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College of Engineering

126A100001

Newsletter Winter 2011-2012

New Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering Starts This Fall

College of Engineering Interim Dean: AMY MOLL (208) 426-1153 Associate Dean for Academic Affairs: JANET CALLAHAN (208) 426-1153 janetcallahan@boisestate.edu Assistant Dean for Research & Infrastructure: REX OXFORD (208) 426-5744 roxford@boisestate.edu

Civil Engineering Chair: ROBERT HAMILTON (208) 426-3764 rhamilton@boisestate.edu

Computer Science Chair: MURALI MEDIDI (208) 426-2283 mmedidi@boisestate.edu

Construction Management Chair: TONY SONGER (208) 426-3716 tonysonger@boisestate.edu

Electrical & Computer Engineering Chair: SIN MING LOO (208) 426-2283 smloo@boisestate.edu

Instructional & Performance Technology Chair: DON STEPICH (208) 426-1312 dstepich@boisestate.edu

Materials Science & Engineering Chair: DARRYL BUTT (208) 426-5640 darrylbutt@boisestate.edu

Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering Interim Chair: MICHELLE SABICK (208) 426-4078 msabick@boisestate.edu

Boise State Engineering Magazine Goes Paperless Alumni and friends of the college can now sign up to receive an electronic version of the College of Engineering Newsletter instead of a printed copy. The College is offering this paperless option as a convenience to readers and to reduce its impact on the environment. To see this issue electronically, go to: http://coen.boisestate.edu/news/alumni-newsletter/. If you would like to receive an email notification when we publish a new issue online, contact Leandra Aburusa at laburusa@boisestate.edu. We will still mail one printed issue each winter.

Still Ranked Among the Best Boise State’s College of Engineering was again ranked among the best undergraduate engineering programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report in its 2012 “America’s Best Colleges” issue, released on Sept. 13. Boise State shares the No. 15 ranking among public undergraduate progams and is tied for No. 37 ranking among all undergraduate engineering programs with the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. The rankings are based solely on a survey of engineering deans and senior faculty at all accredited programs, conducted during the spring of 2011. Boise State improved on its 2011 rankings when it was tied for 16th among public schools and tied for 42nd overall. The peer assessment went up from 2.9 to 3.1 on a 5.0 scale. The College of Engineering offers programs in civil engineering, computer science, materials science and engineering, construction management, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical and biomedical engineering, and instructional and performance technology.

Plans are moving fast to implement the new doctoral degree in materials science and engineering. The program will prepare graduates to be technical leaders and high-level engineers in various fields of materials production and research. The degree was approved by the Idaho State Board of Education in December and will be the second Ph.D. program in engineering – following the 2009 approval of the Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering. “We are accepting applications right now for the Ph.D. track, and all students who are accepted will receive funding,” said Darryl Butt, chair of the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at Boise State University. “We will be hiring nine new tenure track faculty members over the next three years.” Students will be taught cooperatively by more than 20 faculty members from departments in the College of Engineering and the College of Arts and

Sciences. The new Ph.D. is research-focused and candidates will work with faculty on funded projects in areas such as semiconductor device reliability, nanoscale fabrication, microelectronic packaging, shape memory alloys, Continued on Page 3

Trying to Diagnose Cancer With a Simple Blood Test By Margaret Scott If Will Hughes, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, gets his way, his team will pioneer a simple and inexpensive blood test that will be able to detect a variety of diseases. Currently in year one of a three year, $1 million grant from the prestigious W. M. Keck Foundation, Hughes leads an interdisciplinary team of professors in chemistry, biology and engineering as well as collaborators at the Boise Veterans Affairs Medical Center, St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor and Medical Research Institute, Idaho IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, and the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia. “Our vision is to fundamentally change early-stage disease diagnosis and treatment on a global scale,” Hughes said. “By using engineered biochemical tools, diseasespecific markers could be identified through a portable DNA-based device that is analogous to a disposable pregnancy test. We believe the system could potentially Continued on Page 3


From the Dean’s Desk Happy New Year and Welcome to 2012. The new year and a new semester is a good time to reflect on what was accomplished in the Fall semester and our goals and expectations for the rest of the academic year. In December, the State Board of Education approved the Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering . We are very thankful to Micron Technology for their generous gift of $13 million to initiate this program. In the few years since the department’s inception in 2004, it has grown to be a mid-size department on a national scale with more than 100 undergraduates and approximately 35 master’s students. The department leads the university in research expenditures and partners with a variety of researchers across campus and throughout the region. Over the next year we will be recruiting new faculty members and graduate students to launch this program. Our faculty members continue to excel and are consistently recognized for their work with numerous awards. Some recent highlights include R. Jake Baker, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who received the Education Award from the IEEE Circuits and Systems (CAS) Society. Thad Welch, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was named the first SPEN (Signal Processing Education Network) fellow. John Chiasson, associate professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering was named an IEEE Fellow, "for contributions to control of electric machines and power converters". In recognition of his lifelong achievements as a scientist and for his contributions to Boise State, Bernard Yurke was recently named Distinguished Research Fellow. Dr. Yurke is the first researcher at Boise State to receive this distinction. We have also remodeled several facilities in the Engineering buildings to provide better support for student success. The classroom used for ENGR 120 Introduction to Engineering was remodeled and is a beautiful space designed to encourage creativity, teamwork and innovation. The new advising center also opened and we have added several staff members including an advising coordinator, a recruiting coordinator and four peer advisors. Donuts and coffee during finals brought in a wide variety of students and we hope they continue to visit the center throughout the year. A computer classroom was also remodeled to accommodate more students and create an environment that is more conducive to learning. If you are in the area, stop in, we would love to give you a tour of the new facilities.

Engineering Student Success

Engineering Grad Prepared NASA Spacecraft for Blast Off to Mars By Matt Pene NASA launched its most advanced mobile robotic laboratory to search for life on Mars in November and a recent Boise State University graduate played an integral role in making sure everything went according to plan.

Meet COEN’s Academic Advising Coordinators Diana Garza, Academic Advising Coordinator Diana joined the College of Engineering in September of 2011. She joins COEN with a ten year history at Boise State with a particular interest in helping students find co-curricular opportunities to enhance their classroom learning. She has worked in several departments including Student Activities, the Cultural Center, College Assistance Migrant Program and McNair Scholars. Diana is a Boise State Alum with a M.S. in Educational Technology and a BA in Communication/Journalism.

Interim Dean and Professor College of Engineering College of Engineering Newsletter | Winter 2011-2012

Scheduled for a nearly two-year mission to Mars, Curiosity launched atop an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. For the past two years, Isla helped assemble the rover and performed the functional testing of the entire flight system to confirm the health and safety of the spacecraft. His specific role on the team was to send commands to the rover during testing and launch operations and to verify that the data being sent back is accurate. He also created a “spacecraft baseline test,” which was used to ensure every copper connection throughout the system was working properly. Notably, it was

On the day of launch, Isla worked in the control room and conducted the final configuration of the spacecraft, as well as transitioning it to internal power on the rover batteries just prior to lift-off. “One thing that I think is cool is that I got to work with the real hardware going to Mars and watched parts on a table become a fully functional rover ready to explore another planet,” Isla said. “When I was a child growing up in Boise I wanted to be an astronaut, and spacecraft engineering has really fulfilled that dream for me. I remember being inspired when I was younger, hearing about the early Mars missions and seeing the first images from another planet surface on the Internet. Today, it really is a dream come true to be an integral part of NASA’s Mars exploration program.” At Boise State, Isla took research to new heights as the student leader of an engineering project conducted in NASA’s Microgravity University program. The project, which dealt with lunar surface traction concepts, helped NASA engineers anticipate challenges in designing better rovers for future manned missions to the moon. Isla was active in engineering student clubs and honor societies and was named the College of Engineering’s Outstanding Graduating Student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

Lynn Olson, Recruitment Coordinator Originally from Butte, Montana, Lynn received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Gonzaga University in 1995. Following some graduate study at the University of Notre Dame, she began her engineering consulting career with T-O Engineers (formerly Toothman-Orton Engineering) in Boise in 1997 beginning with the design of the Hidden Springs Planned Community where she remained as a design engineer until 2010. She continues to work for T-O part time with her work focusing on floodplain and bridge hydraulic studies. She has been actively involved with the Idaho Society of Professional Engineers since 2003 serving as Southwest Chapter and State President and currently the State Secretary/Treasurer. She has volunteered since 2004 on the Idaho National Engineers Week Future City Steering Committee promoting engineering to 6th-8th grade students, serving the last 3 years as the Idaho Regional Coordinator. Along with volunteering, her free time is spent reading, traveling and cheering on the Gonzaga basketball and Boise State football teams.

Research Highlights

Maria Mitkova, Electrical & Computer Engineering, is part of a team that received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to improve the performance of technology where radiation is present.

Meet COEN’s Peer Advisors

As we look forward, we are continually challenged by the difficult economic times and the reduction in state funding. We remain committed to offering the highest quality education to our students both in the classroom and in outside opportunities. Amy Moll

Dan Isla, a 2009 electrical engineering graduate, joined NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as an electrical systems engineer shortly after graduation. He works on a test and launch operations team for the Mars Science Laboratory mission that will carry Curiosity, a one-ton rover with more scientific capability than any other sent to another planet.

the final functional test run on the spacecraft while atop the rocket, certifying it is ready for the journey to Mars.

Ashley Bradley, mechanical engineering

Taylor Coleman, civil engineering

Ashley Alexander, civil engineering

Nilab Mohammad Mousa, computer science

In recognition of his lifelong achievements as a scientist and for his contributions to Boise State, Bernard Yurke was recently named Distinguished Research Fellow. Dr. Yurke is the first researcher at Boise State to receive this distinction.

Mitkova will work with Arizona State University engineering professors Hugh Barnaby and Michael Kozicki to study a specialized material called chalcogenide glasses, which is a glass containing one or more chalcogenide elements such as sulfur and selenium. They are currently found in rewritable DVDs, infrared detectors and lenses, among others. The compounds are useful because they can change physical and electrical properties when photons or radiation with shorter wavelengths redistribute metal atoms within their interiors. Mitkova, an expert in chalcogenide glass systems, will provide studies of radiationinduced changes in the properties of the material and related devices. To read more go to: http://news.boisestate.edu/update/2012/01/09/boise-stateengineer-to-help-develop-hostile-environment-control-technology/ College of Engineering Newsletter | Winter 2011-2012

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Alumni News Tory Garcia CM ’02 is working as a project manager for Probst Electric, a transmission and distribution contractor in Heber, Utah. Her current project is a 200 plus mile transmission line running from Montana to Canada. Matthew Leslie ECE ‘03 is entering his fifth year with Marvell Semiconductor in Boise. As Senior Engineer, his primary responsibility is signal integrity analysis. He is pictured with first child, Elizabeth Grace Leslie, born on May 12, 2011.

Dry Lake Wind project, which was the first commercial project for the state of Arizona. The Dry Lake I project was 63MW and the second phase, Dry Lake II, was 65.1MW. Both projects were Suzlon S88 2.1MW Wind Turbines. Overall, he has been involved in the Engineering, Permitting and Construction of over 1,200MW of Wind Energy in the western US. So far, Blattner has employed him in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Minnesota, Arizona and California.

She got married in April 2010 and went from Shannon Penrod to Shannon Shaffer, and had her second son in Nov 2010. Rebecca Ahern, ME ‘ 09, married Brent Ludwig, July 9th, 2011, aboard the Royal Argosy in Seattle, WA .

Mo Nguyen, ME ’10, is working as a Mechanical Engineer for Wylie Labs at the Johnson Space Center. Mo had previously served as an intern for NASA in Langley, VA during summer 2009.

We want to stay in touch. Please send your updates to Leandra Aburusa-Lete at laburusa@boisestate.edu

Maria Tracy Meeks , CE ’04, took the College of Engineering international in October when she set up a COEN booth at a college night at Ramstein Air Base in Germany where she works as an SRM Programmer in the Asset Management program. The event introduced military family dependents, mainly graduating students from Kaiserslautern High School, who are looking at universities in the United States. T.J. Bird, CE , ‘06 is working as a Site Manager for Blattner Energy. Since graduating from the Boise State Civil Engineering Program, he worked his way up from a Field Engineer to Site Manager which is Blattner’s term for a Project Superintendent. As a Site Manager, he has overseen the construction of two wind projects in northeast Arizona and is currently overseeing the construction of a 189MW Wind Project 13 miles west of Rosamond, CA. He received the Carpe Ventum award from the Department of Energy Wind Powering America in 2009 for the

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Chris Raymes, EE ’07, is working as a Senior Systems Engineer with Apex Manufacturing Solutions in Boise. He lives in Eagle with wife Rachel, daughter Lily (3yr), and son Ethan (2yr).

John Katzenberger, ME ’09 has been working at Rain For Rent in Dickinson, North Dakota for the past year as a project manager. His work involves special projects for pumping water for oilfield hydrofracturing processes, flood remediation in the Minot, ND, area, and creating heating solutions for water transfer in freezing conditions. He is pictured on a recent family outing at Crazyhorse National Monument near Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota.

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BSUEngineering

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Microgravity U 2011 Reno Showdown 2011 ISAS Summer Acadamy 2010 NASA Interns Microgravity U 2010 BLADT – Bronco Lunar Agricultural Design Team Microgravity U 2009

Shannon Shaffer (Penrod) CM ’07 started working for ACHD in November as a contract technician.

College of Engineering Newsletter | Winter 2011-2012

Trying to Diagnose Cancer Continued From Page 1

DNA machinery, materials for energy applications, biomaterials, materials characterization and materials modeling. The doctoral program will begin in August 2012 and initially enroll approximately six students, growing to about 50 students in six years.

become the gold standard in diagnosing diseases, especially where medical equipment and resources are rare.”

Boise State’s materials science and engineering department has grown rapidly since its creation in 2004 into one of the largest MSE departments in the region, with more than 110 students. University officials say the establishment of an MSE doctoral program will support the growing need of local industries such as Micron Technology Inc., as well as regional organizations such as the Idaho National Laboratory, by creating more opportunities for handson participation in advanced and applied research.

The detection of lung cancer will be the initial research focus. Now in the early stages of research, the team is operating synthetic molecular machines in human blood and serum. The motivation is to learn how to stabilize DNAbased chemical reaction networks in bodily fluids.

Recognizing the need for a stronger foundation in materials science in the area, the Micron Technology Foundation has generously donated $13 million, the largest gift in Boise State history, to help start the new MSE doctoral program.

“The great thing about the W.M. Keck Foundation is that their risk appetite encourages big science Hughes said. “So far we are working towards creating the first synthetic molecular machines designed to perform mechanical and chemical work inside human blood and serum.”

COEN Faculty in Action

Alumni Notes

Christian Gellert, ME ‘06 passed his Professional Engineers Exam in Mechanical Engineering. He is employed at DC Engineering in Meridian, Idaho.

New Ph.D. Continued From Page 1

The Turf Buster’s NFL Stadium Tour 2008

Darryl Butt, chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, was featured in a front-page Idaho Statesman photo and story about Gov. Butch Otter’s proposal to fund tech research in order to create Idaho jobs. Called IGEM (Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission), the program also was featured in a KTVB Channel 7 story that featured Butt and Amy Moll, interim dean of the College of Engineering.

In addition to the interdisciplinary faculty team conducting the research, there are also two fulltime graduate students and two undergraduate students providing support. Hughes said he is currently looking for additional graduate students.

Amy Moll, Interim Dean of the College of Engineering, was featured in the Beyond the Blue Podcast: Living in a Materials World. In this podcast, Dr. Moll explains how everyday objects are made of materials designed to have specific properties and performance. Michelle Sabick, Interim Chair and Associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering was featured in the Beyone the Blue Podast: Human Engineering: The Basics of Joint Replacement. In this podcast, Dr. Sabick outlines how engineers overcome those challenges to make joint replacement an increasingly common and usually successful procedure that improves the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people every year. A journal paper written by Gang-Ryung Uh, professor of computer science, was published in the IEEE Computer Architecture Letters.

Cheryl Jorcyk, Bernard Yurke, Will Hughes, Elton Graugnard and Jeunghoon Lee.

Mandar Khanal, associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, presented a paper titled “Sustainable Transport Development for Kathmandu Valley” at the International Conference on Sustainable Development of Transport System held in Kathmandu, Nepal, Oct. 19-22. John Chiasson, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been named a 2012 IEEE Fellow, one of the association’s most prestigious honors. Chiasson’s research is in areas related to systems and controls. Elisa Barney Smith, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, was the keynote speaker at Hewlett Packard’s corporate-wide conference on image processing. She discussed techniques and current practices to “clean up” digital images and pictures. Amit Jain, associate professor of computer science, was quoted in a KTVB story about the demand for computer software engineering graduates. Jain said that in order to meet the need, Idaho’s universities need resources to grow. Arvin Farid, professor of civil engineering, presented at the ninth International Environmental Geotechnics Symposium at Kyoto University and was part of a group of 12 professors who traveled to Japan to meet with the Japanese counterparts in the second U.S. Japan Geoenvironmental Engineering Workshop.

http://coen.boisestate.edu/blogs/

College of Engineering Newsletter | Winter 2011-2012

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Students in Action Boise State Research Team Accepted Into NASA’S Microgravity University 2012 Boise State University students and faculty are gearing up for a research project that is out of this world. For the fourth straight year, a Boise State research team has been accepted into NASA’s competitive Microgravity University program. Also known as the Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program, Microgravity University 2012 challenges undergraduate students to design, fabricate, fly and evaluate a reduced gravity experiment that ultimately contributes to NASA’s mission to advance human exploration, use and development of space. Boise State joins 13 other student teams, including those from MIT, Yale and Purdue.

photo credit:Luke Salewski

President Kustra Presents Trailblazer Award to Greenspeed for World’s Fastest Vehicle By Matt Pene Boise State President Bob Kustra presented the university’s Trailblazer award to members of Greenspeed, the student club that last fall built and raced the world’s fastest vehicle that runs on vegetable oil. In November, Greenspeed shattered the existing 109-mph record for vegetable oil-fueled vehicles with a run of 139 mph in their modified 1998 Chevrolet S-10. The next day, they broke their own record with a run of 155 mph. The project was designed to demonstrate the potential of vegetable oil as an alternative fuel to traditional petroleum products. “We talk often about how Boise State research goes ‘beyond the blue’ and this is a perfect example of that,” Kustra said during the presentation at his annual spring address to faculty and staff. “Greenspeed’s spectacular success is a shining example of the capabilities and ingenuity of our students. Their dedication to building this truck from scratch and then showing the world its capabilities is a testament to perseverance, fine engineering skills and good old Bronco spirit.” The Greenspeed team was invited to the Washington Auto Show Jan. 26-Feb. 5. The event is the largest public show in Washington, D.C., and also the premier place for showcasing the latest innovations in sustainable technologies and drawing the most influential leaders in the auto industry. The team, its truck and its

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College of Engineering Newsletter | Winter 2011-2012

accomplishment will be highlighted as part of the show’s overarching theme of “Safety and Sustainability in Motion.” The club, made up of undergraduates from the College of Engineering, includes Jenny Kniss; Ken Fukumoto of Portland, Ore.; Adrian Rothenbuhler of Bern, Switzerland; Patrick Johnston of Boise; Seth Fueurborn of Pocatello; Mike Van Kirk of Boise; and Dave Schenker of Ketchum. Schenker is the leader and founder of the club and the driver of the truck during its record-breaking runs. Later this year, the team hopes to set even more records by overtaking the existing 215-mph record for petroleum-fueled trucks in their division. Their first attempt will come next summer at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. For more information about Greenspeed, visit http://greenspeed.me

The research team represents several departments in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering, and for the first time includes a student pursuing a degree in secondary education. The team will visit local school districts to engage K-12 students in a series of lessons on life sciences, engineering and the excitement of getting to experience weightlessness. “Last year, we couldn’t do as much as we had hoped. So this year we decided to expand the experiment and validate what we saw was really happening. It’s very exciting,” said David Connolly, junior mechanical engiineering magor and team leader.

“This project is truly interdisciplinary and addresses a real world problem. It’s a biology project, it’s an education project and it’s an engineering project. No one person can do this project without the help of other team members.”

The students will conduct their experiment June 8-16 during Flight Week at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The experience during Flight Week includes hands-on experimental research and interaction with some of the world’s top technical minds at NASA. The students also will experience weightlessness when they test their experiment onboard the “Weightless Wonder.” The aircraft flies extreme parabolic maneuvers over the Gulf of Mexico, simulating hypergravity and microgravity from two times the force on Earth to what someone would feel walking on the moon and floating in space. With nearly all new members, Boise State’s team will build upon last year’s study that looked at cellular mechanisms associated with bone density loss suffered by astronauts who endure long periods of weightlessness. That study found a direct correlation between changes in gravity and changes in calcium concentrations in a certain type of bone cells. This year’s team will validate and quantify those results by increasing the sample size from five to 96. They are designing and building a new apparatus with a lens and charge-coupled device-based system that will monitor the entire sample set simultaneously, rather than one by one. This year’s team also will expand the research by including an additional type of bone cells in their experiment.

Working with faculty advisers Elisa Barney Smith, Alark Joshi, Julia Oxford, Robert Hay, Sarah Haight and Morgan along with research assistant Benjamin Davis, the team will work through the winter and spring to design, build and test their experiment in preparation for Flight Week in June. The students also will be writing grant proposals to help with – David Connolly, equipment and travel costs.

junior mechanical engineering major

Participating students include: Jason Archer, Matthew Dolan and Marie Tharp (electrical & computer engineering); Eugene Castro and David Connolly (mechanical engineering); Lindsey Catlin (biology); Reilly Clark (applied mathematics/biology); and Audra Phelps (biology/secondary education). For more information, visit: http://boisestatemicrogravity2012.blogspot.com and NASA’s Microgravity University at http://microgravityuniversity.jsc.nasa.gov

“Our students continue to shine for Boise State as this program helps the university evolve as a metropolitan research university of distinction,” said Barbara Morgan, distinguished educator in residence and former NASA astronaut. “If we can understand what is happening in microgravity to cause bone loss, maybe we can help people all over the world. These are undergraduates doing graduate-level research.”

College of Engineering Newsletter | Winter 2011-2012

5


Students in Action Boise State Research Team Accepted Into NASA’S Microgravity University 2012 Boise State University students and faculty are gearing up for a research project that is out of this world. For the fourth straight year, a Boise State research team has been accepted into NASA’s competitive Microgravity University program. Also known as the Reduced Gravity Education Flight Program, Microgravity University 2012 challenges undergraduate students to design, fabricate, fly and evaluate a reduced gravity experiment that ultimately contributes to NASA’s mission to advance human exploration, use and development of space. Boise State joins 13 other student teams, including those from MIT, Yale and Purdue.

photo credit:Luke Salewski

President Kustra Presents Trailblazer Award to Greenspeed for World’s Fastest Vehicle By Matt Pene Boise State President Bob Kustra presented the university’s Trailblazer award to members of Greenspeed, the student club that last fall built and raced the world’s fastest vehicle that runs on vegetable oil. In November, Greenspeed shattered the existing 109-mph record for vegetable oil-fueled vehicles with a run of 139 mph in their modified 1998 Chevrolet S-10. The next day, they broke their own record with a run of 155 mph. The project was designed to demonstrate the potential of vegetable oil as an alternative fuel to traditional petroleum products. “We talk often about how Boise State research goes ‘beyond the blue’ and this is a perfect example of that,” Kustra said during the presentation at his annual spring address to faculty and staff. “Greenspeed’s spectacular success is a shining example of the capabilities and ingenuity of our students. Their dedication to building this truck from scratch and then showing the world its capabilities is a testament to perseverance, fine engineering skills and good old Bronco spirit.” The Greenspeed team was invited to the Washington Auto Show Jan. 26-Feb. 5. The event is the largest public show in Washington, D.C., and also the premier place for showcasing the latest innovations in sustainable technologies and drawing the most influential leaders in the auto industry. The team, its truck and its

4

College of Engineering Newsletter | Winter 2011-2012

accomplishment will be highlighted as part of the show’s overarching theme of “Safety and Sustainability in Motion.” The club, made up of undergraduates from the College of Engineering, includes Jenny Kniss; Ken Fukumoto of Portland, Ore.; Adrian Rothenbuhler of Bern, Switzerland; Patrick Johnston of Boise; Seth Fueurborn of Pocatello; Mike Van Kirk of Boise; and Dave Schenker of Ketchum. Schenker is the leader and founder of the club and the driver of the truck during its record-breaking runs. Later this year, the team hopes to set even more records by overtaking the existing 215-mph record for petroleum-fueled trucks in their division. Their first attempt will come next summer at the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. For more information about Greenspeed, visit http://greenspeed.me

The research team represents several departments in the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Engineering, and for the first time includes a student pursuing a degree in secondary education. The team will visit local school districts to engage K-12 students in a series of lessons on life sciences, engineering and the excitement of getting to experience weightlessness. “Last year, we couldn’t do as much as we had hoped. So this year we decided to expand the experiment and validate what we saw was really happening. It’s very exciting,” said David Connolly, junior mechanical engiineering magor and team leader.

“This project is truly interdisciplinary and addresses a real world problem. It’s a biology project, it’s an education project and it’s an engineering project. No one person can do this project without the help of other team members.”

The students will conduct their experiment June 8-16 during Flight Week at the Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas. The experience during Flight Week includes hands-on experimental research and interaction with some of the world’s top technical minds at NASA. The students also will experience weightlessness when they test their experiment onboard the “Weightless Wonder.” The aircraft flies extreme parabolic maneuvers over the Gulf of Mexico, simulating hypergravity and microgravity from two times the force on Earth to what someone would feel walking on the moon and floating in space. With nearly all new members, Boise State’s team will build upon last year’s study that looked at cellular mechanisms associated with bone density loss suffered by astronauts who endure long periods of weightlessness. That study found a direct correlation between changes in gravity and changes in calcium concentrations in a certain type of bone cells. This year’s team will validate and quantify those results by increasing the sample size from five to 96. They are designing and building a new apparatus with a lens and charge-coupled device-based system that will monitor the entire sample set simultaneously, rather than one by one. This year’s team also will expand the research by including an additional type of bone cells in their experiment.

Working with faculty advisers Elisa Barney Smith, Alark Joshi, Julia Oxford, Robert Hay, Sarah Haight and Morgan along with research assistant Benjamin Davis, the team will work through the winter and spring to design, build and test their experiment in preparation for Flight Week in June. The students also will be writing grant proposals to help with – David Connolly, equipment and travel costs.

junior mechanical engineering major

Participating students include: Jason Archer, Matthew Dolan and Marie Tharp (electrical & computer engineering); Eugene Castro and David Connolly (mechanical engineering); Lindsey Catlin (biology); Reilly Clark (applied mathematics/biology); and Audra Phelps (biology/secondary education). For more information, visit: http://boisestatemicrogravity2012.blogspot.com and NASA’s Microgravity University at http://microgravityuniversity.jsc.nasa.gov

“Our students continue to shine for Boise State as this program helps the university evolve as a metropolitan research university of distinction,” said Barbara Morgan, distinguished educator in residence and former NASA astronaut. “If we can understand what is happening in microgravity to cause bone loss, maybe we can help people all over the world. These are undergraduates doing graduate-level research.”

College of Engineering Newsletter | Winter 2011-2012

5


Alumni News Tory Garcia CM ’02 is working as a project manager for Probst Electric, a transmission and distribution contractor in Heber, Utah. Her current project is a 200 plus mile transmission line running from Montana to Canada. Matthew Leslie ECE ‘03 is entering his fifth year with Marvell Semiconductor in Boise. As Senior Engineer, his primary responsibility is signal integrity analysis. He is pictured with first child, Elizabeth Grace Leslie, born on May 12, 2011.

Dry Lake Wind project, which was the first commercial project for the state of Arizona. The Dry Lake I project was 63MW and the second phase, Dry Lake II, was 65.1MW. Both projects were Suzlon S88 2.1MW Wind Turbines. Overall, he has been involved in the Engineering, Permitting and Construction of over 1,200MW of Wind Energy in the western US. So far, Blattner has employed him in Washington, Oregon, Montana, Minnesota, Arizona and California.

She got married in April 2010 and went from Shannon Penrod to Shannon Shaffer, and had her second son in Nov 2010. Rebecca Ahern, ME ‘ 09, married Brent Ludwig, July 9th, 2011, aboard the Royal Argosy in Seattle, WA .

Mo Nguyen, ME ’10, is working as a Mechanical Engineer for Wylie Labs at the Johnson Space Center. Mo had previously served as an intern for NASA in Langley, VA during summer 2009.

We want to stay in touch. Please send your updates to Leandra Aburusa-Lete at laburusa@boisestate.edu

Maria Tracy Meeks , CE ’04, took the College of Engineering international in October when she set up a COEN booth at a college night at Ramstein Air Base in Germany where she works as an SRM Programmer in the Asset Management program. The event introduced military family dependents, mainly graduating students from Kaiserslautern High School, who are looking at universities in the United States. T.J. Bird, CE , ‘06 is working as a Site Manager for Blattner Energy. Since graduating from the Boise State Civil Engineering Program, he worked his way up from a Field Engineer to Site Manager which is Blattner’s term for a Project Superintendent. As a Site Manager, he has overseen the construction of two wind projects in northeast Arizona and is currently overseeing the construction of a 189MW Wind Project 13 miles west of Rosamond, CA. He received the Carpe Ventum award from the Department of Energy Wind Powering America in 2009 for the

6

Chris Raymes, EE ’07, is working as a Senior Systems Engineer with Apex Manufacturing Solutions in Boise. He lives in Eagle with wife Rachel, daughter Lily (3yr), and son Ethan (2yr).

John Katzenberger, ME ’09 has been working at Rain For Rent in Dickinson, North Dakota for the past year as a project manager. His work involves special projects for pumping water for oilfield hydrofracturing processes, flood remediation in the Minot, ND, area, and creating heating solutions for water transfer in freezing conditions. He is pictured on a recent family outing at Crazyhorse National Monument near Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota.

R U Following Us? Boise State College of Engineering Alumni

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Microgravity U 2011 Reno Showdown 2011 ISAS Summer Acadamy 2010 NASA Interns Microgravity U 2010 BLADT – Bronco Lunar Agricultural Design Team Microgravity U 2009

Shannon Shaffer (Penrod) CM ’07 started working for ACHD in November as a contract technician.

College of Engineering Newsletter | Winter 2011-2012

Trying to Diagnose Cancer Continued From Page 1

DNA machinery, materials for energy applications, biomaterials, materials characterization and materials modeling. The doctoral program will begin in August 2012 and initially enroll approximately six students, growing to about 50 students in six years.

become the gold standard in diagnosing diseases, especially where medical equipment and resources are rare.”

Boise State’s materials science and engineering department has grown rapidly since its creation in 2004 into one of the largest MSE departments in the region, with more than 110 students. University officials say the establishment of an MSE doctoral program will support the growing need of local industries such as Micron Technology Inc., as well as regional organizations such as the Idaho National Laboratory, by creating more opportunities for handson participation in advanced and applied research.

The detection of lung cancer will be the initial research focus. Now in the early stages of research, the team is operating synthetic molecular machines in human blood and serum. The motivation is to learn how to stabilize DNAbased chemical reaction networks in bodily fluids.

Recognizing the need for a stronger foundation in materials science in the area, the Micron Technology Foundation has generously donated $13 million, the largest gift in Boise State history, to help start the new MSE doctoral program.

“The great thing about the W.M. Keck Foundation is that their risk appetite encourages big science Hughes said. “So far we are working towards creating the first synthetic molecular machines designed to perform mechanical and chemical work inside human blood and serum.”

COEN Faculty in Action

Alumni Notes

Christian Gellert, ME ‘06 passed his Professional Engineers Exam in Mechanical Engineering. He is employed at DC Engineering in Meridian, Idaho.

New Ph.D. Continued From Page 1

The Turf Buster’s NFL Stadium Tour 2008

Darryl Butt, chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, was featured in a front-page Idaho Statesman photo and story about Gov. Butch Otter’s proposal to fund tech research in order to create Idaho jobs. Called IGEM (Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission), the program also was featured in a KTVB Channel 7 story that featured Butt and Amy Moll, interim dean of the College of Engineering.

In addition to the interdisciplinary faculty team conducting the research, there are also two fulltime graduate students and two undergraduate students providing support. Hughes said he is currently looking for additional graduate students.

Amy Moll, Interim Dean of the College of Engineering, was featured in the Beyond the Blue Podcast: Living in a Materials World. In this podcast, Dr. Moll explains how everyday objects are made of materials designed to have specific properties and performance. Michelle Sabick, Interim Chair and Associate professor in the Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering was featured in the Beyone the Blue Podast: Human Engineering: The Basics of Joint Replacement. In this podcast, Dr. Sabick outlines how engineers overcome those challenges to make joint replacement an increasingly common and usually successful procedure that improves the quality of life for hundreds of thousands of people every year. A journal paper written by Gang-Ryung Uh, professor of computer science, was published in the IEEE Computer Architecture Letters.

Cheryl Jorcyk, Bernard Yurke, Will Hughes, Elton Graugnard and Jeunghoon Lee.

Mandar Khanal, associate professor in the Department of Civil Engineering, presented a paper titled “Sustainable Transport Development for Kathmandu Valley” at the International Conference on Sustainable Development of Transport System held in Kathmandu, Nepal, Oct. 19-22. John Chiasson, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been named a 2012 IEEE Fellow, one of the association’s most prestigious honors. Chiasson’s research is in areas related to systems and controls. Elisa Barney Smith, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, was the keynote speaker at Hewlett Packard’s corporate-wide conference on image processing. She discussed techniques and current practices to “clean up” digital images and pictures. Amit Jain, associate professor of computer science, was quoted in a KTVB story about the demand for computer software engineering graduates. Jain said that in order to meet the need, Idaho’s universities need resources to grow. Arvin Farid, professor of civil engineering, presented at the ninth International Environmental Geotechnics Symposium at Kyoto University and was part of a group of 12 professors who traveled to Japan to meet with the Japanese counterparts in the second U.S. Japan Geoenvironmental Engineering Workshop.

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College of Engineering Newsletter | Winter 2011-2012

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From the Dean’s Desk Happy New Year and Welcome to 2012. The new year and a new semester is a good time to reflect on what was accomplished in the Fall semester and our goals and expectations for the rest of the academic year. In December, the State Board of Education approved the Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering . We are very thankful to Micron Technology for their generous gift of $13 million to initiate this program. In the few years since the department’s inception in 2004, it has grown to be a mid-size department on a national scale with more than 100 undergraduates and approximately 35 master’s students. The department leads the university in research expenditures and partners with a variety of researchers across campus and throughout the region. Over the next year we will be recruiting new faculty members and graduate students to launch this program. Our faculty members continue to excel and are consistently recognized for their work with numerous awards. Some recent highlights include R. Jake Baker, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who received the Education Award from the IEEE Circuits and Systems (CAS) Society. Thad Welch, professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was named the first SPEN (Signal Processing Education Network) fellow. John Chiasson, associate professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering was named an IEEE Fellow, "for contributions to control of electric machines and power converters". In recognition of his lifelong achievements as a scientist and for his contributions to Boise State, Bernard Yurke was recently named Distinguished Research Fellow. Dr. Yurke is the first researcher at Boise State to receive this distinction. We have also remodeled several facilities in the Engineering buildings to provide better support for student success. The classroom used for ENGR 120 Introduction to Engineering was remodeled and is a beautiful space designed to encourage creativity, teamwork and innovation. The new advising center also opened and we have added several staff members including an advising coordinator, a recruiting coordinator and four peer advisors. Donuts and coffee during finals brought in a wide variety of students and we hope they continue to visit the center throughout the year. A computer classroom was also remodeled to accommodate more students and create an environment that is more conducive to learning. If you are in the area, stop in, we would love to give you a tour of the new facilities.

Engineering Student Success

Engineering Grad Prepared NASA Spacecraft for Blast Off to Mars By Matt Pene NASA launched its most advanced mobile robotic laboratory to search for life on Mars in November and a recent Boise State University graduate played an integral role in making sure everything went according to plan.

Meet COEN’s Academic Advising Coordinators Diana Garza, Academic Advising Coordinator Diana joined the College of Engineering in September of 2011. She joins COEN with a ten year history at Boise State with a particular interest in helping students find co-curricular opportunities to enhance their classroom learning. She has worked in several departments including Student Activities, the Cultural Center, College Assistance Migrant Program and McNair Scholars. Diana is a Boise State Alum with a M.S. in Educational Technology and a BA in Communication/Journalism.

Interim Dean and Professor College of Engineering College of Engineering Newsletter | Winter 2011-2012

Scheduled for a nearly two-year mission to Mars, Curiosity launched atop an Atlas V rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. For the past two years, Isla helped assemble the rover and performed the functional testing of the entire flight system to confirm the health and safety of the spacecraft. His specific role on the team was to send commands to the rover during testing and launch operations and to verify that the data being sent back is accurate. He also created a “spacecraft baseline test,” which was used to ensure every copper connection throughout the system was working properly. Notably, it was

On the day of launch, Isla worked in the control room and conducted the final configuration of the spacecraft, as well as transitioning it to internal power on the rover batteries just prior to lift-off. “One thing that I think is cool is that I got to work with the real hardware going to Mars and watched parts on a table become a fully functional rover ready to explore another planet,” Isla said. “When I was a child growing up in Boise I wanted to be an astronaut, and spacecraft engineering has really fulfilled that dream for me. I remember being inspired when I was younger, hearing about the early Mars missions and seeing the first images from another planet surface on the Internet. Today, it really is a dream come true to be an integral part of NASA’s Mars exploration program.” At Boise State, Isla took research to new heights as the student leader of an engineering project conducted in NASA’s Microgravity University program. The project, which dealt with lunar surface traction concepts, helped NASA engineers anticipate challenges in designing better rovers for future manned missions to the moon. Isla was active in engineering student clubs and honor societies and was named the College of Engineering’s Outstanding Graduating Student in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department.

Lynn Olson, Recruitment Coordinator Originally from Butte, Montana, Lynn received her Bachelor of Science Degree in Civil Engineering from Gonzaga University in 1995. Following some graduate study at the University of Notre Dame, she began her engineering consulting career with T-O Engineers (formerly Toothman-Orton Engineering) in Boise in 1997 beginning with the design of the Hidden Springs Planned Community where she remained as a design engineer until 2010. She continues to work for T-O part time with her work focusing on floodplain and bridge hydraulic studies. She has been actively involved with the Idaho Society of Professional Engineers since 2003 serving as Southwest Chapter and State President and currently the State Secretary/Treasurer. She has volunteered since 2004 on the Idaho National Engineers Week Future City Steering Committee promoting engineering to 6th-8th grade students, serving the last 3 years as the Idaho Regional Coordinator. Along with volunteering, her free time is spent reading, traveling and cheering on the Gonzaga basketball and Boise State football teams.

Research Highlights

Maria Mitkova, Electrical & Computer Engineering, is part of a team that received a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense to improve the performance of technology where radiation is present.

Meet COEN’s Peer Advisors

As we look forward, we are continually challenged by the difficult economic times and the reduction in state funding. We remain committed to offering the highest quality education to our students both in the classroom and in outside opportunities. Amy Moll

Dan Isla, a 2009 electrical engineering graduate, joined NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory as an electrical systems engineer shortly after graduation. He works on a test and launch operations team for the Mars Science Laboratory mission that will carry Curiosity, a one-ton rover with more scientific capability than any other sent to another planet.

the final functional test run on the spacecraft while atop the rocket, certifying it is ready for the journey to Mars.

Ashley Bradley, mechanical engineering

Taylor Coleman, civil engineering

Ashley Alexander, civil engineering

Nilab Mohammad Mousa, computer science

In recognition of his lifelong achievements as a scientist and for his contributions to Boise State, Bernard Yurke was recently named Distinguished Research Fellow. Dr. Yurke is the first researcher at Boise State to receive this distinction.

Mitkova will work with Arizona State University engineering professors Hugh Barnaby and Michael Kozicki to study a specialized material called chalcogenide glasses, which is a glass containing one or more chalcogenide elements such as sulfur and selenium. They are currently found in rewritable DVDs, infrared detectors and lenses, among others. The compounds are useful because they can change physical and electrical properties when photons or radiation with shorter wavelengths redistribute metal atoms within their interiors. Mitkova, an expert in chalcogenide glass systems, will provide studies of radiationinduced changes in the properties of the material and related devices. To read more go to: http://news.boisestate.edu/update/2012/01/09/boise-stateengineer-to-help-develop-hostile-environment-control-technology/ College of Engineering Newsletter | Winter 2011-2012

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Newsletter Winter 2011-2012

New Ph.D. in Materials Science and Engineering Starts This Fall

College of Engineering Interim Dean: AMY MOLL (208) 426-1153 Associate Dean for Academic Affairs: JANET CALLAHAN (208) 426-1153 janetcallahan@boisestate.edu Assistant Dean for Research & Infrastructure: REX OXFORD (208) 426-5744 roxford@boisestate.edu

Civil Engineering Chair: ROBERT HAMILTON (208) 426-3764 rhamilton@boisestate.edu

Computer Science Chair: MURALI MEDIDI (208) 426-2283 mmedidi@boisestate.edu

Construction Management Chair: TONY SONGER (208) 426-3716 tonysonger@boisestate.edu

Electrical & Computer Engineering Chair: SIN MING LOO (208) 426-2283 smloo@boisestate.edu

Instructional & Performance Technology Chair: DON STEPICH (208) 426-1312 dstepich@boisestate.edu

Materials Science & Engineering Chair: DARRYL BUTT (208) 426-5640 darrylbutt@boisestate.edu

Mechanical & Biomedical Engineering Interim Chair: MICHELLE SABICK (208) 426-4078 msabick@boisestate.edu

Boise State Engineering Magazine Goes Paperless Alumni and friends of the college can now sign up to receive an electronic version of the College of Engineering Newsletter instead of a printed copy. The College is offering this paperless option as a convenience to readers and to reduce its impact on the environment. To see this issue electronically, go to: http://coen.boisestate.edu/news/alumni-newsletter/. If you would like to receive an email notification when we publish a new issue online, contact Leandra Aburusa at laburusa@boisestate.edu. We will still mail one printed issue each winter.

Still Ranked Among the Best Boise State’s College of Engineering was again ranked among the best undergraduate engineering programs in the nation by U.S. News and World Report in its 2012 “America’s Best Colleges” issue, released on Sept. 13. Boise State shares the No. 15 ranking among public undergraduate progams and is tied for No. 37 ranking among all undergraduate engineering programs with the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth. The rankings are based solely on a survey of engineering deans and senior faculty at all accredited programs, conducted during the spring of 2011. Boise State improved on its 2011 rankings when it was tied for 16th among public schools and tied for 42nd overall. The peer assessment went up from 2.9 to 3.1 on a 5.0 scale. The College of Engineering offers programs in civil engineering, computer science, materials science and engineering, construction management, electrical and computer engineering, mechanical and biomedical engineering, and instructional and performance technology.

Plans are moving fast to implement the new doctoral degree in materials science and engineering. The program will prepare graduates to be technical leaders and high-level engineers in various fields of materials production and research. The degree was approved by the Idaho State Board of Education in December and will be the second Ph.D. program in engineering – following the 2009 approval of the Ph.D. in electrical and computer engineering. “We are accepting applications right now for the Ph.D. track, and all students who are accepted will receive funding,” said Darryl Butt, chair of the Department of Materials Science & Engineering at Boise State University. “We will be hiring nine new tenure track faculty members over the next three years.” Students will be taught cooperatively by more than 20 faculty members from departments in the College of Engineering and the College of Arts and

Sciences. The new Ph.D. is research-focused and candidates will work with faculty on funded projects in areas such as semiconductor device reliability, nanoscale fabrication, microelectronic packaging, shape memory alloys, Continued on Page 3

Trying to Diagnose Cancer With a Simple Blood Test By Margaret Scott If Will Hughes, assistant professor of materials science and engineering, gets his way, his team will pioneer a simple and inexpensive blood test that will be able to detect a variety of diseases. Currently in year one of a three year, $1 million grant from the prestigious W. M. Keck Foundation, Hughes leads an interdisciplinary team of professors in chemistry, biology and engineering as well as collaborators at the Boise Veterans Affairs Medical Center, St. Luke’s Mountain States Tumor and Medical Research Institute, Idaho IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence, and the Wistar Institute in Philadelphia. “Our vision is to fundamentally change early-stage disease diagnosis and treatment on a global scale,” Hughes said. “By using engineered biochemical tools, diseasespecific markers could be identified through a portable DNA-based device that is analogous to a disposable pregnancy test. We believe the system could potentially Continued on Page 3

COEN Newsletter Winter '11- '12  

COEN Alumni Newsletter

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