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BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

VOLUME 16 ISSUE 2

FALL 2020

WHILE THE WORLD STOPPED ENGINEERS STEPPED UP


In the Spotlight

Hu recognized as a

Benedum Scholar John Hu, professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, Statler Chair in Engineering for Natural Gas Utilization and director of the Center for Innovation in Gas Research and Utilization, has been named a 2019-2020 Benedum Distinguished Scholar in the physical sciences and technology category. His work focuses on two main areas of research: the development of carbonneutral liquid fuels (CNLFs) and the direct conversion of natural gas to valueadded liquid chemicals through singlestep dehydroaromatization. In both of these areas, Hu is a world leader and has established a nationally recognized program at WVU. He has undertaken a number of U.S. Department of Energy and other federal agency-funded projects. Hu has published more than 100 journal articles and conference papers and has received 32 U.S. patents, all related to catalysis and reaction engineering.

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Since joining WVU in 2016, he has published 20 peer-reviewed journal articles, filed seven U.S. patents, presented 30 keynote speeches at national and international conferences, and secured over $12 million in research funding. The selection committee states that Hu’s work has defined major areas of shale gas research, and he continues to make significant research contributions.

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Wuest named one of

20 most influential professors in smart manufacturing

West Virginia University Assistant Professor Thorsten Wuest has been recognized as one of the 20 most influential professors in smart engineering by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) for his innovations in the field and strong influence over future generations of engineers. The recognition by SME, a nonprofit organization of professionals, educators, and students committed to promoting and supporting the manufacturing industry, came at the beginning of May, and established Wuest as a leader in the field. “Being recognized by this community of peers is special,” Wuest said. “I am really honored to be named among these established academics that have essentially shaped and defined the field of smart manufacturing from the start.”

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Wuest’s current research emphasizes the human element in smart manufacturing systems, bridging the gap between experts’ knowledge, physics-based modeling and data-driven methods in a hybrid approach and collaborating in the development of a smart manufacturing roadmap. Founded in 1932, SME is one of the most established and innovative global professional societies for manufacturing, reaching more than 400,000 manufacturing professionals worldwide.

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In the Spotlight

Sivaneri receives

Nicholas Evans Award for Advising Excellence Each year the WVU Academic Advising Council at the direction of the Provost’s Office selects honorees for the Nicholas Evans Awards for Advising Excellence in recognition of outstanding advising and mentoring provided by faculty and professional advisors at WVU. The awards are in honor of Dr. Nicholas Evans, a lifelong proponent and exemplar of undergraduate advising at WVU. Nithi T. Sivaneri, professor in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources’ Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, was one of four recipients of the Nicholas Evans Advising Awards. Sivaneri has been an integral part of the Statler College for 38 years and is a faculty advisor for dual mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering students. In his nomination letter, Victor H. Mucino said this about his colleague, “Dr. Sivaneri has been and continues to be an advocate for students, through standards of academic excellence, which instills professional values in his advisees, several of whom have returned to WVU to be inducted into the department’s Academy of Distinguished Alumni.” According to Sivaneri’s supervisor,

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Jacky Prucz, ”He would never turn away a student who comes to him for help and always takes the time necessary to ensure that the student receives sound advice from him.” In the words of a student, “I have truly not met another professor who cares about his students’ welfare as much as he does.”

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CONTENTS FEATURE STORY 24

WHILE THE WORLD STOPPED ENGINEERS STEPPED UP

DEPARTMENTS 6

Dean’s Message

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Research and Development

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Engineering 360˚

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Our Alumni

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In Support

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In Memoriam

The WVU Board of Governors is the governing body of WVU. The Higher Education Policy Commission in West Virginia is responsible for developing, establishing and overseeing the implementation of a public policy agenda for the state’s four-year colleges and universities.

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WVU is an EEO/Affirmative Action employer — Minority/Female/Disability/Veteran


Dean’s Message

PEDRO MAGO

Through these swift changes to our learning and teaching experiences, our purpose of delivering high-quality education to our students on their pursuit of achieving their dreams has never been more clearly defined. It is evident that we need courageous leaders to solve the critical problems that we will face in the years to come, and I am confident that we will lead our students to success and continue to make groundbreaking discoveries that push scientific discovery forward. By embracing unique perspectives, fostering a creative learning environment, and capitalizing on critical thinking, our College and our students have the power to shape a more just and better world. In this edition of Engineering WV Magazine, you will learn the story of many selfless individuals who worked tirelessly in our new Innovation Hub, the first prototyping center on campus, to provide personal protective equipment to healthcare workers in our state and around the world. The Innovation Hub staffers quickly pivoted as the world turned upside down to create thousands of surgical mask extenders, face shields, intubation boxes and face masks for healthcare workers. Their hard work is a glowing example of the way in which our College can serve West Virginia and the world. As people across the world face different levels of hardships because of the ongoing health crisis, it is imperative that we meet each day with kindness and empathy, for ourselves and for others. Although many of us are apart in distance, always remember that you are home among the Mountaineer family. We will always rise to the occasion in true Mountaineer fashion, no matter the size of mountains that may lie ahead.

Glen H. Hiner Dean Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

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MAGO

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Over the past several months, we have all faced challenges — at home, at the workplace, on campus, and in almost every other aspect of our lives. In my first semester serving as the dean of the Statler College, I have watched as this community has banded together through these unprecedented changes to tackle some of the greatest hardships facing our society. I truly couldn’t be more proud or excited to lead this group of talented and compassionate students, faculty and staff. Despite the circumstances, it is clear that the Mountaineer spirit is alive and well in our College.


Fall 2020

VOLUME 16 NO. 2

DEAN Pedro Mago pedro.mago@mail.wvu.edu | 304-293-4157 DIRECTOR Marketing and Communications J. Paige Nesbit jpnesbit@mail.wvu.edu | 304-293-4135 DESIGNERS Ruthie Deely / J. Paige Nesbit / Adrianne Uphold WRITERS Kimberly Becker / Ruthie Deely / Olivia Miller Jensen Mills / Brittany Murray / Cassie Rice Danielle Petrak / Pam Pritt / Jake Stump Adrianne Uphold

20 WHILE THE WORLD STOPPED STORE CLOSES 11/8/20

EDITORS Angela Caudill / Ruthie Deely / Kathy DeWeese Olivia Miller / Michelle Moirai / Sohan Patel J. Paige Nesbit / Adrianne Uphold

ALL PROCEEDS BENEFIT STATLER COLLEGE STUDENT ORGANIZATIONS

PHOTOGRAPHY Olivia Miller / J. Paige Nesbit Brian Persinger ADDRESS West Virginia University Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources PO Box 6070 Morgantown, WV 26506-6070 statler.wvu.edu CHANGE OF ADDRESS WVU Foundation / PO Box 1650 Morgantown, WV 26504-1650 e-mail: info@wvuf.org www.connecttowvu.com

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Students win top prize in first virtual West Virginia Business Competition

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How’s the weather up there?

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Wang earns prestigious NSF CAREER Award to

MISSION STATEMENT

The Statler College mission is to prepare students for success in their professional careers; to contribute to the advancement of society through learning, discovery, extension and service; and to stimulate economic well-being in West Virginia and the world through technical innovation, knowledge creation and educational excellence. Engineering West Virginia is published twice each year, in spring and fall, for the alumni, friends and other supporters of the WVU Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. Copyright ©2020 by the WVU Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. Brief excerpts of articles in this publication may be reprinted without a request for permission if Engineering West Virginia is acknowledged in print as the source. Contact the director for permission to reprint entire articles.

32 Teaching, research and advising awards announced 37 Engineering student selected for outstanding merit fellowship 39 Ruby Scholar Fellow announced 46 Year in numbers 51 Remembeing Mr. Watts

Follow. Like. Share.

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WVU engineer aims to enhance space weather forecasting

expand research on early warning signs of autism spectrum disorder It’s getting hot in here: WVU engineer improves efficiency of U.S. energy infrastructure

Donation of industryleading software gives WVU students an edge

@wvustatler

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Research and Development

How’s the weather up there? WVU engineer aims to enhance space weather forecasting WRITTEN BY JAKE STUMP

An artist’s illustration shows activity from the sun contributing to space weather conditions that can ultimately affect Earth adn its infrastructure (NASA courtesy illustration).

Usually, the Earth’s magnetic field shields us from the misadventures of our nearest star, the mighty sun. But it failed on Sept. 2, 1859. Known as the Carrington Event, the most powerful solar storm on record burst through the magnetic field and pummeled telegraph wires throughout the United States and Europe, breaking down communication systems and igniting several fires.

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MEHTA

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Scientists like Piyush Mehta, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at West Virginia University, worry that a similar event today would unleash mightier havoc – widespread blackouts, destroyed electrical girds and an estimated $2 trillion in damages.


That’s why Mehta, with the aid of a $273,734-grant from the National Science Foundation and a WVU graduate student, will research more accurate ways to predict space weather via artificial intelligence and machine-learning. “This research has come to light in recent years because of the advanced technological infrastructure we have today,” Mehta said. “We’ve got power grid lines, oil pipelines and satellites that gather GPS and weather information. Space weather can adversely affect all of these infrastructures.” In more recent history, the province of Quebec suffered a daylong blackout in March 1989 due to a solar storm. In the U.S., more than 200 power grid problems erupted from coast to coast. With more and more satellites sprouting into orbit and technological advances that enable our electronic communications, the weather in space could create annoyances – or even catastrophes – in our day-today lives. “The main issue is that we still don’t understand very well what the sun’s going to do and how it impacts our near-Earth space environment or geospace,” Mehta said. The sun continuously spews out plasma, mainly made up of different kinds of charged particles, Mehta explained. The resulting solar wind then interacts with

inputs. Space weather forecasters at the Space Weather Prediction Center operating under NOAA are charged with providing the forecasts. However, predicting space weather, especially strong events, is a challenging task and existing models can be improved upon, Mehta said. We are far behind the models we use on Earth for terrestrial weather. “You can look at your phone for the weather forecast. If it says there’s an 80 percent chance of rain, it’s probably going to rain and you’re going to grab your umbrella. We’re not quite there yet when it comes to forecasting space weather.” One reason is that scientists don’t have a grasp on how the different solar wind conditions affect the amount of energy transferred into the magnetosphere. Mehta will work with the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico to develop a new model for the geospace/magnetosphere that will help to improve understanding of this energy transfer process. To achieve this, Mehta and his colleagues will apply AI and machine-learning methods to develop a computationally efficient model that can expand the role of simulation models in scientific discovery (and operations). The project will also provide a unique training opportunity for a graduate student at WVU, who will visit the laboratory with Mehta for research

“The work performed under this award will help elevate WVU’s stature in the community of space weather and intelligence and machinelearning.” — Piyush Mehta the Earth’s magnetosphere, an interaction that isn’t completely understood by scientists, Mehta said. This interaction can be highly violent when the sun is very active or during solar storms and can set up drastic changes in the geospace environment that can significantly impact us. According to NASA, these activities are considered “space weather” ­— the conditions on the sun, in the solar wind and within Earth’s magnetosphere, ionosphere and thermosphere that can influence technological systems and endanger human life and health. The process of providing space weather forecasts is highly involved and complex, with model and human

and collaboration. Mehta’s funding comes from a highly competitive Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research award. “This is the first time WVU has received this type of an award,” Mehta said. “Space weather was the subject of one of the last executive orders by former President Barack Obama, and the current administration has also voiced support for it. The work performed under this award will help elevate WVU’s stature in the community of space weather and artificial intelligence and machine-learning.”

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Research and Development

Wang earns prestigious NSF CAREER Award to expand research on early warning signs of autism spectrum disorder WRITTEN BY RUTHIE DEELY

People preferentially orient to faces in their environment, and his behavior is defined as social attention. The research team led by Assistant Professor Shuo Wang aims to uncover the neural mechanisms underlying this behavior using state-of-the-art single neuron recordings in humans.

Humans are naturally social creatures. As infants we intensely look at the faces of our parent or caregiver not only to memorize what they look like, but to connect the face with the voice.

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WANG


This social visual attention is critical to the early development of language and communication skills and also influences thoughts, decisions, memory and actions. According to West Virginia University Assistant Professor Shuo Wang, social visual attention plays a vital role in guiding social behaviors and impaired social attention underlies many psychiatric and neurological disorders, such as autism and ADHD. However, Wang explained that very little is known about human visual attention at the single-neuron level. Recently, Wang earned the prestigious CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation in support of his research to understand the underlying neural processes involved in human social interaction. The award comes with nearly $500,000 in funding over a fiveyear period. “Understanding the brain mechanisms involved in social attention is critical to unraveling the early signs of autism spectrum disorder,” Wang said. This project builds on Wang’s single-neuron recordings with simultaneous eye tracking in humans as well as his approaches to analyze functional connectivity at the neural circuit level.

socially relevant images while the patients perform various attention tasks. The first attention task is a search task prompting the patient to seek an object among distractions, similar to how we look for our keys in a cluttered room. The other prompts the patient to freely view images of natural scenery without any restrictions, similar to how we explore an environment when we go to a new place. Wherever the patient looks indicates where they pay attention. “These results will contribute to our understanding of biological processes of visual attention and also contribute to the refinement of teaching materials for those with attention disorders,” Wang said. The data acquired, and tools developed as a result of this research, will be made available to other researchers in order to continue the advancement of cognitive neuroscience research and human neural recordings. The NSF’s Faculty Early Career Development, or CAREER, program supports junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of their mission organizations.

“Understanding the brain mechanisms involved in social attention is critical to unraveling the early signs of autism spectrum disorder.” — Shuo Wang “The brain contains billions of neurons. With our unique technique, we are able to probe the activity of a single neuron out of all brain neurons,” Wang said. “Neuroscientists try to understand the brain at the activity level of a single neuron, making single-neuron recording the gold standard in neuroscience.” This research will be one of the very first studies to investigate the neural circuits of human social interaction for both goal-driven and stimulus-driven attention. “The outcomes of this research are important to understand the neural mechanisms of impaired visual attention in patients with psychiatric and neurological disorders and will be informative for development of future targeted intervention strategies,” said Wang. As part of the project, Wang and colleagues will have an opportunity to collaborate with neurosurgeons and record neurons in specific brain regions directly known to be involved in attention, decision-making or processing of

“Dr. Wang’s research lies at the unique intersection between biomedical engineering and human neuroscience,” said Richard Turton, Chemical Engineering Chair and Russell and Ruth Bolton Professorship for Outstanding Teaching. “His lab exploits the rare opportunities provided by intracranial electrical recordings during neurosurgical procedures. His research is truly at the cutting edge of biomedical engineering, and we are proud to have him as a member of our faculty.”

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Research and Development

Gearing up for changes in smart manufacturing: Wuest receives DOE grant

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WRITTEN BY OLIVIA MILLER

A WVU researcher is moving the field of smart manufacturing forward with the help of a $901,486 grant awarded by the United States Department of Energy’s Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Innovation Institute (CESMII), aimed at improving the energy efficiency of manufacturing companies across the United States.

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Gears are a key component in many industrial segments, including automotive, energy generation and defense. According to Thorsten Wuest, the J. Wayne and Kathy Richards Faculty Fellow and assistant professor of industrial and management systems engineering, the U.S. demand for gears is expected to grow by 6.4 percent to $40 billion in sales. The collaborative project involves researchers from the University at Buffalo and Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO). The researchers will develop a holistic hybrid model to predict the specific energy consumption of largescale grinding processes, ultimately increasing the global competitiveness of U.S. manufacturers. The project’s focal point is a largescale internal double wheel end gear that is approximately three feet in diameter and is used in heavy mining

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and construction equipment. The processing time of such a gear is over 11 hours. “In manufacturing there is not much previous work available, especially not at the level we are proposing, with direct industrial application through our industrial partner Indiana Technology and Manufacturing Companies (ITAMCO) and the reach of CESMII,” Wuest said. Wuest explained that hybrid analytics, merging traditional, physics-based modeling with datadriven machine learning models, is a relatively new field. The proposed project will have a direct impact on the operations of ITAMCO, an advanced manufacturing and technology firm, in reducing the specific energy consumption of their most energy-intensive processes, large-scale grinding, by at least 15 percent.

“With the recent manufacturing renaissance in the U.S., we all need to diligently strive towards more efficiency and globally competitive manufacturing processes,” Wuest said. He explained that for the project’s focal CNC grinding systems, which are capable of producing large-scale gears, energy accounts for about 33 percent of the overall manufacturing cost. “Reducing the energy consumption by improving the grinding strategy based on hybrid modeling does not only reduce the environmental impact, but it also improves the company’s bottom line and further increases the competitiveness of U.S. manufactured high-tech goods on the global marketplace,” he continued. According to Wuest, grinding has the highest rate of energy consumption of all machining processes, and this process isn’t


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going anywhere soon. “While the industry is exploring new technologies such as additive manufacturing to manufacture large gears, they are not mature enough and fail to achieve the required properties,” he said. “Grinding will remain the core technology to produce large-scale, high quality gear components for various industrial applications.” The transferable results of this project will not only impact the competitiveness and energy consumption of the U.S. largescale gear grinding industry but could ultimately lead to improvements in other manufacturing domains as well. “This is a great opportunity for WVU and the Statler College to showcase our expertise in smart manufacturing,” Wuest said. “For our students, the insights will inform our classroom teaching and prepare them for leadership roles in manufacturing.”

WVU engineers to develop AI-based framework to gather data about the history of the universe

BOURLAI

Two engineers at WVU are using artificial intelligence in their pursuit to help answer some of the most daunting questions about the history of the universe. How was it created? How did it develop over time?

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“With the recent manufacturing renaissance in the U.S., we all need to diligently strive towards more efficiency and globally competitive manufacturing processes.” — Thorsten Wuest

The Green Bank Observatory located in Green Bank, West Virginia, is an integral data collection tool for Schmid and Bourlai. (Green Bank Observatory photo)

According to Natalia Schmid and Thirimachos Bourlai, professors in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, answering these questions is critical in predicting the future of the universe.

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“Without understanding our past and the origin of the universe, we will not be able to analyze what to expect in the future,” Bourlai said. By developing a new AI-based framework for the detection of radio frequency interference (RFI) — the data received by a telescope — the researchers will use a machine learning approach to minimize the probability of detection errors in radio astronomy signals. The researchers explained that raw radio astronomy data can be extremely noisy and RFI contaminated, making it difficult to detect weak astronomical signals. “Improved RFI characterization will allow us to increase the sensitivity limit of every radio telescope, leading to a substantial increase in the number of detected faint transient signals,” Schmid said. “In addition to the detection of transients, real time RFI detection and mitigation will speed up pulsar search and result in high-quality mapping of the universe.” “We will not be able to map the entire universe, but we will contribute our bit to this research,” Schmid said.

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Research and Development

R&D IN BRIEF WVU researchers tap into wood for protection against COVID-19

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As healthcare facilities grapple with personal protective equipment shortages, WVU researchers are going against the grain to help with an earthy, unorthodox resource: wood. At the onset of the COVID19 pandemic, Gloria Oporto, associate professor of wood science and technology, had researched woody biomass for food packaging and pharmacy novel applications. Woody biomass are timber-derived products that can be converted to energy through combustion or gasification.

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GUPTA

Oporto would grow increasingly concerned about reports of the OPORTO lack of PPE for medical professionals, sparking the question, “Why can’t we use renewable materials, such as wood derivatives to supplement the PPE?” She then reached out to Rakesh Gupta, chemical engineering professor. With the aid of a National Science Foundation RAPID Award for nearly $200,000, Oporto, Gupta and their team will develop and test antimicrobial, renewable mask biofilters constructed of composite biomaterials. The goal is to produce a prototype – a reusable, environmentally-friendly biofilter to serve as a filtering, facepiece respirator – that enhances the safety of masks currently used in the medical setting.

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In a nearby galaxy, a fast radio burst unravels more questions than answers WRITTEN BY JAKE STUMP

For more than a decade, astronomers across the globe have wrestled with the perplexities of fast radio bursts — intense, unexplained cosmic flashes of energy, light years away, that pop for mere milliseconds. Despite the hundreds of records of these enigmatic sources, researchers have only pinpointed the precise location of four such bursts. Now there’s a fifth, detected by a team of international scientists that includes WVU researchers. The finding, which relied on eight telescopes spanning locations from the United Kingdom to China, was published Monday (Jan. 6) in Nature. There are two primary types of fast radio bursts, explained Kshitij Aggarwal, a physics graduate student at WVU and a co-author of the paper: repeaters, which flash multiple times, and non-repeaters, one-off events. This observation marks only the second time scientists have determined the location of a repeating fast radio burst. But the localization of this burst is not quite as important as the type of galaxy it was found in, which is similar to our own, said Sarah Burke-Spolaor, assistant professor of physics and astronomy and co-author. “Identifying the host galaxy for FRBs is critical to tell us about what kind of environments FRBs live in, and thus what might actually be producing FRBs,” Burke-Spolaor said. “This is a question for which scientists are still grasping at straws.” Burke-Spolaor and her student, Aggarwal, used the Very Large


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Array observatory in New Mexico to seek pulsations and a persistent radio glow from this burst. Meanwhile, Kevin Bandura, assistant professor of computer science and electrical engineering, and third WVU co-author of the article, worked on the Canadian Hydrogen BANDURA Intensity Mapping Experiment (CHIME) team that initially detected the repeating fast radio burst. “What’s very interesting about this particular repeating FRB is that it is in the arm of a Milky Way-like spiral galaxy, and is the closest to Earth thus far localized,” Bandura said. “The unique proximity and repetition of this FRB might allow for observation in other wavelengths and the potential for more detailed study to understand the nature of this type of FRB.” Using a technique known as Very Long Baseline Interferometry, the team achieved a level of resolution high enough to localize the burst to a region approximately seven light years across – a feat comparable to an individual on Earth being able to distinguish a person on the moon, according to CHIME. With that level of precision, the researchers could analyze the environment from which the burst emanated through an optical telescope. What they found has added a new chapter to the mystery surrounding the origins of fast radio bursts. This particular burst existed in a radically different environment from previous studies, as the first repeating burst was discovered in a tiny “dwarf” galaxy that contained metals and formed stars, Burke-Spolaor said. “That encouraged a lot of publications saying that repeating FRBs are likely produced by magnetars (neutron stars with powerful magnetic fields),” she said. “While that is still possible, the fact that this FRB breaks the uniqueness of that previous mold means that we have to consider perhaps multiple origins or a broader range of theories to understand what creates FRBs.”

At half-a-billion light years from Earth, the source of this burst, named “FRB 180916,” is seven times closer than the only other repeating burst to have been localized, and more than 10 times closer than any of the few non-repeating bursts scientists have managed to pinpoint. Researchers are hopeful that this latest observation will enable further studies that unravel the possible explanations behind fast radio bursts, according to CHIME. WVU has remained at the research forefront of fast radio bursts since they were first discovered in 2007 by a team at WVU that included Duncan Lorimer and Maura McLaughlin, physics professors, and then-student David Narkevic. The trio discovered fast radio bursts from scouring archived data from Australia’s Parkes Radio Telescope.

An artist’s conception of the localization of fast radio burst 180916.J0158+65 to its host galaxy.

“What’s very interesting about this particular repeating FRB is that it is in the arm of a Milky Way-like spiral galaxy, and is the closest to Earth thus far localized.” — Kevin Bandura WVU

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Research and Development

The WVU Robotic Technology Center and Maxar Technologies partner on SPIDER:

the future of in-space assembly

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WRITTEN BY OLIVIA MILLER

A new space race is underway throughout the globe and the renewed interest in space exploration is trickling down to the Robotic Technology Center at WVU in a big way.

Maxar Technologies, a trusted partner and innovator in earth intelligence and space infrastructure, has announced over $2 million in funding for the WVU Robotic Technology Center, from the $142 million NASA funded project, to assist them in performing the first in-space assembly demonstration of a satellite using a lightweight robotic arm. Giacomo Marani, program manager and research engineer at the center, explained that in this new Maxar project, known as SPIDER (Space Infrastructure Dexterous Robot), the robotic arm will be attached to the satellite servicing MARANI spacecraft bus being built by Maxar for NASA’s OSAM-1 mission (On-Orbit Servicing, Assembly and Manufacturing Mission 1). SPIDER will assemble multiple antenna reflector elements into one large antenna reflector. This revolutionary process allows satellites, telescopes

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and other systems to use larger and more powerful components that might not fit into a standard rocket fairing when fully assembled. Over the past decade, the Robotic Technology Center, operated by the WVU Research Corporation, in collaboration with NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center and Maxar, has been developing techniques to robotically capture and refuel a satellite in low Earth orbit. “Together, we are developing a system that will rendezvous with, grasp, refuel and relocate a government owned satellite for the purpose of extending its life,” Marani said. “Most satellites were not designed to be serviced, so you need sensing solutions and complex robotic control algorithms that allow you to service and interact with something that was not made to do so.” The Robotic Technology Center will establish an independent verification of SPIDER’s capabilities through performance studies to increase the reliability of in-space assembly tasks as part of the project. The technologies developed under SPIDER could ultimately enable entirely new architectures and space


R&D IN BRIEF COURTESY OF NASA

NAVIGATING SPACE JUNK:

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WVU ENGINEER SELECTED FOR NASA SMALL BUSINESS INNOVATION RESEARCH PROGRAM

Since the world’s first artificial satellite, Sputnik 1, was launched into Earth’s orbit in 1957 thousands of additional satellites have joined it. While the number of MEHTA satellites in lower Earth orbit—objects at an altitude between 99 to 1,200 miles above the Earth’s surface—has increased, so has the amount of debris or space junk orbiting above our heads.

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assembly infrastructure for a wide range of government and commercial missions, including self-assembling commercial satellites, human space exploration to the Moon and on to Mars under the Artemis program and in-space telescope assembly. “We hope that if we are widely successful in our piece of this exciting effort, it will bring new opportunities for entrepreneurial and economic expansion here in the state of West Virginia and the continued growth of business and government facilities for related high-tech space activities in northcentral West Virginia. This is a great place for company expansion,” said Gene Cilento, principal investigator and dean CILENTO emeritus.

Over the last six decades, spacefaring nations have slowly, but surely, cluttered up the final frontier. A report on space debris by the European Space Agency estimates that there are currently about 34,000 debris objects larger than 10 centimeters, about the size of a softball, currently in orbit.

The staggering amount of space debris poses a difficult challenge for safely operating spacecrafts in lower Earth orbit without collision. To meet this challenge, Assistant Professor Piyush Mehta, is working to improve the accuracy of predicting drag on objects in lower Earth orbit. “With the launch of thousands of satellites planned over the next decade, the problems of collision avoidance and space traffic management will become critical to space environment sustainability and continued exploration of space for the betterment of human society,” Mehta said.

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Research and Development

It’s getting hot in here: WVU engineer improves efficiency of U.S. energy infrastructure WRITTEN BY OLIVIA MILLER

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Graduate students in Song’s research lab perform a measurement of electrical properties.

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In power plants fired by fossil fuels alone, 67 percent of the electricity generated is released unproductively into the environment in the form of heat, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. By rethinking the design of thermoelectric materials, which have the ability to convert heat to electricity, Xueyan Song, a SONG SONG professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at West Virginia University, is working to develop a method to recover the wasted heat energy from the air, resulting in improved sustainability and efficiency of the energy infrastructure in the U.S. “Among all kinds of electricity generations,

when the sun is out of range and can’t effectively generate power through solar panels. Through a $639,784 grant funded by the National Science Foundation, Song will use cobalt oxide-based materials, a chemical compound used extensively in the ceramic industry, to improve thermoelectric devices. According to Song, these materials are promising candidates for developing thermoelectric oxide ceramics due to their thermal stability, natural abundance and nontoxicity. “This method will utilize materials that are conventional, low-cost and can be readily scaled up for massive production,” she explained. Song’s research has the potential to solve the existing limitations of thermoelectric materials for widespread use in the spacecraft, manufacturing and automotive industries. “The demand for energy is dramati,cally increasing

“The demand for energy is dramatically increasing worldwide and the environmental impact due to the consumption of fossil fuels is progressively alarming. Theromelectric technology could significantly improve the sustainability of our energy infrastructure.” — Xueyan Song thermoelectric materials can convert the heat or worldwide, and the environmental impact due to the temperature difference in electricity directly and vice consumption of fossil fuels is progressively alarming,” versa,” Song said. Song said. “Thermoelectric technology could According to Song, thermoelectric technology has significantly improve the sustainability of our energy historically been too inefficient to be cost-effective in infrastructure.” most applications. The project will provide training to undergraduate “Since the 1990s, welland graduate students and developed thermoelectric involve them in research and materials have been heavy, educational activities in functional toxic and low in abundance ceramics and energy harvesting. as natural resources, and only As part of the grant, Song able to function in oxygenhosted a statewide workshop, free environments at high the 2019 Research Summit temperatures,” she said. of Students, Teachers and “Thermoelectric materials Researchers (STARs) in could be much more efficient West Virginia. The workshop if they were made of nontoxic connected high school teachers, Song’s transmission electron microscopy lab. (Left to right) Cesar Romo de la Cruz, Ellena Gemmen, Yun Chen, Liang Liang, Sergio Parades Navia, Bryan students and researchers across and earth-abundant elements Jackson, Andre Fernandes and Geoffrey Gauneau (Submitted photo). and could operate in the air the state to showcase research where the wasted heat energy is projects, findings and facilities emitted from the manufacturing and power generation at WVU, and encourage students to participate in systems.” research activities underway at the University. Song explained that thermoelectric materials have been used to power spacecrafts for decades, providing a viable source of power for deep space missions PHOTOGRAPH SUPPLIED

PHOTOGRAPH SUPPLIED

In the United States we throw away a lot of energy.

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Early in March, the Statler College had been engrossed in making the vision of the first prototyping center on campus a reality. Groups gathered to explore options for

WHILE THE WORLD STOPPED

new designs and art to accompany the modern space of the Innovation Hub that was previously home to classrooms in the west wing of the Engineering Sciences building. The finishing touches were beginning to come together, equipment arrived for the new 3D metal printing and smart manufacturing lab, and doors were open for students to explore entrepreneurial opportunities and bring their dreams to life. On March 11, the world quickly turned upside down and the grand opening was brought to a halt.

As news of coronavirus cases spreading across the United States, West Virginia University campuses closed and so too did the doors of the Innovation Hub. Stockpiles of medical gear were quickly being depleted in the local community, and a new door opened for the Innovation Hub. Engineers on staff in the Innovation Hub did not stand by and watch their community struggle to find personal protective equipment, instead they sprang into action and put their expertise to use to help supplement the shortfall

ENGINEERS STEPPED UP

of critical medical gear.

WRITTEN BY OLIVIA MILLER PHOTOGRAPHY BY INNOVATION HUB STAFF AND WVU MEDICINE STAFF

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Responding to the needs of those on the front lines in their own backyard, the team began small, producing and testing surgical mask extenders to alleviate the pain caused by wearing masks. As the need grew, so too did cross-campus collaboration. Members of the School of Design and Community Development set out on a project to make 10,000 face masks, and our engineers assisted in this effort by testing materials for surgical grade masks to deliver the best protection possible with the resources readily available. In another room, other team members could be found responding to larger needs — making critical elements like face shields and intubation boxes to protect healthcare workers who had to perform tasks that put them at a greater risk for exposure to the virus. Shortly thereafter, the Innovation Hub staff members were called on by the West Virginia National Guard to help ramp up testing across the state, and so production began on 3D printers for swab sticks, an essential element for testing kits. Since this humanitarian effort began in early March, the work hasn’t slowed — in fact, most would argue it had just begun. In this extraordinary time, the Innovation Hub has established themselves with a new purpose in the community – ready to serve West Virginia and the world. The story of this massive undertaking is one of the many showcasing the unification of the scientific community, with new partnerships formed at every step to respond to the new challenges brought forth by the pandemic.

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KELSEY CRAWFORD Innovation Hub Shop Manager of Custom Manufacturing Workroom “Everyone has been extremely grateful for the efforts that everyone is doing at WVU. We have had nurses and doctors almost in tears as they thank us.”

Special shields designed to work with gear used by oral healthcare professionals. (Submitted Photos)

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HITTING CLOSE

TO HOME

It all started on March 27th, says Josh Bintrim as he recalls closing down operations in the Innovation Hub. Bintrim, an industrial engineering alumnus and shop manager, had been preparing for a work from home stint when he felt there was something more he could be doing to help healthcare workers. At the time, Bintrim’s wife, Heather, a nurse in the emergency department at Ruby Memorial was 23 weeks pregnant with their second child. “She has an iron will and did not complain once,” Bintrim said. “So, it was kind of personal for me. Naturally, we also have a lot of friends that work at WVU Medicine.” Bintrim, along with Kelsey Crawford, also a shop manager, began by brainstorming and testing designs on various pieces of equipment for different types of protective gear. The process was challenging. Bintrim and Crawford needed to figure out how to modify the designs so they could be produced in large amounts in a short period of time. “It started with face shields and then we moved to masks and began exploring materials for those. Then, while we were doing that we were working on the extenders,” Crawford said. “We sampled them out to Josh’s wife and a few of my friends who are in the medical field and they loved them. Once productions began on the extenders, they really didn’t stop.” To protect themselves and others from exposure to COVID-19, healthcare professionals were required to wear face masks throughout the duration of their shift. This necessary change brought with it its own set of problems — the bands attached to the masks cause irritation to the skin behind the ears, making them uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. The mask extenders created by Bintrim and Crawford reduce the pressure behind the ears, affording the user an increased measure of comfort. “The responses were overwhelmingly positive, and people were incredibly thankful,” Bintrim said. “The hardest part has been trying to tell everyone that we are the ones that are thankful for what they do and for the risks that they take by simply going to work every day. We are just trying our best to support them in the fight.”

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JOSHUA BINTRIM Innovation Hub Shop Manager of Rapid Prototyping Workroom “The hardest part has been trying to tell everyone that we are the ones that are thankful for what they do and for the risks that they take by simply going to work every day. We are just trying our best to support them in the fight.”

During a shift at J.W. Ruby Memorial Hospital, a registered nurse wears a surgical mask extender created by the Innovation Hub.


AN UNEXPECTED END

TO THE SEMESTER When Logan Forquer, a junior studying mechanical engineering, began working in the Innovation Hub in January, he never imagined he would be a part of a critical effort to supply personal protective equipment to local healthcare facilities in the state. After Crawford and Bintrim solidified the final design for face shields, which underwent at least 15 different iterations, Forquer took his post at the WaterJet and began cutting the pieces needed to assemble them. In the span of a month, he had produced around 5,000 face shields for the hospital, while also balancing his workload required from taking five classes in the Statler College. “At times it was a little hard to keep track of what needed to be done for class, but it was more manageable because it was all online,” Forquer said. Forquer set his workstation up to optimize his time working in the Innovation Hub. He figured out that by rigging a GoPro above the WaterJet, he could watch a live view of the machine while working in the next room to assist other staff members, or study for his final exams. Without the help of help of Todd Hamrick, teaching assistant professor of fundamentals of engineering, though, Forquer explained that the high volume of face shields produced would not have been possible. While he was cutting out the larger pieces of the shield, Hamrick was in another lab using a small routing table to produce a small attachment piece that was difficult to produce on the WaterJet. “It’s bigger than anything I could have ever imagined,” Forquer said. “It’s been a great experience. I’ve learned how to use so many pieces of equipment we have at the Innovation Hub. It’s been so great to help the community.”

LOGAN FORQUER Student Worker “I think it’d be really nice to work in a shop like the Innovation Hub where I can put my engineering knowledge to use, design things and work with guys on the floor to make them.” WVU

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CREATIVITY

IN CRISIS Lee Mullet, a teaching assistant professor and interior design program coordinator in the Davis College of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Design at WVU, fretted about her husband, Dr. Chuck Mullett, chair of the Department of Pediatrics, contracting the coronavirus. After reading a report about intubation boxes to protect doctors, she forwarded the information to her husband, who knew that Dr. Pavithra Ellison, associate professor of pediatric anesthesiology, had been worried about exposure to the deadly virus, as well. Physicians are at high risk for exposure to COVID-19 as they intubate patients who need to be put on ventilators, potentially releasing virus-carrying particles, but intubation boxes capture those aerosolized particles; the boxes are also used by anesthesiologists and respiratory therapists, in critical care medicine and the emergency department. Lee Mullett had toured the Innovation Hub lab at the Statler College last year. Instead of just worrying, she acted and reached out to Cilento, during the first days of the University’s shutdown because of the virus. Cilento responded that the Hub would assist. To begin making prototypes of the transparent boxes, Innovation Hub shop managers Bintrim and Crawford reached out to Jim Hall, a chemical engineering senior lab instrumentation specialist with more than 35 years of experience as a machinist.

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Teams from WVU Medicine practiced COVID-19 intubations using the intubation box created in the Innovation Hub. Intubation boxes help decrease aerosol spread from infected patients.

The team began by consulting with medical professionals at the WVU School of Medicine to ensure that the final product would be durable, ergonomically comfortable and functional, compatible with sterilizing techniques and perhaps most importantly, provide adequate protection. The design needed to include access ports to allow the physician to perform the intubation and also have a perfect seal to prevent any scrapes or cuts to both medical personnel and patients. Virtual meetings allowed the Hub to create only one prototype iteration before production began. Hall estimated that after working through the learning curve, one intubation box takes approximately 30 minutes to make. The boxes were delivered in a week.

JIM HALL Chemical Engineering Senior Lab Instrumentation Specialist


LIVING UP TO THE

LAND-GRANT MISSION Being called on by the West Virginia National Guard and state officials to help meet demands for testing in the state was not a request to be taken lightly. Moving quickly and efficiently, the Innovation Hub managers stepped up and offered to make prototypes of swabs to be tested and revised with the guidance of medical professionals at WVU Medicine. “Our Innovation Hub managers stepped up and said, ‘Let’s use the Innovation Hub to make some prototypes,’” Cilento said. “We were just thinking of how we could help the hospital through the pandemic, especially with the shortage of critical supplies.” Swabs — which resemble flexible Q-tips — are inserted into the nose and through to the back of the throat where a specimen is collected onto the swab. The swab is removed, placed in a vial with sterile fluid and sent to a laboratory for testing. It’s not for the squeamish, but swabs are a universal necessity and most coronavirus tests depend on a continuous supply of swabs. Swab tests check for active infections, unlike an antibody test that draws blood to see if a person has recovered from the virus.

KOLIN BROWN Assistant Director “We have been very fortunate to have the right people, the right equipment and the right connections at the right time to be able to do this. If the shutdown had happened a couple of months earlier, I am not sure we could have been able to do as much as we did.”

Through an agreement between WVU Medicine, the Statler College, and Formlabs, a 3D-printing technology developer and manufacturer based in Somerville, Massachusetts, the Innovation Hub was able to produce 10,000 swabs weekly. WVU’s existing relationship with Formlabs, in which the company’s printers have been used by the Statler College to print jigs and fixtures, helped accelerate a smooth process in producing the swabs, said Max Lobovsky, Formlabs CEO and co-founder. Mass production of the swabs enabled the West Virginia National Guard to test more residents across the state at a greater pace and scale.

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After the Innovation Hub publicly released the templates to create surgical mask extenders, the word spread quickly. Gene Cilento, dean emeritus and director of the Innovation Hub, spent the next several days fielding phone calls and emails from coast to coast. The calls varied from individuals making facemasks from their home to large hospitals looking for mask extenders for their workers. “The bottom line is that the Innovation Hub was still coming online but we saw an opportunity to help the medical profession in a critical time of need,” Cilento said. It was a way to help our WVU medical community do their jobs.” The coordinated effort resulted in approximately 20,450 mask extenders, 4,660 face shields, 94 intubation boxes and 510 custom face shields designed for optometrists.

Gene Cilento Director

“Everything that has been done is by a team of people. There were multiple people who were working together to get things done,” said Kolin Brown, assistant director of the Innovation Hub. “We have been very fortunate to have the right people, the right equipment and the right connections at the right time to be able to do this. If the shutdown had happened a couple of months earlier, I am not sure we could have been able to do as much as we did.”

FACE SHIELDS 3,390 - Morgantown, WV 300 - Hamlin, WV 250 - Grantsville, WV 250 - Parsons, WV 150 - Fairmont, WV 100 - Princeton, WV 100 - Martinsburg, WV 100 - Newburg, WV Total = 4,660

MASK EXTENDERS 13,700 - Morgantown, WV 600 - Glen Dale, WV 500 - Bridgeport, WV 300 - Parsons, WV 200 - Newburg, WV 200 - Vienna, WV Total = 15,500 INTUBATION BOXES 50 - Morgantown, WV 15 - Bridgeport, WV 12 - Martinsburg, WV 8 - Clarksburg, WV 8 - Glen Dale, WV 1 - Parsons, WV Total = 94

MASK EXTENDER TEMPLATES Morgantown, WV Martinsburg, WV

CUSTOM FACE SHIELDS (LOUPE) 510 - Morgantown, WV

MASK EXTENDERS

4,660

From late March to July 1, the Innovation Hub produced an estimated 25,714 individual pieces of personal protective equipment. While the majority of the medical gear created was supplied to the WVU Medicine Network of hospitals, some gear traveled across the Atlantic Ocean to those in need in Ireland.

20,450 FACE SHIELDS

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SHIELDS

DISTRIBUTION ACROSS THE SEA United Kingdom

TEMPLATE mask extenders

Co Galway, Ireland

200

mask extenders Co Calway, Ireland

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CUSTOM

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INTUBATION

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AN OPPORTUNITY TO MAKE A DIFFERENCE


DISTRIBUTION ACROSS THE U.S.

Ontario, CA

Ft. Collins, CO

Estero, FL

mask extenders

mask extenders

mask extenders

25

Terra Haute, IN

Winchester, KY

Groton, MA

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Somerset, NJ

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mask extenders

mask extenders

25 150 500

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face shields

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Johnson City, NY

200 mask extenders

Ohio

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Bayside, NY

500

mask extenders

Washington, PA

1,000 mask extenders

Uniontown, PA

TEMPLATE mask extenders

mask extenders

Murfreesboro, TN

200 mask extenders

Dallas, TX

1,000

Wyoming

TEMPLATE intubation box

mask extenders

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ALUMNI GETTING

IN THE GAME

(Left) Pete Hinkey, a 2016 mechanical engineering graduate and design engineer at Rifton Equipment. (Right) The injection mold created by Rifton allowed the mask extenders to be produced more quickly to support healthcare workers. (Submitted Photo)

When Pete Hinkey, a 2016 mechanical engineering graduate, received a text message from his boss about the University of Pittsburgh’s coronavirus research efforts, there was some playful teasing about what WVU may or may not be doing in the humanitarian effort against the virus.

With the quick-change injection molding system used at Rifton Equipment, this allows for new tools to be turned around quickly and ready for production in just a few days, as well as shortening setup and run-time for production jobs.

Generations of WVU sports fans can imagine that this accusation was not taken lightly.

“The willingness of our alum and Rifton to help in this humanitarian effort has greatly extended the ability of the Innovation Hub to provide mask extenders to a much wider user base nationally,” Cilento said.

“I did some digging and the first thing I came across was an article about the work of the Innovation Hub, so I sent it right back to him as kind of a fun project,” said Hinkey, now a design engineer at Rifton Equipment, a manufacturer of adaptive equipment for children and adults with disabilities. In his initial Google search, Hinkey found that surgical mask extenders were being produced in the Innovation Hub in the Statler College to relieve the reported pain behind the ears caused by wearing surgical masks for a long period of time. With this new information, Hinkey turned to Rifton Equipment’s tool and die shop to make a plastic injection molding tool — with design credit to WVU engineering, of course — to help create the mask extenders at a quicker rate.

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Working with the team at the Innovation Hub, Rifton built the injection mold at its Farmington, Pennsylvania, plant to produce the mask extenders. The new relationship formed will keep the door open for future projects to support the University hospital network. When asked whether or not Hinkey had the chance to rub some WVU salt in the metaphorical Pitt wound, he chose to take the admirable route of being a good sport. “It’s all friendly competition,” Hinkey said, referring to the mini-Backyard Brawl unfolding at Rifton. “But I’ll be happy to explain if he asks me how WVU got design credit on our injection molded parts!”


THE FUTURE OF THE

INNOVATION HUB In just a few months, the Innovation Hub staff demonstrated that they are a source of innovation and prototype development, not just for the University, but for the state of West Virginia as a whole. “The University has been through a major shakeup because of the pandemic,” Brown said. “Everything that was normal operations had to stop. However, I feel that the Statler College and the Innovation Hub have gone

PRODUCING

back to the roots of the University to show that

6,000

we are a resource for the state.” When students, teachers and staff are back on campus, the real mission of the Innovation Hub to develop students into engineers and

FACE SHIELDS

entrepreneurs will resume. Students will be able to use the Innovation Hub as a place for

FOR WEST VIRGINIA UNIVERSITY

learning, problem-solving, design, fabrication and prototype creation. “By bringing together our equipment and our staff, we are showing that we are here for the state, even in times of crisis,” Brown continued. “We often see the University as a place for education but really it is more than that, and I think we have demonstrated what we can, and that we can do more to improve the state and its individual communities in the new normal.”

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U Engineering 360˚

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SOCIETY OF PETROLEUM ENGINEERS RECOGNIZES AMERI AND AMINIAN

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Vladislav Kecojevic, the Robert E. Murray chair and professor of mining engineering, has been selected as the recipient of the 2019 Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration’s Coal and Energy Division Distinguished Service Award. NESBIT

The award, presented at the SME 2020 Annual Conference and Expo in February, recognizes Kecojevic for his dedicated and exemplary service to the coal mining industry, international education and his research collaboration with the global mining engineering community. KECOJEVIC

“I am grateful to have been selected for this distinguished award from my peers in SME and it is an honor and privilege to join those past distinguished honorees,” Kecojevic said. “I have enjoyed serving the mining community in the past and I hope to continue to serve for many years to come.”

WRITTEN BY ADRIANNE UPHOLD

The winners of the College’s outstanding teaching, research and advising awards for the 2019-2020 academic year were announced in mid-April. Lizzie Santiago, teaching assistant professor and academic adviser of Fundamentals of Engineering, has been named the College’s Educator of the Year. Also recognized as Outstanding Educators were Katerina Goseva-Popstojanova and Jignesh Solanki from the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Cerasela Zoica Dinu, from the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering and Derek Johnson and V’yacheslav “Slava” Akkerman from the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Jianli “John” Hu, Statler Chair in Engineering for Natural Gas Utilization, has been named Researcher of the Year. Also recognized as Outstanding Researchers of the Year/Senior were V’yacheslav “Slava” Akkerman, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and Ashish Nimbarte, associate professor of industrial and management systems engineering. Cosmin Dumitrescu, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Qingqing Huang, assistant professor of mining engineering, were named Outstanding Researchers of the Year/Junior.

AMERI

“I am beyond grateful and honored for the appointment by my professional society,” said Ameri. “The SPE appointment means a great deal to me and I am humbled to be the member of this committee. I take my role and the responsibility I carry very seriously and look forward to the bright future ahead.” Kashy Aminian, Charles T. Holland professor of petroleum and natural gas engineering in the Statler College, has been awarded the SPE 2020 Regional Service Award for exemplary service and devotion to regional program development.

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Teaching, research and advising awards announced

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Kecojevic receives SME distinguished service award

Samuel Ameri, professor and chair of the WVU Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering department, has been awarded the Distinguished Achievement Award for Petroleum Engineering Faculty (DAAPF) Subcommittee. The committee is charged with selecting (globally) and recommending the recipients of the SPE DAAPF to the SPE Board of Directors and the president.

AMINIAN

The award acknowledges exceptional contributions to SPE at the section or regional level and recognizes singular devotion of time and effort to the programs and development of the member’s section and region that set it apart from the services rendered each year by many members of the society. SPE is the largest individual-member organization serving managers, engineers, scientists and other professionals in the upstream segment of the oil and gas industry. The global society boasts more than 153,000 members in 143 countries.

SANTIAGO

GOSEVAPOPSTOJANOVA

HU

NIMBARTE

SOLANKI

DINU

JOHNSON

AKKERMAN

Nithi Sivaneri has been named outstanding adviser/mentor of the year. Cosmin Dumitrescu, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and Kristin Brewster, academic adviser, have been recognized as outstanding Statler College advisers.

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Staci Miller, acting director of the West Virginia Manufacturing Extension Partnership (WVMEP) in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, has been selected as WVMEP’s permanent director, effective April 28, 2020. HISSIAM

A new position in the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering will improve curriculum across programs and ensure delivery of high-quality education to students. Robin Hissam, teaching associate professor in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, was appointed director of undergraduate education in the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, effective November 2019. “The creation of a position in our department leadership focused on undergraduate education is a testament to the emphasis we place on our students and their experience in our programs,” Hissam said. “I am excited for the opportunity to work with faculty members and students in this new role to ensure our students continue to receive the high-quality education that prepares them to succeed in the future.”

The Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources has expanded its office of enrollment and outreach with the creation of a new position designed to increase recruitment efforts in the College.

NESBIT

TURTON NAMED AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF CHEMICAL ENGINEERS FELLOW Richard Turton, Bolton Professor and chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, has been named a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), one of the organization’s highest honors. Turton has been a member of AIChE since he was a graduate student at Oregon State University after graduating from the University of Nottingham in England more than three decades ago. AIChE is the world’s largest organization for chemical engineering professionals, boasting more than 60,000 members in 110 countries.

LE T TA

Nominated by peers and elected by the AIChE Board of Directors, Turton’s recognition represents one of the pinnacles of professional achievement that a chemical engineer can obtain.

R CO LL

TURTON

APPOI

“It’s very important for any chemical engineer to become a member of this organization,” Turton said. “It has helped me connect with others, make contacts and network. It’s an honor to be picked, and I will continue to provide leadership in future volunteer activities.”

E

Her primary responsibilities will include traveling to events throughout the state and country to recruit students to attend WVU and carry out their studies in the College.

Miller hopes to continue to provide solutions and support for manufacturing throughout the state by offering technical consulting that can be implemented within the business to increase profitability, reach new customers and markets and develop strong bench strength.

EG

Taylor Bryner, an experienced leadership consultant with a history of working in the nonprofit management industry, joined the Statler College in December 2019 as the recruitment coordinator. Bryner, a native of Uniontown, Pennsylvania, holds a bachelor’s degree in early childhood education and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in higher education administration, both from Duquesne University.

WVMEP is focused on helping West Virginia businesses improve competitiveness in both local and global markets through innovative growth services such as product design, supply chain development, operational improvement and training. These initiatives are used to develop new products, utilize new technology and access new national and global markets.

NESBIT

MILLER BRYNER

BRYNER JOINS ENROLLMENT AND OUTREACH TEAM

MILLER

“My hope is to build upon the strong platform that the manufacturing extension partnership has established in West Virginia for the last 30 plus years,” Miller said. “We have developed relationships with manufacturing clients and have been able to contribute to the success of hundreds of organizations. I would like to offer more services, build transformational relationships with clients and be relied upon as a true business partner in their organization.”

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HISSAM APPOINTED TO DIRECTOR OF UNDERGRADUATE EDUCATION IN CHEMICAL AND BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING

Miller named director of West Virginia Manufacturing Extension Partnership

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Engineering 360˚

WVU STUDENTS WIN TOP PRIZE IN

FIRST VIRTUAL WEST VIRGINIA BUISNESS PLAN COMPETITION WRITTEN BY BRITTANY MURRAY

WVU seniors Samuel Chico and Kyle Seese have an idea for low-cost, eco-friendly energy storage systems that repurpose retired EV battery modules from auto manufacturers. With a $10,000 boost from the John Chambers College of Business and Economics, Chico and Seese, the winners of the first virtual West Virginia Business Plan Competition, may establish themselves and their business, Parthian Battery Solutions, as the premier cost leader for residential and commercial energy storage systems. Parthian Battery Solutions topped nine other teams from seven West Virginia colleges and universities in the competition, which was moved online because of the COVID19 pandemic. “We know that students benefit the most from interaction with the judges who are business professionals and investors from across the country,” said Tara St. Clair, program lead of the Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, which hosts the annual competitions. “We wanted to keep that connection, so we decided to utilize an online platform for the final presentations.” Despite the challenges in this year’s competition, St. Clair said that the professionalism among these students was some of the best she has seen.

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“From the beginning, even before this whole pandemic outbreak, we were being thrown a lot of curveballs every step of the way, and this was just another one of those curveballs,” Chico said. “You learn to pivot, and I think that’s what separates a good entrepreneur from the rest of the pack.” Some of those curveballs included not being able to finish building a model of the product in order to do demonstrations, as well as the cancellation of several other competitions in which they were also finalists; however, Seese said there was one positive to the competition moving online. “My family was actually able to all watch us present,” he said. “That would not have happened if we were in-person. I had people dial in all the way from Louisiana.” “With the money that we get from this, we’ll be able to finish the packaging development of our prototype and be able to leverage it, sit down with investors and show what our product can do,” Chico said. Fellow WVU student Jesica Temple won the Lifestyle and Hospitality division and a $10,000 grand prize for her idea of the Shake It Out Fitness Flask. The product is a portable flask used to mix powder and supplements for active, healthminded people. Its patented design blends powders with liquids for a smoother tasting drink and can also be folded up and stored for reuse. Temple said the online format helped make the process less stressful, rather than posing new challenges. The Shake It Out Fitness Flask was also among the winners of ZinnStarter money made possible by Ray Zinn, founder of Micrel Semiconductors and the longest-serving CEO in Silicon Valley. This is the third year that Zinn gave money to the business plan competition. Other recipients included Yard Service in a Box, West Virginia Storybook Wedding, WhatAdo, Passionate Paws Pet Pharmacy,


“You learn to pivot, and I think that’s what separates a good entrepreneur from the rest of the pack.”

CHICO AND SEESE

LLC, Wireless Telemetry, Geel Socks and Emergency Activated Harness. Eight teams competed in the high school level of the competition, with Work @ West Virginia from Bluefield High School junior Tucker Workman winning a $10,000 scholarship to a West Virginia institution. Work @ West Virginia is a consulting firm that provides business coaching and consultants to small businesses in West Virginia. Workman said his goal is to excel the growth of small business by assisting in the dayto-day operations or by aiding a startup from the beginning. For a monthly fee, clients will have the firm’s resources at their fingertips to experience a one-on-one experience. The West Virginia Collegiate Business Plan Competition is part of a national network that includes Brigham Young University, San Jose State University, Utah Valley University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The program is designed to allow students to create go-to-market plans, finish prototypes and ultimately be evaluated on the performance of their use of funding. The Encova Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship is part of the WVU Innovation, Design and Entrepreneurship Applied (IDEA) Ecosystem, a University-wide network of centers, offices and programs that fosters and supports innovation and entrepreneurship among WVU students, faculty and staff while engaging the statewide community.

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—Samuel Chico

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Engineering 360˚

WVU’S TOP SENIORS NAMED

WVU PHOTO

WVU names 2020 Foundation Scholars Five of the state’s young emerging leaders have been named to the 2020 cohort of WVU Foundation Scholars, the highest academic scholarship the University awards.

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HOANG

LANSBERRY

LAYNE

SARWARI

“Our outstanding seniors are the best of the best, showing both academic achievement and the determination and adaptability of true Mountaineers,” said Dean of Students Corey Farris. “We look forward to their successes, knowing they are positioned to make a difference beyond campus while carrying the Mountaineer spirit with them.”

Among the top scholars taking their places at WVU this fall are future policy makers and clinicians and a performer excited to join a campus community that will guide them on their journey to tackle some of the most critical issues facing society — access to quality healthcare, inequity and climate change. Rushik Patel, from George Washington High School, has established strong patient relationships while serving as a volunteer at a local family medical practice and will pursue his dream of changing lives with the development of prosthetics and artificial organs. Although he will begin his journey at WVU as a biomedical engineering major minoring in computer science, he has not ruled out medical school in the future. He will use his stipend to conduct research and study abroad in Germany or Italy, and ultimately, he hopes to develop a single blood test to detect cancers in their earliest stages. Patel is a scholastic chess champion who enjoys developing game apps in his spare time.

Five students from the Statler College are among the 49 students named WVU Foundation’s Outstanding Seniors: • Arlie Dolly, Romney (Honors College) / Biomedical Engineering (not pictured) • Teresa Hoang, Hurricane (Honors College) / Computer Engineering • Taylor Lansberry, Patton, Pennsylvania / Chemical Engineering • Molly Layne, Bridgeport / Biomedical Engineering • Sadaf Sarwari, Morgantown (Honors College) / Industrial Engineering Established in 1995 to signify the 40th anniversary of the WVU Foundation, the Outstanding Seniors award recognizes students for their contributions and achievements in scholarship, leadership and service.

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EcoCAR Challenge hosted a virtual awards ceremony to commemorate the hard work of all the teams during Year 2. West Virginia University EcoCAR won three awards including Spirit of Communications, Best Social Media Report and Runner Up for Best Execution Plan.


STUDENTS ATTEND SHPE CONVENTION

WRITTEN BY RUTHIE DEELY

NESBIT TALAN

ENGINEERING STUDENT SELECTED FOR OUTSTANDING MERIT FELLOWSHIP

Diego Cabanillas and Xochitl Hernandez both have dreams of pursuing careers in engineering, but they also desire connection in a community that shares their same background and goals. This pursuit led Cabanillas and Hernandez to join the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) in the Statler College. Among club activities and events, SHPE members have the opportunity to attend the national convention. Cabanillas and Hernandez were among five WVU students who traveled to Phoenix, Arizona, to attend the conference in November 2019.

WRITTEN BY ADRIANNE UPHOLD

A mining engineering doctoral student in the Statler College is investigating separation techniques for the removal of radioactive and hazardous materials from rare earth elements, chemical elements in Earth’s crust that are essential ingredients in modern technologies such as cell phones, rechargeable batteries, GPS equipment and many defense applications. Deniz Talan, a native of Ankara, Turkey, has been awarded the West Virginia University Outstanding Merit for Continuing Doctoral Students Fellowship, to continue her studies. The fellowship recognizes doctoral students who are succeeding at high levels, including current grades, research, service to the WVU community and professional publications. Talan has been working alongside her faculty adviser Qingqing Huang, assistant professor of mining engineering, on a project with the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory. “The project focuses on rare earth extraction from coal and coal byproducts both in an environmentally and economically benign manner,” Talan said. “My specific research topic aims to investigate the potential of various separation techniques for the removal of radioactive and hazardous elements from rare earths.” Talan explained that the U.S. is vulnerable to interruptions in the rare earth elements market due to its lack of domestic supply. High-tech companies like Apple, Tesla and Philips Healthcare rely on these elements for production, making her research critical to a stable economy.

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Talan hopes her research will help bridge the knowledge gap in the mining industry regarding the environmental aspects of rare earths extraction from coal and coal-based materials.

The convention gives students the opportunity to participate in workshops, listen to lectures and attend a job fair where students can interact with representatives from major companies. “When I first went I didn’t have that many things on my resume and after that I realized that I needed to be a part of more clubs. I have to do more projects. I have to bump up my grades,” Cabanillas explained. “In a way, it really helps you scale yourself towards everyone else, which is really what engineering is. You’re competing against everyone else for a job. It really pushes you to do better.” The organization encourages students to push themselves at the conference and place their best foot forward in the highly competitive environment of the convention. “Even though we’re all competing for the same jobs, the people there are extremely helpful,” Cabanillas said. “I’ve met other Hispanic engineers and they’ve looked over my resume and helped me fix things. That’s something you don’t see anywhere else really.” The students also shared their thoughts on what makes SHPE important to WVU. “It’s important for the College, because we’re trying to build up our chapter to be as strong as it can,” said Cabanillas. Hernandez added, “I think it also ties a bit into the slogan of the University, ‘Let’s go!’ We like to go first in all of our opportunities, so having a place for all of us in the University, no matter how small the population, is really important.”


A passion for community and service leads to a degree in engineering WRITTEN BY JENSEN MILLS

Andrew Dittmer, a freshman mechanical and aerospace engineering major, dedicates his free time to giving back to his community while juggling a full-time college course load in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. Dittmer, a Cumberland, Maryland, native, was awarded the United States Senator Chris Van Hollen’s Public Service Award last summer for his community service project, Bags for Babies. Bags for Babies is a community service project that helps substance exposed newborns within the foster care system. Bags with necessities that newborns need, like diapers, are made by Dittmer and are distributed to families who foster the children. According to Dittmer, he has always had a drive to help make the world a better place, which is why he chose to study mechanical and aerospace engineering. He explained that it gives him the ability to focus on developing innovative solutions to problems. “Specifically, I was inspired by Elon Musk’s desire to solve world problems and make human life better,” he said. Dittmer’s Mountaineer roots run deep; both his parents and sister are alumni, so attending WVU himself was the natural next step. However, the Statler College’s EcoCar and Experimental Rocketry team are what really sold him. “I was excited to see all of the opportunities that WVU had and how much the faculty cares for its students,” Dittmer said. Dittmer was inspired to pursue his Bags for Babies project after spending most of his youth volunteering with his mother at local homeless shelters. “My mother grew up in the foster care system and because of her experiences we began volunteering together at our local Union Rescue Mission,” Dittmer said. After volunteering there for several years, Dittmer learned

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Engineering 360˚

DITTMER

that many families found themselves living at the shelter as a result of substance abuse. This led him to start questioning how many children were in the foster care system due to substance abuse-related circumstances. Dittmer found that the biggest need for social service workers wasn’t actually for children, but for newborn babies; that is the moment when he got the idea for this project. He started filling bags with supplies recommended by a social service worker: diapers, wipes, baby shampoo, diaper rash ointment, blankets, board books and diaper bags. “After gathering the supplies, we began to realize it would be more cost effective to make the blankets and bags,” he said. “I began sewing fleece blankets and bags along with my mother.” Dittmer reached out to his church family asking for help, to which some members donated while others also helped sew the blankets and bags. Once word spread of his project, a local nursing home even began making the blankets and bags. “This project gave them a sense of importance and the ability to impact my community,” Dittmer said. To date, Dittmer, along with the help of his community, has made 80 bags. Now that he’s almost completed his first year at the Statler College, and still working on Bags for Babies, Dittmer has learned the impact that just one person can have on the world. “This project has made me realize that the world is full of problems and negativity and I can choose to be overwhelmed or I can look for ways that I can have a small, positive impact,” he said. “I learned that by taking the first step, I can inspire those around to join me.”


BEARD SELECTED AS RUBY SCHOLAR FELLOW

MOUNTAINEER PV+ PLACES SECOND

The Mountaineer PV+ team placed second in their district for the Solar District Cup 2020. In its inaugural year, this competition is a new multidisciplinary collegiate competition that challenges student teams to design and model distributed solar energy systems for a campus or urban district. The competition engages students across the engineering, urban planning, finance and business disciplines to reimagine how energy is generated, managed and used in a district. Real-world electricity data is provided from the district, and the goal is to design, mode, and present the most reliable, resilient and cost-effective solar and energy storage system possible. The first stage of the competition started in fall 2019 when 61 teams across the country entered. With three districts total, the WVU team was randomly placed in the New Mexico State University District. The second stage thinned the teams to a select 35 teams, with our district’s direct competition including: • Arizona State University • Brown University • Clemson University • Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University • Indiana University – Purdue University Indianapolis • Marquette University • Northern Arizona University • Santa Clara University • University of Cincinnati • University of Colorado Boulder The Mountaineer PV+ team plans to reenter the competition next year, and all majors are welcome to join as this is a multidisciplinary project, and prior knowledge is not required.

NESBIT

IN DISTRICT FOR SOLAR DISTRICT CUP 2020

BEARD

Jared Beard was selected as one of three students pursuing doctoral degrees for the Ruby Scholars Graduate Fellows Program. This program allows doctoral students to work closely with recognized professors in their field of study. The fellowship’s financial support allows students to fully commit to expanding their study and research. Beard, a Moorefield native, attended WVU, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in physics. He recently completed his master’s degree and will be starting work on his doctorate in the fall. Beard chose this field of study because he has always been interested in building things and, years later, he is still doing it. “I wanted to pursue a graduate degree because, in line with building things and being creative, the idea of research always seemed interesting to me because you are generating new knowledge, and it is a fun and rewarding experience,” he said. Beard has worked on several research projects. While tackling a project focused on additive manufacturing of functional devices in the Flexible Electronics and Sustainable Technologies Lab at WVU, he received a NASA undergraduate research fellowship to study solar cells. He was part of a funded International Research Experience for Students to study in Crete, Greece, for six weeks. In graduate school he wrote tracking software and studied modeling, planning and control of interactive robotic systems at the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory. Beard is writing his master’s thesis about decision-making under uncertainty, which teaches robots how to search for something. In his spare time, he works with the local high school Mountaineer Area Robotics team. Beard says the fellowship will give him the opportunity to continue research without the pressure of working on the side. He is happy to focus on what he is interested in and fully commit to it.

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“With Ruby, this is a way for me to continue research, give back to the community and help train the next generation of engineers,” Beard said. “It is an opportunity not only to do my research but to give back.” The program was established in 2011 by the Hazel Ruby McQuain Charitable Trust. It includes a $34,000 stipend, a $2,000 travel grant and a waiver of University tuition for each student to continue their research at WVU. From left to right, Walker Gain, Mikhail Lewis, Sam Talkington, Morgan Kashon, Tee Tanner, Adam Nelson, Madisyn Pauley, and our advisor, Sarika Kushalani-Solanki. *not pictured* WVU

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INCOMING STATLER COLLEGE FRESHMEN AWARDED SCHOLARSHIPS FOR

OUTSTANDING ENGAGEMENT AND LEADERSHIP WRITTEN BY ADRIANNE UPHOLD

The Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources has selected 26 incoming students to receive the inaugural Incoming Statler Engagement and Leadership (ISEAL) Scholarship. This one-time, $1,000 scholarship was made possible by various donors to the Statler College. Recipients were selected based off of outstanding engagement and leadership activities throughout their high school career. Students who have excelled beyond the classroom, in activities such as serving on student councils, as class presidents and in student organizations, were chosen for the scholarship. Many were involved in various extracurricular activities such as sports, marching band theater, and several worked part-time jobs while in high school. “We are excited to be able to recognize students for their high school engagement and leadership,” said Cate Schlobohm, outreach program coordinator for the Statler College. “We know we have many academically impressive incoming students, but when you read about what they do outside of the classroom and for their communities, it is really amazing! These ISEAL recipients will be our upcoming Statler standouts!”

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Recipients of the inaugural Incoming Statler Engagement and Leadership (ISEAL) Scholarship are listed in order of the photos above from left to right. Lenore Dougherty, a Yorktown, Virginia, native attended Grafton High School and will major in civil engineering.

Riley McAllister, a Wellsburg, West Virginia, native attended Brooke High School will major in electrical engineering.

Maleigha Hughes, a Minneapolis, Minnesota, native attended Washburn High School and will major in computer science.

Heather Hainer, a Chapmanville, West Virginia, native attended Chapmanville Regional High School and will major in biomedical engineering.

Jessica Heffern, a Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, native attended Jefferson High School and will major in aerospace engineering.

Christian Kantz, a Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania, native attended Selinsgrove Area High School and will major in aerospace engineering.

Robert Paquette, a West Greenwich, Rhode Island, native attended Exeter-West Greenwich Regional High School and will major in mechanical and aerospace engineering.

Nick Spokes, a Purcellville, Virginia, native attended Woodgrove High School and will major in cybersecurity engineering.

Sophie Lindamer, a Lewiston, New York, native attended Lewiston-Porter Senior High School and will major in biomedical engineering. Ashton Crawford, a Martinsburg, West Virginia, native attended Spring Mills High School and will major in mining engineering. Elizabeth Lilly, a Boyertown, Pennsylvania, native attended Boyertown Area Senior High School and will major in biomedical engineering. Jacquelyne Campos, a Banning, California, native attended Banning High School and will major in industrial engineering. Anna Shuff, a Saint Albans, West Virginia native attended Saint Albans High School and will major in petroleum and natural gas engineering. Tyler Brown, a California, Maryland, native attended Great Mills High School and will major in aerospace engineering. Kayna Anderson, a New Martinsville, West Virginia, native attended Magnolia High School and will major in biomedical engineering.

Sam Zeni, a Morgantown, West Virginia, native attended University High School and will major in computer science. Artie Auchenbach, a Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, native attended Wyomissing Area High School and will major in industrial engineering. Alexis Baker-Weekly, a Shinnston, West Virginia, native attended Lincoln High School and will major in biometric systems engineering. Rohit Chivukula, a Bangalore, Karnataka, India native attended Delhi Public School – Bangalore South and will major in computer science. Ethan Wimer, a Kingwood, West Virginia, native attended Preston High School and will major in civil engineering.

Michael Borkoski, a Wheeling, West Virginia, native attended The Linsly School and will major in aerospace engineering. Tia DeGiovanni, an Oakland, Maryland, native attended Southern Garrett High School and will major in mechanical engineering. Connor Davis, an Aberdeen, Maryland, native attended Aberdeen High School and will major in mechanical engineering. Anthony Hudson, a Bethel Park, Pennsylvania, native attended Bethel Park High School and will major in computer science. Wyatt Beane, a Frederick, Maryland, native attended Governor Thomas Johnson High School and will major in aerospace engineering. Ian Jackson, a Lindside, West Virginia, native attended James Monroe High School and will major in computer science.

CONGRATULATIONS!

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NEW FACULTY

SANYAL

OISHI SANYAL

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Education: PhD: Chemical Engineering, Michigan State University ’16 BE: Chemical Engineering, Manipal University (India) ’11 Teaching interests: process heat transfer, mass transfer/ separations, membrane-based separation Research interests: membranes for water treatment and desalination, self-assembly based surface modification, molecular sieving materials, natural gas and flue gas purification

HAFEIDA

MOHAMED HAFEIDA TEACHING ASSISTANT PROFESSOR Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

Education:  PhD: Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Illinois — Chicago, ’13 MSc: Electronics and Communications Engineering, Arab Academy for Science and Technology, ’06 BSc: Electronics and Communications Engineering, Arab Academy for Science and Technology, ’04

ALMASRI

ATHEER ALMASRI TEACHING ASSISTANT PROFESSOR Fundamentals of Engineering

Education:  PhD: Mechanical Engineering, Virginia Commonwealth University MSc: Materials Science and Engineering, Texas A&M University BS: Chemical Engineering, Jordan University of Science and Technology

Teaching interests: digital design, computer architecture, computer networks, electrical circuits, communication systems Research interests: advanced communication systems, crosslayer design and optimizations, internet of things (IoT), cyberphysical and autonomous systems

ANDREW RHODES

TEACHING ASSISTANT PROFESSOR Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

RHODES

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Education:  PhD: Aerospace Engineering, WVU, ’19 BS: Aerospace Engineering, WVU, ’13 BS: Mechanical Engineering, WVU, ’13

FALL

MONTES

OSCAR SAENZ

TEACHING ASSISTANT PROFESSOR Industrial and Management Systems Engineering Education:  PhD: Industrial and Systems Engineering, Florida International University MBA: Agribusiness, Project Management, INCAE Business School, ’87 BS: Industrial Engineering, Universidad Centroamericana, Managua, ’85 Teaching interests: project management, supply chain management, statistics, production planning and control, capstone project design Research interests: engineering education

Teaching interests: engineering fundamentals, engineering design, hydraulics, environmental engineering, and biomanufacturing/bioprocess


SZCZECINSKI

AMINI

NICHOLAS SZCZECINSKI

HASSAN AMINI

JOHN CRAYNON

Education:  PhD: in Mining Engineering, West Virginia University, ’17 MS: in Mining Engineering, University of Kentucky, ’14 BS: Mining Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology, ’11

Education:  PhD: Mining and Minerals Engineering, Virginia Tech, ’11 MS: Mining and Minerals Engineering, Virginia Tech, ’85 BS: Mining and Minerals Engineering, Virginia Tech, ’82

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR Mining Engineering

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Education: PhD: Mechanical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, ’17 MS: Mechanical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, ’13 BS: Mechanical Engineering, Case Western Reserve University, ’12

Teaching interests: aggregates production, mine power systems

Teaching interests: dynamics, numerical methods, controls, vibrations, computational neuroscience Research interests: legged locomotion, legged robotics, bioinspired design, computational neuroscience, animal modeling

CRAYNON

Research interests: process circuit design and simulation, process modeling and optimization, environmental management strategies

TEACHING ASSISTANT PROFESSOR Mining Engineering

Teaching interests: leadership and management, mining and sustainable development, mining health and safety, energy, raw materials and environment, law, regulations, and mining Research interests: raw materials and modern society, mining and the environment, energy and environmental footprint

DEVINE

THOMAS DEVINE

TEACHING ASSISTANT PROFESSOR Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Education:  PhD: Computer Science, West Virginia University, ’20 MS: Computer Science, West Virginia University, ’13 BS: Computer Science, Fairmont State University, ’10 BS: Mathematics, Fairmont State University, ’09 BA: Philosophy/History of Science and Mathematics, St. John’s College, ’03 Teaching interests: computer science fundamentals, software engineering, operating systems, cybersecurity fundamentals, network security, vulnerability assessment, ethics Research interests: data science, machine learning, high-performance computing, astrophysics

RETIREES

The following people have officially retired from the Statler College, effective June 30, 2020. We thank them for their years of service.

GARY WINN

Industrial and Management Systems Engineering

HANY AMMAR Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

JOHN ZONDLO Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

WVU

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GENE CILENTO Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

JOHN ZANIEWKSI

Civil and Environmental Engineering

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Our Alumni

PROUD OF OUR ALUMNI

HARVEY

PHOTOGRAPH SUPPLIED

HARVEY APPOINTED AS PRESIDENT AND CEO OF KAISER ALUMIMUM

Kaiser Aluminum Corporation appointed Keith Harvey as president and chief operation officer. Harvey, an industrial engineering alumni of the Statler College, has served as the company’s executive vice president — fabricated products since 2014 with full responsibility for the sales, marketing, manufacturing and advanced engineering functions of the company’s fabricated products business. He joined the company in 1981 as an industrial engineer and has held positions of increasing responsibility in engineering and sales at several locations and was named vice president in 1994.

JONES

Jamin Jones completed his chemical engineering degree from the Statler College in 2016 and was offered a position at Dow’s South Charleston facility. In just four years, he advanced to senior production engineer for the specialty surfactants plant. As the coronavirus pandemic swept across the nation, Dow became involved in many initiatives to help supplement the shortage of personal protective equipment across the globe. The company produced personal protective equipment, such as gowns and face shields, and found innovative ways to make hand sanitizer at multiple facilities globally. Jones led the production team that brought together employees who worked around the clock to aid in the fight against COVID-19.

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CHEMICAL ENGINEERING GRAD LEADS DOW CHEMICAL TEAM IN FIGHT AGAINST COVID-19

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WVU ALUMNI ASSOCIATON WELCOMES NEW MEMBERS TO BOARD OF DIRECTORS

FLANERY

GRAY

The WVU Alumni Association announced the addition of five people to its board of directors, including two Statler College alumni — Sharon Flanery and Bill Gray. They will offer their time and experience to the Association as of June 2020. “Our new board members represent a wide breadth of expertise across five very different industries,” said Sean Frisbee, President, and CEO of the WVU Alumni Association, “their unique perspectives will help us to navigate the challenges facing our organization and our alumni.” Flanery earned her Bachelor of Science degree in petroleum engineering from WVU in 1978 and was the first female graduate of the program. She began her career as a petroleum engineer before attending law school at Duquesne University, while continuing to work full-time. Most recently, she has taken on the role of vice president of exploration at Columbia Natural Resources in Charleston and currently works at Steptoe & Johnson PLLC as a member of the executive committee and as chair of the Energy and Natural Resources Department. Gray earned a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering in 1991. After graduating, he completed a Master of Engineering in Engineering Management from the University of Colorado in 2004. Throughout his career, Gray has operated businesses and sales teams in six countries. He specializes in teambuilding and has held senior leadership positions in both private and public companies. Currently, he is the global business development director for industrial markets for Amphenol Corporation’s Information, Communications, and Commercial Division.


UNDERWOOD

COURTESY OF AMHQ

CANTORE

Underwood states in an interview with “America’s Morning Headquarters” anchor Jim Cantore on how he and his fellow NOAA Hurricane Hunters collect information as they fly through hurricanes.

COURTESY OF NETFLIX

UNDERWOOD KEEPS US SAFE ON THE GROUND

Statler College aerospace engineering alumnus Nick Underwood’s career is not for the faint of heart. As a hurricane hunter for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Underwood, alongside his crew, can be found flying into the eye of a hurricane during hurricane season to collect data to help improve weather forecasting models. In his short career, he has acquired 600 plus hours aboard NOAA aircraft. Underwood has taken 61 “pennies,” or a pass, through a hurricane and has flown through 15 hurricanes and three tropical storms. During a mission, Underwood’s crew collects fall data temperatures, pressure, humidity wind velocity to send back to the Hurricane Center. “It’s all we can do to collect data to improve forecasts to keep people safe on the ground,” he said.

STATLER COLLEGE ALUMNAE LAUNCHES SHOW ON NETFLIX

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engineering alumni Brad Parrish BRAD PARRISH Industrial received the prestigious Institute of Industrial NAMED IISE and Systems Engineers Fellow Award. FELLOW Parrish has served as vice president of operations of the FedEx supply chain since AWARD

Since Emily Calandrelli graduated from the Statler College in 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering, she has added many impressive titles to her resume, such as, Emmy-nominated TV science host for her work as a correspondent on “Bill Nye Saves the World” and as host of FOX’s “Xploration Outer Space,” author of a children’s science book series, professional speaker, and now co-executive producer of her own Netflix series “Emily’s Wonder Lab.”

2017. He holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering and a master’s in business administration from Robert Morris University. He is the past chairman of the WVU OIMSE Visiting Committee and was inducted into the WVU Academy of Industrial Engineers in 2005.

PARRISH

Her new show premiered on Netflix in August and focuses on inspiring children’s scientific curiosity by introducing experiments incorporating STEAM topics that children could conduct at home with their parents. As the host, Emily works to explain sciencerelated topics in an easily digestible and entertaining way and hopes to inspire more females to pursue careers in science.

The ISEE celebrates outstanding leaders for their significant, nationally recognized contributions to the industrial and systems engineering profession and is the highest classification of membership in the organzation.

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2019-2020 YEAR IN NUMBERS

ENROLLMENT

RESEARCH EXPENDITURES

UNDERGRADUATE STUDENTS

375 116 27 7 158 240 109 186 8 143 333 296 59 1,356 206 11

AEROSPACE BIOMEDICAL BIOMETRIC SYSTEMS BIOMETRIC SYSTEMS ENGINEERING CHEMICAL CIVIL COMPUTER ENGINEERING COMPUTER SCIENCE CYBERSECURITY ELECTRICAL INDUSTRIAL MECHANICAL MINING NON-DECLARED MAJORS FEP PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS UNDECLARED - ENGR (BAHRAIN)

3,630 TOTAL ENROLLMENT GRADUATE STUDENTS 30 11 52 52 10 58 54 4 3 36 6 24 72 20 10 28 118 47

AEROSPACE BIOMEDICAL CHEMICAL CIVIL COMPUTER ENGINEERING COMPUTER SCIENCE ELECTRICAL ENERGY SYSTEMS ENGINEERING INDUSTRIAL INDUSTRIAL HYGIENE MATERIAL SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING MECHANICAL MINING OCCUPATIONAL SAFETY AND HEALTH PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS SAFETY MANAGEMENT SOFTWARE ENGINEERING

635 TOTAL ENROLLMENT

4,265 COLLEGE TOTAL 46

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BY SOURCE

OTHER 12% STATE 4% OTHER

$2,321,243.59 STATE OF WEST VIRGINIA

$830,775.48

FEDERAL GOVERNMENT

$16,872,346.41 TOTAL EXPENDITURES

$20,024,365.50 FEDERAL 84%

BY DEPARTMENT CHEMICAL AND BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING

$2,947,611.17 CIVIL AND ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING

$2,404,445.48 COMPUTER SCIENCE AND ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING

$3,353,562.08 FUNDAMENTAL ENGINEERING PROGRAM

$112,710.25 INDUSTRIAL AND MANAGEMENT SYSTEMS ENGINEERING

$1,872,848.48 MECHANICAL AND AEROSPACE ENGINEERING

$7,503,301.76 MINING AND INDUSTRIAL EXTENSION

$856,365.44 MINING ENGINEERING

$574,677.27 PETROLEUM AND NATURAL GAS ENGINEERING

$285,317.90 STATLER DEAN’S OFFICE

$113,525.65

$20,024,365.50 TOTAL


Supporting opportunities into the future

WILLIAM N. AND DORIS MAE POUNDSTONE

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Poundstone is a name synonymous with mining and education. The Mining Engineering Program and the College have benefitted from William N. and Doris Mae Poundstone continuous support for many years. Poundstone included WVU in his estate plan and established graduate scholarships in the Statler College to help future generations of students.

“West Virginia University was an enduring part of my parents’ lives. They took great satisfaction in supporting the mining school and the Poundstone lecture series. With this estate gift these two proud West Virginians will continue to assist new generations of Statler College students.” — William N. Poundstone, Jr. To learn more about how bequest, life-income and other gifts can help you achieve your goals, contact the development office at 304-293-4432 or Statler-DevOffice@mail.wvu.edu.

The Statler College would like to thank our supporters for your contributions over the past year. It is because of your generosity and kindness that our students can continue receiving high-quality education, our student organizations can flourish and our research can thrive. During this time, we are working with the WVU Foundation to revamp our donor recognition processes to improve our ability to connect with you regarding the impact of your philanthropy. — Statler College Development Staff WVU

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In Support

WRITTEN BY CASSIE RICE

Access to industry-leading software – donated for more than a decade by Schlumberger, a worldwide provider of technology for reservoir characterization, drilling, production and processing within the oil and gas industry – gives students and Eberly College of Arts and Sciences an edge in coursework, research and the job market. The Schlumberger donation provides WVU students and faculty with free access to seven software tools widely used in the oil and gas industry – the Petrel* E&P software platform, ECLIPSE* industry-reference reservoir simulator, INTERSECT* high-resolution reservoir simulator, Techlog* wellbore software platform, PIPESIM* steady-state multiphase flow simulator, OLGA* dynamic multiphase flow simulator and Mangrove* engineered stimulation design in the Petrel platform. The software, which would cost WVU millions of dollars to purchase, is used to answer important questions and conquer critical challenges associated with energy exploration and production. Within the Eberly College Department of Geology and Geography, students and faculty use the Petrel platform to interpret subsurface data and visualize underground environments.

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“It’s hard to see inside the earth, so we use geophysical tools,” Tim Carr, department chair and Marshall Miller Professor of Geology, said. “It’s the same math as when they take an MRI or a CAT scan of your body. We do the same thing before we drill a hole. You can look inside the earth and see what’s going on.” For students and faculty in the Statler College, Schlumberger software is useful in assessing whether a well site will produce enough natural gas to help ensure people can heat their homes, turn on lights and prepare meals. “The software can help an engineer figure out the deliverability of a well or if additional wells are needed – or other strategies – to meet demand,” Sam Ameri, chair of the Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering, said.

PHOTOGRAPH SUPPLIED

Donation of industry-leading software gives WVU students an edge


‘One of the best …’ Schlumberger maintains partnerships with about 400 universities worldwide. Since the company’s first in-kind donation to WVU in 2001, Schlumberger software donations have helped make WVU one of the nation’s top destinations for students pursuing careers in the oil and natural gas industry. “Having Schlumberger software makes ours one of the best departments for students who want to study geology and geophysics,” Carr said. In the past 10 years alone, more than 180 graduate and 60 undergraduate students within the Eberly College have used Schlumberger software for class labs, projects and more. In that same time frame, the company’s technology contributed to nearly 50 peer-reviewed publications based on research conducted at WVU, including 18 authored by students. WVU master’s and PhD students studying geology use the Petrel platform extensively for research, along with faculty members. For instance, Carr and colleagues use Schlumberger software at the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environment Laboratory, a collaborative field site that enables researchers at WVU, Ohio State University and the U.S. Department of Energy to study shale gas production from beginning to end. Schlumberger software is also incorporated into four courses within the Statler College and used broadly for thesis and dissertation research. Students have used the ECLIPSE simulator and other programs to model performance, identify ways to improve productivity and analyze production data for unconventional gas reservoirs, among other topics. Ameri said the software saves time by analyzing data and solving equations that would otherwise take much longer, which helps students find immediate solutions for real-world problems. “We are confident that when these students graduate, they are ‘up to the minute’ in oil and gas engineering technologies,” Ameri said. “They have to have the Schlumberger software. If they didn’t, they would be at a disadvantage going to work for industry.”

A competitive advantage Tobi Ore, a geology master’s degree student from Nigeria, uses the Petrel platform for his thesis research, which focuses on interpreting seismic data to determine how brittle rock breaks deep underground. He came to WVU for the opportunity to work with renowned experts in geophysics and gain more experience with Schlumberger software. Since coming to the U.S. in 2018, Ore has been to interviews with Chevron, Exxon and other major players in the oil and gas industry, who always take note of his proficiency using the Petrel platform.

“Once they see that, the conversation changes,” Ore said. “They become very impressed. Having this experience with the Petrel platform makes me very competitive in the job market.” Carr said he’s heard WVU graduates described as “plug and play” by industry representatives, meaning that there’s little training required once they are hired. And Schlumberger is among the companies that hire WVU alumni. Since 2017, the company has hired 41 WVU graduates. Ameri noted that some of Schlumberger’s technical experts are WVU alumni and maintain healthy relationships with the University, returning to campus periodically to deliver guest lectures and host workshops. Ore honed his software skills by participating in the prestigious Imperial Barrel Award competition hosted annually by the American Association of Petroleum Geologists. The competition challenges teams of students at schools across the country to analyze and interpret subsurface data over the course of eight weeks. The students must determine the best investment for oil and gas production and pitch their recommendation to industry representatives. Ore was part of last year’s WVU team, which earned second place in the eastern portion of the U.S. Emily Jackson, a geology master’s degree student and president of the University’s AAPG Student Chapter, used the Petrel platform to examine 3D seismic data as part of this year’s now-postponed Imperial Barrel Award competition team before WVU classes shifted online due to COVID-19. Jackson earned her undergraduate degree in geology from Cedarville University in Ohio, where Schlumberger software was not available. “One of my favorite things that I’ve been able to do here is manipulate and work with seismic data,” Jackson said. “It can get a little bit tedious, but I enjoy it. It’s really fun.” Jackson said having access to the software will increase her chances of getting hired following graduation and reduce her on-the-job learning curve, and she would likely learn less in her classes without it. She and Ore are grateful to Schlumberger for providing access to such a valuable educational resource. “Without their software, I don’t think I’d be able to finish my degree,” Ore said. Schlumberger software donations are made through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit organization that receives and administers private donations on behalf of the University. *The INTERSECT simulator is a joint product collaboration of Schlumberger, Chevron and Total.

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In Support

Scholarship fund established for mechanical engineering students in memory of Morgantown native WRITTEN BY RUTHIE DEELY Ensign Armand L. Coulson United States Naval Reserve Ordnance Officer 1945

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Armand Coulson, a West Virginia University alumnus and World War II Navy veteran, had a desire to reciprocate the opportunities afforded to him because of his higher education. To honor his memory and wish to empower others along the path to becoming an engineer, Armand and Jaya Coulson established the Armand LeRoy Coulson Memorial Scholarship to benefit West Virginia students who wish to pursue a degree in mechanical engineering.

WVU College of Engineering and School of Mines Graduating Class Member 1942

Born and raised in Morgantown, Coulson was the first in his family to attend and graduate college. He enrolled in the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, previously known as the College of Engineering and School of Mines, in fall 1938 and graduated in 1942 with a bachelor’s degree. “I chose to major in mechanical engineering because I believed it offered the best potential to get a job at graduation,” Coulson said when planning his estate. Throughout his engineering career, he also studied at the University of Maryland, John Hopkins University Applied Physics Lab, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and Cornell University. Coulson had a successful 44-yearlong engineering career that primarily focused on military defense electronic technologies. After his passing, he and his wife intended to provide financial support to other deserving West Virginia natives who had the desire to pursue an education in engineering. “He believed in empowering those who would follow him on the time-honored path of mechanical engineering,” said Carin Horn, Coulson’s daughter. The Armand and Jaya Coulson Survivor’s Trust donated $100,000 to the WVU Foundation to establish an endowed scholarship to honor their wishes. “Each recipient of the Armand LeRoy Coulson Memorial Scholarship is informally charged to follow his or her professional dream with the intention of serving the greatest good for all concerned,” Horn said. The Coulson family gives this gift with deep love and respect for his memory and his desire to help local engineering students accomplish their goals. “He has left a legacy of integrity and honor with a deep dedication to family, friends, and country. Loved by all who knew him, he was generous and always willing to help,” Horn said.

Mechanical Engineering Scholarship benefactors Armand and Jaya Coulson 2014

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In Memoriam Edward “Ed” Lee Bowling, 80, of Proctorville, Ohio, passed away on May 31. Bowling received his degree in civil engineering from WVU in 1963. He began his career with the C&O Railroad Company, and after assuming other corporate engineering positions, he transitioned to the coal industry as a selfemployed coal broker. Bowling is survived by his wife, Dolores Eloise Bowling, two daughters, Amber Ball and Robin Blackburn, a brother, Robert Bowling, seven grandchildren, (Grace Harmanson, Evan Ball, Parker Ball, Noah Blackburn, Carson Ball, Jonah Blackburn and Danae Ball), and four great-grandchildren. James Nicholas “Jim” Butch, 68, of Charleston, passed away on June 12. A native of Elkins, West Virginia, Butch graduated from the BUTCH West Virginia Institute of Technology with a degree in electrical engineering. Following his graduation, he worked for Preiser Mineco before founding the first computer store in West Virginia in 1975. In 1976, he founded Eagle Research Corporation, an electronics manufacturing company, now located in Putnam County. He received numerous awards for contributing to the economy of West Virginia, hiring locally and exporting goods abroad. Butch served on the advisory board at both WVU and WVU Tech, and was a member of the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering in the Statler College. He is survived by his wife of 45 years, Frances Rasi Butch, three daughters, Maria Franck, Jaime Frampton and Natalie Swartz, sister, Christina Sanders, brother, David Buccini, nine grandchildren, and numerous nieces, nephews and cousins. James Reginald (Reg) Dietz, 90, passed away on May 29. He was a founding member of the Academy of Chemical Engineering

DEITZ

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in the Statler College. Dietz was employed by National Steel for 30 years and at the time of his retirement he was vice president of research and development. Dietz was past president of the WVU Alumni Association, chairman of the WVU Board of Advisors and a member of the board of directors of the WVU Foundation. He was inducted into the WVU Order of Vandalia in 1987. Dietz is survived by his wife, Billie Jewell Kast, his children Allan, Barbara, Jennelle, and John, as well as three grandchildren and a brother. Amy Leigh Hill, 33, passed away on December 8. Hill earned her bachelor’s degrees in mechanical and aerospace HILL engineering from WVU in 2007 and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from The Johns Hopkins University. She completed her coursework for her PhD in computational social science at George Mason University and was working on her dissertation before being diagnosed with cancer. Her PhD will be awarded posthumously. Hill worked at Aberdeen Proving Grounds before becoming a senior engineer at The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory in 2012. She served as test director for dozens of government field tests and took pleasure in testing and evaluating critical, life-saving systems. Hill is survived by her parents and two sisters. Robert LeRoy Jamison, 81, passed away on September 8. He graduated with his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from WVU in 1960. His employment at Allegheny Power Company spanned 36 years. Jamison was a member of several social and professional organizations, including the Jaycees, Rotary Club, Business Round Table, Official Board of the Methodist Church, Professional Engineers Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. He served on the marketing and construction committees of the Edison Electric Institute, as well as on the advisory boards of WVU’s electrical engineering

and computer science departments, as well as the Pressurized Fluidized Bed Combustion. He is survived by his wife, Sally Bowyer Jamison, daughter, Karey Jamison Brindle, son, David Jamison, three grandsons, Russell Brindle, Benjamin Brindle and Trevor Brindle, and two great-grandchildren. David Rex Jones Sr., 84, of Lebanon, Tennessee, formerly of Ravenswood, West Virginia, passed away on June 7. Jones received his degree in chemical engineering from WVU in 1959. Following his graduation, Jones spent six months on active duty with the U.S. Army in Aberdeen, Maryland, followed by six years in the U.S. Army Reserves. His engineering career began at Weirton Steel, where he was employed for seven years before working at the then Kaiser Aluminum Plant. He retired in 1998 and expanded his woodworking skills to include woodturning and became a very skilled woodturner. He is survived by his wife, Betty Harmon Jones, daughter, Dovie Bowen, son Denis Jones, brother, Bobby Jones, grandchildren Melissa Starcher, Tiffany Bowen, Christina Jones, Jacob Bowen, Morgan Jones, Sylvie Jones, and five great-grandchildren. Ronald Lloyd Klein, 81, passed away on August 5. A native of Lexington, Illinois, Klein was an engineer and a professor. He received KLEIN his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Illinois in Electrical Engineering and earned his PhD from the University of Iowa. Klein served as a faculty member at Kansas University for 10 years before joining West Virginia University, where we would serve for 27 years as chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The passion of his scholarly career was magnetically levitated train systems. Klein could most often be spotting wearing a WVU cap displaying his Mountaineer allegiance.


James David Patton, 78, Morgantown native, passed away on November 11, 2019. Patton graduated from WVU with a BS and MS in chemical engineering. He ROBSON began his career with Humble Oil over eight other refineries and thus began his career with Exxon. During his time at Exxon, he managed the engineering for mining operations contributed in the development of the Operations Integrity Management System (OIMS) to define safety, security, health and environmental performance criteria for all operations worldwide until he retired in 1999. After the family moved to Puerto Rico, Esso Puerto Rico hired Patton as a consultant for a job for the next ten years. Patton is survived by his wife, Georgina and his sons David and Justin. Ronald James Robson,75, passed away on April 29 at his home in Hurricane, West Virginia. His career with Union Carbide spanned 30 ROBSON years. Robson received his bachelor’s degree from the Statler College in 1968. He was a member of AIChE and spent many years as a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity. Robson is survived by his wife, Pauline and his daughter and son.

REMEMBERING MR. WATTS A TRIBUTE BY DANIELLE PETRAK

PERSINGER

Alex Chiahuei Kuo, 70, passed away on December 1. A native of Taipei, Taiwan, he earned his PhD in chemical engineering in 1978 from WVU. He KUO spent 25 years with Union Carbide Corporation and Dow Chemical Company. At the time of his retirement in 2012, he was the president, CEO and a member of the Board of Directors of Taiwan-based Oriental Union Chemical Corporation. He was elected to the WVU Chemical Engineering Academy of Distinguished Alumni in the Class of 2010. Kuo is survived by his wife, Eva, two sons and a daughter.

Royce Jackson Watts, faculty member and founder of the Watts Museum in the Statler College, passed away on May 29, 2020, at the age of 91. He was preceded in death by his wife of 68 years, Caroline Baker Watts. The first child of a coal miner, Watts was born in a company house in the mining community of Cassity in Randolph County, West Virginia, in 1929. Royce spent the majority of his childhood on his family farm in Tyler County. After graduating from high school in 1946, Watts enlisted in the U.S. Army. He served in Italy immediately after WWII and then in the Korean War where received the Silver Star for gallantry in combat in 1951. He served in the Army Reserve for many years, retiring as a full colonel in 1989. Watts earned both his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from West Virginia University and joined the faculty of WVU as an instructor of accounting and economics in 1955. He worked at WVU for six decades, retiring as associate dean of the Statler College in 2017. In the mid-1980s, Watts spearheaded the establishment of a museum, now known as the Watts Museum, dedicated to the history of West Virginia’s mineral resources and related industries. Along with his wife Caroline, he made major contributions towards the museum’s growth and development and worked to ensure its longevity through the establishment of an endowment. “Meeting and knowing Mr. Watts is truly one the greatest blessings of my life,” said Danielle Petrak, curator of the Watts Museum. “I am honored to have worked for him and become his friend, and I am so thankful for his mentorship and guidance. The Mountain State is so lucky to have had you here for so many years, Mr. Watts — West Virginia and I will miss you so much.” His impact will always be felt and appreciated in the halls of the Statler College, and he will always be fondly remembered and honored by the WVU community. “I was blessed to have the services of Royce Watts as associate dean for administration for my formative years and beyond while serving as dean of the Statler College for nearly 20 years. Royce was truly an extremely devoted alum and employee of this University for nearly 60 years. He cherished WVU and was revered by so many, many people. He is sorely missed, but his contributions to WVU are numerous and indelible. As many people noted to me over the years, ‘Royce was a true soldier.’” — Eugene V. Cilento

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#AloneTogether Members of the Statler College were scattered across the globe during the COVID-19 pandemic, but despite the miles between them, they maintained a sense of connection and unity through social media. Together, the College community supported and encouraged one another to stay safe, stay strong and to keep the Mountaineer spirit alive. Messages full of inspiration and motivation were shared between faculty, staff, students and alumni, serving as a constant reminder that even though they may be alone, they are always together.

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MESSAGES FROM

ALUMNI

TO THE CLASS OF 2020

QUARANTINE

CAM

With the semester looking a little different amongst all the changes in light of a global pandemic, faculty and staff responded with positive and creative messaging encouraging students and the Statler community to stay home, stay safe and stay connected. Many had to make the adjustment of working remotely with their families present and face new obstacles of teaching outside the traditional classroom. Yet despite the challenges, faculty, staff and students rose to the occasion and embodied the Mountaineer spirit of going first.

4 years in a flash

The graduating Class of 2020 experienced a graduation like never before, having to commemorate their accomplishments remotely instead of in the Coliseum singing “Country Roads.” Alumni shared encouraging messages with the class, congratulating them on their accomplishments and advising them to look forward, as their journey was only about to begin.

This social media campaign commemorated the memories and milestones achieved during the Class of 2020’s journey at the Statler College. While their experience was unlike any other - bringing challenges and new surprises — they were reminded that no matter what, country roads will always lead them home. A few of the milestones reached in the past four years include: • 1st place in the American Society of Civil Engineers concrete canoe competition • 31,022 cups of coffee consumed from Bits & Bytes • Second place finish in EcoCAR3 competition, and the team was selected for EcoCAR mobility challenge • 101,112 hours spent studying in the Engineering Learning Center • 1,442 pumpkins were dropped from the top of the Engineering Sciences Building

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Non-Profit Organization US Postage PAID Morgantown, WV Permit No. 34

ENGINEERING W E S T

V I R G I N I A

West Virginia University Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources PO Box 6070, Morgantown, WV 26506-6070 Address service requested

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