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All American

Mavericks’ running back Adam Wright, a civil engineering senior, is the school’s all-time rushing leader with a record 3,926 yards. Wright also is UNO Student Senate vice president.

UNL Earns Spot in Lombardi Research Universities Rankings

A new study from the Lombardi Program on Measuring University Performance includes NU among the ranks of “The Top American Research Universities.”

Released in July, the University of Florida-based project assessed university and college research performance based on nine performance indicators, including research expenditures, endowment assets, annual giving, faculty members in national academies, faculty awards and doctoral degrees.

The study placed Nebraska on a list of 47 public universities that placed in the top 25 in one or more of the indicators. The university placed in the top 25 in two categories: endowment assets and annual giving.

The report was well received by NU administration because of the quality of the data and its approach that recognizes areas of excellence, officials said.

“It’s pleasing to be placed among the top public research universities in this objective study, but it’s also pleasing to have an exact measuring stick on where we stack up against our competition,” said David Brinkerhoff, acting senior vice chancellor for academic affairs.

Institutions were purposely not “ranked” as in many popular publications, whose rankings fluctuations “generate the interests that sustain the process” and sells publications, the report said. Instead the analysis clustered groups of universities on their relative performance.

New Weigh Stations Improve Safety, Productivity

Two new weigh stations along Interstate 80 in eastern Nebraska will increase safety while improving productivity, thanks to state-of-the-art technology and “old fashioned” engineering design.
The weigh stations, located near the Cass County line just east of Waverly, feature longer entrance and exit ramps to prevent weigh station traffic from backing up onto the Interstate. High-speed weigh-in-motion (WIM) technology weighs trucks at highway speed. Officers communicate with drivers via electronic signs, and signs and signal lights direct trucks to enter or bypass the station.

Electronic credential screening allows trucks to be checked for compliance with state-required credentials. Trucks participating in the screening program are equipped with a transponder inside the truck’s cab that identifies the vehicle as a PrePass member. If the member is in good standing and meets weight requirements, the driver can be signaled via the transponder to bypass the weigh station.

“The design, location and technology provide facilities that will meet the needs of public safety for years to come,” said Nebraska Department of Roads Director John Craig.

Motor carriers agree. “The new scale design is a big safety improvement,” said Nebraska Trucking Association President Bud Cuca.

“We welcome the introduction of this technology to Nebraska’s Interstate system.”

Source: Nebraska State Patrol

SAME Mentoring Program

Gregor Henze and Mingsheng Liu, architectural engineering, are mentors in the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Student Initiative Mentoring Program. Henze is working with a student team from Creighton Preparatory High School on the design of a hovercraft, while Liu is mentoring a group from Omaha North High School. Teams will submit their final projects for judging in April.

Badie, Tadros Receive National ACI Award

Sameh Badie and Maher Tadros, civil engineering, have received the American Concrete Institute’s Structural Engineering Award for a co-authored paper on an innovative stay-in-place bridge deck forming system.

Badie received his Ph.D. in civil engineering (structures) from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln in 1997. The author of more than 30 publications in structural engineering and prestressed concrete, Badie is research assistant professor in the civil engineering department.

Tadros is an internationally-recognized expert in the field of precast and prestressed concrete. He has written more than 200 publications and received numerous awards in his field.

ACI will formally present the award during its spring convention in Philadelphia.

But Does It Work?

Mostafa Khattab’s classes are ground zero this semester for a Japanese company seeking to market its project management software in the United States.

RKM, based in Tokyo, is providing the software and peripheral equipment to NU in exchange for students’ feedback on its usability. Students are testing and evaluating various aspects of the software including user interface and report functions.

“The software is unique compared with what’s currently on the market in the United States,” says Khattab, associate professor of construction management.

“It’s a wonderful opportunity for our students to be exposed to the most current technology.”

Botrous Receives WEF Scholarship

Akram Botrous, a Ph.D. candidate in environmental engineering, is the recipient of a scholarship from the Water Environment Association to support his studies and research in wastewater treatment and bioremediation.

Botrous has started research on oxidation of high-strength ammonia-laden wastewater using fluid bed reactors. He has more than five years experience with industrial and municipal wastewater engineering projects and has recently obtained certification as an engineering intern in Nebraska.

CSE Students Repeat Performance
at Programming Contest

For the second time in three years, a team of NU students placed first in the ACM North Central Regional Programming Contest, earning a trip to the World Finals in Vancouver, B.C., Canada.

Two years ago, the same team — Lucas Sabalka, Joshua Brown and Yixin (Peter) Guo — won the regional competition in Lincoln. They went on to compete in the World Finals in the Netherlands.

But Sabalka foiled any plans for a repeat performance last year when he decided to attend another school. He came back to NU for his senior year and one last shot at a world title.

The contest requires each team of three students to write computer programs using C, C++ and Java languages, and to solve problems in mathematics and logic. The team with the most solutions wins.

A team from Iowa State University took second place. The top two teams solved all eight problems in the five-hour contest.

Another NU team — Daniel Buettner, Jeff Cutler and Lane Phillips — captured third place. Charles Riedesel, computer science and engineering, coached the NU student teams.

The World Finals will be March 7-11 in Vancouver.

Pedestrian Crossing

Christopher Tuan and Sherif Yehia are assembling components of a composite bridge to be erected in Aurora. This model is on display at the Edgerton Explorit Center.