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Biological Systems Engineering Receives Universitywide Teaching Award

   The Department of Biological Systems Engineering has received the 2002 Universitywide Departmental Teaching Award. The award recognizes a department that demonstrates outstanding dedication to the education of its students and that has made a “unique and significant contribution to teaching excellence at UNL.”

   “It’s a great honor to receive this award,” said Glenn Hoffman, BSE department head. “It’s difficult for an engineering department to be recognized for such an award because it’s not typical for engineering faculty to be trained in how to be educators. So there’s a lot to learn about how to best teach students.”

   A great deal of the recognition, Hoffman said, is based upon responses from students on the quality of mentoring and teaching they received from faculty.



Students Place in Regional ASC Competition

   Students from the college took first and third place in the Ninth Annual Associated Schools of Construction Region IV Competition Feb. 14-16 in Nebraska City.

   Construction engineering technology students Andrew Splittgerber, Jeff Jenkins, Ryan Fawcett, Shawn O’Tool, Justin Morrow and Steve Hansen took first place in the Heavy/Highway Division. The team was coached by James Goedert.

   Construction management students Michaela Jacobs, Megan Euler, Brandon Sjulin, Don Mac and Mike Gleason and UNL architecture student Benjamin Squires placed third in the Design/Build Division. The team was coached by Gene Wright.


Engineers Receive T.Y. Lin Award

   Panya Noppakunwijai, a civil engineering doctoral student, and his adviser, Maher Tadros, have received the 2002 T.Y. Lin Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers for writing the best design paper in the field of prestressed concrete.

   The winning paper, titled “Strength Design of Pretensioned Flexural Concrete Members at Prestress Transfer,” was published in the January-February 2002 issue of PCI Journal. The authors also include Zhongguo Ma (Ph.D. 1998, civil engineering) and Robert Mast, principal of Berger/ABAM in Seattle. This is the fourth time Tadros has won the award.


Do You Have Information On This Man?

   The College of Engineering and Technology is looking for information on Samuel Zaza Childs Westerfield, the first black graduate of engineering at the University of Nebraska. He received a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering in 1911.

   In an Internet search for information on Westerfield, the college has discovered that his son, Samuel Z.C. Westerfield Jr., was an ambassador to Liberia (1969-72), where he died and was buried, and his grandson, S.Z.C. III, is a doctor in Ohio.

   If you have information, please contact Constance Walter at (402) 472-8309 or cwalter3@unl.edu.


Students Hear Kudos

   Two architectural engineering students have received national awards in connection with their graduate studies.

   Erica Bowden has received the 2001 Martin Hirschorn IAC Prize from the Institute of Noise Control Engineering. The prize carries a cash award of $5,000. She also has been awarded a $7,500 Graduate Grant-in-Aid from the American Society of Heating, Refrigeration and Air-Conditioning Engineers. Bowden is from Topeka.

   David Bradley has received the 2002 Acoustical Society of America Graduate Fellowship for Minorities. The award consists of a $15,000 stipend for one academic year plus $1,000 for travel to a national ASA meeting.

   Originally from LaPuente, Calif., Bradley graduated from Grinnell (Iowa) College in 2001 with a B.S. in physics. Bowden is a 2001 graduate of Kansas State University. She majored in architectural engineering and has a music minor.

   Both students are advised by Lily Wang and are focusing on acoustics research.



Faculty Join College Ranks

Agricultural Engineering:
Associate Professor William P. Campbell was an associate professor and extension specialist in farm machinery and safety from South Dakota State University. His Ph.D. is from Purdue University.

Chemical Engineering:
Assistant Professor Anuradha Subramanian has a Ph.D. from Virginia Tech. Formerly assistant professor at the University of Minnesota, she is interested in biomaterials and bioseparations.

Civil Engineering:
Research Assistant Professor Magdy Abdelrahman is former director of Rouse Polymerics’ Asphalt Products Division. His Ph.D. is from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Computer and Electronics Engineering:
Assistant Professor Dongming Peng specializes in computer engineering and DSP. His Ph.D. is from Texas A&M.

Engineering Mechanics:
Assistant Professor Jiangyu Li completed postdoctoral studies at the California Institute of Technology and University of California, San Diego. He has a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder and is involved in micromechanics of active materials.

Mechanical Engineering:
Zhaoyan Zhang, assistant professor, received a Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University in 2000. His research interests include laser materials processing in nanosecond and picosecond range, and evaporation and ionization of materials.


Pollution Prevention Team Recognized

   The Partners in Pollution Prevention project leadership team from biological systems engineering and civil engineering has received the 2002 Team Award from NU’s Institute of Agriculture and Natural Resources. The award honors a team that produces results in research, teaching, extension, service or international programs.

   Since 1997, the P3 team has provided information, education, outreach and research throughout Nebraska using student interns and graduate students.


PrairieFire Revs Up Research Capacity

   PrairieFire, a 256-processor computer installed in a University of Nebraska Computer Science and Engineering facility in Lincoln’s Miller and Paine building, brings one of the most powerful supercomputers in the world to Nebraska.

   The machine is estimated to perform computations at a peak rate of 440 GFlops (440 billion floating point or arithmetic operations per second). It has more than 100 gigabytes of collective RAM and 2 terabytes of collection hard drive storage, enough to store every book in the Library of Congress. The machine is 700 times faster than a Pentium III desktop PC.

   Graduate and undergraduate students will use PrairieFire for large-scale simulations and computations and in classes that involve the installation and administration of these machines. Most of the funding comes from a National Science Foundation grant submitted by Information Services and Computer Science and Engineering through the Nebraska EPSCoR office.

Look for related stories in this issue of Contacts.


Rising Star

   James Butler grew up with math and science, but he wasn’t sure about his career path until he attended the Nebraska Math, Engineering and Science Achievement (MESA) program.

   “[MESA] introduced me to engineering and technology and the problem-solving skills you need to be successful,” he says.

   Butler went on to become a Minority Scholar at Omaha Central High School, where he participated in track all four years and played basketball and football. He also was chosen for the highly competitive Youth Leadership Omaha program.

   Butler is now a junior in industrial technology. Through the Peter Kiewit Institute Diversity in Engineering Scholarship program, he has money for college and a summer internship with Lozier Corporation.

   “I appreciate the opportunities I’ve been given,” he says, “and I’ll work hard to prove myself.”


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