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Spring 2009

What You Should


We asked faculty members to create handy primers on the various engineering disciplines.

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Capstone Engineering



1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 John W. Covington National Chair, Board of Directors

Charles L. Karr, Ph.D. Dean, College of Engineering


What You Should Know

Brandi L. Lamon Director, External Affairs and Development

Nancy Holmes Coordinator, Capstone Engineering Society

12 News

Mary Wymer Editor

Whitney Taylor Assistant Editor

17 Surveying the College Issue No. 39 Capstone Engineer is published in the spring and fall by the Capstone Engineering Society.

23 Alumni Notes

Tori E. Nelko Designer

Benita Crepps Proofreader

25 Our Students. Our Future.

Jeff Hanson, Samantha Hernandez, Zach Riggins, Laura Shill, Mary Wymer Photography

Address correspondence to the editor: The University of Alabama Capstone Engineering Society

26 In Memory

College of Engineering, Box 870200 Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0200 Visit the College of Engineering Web site at

The University of Alabama is an

28 Events

equal-opportunity educational institution/employer. • MC7878

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Dean’s message Dear Alumni and Friends, Thinking back to when I was a student at the Capstone reminds me of some very good times as I was ambitiously following my dream to become an engineer. Learning the language of engineering and practicing these new skills in the labs were extremely fascinating for me. I was by far from a “model” student, but classes were definitely intriguing and informative. As engineers are challenged to continue producing effective results, we must constantly be learning. After 25 years, I have probably forgotten a few of those important engineering lessons that I once learned in the classroom. This issue of the Capstone Engineer explores what engineers should know, and I hope you get a glimpse of how our stellar faculty are preparing tomorrow’s engineers and computer scientists through some trusty old techniques along with many new methods. The challenges our world currently face can be solved through inventive thinking, and the learning possibilities are endless. I wholeheartedly agree with many of our faculty sentiments that “It’s an exciting time to be an engineer!” D r . C h a r les L . K a r r dean


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What You Should

Know To help you catch up on what you might have forgotten since graduating, we asked faculty members in each department to create handy primers on the various engineering disciplines.

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Computer Science Dr. Monica Anderson, Assistant Professor • The ability to use an operating system other than Windows (or even Mac)

What are a few new things/technologies that you teach that may not have been taught 10 years ago? Advances in technology have fueled the general availability of low-cost, capable processors and inexpensive mobile platforms to enable embodied artificial intelligence. I also teach extensively about autonomous robotics and the capabilities they provide to our society.

What are a few books that every computer scientist should read?

What is the most important thing or the best advice to remember about being a computer scientist? Constantly research and experiment with new technologies. If you only have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. So, make sure you keep many tools in your toolbox because no technology will be a silver bullet that “fixes” everything.

What are the top five things you teach that are critical for computer scientists? • Curiosity • Desire to learn new tools, languages and techniques • Strong programming skills • Understanding of computer architecture

• “C Programming Language” by Brian W. Kernighan and Dennis M. Ritchie • “Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software” by Erich Gamma, Richard Helm, Ralph Johnson and John M. Vlissides • “The Mythical Man-Month: Essays on Software Engineering” by Frederick P. Brooks

How do you believe computer science impacts society? Why is it crucial to recruit prospective students to become computer scientists?

There are two major reasons to be a computer scientist. The first is the ability to change lives through computer technology. It may be obvious that businesses rely upon

computers to manage internal processes. However, the larger impact is on the end-users and customers. A few recent personal examples are that I monitor my children’s grades online daily, my canceled flight was automatically rebooked so that I did not have to wait in line, and I located and booked a hotel from my cell phone. Certainly these services have an impact on the bottom line, but more importantly, they greatly impact our quality of life. The second reason is the quality of life that computer scientists enjoy. According to the 2008 Computer World Salary Survey, 84 percent of IT workers are either satisfied or very satisfied with their career choice. Increasing demand and impending retirements can mean more opportunity and stability. Computer scientists create opportunities and solve problems. Being a computer scientist means constant challenge, which results in a sense of accomplishment and pride.

Where is computer science going? What will tomorrow’s computer scientists be working on/developing? Future systems will target improvements in quality of life. Robotic assistants will augment home-based health care to allow more disabled persons to live at home. Humans will not need to conform to traditional computer interfaces, rather computers will communicate via human sensory modalities. Continuous and spontaneous data collection will be embedded in devices and the environment. However, this will make data security and privacy the next legal frontier.

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Mechanical Engineering Dr. John Baker, Associate Professor What is the most important thing or the best advice to remember about being a mechanical engineer? It is important to remember that pencil and paper were the primary tools engineers used to design the spacecraft that took us to the moon, and these instruments were the only tools Albert Einstein used to change how the universe is viewed. Today, there are a wealth of computer applications for analyzing problems and modeling physical systems, but it is important to remember what can be achieved with just the simplest of tools.

What are the top five things you teach that are critical for mechanical engineers? • All things are possible – there are no “average” engineers. A student’s grades are not necessarily a reflection of what they can or will achieve in life. • Engineers always need to ask three questions: What are the critical variables? To what extent can we control these variables? and How can we control these variables to produce a system that is simple, minimizes risk and achieves our goals? • Communicating technical information to a nontechnical audience is critical. • A strong grasp of fundamental engineering principles, especially thermodynamics. • A student’s education does not end when they graduate.

What are a few new things/ technologies that you teach that may not have been taught 10 years ago? Using software to physically model complex multidisciplinary engineering systems is something that I am incorporating into my classes. The

use of physical modeling software still requires a realization that simply because the computer gives you an answer does not guarantee that it is the correct answer. Therefore, it is more important than ever to teach techniques for validating and verifying these complex physical models. I have also begun to introduce my students to the design of biomimetic systems, which are systems that solve engineering problems by imitating certain aspects of a biological system. For example, this semester a group of students is designing a remote controlled aerial vehicle that will be propelled in a manner similar to that of a jellyfish.

What are a few books that every mechanical engineer should read? I recommend “The Deltoid Pumpkinseed” by John McPhee and “The Rocket Company” by Patrick J.G. Stiennon and David M. Hoerr. Both books tell the story of engineering development, the former of an actual hybrid airship project and the latter of a hypothetical humanrated reusable launch system. Both books also highlight the important role business plays in engineering development.

How do you believe mechanical engineering impacts society? Why is it crucial to recruit prospective students to become mechanical engineers?

Mechanical engineering plays a key role in the cars we drive, the aircraft we fly, and the vehicles we use to explore space. We power our society using mechanical engineering principles. We live in a time where engineers make up a smaller and smaller percentage of the U.S. population, and the average age of the engineering work force is increasing. If we are to meet the challenges facing this country, then we need to focus on inspiring students to choose engineering as a profession.

Where is mechanical engineering going? What will tomorrow’s mechanical engineers be working on/ developing? There are a few national/societal challenges that will be with us for the foreseeable future. I predict tomorrow’s mechanical engineers will work toward • improving quality of life • maintaining and in some cases reestablishing our country’s technological preeminence • reducing our country’s reliance on foreign sources of oil • eliminating or reducing any negative impact we may have on the environment • rebuilding our capabilities for the human exploration and development of space The challenges facing this country are great, but these challenges also offer great opportunity. As such, it is a really good time to be a mechanical engineer.


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Chemical and Biological Engineering Dr. Heath Turner, Reichhold-Shumaker Assistant Professor What is the most important thing or the best advice to remember about being a chemical engineer?

• Understand the environmental impacts of your chemical process and look for ways to minimize these. Stay ahead of the curve as environmental regulations become more stringent.

Safety is always the top priority. Your safety record may not be enough to merit a job promotion, but it can What are a few new things/ quickly get you fired.

What are the top five things you teach that are critical for chemical engineers? • Safety is always the top priority, so look for ways to proactively improve it. • Regardless of the caliber of your technical skills, strong communication skills (verbal and writing) are essential for long-term success. • Look for opportunities to take on leadership roles and greater responsibility. Look for ways to have an impact on your company and help others do the same. • Develop a deep understanding of your chemical process, and let your engineering judgment trump a questionable recommendation.

technologies that you teach that may not have been taught 10 years ago? Advances in computer simulation have been remarkable. The advances in computer software and algorithm development have been much more dramatic than the developments of processor speeds. The chemical engineering modeling software that is now available is considerably more accurate and efficient, as compared to what was state-of-the-art just a few years ago. When used appropriately, these simulation packages can be excellent tools for chemical engineers.

What are a few books that every chemical engineer should read?

I would highly recommend two reports by the National Academy of Engineering, which provide excellent viewpoints on the future of engineering: “Grand Challenges for Engineering” and “The Engineer of 2020.” Chemical engineers should become intimately familiar with the first report, since chemical engineering will play a key role in solving these grand challenges. The second report provides a good depiction of the anticipated skill sets, attributes and aspirations for the engineers of 2020.

How does chemical engineering impact society? Why is it crucial to recruit prospective students to become chemical engineers? Chemical engineers are involved with almost any consumer product, including petroleum production, petroleum refining, natural gas production, electricity generation, medical devices and materials, water treatment, pharmaceuticals, food and beverages, and almost anything made out of plastic. Overall, chemical engineers have a tremendous impact on the economy. They are constantly developing methods to improve the quality of these consumer products, reduce the consumer cost and, ultimately, improve the technical competitiveness of our country in the global marketplace.

Where is chemical engineering going? What will tomorrow’s chemical engineers be working on/ developing? The role of chemical engineers is much broader today than in the past. In particular, chemical engineers have begun to infuse the medical profession, the environmental sector, the semiconductor industry, law profession, and many others. I think this expansion will continue, especially in the biomedical field. I expect that many health care solutions of the future will heavily involve chemical engineers and their valuable problem-solving skill sets.

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Electrical and Computer Engineering Dr. Susan Burkett, Alabama Power Foundation Endowed Professor What is the most important thing or the best advice to remember about being an electrical engineer?

apply to any engineer. One is by Thomas Friedman, “The I think the most important thing to World Is Flat.” remember about being an electriThis book is about cal engineer is that your profession globalization and has a code of ethics that makes the effects it has your responsibility as an engineering had on industry professional very clear. It is important and economy. to follow that code and provide asHe has another sistance, as well as to serve as a role recent book, “Hot, model, to other engineers regarding Flat, and Crowdprofessional and ethical behaviors. ed,” about climate change and the What are the top five things energy crisis. An you teach that are critical for interesting book electrical engineers? that explores the different work • Circuit analysis habits, commu• Programming nication methods • Semiconductor devices • Signal analysis • Design and impact of design on society

What are a few new things/ technologies that you teach that may not have been taught 10 years ago? There are many emerging areas in electrical engineering. Nanotechnology is an area that we have recently added courses in the curriculum. This technology is very broad and involves study of materials and devices at the nanoscale, including creating the materials and characterizing and testing them in electronic devices. Working at the nanoscale, as opposed to the microscale, involves completely different approaches.

What are a few books that every electrical engineer should read? The best technical information is still in textbooks I believe. For general reading about the profession, I have some suggestions that are not specific to electrical engineering but

Electrical engineers will likely be significantly involved in any future initiatives in renewable energy to address the energy crisis. and values of various age groups is called “Generations at Work” by Zemke, Raines and Filipczak. And a book we refer to a lot in discussions about educating engineers is “The Engineer of 2020,” a National Academy of Engineering publication.

How does electrical engineering impact society? Why is it crucial to recruit prospective students to become electrical engineers? Traditionally, the highest societal impact by electrical engineers has been in the areas of power, electronics and communications. These areas are critical to the nation’s infrastructure and economic base.

Where is electrical engineering going? What will tomorrow’s electrical engineers be working on/ developing? Electrical engineers will likely be significantly involved in any future initiatives in renewable energy to address the energy crisis. Energy will be extracted from a wide variety of sources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biofuels, etc. Engineers will also be in the forefront of energy storage, such as batteries and supercapacitors. Development of electric cars and next-generation electronic devices are additional high societal impact areas.


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Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering Dr. Ed Back, Associate Professor What is the most important thing or the best advice to remember about being a civil or construction engineer? We define our responsibility as the application of scientific principles to the practical needs of society, managing the design and construction of the built environment for the well being of all people. This role must be performed with technical competence, intelligence, sound judgment, moral and ethical integrity, and an understanding of the true needs of the clients we serve.

What are the top five things you teach that are critical for civil and construction engineers? • This is a service industry. Therefore, we must understand and satisfy the needs of our clients and recognize the impacts our projects have on communities and society. • It is a diverse, international marketplace in which we live and work. • We generally operate in a multiorganizational environment. Projects are designed and constructed by teams. Understanding team dynamics is critical to success. • It is a profession that expects competency and high ethical ideals in the performance of the work. • Must understand how to apply good “engineering judgment.” You have to be a problem-solver and recognize the unique considerations for each project.

What are a few new things/ technologies that you teach that may not have been taught 10 years ago? Computing technology and tools have drastically changed our work

processes and improved our overall capability in the area of engineering analysis. We now work in a virtual environment, which changes how we plan and execute work. Engineering deliverables are often not paper based, and project designs exist as three dimensional computer models. For example, we use quite sophisticated mobile computer technology for many traditional civil engineering operations, such as surveying or other field-related activities.

What are a few books that every civil and construction engineer should read? I recommend books that emphasize the development of leadership and team-building skills. I believe that each of us can develop leadership skills if we are proactive and serious about improving our abilities. Our engineering graduates should aspire to leadership roles and positions.

How does civil and construction engineering impact society? Why is it crucial to recruit prospective students to become civil and construction engineers? If you look out your office window, civil and construction engineering has a role in the design and/or construction of everything you see. Many of the conveniences we take for granted are provided by civil engineering. However, we still face challenges in our world. Numerous countries and societies still have inadequate infrastructure: no clean

water to drink, inadequate sanitation services, inadequate transportation systems, and poor construction quality in many of their structures. Even in the United States, our infrastructure is aging and needs repair. Both the public and private sectors within our economy will continue to rely on civil and construction engineers to transform strategic visions into a practical reality.

Where is civil and construction engineering going? What will tomorrow’s civil and construction engineers be working on/ developing? Our graduates will play an important role in addressing complex needs within society that result from a rapidly increasing worldwide population. Our engineers will fulfill non-traditional roles, lead diverse multidisciplinary teams, and utilize technology that improves our communication and analytical capabilities exponentially. We will work on exciting new projects, experience the impacts of globalization, help solve complex environmental problems that we have not dealt with previously, and have to proactively address labor, material and resource shortages. The future is exciting and the role expanding for civil, construction, and environmental engineering.

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Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics Dr. Kevin Whitaker, Associate Professor What is the most important thing or the best advice to remember about being an aerospace engineer? There will always be upturns and downturns in the aerospace industry. Do not fear them; they always create new opportunities for your aerospace engineering talents.

What are the top five things you teach that are critical for aerospace engineers? • Low-speed aerodynamics • High-speed aerodynamics • Air-breathing propulsion • Rocket propulsion • Experimental aerodynamics

What are a few new things/ technologies that you teach that may not have been taught 10 years ago? Artificial intelligence techniques

What are a few books that every aerospace engineer should read? • “ We Reach the Moon” by John N. Wilford • “A History of Aerodynamics” by John D. Anderson Jr.

How does aerospace engineering impact society? Why is it crucial to recruit prospective students to become aerospace engineers? Aerospace engineering has impacted society in numerous ways. The most obvious is air travel; today flying has become common place and has really been one of the prime reasons we can refer to today’s world as “flat.” Not so obvious are the innovations stemming from aerospace engineering research. Things we take for granted today, like cell phones, aerodynamic automobiles, cordless power tools

and memory foam mattresses, are fundamentally based on aerospacerelated research.

Where is aerospace engineering and mechanics going? What will tomorrow’s aerospace engineers be working on/developing? Like many other industries, aerospace engineering is becoming more global. The development of new aircraft is very expensive, with a significant investment of time, so it will take the resources of numerous nations collaborating to bring to fruition new ideas. The future of space flight is currently under debate. I am sure that tomorrow’s aerospace engineers will be the ones who ultimately determine its future, and I would not be surprised if space flight becomes more commercial and is removed as an activity of national governments.

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Metallurgical and Materials Engineering Dr. Garry Warren, Professor What is the most important thing or the best advice to remember about being a metallurgical engineer? Probably the most important advice is to learn to communicate effectively, written and oral. This goes beyond punctuation, spelling and grammar. You will be judged on your ability to communicate unambiguously, avoiding misinterpretation. If you fumble this, or if What are a few books that your peers are better at it than you every metallurgical engineer are, your career will suffer. should read?

What are the top five things you teach that are critical for metallurgical engineers? • Communication (writing) tops the list. • To be organized, not only in writing, but also in the way you collect, sort and save your data, samples or whatever it is you work with. • Join a professional society and become active in it. • Learn how to learn; a university education will not teach you everything you need to know. • Seek future opportunities to learn new skills — professional societies can help in doing this.

What are a few new things/ technologies that you teach that may not have been taught 10 years ago? The importance of minimizing energy usage, reducing our carbon footprint (CO2 emissions), and the implementation of green technology have become much more important than they were just a couple of years ago. Nanomaterials have opened up an entirely new way of building and designing devices that were only dreamt of a few years ago. These two areas will influence many careers and lifestyles.

It is important to be well-rounded, so two classic novels are on my “must read” list: “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain and “A Tale of Two Cities” by Charles Dickens. Books with a technical slant include “The World Is Flat” by Thomas Friedman. The ideas and forces Friedman discusses could have (and likely will) myriad near term effects. I also recommend “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information” by Edward Tufte. Engineers who can visually present data in a more effective manner will quickly

or make will require materials (metals, ceramics, polymers), designed by metallurgical and materials engineers, whose structure and properties are tailored for specific purposes.

Where is metallurgical and materials engineering going? What will tomorrow’s metallurgical and materials engineers be working on/ developing? Eventually, our major energy sources will not be fossil fuels. I believe fuel cells are one innovation that can and will significantly change the energy upon which our society

Nanomaterials have opened up an entirely new way of building and designing devices that were only dreamt of a few years ago. separate themselves from their peers. Not all graphs are equal, and Tufte elegantly shows this.

How does metallurgical engineering impact society? Why is it crucial to recruit prospective students to become metallurgical engineers? It is no coincidence that history is labeled by the materials used — stone age, bronze age, iron age. The Industrial Revolution would have been a total “bust” without steel! Now, we have advanced to the “silicon age.” Anything engineers do

depends, and materials engineers will lead the way. Metallurgical/ materials engineers will also place a much greater emphasis on energy conservation because we know where and how energy is used to produce materials required by society. Nanomaterials have the potential to produce computers you could wear or put in your wallet, make drugs to control AIDS or cancer, or store entire libraries on a small chip. It won’t be easy, there are drawbacks, but metallurgical/ materials engineers will be required to make this happen. Exciting times lie ahead!


Legacy Crimson is ... l







You help shape the future of UA Engineering by supporting the College financially. There are many ways to help – establish a gift in your estate plan or

donate gifts of cash, appreciated property, or equipment. Take pride in the knowledge that your contributions make UA’s College of Engineering

stand out in the eyes of the nation. For more information, call us at 1-800-333-8156.

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ALUMNI ENDOWMENTS HONOR FRIENDS AND FAMILY The College recently received two new endowed scholarships thanks to alumni honoring their family and friends. The Irvin A. Jefcoat Endowed Scholarship and the Mr. and Mrs. Clifford S. Gray Endowed Scholarship will help educate our best and brightest students and pay tribute to friends and loved ones in perpetuity. Dr. Angela E. Summers and her husband, Sanjeev M. Lahoti, established the Irvin A. Jefcoat Endowed Scholarship supporting students in chemical and biological engineering. Summers and Lahoti were both students of Dr. Irvin A. “Atly” Jefcoat, who was known as an excellent teacher as well as a Dr. and Mrs. Jefcoat attend a luncheon accepting a plaque in recognition of friend and mentor to his students. the endowment honoring Dr. Jefcoat. Through their endowment, Summers and Lahoti wanted to support academic excellence within the College and honor Jefcoat. Summers received a doctorate from the Capstone in 1993, and she is the owner of SIS-TECH, an engineering firm specializing in the design and management of safety instrumented systems located in Houston, Texas. Lahoti received a master of science from UA in 1989, and he is the owner of an engineering firm providing services to the global solar industry. Ronald and Cynthia Gray established the Mr. and Mrs. Clifford S. Gray Endowed Scholarship supporting firstgeneration students in engineering. The endowment is in honor of Ronald Gray’s parents. Ronald Gray received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1981 and was recognized as a Distinguished Engineering Fellow in 2007. He is president and founder of Gray Research Inc., which is one of Huntsville’s strongest providers of engineering and management services. Cynthia Gray received a bachelor’s degree in computer science in 1982, and she is the senior vice president of Gray Research.

Ronald and Cynthia Gray

News Left to right: Kristen McCoy, U.S. Steel staff supervisor in employee services; Roy Gregg, director of UA’s Cooperative Education Program; Dean Charles L. Karr; Vicki Walker, U.S. Steel training supervisor

U.S. STEEL INC. ESTABLISHES SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS Representatives from U.S. Steel Foundation Inc. recently visited campus to present the gifts for three scholarship funds: the U.S. Steel Engineering Scholarship Fund, the U.S. Steel Engineering Co-Op Scholarship Fund and the U.S. Steel Multicultural Engineering Scholarship Fund. More than 30 students in electrical, mechanical and metallurgical engineering will benefit from the generous scholarships.

Andrew Cibulas (left) and Brian Gilino (right)

STUDENT’S TECHNOLOGY SUPPORT FUND PROVIDES LAPTOP After his first semester at UA, Andrew Cibulas established a technology support fund to assist an incoming freshman engineering student with a laptop. Cibulas, now a sophomore majoring in mechanical engineering, decided to contribute to the College annually by funding a laptop for stellar incoming students who have shown excellence in and out of the classroom. In August 2008, the first Andrew Cibulas Technology Support Fund laptop was awarded to Brian Gilino, a freshman majoring in aerospace engineering from Huntsville.


How often do engineers take field trips? Hunt Refining Co. did just that and visited the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering to observe the College’s 25-foot glass distillation column. In September, the Coker Utility/Assistant Operator Class with several unit specialists, engineers and trainers toured the department. Dr. David Arnold, professor of chemical and biological engineering, and James Hill, senior technician, demonstrated the distillation column operation and how to control the heat and monitor the 28 trays.

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BISHOP NAMED AS NEW ENGINEERING LEADERSHIP BOARD CHAIR Glenn Bishop, senior principal of LBYD Inc., has been named chairman of the College of Engineering Leadership Board. During his twoyear term, Bishop will preside over all Leadership Board meetings and oversee all the activities and responsibilities of the board. The Leadership Board consists of engineering leaders from the United States, and its mission is to review programs of the College and provide the dean with critical analyses. Bishop received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from the Capstone in 1964 and 1966, respectively. He was inducted as a Distinguished Engineering Fellow in 1992.

Left to right: Yesenia Tanner; Tracy Lamm, strategy and government relations manager of Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne; and William Warren

COLLEGE RECEIVES SCHOLARSHIP FUNDS FROM PRATT & WHITNEY ROCKETDYNE Tracy Lamm, Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Inc. government and community relations manager, recently visited campus and presented the College with scholarship funds in aerospace engineering, computer science, mechanical engineering, and electrical and computer engineering. Yesenia Tanner, a junior majoring in aerospace engineering, and William Warren, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering, are two of the recipients of the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne scholarship and met with Lamm during his visit.

14 Capstone Engineer 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 News ALABAMA ENGINEERING HALL OF FAME INDUCTS HOSTLER AND WHITE The State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame held its induction ceremony on Feb. 21, 2009. The following UA alumni received the prestigious honor. In addition, the Shelby Engineering Centers throughout Alabama were inducted as a project.

Kevin Michael Hostler — BSChE ’77

H. Kenneth White — BSCE ’71

With more than 30 years of extensive experience in the oil and gas industry, Kevin Michael Hostler has become a national leader in the business. As president and chief executive officer of Alyeska Pipeline Service Co., Hostler is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the Trans Alaska Pipeline System. Prior to joining Alyeska, Hostler dedicated 28 years to British Petroleum, where he served as the business unit leader and associate president of BP’s subsidiary in Colombia, general manager of BP’s operations in Southern England, and as operations manager of BP’s Deepwater assets in the Gulf of Mexico. His most recent assignment was a senior vice president of the company’s global human resources organization.

From the start of his career and throughout, H. Kenneth White has been firmly in the camp of the small engineering firm. He has concentrated his attention at both the state and national levels to the needs and interests of small engineering companies. As founder and president of H. Kenneth White & Associates, White leads the engineering company that has evolved into a second generation family of civil engineers. As a member of the American Council of Engineering Companies, White has advocated for small engineering firms at not only the state level but also as a national vice president. White has remained active with his alma mater by serving on the board of the Capstone Engineering Society and through establishing the Sandra E. and H. Kenneth White Endowed Engineering Scholarship.

Shelby Centers located within institutions of higher education in Alabama Studies and reports vouch for the critical importance of education in the areas of engineering, mathematics, and science. If you combine those results with Sen. Richard C. Shelby’s belief that investment in education pays off and that it pays off for every Alabamian, you have a constellation of five interdisciplinary research and technology centers providing the beacons that will attract the brightest minds to our state, thus securing Alabama’s place in the engineering and technological future. These state-of-the-art centers, all possible through the efforts of Shelby, enhance the campuses of five public universities throughout Alabama. The centers include: Shelby Center for Engineering Technology at Auburn University, Shelby Hall at The University of Alabama, Shelby Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building at The University of Alabama at Birmingham, Shelby Center for Science and Technology at The University of Alabama at Huntsville, and Shelby Engineering and Science Center at the University of South Alabama.

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BIG THANKS We appreciate our recent partners in UA’s College of Engineering family for their support of our students and programs. • BE&K Inc. for continuing support of the BE&K Endowed Scholarship • Boeing Co. for continuing support of the Boeing Corp. Scholarship and the Multicultural Engineering Fund • Mrs. Jane K. Bolton for continuing support of engineering scholarships in memory of Michael John Bolton • Mr. and Mrs. W. Paul Bowers for continuing support of the Double “A” Endowed Scholarship • Brice Building Co. Inc. for continuing support of the Brice Building Co. Endowed Scholarship • Chevron for continuing support of the Chemical Engineering Gift Fund, the Chemical Engineering Scholarship Fund, the Chevron Mechanical Engineering Scholarship, the Mechanical Engineering Gift Fund, the Multicultural Engineering Gift Fund and the Society of Women Engineers Gift Fund • Mr. and Mrs. Matt Dooley for establishing the Gary and Carolyn Dooley Endowed Scholarship • Eastman Chemical Co. for continuing support of the Chemical Engineering Fund, the Engineering Co-Op Gift Fund, the Eastman Chemical Co. Engineering Scholarship, the Civil Engineering Gift Fund and the Multicultural Engineering Gift Fund • Foundry Educational Foundation for continuing support of the Foundry Educational Foundation Fund • Ms. Christine George for establishing the Ben Jay George Memorial Endowed Scholarship in mechanical engineering • Mr. and Mrs. Ronald W. Gray for establishing the Mr. and Mrs. Clifford S. Gray Endowed Scholarship • Dr. and Mrs. Henry Hoyt Harris for establishing the Henry Hoyt Harris and Marilyn McEachern Harris Endowed Scholarship • Mr. Tom Kilgore for continuing support of the Myra Blevins Kilgore Endowed Scholarship • LBYD Inc. for continuing support of the LBYD Inc. Endowed Scholarship • Masonry Arts for establishing the Masonry Arts Endowed Scholarship • McAbee Construction Inc. for continuing support of the McAbee Construction Inc. Endowed Scholarship • McAbee Foundation for continuing support of the McAbee Foundation Scholarship • Mrs. Jacqueline Pirkle for continuing support of the Laura Spence Davis Endowed Support Fund • Mr. and Mrs. Mark A. Roberts for continuing support of the Mark A. and Chrystine B. Roberts Endowed Engineering Scholarship • Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Inc. for continuing support of the Pratt & Whitney Rocketdyne Inc. Scholarship • RaCON Inc. for continuing support of the RaCON Inc. Endowed Scholarship • Robins & Morton for continuing support of the Robins & Morton Scholarship • Mr. Robert S. Ryan for continuing support of the Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics Endowed Scholarship and the Engineering Scholarship Fund • Saiia Construction LLC for continuing support of the Saiia Construction LLC Endowed Support Fund • SASHTO for continuing support of the Civil Engineering Scholarship Fund • Walter Schoel Engineering Co. Inc. for continuing support of the Walter Schoel Co. Endowed Scholarship • Mr. Dennis Schroeder for establishing the Dennis A. Schroeder Endowed Scholarship • Mr. and Mrs. Charles A. Sipe Jr. for continuing support of the Charles A. Sipe Jr. and Nelle Sipe Endowed Scholarship • 3M Foundation–Decatur for continuing support of the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Minority Scholarship and the Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Co. Scholarship • TTL Inc. for continuing support of the H. Dean McClure Endowed Scholarship • United States Steel Foundation Inc. for establishing the U.S. Steel Foundation Co-Op Annual Support Fund, the U.S. Steel Engineering Co-Op Scholarship, the U.S. Steel Engineering Scholarship and the U.S. Steel Multicultural Engineering Scholarship

You made a career engineering things that last. Here’s another Chance. Our university continues to build upon its tradition of excellence through generous, long-range gifts from private donors. Please remember the College of Engineering in your will, trust, or other estate plans. For more information about giving opportunities without obligation, contact our professional staff toll-free at 1-888-875-4438, (205) 348-4767, or visit Our Students. Our Future.

Surveying the College 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 Capstone Engineer 17

CHBE PROFESSOR NAMED FULBRIGHT SCHOLAR Dr. Chris Brazel, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering, has been awarded a Fulbright Scholar grant as a visiting professor at Keele University’s Medical Center for the 2008–09 academic year. The medical center is part of the Institute for Science and Technology in Medicine in Keele, Staffordshire, United Kingdom. Brazel’s research is focused on magnetic hyperthermia and targeted drug delivery for cancer therapy. He will also be working with collaborators at Keele to develop advanced materials for magnetofection gene therapy, with particular emphasis on cystic fibrosis, and polymer scaffolds for delivery of calcium promoters for tissue engineering of bone. Brazel is one of approximately 800 U.S. faculty and professionals who will travel abroad through the Fulbright Scholar Program. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic or professional achievement, as well as demonstrated leadership potential in their fields.

ME PROFESSOR NAMED SOCIETY OF WOMEN ENGINEERS OUTSTANDING FACULTY ADVISOR Dr. Beth Todd, associate professor of mechanical engineering, was named the Society of Women Engineers 2008 Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award recipient. The award honors a SWE member who demonstrates outstanding leadership as an advisor, particularly in creating enthusiasm and professionalism among section members, while participating in other campus activities, professional and educational societies, and SWE at the local, regional and national levels. She has previously been named the national outstanding section faculty advisor for both ASME and SWE. In addition, Todd was named a SWE Fellow in 2004, and served as the SWE National Conference co-chair in 2003.

CCEE PROFESSOR NAMED FELLOW BY ASCE The American Society of Civil Engineers honored Dr. Ken Fridley, professor and department head of civil, construction and environmental engineering, with election to the grade of fellow. Fewer than six percent of ASCE members achieve fellow grade. Fridley was recognized because of his outstanding leadership and his demonstration for engineering work of major importance. Specifically, he was recognized for his leadership, innovation and efforts in civil engineering education reform, as well as his dedication to students. Fridley has been a member of ASCE since 1986, serving as a member of the Civil Engineering Department Heads Executive Council and the Region 5 Board of Governors representing Alabama. He is also serving on the committee on academic prerequisites for professional practice and as the vice chair for this committee’s Body of Knowledge committee.

18 Capstone Engineer 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 Surveying the College CCEE PROFESSOR RECEIVES ‘GREEN’ ACCREDITATION Dr. Pauline Johnson, associate professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering, received LEED® accreditation though the Green Building Certification Institute with the support of the U.S. Green Building Council. LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a nationally accepted, third-party certification program that promotes sustainable green building. To become an accredited LEED professional, candidates must demonstrate a thorough understanding of green building practices and principles. In 2007, UA became an institutional member of the U.S. Green Building Council by demonstrating the principles of green building on campus through educational courses and the incorporation of green design in UA facilities.

BRAZEL RECOGNIZED WITH TOP TEACHING AWARD AT UA The University of Alabama National Alumni Association announced the 2008 recipients of the University’s highest honor for excellence in teaching, the Outstanding Commitment to Teaching Awards. This year’s recipients include Dr. Christopher S. Brazel, associate professor of chemical and biological engineering. Established in 1976, OCTA recognizes dedication to the teaching profession and the positive impact outstanding teachers have on their students. Brazel joined the College in 1999 in the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering where he directs the honors program and coordinates honors forum courses that emphasize emerging technologies. His research focuses on materials for pharmaceutical and biomedical applications, including magnetic nanoparticles for improved cancer treatment that combines hyperthermia with localized chemotherapy. He has served as an advisor for more than 40 undergraduate students, authored more than 70 research papers, edited a book and given invited talks at national and international conferences.

HOLMES JOINS CAPSTONE ENGINEERING SOCIETY Nancy Holmes was named as the Capstone Engineering Society coordinator. Holmes will be responsible for organizing activities of the CES with the goals of executing fundraising campaigns, increasing membership and developing a strategic plan for future growth in the College’s annual fund. Before arriving at the Capstone, Holmes was self-employed with Graphic Concepts of Tuscaloosa, a local signage company. Her previous experience also includes serving as the director of community development for the American Red Cross–West Alabama Chapter and as the director of children’s ministries at First United Methodist Church in Tuscaloosa. Holmes received a bachelor’s degree in communications from The University of Alabama.

ENGINEERING PUBLIC RELATIONS RECEIVES MULTIPLE AWARDS Mary Wymer, the College’s director of public relations, received multiple awards from the Public Relations Council of Alabama for various engineering projects. Wymer received Medallion Awards, the highest award given, for the Capstone Engineer and for the College’s new student-recruiting view book. Wymer also received Awards of Excellence for the College’s new student recruiting brochure and for writing opinion pieces.

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Dr. John Lusth, associate professor of computer science, works with two Aliceville High School students.

HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS BUILD COMPUTERS THROUGH UA ENGINEERING PROJECT Two computer science professors recently taught Aliceville High School students about computer science and the vital role it plays in the world. Under the direction of Dr. John Lusth, associate professor of computer science, and Dr. Monica Anderson, assistant professor of computer science, the students learned how to build computers, write computer programs and command robots. They also analyzed how the computers they built compared to standard computers with regard to efficiency and power usage. “Our goals were to show these high school students that a career in computer science, while challenging, is a lot of fun with great opportunities for expressing one’s creativity,” Lusth said. Linda Jones, the multimedia teacher at Aliceville High School, said the students were surprised and amazed at the field of computer science and the program has been an inspiration for their futures. “Eighty percent of my students are now interested in computer science as a career, and 75 percent are interested in attending The University of Alabama,” Jones said. “The students used the computers daily, but they never thought about how they were constructed. Now they know.” The program was funded by the UA Office of Community Affairs. In 2009, Lusth and Anderson will continue the program in another high school.

The University Transportation Center for Alabama at UA is conducting the pilot study to assess the impact of installation of lap/shoulder seat belts on a limited number of Alabama school buses. From the effect on student behavior to monitoring the extra time devoted to buckling up at each stop, the study will provide information about school buses with seat belts for possible adoption throughout the state. The project involves four areas for research, including review of national practice and what other states have found, alterations needed in the Alabama bus fleet, analysis of Alabama school bus crash data and a costbenefit analysis. Each of the 12 new buses has been equipped with various types of three-point seat belts. Four ceilingmounted video cameras have also been installed on each bus to gather data on the level of restraint use, to review the percentage of students using the belts and the percentage of students using the belts properly, to investigate if using the belts keeps the students from moving into the aisle and out of the protective compartment provided by the seats, and to monitor time devoted to buckling at each stop. Alabama lawmakers allocated more than $300,000 for a three-year pilot program in 10 school districts. The state purchased 12 new school buses with seat belts. The research grant was awarded to the University Transportation Center for Alabama.

Dr. Jay Lindly, director of the University Transportation Center for Alabama, on one of the buses equipped with seat belts

20 Capstone Engineer 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 Surveying the College UA ENGINEERING PROGRAMS ACCREDITED BY ABET The College of Engineering’s degree programs have been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET Inc., the recognized accreditor of college and university programs in applied science, computing, engineering and technology. ABET accreditation demonstrates a program’s commitment to providing its students with a quality education. “I’m extremely proud to once again receive ABET accreditation for our programs. Through our aggressive educational goals, we are not only able to offer engineering and computer science students exceptional education experiences but also maintain the high standards established by the education and engineering industries,” said Dr. Charles L. Karr, dean of UA’s College of Engineering. The following UA programs have been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET: aerospace, chemical, civil, electrical, mechanical and metallurgical engineering, and the computer engineering option within the electrical engineering program. In addition, UA’s computer science program has been accredited by the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET. Because UA’s construction engineering program was established in 2006, it does not yet qualify for accreditation review.

COE ESTABLISHES DUAL-DEGREE PROGRAM WITH UWA The University of Alabama College of Engineering has established a dualdegree program with the University of West Alabama in Livingston. Students participating in the program will receive a bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of West Alabama and an engineering bachelor’s degree from the Capstone. Front row, left to right: Dean Charles L. Karr; UWA President Richard Holland; Dr. Judy Massey, UWA dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Math. Back row, left to right: Dr. Kevin Whitaker, UA College of Engineering associate dean; Dr. Thomas Ratkovich, UWA department chair of math; Dr. David Taylor, UWA provost

CHBE STUDENT RECEIVES DINGWALL ASIAN ANCESTRY GRANT Ynhi Thai, a senior in chemical engineering, received a prestigious and highly competitive William Orr Dingwall Foundation Asian Ancestry Grant. Thai has been awarded approximately $18,000 for her undergraduate studies and research project. The Dingwall Foundation Grant, awarded to 15 students nationally each year, is given in addition to existing awards the student may already receive.

ME STUDENT WINS ASME NATIONAL AWARD Jesse Huguet, a graduate student in mechanical engineering, was awarded the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Charles T. Main Student Section Silver Award, which recognizes student leadership and service. Huguet has served as the president of UA’s chapter of ASME and helped pioneer UA’s Boy Scout Engineering Post, which is a program that introduces boy scouts to engineering. He was also instrumental in leading community service initiatives, such as work with the Boys and Girls Club building renovations.

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Dr. Ajay Agrawal

Energy is often defined as the capacity to do work, and energy exists in many different forms, such as kinetic, potential, thermal, gravitational, sound energy, light energy, elastic, electromagnetic, chemical and nuclear. While one form of energy may be transferred to another form, the total energy remains the same. Therefore, most current energy research efforts are aimed at ways to improve efficiency and better harness energy. From chemistry to physics to engineering, researchers throughout The University of Alabama campus are actively involved in projects that are developing systems to reduce harmful emissions, producing new ways to harness energy, improving efficiency, and investigating fuel flexibility. These interdisciplinary research teams are working with major funding agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Navy and the U.S. Department of Energy. Energy projects have the potential to change the way we work and commute, and even modify some of our traditional daily activities. From using a fuel cell vehicle to portable power, UA’s teams of energy researchers are developing tomorrow’s energy systems with a cleaner and more efficient future in mind.

Clean Combustion

Working on a porous inert media combustion concept, Dr. Ajay Agrawal, Robert F. Barfield Endowed Chair in Mechanical Engineering, and his team are researching fuel flexibility without compromising emissions. The project is investigating how various types of fuel, such as diesel, natural gas, or biodiesel, react within the porous material. This material is extremely strong but also very permeable, and it allows the fuel and air combustion to occur cleanly and efficiently. “In our laboratory experiments, we are able to operate the combustor over a wide range of air and fuel flow rates while reducing noise and emissions,” said Agrawal. So far, the project team has received promising results of more quiet and cleaner combustion with the promise of a fuel flexible system. Agrawal has applied to patent this new technology. Agrawal’s team is taking what they have learned from the porous inert media combustion project to develop a miniature combustion system for portable power needs. By converting thermal energy into electricity, the burner system could be used to generate power for small devices and personal electronics.

22 Capstone Engineer 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1 Surveying the College “This project could lead to replacement of batteries, especially for military usage,” explained Agrawal. “Liquid fuels, such as JP-8, can store up to 100 times more energy as compared to today’s batteries. Researchers in the field have been challenged by the need to cleanly and efficiently burn liquid fuels in a miniature combustor, a task we have accomplished recently.” In addition to these combustion projects, Agrawal’s team is actively researching the combustion of biofuels, such as biodiesel for electric power generation. In particular, the team is investigating combustion systems of advanced gas turbines for alternative fuel usage without causing adverse emission effects. “Our experiments show that the biodiesel provides a good replacement for diesel fuel in gas turbines,” explained Agrawal. “Because of the increasing price of biodiesel and its competition with food supplies, we are also exploring biofuels, such as pyrolysis oil made from wood products, as an alternative fuel for gas turbines.”


Alumni Notes

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Capstone Engineer 23

Jobs/Promotions/Awards 1959 William Moss, BSCE ’59, was inducted into the Alabama Auto Racing Pioneers for his work building Talladega Superspeedway and other superspeedways. Moss was named a Distinguished Engineering Fellow in 1994.

1962 Dr. Charlie Haynes, BSMinE ’62, was honored with the Distinguished Member Award from the Society of Petroleum Engineers. Haynes was named a Distinguished Engineering Fellow in 1988.

1966 Henry Lloyd Wilson, BSEE ’66, retired from the U.S. Air Force.

1971 Kenneth White, BSCE ’71, was appointed as vice chair of the American Council of Engineering Companies’ Business Insurance Trust. White is president of H. Kenneth White & Associates Inc. in Montgomery. White was named a Distinguished Engineering Fellow in 2001, and he was inducted into the State of Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame in 2009.

1977 Dr. John Winter, BSChE ’77 and MSChE ’84, was named vice president of process engineering at Range Fuels Inc. Winter previously served as vice president of engineering at Evergreen Energy and as the chief engineer-gasification for GE Energy.

1982 Annette M. Sledd, BSCE ’82, received a Federal Women’s Program Outstanding Achievement Award for her exceptional supervisory service to the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center and the space program.

1985 Darrell Turner, BSCE ’85, was promoted to the position of division administrator for Minnesota for the Federal Highway Administration. Previously, he served as assistant division administrator for Arkansas.

1986 Lt. Col. Ted Clements, BSME ’86, retired from the U.S. Air Force after 22 years of service. During his career, he worked on highly classified programs and was assigned to the Pentagon. Albert K. Stewart, BSEE ’86, retired from the U.S. Air Force with honors at a ceremony at the Pentagon in June 2008 where he was presented with the Air Force Meritorious Service Medal. He will continue working with the Defense Intelligence Agency as a congressional liaison officer.

1994 Joseph Thomas Watson Jr., BSME ’94, accepted a position as senior project engineer at Alabama River Pulp Inc. in Perdue Hill.

1996 Douglas Scott, BSME ’96 and MSME ’98, was named 2007 Engineer of the Year by Eaton Corp. where he serves as manager of analytical sciences in the aerospace division. Jennifer Trice, BSCE ’96, opened a civil engineering consulting firm, Trice PC, in Huntsville.

24 Capstone Engineer

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Alumni Notes



Dr. Rajiv Doreswamy, PhD ’99, has been chosen to participate in the NASA Senior Executive Service Candidate Development Program. He is deputy manager of program planning and control for Ares Projects at the NASA Marshall Space Flight Center.

Beth Hollingsworth, BSME ’04 and MBA ’08, was named process improvement engineer at GAF/Elk of Tuscaloosa.

Bruce Vance, BSEE ’99, was named an associate of Sterne, Kessler, Goldstein and Fox PLLC.


2007 Christopher Bazinet, BSCE ’07, was promoted to the position of civil engineering graduate as a lab supervisor and coordinator at the Alabama Department of Transportation in Tuscaloosa.

David L. Ahearn, BSCE ’01 and MSMTE ’08, joined Engineering Systems Inc. as a staff engineer in the company’s Atlanta, Ga., office.

Show your pride in the College of Engineering with top-quality apparel and gifts. Choose from polo shirts, coffee mugs, baseball caps and more. Profit generated from the sale of these items contributes to the Capstone Engineering Society, which provides scholarship funds to UA’s College of Engineering.

Call 1-800-333-8156 Come by 174 H.M. Comer Click

Our Students. Our Future. 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 Capstone Engineer 25

FULLER SCHOLARSHIP IMPACTS MECHANICAL ENGINEERING STUDENT Marce Fuller has never been one to back away from a challenge. After successful stints at General Electric and then Southern Company, she was named president and chief executive officer of Mirant. She grew the company’s global capacity to more than 22,000 megawatts and transformed it into an S&P 500 and Fortune 500 company. For her achievements, she was recognized as one of the 50 most powerful women in business by Fortune magazine. It is this same ambition and leadership skills that she wanted to instill in students at the Capstone. In 2007, Fuller chose to promote the education of deserving engineering students by endowing a student scholarship. Since then, Fuller has greatly impacted the engineering profession by educating UA’s best and brightest students. Demetreius Cade, a sophomore from Thomaston majoring in mechanical engineering, is a recipient of the Marce Fuller Endowed Scholarship. Although he is at the beginning of his college education, his drive for success should make Fuller proud. “The Marce Fuller Scholarship has helped relieve the financial burden of college,” said Cade. “It has allowed me to focus on my education and not worry

about having a job during the semester, allowing me access to a richer learning environment.” Cade attributes much of his success at the Capstone to his involvement with UA’s Cooperative Education Program. He is working at Mercedes-Benz U.S. International in the engineering group, and he plans to attend graduate school, pursuing a degree in operations management for a career in the automotive industry. Cade has also been recognized as a UA Torch Bearer from the National Society of Black Engineers National Conference and was named a UA minority rural health scholar for the past two years. From participating in intramural sports to involvement in the National Society of Black Engineers, Cade has been able to fully experience many of the opportunities the Capstone offers. “These activities and experiences would not be possible if I didn’t have the financial assistance through this scholarship,” said Cade. Support UA’s future engineers by contributing to the College of Engineering’s “Our Students. Our Future.” capital campaign. If you would like to discuss specific ways in which you can contribute, contact Brandi Lamon, director of external affairs and development, at (205) 348-7594 or 1-800-333-8156.

26 Capstone Engineer 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 1 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 1In Memory Louis Richard Hovater Louis R. Hovater died on Sept. 11, 2008. He received a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1948 and established his own companies, Hovater Engineers and Lining Materials of Southern California, which specialized in containment for water, wastewater and hazardous waste. Prior to attending the Capstone, he served four years as a naval officer in World War II. He retired in 1993.

H.L. “Buddy” Hughes H.L. “Buddy” Hughes died on Feb. 8, 2008. Hughes received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 1947, and he was selected as an honorary fellow by the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Hughes served as a U.S. Naval Air Corps pilot in World War II and later became the owner of Equipment Sales Corp. in the central Gulf Coast region. He was named a Distinguished Engineering Fellow in 2000.

Dr. John Leslie Hunter II Dr. John Leslie Hunter II died on Oct. 13, 2008. Hunter received a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the Capstone in 1994. He also received a bachelor’s degree in biology from Auburn University, and he then went on to complete medical school and his surgical residency at the University of South Alabama. Following his graduation from medical school, Hunter practiced general surgery with Cedar Surgical Associates of Statesboro in Statesboro, Ga.

Dr. Harold Mott Dr. Harold Mott died on Aug. 31, 2008. Mott began his tenure at The University of Alabama College of Engineering as an electrical engineering professor in 1960 and served the University until his retirement in 1993. Prior to his time at the Capstone, Mott served in the U.S. Navy as an aviation electronic technician. Following his military service, Mott received his doctorate in electrical engineering from North Carolina State University, where he also served as an instructor. Mott was named a professor emeritus and wrote three books on antennas and radar.

Dr. Donald C. Raney Dr. Donald Raney died on Nov. 27, 2008. Raney joined the engineering faculty at the Capstone in 1964 and served for 30 years until his retirement in 1994. At the time of his retirement, he served the College as department chair of mechanical engineering and was among a small number of professors at the University holding the title of Research Professor. Raney is known for his studies of fluid dynamics and the computerized modeling of water systems. A scholarship fund has been established to honor Raney at the Capstone. If you would like to make a donation in his memory, please mail it to Brandi Lamon, The University of Alabama College of Engineering, Box 870200, Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0200

Dr. Shih Cheng Zien Dr. Shih Cheng Zien died on Sept. 16, 2008. Born in China in 1911, Zien received his doctorate in aeronautical engineering in 1938 at Berlin Technical University in Germany while studying abroad. Zien returned to China after graduation and joined the Chinese air force. He began his teaching career in 1949 in the mechanical engineering department of Cheng Kung University in Taiwan. In 1955, Zien was offered a teaching position at UA where he taught for 22 years as an aerospace engineering professor. He retired from UA in 1981.

In Memory0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 1 0 0 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 1 1Capstone Engineer 27 Friends We Will Miss: Howard W. Baker, BS ’59, died on Sept. 1, 2008. Michael E. Belotti, BSIE ’49, died on Jan. 1, 2009. R. Wayne Billingsley, BS ’65, died on Dec. 2, 2008. Everett P. Brady Jr., BSME ’49, died on Oct. 8, 2008. Wade Houston Brown, BS ’50, died on Aug. 28, 2008. Charles E. Clem, BS ’50, died on Aug. 15, 2008. William P. Collins, BS ’53, died on Dec. 19, 2008. Capt. Frank B. Gorman, BSAE ’38, died on Feb. 24, 2008. Billy J. Hand, BSME ’57, died on Dec. 16, 2008. Jerry A. Lankford, BSEE ’60, died on Sept. 6, 2008. John H. McDonald, BS ’43, died on Nov. 26, 2008. Charles W. McLeod, BSCE ’60, died on Sept. 19, 2008. John Milner, BSChE ’42, died on June 24, 2008. Charles H. Noble, BSCE ’60, died on Nov. 26, 2008. Anthony J. Pichnarcik, BSAE ’43, died on Aug. 26, 2008. Karl F. Prunitsch, MSME ’63, died on Dec. 10, 2008. Oscar J. Sanders, BSIE ’50, died on Aug. 6, 2008. Herbert A. Thaler, BSME ’37, died on Sept. 9, 2008. Stiles C. Ulmer, BS ’56, died on Dec. 12, 2008.

28 Capstone Engineer 1 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 0 1 0 1 1 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 1 0 1 Events COE ATTENDS ACEC ANNUAL CONFERENCE

ENGINEERING DAY On Oct. 2, the College of Engineering hosted Engineering Day, or E-Day, an open house for high school students and their families. More than 750 visitors wanting to gain a realistic view of engineering visited the College.

The Capstone Engineering Society was wellrepresented at the American Council of Engineering Companies Annual Conference in Panama City, Fla., in July. Tru Livaudais, former CES coordinator, attended the trade show where he networked with companies about cooperative education, internships and scholarship opportunities at the College.

HOMECOMING TAILGATE PARTY More than 350 people enjoyed the CES tailgate party on the Quad before the game on Nov. 1. Engineering alumni and friends relished fried fish and barbecue while discussing old times and awaiting victory over Arkansas State University.

FRESHMEN ENGINEERING STUDENTS DESIGN COMPETITION This year’s freshman engineering competition at UA consisted of designing a model airplane launcher and payload delivery system capable of transporting three ounces of play dough to a target. While students designed and constructed the launchers and delivery systems prior to the event, they did not know the exact distance of the target from the airplane launch site until the day of the competition. Adding to the challenge, airplanes had to fly without assistance of hand launches or a human operator, and no wood could be used in the construction of the launcher.


NinthE Annual

GolfTournament Capstone



t h u r s d ay , a p r i l 3 0 , 2 0 0 9 bent brook golf course

Join fellow Alabama engineers for a wonderful day of golf and the chance to win great prizes. All proceeds benefit the Capstone Engineering Society (CES) Scholarship Fund. Modified four-person scramble.

T i mes :

F ees

11:30 a.m. Registration and Lunch 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. Driving Range Open 1:00 p.m. Shotgun Start A meal will be served and prizes will be awarded after play.

Individuals and twosomes are welcome! Registration includes green fees, carts, range balls, beverages, meals, and tournament gifts. $125 Individual $500 Team of Four

S po n sorsh i p O pportu n i t i es Tournament Sponsor: $2,500 Hole Sponsor: $500

To register, visit Contact: Nancy Holmes 1-800-333-8156 or 205-348-2452

Capstone Engineering Society College of Engineering Box 870200 Tuscaloosa, AL 35487-0200

From LEGO® Designer to Rocket Builder Kyle Scott said he has wanted to study aerospace engineering for as long as he can remember. Before he decided to come to UA and build space vehicles as a career, he originally wanted to be a LEGO® project designer. Now as a research assistant to Dr. Paul Hubner, assistant professor of aerospace engineering, Scott studies aerial vehicles used by the U.S. Department of Defense for surveillance purposes. From working with the latest technology and tackling research projects, he is learning skills that will help him throughout his career. Scott is just one of the best and brightest at The University of Alabama who walk the College’s halls every day. His achievements are witness to the generous scholarship support he has received. Your generosity can help our students and our future shine a little brighter.

To learn of ways you can support the College of Engineering, contact Brandi Lamon, director of external affairs and development, at (205) 348-7594 or

Nonprofit Organization U.S. Postage PAID Tuscaloosa, AL Permit 16

Kyle Scott Sophomore, Aerospace Engineering National Merit Finalist

Capstone Engineer - Spring 2009  

Capstone Engineer is published in the spring and fall by the Capstone Engineering Society at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, AL.