Engineering at Nebraska, Spring 2009
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Accomplishments

Ece Erdogmus' research helps the National Park Service to define and refine best practices for its National Center for Preservation Technology and Training (NCPTT). Erdogmus, assistant professor of architectural engineering with The Charles W. Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction, developed a masonry rehabilitation database of material properties to be available online. She focused on the use of fiber-reinforcedmortars (FRMs), specifically sustainable organic fibers, for an experimental program to optimize FRM mixtures based on fiber type and fiber volume in different situations. The database, nearing completion, will include hundreds of entries for material characteristics to aid decision making for preservation of varied and valued historical structures.

The 2009 Construction Engineering & Management Golf Tourney kept up a tradition that connects students, alumni, faculty and industry representatives. Terry Foster, program chair and professor with Construction Systems Engineering, called the day a success in annually raising funds for scholarships in the program, which is part of The Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction. The event gathered 45 teams with more than 180 golfers. Foster thanked all participants, especially the sponsors.

Golfers

A team from one of the sponsors included Kiewit Western Omaha Area's Adam Couture, Robin Kindig, Patrick McInerney, and Dustin Kohrs.

Yuris Dzenis, R. Vernon McBroom Professor of Engineering Mechanics, is on a research team that will receive $7.5 million from the U.S. Army Research Office to create stronger, tougher fibers for improved defense materials such as flexible armor. The grant was part of $260 million recently awarded by the Department of Defense for the Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) program, which focuses on intersections of more than one traditional science and engineering discipline to accelerate both research progress and transition of research results to application. Dzenis' research specializes in advanced nanomaterials and nanomanufacturing.

Susan Hallbeck, professor of Industrial & Management Systems Engineering, will co-lead a $4.1 million, three-year grant to establish the Midwest-Mountain Veterans Engineering Resource Center (MWM VERC) with the VA's Nebraska-Western Iowa Health Care System. This location is one of four VA medical centers nationwide that will host the resource centers. Hallbeck said several health care schools are involved, and UNL will also have a leadership role among participating engineering schools, which include the University of Iowa, University of Minnesota, University of Wisconsin, Arizona State University, Montana State University, New Mexico State University and North Dakota State University.

Clarence Waters, associate professor and director of the architectural engineering program, was named one of two Fellows in 2009 by the Architectural Engineering Institute, part of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Andrew Kelley, a senior from Lincoln who majors in mechanical engineering, was chosen as one of NASA's first-ever Student Ambassadors. Kelley is currently an intern with NASA's V5 Virtual Environment Support for Constellation 606E/F Ground Operations. He is among 80 highperforming interns selected for this new program, which includes interns from 35 states and 64 universities.

Lee Redden, Evan Luxon, Adam Eck, Brandon Smith and Sarah Swisher received 2009 NSF Graduate Research Fellowships. Redden graduated from UNL in 2009 and will continue his mechanical engineering studies as a graduate student here. Luxon completed his B.S. in mechanical engineering in 2009 and will join a graduate program at Johns Hopkins University. Eck is a 2008 graduate and continues his studies in Artificial Intelligence (in a Comp/IS/Eng program that includes Robotics, Computer Vision and Human Language Processing) as a UNL graduate student. Smith is a 2007 graduate who now attends a graduate program at University of Wisconsin-Madison to study Artificial Intelligence in Comp/IS/Eng (including Robotics, Computer Vision and Human Language Processing). Swisher graduated in 2004 and is pursuing graduate studies in Electrical and Electronic Engineering with University of California-Berkeley. The NSF distinction "offers our nation's research leaders of tomorrow exceptional funding with three years of graduate support." Each honor includes a $30,000 annual stipend, $10,500 cost-of-education allowance, $1,000 one time international travel allowance, and TeraGrid Supercomputer access.

Terry Foster, program chair and professor with Construction Systems Engineering, was presented with the 2009 American Institute of Constructors (AIC) W. A. Klinger Construction Educator Award. Since 1976, this national educator award has annually honored longstanding contributions to construction education, distinguished service to the advancement of the construction profession, and exemplary service to AIC. Foster has served on the AIC National Board of Directors since 2005.

Bode earns PEC's 2009 Hightower Fellowship
Nebraska Engineering graduate student Thaddeus Bode received the 2009 Hightower Fellowship from the Professional Engineers in Construction (PEC). Bode studies construction engineering at UNL's Charles W. Durham School of Architectural Engineering and Construction.

At Durham, he was a founding member of the Student Consortium of Specialty Contractors and also developed his interest in sustainable building, especially applied to existing homes ("before it was the cool thing to be into," Bode said). He also enjoys Building Information Modeling and was a teaching assistant for The Durham School's new BIM class.

Bode said "you can't learn everything in a classroom" and has sought real-world experience. As an undergraduate Bode approached Yong Cho, assistant professor of Construction Systems at UNL, about helping with a research project for the Nebraska Department of Roads. Now as a graduate student, Bode leads the research project that involves the mitigation of temperature segregation in the hot mix asphalt construction process using non-nuclear sensory devices.

In appreciation for the support he has received at Durham, Bode added, "The best way to say thank you ... is to return the favor by giving time and support to someone else who needs it." Bode is currently using his know-how to research and design a practical and efficient school to be built half a world away in South Sudan.

For his career, he plans to continue his learning at jobsites and eventually become a project manager, with hopes to oversee his own sustainably-focused construction firm.

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