University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of EngineeringOnline: Spring 2012
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Engineers Without Borders’ NU Student Chapter returned to Madagascar in May with resources boosted by a Nebraska Engineering alumnus’ donation. Byron Stigge ’68 MECH (in sportcoat, with the group) and his wife, Linda, offered EWB-NU $5,000 if the chapter could raise a matching level of funds. Stigge leads a Bobcat dealership—Omaha Tractor Inc.—and was inspired to help when EWB-NU faculty co-adviser Shannon Bartelt-Hunt (UNL assistant professor of civil engineering) spoke at a meeting of the Rotary Club of Omaha Suburban. With the matching challenge, EWB-NU students were active all spring to meet and exceed the goal: mainly by working at several local sports concession stands. EWB-NU continues its efforts to bring sustainable water filtration and solar power to Kianjavato: a community near a habitat of endangered lemurs, where Omaha’s Henry Doorly Zoo operates a field station.

Curling photoEngineers Without Borders

Engineeering students Tara Asgarpoor, Victoria Fry, Travis Jackson, Monica Krause, Michael Mumaugh and Brandon Nieveen achieved membership in UNL’s prestigious Mortar Board & Innocents Society. The selection is based on leadership, scholarship and service to the university and greater community.

Curling photoCHME student Danielle Simpson was one of several students in UNL’s AIChE chapter who served as judges at the Lincoln Public Schools Science Fair in March.

CHME Professor Hendrik Viljoen, and alumni Joel TerMaat and Scott Whitney, developed the idea for a device—now Streck Inc.'s Philisa Thermal Cycler—to greatly accelerate DNA testing.

The Durham School hosted its second annual Ph.D. Symposium in March, which brought dozens of candidates for teaching and leadership to Nebraska

Engineering students combined art and science in winning ways for their entries in the UNL Nano Art Contest, sponsored by the
Nebraska Center for Materials & Nanoscience:

1st Place—Nickel Monosilicide Jungle by Yang Gao, Electrical Engineering

2nd Place—Nano Garden by Matt Mitchell, Electrical Engineering

3rd Place—Carbon fiber surrounded by copper oxide by Thomas Guillemet, Mechanical & Materials Engineering

Honorable Mention— A Blue Earth with NSF by Wei Xiong, Electrical Engineering
View the Nano Art Contest winners at

Sandhills Publishing announced a gift commitment to the University of Nebraska Foundation to create the Sandhills Publishing Student Program, benefitting Computer Science and Engineering at UNL. Sandhills Publishing Scholarships will provide scholarship awards of $8,000 each to eight students a year. Also included in the program are company internship opportunities and support for the Sandhills Publishing visiting instructor, supporting an annual elective course available to sophomores and above.

SAE teams gear up for action

Nebraska’s teams are gaining recognition in Society of Automotive Engineers’ competitions.

baja on course photo

UNL’s Baja team earned fourth place overall (highest finish in team history) over 80 other teams in the annual competition at Oregon in May. Nebraska’s top 10 performances in rock crawl, hill climb and acceleration put them fifth overall in the dynamic events, adding to a ninth place in the endurance event. They headed to Wisconsin for the June competition, seeking similar or stronger results.

sae photo

Nebraska’s new Formula team prepared for more than 80 collegiate teams to arrive in June for a competition that relocated from California to Lincoln. Visit the Nebraska Engineering website for updates, or learn more about the teams at (Formula) and (Baja).


BiG RED goes big time at AIAA eventsLunabotics pic

The American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics has ramped up its presence in Nebraska as three UNL teams traveled to AIAA competitions this spring. The University Student Launch Initiative (USLI) gathered rocket teams in Huntsville, Ala., where the Huskers placed third for altitude closest to the goal in their first appearance at the event. Point totals were: 1st--Florida A&M, 5270; 2nd--Florida State, 5237; and 3rd-Nebraska, 5228.

“We are extremely excited to get third,” said computer engineering sophomore Paul Kubitschek. “We beat the Big Ten schools (Michigan, Purdue and Penn State) there, as well as MIT!” Lunabotics pic

The AIAA Design-Build-Fly team was grounded in Wichita due to severe weather during competition weekend. And a UNL Lunabotics team prepared to compete in mid-May in a challenge to develop a lunar robotic to tackle tasks typical of NASA moon missions. Lunabotics pic

Read more about the rocketry team in the Daily Nebraskan:

The Nebraska student and professional chapters of the Society of Women Engineers will host SWE’s 2013 RegionI Meeting in Omaha for members from Nebraska, Colorado, Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Wyoming. The UNL Student Chapter earned recognition for its growth rate: at 182 percent, it was the highest increase among SWE student chapters nationwide.

The Engineering Student Advisory Board (eSAB) in Lincoln awarded Outstanding Student, Staff, and Faculty honors to Victoria Fry, a junior chemical engineering major; Mike Hoffmann, professor and adviser with the Department of Electrical Engineering; and Lark Bear, career development and academic advising coordinator in the Dean’s Office. The nominations sought individuals who made a positive difference in the Nebraska Engineering student community.

Sarah Schroeder, a BSE senior, won the Yaley Award for Leadership from the Nebraska Alumni Association. Schroeder was president of its Scarlet Guard student group, which grew from 316 members in 2010 to 780 members in 2012. She is active in the Cather Circle, the ASUN Environmental Sustainability Committee and the National Society of Professional Engineers’ student chapter at UNL. She was an algebra and calculus tutor and has volunteered at the Lighthouse afterschool program.

asce bowling photoASCE regionals hosted in Lincoln
Student teams tested steel bridges, concrete canoes and build-your-own bowling balls at the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Midcontinent regional event in April in Lincoln. Teams from the college’s civil engineering programs in Lincoln and Omaha welcomed a dozen peer schools including Kansas, Oklahoma and Arkansas.

Zach Connell, Eric Markvicka, Nate Otten, Abby Kelly and Robert Jacobberger earned 2012 Graduate Research Fellowships from the National Science Foundation. From MME: Connell, of Denton, Neb., plans to pursue a Ph.D. at University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in Electronic Materials Research; Markvicka, from Ravenna, Neb., has already started his master’s degree in mechanical engineering while working in the UNL Robotics Lab led by Professor Shane Farritor; and Otten, of Sioux Falls, S.D., plans to begin his master’s degree studies in the robotics program at Carnegie Mellon University. Kelly, a BSE student from Omaha, seeks a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at UNL. CHME’s Jacobberger now studies materials engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

seth picSeth retires after 40+ years with CSE
It was standing room only, and several past students Skyped in, to honor Sharad Seth, who retired this spring from Computer Science & Engineering. At his "last lecture," special guests were leaders from the early years of the department.


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