University of Nebraska-Lincoln College of EngineeringSpring/Summer 2013
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Wei Qiao, assistant professor of Electrical Engineering, led a team that earned a First Prize - Best Paper Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) Industrial Applications Society, Renewable and Sustainable Energy Conversion Systems Committee. Qiao co-wrote the paper titled “Current-Based Diagnosis for Gear Tooth Breaks in Wind Turbine Gearboxes” for the organization’s 2012 Energy Conversion Congress & Expo. This honor will be celebrated at the IAS committee’s annual meeting during ECCE 2013: September in Denver.

Allison Drain, a senior in chemical engineering, won first place at the AIChE regional conference this spring; her research on breast cancer cells earned her the opportunity to present at the national conference this fall in San Francisco.

Changbum Ahn, assistant professor with the Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, received the Best Paper Award at the 2013 International Conference on Construction Engineering and Project Management (ICCEPM) in Anaheim, Calif. His paper's topic was “Construction Equipment Activity Recognition from Accelerometer Data for Monitoring Operational Efficiency and Environmental Performance.”

Engineers Without Borders NU Student chapter was the group winner, and EWBNU’s Stacey Joy, CIVE graduate student, was the individual winner in UNL’s Spirit of Service Awards for campus organizations. Erik Knudsen, an MME senior, was named as UNL Student Organizations’ Outstanding Member of the Year. Their solar project was chosen for a $3,000 Thomas Waters Foundation grant from EWBUSA. Continuing their work in Madagascar, the water quality team traveled in May and the solar team plans to go to Kianjavato in July. The cost for the trips to Madagascar exceeds $70,000 annually for airfare, equipment and supplies, living expenses and rental vehicles. The students contribute their own monies and engage in fundraising activities throughout the year, yet in April more than $20,000 was still needed for this year’s trips. Donations can be made at http:// For more information see or

Zhao ‘Ellen’ Peng, Ph.D. student studying acoustics in The Durham School’s architectural engineering program, was selected to receive a 2013 ICA-ASA Young Scientist Grant. This award helps young scientists attend the International Congress on Acoustic conference in Montreal. At the conference, she presented “Effects of reverberation and noise on speech comprehension by native and non-native English-speaking listeners.” She was also selected to be a representative on the Acoustical Society of America’s national Student Council, representing the area of Architectural Acoustics for the 2013- 16 term. Peng and undergraduate student Adam Buck were honored with the Institute of Noise Control Engineers’ 2013 Leo Beranek Student Medals for excellence in the study of noise control. Buck was also awarded a 2013 Robert Bradford Newman Student Medal for Merit in Architectural Acoustics. Durham School faculty nominated him for work measuring the just noticeable difference of reverberation time using a transformed up-down adaptive method.

turner photoTurner's award fosters international collaboration

Joe Turner, Robert W. Brightfelt Professor with Mechanical & Materials Engineering, was chosen to receive a Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Award from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation in Germany.

The Humboldt Foundation grants up to 25 Friedrich Wilhelm Bessel Research Awards annually to promote international scientific cooperation. Award winners are chosen for their outstanding research record and are invited to spend a period of up to one year cooperating on a long-term research project with specialist colleagues at German research institutions.

Turner’s award, including 45,000 Euros (approx. $60,000), will allow him to conduct research with his nominator, Prof. Konrad Samwer, at the University of Goettingen. Turner and Samwer share an interest in microand nanoscale materials characterization methods. Turner also plans to establish additional research connections with other German labs.

“I'm honored to have been chosen for this award and I’m excited about the research collaborations to be established,” said Turner. The work with Professor Samwer will focus on the application of contact resonance atomic force microscopy (CR-AFM) and nanoindentation to map elastic and anelastic properties of bulk metallic glasses (BMG) near stress concentrations, such as cracks, with nanoscale resolution.

“BMGs can fail in a ductile or brittle manner and the failure mechanisms are not well understood but are known to be dependent on length scale,” Turner said. “My group has worked on the mapping analysis methods for CR-AFM measurements that we will apply to several materials.” He foresees the collaborative research opportunity leading to advances in the failure-resistance of these materials used in electronics, as sensors, for bio-implants and more.

Milford Hanna, professor emeritus with Biological Systems Engineering, was named to the Nebraska Hall of Agricultural Achievement. He joins 200-plus members dedicated to preserving and improving Nebraska agriculture.

Ph.D. student Carl Hart, who studies hybrid computational method for acoustics simulations, received a 2012 Acoustical Society of America award for Outstanding Paper by a Young Presenter in Noise, for his participation at the ASA Kansas City Meeting in Fall 2012

Steve Goddard, Computer Science & Engineering department chair, began serving July 1 as interim dean for the College of Arts & Sciences.

Matt Dwyer, Henson Professor of Computer Science & Engineering, is now serving as interim chair of the CSE department.


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