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Graduate EDUCATION AND RESEARCH Volume 6, Issue 1

Winter 2016 - 2017 Newsletter

ALUMNI UPDATE: CATCHING UP WITH AJIT GEORGE, PH.D. Ajit George graduated with Parks’ first PhD in Biomedical Engineering the summer of 2015. Growing up in Kochi, India, he was influenced strongly by his parents, a mother who was a doctor and a father who was an engineer. He received his Bachelor of Technology in Electronics Engineering and then began working as a software engineer before furthering his studies in biomedical engineering. Ajit decided to focus on the application of electronics in the medical device industry. He has always believed that technology in health care can make the lives of medical professionals simpler and aids them in diagnosis, information gathering, and monitoring.

Q What attracted you to Parks College of Engineering, Aviation, and Technology? A I was keen on pursuing a PhD program in biomedical engineering. Through my

uncle and aunt in St. Louis, I came to know that Parks College was introducing a new PhD program in this field. I had the opportunity to correspond with the department chair at that time, Dr. David Barnett, and realized that this program would be a good fit with my background and interests. Tell us about your research. The focus of my research work was in development of a method using polarized light microscopy to understand the architecture of white matter in human brain. My research advisors were Dr. Solomon Segal from the School of Medicine and Dr. William Ebel from Parks. I always found the faculty and staff at Parks very warm and cooperative. How has life changed since graduation? After graduating August 2015, I joined the Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology at Washington University School of Medicine as a postdoctoral research associate. I am currently working on various projects involved with understanding pathologies of the white matter using MRI. I am currently developing algorithms to both process and analyze the images acquired. What about your experience at Parks prepared you for your current position? My current work is focused on changes of the white matter in human brain. The research work done with Dr. Segal and Dr. Ebel was instrumental in laying the groundwork for meeting both the clinical and technical demands for my current position. My experience at Parks has also helped improve both my presentation and writing skills required for the present work. In addition to the technical know-hows, I received a lot of encouragement and support from both my research advisors and my faculty advisor Dr. Gary Bledsoe. What are your future plans? My current goal is to gain experience as a programmer/ developer for medical applications. In the long run I would like to continue in a research position and manage /support various projects.


Message from the ASSOCIATE DEAN Parks’ Graduate Education & Research is excited to share with you our Winter 2016-2017 newsletter. I hope you enjoy reading our news! I am pleased to report that Graduate Education at Parks continues to receive a high number of applications nationally and internationally. More than 25 students started their programs this past fall, and we have processed almost 30 applications for the Spring 2017 semester alone. In 2016, Parks has seen 25 students graduate with their advanced degrees in Engineering and Aviation. Our accelerated BS-MS engineering program continues to grow and attract high performing students. Next spring we will see another batch of ambitious students looking to earn their BS and MS in five years. Our graduate faculty is always open to improving the experience for our students. Our learning outcomes are in the process of being established for our Masters and Doctoral programs to ensure consistent and uniform standards for our programs. Other policies are being updated to reflect Saint Louis University’s commitment to consistency of programs and high standards for our students. The former SURE (Summer Undergraduate Research Experience) program has been revamped to the new CURE (Collaborative Undergraduate Research Experience) program. Interested faculty and undergraduate students build proposals for research projects that start in the Spring, continue through the Summer and potentially the Fall semester. We received 16 applications for 2017 and will review the applications as a committee to decide which proposals will be funded. As always, Parks Graduate Education is committed to increasing national and international collaboration, research, and recruiting. The INTO program brings international students and leading universities together. The joint venture provides an exceptional educational experience to help international students succeed in a fast-moving, globally competitive world while studying in the US. Parks Masters Engineering Program is one of SLU’s most popular INTO programs. This year, Parks has reviewed over 30 INTO Pathway applications. In early July, I visited 2 universities in Brazil to discuss recruiting and collaboration. Other international trips are being considered for 2017 to encourage international recruitment and collaboration. In August, 2 visiting scholars from China arrived at Parks to conduct research in the field of structural engineering. Our College has a lot to offer, and we look forward to continuing efforts to make Parks College at Saint Louis University synonymous with excellence. Please take a moment to browse through our web page at to learn more about our outstanding graduate programs and let us know how we can continue to improve. On behalf of Parks Graduate Education, I wish you a Happy Holiday Break!

Riyadh Hindi, Ph.D., P.Eng., F.SEI Associate Dean and Professor Graduate Education and Research

INSIDE THIS ISSUE: Alumni Feature ........................................... 1 Message from the Associate Dean........ ..... 2 New Dean .................................................... 3 New Oliver L. Parks Endowed Chair........ 3 News ......................................................... 4-5 Publications ................................................. 6 Graduate/Research Seminar ...................... 6 New Graduate Students ........................ ..... 7 Recent and Proposed Graduates................ 7


Parks College’s New Dean, michelle b. sabick, Ph.d. Michelle Sabick, Ph.D., transitioned to her role as dean on July 1, 2016. Most recently, Sabick was the chair of the department of biomedical engineering in Parks College — a role she has held since July 1, 2014. Prior to that, she was on the faculty of Boise State University in Idaho, where she also served as chair of the department of mechanical and biomedical engineering. Throughout her career, Sabick has been passionate about improving the ways that universities deliver engineering education to students. She has been highly involved in efforts to transform teaching practices at both SLU and Boise State, where she infused classroom lectures with more interactive and hands-on learning experiences. Dean Sabick is excited to be in this role saying, “the beauty of it is you can support and affect more people.” She enjoys overseeing the College’s more than 900 students and nearly 100 faculty and staff. Additionally, she continues to teach at least one course a year. Although she is still actively conducting research and mentoring students, she admits that her new position means she misses out on one-on-one student interactions. Sabick is actively working to change the culture at Parks College to improve communication, morale and teamwork. In the fall, she introduced a semester kickoff planning session for faculty and staff and has created a bi-weekly Dean’s newsletter. Dean Sabick stressed transparency and collaboration as being the key to moving forward as a College. She plans to honor the rich history of aviation and engineering at Parks and knows that “our future is more diversified than our past.” She is emphasizing strategic growth to help the College utilize our current resources more efficiently and reinvest in new programs. A noted researcher, Sabick has been awarded more than $3 million in grants from the National Science Foundation. Her research interests range from the biomechanics of baseball pitching and wheelchair propulsion to the diagnosis of shoulder injuries. She also holds U.S. patents as the co-inventor of two medical devices. As the chair of SLU’s biomedical engineering department, Sabick has made a number of contributions that extend beyond Parks College. She has served on the Faculty Senate academic affairs committee, is a member of an institution-wide gender equity task force and was recently appointed to lead a University initiative designed to enhance STEM programs at SLU. Sabick said the University’s Jesuit mission and its focus on educating the whole person were two of the primary reasons that she came to SLU. Moving into her new leadership role at the University, she said her overriding goal is to make Parks College an even better place to learn and work.

PARKS COLLEGE NAMES NEW OLIVER L. PARKS ENDOWED CHAIR IN CIVIL ENGINEERING Craig Adams, Ph.D., P.E. joined the Parks College community this fall as the Oliver L. Parks Chair and professor in the department of civil engineering. Adams has three degrees from the University of Kansas: a B.S. in chemical engineering and an M.S. and Ph.D. in environmental health engineering. Adams will be focusing his research on water quality and treatment, providing an added environmental engineering focus to the civil engineering program. His’ research is focused on developing solutions to the nation’s drinking water issues, with a special focus on emerging contaminants such as nanoparticles, cyanotoxins, disinfection byproducts, pharmaceuticals, personal care products and pesticides. His research interests emphasize sustainable oxidation and sorption drinking water and wastewater treatment approaches for organic, inorganic and biological contaminants. Most recently, he has been involved with the nation’s efforts to develop and implement strategies to protect public health from the increasing frequent hazardous algal blooms in our drinking water supplies. He was most recently at Utah State University as a professor conducting research in the Utah Water Research Laboratory. He also served previously as the Mathes Chair and director of the Environmental Research Center for Emerging Contaminants at the Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, Missouri. He is a registered professional engineer, a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), and a board-certified environmental engineer. His body of work includes 100 peer-reviewed journal publications and more than 400 other scholarly works and presentations.


NEWS IABMAS AND BRAZIL TRIP FOR COLLABORATION In late June, Riyadh Hindi, Ph.D., attended the 8th International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management in Brazil. He presented four papers, the results of research sponsored by IDOT and MODOT. Many of our graduate students participated in this research and co-authored these papers, including Md Ashiquzzaman, Li Hui, Carlos Merino, Justin Schmeltz, Ying Chen, Mahfuz Rahman, Mehdi Motaleb, and Nick Duong. The acceptance of these four papers at an international conference reflects the quality of research that results when Parks faculty and students collaborate. Dr. Hindi took the opportunity while in Brazil to visit two universities—the University of Santa Catarina at Florianopolis and the University of Sao Paulo—with renowned engineering programs. In addition to meeting select faculty and touring the facilities, Dr. Hindi had a chance to speak to a group of students and faculty to discuss research conducted here at Parks.

JENNA GORLEWICZ, PH.D., AWARDED TWO NSF GRANTS FOR RESEARCH Jenna Gorlewicz, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, was awarded two separate grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The first of her grants, titled “Increasing Social Connectedness in Telerobotic Platforms Through Adding Gesture Capabilities” is a collaborative effort with a research team at SIUE. The goal in this research project is to understand how making common telepresence robots more expressive and interactive affects people’s feelings of connectedness to the remote users with whom they are communicating. The second grant, titled “Perceptual and Implementation Strategies for Knowledge Acquisition of Digital Tactile Graphics for Blind and Visually Impaired Students” is a collaborative effort between SLU, the University of Nevada Las Vegas, the University of Alabama in Huntsville, and the University of Maine. The research objective of this proposal is to advance human multimodal information processing theory to uncover perceptually motivated guidelines and exploratory procedures for promoting knowledge acquisition and literacy of digital tactile graphics. Both of these grants carry support for graduate students, so we look forward to seeing how our students and faculty collaborate to produce some truly amazing work.

VIC-3D SYSTEM TRAINING Chris Carroll, Ph.D., assistant professor in the department of civil engineering, helped facilitate a training for the Vic-3D system, open to graduate students and faculty on November 17th and 18th. About ten Parks students and faculty attended the training. According to the website, “Vic-3D is a powerful system for measuring and visualizing both strain and movement [that] provides full-field, 3-Dimensional measurements of shape, displacement and strain” (retrieved from vic-3d/). The applications of this system are endless, and we are excited to have members of the Parks community investing in cutting edge technology that can benefit the research of so many.


AIRCRAFT LAB The Aircraft Computational Resource Aware Fault Tolerant Lab, or AIRCRAFT Lab for short, is located in Oliver Hall. Run by Srikanth Gururajan, PhD, it has both undergraduate and graduate students working on exciting projects. On the graduate side, there are currently two open projects. Ye Bai, a Master’s student in aerospace engineering, is integrating and testing a quadcopter with the ability to change geometry in midair without losing stability. This change in geometry will allow future UAS to adopt slimmer profiles to fit through smaller spaces. The other graduate student is Federico Garcia Lorca, a Ph.D. student in aerospace engineering researching the intersection between machine learning and adaptive flight controllers. Smarter flight controllers that are able to learn from pilots will enable platforms to operate beyond the current limitations set by a generalized profile of piloting skills.


This summer, the Civil Engineering Department celebrated a first. The Department conferred its first Ph.D. degree to Ying Chen. Ying joins an elite group of alumni, as only six Ph.D. degrees have been awarded at Parks College, and she is the first female among them. Ying started her degree in Fall 2012, having previously earned a Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Yuan Ze University in Taiwan and then her Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering from Washington University. She worked under the advisement of Dr. Riyadh Hindi, and her dissertation was titled “Mitigating Bridge Deck Crack Formation Using Large-Scale Testing and Computer Modeling.” Ying had this to say about her experience at Parks College: “It was truly a privilege to be part of the Parks College family. Parks introduced a great team to mentor my research work and also provided courses that were taught by some of the best engineers and professors in the field. I felt that this experience makes me a better engineer and also provides me both the knowledge and the independent problem solving skills that I need to succeed.” We wish Ying the best of luck in her future!


Miranda Pizzella will be presenting a paper titled “On the Effect of Test Section Aspect Ratio for Shock Wave Boundary Layer Interactions” at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) SciTech 2017 Conference in Grapevine, Texas in January 2017. She also accepted a position with Watlow here in St. Louis after she graduates with her Ph.D. in May. Mary Christianer (Jennerjohn) was awarded an ASME International Gas Turbine Institute Student Scholarship after a worldwide competition. These scholarships are awarded to only 20 students in the US pursuing an academic degree in engineering disciplines related to turbomachinery. She also accepted a position with Honeywell Aerospace in Phoenix, Arizona, to start next August 2017 in her current field of study of turbomachinery.


On October 28th, the office of Graduate Education & Research invited all graduate students to attend a Pizza Social in Litteken. The lunch was part of the office’s initiative to encourage students to socialize, away from the stress and formality of their studies. About 30 students attended to enjoy pizza, soda, and cookies and chat with fellow students. Graduate Education & Research holds fellowship events amongst the students at least once a semester, and will be organizing another fun event in the Spring.


MODOT TRANSPORTATION INFRASTRUCTURE CONFERENCE Five Parks Civil Engineering students—Li Hui, Md Ashiquzzaman, Mahfuz Rahman, Mehdi Motaleb, and Faress Hraib—attended the 2017 MODOT Transportation Infrastructure Conference on Friday, November 18th at Missouri S&T. Of those attending, four entered posters in the competition, and of 19 total posters, our own Faress Hraib received an Honorable Mention. Mehdi shared of the experience, “We are happy that we had the support from graduate office to attend the MoDOT conference where we presented our current research findings during the poster sessions. Attending the conference not only allowed us to meet professionals and provided networking opportunities, but was a fun one-day trip for everybody.”

PUBLICATIONS Parks Engineering students and alumni—Md Ashiquzzaman, Bora Bozkurt, Li Hui, and Nick Duong and Associate Dean, Riyadh Hindi, Ph.D., were recently published in three journals. • Md Ashiquzzaman, Bora Bozkurt, Li Hui, Ahmed Ibrahim, Will Lindquist, and Riyadh Hindi, 2017, “Effect of Overhang Deck Construction on Plate Girder Bridges” International Journal of Bridge Engineering, Vol. 5, Issue 2, May-August. • Md Ashiquzzaman, Li Hui, Ahmed Ibrahim, Will Lindquist, Mark Thomson, and Riyadh Hindi, 2016, “Effect of Inconsistent Diaphragms on Exterior Girder Rotation during Overhang Deck Construction”, Elsevier Journal of Structures, Vol. 8 (part 1), November, pp. 25-34. • Mehdi Motaleb, Nick Duong, Will Lindquist, and Riyadh Hindi, 2016, “Investigation of Distortion-Induced Web-Gap Cracking in a Seismically Retrofitted Steel Bridge: Repair Measures”, ASCE Journal of Bridge


This Fall we had over 30 students attend our graduate seminars. Our speakers’ backgrounds varied from a neurosurgeon to computer science faculty. See below for a list of topics and speakers from the Fall 2016 semester. Speakers are already being lined up for the Spring 2017.


Sally Warning - Our New Wind Tunnel is Awesome!

David Ferry- Parallel Real-Time Computing and Highly Reliable Cyber-Physical Systems.

Saleem I. Abdulrauf, MD- How to Stimulate Brain Aneurysm Surgery.

Victor Birman, Ph.D.- Multiscale Functionally Graded Tendon-to-Bone Insertion – Mechanistic View.

Marlon Vogt P.E. – Professionalism, Licensure, and Ethics.

Fenglian Xu, Ph.D- A Snail Model Organism for Neurobiology and Biomedical Research.

Craig Adams, Ph.D.- Impacts of Hazardous Algal Blooms and Cyanotoxins on Drinking Water Treatment Design and Operations.

Abdeldjelil Belarbi, Ph.D.- Preservation and Renewal of Civil Engineering Infrastructure Using Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites

Roger Lewis, Ph.D.- Surfaces and Synergies: Children’s Environmental Health

Fateme Razaei, Ph.D.-MOF-Coated Monolithic Adsorbents for Post-Combustion CO2 Capture

Flavio Esposito, PhD- Policy-based Architectures for Network Programmability

Grigoriy Yablonsky, Ph.D.- The ‘Smart City’

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NEW PARKS GRADUATE STUDENTS - SPRING 2017 • • • • • • • • • • • •

Modupe Odusanya - Ph.D. Aviation Saeed Alghamdi - Ph.D. Civil Engineering Tanay Datta Chowdhury - M.S. Civil Engineering Shanpu Fang - M.S. Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Saman Farhangdoust - Ph.D. Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Vamsikrishnam Naidu Gollu - M.S. Electrical and Computer Engineering Hugo Gonzalez - M.S. Biomedical Engineering Milan Khadka - M.S. Civil Engineering Melike Ozturk - M.S. Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Jennifer Tennison - M.S. Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Yashasvi Chakravarthy Tirumalessetti - M.S. Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Michelle O’Connor - Aviation Unclassified


• • • • • • • • • • •

Joshua Beltz – M.S. in Engineering, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering; Advisor: Dr. Raymond LeBeau; Thesis Title: “A Computational Comparison of a Three-Dimensional Smooth and Undulating Wing Aerodynamics at Low Reynolds Numbers” Changqing Qiu – M.S. in Engineering, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering; Advisor: Dr. Jianfeng Ma; Thesis Title: “Numerical Modeling of Advanced Manufacturing Processes and Development of Advanced Methods, Procedures and Software for Quantifying Engine Cylinder Bore Surface Finish Characteristics” Vignan Thanugundia – M.S. in Engineering, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Non-Thesis; Advisor: Dr. Sridhar Condoor Nathan Pelate – M.S. in Engineering, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Non-Thesis; Advisor: Dr. Jenna Gorlewicz Amelia Preis – M.S. in Aviation, Non-Thesis; Advisor: Dr. Stephen Belt Kevin Feltz – M.S. in Engineering, Biomedical Engineering; Advisor: Dr. Scott Sell; Thesis Title: “Development of an Electrospinning System for the Deposition of Polymer Nanofiber in Microfluid Chips” Parin Kadakia – M.S. in Engineering, Biomedical Engineering; Advisor: Dr. Scott Sell; Thesis Title: “Development of Bilayer Silk Fibroin/Poloxamer Electrospun Scaffold for the Treatment of Burn Wounds” Anisa Qayyum – M.S. in Engineering, Biomedical Engineering; Advisor: Dr. Silviya Zustiak; Thesis Title: “Fabrication of Glioblastoma Spheroids via Electrospraying” Sana Syed – M.S. in Engineering, Biomedical Engineering; Advisor: Dr. Silviya Zustiak; Thesis Title: “Conditioning MDA-MB-231 Cells to Microenvironmental Cues on Polyacrylamide Gels” Nicholas Temofeew – M.S. in Engineering, Biomedical Engineering; Advisor: Dr. Scott Sell; Thesis Title: “An Alternative Solution to Spinal Fusion: Utilizing Polozamer 407 to Regenerate the Nucleus Pulposus in the Intervertebral Disc” Ying Chen – Ph.D. in Engineering, Civil Engineering; Advisor: Dr. Riyadh Hindi; Thesis Title: “Study of Shrinkage


• • • • • • •

Cory Seidel- M.S. in Engineering, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Grant Spencer- M.S. in Engineering, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering Carrie Giesen - M.S. in Engineering, Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Non-Thesis Ahmed Soueidan - M.S. in Engineering, Aerospaceand Mechanical Engineering, NonThesis Stephen Gill - M.S. in Engineering, Biomedical Engineering Leticia Santi Franco Pereira - M.S. in Engineering, Civil Engineering Nicole Sniffen - M.S. in Engineering, Civil Engineering, Non-Thesis


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office of Graduate education and research ADDRESS: 3450 Lindell Blvd. McDonnell Douglas Hall, Room 1025 St. Louis, MO 63103 PHONE: 314-977-8306 EMAIL: WEBSITE:

Winter 2016-17 Parks College Graduate Newsletter  
Winter 2016-17 Parks College Graduate Newsletter