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A Different Path Memoirs Tell of Loss,
Renewal and Heroism
It's All About the Students
Rapid DNA Replication Station Named for Elias Humble Civil Engineering
Professor Dies
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A Different Path

Adjunct Faculty Members Are a Unique Brand of Faculty

Adjunct faculty members often remain invisible within the tightly knit communities of tenure-track faculty. They are separate and not necessarily equal, walking the fine line of standing on the outside looking in. Adjunct faculty members are often dealt heavy teaching loads that demand strenuous hours with less than ideal pay. They may or may not receive benefits, administrative support or office space to receive students. They lack job security and are intimately acquainted with budget woes. And yet, adjunct faculty members make an invaluable contribution to the university atmosphere and find unique ways to get inside the ivory tower.

Alisa Gilmore, a senior lecturer in computer and electronics engineering, teaches telecommunications and circuits courses.

Alisa Gilmore, a senior lecturer in the Department of Computer and Electronics Engineering, had a lucrative career with Avaya, in Omaha, where she worked in control systems, designing electrical controls for manufacturing machines. “Working at Avaya was a good experience,” Gilmore said. “I was able to get valuable hands-on experience and my professional engineer certification.” Though she was enjoying success in the corporate world, Gilmore knew there were other challenges. She subsequently came to teach at the UNL College of Engineering & Technology in The Peter Kiewit Institute. “I’ve always wanted to teach. I thought it would be a fulfilling opportunity,” Gilmore said.

For the past two years, Gilmore has taught telecommunications and circuits courses. In her Circuits 2: AC Circuit Analysis course, Gilmore teaches students how to mathematically solve circuits and different configuration problems. The sophomore-level course builds on basis circuit analysis and uses phasors and complex numbers instead of differential equations. The telecommunications course Gilmore teaches is a senior capstone course for the electronics engineering program and covers communications and networking fundamentals, including wide area network switching, both packet and circuit switching, data communications and ATM networks. “I enjoy learning from my students—explaining how I understand what I understand to them,” Gilmore said.

As an adjunct, Gilmore has been able to participate in a wider range of faculty activities including advising students and course development. “I appreciate the opportunity to influence college students both professionally and personally,” she said. Though academia is vastly different from the corporate world, Gilmore has never looked back. “My work here is rewarding. I can’t think of anything I’m more suited to do. This department provides a very supportive environment. You have to prove yourself, but I have always felt welcome and part of the team.”

After 22 years in industry, Karen Schurr (left), who has been teaching in the Department of Civil Engineering for seven years, is “writing recipes” for highway designs.

Karen Schurr, a lecturer in civil engineering, left the Nebraska Department of Roads (NDOR) after 22 years in the field. During that time, she worked in roadway design and was one of two team leaders in redesigning the Omaha interstate highways—a 10-year project. When it was over, Schurr had important decisions to make. “I took a long look at my life and asked myself, ‘how do I top this? Where do I go from here?’” Her self-examination brought Schurr to the Lincoln campus of the College of Engineering & Technology, where she has taught transportation engineering for the past seven years. “Working at the university is pure engineering,” Schurr said.

Schurr teaches surveying and several courses involving highway engineering and roadway design, but her greatest impact is felt in her work with the Mid-American Transportation Center (MATC), the regional focal point of transportation research. “Having been a practitioner for so long, the research has been a challenge,” Schurr said. “When I was in industry, I used the cookbook. Now I’m writing the recipes.” Her research is funded by NDOR and the current focus of her work is studying the behavior of drivers and advising NDOR on how to change their policies to create safer, more efficient transportation systems.

She also serves as coordinator of the MATC summer internship program. The program exposes undergraduate students to transportation engineering with coursework and real-world experience over 13 weeks. “The internship program is a good way to connect students who are interested in transportation with state agencies and consulting firms,” Schurr said. “Other events throughout the summer aim to make students better professionals.” These enrichment activities include field trips, access to faculty mentors, training in teamwork, etiquette, critical thinking and access to state-of-the-art technology. “The program is also an interactive way to assess the curriculum and see how students work with professionals,” Schurr said.

It is working with students that keeps Schurr’s job satisfying. “Working with students keeps you young. They have energy and are at the beginning of their journeys.” Although she works by contract, Schurr is not intimidated by job insecurity. “I see my position as an opportunity to decide if I want to continue what I’m doing every two to three years,” Schurr said. “I appreciate being able to re-assess.”

Karen Coen-Brown teaches in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. Working part time allows the mother of four to be present for her children and use her engineering skills.

For Karen Coen-Brown, serving as a lecturer in mechanical engineering has allowed her to experience the best of both worlds. Working part time affords her the opportunity to be present in her four children’s lives on a daily basis. As a professional engineer with a bachelor’s and master’s degree in civil engineering and engineering mechanics, respectively, working part time allows her to use the skills she has acquired over the years. “I enjoy the problem solving of engineering. Things are always changing and the work never gets stale,” Coen-Brown said.

She began working as an instructor in the Fall of 1989, as a UNL teaching assistant while she pursued her graduate degree. Upon graduation, the department asked her to continue teaching. Today, she teaches MECH 130, Introduction to CAD, a course that teaches students engineering graphics and the fundamentals of computer-aided design. She is a licensed professional engineer and does consulting with regard to civil engineering-based CAD problems. She also has written two textbooks on MicroStation, an advanced modeling system for design and construction.

Coen-Brown teaches up to 80 students a semester and finds many opportunities to work with her students between two classes and four lab sections. “I love teaching—seeing that light bulb go off in a student’s head as they realize that the material is not as difficult as they thought,” Coen-Brown said. “What I teach changes every year, so I’m always interested in what I’m doing.” Although her appointment is half time, she puts full time effort into her course preparation and appreciates the close interactions with her students who benefit both from her expertise and her presence. “I once had a student from Marian, an all girls high school, who was relieved to see that a woman was teaching the course,” Coen-Brown said. “My presence re-affirmed her decision to become an engineer. It means a lot to have had a part in that.”

Her hectic schedule doesn’t allow Coen-Brown a great deal of time to interact with the other faculty members in her department. But over the years she has served on search committees and when she has questions, she finds great support from her peers. “I can take my ideas to anyone and find them well-received,” Coen-Brown said. “But by not being in the college from 9 to 5, you lose some of the closeness. You have to choose your priorities.”

Gilmore, Schurr and Coen-Brown have each chosen the unique path of becoming an adjunct faculty member. They bring real-world experience into their classrooms and enrich the experiences of their students. They are aware of the alternative paths their peers have chosen but remain comfortable with the fact that their personal motivations have not taken them in that direction. Sometimes, being the best person, professional and professor possible is enough.

—Roxane Gay

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Memoirs Tell of Loss, Renewal and Heroism

Lou Leviticus vividly remembers the horror and heroism he saw while living as a Jewish child in the German-occupied Netherlands during World War II.

Lou Leviticus, professor emeritus and volunteer curator at the Larsen Tractor Museum on East Campus, holds a copy of his recently published memoirs detailing his childhood in the German-occupied Netherlands. His parents were killed at Auschwitz in 1942.

The professor emeritus and part-time curator at the Larsen Tractor Museum on East Campus has self-published his memoirs, “Tales from the Milestone,” which covers the time period from his birth in 1931 to his being placed in an orphanage after the war. In it, he recounts his terror of the Nazis, fleeing from raided safe houses and seeing friends and family sent to concentration camps.

Leviticus used the pen name Ben Wajikra as a testament to his parents. The name, which is Hebrew, means “son of (Ben)” and “Leviticus (Wajikra),” the third book of the Torah.

“Youth Storm”
In the spring of 1942, when Leviticus was 10 years old, assaults on Jews from members of the Dutch Nazi Party, the Jeugdstorm, or “Youth Storm,” and other Nazi sympathizers were commonplace:

All the time they insisted they were going to kill us.

In the beginning, these groups harassed Jews and destroyed their property. There were no protests from the public, the Dutch police or the German authorities. By 1941—when Jews were required to wear the yellow Star of David with the word “Jood” on their clothes—the attacks became more serious.

On a spring day in 1942, Leviticus and two friends were walking home from school when six boys, two wearing the uniform of the Jeugdstorm, ambushed them. He and his friends were beaten, and one was sexually assaulted. The boys cried for help but no one intervened.

Leviticus ran home with cuts on his face, a broken tooth and torn clothes. His mother tried to comfort him, but all he could think of was that he wished he had been able to defend himself better, like the heroes in his books and movies.

Falling in Love
At 10 years old, before the time of hiding, he fell in love:

This is the way I remember her—the most beautiful girl in the world.

Anita Grunewald and her family came to The Netherlands from Germany shortly after Hitler came to power in 1934. Leviticus describes the family as “tall, beautiful, blond people—the real, ideal Aryan type,” but they were still marked in the eyes of the Nazis because they were Jews.

Anita was often teased for her German accent and heritage, but Lou defended her. They saw movies together, roamed the riverside and parks, played games and were inseparable friends. In his naiveté, Lou offered to marry her “when I make enough money.”

One day after doing his homework and running an errand for his mother, he stopped by Anita’s house. He rang the bell, but there was no answer. There was no sticker on the door to indicate the family had been taken away, but there was a note Leviticus couldn’t read in the darkness. He panicked, pounding on the door and yelling her name until a neighbor told him to be quiet. She said the Nazis had taken them away and might return.

The next day Anita wasn’t in school. In 1993, Leviticus said he found the courage to visit the transfer depot in Westerbork, The Netherlands, from where many Dutch Jews were sent to camps. He found Anita’s name and those of her mother and sister: they had been killed in the Sobibor concentration camp in 1943.

Escaping the Nazis
When Leviticus was 11, he and his parents were in their second hiding place in Amersfoort, a city about 30 miles east of Amsterdam:

It was about three o’clock on a typical Dutch fall afternoon.

They were playing Monopoly on the second floor of the multistoried house in which they were hiding. The doorbell rang and a German voice shouted, “Police … stay where you are.” Soon, they heard footsteps on the stairs. His mother’s screams spurred Leviticus into action. He jumped from the balcony and landed on a canvas awning. His father waved at him to run away and closed the doors behind him.

It was the last time he saw his parents.

Leviticus hid until nightfall then made his way to another safe house in the center of Amersfoort, groping his way through the blacked out city to the home of a family known to be sympathetic toward Jews.

Leviticus later learned his parents were killed in Auschwitz in late 1942.

The Underground
Leviticus returned to a farm in Hoevenlaken where he and his parents had hidden previously. He earned his room and board doing farm chores. One day visitors came to the farm and Leviticus was summoned to the Sunday room, where there were two men, one wearing the kind of leather boots favored by the Nazis.

I thought I had been handed over to the Nazis.

“The one with the boots turned out to be my protector, savior, wartime father, war hero and current friend, Karel Brouwer,” Leviticus said. Brouwer loaded the boy onto his bike and took him to a safe house called De Mijlpaal, Dutch for “The Milestone.” There, Leviticus was given a new name, Rudi Van Der Roest, and told to use it at all times. Documents, which had a complex set of rules and formats, were forged with his new identity.

Suddenly I lost my fears. I was finally someone else. … I was free!

Upon arriving at De Mijlpaal, Leviticus unknowingly became part of a major center of underground resistance. With his new identity he was able to live as normally as possible, attending school and even traveling. The house was raided once but Leviticus remained a part of the Mijlpaal “family” until several months after the war. He was then placed in an orphanage after a custody dispute between the Brouwers and relatives.

Creating Heroes
Leviticus earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Technion-Israel Institute of Technology in 1960 and 1963, and his doctorate from Purdue University in 1969. He came to UNL in 1975 to take a professorship in the Department of Agricultural Engineering and served as director of the Nebraska Tractor Test Laboratory until his retirement in 1998.

Leviticus returns to the Netherlands every few years to visit Karel and Rita Brouwer from the Milestone house. They exemplify the lesson Leviticus said he learned from the war.

“Bad doesn’t exist without good. The Nazis actually brought out heroic efforts in some, like Karel and Rita, who rose to the challenge by helping people.”

—Tom Hancock,
University Communications

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For MATC Director, It’s All About Students

What Laurence Rilett is most looking forward to as he begins his tenure at the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, is working with students. “It’s the biggest pleasure of the job,” said the new director of the Mid-America Transportation Center and Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering. Rilett will be teaching courses in traffic modeling and land-use development, in addition to overseeing research in the center.

Traffic engineer Lawrence Rilett looks forward to his leadership role with MATC.

A native of Canada, Rilett earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, and his Ph.D. from Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario. He taught at the University of Alberta until 1995, then went to Texas A&M where he was a professor of civil engineering and a research engineer in the Texas Transportation Institute, the largest in the country. Although he enjoyed his work there, Rilett was ready for a new challenge.

“I was looking forward to taking on a leadership role,” he said of becoming the director of MATC. “This was the right time and the perfect opportunity.” Rilett also was impressed with the leadership in the college and the Department of Civil Engineering, the faculty in transportation systems—Libby Jones, Aemal Khattack, Massoum Moussavi and Karen Schurr—and the many transportation system research opportunities in Nebraska. He also was enthusiastic about the strong relationship between the Nebraska Department of Roads and Civil Engineering. “We want to maintain and strengthen that relationship, but we also need to look at more national opportunities for collaborative research and funding,” he said. “I want to increase research levels and find different funding sources.”

He also plans to build on the Ph.D. program. “We’re going to be more pro-active in recruiting students into our graduate program,” Rilett said. “That includes students already in our undergraduate program as well as national and international students. It’s the students who are key to the success of the entire program.”

In addition to his role as director of MATC, Rilett was named the first Keith W. Klaasmeyer Chair of Engineering. “I am very appreciative to the Klaasmeyer family for establishing this chair and for receiving it because it allows me to do so much more with my research and teaching,” he said. “It’s a great honor to receive such a prestigious chair and I am confident it will be a great benefit to the transportation systems program at UNL for many years to come.

—Constance Walter

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UNL Researchers Lead the Way in Rapid DNA Replication

Imagine being able to diagnose a viral strain at the site of an outbreak or identify a deadly pathogen on the battlefield. Professors Hendrik Viljoen, chemical engineering, and George Gogos, mechanical engineering, have been awarded a $1.44 million grant over five years from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to further their development of faster Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) technology. PCR is a technique for amplifying DNA for diagnostic purposes wherein a sample of target DNA is replicated many times over to enable gene sequencing and identification. “The key to our technology is that we’re able to amplify DNA in five to 10 minutes,” Viljoen said. “Our device is also rugged, transportable and reliable. The rapid PCR uniquely positions us to pursue two other technologies. We can measure the PCR kinetics and the results are included in intelligent software, which will be part of the next generation of PCR thermocyclers. We have also started a program in assembly PCR. Short pieces of DNA are assembled, under conditions to minimize mutations, into larger structures.”

To enable this rapid amplification, Viljoen and Gogos have integrated a novel device to produce the heating and cooling gases necessary for the thermocycling of the DNA. “This device makes our technology amenable to field usage,” Viljoen said. “And it can handle volumes from 5 microliters to 40 microliters with outstanding sensitivity, while producing a high yield.” The grant will be used to add optical detection, establish protocols for reverse transcription and the quantification of PCR, as well as to collect kinetic data of various polymerase enzymes to create mathematical models. The researchers have partnered with Michael Nelson, president of local biotechnology firm Megabase Research Products. The firm provides the required biochemistry expertise. “This is an interdisciplinary project. Putting together a group of chemical engineers, mechanical engineers and biochemists has been very critical to the success of the project,” Gogos said. “We have built a device with vast medical and non-medical applications which at the same time is a scientific instrument for basic studies.”

The implications for this innovative technology are many. “We hope to form cross-disciplinary teams of researchers to look at parallel applications of this technology,” said Dipanjan Nag, a technology development associate with the UNL Office of Technology Development, which provided the researchers an additional $75,000 grant for further development of the technology. “This NIH grant demonstrates that we are at the cutting edge of research,” Nag said. “And it has tremendous potential in biosecurity and bioterrorism related research.”

—Roxane Gay

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WVU PRT Station Named for Elias

The man behind West Virginia University’s “people mover” has reason to be riding high. The WVU Board of Governors in June adopted a resolution renaming the Personal Rapid Transit’s engineering station as the Samy Elias Engineering PRT Station. Elias, a former industrial engineering professor and assistant to the president at WVU, oversaw the development of the PRT in the 1970s.

Samy Elias with the Henry Gantt Medallion Award

“I am extremely honored,” said Elias, associate dean for research in the College of Engineering & Technology. “The PRT is probably the most challenging and enjoyable work of my life. It still remains the most technically advanced system of its kind in the world.” To date, the PRT has transported more than 61 million passengers without accident or injury and its 71 cars carry 15,000 passengers a day over 8.7 miles.

Elias joined the engineering faculty at WVU in 1965. He was one of many engineers and traffic experts around the country exploring new transit systems in the 1960s as a way to alleviate smog-ridden traffic congestion plaguing urban America. He and his colleagues at WVU proposed a guideway system of cars powered by electricity and controlled by computers as their transportation model. The project received federal approval in July 1969, and grant money totaling $123.6 million began filtering in shortly thereafter.

Elias’ former industrial engineering colleagues proposed naming the station after him.

“Dr. Elias and the PRT are so linked that you can’t speak of one without thinking of the other,” said Wafik Iskander, who worked with Elias on the project as a graduate student and now is chairman of the Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering at WVU. “Those of us who were privileged to work on the project felt the most appropriate honor for Dr. Elias would be to formally attach his name to the PRT station closest to where he worked.”

The PRT has attracted its share of recognition over the years. In 1972, the National Society of Professional Engineers named the system one of the nation’s top 10 engineering achievements of the year; the PRT guideway across Monongahela Boulevard was cited as one of the 18 most beautiful new steel bridges to be built. In 1998, the PRT beat out Disney World’s famed monorail as The New Electric Railway Journal’s pick for best overall “people mover.”

Elias, meanwhile, won the first Henry Gantt Medallion Award from the Institute of Industrial Engineers in July 2001 for his innovative design of the PRT.

—WVU News on the Web

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Professor Receives Honorary Doctoral Degree

John Woollam

John Woollam, the George Holmes Distinguished Professor of Electrical Engineering, recently was recognized with an honorary doctorate from the Linköping Institute of Technology in Linköping, Sweden. The three-day celebration included a welcome reception, choral performance of Mozart’s Requiem, formal dinner and degree conferment ceremony. “Receiving this honor has been the thrill of a lifetime,” Woollam said. Woollam also gave a lecture on a range of topics including technology transfer, corporate relations in academia and the engineering applications of ellipsometry.

During the May 22 ceremony, Woollam received the traditional Swedish doctoral cap, symbolizing freedom and power, as well as a diploma and engraved gold ring. Years of collaboration with researchers at Linköping led to Woollam’s nomination for the honorary doctorate. He has both traveled to Linköping throughout the years, as well as hosted Swedish students who have come to UNL to conduct research of their own. “When I’m over there, I get all kinds of ideas on how to blend our work with world-class research,” Woollam said.

Others receiving doctorates during the same ceremony included Jeffrey Ford Williamson, an oncology radiologist from Virginia Commonwealth University, and Sören Gyll, the former chief executive officer of Volvo.

—Roxane Gay


Adams Named Assistant Dean

Stephanie Adams

Stephanie G. Adams, associate professor of industrial engineering, has been named the new assistant dean for research. Adams, who received her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University, joined the UNL faculty in 1998. Her research focuses on the dynamics of productive teams and the incorporation of teams into engineering environments. In 2003, Adams received a prestigious CAREER grant from the National Science Foundation to fund her work. Adams returns to the college after two years as the Interim Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and director of the Summer Research Program and brings a diverse range of experience. Her responsibilities will include research proposal services and leadership in large innovative grants.
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Humble Civil Engineering Professor Dies

Joseph Sherrard, professor and associate chair of civil engineering, was never the type to promote himself. So when he received his fifth Fulbright award, he didn’t make an announcement—the university did. “He was very humble,” said Mohamed Dahab, chair of the Department of Civil Engineering. “Very quiet and very much a humanitarian.” Sherrard died in his sleep July 11.

Joe Sherrard in Guatemala in 2002

Through his most recent Fulbright Senior Specialist grant from the Council for International Exchange of Scholars, Sherrard taught a six-week course in environmental engineering at Universidad del Valle in Guatemala City, Guatemala. He also taught the class there three years ago while on a Fulbright. Between 1980 and 1990, he received three Fulbright-Hays lectureship awards to teach at universities in Ecuador and went on three one-week mission trips to Honduras, to translate for U.S. physicians providing care in rural areas. He received the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Wesley W. Horner Award in 1990 and it’s Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research prize in 1987.

Sherrard was a dedicated parent, teacher and researcher, his wife Frances Sherrard told the Omaha World Herald. He enjoyed gardening, playing golf, collecting stamps and coins, spending time with his family, the movies and Nebraska football games. He also was active in the Dundee Presbyterian Church in Omaha.

A graduate of the Virginia Military Institute, Sherrard earned an M.S. degree with a specialization in water resources engineering from California State University, Sacramento, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Davis, with a specialty in environmental engineering. He then served as a post-doctoral fellow at Cornell University and a faculty member at Oklahoma State University and Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University before becoming a professor and Head of the Department of Civil Engineering at Mississippi State University. He came to the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 1998 as a Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering. He also served as an officer in the U.S. Army from 1965 to 1967 and was honorably discharged as a captain.

His survivors include his wife, Frances; a daughter, Stephanie Sherrard of Indianapolis, Ind.; a son, Joseph H. Sherrard VI of Durham, N.C.; his mother, Anne Sherrard of Fair Oaks, Calif.; a brother, James Sherrard of Bryson City, N.C.; and a sister, Anne Bryson of Bend, Ore.

—Constance Walter

New Faculty

Computer Science & Engineering

Gregg Rothermel, Jensen Chair in Software Engineering, received his Ph.D. in computer science from Clemson University. Prior to returning to academia, he was employed as a software engineer, and as Vice President, Quality Assurance and Quality Control for Palette Systems, Inc., a manufacturer of CAD/CAM software. Since 1996, he has been on the faculty at the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Oregon State University. Rothermel received an NSF CAREER Award in 1996 for his research on software maintenance and testing and his efforts to emphasize testing in the software engineering curriculum.

Matt Dwyer, Henson Chair in Software Engineering, received his Ph.D. in computer science from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. Since 1995, he has been a member of the Faculty at the Computing and Information Sciences Department at Kansas State University. He directs work on several projects investigating the application of static analysis techniques to the development of high-assurance software systems. Dwyer received an NSF CAREER Award in 1997 for his work on applying data flow analysis to reason about correctness properties of concurrent programs.

Grant Awards Above $200,000

Subramanian, A., NSF, “Preparation of Zirconia Aggregates for Use as Absorbents in Bioseparations,” $270,131

Sicking, D., Reed, J., Rohde, J., Faller, R., Indy Racing League, “Continued Support for Installation Recommendations, Inspection and Field Performance Evaluation of IRL/NASCAR Racetracks for SAFER Barrier and Support of Foam Optimization for the Radiused SAFER Barrier,” $301,814

Cady, D., NDOR, “Nebraska Local Technical Assistance Program (LTAP),” $310,000

Dzenis, Y., Air Force Office of Scientific Research, “Ultra High Speed Digital Imaging System,” $330,746

Meagher, M., Dynport, “Fast Track Production of a Heptavalent Botulinum Vaccine,” $1,762.432

Kudos

LeenKiat Soh, assistant professor, computer science and engineering, received the Harold and Esther Edgerton Junior Faculty Award for demonstrating outstanding promise in teaching and creative research for the academic years 2004-05 and 2005-06. He received an engraved medallion, a cash award and a $3,000 professional development fund for research needs and educational activities.

Kamlakar P. Rajurkar, Distinguished Professor of Engineering and Professor of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering, was elected vice-president of ASME in June.

The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Midwest Roadside Safety Facility, headed by Dean L. Sicking, has been named the 2004 recipient of Pocono Raceway’s Bill France Award of Excellence. The award is presented annually to a person, corporation or organization that has made outstanding contributions to the sport of NASCAR Nextel Cup Racing.

The Nebraska Water Environment Association nominated Mohamed Dahab, chair of the Department of Civil Engineering, to be the Water Environment Federation’s 2004-05 vice president. Dahab has been an active member of NWEA, serving as chair of several committees. He currently is the vice chair of WEF’s Students and Young Professional Committee. He is widely published and participates with several university programs around the world. He also is a member of several professional organizations.

Gregor Henze, architectural engineering, was awarded the “Best Paper Award” in the Fundamentals and Theory category at the 2004 ASME International Solar Energy Conference in Portland, Ore. His co-authors were Guo Zhou and Moncef Krarti of the University of Colorado at Boulder. Their paper was titled, “Parametric Analysis of Active and Passive Building Thermal Storage Utilization,” which explored two ways buildings can respond to time-of-use electricity rates: precooling the building’s massive structure or using active thermal storage systems such as ice.

Dean Sicking, professor of Civil Engineering and director of MwRSF, received the Leonard Lovell Professorship in Engineering. He will receive a $10,000 stipend and $10,000 in discretionary funding each year for the next five years. Sicking was chosen based on the recommendation of a committee within the college.

Engineering @ Nebraska took several awards in the Nebraska Press Women’s competition in the spring. Writing: Special Articles/Science and Environment: Constance Walter, first place, “Sleeping on the Job: Researchers Explore Final Frontier of the Brain”; Deborah Derrick, Honorable Mention, “The Global Grid.” Feature Story/General: Deborah Derrick, second place, “Extreme Engineering.” Editing, Magazine, Four-Color: Constance Walter, second place. Research—Book, Broadcast or Public Relations: Deborah Derrick, first place, “Constructing Identity in Place: Celia Thaxter and the Isles of Shoals” (thesis).

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Student Kudos

Kinsey Leigh Hastings, a senior in chemical engineering, was named the American Chemical Society Emmanuel G. Kontos Memorial Scholar and Rubber Division ACS Scholar. The award includes a $5,000 scholarship for the 2004-05 academic year and a plaque.

A team of industrial engineering students placed third in the presentation of their paper, “Using Malcolm Baldridge Criteria to Compare Quality Management Practices between the U.S. and Mexico,” in the Student Technical Paper Presentation at the Annual Quality Congress held in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The students are Mahour Parast, a doctoral candidate, and John Lim and Ganesh Babu, both master-level students. Their adviser is Erick Jones, assistant professor of industrial engineering.

Three students from the College of Engineering & Technology received awards at the 2004 Student Design Competition, sponsored by the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), Technical Committee on Architectural Acoustics (TCAA) and the Newman Student Award, held in New York City. The project involved preparing the schematic design for a music pavilion to serve as a city orchestra’s summer home and assorted support spaces. There were 16 entries from seven schools. Six prizes were awarded, including one First Honors and five Commendations. The three University of Nebraska–Lincoln students receiving Commendation awards, Erica Bowden, David Bradley and Michelle Vigeant, each will receive $500. Their adviser is Lily Wang. The awards are funded annually by a grant from the Wenger Foundation through the Newman Student Award Fund. The Wenger Foundation funds the awards in memory of Harry Wenger, a long-time friend of education in music and architectural acoustics.

Three architectural engineering graduate students received a Best Paper award in the Conservation and Solar Building category at the 2004 ASME International Solar Energy Conference in Portland, Ore. Students Kim Bunz, Daniel Barnes and Nick Rosenbarry received the award for their paper “Development of By-pass Blending Station—An Innovative Secondary In-build Pump System for District Heating and Cooling.”

The Department of Construction Management’s student chapter of Mechanical-Electrical Specialty Contracting (MESC) has been awarded a $4,000 “Chapter of Excellence Grant” by the MCAA. This award recognizes the excellence of the chapter and is intended to help the chapter reach even greater heights in the future. Half of the grant must be used for scholarships; the other half will be used for equipment, recruitment and the chapter itself.

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Tractor Team Takes Honors
The University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Quarter Scale Tractor Team advanced to the top five in the annual ASAE (Society for Engineering in Agriculture, Food and Biological Systems) Quarter Scale Tractor Pull in Moline, Ill., in June. The team received fourth in the tractor pull, fifth in the written design report, and sixth in the team presentation, which led to the overall ranking of fourth in the competition. All teams were judged in written design reports, team presentations, static design judging, the tractor pull and maneuverability. The team was also voted No. 1 for sportsmanship by other teams participating.

Team members are Scott Albrecht, Bart Coffman, Curtis Hillen, Adam Huttenmaier, Daniel Jahraus, Aaron Krafka, William Naber, Tom Person, Jason Podany, Garrett Pommeranz, Craig Prothman, Brian Stahlecker, Spencer Vorderstrasse, and Cole Zenter.


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