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The University of Kansas School of Engineering < Summer 2013

The University of Kansas School of Engineering


Summer 2013, Volume 37, Number 1 2

Designs for Living

After major input from students faculty and staff, Treanor Architects unveiled designs for the School of Engineering expansion and renovation.

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New Leadership

Following a nationwide search, Michael S. Branicky was selected to lead the school to new levels of achievement as its new dean.



Sustainable Standout

The LEED qualifying Hill Engineering Research and Development Center was designed and built by KU’s Studio 804 for the KU EcoHawks.

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KU’s NSF Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets is supplying the world’s climate researchers with vital information about earth’s polar ice.

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Climate Clincher

Sky High Results

Aerospace engineering students again dominate AIAA’s individual aircraft and team engine design competitions.

On the Cover: Construction is under way on the updated and expanded Engineering Complex at the University of Kansas. The innovative designs take into account different student learning styles and offer additional space for student projects and collaboration. See Page 2.

A KU tradition since 1914 > News Message from the Dean


KIPP Comes to KU


M2SEC Opens Doors


New Degrees Launched in KC Faculty Rise to Help Lead School

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BV Gift Will Aid Wastewater Research


Dept. Chairs Bring New Perspectives


Six Honored as Leading Researchers


Distance Learning Keeps Engineers on the Job


> Departments • Alumni / 15 Alumnus, Benefactor “Al” Self Passes


Alumnus’ Invention Aids KU Research


Alumni Update


• Research / 20 NSF Grant For Advanced Radars


Developing a More Resilient Internet


Work Garners Award from AEE


Grant Focuses on Power Storage


Effort Seeks to Help Preemies Breathe Easier


Discovery Lab Opens at KU


• Faculty News / 24 New View of Vietnam


Depcik Honored For Energy Education


SPE Recognizes Willhite


Berkland Honored for Scholarly Work


Faculty Update


Research Image Earns Accolade


• Student News / 30 Chem-Es Win National Competition


Team Goes to Grundfos Global Contest 31 Chen Named Goldwater Scholar


ACI Recognizes KU Chapter


Team Earns 2nd at GeoWall


Jarmoc Given Nat’l Volleyball Honor


Steel Bridge Team Heads to Nationals


Programmers Win Regional Challenge


Student Update


Cover illustration by Jill Hummels ISSN: 0022-8559

w w w. e n g r. k u . e d u



Expanding the KU Family New facilities and new faces all work to take the school further My name and face may be unfamiliar to you, but my goals and aspirations for the University of Kansas School of Engineering are not. It gives me great pleasure to introduce myself to the Jayhawk engineering and computing community. My name is Michael Branicky, Michael Branicky and I was selected to be the new dean for the School of Engineering. You can read a little more about me on page 4, but today I want to focus on some of the recent achievements that demonstrate how remarkable the KU Engineering program is. In the fall we dedicated our new research facility, the Measurement, Materials and Sustainable Environment Center and brought several labs online. This 44,000 square-foot facility is a showpiece not just for engineering, but for the entire university. Planning and the groundbreaking has taken place for our next expansion effort, currently known as the Learned Engineering Expansion Phase 2 or LEEP2. This collection of structures – primarily at the Engineering Complex, but also on West Campus – will increase our ability to house a growing faculty and educate a burgeoning student body. A key aspect of the designs includes learning spaces that maximize the ability of all students to learn. Expanded lab space for teaching as well as research is another feature. The project also includes a magnificent showpiece that happened in record time: The design, construction and dedication of the Hill Engineering Research and Development Center, which you can also read about in these pages. Our efforts to increase the number of engineering and computing graduates to help meet the needs of Kansas industry are also successful. Last fall our undergraduate enrollment rose 12.6 percent. Some of our admission indicators for incoming freshmen suggest we will have yet another banner enrollment for fall 2013. Also, our doctoral student enrollment has surpassed 200 and our fall enrollment promises to reach new heights in

both number and talent. To teach all these students we need more faculty, and we have that covered, too. As part of the school’s Building on Excellence Initiative, we’ve hired several new faculty positions with more to be added in the years ahead. Our building projects will ensure we have stateof-the-art labs where they can develop their theories and educate the next generation of leaders. We’re also fashioning a mentoring program to ensure junior faculty successfully manage the teaching and research expectations of a major research institution like KU. The university also created new Foundation Professors – exceptional faculty who will shepherd teaching and research efforts on four strategic initiatives that benefit the state and nation. Many of those new faculty members will have strong ties to the School of Engineering. During this past academic year, our faculty and staff, under the leadership of Interim Dean Stan Rolfe, have worked to meet or exceed the timetable on our initiatives without losing sight of quality. And that matters, because it clears the way for us to focus on major efforts that will take the school even further. I’ve had a chance to meet some of you, and I’m looking forward to reaching out to even more of you in the weeks and months to come. There is a lot we can accomplish, and your input and involvement will be crucial to our enduring success. As we continue through the next few years of FAR ABOVE, The Campaign For Kansas, it’s important to recognize every one of you who has helped us get where we are and who will continue to help the KU School of Engineering rise to new levels of distinction. Thank you. Now that you know a little about what’s happening here, it’s your turn. We are eager to learn what’s going on in your life and to share it with your classmates and fellow alumni. Please send us news about your life, activities and frontiers you’re exploring. You can use the form on the back page of this issue or send us an email (to We always like to hear from you. Rock Chalk! Michael S. Branicky Dean of Engineering


The Kansas Engineer is published semi-annually by the University of Kansas School of Engineering and is distributed to more than 18,000 engineering and computer science alumni and friends. The Kansas Engineer is not published at state expense. We welcome your comments. Our mailing address is the University of Kansas School of Engineering, Eaton Hall, 1520 W. 15th Street, Room 1, Lawrence, KS 66045-7608. Reach us by phone, please call (785) 864-3881. Send e-mail to The mission of the University of Kansas School of Engineering is to provide its students with the highest quality educational experience possible, to generate and apply knowledge through research, development, and scholarly activity, and to serve society, the state and the engineering profession. The University of Kansas prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, religion, sex, national origin, age, ancestry, disability, status as a veteran, sexual orientation, marital status, parental status, gender identity, gender expression and genetic information in the University’s programs and activities. The following person has been designated to handle inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policies: Director of the Office of Institutional Opportunity and Access,, 1246 W. Campus Road, Room 153A, Lawrence, KS 66045, (785) 864-6414, 711 TTY.

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Images Courtesy of Treanor Architects

The Learned Engineering Expansion Phase 2 adds new facilities to the KU Engineering Complex. Making smart use of the grounds, the main building will envelope the recently opened research facility, foreground, while nestling in between Spahr Engineering Library and Learned Hall, at right.

LEEPs & Bounds School Unveils Final Designs for Facilities Expansion The future of engineering is sleek, functional and above all, adaptable. The future of engineering is also at the University of Kansas. Associate Dean JoAnn Browning unveiled architectural designs for the Learned Engineering Expansion Phase 2 (LEEP2) project to School of Engineering students, faculty and staff on May 1. “There may be some small fine-tuning, but pretty much we’ll be able to show what we’ll have in August of 2015,” Browning said. Treanor Architects worked closely with a number of committees during the past year and a half to create a new center of attention for the KU Engineering Complex that is as useful as it is stunning. The $80-million building project — funded in large part through the bonding authority approved by the Kansas Legislature in May 2011 — focuses on two new structures that provide an additional 135,000 square feet of classroom, laboratory and office space. “One of our big needs going into this new space was to have new classrooms,” Browning said. “A lot of faculty right now are having to leave the Engineering Complex to teach their classes. With this new space we’ll be able to accommodate all our courses within the Engineering Complex.”

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The new structure on the main campus will also involve renovating space in Spahr Library into a larger student success area where students have access to a wider variety of resources and information, as well as reservable group study and organization meeting and project space.

The new classrooms come in a variety of sizes and employ newer designs that help ensure students receive a quality learning experience despite growing enrollments. Unlike a traditional tiered lecture hall, the classrooms will have flat floors, tables for groups of students to interact collaboratively and a variety of novel audio-visual devices to ensure students can take in instructional material from every point in the room. “We came to the opinion that we

really wanted to move forward and we really wanted to design these spaces so we would be engaging students in the best way possible,” she said The designs Treanor Architects developed also offer a level of flexibility that allow professors or guest lecturers to present information without placing the students or speaker in awkward locations. The main campus building, which will nestle snuggly among Learned Hall, Spahr Library and the recently opened

Measurement, Materials and Sustainable Environment Center, also features a variety of teaching and research labs and open collaboration areas. As the School of Engineering grows the size of its faculty to meet student needs, the building is playing a secondary, but crucial role. “We have faculty research space for the new faculty we are recruiting. … As candidates come in and are considering coming to KU, we can show them this and say ‘We are building this for you. We can put your new equipment in these spaces.’” And that’s been very successful so far,” Browning said. Central to the building’s existence is an enhanced undergraduate recruitment and retention area on the first floor that is both visually and physically welcoming. “This really brings together the entire engineering complex,” she said. “It becomes a sort of crossroads between of all the different areas of engineering. So if we bring in new people and recruits, they’ll be walking into this grand open space that has two stories of light, the student recruitment and retention center. … And we are connecting with the library, opening up this space so the library flows seamlessly into this new facility.” The café on the east end of Spahr Library will move to the west end and be expanded. The library will be renovated to provide offices for student organizations and spaces that can be reserved for group

The new High Bay Facility, located not far from the Shenk Fields on West Campus, will also feature space dedicated for student design projects. The structure is quickly and easily accessed through KU’s Park & Ride bus system.

study or other projects. Library staff has evaluated the use of publications in the stacks over the last 10 years. Armed with that information, they have put forward a proposal to move underutilized publications to the library annex, which offers retrieval within 24 hours. The reclaimed space will open additional study space on the second floor and allow creation of a workroom so student organizations or individuals can complete projects that require a little more room than most. A major facet of the expansion project is the creation of a high-bay facility on KU’s West Campus. The structure will provide 10,000 square feet for the structural testing

area, with a 40-foot wall. In addition there will be another 3,000 square feet set aside for student projects. Although the facility is removed from the Engineering Complex, travel to and from it is fast and free through KU’s Park & Ride bus system. Work on the entire expansion project is already under way. Turner Construction began work on utilities for the West Campus structure in May. Utility work for the Engineering Complex structure began over the summer. Perhaps the most disruptive aspect of the project will be the effort to incorporate Spahr Library. Project leaders are considering closing half of the library or shutting down a floor at a time. The high bay facility is expected to be complete by fall 2014 and the main structure at the Engineering Complex is expected to be ready for occupancy by fall 2015, in time for the start of school. “We’re hoping to schedule classes in the main campus in that fall,” Browning said. “But one thing we want to do is make sure we have all facilities well tested before we get in there.” — Story by Jill Hummels

T addit o see io of th nal image ee s proje xpansion ct, engr. go to ku.ed u In an effort to address improved retention and graduation rates, several of the large classrooms in the new main campus structure will feature innovative designs and technology that help address the variety of learning styles students bring to campus.

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Leadership Michael Branicky Selected to be Next Dean of KU School of Engineering The University of Kansas School of Engineering has celebrated several achievements recently, including completion of the new Measurement, Materials and Sustainable Environment Center and groundbreaking for the second phase of the Engineering Complex expansion. Another cause for celebration is the February announcement of new Dean of Engineering Michael Branicky. Branicky was selected as professor and chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU) in Cleveland. He joined the School of Engineering as dean on July 1. He replaces Stuart Bell, who served as dean for 10 years prior to joining Louisiana State University as provost and executive vice chancellor last August. Albert P. Learned Distinguished Professor Stan Rolfe served as interim dean until Branicky’s arrival at KU. Photo by Randy Edmonds “I am very excited that we will have Interim Dean of Engineering Stan Rolfe, left, pauses with incoming Dean Michael Branicky, center, and Dean Emeritus Carl Locke at a yearend banquet in May. Branicky was selected to lead the KU School of a leader of Michael’s caliber and energy Engineering after a nationwide search. to assume the helm of the School of Engineering,” Provost and Executive Vice journal and conference articles and more external expert to NSF for the National Chancellor Jeff Vitter said in announcing the than $7 million in external awards. Robotics Initiative. appointment. “KU Engineering has made “The KU School of Engineering is “I am looking forward to leading the great progress under Dean Bell’s tenure and poised to become a national leader as school during a period of growth and is now positioned with Michael’s leadership it continues to implement the Building expansion of its reputation and excellence,” to move to even higher on Excellence Initiative,” said Branicky. said Branicky. “I levels of excellence and “I look forward to working with each of am eager to work “I am eager to work with visibility. Michael is the the programs to maintain high quality in with our faculty and ideal choice to take KU our faculty and students education while continuing to elevate and students to pursue from being the highest expand our research.” goals that take their to pursue goals that take ranked program in the A search advisory committee, led by research, teaching, state to becoming one Ken Audus, dean of the KU School of scholarship, and their research, teaching, of the highest ranked Pharmacy, conducted a nationwide search leadership in the field public programs in the scholarship and leadership in to the next level.” for the new dean. The committee was aided nation.” by Jerry Baker of Baker and Associates of Branicky holds the field to the next level.” undergraduate and Branicky has served Marietta, Ga. as a faculty member “The KU community is grateful for the master’s degrees in at CWRU since 1996, hard work and dedication of Dean Rolfe, Electrical Engineering and Applied Physics and as department chair since 2010. He is Dean Audus, and the search committee from CWRU. He earned his doctor of a past program manager at the National during this period of transition for the science in Electrical Engineering and Science Foundation, where he was awarded School of Engineering,” said Vitter. Computer Science from the Massachusetts the Director’s Superior Accomplishment Institute of Technology in June 1995. His Award, the highest directorate-level award academic record includes more than 100 — Story by Gavin Young at NSF. More recently, he served as an

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Photos by Jill Hummels

KU EcoHawks moves into a new sustainable structure designed and built on West Campus by students in KU’s Studio 804 course led by Distinguished Professor of Architecture Dan Rockhill. The structure is funded through a generous gift to KU Endowment by engineering alumnus Ron Hill and his wife, Sue.

Couple’s Gift Houses KU EcoHawks As a University of Kansas freshman in mechanical engineering, Ronald Hill built a self-contained underwater breathing apparatus and demonstrated it (under water) at KU Engineering Expo. Today, 60 years later, that project represents the type of innovative mindset that he and his wife want to advance at KU. Ronald and Sue Hill, of Lee’s Summit, Mo., have made a generous gift to support the construction and equipping of the Hill Engineering Research and Development Center on KU’s west campus. The center, which was completed this spring, houses KU EcoHawks, a student research program of the School of Engineering that focuses on developing innovative sustainable energy solutions for transportation and other areas of research. “Sue and I are excited about the new KU Research and Development Center,” said Ron Hill. “We see the research and development center as an opportunity for mechanical engineering students to learn by doing with hands-on experience, turning ideas into sustainable products and services now and in future generations.” Ronald Hill earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from KU in 1957. He is president of HEMCO, a firm he started with his father in 1958; Sue is the firm’s vice president of customer development. Located in Independence, Mo., HEMCO is a leading manufacturer of laboratory equipment and fixtures serving global medical, academic, life science, biotech and pharmaceutical markets. Christopher Depcik, associate KU professor of mechanical engineering and director of EcoHawks, expressed appreciation for the Hills’ generosity. “This gift provides a needed boost to the mechanical engineering department for the recruitment and retention of exemplary undergraduate and graduate students interested in the areas of sustainable energy and transportation,” said Depcik. “The

The dedication on June 7 included a ribbon cutting with Interim Dean Stan Rolfe, Sue Hill, Ron Hill, Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, Associate Professor Chris Depcik and incoming Dean of Engineering Michael Branicky.

novel integration of electrified vehicles and a building that has a possibility of attaining a LEED platinum rating will excite students through research projects, and they will leave KU better prepared to make a real difference in the world.” The Hill Engineering Research and Development Center, located at 2105 Becker Drive on KU’s west campus, was dedicated June 7. The 4,000-square-foot building was designed and built by KU architecture students in Studio 804, which is committed to the research and development of sustainable, affordable and inventive buildings. Ronald and Sue Hill are longtime and generous supporters of KU and the School of Engineering. This gift counts toward Far Above: The Campaign for Kansas, the university’s $1.2 billion comprehensive fundraising campaign. — Story by KU Endowment

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KIPP Comes to KU Far Above Gift Will Assist Underserved Students in Goal to Earn Degree

school. They’re approaching 10,000 A national network of students in Houston and there are schools working to change the 125 schools nationwide,” Peebler landscape of public education in said. “It’s not just innovation in the United States has formed a the classroom. It’s also a culture partnership with the University of accountability. In addition to of Kansas to expand collegiate all they’re learning in class, we’re opportunities for underserved building character with these kids. students. They are becoming productive KIPP, which stands for citizens.” Knowledge Is Power Program, A $250,000 contribution from serves more than 41,000 K-12 Peebler and a $250,000 match students in 125 schools around from Ion Geophysical provided the country. More than 87 funding through KU Endowment percent of KIPP students are to launch the partnership. The from low-income families and goal is to establish connections eligible for the federal free or to help KIPP students improve reduced-price meals program their performance in college. and 95 percent are African While KIPP’s college completion American or Latino. rates are higher than the national The KIPP/KU partnership, average and four times the rate announced in March, will of students from low-income provide opportunities for Photos by Cody Howard Students in the KIPP school in Kansas City, Mo., may be able to take communities, KIPP is not satisfied. students to strengthen their advantage of a new KU scholarship program that will begin in the School of KIPP leaders hope to achieve skills and become future Engineering. a graduate rate of 75 percent leaders while at KU. It all college completion rate, which is began this summer with 10 on par with the percentage for students from affluent families. KIPP students attending the Summer Engineering Camp at the KU “That goal has led KIPP to partner with colleges, because they School of Engineering at no cost. KU hopes to recruit and enroll can’t get there on their own. That’s what they’re looking to build,” three qualified KIPP alumni to the School of Engineering each year, Peebler said. “I’m so excited, being a KU grad. KU has stepped up… beginning in the fall of 2014. and formed this wonderful partnership. Lawrence is a great town and “Partnering with KU is going to open doors for our students,” it’s relatively small, so I think KU is a place that will embrace these said Mike Feinberg, co-founder of KIPP. “Many of our KIPPsters are young students coming in.” aspiring engineers, and now they will have a new The relationship contains a number of opportunity to pursue their passion.” “Partnering with KU is tangible benefits for KU as well, according to going to open doors for Peebler. Students will have a chance to broaden A Vision and a Passion their horizons and be better prepared for the A driving force behind launching the program our students.” work force. at KU is Bob Peebler, a 1970 KU electrical “Working with people from different engineering graduate and former president and backgrounds will help you when you enter your career because CEO of Houston-based ION Geophysical Corporation. He serves that’s exactly the world you’re going to be living in. Even if you’re on KIPP Houston’s Board of Trustees and is extremely passionate working for a company in Kansas, you have a very good chance about the charter school’s mission. of finding yourself on a project that’s in China, the Middle East, “I personally got involved with KIPP because I saw them in or Europe, so you have to learn to work with different cultures,” Houston being so effective. The zip codes where their charter Peebler said. “Just the innovation of diversity – a lot of ideas come schools are located are low-income neighborhoods where students through differences – so simply having a student body that’s more in traditional schools often struggle. Public schools in the same areas diverse will make it more innovative.” have graduation rates at 20 to 30 percent. KIPP graduation rates are 80 to 90 percent. That’s a tremendous change,” Peebler said. Peebler also praised KIPP’s ability to grow the program and Unique Perspective replicate its success. Jason Boots, who earned bachelor’s degrees in mechanical “We’re not just seeing these great accomplishments at one engineering and business administration, brings a unique perspective

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to how the KIPP/KU partnership can benefit each group. The 2007 KU graduate and former KU student body president is now in his fifth year as a 7th grade pre-algebra teacher at KIPP-San Francisco Bay Academy, a middle school that serves grades 5-8. His path from engineering to education can be traced to his family. “When I went to KU, I wasn’t really thinking about teaching, but it was still important to me, since both my parents and my brother did it,” Boots said. “My brother, Joshua, joined the Teach for America program when he graduated from KU in 2002, and seeing his involvement and the general mission of that program – how it works to close the educational gap – really had an effect on me.” After earning his degree from KU, Boots signed a two-year commitment with Teach for America and taught elementary school math and science in inner Photo by Cody Howard Students in the Self Engineering Leadership Fellows city Baltimore. Program visited the Kansas City KIPP School in the At the end of his spring to talk about opportunities in STEM fields and term, he still had provide encouragement to pursue these rewarding disciplines. a desire to teach. After learning about KIPP’s mission, and the fact that KIPP was founded by two former Teach For America teachers, Boots decided to remain in public education. With a network of KIPP schools nationwide, the program also provided A sign on the wall provides a reminder to KIPP students. flexibility as his fiancée looked for an institution to pursue a doctorate in molecular biology. Though he’s not involved in engineering professionally, Boots said he still has plenty of opportunities to put his undergraduate degree to work. “I bring a streamlined, analytical approach to the classroom that I was taught in engineering. I use a lot of data to make decisions in my classroom, and I’m able to share it with my peers. It’s made me a different fit than a lot of other teachers, but it’s helped with our overall success,” Boots said.

Structure for Success

Boots is thrilled to see his alma mater’s new partnership with KIPP. He said the structured support is a key to success for KIPP students at the collegiate level. “The vast majority of KIPP students are from homes where neither parent completed college. We see a very different support structure for students when one or both parents have been through that experience. This partnership sets up the framework for ongoing academic and social support at KU in a formal way.

ABOUT KIPP KIPP is a national network of free, open-enrollment, collegepreparatory public schools dedicated to preparing students in underserved communities for success in college and in life. Learn more at Support the KIPP-KU partnership through KU Endowment: That will be critical,” Boots said. In addition to teaching pre-algebra, Boots coaches volleyball and soccer, helps out with basketball, and has assumed the role as the school’s data coordinator. While he sometimes thinks about a career in engineering, he said he’s happy with the work he’s doing. He said one moment from a school assembly two years ago cemented the love for his career. “At the beginning of the year we get state test scores back and we have a pep rally to celebrate the results. The 7th grade test scores that year were the highest in the school’s history to that point, and it was a great opportunity for the kids to celebrate their achievement,” Boots said. “Instead, they wound up showing their appreciation for my teaching by giving me a group chant. That was so meaningful to me. Knowing the kids feel like they are getting a good education and seeing their respect and admiration for teaching meant a lot.”

Just the Beginning

The initial phase of the KIPP/KU partnership paves the way for five to 10 rising 11th graders from KIPP-Houston to get an introduction to KU through KU’s Summer Engineering Camp. “KIPP Through College research shows that there are key social aspects that affect whether students finish college, so giving the university and the student the opportunity to see if the social atmosphere is right for them is important,” Boots said. Starting in the fall of 2014, the KU School of Engineering seeks to recruit, enroll and provide strong academic and social support systems for at least three qualified KIPP alumni. In addition, KU will provide a range of opportunities and services for KIPP alumni, including targeted recruitment and a waived application fee. KIPP and KU will also implement a College Ambassadors mentoring program, aimed at increasing persistence of KIPP alumni at the university. Some financial support will be available to help supplement families’ contributions. As the venture between KIPP and the School of Engineering gains momentum, the goal is to expand opportunities in other schools and departments on campus. The joint $500,000 contribution from Peebler and Ion Geophysical is seen as only as the starting point. The hope is to expand the partnership throughout KU with support from alumni of all backgrounds. “I want to challenge my alumni colleagues to learn about the KIPP program. If you believe education is important to the country, I guarantee this is a place where your dollars will make a difference,” Peebler said. “KIPP is a school system that’s knocking it out of the park around the country and now that KU has established this connection, alumni from across the university have a chance to step up and create positive change.” —Story by Cody Howard

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M2SEC Doors Open for Discovery From sustainable energy and alternative fuels, to innovative health care and the impacts of climate change, a wide variety of interdisciplinary research projects at the University of Kansas School of Engineering got a major boost at the start of the 20122013 academic year. The 47,000-thousand square-foot Measurement, Materials and Sustainable Environment Center, officially dedicated on October 12, opened its doors in August 2012. The building was constructed with a $12.3 million grant from the National Institute of Standards and Technology and another $12.3 million in funding from KU and donors to KU Endowment. “The Measurement, Materials and Sustainable Environment Center creates additional opportunities for exciting new research and discovery at KU,” said Stan Rolfe, interim dean of the KU School of Engineering at the time of the dedication. “It also provides the School of Engineering with much needed additional space to accommodate growth in student and faculty numbers that will help meet the increasing demands of Kansas industry for highly-skilled engineers.” Among the key features of the new building is a large, soundproof room — an anechoic chamber — where radar antennas are tested by researchers with KU’s Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS), and a fracture and fatigue lab where the strength of materials, like bridge components and aircraft wings, are tested in a strong-wall facility. The building, often referred to as M2SEC, also brings together several of the research endeavors of KU’s Transportation Research Institute, which provides support for KU’s Feedstock to Tailpipe Initiative. Researchers tied to the initiative produce, test and certify alternative fuels. Another feature of M2SEC is the planned proximity of similar research labs, which will increase research efficiency, and may help faculty and students make new discoveries. “Everyone in the building will share and utilize the common areas, and when people get together like that, conversations are bound to happen,” said Ilya Tabakh, a doctoral student in environmental engineering and co-director of the KU

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Photos by Jill Hummels

Chancellor Bernadette Gray-Little, left, gets help from NIST Chief Facilities Management Officer Stela Fiotas at the dedication ceremony for the Measurement, Materials and Sustainable Environment Center, M2SEC. Also on hand were, back row, from left, Interim Dean Stan Rolfe; Professor and PI Glen Marotz; and Vice Chancellor for Research and Professor Steve Warren.

Biodiesel Initiative. “People working on seemingly disjointed subjects have an opportunity to ask colleagues what they’re working on. They may see overlaps and they may find serendipity there.” The roof and walls of the facility also are designed as discovery areas. A greenhouse on the rooftop will be used to grow different types of algae for possible conversion to biofuels, and a series M2SEC features a very industrial look and feel designed to put the focus on the work taking place rather than the aesthetics. of wind turbines will be set up to test how their The building is also a designed to foster configuration affects the efficiency of the relationships with engineering industry blades. More than 60 interchangeable leaders from Kansas to assist in product panels are in place on the south and west research, testing and development. sides of the building. They’re designed to “It’s a way to be immersed in advancedtest the effectiveness of different materials level technologies. It’s a way to work with to heat and cool the building. company representatives, people from “I think what separates us here is the government, and people from industry on fact that you not only have a philosophy things that will see an application in the of interdisciplinary research and discovery, marketplace in coming years. It’s really an but you have a state-of-the-art building in exciting time,” Marotz said. which to carry it out,” said Professor Glen — Story by Cody Howard Marotz, principal investigator for the NIST grant to create the M2SEC.

Edwards Campus in KC Launches New Degrees ME or MS in Project Management A rising demand for project management expertise in science, information technology, manufacturing, business, construction and engineering has prompted the University of Kansas to add two master’s degrees programs for working adults. The KU School of Engineering will offer a Master of Engineering in Project Management and a Master of Science in Project Management to its evening classes at the KU Edwards Campus beginning this fall, according to Mary Ryan, interim vice chancellor. “Executives at leading Kansas City area companies told us that the ability to shepherd innovative ideas to market will be a highly valued skill in the years ahead,” Ryan said. “These degrees will be prepare engineers and professionals from a variety of disciplines with management knowledge and performance competencies to lead a wide variety of projects.” Nancy Petersen, president of the 1,300-member Kansas City Mid-America Chapter of the Project Management Institute (KCPMI), said the new degrees include several courses not available in the Kansas City area. “KCPMI is so excited to see that KU has developed a comprehensive degree program to encourage the growth of well-trained project managers for the Kansas City metropolitan area,” Petersen said. “I want to recognize KU Edwards Campus for making these project management degree programs available.” Project management is a hot career path: • The Project Management Institute grew from about 43,000 members in 1999 to about 600,000 members in 185 countries as of 2012. • A study by Anderson Economic Group says an average of 1.2 million project-management positions will need to be filled nationwide each year through 2018. • CNN has projected 10-year job growth of 16% and graded project management a B for job security, future growth and personal satisfaction.


Ryan said the curricula will be led by faculty from KU’s Engineering Management graduate program, which has provided some project management courses for 30 years. The KU School of Engineering will add two new faculty members with educational achievement, licensure or certification and managerial and leadership experience in project management, and it expects to add a third project management faculty member within two years. The new degrees are supported by the Johnson County Education Research Triangle sales tax, a one-eighth cent sales levy approved by voters in 2008. Generating more than $15 million annually for higher education, the tax supports the Business, Engineering, Science and Technology (BEST) Building on the KU Edwards Campus as well as the International Animal Health and Food Safety Institute at Kansas State University’s Innovation Campus in Olathe, Kan., and the University of Kansas’s Clinical Research Center in Fairway, Kan. The core Master of Science in Project Management will utilize a crossdisciplinary curriculum, while all electives of the Master of Engineering in Project Management are specific for engineers. In addition to evening classes, distance-learning options will be available for enrolled students who travel on business. Residents in 11 western Missouri counties are eligible for the Metro KC Tuition Rate, which is the same in-state tuition charged to Kansas students. More information about the new project management degrees is available at The KU Edwards Campus at 127th Street and Quivira Road in Overland Park brings high-quality academic programs, research and public-service benefits of the University of Kansas to the greater Kansas City community in order to serve the workforce, economic and community development needs of region. — Story by Elaine Warren

In fall 2012, the University of Kansas School of Engineering began offering a recently approved bachelor of science in information technology at the KU Edwards Campus in Overland Park, Kan. The Edwards Campus has offered a master’s degree in Information Technology (MSIT) since 2006. The BSIT is the second new degree program made possible through the Johnson County Research Triangle. The Kansas Department of Labor indicates IT-related careers are among the fastest growing occupations in the state. “The BSIT degree is an important addition to the Edwards Campus and is a direct result from the increase in information technology demand in the workforce,” said Bob Clark, then-vice chancellor of the KU Edwards Campus. The BSIT degree program is designed for community college students who are working and seeking higher education during evenings and for professionals seeking to enhance and upgrade their technical knowledge. The BSIT program is a collaborative effort with Johnson County Community College (JCCC). Students can obtain an associate’s degree in IT at JCCC, followed by a BSIT and an MSIT, both from KU Edwards Campus. “JCCC is proud of its strong and enduring partnership with the University of Kansas Edwards Campus,” said JCCC president Terry Calaway. “This new degree completion program and its collaborative design further reflect our institutions’ shared commitment to providing innovative higher education options here in Johnson County.” The degree will combine undergraduate courses with content including Web systems and technologies, information assurance and security, computer networking, information and technology management, legal aspects of information technology and many others. The combination of curriculum in the program will provide students with expertise that can be applied immediately to careers. For more information about the BSIT, contact Professor and Assoc. Chair, Hossein Saiedian, (913) 897–8400 or saiedian@eecs. — Story by KU Edwards Campus staff

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Faculty Rise to Help Lead School Two positions that play a key role in the daily operation and future direction of the University of Kansas School of Engineering have new leadership. Kyle Camarda has been named associate dean of undergraduate programs and Arvin Agah has been named associate dean for research and graduate programs. Both men assumed their new roles early in the 20122013 academic year. They join Associate Dean for Administration JoAnn Browning as part of the school’s top leadership team. About the associate deans:

Kyle Camarda

Camarda, an associate professor of chemical and petroleum engineering, joined the KU faculty in 1999. As associate dean of undergraduate programs, his responsibilities include overseeing undergraduate admission, recruitment and retention, advising Engineering Student Council, and heading undergraduate probation and suspension. With School of Engineering enrollment at record levels and projected to continue rising, Camarda said his primary goal is to keep the momentum going. “We have a great staff that has been responsible for this success and I want to ensure that continues. My goal is to see that the staff has the tools and resources it needs to succeed and that we do what we can to remain a top choice for the best high school students.” In the near term, Camarda said he wants to ensure students are able to meet the requirements of the KU Core Curriculum – a plan to standardize general education outcomes across the university – without increasing course loads. “The Core Curriculum certainly has advantages that will serve KU students well. Because all curricula in engineering follow a proscribed path to ensure they meet accreditation requirements, my goal will be to identify how our courses provide students with the outcomes outlined at the university level and do it without slowing down students with additional courses.” Camarda will reduce his classroom duties, but intends to teach an introduction to engineering course for undecided students 10 - Summer 2013

each year and a course in optimization of chemical systems every two years. He plans to maintain his research efforts in systems engineering – which uses mathematics to create computer models of new molecules that are used in specific projects for a wide variety of researchers.

taking place at the departmental level. Agah plans to remain active in the classroom and in his research so he can continue to interact with students and keep in tune with their needs.

Arvin Agah

Browning, professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering, has been at KU since 1998 and was appointed to the association dean position in January 2012. As associate dean for administration she will help manage growth in enrollment and expansion of facilities at the School of Engineering, as well as meet assessment demands from the Engineering Growth Act, a measure approved by Kansas legislators in 2011 with the goal of producing more engineers through state universities to meet demands from industry and bolster the Kansas economy. Browning will work closely in her new role with the dean of engineering and department chairs to ensure those goals are met. Her duties will include: coordinating assessment and assignment of space in the growing engineering complex, providing assessment reports to the university and state, integrating aspects of the school’s Edwards Campus programs, and coordinating updates and posting of school policies and linking them with university policies. Browning, who has a professional engineer license in Kansas, has served in leadership roles on a number of committees within the School of Engineering and at the university level. She is very active in the American Concrete Institute – having served as president of the Kansas chapter. She is the first woman to serve as an associate dean for the school. “The most important thing is that different constituents feel like they have a voice – that they put their needs forward and they are adequately considered. You can’t solve all problems, but you can at least say ‘we’re going to do this much now and we’re going to try to keep this need in mind for what’s going to happen next,’ ” Browning said.

Agah, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, joined the KU faculty in 1997. As associate dean for research and graduate programs he will provide support and resources to enhance research productivity, scholarly activities and graduate education, and will oversee the development, maintenance, review and improvement of graduate degree programs. His efforts will be guided by Bold Aspirations, KU’s strategic plan. Agah said he’s been meeting with department chairs and graduate directors and reviewing data from the past decade to identify areas of growth and – along with top leadership at the School of Engineering – map out a plan for the next few years. He is identifying peer institutions for the KU School of Engineering in order to determine KU’s current tier and identify what it would take to move KU to greater prominence. Among the biggest opportunities – and challenges – he faces in his new role is recruitment and retention of graduate students – in terms of quality and quantity. “We’re working to identify colleges within a day’s travel from Lawrence that do not have graduate programs and make funding available for representatives from our engineering departments to visit these schools and show the great opportunities that KU has to offer,” Agah said. Another option being considered for boosting graduate school enrollment is enhancing the awards offered to potential students. “The school offers a number of excellent scholarships and fellowships. We’d like to try to make those offers more attractive,” Agah said. Agah has initiated a mentoring program for the assistant professors at the school level, augmenting the current mentoring that is

JoAnn Browning

— Story by Cody Howard

Department Chairs Bring New Perspectives Associate Professor Belinda Sturm, left, accepts a gift from Black & Veatch’s Chief Administrative Officer and KU Engineering Alumnus Jim Lewis, center. The contribution helps support the acquisition of lab equipment to further Sturm’s research into wastewater treatment and alternative fuel development.

Black & Veatch Gift Will Aid Wastewater Research The University of Kansas School of Engineering received a $100,000 grant from the Black & Veatch Building a World of Difference® Foundation. The grant supports the purchase of laboratory equipment that will be used for renewable resource research in the new Measurement, Materials & Sustainable Environment Center. Jim Lewis, Chief Administrative Officer of Black & Veatch, announced the award during a visit to the school in November. “Black & Veatch is proud to support education and research programs to develop the next generation of engineering research and leaders,” said Lewis, who is also a KU civil engineering alumnus (BS Civil Engineering, 1974). “The new facility at KU provides students with exciting research opportunities that can create positive changes in our global community.” The new Measurement, Materials & Sustainable Environment Center at KU provides space for engineering and other research groups to cooperate on developing projects in biofuels, remote sensing technologies, commercial avionics, and materials fracture and fatigue. “Support from the private sector is critical for providing students with worldclass facilities and tools for research and experimentation,” said Belinda Sturm, associate professor of civil, environmental

and architectural engineering at KU. “This grant enables us to purchase equipment that supports student research for the next decade. We thank Black & Veatch for its continued support of KU’s engineering and research programs.” This is the second award under the company’s Kansas Education Grant Program. Black & Veatch previously announced a grant to Kansas State University for a solar-powered charging station to be developed on campus. In 2011, Black & Veatch committed $1 million in earnings over the course of the next decade to its Kansas Education Grant Program. The program supports research and development of clean energy, water and communications technology within the Kansas university system. Grants from this program are made through the company’s Building a World of Difference Foundation. About Black & Veatch Based in Overland Park, Kan., Black & Veatch is an employee-owned, global leader in building Critical Human Infrastructure™ in Energy, Water, Telecommunications and Government Services. Since 1915, it has helped clients improve the lives of people in over 100 countries through consulting, engineering, construction, operations and program management. — Contributed Story

Three new department chairs are now on the job at the University of Kansas School of Engineering. Theodore Bergman in mechanical engineering and Zhi Jian “Z.J.” Wang in aerospace engineering began as chairs of their respective departments at the start of the 2012 fall semester. Also joining the leadership ranks is longtime KU Distinguished Professor David Darwin, who in June was appointed chair of the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering. The School of Engineering is in a period of rapid expansion in facilities, faculty members and student enrollment and the new department chairs will continue the successful efforts of their predecessors: Professors Craig Adams and Tom Mulinazzi in CEAE, Professor Ron Dougherty in ME, and Professor Mark Ewing in AE. Aerospace Engineering Z.J. Wang, a Spahr Professor, comes to KU with a vision for growing research dollars and faculty numbers in the Department of Aerospace Engineering. “KU aerospace engineering is extremely strong in education, the recent awards from AIAA are a validation of that … but there’s an opportunity to elevate research in the department,” Wang said. Wang noted KU’s position as a leader in the development of unmanned aerial vehicles, or UAVs, and sees an opportunity to expand. “One of the things I’d like to do is build on KU’s UAV program and team up with other leaders in the area — such as aerospace companies in the Wichita area and the engineering schools at Kansas State University and Wichita State University — and work to design and implement a major UAV research and development center here at KU in the next five years,” Wang said. “It seems like a natural extension Continued on page 12

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Continued from page 11

of the work at the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets.” As research efforts expand, Wang knows it’s critical to maintain the excellent education students receive in the classroom “A top priority is really to reduce the teaching load so that faculty can realistically spend time on their research. We’re bringing in one additional faculty member next year, and if the UAV center becomes a reality, that will create additional opportunities for hiring,” Wang said. Wang received his undergraduate degree in China, then studied at the University of Glasgow, where he received his doctorate in computational fluid dynamics. He went on to conduct postdoctoral research at Glasgow and Oxford University. Wang then worked in private industry at CFD Research Corporation in Huntsville, Ala., where he worked on projects for the U.S. Department of Defense, NASA and other government agencies. In 2000, he transitioned to higher education, accepting a position in the mechanical engineering department at Michigan State University. Since 2005, Wang had worked at Iowa State University in aerospace engineering. Wang said he looks forward to working with great colleagues to continue to grow the department. “Aerospace faculty is extremely collegial. Everyone works together very well. We have a common vision and work together to reach our goals. It’s a great environment,” said Wang. Wang replaces Mark Ewing, who remains at KU as director of the Flight Research Laboratory and as associate professor of aerospace engineering. Mechanical Engineering Theodore Bergman is returning to his Jayhawk roots to lead KU’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. Bergman, a native of Seneca, Kan., earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from KU in 1978. Bergman, who is also a Spahr Professor, sees an opportunity for the mechanical engineering department to grow in several key areas. He said it’s especially crucial now as KU works to retain its membership in the prestigious Association of American Universities (AAU). “We need to expand our research portfolio. I’m excited about the possibilities

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of energy research and I’m eager to help the department and the School of Engineering as we strategically pursue our goals in this area,” Bergman said. Bergman said he’s seen too many institutions make the mistake of shortchanging undergraduate education at the expense of growing research and said it’s critical to focus on growing both areas. “It’s not a matter of either-or, it’s a matter of how you integrate undergraduate education and research effectively. I want to help make the degree from KU mechanical engineering of higher visibility across the nation and across the world,” Bergman said. After earning his degree from KU, Bergman spent two years at Black & Veatch in Overland Park, Kan. He then enrolled at Purdue University, where he earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering. In 1985, he began his career in higher education at the University of Texas-Austin, where he worked for 11 years as a professor of mechanical engineering. Bergman spent the past 16 years at the University of Connecticut, after accepting a position in the Mechanical Engineering Department in 1996. While at UConn, he spent six years as department head, as well as two years as associate dean for research and outreach. He also used a two-year leave from the university to work for the National Science Foundation as the program director in Thermal Transport Processes. Bergman replaces Ron Dougherty, who remains at KU as a professor of mechanical engineering. Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering With nearly 40 years of research and teaching experience at KU, Dave Darwin, Deane E. Ackers distinguished professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering, took over as chair of the department on June 1. He sees his role as helping a strong department reach greater heights. “The question that a good chair should ask is, ‘What do you need to be successful?’ I should be asking that of professors and students,” Darwin said. “The ideas and the energy come from those groups. The chair works to provide resources and help them however they can.” Darwin earned his undergraduate degree in civil engineering and master’s degree in

structural “The engineering o from Cornell expe ngoing ctatio University t h a in 1967 t KU n is will conti and 1968, n u e respectively. to be a gre at re He earned unive search his doctorate rsity.” in civil engineering from the University of Illinois in 1974 and joined the faculty at KU that same year. He has a long and distinguished career as a leader in concrete and steel research, with a focus on increasing the longevity and safety of bridges. In addition to his commitment to help faculty members and students succeed, Darwin has identified four themes that he says are key to ensuring the department continues to thrive – recruitment, retention, resources and recognition. “We need to make sure we’re bringing in quality students and we’re focused on keeping them enrolled through their freshmen and sophomore years,” Darwin said. “It’s important to get the resources that help faculty increase their research funding and productivity.” Darwin also will guide the department through a period of growth at the School of Engineering. The school’s newest expansion project, Learned Engineering Expansion Phase 2 (LEEP2), includes a new high-bay facility and is set to add more than 130,000 square feet of classroom, research and student collaboration space by the fall of 2015. “The ongoing expectation is that KU will continue to be a great research university,” Darwin said. “This department has a tremendous background and experience in doing that, and new faculty we’ll bring in are bound to add to our research capabilities.” Darwin replaces Professor Tom Mulinazzi, who served as interim department chair for the 2012-2013 academic year upon the departure of Professor Craig Adams for Utah State University. Darwin has a long career of service to the American Concrete Institute, including a term as president in 2007-2008. He’s also a registered professional engineer in Kansas, a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and in 2012 was selected as an inaugural Fellow in the Structural Engineering Institute. — Story by Cody Howard

Climate Clincher KU Radar Research Provide Significant Input to Climate Study these results for modeling larger areas of A collection of breakthrough discoveries the ice sheet. that provide new details on changes in the “The first and most important earth’s climate from more than 100,000 parameter to modeling an ice sheet is years ago – made possible in part by a knowing where the bedrock is, and the team of researchers from the University radar from CReSIS detects that beautifully,” of Kansas – is featured in a recent issue Dahl-Jensen said. “The radar detects a lot of one of the world’s most prestigious of internal layering and provides a clear scientific journals. picture of climate transitions over time. By The Jan. 23 issue of Nature contains an analyzing these images, we can determine article on the findings from a deep ice core the conditions and the age of the ice over a drilled in northern Greenland, at a camp large area.” known as the North Greenland Eemian The Nature article praises KU’s CReSIS Ice (NEEM) drilling camp. Research at the team, noting: drill site is led by the Center for Ice and “The consistency of the radar images Climate at the University of Copenhagen, and deep ice core results at NEEM is a which partners with the KU-led Center for breakthrough result and it demonstrates Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets. that radar imaging can now be used to “It’s great that this paper got accepted predict folded ice layering. This opens the in such a prestigious publication,” said potential for a systematic reconstruction Dorthe Dahl-Jensen, leader of the Center of the Eemian Greenland ice sheet layering for Ice and Climate. “It shows what a great from new radar imaging. team of researchers we have Assimilation of such data in assembled and how valuable “We’ve never ice sheet models should lead these findings are.” had data to much improved histories Research at the NEEM of the configuration of the ice site centers on climate data this clear or sheet in the past, improving contained in layers of ice 1.5 our ability to predict the future miles deep, brought to the accurate.” evolution of the ice sheet.” surface in three foot chunks A commitment to through a hollow, 4-inch wide innovation has fueled CReSIS’ success in tube during parts of three summers from remote sensing. 2008 to 2010. Data being analyzed reveal “We have substantially improved the key information about global temperatures, sensitivity and capability of radars used sea-level rise and changes to polar ice to sound ice and image the ice bed at sheets during what is known as the Eemian CReSIS over the last few years, and this is period, which began about 130,000 years resulting in data that are very useful for a ago and ended about 114,000 years ago. wide range of glaciological studies, including The period bridged two ice ages and is the interpretation of ice cores,” said known for warm temperatures worldwide. Prasad Gogineni, distinguished professor “From the findings within the ice core of electrical engineering and computer samples, we now know the Eemian period science. Gogineni serves as director of was four to eight degrees warmer than CReSIS, which was established at KU by today. We already knew it was warmer, the National Science Foundation in 2005. but an eight-degree spike is higher than we Analysis of the radar images shows realized. We’ve never had data this clear or a vast majority of the ice layers are accurate,” said Dahl-Jensen. undisturbed, flowing smoothly from year to Beyond the information contained year for centuries, but the radar soundings within the small samples of ice brought to occasionally return distorted images from the surface for further study, Dahl-Jensen’s deep within the ice. Ice core samples taken group relies on radars designed by KU’s at NEEM reveal the distortion in the radar CReSIS team to geographically extend

images corresponds to ice layers mixing, which occurs when temperatures rise. “From the ice core studies, we learned that the ice that’s broken is from the warming during the Eemian period,” Dahl-Jensen said. “We also discovered ice crystals from this period are much larger (approximately 1 inch) than those present when it’s much cooler and the ice flows smoothly. Those ice crystals are less than (a tenth of an inch).” As layers of snow accumulate year after year on the glacial surface, they pile up and compact, transforming to solid ice about 230 feet below the surface. Sealed within the ice throughout layers that date back thousands of years are miniscule air bubbles that provide a remarkably clear snapshot of the atmospheric conditions at the time of each year’s snowfall. Using this data, researchers can accurately gauge changes to the overall ice sheet. “About 128,000 years ago (at the outset of the Eemian), the ice was about 650 feet higher than it is today. About 122,000 years (peak temperatures during the Eemian), the ice was about 425 feet lower than today,” a drop of nearly a quarter of a mile, DahlJensen said. “That tells us there was about 6,000 years of intense heat.” Elevation changes also reveal new information about Greenland’s impact on sea level rise during the Eemian period. The Greenland ice sheet saw an overall reduction of 5 to 10 percent, which DahlJensen suspects would lead to about a 6 and a half-foot rise in the sea level. “We know from other observations that during this period, sea levels were actually 20 to 30 feet higher than today. So this tells us indirectly that Antarctica must have contributed at least 16 to 23 feet of sea level rise. Smaller glaciers in total don’t have enough volume to account for more than 2 feet of sea level rise, so Antarctica appears to have a played a bigger role,” Dahl-Jensen said. Nature was first published in 1869 and is one of the most cited interdisciplinary scientific journals in the world. — Story by Cody Howard

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Six Honored as Leading Light Researchers Six faculty members and researchers from the University of Kansas School of Engineering were recently recognized as some of KU’s most prodigious researchers. They are among 40 researchers from the Lawrence campus to receive KU’s Leading Light Award. This group served as principal investigators or co-principal investigators on externally funded grants of $1 million or more awarded during the 2012 fiscal year. The Leading Light Award winners from the School of Engineering are: • Cory Berkland, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, Pharmaceutical Chemistry

• Kyle Camarda, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering • Prajna Dhar, Chemical and Petroleum Engineering • Sarah Kieweg, Mechanical Engineering • Anil Misra, Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering • Qiang Ye, Bioengineering Research Center Recipients were recognized at a luncheon, where each received an inscribed bronze sunflower symbolic of Kansas and their leadership in research. This is the second year of the Leading Light Award program. It was established at KU by Provost and Executive Vice

Chancellor Jeff Vitter. “By contributing to the research enterprise at KU in a major way,” Vitter said, “these individuals and teams serve as leading lights and role models for others.” At the ceremony, recipients of the awards had an opportunity to describe their project. Past recipients of the award also attended the luncheon. “KU researchers in all fields are competitive with the best in the country,” said event co-host Steve Warren, vice chancellor for research and graduate studies. “Success in obtaining large grants is just one indicator of that, and this recognition is well-deserved.”

Distance Learning Effort Keeps Engineers on the Job doubled the number of distance learning courses in the spring. The University of Kansas is offering a new graduate distancePlans are to offer multiple classes during the 2013-2014 academic learning option to meet the needs of working engineers and year. industry across the Kansas City metro. EECS Associate Professor James Stiles said he was pleased The Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer with the interactions among the working engineers and traditional Science (EECS) launched the distance-learning program in students in his Microwave and Radio Transmission Systems course. collaboration with Garmin to provide the company’s employees He thought the blended course provided a richer exchange of with real-time access to graduate courses on the Lawrence ideas and the superior HD quality allowed Garmin students to campus. Engineers are able to earn their master’s degree in participate fully in discussions, projects and other in-class activities. electrical engineering within three years while continuing to work “Since students view these live lectures at the Garmin facility full-time. where they work, attending class essentially becomes just another “Being able to attain a high-quality EECS graduate degree event in their workday schedule. Once class is over, they can be through the convenience of distance learning has generated a lot of back at their desk in a matter of minutes,” said Stiles, who led the interest in the program,” said EECS Associate Chair for Graduate implementation of the distance learning program. Studies Victor Frost. “It really is a win-win situation. Companies Headquartered in Olathe. Kan., enhance their productivity and Garmin is a global leader in GPS innovation as engineers gain navigation systems for automotive, additional knowledge and skills.” Frost is working to expand “Since students view these live lectures at the aviation, fitness and numerous other applications. The number of the distance-learning program Garmin facility where they work, attending EECS alumni at Garmin, its areas to other companies within the metro. The growing high-tech class essentially becomes just another event in of expertise and good working relationship with the department industry, engineering firms, made it an ideal initial partner in telecommunications companies their workday schedule.” the distance-learning program, said and life-sciences organizations Stiles. present multiple growth Stiles, who earned his master’s opportunities. degree through a pioneering program in the 1980s that broadcast Currently, the program offers courses leading to a graduate courses from Dallas universities to Texas Instruments classrooms degree in electrical engineering with a focus on RF Systems across the metro, wanted to create a similar program at KU. He Engineering. Frost says industry demand will lead to the opening of approached Garmin with the idea and led the pilot program. He additional focus areas and EECS degree programs. believes a strong working partnership between academia and Streaming high-definition video conferencing connects the industry can help Kansas City become a premier technology Garmin classroom with the Distance Learning Classroom in center. Learned Hall on KU’s main campus. Five Garmin students enrolled in the fall for two distance-learning courses and the department — Story by Michelle Ward

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Alumni News

Innovator, Leader “Al” Self, Longtime Supporter of KU Engineering, Passes Away KU engineering alumnus and benefactor Madison “Al” Self died Sunday, Jan. 13, 2013, at King Bruwaert House, Burr Ridge, Ill. Mr. Self was commonly known as “Al” by his friends and business associates, except for his Self family relatives who have remained loyal to his boyhood nickname, Matt. Al was born in Ozawkie, Kan. He spent his boyhood years on the family farm and attended a one-room grade school nearby. He attended high school in Meriden, Kan., and on graduation in 1939 served as class valedictorian. He graduated from the University of Kansas in 1943 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. Al met his wife, Lila (nee Reetz), in college. They were married soon after his graduation and celebrated their 69th wedding anniversary in September 2012. She survives of the home. In 1947, Al co-founded Bee Chemical Company in Chicago and served as the company’s CEO over a 37-year period (prior to its sale to Morton Thiokol in 1985). Bee Chemical Company grew from a staff of three people to a sizable company with several manufacturing locations in the United States and international operations in Japan, Canada and England. Bee Chemical became a leader in developing and supplying polymer coatings and transfer finishes designed for application on plastics for automotive and numerous other industrial uses. After the sale of Bee, Al founded Allen Financial Inc. and served as president until his death. In 1989, he joined with three associates and founded and served as chairman and CEO of Tioga International Inc., a diversified research and development company that supplied industrial sealants, plastic extrusions and related products for numerous industrial uses. Tioga International was sold in 1999. Al was a past international president of the Young Presidents’ Organization, served as chairman of the Chief Executives Organization and was a founding member of

Photo by Jill Hummels

The first class of Self Engineering Leadership Fellows with their benefactors Madison “Al” and Lila Self in 2011. Al Self, KU engineering alumnus and longtime benefactor, passed away in January.

the World Presidents Organization. All are professional associations that provide their members with opportunities for education and idea exchange. He was a past director of the Illinois Manufacturers Association and a past president of the National Hearing Association. He is a life trustee and regent of the Illinois Institute of Technology. Al maintained a lifelong interest in education and leadership development. Al and Lila created and provided endowed funding to support two leadership fellows programs at their alma mater, the University of Kansas; the Madison and Lila Self Graduate Fellowship Program for doctoral students, and the Self Engineering Leadership Fellows (SELF) Program for undergraduate students in the School of Engineering. They also initiated and provided endowed funding to establish the Leadership Academy for undergraduate students at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Al was awarded a Distinguished Service Citation by the University of Kansas and the KU Alumni Association, the university’s highest honor. He also received the Distinguished Engineering Service Award from the KU School of Engineering in 2000. In 2010, Al was recognized as a Life Trustee

Photo by Earl Richardson

Lila and Al Self during the 2003 dedication of Eaton Hall.

of the KU Endowment Association. Al received an Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters and Science from the Illinois Institute of Technology. In 2007, Al was presented the first annual “Al Self Award” by the Chicago Chapter of World Presidents’ Organization for lifetime contributions and achievements. Al lived in the Chicago area since 1947 and resided in Hinsdale, Ill., since 1966. Al was preceded in death by his son, Murray. Al is survived by his loving wife, Lila, his daughter-in-law, Anne (Mueller), two grandsons; Milo and Aran. Memorial services for Al were held in Lawrence and Oak Brook, Ill.

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Photos by Cody Howard

Alumnus Norm Carroll, left, developed a device to test the range of motion of the human spine. It’s used in the laboratory of Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Lisa Friis, center, and doctoral student and Self Graduate Fellow Erin Mannen.

Around the Bend Retired Alumnus Creates Unique Device to Further KU Spine Research

“When he visits KU, it’s such a learning experience for me to be able to see his thought process, to see how he’s always thinking of how to find solutions to a problem no one has solved yet.”

16 - Summer 2013

Surprising twists and turns are to be expected in research. And that’s exactly what makes a revolutionary new device developed by 1949 University of Kansas School of Engineering graduate Norm Carroll so remarkable. Carroll, the 86-year-old founder and former president of Applied Test Systems Inc., created, tested and perfected a machine that completely changes the landscape on spine research. The work done at Carroll’s Butler, Pennsylvania-based company and put through its real-world paces in the KU Department of Mechanical Engineering presents researchers with expanded and more life-like testing options – in a more cost effective manner than what is currently available on the market. Erin Mannen, a KU graduate student pursuing her Ph.D. in mechanical

engineering, conducts research on the torso sections of cadavers in search of ways to improve surgical options for scoliosis patients. She worked on several of Carroll’s prototypes, providing feedback and helping fine-tune the final product. She said the current industry standard machine for spine testing allows for bending and twisting, but it’s generally confined at the top and bottom, so it does not allow for a true replication of human movement. The area where the specimen rests during testing is also quite confined, leaving little room for researchers to operate, and forcing the removal of almost the entire rib cage. “The machine developed by Norm and Chris Dixon of ATS Engineering allows for 360 degrees of access, as well as a larger platform and area in which to put large

Friis said. “This machine allows us to test it is. With ATS being the only company in our specimens in continuous motion like the field to develop this technology, it has people move in real life. Being able to major implications for them.” replicate that produces more reasonable, In addition to his engineering reliable data, which enables contributions, those at the School of Engineering who work closely with Carroll greater understanding. say his wit, intelligence and love of KU Our driving force in the lab is to help people. This make him a joy to be around. “I think it’s important to realize there machine allows research are many, many ways to contribute and that more directly helps show your support for the university. It surgeons treat patients.” Friis said the device doesn’t have to be just money. Time is so valuable in contributing back – that’s often also serves as a testament of greatest value,” Friis said. to Carroll’s engineering For Mannen, her close association with acumen. “He solved a problem Carroll has been invaluable. Matching Talents “When he visits KU, it’s such a learning that the ‘big boys’ in our Carroll is from the tiny experience for me to be able to see his industry couldn’t figure western Kansas town of thought process, to see how he’s always out. The traditional Ransom, and still has family thinking of how to find solution to a devices are much more in the Lawrence area. He problem no one has solved yet,” Mannen sophisticated, complicated, frequently returns to his said. “It’s been great to work with a expensive, and less home state and often stops School of Engineering alum who’s been so effective – without regard by KU. He had expressed successful, is still down to earth, and who for ease of use,” Friis said. interest in working with his A laboratory skeleton is marked cares so much about KU.” “It was so tough to design company on a project for the and numbered to provide quick and build his machine, Carroll’s generosity and attention reference. School of Engineering, and but it’s so easy to use. It to detail extend beyond his work on eventually found a perfect is hard to design simple engineering projects. When Mannen made match for his talents in the yet elegant solutions to difficult problems. an off-hand remark about the less-thanbioengineering lab of Lisa Friis, associate To me, this is the pinnacle of engineering stellar coffee in the lab during one of professor mechanical engineering. design.” Carroll’s visits, she showed up one day to a Once Friis and Carroll identified an surprise in the office. improved spine machine as the focus of the “I had a package waiting for me from project, Carroll got to work. He set up his Extended Influence Norm. It was a new coffee maker. He’s so lab in a separate shop from the rest of the While it was a project started on thoughtful. … He picks up on little things team at ATS headquarters in Pennsylvania Carroll’s personal time, it could have major like that and does his best so other employees could stay focused on benefits for his company. At to help out.You don’t see their projects and production would not be a conference in San Antonio “It’s eliminated that often in people, and it’s interrupted. in January 2013, Mannen was frustrations of what a quality I really admire in “It turned out to be one of the toughest part of a team that publicly Norm. ” Mannen said. jobs we ever took on,” Carroll said. “The displayed the machine for we can’t do and Carroll’s business mechanism involved makes it challenging. It the first time. The group of continues to expand – has to replicate real-life spine movement, more than 1,000 attendees opened up so many growing from 30 employees apply torque, not restrain any lateral knew immediately upon doors to what we less than 10 years ago to motion – and do it all with very low seeing the machine at work approximately 100 today – a friction. It took more than two years and how revolutionary it is can. Quite simply, move that forced relocation several prototypes to solve. Somebody and how it could improve to a larger facility. He smarter than me probably would’ve the industry – aspects that it allows testing knows he’s been fortunate come up with a solution a lot quicker, but could pay dividends for ATS capabilities that were in his career and hopes he determination and trial and error is how I and KU. can continue to contribute got it. I just kept at it until I made it work.” “The machine is not not possible before.” to the field of engineering By late 2012, Carroll’s fine-tuning was just for spinal research. and his alma mater. complete. Friis and Mannen marvel at the With minor modifications, “My main reward is doing final product and the possibilities it could it can work for other joints like the wrist something like this project that helps KU unlock. or ankle that are difficult to accurately and helps the profession,” Carroll said. “It’s eliminated frustrations of what we research due to the constraints of existing “This has proven to be a very interesting can’t do and opened so many doors to testing devices,” Mannen said. “The and challenging project.” what we can. Quite simply, it allows testing conference really illustrated the need for — Story by Cody Howard capabilities that were not possible before,” this machine and highlighted how unique specimens. That means, for the first time, spine testing can be conducted with a full rib cage attached,” Mannen said. “It’s also one of the first machines without constraints at the top. The top of the specimen moves freely – it allows for the full range of motion, plus there’s just so much room to maneuver around the entire machine. It allows us to test with much more realistic motions. It’s truly amazing.”

Kansas Engineer - 17

Alumni Update – News From Abroad Wallis-Lage Leads BV’s Global Water

Black & Veatch appointed KU alumna Cindy Wallis-Lage as president of its global water business in 2012. She leads the company’s efforts to address billions of dollars in water infrastructure Wallis-Lage needs around the world. Aging infrastructure, economic challenges and increasing demand are factors that drive growth for service providers going forward. She most recently served as the company’s executive managing director of Technical Solutions. Wallis-Lage is highly regarded globally in the industry. She has provided her project and leadership expertise to more than 100 municipal and industrial facilities throughout the United States, United Kingdom and Asia Pacific. She is a licensed Professional Engineer and earned a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Kansas State University in 1985 and a master’s degree in environmental health engineering from KU in 1990. She has authored more than 50 papers, 20 technical articles and 10 textbook chapters. She serves on several committees for the Water Environment Federation and the International Water Association.

Alumnus Appears on Today Show

Alumnus Dan Vallero, MS 1996, appeared on the NBC Today Show to talk about recycling and waste diversion in America as part of the program’s Earth Day coverage on April 22. He is an internationally recognized expert in environmental science and engineering with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. He also is an adjunct faculty member at Duke University, teaching courses in ethics, sustainable design and green engineering. Vallero is the author of 11 engineering textbooks, including “Waste: A Handbook for Management.” His latest 18 - Summer 2013

book addresses the causes and contributing factors to environmental disasters.

Juarez Honored by Ball Aerospace

Richard F. Juarez, BS 1970, was awarded the 2012 Gabe Award for lifetime achievement by his employer Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. It is the firm’s highest employee honor. He joined Ball Aerospace’s Dayton Midwest Operations in 1997 and currently serves as the senior business Rich Juarez manager for System Engineering Geospatial & Space Intelligence and is senior program manager for the U.S. Air Force National Air and Space Intelligence Center Advanced Technical Exploitation Program. He resides in Beavercreek, Ohio.

Alumnus’ Paper Examines Joplin Tornado Aftermath

Alumnus Curtis Geise; BS 1999, MCE 2005; is a structural engineer for HNTB in Kansas City and served as past president for the Kansas City chapter of the Structural Engineers Association of Kansas and Missouri. He chaired the SEAKM committee that studied the aftermath of the Joplin Tornado. The subsequent report was published in the July 2012 issue of Structure Magazine and can be viewed here: aspx?articleID=1498

Watts Leads International Admissions at Dallas Baptist

Timothy Watts, BS 2000, is now director of International Admissions and Immigration at Dallas Baptist University. After graduating from KU he studied in Southeast Asia for two years. Upon return to the United States he earned a master’s degree in intercultural studies.

Pedraza Now Design Engineer

Samantha B. Pedraza, BS 2011, has taken on a design engineer role for Johnson Controls, where she has worked since graduation. She works in Oklahoma City.

J. Sorem Jr. Named Dean at Tulsa

James R. Sorem Jr. was named dean of the College of Engineering and Natural Sciences at the University of Tulsa. Sorem, part of an extensive family of Jayhawk engineering alumni, earned his bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate in mechanical engineering in 1978, 1981 and 1985, respectively. James Sorem Jr. Prior to being named dean, he had served as senior associate dean for 18 years.

Fling Honored by ISHM

Wayne A. Fling Jr., BS 1954, was honored with the 2012 Laurance S. Reid Award from the International School of Hydrocarbon Measurement. It recognizes individual contributions to measurement and/or control of hydrocarbon gases and liquids. Fling devoted more than 35 years of service in oil and gas engineering, measurement, meter station design and flow research. He retired from OXY/Cities Services as a senior technical adviser in 1987. He has worked on numerous energy industry organizations and committees including those of the GPA, API, ASME, AIChE, and ISO. He authored numerous technical papers and articles addressing chemical engineering unit operations and fluid measurement. He is a registered professional engineer in the state of Oklahoma and lives in Tulsa with his wife, Patty.

Storm Promoted at Thornton Tomasetti

University of Kansas graduate Gary A. Storm, P.E., LEED AP, has been promoted to senior principal in the Kansas City office of Thornton Tomasetti, the international engineering firm. Storm graduated with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1980, and a master’s degree in structural engineering in 1988. He has more than 30 years of structural Gary Storm engineering experience, with an emphasis on the design of long-span roof structures for stadiums and arenas, as well as forensic investigations of collapsed and distressed structures. He has extensive experience with renovations, additions and improvements to existing structures, as well as rigging engineering for largescale and complex entertainment events. He is a Professional Engineer in 17 states and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, American Institute of Steel Construction, and the Structural Assessment and Visual Evaluation Coalition.

Rea Named Associate Fellow of AIAA

Perry N. Rea; BS 1983 and MS 1985; was recently named an Associate Fellow by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics.The status recognizes his dedicated service to the field of engineering and work in the aerospace industry. He is chief engineer for product development at Boeing Commercial Airplanes and leads new airplane studies, including development of high rate, efficient production systems and alignment of new airplane technologies, architectures and affordability.

Moehring at Applied Composites Engineering

Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at Purdue University. She’s now a fulltime engineer at Applied Composites Engineering. She and her husband, also a KU alumnus, reside in Indianapolis.

Peebler Retires From Ion Geophysical

Robert Peebler, BS 1970, retired in December as executive chairman of the Board of Directors of ION Geophysical Corp. Peebler served as the firm’s president and CEO from 2003 through 2011. He will continue to serve ION as a

consultant to the company and its board. Ion Geophysical is a leading provider of geophysical technology, services and solutions for the global oil and gas industry.

Spare Signs with Treanor

Keiv Spare, a December 2012 graduate, is now a design engineer with Treanor Architects in Lawrence. Treanor has delivered the designs for the School of Engineering expansion project (see page 2) and is working on a variety of other projects in the Lawrence area.

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Kansas Engineer - 19

Research News

NSF Grant to Help KU Develop Advanced Polar Research Radars A team of researchers with the Center for Remote Sensing of Ice Sheets (CReSIS) at the University of Kansas will soon have better ways to monitor and predict the impact of climate change on polar ice sheets. Rick Hale, associate professor of aerospace engineering at the KU School of Engineering, and his collaborators received a $1.7 million dollar, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation to develop enhanced radar capable of capturing higher resolution images of polar ice sheets, in a more thorough and efficient manner. “This new ultra-wideband radar merges two functionalities. You get the deep ice sounding capability that provides details on the bed conditions and you have the increased bandwidth of the accumulation radar, which provides data on the conditions of the layers within the first few hundred meters of the ice sheet,” Hale said. This set up will improve current research methods, which involve attaching separate radars operating at different wavelengths and bandwidths to an aircraft. After data are collected from these multiple instruments, researchers must then go through the painstaking process of synchronizing the data from the individual radars to get a complete picture of the ice layers and ice bed. Combining a low operating frequency, which enables penetration depth to detect bedrock through thick ice, with the ultra wide bandwidth, which provides high resolution layering from the surface to the bed, offers the greatest flexibility to science teams in the field. “The new system will provide more immediate wide-swath images of the ice bed interface and map the internal layering of the ice sheet, through 2.5 miles of ice, all the way from the surface to the bed with a single system and without sacrificing either penetration depth or resolution. That’s a significant advantage,” Hale said. “With the wide-swath imaging capability enabled by the large-antenna array and advanced radars, we can fly more sparse lines with the aircraft, but still get the fine resolution at the bed.” Each layer of an ice sheet provides a historical record of the climate conditions at a certain time. Researchers drill through the glacier and gather a physical sample of ice in order to analyze changes over thousands of years. This process provides a physical validation of the digital images captured by the radar systems designed by KU. Images collected from KU’s radar help researchers decide where to drill for their ice core samples. A site must be chosen that

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Photo by Jill Hummels

Associate Professor Rick Hale, left, leads U.S. Sen. Jerry Moran on a tour of his lab in M2SEC. Hale received a large NSF grant to advance efforts to create better radars for polar ice research.

provides a pure record of annual snowfall – where layers have not mixed over time. The presence of water at the bedrock, or even ice that’s softened from being near water at the bedrock, can lead to layers mixing and interfere with data collection. “With all of the physics-based computer models, it’s the boundary conditions that are important. The simulation tools have improved, but any simulation is subject to the boundary conditions that you put on the tool, and we still don’t know what the boundary conditions are for some of these fast-moving outlet glaciers,” Hale said. “We’re certainly not seeing the conditions at the ice bed at the resolution that we need and this sensor would allow that.” The critical boundary conditions for any ice-sheet model are: (1) the surface topography of the ice sheet, (2) the shape of the bedrock beneath the ice, (3) the surface mass balance, (4) the internal temperature profile, and (5) whether there is water at the bed. The surface and bed topographies are perhaps the most critical, since they determine the most important input into any ice-sheet model, the driving stress. Water at the bed is also important because it promotes sliding, which causes ice streams to speed up. The development of the new radar will be aided by laboratories within KU’s new Measurement, Materials and Sustainable Environment Center, including an anechoic chamber that is used to fine tune antennas and radar signals, and the composite materials lab, which provides ample space to design and assemble the necessary components. The project involves international collaborations with the Niels Bohr Institute, Centre of Excellence for Ice and Climate at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark, the Greenland Nature Institute, and Germany’s Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) for Polar and Marine Research. The effort also fortifies KU’s achievement toward one of its strategic initiatives, Sustaining the Planet, Powering the World. — Story by Cody Howard

Research Points Way to More Resilient Internet It’s startling to ponder the numerous ways our society relies almost completely upon on the Internet to conduct the business of everyday life. Commerce, communication and even national security all require a functioning Net. “We really depend on the Internet for absolutely everything we do,” said James Sterbenz, associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the University of Kansas. “Governments depend on it to deliver services, and the military depends on it, and business depend on it for commerce and the stock market. We depend on it as individuals to get information, and to do banking, and to buy things — so much so that when the Internet is down, things tend to cease. You go into a store, and the point-of-sales terminals don’t work, and they can’t even sell you anything.” But without adequate research and preparation, threats such as natural disasters or terrorist attacks could bring the Internet crashing down with grievous consequences. That’s why Sterbenz is leading a $1.5 million effort funded by the National Science Foundation and Battelle to design a future Internet that will be much more resilient than it is today. “There are a lot of weak points,” said Sterbenz. “An example of that is that there was a train that burned in a tunnel under Baltimore a few years ago. It melted all the fiber running through the conduit. And because that was a convenient way to get through the city, many service providers ran their fiber through. So people did lose service because of that because it was a weak point.” The KU researcher said that an attacker who has probed the network to discover such weak points likewise could do considerable damage, not only to the physical infrastructure of the Internet, but also to the “protocol infrastructure,” such as the “Domain Name System” that translates human-friendly identifiers like to Internet addresses and the Internet’s core routing system, the “Border Gateway Protocol.”

“These are very critical to the operation of the Internet,” Sterbenz said. “And those do have some vulnerabilities. Attacks against those protocols specifically can have pretty significant impact. People can’t get to websites and communication can’t occur.” To advance the robustness of the Internet, Sterbenz leads a team of researchers that are analyzing the complex networks of computers and fiber that constitute the Internet and World Wide Web. “We look at that structure and analyze it to determine mathematically how robust it is against part of it being taken away,” he said. “When we do that, we can see how the current network as well as proposed networks and structures we add will make it more resilient.” Redundancy and geographic diversity are keys to a hardier network, according to Sterbenz. “You want at least two paths between two users, so if one is taken out, you have another one,” said Sterbenz. “The other thing we want is geographic diversity. So you’d like to be able to set up multiple paths between two users such that no point is closer than, for example 100 miles, so if there’s some area-based challenge, you’re still able to communicate.” Sterbenz leads an international programmable testbed called GpENI: Great Plains Environment for Network Innovation, part of the NSF Global Environments for Network Innovation program, which he will use to run experiments to see how new resilience mechanisms work in the real world. The GpENI testbed is also open to others in the network research community to run their own experiments for resilience or other research. Upon completion of the research, the KU professor said his team would make all results available to other researchers with a public wiki, as well as publish papers and present findings at conferences. Information is available at resilinets — Story by KU News

Professor Honored for Work That Yields Alternative Fuel Through Wastewater Treatment A unique research project designed to remove potentially harmful nutrients from wastewater while creating an alternative fuel source has earned national recognition for a faculty member at the University of Kansas School of Engineering. Belinda Sturm, associate professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering, is the winner of a 2012 Excellence in Environmental Engineering Award from the Academy of Environmental Engineers. Sturm earned an Honor Award in the University Research category for a project at the Lawrence Wastewater Treatment plant that utilizes algae to remove nitrogen and phosphorous from wastewater – while at the same time creating biomass that can

be turned into fuel. “It’s great to receive this type of recognition. It’s kind of neat to have a group of highly qualified professional engineers judge your work as something that should be rewarded,” Sturm said. “It’s really for KU, for the efforts of the Feedstock to Tailpipe® Initiative.” Feedstock to Tailpipe is sponsored by KU’s Transportation Research Institute and funded through separate grants from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Research and Innovative Technology Administration and the U.S. Department of Energy. Bob Honea, director of KU’s Transportation Research Institute, said Sturm is certainly deserving of the accolades.

“Her research is producing critical information on finding the best path to maximize the algae yield as a feedstock to produce sustainable bioenergy sources,” Honea said. The Excellence in Environmental Engineering Competition exists to identify and reward the best of today’s environmental engineering. Its criteria define what it takes to be the best in environmental engineering practice: a holistic environmental perspective, innovation, proven performance and customer satisfaction, and contribution to an improved quality of life and economic efficiency. — Story by Cody Howard

Kansas Engineer - 21

Better Power Storage Focus of Grant is researching a battery that could be manufactured for use in Research by a University of Kansas School of Engineering households for around $1,000. professor has the potential to reduce stress on the nation’s strained The battery would be installed during new home construction power grid and increase energy savings for consumers. or major renovation. Trung Van Nguyen, professor of Chemical and Petroleum The idea is to safely enclose it in a 3-foot by 3-foot strongbox Engineering, is leading an effort to develop a durable, low-cost and then bury it in the ground. It would be self contained and battery capable of gathering power at off-peak hours and storing it could store enough charge to last about four hours, while creating for use during times of high demand. no waste or by-products. Nguyen is partnered with researchers from Vanderbilt University “You could take in electricity at night when it’s less expensive and Lawrence-based fuel cell research and development business and store it to power your home during times when power usage is TVN Systems Inc. on a three-year, $1.72 million grant from the at its peak,” Nguyen said. “If every home could do that, you lower Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) of the peak power demands and reduce the strain on the U.S. Department of Energy. The project is one of 19 transformative new projects that will receive “… The only way electrical grid. It would also provide homeowners with backup in times of power outages, such as a total of $43 million in funding from ARPA-E to for us to deploy severe weather.” leverage the nation’s brightest scientists, engineers Nguyen’s team must deal with the challenges and entrepreneurs to develop breakthrough energy more wind is to of keeping the battery stable and reliable. Team storage technologies and support promising small businesses. deploy some type members are employing innovative technology to develop a membrane that prevents chemicals inside This grant seeks to transition energy storage of storage. If our the battery from mixing, which could cause it to technology from the laboratory to industry and builds on new knowledge and materials that were approach works, it short out. The team also is utilizing a new method to develop a catalyst that can withstand the powerful discovered through a $2 million National Science Foundation grant Nguyen and other collaborators would satisfy that.” chemicals inside the battery and keep it functional for years. received in 2010 to develop flow battery “This two-pronged approach is one of the things technologies. that makes our project so attractive. If one system fails, there’s still Nguyen’s efforts focus on meeting two key areas for another method in place to keep the system running,” Nguyen said. improvement identified by the Department of Energy. The first is The ARPA-E grant – awarded Oct. 1 – spans three years, but to develop a system that allows the current electrical grid to more researchers must reach certain goals within the first 12 months to fully utilize renewable energy sources like solar and wind power, receive funding for the second and third years. especially wind. “In that first year, we have to prove that this new membrane “Wind is a very variable source of energy and cannot be hooked material can do its job. We have to prove that this new catalyst can to the electrical grid. It just can’t handle that type of fluctuation. do its job in terms of activity and stability. If we pass that first year, It would cause the system to overload. So the only way for us then we move to phase two, which is to develop a prototype from to deploy more wind is to deploy some type of storage. If our a single cell all the way to the full system,” Nguyen said. “We are approach works, it would satisfy that,” Nguyen said. confident we can deliver and look forward to the challenge.” The Energy Department also has identified energy storage at the community and residential level as a key goal. Nguyen’s team — Story by Cody Howard

Surfactant Research May Lead to Benefit for Preemies A breakthrough method of dealing with a major complication of premature birth being researched at the University of Kansas School of Engineering could make breathing easier for babies born before 28 weeks and bring a sigh of relief to parents. The lungs are one of the last organs to fully mature during fetal development, and babies born before seven months can encounter significant challenges in routine breathing. Prajna Dhar, assistant professor of

22 - Summer 2013

chemical and petroleum engineering at KU, is working on developing a synthetic substance to aid in the breathing process for premature infants. At the heart of the research is a soapy substance known as a lung surfactant, which coats the alveoli of the lungs and helps reduce the significant amount of energy required to inflate and deflate the lungs with each breath. “Babies born before 28 weeks do not usually have this soapy material. Their lungs are collapsed and they cannot

breathe,” Dhar said. The current method for treating lung problems for premature babies involves extracting the soapy material from the lungs of a cow or pig, Dhar said. After the materials are purified and additives are included, these animal surfactants are ready for use in humans. “That process typically works, but it’s not without its problems,” Dhar said. “For one, the mixture from animals does Continued on page 23

Photo by Cody Howard

Students from the Lawrence area get busy learning engineering principles in the new Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Discovery Lab, which opened in April. The lab was funded through a gift from Oxy Petroleum.

New Discovery Lab Will Let Middle, High School Students Explore Engineering A new lab that uses interactive, handson displays to showcase how engineers make the world a better place is now open at the University of Kansas School of Engineering. The Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Discovery Lab is geared toward students ages 9-12, as well as prospective undergraduate students, and gives them opportunities to see real world applications for complex concepts of chemical and petroleum engineering. The lab was made possible through a $50,000 gift to KU Endowment from Occidental Petroleum. “A lot of kids, if you ask them, ‘What’s an engineer?’ they’ll tell you that it’s somebody who drives trains. All over the world, people have this same idea,” said Prajna Dhar, assistant professor of chemical and petroleum engineering and coordinator of the Discovery Lab. “We hope this lab can help get beyond that concept early on so that kids can start thinking of engineering as a career. “We believe that by presenting simple demonstrations using everyday materials found in most households, it will show that every one of us engineers things on an everyday basis, even if we do not realize it,” Dhar said. Materials in the Discovery Lab will consist of household items commonly found in the kitchen and garage. Displays will include freezing and melting chocolate to demonstrate fluid mechanics, using food coloring to show how water purification works and riding a stationary bike to generate enough energy to power light bulbs.

“Most people are not aware that many facets of industry actually need chemical engineers, be it for helping design the next perfumed detergent, making spreadable butter, or ensuring that we can extract natural resources to power society … chemical and petroleum engineers are everywhere,” Dhar said. It’s also hoped the Discovery Lab will spur and sustain interest in engineering among girls in middle school. Studies show girls score as well as boys in science and engineering-related topics in elementary school, but girls seem to lose interest in those fields around fifth grade. “We want young girls to realize that engineering is not geeky or scary,” Dhar said. “We don’t have enough women in the work force, and I want girls to get interested in this early on.” Frank Komin, president of Oxy Long Beach Inc., a subsidiary of Occidental Petroleum, said the company is proud to give back to KU. “Oxy has had a presence at KU, recruiting consistently top-notch engineering students for the past 10 years, and we hope to continue to remain active,” Komin said. “This gift provides prospective students an opportunity to better understand the field of chemical and petroleum engineering in an interactive way.” Groups or classes interested in visiting the Discovery Lab are encouraged to contact Dhar via email at prajnadhar@ to set up an appointment. — Story by Cody Howard

Dhar’s project is one of four funded through an $11 million NIH grant to KU’s Center for Molecular Analysis of Disease Pathways Continued from page 22

not reach and sufficiently coat all parts of the lung, and that can lead to other diseases cropping up, including creating complications for the body’s immune system.” That led Dhar to seek an alternative to using lung surfactant from animals. “So what we are trying to do is make this material completely synthetic and make it in such a way that will spread throughout the entire lung, while achieving the same performance as a native surfactant. That can solve a lot of the problems we see with using an animal lung, while aiding premature newborns,” Dhar said. “In particular, we are looking at the role of using small amounts of cholesterol, mixed with other lipids and proteins and how this can help in this spreading property of the synthetic surfactant.” Dhar’s project is one of four funded through an $11 million grant awarded to KU last fall to establish the Center for Molecular Analysis of Disease Pathways, an NIH Center of Biomedical Research Excellence headed by Susan Lunte, Ralph Adam Distinguished Professor of chemistry and pharmaceutical chemistry, with coinvestigators Blake Peterson, Regents Distinguished Professor of medicinal chemistry, and Erik Lundquist, professor of molecular biosciences. See more about the program here. The center’s goal is to provide the necessary mentor support and infrastructure to ensure the success of junior investigators in acquiring NIH funding. The long-term goal is to create a center that encourages basic research scientists to develop enabling technologies that can be used in translational biomedicine, according to the center’s website. — Story by Cody Howard

Kansas Engineer - 23

Faculty News

KU Concrete Expert Returns to Vietnam, This Time as Civilian University of Kansas Professor Dave Darwin spent a week in Vietnam providing insight on U.S. concrete construction codes to groups of Vietnamese engineers. It marked the second time Darwin – the Deane E. Ackers distinguished professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering – utilized his engineering expertise in the Southeast Asian nation. American companies doing business in Vietnam often construct buildings to U.S. code, so the American Concrete Institute arranged Darwin’s trip so engineers there can learn how U.S. code differs from the Russian-based code used there. But this trip was under far different circumstances than his first experience more than 40 years ago. “I served in Vietnam for almost all of 1970,” Darwin said. “I was a construction engineer with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. We built roads. We were not in big cities behind big walls. We were out in the countryside doing our work.” When Darwin was deployed to the wartorn nation in early 1970, it was not clear where he would serve or what his role would be. He was an officer and qualified to serve as a construction engineer or a combat engineer. When he arrived at the replacement detachment, he was sent out with an engineer brigade, so that’s how he wound up building roads. Darwin’s unit worked mainly in Vietnam’s southern highlands rebuilding and refurbishing two-lane blacktop roads. The unit had all its own construction equipment

Darwin’s recent trip to Vietnam was spent in vastly different surroundings than his 1970 deployment – when he was often in the remote countryside, far from cities. This time around, he visited two of the nation’s biggest cities, lecturing in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City. His trip included stops at the former South Vietnamese presidential palace, as well as the tallest building in Ho Chi Minh City (Bitexco Financial Tower, 68 stories.) It also involved plenty of stop-and-go traffic. “There are a lot of vehicles on the roads, but very few of them are cars or trucks. The Vietnamese government places a high tax on all cars they import in an effort to discourage vehicle traffic, because there’s just no way their road system could handle it,” Darwin said. “So everyone drives motor scooters. They flow like water around the cars, going back and forth, weaving in and out. It’s quite a sight.” The trip also was a chance for Darwin to take in the culture and get to know the people. “I was there in December and Christmas was everywhere. And English is everywhere, and it makes you think, ‘Who won the war?’ The Vietnamese won the war, let’s face it, but when you see the culture there today, it does make you wonder,” Darwin said. “But overall, I was really impressed. They’re just regular folks. They took really good care of me. They treated me like an honored guest.”

New View of Vietnam

24 - Summer 2013

and could move earth, crush rock, place it, compact it, lay the asphalt for the road and paint a stripe down the middle. The unit also served as its own security. “There was no infantry, armor, or artillery out there protecting us. As engineers, we were responsible for our own protection,” Darwin said. “We built our own gun trucks, which were basically dump trucks with machine guns and steel plates welded on them to provide extra protection. On a job site, we’d have one of these trucks at each end of the section of the road we were working on.” Despite the constant threat of an enemy presence, Darwin said he was extremely fortunate during his tour of duty. “I never got shot at and never had to pull my trigger… people in my unit did get ambushed and get killed, but I was very fortunate.” Darwin said. “We were building roads, and I think the enemy decided they could leave us alone and let us do our work. I wouldn’t say we were constantly on edge; we were just out there trying to build roads. We were being engineers.” After his tour of duty Darwin completed his doctorate and in 1974 joined the University of Kansas faculty, where he’s been since.

— Story by Cody Howard

Award Recognizes Energy Conservation Education A University of Kansas School of Engineering professor landed a statewide award for leading innovative research with a focus on real-world design and sustainable methods for powering vehicles. Chris Depcik, associate professor of mechanical engineering, received the Rising Star Award in April from the Kansas Association for Conservation and Environmental Education (KACEE). The award recognizes individuals who are new to the conservation and environmental education field in Kansas, but are already making an impact. Upon joining the mechanical engineering faculty at KU in 2008, Depcik started the KU EcoHawks program, which builds upon his enthusiasm for cars and challenges KU students to engineer sustainably. “The majority of the credit should go to the students that have been part of the EcoHawks over the years. I just get behind them and give them a push. Sometimes it’s

a little push, and sometimes it’s a lot, but in reality, they’re the ones who’ve done all the work and done great things. The award is just as much for them as it for me,” Depcik said. EcoHawks Chris Depcik projects include recycling a 1974 Volkswagen Super Beetle into a model of energy efficiency by converting it to a plug-in series hybrid that runs on 100% biodiesel, as well as designing and developing two parallel hybrid go-karts, one of which was recently donated to Lawrence High School for further study. The work of the EcoHawks also ties in with KU’s Feedstock to Tailpipe® Initiative, which

Willhite Adds Another Professional Accolade A distinguished professor at the University of Kansas School of Engineering has received the highest honor bestowed by the Society of Petroleum Engineers. G. Paul Willhite, the Ross H. Forney distinguished professor of chemical and petroleum engineering, was awarded an SPE Honorary Membership at the 2012 SPE annual conference. The professional engineer organization says the honor goes to those “who have given outstanding service to SPE and/or who have demonstrated distinguished scientific or engineering achievements in the fields within the technical scope of SPE.” Honorary membership is limited to only one-tenth of 1 percent of the 104,000 members of SPE. “You certainly don’t set out trying to earn awards, so this is a nice thing that happened. I feel fortunate to receive such a high honor,” Willhite said. Willhite joined the faculty at

KU in 1969. He is a co-founder of KU’s Tertiary Oil Recovery Project (TORP) and served as co-director from 1974-2009. He was named to the prestigious National Academy of Engineering in 2006. He’s known as a leading expert on water flooding – a process to extract oil from reservoirs after the initial pressure drops when a well is first dug. Willhite wrote the textbook on the subject that remains the industry standard more than 25 years since it was first published. In his six decades as an educator at KU, Willhite has earned a reputation of teaching a vigorous class and ensuring that when the semester ends, students have a solid understanding of the fundamentals of water flooding. KU offers the only petroleum engineering program in the state of Kansas. Enrollment in the program grew to more than 125 students in fall 2012, which is a four-fold increase since 2005. — Story by Cody Howard

creates a multidisciplinary research team to explore the viability of alternative liquid fuels to power the country’s transportation system. Depcik said the award also helps shine a spotlight on the depth and quality of the research into green technologies under way at the KU School of Engineering. “A lot of people might not have a full picture of all the work we’re doing at KU in terms of sustainability, energy, and the environment, so anything that gets the word out is a great help,” Depcik said. “This calls attention to the success of our current students and provides a valuable showcase of our work to the next generation of potential Jayhawk engineers.” — Story by Cody Howard

Learn more:

About KACEE, go to About KU EcoHawks, go to http://groups.

Berkland Honored for Scholarly Work University of Kansas Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Cory Berkland is one of four KU faculty members to earn a 2012 University Scholarly Achievement Award. The award, given out annually to mid-career KU faculty members, recognizes contributions that advance the field of scholarship, exhibit novelty and originality, promote scholarly and research activity at KU, and enhance the University’s national and international reputation. “I was very surprised to receive this award,” said Berkland, who has a shared appointment in pharmaceutical chemistry. “I appreciate the Chancellor’s investment in recognizing KU faculty as an incentive for scholarly output, which includes intellectual property and commercial activities.” Berkland’s cutting-edge research focuses on two key areas. Developing light aerosols for drug delivery and creating flexible plastic materials for tissue regeneration. The aerosols are much more efficient at delivering inhaled medicine when compared to current inhalers and dramatically improve the safety of inhaled steroids for kids. In collaboration with Professor of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Michael Detamore, Berkland’s work on tissue regeneration is breaking new ground in joint replacement, creating biomaterials that integrate naturally with the body. Berkland and the other winners were recognized in a campuswide reception at the end of the spring semester.

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Faculty Update – Achievements and Activities Spencer Appointed to NIH Center Section Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering Paulette Spencer, DDS, was selected to serve a four-year term as a member of the Oral, Dental and Craniofacial Sciences Study Section of the Center for Scientific Review of the National Institutes of Health. Spencer, who also serves as director of KU’s Bioengineering Research Center, was selected on the basis of demonstrated achievement in her scientific discipline. Two Faculty Honored as KU H.O.P.E. Finalists Professors Victor Frost and Mario Medina were finalists for the 2012 H.O.P.E. (Honor for an Outstanding Progressive Educator) Award. Frost, a distinguished professor in Electrical Engineering & Computer Science, and Medina, an associate professor in Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering, were singled out from among all KU Lawrence campus faculty

members by students in the senior class. There are more than 1,600 faculty on KU’s Lawrence campus. Randtke Appointed to EPA Panel Professor of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering Steve Randtke was appointed to serve on the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency independent Science Advisory Board’s Hydraulic Fracturing Research Advisory Panel. The panel of independent experts will peer review EPA’s 2014 draft report of results for its national study on potential impacts of hydraulic fracturing on drinking water resources. He is one of 31 experts serving on the panel. Barati Chosen for SPE Junior Faculty Award Assistant Prof. of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering Reza Barati is one of six recipients of the prestigious 2012 SPE Petroleum Engineering Junior Faculty Research Initiation Award. The honor provides $20,000 per year for two years.

Nguyen Achieves Fellow Status Chemical & Petroleum Engineering Prof. Trung Van Nguyen was elected Fellow of the Electrochemical Society. The designation recognizes significant contributions to the field. Berkland Receives Honors Prof. of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering Cory Berkland earned several recent honors including the 2012 Controlled Release Society Young Investigator Award and the 2013 Iowa State University Professional Progress in Engineering Award. Aero Faculty Honored by AIAA Aerospace Engineering faculty members Ron Barrett-Gonzalez and Saeed Farokhi, received adviser honors for successfully mentoring several students and teams of students who won honors in two AIAA student design competitions in 2012. See the story on page 28.

Image Earns 1st Place Honor

The Art of Research A microscopic image of a material in the lungs that aids in respiration captured while it is under stress earned first place for the University of Kansas School of Engineering in the Biophysical Society’s Art of Science Image Contest. KU’s winning entry was selected Feb. 5 at the Biophysical Society’s 2013 annual conference in Philadelphia. The image is from the work of Ashleigh Steckly, a master’s student in bioengineering from Manhattan, Kan., and Ming Le Tan, a senior in chemical and petroleum engineering from Malaysia, in the lab of Prajna Dhar, assistant professor of chemical and petroleum engineering. “It’s a thrill to win this award. I am grateful to the society meeting attendees who voted to say this was their favorite

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picture. It also shows us that engineering is not always about number crunching, there is a lot of satisfying ‘artwork’ involved,” Dhar said. The image — a striking collection of intricately interwoven, black heartshaped images on a white background — is the product of Dhar’s research on nanoparticles, tiny particles not much larger than atoms, and their potential short-term and long-term impact on the human body. A likely gateway for nanoparticles into the body is through the lungs, so Dhar’s research centers on how these particles interact with a material, known as surfactant, in the lungs designed to reduce the amount of energy required during respiration. The Biophysical Society’s website

Image Courtesy of Prajna Dhar

This research image won first place in the Biophysical Society’s 2013 Art of Science Image Contest.

says its annual meeting brings together more than 6,000 research scientists in the multidisciplinary fields representing biophysics. With more than 4,000 poster presentations, over 180 exhibits, and more than 20 symposia, it’s the largest meeting of biophysicists in the world. — Story by Cody Howard

Medina Wins Conference’s Best Presentation Award Associate Prof. of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering Mario Medina received the Best Presentation Award at the 7th Global Insulation Conference, held in Riga, Latvia. His presentation, which dealt with phasechange materials, was voted on by a body of peers. Bennett Named Faculty Fellow Associate Prof. Caroline Bennett in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering was named a Faculty Fellow for the KU Center for Teaching Excellence. Farokhi’s “Aircraft Propulsion” Published in China Aerospace Engineering Professor Saeed Farokhi’s book “Aircraft Propulsion” was translated into Chinese and published by Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press, Shanghai, Peoples’ Republic of China, 2012. ASCE Honors Darwin Dave Darwin, distinguished professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering, has been named an American Society of Civil Engineers Distinguished Member. The designation is the highest honor bestowed by ASCE. Darwin also was selected to be in the inaugural class of Fellows in the Structural Engineering Institute a section within ASCE. Through the course of his career, Darwin has gained international recognition for his research on concrete bridge decks. KU Selects Williams for Award Susan Williams, professor of chemical and petroleum engineering, received the 2012 KU Women’s Recognition Award for Outstanding Woman Ed ucator. Agah Selected for Google Grant Arvin Agah, associate dean of research and graduate programs, received a Google grant to lead a workshop to raise awareness about computing among high school teachers. Agah is a professor of electrical engineering and computer science.

Depcik Receives SAE Teetor Award Chris Depcik, associate professor of mechanical engineering, won the 2012 Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award from SAE International. The award recognizes and honors younger educators who are successfully preparing engineers to meet the challenges society faces.

was selected to serve as associate editor of the American Chemical Society journal ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering. Subramaniam also serves as the director of KU’s Center for Environmentally Beneficial Catalysis. He recently served as president of the International Symposia on Chemical Reaction Engineering.

Evans Named to Computing Consortium Council Joe Evans, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, was appointed to a three-year term on the Computing Community Consortium Council. The council helps create the vision for future computing research and is composed of 18 members from industry and academia who have expertise in diverse areas of computing. Selection is made by the Computing Research Association in consultation with the National Science Foundation.

Blunt Receives 2012 Nathanson Award Associate Prof. Shannon Blunt received the 2012 IEEE/AESS Fred Nathanson Memorial Radar Award. The honor recognizes outstanding contributions to the radar art and is given each year to one person under 40. The international award was last given to an American in 2007.

Honors Program Selects Alexander for Seminar Prof. Perry Alexander in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science is the first School of Engineering faculty member selected to teach the University Scholars Seminar. The Honors Program endeavor selects the top KU 20 sophomores and places them together in a seminar class. Alexander’s course was “Searching for a Just Machine: Why Computing Came to Be and What It Will Become.” Alexander also serves as director of KU’s Information and Telecommunication Technology Ce nter. Matamoros Named to Earthquake Board Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering Prof. Adolfo Matamoros was elected as a member of the Board of Directors for the Consortium of Universities for Research in Earthquake Engineering. His term runs through the end of 2014. ACS Names Subramaniam Associate Editor Distinguished Prof. of Chemical & Petroleum Engineering Bala Subramaniam

Chong Speaks at APEC Conference Associate Professor of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering Oswald Chong was invited to speak at the Asian-Pacific Economic Cooperation Conference in March on an effort he leads on standardizing and implementing green building codes in all 21 economies represented. Faculty Earn Promotions Several faculty members received promotions at the end of the 2012-2013 academic year. They are: • Caroline Bennett to associate professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering, • Chris Depcik to associate professor of mechanical engineering, • Prasad Kulkarni to associate professor of electrical engineering and computer science, • Craig McLaughlin to associate professor of aerospace engineering, • Adolpho Matamoros to professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering, • Belinda Sturm to associate professor of civil, environmental and architectural engineering, and • Susan Williams to professor of chemical and petroleum engineering.

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Student News

Sky High

The 2012 AIAA Individual Aircraft Design Competition winner, “Cratus” was created by KU student Samantha Schueler. Students with ties to KU’s Aerospace Engineering program swept the competition yet again.

Aero Students Win Multiple International Honors at 2012 AIAA AIAA are a validation of that reputation,” Aerospace engineering students said Z.J. Wang, Spahr Professor of from the University of Kansas School of Aerospace Engineering and chair of the Engineering continue a long tradition of Department of Aerospace Engineering. Jayhawk success in international design First place in Individual Aircraft Design competitions. went to 2012 KU aerospace engineering In August, students with ties to KU graduate Samantha Schueler. Jorrit swept the 2012 Individual Aircraft Design Vervoordeldonk, an exchange student Competition of the American Institute of jointly advised at KU and Delft Technical Aeronautics and Astronautics. Teams of KU University in the students also claimed Netherlands, took second first and third place place; and KU’s Alexander in the AIAA, ASME, “KU continues to be a Lopez won third place. International Gas In the undergraduate Turbine Institute global leader in terms of engine design competition, (IGTI) Undergraduate hands-on design experience Matthew Williams, Aditya Engine Design Daniel Prather and Competition. for aerospace students.” Ghate, William VanSkike – on a The high marks team known as Jayhawkfor these students Jet 120 – won first place. extend KU’s mark of The team known as J2SER, excellence in AIAA composed of Justin Howard, JinSeong Kim, aircraft design competitions. KU has earned Sarah Elizabeth McCandless and Ryan more first and second place awards than Schirmer, earned third place. All are 2012 any other academic institution in the world KU aerospace engineering graduates. in the 44-year history of the competition. Second place went to a team from Istanbul “KU continues to be a global leader in Technical University. terms of hands-on design experience for The Individual Aircraft Design aerospace students. These awards from

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Contributed illustration

Additional views of AIAA award-winning “Cratus.”

Competition challenged students to design an aircraft capable of surpassing the fastest times ever posted by air racers in the Reno, Nev., National Championship Air Races, where many of the aircraft are typically from the World War II era. Schueler’s winning entry placed a high priority on safety while utilizing a somewhat radical design. “My whole configuration was a big risk. The wing design was a W wing, which you don’t see very often. It helps to decrease the weight for the landing gear and can make it easier to prevent the aircraft from stalling,” Schueler said. “I also used

a tri-engine configuration. I had the weight to play around with (competition guidelines required the aircraft to weigh at least 4,500 pounds), so I really wanted to implement a design to improve the aircraft’s power and speed.” Schueler and her classmates were set to get a first-hand look at the subject of the competition. Several KU students were slated to attend portions of the Reno Air Races national championship in September 2011, but the show was cancelled after a dramatic plane crash claimed the life of the pilot and 10 spectators. “After that, it really drove home the importance of safety and made it my number one concern,” Schueler said. Schueler’s first place finish earned her a $500 prize and the opportunity to present her design at the 2012 AIAA Aviation Technology, Integration, and Operations Conference, in Indianapolis. Students involved in the undergraduate engine design competition were tasked to develop plans for an engine capable of being used in an unmanned, half-scale military fighter jet (F-35/Joint Strike Fighter) for use within the next 20 years. Williams, now a graduate student at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, was part of the four-person team that brought home first place. He said the team fulfilled the requirements for

engine thrust and the aircraft’s auxiliary power, then made special considerations for fuel economy. Two teams from KU were then invited to present their designs at the competition finals in Atlanta in August. “The judges said they appreciated that we met all the guidelines, but also had some selling points that exceeded the other competitor’s designs,” Williams said. “Our design had about 10 percent fuel savings and utilized some advanced technology that should be readily available within the next decade. Those two points differentiated our design and put us over the top.” Williams and Schueler agree that KU’s aerospace engineering curriculum and faculty are key to the tradition of success in design competitions. Professor Saeed Faroki served as adviser for the engine design teams and Associate Professor Ron Barrett-Gonzalez was adviser for the students taking part in the aircraft design contest. “The faculty do a great job of building a foundation and providing support,” Schueler said. “They offer suggestions to get students thinking out of the box, get students to be creative, apply their knowledge and really come up with some solid designs.” — Story by Cody Howard

Photos by Jill Hummels

Samantha Schueler, center, was recognized for her 1st place win in the AIAA Individual Aircraft Design Competition. She is flanked by Associate Professor Ron Barrett-Gonzalez and Chair and Professor Z.J. Wang.

Student JinSeong Kim, center, was recognized during the Aerospace Colloquium in fall 2012 along with Professor Saeed Farokhi and Department Chair and Professor Z.J. Wang. Kim was on the AIAA third place Engine Design team.

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Chem-Es Win National Competition Plan for Near-Beer Taps into Title An efficient, economical method for brewing non-alcoholic beer earned a team of chemical engineering students from the University of Kansas School of Engineering top honors in fall 2012 in a prestigious national design competition. Hal Laurence and Le Tran, both 2012 chemical engineering graduates, and fifthyear senior MacKenzie Christie claimed first place in the team category of the 2012 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Student Design Competition. The students prepared their winning entry as part of a yearlong, two-part senior design course. Kyle Camarda, associate professor of chemical and petroleum engineering and associate dean of undergraduate programs, was the instructor for the Design I course, and Marylee Southard, associate professor of Submitted Photo From left, Hal Laurence, MacKenzie Christie and Le Tran, comprised the winning 2012 AIChE Student chemical and petroleum engineering, led Design Competition Team. the team through the Design II course, as well as preparation and submission of the beverages, the concepts are universal to lucrative use of a by-product of their project for the national competition. chemical engineering. project. The design competition required more “The problem really required numerous “They used a unique process to than just solid engineering skills. Students skills that we had to put together in solving use the extracted alcohol to give an were challenged to evaluate the economics this problem. From engineering calculations extremely high resale value,” Southard and political climate of producing nonto economics, this project really provided said. “In addition to the non-alcoholic alcoholic beer in five valuable learning opportunities in many beer, they produced states – while selecting a areas,” Christie said. 98 percent pure “From engineering site that had the capability This marks at least the ninth time since ethanol. Because of to increase its production 1985 that KU has earned first place in the the properties of water calculations to without undergoing a national AIChE team design competition. in ethanol, it’s tough physical expansion. economics, this project to remove the last 5 Southard attributes the track record of “The team did the success, in part, to the way individuals percent of water – and really provided valuable economics very carefully. use their specific skill sets to make the you can sell 98 percent They gave it a lot of strongest possible team. ethanol at a premium … learning opportunities attention,” Southard said. “To be successful, you need people about $28 per gallon.” “They found that some in many areas.” with creative ideas, who can solve difficult Ethanol of such high southern states are the technical details, who look at the ‘big purity is frequently used best places to produce picture’ and who get on the computer and in medical applications or non-alcoholic beverages because of their churn out results once the team has its as an intermediate for synthesis of other higher alcohol taxes: They got significant basic design,” Southard said. “For the team chemicals, Southard said. tax savings by making non-alcoholic beer competition, a group of students with that By choosing to purify and sell their instead of the usual brew.” combination of skills is more successful ethanol by-product, the team avoided fees With its first-place finish, the KU than a team where everyone is at the top and penalties associated with discharging team earned $900 and the opportunity of the class. This is one of those areas ethanol into the wastewater system. to present its research at the 2012 where non-academically gifted students can MacKenzie Christie, who graduated this AIChE national conference in Pittsburgh. truly shine – where their hard work and May with a degree in chemical engineering, Southard said KU’s entry stood out for talents can bring real success.” said that even though the specifics of several factors, including a creative and the competition dealt with non-alcoholic — Story by Cody Howard

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KU Team Advances to Grundfos Global Challenge A trip to Denmark and a chance at more than $12,000 in prize money awaited a team of University of Kansas School of Engineering students who claimed a top spot at an engineering competition sponsored by a worldwide leader in advanced pump solutions. Cole Bittel, a junior in mechanical engineering, John DiBaggio, a senior in chemical engineering, and Dave Minnick, a second-year doctoral student in chemical engineering, were on the KU team that finished in one of the top two spots at the U.S. division of the Grundfos Challenge last fall. “This competition gave me a second chance to see what I like about engineering,” said DiBaggio. “The challenge didn’t necessarily deal with anything specific I’ve learned in class, it was more about having an overall problem-solving mindset. The team had to come up with a creative, innovative way to deal with a real-world problem.” Based in Denmark, Grundfos is the world’s largest pump manufacturer, with more than 18,000 employees globally. Its U.S. headquarters is in Olathe, Kan. The Grundfos Challenge began in 2006 among students from top educational institutions in Denmark. It branched out this academic year to include universities in the United States and China. Student teams are divided into two tracts – business and engineering – and are tasked with solving a real-life water management case by turning theoretical knowledge into a practical business strategy supported by sound engineering schematics. The U.S. challenge took place in mid-November in a whirlwind 24 hours in Kansas City, Mo. Teams were challenged to find a sustainable, energy efficient solution to reduce water loss that would ideally involve Grundfos pumps. The KU team examined ways to separate and reuse water from a household sink or shower – known as gray water, which is easier to treat – from the water that comes from the toilet – known as black water. Currently, all used water typically flows from the home in one pipe, so the team devised a plan to send the gray water to an underground tank. The water is treated and then pumped back to the home for use in a toilet tank or sprinkler system to water the lawn. They also considered ways to incorporate this concept into an expanding urban area. “What made our team stand out was how we incorporated specific Grundfos pumps, down to the serial number, into our project. We did research on flow rates and pump curves and figured out which pumps would be most effective in getting the water from the storage tank back to the home for reuse,” DiBaggio said. Teams were given the challenge at 10:30 a.m. one day and had until 9 a.m. the next day to conduct their research, find a solution and finalize their presentation. The Jayhawk team spent much time doing research and dealing with potential obstacles in their project solution and then wound up spending most of the night ironing out the specifics and perfecting the presentation.

Contributed Photo

KU Engineering students Cole Bittel, John DiBaggio and Dave Minnick won a trip to Denmark to represent the United States at the Grundfos Global Challenge in March after finishing in one of the top spots at the U.S. division of the competition.

“I’m very pleased with the performance and creativity of our KU Engineering team. Their model of coming together from different disciplines to better solve problems exemplifies KU’s solid, wellrounded approach to engineering education,” said Lisa Friis, team adviser and associate professor of mechanical engineering. The KU team embraced social media set up by Grundfos to promote the challenge and chose a unique approach for their team photo. They dressed up in suits and went to the produce section of a local grocery store. “So at the competition they had a booklet with a photo about each team – and all other teams were just kind of standing there in a typical pose, and then you get to our photo, and it was a stark contrast,” DiBaggio said. “We were the weird team that was kind of cool, too. And I don’t think we were originally taken very seriously, but we put in a lot of hours, and we obviously did really well. We also had a great time interacting with many of the wonderful Grundfos personnel through the two days.” Grundfos paid the way for the KU Team team to travel to Denmark in March sh for the finals of the challenge, where than ave less 2 the Jayhawk engineers competed to re 4 hours unsuccessfully against winners from sea China and Denmark. The winning prob rch the le teams shared more than $12,000 in a solu m, find prize money. tio — Story by Cody Howard


n and nt.

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Chen Named Goldwater Scholar Qi Chen is one of two University of Kansas students chosen to receive the prestigious Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for the 2013-2014 academic year. The awards are the premier undergraduate recognition to honor academically gifted students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics and encourage a continuing source of highly qualified scientists, mathematicians and engineers. Chen from Overland Park, Kan., is now a senior in chemical engineering, with minors in economics and mathematics. He is the son of Rongying Wu and Guozhu Chen and a graduate of Shawnee Mission East High School. He researches the application of quantumbased chemical property prediction in computational molecular design. After graduation, he intends to pursue his doctorate and establish a career as a professor at a research university. Chen cited Kyle Camarda, associate professor and associate dean of undergraduate programs at the School of Engineering, as his research adviser and mentor in his application.

Qi Chen, is one of two KU students selected for a national Goldwater Scholarship for the 2013-2014 academic year. Photo by Jill Hummels

Also recognized was Lianna Dang, who is majoring in chemistry. She graduated from Shawnee Mission Northwest High School and is a native of Shawnee. The two winners bring KU’s total to 55 Goldwater recipients. Both winners are members of the KU Honors Program. Congress established the Goldwater scholarship program in 1986 to honor the retired U.S. senator from Arizona.

Recipients were selected on the basis of academic merit from a field of more than 1,100 mathematics, science and engineering students nominated by their colleges and universities nationwide. Only 271 scholarships were awarded for the 2013-2014 academic year. Recipients are eligible to receive up to $7,500 to help cover costs of tuition, fees, books and room and board. — KU Office of Public Affairs

ACI Recognizes KU Chapter Students at the University of Kansas School of Engineering are helping cement KU’s reputation as a nationwide leader in concrete research and education. The KU chapter of the American Concrete Institute was named an ACI Excellent University for 2012. Only 16 universities across the country earned the distinction. KU was recognized during ACI’s 2013 spring convention in

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Minneapolis, Minn. KU earned the honor due to high levels of student participation on campus and attending various ACI events. KU’s ACI chapter has 25 members. “Being in ACI gets you real world experience, as opposed to the theoretical problems you go over in class,” said Brian McInnes, a senior in civil engineering and president of the School of Engineering’s

ACI Chapter. “You get to hear industry leaders talk about what they do on a dayto-day basis and learn details on what to expect when you graduate and get a job.” ACI is a nonprofit technical and educational society organized in 1904 and is one of the world’s leading authorities on concrete technology. — Story by Cody Howard

Wall of Fame Students Earn 2nd Place in National GeoWall Competition

An out-of-the-box approach to a competition held entirely within a sand-filled container earned a group of University of Kansas School of Engineering students high honors at a national geotechnical conference. Graduate students Jun Guo and Xiaohui Sun and civil engineering undergraduate students Jennifer Penfield and Lee Crippen won second place in the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) National GeoWall competition, held March 3-6 in San Diego. The team traveled to San Diego with a group of other students and professors from the KU Geotechnical Society. Here’s how the challenge works: Each team has a 26” x 18” x 18” wooden box with one removable side. Teams are timed while they cut Kraft paper strips, construct a poster board wall, insert the reinforcing paper strips, and place the wall inside the wooden box. As sand is poured into the box, teams compact it and arrange the paper strips in layers. Once the box is full, the removable side is taken away, leaving the poster board to serve as one wall of the box. The paper strips hold the key to the stability of the poster board. Each team prepares an original design of how to cut the Kraft paper strips and weave them through the poster board. “The common design uses the friction between paper strips and sand to keep the wall in place. When the weight of the sand presses into the wall, the friction holds the wall in place,” said Jun Guo, team member and first-year master’s student in civil engineering with a geotechnical emphasis. “Instead of laying our paper flat, we decided to lay the strips out in loops, so the sand trapped within each loop is almost like a solid object and is held firmly in place. The friction between sand particles is much higher than that between sand and paper.” Once the box is full, a series of tests are

Contributed Photos

Professor Jie Han, left, advised the team of KU Engineering students who brought home national accolades for their effort in the national GeoWall Competition. Pictured are Jun Guo, Lee Crippen, Jennifer Penfield and Xiaohui Sun and one of the event organizers, Binod Tiwari of Cal State, Fullerton.

run to gauge strength and stability of each team’s GeoWall. The first test is to remove one side of the box and test the poster board wall’s ability to hold the sand for one minute without excessive deflection or failure. For the second test, a 50-pound bucket of sand is placed on top of the box to test the wall’s stability against vertical loading. The wall must hold for one minute with minimal deflection. Stability against a horizontal load is tested by hanging a bucket from a support arm grounded in the sand, adding 20 pounds of sand, and timing the wall to stand on its own for one minute with minimal deflection. The wall then undergoes a dynamic-loading test, which consists of dropping a five-pound weight onto the support arm holding the 20-pound bucket. “We were really happy with our wall. The weight was dropped six times before our wall finally failed,” said team member Jennifer Penfield, a senior in civil engineering. The KU GeoWall team had to submit a preliminary report on its design – and scored high enough to be among 16 teams selected to participate in the national competition. The Jayhawk team, led by faculty adviser Professor Jie Han, spent more than three months preparing, practicing hours each week, but one

KU students create the poster board wall that helped them win 2nd place honors at the National GeoWall competition.

critical change in components made the competition a little trickier. “There was a big difference in the sand we used for practice and the sand they had at the competition,” Guo said. “Theirs had big particles. At KU, we use Kansas River sand, which is finer. It actually worked to our benefit because it’s more challenging for the paper strips to hold the wall with the finer particles.” The GeoWall competition provides valuable experience for situations engineers may encounter in the field. “This is real world stuff. This is how you’d actually stabilize a slope,” Penfield said. “It’s great to apply what we’ve learned into something we can build. “ — Story by Cody Howard

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All-America Honor Chem-E Jarmoc Takes Hard Work to the Court Redshirt junior middle blocker Caroline Jarmoc became the first Kansas volleyball player to e arn AllAmerica honors as the American Volleyball Coaches Association (AVCA) awarded Jarmoc Second Team accolades in December. Jarmoc, a chemical engineering student and native of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, has enjoyed a long list of program firsts accompanied by a longer list of awards for her consistent performance all season long. The most recent recognition, however, marks a program milestone. Only one Jayhawk has previously earned Academic All-America honors (Paula Caten, 2005), but none has reached All-America status until Jarmoc. Photos by Jeff Jacobsen, Kansas Athletics “It feels spectacular,” said Jarmoc, who will begin her senior season on Sept. 7 going to come. We told her a lot of things against the University of Arkansas. “It’s that we thought she could be here. We almost surreal. It’s a little hard to grasp didn’t talk about All-American, but we the magnitude of what (this award) means, knew she could be a lot of great things and I think it will all hit when I get to Louisville, she certainly has been.” Ky. (for the AVCA All-America banquet). Jarmoc led the 2012 Jayhawks to the This has always been a dream of mine and winningest season in program history (26-7, I can’t thank my teammates enough for .765), collected more home wins (17) than making it possible. I put in a lot of work any other year, earned a program-best this season and past No. 6 RPI ranking, was seasons to be where nine-straight “It’s a very neat deal for her ranked I am now. I am very weeks in the top-25 and happy to be recognized. individually, but it’s huge posted its highest Big It’s an incredible 12 Conference finish for our program.” feeling.” (3rd, 12-4). The regularHead coach Ray season success resulted Bechard helped her put the magnitude of in a No. 11 overall seed in the NCAA the award in perspective. Tournament and the opportunity to host “It’s a very neat deal for her the NCAA first and second rounds, both individually, but it’s huge for our program,” firsts for the program. Bechard said. “When you do the right “She’s worked hard, first and foremost,” things, you train hard and your team has Bechard said. “She’s set goals for herself success, then some of these awards are and that’s OK to set individual goals for

34 - Summer 2013

yourself – and I’m sure being an AllAmerican was one of them. She’ll be the first to admit that if we don’t win 26 matches or have a great year, then it would be difficult for her, but we did and she was a huge part of that.” As the Jayhawks got rolling, so did Jarmoc. For all but four days in the middle of the 2012 season, Jarmoc led the Big 12 Conference in attack percentage and finished her redshirt junior campaign with the highest hitting efficiency in the league (.386) – breaking KU’s single-season record that stood for 10 years (Ashley Michaels, .363, 2002). She also now owns the program’s career attack percentage record (.330), also previously held by Michaels (.317). “For a middle to hit at that efficiency, you have to be high-kill, low-error (every time out),” Bechard said. “What’s most impressive about that is that she continued to put up those numbers even after they knew she was good and they were game planning around her. That’s a high number. Of the records we have at Kansas, I thought our hitting efficiency number was one that could be broken and now she’s set that bar really high.” In the final weeks of the season, Jarmoc surpassed multiple milestones for Kansas, highlighted by becoming the first player to record more than 400 kills (424) and 150 blocks (157) in the same season as well as the fourth Jayhawk in history to reach 400 career blocks (411). When she enters her senior season, Jarmoc could be the only player to post 200 kills and 100 blocks in four-straight seasons, as she has now accomplished the feat in her first three years. Additionally, Jarmoc led the Jayhawks in 2012 with 31 service aces to showcase her effectiveness in several aspects of the game. When KU’s season came to a close in the second round of the NCAA Tournament, the versatile middle blocker finished topfive in the Big 12 in hitting percentage (.386, 1st), points per set (4.46, 2nd), kills per set (3.45, 4th) and blocks per set (1.28, 4th). — Story by KU Athletics For more information:

Steel Bridge Team Goes to Nationals The University of Kansas School of Engineering steel bridge team earned a spot at the national competition thanks to a strong showing at the American Society of Civil Engineers Mid-Continent Conference regional conference April 4-6. The Jayhawks placed third overall in the 12-team field to earn their spot in the national competition held May 31-June 1 at the University of Washington in Seattle. Key to the team’s performance was its success in the economy portion of the competition, which takes into account construction time and the number of team members active during construction. “We used only three team members to construct the bridge. No other team used less than five,” said KU steel bridge team captain Zach Olson, a junior in civil engineering. “Our bridge was also very light … one of the lightest at the competition, with a weight of only 162 pounds.” Teams were challenged to construct a bridge at least 19-inches high that supported a total of 2,500 pounds – 1,500 on its main span and an additional 1,000 pounds on a section known as a cantilever that extends without direct support at least 3.5 feet over an area designated as a body of water. KU finished second in economy, third in lightness and third overall at regionals. However, the team was unable to convert those achievements into success at the national competition. The six students involved with the team were Nick Crain, Matt Fields, Jake Hattock, Zach Olson, Mike Sang, and Tom Vance. The KU Concrete Canoe team also had a strong showing at the ASCE Mid-Continent Regional Competition, placing second overall and just missing a spot at nationals. KU took first place in final

Photo by Cody Howard

Students on KU’s Steel Bridge Team prepare for the ASCE Mid-Continent Conference competition. The team performed well enough to advance to the national competition.

product and oral presentation and third place in the Co-ed race. “I am extremely happy with the team’s accomplishments this year,” said Concrete Canoe co-captain Jeremy Boger. “We have already been making plans to improve on every aspect of the competition … including trying to find a winter facility to have paddling practice for next year. I am confident that we will be asking the civil engineering department for the money to travel to nationals next year.” — Story by Cody Howard

Team Wins Regional Programming Challenge Divide and conquer proved to be the winning combination. Three University of Kansas students participating in their first Central Plains Programming Competition bested 30 teams from four states to win the regional programming title. KU sent two teams to the competition, sponsored by the Consortium for Computing Sciences in Colleges: Central Plains region, in mid April. All six students who attended the contest at Avila University in Kansas City, Mo., are in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. The winning team of sophomores Ryan Scott and Alec White and freshman Parker Riley solved all five problems – the only team to do so – during the four-hour competition. They credited a divide-and-conquer strategy for their success. After reading through the problems, White started working to determine the highest possible score in

a two-person coin game. Scott focused on finding “beautiful” words by removing letters from strings while Riley worked out the average number of moves to unlock a combination lock. The three regrouped periodically to assess progress and help one another. Each member of the winning team received $100 cash prize, and they received a traveling plaque for KU’s Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) group to display for the next year. “I did not know what to expect,” Scott said about his first programming competition. “I thought we did really well. KU ACM is full of talented people who do well on their own and collaborate well with each other.” The second team, made up of senior Chris Hudson, sophomore Adam Smith, and freshman Aleksander Eskilson finished in 13th place. With no Internet access and minimal

KU’s w was t inning te am he to so only team l prob ve all five lems the fo during ur-h conte our st.

printed materials, the students relied on their experience and each other. They credit weekly work sessions, put together by the KU ACM Competitive Programming group, in helping develop their skills. The Competitive Programming group, chaired by Eskilson, sends out problems for members to work on and then meets to discuss them and other programming challenges. “We’ve spent the last year retooling ACM and the ACM Comp. Prog. group,” Eskilson said. “Now we’re geared up to make new opportunities available, from involvement to recruitment. This semester has gone well for us, but we’re excited to do even more.”

— Story by Michelle Ward

Kansas Engineer - 35

Student Update – Achievements and Activities Barron Award Winner Announced

Environmental science doctoral student Lindsey Witthaus was selected by faculty to receive the 2013 J. Lloyd Barron Award. She is working to model the water quality impact of extreme weather events in a changing climate under the direction of Associate Professor Belinda Sturm. She earned her bachelor’s degree in environmental studies from the University of Pittsburgh. The award honors a student’s academic excellence, achievements and character.

ESC Names Officers

Engineering Student Council announced its officers for the 2013-2014 academic year. They are: President Joe Weaver VP of Finance Eva Anderson VP of Campus Relations Mason Jones VP of Recruitment LK Assenmacher Engineering Expo Chairs Al Papa Silva, Erica Hui, and Logan Fritz Activities Chair Megan Teahan Public Relations Jonny Salzetti Internal Relations Amanda Parks Outreach & Community Service Jordan Hildenbrand Technology Chair Alek Eskilson

Grad Student Recognized at ACS

Tiffany Suekama, a doctoral student researching hydrogels in the lab of Stevin Gehrke, professor of chemical and petroleum engineering, received two awards at the American Chemical Society (ACS) in New Orleans, La., in April 2013. Suekama was awarded the Outstanding Graduate Research Presentation Award for her second place oral presentation and the Excellence in Graduate Polymer Research for her

36 - Summer 2013

poster titled, “Interpenetrating network hydrogels based on poly(N-vinylformamide) and polyacrylamide with controlled charge complexation.”

Students Receive Top Awards at KU Innovation Fair

Bioengineering doctoral student Nikki Galvis and mechanical engineering master’s student Alice Riley each won first place in a poster competition at the KU Center for Technology Commercialization Innovation Fair, held April 30 in the Kansas Union. Galvis received a $1,000 award for her poster, titled “External Manipulation and Reduction in Tibial Fractures.” Riley was awarded $1,000 for her poster, “Development of Single-Use Syringe Adapter System to Prevent the Spread of Disease.”

Three Chosen for University Scholars

Three School of Engineering students are among 20 students at KU selected to be in the 32nd class of the University Scholars Program. Students are selected in their second year on the basis of academic credentials, commitment to their education, intellectual promise and evaluation by instructors, advisers and other faculty members. The School of Engineering students are: • David Gier, Overland Park, Kan.; majoring in physics and interdisciplinary computing, • Lauren Schumacher, Rolla, Mo.; majoring in aerospace engineering, and • Haider Tarar, Islamabad, Pakistan; majoring in chemical engineering. Each University Scholar receives a $250 scholarship per semester for five semesters, is assigned a faculty mentor and enrolls in an interdisciplinary seminar taught by a faculty member noted for a distinguished teaching record.

Students Receive Research Honors

Doctoral students Lei Shi and Griffin Roberts won awards at the Capitol Graduate Research Summit held in Topeka in February. The event highlights innovative research conducted by graduate students at KU, Kansas State and Wichita State universities. Shi presented a poster on his research into aircollision avoidance radars for small, unmanned aerial vehicles. Roberts won the biology related award for his work on alternative energy production through algal biofuels. Both received a cash award for their success. Videos of both researchers and their projects can be found on JayhawkEngineering.

NSBE Announces Leaders

The KU chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers announced its officers for the 2013-2014 academic year. They are: Co-President David Menager Co-President Myette Simpson VP Theresa Amante Secretary Stephen Obiefule Co-Treasurer Brandon Goodrich Co-Treasurer Jessie Van Winkle Webmaster Kendal Harland

AISES Chapter Names Leadership Team

The KU chapter of the American Indian Science and Engineering Society announced its officers for the 2013-2014 academic year. They are: President Nathaniel Abeita VP Alex White Secretary Sharmini Lawless Treasurer John Hatfield

Women of Distinction Calendar Taps Three

Three engineering students — Jamie Branch, Emily Dellwig,

Contributed Photo

Doctoral student Lei Shi at the Capitol Graduate Research Summit.

Contributed Photo

Doctoral student Griffin Roberts at the Capitol Graduate Research Summit.

and Nikki Galvis – were featured in the 2012-2013 KU Women of Distinction calendar produced by KU’s Emily Taylor Women’s Resource Center. The calendar features women who work or study at KU who exemplify leadership through their achievements and activities. Branch is a May 2013 graduate in mechanical engineering and Fulbright Scholar. Dellwig is a May 2012 graduate in electrical engineering and an Anita Borg Google Scholar. Galvis, a bioengineering graduate student, is an NSF Fellowship recipient.

Student Chosen for Global Scholars Symposium

May graduate Matt Werner was among 12 KU students selected to present at the KU Global Scholars Symposium. The event, coordinated by the Office of International Programs, showcased the seniors’ research on topics ranging from developmental disabilities in Kansas and Peru to herbal remedies in 20th century Slavic folklore. Werner earned his degree in electrical engineering.



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KU students explore the world in the newly installed Google Liquid Galaxy display in the Self Computing Commons in Eaton Hall. The surround experience, made possible through a gift from alumnus Brian McClendon and his wife, Beth Ellyn, lets users zoom to a location on Google Earth, then drop to a ground view with Google Maps Street View. Liquid Galaxy is more than just a novelty and offers GIS capabilities. McClendon is vice president of engineering at Google, in charge of the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s geo products.

Kansas Engineer Summer 2013  

News, honors and activities of the KU School of Engineering students, faculty, staff and alumni.

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