A Newsletter for Alumni and Friends | March 2012
April 27 | Moscow
Tuesday, March 6, was the spring EXPO Snapshot day showing the senior engineering students' progress. More than one team expressed some angst regarding the final stages, but somehow they always come together just in time.
Other Upcoming Events
5:00 – 7:00 p.m.
March 29 | Seattle
5:30 - 7:30 p.m.
State of the College
April 4 | Spokane
The Davenport Hotel
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
State of the College
April 5 | Coeur d’Alene
The Coeur d’Alene Resort
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Welcome to the March issue of Vandal Engineering News.
With deep sadness I share with you the loss of Dr. Ken Noren, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who passed away February 25. We will miss Ken as a colleague and friend after his many years of service to the College of Engineering and the University of Idaho. On behalf of faculty, staff, and friends, our deepest sympathies go to his wife and extended family. I encourage you to read more about Ken and the scholarship fund that has been established in his name.
Recently, I met with a student who felt great anxiety in the passing of Dr. Noren. Ken was his Ph.D. adviser for several years and he was preparing for his defense this spring. Besides losing a person he deeply respected, he was also losing his major adviser he had worked with for years. Fortunately Dr. Herb Hess, one of our Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty, agreed to take over advising duties.
This encounter and others like it remind us of the importance of our faculty. Without a doubt, faculty are the primary influence on our students’ education. We always place a great deal of emphasis in providing effective text books, computers, equipment, classrooms, and so forth. While all are important, nothing compares to the teaching, mentoring, and guidance our faculty will provide during a student’s academic career.
As an engineering student myself years ago at Virginia Tech, I recall many times when a professor helped me with a homework assignment or explained an engineering concept that has stuck with me to this day. I remember the day I fell asleep in my Heat Transfer class. I won’t tell you what my professor said but let’s just say it was the last time I or anyone dozed off in his class. I’m sure all of you can recall many episodes with a faculty member in or outside of the class. We truly respect each of our faculty in the College of Engineering and are appreciative of what they do for our students.
My greatest joy when visiting alumni is hearing their stories about their professors. As a professor myself, it is especially enjoyable to meet one of my own students and learn what they are doing now. I often receive email from former students from 10 or 20 years ago. This keeps me motivated and it is the same with all of our faculty. After all, it is because of the students that we do what we do.
Next time you see one of your former professors or read about them in this newsletter, say hello or send them an email. You will both be glad you did.
National Engineering Week Event a Success
One hundred and one high school students from Moscow High School, Lapwai High School and Post Falls High School came to campus February 22 in celebration of National Engineering Week. This daylong event was made possible by the University of Idaho student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).
Outgoing president, Caitlin Owsley, wrote the grant, planned the design activity, organized student volunteer mentors and the engineering lab tours – all of which led to a successful and informative day about the engineering profession.
Dr. Steve Beyerlein serves as the faculty adviser for ASME.
Students Learn about Engineering Career Opportunities in the thinkTANK
The thinkTANK was filled to capacity February 29, when Vicci White from the U-Idaho Career Center spoke on the topic of how to find engineering jobs and internships. White covered how to search for internships, how to tailor a cover letter and resume for specific jobs and the importance of networking.
The thinkTANK is proving to be the perfect venue for student functions and is also open to representatives of engineering firms to present information to our students about careers, jobs and internships. For more information about opportunities at the thinkTANK, contact Maria Pregitzer.
Society of Women Engineers Ride Waves in Hawaii
Four student members of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) attended the western regional convention in Honolulu, Hawaii February 29 – March 3. The focus of the conference was "Ride the Wave of Innovation." The students toured the Kahuku Wind turbines that produce 30 megawatts of power and the HPOWER facility which processes over 600,000 tons of waste annually, producing 7% of the island of Oahu's electricity and reducing the amount of waste going to landfills.
SWE would like to thank the Avista Foundation for the generous donation towards this trip.
For more information about student activities in the college, contact Maria Pregitzer
firstname.lastname@example.org | (208) 885-9700
University of Idaho at Idaho Falls: A National Leader in Nuclear Energy Research
The Idaho Falls campus of the University of Idaho has been identified as a leader in nuclear energy research, which is one of the core technological competency areas for economic development in the state of Idaho.
Dr. Akira Tokuhiro leads the Nuclear Engineering (NE) program and of the eight full-time faculty members, three are new faculty hires as of July 2007. These new hires were made possible through a university-wide strategic initiative. This initiative is developing a quality faculty team that will serve the NE Program at the highest level and help build a safe and secure nuclear energy supply for the nation.
The presence of the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) at Idaho Falls, with specific missions in the development of nuclear energy, is also a major factor in the augmentation of the NE program. The university has made major commitments in energy research by being one of the founding members of the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES), which is poised to become an international center for energy research, policy, and education. In recent years, there has been steady growth in the number of M.S. and Ph.D. students enrolling in the NE program; some 20-25 are full-time traditional students, 25-30 others are part-time professionals. Recent interest in enhancing pollution-free nuclear power for electricity, hydrogen production, industrial and medical applications, and national security; coupled with retirements in an aging nuclear workforce, are fueling the shortage.
Visit the Nuclear Engineering program’s website to read more about nuclear energy research within the College of Engineering.
For more information about research in the college, contact Fred Barlow
email@example.com | (208) 885-7263
Cones: A Generation Before and Now
The $2 million Endowed Chair for Mechanical Engineering Campaign has received a second leadership gift. Elwood E. Cone and Dorothy E. Cone will support the faculty endowment through a $250,000 bequest contribution. Once fully funded, the endowed chair will not only provide the College of Engineering with the ability to recruit and retain outstanding faculty, but will also benefit students who will work with and learn from these world-class researchers, educators and academic leaders.
Elwood is the son of William H. Cone who was head of the University of Idaho Chemistry Department from 1924 to 1964. Elwood grew up in Moscow, and as a young engineering student joined the Civilian Pilot Training Program and became the first student to fly solo in seven western states. Elwood graduated in 1942 in mechanical engineering and served in the U.S. Marine Corps in the South Pacific during World War II. After returning from the war, Elwood went to work at Westinghouse Electric in San Francisco where he met his wife Dorothy.
Elwood was a motivated and innovative engineer and after six years was drawn to an exciting career in the mining machinery manufacturing business where he retired as president of Baker Mining Machinery Company, now Baker Hughes which is a top tier oilfield service company.
Elwood says, “I grew up in Moscow, my dad worked at the University, I went to school there, it’s great to be able to support the University of Idaho.”
For more information about giving to the college contact Mary Lee Ryba
firstname.lastname@example.org | 208-885-6774
Engineering On the Road
This winter we had the opportunity to travel around the country meeting several of our alumni and friends. Thank you to our alumni and corporate partners who are so dedicated to the College of Engineering and expend great time and effort on our behalf. Whether you're visiting campus, or we're visiting you, we hope to see you soon.