A Newsletter for Alumni and Friends | December 2012
Women in Engineering Day
Currently, the College of Engineering undergraduate student body is composed of around 13% female students, close to the nationwide average. Maybe some of you can recall the days when this number was closer to 5%.
Find out what the College is doing to make engineering accessible to more young women.
Faculty of Excellence Awards
The College of Engineering is pleased to announce Erik Coats as the recipient of the 2012 Faculty of Excellence Award. Erik possesses great teaching skill and is a strong researcher and is well deserving of this award.
Erik’s research was recently featured in the Idaho Statesman. Read the editorial.
In the last newsletter I announced my top three priorities for leading our college forward into 2020. My first priority is to increase collaborations with industry, alumni, and other friends of the college. People who participate with our faculty and students are fundamental to the success of our students. One way to increase this collaboration is to constantly seek your input on how to improve our services. Our college has a system of strong industrial advisory boards. They actively support our programs and we learn from their insights. We welcome comments at alumni events and other communications you may send our way. We also treasure personal visits to campus.
For example, last month Clint Woo from Boeing talked with 75 of our students about how he became an engineer, earned a position at Boeing, and moved through various jobs within the Boeing company. The students loved his frank conversation and the chance to imagine what they could be doing in the future.
We also hosted a reception for Lou Edwards, one of our recently retired faculty in Chemical Engineering. There were over 100 alumni and friends who joined us in the Kibbie Dome with encouraging comments from former and current students. At this event we announced a campaign for the Lou Edwards Endowed Chair in Chemical Engineering. Once fully funded, this endowment will provide the support and prestige for outstanding faculty and students into perpetuity. I was moved by the many alumni who made donations that evening to add to the anchor gifts already provided by some of our alumni and friends. I am convinced this chair will be fully funded in the near future and we can begin to put the endowment to work.
During the event we heard from several former faculty and deans, and industry representatives who had prepared comments for the evening. At the end of the program I asked for impromptu comments and Jacob Bow, a senior in Chemical Engineering, gave us some closing remarks. Afterwards one of the speakers told me how inspired he was by that student and thankful that he stood up to speak. I’ve always thought of our campaign tag line “inspiring futures” to be directed at the futures of our students. It was then that I had one of those “ah ha” moments. Whether you are 19 or 90, it is about the futures of all of us.
Thank you friends, alumni, and students.
Bringing Water Beyond Borders
In August 2012, seven Engineers Without Borders (EWB-UI) members traveled to Chiwirapi, Bolivia to assess the feasibility of, and to collect data for design of a potable water system. Chiwirapi is a remote community of approximately 230 people in the Andes Mountains.
During the trip, the EWB-UI team met with many community members, and determined that in addition to potable water, an irrigation system is sorely needed.
Find out more about the students’ trip and their next steps.
For more information about student activities in the college contact Maria Pregitzer
email@example.com | (208) 885-9700
Van Gerpen to Lead College Research Efforts
Dean Larry Stauffer is pleased to announce the appointment of Jon Van Gerpen as the College of Engineering's new Associate Dean for Research effective October 1, 2012. Van Gerpen will work to implement the College of Engineering strategic plan by increasing the size and scope of its research and graduate programs.
Read more about Jon Van Gerpen.
For more information about research in the college contact Jon Van Gerpen
firstname.lastname@example.org | (208) 885-7891
John and team member Ben with the signature green milele tube sticking out of a tire.
John Gershenson ’95, now a Professor at Michigan Technological University, loves bikes. This passion led to a global initiative to affect real change.
While working on projects to develop cycling around the world, John and his team realized that there was a huge hole in the market for any company willing to bring quality bicycle components to Africa at an affordable price.
Realizing that flat tires were the single largest problem for people who depend on bicycles for their livelihood, we worked to develop a product that would put an end to flat tires. The milele tube uses no air, never punctures, and lasts five years. It pays for itself 10 times in the first year alone and increases the incomes of those who earn a living on their bicycles by 25%.
The future of the milele airless tube, the Sub-Sahara African cycling market, and Baisikeli Ugunduzi are bright.
Learn more about John Gershenson and the Baisikeli Ugunduzi project.
Louis L. Edwards: 50 Years of Inspiring Futures
The College of Engineering has created a new endowed chair in honor of Louis "Lou" Edwards. Named the Lou Edwards Endowed Chair in Chemical Engineering, the fund will support the recruitment and retention of top faculty members who emulate Edwards's excellence in leadership, teaching and research in the field.
"This department has a lot of rich history, at least it's rich to me," says Edwards as he gazes reminiscently at the conference-room wall that displays the black and white portraits of his former department chairs and colleagues.
And as he and his wife of 56 years, Doris, begin to sift through a pile of snapshots that document his distinguished 50-year career as a chemical engineering professor at the University of Idaho, it's clear that Edwards, who retired last May, is very much a part of that history.
Learn more about Lou Edwards’ legacy at the University of Idaho.
For more information about giving to the college contact Nat Reynolds
email@example.com | (208) 885-5201