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February 2014

From the Dean

In our December Momentum, we provided College of Engineering student enrollment figures showing our tremendous growth. Along with this growth, we remain committed to educating work-ready engineers who graduate with relevant skills, robust technical knowledge, and genuine passion for solving problems.

In this newsletter, we will focus on employment of our B.S. graduates. Each year, we survey graduating seniors on their future plans and job prospects to measure our contribution to the workforce. Visit this link to read more.

Our mission is to continue delivering relevant engineering programs that prepare students for their next endeavor, whether it is in industry, academia, the nonprofit sector, or something else. Towards this end, we are excited to welcome Scott Paja, PhD, to the College of Engineering. As our new career and leadership development coordinator, Scott will help our students build non-technical skills that are critical to their success. He also will support experiential learning and partner with industry to provide meaningful leadership development opportunities to our students. Finally, he will work to enhance mechanisms for tracking employment data to better characterize our graduates’ contributions to the Oregon economy and beyond.

Best wishes,
Sandra L. Woods
Dean, College of Engineering
Oregon State University

changing tides

Researchers make Forbes' list of novel machine learning applications
Raviv Raich and Xiaoli Fern in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, along with Matt Betts in the College of Forestry, made Forbes’ list of six novel machine learning applications for their development of computer software that can identify bird species from audio recordings. More…

changing tides

Step by step
Taking inspiration from humans and their primitive ancestors, mechanical engineering researcher Jonathan Hurst is one step closer to building robots that walk like people. Read more in Science Daily, UPI.com, Michigan Daily, and Medical Design Briefs.

Oregon students, faculty using Mesalands turbines for research
Mechanical engineering researcher Roberto Albertani and two graduate students are using the wind turbine generator at Mesalands Community College for research aimed at evaluating the potential impact on birds and bats that may collide with turbine blades. Read more in Quay County Sun and North American Wind Power.

changing tides

Finding a cheaper way for natural gas vehicle fueling at home
A team led by Chris Hagen, assistant professor of energy systems engineering at OSU-Cascades, has secured U.S Department of Energy funding to advance natural gas vehicle technology by making it easier for drivers to fuel up at home. Read more here and see a related story where Ted Brekken, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, discusses the potential of hydrogen fuel.


Alumnus takes helm at Corvallis HP
Tim Weber (’85 B.S., ’88 M.S., ’91 Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering) has been appointed the new Corvallis HP site manager and is looking forward to strengthening ties within the Corvallis community. More…

Howard Yang: Visionary leader
Howard Yang (’87 M.S., ’90 Ph.D. Electrical and Computer Engineering) was the first integrated-circuits designer to return to China from Silicon Valley and help lead the high-tech transformation there starting in the early 1990s through education and entrepreneurship. He credits the strong courses at Oregon State University for building the foundation of his knowledge. More…


McGuire appointed interim school head
Joseph McGuire, a professor at Oregon State University since 1987, has been appointed as interim head of the School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering. More…

Rorrer to lead new NSF program
Gregory Rorrer signs off as head of the School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering to begin a new NSF appointment as a rotating program director of the Energy for Sustainability Program within the Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental, and Transport Systems Division of the Engineering Directorate. In that role, Rorrer will lead efforts to support fundamental research and education in emerging renewable energy technologies. More…

Hurwitz weighs in on New Jersey traffic debacle
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie made headlines when he called the lane closures of the George Washington Bridge a "traffic study." Not likely, says David Hurwitz, assistant professor of civil engineering, as traffic studies rarely result in lane closures. More…

Burnett named 'Hero in Education'
Between helping students and serving as co-chair of the National Center for Women & IT Academic Alliance, computer science researcher Margaret Burnett is ensuring that women will play an important and growing role in the careers of the future. Read more here and see related article on Burnett’s work with colleague Martin Erwig to advance exploratory programming.


Student named 'New Face of Civil Engineering'
Kristina Milaj, a fourth-year student at Oregon State University, was recently named as one of 10 New Faces of Civil Engineering – College Edition by the American Society of Civil Engineers. More…

Johnson Scholar shares undergraduate research experience
Oregon State University sophomore Talia Helman received a Johnson Scholarship Fund that enabled her to work on cutting-edge research with bioengineering faculty member Joe Baio. Her experience was made possible by Peter Johnson, ’55 ChE, and his wife Rosalie, who donated $2.4 million to the School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering to endow the Peter and Rosalie Johnson Scholarship Fund. More…

changing tides

Broadening global opportunities for students
College of Engineering students can partake in a new suite of study abroad opportunities, thanks to a new international minor and a recent partnership between Oregon State University and Global Engineering Education Exchange. More…

Becoming career-ready
Katie Merrill, a double major in industrial engineering and finance, snagged two competitive internships with Boeing after attending the Oregon State University Career Fair. The experiences will give her a leg up for when she enters the workforce. Read more here. See related articles about how an innovative online computer science degree is creating work-ready graduates here and here.

Assessing undergraduate job prospects
Every year, the College of Engineering surveys undergraduates during their final term of enrollment to determine anticipated employment, salary, type of work, and work location. Read the results here.

Resourceful students find diverse comfort zones
Darren Carpenter, an electrical and computer engineering major at Oregon State University, talks about fitting in as one of 366 black students on a campus. More…


NuScale lands big federal grant
A pledge of financial support from the federal government for NuScale Power’s small modular reactor design is a major vote of confidence in the firm that will translate into more jobs in Corvallis and Portland. Read more in OPBPortland Tribune, Yahoo Finance, Huffington Post, Oregonian, Gazette Times, and Sustainable Business Oregon.

Making a Difference

Donation improves student computing
College of Engineering students will enjoy a whole lot more processing power while streaming applications because of a donation of 8 Terabytes of server RAM from Micron Technology — worth just over $202K. More…

Engineering firm gives OSU an educational robot
Portland-based manufacturing company ESCO Corporation has donated a $30,000 industrial-quality robot to the College of Engineering, providing enhanced training opportunities in the emerging field of robotics. More…

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