University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of EngineeringOnline: Spring 2012
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Seniors Tyler Borcyk (Biological Systems Engineering) and Nate Otten (Mechanical Engineering) were named UNL Chancellor’s Scholars for maintaining a 4.0 grade point average in all their collegiate work.

Hundreds of guests enjoyed Omaha in April during the Architectural Engineering Institute student conference hosted by UNL’s Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction.

UNL faculty including David Jones, associate dean of the College of Engineering, were fellows in the 2011-12 CIC Academic Leadership Program.

Curling photoUNL Curling Club in 2012 included (left to right): team captain Michael McEniry from engineering, and UNL students Rachel Rixen, Kit Connell, and Morgan Rose. The team won the Silver Medal at the Midwest College Curling Championships March 11 in Hartland, Wis.

NUtech Ventures’ Executive Director David Conrad and MME Professor Shane Farritor co-taught a course on “Entrepreneurship for Engineers” in the spring. Farritor and Computer Science & Engineering student Calvin Pappas, founder of SelectOut, spoke at the 2012 Nebraska Summit on Entrepreneurship. NUtech Ventures offers videos from several of its programs to serve as resources for entrepreneurs; learn more at

Jared Ostdiek, a junior majoring in Biological Systems Engineering, is a 2012 Goldwater Scholar. This year, UNL is one of four schools that received all four Goldwater Scholars it nominated—a record number.

Dean Tim Wei was interviewed by NBCLearn about his research on fluid dynamics and how it helps swimmers on the U.S. Olympic team. Watch for this feature to air during the 2012 Summer Games.

Nebraska Engineering hosted a middle school KidWind project competition during E-Week 2012.

Impact the World, a Big Ten Network program about how B1G schools make a difference, filmed several segments in Lincoln. Watch the Nebraska Engineering videos: Surgical Robots at and SAFER Barrier at The SAFER Barrier, developed at UNL, was again cited for life-saving performance in a 2012 crash by Danica Patrick at the Daytona Speedway.


Robotics from the Mechanical & Materials Engineering Department generated a record-breaking session of Sunday With A Scientist, with hundreds of families visiting the Nebraska State Museum at Morrill Hall on Jan. 15. The popular “Robot Take-over” was led by MME Professor Shane Farritor and his students.

The Mid-America Transportation Center based at UNL won a $3.5 million federal grant to continue improving highway and rail safety in the region. Larry Rilett, MATC director and Keith W. Klaasmeyer Chair in Engineering and Technology, said the funds from the U.S. Department of Transportation will allow the university to increase the number of students and faculty involved in the undergraduate, graduate and professional programs of the center's consortium members.

Mathias Schubert, associate professor of electrical engineering, was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society. Schubert was cited by the APS council for “development of generalized ellipsometry and the invention of the Optical Hall Effect, and their transformative potential for industrial characterization of materials properties.”

Durham School student Matt Lepper was featured in a Lincoln Journal Star article about interns working at the Pinnacle Bank Arena in construction at Lincoln’s Haymarket.

Huskers soar at NASA’s Microgravity Umicrogravity U pic

A Nebraska Engineering team headed to NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston in April for the fifth year of testing projects developed for Microgravity University. This year, the Huskers worked with the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) and its partner, Cbana Labs, to develop environmental monitoring sensors for the International Space Station (ISS). The students' work involved volatile organic compound (VOC) detectors by Cbana Labs, based on micro-electro-mechanical systems (MEMS) technology. One of Cbana's sensors is a MEMS-based gas chromatograph with a micro flame ionization detector (FID). UNL’s role was to build a smaller version of the FID device, which will help detect potentially harmful gases in the crew cabin of the ISS. Work on both the Space Shuttle and the International Space Station has shown that flames, even micro-flames, behave quite differently in microgravity. Testing the performance of an FID device in microgravity, compared with the lab, should give valuable insight on whether the design is suitable for space flight or if redesign is needed.

AIChE 2011 national Jeopardy champs

The Durham School raises the bar and rises to the challenge

Students in UNL’s Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction hoped to earn one award at the Architectural Engineering Institute’s annual national student conference—instead they won in two out of five categories.

In the third annual Charles Pankow Foundation competition at the 2012 AEI student gathering, collegiate teams presented designs for a high-security government office building with considerations for energy conservation, sustainability, accessibility, durability, productivity and other factors. Top honors in the Structural and Mechanical categories went to The Durham School team: Kelli Augspurger, Brendan Headley, Holly Brink, Tyler Jensen, Adam Brumbaugh, Kyle Kauzlarich, Andy Gilliam, Jacob Zach and James Dougherty, Jr. The team was advised by Clarence Waters, professor of architectural engineering.

“I am extremely pleased with the performance of UNL's Architectural Engineering students in this AEI national competition. We are blessed with truly outstanding students. I attribute this success to the accredited BS/MAE program requiring five years of study and a 3.0 minimum GPA of all students, and to our strong ties with industry. When you raise the bar, excellent students rise to the challenge.”
- Clarence Waters, professor

The Nebraska students worked hard since August 2011 on their entries, Waters noted, and had presented their work to local industry professionals and faculty in preparation for the event. He added that one of the industry reviewers indicated one of the presentations was the best he had ever seen from either students or professionals.

Nebraska was the “home team” for the event, held April 20-21 in Omaha with hundreds of participants arriving from around the nation. UNL competed with teams from Kansas State University, Tennessee State University, Drexel University, Oklahoma State University, Texas A&M University-Kingsville, Missouri University of Science and Technology, Milwaukee School of Engineering and the University of Wyoming. Judges were industry professionals with several top A/E firms from around the nation.


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