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BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

VOLUME 14 ISSUE 1

SPRING 2018


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In the Spotlight

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ELLIS

In celebration of WVU’s 150th birthday, a limited edition coin was presented to 150 employees system-wide who represent the core Mountaineer values of service, curiosity, respect, accountability and appreciation. Awardees from the Statler College include (from left) Ryan Sigler, Pat Goldie, LianShin Lin, Sarah Lowery, Gina Buckhalter, Ken Means, Yu Gu, Cate Schlobohm, Victor Mucino, Kenny Claudio, John Zondlo, Linda Rogers and Cerasela Dinu. Not pictured are Kathleen Cullen and Cindy Tanner.

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In the Spotlight

“We fly directly into the eye of the storm and yes it’s as wild as you’d think ...” —Nick Underwood

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PHOTOGRAPHS SUBMITTED

Photos l-r: Flying into Irma, Nick Underwood, Irma data screen

Alumnus flies into eye of Hurricane Irma Alumnus Nick Underwood flew into the eye of Hurricane Irma, the most powerful Atlantic Ocean hurricane in recorded history, to collect critical data about the storm and where it was headed. Underwood, a native of Beaver, graduated from WVU in 2014 with a degree in aerospace engineering. He has spent the last year working with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration’s Aircraft Operations Center. He serves as an aerospace engineer and aircrew member aboard the organization’s WP-3D Orion aircraft, which is specially outfitted to carry out hurricane research and reconnaissance missions from within powerful storms. Underwood underwent two flights into the eye of Irma, a category five hurricane with maximum sustained winds of more than 185 miles per hour. “We fly directly into the eye of the storm and yes it’s as wild as you’d think,” said Underwood.

“By flying into the storm we’re able to collect critical data that helps to determine the storm’s path and intensity.” Underwood’s job on the plane was to deploy cylindrical scientific instruments, called dropwindsondes, into the storm, which then relays temperature, pressure, humidity and wind data back to the aircraft. The data then gets sent to the National Hurricane Center where they use it to update their landfall prediction models and to determine if evacuations are necessary, which in turn allows lives to be saved. “Our research and reconnaissance flights can’t stop the storm, but we can give people enough warning to get out of the way,” said Underwood. “Evacuation orders aren’t just issued for no reason; they save lives.”

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ENGINEERING W E S T

V I R G I N I A

SPRING 2018

VOLUME 14 NO. 1

DEAN Eugene V. Cilento gene.cilento@mail.wvu.edu / 304.293.4157 DIRECTOR Marketing and Communications Mary C. Dillon mary.dillon@mail.wvu.edu DESIGN COORDINATOR Marketing and Communications J. Paige Nesbit CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Brittany Furbee / Patrick Gregg PHOTOGRAPHY M.G. Ellis / Brittany Furbee / Erin Irwin J. Paige Nesbit / Eliza Newland / Brian Persinger Jennifer Shephard / J. Alex Wilson 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 Fax: 304.284.4001 / e-mail: info@wvuf.org mountaineerconnection.com

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 wellbeing 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 ©2018 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.

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

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COVER: SHEPHARD

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.


CONTENTS COVER STORY

DEPARTMENTS

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Potential Realized: A State of Minds Campaign

Dean’s Message

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Research and Development

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Engineering 360˚

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In Memoriam

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Dean’s Message

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After months of top-secret planning, a standingroom only crowd gathered into a ballroom in the Erickson Alumni Center for the announcement of the largest philanthropic gift in West Virginia University’s history. The $34 million gift, made by Benjamin and Jo Statler, was matched by $11 million from the state’s Resource Trust Fund for a total of $45 million. To say the gift was transformative is an understatement. As I walk through the halls of what is now known as the Benjamin M. Statler College six years later, I’m constantly amazed at the quality of work being done here. I’ve often said our students are among the brightest and hardest working and their accomplishments — National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowships, Goldwater Scholarships, Eisenhower Graduate Fellowships, numerous competition awards — prove that. The same is true of our faculty, who have won prestigious awards from NSF, the Department of Energy, the Carnegie Foundation, the Faculty Merit Foundation and the


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WVU Foundation, all while conducting groundbreaking research that is crucial to our state and our nation. Ben and Jo’s gift provided scholarships, fellowships and research support to countless numbers of students. It provided funding for endowed chairs, the first of which, John Hu, has secured millions in grants related to shale gas utilization. Funds were also used to support the building of the Advanced Engineering Research Building, a hub for interdisciplinary research being conducted in the College. We also hired 41 new tenure-track faculty, who will lay the groundwork for the College’s success well into the 21st century. The Statlers’ generosity was contagious, resulting in new undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships, faculty research endowments, funds for capital improvements, on-demand funds and funds for experiential learning opportunities for students from alumni, industry and friends of the College. All told, the Statler College raised more than $182 million as part of WVU’s historic $1 billion State of Minds campaign.

In the words of campaign co-chair and Statler College alumnus, Verl Purdy, we now have the resources to “realize our potential.”

This campaign has been transformative for the College because of you.

To every donor who made a gift — large or small — let me say a heartfelt thank you! I hope we are proving to be good stewards of your investment. But raising new gifts for the Statler College and WVU didn’t end on December 31, 2017, when the campaign officially ended. As we face threats to federal and state funding, private fundraising is more important than ever before. Please commit to continuing what Ben and Jo started. Future generations of Mountaineer engineers will benefit from your support.

Eugene V. Cilento Glen H. Hiner Dean and Professor

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Research and Development

GANGARAO

VIJAY

This is the second award the team has received for its work on this project. In 2016, they were awarded the USACE’s Innovation of the Year Award.

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WVU-led project team

wins top honors at national composites conference WRITTEN BY MARY C. DILLON

An innovative solution that extends the life of aging dams that was created, tested and implemented in conjunction with researchers at WVU, has received top honors at a national composites conference.

JONATHAN TROVILLION, U.S. ARMY CORPS OF ENGINEERS, ERDC

The Composites and Advanced Materials Expo awarded its Combined Strength Award to Composite Advantage LLC, which teamed with WVU and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to produce new glassfiber reinforced plastic wicket gates to replace standard wicket gates made of white oak. Wicket gates help maintain a navigational pool in the river by resting on the bottom of the river and being raised when the water gets too low. Traditional structures use a mix of large timber, a product much more difficult to obtain than it was 50 years ago, welded steel I-beams, angles and plates. These materials make the product extremely heavy to lift and susceptible to corrosion. In 2011, the USACE began partnering with Hota GangaRao, who directs WVU’s Constructed Facilities Center and the Center for the Integration of Composites into Infrastructure, to investigate low-maintenance, corrosion-resistant composite structural components for locks and dams that lower life cycle costs. “We were asked to evaluate the possibility of designing and developing a FRP composite wicket gate because of difficulties in procuring high-grade timber,” GangaRao said. “After conducting several numerical studies and developing design details in cooperation with USACE engineers, the WVU team contacted Composites Advantage LLC for potential manufacturing of a prototype wicket gate system. The WVU team met with production engineers from Composites Advantage and concluded that a resin infusion process best suited the trial run of a wicket gate with complex geometry.” After several initial production runs, the final resininfused product with intricate glass fabric architecture

was tested at WVU’s Major Units Lab for structural integrity. “The tested prototype far exceeded the design requirements, and it was field installed for further evaluations,” GangaRao said. The GFRP gates were installed in 2015 at the Peoria Lock and Dam on the Illinois River at Creve Coeur, Illinois. The installation was the first of its kind in the United States and is estimated to save nearly $19 million over a 50-year lifetime vs. traditional timber replacements. “As identified by the name of this award — the Combined Strength Award — the production of the FRP composite wicket gate was a joint effort,” GangaRao said. “The WVU-CICI team takes great pride in receiving this highest recognition from CMAX and thanks the organizers for bestowing such high recognition by encouraging cooperative research, development and implementation.” Other researchers from WVU working on the project include P.V. Vijay and Mark Skidmore. This is the second award the team has received for its work on this project. In 2016, they were awarded the USACE’s Innovation of the Year Award. Created by the American Composites Manufacturers Association and the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering, CAMX is North America’s largest and fastest-growing composites and advanced materials exposition and education event. It features more than 550 exhibitors and more than educational program sessions.

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Research and Development Bandura plays key role in telescope program that will map the

history of the universe WRITTEN BY BRITTANY FURBEE

Since the early 1900s, scientists have known that the universe is expanding. Recent studies have shown that the rate of expansion is accelerating. The reason for this is currently unknown, however Kevin Bandura, an assistant professor in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, has been working on the Canadian Hydrogen Intensity Mapping Experiment, or CHIME, for the past several years to find out why.

BANDURA

Researchers think that an unknown form of energy, called dark energy, is causing the accelerated expansion but this cannot be confirmed without first understanding the history of the universe. CHIME is a telescope project that was designed to map that history by studying dark energy and observing hydrogen gas in distant galaxies that were strongly affected by it. The CHIME telescope, located in the Dominion Radio Astrophysical Observatory in Kaleden, British Columbia, is comprised of four cylindrical reflectors, 256 dual-polarized antennas for data collection and an F-Engine and X-Engine for data processing. Bandura played a key role in developing the device’s F-Engine, which digitally processes signals from space into frequencies that can then be processed into digital maps of the universe. According to Bandura, the instrument generates the maps by measuring the radius of spherical shells of matter called Baryon Acoustic Oscillations

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that developed nearly 400,000 years after the Big Bang. “The characteristic size of BAO matter developed solely due to the expansion of the universe over the past 13 billion years,” Bandura explained. “Therefore it can provide a standard ruler that can be used to measure the universe’s expansion rate.” The BAO scale has been measured before using individual galaxy surveys to map the distribution of matter. CHIME, however, will map that distribution through radio emissions of neutral hydrogen at a resolution much lower than that of individual galaxies but high enough to still measure the BAO scale. This technique, known as hydrogen intensity mapping, will create a digital map of the universe larger than anything previously observed and will produce results at a much faster rate. “We are aiming to establish a core understanding of the makeup of our universe, a


CHIME will also record pulsars, which are small remnants of giant stars that have gone supernova. Once this occurs they leave behind rapidly spinning cores that emit radio energy that can be recorded and used to detect gravitational waves rippling through the galaxy. It will take several years before data can be analyzed related to dark energy. However fast radio bursts and pulsar data could be available within as little as one year. “There is so much we still do not understand about the universe,” said Bandura. “CHIME will be critical in helping us understand how it’s expanding and will help us discover things we didn’t even know we were looking for yet.” Bandura will continue to serve as a critical member of the project and participate in analysis of the collected data as it becomes available.

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concept that has remained completely foreign to us,” said Bandura. “The results collected by the CHIME telescope will help us understand the fundamentals of our Universe once and for all.” The telescope, which was set to begin collecting data on September 7, receives radio waves around the clock to create a continuous 3-D map of the universe. But that’s not all: it also picks up short explosions of energy, called fast radio burst, which last only a few milliseconds and have an unknown origin. Since fast radio bursts were first reported in 2007 by Duncan Lorimer, an astronomy professor at WVU, less than 25 have been recorded. The CHIME telescope is estimated to capture many instances per day. “Although the CHIME project began before fast radio bursts were even understood, it turned out to be a good tool for capturing and measuring them,” said Bandura. “We have the opportunity to be the first to understand what they are.”

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Research and Development

Research team to test effectiveness of

drones, robots in underground tunnels WRITTEN BY MARY C. DILLON

Can robots and drones peacefully coexist on search and rescue missions under less-than-optimal conditions? A research team from WVU plans to find out.

GROSS

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GU


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Representatives from WVU and the West Virginia National Guard tour the Memorial Tunnel Complex.

Mechanical and aerospace engineering faculty members Jason Gross and Yu Gu have been awarded nearly $300,000 in funding from the National GeospatialIntelligence Agency to study autonomous operations of UAVs and ground robots in underground tunnels/caves. According to Gross, these environments pose many challenges for the use of autonomous drones. “The lack of global positioning systems signals coupled with the harsh traversability of tunnels and caves makes it difficult for drones and ground robots to operate autonomously,” said Gross. “To overcome this, our approach will leverage a ground robot to work cooperatively with a drone. In this teaming scenario, the ground robot will be used to offload much of the

autonomy that is typically required for drone flight.” The ground robot will be responsible for generating a map of the unknown environment, tracking the navigation state of the drone and controlling its motion. “This will enable the drone payload to be smaller and simpler so that it can operate for longer periods of time,” Gross said. “It can leverage its increased mobility to scout areas of the tunnel for signs of life, which cannot be easily traversed by the ground robot.” The research team will conduct demonstrations in the West Virginia Memorial Tunnel Complex. Located just outside of Charleston in Stanford, the once-abandoned highway tunnel, operated by the West Virginia National Guard, provides a realistic environment

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where emergency response teams can practice first responder training. “I’m excited to be able to leverage this unique facility,” Gross said. “It will allow us to demonstrate our technology in an environment that is highly relevant for this research.” This is not the first award Gross has received from NGA. In 2015, as part of the organization’s New Investigator Program, he received a two-year, $200,000 award for work that can help improve the accuracy and robustness of GPS for drones. This new award leverages that research along with the work of Gu, who has been awarded multiple projects since leading WVU to winning NASA’s Sample Return Robot Challenge, part of the Centennial Challenges.

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WVU helping transform

stranded natural gas into marketable products WRITTEN BY MARY C. DILLON

WVU researchers have had a long and successful working relationship with their colleagues at the National Energy Technology Laboratory. Thanks to a four-year award from the Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment Manufacturing Institute, that relationship will continue. John Hu, Statler Chair in Engineering for Natural Gas Utilization at WVU, will lead a team that will investigate ways to convert stranded gas resources into valueadded liquid products that could reduce the United States’ demand for crude oil by up to 20 percent. “The technologies developed in this project will utilize shale gas as feedstock to produce aromatics, C2-C4 olefins and hydrogen, which are key chemical intermediates for polymers and specialty chemicals,” said Hu. “The technologies for shale gas conversion are more cost effective and environmentally benign than those used in commercial processes based on petroleum or other conventional gas-to-liquid technologies.” Late last year, WVU became a partner in RAPID, which focuses on using advanced manufacturing to develop breakthrough technologies to boost the productivity and efficiency of some of industrial processes by 20 percent in the next five years. The effort is overseen by the U.S. Department of Energy in conjunction with the American Institute for Chemical Engineering. A few weeks later, WVU was awarded a $1.25 million grant from the DOE’s Advanced Research

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Projects Agency-Energy to develop technologies for converting electrical energy from renewable resources into energy-dense carbon-neutral liquid fuels — that is, fuels that do not increase carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. NETL is a partner on that award as well. With this new award, the WVUled team will combine NETL’s capabilities and prior work with the University of Pittsburgh’s catalysis expertise and Shell’s industrial experience and success to advance the technology resulting in an integrated pilot test. Shell is providing a $1 million match for the scale-up activity. “The University of Pittsburgh will develop catalytic materials that will be integrated into the microwave reactor that is being designed and built by WVU and NETL,” Hu said. “Shell will bring process and reactor modeling capability, engineering scale-up and commercial demonstration expertise to the project.” Through the use of microwave plasma catalysis, which enables long-term energy storage and longdistance renewable energy delivery from remote, isolated and stranded locations, initial projections by Hu and his team show that the

HU

potential impact of the technology could improve energy efficiency by about 63 percent, reduce capital expenditures by 51 percent and increase energy productivity. Current indirect natural gas conversion to chemicals approaches using traditional product refining are capital intensive and less energy efficient compared to the potential use of microwave catalysis that can increase product yields. NETL’s Dushyant Shekhawat, who helped develop the microwave approach, said that researchers are optimistic that in addition to on-site conversion, the process could also be applied to traditional large-scale natural gas conversion plants and eliminate some unit operations currently required to accomplish the same results. He added that, “Microwave upgrading of fossil fuels has been an active research area at NETL.” Shekhawat, along with NETL colleague Dave Berry, will be responsible for process and microwave reactor scale-up. Joining Hu as co-principal investigators on the project are Debangsu Bhattacharyya and Hanjing Tian with the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering.


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Research and Development

WVU partners with SoCalGas on

steam methane reforming produces large amounts of carbon dioxide.” Hu’s group at WVU recently reported a promising new catalyst innovation for non-oxidative thermochemical conversion of methane to CO2-free hydrogen and solid carbon nanotubes. The catalysis promotes “base growth” carbon nanotube formation rather than the current “tip growth” technology. Base growth formation enables the catalyst to regenerate while also creating a highly pure and crystalline carbon product. The reaction conditions can be optimized to tune the diameter and length of the CNTs produced. WVU brings in catalyst and process background intellectual properties to the project. The goal of the partnership, which is being led by C4-MCP, LLC, a Santa Monica, Californiabased technology start-up, is to offset the hydrogen production expense with the sales of carbon fiber and CNTs, reducing the hydrogen’s net cost to under $2 per kilogram. This will help make hydrogen-fueled cars and trucks cost-competitive with conventional gasoline and diesel vehicles and will virtually eliminate CO2 emissions from the methane-to-hydrogen process. The carbon fiber can also be used in various medical devices, aerospace and building products.

natural gas-to-carbon fiber technology

Researchers from WVU will partner with colleagues from Southern California Gas Company and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory on technology that produces carbon dioxide-free hydrogen and value-added solid carbon from natural gas. The availability of unprecedented volumes of shale gas resources presents a significant opportunity to develop completely new processes for hydrogen generation. “Long-term trends show a preference for non-carbon forms of energy. Hydrogen appears to be the most promising and environmentally benign energy source, since it can be converted into electricity and other energy forms with less pollution and high efficiency,” said John Hu, Statler Chair in Engineering for Natural Gas Utilization. “However, the objectives of reduced carbon emissions and enhanced use of hydrogen for fuel are in direct conflict, as the most commercially viable method for hydrogen production from natural gas via

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with ASD have shown that abnormal activities in the amygdala are correlated with abnormalities in the way they attend to faces. This correlation might be due to problems with the neurons in the amygdala or with the neurons’ connections to the visual or prefrontal cortex.” Since ASD is associated with an increased risk of epilepsy, Wang and his research team plan to study patients who require surgery to treat the seizure disorder. Electrodes placed inside the brain will be used to record the activities of individual neurons, which will then be correlated with autistic traits. Forty patients are expected to be part of the study. “Electrical recordings will investigate the neuronal basis for two behavioral deficits in autism: a bottom-up and a top-down attentional deficit, both of which differ from findings in healthy volunteers,” said Wang. “On the one hand, the bottom-up deficit shows that when viewing natural scenes, people with ASD tend to focus on the image’s center regardless of what objects are in the periphery. They also pay less attention to faces and locations indicated by others’ gaze. The top-down deficit shows that contrary to the way healthy volunteers show an efficient search strategy to locate a target object or face, the search strategies by people with ASD are far less efficient, especially when searching for faces.” Wang believes the electrophysiological recordings are expected to provide a key missing ingredient from fMRI data. “Benefiting from our complex stimuli and sophisticated computational model, this research will provide the most comprehensive analysis of saliency representation in the amygdala with the highest spatial and temporal resolution to date,” Wang said. “The results generated from this research will shed light on the neuronal mechanisms underlying impaired social attention in autism and provide a key missing link between animal neurophysiology and human fMRI.” Wang has done extensive research on human neuroscience. Prior to coming to WVU in 2017, he did postdoctoral research at both Cal Tech and Princeton University. This is his first award at WVU. “Dr. Wang’s research will foster knowledge in this important and unexplored area,” said Cerasela Zoica Dinu, associate chair for biomedical engineering. “It also creates active networks between different entities at WVU, namely the Statler College, WVU Health Sciences Center and the WVU Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute.

Neuroimaging studies to be conducted WRITTEN BY MARY C. DILLON

According to the Centers for Disease Control, one in every 68 children born in the United States has a form of autism. Children with autism spectrum disorder typically pay less attention to faces and other social stimuli, preferring to fixate on objects. Shuo Wang, assistant professor of chemical and biomedical engineering, is hoping to find out what role a portion of the brain may play in this behavior. Wang will conduct electrophysiology studies on abnormal signaling in the amygdala, the brain’s alarm circuit for fear and a critical brain structure for social behavior. His work is being funded by a three-year, $200,000 grant from The Dana Foundation, the first ever received by WVU. “The amygdala is thought to play a major role in what people determine is salient — what they notice and pay attention to — as reflected in their eye movements, learning and behavior,” Wang said. “Studies using functional magnetic resonance imaging in people

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Research and Development

Professor, student win

best paper award at prestigious international data science forum Assistant Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Yanfang “Fanny” Ye and doctoral student Shifu Hou received the prestigious KDD 2017 Best Paper and Best Student Paper awards in the applied science track at the annual Conference YE on Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining, held in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The conference, which brings together researchers and practitioners from data science, data mining, knowledge discovery, large-scale data analytics and big data, only accepts 10 percent of the papers submitted for presentation. The paper, “HinDroid: An Intelligent Android Malware Detection System Based on Structured Heterogeneous Information

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Network,” touted the team’s novel feature presentation based on heterogenous information network — or HIN — which can push malware detection on Android devices to almost 100 percent. According to the paper, HinDroid had a 98.6 percent recognition rate in the lab. By comparison, in tests with identical malware samples, other techniques had recognition rates varying from 88.6 to 95.2 percent. The research is being funded in part by the National Science Foundation and New Jersey-based security vendor Comodo Group, which is testing the technique for possible use in its cloud-based enterprise mobile security service.


Students conduct research in

microgravity conditions A team of students conducted soldering experiments aboard the Zero Gravity Corporation’s microgravity research aircraft, G-Force One. The team built upon work done by past WVU Microgravity Research Teams in an effort to remove bubbles or voids that form in solder joints when soldering is performed under microgravity conditions. In preparation for the project, the students spent the past three semesters developing their magnetic solder and designed and constructed their experimental apparatus. Preliminary testing and experiments were conducted in laboratory space at WVU. Five students — Tim Bear (mechanical and aerospace engineering, Honors College, Carlisle, Pennsylvania), Matt Eberspeaker (mechanical engineering, Salisbury, Maryland), Anthony Fucello (electrical and computer engineering, Morgantown), Ray Nevling (mechanical and aerospace engineering, Cocoa Beach, Florida) and Robert Wilson (mechanical and aerospace engineering, Wheeling) — conducted the research aboard G-Force One. Work is currently under way to analyze all of the data that was obtained during the flight. Additional team members include Frank “Mitch” Notarnicola (mechanical and aerospace engineering, Honors College, Chesapeake, Virginia), Maggie Krasny (mechanical and aerospace engineering, Honors College, Nokesville, Virginia) and William D. Moon IV (mechanical and aerospace engineering, Cumberland, Maryland). Aaron Dunkle, a graduate student in aerospace engineering from Huntington, served as graduate student mentor to the team.

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Microgravity Team members (from left) include Tim Bear, Anthony Fucello, Robert Wilson, Ray Nevling and Matt Eberspeaker.


Cover Story

POTENTIAL

REALIZED A STATE OF MINDS CAMPAIGN

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When A State of Minds: the Campaign for West Virginia’s University officially kicked off in 2012, it was hailed as transformational, giving donors a chance to invest in the values, ambition, intellect and mindset that define one of the most exciting universities in the country.

“With great leadership, great faculty and staff, and great students, we are poised for a new era of impact — if only we have the resources to realize our potential,” said Verl Purdy, campaign co-chair and chemical engineering alumnus. Because of your support, that potential is being realized every day in the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. The College has experienced incredible growth in the form of new scholarships and fellowships, new facilities, new majors and new faculty. A grateful college thanks you.

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Cover Story

2012

WVU Foundation officially launches A State of Minds campaign. Initial goal: $750 million.

A NEW NAME

Ben and Jo Statler make $45 million gift to WVU; College renamed the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. Components of the gift include funds for the new Advanced Engineering Research Building, establishment of a Statler Research Scholars program and creation of three Statler endowed faculty research chairs.

INAUGURAL STATLER SCHOLARS

WHERE ARE THEY NOW?

Seven students — six undergraduate and one graduate — are named the first Benjamin M. Statler Scholars in Engineering and Mineral Resources. Selected were freshmen Jessica Griffith, Andrew Maloney and Ryan Gellner; seniors Zachary Cesa, Anna McClung and Ye Tao; and graduate student Matthew Thompson.

Jessica Griffith pharmaceutical sciences graduate student University of Minnesota Andrew Maloney chemical engineering graduate student MIT

BREAKING GROUND

Ryan Gellner biomedical engineering graduate student Virginia Tech

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WVU breaks ground on new Advanced Engineering Research Building.

WVU program noted in 2012 National Academy of Engineering’s Real World Engineering Education publication.

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Anna McClung production engineer Dow AgroSciences, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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Zachary Cesa geothermal drilling engineer Ormat Technologies, Inc., Reno, Nevada

BABE FAMILY PLEDGES

Alumnus Gregory Babe and his wife, Carla, pledge $250,000 to the Statler College and the College of Business and Economics. The gift will provide program support for students and faculty.

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Ye Tao structural engineer/ project engineer Durastress Inc. Orlando, Florida Matthew Thompson senior engineer, technical services, Toray Composite Materials America, Decatur, Alabama


IN-KIND SIEMENS SOFTWARE

WVU receives largest in-kind grant in school history from Siemens. With a retail value of $425 million, the Siemens PLM Software donation allows 700 Statler College students to work with the same product lifecycle management software used by leading companies worldwide.

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FUELING SUCCESS THROUGH SOFTWARE A team from WVU has been steadily working its way up the ranks in the EcoCAR 3 competition, an advanced vehicle technology competition that gives teams from 16 universities across the nation four years to redesign a Chevrolet Camaro to reduce its environmental impact. WVU’s EcoCAR 3 team recently moved up to fourth place during the third year of the competition, an accomplishment that would not have been possible without the use of Siemens software. WVU’s EcoCAR 3 team utilizes Siemens NX software to prepare for the competition. The integrated CAD software allows students to design, test and manufacture products for their Camaro. Each modification is simulated and extensively tested within the software before being applied to the vehicle. As a requirement of the competition, students also use a 3-D model within the software to document all changes made to the vehicle throughout the four-year competition. While there are many CAD programs on the market, Siemen’s NX software is the world’s leading product lifecycle management platform. Engineers who are proficient in the NX software are in high demand among leaders in the automotive and aerospace industries. Experience with this software has contributed to WVU EcoCAR 3 team members landing jobs at many powerhouse companies such as General Motors, Siemens, Rockwell Collins, Volvo and Fiat Chrysler.

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Cover Story

PERSINGER

2013 MULTIPLE ENDOWMENTS

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FORGING THE FUTURE OF CLEAN ENERGY After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from WVU in 2013, West Milford native Joeseph Bright had high hopes of continuing his education. Receiving a Statler College PhD Fellowship granted him the ability to pursue a doctorate in materials science and engineering with added financial peace of mind.

His hard work and dedication to finding a solution to one of the world’s most significant problems was recognized in 2014 when he was awarded a prestigious fellowship from the National Science Foundation. Bright has also presented his innovative research at three international conferences and coauthored four scientific publications. Bright is expected to graduate with his PhD in the spring of 2019.

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FIRST STATLER PHD FELLOW

Joeseph Bright, a doctoral student in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, is named the recipient of a Statler College PhD Fellowship.

NESBIT

Under the direction of Professor Nick Wu, Bright sought to discover a long-term solution to removing fossil fuel as the primary source of the world’s energy supply. His research focuses on developing various combinations of semiconductors and plasmatic metal materials in order to force a reaction called photoelectrochemical water-splitting. This reaction causes water molecules to split into hydrogen and oxygen gases that can then be harvested and used as a clean chemical fuel.

Alumni Tom and Sharon DeWitt create three endowments in honor of their parents. The Harry E. DeWitt Scholarship is given first to students majoring in mechanical and aerospace engineering. The Mary Josephine DeWitt Endowment will be used to support student design teams and projects in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. The John Contenti, Jr. Endowment, named in honor of Sharon’s father, supports mine safety and rescue training in the Department of Mining and Industrial Extension.

Bart and Tamara Aitken pledge $100,000 to the Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering. The gift creates the Robert L. and Pauline Aitken Scholarship, named in support of Bart’s parents, and the Bart A. and Tamara Aitken Endowment, which can be used at the discretion of the chair.


WVU receives in-kind software grant valued at $17.8 million from Schlumberger. ANSYS GIVES A BUNDLE

Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering receives a software bundle donation from ANSYS Inc., a global innovator of simulation software and technologies designed to optimize product development processes.

ADVANCED ENGINEERING RESEARCH BUILDING

SAVING LIVES THROUGH SAFER STRUCTURES

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Alumnus J. Wayne Richards and his wife, Kathy, pledge $250,000 to the Statler College Building Fund to help fund construction of the new Advanced Engineering Research Building.

One of the first recipients of the Wadsworth Graduate Fellowship was Praveen Majjigapu. A native of India, Majjigapu has flourished during his time at WVU, winning the WVU Outstanding Merit Doctoral Fellowship and the Kenneth D. Gray Leadership Award, WVU’s highest honor for student leaders. He also received the President’s Volunteer Service Award and the Eye Foundation of America’s Outstanding Leadership Award. He was named inaugural national chair of the Structural Engineering Institute Graduate Student Chapter Leadership Council and was nominated for the 2017 James Dyson Award, which is given annually to outstanding design engineers.

DOUBLE THE SCHOLARSHIPS

PHOTOGRAPH SUBMITTED

Civil engineering alum Robert Orders and his wife, Ann, an alumnus of the College of Education and Human Services, donate $330,000 to create the Bob and Ann Orders Civil Engineering Scholarship and the Ann and Bob Orders STEM Teaching Scholarship in their respective colleges.

Maurice Wadsworth ’51, and his wife, JoAnn ’51, make a gift valued at $209,243, to create the Wadsworth Graduate Fellowship, which benefits doctoral students in civil engineering.

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BENEFITS CIVIL DOCTORATES

Working alongside Hota GangaRao, the Wadsworth Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Majjigapu helped create a patented system — dubbed the NextGen Structural Rehab System — that will increase the strength and endurance of structures in earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes and other large blasts, helping communities prevent catastrophe. The system is also beneficial for repairing historic or aging structures. In honor of his work, Majjigapu was named a finalist in the Collegiate Inventors Competition, an annual competition that rewards innovations, discoveries and research by college and university students and their faculty advisors. He presented his invention to a panel of final-round judges composed of National Inventors Hall of Fame inductees and U.S. Patent and Trademark Office experts in Washington, D.C. Majjigapu finished third.

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PROGRAMS LAUNCH

NESBIT

Statler College launches undergraduate program in biomedical engineering and graduate program in energy systems engineering.

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INVESTING IN PROGRAMS THAT MATTER In less than two years, the Statler College launched three new degree programs. Offered at the undergraduate level, biomedical engineering is among the fastest growing engineering disciplines due to the rapid advancement of medical technologies and treatment and diagnosis strategies. The WVU program is unique because of its multidisciplinary focus in biomaterials, nanotechnology, biomedical imaging and biomechanics. Students have the opportunity to work side-by-side with faculty who are conducting groundbreaking research in tissue engineering, cancer diagnosis, nanobiotechnology, drug and material toxicology and biomaterials. Plans are in place to grow the program to the graduate level. Graduate programs were created in material science (MS and PhD) and energy systems engineering (MS). Material science focuses on the study of metals, ceramics, glass, polymers, semiconductors, composites, nanomaterials and biomaterials to be implemented in a variety of applications including energy, civil, industrial and environmental. The area of study is diverse and multidisciplinary, since it incorporates aspects of chemistry, physics, electronics, mechanics, biology and medicine. The program is flexible, allowing students to acquire the knowledge and skills required to participate in cutting-edge technological areas. Graduates of the program are prepared to perform at the highest levels within industry or within any research environment.

Aerospace engineering alumnus James Haevner pledges $100,000 to WVU to establish a scholarship for undergraduate students from Braxton County.

MINING EMERITI CONTRIBUTE

Syd Peng, the Charles E. Lawall Chair Emeritus, and his wife, Felicia, an associate professor emeritus of mining engineering, donate an additional $150,000 to the Department of Mining Engineering to establish the Syd and Felicia Peng Professorship in Mining Engineering. Their total contribution to the Department is now $500,000.

Alumnus John Forman donates $1 million to WVU to establish scholarships for in-state, undergraduate students enrolled in science, technology, engineering or math programs. JIM BUTCH’S LOYALTY

PERSINGER

Tailored to professionals currently working in the energy and extraction fields, the energy systems engineering degree is designed to strengthen and expand skills related to production, conversion, transmission and utilization of energy. The program includes 12 credit hours in extraction, conservation, distribution/storage and utilization, with an additional 18 credit hours of technical electives that allow for specialization. Graduates fulfill a need for specially trained professionals to satisfy the growing needs of governmental agencies and industrial companies for technical personnel with advanced training in specialized areas of energy systems and energy supply-chain management.

SCHOLARSHIPS FOR UNDERGRADS FROM BRAXTON COUNTY

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Jim Butch, a loyal supporter of the Statler College, makes three gifts totaling $100,000. The gifts — to the Solar Decathlon team, and the departments of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering and the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering — help support departmental activities and lab upgrades.

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

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2014

REBECCA MENEAR KONA donates proceeds

PHOTOGRAPH SUBMITTED

of the sale of a home in Hampshire County, valued at $359,000, to create the Charles and Rebecca Menear Kona Civil Engineering Scholarship. Her late husband, Charles, earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Department in 1971 and 1974, respectively.

DOMINION GIVES STUDENTS AN EDGE

NESBIT

Dominion Resources and the Dominion Foundation award the Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering with $50,000 in funds and another $150,000 in donated equipment, along with technical support to oversee installation of the equipment to its Natural Gas Measurement Laboratory.

RICHARDS FACULTY FELLOWS

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PHOTOGRAPH SUBMITTED

Alumnus J. Wayne Richards and his wife, Kathy, pledge $1 million, creating the J. Wayne and Kathy Richards Faculty Fellows in Engineering. The fund, the first of its kind at WVU, provides flexible funds to allow the College to hire, retain, reward and recognize faculty members who have not yet achieved tenure.

RANKINGS


WATTS MUSEUM MISSION

Associate Dean of Administration Royce Watts and his wife, Caroline, donate additional funds in support of the Royce J. and Caroline B. Watts Museum. The museum is dedicated to the history of the state’s mining and petroleum industries at WVU. The pair have now donated $1 million in support of that mission.

PRESERVING HISTORY THROUGH GENEROUS GIFTS In the 1970s Royce and Caroline Watts had big dreams that WVU would one day have a space dedicated to preserving artifacts and archival materials from the state’s mining and petroleum industries. Their mission began with Royce collecting artifacts in his downtown office and slowly transformed into a fully functional museum that is now named in their honor. Today the Royce J. and Caroline B. Watts Museum is housed in the Mineral Resources Building on Evansdale and features interactive and informative exhibits that are open to students as well as the public. The current exhibit, “Man Power, Mine Power: The Evolution and Impact of Coal Mining Machines,” explores how the introduction of machines drastically altered the workplace structure, labor relations and livelihood of those that relied on the coal industry. The exhibit changes once every two years. Royce and Caroline worked with Museum Curator Danielle Petrak to develop a Traveling Exhibits Program. The program provides museums, libraries, historical societies and cultural institutions across the state with the opportunity to display and share the Museum’s collections, research and exhibitions. Four different traveling exhibits on topics pertaining to the social, cultural and technological history of West Virginia industries are currently available.

ELIZA NEWLAND

The Watts family has dedicated considerable time and financial resources to the expansion of the Museum and its programming. Despite Royce’s recent retirement from WVU, after more than 58 years of service, the couple still has big plans for its future. It is their longterm goal to one day build a standalone building on WVU’s Evansdale area of campus that will serve as the permanent home of the Museum.

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2015

WVU opens new Advanced Engineering Research Building.

NEW INSTITUTE

Brian Anderson is appointed director of the newly formed WVU Energy Institute.

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IRWIN

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College launches graduate program in materials science NEW DIRECTOR, and engineering.

DRILLING FLUIDS LAB NAMED

A gift from petroleum engineering alumnus Mark Leidecker and his wife, Jessie, names the Leidecker Brothers Drilling Fluids Laboratory at WVU.


CHARLES VEST LEGACY

WVU becomes a member of the Vest Scholarship Program. Named for the late Charles Vest, a 1963 graduate of mechanical engineering and the president of the National Academy of Engineering, the prestigious program unites graduate-level engineers from across the United Kingdom and beyond with leading engineering institutions in the United States to solve the world’s most pressing challenges. PERSINGER

INVITE-ONLY TO BEIJING

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A trio of students — Andy Maloney, Emily Phipps and Katie O’Connell — attend the second Global Grand Challenges Summit in Beijing, China. Sponsored by the Chinese Academy of Engineering, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and the Royal Academy of Engineering, the invitation-only event includes a diverse mix of thought leaders and students who discussed a series of opportunities believed to be achievable and sustainable to help people and the planet survive.

PHOTOGRAPH SUBMITTED

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2016

HONORING THE DEAN Glen Hiner, who earned a degree in electrical engineering at WVU, and his wife, Ann, donates $225,000 to name the Statler College’s Freshman Engineering Learning Center in honor of long-time Dean Eugene V. Cilento.

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Fariborz Nasr Azadani, Saraswati Poudel Acharya and Praveen Kumar Reddy Majjigapu receive Wadsworth Graduate Fellowships. 34

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CHIN-YUNG WEN CHEMICAL ENGINEERING OPPORTUNITY FUND

Hung I Investments Co. Ltd. creates the Professor Chin-Yung Wen Chemical Engineering Opportunity Fund. The company named the gift in honor of the former department chair.


PHOTOGRAPH SUBMITTED

FIRST STATLER CHAIR John Hu, an experienced scientist and engineer with a proven track record of inventing, developing and commercializing innovative chemical processes associated with the oil and gas industries, is named the first Statler Endowed Faculty Chair in Engineering for Natural Gas Utilization.

MAKING THE MOST OF NATURAL GAS To say John Hu hit the ground running would be an understatement. Since being named the inaugural Statler Chair in Engineering for Natural Gas Utilization, Hu has been hard at work establishing the Center for Innovation in Gas Research and Utilization, a multidisciplinary group of researchers who are experts in science, engineering, environmental, policy, law and finance. Only one year after becoming the first Statler Chair, his work is already paying dividends. Hu led WVU’s effort to join the newest branch of the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Network of Manufacturing Institutes. The Rapid Advancement in Process Intensification Deployment institute — or RAPID — focuses on using advanced manufacturing to develop breakthrough technologies to boost the productivity and efficiency of some industrial processes by 20 percent in the next five years. The team is addressing ways to turn natural gas into more valuable chemicals and plastics using advanced manufacturing technologies and how to develop ways in which these processes can be conducted at the wellhead.

THRASHER GROUP DONATES

The Thrasher Group, a leading engineering firm, headquartered in Clarksburg, donates $500,000 to be split equally between the Statler College and the WVU Alumni Association. The funds will be used to support construction of the College’s Advanced Engineering Research Building.

SOFTWARE ENGINEERING RANK

Hu was also awarded $1.25 million from DOE’s Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy, known as ARPA-E, to develop technologies for converting electrical energy from renewable resources into energy-dense carbon-neutral liquid fuels — that is, fuels that do not increase carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

WVU’s online graduate program in software engineering is ranked 30th by U.S. News & World Report.

In 2017, Hu received a four-year award from RAPID to investigate ways to convert stranded gas resources into valueadded liquid products that could reduce the United States’ demand for crude oil by up to 20 percent. He also received a Research Challenge Grant from the West Virginia Higher Education Policy Commission to promote local, downstream utilization of natural gas in West Virginia’s residential, commercial and industrial sectors.

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2017 A SUCCESSFUL DAY

WVU officially closes the “State of Minds” campaign. Total raised: $1,218,886,505.

ONLINE SOFTWARE ENGINEERING JUMPS IN THE RATINGS WVU’s online graduate program in software engineering vaults from 30th to 10th in U.S. News & World Report in its Best Online Program Rankings.

HALLIBURTON SOFTWARE GRANT

Halliburton Energy Services, through its Landmark subsidiary, makes a software grant with a retail value of nearly $42 million to West Virginia University. The suite of programs are used around the world in upstream activities. The grant provides access to the latest industry software in geosciences, engineering and analytics. WVU’s Department of Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering will receive access to 120 seats for a three-year period.

Industrial and management systems engineering launches online degree program option in safety management.

MOUNTAINEER GRAND CHALLENGE SCHOLARS PROGRAM

NESBIT

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WVU is designated part of the National Academy of Engineering’s Grand Challenge Scholars Program, a combined curricular and extracurricular program with five components designed to prepare students to address the grand challenges facing society in this century. Students enrolled in the Mountaineer Grand Challenge Scholars Program will be provided with unique educational opportunities and experiences that will be professionally rewarding.

NESBIT

On its first Day of Giving, WVU raised $2.9 million. The Statler College led the way in participation and total dollars raised, thanks to a $250,000 gift from Robert and Ann Orders and $160,000 from Maurice and JoAnn Wadsworth.

1.2 BILLION REASONS TO CELEBRATE


NESBIT

A GLOBAL PARTNERSHIP Chemical engineering alumnus Verl Purdy and his wife, Sandra, make a $5 million gift commitment to WVU, $4 million of which is earmarked to fund endowed scholarships, faculty fellowships and an endowed faculty chair in the Statler College. The first holder of the endowed chair position is Brian Anderson, director of the WVU Energy Institute.

NESBIT

PURDY COMMITMENT

West Virginia’s presence on the world energy stage jumped significantly in November as China Energy Investment Corp. Ltd., one of the world’s largest energy companies and a long-time research and development partner of WVU, announced an agreement that will bring $83.7 billion to the state. WVU will work closely with the West Virginia Department of Commerce and other state officials to help coordinate the investment, with funding focused on developing an Appalachia Storage and Trading Hub, itself a key piece of reinvigorating the state’s and region’s petrochemical industry. The WVU effort will be led by Brian Anderson.

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STUDENT COMPETITIONS WVU and University of Rome Tor Vergata’s entry in the 2015 Solar Decathlon places 12th out of 20 teams at the Department of Energy’s 2015 Solar Decathlon competition. It brings home first prize in two categories — fan favorite and commuting.

WVU’s entry in the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon places first in the subcategories of energy efficiency and matching of aesthetics to environment. The WVU house was the first log-style home accepted into the Decathlon.

WVU wins 2012 Department of Defense Cyber Crime Center Digital Forensics Challenge. WVU selected to compete in 2013 Solar Decathlon.

Solar Decathlon

WVU dominates NASA’s Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts-Academic Linkages or Robo-Ops Competition, scoring a recordhigh 99 points to win the competition. Second place went to MIT with 56 points, with Virginia Tech finishing third with three points.

WVU wins NASA’s Robotic Mining Competition at the Kennedy Space Center.

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2012 2013 2018

Team from WVU finishes second in NASA’s Revolutionary Aerospace Systems ConceptsAcademic Linkages or Robo-Ops Competition. This is the fourth-straight year WVU has competed in the event.

NASA wins

WVU becomes the only team to successfully complete level one the Sample Return Robot Challenge, part of NASA’s Centennial Challenges, earning them the right to return in 2015 for a chance at the $1.5 million level two prize.

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Four students enrolled in a senior design capstone course took their class project to the Sixth Annual Mercury Remote Robot Challenge, held at Oklahoma State University. The Mountaineers, who faced an international field of competitors from the U.S., Mexico, Columbia and Brazil, finished third behind University of Houston and the Federal Institute of Education, Science and Technology of Paraíba in Brazil.

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

EcoCar WVU selected to compete in EcoCAR3. The 16 teams will be working to convert a Chevrolet Camaro to hybrid electric technology during the four-year competition. WVU wins the 24 Hours of Innovation, besting more than 1,500 students on five continents. The competition, which was hosted by École de Technologie Superieure in Montreal, Canada, gives teams 24 hours to find creative solutions to challenges put forward by businesses.

WVU wins inaugural Pacific International Space Center for Exploration Systems Robotic International Space Mining competition, making it the fifth-straight robotic event won by a team from WVU since May.

Spring

Robo-Ops Members of WVU’s EcoCAR 3 team receive top honors in two categories, facilities inspection and Andrew Nix, assistant professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, was recognized with the Faculty Advisor of the Year award. WVU captures first place in the Race to the Case Supply Chain Management competition at the University of Pittsburgh. Teams were comprised of two supply chain and two engineering students.

Team from WVU makes history by being the first to successfully retrieve the coveted “red rock” sample, earning them $100,000 in the Sample Return Robot Challenge, part of NASA’s Centennial Challenges.

2015

WVU finishes second in NASA’s annual Lunabotics Mining Competition at the Kennedy Space Center.


A proposal submitted by a collaborative team of student organizations from the Statler College was one of only 11 selected to advance to the next stage of the Amateur Radio on the International Space Station or ARISS program. ARISS allows students worldwide to experience the excitement of talking with crew members on the ISS in hopes of inspiring them to pursue careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

WVU captures first place in the steel bridge competition at the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Virginias Conference.

Teams from WVU finish third and sixth in the Seventh Annual Mercury Remote Robot Challenge.

First and Only WVU students become the first, and only, winners of Sample Robot Return Challenge as part of NASA’s Centennial Challenges, bringing home a $750,000 prize, the largest NASA has awarded in the five-year history of the Challenge. In total, the WVU team has prevailed over 50 others, winning $855,000 over three years of competition, including $5,000 for the Level 1 victory in 2014. That victory qualified it to compete at Level 2 in 2015, claiming $100,000 for the first Level 2 victory.

WVU successfully defends its Race to the Case Supply Chain Management win at the University of Pittsburgh.

For the second-straight year, WVU captures first place in the steel bridge competition at the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Virginias Conference. The team was able to assemble their bridge in just 12.5 minutes, 16 minutes faster than the second-place team.

Mine Rescue Two teams from WVU finish first and third in the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration–Eastern Collegiate Mine Rescue Organization National Mine Rescue Contest.

In year two of the competition, WVU’s entry in the EcoCar 3 competition places seventh overall and also receives the “Team to Watch” award, which is presented to the school that shows strong improvement from year one as well as the potential to grow in future years of the competition. WVU also takes fourth place for their communications campaign.

With one year left to go in the four-year EcoCAR 3 competition, the team from WVU finds itself in some pretty good company. After a two-week stint that featured stops in Michigan and Washington, D.C., the team from WVU places fourth overall, joining Ohio State University, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and Georgia Tech at the top. WVU is the only school in the nation to send two teams to NASA’s Mars Ice Challenge, a three-day event that challenged teams to extract water from simulated Martian subsurface ice. In the end, one team — Mountaineer Ice Drilling Automated System or MIDAS — had the golden touch. MIDAS captures top overall honors in the competition, besting the likes of teams from Colorado School of Mines, University of Texas-Austin and University of Pennsylvania. The team also was first in both the most water collected and the cleanest water categories.

Ice Challenge WVU’s Experimental Rocketry Team captures first place in the 10,000-foot launch category at the Intercollegiate Rocket Engineering Competition during the Spaceport America Cup, held near Las Cruces, New Mexico. The six-member team from WVU crafts a 12-foot long fiberglass rocket — emblazoned with the words “Wild and Wonderful” — that performs exceptionally well, soaring to an altitude of more than 9,600 feet while carrying nearly nine pounds of payload.

In its first attempt, a team of five students from WVU captures top honors in Drillbotics, an international drilling competition designed to test teams’ ability to create a miniature robotic drilling rig inside a laboratory environment.

2017

2016

For the third consecutive year, the team from WVU finds itself on the podium at the NASA’s Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts-Academic Linkages or Robo-Ops Competition. The Mountaineers finish second behind University of Oklahoma, with University of Utah finishing third.

Teams featuring seven engineering students captured the top three places in the Third Annual Target Case Study Competition. The competition challenges teams of students in all majors to use their problem-solving skills to provide well-rounded solutions to a business problem.

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In a three-peat, WVU captures first place in the Race to the Case Supply Chain Management competition at the University of Pittsburgh.

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FACULTY AWARDS NATIONAL SCIENCE FOUNDATION CAREER AWARD WINNERS

WVU FOUNDATION AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING TEACHING

2011

2013 POWSIRI KLINKHACHORN MATTHEW VALENTI Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering 2012

2013

2015

2014

2016

2017

2011 DAVID KLINKE Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

2015 CERASELA ZOICA DINU Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

2012 DAVID GRAHAM Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

2016 V’YACHESLAV AKKERMAN Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

2013 XUEYAN SONG Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

2017 FERNANDO LIMA Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

2014 SARIKA KHUSHALANI-SOLANKI Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

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2015 MELISSA MORRIS Fundamentals of Engineering MARIO PERHINSCHI Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

2017 DAVID GRAHAM Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering LIZZIE SANTIAGO Fundamentals of Engineering


NEW TENURE-TRACK FACULTY HIRED

PRESIDENTIAL EARLY CAREER AWARDS FOR SCIENTISTS AND ENGINEERS 2013 BRIAN ANDERSON Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering

FACULTY MERIT FOUNDATION OF WEST VIRGINIA PROFESSOR OF THE YEAR 2012 MARCELLO NAPOLITANO Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

WEST VIRGINIA’S PROFESSOR OF THE YEAR CARNEGIE FOUNDATION FOR THE ADVANCEMENT OF TEACHING AND COUNCIL FOR ADVANCEMENT AND SUPPORT OF EDUCATION 2015 POWSIRI KLINKHACHORN Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering

2012

2015

Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Debangsu Bhattacharyya

Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Ahmed Ismail

Civil and Environmental Engineering Fei Dai Antarpreet Jutla Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Thirimachos Bourlai Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering V’yacheslav (Slava) Akkerman Yu Gu David Mebane Terence Musho Andrew Nix Konstantinos Sierros Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering Ebrahim Fathi

2013

Civil and Environmental Engineering Omar Abdul-Aziz Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Kevin Bandura Jeremy Dawson Victor Fragoso Nasser Nasrabadi Saiph Savage Yanqui Song Industrial and Management Systems Engineering Thorsten Wuest

2016

Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Fernando Lima

Civil and Environmental Engineering Kakan Dey V. Dimitra Pyrialakou

Civil and Environmental Engineering P.V. Vijay Yoojung Yoon

Industrial and Management Systems Engineering Leily Farrokhvar

Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering Ali Takburi Borujeni

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Stefanos Papanikolaou Songgang Qiu

2014 Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Hanjing Tian Computer Science and Electrical Engineering Yanfang “Fanny” Ye Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Patrick Browning Cosmin Dumitrescu Jason Gross Industrial and Management Systems Engineering Xinjian He

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Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering Ming Gu

2017 Chemical and Biomedical Engineering Jessica Allen Margaret Bennewitz Shuo Wang Mining Engineering QingQing Huang Ihsan “Berk” Tulu

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NEW FUNDS NESBIT

88 NEW SCHOLARSHIPS Alpha Associates Scholarship/Civil & Environmental Engineering

Hawkins Family Endowed Scholarship

William S. Clapper Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering Scholarship

Richard C. Lemons & Merrilyn M. Lemons Endowed Scholarship

William “Bill� Closser Memorial Electrical Engineering Scholarship

Ashok & Kiran Sanghavi Scholarship

C. Douglas & Harriett T. Miller Family Scholarship

Frank H. and Barbara K. Wheeler Family Scholarship I Carl Culp and Wanda Culp Memorial Scholarship

Larry Family Scholarship

Jeffrey Robert Satterfield Memorial Scholarship

John F. Herholdt, Jr. Scholarship

Caryl & Gail Gray Scholarship

GE/Glen Hiner Scholarships for the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources

James B. and Darlene B. Haines IMSE Scholarship

William and Debra McMann Engineering Scholarship

American Gas Association Scholarship

Chesapeake Energy Scholarship Petroleum & Natural Gas Engineering

John and Mary McKenna Endowed Scholarship Fund

Martha Hopkins Hashinger Scholarship

Earl F. Morton Charitable Gift Annuity IV

W. David & W. Corder Teter Scholarship for Civil Engineering

Shah Family Chemical Engineering Scholarship

Samuel & Helen Jacquez Scholarship

James and Catherine Faller Scholarship

Karl G. Morey Endowed Scholarship for Electrical Engineering

International Coal Group Scholarship

Robotics Achievement Scholarship

W. David & W. Corder Teter Scholarship for Mechanical Engineering

Robert C. Long Engineering Scholarship

Walter and Anita Haddad Endowed Scholarship

Chafin Chemical Engineering Scholarship

J. Scott Freshwater Scouting Scholarship

Chet & Kay Allen Scholarship

Ruckman and Balmy Dietz Scholarship

Chris Lantz Almost Heaven Scholarship in Computer/Electrical Engineering Joseph L. & Genevieve C. Koepfinger Charitable Gift Annuity Donal S. & Amy J. Hall Chemical Engineering Scholarship James Bergen and Randy Monteith Anderson Scholarship in MAE

Dianne Dubetz Anderson Scholarship Paul & Lucy Hornor Scholarship Distinguished Engineer of Mines Scholarship Dr. Wils Cooley Study Abroad Scholarship

James Sterling Farinash Scholarship

Doris H. & J. Banner Bise Memorial Scholarship in Mining Engineering

Roy H. Bucklew Charitable Gift Annuity

Joseph and Louise Alvarez Memorial Scholarship

Rena A. Cyphert Charitable Gift Annuity

Morton Scholarship

Harold and Helen Shamberger Endowed Scholarship Fund

Kenneth & Helen Gosnell Scholarship

U.S. Steel Engineering Scholarships

J. Leland & Clara Virginia (Grosscurth) Taylor Scholarship

Powsiri and Penprapa Klinkhachorn Robotics Scholarship

Lockheed Martin Biometric Systems Scholarship

Troy Earl and Nannie Bell Painter Endowed Scholarship

Salvatore & Josephine Cilento Research Scholarship

Barrett L. & Nancy S. Shrout Charitable Gift Annuity

Ralph & Geraldine F. Dado Mining Engineering Endowed Scholarship

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Remember the Miners Scholarship for Mining Engineering

Financial Rescue Scholarship McKamish Endowed Scholarship

Jack and Pat Caffrey Endowed Scholarship

Forrest & Barbara Coontz Scholarship

Safety Management Alumni Award

Bob & Ann Orders Civil Engineering Scholarship

John L. Loth Aerospace Engineering Scholarship

Statler Research Scholars Program

Julian H. Phillips Engineering Scholarship

The Williams Companies Scholarship

Samuel and Doris Kasley Scholarship in Chemical Engineering

Wes and Natalie Bush Engineering Scholarship

Thomas E. Messmore Scholarship in Industrial Engineering

Lawrence C. Hays Endowed Scholarship

R. Michael & Mary Ann Ruppert Petroleum Engineering Scholarship

Julius W. Singleton, Jr. Scholarship Fund II

Harry E. DeWitt Scholarship

The John and Mildred McFarland Engineering Scholarship Fund

Wells Fargo Energy Group Scholarship Everette C. Dubbe Research Scholarship Robert L. Raines Mining Scholarship Earl F. Morton, Jr. Charitable Gift Annuity - III Robert L. & Pauline Aitken Scholarship Migliore Family Endowed Scholarship in Aerospace Engineering

Charles & Rebecca Menear Kona Civil Engineering Scholarship Edwin Bjornson Scholarship Fund Mary E. McGivern Society of Women Engineers Scholarship Verl O. Purdy Scholarships in the Statler College


NINE NEW GRADUATE FELLOWSHIPS Robert E. Pyle Chemical Engineering Graduate Fellowship

14 NEW FUNDS TO SERVE OUR GREATEST NEEDS

25 NEW FACULTY RESEARCH ENDOWMENTS

NGE Engineering Endowment

Allan S. May Electrical Engineering Department

Dr. William M. & Geraldine L. Glazier Civil Engineering Fund

James O. Bunn Endowment for Clean Coal Processing and Utilization Research

Murali Atluru CEE Student Opportunity Endowment

Rita Radcliff-Deppe & Brian Deppe Fellowship Award

Thomas D. Stuchell Engineering Endowment

Charles M. Vest Endowment for Engineering

Bart A. & Tamara Aitken Endowment

James and Betty Hall Fellowship Sharon O. and William M. Flanery Fellowship Gary and Lisa Christopher Graduate Fellowship Academy of Chemical Engineers Graduate Fellowship Dianne Dubetz Anderson Graduate Fellowship Wadsworth Graduate Fellowship

Lora Virginia Richards Charitable Gift Annuities Darrell & Diane Williams Research for PNGE

Lora V. Richards Charitable Gift Annuities

Jack and Marietta Mullenger Fellowship Connected Automated Vehicle Research

Leidos Lane Department Fund

XTO Energy Undergraduate Research Fund

Blaine S. West Endowment for Civil and Environmental Engineering

Allen S. Pack Endowment for Mining Engineering Virginia Oil and Gas Research Endowment for PNGE

Prof. Chin-Yung Wen Chemical Engineering Opportunity Fund

The Gordon Memorial Trust of PACF Grant

Chesapeake Energy Opportunity Fund/Petroleum and Natural Gas Engineering

Frank and Susan Klatskin Cerminara Endowment Michael Baker Corporation Endowment/CEE

James A. Kent Endowment for Biomedical Engineering

Barth Bridge Project

Center for Alternative Fuels, Engines and Emissions James & Ruby Romano Civil & Environmental Engineering Endowment

Maurice & Jo Ann Wadsworth Civil Engineering Faculty Fellow Verizon WV for Biometrics

Industrial Extension Opportunity Fund

Alpha Natural Resources Endowment for Energy Research

EIGHT NEW FUNDS FOR CAPITAL IMPROVEMENTS

13 NEW FUNDS FOR EXPERIENTIAL LEARNING, STUDENT GROUPS AND OUTREACH

Energy Materials Science & Engineering Facilities Support

Engineering K-12 Outreach Fund

Advanced Engineering Research Building Smart Manufacturing Lab Fund Industrial Engineering Facilities L. Zane Shuck Laboratory Endowment in Nanobiotechnology Cyber-Physical Systems Laboratory

Arch Coal Inc. Endowment for Mine Health & Safety Research Wayne and Kathy Richards Faculty Scholars Fund Statler College Faculty Research & Education Integrated Surface Mining Safety System Verl O. Purdy Endowed Chair of Engineering

Massey Energy Activity in Mining and Civil Engineering/WVU-WVT Fund

Robert E. Murray Chairmanship Mining Engineering Department

Solar Decathlon House Fund

George B. Bennett Dean’s Research Opportunity Endowment

Verizon: On Line Community Fund

Statler Research Endowment

James N. Butch/ Student Projects in Electrical Engineering

William N. Poundstone Professorship

Andrew David Spence MAE Student Project Endowment EcoCar Challenge Team Fund Williams Fund for Engineering Mary Josephine DeWitt Endowment

Leidecker Brothers Energy Laboratory

John Contenti, Jr. Endowment

Statler College Building Fund

Society of Women Engineers Fund

Assurant Foundation Cybersecurity Fund

ELLIS

Joseph C. Dorton & Karen Harper-Dorton Coal Mining Endowment

TOTAL RAISED IN THE STATLER COLLEGE: $182,931,026.18 WVU

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Cover Story

NATIONALLY COMPETITIVE ACADEMIC AWARDS

CHAMBERS

Byron Patterson: 2012 NSF Graduate Fellowship Edward Chambers: 2012 NSF Graduate Fellowship Rachel James: 2013 Goldwater Scholar 2014 NSF Graduate Fellowship Cody White: 2013 Benjamin A. Gilman International Scholarship Jeremiah Parsons: 2013 Buick Achievers Scholarship JAMES

WHITE

Julie Peng: 2013 Buick Achievers Scholarship Emily Lipscomb: 2013 NSF Graduate Fellowship Elizabeth Dang: 2014 Gilman Scholarship Andrew Maloney: 2014 Goldwater Scholar 2016 NSF Graduate Fellowship Joeseph Bright: 2014 NSF Graduate Fellowship

PATTERSON

Jacob Cordonier: 2014 NSF Graduate Fellowship Nikul Patel: 2015 Fulbright Scholar Ryan Mezan: 2016 Goldwater Scholar Nicholas Ohi: 2016 NSF Graduate Fellowship

PARSONS

PENG

Colin Frosch: 2016 Dwight D. Eisenhower Graduate Fellowship David Palley: 2016 Dwight D. Eisenhower Graduate Fellowship Anna Gilpin: 2017 Goldwater Scholar Jared Beard: 2017 Goldwater Scholar

LIPSCOMB

Lynnora Grant: 2017 NSF Graduate Fellowship DANG

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BRIGHT

PALLEY

MEZAN

PATEL

CORDONIER

GRANT

FROSCH

GILPIN

BEARD MALONEY

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Engineering 360˚

RANKED 15TH BY U.S. NEWS & WORLD REPORT For the second-straight year, WVU’s online graduate program in software engineering has been ranked in the top 15 nationwide by U.S. News & World Report in its Best Online Program rankings. The program focuses on continuous improvement by offering the latest in advanced coursework, including data analytics, internet of things and cloud computing, cybersecurity, mobile app and agile development. “We are honored to once again be among the top 15 universities in the country to offer excellent online graduate education to the software engineering industry,” Program Coordinator Dale Dzielski said. “We continue to focus on quality online education by utilizing the nationally recognized Quality Matters Program as the standard for online education. Our faculty deserve credit for having driven these improvements that have resulted in our national recognition.”

NESBIT

DZIELSKI

FACULTY BOOKS BARRETT

PEREZ

JACKSON

KECK

CORHN

ACES HIGH

Thirimachos Bourlai and Guodong Guo, associate professors of computer science and electrical engineering, have co-authored textbooks in the area of biometrics.

BOURLAI

PERSINGER

KAPANADZE

Seven students were awarded five-year merit scholarships to study engineering thanks to the Academy of Engineering KELLEY Success. AcES is a year-long academic success and professional development bridge program for first-year students. The scholarships were provided through a $955,000 grant from the National Science Foundation for underrepresented groups, such as first-generation college students, females, AfricanAmericans and Hispanics.

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GUO

NESBIT

The inaugural recipients include Giorgi Kapanadze (Brooklyn, New York), Bridget Barrett (Lewis, Delaware), Hugo Perez (Keyser), Kenneth Corhn (Bluefield), Benjamin Jackson (Brick, New Jersey), Joseph Keck (Fairview, North Carolina) and T.J. Kelley (Flushing, Ohio). The students each receive a $4,500 scholarship that will increase by $1,000 per year for a maximum of five years.

Bourlai’s book, “Surveillance in Action,” discusses the ethical and privacy considerations in light of the global environment from both perspectives: the citizen and the government. It presents cuttingedge technologies in the service of surveillance. Guo’s title, “Mobile Biometrics,” discusses the history and challenges of mobile biometric devices, including the development of smartwatch-based gait biometrics, four-fingers biometric systems and palm print recognition on mobile devices.


FURBEE

BUILDING CURIOSITY AT WVU NURSERY SCHOOL

BINTRIM

PHD STUDENTS EARN HONORS AT INTERNATIONAL BIOMETRICS CONFERENCE

While it was unconventional, Bintrim knew that volunteering at the School would allow him to spread awareness about engineering while also gaining some much-needed hands-on experience with children. “My wife and I are expecting our first child in March,” said Bintrim. “I thought volunteering at the School would be a great way to share some of the knowledge I’ve learned about engineering while also gaining some wisdom on the ways of small children in the process.” Bintrim visits the School every Friday and is tasked with teaching three- and four-year olds how to build basic structures. He uses foam blocks, Legos and Lincoln Logs to get the children thinking about how small pieces can fit together to build something much larger. “While what can be built with these blocks is limited, the children’s imaginations fill in the gaps,” said Bintrim. “We have built pirate ships, space ships, motorcycles, dinosaurs, carriages and a few other crazy things. They really enjoy adding their own little flare to what we are building.” Nursery School Director Barbara Warash said that Bintrim’s visits have become a highlight of the children’s week and hopes that more engineering students will follow is his footsteps. “The children ask each day ‘Is it a Josh day?’” said Warash. “Having Joshua at the Nursery School is wonderful. He is a great role model in the early childhood field of mostly female teachers. Our students are lucky to experiencing the dynamics of creating buildings and structures as well as the rich interactions with Joshua.”

Doctoral students from the Statler College captured best poster awards at the International Joint Conference on Biometrics held October 1-4, in Denver, Colorado.

PHOTOGRAPH SUBMITTED

Joshua Bintrim, an industrial engineering major from Waynesburg, Pennsylvania, has been introducing children to basic engineering principles through fun, hands-on activities while volunteering at the Nursery School at WVU. He began visiting the Nursery School in August as part of his capstone course, which requires him to complete two hours of volunteering per week.

Naman Kohli and Daksha Yadav, doctoral students in computer science, received a best poster award for their paper titled, “Synthetic Iris Presentation Attack Using iDCGAN.” Commercial iris recognition systems find it difficult to discriminate between synthetically generated iris images and real iris images. Kohli and Yadav’s research proposes a solution to this challenging problem by developing a novel algorithm to generate realistic looking synthetic iris images using a new framework called iris deep convolutional generative adversarial network. Shruti Nagpal and Maneet Singh, WVU visiting research scholars from the Indraprastha Institute of Information Technology at Delhi, also received a best poster award. Their paper, “Gender and Ethnicity Classification of Iris Images Using Deep Class Encoder,” focused on using a novel supervised deep class-encoder algorithm to predict gender and ethnicity by analyzing iris images. The use of gender and ethnicity as a soft biometric trait improves the iris recognition performance, reduces the computational time and results in faster processing.

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Engineering 360˚

Two graduates from the Statler College decided to put their professional engineering careers on hold in hopes of transforming the lives of people residing in remote villages in Sierra Leone, Africa. Matthew Asher, a 2015 mechanical engineering graduate and Toledo, Ohio, native, left his job and life in the United States behind to work in Mattru Jong, Sierra Leone, as a project engineer for UB Global. The religious nonprofit organization formerly known as Global Ministries, promotes volunteer outreach opportunities aimed at improving the quality of life for individuals in developing countries.

Alumni put careers on hold for

service work

Asher has been working with villagers to create new and improved electricity and water systems that have the ability to generate income for a struggling hospital in the area. He reached a major milestone in the project by launching the Sola Wata Water Packaging Center, or WPC, the region’s first water treatment, packaging and distribution center. In early September, fellow Statler College alumnus Lizzy Kolar decided to take a three-month sabbatical from her job at GE Transportation to assist Asher with his engineering project in Sierra Leone.

PHOTOGRAPH SUBMITTED

ASHER

KOLAR

“I chose to study engineering right outside of high school because my goal was to work with Engineers Without Borders, a group that could combine my interests in math and physics with my desire to spend my life doing volunteer work in underprivileged areas,” said Kolar, a 2015 mechanical engineering graduate from Morgantown. “When Matthew told me about his project I knew it was an opportunity too good to pass up.” Kolar has formulated a business plan for the WPC and will be working with the center’s employees to implement standard work procedures, marketing strategies and data management systems in order to maximize production efficiency and profitability. With Kolar’s assistance, Asher plans to move on to the next phase of the project: installation of a solar-powered system that will run the hospital’s lights and surgical equipment. This is expected to significantly reduce the hospital’s operational costs. They also plan to install a mini-solar grid that will allow the hospital to sell metered power to residents within the village who currently live with limited or no access to electricity.

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DID YOU KNOW… The number of alumni who give back to a college plays an important role in an institution’s national rankings, including U.S. News & World Report? The Statler College is evolving and growing in national stature and we need your help. Your support will help us to fund student projects and faculty development, achieve our educational goals and continue to rise in national rankings. Please give to the department or program that best matches your interests.

give.wvu.edu/statler

FOR MORE INFORMATION ON HOW YOUR GIFT CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE CONTACT: SHAMS KHAN Assistant Dean for Development 304.293.4036 | shams.khan@mail.wvu.edu

HEATHER CROSS Associate Director for Development 304.293.4156 | hecross@mail.wvu.edu WVU

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Engineering 360˚

PHOTOGRAPH SUBMITTED

EWB CHAPTER BEGINS FIVEYEAR PROJECT IN UGANDA Four students from the WVU Chapter of Engineers Without Borders traveled to Uganda in August to begin a five-year project that will provide a safe water supply for residents in the village of Kabughabugha.

VALENTI NAMED

IEEE FELLOW

Matthew Valenti, professor in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, has been named a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. IEEE is the world’s largest technical professional organization whose mission is to encourage its members to revolutionize technology for the benefit of humanity. Valenti, a member of IEEE for 20 years, was selected for his contributions to cooperative diversity and development of distributed turbo codes. His research focuses on wireless communication networks and the development of protocols and signal coding techniques that enable mobile handsets to communicate with a base station.

NESBIT

VALENTI

Kabughabugha has a population of 7,200 people who live in extreme conditions without basic sanitation and hygiene practices or easy access to clean water. Women and children must walk up to three miles through the rugged terrain in the Rwenzori Mountains multiple times per day barefoot just to collect unfiltered water for drinking, cooking or washing. WVUEWB is on a mission to provide the villagers with a clean and reliable water supply as well as a system that will pump water into the village, eliminating many of the hardships they face on a daily basis. The goal of their first trip was to conduct an assessment of the current water supply that has been polluted with fertilizer and untreated sewage. Students spent five days collecting water samples to test for PH levels, conductivity, turbidity and other factors that would help them later establish filtration options for the water supply. They also surveyed the land and performed GPS mapping of the surrounding area to determine the best installation location for the proposed pipeline to the village. They plan to return to Uganda in August 2018, when they will begin working with the locals to prepare the landscape for the installation of a water filtration system and pipeline. Students will also be tasked with teaching educational sessions on water pollution, testing and treatment to locals.

WU SELECTED AS FELLOW OF ELECTROCHEMICAL SOCIETY Nianqiang “Nick” Wu, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, has been named a Fellow of the Electrochemical Society. The distinction, granted to no more than 15 people annually, was established in 1989 to recognize advanced individual technological contributions in electrochemical and solid-state science and technology. Wu is the first from WVU to be granted this distinction.

NESBIT

WU

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A materials scientist, Wu conducts research in photocatalysts and photoelectrochemical cells for solar energy harvesting, batteries and supercapacitors for energy storage, chemical sensors and biosensors for healthcare and environment monitoring. His research is funded by the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Department of Energy.


OWENS CORNING CHAIRMAN DELIVERS HINER LECTURE Michael Thaman, chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Owens Corning, presented “Owens Corning: Building a Sustainable Enterprise,” to a packed crowd as part of the Glen H. Hiner Distinguished Lecture Series. Thaman was named a member of the Board of Directors at Owens Corning, a world leader in insulation, roofing and fiberglass composites, in January 2002 and elected chairman later that year. He has served as president and chief executive officer since 2007.

NESBIT

THAMAN

Thaman began his career at Owens Corning in 1992 and has held leadership positions in finance, manufacturing, corporate development and international business. In 1997, he became vice president and president of the company’s Engineered Pipe Systems business based in Brussels, Belgium. In 1999, he was named vice president and president of Owens Corning’s Exterior Systems Business and in April 2000, he was appointed senior vice president and chief financial officer.

TOP VALUE PICK

3

MINING EXTENSION INSTRUCTOR MAKES

HALL OF FAME

For the fourth-straight year, the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources has been ranked in the top 10 percent of all engineering schools nationwide for offering the best value for the money for undergraduate degree programs.

The College’s computer science program was ranked 27th for best value, placing it in the top 10 percent of all programs nationwide. Other programs in the top 50 for best value include aerospace engineering (23) and computer engineering (28). Industrial engineering, which was ranked 34th for best value, also placed in the top 10 percent nationwide for most popular programs.

NESBIT

The rankings, released by College Factual, an online guide to the college selection process, ranked the College 28th out of 302 engineering schools for offering a “quality education at a price that will keep student debt to a minimum.” It was also ranked as the 44th most popular school in the nation for engineering (out of 582), placing it in the top 10 percent of all programs nationwide.

SABO

Jonathan Sabo, a mine rescue and fire brigade instructor with WVU’s Mining Extension Service, was inducted into the National Coal Mine Rescue Hall of Fame. Established by the Mine Safety and Health Administration, the Hall of Fame honors individuals who stand out as exceptional in the field of mine rescue. A native of Farmington, Sabo started his mining career in 1977 when he was hired at the Eastern Associated, Federal No. 2 Mine as a general inside laborer. He earned his mine foreman-fireboss certification in 1984 and joined the mine rescue team in 1986. He held numerous positions on the rescue team including map man, gas man and later captain, a position he held for 15 years. He also served as a mine health and safety committeeman for six years. The winner of numerous state and national titles in a variety of mine rescue events, Sabo gained numerous qualifications including first aid, emergency medical technician and firefighting. Over the years he assisted in rescue efforts during the Beckley mine fire, the Aracoma/Alma Mine fire and the Upper Big Branch explosion.

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Engineering 360Ëš WVU AGAIN SENDS TWO TEAMS TO NASA MARS ICE CHALLENGE TO

defend title WRITTEN BY MARY C. DILLON

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For the second straight year, West Virginia University will have two teams in the Mars Ice Challenge, a special edition competition under NASA’s Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts — Academic Linkage brand of competitions.

PHOTOGRAPH SUBMITTED

Nine universities were selected to participate in the challenge, which seeks revolutionary methods to drill into and extract water from simulated Martian subsurface ice stations. Joining WVU are teams from MIT, Carnegie Mellon University, Colorado School of Mines, Virginia Tech, Northeastern University, Rowan University, University of Tennessee, Knoxville and Alfred University. WVU is the only university to field two teams. To participate, interested teams submitted project plan proposals containing innovative designs for drilling and water extraction systems on Earth that could be modified for use on Mars. The teams must demonstrate appropriate progress and successfully pass a mid-project review in April to be invited to NASA Langley Research Center in Hampton, Virginia, for three days next June. While at NASA, teams will test their drilling systems on simulated Martian subsurface ice stations, solid blocks of ice covered with a mixture of clay and gravel approximately one meter deep. Teams will compete to extract the most water from the ice station. Powsiri Klinkhachorn, professor of computer science and electrical engineering, will again advise the defending championship team, MIDAS II. The team captured top overall honors in the 2017 competition and also was first in both the most water collected and the cleanest water categories. “MIDAS II will incorporate refinements rather than significant changes from our award-winning, MIDAS I,” said Klinkhachorn. “We expect MIDAS II to be a lighter and more efficient system capable of reaching the ice deposit, melting the ice, minimizing

overburden collapse and extracting the subsurface water.” Joining Klinkhachorn as co-advisor is Ilkin Bilgesu, associate professor of petroleum and natural gas engineering. Eric Loy, who led last year’s winning effort, assisted the team with drafting the proposal. The team will be led by Bertrand Wieliczko, an electrical and computer engineering graduate student from Holderness, New Hampshire. Joining him on the team are aerospace engineering majors Jacob Winokur (Chesapeake, Virginia), Amanda Stevens (Inwood) and Karan Sah (Honors College; Lexington, South Carolina); mechanical engineering majors Nathan Owen (Fairfax, Virginia) and Andrew Wallace (Crownsville, Maryland); electrical engineering major Derek Roesch (Honors College; Nazareth, Pennsylvania); and freshmen Emily Certain (Bay Shore, New York), Dylan Johnson (Honors College; Heaters), Elizabeth Matthews (Honors College; Martinsburg) and Illeana Tucker (Sleepy Hollow, New York). WVU’s second team — the VULCAN Drilling System team — will again be advised by Thomas Evans, research associate professor in the Department Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and director of the West Virginia Robotic Technology Center. Joining him are graduate students Grant Speer, a mining engineering major from Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, and Sean Lantto, an aerospace engineering major from Manassas, Virginia. Both were members of last year’s team, which finished third in the most water extracted category, and conduct research at WVRTC. “While last year’s drill design tested a novel extraction method, this year’s method is much more mechanically

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simple, thereby minimizing points of failure,” said Speer. “During both the competition last year and some information sessions with the RASC-AL staff, the coring method ice extraction was highlighted as being the most efficient method of batch ice removal. We modified our concept to utilize the approach while creating a novel coring bit design to extract ice while also removing overburden through the use of drill stem flights.” “We are also taking into consideration the effects of the Martian environment and have included well caps to cover the drill holes to prevent sublimation and potential collapse of the drill site,” Lantto added. “While sublimation is not a concern during the competition, it will be on Mars. Fortunately we have a good framework to work off of, and we learned what components/concepts did and did not work last year, so we expect progress to be made quicker this year.” “Due to strong hydrogen signatures, Mars appears to be rich in water frozen under the Marian surface, making the Red Planet a viable destination for us,” says Melvin Ferebee, director of the Systems Analysis and Concepts Division at NASA Langley. “Water is there, but it is buried. It is absolutely crucial that we figure out a way to effectively and efficiently access that water. And the Mars Ice Challenge provides us with a variety of potential options to start solving that problem.” Shelley Spears, director of Education and Outreach at NIA, says, “Mars is hard AND doable! This competition squares off one the most important hurdles we face in becoming a two-planet species — harvesting water — with top university student talent from around the nation. It is very exciting to offer this opportunity to them and witness both the passion and innovation they bring to advancing our journey.”

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Engineering 360˚ STUDENT REDISCOVERS HIMSELF THROUGH

service, adventure and poetry WRITTEN BY BRITTANY FURBEE

While most students spend their summer break decompressing from a busy academic year, one international student from WVU’s Statler College used his time off to give back while pursuing his passions. Mining engineering student Jack Prommel has always had a passion for travel but it was his upbringing in La Paz, Bolivia, that inspired him to spend last summer volunteering in Africa. “Since I grew up in a third world nation, giving back to the community has always been a focal point in my life,” said Prommel. “I had planned to go to South Africa over the past year and found that volunteering would make my travels more fulfilling.” In May, Prommel traveled to Cape Town, South Africa, with International Student Volunteers, a nonprofit organization that provides educational volunteer and travel adventure programs to university students.

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He spent a month teaching sustainability and environmental practices to locals and aided the community in building a soup kitchen and redesigning and building a safe playground, as well as designing a rainwater collection system. “As the only person on the team with an engineering background I had the task of designing the systems using things I’ve learned from fluid mechanics, statics and many of my other engineering courses,” said Prommel. “Often we get consumed by life in our towns and cities, yet there are places half the world away who are having bigger problems, or have better solutions than what we face. Volunteering in South Africa taught me that we have so much beauty around us and we have so much diversity to celebrate.”


PHOTOGRAPHS SUBMITTED

WVU student Jack Prommel visits with a child while volunteering in Cape Town, South Africa.

Instead of heading home when his volunteer experience ended in June, Prommel continued to travel around South Africa. He explored Swaziland and Lesotho, where he ate and lived like the locals to fully immerse himself in the culture. “Living with locals in the mountainous region of central South Africa was humbling,” said Prommel. “To see that their diet consists of spinach, maize and bread for every meal really put into perspective how easy we have it in the United States.” He also visited local healers, the only female tribal chief in South Africa and the birthplace of the nation’s first president, Nelson Mandela. Prommel returned to the United States in early July with a renewed perspective; however he did not return to Morgantown. Instead he headed south to unveil his hidden talent: poetry. Prior to setting out on his journey to South Africa, Prommel was recovering from a broken heart after the end of a three-year relationship. Feeling lost and struggling to cope with the failed relationship, he found solace in writing poetry. “When we broke up I felt lost; I felt very alone,” explained Prommel. “I started writing and found a community of students that supported me at WVU and they pushed me to pursue my passion.” Prommel channeled his time, energy and emotions into creating poetry that was reflective of his personal experience and heart break. The poems were assembled and transformed into a book of poetry that detailed his mental journey through the ordeal. The book, titled “On Display,” was written in both Spanish and English to reflect Prommel’s heritage and was launched on July 14, in Houston, Texas. “The main goal for writing the book was to rediscover myself,” said Prommel. “The book helped spark a flame in me to keep on perusing my passions. I didn’t know it at the time but the book ultimately helped prepare me for my next challenge.”

Prommel is referring to his final and most difficult journey of the summer, an 11-day trek across Europe. “I was given the chance to experience the German state of Bavaria in the most unique and true way: by hopping mountain to mountain and staying in Bavarian huts and local homes,” said Prommel. Prommel headed straight from the launch event in Texas to Europe to hike across Germany and Austria through the Northern Alps. During the trip he tackled a 21-mile hike to the peak of the Zugspitze, the tallest mountain in Germany, and covered more than 115 miles on foot through the rugged terrain. “Hiking up a mountain is a rewarding experience in itself as the feat seems daunting during the approach but the views are truly breathtaking,” said Prommel. “Eleven days in places where the only way I could communicate was through hand signs and broken German was humbling. As the journey comes to an end I feel a great feeling of accomplishment and fulfillment.” Prommel returned to Morgantown to begin the fall semester at WVU and admitted that it’s not always easy to juggle school, traveling around the world and writing poetry. However, he credits WVU and the engineering program with helping him find the right balance between work and play and hopes to one day use his experiences to give back to the University. “Engineering students have to become masters of time management to succeed, and I believe that if you have time for Netflix then you have time to pursue your passions,” said Prommel. “WVU and the professors at the engineering college have helped me overcome the fear of failure, the loss of loved ones, and have encouraged me to push forward. Having a world view will help me in the future to understand problems and find solutions within the WVU community, within the engineering curriculum and within myself.”

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Engineering 360˚

PHOTOGRAPHS SUBMITTED

Members of the team (from left) include Devon Ansell, Abadi Albeladi, Casey Wilson, Ryan Maurer, Graham McConnell, Joe Pscolka (technical advisor, Nevada Aerospace and Science Association), Ross Weidman and Tim Bear.

Team to defend title in

international competition WRITTEN BY BRITTANY FURBEE

WVU’s Experimental Rocketry Team is preparing to defend their first-place title in the 10,000-foot launch category at the 2018 Spaceport America Cup, the world’s largest intercollegiate rocket engineering conference and competition. The event hosts student rocketry teams from all over the world to launch solid, liquid and hybrid rockets to target altitudes of 10,000 and 30,000 feet while carrying a minimum of 8.8 pounds of payload. For the first time, WVU’s team will compete in both categories at the event, which will be held at the Spaceport America Campus near Las Cruces, New Mexico, June 19-23. “The team has never competed in the 30,000-foot launch competition, so this will be a new experience for us,” said team president Casey Wilson, a mechanical and aerospace engineering major from Wheeling. “We are extremely excited to showcase all of the talents that the engineering students at WVU bring to the table.” To prepare for their debut in the category, the 27-member team modified last year’s winning design, which featured a 12-foot long fiberglass rocket body, to include larger fins and a nosecone to make the rocket more aerodynamic. They also equipped their rocket with a much larger and more powerful motor to reach the higher altitude.

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WVU’s Experimental Rocketry Team recently test-fired their rockets in preparation for next June’s competition.

“The team conducted a static test of the motor to measure the amount of force it could generate,” said Wilson. “We are happy to report that this is the first time a new design has worked flawlessly on the first try. Our motor produced around 1,000 pounds of thrust for eight seconds and is roughly four times more powerful than our previous designs.” This is the first time the team has conducted a motor test before the end of the fall semester, a strategy that Wilson believes will give the team a winning edge at next year’s competition. “We are going above and beyond to stringently test all of our equipment,” said Wilson. “In the past we would fire an experimental motor once to ensure it worked and then fly it. Now we are planning on multiple tests to improve the fidelity of the motor.” Over spring break, the team will travel to the KLOUDBusters Rocket Pasture in Argonia, Kansas, to test launch both of their rockets. “We have designed the larger rocket to go to 36,000 feet since overshooting the target generally garners the best results,” said Wilson. “We are hopeful that it will reach at least 30,000 feet during the test, but we are prepared to modify the motor and rocket.” While the altitude that the rockets reach is a major component of the judging process, the team will also be scored on a technical paper that details test data from the rockets’ motors as well as several progress reports they have to submit throughout the year. Additionally, the team will present a poster presentation to the judges explaining their rocket’s features and how the mechanics of the motors work prior to liftoff. “Although we won last year we were still short of our target altitude by 400 feet, so we have redesigned the rockets to reach that extra height,” said Wilson. “There is still a lot of work to be done, but we have put a substantial amount of work into finetuning both of our rockets and we are very hopeful that we could leave next year’s competition as winners once again.”


WILSON

Pictured, from left, are Ashley Skertic, James Carnes, Amy Toscano and Ryan Jadra.

WVU team

“Two members of our team worked on the qualitative answers that were more concept-based. The other two team members focused on using problem-solving skills to do the quantitative questions. Our team decided to have a system that allowed the company to have two separate production lines that would focus on two main product categories,” said Carnes, a junior industrial engineering student from Weirton. “Having to present to corporate judges in the final round was an amazing experience that cannot be taught in a classroom environment. It forced our team to prove to industry experts why our conclusions from the case study were correct using data and concepts learned from classes or previous work experience.” Ednilson Bernardes, associate professor of global supply chain management at B&E and faculty advisor of the supply chain team, said the students met the challenge head-on and as a team — just as they would be expected to tackle the problem in the real world. “We are thrilled the WVU team won this unique competition for the third year in a row,” Bernardes said. “The team reflects WVU’s values of performing at our very best, supporting and valuing each other’s contributions, and seeking opportunities through innovation. Effective supply network systems operate with speed, accuracy and innovativeness. The competition challenges students to display those qualities, while requiring them to work collaboratively in a multifunctional team. This mirrors the professional environment, where global supply chain management professionals and industrial engineers are faced with solving problems.” “I’m very pleased that our students were successful again in the Race to the Case competition,” added Kenneth R. Currie, chair and professor, industrial and management systems engineering. “What is significant to me is that our winning team is very young in their major. This shows how quickly our students learn the practice of their profession.” The competition is designed to mirror the real world, where global supply chain management professionals and industrial engineers are faced with solving problems. They must rely on the talents of each team member and demonstrate teamwork — all in a timely manner. “As a team, we divvied up our strengths,” said Skertic, an industrial engineering junior from Manassas, Virginia. “We worked in pairs and were able to continuously double-check one another throughout each problem that was addressed.” Jadra, a senior global supply chain management student from Westminster, Maryland, said, “We approached this case with confidence and trust. There were many problems from a logistical standpoint that the supply chain group tackled, whereas the engineers worked on the manufacturing side of the business. We had to trust each other’s expertise in order to be successful.” The University of Pittsburgh placed second in the competition, while Penn State placed third.

wins third-straight supply chain competition WRITTEN BY PATRICK GREGG

West Virginia University continues to put a winning team into the supply chain arena, as a four-member group comprised of business and engineering students won the Race to the Case Supply Chain Management Competition for the third consecutive year October 8. The case competition was held at the University of Pittsburgh and included a field of nine teams. The team was made up of two students each from the College of Business and Economics and the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. Of the four years the competition has been held, WVU has won three times. The group included engineering students James Carnes and Ashley Skertic, and business students Ryan Jadra and Amy Toscano. “The case study was about a company that produced spices,” said Toscano, a junior global supply chain management major from East Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania. “The company’s biggest problems were the inability to fulfill customer orders on time due to the large variety of products and unpredictable demand. Forecasting and inventory management were a major challenge for the company.” The competition is modeled after the Emmy award-winning TV show “The Amazing Race,” and incorporates teams comprised of both business and industrial engineering students. The WVU team’s philosophy in solving the challenge for the international company in the case was to divide and conquer.

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In Memoriam Leah Samuel Berhanu, 21, died unexpectedly on February 1. A native of Morgantown, Berhanu was a senior majoring in civil engineering and minoring in mathematics at WVU. She was involved in Adventure WV, serving as an orientation leader and a high ropes course facilitator; was inducted into Alpha Mu chapter of the Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, where she served as the historian and service chair; and the National Society of Black Engineers. She also completed an internship with The Thrasher Group. Berhanu is survived by her parents, Seble and Samuel, and her sisters, Rebecca and Yohanna. Theodore Betoney Jr., 71, of Morgantown, passed away on October 30. A 1969 graduate of WVU with a degree in civil engineering, Betoney worked for more than 34 years in federal service as a civil and mining engineer for the Soil Conservation Service and the Mine Safety and Health Administration. He also attended WVU Tech for mining engineering classes and worked for many years at several coal companies, with his most recent employment at Murray Energy. He was also a land surveyor and a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers. Betoney is survived by his wife, Rita, two daughters, two grandchildren and a brother. John Foreman, 80, died December 11, in Poughkeepsie, New York. A 1962 graduate of WVU with a degree in electrical engineering, Foreman was employed by IBM for more than 30 years. He is survived by his wife, Carole, his daughter, Catherine, and a son, James.

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David Glass, 64, of Roswell, New Mexico, died on January 17. Born in Charles Town, Glass grew up in Masontown and Arthurdale and graduated from WVU with a degree in petroleum and natural gas engineering in 1976. He spent his career working for the Bureau of Land Management and went to firefighting school, which led to assignments in Florida, Oregon, California, New Mexico, Texas, Arizona, Colorado, Montana, Idaho, Utah, Nevada and Alberta, Canada. When the 2003 space shuttle crashed and caused a fire, Glass went to Texas to assist with the recovery. He is survived by his sister, Diane. Donald Gray, 71, of Morgantown, passed away on December 19. A native of New Orleans, Louisiana, Gray was a professor emeritus in WVU’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, where he coordinated the environmental and hydrotechnical engineering group. He authored a textbook on fluid dynamics and was author or co-author on more than 200 papers and reports on fluid mechanics. His research was sponsored by NASA, the U.S. Air Force and the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Department of Energy and state agencies and private companies. He is survived by his wife, Kay, sons Donald, Ben and Mike, and several grandchildren. Charles E. Jamison died unexpectedly in Morgantown on October 26 at the age of 75. After earning his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from WVU in 1965 and his master’s from the University of Pittsburgh in 1967, he served in the U.S. Army as an ordnance officer. He later moved to North Carolina, where he joined Fiber Industries, which was part of Hoechst Celanese. His duties included research and design work in fiber manufacturing, quality-control processes and new equipment installation. As a member of the MAE Advisory Committee, he successfully recruited many WVU graduates into the company. He was inducted into the Department’s Academy of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Distinguished Alumni in 1995. He is survived by his wife of 51 years, Nancy, his sister Michele, and several nieces and nephews. Eric Kenneth Johnson, 87, of Morgantown, passed away on Saturday, January 20. A native of Chicago, Illinois, Johnson taught in WVU’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering from 1980-2015, when he retired at the rank of professor emeritus. He had a lifelong passion for the sport of soccer, playing in the Buckskin league until he was 72. Johnson started the little league soccer program in Worthington, Ohio, in the late ’60s and ’70s and coached in the Monongalia Youth

Soccer Association after moving to Morgantown in 1980. He played the clarinet and baritone saxophone and had the privilege of playing in the 1951 Rose Bowl with the University of Illinois marching band. He also played with WVU’s Osher Lifelong Learning Institute’s New Horizons Band. He is survived by his three children — Karin, Eric Jr. and Carl — along with several grandchildren and great grandchildren. Alex Kingery, 20, of Hedgesville, died on January 1. A graduate of Hedgesville High School, Kingery was a first-year engineering student at WVU and was a member of the WVU Adventure Club. He is survived by his parents, a sister and a brother. Columbus Russell Rader, Jr., 72, passed away on Thursday, December 14. A native of Spencer, he graduated from WVU in 1967 and was employed as a professional civil engineer for the states of West Virginia and Louisiana. He also ran Cross Lanes Engineering, a land surveying company. He is survived by his spouse of 49 years, Stephanie, and three children. George E. Sutton died July 27, 2016, at his home in Barboursville. Sutton, a 1948 graduate of WVU with a degree in mechanical engineering, served as dean of engineering at Youngstown State University from 1976-1994. He was active in the Ohio and National Societies of Professional Engineers, in the Mathcounts Program and as an advocate for engineering education and ethics. He held faculty positions at Arizona State University and at the University of Nevada-Reno, and was the vice president of the National Council of Engineering Examiners for two years. He is survived by two sons, Dana of Huntington, and Jeremy of Byron Bay, Australia. Kenneth E. Vance, 46, of Morgantown, passed away on November 14. A 1993 graduate of WVU with a degree in mechanical engineering, Vance worked for Fusion Technology as a vice president and principal systems engineer. In addition to his parents, Vance is survived by his wife, Lisa, and his daughter, Ashley, and her husband, Brandon Peterson, of Lexington, Kentucky. Naveen Venkatesan died in February while on a trip to India. After earning his master’s degree from WVU in electrical engineering in 2011, he worked as a senior software engineer at GE Power in Seattle, Washington. He is survived by his wife and two-year old son.

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Engineering WV Spring 2018 Magazine  

Statler College's spring issue of EngineeringWV focuses on the potential realized from "A State of Minds Campaign," alumnus flies into a hur...

Engineering WV Spring 2018 Magazine  

Statler College's spring issue of EngineeringWV focuses on the potential realized from "A State of Minds Campaign," alumnus flies into a hur...

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