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June 2014

From the Dean

On June 14th, approximately a thousand College of Engineering graduates will cross the commencement stage at Reser Stadium, then fan out across the nation and around the world, equipped with newly minted engineering degrees that place them in an extraordinary class: The Oregon State Engineers.

These new Oregon State Engineers are prepared to tackle the world's most critical, complex, and compelling problems, because they have been taught to relentlessly question assumptions and continually look for better ways to do things. They are critical thinkers, well versed in collaboration. They know the value of teamwork and effective communication. They possess a unique blend of technical skills and broad worldview that will enable them to innovate solutions to our planet's toughest challenges.

They are extraordinary, and I couldn't be more proud.

To our new graduates, we wish you not only success in your careers and lives, but also a deep sense of satisfaction at having participated in an enriching and rigorous engineering education. You are now Oregon State Engineers, a title you have earned through hard work, dedication, and collaboration, and a distinction that will open doors to unimagined opportunities. Graduate and go out to help create a better world, for all of us.

Congratulations!

Scott A. Ashford, Ph.D.
Kearney Professor and Dean
College of Engineering
Oregon State University
Research

When good bridges go bad
Christopher Higgins, a professor and the Slayden Construction Faculty Fellow in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering, spoke in Astoria about failed bridges and his research into bridge failure. More…

OSU lab helps improve military's precision targeting devices
The Human Factors/Ergonomics Laboratory, directed by Ken Funk, an associate professor in the School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering, has been working with the U.S. Army to analyze the human-machine interface in order improve next-generation precision targeting devices and maneuver sensors. The lab has helped develop a lighter, cheaper, more stable sighting tripod and a graphical user interface that requires 50 percent less training time. More…

Poison in the blood
Using microchannel technology, Oregon State engineers have developed a method for treating sepsis, a deadly illness that is resistant to antibiotics. More…

A nuclear bond
A partnership between the Warsaw University of Technology and Oregon State University aims to develop Poland's nascent nuclear-energy industry. More…

The physics of ocean undertow on beach erosion
Small forces make a big difference in beach erosion and studying those might lead to better solutions for sustainable beaches. Tuba Ozkan-Haller, an associate professor of coastal engineering at Oregon State, and Greg Guannel ('10 Ph.D. Civil Engineering), a coastal engineer of the Natural Capital Project, cleared up some of the controversy in underdertow modeling. More...

Bend company retools engine for onboard fueling of natural gas
Technology developed by Chris Hagen, an assistant professor at OSU-Cascades, is at the heart of Bend-based Onboard Dynamics, Inc., a startup that's been tentatively selected to receive a $3.6 million award from the U.S. Dept. of Energy to commercialize an onboard natural-gas fueling system for vehicles. More…

Research from Microscale Thermal and Flow Phenomena Imaging Laboratory wins DOE prize
Postdoctoral researcher Mohammad Ghazvini, working in Associate Professor Vinod Narayanan's group in the School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering, won the Transformational Idea Award at the May 2014 FLoW competition at Caltech. The $5,000 award is given to groundbreaking pre-commercial research with large potential impact on energy sustainability and efficiency. Ghazvini is developing a flameless heat source that can be used in conjunction with a thermoelectric unit (instead of batteries) to power wireless sensors in natural gas pipelines. The project receives financial support from Oregon State's Venture Fund and mentorship from the Advantage Accelerator program. More...

Staying fluid: Taking an interdisciplinary approach to examine how pollutants move through rivers
Tracie Jackson, a recent graduate of the Water Resources Engineering Ph.D. program, applied a fluid mechanics perspective to understand how long contaminants stay in a river system and where they end up — a concept called transient storage. Jackson's research was funded by the NSF with co-principal investigators Sourabh Apte, associate professor of mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering, and Roy Haggerty, professor of environmental geology in the College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences. More...

Local author's robot apocalypse takes over the world
A warning light switches on in the Dynamic Robotics Laboratory at Oregon State University. A pair of three-foot-tall, disembodied legs come alive with a clank. ATRIAS, one of the world's most advanced bipedal robots, takes a lap around the small, open classroom, moving with a powerful velociraptor-like gait. Onlooking robotics students and visitors stand well outside its path: the robot, the lab director has already warned, doesn't know its own strength. More...

Paper on interactive virtual laboratories wins award
Development of Interactive Virtual Laboratories to Help Students Learn Difficult Concepts in Thermodynamics, co-authored by Alec Bowen, Daniel Reid, and Milo Koretsky, won the 2014 ASEE PIC I Best Paper Award.

Faculty

Higley receives Keck funding to speed nuclear innovation
Kathryn Higley, head and professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics, received a $75,000 grant from the Keck Futures Initiative of the National Academies to explore ways to incorporate the latest innovation into present and future reactor designs, especially during the long lead times for new design certification before deployment. More…

Private Eyes
Carlos Jensen, associate professor in computer science, offered perspectives on the digital invasion of privacy in this age of cloud computing, Web browsing, hacking and phishing. More…

Students

Grad students named NEUP Fellows, awarded $150K each
Nuclear engineering graduate students Jordan Cox and Tommy Holschuh will each receive $150,000 as 2014 Nuclear Energy University Programs Fellows. Holschuh is working with Idaho National Lab to prove a new technique for detection of material diversion from a TRIGA reactor for weapons production. Cox will be conducting a thermal-hydraulics analysis of pebble bed reactors, a next-generation nuclear reactor concept. Both plan to pursue doctorate degrees. More...

Ph.D. student awarded oil spill recovery fellowship and Williamson Water Prize
Thomas Mosier, a doctoral candidate in Mechanical Engineering and Water Resources Engineering, was awarded one of only two Oil Spill Recovery Institute's 2014 Graduate Research Fellowship of $25,000 per year for two years. Mosier also received the Kenneth Williamson Water Prize from the Water Resources Graduate Program (WRGP). The prize recognizes academic excellence and service to the water community at Oregon State, and is the highest honor for a student in the WRGP. Mosier and his research advisors, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Kendra Sharp and Associate Professor of Civil Engineering David Hill, are developing quantitative tools for modeling streamflow in data-scarce regions of the world in order to better assess site suitability for micro-scale hydropower.

Grad student wins Fulbright to do climate change work in Senegal
Annika O'Dea, a master's student in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering, has been awarded a Fulbright U.S. Student Program grant to evaluate coastal evolution and coastal hazards in the Joal-Fadiouth region of Senegal in collaboration with the Ecological Modeling Center in Dakar. The yearlong project will include a quantitative analysis of historical coastal change rates, an assessment of erosion and flood hazards, and a discussion of potential future coastal hazards related to climate change. With her research advisor, Associate Professor Merrick Haller, O'Dea is finalizing a manuscript titled, Analysis of the Impacts of WEC Arrays on the Nearshore Wave Climate. More…

Oregon State project for WVRC to receive national award
A team of three graduate engineering students Trevor Takaro, Marshall Wagoner, and Raschelle Barkume, led by instructor Sarah Oman, will be recognized at the SourceAmerica AbilityOne Design Challenge for a machine they'd built for the Willamette Valley Rehabilitation Center. Read more here and here...

15th annual Engineering Expo a huge success (watch overview video)
-- Intellicycle wins "People's Choice" award
The Intellicycle is a device that can be added to any bicycle to measure speed, distance, cadence, and temperature, with information sent to a smartphone where it's displayed via a mobile app that can also display a map of your location. The system, developed by students Brian Benavidez, Arron Bellini, and Kamil Agrawala, harvests energy from the front wheel to charge the phone and power "smart" lights on the bike that automatically switch on in low-light. More…

-- Nuclear Engineering students see if cell phones can detect radiation
Turning your cellphone into a radiation detector may be easier than you think. A group of undergraduate researchers are exploring the feasibility of using the light sensor inside a camera phone to detect gamma radiation. Watch video…

-- Unified Medical Instrument wins "HP Innovation Award"
Imagine a doctor taking your temperature, listening to your heart and lungs, and taking a host of other data using a single digital device, then synching those data directly into your electronic medical record. In collaboration with Bauer Labs, students Josh Hille, Chris Nesler, and Jay Stevenson did just that for the Expo, and won the HP Innovation Award, which recognizes a team that has gone above and beyond what's expected to find an innovative solution to an engineering challenge. More…

Oregon State team wins 1st place at Formula SAE Competition
With a total score of 876.6, the Oregon State Formula SAE Team beat 100 teams from around the world to take home the top honor at the Formula SAE competition held at the Michigan International Speedway in Brooklyn, MI on May 14-17. See PRWeb, SAE International, and watch video... SAE International also announced that Austin Volk ('14 Honors B.S. Mechanical Engineering) is one of four students who have made it to the world finals of the Infiniti Performance Engineering Academy. Volk was the recipient of several scholarships including the Milosh & Jeanne Popovich Presidential Scholarship and the Robert W. “Bob” & Betty Root Presidential Scholarship. More…

Student team places 9th in National Student Steel Bridge Competition
Out of 208 teams that competed regionally and 49 that qualified for nationals, the Oregon State team placed 9th overall in the ASCE-AISC National Student Steel Bridge Competition in Akron, Ohio. The competition involves designing, fabricating/welding, and timed construction of a 20-ft. span bridge evaluated on lightness, construction speed, and stiffness.

Honors College students program robot to be events photographer
Computer science students Amy Wyman, Duy Nguyen, Cameron Bowie, and Jasper LaFortune worked with Bill Smart, associate professor of mechanical engineering, to program a robot nicknamed Harris to function as a movable events photographer. The project's true purpose, Smart said, is "to study the social psychology of human-robot interaction." More…

Energy Systems Engineering trio earned top award
Stephen MacDonald, Chazrick Branson, and Daniel Shaw were awarded the Student Project of the Year award from the Oregon Association of Professional Energy Managers, a first for any OSU team from Bend or Corvallis. More…

New hardware weekend expands students' experiences
The inaugural hardware weekend (HWeekend) at Oregon State gave 19 engineering students a taste of developing a prototype under time pressure. More…

A dunk tank, huge bubbles, and ice cream made with liquid nitrogen
Hosted by the OSU student chapter of IEEE, the annual Engineering Club Carnival generated more than 450 canned food items and $165 in cash for the Linn-Benton Food Share. Watch video…

Industry

NuScale completes federal funding deal worth up to $217 million
Nuclear energy startup NuScale, which emerged from research at Oregon State University, is developing modular nuclear reactors the company says are cheaper, quicker to build, and safer to shut down in the event of a disaster. The technology is unproven, and the federal program is designed to help nurture new sources of energy by funding development and the extensive licensing process. More… NuScale also announced that Dale Atkinson ('78, B.S. Nuclear Engineering) will become the company's COO and CNO. More…

Why wave power energy has lagged so far behind
"I wouldn't be surprised if what we eventually find is there will be a device that we use in deeper water, and a device that we use nearer the shore," said Belinda Batten, a professor in the School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering, and director of the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center. More…

Corvallis company to produce medical isotopes, address global need
Corvallis-based Northwest Medical Isotopes is taking the next step in its effort to provide a secure, reliable, and domestic supply of medical isotopes used in diagnostic procedures. The company has licensed technology developed at Oregon State and plans to use a network of university reactors to produce the radioisotopes, including molybdenum-99, which the company says is in short supply and not manufactured in the U.S. More… (see also OPB, medicalphysicsweb)

Alumni

OSU names new residence hall after pioneering engineering student
A new residence hall at Oregon State will be named after the late William "Bill" Tebeau ('48 B.S. Chemical Engineering). William Tebeau Hall will open in fall of 2014. More…

Alum takes on soda market with sparkling water and is winning big
Kevin Klock ('92 B.S. Chemical Engineering), president and CEO of TalkingRain, the beverage company that manufactures Sparkling ICE, was recently interviewed on Fox's "After the Bell." Klock talked about the sales growth of the product, from $2.7M in 2009 to $350M in 2013. Watch video…

Alumna pursuing dream in Denmark
Alexandria Moseley ('12 B.S. Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering) is pursuing a master's degree at the Technical University of Denmark after graduating from Oregon State with a long list of accomplishments. More…

Alumna lands $15,000 fellowship for med school
Cassandra Loren ('13, Honors B.S. Bioengineering) has been selected as a Marcus L. Urann Fellow by the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi. Loren is putting the $15,000 scholarship toward her first year at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in fall 2014.

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