors at scholarships reception span 50 class years.

Arizona Engineer is published twice a year for alumni and friends of the University of Arizona College of Engineering. Stories in this print edition have been edited for length, and it is not feasible to include related multimedia such as photo galleries, video and audio files, and links to related websites. Visit Arizona Engineer online at news.engineering.arizona.edu for full stories, news archive, people profiles, and photo and video galleries. All contents © 2017 Arizona Board of Regents. All rights reserved.

Managing Editor Editors Art Director Photography

Pete Brown Karina Barrentine, Jill Goetz, Ben Kessler David Hostetler Pete Brown, David Hostetler, Patrick McArdle, Kristin Waller

The University of Arizona is an equal opportunity, affirmative action institution. The University does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, or genetic information in its programs and activities.

Cover: Inside the mobile hydroponic farm, designed by biosystems engineering students to eliminate food deserts, at Design Day 2016. 40:1

Spring 2017



Remembering Raclare, First Female Tau Beta Pi Profile of early female graduate Raclare Cordis Kanal, BS/ME 1954, marks Women’s History Month


IF THERE IS SUCH a thing as a “Renaissance woman,” it was Raclare Cordis Kanal, who earned her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Arizona. While raising her family, she immersed herself in many scientific and cultural fields, from genealogy and botany to Mexican mariachi and photography.

In memory of Raclare, who died February 24, 2016, her husband of 55 years, Laveen Kanal, established the Raclare Cordis Kanal Memorial Scholarship Endowment Fund. “I established this fund to inspire Raclare Cordis Kanal engineering students, in particular female students, with Raclare’s example, and to let the UA community learn about her unique life of learning, knowledge sharing and helping others,” said Laveen. Raclare, who has been widely honored for her volunteer work, became the first female member of the UA chapter of Tau Beta Pi engineering honor society in 1953, and was the only woman in her 1954 graduating class.




Governor, Senators, Legislators Honor Mary Poulton State political leaders express their appreciation of the College’s first woman department head upon her retirement.


AT A LUNCHEON in her honor, Mary Poulton was presented with a commendation from Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey, letters of appreciation from U.S. Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake, proclamations from the Arizona House and Senate, and a certificate of excellence from Arizona State Mine Inspector Joe Hart. “Your contributions to education, mining engineering and support of businesses in these and related fields are greatly appreciated,” the governor’s commendation read in part.

Mary Poulton

Poulton is retiring as University Distinguished Professor in

Geosciences, Mining Engineering, Law and Public Health and director of the Lowell Institute for Mineral Resources, after a 30-year career with the University of Arizona. After earning bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in geological engineering from the UA, Poulton joined the Department of Mining and Geological Engineering faculty in 1990. She later became department head, quadrupling its enrollment and growing diversity through her dedication to bringing more women and minorities into mining.

Student Seeks a Way to Do Laundry in Space

Senior Christina Morrison is trying to solve a down-to-earth problem for spacetravelers: how to clean their clothes.


ASTRONAUTS’ CLOTHES ADD significant weight to spacecraft, and water is too precious to be used for cleaning clothes, so recent chemical and environmental engineering graduate Christina Morrison is using her NASA Space Grant to find a space-worthy process for waterless laundry. Previous research has shown that silver and hydrogen peroxide, both germ-fighters, become a stronger disinfectant when combined. Morrison and UA professor of microbiology Charles Gerba have for the first time demonstrated this synergistic effect on textiles. They applied hydrogen peroxide to antimicrobial socks embroidered with silver-ion threads and exposed the treated material to Staphylococcus aureus. In one hour, Morrison and Gerba achieved about 99.999 percent reduction of the bacteria on treated antimicrobial socks, versus a 43.76

percent reduction on untreated silverion socks. “In a sense, we were washing the antimicrobial socks in hydrogen peroxide,” Morrison said. The next phase is human testing, with one group wearing antimicrobial socks or regular socks, then removing them for researchers to treat with hydrogen peroxide. A second group will smell the swatches. “We hope it won’t be too hard to find volunteers!” Morrison joked.

Cosmic Cleanup—Christina Morrison works in the lab on methods astronauts can use to clean their clothes.

Janet Roveda Named 2017 da Vinci Fellow

Roveda is honored for multidisciplinary research projects, including largest-ever study on how elementary school students’ sleep habits affect STEM learning.


IN RECOGNITION OF her research contributions, Janet Roveda, professor of electrical and computer engineering and biomedical engineering, has received the 2017 da Vinci Fellowship. Her research focuses on improving data acquisition and management for biomedical applications, smart grids for renewable energy, and reliable, energy-efficient nanoscale supercomputing. In the past six years alone, she brought more than $2.3 million in external funding to the University. She is an avid inventor and entrepreneur. With help from the UA’s Tech Launch

Arizona, which commercializes inventions stemming from University research, Roveda has filed five utility and provisional patents and co-founded two companies. She holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in computer science from two Chinese universities and master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. Since joining the College in 2003, she has received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development Award and Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

Class Fellow—Janet Roveda accepts her award at the annual da Vinci dinner.

Career Fair Showcases Employers and Jobs

Multinational giants, local firms and the military promote jobs ranging from working on the world’s biggest laser to designing sutures for the tiniest blood vessels.


MORE THAN 500 engineering students connected with 36 employers at the student-run iExpo 2017, held on campus February 7.

Movers & Shakers—Students meet potential employers at the iExpo career fair.

McCarthy Building Companies, HealthTrio, Speedie and Associates, RevolutionParts, and the U.S. Navy and Peace Corps.

“I spoke with recruiters from great companies who were very interested in my research experiences,” said Sara Khosravi, a systems and industrial engineering doctoral student. “I heard back from some of them, asking me to take the next step.”

“So many of our researchers come from universities in California, and we really want to strengthen the UA’s presence,” said David Hare, a project manager at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratories and one of many recruiters who graduated from the UA.

The Engineering Student Council’s 25th annual job fair included recruiters from Microsoft, Intel, ACSS, Sundt Construction,

Other UA alumni recruited for Gore, Honeywell, ECI Electrical Consultants, the Salt River Project and Texas Instruments.

New Bachelor’s in Architectural Engineering The University of Arizona is offering a new Bachelor of Science in architectural engineering, based in the Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics, and offered in partnership with the School of Architecture in the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture. “This four-year curriculum seamlessly blends core engineering subjects like math, statistics, mechanics, physics and chemistry with architectural courses in theory, history and drawing,” said Kevin Lansey, professor and head of the Department of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics.

The program begins fall 2017. Career paths include working at engineering, architectural or construction management firms. Graduates can become licensed professional engineers or pursue graduate studies. Seniors will work on a capstone design project in the labs of the College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture. Ray Barnes, LEED-accredited architect and UA lecturer, noted the program will emphasize environmentally sustainable building design and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design certification.


Major Construction—Graduates of the new 40:1 Spring 2017 | program are expected to achieve great heights, like civil engineering alumna Katie Wood, BS/CE 2015.


Staying a

UA electrical and computer engineer Roman Lysecky is developing technologies to better detect malware in pacemakers and other life-critical devices. Lysecky 6 Roman | ARIZONA ENGINEER

Illustration by Heather Green

Ahead of Hackers


NEARLY A MILLION NEW forms of malware are unleashed on the world every day. Yet the millions of people with implanted medical devices, or IMDs, typically never receive software upgrades to address security vulnerabilities for the gadgets in their bodies. “It used to be we only had to worry about breaches of our computers and smartphones,” said Roman Lysecky, an associate professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “Industry analysts predict that by 2020 most of the 20 billion electronic devices on the market will be interconnected – and millions of these will be implantable medical devices.” IMDs – cardiac pacemakers and defibrillators, insulin pumps and brain neurostimulators – are connected through the internet or wireless technologies. Many monitor vital signs such as heart rate and transmit data to health care providers in real time. Doctors evaluate patients remotely and, with a few simple adjustments, can improve their conditions and even save lives. But IMDs also pose life-threatening risks. Hackers who gain access to confidential patient information could use malware as “ransomware.” Worse, they could put a pacemaker patient – there are more than 225,000 in the

United States alone – into cardiac arrest. “This hasn’t happened yet to our knowledge,” said Lysecky. “But researchers have proved it is possible.”

data, such as ventricular or atrial readings, in less than 10 milliseconds. Any aberrations in these precisely timed processes could signal the presence of malware. The changes would immediately

“We believe manufacturers should build implantable medical devices like pacemakers with malware detection strategies from the get-go, and provide patches as future problems develop.” ROMAN LYSECKY

Good Timing Lysecky is pioneering technologies to help ensure IMDs will detect malware and keep functioning properly if security is breached. He has built a prototype of a networkconnected pacemaker and is running experiments based on case studies of malware infecting other types of embedded systems. In one project funded by the National Science Foundation, he and co-investigators are developing runtime anomaly detection. This technology exposes minuscule changes in the timing of how computations and data are transmitted from the pacemaker to a cardiac data log, revealing the possibility of malware. A pacemaker might be engineered to send data to a patient’s digital cardiac log every three milliseconds or to send specific types of

alert a doctor, who could then take action, possibly without a patient ever knowing of the harm averted.

encouraging pacemaker manufacturers to regularly monitor, maintain and update software. “We believe manufacturers should build implantable medical devices like pacemakers with malware detection strategies from the get-go, and provide patches as future problems develop,” said Lysecky.

Thwarting Hackers from Every Angle Lysecky is working on yet another project, with a grant from the Army Research Office, to develop mathematical models for analyzing changes in medical implants that make them susceptible to sidechannel attacks.

Lysecky is also looking for malware mimicry, whereby hackers tweak functioning of IMDs in subtle ways to avoid being exposed. His team has achieved a 100-percent detection rate using runtime anomaly detection in the prototype.

Pressure Building for Regulations

Hacker Attacker—PhD student Sixing Lu, who works with Roman Lysecky, holds a prototype network-connected pacemaker, right, that detects hacking of a real pacemaker, left.

Pacemakers are not yet required to have built-in detection and mitigation capabilities, but pressure is building. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has identified hundreds of medical devices infected by malware and in December 2016 issued security guidelines

“By analyzing data transmission timing, power consumption and electromagnetic radiation from a life-critical device such as a pacemaker, a hacker can extract data like cryptographic keys that are essential for shielding communications from unauthorized users,” he said. 40:1

Spring 2017



Design Day’s Palme d’Or—Winners of the Raytheon Award for Best Overall Design display the giant check they received with the award, for designing a drone to pollinate date palms.

A Date to Remember

A drone for pollinating date palms takes top prize at Engineering Design Day 2017.


ART IMITATED LIFE at the University of Arizona’s 15th annual Engineering Design Day on May 1 as more than 500 seniors presented their corporate- and UA-sponsored team projects hatched over nine months. A drone designed to do what bees do best – pollinate – took top prize. In the winning team’s video demonstration the semiautonomous aerial vehicle even sounded like a swarm of bees as it flew over Medjool date palm trees at a nursery in Yuma, Arizona. “Existing drones used to propagate the trees drop pollen from nylon stockings, which is not very efficient,” said systems engineering student Victor Cortez. “Our drone has an automated 45-gram pollen canister that drops a precise payload of pollen over each tree




and can pollinate 12 trees in one flight.” The team is one of several fine-tuning its prototypes for commercialization.

for converting wastewater to drinking water, and a water-efficient technique for manufacturing the arthritis drug Enbrel.

Good Drones, Bad Drones

“Chemical engineering is the art of changing what’s made in the lab to produce a product that’s going to help hundreds of thousands of people,” said senior Erica Clevenger.

Another team won big for Raytheonsponsored technology to take down drones. Commercial drones have video-recording capabilities that can threaten personal privacy, noted systems engineering senior Shivani Patel. Her team’s project would let everyday consumers disable commercial drones autonomously, safely and legally.

Every Drop Counts Students in chemical and environmental engineering made a strong showing with a system to recycle dairy wastewater at Arizona-based Shamrock Foods, an invention

New Dimension—A senior demonstrates a 3-D printer, which has become an essential tool for building design project prototypes.

A Crowd Favorite The unpowered exoskeleton, which won an engineering ethics award, was designed to help one person but ultimately could help many more. Initiated by a devoted mother, the project was built to make walking and exercising easier for UA undergraduate Jeffrey Bristol, who has cerebral palsy.

It Takes All Kinds Winning projects also reflected the crossdisciplinary emphasis of the Engineering Design Program, in which seniors from different disciplines spend two semesters working on disparate problems from diverse industries.

Exoskeletal Excellence—Jason Keatseangsilp, front, led his team to win the Frank Broyles Engineering Ethics Award, first prize, for their unpowered exoskeleton.

For example, a Microsoft award went to a project sponsored by GEOST to make it easier for amateur astronomers to transport a telescope to an open area and aim it at a particular part of the sky. And a project sponsored by Ventana Medical Systems for improving tissue imaging won a Thorlabs photonics award.

Thank You, Judges and Mentors! More than 130 professionals volunteered as Design Day judges, and nearly 115 served as technical mentors to the 2017 teams. “Year after year UA Engineering seniors bring a fresh perspective in their approaches and ideas for helping us resolve engineering challenges,” said mentor Mike Szlemko from Raytheon.

For full details of all the projects, prizes, sponsors and teams, please visit: news.engr.arizona.edu/news/ua-engineering-design-day-2017-date-remember

Going Mobile—Judges review the Roboscope Cart project, which won the Microsoft Award for Best System Software Design.


Spring 2017



The Sound of the Future


AS COMPUTER PARTS grow tinier – billions of transistors are now packed onto silicon chips the size of a fingernail – silicon’s performance shrinks too, and the material can overheat. Engineers are in a race to perfect quantum computers, which store, transmit and process information in fundamentally different ways than their digital cousins and have exponentially greater computing capability.

Deymier has been working with Tech Launch Arizona, the UA’s commercialization arm, to apply for multiple patents surrounding a number of phi-bit inventions, including the quantum computer itself. “We’re excited to work with Pierre Deymier on more patent applications as the Keck Foundation-funded research progresses,” said Bob Sleeper, TLA licensing manager for the College of Engineering.

He is a pioneer in the field of phononics, in which scientists and engineers manipulate phonons, quasiparticles that transmit sound and heat waves in unconventional ways to provide new forms of energy.

The potential of phi-bits to transform computing capability and manage big data appears limitless, Deymier said.

“Phonon-based computing has the power to change the world as we know it,” said Deymier, the department’s head, “not just for making more powerful computers, but for artificial intelligence, cryptography and analysis of big data. For example, a phononic computer could rapidly map a person’s entire genome for developing more targeted medical therapies.”

Introducing the Phi-Bit Pierre Deymier


“I can make phi-bits at room temperature in my lab,” he said.

Pierre Deymier, a University of Arizona professor of materials science and engineering, has received a $900,000 grant from the W.M. Keck Foundation, matched by the UA, for a total of $1.8 million to build a type of quantum computing analogue that might perform as well as existing quantum computers and overcomes problems that plague current quantum computing prototypes.

With his collaborators on the project, professor Pierre Lucas and researcher Keith Runge in the UA Department of Materials Science and Engineering, Deymier will build a prototype phonon-based computer.


He has shown that information can be stored as phi-bits in a superposition state, like qubits, and that multiple phi-bits can be assembled so they cannot be separated – analogous to qubit entanglement. And phi-bits are less sensitive than qubits to external conditions.


Deymier believes that phonons, in units he has named “phase-bits” or “phi-bits,” are the answer.

“Phonon-based computing has the power to change the world as we know it.” PIERRE DEYMIER

“Let’s suppose you have a million phi-bits, with each one having both a 0 and a 1 in conventional computing bits. That means the amount of information you can process is 2 to the power of 1 million – which may be more than the number of atoms in the universe!” He added, “I believe quantum computing with phononics will be feasible, possibly in the next 10 years.”

Photo: Erik Lucero, Martinis Group, University of California, Santa Barbara

With a combined $1.8 million from the W.M. Keck Foundation and the University of Arizona, Pierre Deymier explores building a quantum computer that uses sound instead of particles.

Thank You, Scholarship Donors!

Israel Wygnanski, aerospace and mechanical engineering professor, delivered the 2017 AIAA SciTech Dryden Lecture on his groundbreaking active flow control research.

College Partners Help Students Succeed

The College awarded more than $1

The American Physical Society named Richard W. Ziolkowski, professor of electrical and computer engineering, a fellow.

million in 2016-2017 scholarships to 236 students. Crediting donors with

supporting their academic goals and giving the gift of time, many of the students were at the annual scholarship reception on March 28 to personally express appreciation to their benefactors.


Veteran philant hropic partner Jack McDuff, Cla 1951, visits with ss of Class of 2015’s Christian Mont right, one of th oya, e College’s youn gest scholarsh ip donors.

An April 2017 issue of Proceedings of the IEEE featured electrical and computer engineering professor Hao Xin’s research on 3-D additive manufacturing for electromagnetic components.

Edward Kerschen, professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering, won a University of Arizona 2017 graduate education award.

Tech Launch Arizona named Douglas Loy, materials science and engineering and chemistry and biochemistry professor, 2017 Inventor of the Year.

Ricardo Valerdi, associate professor of systems and industrial engineering, was inducted into Mexico’s Academy of Engineering.

The Optical Society elected Ivan B. Djordjevic, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and optical sciences, a fellow.

George Delos Gardner/Eugene Delos Gardner Scholarships smooth the way for mining engineering students such as those pictured to work at the UA’s underground mine and intern with mining companies.

Ravi Tandon, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, won a National Science Foundation Career Award to improve big data management.

Scholarship donors Chuck and Sarah Leonard, shown flanking scholarship recipient Enrique Silva, understand the difference it makes when students do not have to work their way through colleg e.

Jianqiang Cheng, a systems and industrial engineering assistant professor working on risk analysis for network design and energy management systems, received a Bisgrove Scholar Award.

Qing Hao, aerospace and mechanical engineering assistant professor, received a National Science Foundation Career Award for his research on nanoscale energy transport.

Chemical and environmental engineering lecturer Kasi Kiehlbaugh won the University’s 2017 STEM teaching award. Above and right, scholarship recipients capture the moment with their mentors and benefactors.

A Tech Launch Arizona 2017 commercialization award honored chemical engineering facultyled startup MetOxs Electrochemical.


Spring 2017



Shane Snyder and Agilent Partner on Water Safety and Sustainability

Marla Smith-Nilson Lifts Burden for Communities Lacking Clean Water



Faculty-industry collaboration aims to increase public trust in water reuse.

AGILENT TECHNOLOGIES honored professor of chemical and environmental engineering Shane Snyder with a 2017 Agilent Thought Leader Award, which includes funding plus microarray equipment for Snyder and students working in his lab. With the new equipment, researchers will be able to expand methods for identifying and removing contaminants and further develop technologies for converting wastewater to drinking water.

School of Thought—Shane Snyder, right, receives his thought leader award, presented by, from left, Agilent’s Craig Marvin, Tori Richmond and Leo Brizuela.

“Without question, Agilent equipment has made a meaningful difference in our ability to better characterize environmental quality,” said Snyder.

While interest in recycling municipal wastewater for potable water is growing, many byproducts of the treatment process remain unidentified, Snyder said. “Considering the magnitude of chemical contaminants possible in wastewater, and the nearly infinite number of potential products created during water treatment, the only way forward for comprehensive monitoring is a combined approach of rapid bioassays for evaluating toxicity and advanced, nontargeted analysis for elucidating structure.”

Civil engineering alumna is delivering clean water and expanding opportunities in impoverished countries around the world. MARLA SMITH-NILSON, who received her bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1991, founded Water1st International to make water accessible to more than 165,000 people in Bangladesh, India, Ethiopia and Honduras. “We intentionally work in only four countries, so we can really get to know the communities and our partner agencies,” she said. “By supporting local, on-the-ground organizations with a proven track record of implementing water and sanitation projects, we can provide water projects that last.”

Well Engineered—Marla Smith-Nilson delivers a civil engineering Homecoming talk about her work providing sustainable supplies of clean water to thousands in water-stressed regions.

In impoverished countries, millions of women walk for hours every day carrying empty containers to water sources and then walk back home with 40-pound loads. Smith-Nilson accompanied Mari Tuji of Kelecho Gerbi, Ethiopia, one morning as the young mother set out before dawn with her three children on a four-mile trek to reach a small, polluted river. The water always made the children ill, but they had no choice. Working with a local group, Water1st built a new water system in Kelecho Gerbi that Tuji helps to operate.

Jinhong Zhang Invents Concrete Substitute Using Power Plant Waste

Lighter, stronger and less expensive than concrete, Acrete uses three times as much waste and converts it into useful building material.


ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR of mining and geological engineering Jinhong Zhang has developed a new substitute for concrete that has a number of advantages over traditional Portland cement. The new material is lighter, stronger and less expensive to produce than concrete, and uses three times as much fly ash. Coal-fired power plants in the United States produce about 130 million tons of fly ash each year, much of which ends up in mounds and landfills where wind and water can disperse it.




The new material and the company formed to produce it are called Acrete, a combination of “Arizona” and “concrete.” Zhang says Acrete will “reduce carbon dioxide emissions from cement production and be a novel construction material for a new era of sustainable development.” Tech Launch Arizona, the UA office that commercializes inventions stemming from research, brought together Zhang and entrepreneur Abraham Jalbout to create the startup company to develop the product and bring it to market.

Solid Investment—This UA-created concrete substitute may pave the way to a more sustainable future.

This story, by Paul Tumarkin, originally appeared in UANews.


Let’s Continue the Momentum of a History-Making Year About 800 new College of Engineering alumni headed out into the world recently to help people lead better lives. In fact, May 2017 saw the largest graduating class in the College’s history, and the development and alumni relations team is looking forward to connecting with new graduates and established alumni alike. We are excited about putting on memorable events to honor your College days and creating opportunities for you to support future alumni. The team has grown strategically over the last two years to six professionals. We are better able to serve you and the College and ready to shake things up in the world a little ourselves. Thanks to support from the University Development Program, the team is set to

visit more alumni in more cities than ever before. Faceto-face meetings and small group gatherings will provide unprecedented opportunities for meaningful engagement.

You Spoke, We Listened More great news: A recent alumni survey showed that you like hearing from your alma mater and enjoy reading the College’s publications. Since many of you favor the Arizona Engineer magazine as a source of information, starting with this redesigned issue, we plan to include more of what you like best and continue sending it twice a year. The survey indicated you want more information through multiple channels and the ability to connect not only with the University and the

Margie Puerta Edson, CFRE Sr. Director of Development & Alumni Relations 520.626.0572 puertaedson@email.arizona.edu

College, but also with your degree departments and other alumni. So we are planning more articles about how you make a difference in the world and for the College’s students, faculty, academic programs and research. Be sure to let us know what you think!

Unrestricted Funds You are a critical link in the College’s dedication to excellence in teaching, research and scholarship. Making unrestricted gifts to the Dean’s Fund for Excellence and the da Vinci Circle Fund are prime ways to support the College. Recent changes to these giving opportunities add even more value for alumni. Check out the details on the College’s website, engineering.arizona.edu.

Michael J. McKelvey Sr. Director of Development 520.621.7685 mikem1@email.arizona.edu

The dean’s unrestricted funds give the College flexibility to strengthen and expand the most important programs and meet the greatest needs, at any given time. They support meaningful student experiences and help improve student recruitment and faculty retention, keeping the College competitive. Participation in the da Vinci Circle – through student scholarships and faculty fellowships – gives students and faculty the resources to meet their greatest potential.

Thank You! With your support, the College will continue to grow and improve. Now is the time to get to work making sure the next class of Wildcats is ready to Bear Down!

LaToya L. Singletary Associate Director of Development 520.621.3016 lsingletary@email.arizona.edu


Spring 2017





AZ Big Media named Koevary, also a UA research assistant professor, one of 20 influential millennials working in Arizona for 2017.

Medical products manufacturer Xeridiem hired Summer Garland, BS/BME 2016, after she led a companysponsored senior design team to two first-place Engineering Design Day awards. In 2017 she mentored another Xeridiem-backed team that refined the original project, for safer nasogastric tubing for hospital patients, and won for best prototyping. Caitlin Schnitzer, BS/ChE 2013, works off the Israeli coast for Schlumberger Technology Corp. The senior field engineer went right to work programming and monitoring equipment for Schlumberger after graduating from the UA. She has worked on drilling operations in the Gulf of Mexico and Alaska’s North Slope.

Caitlin Schnitzer

UA mining engineering grads won second place in the alumni division at the 39th International Collegiate Mining Competition in Georgetown, Kentucky, in March. More than 200 contestants from five countries tested their gold panning, land surveying and other old-fashioned mining skills at the event, which commemorates the 91 miners who died in the 1972 Sunshine





Nailed It!—Dave Vatterodt, BS/MGE 2004, helps UA team take second place, alumni division, at an international mining competition in March 2017. At left is Tim George, BS/MGE 2007.

Mine disaster. “We’re a very tight-knit group,” said John Featherston, BS/MGE 2008, a mining engineer at Small Mine Development LLC in Battle Mountain, Nevada. “We all work in mining or related industries in several different states, and we use this annual competition as a way to get together and catch up on each other’s projects,” he said. “It’s almost like continuing education, but with a lot more camaraderie.” Nurcin Celik, MS/IE 2008 and PhD/ SIE 2010, received a 2017 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers. She is an associate professor at the University of Miami College of Engineering. Jen Watson Koevary, BS/ME 2008 and PhD/BME 2013, is chief operating officer of Tucson-based Avery Therapeutics Inc. The company has licensed a patent portfolio for its product MyCardia, a beating heart graft technology that has shown significant improvements in heart function in preclinical trials.

Moe Mukiibi, MS/ EnvE 2005 and PhD/ EnvE 2008, has managed water technology and cleanup projects for federal and state governments and Moe Mukiibi corporations. He founded the Tucson-based nonprofit African Children’s Charities, which made headlines in 2014 for its collaboration with a UA medical team to provide life-saving surgery to an orphaned Ugandan boy. Mukiibi is president and chief technology officer of FWM Technologies and Stonehouse Water Technologies.


Cisco Systems Distinguished Engineer and Chief Technology Officer Salman Asadullah, BS/ECE 1995, visited the UA campus in November 2016 to meet with College of Engineering administrators and faculty and share his experiences and career advice with students.

Heart Healthy—From left, Avery Therapeutics COO Jen Watson Koevary, Avery and Sarver Heart Center researcher Jordan Lancaster with frozen MyCardia heart graft, and Avery interim CEO and chief medical officer Steven Goldman, MD, a professor at Sarver Heart Center.

CLASS NOTES Paula Hahn, BS/MGE 1991 and MS/MIS 1994, was named a fellow at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics in recognition of her technical excellence and leadership. She is an information technology architect with Lockheed Martin in Dallas-Fort Worth, where she has worked since 2000.

Don Pettit, PhD/ChE 1983, has compiled stunning photographs from three missions aboard the International Space Station for “Spaceborne,” his new book available at www.space-borne.com. “If you’re gone for six months, you can’t spend all your time nose-tothe-grindstone working,” he said in December 2016 on National Public Radio’s “Science Friday,” describing his art as “orbital scrimshaw.”


Sub Culture—Gary George designed the internal model mover providing yaw, pitch and roll for this 22-foot-long miniature submarine for “The Hunt for Red October.”


Gary George, BS/ME 1984, worked on special effects for films like “Titanic,” “The Hunt for Red October” and “Die Hard” for years in California before relocating to Pennsylvania to care for his mother. He manages electromechanical programs at Northampton Community College in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. “I fully credit my UA education in helping to open doors my entire life to employment opportunities not strictly in my chosen field of study,” he said.


Phil Barnes, BS/ME 1978, in his 36th year at Northrop Grumman, is an internationally recognized author of technical papers on energy-efficient electric flight in which propellers regenerate power to act as airborne wind turbines. His theories, based on the wandering albatross’s ability to remain aloft indefinitely on shoulder-locked wings, are described on his website, www.HowFliesTheAlbatross.com. Michael Popovich, MS/SIE 1973, is CEO of Scientific Technologies Corp., an information technology consulting firm, where he creates systems to help public health officials digitally monitor and report on issues such as the use of

Flight Plan—Phil Barnes is developing theories for regenerative electric flight based on how wandering albatrosses soar.

vaccines, immunization records and disease outbreaks.


Since retiring in 1999 from the plastics manufacturing industry, Malcolm Goekler, BS/ChE 1968, has been building steam engines – “functional steampunk art,” in his words – and he has earned five product design patents for his engine designs. He and his wife Susan live in Delaware. James A. Archer, MS/CE 1965, retired in 1993 as a city public works director in Texas and lives in Washington state.

Space Shot—Don Pettit’s collection of photographs from space instantly elevate any coffee table.

Mike Hoover, BS/ ME 1983, has been named president and chief executive officer of Sundt Construction. He succeeds longtime company CEO, Dave Crawford, BS/CE 1972. Mike Hoover


Spring 2017




The University of Arizona College of Engineering P.O. Box 210072 Tucson, AZ 85721-0072

CALLING ALL ALUMNI! Where has life taken you since graduation? We’d like to know and so would your College classmates. Please email us with details (about 300 words) and be sure to include the following information: • Name and year you graduated • Major • Degree (BS, MS, PhD, etc.) • Details of your activities

We’d also be interested to see – and share – pictures of your family, your latest project at work, or that boat or hot rod you just finished building in your garage. Vacation photos are great, too. We’ll publish your news and photos online and in the next print edition.

BEEN IN THE NEWS LATELY? Let us know if you’ve been getting some media attention. Just email a link to us and we’ll continue to spread the news via the College website and social media sites.

Please send your email to classnotes@engr.arizona.edu

FROM THE ARCHIVES We found this photo with a note on the back: “College of Mines coed measuring the size of particles in a chemical engineering project.” That’s all we know, so please get in touch if you can identify the student.




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Profile for University of Arizona College of Engineering

Arizona Engineer | Spring 2017  

Arizona Engineer | Spring 2017