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March 2002 -- VOLUME I, ISSUE II
- RESEARCH @ OSU Engineering
- STUDENTS @ OSU Engineering
- INDUSTRY COLLABORATION @ OSU Engineering
- BUILDING @ OSU Engineering
- FUNDRAISING @ OSU Engineering
- FACULTY & STAFF @ OSU Engineering
- INNOVATIONS @ OSU Engineering
- ALUMNI @ OSU Engineering
- HEARD ON CAMPUS @ OSU Engineering
- IMPORTANT LINKS @ OSU Engineering
MECHANICAL ENGINEERING WINS $1M TO DEVELOP MINIATURE HEAT PUMPS-
Researchers at OSU's College of Engineering have been awarded almost $1 million from the U.S. Department of Energy to team up with Pacific Northwest National Laboratories (PNNL) and develop miniature heat pumps that could revolutionize the way homes are heated and cars are cooled--saving the nation up to $24 billion annually in wasted energy costs. The research will tap OSU's MECS (Microtechnology-based Chemical, Energy, and Biological Systems) technology, a cornerstone of the College of Engineering's drive to build a Top-25 engineering school.
"Our MECS teaching and research program is bringing international attention, star faculty, and outstanding students to Oregon State," says Ron Adams Dean of OSU's College of Engineering. "MECS-related research is changing the world for the better, enabling everything from visual anthrax detection and water-cooled computer chips to onsite toxic waste cleanup, and portable power production."
Read the full story at: http://osu.orst.edu/dept/ncs/newsarch/2002/Feb02/pumps.htm
Learn more about OSU's MECS Program at: http://www.mecs.orst.edu/index.html
NUCLEAR ENGINEERING GETS $1.8M TO TEST WESTINGHOUSE REACTOR DESIGN-
The U.S. Department of Energy just awarded OSU's Department of Nuclear Engineering $1.8 million to test Westinghouse's newest nuclear reactor design, the AP1000. OSU is the only university in the nation doing complete system testing of new reactor designs leading to certification by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC). Previously, OSU tested Westinghouse's AP600 design, a project that generated $8 million in total research funding, and garnered raves from the NRC. "The NRC says our work is the best they've seen in years," says NE Professor Jose Reyes. This is good news for OSU Engineering. With the energy supply tight, more companies are developing new, safer reactor designs that must be thoroughly tested before NRC certification is granted. Which means more research money will flow into the College of Engineering, and NE students at Oregon State will gain first-hand experience with cutting edge nuclear power technology that is unavailable at other research universities.
To read about how Professor Reyes used an initial research grant of just $4,000 to attract more than $12 million in research dollars to his department at OSU, go to: http://www.engr.orst.edu/pubs/annual_report2001/research-04.htm
OSU ENGINEERING STUDENTS BRING RENEWABLE "BIODIESEL" TO OREGON-
Determined to improve air quality and help wean the nation from its dependence on foreign oil, five ambitious Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering (IME) students have developed a process for converting spent cooking oil into "biodiesel"--a form of vegetable oil that can power diesel engines without requiring any engine modifications. Using a local restaurant as their source of deep fryer oil, the team designed and built a reactor, then fine-tuned the conversion process to produce pure biodiesel.
IME faculty members Brian Paul and David Porter guided the team. "I doubt most engineering schools would have allowed this project to go forward," says Paul. "But at OSU we're very interested in removing the obstacles and letting the students charge ahead."
Team member Michael Pfohman recently used a tank of the clean-burning fuel to power his 1981 diesel VW Jetta to the Oregon coast and back, the acrid plumes of diesel exhaust replaced with the invisible and faint aroma of French fries. The fuel cost for the 150-mile trip for Pfohman? Not a nickel.
The students have also discovered that farmers, trucking companies, and the OSU Motorpool all have a keen interest in the renewable, green fuel. Pfohman would like to market the technology. "Because it's good for the world," he says.
"Engineers like to make a difference in the world," says Paul. "This is their contribution to that."
For the full story, and a team photo, go to: http://www.engr.orst.edu/news/ime/7
BREAKING BRIDGES BUILDS NEW ONES TO OSU ENGINEERING-
The number of bridges broken at this year's PEO Holly Cornell Model Bridge Contest was double last year's number, with 172 balsa wood model bridges entered by students from 10 Oregon high schools. As word spreads about OSU's drive to become a Top-25 school, more high schools are participating in the day-long contest that offers budding engineers an up-close look at OSU Engineering, and OSU faculty a chance to build bridges to top high school students. Participants design and build model bridges to specifications, then come to OSU campus to have their creations tested to the breaking point (to see photos, go to: http://engr.oregonstate.edu/news/ccee/40. )
This year's first- and second-place winners, Casey Wright of West Albany HS and Tim Hunt of North Marion HS are eligible to compete in the international competition. For more information, contact OSU Associate Professor of Civil Engineering Tom Miller, Thomas.Miller@orst.edu.
SUN ADDS OSU TO "TOP-20" LIST, DONATES WORKSTATIONS-
Sun Microsystems has added OSU Engineering to the company's prestigious "Top-20 University List," and devised a creative way to support OSU Engineering's Top-25 effort despite the current economic slump. Sun engineers, accompanied by OSU alum Harry Soehalim, loaded 30 surplus Ultra 10 Sun Workstations and a server into vans, drove to Corvallis, and set up the donated equipment in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
"Sun really went the extra mile," said ECE Department Head Terri Fiez. Dave Perillo, Director of Sun's Hillsboro office, reaffirmed his company's commitment. "As part of our continuing relationship with OSU, Sun Microsystems is extremely pleased to contribute to ECE," he said.
For more information go to: http://www.engr.orst.edu/news/ece/90
BIGGEST NAMES SCOUT OSU ENGINEERING STUDENTS-
Some of the greatest names in engineering scouted for the best and brightest new talent from OSU Engineering at the university's Engineering Career Fair February 20th. Although the number of vendors attending the event was down slightly over last year, businesses and students made plenty of connections in the crowded aisles of the CH2M HILL Alumni Center. Citing the sluggish economy, several vendors, including FEI Company and Intersil, said they had reduced their university recruiting to a single career fair, the OSU event, which they consider to be the best. Several vendors, including PacificCorp, said that they had few immediate openings, but were at OSU to build connections to the College of Engineering as it evolves into a Top-25 school. Other vendors like Framatome came with 30 job openings, and interviewed 28 top candidates. "OSU builds industrial engineers," said Scott Franz of Framatome. "Engineers you can throw in the water by their hair and they swim! These are creative, knowledgeable graduates who have the tools to learn. We're very happy to be here." Don't miss next fall's Engineering Career Fair scheduled for October 23. For more information, contact Tom Munnerlyn at OSU Career Services, 541-737-0521, Tom.Munnerlyn@orst.edu.
INTERNSHIPS PAY BIG DIVIDENDS FOR STUDENTS AND INDUSTRY-
OSU's unique internship program that develops work-ready engineering graduates is thriving. The Multiple Engineering Cooperative Program (MECOP) offers businesses a direct pipeline to the best and brightest new engineers, and helps engineering students pull down choice jobs upon graduation. This year, more than 70 companies throughout the Pacific Northwest will support some 220 OSU Engineering students in the form of paid, six-month internships. "MECOP is a key factor in developing engineers that are absolutely work-ready," says Dean Ron Adams. Former MECOP intern Joe Brotherton agrees: "I don't know of any other internship program that provides this type of experience. You learn things during the internship that you don't learn in the classroom."
To read Joe Brotherton's MECOP success story, go to: http://www.engr.orst.edu/pubs/annual_report2001/students-01.htm
NEW BUILDING LOCATION FINALIZED-
The crown jewel of the College's Top-25 effort, a new 129,000 sq.-ft. Computer Science/Electrical & Computer Engineering building, will be located at the heart of campus. To see preliminary 3-D maps showing the new building site, go to: http://engr.oregonstate.edu/top25/building/.
INDUSTRY GIVES $665,000 IN EQUIPMENT TO OSU ENGINEERING-
OSU Engineering's ongoing efforts to build strong bridges to industry are bearing fruit, not only in the form of invaluable relationships and collaborative research, but also by supplying the College with cutting-edge lab equipment that is essential to building a Top-25 program. Seven high-tech companies recently donated equipment valued at $665,000 to OSU's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The exemplary companies are: Cypress Semiconductor, Elanix, Hewlett-Packard, Intel, Intersil, Tektronix, and Xilinx/Digilent.
Read more at: http://www.engr.orst.edu/news/ece/92
INDUSTRY HELPS CONSTRUCT NEW STRONG FLOOR FACILITY AT OSU-
In-kind donations worth more than $140,000 from five construction-related companies are helping build OSU Engineering's new state-of-the art Strong Floor on campus. According to OSU Civil Engineering Assistant Professor Chris Higgins, the new $360,000 facility will be the most sophisticated of its type in the Pacific Northwest. An invaluable research asset for the department of civil, construction, and environmental engineering, the facility is also a significant step forward in the College's pursuit of a Top-25 ranking. Cascade Steel Rolling Mills contributed 65,000 pounds of reinforcing rebar: Farwest Steel Corporation fabricated the steel free of charge; Sherman Bros. provided free delivery of steel and rebar; Morse Bros. donated 150 cubic yards of concrete; and DPR Construction Inc. offered construction at substantially reduced rates.
Read more and see a photo of the new Strong Floor at: http://osu.orst.edu/dept/ncs/newsarch/2002/Feb02/floor.htm
GIFT OF STOCK FUELS NEW GRADUATE PROGRAM-
OSU Engineering alumnus Robert C. Wilson has made an additional gift of stock to support the Robert C. Wilson Graduate Program in Construction Engineering Management that Wilson and his wife Joyce recently endowed. The new graduate program blends business and engineering courses, helping qualified engineering students also pursue an MBA.
Read more about the unique program at: http://www.engr.orst.edu/pubs/annual_report2001/students-03.htm
NOTE: Many OSU supporters find that the best way to make charitable gifts is in the form of marketable securities that have increased in value. A gift of this type not only entitles the donor to a federal income tax deduction but also avoids capital gains tax.
OSU ENGINEERING PROFESSORS WIN NATION'S HIGHEST HONORS-
Two OSU Engineering faculty members won prestigious CAREER Awards from the National Science Foundation (NSF). The CAREER Award is the most prestigious and highest honor given to junior faculty members by the U.S. government. Awards range in amount from $200,000 to $500,000. Jon Herlocker, Assistant Professor of Computer Science, won a $375,000 award and Electrical and Computer Engineering Assistant Professor Un-Ku Moon won a $350,000 award. NSF Director Rita Colwell says the awards recognize individuals who are "most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st Century." Attracting top faculty like Moon and Herlocker is instrumental in building a Top-25 engineering program at OSU.
OSU RHODES SCHOLAR JOINS OSU ENGINEERING-
Debra Walt Johnson, the College of Engineering's first Rhodes Scholar, has returned to her alma mater to teach in the Department of Chemical Engineering. Bringing with her a wealth of real-world experience in the trenches of industry, Johnson is playing a key role in OSU's Top-25 drive by teaching engineering students the professional skills necessary to succeed in industry--business skills like project management, economic analysis, and technical research strategies. After graduating summa cum laude in three years from OSU with a BS in electrical engineering, Johnson attended Oxford University where she earned a master of philosophy in management studies, then worked as a senior engineering manager at Nortel Networks and Solectron. "I'm very pleased to be back at Oregon State," Johnson says. "And very impressed with the quality of the faculty here. They are innovators who have the enthusiasm, vision, and direction necessary to lead this College to the top." Johnson's new position is funded by the Linus Pauling Engineer endowment (see story under INNOVATION, below).
Read more about Debra Walt Johnson's return to OSU at: http://engr.oregonstate.edu/news/coe/70
INDUSTRY EXECS PREP WORK-READY STUDENTS FOR THE REAL WORLD-
OSU's Department of Chemical Engineering has developed a revolutionary teaching program that literally brings industry into the laboratory. Named in honor of the department's most famous son, the Linus Pauling Engineer is not a traditional academic, but a seasoned industry executive hired to teach OSU students precisely what industry will be expecting of them when they enter the workforce. The program, called "CoaChEs" (Communication, organization, and analysis skills for Chemical Engineering students) by faculty and "boot camp" by students, is the brainchild of OSU alumnus and businessman Pete Johnson, founder of Tekmax, who endowed the new program.
Department Head Carol McConica says the program puts OSU Chemical Engineering in a league all its own. "This is a really unique program that Berkeley doesn't have, that Stanford doesn't have, that UW doesn't have," McConica says. "It's only going on here, at OSU. And we're going to be able to sell it as one-of-a kind in the country."
Read the whole story behind this dynamic new program at: http://www.engr.orst.edu/pubs/annual_report2001/industry-04.htm
OSU ENGINEERING LAUNCHES NEW PH.D. IN MATERIALS SCIENCE-
The College of Engineering has won approval from the Oregon State Board of Higher Education to expand the current Master's Degree Program in Materials Science, directed by Mechanical Engineering Professor Michael Kassner to include a dynamic new Ph.D. Program. The new program, a collaborative effort with the College of Science, will greatly enhance research productivity at the College of Engineering and across campus. Materials Science research comprises a sizeable fraction of the OSU research effort, and OSU Materials Science graduates are in high demand by national industries and government laboratories. More than 25 faculty members from the Colleges of Science, Engineering, and Forestry participate in OSU's Materials Science graduate program, the only one of its kind in Oregon.
ENGINEERING AND BUSINESS PARTNER IN POWERFUL NEW GRADUATE PROGRAM-
The College of Engineering has joined forces with the College of Business to offer an innovative new master's degree in construction engineering management. The new program, called the Robert C. Wilson Graduate Program in Construction Engineering Management, will give students the business background they need to flourish in the New Economy, and benefit industry by providing well-rounded engineers capable of assuming management-level positions. To read more about the new program and the OSU Civil Engineering alumnus and businessman R.C. Wilson who endowed the program go to:
OSU CE GRAD CATHY NELSON MOVES TO CHIEF ENGINEER POSITION AT ODOT-
OSU Engineering alumnus Cathy Nelson (Civil Engineering, '83) has been promoted to Manager of Technical Services and Chief Engineer at the Oregon Department of Transportation. She manages 650 people and is ultimately responsible for providing all engineering and project development for ODOT contracts, with her stamp affixed to all designs. Nelson, who often finds herself the sole woman in meetings, encourages more women pursue engineering careers. "The work is very interesting and rewarding," she says. "But the encouragement has to begin in junior high and high school, when many girls stop taking math and science classes because they feel such classes are unnecessary." ODOT is actively pursuing a diverse workforce and looking to OSU's Top-25 initiative to develop more women and minority engineering graduates with the people skills required by today's engineering profession. "We want strong engineers who can apply their knowledge in a team setting," she says.
THE RIGHT CHEMISTRY: OSU ENGINEERING COUPLE GOES TO THE TOP-
OSU Engineering alumni Larry and Jean Watson grew up less than 15 miles "down the road" from each other, Jean on a small farm in Gresham, Oregon and Larry in east Portland. They didn't know each other at the time, and had no idea they were destined to meet in the Chemical Engineering Department at OSU, marry, and spend almost three decades working for the same company, rising to upper management positions at Chevron.
Read about the Watson's life journey at: http://www.engr.orst.edu/news/coe/71
William Huggins, one of only 16 OSU College of Engineering alumni elected to the prestigious National Academy of Engineering, died August 11, 2001 at the age of 82. Huggins received his bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from OSU, his doctorate from MIT, and then went on to an outstanding teaching career at Johns Hopkins. He was elected to the OSU Engineering Hall of Fame three years ago.
"I wouldn't be in this position without the education I received at Oregon State."
--Darry Callahan, Executive Vice President of Power, Chemicals, and Technology,