A Newsletter for Alumni and Friends
Seven College of Engineering students and their mentors were recognized for their outstanding academic success at the Alumni Award for Excellence Ceremony. This award is presented to students who are "leaders in the classroom, laboratory, campus and community."
Read about our outstanding student and mentors »
Photo: Wendy Banzhof and Fritz Fiedler receive awards from President Nellis and Steve Johnson, director of the Alumni Association, during the Alumni Award for Excellence Banquet.
Faculty of Excellence
The College of Engineering is pleased to announce the recipients of the first two Faculty of Excellence Awards, Eric Aston and Aaron Thomas
Read more about the award recipients »
| January 2012
Welcome to the January issue of Vandal Engineering News.
I trust each of you had an enjoyable holiday season. Our family had a nice break in McCall enjoying the snow. Students have now returned to Moscow to begin another semester. This is also the time when we visit many of our alumni and supporters of the college. As in the past we will be making visits to cities such as Spokane, Boise, and Seattle. We will also be adding new stops this year in California. I am anxious to share with you the activities of our students and faculty, answer questions, and listen to your ideas for improving our college. Please check the schedule of visits and I hope to see you in the weeks ahead.
At the center of all degree and research programs are our faculty. They are the ones who teach our students, explore new ideas, and encourage our graduates to be leaders. One of the most important steps we can take to increase the quality of our programs is to support our faculty. Through the generous contributions of our alumni we have established the Faculty of Excellence Awards. The purpose of these awards is to support and reward faculty in the College of Engineering who demonstrate the greatest potential to be professors of the highest caliber. This year, there will be two $15,000 stipends awarded annually for a period of three years, renewable once. These funds will be used to support activities such as summer salary, student support, and travel.
The College of Engineering is pleased to announce the recipients of the first two Faculty of Excellence Awards, Eric Aston and Aaron Thomas.
Dr. Aston is an associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering. He has been a faculty member at the University of Idaho for 10 years. Dr. Aston’s technical expertise is in the area of applications for nanomaterials such as biodetection and stronger composite materials.
Dr. Thomas is an associate professor in the Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering. He is also the Director of the Idaho Space Grant Consortium and the Idaho NASA EPSCoR program. He has been a faculty member at the University of Idaho for 10 years. Dr. Thomas’s technical expertise is in the area of microfluidics and novel separation processes for gasses and biological materials.
As always, I welcome your comments and look forward to another great year for the College of Engineering.
Engineering a Culture of Success
Ten students from U-Idaho's Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) attended the national convention in Anaheim held October 27-30. This is the largest Hispanic technical conference in the nation featuring career and leadership workshops, networking opportunities, and on-site internship and entry-level job interviews. SHPE's president, Ignacio Lopez, a junior mechanical engineering student from Bonners Ferry, Idaho, reported that participants had opportunities to interview with top engineering and technical employers.
SHPE activities include promoting engineering in Idaho middle and high schools and mentoring freshmen and sophomore students here at U-Idaho. This fall, the undergraduate student body is about 7% Hispanic, with 6% of undergraduate engineering students identifying as Hispanic.
Read more about the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers »
For more information about student activities in the college, contact Maria Pregitzer
email@example.com | (208) 885-9700
Civil Engineering Develops Effective Wastewater Management Solutions
Researchers in the Civil Engineering Department are integrating advanced molecular biology with traditional engineering principles to develop effective wastewater management solutions.
This work is led by Dr. Erik R. Coats who is an assistant professor working on the Moscow campus. His efforts have been sponsored by the National Science Foundation, United Dairymen of Idaho, Western Sun Grant Center, and the Battelle Energy Alliance LLC.
The primary focus of their research is on the development of process-specific knowledge that will allow society to more sustainably utilize/re-use waste streams. Some of the specific research that the team has been conducting includes advancements to the engineering wastewater treatment process known as Biological Phosphorus Removal (BPR), bio-converting waste organic matter to polyhydroxyalkanoates (PHAs), which are biodegradable thermoplastics, and the development of a novel two-stage anaerobic digestion (AD) process that will convert residual, fermented biomass to methane-rich biogas. Dr. Coats' research group is also currently investigating alternative methods to remove three pharmaceuticals (Lipitor, Carbamazepine, and Cipro) from municipal wastewater. All of these technologies have applications in mitigating a variety of wastewater streams including municipal and dairy wastewater.
Visit Dr. Coats' website to read more about waste water research within the College of Engineering. »
For more information about research in the college, contact Fred Barlow
firstname.lastname@example.org | (208) 885-7263
Joyce E. Gordon recently established the Glenn C. Gordon Scholarship Endowment for $250,000 in the College of Engineering in memory and honor of her father, Glenn C. Gordon, who received a Bachelor’s degree in civil engineering in 1941. Glenn was born near Calgary, Canada in 1917 and moved to Wallace, Idaho where his father worked in a mine at an early age.
Glenn was an innovative civil engineer and engineered solutions for multiple industries. He designed and built: 100’ tall slip-form grain silos, giant portable slides for carnivals, feed/grain mixers for livestock, boat cranes, the seismic retrofit of historic brick buildings and reinforced concrete belts for large industrial tanks in the Los Angeles area.
Glenn always felt it was important to give something back to the community and Joyce is following in his footsteps. Joyce said, “Dad would be proud to know this scholarship was set up in his name. He would be very supportive of students who want to pursue engineering as a career.”
Congratulations to Janet DeVlieg Pope of Clarkston, Washington who received an honorary doctorate degree at winter commencement for her significant contributions to support education of the sciences, engineering, renewable energy and the preservation of our natural resources through wilderness research and field experiences.
Janet, granddaughter and daughter of the two DeVliegs the foundation is named for, serves as a leader of the DeVlieg Foundation Board. She and her husband Jim live in Clarkston, Washington and own a 1,300 acre ranch on Idaho’s Joseph Plains overlooking the lower Salmon River.
Much appreciation goes to Janet and Jim and the DeVlieg Foundation for their continued inspiration and support of the College of Engineering. The foundation recently funded the design of renewable energy utility systems at Taylor Wilderness Research Station designed and constructed by young engineers through Senior Capstone Design Studies. A new hydro and solar-power grid were installed as well as improvements to water system availability.
DeVlieg sponsors graduate stipends, inquiry-based undergraduate learning programs and professional workshops as well as the DeVlieg Presidential Professorship of Ecohydraulics for Dr. Peter Goodwin. This helps to advance the global research activity of the Center for Ecohydraulics. The foundation also provides annual scholarships in mechanical engineering.
We gratefully acknowledge Janet DeVlieg Pope and Jim Pope, representing the DeVlieg Foundation, as major benefactors to the University of Idaho, who as Gem Society members have given a lifetime total of more than $1 million to the university.
For more information about giving to the college, contact Mary Lee Ryba
email@example.com | (208) 755-4916