Message from the Dean
The First Vandal Terrestrial Astronaut on Mars
Women in Engineering Day
U.S. Secretary of Transportation Visit
New Intellectual Property Agreement & Research
22nd Annual Engineering Design EXPO
"Like" Us on Facebook
A Newsletter for Alumni and Friends
MESSAGE FROM THE DEAN
University of Idaho President Chuck Staben recently outlined key priorities in his State of the University address. Among his top mission goals are growing university enrollment and growing campus research scholarship.
Here in the College of Engineering we are making every effort to accomplish both of President Staben’s goals through simultaneous long-standing priorities that I have discussed in the past and will reiterate here. We are continually looking to provide an exceptional experience to our engineering students – even before they become our students. As an example, we just hosted our annual Women in Engineering Day. This year we welcomed 80 juniors and seniors from over 35 high schools throughout Idaho and Washington states. Over the course of the day the students participated in a bridge design challenge, interacted with current students, faculty and industry professionals, and toured our campus research and lab facilities. We have conducted our Women in Engineering Day now for 17 years and what is even more impressive than its longevity is our conversion rates of high school student participants into Vandal engineers. Last year alone our Women in Engineering Day yielded great results with 15 participants registering in the fall. We know that our efforts this year will yield similar results. In addition, we are working on extra recruiting activities like the new Envision STEM event that will promote the fact that the University of Idaho graduates more students in STEM disciplines than any other institution in the state of Idaho with over 40 STEM majors to choose from and 9 undergraduate degrees in engineering alone. And of course we will use our annual Engineering Design EXPO to show-off to students and visitors from across the state and region the results of a Vandal engineering education. This year’s event will be May 1, 2015, so mark your calendars.
In President Staben’s State of the College address he also reminded everyone that we are Idaho’s leading research university and that we are in the business of generating and disseminating knowledge through our research. It has always been my goal to both grow research and increase industry partnerships in the College of Engineering and we now have a tool to help facilitate this goal. After many years we have finally approved an intellectual property (IP) agreement that will allow us to assign IP rights to our industry partners when we conduct joint research. In the past this has been a significant obstacle for our corporate partners and for us to secure funding and progress our research agendas, but now under this new arrangement we have a mechanism to do both. In fact we are already using this new IP policy to engage in essential power grid research with Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL).
Exciting developments are happening in the College of Engineering. We have an aggressive plan to grow the college and increase our research partnerships all the while maintaining a high quality educational experience grounded in fundamentals and hands-on learning. I look forward to sharing the progress we are making toward our goals and the successes of our students, faculty and staff along the way.
Larry A. Stauffer, Dean
SOPHIE MILAM: THE FIRST VANDAL ON MARS
Sophie Milam U-Idaho Mechanical Engineering graduate student is officially the first Vandal on Mars, well kind of, a simulated Mars environment in an abandoned lava quarry on the northern slope of Mauna Loa, Hawaii. Milam, a mechanical engineering master’s student at the University of Idaho, has been selected to participate in Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation, or HI-SEAS, a project funded by the NASA Human Research Program that simulates a long-duration Mars mission here on Earth. Milam, along with five other crew members (three male, two female) and two reserves, were selected from hundreds of international applicants to participate in HI-SEAS Mission 3. Mission 3, the longest to date, began Oct. 15 and will last for a total of 273 days. “I have always wanted to be an astronaut,” Milam says. “When I was 2, my mom took me to see the Space Shuttle as it piggy-backed on top of a modified Boeing 747. Ever since, my life’s goals have been focused on space. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT SOPHIE MILAM THE FIRST VANDAL ON MARS.
BUILDING BRIDGES: WOMEN IN ENGINEERING DAY 2014
The 2014 Women in Engineering Day was a great success! The college of Engineering played host to 80 high school juniors and seniors from across Idaho and Washington. In all, more than 35 high schools were represented at our annual Women in Engineering
. Over the course of the day the future Vandal engineers were challenged by members of the UI chapter of the Society of Women Engineers to build a bridge to withstand the weight of matchbox cars, met current engineering students and faculty, participated in a round of speed networking with industry professionals, and toured our engineering labs and research facilities. By the looks of it they all enjoyed themselves. We certainly enjoyed showing them what the University of Idaho and College of Engineering have to offer and hope to see them around campus in the near future. CLICK HERE TO SEE PHOTOS FROM THIS YEAR'S EVENT & LEARN MORE ABOUT WOMEN IN ENGINEERING DAY
U.S. SECRETARY OF TRANSPORTATION VISITS & TOUTS UIDAHO TRANSPORTATION RESEARCH
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx travelled to the University of Idaho for a roundtable discussion with College of Engineering students
. The secretary and students discussed several important transportation and infrastructure issues such as the national gas tax, Foxx lauded UI's National Institute for Advanced Transportation Technology (NIATT), saying that it has made the campus a focal point for developing, implementing and deploying twenty-first century transportation solutions for the nation. The university recently named Dr. Ahmed Abdel-Rahim permanent director of NIATT
, he has served as interim director since the spring and was instrumental in coordinating Secretary Foxx’s visit. During the event Secretary Foxx took a few minutes to talk with our Vandal National Champion Formula Hybrid race car and Clean Snowmobile Challenge teams, he even got behind the wheel of Voltz n' Boltz, joking that the car made him want to take up racecar driving after politics. READ NEWS ABOUT SECREATRY FOXX’S VISIT
PROFESSOR BRIAN JOHNSON & SEL: A POWERFUL PARTNERSHIP
Electrical and Computer Engineering professor Brian Johnson is charting new territory for the University of Idaho and College of Engineering. Johnson is conducting research with Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL) under a new intellectual property research agreement. The new policy allows Professor Johnson to work with SEL to use its proprietary “background” technologies to conduct fundamental research on synchronous machine parameter estimation, and in effect benefit power grid users, by allowing SEL to repurpose the results of Johnson’s findings. SEL products are developed to ensure the safe, reliable, and economical delivery of electric power however power grid disturbances can still cause blackouts. Professor Johnson’s research will make a difference by developing models for the power system infrastructure that enable operators to more accurately plan and react to disturbances on the power grid without taking power generators offline, which is currently the only method operators have to test working systems making it difficult to recreate real-world conditions.
ENVISION STEM: RECRUITING FUTURE VANDALS FOR SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY, ENGIEERING & MATH
Off the success of an early event this semester the University of Idaho hosted a follow-up to our Envision Idaho recruiting event for high school seniors and transfer students. Envision STEM held this past weekend provided prospective Vandals the chance to explore campus, learn about student life and discover our signature research and learning programs that focus on science, technology, engineering and math. Over 600 students toured Engineering labs and research facilities to get a first-hand look at where our students work from concept to creation on their engineering projects such as the formula hybrid race car, clean snowmobile, concrete canoe and many others. College of Engineering representatives helped reinforce the fact that University of Idaho graduates more students in STEM disciplines than any other institution in the state of Idaho. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT ENVISION IDAHO EVENTS CLICK HERE.
SAVE THE DATE: 22ND ANNUAL ENGINEERING DESIGN EXPO
Earlier this month the college hosted the first Engineering Design EXPO Snapshot day of the semester. Snapshot is a preview of projects students are preparing as part of the senior capstone program and will present at our annual Engineering Design EXPO event. This year’s EXPO will take place on May 1, 2015, don’t forget to SAVE THE DATE. The college is currently accepting applications for EXPO judges and sponsorships. There was a wide array of interesting new project designs and improvements on past years projects at the recent Snapshot. This year’s projects range from software that controls aerial drones, a completely redesigned “Bandsteen” the mobile marching band drumset, smart robots that are controlled by a mobile app, and a unique throttle and a turbo engine reconfiguration to make the Clean Snowmobile even quieter, click here to view photos from our recent Snapshot. TO LEARN MORE ABOUT EXPO OR REGISTER TO BE A JUDGE CLICK HERE.
STAY IN TOUCH
Comments or Suggestions?
Please let us know how we are doing. If you have comments or suggestions on our UI Engineering News please contact our Marketing Communication Manager, Rob Patton
or by phone at (208) 755-8511.
Be sure to “like” the College of Engineering on Facebook to get weekly updates on what is happening at UI Engineering.