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June 2015

From the Dean

This Saturday, more than a thousand engineering graduates will participate in commencement, where they will receive newly minted engineering degrees that place them in an extraordinary class: The Oregon State Engineer™.

These new graduates will go out into the nation and around the world prepared to tackle the world's most challenging problems. 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 create a better future.

To our graduates — I wish you success in your careers and lives. Having participated in an enriching and rigorous engineering education, you are now Oregon State Engineers, a title you have earned, and a distinction that will open doors to unimagined possibilities. Thank you for helping to create a better world, for all of us.

Go Beavs!

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

Research

Designing roads and bridges to withstand tsunamis
Faculty in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering are partners in a new Pacific Earthquake Engineering Research Center (PEER) tsunami research project that will develop probabilistic tsunami wave heights in western states and perform numerical simulations of bridge response to tsunami loads to develop design guidelines for coastal bridges. Michael Scott will lead the Oregon State effort, with contributions from Harry Yeh, Solomon Yim, Andre Barbosa, and Ben Mason. More…

Developing a nursing robot for Ebola patients
Researchers at Oregon State's Ebola Treatment Unit have been testing a Baxter robot to see how it might perform as a nurse in situations like infectious disease outbreaks that can infect health workers. The research is led by Bill Smart, an associate professor of mechanical engineering, who heads the Personal Robotics Group at Oregon State. Watch the video…

Natural gas vehicle fueling closer to reality
Researchers at OSU-Cascades, led by Chris Hagen, an assistant professor of energy systems engineering, have developed a way to repurpose one cylinder of a natural gas vehicle engine so that cylinder can also serve as an onboard compressor, enabling compressed natural gas fueling for about $1/gallon anywhere a low-pressure gas line is available. Currently, natural gas vehicles must fuel up at special filling stations that are few and far between. More…

Robot learns to negotiate obstacles
While humans easily climb stairs and negotiate obstacles in their path, robots aren't very good at that sort of thing yet. But Oregon State University’s ATRIAS robot continues to draw media attention for its unique bipedal approach to mobility that is based on the mechanics of large flightless birds. Learn more about ATRIAS here, and read more about other animal robots here…

Faculty & Staff

Engineering publication wins international award
The Oregon State Engineer™, a publication that promotes the College of Engineering by capturing concisely what differentiates Oregon State from other engineering institutions, has received international recognition from the Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE), headquartered in Washington, D.C., with members around the world. CASE recognized the publication with a silver award in the 2015 Circle of Excellence Award program in the Institutional Relations Publications category. More…

Engineering faculty granted promotion and tenure
Congratulations to the following College of Engineering promotion and tenure recipients:

Ainsworth recognized as "Our Hero"
Dana Ainsworth, a grants and contracts accountant with the School of Civil and Construction Engineering, has been recognized as the Professional Faculty Leadership Association’s June 2015 'Our Hero.' Ainsworth manages the research budgets and other matters of more than 30 faculty. More…

Ashford: preparing for The Big One will take 50 years
Developing the resilience to withstand a massive earthquake along the Pacific Northwest’s Cascadia Subduction Zone is the responsibility of public agencies, private businesses, and individuals, and that work should be under way now, said Scott Ashford, Kearney Professor and dean of the College of Engineering, in testimony to Congressional leaders in Washington, D.C. More…

Engaging in opportunity creation
"Lobbyists can help build large, strategic programs that serve the needs of targeted sectors," said Belinda Batten, a professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center. More…

Burnett: breaking gender barriers
Margaret Burnett, a professor of computer science, has been breaking barriers for a long time. In 1992, Burnett and Cheri Pancake became the first tenure-track female faculty hired in computer science at Oregon State, and Burnett's 10-year research project that explores gender and software use is "about to change the world," she says. More…

Chang and Higgins earn national innovation awards
Chih-Hung Chang and Adam Higgins, both faculty members in the School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering, have been recognized as 2015 TechConnect Innovation Awardees for their early-stage technologies that placed in the top 20 percent of those submitted to the TechConnect National Innovation Summit in Washington, DC. Higgins is tapping high flow rate microfluidics and advanced surface coatings to enable safe and efficient removal of pathogenic entities from blood, and Chang is using Microreactor-assisted Nanomaterial Printing (MANP) for anti-smudge and anti-glare coatings on eyeglasses and smartphone displays. More…

Hagen named one of the "12 New Faces of Energy"
Chris Hagen, an assistant professor of energy systems engineering at OSU-Cascades, was named one of the "12 New Faces of Energy" by Popular Mechanics magazine for his onboard vehicle technology that compresses natural gas from any low-pressure gas line (like your home or business) to fuel natural gas vehicles for a fraction of the price of fueling at compressed natural-gas (CNG) stations. More…

Chain of mentorship
"One of the reasons I'm here is because of the opportunity OSU presents in mentoring young scientists while also doing excellent research," said Adam Higgins, an associate professor of bioengineering. More…

Hurwitz comments on teen driving safety
David Hurwitz, an associate professor of in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering at Oregon State University, said the biggest risk teen drivers face is the lack of experience and parents must accept the responsibility of modeling good driving behaviors. More…

Klein named ANS president-elect
Andrew Klein, a professor in the Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics, has been named president-elect of the American Nuclear Society, an 11,000-member society founded in 1954 to promote awareness and understanding of nuclear science and technology. More…

Selker talks the future of sensor technology
John Selker, a professor in the Department of Biological and Ecological Engineering and co-director of the Trans African Hydro and Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO) project, gives his perspective on the future of sensor technology, and how many zeros of accuracy we might expect to gain in the coming months and years. More…

Students

Oregon State team wins 1st place at Formula SAE Competition
With a total score of 848.1, the Oregon State Formula SAE Team, Global Formula Racing (GFR), beat 110 teams from around the world to take home the top honor at the Formula SAE Michigan competition. GFR has won more competitions in the last five years than any other team in the world. See official results…

Jon Curry will graduate from OSU after overcoming obstacles
What amazes Chris and Cindy Curry is what will happen at 6 p.m. Friday in Corvallis. Jon Curry will become just the second of their 17 surviving children to graduate from college when the School of Chemical, Biological and Environmental Engineering at Oregon State University holds its commencement ceremony. More…

Steel Bridge Team competes at regionals, nationals
After placing second in every category at the Pacific Northwest regional competition in Pocatello, Idaho, the Oregon State Steel Bridge Team went to Nationals for the second year in a row. In Kansas City, the Oregon State team of Tyler Becker, Chelsea Farnsworth, Jessee Bogenoff, Barry Maslen, and Nathan Jones placed 15th overall, and 13th in display, against 47 teams.

Computer science student receives honorable mention
Amber Horvath received honorable mention for the Undergraduate Research Student of the Year Award at Celebrating Undergraduate Excellence 2015. Horvath presented a research study entitled, "Principles of a Debugging-First Puzzle Game for Computing Education." More…

Engineering holds top 5 slots in most valuable majors in Oregon
In an annual study released just in time for graduation, Georgetown University tries to answer the question on many students' minds: what is my major actually worth? Based on their findings, of the 11 college majors that pay the most in Oregon, engineering disciplines hold the top five slots, with starting annual salaries between $78,000 and $98,000. More…

2015 high achievers selected engineering
According to The Oregonian, 62 of this year’s high school graduates in Greater Portland who are designated as valedictorians or top academic achievers by their respective high schools will be joining Beaver Nation. More than half of these students plan to major in engineering. More…

Events

16th annual hands-on Engineering Expo draws throngs
From solar-powered water aeration systems and human-powered riding lawnmowers to a wireless DJ glove and a tool that alerts drivers to crashes ahead, the projects on display during the Oregon State Engineering Expo sought to solve a wide range of global challenges. More than 50 of the senior projects were sponsored by companies like Boeing, CH2M HILL, Garmin, Hewlett-Packard, Intel Corporation, NASA JPL and Tektronix. More…

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