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Simulated Mine Provides Fire Safety Training SPRING 2010

College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

Simulated Underground Coal Mine Bennett, Fischer Inducted Standout Student Athletes


Federal Stimulus Funds for Research

From the Dean Dear Friends: It has been an unusually cold and snowy winter in Morgantown, and the first weekend in February was no exception. Friday brought predictions of another impending storm. Two of our most accomplished graduates were slated for induction into the West Virginia University Academy of Distinguished Alumni that evening, and the weather threatened to interfere. But the two honorees – Addison Fischer and George Bennett – were already in town, as were many of their guests, and so it was decided to hold a smaller, more intimate event. (Actor Don Knotts, an alumnus of the College of Arts and Sciences, was inducted posthumously.) Inside the beautiful new Erickson Alumni Center, with the snow starting to fall, those of us who were privileged to be there enjoyed a very special evening. One of the highlights occurred when Addison revealed that he had met and worked for George, who was then a senior in industrial engineering, at the new WVU Computer Center. This was back in the days of the first IBM mainframes. This early experience helped Addison launch an amazingly successful career in information security, and he has gone on to many successes in encryption technology and related areas.

Spring 2010


Bennett also spoke of his time at WVU, and how he put his own unique talents to work, building the foundation of an enormously successful career in health care information systems. The success stories of Addison Fischer and George Bennett are inspirational. We hope that their careers will motivate today’s students to strive for things that seem out of reach, and to think big. We also hope that they will learn from another trait shared by Addison and George, and that is a desire to make the world a better place and to leave a legacy of caring as well as excellence. Innovation is vital to the future of U.S. competitiveness, so it is personally exciting to me to recognize these alumni for whom it has been a central focus of their careers. It is also central to the mission of our College, as evidenced by our faculty research – including some highlighted in this issue – seeking novel solutions to the problems of energy, infrastructure, security, health care, and beyond. Our students – among whom are the next generation of innovators – are building their own foundations now. It is exciting to watch these young minds grow and to be a part of helping them launch their dreams. Who among them will be their generation’s Addison Fischer or George Bennett? Hopefully, our students will learn important lessons about innovation, excellence, and giving back from the examples set by these outstanding graduates and by our dedicated faculty members, who carry out our College mission of teaching, research, and service. Our future depends on it.

Eugene V. Cilento Glen H. Hiner Dean and Professor

WVU college of Engineering and mineral resources

News from the WVU College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

CONTENTS FEATURES 2 Researchers Receive Federal Stimulus Funding 11 Simulated Underground Coal Mine Opens


14 Bennett, Fischer Inducted into the Academy of Distinguished Alumni 16 Student News 23 CONSOL Energy CEO Delivers Hiner Lecture

The mission of the WVU College of Engineering and Mineral Resources is to prepare students to practice their profession and to contribute to the well-being of society through academic study, research, extension, and service.


ON COVER / The Department of Mining Extension’s new simulated underground coal mine provides unique live fire training to mine rescue teams and others. Read the full story on p. 11.

Spring 2010

Volume 6 Issue 1

Dean and Publisher / Eugene V. Cilento gene.cilento@mail.wvu.edu / 304.293.4157 Editor / Susan Case / susan.case@mail.wvu.edu Contributing Writers / Cate Mihelic / Nicole Riggleman Design Coordinator / J. Paige Nesbit Address WVU College of Engineering and Mineral Resources Development Office / PO Box 6070 / Morgantown, WV 26506-6070 www.cemr.wvu.edu


Change of Address WVU Foundation / PO Box 1650 Morgantown, WV 26504-1650 Fax: 304.284.4001 / e-mail: wvuf@wvuf.wvnet.edu www.mountaineerconnection.com


Engineering West Virginia is published twice each year, in spring and fall, for the alumni, friends, and other supporters of the WVU College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. Copyright Š2010 by the WVU 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 Editor for permission to reprint entire articles. West Virginia University is governed by the WVU Board of Governors and the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission. WVU is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Institution.


Faculty Research

Researchers Receive In 2009, several research projects by faculty in the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act Energy from the Earth

Spring 2010


Brian Anderson


A team of researchers led by Brian Anderson, faculty member in chemical engineering, received $1.2 million in stimulus funding from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) for a three-year research project aimed at expanding the use of geothermal energy, which is energy stored beneath the surface of the earth. Anderson is working with colleagues from Cornell University, Iowa State University, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory on the project. In the U.S., geothermal resources today are generally restricted to isolated areas of the west, where rocks are hot at relatively shallow depths and where some states already use geothermal energy for heating and electricity. In the eastern U.S., the rocks under the earth are not as hot. Anderson and his colleagues will investigate new methods of using the lower-temperature eastern resources, some in combination with other forms

of renewable energy such as biomass. The ultimate goal is to develop innovative uses of the lowertemperature geothermal resources in the eastern region. Last year Morgan Aims, a WVU chemical engineering major, conducted research focused on using geothermal energy to heat Elkins High School in Elkins, West Virginia. “Morgan’s research showed that it is possible to heat buildings with low-temperature geothermal energy,” said Anderson. “We will be developing plans for putting this theory into practice on a much larger scale.” “If we can realize the full geothermal potential of the high-temperature resources in the west and the lower-temperature geothermal resources in the east, it will make a huge difference in the overall energy picture of our country,” he added.

WVU college of Engineering and mineral resources

Federal Stimulus Funding By Nicole Riggleman

our College were awarded federal stimulus funding under (ARRA). Industrial Energy Efficiency

Bhaskaran Gopalakrishnan

manufacturers in the region with tools to save energy, increase efficiency, reduce emissions, and save jobs.

The first – spearheaded by the West Virginia Division of Energy in collaboration with Industries of the Future-West Virginia – received $500,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy to work on ways to provide energy-intensive

Gopalakrishnan is an Energy Efficiency Fellow for Industries of the Future-West Virginia, a program of the National Research Center for Coal and Energy. He also directs the Industrial Assessment Center (IAC), one of 26 such centers

The second project will receive $136,000 from the U.S. Department of Energy for putting WVU faculty and students to work helping regional manufacturers through the Industrial Assessment Center, which takes teams into facilities to take measurements and provide detailed recommendations.

at universities around the nation. Wafik Iskander, chair of the Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, is the IAC’s co-director. “Energy efficiency is critical to helping American industry remain globally competitive,” Gopalakrishnan said. “Both of these projects will help make advanced energy efficiency technologies accessible and affordable to industries in our region.”

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One of the best ways to cut energy costs is to reduce energy consumption, and this is just as true in industry as it is in our homes. Bhaskaran Gopalakrishnan, a professor of industrial engineering, has been working on the issue for quite some time, lending his expertise to helping manufacturers implement cost- and energysaving improvements to facilities and operations. He is the lead investigator on not one but two projects that received stimulus funding for this purpose in 2009.


Faculty Research

Researchers Receive Federal FRP Composite for Aging Infrastructure

Hota GangaRao

Spring 2010


Our nation’s infrastructure – highways, bridges, sewers, and other facilities – is deteriorating. The costs (both in dollars and in environmental costs) of using traditional materials and methods to repair or replace these structures are skyrocketing, leading policymakers and governments to seek new solutions.


This is not a new quest for Hota GangaRao, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Constructed Facilities Center. GangaRao and his team have been working on solutions to infrastructure problem for more than 20 years, in collaboration with the West Virginia Department of Transportation, federal agencies, and private industry. The main focus of the group’s work has been to develop fiber reinforced polymer (FRP) composite materials, and to help incorporate them into our civil and military infrastructure. To this end, they have helped to build or rehabilitate 24 bridges statewide with new materials. They also are working with private companies, including Northrop Grumman, to incorporate composites into U.S. Navy destroyers. What are FRP composites, exactly? While the term polymer is usually understood to

mean plastics, it actually refers to a large class of natural and synthetic materials with properties associated with plastic. As the name implies, FRP composites are reinforced with fibers, usually made of fiberglass, carbon, or other materials. These fibers increase the stiffness and tensile capacity of the material, improving not only durability but also workability. FRP composites are becoming common replacements for traditional materials in many industries because they are stronger and more impact absorbent than traditional materials such as steel or concrete, resist the elements better, last longer, and cost less to install, operate, and maintain. “FRP composites will soon be incorporated into strong new building materials for use in hundreds of products from guardrails and roads to utility poles and bridge decks,” said GangaRao. “In addition to producing lower carbon emissions, the manufacturing process for these products is less expensive than for traditional building materials.” These efforts received a major boost in 2009 with the creation of the Center for Integration of Composites into Infrastructure (CICI), which received $570,000 from the National Science Foundation to establish it as an NSF

Industry/University Cooperative Research Center. WVU is the lead site. GangaRao is CICI’s director and Udaya Halabe, professor of civil and environmental engineering, is WVU’s site director. Rutgers University, North Carolina State University, and the University of Miami are also members. The Center also has 25 industry partners from the composites and construction industries. CICI held its inaugural Industrial Advisory Board meeting in November 2009, and, with industry input, established its initial research agenda. Researchers are planning projects from large windmill blades to tall utility poles, modular housing systems, highway pavement panels for bridges, and large-diameter pipes, among others. “CICI will bring together the research capabilities and knowledge base of these four universities to find solutions to common issues in the composites industry and to increase the use of composites in infrastructure,” said GangaRao. “We plan to work closely with industry to advance and implement advanced polymer composites for infrastructure in a cost-effective manner.”

WVU college of Engineering and mineral resources

Stimulus Funding Improving the Reliability of Software Product Lines

Katerina Goseva-Popstojanova

Katerina Goseva-Popstojanova, a Robert C. Byrd associate professor of computer science and electrical engineering, is the lead researcher on a collaborative project focused on improving the reliability of software product lines. Goseva-Popstojanova is working on the project with Robyn Lutz from Iowa State University, with total funding of $490,000 in stimulus funds from the National Science Foundation. “The use of software product lines has become increasingly important in industry because it reduces the need to build entirely

new systems for each new product,” said Goseva-Popstojanova. “Reliability assessment of product lines, however, has not caught up with reliability requirements.” Although this particular research project is being conducted in collaboration with Avaya, a global leader in enterprise communications systems, the research also has potential applications for many other industries, such as mobile phones, industrial robots, and surgical imaging systems, among others, said Goseva-Popstojanova.

“This research is important for industry to optimize performance,” said GosevaPopstojanova. “We will be working to make assessments and predictions of software reliability that will improve the quality of software products in a wide variety of settings.”

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Larry Hornak


Faculty Research

WVU college of Engineering and mineral resources

From Laboratory Success to Real-World Change $1 Million Grant Advances Readiness of Biometrics Research Researchers often face the challenge of translating success in the lab into real-world systems to benefit society. In the world of biometrics – the science of recognizing humans based on physical or behavioral traits – this transition is especially critical as researchers work to develop systems for use in law enforcement, national security, defense, and other applications. In 2009, to help accelerate that transition, the U.S. Department of Justice awarded $1 million to researchers in the Center for Identification Technology Research (CITeR) to build on an alreadyimpressive record. The project will involve translating innovative biometrics technologies into working systems that government agencies can apply in a wide range of settings.

“This effort builds on the impressive history we have achieved of successful collaborative research in this important arena,” said Hornak.

Biometrics involves the use of technology to identify individuals through automated recognition of unique physiological, behavioral and molecular traits, including fingerprints, iris patterns, face, voice, gait, keystroke patterns, and DNA. Hornak said, “This effort will bring scientists from the public and private sectors together with university research groups early in the innovation and discovery process to assess the transition readiness of biometrics technologies whose concepts have been proven through initial CITeR project results.” CITeR currently has two sites – one at WVU, the founding and lead university, the other at the University of Arizona. Several other universities are involved in the research as well. CITeR affiliates number more than 20 government and industry organizations, including the U.S. Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, National Security Agency, and a number of private companies and nonprofits.

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CITeR is a National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center with an established international reputation in biometrics research. Larry Hornak, a Byrd professor of computer science and electrical engineering, is founding director and current co-director. Bojan Cukic, a Byrd professor in the same department, is CITeR’s other co-director.

“This project will help cement WVU’s growing reputation as a world leader in identification technology, and I was pleased to help support it,” said Congressman Alan B. Mollohan, chair of the appropriations subcommittee that funds the Department of Justice, who helped secure funding for the initiative.


Faculty Research

Fulbright Fellow from Italy Studies Emissions at WVU Vincenzo Mulone, a researcher from Rome, Italy, has come to WVU as a Fulbright Fellow to collaborate with the faculty in the Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines, and Emissions (CAFEE).

Vincenzo Mulone

Before coming to WVU, Mulone authored more than 28 technical publications and worked with companies and universities worldwide, including research centers at Fiat and Lombardini, Argonne National Laboratory, and the University of British Columbia. His area of expertise is in energy conversion processes and their impact on the environment. At WVU, he is collaborating with Mridul Gautam, Byrd Professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and interim associate vice president for research and

economic development. Gautam is an authority in particulate matter emissions characterization and modeling and combustion-generated pollution. “Working with CAFEE, Dr. Mulone will have access to a uniquely qualified facility,” Gautam said. “We conduct heavy-duty engine research with state-of-the-art emissions measurement and analysis abilities. Combined with our expertise in researching fuels, lubricants, and exhaust after-treatment systems, he will have opportunities to generate invaluable data for his own model development.” Mulone has a master’s degree and Ph.D. in thermal fluid dynamics from the University of Rome Tor Vergata.

Smart Camera Networks to Keep Us Safer

Spring 2010


With heightened concerns about national security and terrorist threats, a group of researchers in our college has received a grant of close to $1 million to keep Americans safer through smart camera networks. Natalia Schmid, associate professor of computer science and electrical engineering, is the lead researcher on a project aimed at developing distributed smart camera networks to detect and identify activities in urban environments. The project will receive $986,248 from the U.S. Department of Defense over three years.


Natalia Schmid

Schmid said that current camera network technology is insufficient because of the time and bandwidth that it takes to transmit, process, and analyze video footage. This is typically accomplished through a system of cameras that continuously monitor certain areas and then transmit the data to a central station for analysis and processing. “The novel aspect of our design lies in its distributed nature,” said Schmid, “where each camera or group of cameras has the ability to recognize activity, and to wirelessly and quickly communicate that information. These

new networks will not require large bandwidth or storage space to achieve fast, reliable recognition, detection, and transmission.” Schmid says that the new camera networks, when installed in public places such as stadiums, conference rooms, airports, city squares, and other locations, will be able to instantly detect, recognize, and alert authorities to abnormal events – such as an unusually fast or aggressively moving individual in a crowd, or a sudden increase in the number of individuals entering or exiting a room. Other WVU researchers involved in the project are Brian Woerner, chair of the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, along with Vinod Kulathumani, Xin Li, and Matthew Valenti, faculty members in the same department. Schmid received her master’s degree in applied physics and mathematics from Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology in 1991, a scientific degree candidate of technical sciences in 1995 from the Russian Academy of Sciences and a D.S. in electrical engineering in 2000 from Washington University in St. Louis.

WVU college of Engineering and mineral resources

New Tunnel Safety Plug is Demonstrated Safer underwater tunnels are a step closer to being realized after a recent WVU research demonstration that drew attendees from across the nation. The test incorporated a specially constructed full-scale tunnel section model and an inflatable plug, which could eventually be used to protect underwater rail transit systems from flooding, smoke or fumes. In the first phase of the project, which is funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), a first-generation inflatable test plug was successfully deployed inside the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) system in Washington, DC.

demonstrations,” said Julio Davalos, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) professor and project leader. “In this latest test, we demonstrated the plug’s enhanced conformity, reduced inflation time, and tunnel sealing effectiveness.” DHS Program Manager John Fortune praised the project’s impressive and rapid evolution and noted the cooperation and coordination of the various organizations involved. Representatives of the Transportation Security Administration, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, WMATA, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and industry representatives also attended the demonstration.

“We learned a lot from the data collected during the WMATA test and the small-scale

Researchers Developing New Technologies for Oral Health By Cate Mihelic

Nearly 6,000 miles from home, Ahmed Mahmoud is busy conducting ultrasound technology research in an engineering laboratory at West Virginia University. As part of a team of engineering and health sciences researchers, he is developing new technologies that will aid in the early detection of periodontal (gum) disease, a common cause of tooth loss in older adults and a major problem in West Virginia.

Cairo University, and participated in developing a new technology now under patent. In 2008, he was a regular fellow with NIOSH and the Centers for Disease Control.

Although he originally applied to graduate school at several U.S. universities, Mahmoud said he was leaning toward WVU because he was interested in Mukdadi’s research. A phone call from Mukdadi helped him make the final decision.

“Ahmed was an outstanding student and is an excellent researcher,” said Mukdadi. “He is contributing to projects that will help improve the quality of life in our society, and we are very glad to have him as part of our team.”

“He took his personal time to call me, and that meant a lot,” said Mahmoud.

The group’s research is focused on developing ultrasound technologies that can reconstruct high-resolution, three-dimensional bone surface images for the jawbone, enabling dentists to diagnose periodontal disease earlier than is possible with traditional x-ray images.

Mahmoud has published scientific papers in more than 16 publications in the past three years, is a faculty member in biomedical engineering at

Ahmed Mahmoud

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Mahmoud, a native of Egypt, came to WVU in 2006 to pursue his Ph.D. and to work under Sam Mukdadi, an assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and biomedical engineering researcher. After Mahmoud completed his Ph.D. in 2009, Mukdadi hired him to work on the interdisciplinary project as a postdoctoral fellow, with funding from the National Institutes of Health.

Currently, Mahmoud is working with Mukdadi and researchers in WVU’s Health Sciences Center and School of Dentistry on the development of ultrasonic technology to facilitate the early diagnosis of periodontal disease. Dr. Richard Crout and Dr. Peter Ngan have been especially helpful in supporting this research, said Mahmoud.


Connect to our College with Social Media

Spring 2010


By Nicole Riggleman


“We are using social media to build community. The more strongly students are connected to the university, the more successful they are.”

It seems that everyone, from teenagers to grandmothers to big business, is jumping on the social media bandwagon, and our College is no exception, having recently launched pages on: www.facebook.com/wvucemr www.twitter.com/wvucemr www.cemr.wvu.edu/linkedinwvucemr Common messages can be found through the various outlets, but each serves a unique purpose. We use Facebook to communicate our latest news to a broad audience of students, alumni, faculty, staff, and other friends. Twitter provides briefer updates for those on the go. LinkedIn is focused on allowing alumni and students to communicate about careers. Alumni are not the only ones using the new outlets. Current and future students are using them to connect and to get information on student organizations, scholarships, student life, and the accomplishments of our students and graduates. “We are using social media to build community,” said Ryan Sigler, the College’s coordinator of enrollment management services. “The more strongly students are connected to college, the more successful they are.” Never fear, though; we have no plans to eliminate our more traditional means of communication with friends. For the foreseeable future, we still plan to produce and mail this magazine in its current format twice a year, and our departments will continue to send their newsletters. So, join us online! We look forward to hearing from you!

WVU college of Engineering and mineral resources

Simulated Underground Coal Mine Opens Facility offers unique live fire training

Last fall, WVU dedicated a state-of-theart, simulated underground coal mine for training new and experienced miners. Located at the WVU Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technologies outside Morgantown, the new facility is being used for a variety of specialized training programs for new miners, mine foremen, mine rescue teams, mine fire brigades, and others.

Speaking to a standing-room only crowd of faculty, students, mining industry personnel, and others at the October dedication ceremony for the facility were WVU President James P. Clements, Dean Gene Cilento, Director of Mining Extension Jim Dean, and Chris Hamilton, executive vice president of the West Virginia Coal Association. A representative of West

“With significant help from our partners, WVU is pleased to provide training for coal miners in West Virginia and neighboring states,” said Clements. “This type of collaboration prevents injuries and saves lives. We’re proud of this facility and, more importantly, the mission it serves.” “Under the excellent leadership of Jim Dean, along with dedicated faculty and staff, our Department of Mining Extension has done more than keep up with the

crosscuts (intersecting hallways) resembling those in an actual mine. Entries are filled with equipment and structures found in mines. It also includes a state-of-the-art live burn area for training mine rescue teams and fire brigades. Dean said, “The experience of an individual coming there for training is as close as possible to an actual underground coal mine. The capability to provide live fire training definitely sets it apart from other such facilities.” The Department of Mining Extension has provided training for the coal industry since 1913, training more than 8,000 new

“The capability to provide live fire training sets this facility apart from others.” times,” said Dean Cilento. “They have led the way in developing specialized training programs for the coal mining industry. This new simulated mine is an exciting addition to their capabilities.” With multiple entryways and crosscuts, the facility is divided into entries (hallways), and

and experienced coal miners last year. Programs range from new-miner to selfcontained self-rescuer, mine rescue, first responder, fire brigade, foreman/fireboss, electrical, and other training. Instructors teach throughout the major coal-producing region of West Virginia as well as in nearby Pennsylvania, Kentucky and Ohio.

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Major funding for the $1.5-million facility came from the West Virginia Office of Miners’ Health Safety and Training and the West Virginia Division of Energy. Financial donations as well as equipment and materials came from Alpha Natural Resources, Consol Energy, HSC Industrial, Joy Continental Product Line, Murray Energy and Patriot Coal.

Virginia Governor Joe Manchin spoke on his behalf. Following the ceremony were tours and a live burn demonstration inside the facility.


College News

Smith Gains Global Perspective from SAE Presidency As Jim Smith looked back on one of the most exciting periods in his career, he reflected on the experience. Throughout 2009, he served as the president of SAE International, one of the world’s largest professional societies, which sets industry standards for automotive, aerospace, commercial-vehicle, and other mobilityrelated products worldwide. His term concluded in January.

Spring 2010


A member of our faculty for more than 25 years, Smith is a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and director of the Center for Industrial Research Applications.


Being SAE president was busy and challenging, Smith said, full of travel, speaking appearances, and meetings with people all over the world. “It was an intense intercultural experience,” he said, “and it changed the way I think. My perspective has become much more global.” A native of Clendenin, West Virginia, Smith earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in aerospace engineering from WVU, then took a position with the Department of Energy. After several years, he returned to WVU, earned his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering, and then joined the WVU faculty. Smith says teaching has always been his favorite part of the job, from schooling freshmen in fundamental principles of engineering to mentoring graduate students. He has kept more than busy with research as well – overseeing 100 research contracts exceeding $19.8 million, publishing more than 200 peer-reviewed conference and journal papers, along with numerous articles and white papers. He has been granted 28 U.S. patents and has many others pending.

By Cate Mihelic

Serving as SAE president was a career highlight, said Smith, affording him the opportunity to meet international leaders and interact with students and professionals worldwide. Only the fourth president to come from academia, Smith been an active SAE member for 26 years. In 2007, he was named an SAE Fellow, the highest grade of membership. SAE also awarded him the Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award and twice the Forest R. McFarland Award for Service. Six months before his presidential term started, Smith began attending meetings. He took office in January 2009 and began traveling the world, visiting factories, educational institutions, and research centers, including aerospace, commercial, and automotive vehicle plants. In all, he visited five continents and thirteen countries, including China, Hong Kong, Brazil, Mexico, Germany, Spain, Canada, the UK, Italy, Egypt, Vietnam, Taiwan, and India. Smith said the best part of his travels was interacting with students and young engineers around the world. When speaking around the world, he has tried to focus his message on the importance of innovation and leadership. Smith has now returned to full-time teaching and research at WVU. He is excited about sharing the experiences he gained last year with students and others in the University and state, and is glad to be back in the classroom and laboratory.

James Smith

“It was an intense intercultural experience and it changed the way I think. My perspective has become much more global.”

Teaching the Teachers: NSF project for high school teachers

WVU college of Engineering and mineral resources

Darran Cairns

WVU will become a home away from home for area high school math and science teachers for six weeks this summer as part of the new Research Experience for Teachers (RET) Program. The College received $500,000 from the National Science Foundation to implement the program, which will expose high school teachers to research focused on energy and the environment. Participants won’t be sitting in a classroom taking notes, said Darran Cairns, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and one of the lead researchers on the project. They’ll learn about energy and environmental topics by working alongside WVU faculty. “We want to engage and inspire high school teachers about the exciting work that is going on at WVU in the areas of energy and environmental research so that they can return and share their knowledge with their students,” Cairns said.

News of Note Creese Authors E-Book on Geometric Programming Dr. Robert C. Creese authored “Geometric Programming for Design and Cost Optimization,” which has been published both as an e-book and as a paperback by Morgan & Claypool Publishers. The paperback is available on Amazon.com. The purpose of the book is to introduce manufacturing engineers, design engineers, manufacturing technologists, cost engineers, project managers, industrial consultants, and finance managers to geometric programming.

AADE Supports Petroleum Engineering Scholarships, Activities Five students in petroleum and natural gas engineering – Dane Greaser, William Earhart, Zachary Toothman, Ryan Jones, and Jonathan Slinkard – received 2009-2010 scholarships from the Dallas/ Fort Worth Chapter of the American Association of Drilling Engineers (AADE), with which the WVU

Industrial Engineering Student Receives Military Scholarship Breanna J. Henry, an industrial engineering major, received a $1,000 scholarship from the Society of American Military Engineers. Henry is a native of Hedgesville, West Virginia, and is active in the University’s Reserve Officers’ Training Corps. She earned recognition at summer field training as the top female candidate in the area of physical fitness. She is a flight commander for 15 freshman cadets, and is the treasurer for Silver Wings, an honorary service organization affiliated with Air Force ROTC. MAE Raises Funds for Injured Student The Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering raised nearly $500 for Justin Heydon, an MAE student who was recently injured in a swimming accident. Faculty and staff sold tickets and held a drawing on December 15 for three gift baskets – one including an autographed football from the WVU team, one an autographed basketball from the men’s team, and one an autographed basketball from the women’s team. ASME Raises $2,000 for Ronald McDonald House The 2009 Pumpkin Drop, organized by the WVU Student Chapter of the American Society of

Nigel Clark, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, is the other principal researcher on the project. Reagan Curtis, associate professor of educational psychology in the College of Human Resources and Education, will lead the assessment of educational outcomes. The EdVenture Group, a Morgantown-based nonprofit organization that works with schools and teachers statewide, is another partner. The program will even include an international field trip: Participants will travel to England to attend a ten-day International Summer Energy School at the University of Birmingham; visit laboratories in alternative fuels, fuel cells, and hydrogen storage; and take a trip on a hydrogen-powered canal boat.

Mechanical Engineers, raised $2,000 for the Ronald McDonald House. Registration fees totaled $1,800, said chief faculty advisor Professor John Kuhlman, and the winning team from Connellsville Senior High donated its first-place check. The ASME chapter made up the additional amount. IIE Chapter Brings Home Awards The WVU Student Chapter of IIE in the Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering won the Best Chapter and Best Paper awards at the organization’s recent student conference. Aerospace Engineering Student Wins SAMPE Award Joaquin Gutierrez, a master’s student in aerospace engineering, won a Student Leadership Award from the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering (SAMPE), which sends student leaders to the SAMPE International Symposium and Exhibition to network with peers and industry professionals and increase their understanding of the materials and processes community. SAMPE Chapter Receives $1,000 for Design-Build-Fly The Society for the Advancement of Materials and Process Engineering (SAMPE) donated $1,000 to the WVU student chapter of SAMPE to support the team’s participation in the Design-Build-Fly competition. The team is planning to emphasize the use of composite materials in this year’s competition.

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Della-Giustina Speaks on Safety in Saudi Arabia Daniel E. Della-Giustina, professor of safety management, delivered the keynote address at the International Symposium for Disaster Management in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, in October 2009. The symposium was organized by the Saudi Arabian Ministry of the Interior’s Civil Defense Department and aimed at promoting the international exchange of ideas of disaster prevention and management. Representatives of more than 30 government agencies and experts from the public and private sectors attended.

student chapter is affiliated. The chapter is in its third year at WVU. Last year’s scholarship recipients were Zachary Allman, Brian Gaudet, Dane Greaser and Shawn Jackson. AADE also provides the chapter with training sessions on topics such as well control.

Teachers will be working on projects relating to energy conversion, materials for energy conservation and energy storage, alternative fuels and emissions, and environmental monitoring and maintenance, Cairns said.


ACCOLADES Spring 2010


Bennett, Fischer Inducted into WVU


Two outstanding alumni and friends of our College – George Bennett and Addison Fischer – were recently inducted into the WVU Alumni Association Academy of Distinguished Alumni, which honors WVU graduates who have attained national or international distinction in their profession or discipline. Since its inception in 1988, the Academy has recognized more than 75 of WVU’s most accomplished graduates.

WVU college of Engineering and mineral resources

Academy of Distinguished Alumni

George Bennett

Bennett is the founder of four successful businesses that have reshaped the practice of management consulting. Early in his career, he co-founded Bain and Co. and Braxton Associates, two highly regarded international strategy consulting firms that have dramatically affected Fortune 500 scale firms around the world. In 1985, he co-founded Symmetrix, a management consulting firm that specialized in helping large firms translate innovative strategies into cost-effective operating practices. He served as its chairman and chief executive officer from 1985 to 1996. In 1997, Bennett joined Chris McKown in founding Health Dialog, an international health care services company that has a dramatic impact on the way health care is delivered in the U.S., Europe, and Australia by providing analytic services for payers (insurance companies, employers, Medicare, etc.) and telephonic support and Web support to patients. After serving as CEO and chairman of the board for 11 years, Bennett sold the firm to Bupa, a large Britishowned global provider of healthcare services. He remains a member of the firm’s board of directors.

Bennett earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from WVU in 1967 and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in industrial administration from Carnegie Mellon University. In 1982, he was inducted into the WVU Academy of Industrial Engineers. Bennett serves on the board of directors of a number of organizations, including the National Youth Science Foundation and the Disease Management Association of America. He is also a member of the Development Committee of Urban Improv, a Boston-based not-forprofit organization focused on “improving the odds” for Boston’s inner city youth.

Addison Fischer created his first high-tech startup company in 1973, and has been involved in seed venture capital investing since the early 1980s. He is presently the chairman of Fischer International Systems, a communications software provider to the Global 2000. As major owner of RSA Data Security, he founded VeriSign, the internationally recognized standard of Internet commerce integrity. He also is co-owner of Duquesne Capital Management and cofounder of two Silicon Valley venture capital firms. Fischer graduated from high school in Clarksburg, West Virginia, and earned bachelor’s (1970) and master’s (1972) degrees in mathematics from WVU. He returned to WVU in 2008, when WVU awarded him an honorary doctorate. In the 1980s and 1990s he was a member of official committees that set U.S. standards for computer security and electronic commerce. He has been invited to address Congress on several topics, including digital signature standards, proposed FBI digital telephony legislation, and global U.S. competitiveness. Fischer also was a member of the Computer Systems Security and Privacy Advisory Board that advised the President and reported to Congress on computer security. He holds numerous U.S. and international patents. In addition to his business interests, Fischer acquired a substantial amount of sensitive primeval Costa Rican rainforest to prevent its destruction by timber and farming interests. He is presently involved in working to enhance the opportunities available to the people of Las Alturas while preserving their heritage and connection with nature. In addition, he is a board member of the Jane Goodall Institute. Fischer co-founded the Planet Heritage Foundation with the mission of preserving the planet’s natural and ecological heritage, and mankind’s cultural, social and intellectual heritage. He is a director of the East West Institute, working to resolve and prevent international conflicts through non-governmental diplomatic channels. In addition, he was awarded the Hero of Privacy Award by the Electronic Privacy Information Center, recognizing his efforts to focus public attention on emerging civil liberties and privacy issues.

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In the 1980s, Bennett spent a year in Washington, D.C., as a member of the Grace Commission, created by President Ronald Reagan to bring state-of-the-art business practices to the federal government. Bennett has remained active in Washington and been an active participant in the ongoing debate regarding health reform, including hosting a meeting for President Obama on health care reform.

Addison Fischer


Student News

EcoCAR team members checked out the vehicle they would be redesigning when it arrived last fall.

Spring 2010


EcoCAR in Second Year of Competition


The WVU EcoCAR Team is in the midst of a busy and exciting second year in the national EcoCAR: The NeXt Challenge competition. Senior mechanical, aerospace, and electrical engineering students in our College have developed a plan to re-design a GM-donated hybrid-electric vehicle to have lower emissions and higher gas-mileage, while maintaining consumer appeal. The team received its car in October, and the hard work began immediately. As Year One of the competition was the planning and design phase, the 16-student team already had a basic idea of the car’s design. This year, they are working on rebuilding the engine and installing a new battery system. “It’s an exciting process to re-design this car. We’ve got a great team, so that makes it even better,” noted team captain Brody Conklin.

Not only has the team been busy with the technical aspects of this competition, this year they partnered with a group of six students from the School of Journalism to create and implement an outreach plan to promote WVU’s participation in this competition. The team visited several area elementary, middle, and high schools, and talked to more than 1,200 students about EcoCAR and engineering. Outreach members set up a Facebook fan page and Twitter account to enable others to follow the team. The team also participated in campus events, including Trunk or Treat , the annual Pumpkin Drop, and Sustainability Day. In January, seven team members went to the winter workshop in Daytona Beach, Florida, where they collaborated with students from other participating universities.

By Cate Mihelic

The team will travel to Yuma, Arizona, in May to test their car against other teams at the GM Proving Grounds. “I’m very proud of this team. It’s exciting to watch them progress through each stage of this competition,” said Scott Wayne, the EcoCAR faculty advisor. Year Three will consist of tweaking and completing the vehicle’s design to meet consumer acceptability standards. WVU is one of 16 universities in the U.S. and Canada participating in the three-year competition, which is sponsored by General Motors, Argonne National Laboratories, and the U.S. Department of Energy.

WVU college of Engineering and mineral resources

Engineering Freshman Selected as Drum Major for 2010 Marching Band Katie Demyan

Katie Demyan, a freshman engineering student from Huttonsville, West Virginia, was selected as a Drum Major for the 2010 WVU Marching Band, known as “The Pride of West Virginia,” following tryouts and votes by band members and staff. “I first saw the Pride at an exhibition during a band competition my sophomore year of high school and knew that as I watched the two drum majors sprinting out in front of the band that I wanted to be doing that some day,” said Demyan.

By Cate Mihelic

senior year of college. She is only the fourth sophomore in the band’s history to hold the title. Katie said, “It’s humbling to know my peers trust me with this responsibility. I’m relatively young, and there are so many members in our organization who have years of experience on me, not to mention the countless alumni who expect us to uphold the high standards they set during their time at WVU. I’m determined to do the very best job I can.”

Demyan has been playing the trumpet for nine years, and has experience in leadership, having been Drum Major during her junior and senior years in high school.

Demyan plans to complete a dual major in mechanical and aerospace engineering. She knows that she will be very busy juggling her responsibilities as a Drum Major and an engineering student, but feels prepared for the challenge.

“When it came time to choose a college, I only applied to WVU because I couldn’t imagine being happy if I missed out on the opportunity to march with the Pride,” she said. “It was an added bonus that WVU also has a terrific engineering program.”

“My planner is my best friend. By planning out my days, I know exactly where my time is going and am able to get more done,” said Demyan. In the future, Demyan hopes to work for NASA.

Demyan said she only tried out for the Drum Major position with hopes of gaining experience so that she might have a chance at being Drum Major her junior or

Anand Sunny Narayanan may be the first person in his family to attend college in the United States, but he has no small ambitions. His goal is to some day work for NASA researching new devices and tools that will allow for easy monitoring of astronauts’ health vitals during expeditions. Narayanan, a junior major in mechanical engineering and biology, got a head start on his future through research for a chemotherapy drug detection biosensor using small strands of DNA. Last fall, he presented his research at the annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students in Phoenix. Narayanan has been working with Peter Gannett, professor and associate chair of basic pharmaceutical sciences at WVU, on his research. Together,

Anand Sunny Narayanan

they hope to create a sensor that would easily and accurately determine the concentrations of the common chemotherapy drug cisplatin in a patient, providing doctors with information to help in treatment. “The topic itself is incredibly interesting to me, not just from an intellectual standpoint, but also because it offers the potential to reduce pain for patients,” said Narayanan, a native of Germany who moved to Morgantown with his family in 1997. Narayanan is a participant in WVU’s McNair Scholars Program, which helps low-income, first-generation, or underrepresented college students earn doctoral degrees.

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Student Presents Research at National Conference

“When I have a goal in mind, not much can sidetrack me,” concluded Demyan.


Student News

College home to standout student-athletes One of the best-kept secret about our College may be the number of excellent student-athletes who have found a home here. Meet two of these special members of our College family, George Farquhar and Kristin Spoerke.

Spring 2010


George Farquhar



Civil Engineering Junior Brisbane Australia

Interesting Facts 2008 Australian Olympic Trials · Finalist in 50 breast and 200 breast · Semi-finalist in 100 breast 2008-09 Big East All-Academic Team 2009 Big East Tournament · Runner-up in 100 breast 2009-10 Big East Institutional Male Scholar-Athlete Award 2010 Big East Tournament · First Place in 100 breast

Why did you choose WVU? I wanted to continue swimming in college, but it is very difficult to combine with university studies in Australia. I chose WVU because of its solid swimming team and its ABET-accredited program in civil engineering. The fact that there was already another Australian on the swim team made the decision even easier. What are your plans post-graduation? I’m not really sure what I’m going to do at this stage. Right now my plan is to work in the U.S. for a couple of years to gain some experience before returning to Australia. What is your most memorable experience as part of the swim team? Winning the 100 yard breaststroke at the 2010 Big East Championships was the highlight of my swimming career at WVU so far. Singing “Country Roads” with the team after beating Pitt in our dual meet in January was also special. Why did engineering appeal to you? I had completed two years of a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in Australia before coming to the U.S., so one of the reasons I chose WVU was that I could continue with my degree after transferring. What is your favorite thing about WVU? Morgantown? Coming from Brisbane, Australia, which has a population of around two million, I wasn’t sure I would like living in a small town, but I do. The support from the West Virginia community for WVU Athletics is unreal!

WVU college of Engineering and mineral resources

Majoring in engineering while competing in big-college varsity sports requires discipline and commitment.

Kiersten Spoerke Gymnastics

Mechanical Engineering Senior Suwanee Georgia

Why did you choose WVU? While on my recruiting trip for gymnastics, I not only fell in love with the team and the coaches, but also the kindness of the people in West Virginia and the excitement that the people had toward WVU. I felt very welcomed. What are your plans post-graduation? I am currently looking for an engineering position and also considering graduate school.

Interesting Facts

Dean’s List Athletic Director’s Academic Honor Roll National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches/Women Scholastic All-American Eastern Atlantic Gymnastics League’s All-Academic Team · First team for balance beam and floor.

What is your most memorable experience as part of the gymnastics team? Our team win at the Eastern Atlantic Gymnastics League’s conference championship at the Coliseum stands out. Not only was it great to win the conference championship, it was incredible to have all of our fans there to support us. Why did engineering appeal to you? I became interested in engineering when my older brother was studying it at Georgia Tech. I found it to be a good match for my math and science interests, along with my desire to apply my education to the medical field. What is your favorite thing about WVU? Morgantown? My favorite thing about WVU is the opportunity to be a part of the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources and the gymnastics team. My favorite thing about Morgantown is the family atmosphere.

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President’s List


Student News Engineering Winners on WVU’s Rifle Team

By Nicole Riggleman

Four WVU engineering students are garnering national attention outside the classroom, but you will not find them on the basketball court or football field. WVU’s rifle team has returned to national prominence, currently ranked number one after winning their conference championship. Meet Niccolo Campriani, Mike Kulbacki, Tommy Santelli, and Justin Pentz, all of whom are students in our College.

Justin, why did you choose WVU? At WVU you can get a quality education, and it has an awesome rifle team that is close to home. What are your plans post graduation? I plan to get a job at an engineering firm, hopefully with a state department of transportation. What is your most memorable experience as part of the WVU rifle team? Winning the national championship last year in Dallas, Texas, was definitely the highlight. Why did engineering appeal to you? I love math and science. In addition, I have always been a technical kind of guy, always wondering how stuff works, how to fix things and make them work better.

Spring 2010


What is your favorite thing about WVU? Morgantown? I love the location and the fact that it is a friendly, small town. The helpful faculty and community atmosphere also add to Morgantown’s luster.


Justin Pentz Rifle Team

Civil Engineering Sophomore DuBois Pennsylvania

Interesting Facts

Athletic Director’s Academic Honor Roll Appointed by Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell to the PA Governor Youth Council in 2007 National Rifle Association All-America Honors 2009 Collegiate Rifle Coaches Association All-Academic Team

Tommy, why did you choose WVU? I live within 40 minutes of WVU, so the proximity made it top choice. Also, I have always been a big WVU fan. What are your plans post graduation? I plan to start a career in the engineering field and to try out for the Olympics. What is your most memorable experience as part of the WVU rifle team? Winning the NCAA championships last year in Fort Worth, Texas. I call it the “miracle on the range” because of the circumstances under which we won. Why did engineering appeal to you? The most appealing factor was that the WVU’s College of Engineering and Mineral Resources is a top-rated school. What is your favorite thing about WVU? Morgantown? The whole atmosphere! Morgantown has a smaller-town feeling compared to other colleges such as Pitt.

Tommy Santelli Rifle Team

Mechanical Engineering Junior Prosperity Pennsylvania

Interesting Facts

Three time All-American

WVU college of Engineering and mineral resources

Nicco, why did you choose WVU? I met Coach Hammond during a World Cup in Beijing. In addition to being a shooter I was studying industrial engineering at the University of Florence. The coach offered me the opportunity to continue my studies in West Virginia and train with the best college team in the U.S. It’s not easy to live 8,000 kilometers away from home, but it’s been an unforgettable experience.

Nicco Campriani Rifle Team

Industrial Engineering Junior Florence Italy

Interesting Facts

Six-year member of the Italian National Rifle Team Placed 12th at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games

What are your plans post graduation? I would like to stay here and continue to study in the U.S., but it depends on many things – how I do in the next Olympics (London 2012), whether I can find a good job. It is not easy to be far away from my home in Italy, so I am still undecided. What is your most memorable experience as part of the WVU rifle team? One of the most exciting moments as part of WVU rifle team came when we were introduced on the field in the football stadium during a game. We were invited as a celebration of the last NCAA National Title. The stadium was full and the atmosphere was amazing. Why did engineering appeal to you? I have always liked math and physics, especially their practical application. I discovered that WVU has not only the best rifle team but also a really good engineering college. This was the perfect combination for me. What is your favorite thing about WVU? Morgantown? Everything is so close to campus. I can finish my classes and in ten minutes be at the shooting range. I have not bought a car yet but I do not need one. Whether by riding the PRT or bus or walking, you can move around on campus very easily.

Mike, why did you choose WVU? The environment here is a lot like my hometown; it has a small-town feel but with attractions of a bigger city. The deciding factor was the rifle team, the best-kept secret at the University, with a strong reputation and history in shooting. I knew a lot of the team members from national matches in high school, and the coaches are the best in the U.S.

What is your most memorable experience as part of the WVU rifle team? My most memorable moment so far is being apart of the NCAA team last year when we won the championship. It was a great honor to be selected and know that Coach Hammond had confidence in me to succeed.

Mike Kulbacki Rifle Team

Civil Engineering Sophomore DuBois Pennsylvania

Interesting Facts

Athletic Director’s Academic Honor Roll NRA All-America Honors

Why did engineering appeal to you? I decided to major in engineering because I have been involved in the construction industry my entire life. My family owned a construction company and I originally wanted to go to school to be an architect but since there is no program here, engineering seemed like the best choice. What is your favorite thing about WVU? Morgantown? My favorite thing about WVU is the school spirit and the atmosphere. I knew it was something that I wanted to be a part of. Now that I am, I see what Mountaineer Pride is all about.

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What are your plans post graduation? After graduation I plan to move to Colorado Springs, Colorado, to pursue my Olympic dream. I am also considering getting my master’s degree. After graduation, I plan to settle down in the Northeast and get a well-paying civil engineering job.



creates WVU app for iPhone

J. Brett Harvey


Jared Crawford, creator of the “iWVU” application for iPhone

Spring 2010


Jared Crawford, a Parkersburg native and junior in our College, has made a name for himself on the WVU campus by creating a WVU application for the iPhone. The student-friendly app allows users to access a variety of services, including an interactive campus map and dining hall menus. Since it has been available, many hundreds of people have downloaded the application. A computer and electrical engineering major with a special interest in nanotechnology, Crawford is also getting involved in research at the undergraduate level. Nominated by his advisor, Jeremy Dawson, Crawford was recently awarded a $10,000 scholarship from the National Consortium for Measures and Signals Intelligence Research Scholars Program. Working with Dawson, whose research is funded by the National Science Foundation, Crawford researched the creation of nanophotonic structures called photonic crystals, which are the central components in a sensor system that can detect very low levels of chemical and biological substances. This research, based in nanoscience, is crucial to optimizing the next level of environmental security.

“The success of our mission requires the constant melding of the science of safety with a culture of safety.”

WVU college of Engineering and mineral resources

CONSOL Energy CEO Delivers Hiner Lecture

J. Brett Harvey, president and CEO of CONSOL Energy, the largest producer of high-Btu bituminous coal in the United States, spoke in October as part of the Glen H. Hiner Distinguished Lecture Series in the College. Harvey’s lecture was entitled, “Why Coal and Gas Will Remain in the World Energy Mix.” Harvey emphasized CONSOL’s commitment to safety, stressing its commitment to an accident rate of zero. Harvey said some question whether such a goal is achievable, but he firmly believes that it is. “The success of our mission requires the constant melding of the science of safety with a culture of safety,” he said. “The science of safety is technology-driven and design driven. We use technology to help us monitor conditions, to provide early identification of problem areas, to improve communications between sites underground or between the underground and the surface, and to enhance the safety of equipment.” Harvey focused most of his remarks on the topic of energy, asserting that coal and gas will necessarily remain a vital part of the world energy mix for many years to come, and discussing how that is compatible with environmental concerns.

“Coal will remain part of the energy mix in a carbon-constrained world through technology. Coal combustion must be conducted in a way that the carbon dioxide it produces is captured and then reused or permanently stored out of the atmosphere. Work on such technologies is already under way. As we speak, CONSOL is testing

A Utah native, Harvey earned a bachelor’s degree in mining engineering from the University of Utah and began his career in 1979 as a longwall supervisor with Kaiser Steel at the company’s Sunnyside Mine. Since then, he has held positions of increasing responsibility with a number of energy companies, becoming president and CEO of CONSOL in 1998. He is also chairman of the board and CEO of CNX Gas, a subsidiary of CONSOL, and a member of the CONSOL Board of Directors. He is chairman of the Board of Directors of the Bituminous Coal Operators Association and a member of the Board of the American Coalition for Clean Coal Energy. He has received numerous awards, including the John E. Wilson Distinguished Alumnus Award from his alma mater, and the Percy Nicholls Award for notable achievements in the field of solid fuels from the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration and the American Society for Mechanical Engineers. In 2008, he received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the University of Utah and an honorary doctorate from Duquesne University. In 2009, he was inducted into the West Virginia Coal Hall of Fame. The Glen H. Hiner Distinguished Lecture Series is named in honor of the outstanding alumnus who, in 2005, established an endowment to support the deanship of the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at WVU. Glen H. Hiner graduated from WVU’s Department of Electrical Engineering in 1957, then embarked on an outstanding 35-year career with General Electric. In 1992, he became chief executive officer of Owens Corning. He has served on several College of Engineering and Mineral Resources advisory committees, as a visiting professor in the WVU College of Business and Economics, and as a member of the WVU Foundation Board of Directors.

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He said, “New energy sources are important and we can integrate them into the system over time, but we simply can’t make a wholesale substitution of things like wind or solar energy for fossil fuels in a period of a few decades. The transition will be too abrupt, the costs in stranded assets and new infrastructure too staggering, and the likely shortfalls in energy too great.

a CO2 capture technology that has captured, thus far, more than 95% of the CO2 produced from coal burned in a pressurized fluidized bed combustion vessel.”


Alumni News

Kitts Delivers Poundstone Lecture

By Cate Mihelic O. Eugene “Gene” Kitts, senior vice president of Mining Services at International Coal Group, spoke in November as part of the Department of Mining Engineering’s William N. Poundstone Lecture Series. The lecture was entitled “Coal Mining Under Assault: Surviving an Anti-Coal Federal Administration.” Kitts, a registered professional engineer in West Virginia and Kentucky, was a 1977 graduate of WVU’s civil engineering program. He has 32 years of management and engineering experience acquired with major coal-producing companies operating in West Virginia, Kentucky, Maryland, Illinois, and Virginia. He started his career with Pickands Mathers & Company. Within ten years, Kitts had been made Rawl Sales & Processing Company’s vice president of technical sales. Kitts has also held high-ranking positions in companies such as Elk Run Coal Company, Massey Coal Services, Summit Engineering, and Arch Coal. He has held his current position for over four years with ICG, the eighth-largest publicly traded U.S. coal producer. In the ICG structure, the Mining Services group includes management of new projects such as the Tygart #1 Mine in Taylor County along with responsibility for environmental compliance, safety, regulatory permitting, geology and exploration, information technology and operations support.

Spring 2010


The Department of Mining Engineering established the William N. Poundstone Lecture Series in 2000 to honor Poundstone, a distinguished alumnus of the department, and to bring mining industry experts to campus to share their expertise with students and faculty.

O. Eugene “Gene” Kitts


Correction In the previous issue, two photos of alumni who were inducted in our Department Alumni Academies were accidentally transposed. Our sincere apologies go out to Dennis Toothman, who joined the Academy of the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, and to Keith L. Funkhouser, who became a member of the Academy of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Keith L. Funkhouser

Dennis Toothman

WVU college of Engineering and mineral resources

Lane Department Grad

Helps in the Effort to Develop Better Cancer Treatments Many lung cancer patients survive their first bout with the disease, particularly if diagnosed early, says Lan Guo. But if the cancer returns for a second round – and up to 50 percent of patients will have a recurrence – the prognosis is usually poor. Cancer specialists don’t have any way to predict whose cancer will come back. So they determine how to treat the cancer based mostly on how advanced the tumors are. Those with an earlystage cancer have it removed surgically. Those with later-stage cancers have surgery plus chemotherapy. The sorting is based on experience as much as science, and the five-year survival rate for lung cancer, regardless of treatment, remains low.

Lan Guo, a graduate of our College and a researcher in the WVU School of Medicine, is out to change that. With a new $1-million grant provided by the federal Recovery Act, her research will move faster than planned. Guo earned both her master’s degree and Ph.D. in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. Her expertise is in data mining, which involves extracting useful information from thousands of records. She is part of the Center of Biomedical Research Excellence for Signal Transduction and Cancer in the Mary Babb Randolph Cancer Center, which is conducting studies on cancer at the cellular and molecular level. Her group has identified specific genes found in lung cancer tumors, and is seeking to apply genetic typing of tumors in cancer treatment.

Lan Guo

The team will comb through the samples of previous patients, hunting for patterns linking biomarkers with cancer recurrence from the profiles of the human genome. They hope to be able to identify a specific pattern of RNA, DNA, or protein molecules that is a sign that a tumor is particularly aggressive. “For patients with the poor-prognosis gene pattern, even if their cancer is at an early stage, their doctor may recommend additional chemotherapy. Patients who can be shown to have a lower risk of recurrence may be spared the side effects of powerful cancer drugs,” said Guo.

DiPaolos Named ‘Most Loyals’ During Mountaineer Week

The Most Loyal Alumni Mountaineer award exemplifies faithfulness to the ideals and goals of the University and support for WVU activities and operations through leadership and service. “Jed and Nancy DiPaolo are longtime leaders and faithful supporters, and they exemplify the spirit of this award,” said Dean Gene Cilento.

Jed and Nancy DiPaolo

Jed graduated from WVU in 1976 with a degree in agricultural engineering. He spent more than 25 years with Halliburton Co., serving in

numerous positions including group senior vice president of global business development. He is currently chairman of JNDI Corp. Jed has maintained a strong commitment to the continuing development of the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources by serving on the College’s visiting committee. He also chaired the College’s Building Greatness campaign, which raised nearly $23 million. Nancy earned her degree in business from WVU in 1976 and is currently the financial officer of JNDI Corp. She has maintained a strong connection to the University, serving as vice chair of the WVU Alumni Association’s Board of Directors and chair of the Texas chapter of the WVU Parents Club. In 2004, she received the WVU Alumni Association’s James R. McCartney Award in recognition of her unwavering commitment to WVU.

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Jed and Nancy DiPaolo got a great big thank you from WVU for many years of service when they were named Most Loyal Alumni Mountaineers couple during Mountaineer Week last fall. The couple was honored alongside other honorees during the WVU-Louisville game.


Support CEMR George Bennett

Bennett Donates $1 Million for Research Gift eligible for match by WV Research Trust Fund George Bennett, a WVU industrial engineering graduate who founded four successful businesses and reshaped the practice of management consulting, has contributed $1 million to his alma mater.

Spring 2010


The gift will be used to support research in energy, nanotechnology, biomedical sciences, and biometrics in the College, and is eligible for matching funds from the West Virginia Research Trust Fund.


“This gift reflects the gratitude I feel for the excellent foundation I received at West Virginia University.”

“This gift reflects the gratitude I feel for the excellent foundation I received at West Virginia University,” said Bennett, “and my confidence in the future of the University, the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, and the state of West Virginia.” WVU President James P. Clements said, “George Bennett has been a generous friend and advisor to his alma mater over the years, and his latest gift to support research in areas important to our state, nation and world — such as energy, nanotechnology, biomedical sciences, and more — will help advance WVU’s work and discoveries in these areas.” “We are honored and touched by this extremely generous gift from a longtime friend of our College,” said Gene Cilento, Glen H. Hiner Dean of the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. “Its impact on future generations of West Virginians will be substantial and will greatly impact research and education in the College forever.” Bennett earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from WVU in 1967 and master’s and doctoral degrees in industrial administration from Carnegie Mellon University in 1971. In 1982, he was inducted into the WVU Academy of Industrial Engineers. In January 2010, he was inducted into the WVU Academy of Distinguished Alumni. Read Bennett’s biography in the Academy of Distinguished Alumni story on page 15.

WVU college of Engineering and mineral resources

Bequest Creates Support for Research in Civil and Environmental Engineering A generous legacy gift made by a late alumnus of our Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will provide support for interdisciplinary research in the department, and will be matched by the West Virginia Research Trust Fund. The $300,000 gift came from the estate of James A. Romano, who earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from WVU in 1935. A Fairmont native and a veteran of World War II, Roman served in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. After the war he was awarded the Bronze Star for his service, and remained in the U.S. Army Reserve, retiring with the rank of colonel. In a wide-ranging civil engineering career, Mr. Romano was employed by the State of West Virginia, the federal government, and also worked in manufacturing, construction, education, and consulting. At the time of his retirement in 1979 he was president of Gannett Fleming Corddry and Carpenter.

Mr. Romano was active in civil affairs during his 59 years of residence in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, including involvement with the Rotary Club, the University Center, and the Tri-County Association for the Blind. He was a member of St. Theresa Catholic Church in New Cumberland, Pennsylvania. Mr. Romano’s gift will be used to establish the James A. and Ruby Romano Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Endowment. Proceeds of the endowment will be used to support energy, environmental, and other interdisciplinary research consistent with the requirements of the West Virginia Research Trust Fund.

Chemical Engineering Alumnus Leaves Gift to Department A generous estate gift from a late alumnus of the Department of Chemical Engineering will provide support for graduate research fellowships, and will be matched by the West Virginia Research Trust Fund.

Dr. Pyle was a charter member of the WVU Academy of Chemical Engineers. Born in 1927 and raised near Middlebourne, West Virginia, he graduated from Tyler High School. At WVU he earned B.S. (1950), M.S. (1951), and Ph.D. (1953) degrees in chemical engineering. In 1980, he also received an honorary doctorate from WVU.

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Robert E. Pyle, a WVU graduate in chemical engineering who died in 2009, left the department $50,000. The gift will be used to establish the Robert E. Pyle Chemical Engineering Graduate Fellowship Fund, an endowed fund. The proceeds of the endowment will be used to support graduate students pursuing advanced chemical engineering research.

27 He joined Union Carbide Corporation in 1952 at the corporation’s chemical facilities in South Charleston, West Virginia. He moved to corporate headquarters in New York in 1960, where he served in various line and staff capacities over the years — both at divisional and corporate levels. After 34 years of service with Union Carbide, Dr. Pyle retired in 1986. Robert E. Pyle

He was a member of AIChE, the Society of Sigma Xi, and a former member of the Board of Directors of the WVU Foundation.

In Memoriam Thomas P. Meloy

Alfred F. Galli Alfred “Fred” Galli, a WVU alumnus and longtime faculty member in chemical engineering, passed away September 29, 2009, at the age of 88. Galli was born November 24, 1920, in Millville, West Virginia, and was a graduate of Harpers Ferry High School. He attended WVU and earned bachelor’s (1944) and master’s (1947) degrees in chemical engineering. After graduating, Galli took a position as a process engineer with Ashland Oil & Refining Company. In 1946, he joined the faculty of the WVU Department of Chemical Engineering in the College of Engineering, where he taught and mentored students for more than 40 years, retiring as a professor of chemical engineering in 1986.

Spring 2010


He taught three generations of chemical engineering students. By the time of his retirement, he had taught more than two-thirds of all the chemical engineers who have graduated from WVU. Many alumni visiting the department over the years mention Professor Galli as the single most prevailing influence on their lives, their philosophy and their education.


In 2004, with the support of chemical engineering alumni and industry friends, the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources honored Professor Galli by naming the Alfred F. Galli Laboratory in Chemical Engineering in his honor. In addition, the Alfred F. Galli Laboratory Fund was also established to accomplish ongoing laboratory improvements and to transform the undergraduate chemical engineering experience. Fred was also recognized by the University as an outstanding teacher and by membership in the Order of Vandalia. Galli was a charter member of the WVU Academy of Chemical Engineers. He was also a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, The Society for Glass Sciences and Practices, The Society of Sigma Xi, Tau Beta Pi, Omega Chi Epsilon, Phi Lambda Upsilon and Sigma Gamma Epsilon. He was married to the former Beatrice Canacari, and lived in Morgantown, West Virginia.

Thomas Philips Meloy, longtime faculty member in the College, passed away on Christmas Day 2009 at Monongalia General Hospital in Morgantown. Dr. Meloy was born in New York, New York, on Sept. 14, 1925, son of the late Thomas and Claire Libby Meloy. He attended Deerfield Academy, graduating in 1944. After a brief stint in the U.S. Army, he attended Harvard University. He graduated in 1950. Subsequently, he earned a Ph.D. in metallurgy from The Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His professional interests included particulate morphology. He served as a consultant to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration for mission planning for trips to both the Moon and Mars. He was a Benedum professor at West Virginia University, and taught there for many years. He was survived by his son, Thomas Stuart Meloy, as well as grandchildren Cassandra Lee Meloy and Thomas Augustus Meloy. He was preceded in death by his wife, Gisela Munzinger Meloy.

Charles Lloyd Miller, P.E.

Charles L. Miller, P.E., a Charter Member of the West Virginia Academy of Civil Engineers, passed away Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2009. He was born in Morgantown, West Virginia, on October 8, 1936, and educated in Preston County, graduating from Bruceton Mills High School in 1954. Upon graduation he applied and was accepted into the first WVU State Road Commission Cooperative Training Program for Civil Engineers. He graduated from WVU in 1961 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and then joined the State Road Commission as an engineer-in-training. Following active military duty he continued with the Department of Highways where he held a number of positions and served as commissioner of highways from 1977 through 1984. Leaving West Virginia he joined the Arizona Department of Transportation as state engineer before becoming the director of transportation in 1985, in which post he served until 1990. He left Arizona to become associate administrator of the Federal Highway Administration. In 1992 he returned to become West Virginia’s state highway engineer and then secretary of transportation. Moving to the Governor’s Office in 1995 he served as director of operations and subsequently as acting chief of staff until his retirement from state service in 1997.

Charles F. Stanley

Charles F. Stanley Jr., 64, of Morgantown, passed away Sunday, Nov. 29, 2009, at his home. He was born Dec. 1, 1944, in Smithers, West Virginia, a son of the late Charles F. and Aria Mae Holden Stanley. Dr. Stanley was a longtime professor of mechanical, aerospace, and bioengineering at WVU. He was a humble man who never drew attention to his numerous personal awards and achievements. He assisted with black lung research for NIOSH and was actively involved with his student engineering teams. He attended Kingdom Evangelical Methodist Church. Charles was survived by his wife of 28 years, Maureene Elizabeth Jacobs Stanley, their children, and many other relatives.

WVU college of Engineering and mineral resources

Alumni Notes Mike Strunak, BSIE ’79, is currently retired after several years at PNC Bank/Pittsburgh National Bank. He retired as a senior finance project coordinator and accounting officer. He recently took courses at West Virginia Northern Community College to become certified in blackjack and table games.

Sarah Lovell, BSCpE and BSBS ’07, has had her first academic paper accepted for publication. The paper, “The Use of Biometric Technology in Iraq,” was accepted by the London School of Economics Journal, Identity in the Information Science, and will be published in January 2011. After graduating from WVU, Sarah earned a master’s in technology policy from the University of Cambridge in England, then worked as a field service technician with Ideal Innovations in Iraq. She then completed a Christine Mirzayan Technology Policy Graduate Fellowship with the National Academy of Sciences. She is currently working as a field service engineer with the Sierra Nevada Corporation in Washington, D.C.

Anand Vedam, MSME ’09, was interviewed for an article in the Clarksburg Exponent-Telegram about his master’s thesis on a proposed hybrid heating system for WVU’s Personal Rapid Transit (PRT) system. Vedam designed and analyzed a system that would use both natural gas and a solid oxide fuel cell. John. E. Sneckenberger chaired Vedam’s thesis committee.

Your News Send your professional news, photos, and/or contributions to engineeringwv@mail.wvu.edu, or to Alumni Notes, College of Engineering and Mineral Resources, West Virginia University, PO 6070, Morgantown, WV 26506. You also may give online at www.cemr.wvu.edu/contribute. Name_______________________________________________________________________ Address_____________________________________________________________________ City State Zip_________________________________________________________________ Email_______________________________________________________________________

q Yes, I want to support the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. Enclosed is my contribution of: $______________ Thank you for your support.

Graduation Year_________Degree(s)_ ____________________________________________ My news: ________________________________________________________________________________________________


Volume 6 Issue 1

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WVU College of Engineering and Mineral Resources PO Box 6070, Morgantown, WV 26506-6070

Web Site Features Jobs for Alumni

Save the Date

Graduates of our College seeking employment, and employers in search of experienced engineers, computer scientists, industrial hygienists, or safety managers may find each other on the College’s Alumni Jobs Web Site, at: www.cemr.wvu.edu/~jobs/alumni

Lane Department Academy April 9 Poundstone Lecture - Jerry Spindler April 15 Mechanical and Aerospace Visiting Committee April 16 Civil Engineering Academy April 23 Chemical Engineering Academy April 29-30 Emeritus Luncheon April 30 Commencement May 15 Homecoming October 23

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EngineeringWV Spring 2010  

The College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at WVU publishes a bi-annual magazine. Check out the latest events and news in our College.

EngineeringWV Spring 2010  

The College of Engineering and Mineral Resources at WVU publishes a bi-annual magazine. Check out the latest events and news in our College.

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