University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of EngineeringOnline: Autumn 2011
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Tyler Ryan, a 2011 graduate of Millard West High School, received one of two McNeil Scholarships from the Steamfitters & Plumbers Local Union #464 and Mechanical Contractors Association of Omaha. A freshman at UNL, he is majoring in Architectural Engineering. The scholarship, now in its 17th year, is awarded to a dependent of a LU #464 member and a dependent of a contractor management employee.

Zhigana Shen and Wayne Jense receive award pic

Zhigang Shen (left) and Wayne Jensen (right) with UNL's Durham School received the American Society of Civil Engineers Society Award at the ASCE 2011 Annual Conference in Memphis, Tenn. on Oct. 21. Shen, assistant professor of construction management, and Jensen, associate professor of construction management, wrote the paper,“Civil Engineer as Master Builders and the Professionalization of Construction,” which was awarded the 2011 Best Feature Article Award by the Journal of Leadership and Management in Engineering.

NSF funds CEEN wireless network research to improve emergency communications

With 2011's 9/11 memorials fresh in the minds and hearts of Americans, a UNL Computer and Electronics Engineering team is working at The Peter Kiewit Institute to improve wireless networks for emergency response by using untapped and under-utilized frequencies.

Yi Qian, assistant professor of Computer and Electronics Engineering (CEEN), is principal investigator with a $439,999 grant from the National Science Foundation for A Novel Architecture for Application-Aware Cognitive Multihop Wireless Networks.

Qian focuses on the next generation of cognitive radio communication systems—two-way radio that automatically changes its transmission or reception parameters, working efficiently within a wireless communication network and avoiding interference with other users.

Qian’s team began exploring the wireless networking paradigm called Application-Aware Cognitive Multihop Wireless Networks (AC-MWN). The work sets an architecture with a mega network layer for multihop wireless networks, Qian said, yet this mega network layer "knows" its spectrum availability while meeting the requirements of its network applications.

As system architect for the project, Qian said this approach should use spectrum resources more efficiently, and effectively adjust application resources such as storage and computational capabilities to reach capacity closer to the upper theoretical limit for MWNs.

His CEEN colleagues in the project—Professor Hamid Sharif, an expert in testbed and performance analysis, and Assistant Professor Yaoqing “Lamar” Yang, who specializes in cognitive radio—will engage graduate and undergraduate students to help in the project’s three-year term.

Qian said their AC-MWN research could advance designs for future cognitive multihop wireless networks that help improve many communication challenges, particularly when wireless communication networks are jammed or incapacitated.

Jerry Hudgins, professor and chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering, was elected to the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Board of Directors. Hudgins will serve as Division II delegate-elect in 2012 and as director in 2013.

Three of 24 finalists in UNL's 2011 Homecoming Royalty were Nebraska Engineering students: Laura Wirth, industrial engineering (from Grand Island); and mechanical engineering students Jordann Bornhoft (Lincoln) and Alex Warneke (Norfolk).

Jeff Shield, MME department chair and professor, is part of a research team awarded an Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) grant from the U.S. Department of Energy. The grant is for $3.4 million overall for three years, pursuing Multiscale Development of L10 Materials for Rare-Earth-Free Permanent Magnets. The team, led by Laura Lewis of Northeastern University, is developing a process to create bulk quantities of iron and nickel in a unique crystal structure with powerful magnetic properties. This iron-nickel crystal structure is found naturally in meteorites, and the team will apply advanced synthesis to artificially create this magnetic material structure. The work will stabilize this desired structure by adding other elements to achieve properties which previously developed over millions of years with meteorites formed in space. Based on this structure, powerful new magnets could be developed with properties exceeding those of scarce and costly rare earth magnets. The goal of this project is to demonstrate bulk magnetic properties with subsequently scalable fabrication processes.



Eddy Rojas, director of UNL's Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, has won the prestigious Thomas Fitch Rowland Prize awarded by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for 2011. He received this honor for the paper “Research Validation: Challenges and Opportunities in the Construction Domain,” co-written with Dr. Gunnar Lucko from Catholic University of America. Their paper was published in the January 2010 issue of ASCE’s Journal of Construction Engineering and Management.

Edel Victor was a UNL senior majoring in Biological Systems Engineering when she entered her paper, “Radio Frequency Assisted Heat Treatment of Egg White Powder,” in the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers' 2011 student competition. She was awarded first place in ASABE's 2011 K.K. Barnes Student Paper Competition, which annually encourages undergraduates to pursue and convey research on subjects of interest to ASABE members and industries they serve. Now a BSE graduate student at UNL, Victor was invited to this year's ASABE International Annual Meeting in Louisville, Ky.

Work by Professor Susan Hallbeck and graduate student Justin Rousek was among four runners-up in the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society’s 2011 Human Factors Prize competition. Their paper, “Improving Medication Management through the Redesign of the Hospital Code Cart Medication Drawer,” will be published in the December 2011 issue of the society’s journal, Human Factors.

Mohamed Dahab, civil engineering professor from Libya, was featured in a Lincoln Journal Star story about local reaction to the demise of former Libyan president Moammar Gadhafi.

Tyler Wortman, MME grad student and former Husker Blackshirt, was selected as Cosmopolitan magazine’s 2011 Nebraska Bachelor of the Year.

Ram Bishu, professor of Mechanical & Materials Engineering, has been involved in the Matt Talbot Kitchen and encouraged Nebraska Engineering students to join Huskers Helping the Homeless, which collected donations in Lincoln on the Oct. 8 Nebraska-Ohio State game day.

The departments of Mechanical & Materials Engineering (MME) and Biological Systems Engineering (BSE) hosted William Marras, director of the biodynamics lab at Ohio State University. Marras spoke at UNL on Personalized Biomechanical Modeling for Analyzing Low Back Disorder Causation and Control.

Durham School Director Eddy Rojas and Professor Clarence Waters were judges in Canstruction during September at Westroads Mall in Omaha. Corporate teams built creative sculptures with canned food, which was donated to the local food bank.

Steve Goddard, professor and department chair with Computer Science and Engineering, spoke at the 2011 Nebraska Research & Innovation Conference in Omaha, conducted by Nebraska EPSCoR.

Juan A. Cólon pic

Brian Rodenhausen and Daniel Schmidt, EE grad student and postdoctoral research associate, received one of three Applied Surface Science Division Awards at the AVS fall 2011 meeting in Nashville. EE grad student Juan A. Cólon received the Leo M. Falicov Student Award, which recognizes outstanding research performed by a graduate student in areas of interest to the Magnetic Interfaces and Nanostructures Division of AVS.

David Anthony, Computer Science & Engineering; Veronika Burobina, Electrical Engineering; Christina Davis, Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering; John Killingsworth, Construction Engineering; and Bethany Lowndes, Industrial & Management Systems Engineering received prestigious Othmer Fellowships. These honors assist UNL in recruiting exceptional scholars who seek a terminal degree. The awards include an assistantship at the highest level offered by the department, plus an additional $8,000 for three years, given continued excellent progress toward the degree.

Ziguo Zhong, assistant professor with Computer Science & Engineering, is one of 15 UNL Research Development Fellows for 2012.

Dean Sicking, director of the Midwest Roadside Safety Facility and Leonard A. Lovell Professor of Civil Engineering, was interviewed by ESPN [and other media] about fence concerns in the fatal IndyCar crash of driver Josh Wheldon at the Las Vegas Indy 300 in October. In extensive work with NASCAR, MwRSF’s SAFER barrier has been hailed as a lifesaving product in auto racing.

The UNL-UNO chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers hosted its annual Community Leadership Banquet, Oct. 21. Makola M. Abdullah, provost and vice president of academic affairs at Florida Memorial University, spoke on "Striving for Academic Excellence and Being a Positive Role Model." Several NSBE members earned honors at the event:

· Academic Excellence Award (active undergraduate members having a cumulative GPA of 3.5 or greater) - Vanessa Ndonhong (Chemical Engineering) and Ilias Gibigaye (Civil Engineering)

· Professional Success Award (active member or local alumni having a successful professional career record) - Alan Flagg (UNL NSBE alumni)

· Community Impact Award (active member or local alumni involved in community outreach) - Catherine K. Armwood (Architectural Engineering) and Anthony Williams (UNL NSBE alumni)

AIChE 2011 national Jeopardy champs

Nebraska Chemical Engineering students win AIChE 2011 national Jeopardy championship

“Nebraska” is the answer to the question: “Which team won the Jeopardy competition at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ 2011 Student Conference?”

The conference, Oct. 14-17 at the University of Minnesota, gathered AIChE members from top universities. While not as formal as the presentations of research that draw many to the event, the Jeopardy activity is highly competitive, according to UNL CHME student Aldo Martinez.

“We try not to take it too seriously, but we do prepare for it,” said Martinez. The Nebraska Engineering team had won the Jeopardy event at the AIChE regional competition last spring, which earned them an invitation to the national championship. The Nebraska team included Ben Price, Taylor Laughlin, Devor O’Connor, Mike Taylor, Jessica Duff and Mike Gottrick. The Huskers had a strong presence at the event, with four other students from UNL’s Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering cheering on the Big Red team.

Among nine teams competing, UNL entered the finals against Stevens Institute of Technology and hometown favorite, the University of Minnesota. Approaching the last few questions, UNL was 80 points ahead, making it hard for the other teams to catch them.

Martinez described the winning strategy: “We built a good lead and then just tried not to lose points.”

Question categories included Material/Energy Balances, Fluids, Heat/Mass Transfer, Thermodynamics, Separations, Reaction Engineering, Process Control, Materials and Chemistry. The UNL team thought the “grab bag” category was actually the most difficult, with its references to AIChE history, Martinez added.

He said the CHME students representing UNL were volunteers “who want to play and who work well under pressure.” What did Nebraska take home from the event as a trophy? Martinez replied, “It's all about the bragging rights.”


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