NEW TOOL TO IMPROVE ELECTRICAL MACHINE DESIGN Dr. Nabeel Demerdash, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and his research team are developing the next generation of computational design tools that combine finite element electromagnetic analysis and novel optimization algorithms to enhance the design of electrical machines for higher efficiencies and minimum cost. This project — from Marquette’s Electric Machines and Drives Lab — highlights the successful collaboration of academic and industrial research. During the past three years, the lab’s work has attracted more than $180,000 in funds from industrial sponsors, namely the A.O. Smith and Regal Beloit corporations. The tools developed in this project will assist motor and generator designers in the tedious and iterative design process. Furthermore, automated design tools will provide the means to tackle more complex problems that deal with multiple design objectives and constraints, thus leading to more efficient use and generation of electric energy. In addition, Demerdash and his graduate students are using a $425,000 award from the National Science Foundation to
investigate fault prognostics/diagnostics and fault-tolerant operation of electric machines and drives. Demerdash recently was recognized by the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and its Power and Energy Society and Industry Applications Society for authoring two “prized papers.” STEPHEN FILMANOWICZ AND JESSICA BAZAN
did euphem isms help shield a predator?
clown arouing nd
As the horrors of the Penn State scandal unfolded, some of the euphemisms officials used to describe the actions of former coach Jerry Sandusky provided a psychological shield to discuss otherwiseunspeakable acts of child sexual abuse. Talking in code words may have kept officials from responding appropriately.
Those are the findings of Dr. Jeremy Fyke, assistant professor of communication studies. Fyke and Dr. Kristen Lucas at the University of Louisville co-authored a paper for the Journal of Business Ethics. “There’s all this talk about this ‘culture of silence,’ ” Fyke says. “What we found is that they were actually talking a lot. But it was the words they were using and the way they talked about it that made it so they couldn’t act in the best interests of the victims.” Combing through grand jury testimony and the report by former FBI director Louis Freeh, Fyke and Lucas studied the use of euphemisms such as “horseplay” — implying that Sandusky’s actions were harmless clowning around — and the term “guests” to describe his victims. Fyke says it’s a cautionary tale for organizations: Sometimes, having everyone on the same page isn’t a good thing. “In this case, it led to this culture where there wasn’t action to protect the victims,” Fyke says. CHRIS JENKINS
research in brief