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Double First UA names two College faculty Distinguished Scholars

U.S. Department of Defense


Watch This Space—Jah perceives a need for a galvanizing force in academia that can bring scientists and engineers from many disciplines and public and private agencies together to create a change for good. “What MIT was for the Apollo space program, I’d like the UA to be for space domain awareness,” he says. Since joining the UA Jah has met with officials at the Defense Department and other government agencies in the U.S. and abroad.

Driving Transportation UA solidifies pole position in smart traffic systems

Mars navigator Moriba Jah joins the UA to launch the Space Object Behavioral Sciences initiative, aimed at protecting space assets and mitigating threats posed by orbiting debris.

Good Governance at the Final Frontier


A spacecraft navigator for several Mars missions aims to make the University of Arizona a world center of research and discovery on how objects behave in outer space. Design Day 2016 Senior design projects are real-world, market-ready

Moriba Jah has joined the College of Engineering and the Office for Research & Discovery to direct a new UA initiative focused on the examination of objects in space, which includes locating satellites, studying

the movement of objects in space and managing space traffic. “People work in different domains – land, maritime, airspace, cyberspace,” Jah said. “Outer space is another domain that requires surveillance, traffic control and protection.” Jah, an astrodynamicist and aerospace engineer, will be based in the College CO N T I N U E D O N PA G E 1 0


College Makes ‘Doing’ a Priority for Students Fundamentals and lifelong learning will always be paramount, but students need to do as well as know. Mark May 2, 2017, on your calendars, and join us for a fantastic annual event – Engineering Design Day. We set a College record this spring with 99 senior design projects displayed in the UA Student Union and on the Mall. Projects from every BS program helped send 500 students to the next step in their lives.

The College is solidly focused on the national push to bring more hands-on and active learning experiences into engineering education. We are: • Assembling faculty teams to design a four-year design sequence anchored by our strong freshman and senior experiences. • Partnering with alumni and Eller College to develop entrepreneurship experiences for students. • Working with the University’s Office of the Provost to outfit spaces for maker labs and design classes. • Designing extracurricular events to complement classroom activities, and working with donors to better support our student clubs. We will not abandon our long-valued emphasis on fundamentals and lifelong learning, but there is a clear demand from students and industry for more “doing” in our academic programs and extracurricular activities. On the research front, the College is central in four campuswide initiatives started in the last year – Space Object Behavioral Sciences, Arizona Transportation Research Institute,

WEST Center, and Arizona Institute for Advanced Energy Solutions. All have major engineering components with faculty, graduate students and undergraduates moving forward technology and ideas. We have great partners across campus, including the Office for Research & Discovery. Awards for students, faculty and staff have been outstanding. Highlights from this past semester include the College winning two of 15 national Churchill Scholarships for study at Cambridge University, three of seven outstanding UA graduating senior awards, two of three University Distinguished Scholar awards, and an outstanding staff award. Keep in the know about all the excitement on campus by reading our monthly email articles, liking us on Facebook, and following us on Twitter @ UA_ENGR_ Jeff_G and @azengineering. Have a great summer, and we will see you for Homecoming October 28 and 29.

Jeff Goldberg, Dean jgoldberg@arizona.edu • 520.621.6594


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All contents © 2016 Arizona Board of Regents.

spring 2016 • volume 39 number 1

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2  ARIZONAENGINEER  39:1 spring 2016


Matt Dabkowski

East Africa to West Point—Lt. Col. Matt Dabkowski, shown here during his deployment to U.S. military base Camp Lemonnier in Djibouti, Africa – while he was earning his PhD at the UA – is heading to West Point to serve as a systems engineering professor.

SIE Grad Wins Officer Research Fellowship Matthew F. Dabkowski, a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army who recently completed his PhD in systems and industrial engineering at the University of Arizona, received a 2016 Omar N. Bradley Officer Research Fellowship in Mathematics. Dabkowski will serve as an academy professor in the U.S. Military Academy’s department of systems engineering, where he will direct the Operations Research Center of Excellence. For Dabkowski, who earned his bachelor’s degree in operations research from West Point in 1997, relocating there with his wife and five children will be a homecoming. “I loved the academic discipline of operations research and systems engineering at West Point, and I knew I would someday like to go back there,” he said. Dabkowski received the award to conduct research in applying optimization to network science, or social network analysis, which is not to be confused with online social networking. He began studying network science for his minor in sociology and has integrated it into his doctoral research on the cost estimation and growth of major defense acquisition programs. As an operations research and systems analyst for the Army, Dabkowski uses the tools of mathematics – statistics, optimization, simulation, mathematical modeling – to streamline military procedures, increase efficiency and minimize risk. He has applied these tools to help the military address practical issues, such as how to reduce the number of soldiers on duty while maintaining a certain level of capability. Dabkowski’s other awards have included the Military Operations Research Society’s Wayne P. Hughes Junior Analyst Award in 2013 and David Rist Prize in 2012 and the Best Student Paper Award at the 2013 Conference on Systems Engineering Research.

Laura Lukes

SHPE Shape—From left, UA SHPE members Maria Lissette Flores, Fermin Prieto and Jaime Goytia celebrate winning the Academic Olympiad.

Multiple Prizes for SHPE Chapter The University of Arizona student chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, or SHPE, continued its winning streak at the organization’s 2015 national conference in Baltimore. The UA chapter won the Outstanding Leadership Development Award in a field of more than 300 student chapters nationwide. “This award demonstrates that all the effort we put into SHPE pays off,” said Fermin Prieto, chapter executive vice president. “SHPE helps us grow as professional engineers and develop our leadership skills. In our chapter, we accomplish this by having a very active membership and organizing and hosting events that benefit the Tucson and University of Arizona communities.” The Wildcats also won first prize regionally, and fourth place nationally, at the Academic Olympiad, a written and oral competition of technical know-how in engineering, science and math subjects. UA beat out the 36 other chapters in Region 2, which includes Arizona, Southern California, southern Nevada and Hawaii. One of the 25 UA students at the conference, Erasmo Quijada Jr., also won the Nissan Design Competition and shared $10,000 in prize money with two team members from other engineering schools. “Winning the contest was an incredible experience, particularly since I want to work in the automotive industry,” said Quijada, a UA sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering. The annual conference includes one of the nation’s largest career fairs for engineering students. Quijada, attending his first national SHPE conference, said he received two co-op job offers and interest from other employers seeking interns. 39:1 spring 2016  ARIZONAENGINEER  3


Engineering Students Bag Two Churchill Scholarships Two UA seniors have won prestigious Churchill Scholarships to complete a one-year master’s degree program at the University of Cambridge in England. Engineering majors Jeannie Wilkening and Travis Sawyer are two of only 15 Churchill Scholars selected in 2016-2017 for outstanding academic achievement and proven research talent in science, engineering or Jeannie Wilkening mathematics. They are the third and fourth UA students to receive the award since it was first granted by the Winston Churchill Foundation of the United States in 1963. The UA is able to nominate only two students to apply for the Churchill Scholarship each year, and this year is the first time that both UA nominees have been awarded the scholarship. “It’s incredible that both Jeannie and I Travis Sawyer have received Churchill Scholarships this year,” Sawyer said. “I think it speaks to the quality of the engineering program at the UA.” Sawyer majored in optical sciences and engineering. He is developing visual recognition software to help scientists capture more detailed images for making discoveries in fields as different as art preservation, astronomy and medicine. Wilkening, a chemical engineering graduate, studies how human activity affects biogeochemical cycles and is interested in how these processes relate to climate change and sustainability. 4  ARIZONAENGINEER  39:1 spring 2016

Class of 2019 Part of Banner Year From freshmen enrolled to degrees conferred, the College of Engineering had an impressive academic year. “The College is growing,” said Dean Jeff Goldberg. “We are attracting and retaining top students and nearing an all-time high for the total number of degrees awarded.” The College enrolled 621 freshmen in fall 2015, up 125 students from the previous year. Nearly a third of the freshmen were also enrolled in the UA Honors College. In the 2014-2015 academic year, the College granted 719 degrees, including 485 bachelor’s, 168 master’s and 66 doctoral degrees – all higher than the previous year. UA Athletics

The total undergraduate student population in the College of Engineering was 2,760, with 25 percent women and 36 percent minority students. “These percentages are well above the national averages for engineering colleges and demonstrate our commitment to diversity and student success,” Goldberg said. First-year student-athlete Dani Spencer brought to UA a passion for gymnastics that matched her academic ability.

Bending Over Backward to Succeed—First-year Engineering student Dani Spencer is a member of the Arizona Wildcats gymnastics team.

“The UA stood out to me when I was being recruited because it provided the full package,” said Spencer, who started college last summer after graduating from high school in Scottsdale, Arizona, with a 4.1 GPA. “The UA offered the academic and athletic programs that I wanted – and to top it off, the girls on the team are absolutely amazing.”

Students Help Students Get Jobs About 800 students attended the 24th annual iExpo career fair on the UA campus in February to investigate jobs and internships at some of the nation’s top employers. The event is presented by the UA Engineering Student Council and is Arizona’s largest student-run jobs fair specifically for engineering students.

government agencies advertised hundreds of jobs.

Electrical engineering junior Dalton Hirst landed an interview with American Express on the spot. “My interview went very well,” he said. “My previous internship at IBM overlaps with the work I would be doing for this group.” Recruiters, including numerous alumni, from 48 companies and

“I would say almost half of our Tucson team’s engineers are former UA students,” said Southwest Gas recruiter and distribution engineer Josh Spivey, who received his UA bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2011. Spivey advises the UA Baja Club as a former president and helps UA Engineering seniors working on design projects sponsored by Southwest Gas.

College Gets Two Distinguished Scholars This year the UA chose, for the first time, two faculty members from the same college to receive the UA Distinguished Scholar Award, and both of them were engineers. Erica Corral, associate professor of materials science and engineering, and Armin Sorooshian, associate professor of chemical and environmental engineering, received the honor, given to mid-career faculty who are leading experts in their fields and making innovative contributions to teaching and outreach. Introducing the Distinguished Scholars, UA Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Andrew Comrie said, “Our next awards are aimed at the rising generation of faculty, those we expect to become Regents’ Professors and Distinguished Professors in the coming years.”

Pete Brown

Pillar Thriller­­—Erica Corral, left, and Armin Sorooshian receive Distinguished Scholar Awards at the UA Pillars of Excellence ceremony held on campus April 14.

“I am delighted to be nominated and recognized by my colleagues for this prestigious award,” Corral said. “I am thankful for the continued support from the University to pursue my academic and scholarly activities.”

Armin Sorooshian is leading several multi-university research projects for the U.S. Navy and NASA. He studies how aerosol particles interact in the atmosphere, particularly with clouds. The research has major implications for human and environmental health and monitoring climate change.

She and her students are developing ceramic and composite materials for coatings on aerospace vehicles, including the space shuttle, that can withstand extremely high temperatures without losing their shape or integrity, and nanocomposite materials with novel electrical and thermal properties for enhancing fuel efficiency and solar energy production.

“I am honored by this recognition and continued support by the UA of my work, especially since it was here in the College of Engineering that I received the undergraduate training that helped me reach this point,” he said. “I care deeply about our students, and they are the heartbeat that drives me in my teaching, research and outreach activities.”

Civil Engineers Laud UA Earthquake Engineer

piece of concrete, but many pieces stitched together. In a major earthquake, their connections can fail,” Fleischman said. “Our primary goal with this project was to show you could still build efficiently and safely with precast concrete flooring.”

Robert B. Fleischman, UA professor of civil engineering and engineering mechanics, was the principal investigator on a research project that won the 2016 Charles H. Pankow Award for Innovation from the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Fleischman came up with new ways to design concrete flooring structures, or diaphragms, that transfer seismic forces from the floors to columns and walls and down to the foundation. This involved making the diaphragms’ connections stronger and more flexible in the joints between the precast units.

Fleischman is receiving this latest honor for “Seismic Design Methodology for Precast Concrete Diaphragms,” a 10-year collaborative project completed in 2014 that has won several other awards. Robert Fleischman

He and members of his team accepted the Pankow Award from ASCE president Mark Woodson, a UA alumnus who earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1979.

Mover and Shaker­­—Robert Fleischman stands in front of a half-scale parking garage built on the shake table at UC San Diego’s Englekirk Structural Engineering Center, where he conducts seismic engineering research.

“Assembling concrete structures from precast pieces offers phenomenal benefits in cost

and time savings. The problem is that these precast structures are not one continuous

“We attacked a complicated problem and conducted computer simulation and experimentation to develop a design procedure – then proved it worked in largescale structural testing, and changed the building codes,” Fleischman said. “I think that’s why ASCE chose our project for this award.” 39:1 spring 2016  ARIZONAENGINEER  5


UA Drives National Research on Connected-Vehicle Systems For all their antitheft, fuel efficiency and satellite radio features, even the priciest new cars still travel on roads using decades-old traffic management technology.

Pete Brown

Well-Connected—Professor of systems and industrial engineering Larry Head, right, and PhD student Sara Khosravi demonstrate their connected infrastructure and vehicle technology at the Arizona Connected Vehicle Test Bed in Anthem, Arizona.

Connected Vehicles PhD Student Wins Grad Slam For the second year, Shayan Khoshmagham presented his work during the UA’s Grad Slam, a tournament-style competition, and this year took the grand prize. Khoshmagham envisions a future in which all vehicles on the road – emergency, commercial and passenger – no longer collide, thanks to the implementation of smart technology. He works under the direction of Larry Head of the department of systems and industrial engineering to further the development of multimodal intelligent traffic signals.

Larry Head received the 2016 D. Grant Mickle Award for outstanding paper in operations and maintenance from the Transportation Research Board in January at its 95th annual meeting in Washington, D.C. Published in 2015 in the 6  ARIZONAENGINEER  39:1 spring 2016

Head and his graduate students recently took the Maricopa County Board of Supervisors, first responders and transportation officials on a tour of the Arizona Connected Vehicle Test Bed, developed and supported by the Maricopa County Department of Transportation SMARTDrive Program, to demo his research. The 2.3-mile live stretch of road in the Phoenix suburb of Anthem features dedicated short-range communications radios mounted in buses and emergency vehicles, atop light poles, and in roadside equipment boxes at intersections. The wireless devices work with traffic signal controllers developed by Head and his team to prioritize approaching vehicles, especially first-responders. There are approximately 30,000 crashes involving fire trucks in the U.S. each year, and fire truck crashes are the second leading cause of death among firefighters. “Those numbers seem way too high for people trying to save other people’s lives,” Head said.

Shayan Khoshmagham

“The whole story starts from the point where vehicles begin talking to one another and to the infrastructure, saying exactly where they are and what priority they are requesting,” said Khoshmagham. “But imagine a smart city, 10 years from now, where cars don’t run into one another anymore.”

Best Paper Award

“Drivers communicate wirelessly on smartphones with people around the globe, but their cars can’t communicate with cars around the corner,” said UA professor of systems engineering Larry Head. “That’s about to change. Vehicle-to-infrastructure and vehicle-to-vehicle communications, or connected cars, are on the horizon, and their capabilities will significantly change how traffic is managed and how drivers experience the road.”

Transportation Research Record, “Resonant Cycles Under Various Intersection Spacing, Speeds and Traffic Signal Operational Treatments,” explores the implications of a UA-developed traffic-signaling concept called resonant cycling, which features longer red, yellow and green lights.

First-responder safety was an initial motivation, but Head and his team quickly realized their technology could benefit even more people, and expanded their scope to protecting everyday drivers and passengers. “In 2014, more than 33,000 people were killed in traffic crashes,” Head said. “Technology can help make travel safer. We expect dedicated short-range communications technology will be mandatory in all new vehicles, just like seatbelts.”

UA Launches Transportation Institute

Da Vinci Fellow

The UA has founded the multidisciplinary Arizona Transportation Research Institute to tackle transportation network problems. College researcher Ann Wilkey is the associate director of the institute, whose resident experts include Larry Head; Sally Stevens, professor of gender and women’s studies; and Jeff Burgess, associate dean for research in the Mel and Enid Zuckerman College of Public Health.

Larry Head was named the College’s 2016 da Vinci Fellow. He plans to use the award to expand student research opportunities and the UA’s reputation as a major center for transportation research.


UA Researchers Developing Brain-Mapping Technology Researchers at the University of Arizona are developing a noninvasive brain-scanning technology that could produce images far superior to those obtained with the most commonly used systems – electroencephalography and functional magnetic resonance imaging. The technique, which incorporates sound waves to measure electrical activity in neural tissue, could improve diagnosis and treatment of many disorders, including epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease and traumatic brain injury. Russell Witte, associate professor of medical imaging, biomedical engineering and optical sciences, is principal investigator of the research project, launched in October 2015 with a $1.15 million grant from the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke. The three-year project also includes researchers from the UA departments of psychology, neurosurgery, neurology, emergency medicine and mathematics, and from three other universities.

Jill Goetz

Brainwave­­—Russ Witte displays an ultrasound brain scan, used in his research to develop acoustoelectric brain imaging.

“We know very little about how neurons act collectively to guide our thoughts, emotions and behaviors – or cause seizures or mood swings,” Witte said. “Functional magnetic resonance imaging and electroencephalography have provided some clues. But both fMRI and EEG share a major limitation: They produce images with poor resolution. We think our new technology could overcome that limitation.”

New Microscopy Device Aims to Help Surgeons Save More Lives Researchers at the University of Arizona have invented a device that for the first time allows neurosurgeons, who use microscopes extensively while operating, to see blood flowing inside vessels and more clearly distinguish cancerous from healthy tissue under the microscope. Called augmented microscopy, the technology gives surgeons a much more detailed picture in real time and helps them stay on course in surgeries where being off two millimeters could cause paralysis,

Marek Romanowski

blindness and even death. And surgeons get this better view without having to learn new technical skills or adapt to changes in the operating room.

“When we started developing this technology, we thought of it like a Google map of a surgical view, providing layers of pertinent information in real time,” said Marek Romanowski, UA associate professor of biomedical engineering. “Our augmented technology

Witte and co-investigators will develop and test the noninvasive technology, called acoustoelectric brain imaging, or ABI, on mammalian brains for the first time. The project is part of the U.S. government’s BRAIN Initiative, or Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies. BRAIN involves 80 public and private research institutions working together to map and model the human brain.

provides diagnostic information under the microscope on demand and in color, appearing directly over tissue a surgeon is operating on – as if the tissue was painted to help direct the surgeon’s work.” The technology overlays an actual, or bright field, image a surgeon sees under a microscope with an electronically processed image using near-infrared fluorescence, a computer-generated imaging technology in which contrast agents are injected into patients to illuminate vital diagnostic information and help surgeons avoid cutting the wrong vessel or removing healthy tissue. 39:1 spring 2016  ARIZONAENGINEER  7

D E S I G N D AY 2 0 1 6

Seniors Show They Mean Business at Design Day 2016 Whether harvesting energy from power lines or nuts from farms, 100 teams of Engineering seniors offered their project sponsors designs to improve products and cut costs. Nearly 500 Engineering seniors presented their design projects May 3 in the annual showcase of Wildcat ingenuity that is Engineering Design Day, held in the Student Union and on the UA Mall.

The interdisciplinary student teams demonstrated projects they designed, built and tested for their sponsors – along with their teamwork, problem-solving and presentation skills. Several of the seniors got job offers and won cash prizes.

Biomedical Engineers Win Big Nearly 130 working or retired engineers and tech specialists participated as judges in the 14th annual UA Design Day, selecting winners in several categories for prizes totaling nearly $20,000. More than $7,000 of the money went for projects with biomedical themes. Tiana Velez

Moveable Feast—Biosystems engineering senior Brooke Conrardy shows lettuce grown hydroponically in a shipping container that can be trucked into urban food deserts.

Design Day Prizes & Winners Raytheon Missile Systems Best Overall Design • $2,000 On-Slide Reagent Concentration Feedback and Control Design Team: Collin Andrew Gilchrist, Jamie Lynn Hernandez, Shawn Michael Iles, Pete Joseph Moya, Tyler Daniel Toth, Danton Xixo Whittier Project Sponsor: Ventana Medical Systems Inc. Bly Family Innovation in Energy Production, Supply or Use, First Prize • $1,500 Energy-Harvesting Power Supply Design Team: Tareq A.A.M. Alsalem, Juan Carlos Castillo, Jared Christian Guglielmo, Michelle Victoria Gutierrez, Justin Javelosa Project Sponsor: Tucson Electric Power Bly Family Innovation in Energy Production, Supply or Use, Second Prize • $500 Ethanol Plant Repurposing Design Team: Michael Gabriel Bauman, William M. Blair, Joseph Daniel Gaul Project Sponsor: UA Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering Rincon Research Best Presentation • $1,000 Nasogastric Tube Placement Verification System Design Team: Christopher Gallo, Summer Garland, Nathaniel Husband, Gary Tyree, Hang Van, Andrew Reid Werchan Project Sponsor: Xeridiem 8  ARIZONAENGINEER  39:1 spring 2016

The top prize, for best overall design, went to a team that developed a noninvasive slide-staining technique for Ventana Medical Systems using an infrared laser, Texas Instruments Analog Design Contest • $1,000 Deep Water Sensor System Design Team: Matthew Ray Barragan, Austin Anthony Nawrocki, Nikitha Ramohalli, Alexander Yudkovitz, Yi Zhang Project Sponsor: Texas Instruments Ventana Innovation in Engineering • $1,000 Nasogastric Tube Placement Verification System Design Team: Christopher Gallo, Summer Garland, Nathaniel Husband, Gary Tyree, Hang Van, Andrew Reid Werchan Project Sponsor: Xeridiem ACSS/L-3 Communications Most Robust Systems Engineering • $750 Microfluidic-Based Human Lung Model Design Team: Elisa Camille Calabrese, Kristin Nicole Calahan, Christopher David Larkin, Emily Masterson, Mary Irene McIntosh, Kristina Rivera Project Sponsor: UA Department of Biomedical Engineering

Patrick McArdle

Boatload of Talent—Team 15008 won the W.L. Gore & Associates Most Creative Design Award for its project to fit the EMILY robotic rescue boat with sonar. Project sponsor Hydronalix has used EMILY in migrant rescue missions in the Mediterranean.

semiconductor sensor and graphical interface. “Our project will help Ventana increase the reliability and consistency of histology-based disease diagnostics,” said Danton Whittier, systems engineering major and team leader. “If our prototype Design Team: Jeremy Burris, Jordan McKinley Driggs, Uriel Garcia, Matthew Sybrant, Jessica Nell Vickers Toll Project Sponsor: Hydronalix Phoenix Analysis & Design Technologies Best Use of Prototyping • $750 Robotic Knee Extension Simulator Design Team: Czarina Lizette Aguilar, Eze Ahanonu, Ian Seamus Hoffman, David Mendoza, Brian J. Nicodemus, Daniel Palomares, Zachary Jordan Remer Project Sponsor: UA Department of Biomedical Engineering Arizona Technology Council Foundation Best Engineering Analysis • $750 X-56A Aeroelastically Scaled Modular Aircraft for Research Design Team: John Alexander Casey, Dustin Taylor Leighty, John Meersman, Nicholas Robert Merendo, Salvatore Antonio Vitale Project Sponsor: UA Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering

Edmund Optics Perseverance and Recovery • $750 High-Throughput Curing Oven Design Team: Allison Nicole Bronstein, Jesus Damian Chavolla, Yanjun Liu, Corina MacIsaac, Yaroslav Valerievich Pilipenko, April Proft Project Sponsor: Ventana Medical Systems

Arizona Technology Council Foundation Innovation in Manufacturing • $750 Process Improvement to Minimize Fractures in WaterSoluble Mandrels Design Team: Matthew Nathaniel Bahr, Phillip Befus, Matthew Allen Fry, Juan Jose Sandoval Project Sponsor: Advanced Ceramics Manufacturing

W.L. Gore & Associates Most Creative Design • $750 Sonar Module Integration for EMILY Rescue Robot

RBC Sargent Aerospace & Defense Voltaire Design • $750 Toilet Leak and Flood Prevention

the tubing that can detect stomach acids to determine if the tube has gone where it’s supposed to go. With some patients, such as those in a coma, it can be difficult to place tubing through the nose for feeding or removing stomach contents without accidentally entering the respiratory tract, which can cause physical harm and even death.

Real-World, Market-Ready

were implemented into their existing staining platforms, the overall tissue stain quality could be improved and lead to better disease diagnostics and, hopefully, better treatment plans.”

Team sponsor Xeridiem has already filed three provisional patents for the tube system. “One of the many highlights of our program for project sponsors is that we give them the intellectual property on their projects,” said Ara Arabyan, an associate professor of aerospace and mechanical engineering who has directed the College’s senior design program since 2009.

Another team of six seniors won two awards, for best innovation and best presentation, for their nasogastric tube placement verification system. They attached sensors to the end of

Mary Turner, who earned her BS in engineering physics and PhD in optical sciences from the UA in 1986 and 1993 and recently joined veteran Design Day sponsor Edmund Optics, presented the company’s Perseverance and Recovery Award to a team for its high-throughput curing oven.

Design Team: Matthew Britton, Ian Krispin Carmichael, Eliza R. Dawson, Diego Morales, Derek James Strickland Project Sponsor: QuakeWrap Inc.

Design Team: Yawei Ding, Olivia Fehlberg, Dana Kralicek, Timothy Ni, Edward Antonio Vergara Project Sponsor: Edmund Optics

Technical Documentation Consultants of Arizona Best Design Documentation • $750 Slide Handling and Retention Apparatus Design Team: Andrew D’Arcangelis, David Charles Duperre, Erin Camille Evangelist, Mykella Samantha Jones, David Wayne Malboeuf, Matthew Thomas Nadolny Project Sponsor: Ventana Medical Systems Inc.

Latitude Engineering Best Physical Implementation of Analytically Driven Design • $500 Inkjet-Printed Antennas for Wireless Communication Design Team: Santiago Burrola, Charles William Hoskins, Yiming Shi, Joel Turnblade, Alisa Zukova Project Sponsor: UA Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering

TRAX International Best Implementation of Agile Methodology • $750 Entry-Level Crossbow Design Design Team: Joseph Dominic Lucero, Austin Jacob Masterson, Matthew David Modean, Ahmed Ismail Mustafawi, Kyle Vinh Nguyen Project Sponsor: Precision Shooting Equipment Dataforth Corporation Best Design Using a Data Acquisition and Control System • $500 Performance Tools for Evaluating Microelectromechanical System Sensors Design Team: Gregory Wilhelm Burleson, Ariel Munoz, Trevor Andrew Woodhouse, Joshua Uhlorn Project Sponsor: Universal Avionics II-VI Optical Systems Best Use of Optical Design and Technology • $500 Liqua-Telecentric Autofocusing System

Prototron Circuits Best Printed Circuit Design • $500 Wearable Wireless Body Area Network Design Team: Nicolas Fajardo, Kevin Garrick, Xaviere Giroud, Brian Kehn, Andrew Thomas Maggio, Cecilia Maria Read Project Sponsor: UA Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering Honeywell Excellence in Aerospace Electronic System Design • $400 Thermomechanical Fatigue Testing System Design Team: Oscar Hernandez, Spencer Yushian Lee, Andy Luc, Bernt Rennie Powell, Kevin Bryan Scheeler, William David Sim Project Sponsor: Honeywell Aerospace Honeywell Team Leadership 1 • $250 Commercial-off-the-Shelf Infrastructure for a 1U CubeSat Design Team: Kaitlyn Elizabeth Williams (winner), Benjamin Macleod Bossler, Reed Matthew Hubbell, Alfie

Tiana Velez

Robot Helper—Quincy Levien of Team 15063, which was sponsored by Continental Automotive Systems, demonstrates his team’s robotic assembly line technology on the UA Mall at Design Day 2016.

“When I was in college, senior design projects were meant to help students get their feet wet,” she said. “Now, students are working on real projects, with potential applications. It’s become more and more real-world.” C. Tsang, Dean Michael Whitman, Steven Edward Wirth Project Sponsor: Raytheon Missile Systems Honeywell Team Leadership 2 • $250 Water Processing and Cleaning for Reuse Design Team: Justine Nichole Bacchus (winner), Brennen Guy, Cory Luke, Edward Francis Mackay, Nicholas Bradley Siegel Project Sponsor: Shamrock Foods Thorlabs Photonics Is the Future • $250 Each Metal Surface Quality Characterization Design Team: Cole Lumsden, Steven Joe Murrell, Mohammad Rabata, Maryam Amanda Tanbal, Jacob Robert Tevik, Jinghao Zhou Project Sponsor: Procter & Gamble Kristy Pearson Fish Out of Water Award, First Prize • $250 Water Processing and Cleaning For Reuse Design Team: Brennen Guy (winner), Justine Nichole Bacchus, Cory Luke, Edward Francis Mackay, Nicholas Bradley Siegel Project Sponsor: Shamrock Foods Kristy Pearson Fish Out of Water Award, Second Prize • $150 Commercial-off-the-Shelf Infrastructure for a 1U CubeSat Design Team: Steven Wirth (winner), Benjamin Macleod Bossler, Reed Matthew Hubbell, Alfie C. Tsang, Dean Michael Whitman, Kaitlyn Elizabeth Williams Project Sponsor: Raytheon Missile Systems 39:1 spring 2016  ARIZONAENGINEER  9


WEST Center Springs Into Action The Water & Energy Sustainable Technology, or WEST, Center has officially opened. The facility allows UA researchers, public officials and businesses to work together to develop new technologies that help communities deal with water scarcity and reuse. The $5.5 million center, built by Pima County, represents an important partnership – among few in the nation – that brings together various groups to tackle water and energy sustainability problems. Researchers from the UA’s College of Engineering and College of Agriculture and Life Sciences are working at the facility. Located within Pima County’s new water reclamation facility, Agua Nueva, WEST is adjacent to reclaimed water recharge basins and constructed wetlands, all of

Good Governance in Space CO N T I N U E D F R O M F R O N T PA G E

of Engineering as an associate research scientist of engineering and associate research professor of engineering. “We believe we have the right person to lead our Space Object Behavioral Sciences initiative,” said Jeff Goldberg, dean of the UA College of Engineering. “Dr. Jah is incredibly well integrated into the national and international communities on this topic. I can’t think of a better person to lead this effort and put us on a path to pre-eminence in this field.”

Surveyor of the Spheres Before joining the UA, Jah led research programs in space object behavior assessment and prediction at the Air Force Research Laboratory. He directed the Air Force’s Advanced Sciences and Technology Research Institute for Astronautics, or ASTRIA, on Maui, 10  ARIZONAENGINEER  39:1 spring 2016

which are part of the water reclamation campus and play an important role in the research being conducted in WEST laboratories. “Addressing high-quality water resource availability for our region is necessary to assure our community’s long-term viability, and Pima County’s investment in our wastewater treatment facilities is a major step in that direction,” said John Bernal, deputy county administrator for Pima County. “WEST will bring together public- and private-sector capabilities to explore improved methods for further securing our water future.” With about 25 percent of the U.S. affected by drought, the WEST Center is poised to answer some of the nation’s biggest questions about sustainable water and energy use. Research at the new facility

Hawaii, for eight years, and recently headed the space situational awareness program at Kirtland Air Force Base in Albuquerque, New Mexico. As a spacecraft navigator for the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory from 1999 to 2006, Jah charted courses for the Mars Global Surveyor, Mars Odyssey, Mars Exploration Rovers and Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter. He has also participated in missions to the red planet for the European Space Agency, or ESA, and to asteroid Itokawa with the Japanese space agency, JAXA.

Boldly Going Into a New Domain Jah has designed space data fusion and analysis software for the Air Force and private research laboratories to detect, track, identify and characterize objects in space, particularly satellites and their debris. With space object behavioral sciences, he is pioneering a new foundational and cross-cutting area of space domain awareness.

may also lead to new technology regarding the reuse of potable wastewater. “The WEST Center will target the waterenergy nexus by ensuring a supply of safe drinking water to meet community needs for the foreseeable future, while meeting sustainable energy requirements,” said Ian Pepper, co-director at WEST and a UA professor of soil, water and environmental science. Shane Snyder, professor of chemical and environmental engineering, is the other co-director. “In addition, the WEST Center aspires to not only become a global leader in new water and energy technologies but also focus on creating additional jobs and economic development in the region, while simultaneously providing advanced educational and training opportunities,” said Snyder.

“My goal for the UA initiative is to lead a multidisciplinary team to grow and develop space object behavioral sciences, which is founded upon a rigorous marriage of engineering and physics with data science and analytics, and brings in space law and policy,” he said. “I want the UA to be the go-to place for research, education and innovation in this area.”

Synergies at the UA Jah has been thinking about creating an academic research hub for some time. He was courted by other universities, but the UA was different. “Other universities have invited me to join a single department,” Jah said. “When I visited the UA, I met researchers from many units, including aerospace engineering, computer sciences, astronomy, biological sciences, optical sciences and the Steward Observatory. The UA clearly recognized that great things happen only through partnerships and collaborations.”


Top Paper Points to Nanoparticle Safety Short-term exposure to engineered nanoparticles used in semiconductor manufacturing poses little risk to people or the environment, according to a widely read research paper from a UA-led research team.

Carl Philabaum

Fuel for Thought—Kim Ogden, UA professor of chemical and environmental engineering, gives a talk on algae’s potential role in reducing greenhouse gases as part of the 2016 UA Science Lecture Series.

Biofuels Could Reduce Atmospheric Greenhouse Gases The ability of simple algae to remove carbon from the atmosphere and produce cleaner energy and food took center stage in a presentation by Kimberly Ogden at Centennial Hall in February.

photovoltaics. But she devoted most of the talk to algae’s potential to remove atmospheric carbon dioxide and produce fuels that are cleaner than coal, oil and natural gas.

In her talk she described the potential of microalgae – single-celled, nonplant organisms ubiquitous in freshwater and marine environments – for reducing atmospheric carbon dioxide and producing fuels.

Ogden is principal investigator for a Regional Algal Feedstock Testbed project. Her research team grows and conducts experiments on microalgae in ponds and aboveground photoreactors at a UA agricultural experiment station located near campus. Because photosynthesis and solar-powered pumps drive the system, operating costs are next to nil, she said.

Ogden summarized the benefits and costs of renewable energy sources like solar, solar thermal, wind, hydro, nuclear and

Major Navy Award for ECE Faculty Electrical and computer engineering associate professor Ming Li is the first UA faculty member since 2010 to receive the highly competitive Office of Naval Research, or ONR, Young Investigator Award, which will support his research in reconfigurable antennas with wireless networks. Li was one of 47 recipients to receive an award through the ONR’s Young Investigator Program, which provides early-

career academic researchers a threeyear grant of more than $500,000. Winning proposals were selected from 280 submissions based on the Ming Li researchers’ past performance and long-term university commitment and on the projects’ technical merit and potential for scientific breakthrough.

Co-authored by 27 researchers from eight U.S. universities, the article, “Physical, Chemical and In Vitro Toxicological Characterization of Nanoparticles in Chemical Mechanical Planarization Suspensions Used in the Semiconductor Industry: Towards Environmental Health and Safety Assessments,” was published in the Royal Society of Reyes Sierra Chemistry journal Environmental Science Nano in May 2015. The paper, which calls for further analysis of potential toxicity for longer exposure periods, was one of the journal’s 10 most downloaded papers in 2015. “This study is extremely relevant both for industry and for the public,” said Reyes Sierra, lead researcher of the study and professor of chemical and environmental engineering at the University of Arizona. Researchers at the UA and around the world are studying the potential effects of these tiny and complex materials on human health and the environment. Engineered nanoparticles are used to make semiconductors, solar panels, satellites, food packaging, food additives, batteries, baseball bats, cosmetics, sunscreen and countless other products. They also hold great promise for biomedical applications, such as cancer drug delivery systems. “One of the few things we know for sure about engineered nanoparticles is that they behave very differently than other materials,” Sierra said. 39:1 spring 2016  ARIZONAENGINEER  11


Paul Tumarkin

Ra’ike: Wikimedia CC-GFDL

Makes Sensor—The UA’s Dominic Gervasio, left, and Hassan Elsentriecy in their lab.

Salt Solution­­—High-temperature salts clean up copper extraction.

UA Startup Tackles Galvanic Corrosion

Salt Research Applied to Copper Refining

The metal alloys used in pipes corrode faster when the temperature of the material that flows through them is higher.

Arizona has long been a leader in the copper mining industry, but traditional processes for extracting the metal from the ore release toxins into the environment through seepage, air pollution and, in the worst cases, tailings pond failures.

Industries like metal refining, smelting and solar energy move molten salts heated to upward of 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit, about the temperature of orange-hot molten rock, through systems of such pipes. Applications for molten materials are developing quickly, but progress is being slowed by the rapid corrosion of the metal pipes in these systems. This process, called galvanic corrosion, occurs because of the voltage differential between the pipe’s alloys and the molten material within. The bigger the difference in voltage between the two, the faster the corrosion. To solve this corrosion conundrum, UA College of Engineering professor Dominic Gervasio and principal research specialist Hassan Elsentriecy from the department of chemical and environmental engineering, in collaboration with Peiwen “Perry” Li from the department of aerospace and mechanical engineering, have invented a new breed of sensor – a reference electrode – designed to work in these ultrahigh-temperature environments. “We needed a reference electrode that worked in our molten salt processes, but none were available,” Gervasio said. “So we invented one that can be used in solar power, nuclear reactors, petroleum refining applications and others.” Funded by the Department of Energy and serial entrepreneur and co-inventor Abraham Jalbout, the team worked with Tech Launch Arizona, the UA office that commercializes the inventions stemming from University research, to patent the technology and bring it to market via a startup company, Caltrode. The company’s primary technology is a specialized electrode that sits inside pipes transporting molten materials and monitors the voltage differential between the pipes and their lava-hot contents. 12  ARIZONAENGINEER  39:1 spring 2016

Chemical and environmental engineering professor Dominic Gervasio and principal research specialist Hassan Elsentriecy have invented a toxin-free method using high-temperature molten salts to extract the metal from raw copper ore. The method was a byproduct of their work with Peiwen “Perry” Li (see adjacent Peiwen “Perry” Li story) on high-temperature molten salts. Funded in part by entrepreneur and co-inventor Abraham Jalbout, the team worked with Tech Launch Arizona to bring the technology to the market via a startup company, MetOxs Electrochemical. Current methods for extracting copper from ore involve chemical processes that produce mountains of waste mine tailings and lakes of waste water that accumulate toxins such as arsenic, cadmium and sulfuric acid. The refining method works by heating the ore using molten salts to temperatures exceeding 1,500 degrees Fahrenheit, which separates the copper from the ore. The technique is transferable to any mineral-extraction process. “What makes this truly unique is use of a very specific salt formula that has the ability to strip the copper from the ore without the use of water and dangerous chemicals,” said Bob Sleeper, Tech Launch Arizona licensing manager for the College of Engineering. As a parallel benefit, the technology allows for the collection of surplus heat that can be used to power steam turbines and generators.


Paying It Forward and Paying Tribute Building bridges was a recurring theme at the College of Engineering’s scholarship reception on April 15, 2016. “I’ve thought long and hard about my next dream, the next big goal to strive for, and where I want my life to go after graduation,” student speaker Abigail Davidson, a civil engineering senior from Mountain Lakes, New Jersey, told nearly 200 donors, scholarship recipients and other guests at the Tucson Marriott University Park. “Sure enough, this Jersey girl is going to work as a field engineer for Turner Construction Company in the Big Apple.” Davidson, president of the UA chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers, said participating in steel bridge competitions at the group’s regional conferences has been a highlight of her college experience. “The challenges of working on the steel bridge year after year taught me valuable life lessons,” said Davidson, who received

Pete Brown

Round Table Discussion­—Scholarship providers and recipients get together for the April 15 reception. From left are Abigail Ballam, chemical and environmental engineering; Ann Wilkey, donor and systems and industrial engineering alumna and researcher, and a speaker at the reception; Morgan Skillman, majoring in chemical and environmental engineering; and aerospace engineering major Glynis Facciano.

a Harold Ashton Scholarship and Fred and Anastasia Glendening Scholarship. “Without my scholarships, I would have had to take a job that helped pay tuition, which would have taken away my freedom to seek out organizations like the ASCE, Engineering Ambassadors and Women in Engineering Programming Board.”

More than 350 undergraduate and graduate students in the College of Engineering received scholarships from private donors totaling nearly $1 million in the 2015-2016 academic year. Alumni speaker Ann Wilkey described being raised as the youngest of five children in Yuma, Arizona, by a single mother who was highly accomplished despite paralysis from polio and who encouraged all her children to attend UA. Wilkey received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in systems engineering in 1984 and 1986 and worked at Sandia National Laboratories and in the defense and semiconductor industries before joining the UA as a systems engineering researcher in 2011.

Pete Brown

Group Effort­­—Dale and Michele Hays, at center with Michele at front, stand with friends, family and just a few of the many students they have supported with scholarships over the years via the Conrad L. Fraps Memorial Scholarship, set up in honor of Michele’s father.

She has provided scholarships for several UA undergraduates and established the Mary Lou and Ann Wilkey Endowment Scholarship in 2010 to honor her late mother. “When you look at the student sitting next to you, you are seeing your future,” Wilkey told fellow donors. “That person may come up with the next medical device that will save your life, or extend the life of your heart.” 39:1 spring 2016  ARIZONAENGINEER  13



David Allais Russell and Johanna (Whitaker) Alley Ifeyinwa Amene Anton Anderson Clarence and Phala Andressen Jose Arce David and Dede (Sullivan) Areghini Michael and Kathy Arnold William and Molly (Midkiff) Assenmacher Kelly Au Ray Ballmer Brian Beddo Barry and Jami (Sullivan) Benson Therese Berg Craig and Nancy (Haddad) Berge Raymond and Mary (Brown) Bernal Edwin and Paula Biggers James and Margaret (Finch) Bly Alice Boebinger-Dempster Alan and Lisa Boeckmann Gregory and Lisa (Stevenson) Boyce Sandra Brown Franklin and Elizabeth Broyles Curtis Bruns Herbert and Sylvia (Simpson) Burton Eric and Janie Carmichael John and Barbara Carter Mark Casolara William and Barbara Champion Daniel Chen Michael and Janice (Surina) Cise William Clarke James and Gail (Gallifant) Collins John Condon and Whelin Harter-Lahy Thomas and Debra (Garland) Corbett Tomas Owen and Lindy Cote Kenneth and Linda (Bussey) Crawford Gary and Barbara (McEowen) Cropper Gary and Bonnie (Thomas) Curtis Eliot Dash Steven and Tusiyah Davis Richard De Schutter Louis Demer Ronald and Lynne (Blakely) Dewey Don and Diane (Zeidler) Dillon

Members of the da Vinci Circle play a vital role in strengthening our long tradition of engineering excellence so we can meet the demands of today’s educational environment, especially by funding internships, coaching and mentoring, clubs and organizations, design and research projects, and entrepreneurial ventures. Joseph and Rita (Lizardi) DiMatteo Denise Doctor Newton Don Jake and Beverly ( Jacobs) Doss Pietro Dova Fred and Margie (Puerta) Edson Karl and Sandy (Tanner) Elers Todd and Kristin Ellermann Kenneth and Mary (Herbers) Eme Ruth Estrada Robert and Amy Ewing LeRoy and Jean (Christie) Farmer Hermann Fasel Frank and Barbara (Appelin) Filas Kim and Corinne (Davis) Fox Robert Futch Roger and Evelyn Gallagher Peter Gardner Joseph Gervasio Andrew and Mary Clare (Hall) Gildon Jerome and Jane (Stevens) Glass Jeffrey and Donna (Rubin) Goldberg Gilbert and Patricia Gonzales Gary and Belle (Kulick) Griffiths Henry Grundstedt Richard Guthrie and Patricia Dunford Robert Hall Ronald Hanson William and Margo (Miller) Harding Gary and Andrea Harper Andrew and Stephanie (Prince) Harris Ross and Aida (Schmidt) Harvison Edwin and Linda Hawkins Ralph and Carole (Mountain) Heffelman David and Demele (Halkedis) Heller James and Maria (Wakelkamp) Hess Eric Jackson and Karen Hirsch Lawrence and Virginia (Vogel) Hjalmarson Helmut and Ellen Hof Samuel Holland Moon Hom George and Martha (Boggs) Howell Jerry and Maureen (Lanahan) Hunter Peter Hushek Edward Jucevic

Contact the da Vinci Circle at 520.621.8051 • engrdev@email.arizona.edu 14  ARIZONAENGINEER  39:1 spring 2016

Ryan and Sarah Kanto Aaron Kapilivsky Matthew and Amanda (Shaver) Kaufmann Desmond and Jean (Ruley) Kearns Howard Kennedy Maria Keonjian Leopold and Beverly King Daniel and Cynthia (Tang) Klingberg Karl and Joan Kohlhoff Pinnaduwa and Thili Kulatilake Bruce Langone John and Edith (Pattison) Leonis Delbert and Sharron Lewis David and Edith (Sykes) Lowell Kenneth Lyle and Carol Romero William and Sandra (McVay) Lynch Charles Madison Frank Manning John and La Donna (Anderson) Marietti Sean and Jennyann McCafferty Walter and Sharon McDonald Jack McDuff Scott McIntosh William and Dianne Mensch Ernest and Sally Micek Ralph Miller Larry and Jayne Milner Christian Montoya David and Magdalena Mooberry Bruce and Mary (Boice) Moreton David and Shona Naccarati Daniel and Carolyn (Hobrock) Neff Michael and Rebecca Nelson Richard and Jeanne (Bone) Norling Thomas and Margaret (Guay) O’Neil William Organ Leslie Owen Gary and Barabara (Leeper) Pasquinelli Christopher Kilcullen and Monica Pastor Jitesh Patel Paul and Linda Prazak Charles and Maria (Olazaval) Preble John and Elke Reagan David Rhoades Samuel Rhodes

Doris Rickard Michael and Catherine (Rendall) Roda John Rodgers Joseph Rodriguez Kenneth Lynch and Carol Romero Ross and Lisa (Gentry) Rulney Robert and Ann (Davis) Rutherford Peter and Nancy Salter Roger and Jane (Sturges) Schoenherr Brice Schuller Avis See-Tho George and Dixie (Farrow) Shirley Timothy and Danielle Short Douglas and Dawna Silver Joseph and Catherine Simmons David and Sarah (Brown) Smallhouse Joanne Smerdon Lenise Smith Mitchell and Magali (Raccach) Smith Timothy and Rhonda Snider George and Kilcha Spindle William and Elizabeth Staples Antoinette Theriault-Faucette Edwin and Marjorie Thomas Jack and Linda (Hildebrand) Thompson Gene and Marylyn (Schumann) Tobey David and Joanna (Faulkner) Travis Linda Turner Joseph Tylutki and Karen Campbell Andrea Ursillo Frances Walker Ralph and Pamela (Shelby) Wege Herbert and Diane Welhener Emma Whitenack Robert Wicks Ann Wilkey William and Christine (Wisz) Wilson Gary and Bethany Wonacott Farrell Wymore Mel Wymore Shohei and Loraine Yoneda Robin and Chigusa Yoshimura Peter Zebrowski


Then and Now The engineering surveying class has been taught at UA since at least 1905, according to Jack Buchanan, the adjunct faculty member in the civil engineering and engineering mechanics department who has been teaching the current course, CE 251, since 1995. He said he suspects the old photo might be of the first class in 1905, but cannot confirm it. The newer photo is of the 2015 class, taken outside Old Main.


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Arizona Engineer | 2016 spring edition  

Arizona Engineer | 2016 spring edition