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April 2016

From the Dean

Happy spring! Students, staff, and faculty have been working hard since last fall, and that hard work really shows this time of year.

Last month, we hosted the 2nd annual Engineering Graduate Research Expo at the Portland Art Museum, where some 200 master's and doctoral students showcased their research. Next month, on May 20th, we'll host the 17th annual Undergraduate Engineering Expo here on campus. This is sure to be another fascinating display of undergraduate engineering innovation and creativity, with the Senior Design Showcase featuring 200 student-built projects from across all of our disciplines.

And commencement is just around the corner on June 11, when our next class of Oregon State Engineers will cross the stage, collect their diplomas, and head off to help create a better world.

Go Beavs!

Scott A. Ashford, Ph.D.
('83 Oregon State, Civil Engineering)
Kearney Professor and Dean
College of Engineering
Oregon State University

Research

How community solar systems can boost energy efficiency
Research by Oregon State engineers, including Mahmoud Shakouri, a doctoral candidate in civil engineering, show that small "community-based" solar energy systems where neighbors join together to optimize the energy produced in their neighborhood — and share in the benefits — might increase the total electricity produced by 5-10 percent, a significant gain by the standards of solar energy efficiency. More…

Faculty & Staff

Engineering faculty honored for research
Faculty members Ravi Balasubramanian, Daniel Dig, Devlin Montfort, Arun Natarajan, Stephen Ramsey, Karl Schilke, David Blunck, and Yiğit Mengüç in the College of Engineering at Oregon State University have received a total of $4.3 million in awards for their teaching or research initiatives. More…

Importance of precursor events in construction site safety
Civil Engineering Professor John Gambatese’s research was mentioned in an article about a court case involving an ironworker’s drowning. According to Gambatese, some of the precursors at the Baylor jobsite — such as not taking 10 to 15 minutes to adjust the barge, vague safety procedures and employees who are new or unfamiliar with the working conditions — seem to match the kinds found in other high-impact events. More…

Klein comments on nuclear energy’s role in emission reduction
According to Andy Klein, professor of nuclear engineering and a board member of the American Nuclear Society, without nuclear energy, there is no way the world will reach its more ambitious emissions reduction targets. More…

Sharp talks humanitarian engineering on KLCC
Professor of mechanical engineering Kendra Sharp talks with KLCC Radio about Oregon State's new Humanitarian Engineering program, and how the highly interdisciplinary program is attracting more women and minority students to study engineering. More…

Wood named influential professor of environmental engineering
Brian Wood, professor of environmental engineering, has been named one of "20 Influential Environmental Engineering Professors" by Online Engineering Programs. Selection criteria include professorship, peer-reviewed publications, outside work, and doctorate degrees. More…

Students

Graduate students selected for prestigious fellowships
Several engineering students have been awarded prestigious graduate fellowships. Students awarded three-year fellowships through the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program include: Mark Surette, environmental engineering; Elizabeth Holzenthal, civil engineering; Phylicia Cicilo, electrical and electronic engineering; and Maoya Bassiouni, water resources engineering. In addition, Hannah Rolston, a doctoral candidate in environmental engineering, was awarded a three-year National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship, and Iftekhar Ahmed, a doctoral candidate in computer science, received a $30,000 IBM Ph.D. Fellowship. Congratulations! More…

Beery wins Mastery Challenge for audio amplifier
Carl Beery, a junior in electrical and computer engineering, won first place and a cash prize of $150 for his audio amplifier in the winter term Mastery Challenge, a new extracurricular program designed to provide more hands-on learning opportunities for all students, regardless of major. More…

Industry

Bringing graduate research to industry, the public
Graduate student research often takes place in secluded and cramped campus laboratories, with little opportunity for students to share their work with the world in person. The annual Graduate Engineering Research Expo is changing this. About 200 master's and doctoral students from five engineering schools packed a large ballroom at the Portland Art Museum last month to display a dizzying array of colorful research posters and discuss their work with approximately 250 visitors. More…

Programs

Marine Studies Program classroom-lab in Newport debated
A panel discussion recently addressed a proposal for the new Marine Studies Program to construct a $50 million lab and classroom building at the Hatfield Marine Science Center in Newport. Although the location is in a tsunami inundation zone on Yaquina Bay, experts say the new building can be constructed to survive a tsunami, and evacuation plans could be enhanced to get people to high ground in plenty of time. More…

Alumni

The draw of "engineering with a human face"
While an undergraduate at Oregon State, Grace Burleson (’16 mechanical engineering), did an internship researching water purification in Uganda, graduated with an honors engineering degree, and is now preparing to return to Oregon State to pursue an advanced degree involving humanitarian engineering. Burleson says she wants "to make an impact" in the world, and the new humanitarian engineering program is a perfect fit for her, and for a lot of other women, it turns out. More…

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