April 2002 -- VOLUME I, ISSUE III

R E S E A R C H @ OSU Engineering

TRANSPARENT ELECTRONICS: WHAT YOU DON'T SEE IS WHAT YOU GET-
Imagine a radio that looks like a clear, thin pane of glass. Or a warning light that illuminates inside your car's windshield telling you when to slow down. OSU Engineering researchers are developing a breakthrough technology with the potential to revolutionize everything from active matrix LCD displays to solar cells. The new technology, called transparent electronics, is just that: electronic components that are virtually crystal clear. These super-thin components allow any transparent surface--windows, bottles, computer screens--to contain electronics that don't interfere with visibility or the passage of light. According to John Wager, OSU professor of electrical and computer engineering, OSU is the only university in the nation developing this new technology. "Nobody else can do this right now," Wager says. But word about OSU's work is spreading, fast. Several major corporations have already expressed interest in the technology. Wager believes the research, funded by $2.5 million in grants, will generate a flurry of new patents for OSU. But he is quick to point out that what makes it all possible is the cross-disciplinary nature of the project team, which involves researchers from the OSU departments of physics and chemistry, as well as other OSU engineering departments. "A lot of other universities are trying to do this, but their work is isolated in single departments," Wager says. "Here at OSU, we're working on multiple levels. You normally don't see chemists or physicists talking to electrical engineers. But we're doing that here. And that's what is creating a synergy that allows us to work together and make very fast progress."

OSU'S WORK ON MINIATURE RADIO FREQUENCY ID TAGS FEATURED IN BUSINESSWEEK-
peni tagThe March 18th issue of BusinessWeek magazine featured a joint research project between OSU Engineering and the University of Pittsburgh that has lead to development of very small radio frequency identification tags called Product Emitting Numbering Identification (PENI) tags. The breakthrough technology, which incorporates an almost-microscopic, coiled antennae etched into a tiny chip, has the potential to replace traditional UPC barcodes and scanners, and impact everything from national border security to medical cards. The radio frequency tags don't require line-of-site scanning, and the information contained in the tags can be rewritten. Professor Richard Billo, Department Head at OSU's Department of Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, played a key role in securing funding for the research that lead to the breakthrough technology. OSU will be involved in testing the new tags for industry giants like Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, and other companies interested in utilizing the technology. Read more about PENI tags at: http://www.post-gazette.com/healthscience/20020128antenna0128p2.asp and http://osu.orst.edu/dept/ncs/newsarch/2002/Apr02/radio.htm

OSU BIOENGINEERS RECYCLE ATHLETIC SHOE WASTE TO ABATE BARNYARD ODORS-
OSU Bioengineering Professor Ron Minor has developed a way of using scraps of polyethylene foam left over from the manufacture of products including athletic shoes to stop the stench at manure ponds. The scraps are made into a two-inch thick mat that is light, porous, and creates an airy home for oxygen-loving bacteria and other creatures that consume ammonia and similar odor-causing compounds. "It works just like the soil over your drain field that makes it possible to picnic on top of the septic tank," explained Miner. Read how Minor's research is helping farmers be more aromatically-correct neighbors: http://wwwagcomm.ads.orst.edu/agcomwebfile/news/current/manure.html

S T U D E N T S @ OSU Engineering

OSU ENGINEERING STUDENTS HELP DESIGN MICRO-HYDRO POWER GENERATORS-
"My goal is to save the world," says Ryan Harbert, an OSU senior in Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE). Driven by a belief that engineers help build a better world, Harbert took on a Senior Project that has the potential to do just that. With guidance from ECE professor Alan Wallace, Harbert (Myrtle Point) and fellow ECE students Ben Lee, III (Aloha), Paul Hutchinson (Springfield), and James Ayers (Salem), are helping Portland-based Thunder River Turbine Company refine its design for portable power turbines at a site near Bull Run Reservoir. The devices, which resemble a propeller, are placed in flowing water where the force of the current spins the turbine, generating enough electricity to power an entire household. The technology, called micro-hydro power, has a wide range of applications, from supplying power during emergency power outages to powering pumps on irrigation canals. "Micro-hydro technology is about 30 percent efficient, and unlike solar, it generates power day and night," Harbert says. The OSU students say they have learned a lot during the 8-month project, and both Portland General Electric (which sponsored the project) and Mickey Garner (owner of Thunder River Turbine Company) are pleased. "PG&E wants to hire us," Harbert says. "And Mickey Garner thinks we're geniuses."

OSU EXPO STARS ENGINEERING INNOVATORS-
On May 7th, the lobby and hallways of Owen Hall, home of OSU’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), will be abuzz with everything from robots racing through a labyrinth to innovative product prototypes created by OSU Engineering students. Among the 27 “Senior Projects” to be displayed at the ECE-sponsored Engineering Expo are a portable micro-hydro generator the size of a house fan that generates power when placed into a flowing stream; an energy-saving light sensor system that automatically dims electrical lighting to compensate for sunlight; and a “smart” ID tag that transmits its position to help track whatever (or whoever) is “wearing” the tag. In addition to the OSU student-built robots (called TekBots(TM) thanks to a major grant from Tektronix) that will compete in a “TekBots Triathlon,” Oregon high school students in the FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Program will have their robots on hand, and OSU experts will offer tours of the department’s labs. See “Upcoming Events” below for more information about the free event and visit the ECE website: http://ece.oregonstate.edu/

CIVIL ENGINEERING STUDENTS WIN FIRST PLACE AT NATIONAL COMPETITION-
Coached by OSU Construction Engineering Management associate professor Neil Eldin, OSU's Heavy Civil team of CEM students took first place at the "Associated Schools of Construction/Associated General Contractors of America" national construction management competition in Las Vegas on March 21. In February, both the Heavy Civil team and the Commercial team finished first at the regional competition, earning the expense-paid trip to nationals. During the competition, teams received plans and specifications for a project at 6 a.m. then worked non-stop until a midnight deadline developing estimates, schedules, and analyses of anticipated challenges. This was followed by an oral presentation. The CEM seniors competing were Emily Hager (Gresham), Andrew Patterson (Tigard), Justin Dean Pape (Corvallis), Erik Bruun (Portland), James Zusy (Gig Harbor, WA), Andy Cerotsky (Troutdale), Matthew Johnson (Salem), Jacob Hanning (Sandy), Justin O'Brien (Springfield), River Steenson (Portland), Michael Alexander (Madras), and Kacy Carter (Medford).

I N D U S T R Y  C O L L A B O R A T I O N @ OSU Engineering

INTEL GIVES EQUIPMENT WORTH $2 MILLION TO OSU ENGINEERING-
While working as an intern at Intel, OSU electrical and computer engineering graduate student Jeff Bender discovered the company was no longer using two rapid thermal processors and two radio frequency generators. Bender knew his OSU advisor, professor John Wager, could use the equipment in the OSU electro-luminescent research lab, so he discussed the donation with Intel's Paul Kingzett. Kingzett, an OSU alum, was happy to help. "Intel is excited to assist the ECE department as it works on world class research," Kingzett said. "This is one of several gifts Intel has made this year to assist OSU's pursuit in becoming a tier-one engineering school." The collaborative spirit between OSU and Intel, enabled OSU Engineering to acquire the equipment valued at more than $2 million at no cost. Other industry partners that contribute equipment to OSU Engineering include Hewlett-Packard, Tektronix, Sun Microsystems, and others.

F U N D R A I S I N G @ OSU Engineering

KELLEY FAMILY FOUNDATION DONATES $100,000 TO OSU ENGINEERING-
The Kelley Family Foundation has donated $100,000 to the College of Engineering to support the acquisition or improvement of equipment directly used for materials science research. Materials Science includes research and education in the properties, synthesis, and understanding of new materials, with special emphasis on materials of importance to Oregon's economy--such as ceramics, composite materials (both natural and engineered), electronic materials, magnetic materials optical materials, transportation materials, and polymers.

F A C U L T Y  &  S T A F F @ OSU Engineering

SHOP STAFF TEACH STUDENTS HANDS-ON ENGINEERING-
As part of OSU's ongoing efforts to develop engineers who are creative and truly work-ready, the College has tapped two of its classified staff to teach students fabrication, machining, and other skills that can only be learned through hands-on experience in a shop setting--complete with sparks, safety goggles, and the smell of hot steel. As engineering has become more and more dominated by computer software and wireless technology, Steve Adams and Steve Etringer, who manage the College's machine shops in the departments of Mechanical Engineering and Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering, are teaching students how to use lathes, milling machines, drill presses, saws, forming tools, and much more. They both agree that good engineers need to at least know what these tools are capable of doing. "Technology is working with tools," says Etringer. And Adams, who has logged almost 25 years teaching shop classes, says students are coming to college with fewer of these skills, which were previously learned at home or in high school. "It's fading away," he says. "So that's why it's important that we teach these tools here." Many of the students taking the class have commented that the skills they're learning on the shop floor will be of lifelong use to them, as engineers and beyond.

A L U M N I @ OSU Engineering

OSU ENGINEERING ALUM TO RECEIVE PRESTIGIOUS E. B. LEMON AWARD-
The OSU Alumni Association's highest honor, the E. B. Lemon Award, will be presented to OSU Engineering alumnus Martin N. Kelley at an awards ceremony on April 19. Kelley, who graduated from OSU in 1950 with a B.S. in Civil Engineering, joined Peter Kiewit Sons, Inc. in 1954 where he held numerous leadership positions, including an assignment as lead engineer on the tunnel portion of the San Francisco BART project. He retired in 1991 as President of Kiewit Engineering and Vice President of Kiewit Construction. Kelley, who founded the Kelley Family Foundation, joins a long list of OSU Engineering alumni who have received the prestigious E. B. Lemon Award, including Linus Pauling, Douglas Engelbart, Jim Howland, Nat Giustina, Milton Harris, Marion Carl, Bob Cess, Kaz Kawata, Bob Lundeen, Ron Miller, Jim Poirot, and Ken Austin. To attend the campus awards ceremony and dinner honoring Kelley, call 541-737-7844.

OSU ALUM ELECTED TO NATIONAL ACADEMY OF ENGINEERING-
OSU College of Engineering alumnus Ronald Hanson has been elected to membership in the National Academy of Engineering, one of the nation's highest professional distinctions for an engineer. Hanson, who currently chairs of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Stanford University, received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from OSU in 1961. He joins 16 other OSU Engineering alumni who have been elected to the academy, including luminaries Douglas Engelbart and John Young. Read more at: http://osu.orst.edu/dept/ncs/newsarch/2002/Mar02/hanson2.htm

TEKMAX NEAR TOP OF "100 BEST" COMPANIES-
Tekmax, a company founded by OSU Chemical Engineering alumnus Pete Johnson, has been ranked third by Oregon Business Magazine in its annual survey of the "100 Best Companies to Work For." The company, which makes assembly equipment for the battery manufacturing industry, scored high marks for working environment, career development, and leadership. Read the feature story at: http://www.dhonline.com/archives/index.inn?loc=detail&doc=/2002/March/11-752-business01.txt

H E A R D  O N  C A M P U S @ OSU Engineering

"It's exciting to see an interdisciplinary team of engineering departments working together toward a common goal."

--David Hackleman, Chief Technologist, Hewlett-Packard, Corvallis, commenting on OSU Engineering's work developing wireless, mobile solutions for industrial problems.

U P  C O M I N G  E V E N T S @ OSU Engineering

TOUR OSU'S WAVE RESEARCH LABORATORY-
Tuesday, April 9, 10:30 a.m., SW corner of 35th and Jefferson, OSU Campus
OSU retirees and their guests are welcome to tour the O. H. Hinsdale Wave Research Laboratory, which is being expanded into the world's largest tsunami research facility with a $4.8-million NSF grant. OSU civil engineering professor and director of the facility, Charles Sollitt, will conduct the tour, which is sponsored by OSU Retirement Association (OSURA). OSU professors Solomon Yim, (CSEE) and Cherri Pancake (CS) will discuss how the new tsunami facility will function.

OSU ENGINEERING EXPO-
Tuesday, May 7, 2-5:00 p.m., Lobby, Owen Hall, OSU Campus, Free
Watch a TekBots(TM) Triathlon and demonstrations of product prototypes designed and built by Electrical and Computer Engineering seniors. For more information, call 541-737-3617, or visit: http://ece.oregonstate.edu/

DOUG ENGELBART LECTURE-
Thursday, May 16, David's Restaurant, Santa Clara, CA
Douglas Engelbart, OSU Engineering alum and inventor of e-mail, hypertext, the concept of windows, the computer mouse, and other innovations, will give a free lecture titled "Can Human Intelligence be Improved by Technology?" No-host bar and heavy hors d'oeuvres. For more information, go to http://alumni.oregonstate.edu/ or call the Alumni Association toll-free at 877-305-3759.

NEW ENGINEERING BUILDING GROUNDBREAKING-
Thursday, May 30th, New Building Site, OSU campus.
Mark your calendars to attend the groundbreaking ceremony for the new 129,000-sq.-ft. OSU Engineering building at the heart of campus. Details TBA. To see the approximate location of the new building and for future developments, go to: http://engr.oregonstate.edu/top25/building/

GOLDEN JUBILEE 2002-
June 7-9, 2002, CH2M HILL Alumni Center, OSU Campus
Join other OSU Engineering alumni who graduated 50 years or more ago for an engineering reception from 3 to 4:30 p.m. on Friday, June 7th. Visit all departments of the College of Engineering in one location. Faculty and students will be on hand to talk about how your college has changed over the last 50 years. For more information about the event, go to http://oregonstate.edu/dept/alumni/reunions/index.html

I M P O R T A N T  L I N K S @ OSU Engineering