Page 1

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

VOLUME 15 ISSUE 1

OVERACHIEVERS

SPRING 2019


In the Spotlight

Most Loyal Two alumni of the Statler College were honored as “Most Loyals” during WVU’s 71st Mountaineer Week. Wellsburg native and four-time WVU grad William Cawthorne was named Most Loyal Alumni. Cawthorne recently served as mentor for WVU’s entry in EcoCAR3, an advanced vehicle technology competition sponsored by General Motors with the goal of creating a hybrid-electric Chevrolet Camaro that decreases environmental impact but maintains the performance of the iconic car. He guided more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students competing in the four-year competition, culminating in a second-place finish this past year and more than 15 students with jobs in the automotive industry. Cawthorne, who is the senior manager of advanced engineering for global transmission and electrification at General Motors Global Propulsion Systems in Milford, Michigan, has been involved with every electrified product GM has put into production during his tenure. He has been granted more than 65 U.S. patents and is a two-time winner of the Boss Kettering award, GM’s highest honor for recognizing technical innovations. Most Loyal Faculty was awarded to Powsiri “Klink” Klinkhachorn, a professor in the Lane Department. A two-time graduate of WVU, Klinkhachorn has led multiple WVU robotics teams to top finishes in national and international competitions and was an advisor to the winning team in the Sample Return Robot Challenge, part of NASA’s Centennial Challenges. He has received numerous teaching awards including West Virginia Professor of the Year from the Carnegie Foundation and the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education. Klinkhachorn earned the Thailand National Science Fair Award and was a finalist in the INTEL 8086 Application Contest.

2

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING


ELLIS CAWTHORNE, CINDI ROTH AND KLINKHACHORN

WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

3


In the Spotlight

Teaching Two teachers from the Statler College were among six honored by the WVU Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2018. A WVU alum, Todd Hamrick joined the faculty in 2011 after a 22year career in the engineering industry. He is a long-time mentor for youth organizations, including Boy Scouts, 4-H, First Robotics and the award-winning Mountaineer Area Robotics. Hamrick is also a faculty member of Community Engagement of Science Through Art, a program that brings artists, scientists and engineers together for the design and construction of science-based educational art exhibits. His teaching style brings practical, innovative, experienced-based learning to the classroom, where hands-on projects reflect real-world applications. Throughout his 28 years at WVU, David Martinelli has promoted collective learning and individual engagement through an emphasis on critical thinking and the incorporation of guest speakers. In the classroom, he demonstrates the importance of contextual awareness through problem-solving in situations like traffic congestion, highway safety, energy dependence and infrastructure investment. He encourages his students to make sure they understand the technical elements of any problem they wish to solve and then to fully embrace the reality that their solutions are not implemented in a vacuum. The honorees received a $5,000 honorarium from the WVU Foundation. The Society of Petroleum Engineering recognized Samuel Ameri, chair and professor of petroleum and natural gas engineering, for outstanding teaching. The Distinguished Achievement Award recognizes superiority in classroom teaching, excellence in research, significant contributions to the petroleum engineering profession and/or special effectiveness in advising and guiding students. One of only 14 worldwide to be selected, Ameri was selected in the Eastern North America Region, which encompasses 25 states and the District of Columbia.

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING

NESBIT

4

MARTINELLI, AMERI AND HAMRICK


Philanthropy Ben and Jo Statler were honored as outstanding philanthropists at a luncheon hosted by the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the Association of Fundraising Professionals in Pittsburgh for National Philanthropy Day. The Statlers have shown remarkable generosity and leadership, with the direct impact of their lifetime of support to WVU at nearly $60 million, making them WVU’s largest benefactors. In recognition of their support, the College of Engineering and Mineral Resources was renamed the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources in 2012.

ELLIS

Over the years, the Statlers have supported many WVU initiatives, including the comprehensive breast cancer program at WVU’s Cancer Institute, the new Erickson Alumni Center building, the Basketball Practice Facility and other Athletics capital improvements.

JO AND BEN STATLER

WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

5


ENGINEERING W E S T

V I R G I N I A

Spring 2019

VOLUME 15 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 Stacy Elza / Brittany Furbee / Lynn Reinke / Patrick Gregg / Amber Neice PHOTOGRAPHY M.G. Ellis / Brittany Furbee / Shaun T. Moore / J. Paige Nesbit / Brian Persinger / Jennifer Shephard / J. Alex Wilson / Jesse Wright 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 well-being in West Virginia and the world through technical innovation, knowledge creation and educational excellence. Engineering West Virginia is published twice each year, in spring and fall, for the alumni, friends and other supporters of the WVU Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. Copyright ©2019 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. 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.

NESBIT

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

6

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING

On the cover: Morgan Szafranski juggles four majors with being a resident advisor, internships and owning his own business.


CONTENTS COVER STORY

DEPARTMENTS

20

8

Overachievers

WVU

|

Dean’s Message

10

Research and Development

48

Engineering 360˚

59

In Support

62

In Memoriam

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

7


Dean’s Message

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING

NESBIT

8


When I walk through the halls of the Statler College, I often strike up conversations with students who may be waiting for a class change or studying before a test. It’s not unusual for me to ask, “What’s your major?” It is, however, unusual for me to hear, “Which one? I have four.”

FOUR?! ELLIS

When I was in school, most of us were working hard to complete one or possibly two engineering majors in four to five years. But as you will read in this issue of Engineering West Virginia, we have students who are majoring and minoring in multiple areas. In their “spare” time, some are members of the WVU Honors College and Tau Beta Pi. Others are members of the Pride of West Virginia and student organizations like the Society of Women Engineers and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. All are research active. I can only imagine what their weekly day planners must look like!

CILENTO

They are stellar examples of the wealth of opportunities available to students in the Statler College. From competitive project teams to volunteer opportunities to internships, every student can explore whatever piques their interest in and out of the classroom. Many of these students graduate and go on to accomplish amazing things. Take Morgan King, who graduated this past May with a degree in civil engineering and minors in international and comparative politics. Currently teaching in Spain on a Fulbright Scholarship, Morgan was named WVU’s third Marshall Scholar. She will enroll in University College London in September where she will earn two master’s degrees. Mark Ziegler, who graduated in December with degrees in mechanical and aerospace engineering, is living life in the fast lane as an aerodynamics design engineer with Roush Fenway Racing. He credits internships with Arena Racing USA, Chip Ganassi Racing and Rooster Hall Racing with helping him land his dream job. Four-time graduate Bill Cawthorne, who was named WVU Most Loyal Alumni this past fall, is the senior manager of advanced engineering for global transmission and electrification at General Motors Global Propulsion Systems. In his “spare” time, he served as the mentor for the WVU entry in the EcoCAR3 competition, a role he will reprise in the upcoming EcoCAR Mobility Challenge. And two-time graduate Powsiri “Klink” Klinkhachorn will again lead a team of Mountaineers into its third-straight NASAsponsored Moon to Mars Ice and Prospecting Challenge. The energy and enthusiasm our students, alumni, faculty and staff bring to this College is contagious. Catch the bug and join me in supporting and cheering on their drive to succeed.

Eugene V. Cilento Glen H. Hiner Dean and Professor

WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

9


NESBIT

Research and Development

10

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING


WVU maintains R1 status, ranking alongside most prestigious research universities WRITTEN BY STACY ELZA

West Virginia University continues to rank among the nation’s elite research institutions as reflected in the Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. Carnegie released its every-three-year assessment in December, and WVU continues to be rated as an R1, or very high research activity institution, the most elite category for research-focused schools, alongside such institutions as Harvard, Yale, Columbia and Johns Hopkins. Only 130 of the nation’s 4,500 colleges and universities attain this ranking. “As most any coach will tell you, getting to the top is easier than staying there,” President E. Gordon Gee said. “While it was an achievement to reach the R1 level in 2015, it is even more of an accomplishment to repeat the honor in 2018. “We have a stellar team, and this ranking recognizes their continued efforts,” he said. The classification “reflects our continued commitment to engaging in research at the highest level,” said Fred King, WVU’s vice president for research. “Ultimately this recognition is the outcome of doing the right thing – our goal should be to do great work, and classification as an R1 is an outcome of working toward that goal.” To achieve R1 status, a university must award doctoral degrees in at least 20 different areas and amass at least $43.8 million in total research expenditures, as reported through a National Science Foundation survey. The difference between being deemed R1 or R2 – the next highest category – can come down to how much a university spends on research, the size of its dedicated research staff or the number of doctoral students it graduates.

“The classification is one that is very much holistic and is not heavily weighted toward one research correlate over another,” explained Chaun Stores, assistant vice president for decision support and analysis in the WVU Office of the Provost. “A key difference this cycle compared to the past was the inclusion of professional doctoral degrees in the determination,” King said. “In the past, only research doctoral degrees were used. Certainly, this change helped reflect the more extensive nature of West Virginia University’s research and educational missions.” King thinks the most talented faculty, postdoctoral fellows and students – both graduate and undergraduate – want to affiliate with R1 universities. “As an R2, it is more difficult to be taken seriously in the research community,” he said. “I think that those who fund research, particularly private foundations, also see this like the ‘Good Housekeeping’ seal of approval for the ability of an institution to yield the highest return on their research investment.” Provost Joyce McConnell said the importance of academic research can’t be overstated. “West Virginians benefit every day from the extraordinary research being done at West Virginia University,” McConnell said. “Our faculty, staff and students are actively engaged in improving treatments and finding a cure for Alzheimer’s, in addressing the nationwide opioid epidemic, in exploring our universe and in situating Appalachian arts and culture in the larger context of our nation’s history. Their work in all fields, from medicine to chemistry and psychology to philosophy, is positively impacting the lives of the people of our community, our state and our world.”

WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

11


Research and Development

Kulathumani wins R&D 100 Award WRITTEN BY MARY C. DILLON

Vinod Kulathumani, associate professor of computer science and electrical engineering, is part of a research team that has won the R&D 100 Award. The awards, known as the “Oscars of Innovation,” honor the top 100 proven technological advances of the past year as determined by a panel selected by R&D Magazine. Working in partnership with researchers at Los Alamos National Laboratory, Kulathumani developed an ultra large-scale sensor network for detection of storm water overflow in real-time. To the best of his knowledge, it is the largest flat, multi-hop sensor network in terms of the area covered. “Flat networks have no high-power gateways or cellular links in the middle, which are simply infeasible to deploy in rugged terrains,” Kulathumani said. “The deployed system, which has been operational for about a year, covers about 40 square miles of rugged mountainous terrain with a 300-plus feet vertical change using more than 120 sensors.” While Kulathumani notes that the network is critical due to the chemical nature of storm water runoff, he added that it has applications beyond that, including applications arising from requirements of remote monitoring in large inaccessible areas such as deserts, forests and arctic regions, even for space exploration. “The system configures itself when nodes are added, deleted or moved,” Kulathumani explained. “It is also robust to transmissionrelated losses arising from harsh terrain. Unlike satellite- and cellular-based systems, this solution does not require a third-party infrastructure and data access fees. Instead, the network software and data is owned by the customer.” “Dr. Kulathumani is an outstanding teacher, researcher and mentor. His work in networking techniques to build wireless sensor networks in rugged terrain without external infrastructure is groundbreaking,” said Brian Woerner, chair of the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. “While there are significant military applications of this technology, the commercial applications of these networks to monitor civilian infrastructure in rural regions such as West Virginia are equally as exciting.” The R&D 100 Awards span industry, academia and governmentsponsored research organizations. The winners were announced at the 2018 R&D 100 Conference, held November 15-16, in Orlando, Florida. This is the fourth R&D 100 Award won by researchers at WVU since 2011.

12

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING


R&D IN BRIEF ELLIS

TWO-TIME GANGARAO AND MAJJIGAPU

WINNERS

For the second year in a row, researchers from WVU have taken home the hardware from the Composites and Advanced Materials Expo. Hota GangaRao, the Maurice and JoAnn Wadsworth Distinguished Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, and doctoral candidate Praveen Majjigapu, won the Most Creative Application Award in the design category for their patented NextGen Multifunctional Composite System. The system is a three-piece invention consisting of filler modules – wedge-like parts made to certain specifications – reinforcing dowels and composite materials that allow buildings and bridges to resist heavier loads and provides a significant amount of shock absorption as well as moisture and fire resistance. The patented system 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. Tests have shown that the multifunctional composite system can absorb at least five times more energy than unfortified structures. NESBIT

HIGHLY

CITED

WU

KULATHUMANI NESBIT

Nianqiang (Nick) Wu, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, was named to the Clarivate Analytics Highly Cited Researcher list for 2018. The citation analysis identifies influential researchers as determined by their peers around the globe – those who have consistently won recognition in the form of high citation counts over a decade. The Web of Science serves as the basis for the regular listings of researchers whose citation records position them in the top one percent by citation for their field and year. Wu is the only researcher at West Virginia University to make the 2018 list.

WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

13


Research and Development

Researchers awarded grant to enhance cyberinfrastructure security

YE

WRITTEN BY MARY C. DILLON

Yanfang Ye, assistant professor of computer science and electrical engineering, has been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation in support of her work to enhance security for modern software programming cyberinfrastructure. The award comes with $649,156 in funding over a three-year period.

NESBIT

14

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING


WVU

|

R&D IN BRIEF

NESBIT

Software plays a vital role in supporting scientific communities. Modern software programming cyberinfrastructure – or CI – consisting of online discussion platforms like Stack Overflow and social coding repositories such as Github, offers an open-source and collaborative environment for scientific communities to expedite the process of software development. Within this ecosystem, researchers and developers can reuse code snippets and libraries, or adapt existing ready-to-use software to solve their own problems. One such example, CycleGAN, a software developed by computer vision researchers, has been shared by the research community to expedite the development of novel image processing applications. “Despite the apparent benefits of this new social coding paradigm, its potential security-related risks have been largely overlooked; insecure or malicious codes could be easily embedded and distributed, which could severely damage the scientific credibility of CI,” said Ye. “For instance, as cryptocurrency has grown in popularity, attackers have injected malicious mining code into GitHub. It’s predicted that 2018 would be a year of cyberattacks on critical infrastructure with colleges and universities becoming the primary targets of these attacks. There is an urgent need for developing scalable techniques and tools to automatically detect these open-source insecure or malicious codes.” Ye will focus her efforts on the development of new techniques by exploring innovative links between artificial intelligence and cybersecurity to automate the detection of insecure and malicious codes on social coding platforms. Her proposed techniques will benefit scientific communities and society as a whole by promoting the efficiency of cyber-enabled software development without sacrificing the security. Ye has extensive research and development experience in internet security solutions. Before joining WVU, she was the principal scientist in Comodo Security Solutions, Inc., a provider of computer software and SSL digital certificates, and deputy director at Kingsoft Internet Security Corporation, the second-biggest internet security company in China. Ye proposed and developed cloudbased solutions for mining big data in the area of internet security, especially for malware detection and phishing fraud detection. Her developed algorithms and systems have been incorporated into popular commercial products, including Comodo Internet Security and Kingsoft Antivirus that serve millions of users worldwide. She also recently received the prestigious ACM SIGKDD 2017’s Best Paper and Best Student Paper awards (Applied Data Science Track), the IEEE EISIC 2017 Best Paper Award and the 2017 New Researcher of the Year Award from the Statler College. As part of the grant, Ye, in collaboration with Xin Li, professor of computer science and electrical engineering, and Brian Woerner, chair and professor of computer science and electrical engineering, will design and deploy the proposed techniques and developed tools for scientific and engineering communities to enhance code security spanning the entire CI ecosystem. The team will also establish a Cybersecurity Lab at WVU, which will become a playground for cybersecurity training for both students and professionals.

MACHINE LEARNING SECURITY As artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques have been widely used for cyber defense purposes such as malware and fraud detection, the incentive for defeating them via intelligent evasion attacks increases. Evasion attacks cause the model to misclassify a sample to evade detection. There are currently no effective countermeasures against these sophisticated attacks, but Yanfang Ye hopes to create them. With funding from the National Science Foundation, Ye will investigate a more powerful class of attacks known as gray-box attacks, which allow the attacker to perform all the activities that a defender would normally perform. She will then build a theoretical model for characterizing the vulnerability and resilience of machine learning mechanisms with respect to intelligent evasion attacks under the gray-box model, thus enhancing their security to withstand these attacks with quantifiable resilience gains. “The objective of this project,” Ye said, “will be to investigate effective ways to make machine learning techniques such as classification and clustering mechanisms robust against these types of attacks.”

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

15


Research and Development

R&D IN BRIEF NESBIT

WRITTEN BY MARY C. DILLON

UNDER 35 INNOVATOR SAVAGE

Saiph Savage, J. Wayne and Kathy Richards Faculty Fellow and assistant professor in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, has been selected by MIT Technology Review in Spanish as a 2018 Innovator Under 35 in Latin America. The award recognizes individuals whose technical work promises to shape the coming decades. Selected by a jury of tech experts, winners are honored for creatively applying technology to solve the world’s biggest problems. One of only nine women recognized, Savage was selected in the Pioneers category for her work using social media bots to mobilize people to collaborate in activities of positive impact.

AI CHALLENGE PROBLEM WINNER

Yanfang Ye, assistant professor of computer science and electrical engineering, and her collaborators have received the prestigious Challenge Problem Winner award in the Artificial Intelligence for Cyber Security Workshop. AICS 2019 emphasizes research and applications of techniques to attack and defend machine learning systems or adversarial learning, especially in the context of cyber security.

NESBIT

YE

16

2019

|

The Challenge problem, “Malware Classification Under Adversarial Conditions,” challenged competitors to construct artificial intelligence-based malware classifiers based on redacted data that would be robust to adversarial attacks. Ye’s paper, “Enhancing Robustness of Deep Neural Networks against Adversarial Malware Samples: Principles, Framework and AICS 2019 Challenge,” was chosen as the winner among all the submissions.

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

Johnson, Abdul-Aziz earn NSF award

SPRING

Researchers at WVU have been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation to study methane emissions from natural gas well sites. The three-year grant comes with more than $320,000 in funding.


JOHNSON

Large uncertainties exist in the ability to measure and quantify the amount of methane, a potent greenhouse gas that is released along the natural gas supply chain. Recent studies have shown significant variations in methane losses, and if these losses are large enough, they may mitigate the benefits of natural gas use. The research team, led by Derek Johnson, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, will be investigating the combination of new measurement technologies and techniques to JOHNSON understand and accurately gauge these emissions. Working alongside students and Omar Abdul-Aziz, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, the team will collect and analyze downwind and ABDUL-AZIZ component-level measurements of methane fluxes along with atmospheric changes in an effort to create a data model that would replace the labor-intensive leak detection schemes currently being used. The model could benefit researchers, regulators and the industry. “Our team at WVU previously developed a system to directly quantify methane emissions from natural gas components, and even though the system is robust and accurate it does require site access and extended personnel efforts on site,” Johnson said. “Both industry and researchers are developing technologies that can be deployed near the site that require less physical labor. Our team will develop an overall approach of combining the best data from multiple techniques to develop a more efficient method of methane quantification. “These new approaches will reduce uncertainties between studies, which will help improve the greater understanding of methane emissions,” Johnson said. “These tools will also help industry to identify excessive emissions so that they can be remedied immediately in efforts to conserve natural gas and reduce their greenhouse gas footprint.” Johnson and Abdul-Aziz will leverage industrial collaborations at the Marcellus Shale Energy and Environmental Laboratory in Morgantown, along with the WVU Energy Institute, to conduct seminars and disseminate the results of their research.

WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

17


Research and Development

Jutla to conduct research on Vibrio bacteria in Chesapeake Bay WRITTEN BY MARY C. DILLON

The largest estuary in the U.S., the Chesapeake Bay is home to more than 300 species of fish and numerous shellfish and crab species. It’s also home to Vibrio bacteria, a food-borne infection associated with eating undercooked seafood.

18

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING

Bay, the development of predictive models based on conditions favoring their survival in the marine environment will inform decision makers to devise policies to protect public health. NESBIT

Antar Jutla, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, will partner with researchers at the University of Maryland, led by Professor of Microbiology Anwar Huq, to look at ways in which the frequency, intensity and duration of extreme weather events are likely to affect the ecology of pathogenic Vibrio bacteria in the Bay, which is already experiencing twice the global average rate of sea-level rise. Their work is being funded by a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute for Environmental Health Sciences. According to the Centers for Disease Control, vibriosis causes an estimated 80,000 illnesses and 100 deaths in the United States every year. Most infections occur from May through October when water temperatures are warmer. Since Vibrios cannot be eradicated from the Chesapeake

JUTLA

“We will be looking at issues of predictability of clinically active bacteria in the Chesapeake Bay,” Jutla said. “The research team will produce a comprehensive assessment of the impact of extreme events on the prevalence

of pathogens in Bay-associated water, plankton and oysters, considering the environmental and geophysical processes that modulate these relations.” Prior studies clearly indicate that the frequency of Vibrio occurrences are influenced by environmental factors, and under certain conditions, these bacteria enter into a viable but nonculturable state. Detecting the presence of pathogenic Vibrios is critical because loss of culturability does not guarantee loss of virulence. “This research will enhance our understanding of the occurrence and abundance of clinically important Vibrios in the Bay using satellite remote sensing-inspired simulation and a prediction risk model integrating the ecological theory of pathogens through exhaustive sampling in the region,” Jutla said.


R&D IN BRIEF MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH RESEARCH The Alpha Foundation for the Improvement of Mine Safety and Health awarded additional funds to V’yacheslav Akkerman, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, to expand his research on the predictability and hazards related to mine fires. The first award, in 2014, led to the development of the Dust and Gas Explosion Model, or D-GEM, a joint analytical and computational platform quantifying mining fire hazards, namely, the probability of spontaneous ignition, the evolution of a flame front and the likelihood of a deflagration-to-detonation transition in the presence of combustible dust.

Jutla has done extensive research in hydroepidemiology, which he describes as the nexus of hydroclimate, the environment and human health. He leads the Human Health and Hydro-environmental Sustainability Simulation Lab at WVU, an interdisciplinary research group that investigates how extreme events and enhanced climatic variability impact the emergence of waterborne pathogens that cause infection in humans. Through the use of satellite data, Jutla and his research team are able to create models that predict the distribution of pathogens across the globe. Recent models he created to predict cholera outbreaks in Yemen were found to be highly effective in controlling outbreaks in 2018.

Despite the success of the previous project, the outcomes of the research were academic to some extent because a set of parameters from real coal mines remained unknown. The new award will allow the research team to quantify these

unknown parameters and then further test an upgraded D-GEM.

AKKERMAN

Joshua Brady, associate director of mining extension, and Eduardo Sosa, research associate professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering, were awarded more than $52,000 for one year from the U.S. Department of Labor, Mine Safety and Health Administration to provide miners with hands-on, realistic training on how to handle an explosion or fire in a mine.

BRADY

Utilizing WVU’s Academy for Mine Training and Energy Technologies, training will focus on Self-Contained Self-Rescuer expectations training and mine rescue training.

SOSA

According to Brady, more than 600 individuals will benefit from the training, which should significantly contribute to increasing a miner’s emergency response skills for effectively responding to incidents involving fires in coal mines.

STUDYING GREENHOUSE GAS FLUXES IN COASTAL WETLANDS A pair of researchers from WVU have developed a new model to reliably predict the greenhouse gas fluxes of carbon dioxide and methane in coastal wetlands under rising temperatures and changing environments. Omar Abdul-Aziz, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Khandker S. Ishtiaq, a postdoctoral fellow, have developed the model, which was published in a recent edition of the American Geophysical Union’s “Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeoscience.” Coastal wetlands play an important role in mitigating the effects of GHGs by efficiently removing atmospheric carbon.

WVU

|

However, climate change mitigation benefits have to be achieved through conservation and restoration of coastal wetlands.

ABDUL-AZIZ

ISHTIAQ

The developed model, which takes sunlight, soil temperature and salinity into account, is a novel and first-of-its-kind empirical tool that can be used for estimating and predicting GHG fluxes and carbon storage using a minimal amount of observational data. Presented in a simple spreadsheet, it can be applied to explore various climate change scenarios, which will aid the development of appropriate GHG offset protocols for setting monitoring and verification guidelines for coastal wetland restoration and maintenance projects.

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

19


Cover Story

overachievers noun \ over·achiev·er \ ˌō-vər-ə-ˈchē-vər \ : one who achieves success over and above the standard or expected level especially at an early age WRITTEN BY MARY C. DILLON PHOTOGRAPHY BY J. PAIGE NESBIT

20

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING


WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

21


Cover Story

22

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING


There aren’t many students who can complete

four degrees in just over four years, especially when three of those degrees are in engineering disciplines.

There aren’t many students like Morgan Szafranski. In December 2019, just four and a half years after he arrived on WVU’s Morgantown campus, Szafranski, who is in WVU’s Honors College, will earn bachelor of science degrees in computer engineering, computer science and electrical engineering. He will also earn a bachelor of arts degree in Chinese studies. In his “spare” time, he is also a resident advisor in Braxton Tower, which is home to the Engineering Living-Learning Community, and is a member of WVU’s student chapter of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, the Chinese Club, CyberWVU and the WVU Collegiate Gaming Club. And, as a sixth grader in 2009, he created a business, Washnwhere (“windows are not a pane to us”), which he continues to run while at WVU, managing contracts and invoicing.

Exhausted yet?

WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

23


Cover Story

“I’m glad that I came to WVU; I’m getting quite an education without placing a tremendous weight on my shoulders financially.” —Morgan Szafranski

24

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING


S

zafranski was born in New Mexico but ultimately settled in Charles Town with his father at the age of 4. After applying to Carnegie Mellon University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Johns Hopkins, he chose WVU for financial reasons. “Had I gone to any of the other schools, I wouldn’t have multiple majors and would have over $100,000 of debt,” said Szafranski. “I’m glad that I came to WVU; I’m getting quite an education without placing a tremendous weight on my shoulders financially.”

and it would require exactly four years and maximize my scholarships,” Szafranski said. “I don’t particularly love electrical engineering but computer engineering requires many EE classes, and I realized I was only 11 EE credits short of an entire EE degree. Staying one extra semester for an additional degree wasn’t a deal I could pass on. It also allowed me extra scheduling space to move classes around and ensure no time conflicts.” “He’s done it by planning and dedication,” said Chris Randall, program coordinator in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, who assisted him with advising. “He has this incredible can-do attitude coupled with an amazing competency. He had the plans laid out on his own; all he needed from me was a little scheduling and logistical guidance.” Time management is key to keeping the daily workload, which Szafranski calls “interesting,” in check. “Some days I’d have nothing due but others I’d have programming assignments, Chinese translations, tech reports and lab reports due,” Szafranski said. “Everything would crash all at once if I didn’t pay attention to due dates. Typically, I separate my workload into different days. For example, Mondays would be studying, writing programs and any other CS homework and so on for the rest of the week. “The thing that helped me the most,” he continued, “was trying to finish assignments as soon as they are assigned. Even if we’re given two weeks to finish an assignment, if I knew I wasn’t busy that day, I’d work until I finished it so I’d free up the time spent on that class for the next two weeks. Chinese isn’t something that benefits from a whole day of studying. Instead, I try to spend a little time every day on learning and reinforcing my language skills, which has worked well.” Szafranski has put his classroom skills to work, interning at NextGen Federal Systems, conducting software verification and validation work, and currently with Riviga Web Solutions, as a software engineer. “Riviga currently has a contract that deals with creating software to interface with dozens of sensors and monitors installed on natural gas sites to ensure the safety of workers and address leaks immediately,” Szafranski said. “I’m responsible for creating a user access control for the underlying service that the accompanying web app and iOS app interact with. I also write tests to ensure the software behaves correctly and handles errors appropriately.”

Quite an education indeed. As a freshman, Szafranski originally planned to major just in computer science. But he was dead set on learning a language. “I scoped out the different language programs WVU offers, and our Chinese Studies program stood out amongst the rest,” Szafranski said. ”On the last day to register, I got into CHIN 101 and that’s where it started. Dr. Hannah Lin is the program creator and director, and she has gone out of her way to help me integrate my BA classes into the rest of my classes. Chinese is also very formulaic and structured, which mirrors the thinking in CS, which made it really easy for me to dive into.” “He had his four-year coursework laid out when he came to see me during his freshman year and asked me to fit the Chinese studies major courses to his schedule,” said Lin, Johnson Teaching Associate Professor in the Department of World Languages, Literatures and Linguistics. “I warned him of the heavy workload, but he was determined to succeed. He would go to each professor to find out the course schedules at least two semesters ahead to make sure that there’s no time conflict. To alleviate his regular semester course load, we planned the best time for him to participate in our summer study abroad program, which greatly enhanced his Chinese language skills and cultural knowledge.” With two majors, Szafranski would have graduated early. But he felt he wouldn’t be able to take full advantage of his scholarships. “I started checking for other majors I could add. Dual majoring in computer engineering and computer science worked really well as their subject matter is really similar

WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

25


Cover Story

As an RA in what he terms, “the best tower,” Szafranski is able to give back to the university that has given so much to him. “Freshman year, my RAs in Oakland Hall helped me with pretty much everything,” he said. “I knew so much at the end of my first year that I was completely blind to on day one. I wanted to help incoming freshmen the same way they helped me so I applied for the position.” After applying and interviews, Szafranski received a rejection letter. “At that point I hadn’t signed a lease and got quite nervous,” he said. “Right around finals, the previous residence hall coordinator of Braxton Tower, Cody Smith, contacted me and had me come back in for another interview and three years later I’m still doing it! The workload isn’t difficult; there are several deadlines and administrative things we have to do but usually it just requires me being there for my residents and making sure they have everything they need to make the best out of their first year, both socially and academically. “At times I have to choose between RA responsibilities and schoolwork but my boss, Patrick O’Donnell, understands what’s on my plate and reminds me that RAs are students first,” Szafranski added. “My co-workers keep me grounded and are always willing to trade shifts to help me keep on top of things.”

26

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING

“Morgan has been an exceptional student to work with and watch as he has progressed over the years,” said O’Donnell. “I think he has been this successful because of his level of investment. Morgan has invested so much of himself – his time and his energy – into everything that he does. I can remember times where he would show up to my office and tell me about how he created a new form or something or other that made the work we do in Residence Life much more efficient and effective. I can remember asking him, ‘Where did you have the time to do this?’ and he would say that he did it for fun, or because he wanted to do it. He saw inefficiencies; he wanted to correct them so he did. “He is a tremendous example of not only academic success, but as someone who embraces any challenge in front of him,” O’Donnell added. “He has learned how to be the best version of himself in the classroom and what level of effort is necessary to succeed.” When Szafranski walks across the stage at the WVU Coliseum in December 2019 with multiple degrees in hand, he already has a plan for what’s next. “I’m looking to work for a software engineering firm that has international clients so I can utilize my Chinese,” he said. “Alternatively, a software engineering position abroad would also be an attractive option.”


“He is a tremendous example of not only academic success, but as someone who embraces any challenge in front of him.” —Patrick O’Donnell WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

27


Cover Story

“I knew that I had to work harder than everyone else.”

H

aving a father that’s an electrical engineer piqued Addison Heavner’s interest in technology. “During high school, I began messing around with building and working on computers,” the Upper Tract native said. “I was a good math student and knew that I wanted to be an engineer.” Like Szafranski, he opted to major in electrical engineering, computer engineering and computer science. “My lab teaching assistant for CS 111 told me about how he was triple majoring in CpE/CS/EE and told me that it was only taking him one extra semester past the 4.5 years I was already planning on,” Heavner said. “That’s when I first considered three majors. Once I started into EE 221 my sophomore year, I decided that electrical engineering was something I was interested in and went to my advisor to change my plan. “I’m very passionate about everything that I am studying and don’t regret it at all. I enjoy learning about how the physics of electrical engineering leads to the design of digital logic circuits and how mathematics can be adapted to perform incredible calculations on those pieces of silicon.” For good measure, Heavner recently added an emphasis in cybersecurity to his computer science degree. “Every major that you tack on adds 30 credits to the total that you need to graduate,” Heavner explained. “That means I need 189 credits to graduate. The course requirement overlap between my three majors creates a situation where I will have completed all of my required courses and then still not have enough credits to graduate. The Lane Department recently launched a cybersecurity program and is offering an emphasis that you can add to a CS degree. The classes that I need to take to complete the emphasis almost perfectly fill the credit deficit that I need to graduate. Cybersecurity is a really fast-growing field that I was already interested in, so this works out perfectly for me.”

28

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING


“I’ve made a commitment to myself to finish what I’ve started and to never let myself fail.” —Addison Heavner

WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

29


Cover Story

30

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING


Heavner admits that the transition from high school to college was difficult and that he manages his workload through pure determination. “I went to a tiny high school, and my graduating class was only 60 kids,” Heavner said. “My teachers tried really hard to prepare us but they just didn’t have the resources to offer math courses like calculus. This put me behind the curve compared to my peers when I got into Math 155E my first semester. Combined with feeling a little lost, I was not prepared for the workload. I had to work really hard to change my work ethic and study habits. Once I decided on pursuing a third degree, I knew that I had to work harder than everyone else to get to where I wanted to be. I was determined to do better than I had the year before and to prove to myself that I could be really successful. “I’ve made a commitment to myself to finish what I’ve started and to never let myself fail,” he continued. “I’ve made really good friends along the way who have helped me through a lot of tough spots and I’ve helped them in return. I’ve also spent a lot of time sitting at my desk forcing myself to read and study. By some standards I’m probably not that great of a student. But I know in the end that

I’m going to stick to it and keep learning, keep working and eventually come out of this school with a great accomplishment.” Heavner practices his trade as an IT technician for the Lane Department. From helping everyone from students to faculty to researchers, he works to ensure “labs and equipment are in good working order and that every student is able to learn without suffering from some sort of technical issue.” After a couple of summer internships, including one that took him to Boulder, Colorado, where he worked for Eaton Corporation, Heavner is open to trying new things. “I still have one more summer to do an internship before I graduate in May 2020, so right now I’m trying to figure out what I want to try next,” he said. “I don’t have a concrete plan for what I’m going to do after I graduate but I’m always open to new experiences. I’ll pretty much go anywhere and do anything if I think it’s going to be a rewarding experience for me and will also make a positive difference in some way.”

“My lab teaching assistant for CS 111 told me about how he was triple majoring in CpE/CS/EE and told me that it was only taking him one extra semester past the 4.5 years I was already planning on.” —Addison Heaver

WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

31


Cover Story

“the ideal choice”

A

love of crime shows and marching bands brought Springfield, Virginia, native Kelly Martin to WVU. “I was originally looking for degrees in computer forensics but came across the biometric systems degree at WVU and really liked it,” said Martin. “I also knew that I wanted to continue participating in marching band in college. I had seen the Pride of West Virginia twice during high school so WVU seemed like the ideal choice.” When she started looking for a second major, Jeremy Dawson, associate professor in the Lane Department, steered her toward computer engineering. “At the end of my first semester, I knew I wanted to go for a double major,” Martin said. “Dr. Dawson recommended I choose computer engineering because it seemed to be a good balance between hardware and software that would allow me to have a broader understanding on how to work with biometric systems.” For minors, Martin, who graduated in December, chose Spanish and computer science. “I declared my Spanish minor the fall of 2015, a semester before I went to study abroad in Spain. I have had a lot of experience in Spanish, starting from before I was in kindergarten and continuing until my junior year of high school,” Martin said. “I wanted to keep working on it so that I could become fluent in the language and I thought that adding the minor and doing a study abroad in a Spanish-speaking country would be a great opportunity. “For my second minor, I waited until spring 2018 – the semester before I graduated – to add in computer science. I knew that I was going to go for the minor for a while since many of my required major courses had me completing nearly all the required courses for the minor. I just needed to take an extra CS course, CS 310, and the minor would be complete!”

computer engineering

trombone

Spanish

biometric systems

Kappa Kappa Psi

computer science

computer forensics

basketball pep band

Society of Women Engineers Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers VP-Student Society for the Advancement of Biometrics 32

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING


WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

33


Cover Story

34

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING


In her free time, Martin was a four-year member of the Pride’s trombone section and a two-year member of the basketball Pep Band. She was also a member of Kappa Kappa Psi, the band fraternity, which assists in band-related activities on campus. In addition to memberships in the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers and the Society of Women Engineers, Martin was a serving member of the Student Society for the Advancement of Biometrics, and ultimately served as its vice president. “I discussed events and projects with the Society’s president and also helped with outreach events that showcase what biometrics is and what it’s used for,” said Martin. “The Society is hoping to begin a project for facial recognition that would match a person’s face with one in a database, which is similar to an activity we did with a couple of SWE events.” Managing the workload took several tries but Martin eventually settled on using a planner with an hourly layout. “Every Sunday I wrote down the events, classes and times for work that were definitely occurring that week so that I could see where I had time to work on my homework or other assignments for my classes,” Martin said. “Writing it down helped keep it in my mind. I also added the use of the Google Calendar, which was extremely helpful, especially when I needed to take a quick look and double check the things I had written down in my planner. Using both helped me out immensely with time management, with the Google Calendar being more of a guideline and my physical planner confirming what was to come for the upcoming week.” As she wrapped up her time at WVU, Martin spent much of her last semester working as part of a six-person senior design project tasked with creating a facial recognition pet feeder. “During the spring semester, we worked on the design portion of the project and during the fall we worked to create the feeder, which will dispense and present food and water after a pet approaches the feeder and is recognized by it,” said Martin. “Our group was separated into teams. Morgan Menke and Mitchell Russell were in charge of the hardware and building of

“I want to build up my experience and learn more about these fields in hopes of eventually working in an environment where I can help with solving crimes.” —Kelly Martin the feeder. Daniel Bond, Kenny Redillas and Matt Witkowski were in charge of the software, which included the website and app that worked with the feeder to create feeding schedules. I was in charge of the facial recognition of the pets.” Upon graduation, Martin, who was a member of the Honors College, was hoping to put her learning experiences to work, seeking employment in cybersecurity or computer forensics. “I want to build up my experience and learn more about these fields in hopes of eventually working in an environment where I can help with solving crimes,” Martin said. “I do plan to travel and would like to work outside of the country if that possibility is offered to me.”

WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

35


Cover Story

36

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING


“I still wanted more.”

W

hile Morgantown native Amanda Cathreno looked at other schools, deciding to come to WVU was an easy choice. “I love West Virginia, and from a young age I came to love WVU sports,” Cathreno said. “WVU offered extremely competitive programs in the majors I was considering, as well as fantastic scholarship opportunities. The community at WVU is diverse and welcoming, and I had no doubt I would love my four years here.” As is the case with all first-year students, Cathreno, now a senior, entered the Statler College through its Fundamentals of Engineering Program while minoring in music. “I had no idea what kind of engineering I was going to pursue or if I even wanted to be an engineer at all,” she said. “I was a music minor and I was considering switching to the music program entirely. Both programs at WVU are great, so I knew there were no bad choices.” As she made her way through the first-year program, Cathreno said she received “incredible support and guidance” from her advisors and

professors, which assured her she could succeed in engineering. She settled on mechanical engineering and dropped her music minor. “Before long, I realized that mechanical engineering was alright, but aerospace seemed more interesting and fun,” Cathreno said. “I added an aerospace engineering major sophomore year and quickly found my passion. Somewhere along the way, I ended up adding my math and physics minors. I realized that I had completed all of the required curriculum in these subjects for engineering, but I still wanted more. I added the minors so I could continue and enhance my education in subjects I always found interesting.” Her passion for aerospace engineering led Cathreno, also a member of the Honors College, to a summer internship with NASA, which helped to solidify her desire to one day work in the space industry. She is also a member of WVU’s RockSat-C 16 team, a collaborative effort with academic institutions across the state for the development and design of space payloads. The group hopes to launch its payload next June.

“I added the minors so I could continue and enhance my education in subjects I always found interesting.” —Amanda Cathreno WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

37


Cover Story

38

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING


“I also believe that relaxing and doing activities you enjoy is as important as anything else.” —Amanda Cathreno Noting that the workload in engineering can be rigorous at times, Cathreno is quick to note that no one manages it perfectly. “I have figured out ways to be successful and not get overwhelmed. The important things are to attend office hours regularly and meet your professors. Another key is to never get behind on material or homework. If you stay ahead, you’re more likely to do well and avoid cramming. Being organized is essential in a robust program.” Stepping away from the classroom is important as well. “I also believe that relaxing and doing activities you enjoy is as important as anything else,” Cathreno said. “I do this by spending time with my two dogs, Chloe and Atticus. They have been amazing companions during college, but also provide more responsibility requirements. I balance this by doing CrossFit, where I have met many of my friends. Spending an hour per day away from the classroom and being active really helps with the stress and rigors of school.”

WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

39


Cover Story

“doing meaningful work”

A

After graduating from high school, Morgantown native Matt Keaton came to WVU ready to study his two main passions: mathematics and physics. After opting for a dual degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering, he realized after taking several courses, the degree wasn’t for him. “The second semester of college, I took a mechatronics course, which is a cross between mechanics and electronics concepts,” said Keaton. “Our final project involved creating a robot that would place balls into a basket and navigate an arena using sensors. The work entailed constructing the robot, programming the microcontroller and debugging the program so the robot did the tasks correctly. I quickly noticed that I enjoyed myself far more doing this type of work than what I did in my other classes. I realized I had a true passion for the engineering, mathematics and programming knowledge required for a discipline in this field, so I decided I would be happier in the Lane Department, and the rest is history.” With majors in computer science and computer engineering and minors in mathematics and physics, Keaton, a senior and member of the Honors College, conducts research at WVU’s Rockefeller Neuroscience Institute in connectomics, working to create a 3D map of the brain, including neurons and each of their connections.

40

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING


“He is working on an important challenge in quantification of images, namely, how to count cells, which can be quite numerous, in a large image field.” —George Spirou

WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

41


Cover Story

“I love doing meaningful work that pushes the boundaries of our understanding of the world.” —Matt Keaton

42

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING


“The project is being worked on by numerous institutions around the world, but the amount of work required to complete this is far too large to be done manually,” Keaton said. “This calls for the work of machine learning. Some of the work I do involves helping another member of the Lane Department, who has been creating a neural network to automate the process of ‘segmenting’ cross-sectional images of brain tissue and differentiating between different bodies.” “He is working on an important challenge in quantification of images, namely, how to count cells, which can be quite numerous, in a large image field,” said George Spirou, John W. and Jeannette S. Straton Research Chair in Neuroscience and director of otolaryngology research at the WVU School of Medicine. “This process involves teaching an algorithm what a cell looks like by providing examples, then adjusting parameters of the algorithm to provide a reasonable output. Then the output must be checked, which we do in our 3D virtual reality software, syGlass. Matt is developing a workflow from the machine learning step into syGlass for rapid error correction.” Keaton is a member of a number of honor societies including Mortar Board (college seniors), Tau Beta Pi (engineering), Upsilon Pi Epsilon (computing), Pi Mu Epsilon (mathematics) and serves as vice president of Eta Kappa Nu (electrical and computer engineering). While Keaton said it’s not always possible to do everything he needs to in a single day, making several to-do lists helps. “I prepare myself for success by writing several to-do lists, including one for the current day, which I start adding things to the day before,” Keaton said. “I also have a backup list for things of lower priority that don’t quite fit into my schedule. On top of just preparing myself, it’s important to incorporate de-stressing activities, which I find mainly through exercise. I run three times a week and try to rock climb at least once a week.” Upon graduation, Keaton plans to pursue his doctorate in computer science or machine learning. “I would like to either continue doing research similar to what I’m currently doing in the scope of machine learning for neuroscience applications, or alternatively focus specifically on machine learning and help produce better algorithms. Whatever I decide upon, I love doing meaningful work that pushes the boundaries of our understanding of the world. As technology is moving faster than ever before and as our capabilities are increasing exponentially, understanding the cutting-edge of technology puts me in a good position to push those boundaries.”

WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

43


Cover Story

“build in a time cushion”

W

eirton native Montana Mascio came to WVU knowing she wanted to major in engineering but wasn’t sure which major she would ultimately choose. “I loved science but didn’t want to become a doctor or teacher,” said Mascio. “Engineering provided the perfect mix of theoretical science and practical application. I also wasn’t entirely sure what job I wanted to have after graduation, but I liked biology and chemistry.” Mascio ultimately decided to major in chemical engineering, with a certificate in biomedical engineering. “I felt that this particular combination would give me the best foundation for pursuing a wide variety of careers in chemical and biomedical industries. I also wanted to diversify my understanding of these industries in the bigger picture – as businesses – and to lay the groundwork for performing in managerial roles. This led to my choice to minor in business administration and strategic social media.”

“Engineering provided the perfect mix of theoretical science and practical application.” —Montana Mascio Mascio, a senior and member of the Honors College, has taken advantage of virtually every opportunity presented to her. She has conducted two technical internships at Covestro, one in industrial coatings and one in polycarbonates, which exposed her to a side of chemical engineering outside of the academic world while providing hands-on experience in areas ranging from cosmetics formulation to injection molding to 3D printing. She credits her minors with helping her build and pitch a business case for increasing sustainable food practices to company leadership.

44

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING


WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

45


Cover Story

46

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING


Mascio is currently working on a yearlong project that simulates an open-ended design problem in a chemical company, a requirement for all graduating seniors in the program. “I am involved in this project as a group member where we are responsible for some of the core technical design elements,” Mascio said. “Other responsibilities I’ve had in my time at WVU include working as a teaching assistant for a companion animal science class, and I am currently working as a grader for a sophomore-level chemical engineering course.” Small classes and the opportunity to register early were pluses offered through the Honors College, and membership in the Society of Women Engineers provided Mascio with resources for career and leadership guidance and the opportunity to interact and work with other women engineering majors. “The engineering curriculum at WVU is often comprised of many types of assignments, projects and exams, all taking place concurrently,” Mascio said. “However, keeping track of the deadlines for each individual responsibility has been crucial to

“Due to the writing-heavy nature of many of my strategic social media classes, they were well suited to online completion.” —Montana Mascio allocating time correctly. Working ahead, when a particular day or week allows for it, helps to build in a time cushion for when things may not go quite as planned or take longer than expected. “Completing three minors definitely added to my total course load, so online and summer options have been crucial,” she continued. “In fact, I completed my business administration minor entirely during summer sessions. Also, due to the writing-heavy nature of many of my strategic social media classes, they were well suited to online completion. This helped to keep my schedule manageable each semester.” A “huge animal lover” who describes her dream position as one that allows her to work on a biomedical process for veterinary applications, Mascio will be working as a commercial associate engineer at Braskem in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

47


PHOTOGRAPH SUBMITTED

Engineering 360˚

KING

King named WVU’s third Marshall Scholar WRITTEN BY LYNN REINKE

Morgan King has been awarded a Marshall Scholarship, one of the country’s top awards, to study in the United Kingdom.

48

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING

King is one of 48 students to be selected from a pool of more than 1,000 applications from across the United States. She is the third WVU graduate to achieve this award. “West Virginia University has a great tradition of competing for nationally prestigious scholarships. Morgan is the latest Mountaineer to make this challenging climb, and we are very proud of her and her accomplishment,” President E. Gordon Gee said. “She exemplifies our students’ strong commitment to excellence in academics, leadership and service.” The Marshall Scholarship was created by an Act of Parliament to honor U.S. Secretary of State George Marshall, the architect of the rebuilding of Western Europe after World War II. The British Government principally funds the program but also benefits from generous support from the country’s leading academic institutions. The scholarship enables intellectually distinguished young Americans to do graduate work at any university they choose in the U.K. In September 2019, King will enroll in University College London, where she will earn two master’s degrees. The first is a master of science in environmental systems engineering and the second is a master of public administration in science, engineering and public policy. “I am pursuing public service, because I believe in the potential of government to benefit society and make a difference in the lives of its citizens,” King said. “My goal is to work for the U.S. government, possibly the Department of State, and ultimately return to serve my home state of West Virginia.” The Charleston native sees the parallel between the rise and collapse of the coal empires in Appalachia and the United Kingdom, despite opposite approaches to the coal industry by American and British governments. With an eye to the issues in West Virginia, she plans to learn more about the nexus between water and energy and the impact of the coal industry on water in Britain. She’s also looking forward to experiencing British culture and exploring her family roots in Wales. “The cultural and industrial connection between Appalachia and the U.K. is incredibly fascinating to me,” she said. King graduated from WVU in May with a degree in civil engineering from the Statler College and a minor in international and comparative politics. She was also a student in the Honors College. In addition to excelling academically, she was active with Engineers without Borders both internationally and in West Virginia where she led a workshop on water access inequities and she lobbied the West Virginia State Legislature to safeguard the state’s water. She has also been a strong advocate for women in science, technology, engineering and math. “As a female engineering student, I recognize there is not an adequate representation of female or STEM perspectives in decision-making, which must change,” King said. Her resume reflects her background in science and her passion for diplomacy. She had an internship at the U.S. Department of State and is currently teaching in Spain on a Fulbright Scholarship. She credits the supportive faculty and staff at WVU for giving her so many diverse opportunities. “I am so grateful for my experience at WVU,” King said. “The encouragement I received from many departments to pursue my passions was something that I don’t believe I could have had at another university. The support of the staff at the ASPIRE office was incredible.”


PHOTOGRAPH SUBMITTED FLORES-SAVIAGA

FloresSaviaga wins Facebook Emerging Scholar Fellowship WRITTEN BY MARY C. DILLON

Claudia Flores-Saviaga, a doctoral candidate at WVU, has won a 2019 Facebook Emerging Scholar Fellowship.

This highly competitive fellowship is given to outstanding PhD students from across the world who are engaged in innovative computer science research. The award is designed to support the best and brightest students in the technology sector to conduct research that will impact both academia and industry. Flores-Saviaga will work with Facebook Research for two years to help them improve their technological interventions to limit the spread of false information on the platform. “My previous research has focused on uncovering how bad actors produce collective action on online platforms,” Flores-Saviaga said. “This time I will focus on understanding how citizens coordinate, perceive and influence one another to share, debunk and stop the spreading of fake news across multiple social media platforms.” Flores-Saviaga will focus on investigating how citizens produce collective action to stop misinformation campaigns in different contexts and across popular social media sites. She is also interested in investigating what the most effective techniques or strategies are for stopping influence or manipulative campaigns, giving Facebook a more holistic understanding to fight actors producing fake news and propaganda messages. Working alongside Saiph Savage, J. Wayne and Kathy Richards Faculty Fellow and assistant professor in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering in WVU’s Human Computer Interaction Laboratory, Flores-Saviaga started her exploration of online spaces by analyzing how political trolls were organizing during the 2016 U.S. presidential elections. She uncovered different collective action strategies that political trolls adopted to mobilize people for the presidential campaign. She also developed novel probabilistic graphical models to uncover how the most active political trolls drove people to action. Her research gained interest from The Associated Press, Newsweek and Salon, among others. “I then began to analyze how the Latino community was targeted on social media during the past midterm election as part of a collaboration with the Institute for the Future,” Flores-Saviaga said. “This research caught the attention of and has received funding support from different think tanks in the U.S. such as the Atlantic Council and the National Democratic Institute.” Through this collaboration with Facebook Flores-Saviaga hopes to share her work and network with the broader Facebook Research community and work on the technology challenges the platform is addressing. “The fellowship is wonderful recognition for Claudia’s experiences working with presidencies in Latin America and in collaborating with centers that conduct policy studies and strategic analyses of political, economic and security issues throughout the world,” said Savage. “This will help Facebook in its mission to create better online experiences for people and help foster the democratic societies we all desire.” More than 900 students from the world’s top universities applied for the fellowship with proposals that addressed specific social computing challenges. Winners receive two years of tuition and fees, a stipend of $37,000 each year, and up to $5,000 in conference travel support.

WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

49


Engineering 360˚

WILSON

TETER, LUCK, SLICKLEIN AND HORES

Business and engineering students capture fourth consecutive win in supply chain competition WRITTEN BY PATRICK GREGG

It was a sign of things to come in October 2015, when a West Virginia University team made up of supply chain and industrial engineering students went to the University of Pittsburgh and won the Race to the Case Supply Chain Management Competition. A team of Mountaineers has won the competition every year since, as students captured WVU’s fourth consecutive Race to the Case crown in Pittsburgh this past September among a field of teams that included the University of Pittsburgh, Penn State University and Carnegie Mellon University. Of the five years the competition has been held, WVU has won four times. The team was made up of two students each from the Chambers

50

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING

College of Business and Economics and the Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources. The group included global supply chain management students Michala Luck and Cliff Teter, and industrial engineering students Christian Hores and Brandon Slicklein. “The case focused on a company’s distribution network in Southeast Asia, and we were challenged to optimize their freight forwarding system through quantitative and qualitative analyses,”

said Luck, a junior global supply chain management major from Willoughby, Ohio. “Each round introduced new data and situations that built off each other, and the final round was a presentation for the company’s senior executives to explain our problem-solving process and recommend a five-year plan based on the challenges.” The competition is modeled after the Emmy award-winning TV show “The Amazing Race.” Slicklein, a senior industrial and management systems engineering student from Kings Park, New York, said the team spent time planning. “Having one hour each for rounds 1 and 2, which included the time to run to the next round’s location, provided difficult decisions for the team on what to prioritize. We decided to leave each


Upcoming PHOTOGRAPH SUBMITTED

location 10 minutes before the end of the round in order to give ourselves time to arrive for the next round,” Slicklein said. “Round 3 consisted of a 30-minute period where the team had to develop a five-year implementation distribution strategy, and a presentation to a board of directors to pitch our solution and strategy plan. Thankfully, we coordinated well and optimized our time to develop a complete plan that told our story in full.” Hores, a senior industrial engineering student from Wheeling, said WVU’s past performances in the Race to the Case Competition were a motivating factor. “Applying theories from operations research and material handling classes, we were able to find both the optimal location for a new distribution center and the most costeffective shipping option from that distribution center to the customer,” Hores said. “Working together as an effective team to uphold WVU’s tradition of winning at this event is something I’m very proud we were able to accomplish.” Ednilson Bernardes, global supply chain management program coordinator, professor of global supply chain management at B&E and faculty advisor of the supply chain team, said demand has never been higher to quickly and efficiently make goods and services available where and when they are needed. “Supply chain systems require superior delivery, speed and quality, and that is how the team approached the competition,” Bernardes said. “The teams were required to solve challenges applying their academic knowledge with quality, but also balancing speed. It was especially exciting to see how each member of the WVU team competently demonstrated their teamwork and multidisciplinary knowledge and skills. “Winning this competition again really inspires us to continue investing in the transformational things we are doing in our supply chain program. This event is a great experiential learning opportunity for our students and is part of the hands-on approach we have to education. It also helps us forge practical cooperation between the two great areas of business and industrial engineering and it validates the work we are doing.” Teter, a native of Elkins, and a senior double-majoring in finance and global supply chain management, said the opportunity to learn in real life experiences was invaluable. “The case competition was an incredible experience to be a part of and gave great insight applicable to realworld situations,” Teter said. “Being a member of WVU’s winning team generates a great sense of accomplishment, and I couldn’t be happier to have brought home the fourth consecutive title for my school.”

UP TO THE CHALLENGE For the third straight year, a team from WVU will compete in the Moon to Mars Ice and Prospecting Challenge, a special edition competition under NASA’s Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts – Academic Linkage brand of competitions. Ten university teams were selected for the competition, which challenges finalists to design and build hardware that can identify, map and drill through a variety of subsurface layers, then extract water from an ice block in a simulated off-world test bed. The challenge seeks to advance critical capabilities needed on the surface of the Moon and Mars. Looking to build upon its success in the first two challenges, WVU’s Mountaineer Ice Drilling Automated System – or MIDAS III – hopes to again find itself in the winner’s circle. MIDAS I finished first in 2017 and MIDAS II finished second in 2018. Joining WVU in the competition are teams from Carnegie Mellon, Colorado School of Mines, MIT, Northeastern University, Stevens Institute of Technology, University of Houston, University of Tennessee Knoxville and Virginia Tech. Northeastern is the defending champion.

WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

51


Engineering 360˚

NESBIT

APPOINTED Debangsu Bhattacharyya, a professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomedical Engineering, has been named the GE Plastics Material Engineering Professor. Bhattacharyya has conducted extensive research in the areas of advanced modeling and simulation of energy-generating systems, smart-grid, condition monitoring, fault diagnosis, uncertainty quantification, sensor placement, biomimetic control and advanced manufacturing.

NESBIT

BHATTACHARYYA

In 2015, Bhattacharyya won an R&D 100 Award, known as the “Oscars of Innovation,” for the development of a virtual realitybased software that provides the energy industry with an unprecedented high-tech look inside the operation of power plants. In 2016, he won a second R&D 100 Award for creating a toolset that aids in the development of carbon capture.

Their innovative method was designed to extract natural gas without producing harmful by-products and allow for local production that would eliminate the difficult task of transporting natural gas in developing countries. Additionally, the by-products created during production could be utilized as fertilizer, making their company both environmentally friendly and sustainable. The event was held in Sao Paolo, Brazil, in August, in conjunction with the third annual Student Congress, an international seminar hosted by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and Power and Energy Society.

52

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

BANNA

DECEMBER GRAD LANDS RACING ENGINEER POSITION

HUANG

Qingqing Huang, assistant professor of mining engineering, was recognized with two prestigious awards by the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration. For the second time, Huang was selected as a distinguished speaker for SME’s Henry Krumb Lecture Series. The program is offered to SME sections to enhance their appreciation and understanding of important new methods and technologies by bringing outstanding speakers to local sections. Lecturers are selected from the professionals who present technical papers at the SME Annual Conference and Expo. Only 10 are selected for the honor annually out of more than 800 professionals. Huang was also selected as the 2018 recipient of SME’s Mineral and Metallurgical Processing Division Outstanding Young Engineer Award. The award, which recognizes significant contributions of a young individual within the Mineral Processing and Extractive Metallurgy discipline, will be given to her in recognition of her “creative use of mineral processing and mining engineering technology to minimize respirable dust and underground coal dust explosions.”

PHOTOGRAPH SUBMITTED

Hasan Ul Banna, an electrical engineering doctoral student from Lahore, Pakistan, won first place along with teammates from Jordan, India and Costa Rica, at the 2018 Green Entrepreneur Competition for their proposal to create a startup company that would use wheat straw, mushrooms and beans to produce natural gas.

PHOTOGRAPH SUBMITTED

GOING GREEN

AWARDED

ZIEGLER

When the cars from Roush Fenway Racing hit the tracks in the NASCAR Monster Energy Cup Series this year, they will have at least one Mountaineer to thank for their success. Mark Ziegler, who graduated with a degree in mechanical and aerospace engineering in December, officially joined the team at Roush Fenway Racing in January, working as an aerodynamics design engineer. Ziegler conducts design work focused on a car’s aerodynamics and will spend some time at the wind tunnel, trying to find ways to better use some of the areas of the car that are more aerodynamically sensitive. A seasoned team member of WVU’s Formula SAE team, Ziegler completed internships at Arena Racing USA in 2014 and Chip Ganassi Racing in 2017. He spent most of 2018 as a racing intern with Rooster Hall Racing, participating in six touring car races in the 2018 Pirelli World Challenge Series. Thanks to a gift from WVU alums Dan and Betsy Brown, RHR, which is owned by their son, Todd, and his wife, Michelle, were able to offer two internships to WVU students while also supporting the SAE team.

SPRING


NESBIT

Thorsten Wuest, J. Wayne and Kathy Richards Faculty Fellow and assistant professor in the Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, served as a member of the editorial board for the 2018 World Manufacturing Forum Report. The white paper, which was released in September, outlined the current state of manufacturing in numbers, societal megatrends and manufacturing challenges to discover what actions are needed in the journey of achieving the future-oriented development.

WUEST

Wuest, who was responsible for identifying, recruiting and interviewing experts to gather the insights that shaped the report, said there were certain aspects of the report that piqued his interest. One dealt with changing perceptions toward overextraction and scarcity of natural resources. The report noted renewable energy, better industrial practices and technological developments in resources extraction as being key to becoming more efficient and yielding more product and less waste, as well as increasing the overall amount of economically and technically accessible resources.

THE FUTURE OF

MANUFACTURING

Other key recommendations in the report are the need to strengthen and expand infrastructure to enable future-oriented manufacturing, design and production of socially oriented products, exploration of the real value of data-driven cognitive manufacturing and development of effective policies to support global business initiatives.

TWICE A WINNER

ADVISING CENTER OPENS

For the second straight year, the team from WVU took home top honors in the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration–Eastern Collegiate Mine Rescue Fall 2018 Competition.

Building on the success of its Fundamentals of Engineering program for freshmen, the Statler College has opened an Advising Center for sophomores, juniors and seniors.

WVU bested teams from University of Kentucky, Virginia Tech and Penn State to win the event, which was held in November. WVU also won the Combination Team trophy for having the best overall combined score in the Mine Rescue Problem and the Smoke Competition and placed third in the Smoke Competition. PHOTOGRAPH SUBMITTED

The Center, which is located in Room 151 of the Engineering Sciences Building, is managed by Michelle Poland, interim director. She is joined on a part-time basis by Chris Randall, program coordinator in the Lane Department of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. Both Poland and Randall have been recognized by the College and University for outstanding advising. The Center will be an integral part of the College’s Office of Student Services, led by Sarah Lowery. As part of a phased rollout, the departments of civil and environmental engineering and computer science and electrical engineering transferred advising responsibilities to the Center in fall 2018. The remaining departments are expected to be on-boarded by the 2019-2020 academic year.

MAKING WVU BETTER

FURBEE

While many students traveled far and wide to participate in internships over the summer, three students in the Statler College found the best opportunities right on campus.

Jacob Lewellen, Chris Mitten and John Thomas interned with WVU Facilities Management on projects ranging from preparing electrical, piping and HVAC drawings for outside contracts to improving internal processes related to project closeout procedures. “Without student support, our staff would spend more time on each project, limiting our University’s growth,” said Liza Rigucci, project engineer for WVU Facilities Management. “As WVU grows there is more and more demand for improvement across campus, and our student interns are essential to improving the internal processes of our department. It’s a small role that makes a big difference.”

WVU

|

LEWELLEN

MITTEN

THOMAS

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

53


Engineering 360˚

WVU awarded 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund grant WRITTEN BY MARY C. DILLON

West Virginia University is one of 10 higher education institutions in the United States to be awarded an Innovation Fund grant to grow study abroad partnerships with Argentina. The U.S. Department of State, Partners of the Americas and NAFSA: Association of International Educators announced the winning teams as part of the Argentina-U.S. Workforce Development competition sponsored by Chevron and the U.S. Department of State. WVU will partner with Universidad Nacional del Comahue to implement a new program to allow engineering students to learn more in-depth practical knowledge about exploration and production of shale oil and gas. Students from both universities will travel to host institutions to interact with their students and faculty, participate in workshops and gain more understanding of shared challenges and opportunities in this field of study. Eduardo Sosa, a research associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at WVU’s Statler College, became interested in exploring places where mobility programs could be implemented after visiting WVU’s Industrial Outreach Program in Mexico. The Mexico program is run by Victor Mucino, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and associate chair for education. Mucino will co-direct the new initiative with Sosa. “I found that there are places and institutions in Argentina that share similar interests with us for enhancing the education

54

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING

of engineering students, by providing meaningful experiences in a multicultural and multilingual professional environment,” Sosa said. “I found that faculty at Universidad Nacional del Comahue located in Neuquén, Argentina, share common interests that could benefit both institutions, and we decided to partner for developing a new mobility program. When there was a call for proposals from Partners of the Americas, who work in conjunction with the U.S. Department of State on the 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund for developing programs for exchanging students between higher education institutions of the Americas, we decided to apply.” The Innovation Fund inspires U.S. universities and colleges to team up with higher education institutions in the rest of the Western Hemisphere to create partnerships that construct bridges of connectivity, increase academic exchanges, provide access to training opportunities and strengthen regional education cooperation and competitiveness throughout the Americas. Since January 2014, the Innovation Fund has awarded 178 grants to 350 teams of higher education institutions from 25 countries and 41 U.S. states. Innovation Fund grant awards are typically $25,000 each with grant-winning teams contributing additional resources to implement sustainable academic exchange programs and increase opportunities for students in the United States and the rest of the Western Hemisphere. Additional support for the program will be provided by WVU Global Affairs, the WVU Energy Institute, UNCo and the WVU departments of mechanical and aerospace engineering and petroleum and natural gas engineering. According to Sosa, there were many commonalities between the two universities that made them an ideal fit. “WVU and UNCo share similarities regarding geography and economic activity, as both institutions are located in regions of high exploration and extraction of shale oil and gas,” Sosa said. “WVU is located in the Appalachia basin within the Marcellus and Utica shale regions, while UNCo


PHOTOGRAPH SUBMITTED

Edward C. Prado, U.S. Ambassador to Argentina; Rossana C. Jaca, professor, UNCo; Eduardo M. Sosa, WVU; Christopher Stevens, country manager, Chevron.

sits on the Vaca Muerta region, which is a geologic formation located at the Neuquén Basin in the northwestern part of the Argentinian Patagonia. Both geological formations are known for being the host rock of major deposits of tight oil (shale oil) and shale gas. In this geographical context, industries look for engineers of different specialties for their operations in both regions. Some of those industries send their engineers abroad for training or specialized activities, and in most cases, that is the first opportunity in which young engineers are exposed to a multicultural environment with different languages and different customs.” The program, intended for engineering students in the sophomore or junior year, with majors in mechanical engineering, petroleum and natural gas engineering, civil engineering, mining engineering and chemical engineering, is also open to students in other majors who might benefit

from the program. Sosa anticipates the first group of students traveling to UNCo either during spring break or the first summer session of 2019. UNCo students are expected to arrive at WVU next summer. “Public-private partnerships address society’s most pressing concerns by fostering innovation that builds the 21st century’s workforce critical thinking skills to solve realworld problems,” said Edward C. Prado, U.S. Ambassador to Argentina. “The 100,000 Strong in the Americas Innovation Fund provides Argentina and the United States with dynamic partnerships that fuel economic prosperity for the region.” Argentina ranks fourth in this signature hemispheric-wide education initiative with 17 Innovation Fund partnerships between 36 institutions in 14 U.S. states and seven Argentinian provinces.

WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

55


PHOTOGRAPH SUBMITTED

Engineering 360˚ When Connor Haynes decided to pursue a degree in computer science, he never dreamed that he would one day be developing video games, let alone running his own company. Now a senior, Haynes celebrated the release of Perspectrum, a two-dimensional side-scrolling puzzle-platform game produced by his company, Proud Mom Games.

PLAYING GAMES

Perspectrum was released in August by Vandalia Softworks, a Morgantown-based interactive entertainment publishing company owned by Jordan Hallow, a WVU alumnus with a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship and innovation and a minor in computer science. HAYNES

WRIGHT

MSHA ASSISTANT SECRETARY, WVU ALUM DELIVERS POUNDSTONE LECTURE MOORE

David G. Zatezalo, assistant secretary of Mine Safety and Health, presented the Department of Mining Engineering’s annual William N. Poundstone Lecture in September.

O. “Bob” Orders, a 1972 civil engineering ORDERS graduate,Robert was named chair of the WVU Foundation board TO LEAD of directors in August. A member of the board since Orders is CEO of Orders Construction Company, FOUNDATION 2011,Inc., a highway, utility and industrial construction BOARD company with operations in West Virginia and Virginia.

2019

“One major challenge of developing a game as a student is that you most likely don’t know how to do all the things you set out to do,” explained Haynes. “I learned a whole lot while programming Perspectrum and was surprised when many of the things I taught myself wound up being taught later in class. It definitely gave me a leg up in my classes.”

President Donald J. Trump nominated Zatezalo to be the ninth assistant secretary for Mine Safety and Health; he was sworn in November 2017.

ZATEZALO

56

Finding balance between working on the video game and his engineering studies was not always easy. Being a self-taught programmer certainly came with added challenges but also some unexpected benefits.

PHOTOGRAPH SUBMITTED

A native of West Virginia and a 1977 graduate of mining engineering, Zatezalo has spent a lifetime working in mining. He began his career as a union miner and since then has held positions at a number of companies as shift foreman, engineering superintendent, mine manager, vice president of operations and chief executive officer. Zatezalo has worked in mining all across the U.S. and internationally in Australia.

“I didn’t even come here with the intent to learn how to make games,” said Haynes, a Cross Lanes native. “I joined the WVU Game Developers Club my freshman year. When I first showed up I realized that the members weren’t experts or anything, yet they were still making games. After learning a few skills from them I found that I really enjoyed it.”

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING

ORDERS


NESBIT

BLAZING NEW TRAILS Seeking to build off its second-place finish in the final year of the EcoCAR 3 competition, the team from WVU was one of 12 to be selected for the EcoCAR Mobility Challenge, which will feature the 2019 Chevrolet Blazer as the vehicle platform.

Hundreds of engineering students from West Virginia University walked across the stage in the WVU Coliseum this past May to receive their diplomas. Included in that group were the first graduates of the Statler College’s online graduate program in safety management. Two of the graduates – David McMillan and Alex Stokes – chose the program because of its flexibility and the opportunities they felt it could offer them upon completion.

The EcoCAR Mobility Challenge is a four-year Advanced Vehicle Technology Competition sponsored by the U.S. Department of Energy, General Motors and MathWorks, and managed by Argonne National Laboratory. Students are challenged to increase vehicle efficiency by developing connected and automated vehicle – or CAV – technologies and implementing advanced propulsion systems and electrification. The goal is to reduce energy consumption while maintaining the performance, safety and overall sporty design and feel of the original vehicle, specifically for a carsharing market.

McMillan, a native of Dawson, is a major with the West Virginia Army National Guard and a sergeant with the West Virginia State Police. Calling himself “honored to be a graduate of West Virginia University,” he said the program fit his “time-constrained schedule” and allowed him to work two jobs and maintain a family, all while networking with other students in the program. A resident of Auburn, Alabama, Stokes discovered the program through the Board of Certified Safety Professionals online education search tool. An environmental health and safety engineer, he decided to enroll at WVU knowing that the degree could lead him to a Graduate Safety Practitioner designation.

Divided into four academic years, each year introduces new challenges and objectives, following the vehicle development process to design, integrate and refine vehicles into reliable, energy-efficient mobility systems. In addition to the Chevrolet Blazer, GM will supply each team with $20,000 in seed money, along with options for powertrain components and batteries and extensive technical support and mentoring.

For the second straight year, Perry L. Ballard, president/owner of Ballard Safety LLC in Martinsburg, was named the World Safety Organization 2018 Safety Person of the Year.

Not only did Stokes earn the GSP designation, it also led to a salary increase from his current employer. PHOTOGRAPHS SUBMITTED

PHOTOGRAPH SUBMITTED

AWARDED TWICE FOR SAFETY

MCMILLAN

Ballard, a longtime member of WSO’s board of directors, has been a WSO member since 2000. He is the founder of Ballard Safety LLC and has more BALLARD than 24 years of experience working with government agencies, commercial/construction industries and manufacturing companies to reduce potential occupational injuries, federal citations, workers compensation claims and general liability concerns by completing appropriate safety BALLARD and environmental inspections with detailed resolutions. Ballard earned his master’s degree in safety management from WVU in 1995.

WVU

FIRST ONLINE SAFETY MANAGEMENT CLASS GRADUATES

|

STOKES

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

57


Engineering 360˚

Panger selected for GE’s Edison Engineering Development Program WRITTEN BY MARY C. DILLON

AT LEAST ONE MEMBER OF THE WVU CLASS OF 2019 ALREADY KNOWS WHERE SHE WILL BE HEADED POST-GRADUATION. Peyton Panger, a mechanical and aerospace dual major and WVU Honors College student from Charleston, has been selected for GE’s Edison Engineering Development Program. The program provides entry-level engineering graduates with rotational assignments conducting engineering projects driven by real GE business priorities. Each GE business runs its own program, and candidates are required to apply for and rotate within the program at a specific business.

As part of the multiyear program, candidates complete advanced engineering coursework, earning credit toward a master’s degree in engineering. Panger was introduced to the program during her first of three summer internships with GE Aviation. “The stories people shared about their experience with the program – the connections they made and the types of opportunities they received so soon out of college – combined with the free master’s degree made it a very enticing program,” Panger said. “I’ve worked with people in the program during my internships, and they are some of the smartest, most problem-solving-oriented people I’ve ever met. I wanted to be a part of that exciting group of young professionals.” “The applications for this prestigious national program are very competitive,” said Jacky Prucz, chair of the Department. “Peyton has met the high bar of GE’s admission standards, and we take great pride in her accomplishments.” In addition to her coursework, Panger has been active in several student organizations at WVU, including Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honorary, the Society of Women Engineers and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. While she is unsure what her first rotation will be when she joins GE Aviation next July, Panger does know she will be headed to their facility in Evendale, Ohio, site of two of her internships. “GE Aviation is heavily involved in cutting-edge engine technology, which is an exciting world to be in regardless of your time spent in industry,” Panger said. “My ultimate career goal is to be a part of a new design program that brings supersonic, trans-Pacific flight to the ‘average’ consumer, and through the accelerated learning development offered by the Edison Program, I will gain the tools to be able to solve these problems of the future.”

PANGER

NESBIT

58

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING


In Support

EMIL CZUL LEAVES $4 MILLION TO WVU FOR SCHOLARSHIPS

WRITTEN BY AMBER NEICE

PHOTOGRAPH SUBMITTED

CZUL

Emil Czul, a late West Virginia University alumnus raised in Lochgelly and a 1950 graduate of Oak Hill High School, is making certain that future generations from Fayette County will not struggle to afford college as he did. Czul died in November 2017 at the age of 85 in Kissimmee, Florida. In his will, he left $4 million to WVU to create two endowed full-ride scholarships that will be awarded each calendar year to financially needy students from Oak Hill High School and his home county. Czul worked as a bricklayer for three years and enlisted in the U.S. Army for two years before enrolling at WVU, where he earned his degree in mechanical engineering in 1960. He enjoyed a successful career with the U.S. government in Virginia before retiring in 1988. “My uncle was a handsome, witty and intelligent man. He was a lifelong bachelor. He was an avid reader and a self-taught investor,” said nephew Joe Czul. “He loved West Virginia and its fresh mountain air, Oak Hill High School and cared for WVU.” WVU President E. Gordon Gee said, “This gift from Emil Czul is a prime example of the University’s alumni and the affection they have for this institution. He understood firsthand the struggles many students have and the barriers they face.

However, he also knew the opportunities a college education provides. His concern for the people who come after him, and the desire to provide them an easier path than he had, is the embodiment of the Mountaineer spirit.” The idea to create the scholarship for engineering students came about almost 20 years ago. “We believe he credited the success of his career to his engineering degree. He envisioned his gift helping academically able, but financially unable students to attend WVU,” Joe Czul added. “We will be forever indebted to Mr. Czul for his extreme generosity, and I only wish I had the opportunity to know him,” said Gene Cilento, Glen H. Hiner Dean of the Statler College. “His story is one that continues to play out today with deserving students finding it difficult to attend college. His support will allow us to provide scholarships to well-deserving West Virginia students studying engineering. Engineering is a worthy degree, and it is a critically important profession to the success and wellbeing of the United States in an increasingly competitive global environment. We are honored that Mr. Czul invested in the Statler College.” Joe Czul noted his uncle did not come from a wealthy family and attending college was difficult for him. “The need for a good education was ingrained in him as a youngster, and it was no doubt frustrating to not be in a financial position to follow through.” While Czul ended up finding a way to afford college, he wanted to make it easier for future students with the same problem. “Engineering is a difficult major, but it was my uncle’s belief that it is a worthy degree and would allow a needy student to escape poverty and lead a much better life — just as he experienced. There is little doubt this will make a big difference in the lives of perhaps scores of needy students for many years to come,” Joe Czul said. Because of the generous sum of money left by Czul, two graduating seniors per calendar year will have access to an all-inclusive engineering scholarship to WVU. Czul’s intent was for tuition, room, board and books be provided to engineering students demonstrating need and academic promise. The estate gift was made through the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit corporation that solicits and administers private donations on behalf of the University.

WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

59


In Support

BERHANU FAMILY CREATES CIVIL ENGINEERING ENDOWMENT WRITTEN BY MARY C. DILLON

PHOTOGRAPH SUBMITTED

BERHANU

Members of Leah Berhanu’s family were looking for a way to honor her legacy of lending a helping hand to those who needed it. They chose to create the Leah Berhanu Financial Rescue Scholarship at West Virginia University.

60

2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

SPRING


SHEPHARD

“She appreciated people who tried to pave the way and be good role models and she wanted to be that for others, too,” said her parents Samuel Berhanu and Seble Hailu. “Whether it was sharing her short life experiences with close friends or giving someone time and a friendly ear, Leah made it a point that she did something worthwhile for someone in need every day.” The victim of a tragic pedestrian-vehicle accident, Leah succumbed to her injuries and passed away on February 1, 2018. The endowment will provide scholarships for undergraduate students in the Statler College’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering who demonstrate severe financial need that would likely cause them to discontinue their education at WVU. First preference will be given to female students. “Leah was strong, independent, focused and was destined for greatness,” her family said. “She always liked challenges and she came from a long line of strong women, starting with her great grandmothers. Engineering was not the easiest major to pick especially since Leah knew that women are severely underrepresented in the field, both in academia and as working professionals. Currently, only 14 percent of engineers are women, according to the Congressional Joint Economic Committee and we would like to put some effort into changing that.” The $25,000 endowment includes a gift of $5,000 from The Thrasher Group, a multidisciplinary engineering-architecture firm headquartered in Bridgeport. “The Thrasher Group gave Leah the opportunity to work as an intern, and Leah was looking forward to a full-time appointment with the firm as she was finishing up her course work before she was taken from us,” her family continued. “The firm’s founder, Woody Thrasher, graduated from the Statler College. Mr. Thrasher noticed Leah’s strong interest in engineering, her drive and the way she presented herself in front of a large crowd and offered her the opportunity to work as an intern. After her summer internship, the firm offered Leah a position to work for the company as an engineer after graduation. Leah loved Thrasher and the folks at Thrasher loved Leah.” “By all accounts, Leah had a very bright future ahead of her as an engineer and she left us far too soon,” said Gene Cilento, Glen H. Hiner Dean of the Statler College. “She had a wonderful personality and a very congenial attitude toward everyone. She was actively engaged in professional societies and in wanting to make a difference. We are very grateful to her family for honoring future engineers with this special gift, which will ensure that Leah’s spirit lives on for years to come.” A native of Morgantown, Leah was involved in Adventure WV, serving as an orientation leader and a high ropes course facilitator. She was inducted into Alpha Mu chapter of the Phi Sigma Pi National Honor Fraternity, where she served as the historian and service chair, and was an active member of WVU’s chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers. “Leah loved the outdoors and cherished being a Mountaineer and a West Virginian,” her family said. “WVU and its community meant a great deal to Leah and she meant a lot to the community, as was demonstrated at many events following her passing. We are left with a big hole that we don’t have a planned action or even the foresight to fill. Establishing the endowment provides some chance toward achieving that.” Individuals interested in contributing to the endowment can contact Heather Cross, assistant director of development in the Statler College, at 304-293-4156 or via email at HECross@mail.wvu.edu. The grant was made in conjunction with the WVU Foundation, the nonprofit corporation that generates and provides support for West Virginia University.

WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

61


In Memoriam Fred L. DeGasperin, 59, of Warren, Michigan, died on October 25. A native of Bruceton Mills, DeGasperin graduated from WVU in 1981 with a degree in mining engineering. He was a veteran of the U.S. Air Force, serving in Desert Storm. He worked as a sales representative for Ensign-Bickford Company and retired as a mining inspector in West Virginia in 2016. He is survived by his wife, Kathy, and two sisters. George Fatt, 95, from Dundalk, Maryland, died on August 14. A native of West Virginia, Fatt majored in engineering at WVU and was a member of the football team. After serving in the U.S. Army, he was a 70-year member of the International Brotherhood of Boilermakers. He is survived by four children, seven grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren. Bunie Edward Harper, 75, of Bridgeport, passed away on January 21. A native of Kayford, Harper graduated from WVU with a degree in civil engineering in 1966. After a stint in the U.S. Air Force, he began his career with PPG Industries and Bethlehem Mines Corporation. He owned his own engineering and surveying business, Harper Engineering Inc., and was city engineer for the city of Nutter Fort for many years. Harper is survived by his mother, Irene Yancey Harper, his wife, Evelyn, and his son, John. Charles Jenkins, 88, passed away on October 25, in Charleston. A native of Bogota, Illinois, Jenkins joined WVU in 1961 as a professor of civil engineering, where he researched water treatment and sanitation, until his retirement in 1992. He was a Fulbright Fellow, where he developed safe drinking water NESBIT 2019

|

ENGINEERINGWV MAGAZINE

Isaac P. Long, 82, of Vero Beach, Florida, died on October 13. A native of Charleston, Long earned a degree in electrical engineering from WVU in 1959. He started his career with the DuPont Company in Old Hickory, Tennessee, and ended it in Wilmington, Delaware. After leaving Dupont, Long continued his interest in real estate development and property management. He is survived by his cousins. Kyle Nelson Rogers, 32, passed away in Alexandria, Virginia, on February 21, 2018. He earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from WVU and a master’s degree in project management from George Washington University. Rogers played lacrosse for WVU, and continued his love of the game as a high school coach. He worked as an engineer for the Department of Defense, Navy. He is survived by his wife, his parents and his brother and sister. E. Neil Rush, 86, from Wernersville, Pennsylvania, died on August 14. After serving in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, Rush enrolled at WVU, where he studied civil engineering. Rush retired from the Voplex Corporation of Rochester, New York, where he was director of manufacturing. He previously served as a plant engineer for Sterling Industries in Morgantown and as vice president and general manager of Canford Manufacturing Corporation of Canton, Pennsylvania. He is survived by three sons.

Shawn M. Shisler, 52, of Morgantown, passed away Monday, October 8. A native of Clarksburg, Shisler was a program assistant in WVU’s Department of Mining and Industrial Extension. She is survived by her husband, Eric, and three children. Austin Cole Stratton, 19, of Sod, died on December 1. A sophomore at WVU, Stratton served as a combat engineer with the WV Army National Guard, 119th Sapper Company. He is survived by his mother and stepfather, Renee and Scott Nelson, his father and stepmother, Eric and Kwan Stratton, and his sisters, Haley Stratton and Sam Nelson. David Allen Turner, 63, passed away September 30. Born in Frankfort, Germany, Turner graduated from WVU in 1977 with a degree in mining engineering. He is survived by his wife, Vivian; sons J.D., Chris and Jason; and daughter, Jenna. William Merle Watkins, 92, passed away on December 14. A native of Grafton, he earned his master’s degree in chemical engineering from WVU in 1951 and later earned an MBA in 1974. Watkins spent 33 years as a chemical engineer for Union Carbide Corporation, specializing in international licensing. After his retirement, he served as manager of process engineering at MTI, an engineering contractor. He was a member of the Licensing Executives Society, American Institute of Chemical Engineering and was a Registered Professional Engineer. He is survived by his three children, six grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

Caroline Baker Watts, 91, of Morgantown, passed away on December 7, in Dallas, Texas. A native of St. George, Watts earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in home economics and child development from WVU in 1954 and 1957, respectively. She began her career as an educator in 1958 and went on to spend 22 years teaching biology at Morgantown High School. After retiring in 1989, she assisted her husband, Royce J. Watts, in arranging conferences in connection with his work at the Statler College and the West Virginia Coal Mining Institute. Together, the Watts were longtime supporters of WVU and the former COMER Museum in the Statler College, which was renamed the Royce J. and Caroline B. Watts Museum in their honor in 2005. Watts is survived by her husband of 68 years and her son and daughter-in-law, R.J. Watts, II and Maureen Watts.

WATTS

62

and water sanitation processes for communities abroad including Palau, Cypress, Sri Lanka and Russia. He is survived by his wife, Bernice, and four children.

SPRING


31ST ANNUAL PUMPKIN DROP

On a day that saw 355 pumpkins take the 11-story dive from atop West Virginia University’s Engineering Sciences Building, it was team 314 from South Middle School in Morgantown that took top honors in the 31st Annual Pumpkin Drop. Their pumpkin landed just one foot from the target, earning them the $100 first prize. Teams from West Virginia, Pennsylvania and Texas competed in the event, which aims to teach engineering concepts by designing an enclosure to protect the pumpkin from damage when dropped from the roof of the building.

PERSINGER

The Pumpkin Drop was sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers chapter at WVU. Proceeds benefit the Ronald McDonald House in Morgantown.

WVU

|

BENJAMIN M. STATLER COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING AND MINERAL RESOURCES

63


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

ENGINEERING W E S T

V I R G I N I A

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

Connect.

connecttowvu.com/engineering

Follow. Like. Share. #wvustatler

WVU Statler College Sping 2019 EngineeringWV magazine  

This issue highlights the college's Overachievers in academics, organizations and research, WVU maintains R1 status in research, Ye is award...

WVU Statler College Sping 2019 EngineeringWV magazine  

This issue highlights the college's Overachievers in academics, organizations and research, WVU maintains R1 status in research, Ye is award...

Profile for wvucemr
Advertisement