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March 2016

From the Dean

The month of March got off to a very exciting start in downtown Portland where both the Engineering Graduate Research Expo and the Oregon Stater Awards were held March 1st at the Portland Art Museum.

More than 190 graduate students presented their research at the Expo (read about a sampling of the projects), and then the college honored the success of our alumni by inducting 13 individuals into our Engineering Hall of Fame, Academy of Distinguished Engineers, and Council of Outstanding Early Career Engineers. Read more about the awards and the 2016 inductees here.

March is also the time to follow one of the most exciting events in collegiate competition and how "Sweet 16" it is! Read more about Ruth Hamblin, a mechanical engineering senior and a true Oregon State Engineer™ on and off the basketball court.

As you will read about below, there is also a lot going on here at the college as we prepare for spring.

Go Beavs!

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

Research

Improving weather station networks with software
Tom Dietterich, distinguished professor of computer science, and John Selker, a professor of biological and ecological engineering, are using a $1 million NSF grant to explore how software can improve the reliability of weather station networks, which are susceptible to everything from insect nests and hail storms, to equipment failure, frogs, and wire-gnawing rodents. More…

Roadtrip! OSU's ATRIAS robot attends national competition
This video about ATRIAS, a robot designed and built by the Oregon State University Dynamic Robotics Laboratory, shows the team, led by Jonathan Hurst, associate professor of mechanical engineering and College of Engineering Dean’s Professor, as they travel to California to compete in the DARPA Robotics Challenge. Watch video…

What the Nepal earthquake can teach the Pacific NW
Because the Pacific Northwest and Nepal share seismic similarities when it comes to the potential for subduction zone earthquakes, Ben Mason, an assistant professor of civil and construction engineering, is studying last April's Nepal quake to help people prepare for future earthquakes in subduction zones, which often include landslides. More…

Faculty & Staff

Ashford reflects on Japan earthquake on 5-year anniversary
Scott Ashford, Kearney Professor and dean of the College of Engineering says one of the biggest challenges is aging infrastructure — bridges, buildings and pipelines. Because of that, lawmakers and other officials are working to create successful preparedness and resiliency plans. More…

Blunck and Mengüç selected for Young Investigator Awards
The Office of Naval Research has named David Blunck, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and Yiğit Mengüç, assistant professor of robotics, 2016 ONR Young Investigator award recipients. Blunck and Mengüç, two of this year’s 47 recipients, were selected from 280 highly qualified applicants based on performance, technical merit, potential scientific breakthrough and long-term university commitment. The awards — $599,986 for Blunck and $599,986 for Mengüç — will support laboratory equipment, graduate student stipends and scholarships, and other expenses critical to ongoing and planned investigational studies. More…

Burnett honored for her pioneering computer science work
Margaret Burnett, a professor of computer science, is one of eight researchers worldwide to be inducted into the CHI Academy in 2016 for pioneering contributions to the field of human-computer interaction. It is one of the highest awards given by the Association for Computing Machinery. More…

Higgins taps drones, fiber optics to improve weather forecasts
Chad Higgins, an assistant professor of biological and ecological engineering, is using drones attached to a fiber-optic cable to collect weather data that will improve weather forecasts. "We get a resolution of data that is about 10,000 times as dense as anything done before," Higgins said. More…

Hurwitz weighs in on deadly Maryland traffic intersection
David Hurwitz, an associate professor of transportation engineering who studies traffic signals, was quoted in an article about a deadly Bethesda, Maryland intersection that is at the center of a citizens' petition to install a traffic signal after a recent crash killed three family members. More…

Koretsky receives Wickenden Award for engineering education
Milo Koretsky, a professor of chemical engineering, will receive the 2016 William Elgin Wickenden Award from the American Society for Engineering Education for an article he coauthored in the January 2015 issue of the Journal of Engineering Education. The annual award recognizes an article that represents the highest standards of scholarly research in engineering education.

Rosulek receives Google Research Award
Mike Rosulek, assistant professor of computer science, was selected for a Google Research Award for a grant to advance methods of customer privacy. The award will allow Rosulek to hire a graduate student to work on the project, and give them the opportunity to collaborate with Google researchers and engineers. More…

Stuedlein wins associate editor award
Associate professor of geotechnical engineering Armin Stuedlein has been awarded the 2015 ASCE Associate Editor Award from the Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering. This award recognizes an associate editor who has provided consistent and exemplary service to the journal. More…

Students

Grad students win prizes at Engineering Research Expo
At the second annual Engineering Graduate Research Expo held March 1st at the Portland Art Museum, more than 190 students displayed research posters and talked with industry representatives and the general public about their work. The following students were honored with $400 first place awards, $100 second place awards, and the $150 People's Choice Award at the Expo:
First place: Gustavo Albuquerque, Hans Chiang, Mohammad Ali Davarpanah, Jackson Harter, Jesse Hostetler, Yue Ke, Katarina Morowsky, Matt S. O'Banion
Second place: Abdulsalam Alhawsawi, Islam Almusaly, Alex Coyle, Lynza Halberstadt, Philip Lenox, Connor McCue, Amin Mirkouei, Silas Shields
People’s choice: Charlie Manion

Spring 2016 HWeekend set for April 9-10
This hardware development competition brings students of all levels and majors together with industry and faculty mentors to create a marketable project in one weekend. Application deadline is March 28. More…

Basketball star Ruth Hamblin racks up more honors
Oregon State women's basketball center and mechanical engineering major Ruth Hamblin has been selected as one of 10 finalists for the Women’s Basketball Senior CLASS Award, one of the most prestigious student-athlete honors in the country. Hamblin has also been named to the CoSIDA Academic All-District Team for the third time in her career. Read more here and here…

Bev Miller receives Play It Forward Award
Bioengineering student and senior right-handed pitcher Bev Miller of the Oregon State softball team has received the Play It Forward Award, sponsored by Nike and Providence Health & Services. Recipients have spent time working with organizations that assist youth in being physically active and have demonstrated initiative and drive by going beyond expected school responsibilities. More…

Deric Ntirandekura and Andrew Smith win energy prize
Oregon BEST announced that Oregon State engineering students Deric Ntirandekura and Andrew Smith have been awarded the NW Energy XP Prize, an annual competition sponsored by the Bonneville Power Administration and Portland General Electric that awards $250,000 to top engineering students to collaboratively innovate solutions to real-world challenges facing regional power utilities. More…

Tofano won Summer Session t-shirt design contest
Francisco Boschetti Tofano earned $1000 scholarship with his winning entry in the Summer Session t-shirt design contest. Tofano's design depicts a sketch of Mt. Hood and a hammock between two pine trees, creating a true "Oregon" look. More…

Programs

NW Marine Renewable Energy Center gets $800K nod
A Ways and Means subcommittee has approved an $800,000 appropriation to the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, which has been developing plans for a grid-connected research site offshore from Newport that would allow for testing of multiple utility-scale wave energy converters. More…

Oregon State helping advance the Internet of Things
The College of Engineering’s Center for Applied Systems and Software is part of the 200-member nonprofit AllSeen Alliance, which is developing a common underlying technology that will enable millions of devices made by different companies and internet applications to communicate with each other and work together in the emerging field of the internet of things (IOT). More…

OSU joins effort to keep electric grid secure
Oregon State University researchers with cybersecurity expertise have received $1.5 million in funding to study how to defend the nation’s electric system from hackers as part of the Cyber Resilient Energy Delivery Consortium, a group of 11 universities and national laboratories funded by $22.5 million from the U.S. Dept. of Energy over five years. More…

CS Ecampus students know how to work in teams
Employers say that post-baccalaureate students who study computer science online through Oregon State Ecampus have a unique ability to work in teams online, which makes these distance learners stand out among their peers. U.S. News and World Report has ranked Oregon State’s online bachelor’s programs in the top 10 nationally. More…

Alumni

Connie Kearney and Hal Pritchett honored with awards
Connie Kearney (’65 College of Education) has been given the Lifetime Trustee Award from the OSU Foundation, and Hal Pritchett the Dan Poling Service Award from the OSU Alumni Association. Connie Kearney and her husband, Lee Kearney (’63, civil engineering) are among Oregon State's most generous donors and supported the renovation of Kearney Hall. Pritchett, emeritus civil engineering professor, worked in Oregon State’s civil and construction engineering program for 45 years and was instrumental in founding its Construction Engineering Management program. More…

Dunn helps Africans monitor water, forecast weather
A trip to Kenya as an Oregon State engineering student planted a seed in Zachary Dunn (’12 B.S. ecological engineering), the East Africa Field Director of the Trans-African Hydro-Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO). That seed has blossomed into a passion and career that is helping Africans monitor weather and water conditions using a network of weather stations. More…

Scholarship continues legacy of Stutz-McDonald
A native of Chattanooga,TN,  Susan E. Stutz-McDonald attended Oregon State on a full scholarship, earning a master’s degree in sanitary and environmental engineering in 1977. Stutz-McDonald died in 2005 after a four-year battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma, and now the Susan E. Stutz-McDonald Scholarship Foundation is celebrating her life and work with a scholarship in her memory at the University of Tennessee's College of Engineering. More…

Grants

$10 million NSF grant for sustainability research
Oregon State University will share a $10 million, five-year grant from the NSF to continue work to expand research on projects that impact sustainability. The funding supports work by engineering faculty Tom Dietterich, John Selker, Alan Fern, Xiaoli Fern, and Weng-Keen Wong that ranges from weather station monitoring and bird migration mortality to microbial fuel cells and wildlife habitat. More…

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