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May 2014

From the Dean

Next week, nearly 600 engineering students will showcase 200 senior design projects at the 15th annual Engineering Expo. The event is a culmination of hard work for our graduating students. It's also one of many examples of the collaborative and hands-on experiences that help our graduates transition seamlessly into their careers and offer immediate value to their employers in today's competitive job market.

This year's projects include a path-finding algorithm to help pilots plan an optimal flight route, a process that could turn agricultural waste into usable fuel, and more. Many projects are industry sponsored by organizations such as HP, Georgia-Pacific, Garmin, Intel, Microsoft Research, Oregon Freeze Dry, and ODOT. This valuable collaboration between our students and the corporate community is a win-win partnership. Project sponsors gain valuable insights into a product's viability while student teams experience real-world applications of engineering principles they have learned in the classroom.

I invite you to the 2014 Engineering Expo. There's no better way to experience our students' ingenuity and energy. For those who cannot make it back to campus, follow us on Twitter (#EngrExpo2014). Videos will also be posted on our website.

Go Beavs!

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


New breakthrough could help create solar energy materials from Sun
Chih-Hung Chang, a professor of chemical engineering at Oregon State University, is investigating ways to not only use the sun as a source of power, but also to directly produce solar energy materials. Read more in Z News, Science 2.0, Business Standard, and Daily Fusion.

Study finds only trace levels of radiation from Fukushima in albacore
Albacore tuna caught off the Oregon shore after the Fukushima Daiichi power station in Japan was destroyed in a 2011 earthquake had slightly elevated levels of radioactivity, but the increase has been minute, according to a newly published study. Read more in Scientific America, ReutersDaily Mail, USA Today, Statesman Journal, KMTR, and the Gazette-Times.

Save the date for Oregon BEST FEST
Oregon BEST FEST — the Pacific Northwest's premier cleantech innovation conference — will take place on September 15-16, 2014. The two-day, hands-on gathering in Portland, Ore., attracts hundreds of university researchers, entrepreneurs, industry leaders, and others.  More…

Demystifying driving's dilemma zone
Mohammad Rabiul Islam, a graduate student working with civil engineering researcher David Hurwitz, studied how countdown clocks at intersections affect driver behavior. More…

World's fastest robot of its kind on exhibit in Chicago
MABEL, a running two-legged robot designed by mechanical engineering researcher Jonathan Hurst in collaboration with Professor Jessy Grizzle at the University of Michigan, is on exhibit at The Field Museum in Chicago. More…

New green machine accelerates Oregon's sustainable building industry
The Green Building Materials Laboratory, co-directed by assistant professor Jason Ideker, is home to a new environmental chamber that performs more rapid and reliable tests on building materials — one of only three machines of its kind in the world. Read articles in the Daily Barometer, and the civil and construction engineering blog.

Ashford featured on Discovery's Daily Planet
Scott Ashford, dean of the College of Engineering, shares his research expertise in earthquakes and how liquefied ground impacts buildings and bridges. More…


Robo Doc: OSU developing graduate degree in robotics
With about 35 graduate students involved in robotics research at Oregon State University and a growing demand for automation, the university is currently making plans to offer a graduate program in robotics. More…


Hurwitz receives competitive civil engineering education award
Congratulations to David Hurwitz, an assistant professor in the School of Civil and Construction Engineering, for receiving the prestigious ASCE ExCEEd (Excellence in Civil Engineering Education) New Faculty Excellence in Teaching Award. More…

Herman honored as professional society fellow
Greg Herman, an associate professor in the School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering, was elected as a 2014 fellow to AVS, an interdisciplinary, professional society that supports networking among academic, industrial, government, and consulting professionals involved in a variety of disciplines. The honor recognizes members who have made sustained and outstanding technical contributions in areas of interest to AVS. More…

Fiez recognized for outreach and engagement service
Terri Fiez, professor of electrical and computer engineering, received the Outreach & Engagement Vice Provost Award for Excellence - Strategic Impact Award for her leadership in launching the post-baccalaureate degree in computer science online. The Vice Provost Awards for Excellence recognize outstanding contributions by faculty and staff that significantly advance the mission of outreach and engagement. More…

Miller earns outstanding faculty adviser award
Thomas Miller, associate professor in civil engineering, was awarded the 2014 ASCE Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award for Region 8. He was chosen for his dedication as an adviser to the Oregon State University ASCE Student Chapter. (Kenneth Archibald, '58 B.S. Civil Engineering, also earned the Outstanding Practitioner Advisor Award.)

NERHP earns award for annual report
The Department of Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics received a Gold level recognition by the Hermes Creative Awards for its FY13 Annual Report. The report was written and designed by Casey Mills, public information specialist for the department. More…


Engineering students earn honors at AIChE conference
Several students took top honors at the 2014 AIChE Pacific Northwest Regional Conference:

Paper Competition

  • Stephanie Rich (Junior, Environmental Engineering, working with Lew Semprini) – 2nd Place
  • Elizabeth Allan-Cole (Sophomore, Chemical Engineering, working with Jun Jiao, PSU) – Honorable Mention
  • Christine Kang (Sophomore, Bioengineering, working with Wassana Yantasse – OHSU) - Honorable Mention

ChemE Car Competition
Team Coordinator: Thurman Falk (Junior Chemical Engineering)  Team Adviser : Travis Walker

  • OSU Car #1 – 3rd Place – Beaver Believer (Fuel Cell Car – Team Leader- Wyatt Self (Sophomore, Chemical Engineering + 7 team members)
  • OSU Car #2 – 4th place – Rolling Thunder (Thermoelectric Car – Team Leader – Elizabeth Allan-Cole, Sophomore, Chemical Engineering + 6 team members)

Students receive undergraduate research award
Congratulations to this year's Undergraduate Research, Innovation, Scholarship and Creativity (URISC) awardees:

  • Gondhalekar, Vikram [Major: Pre-Engineering, Pre-Biological Engineering; University Honors College] (Faculty Project Adviser: Chih-hung Chang, School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering): ZnO Nanowires with PbS Quantum Dots for Photovoltaic Devices
  • Jahr, Amy [Major: Bioengineering; University Honors College] (Faculty Project Adviser: Stacey Harper, School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering): Detection of Fluorescently Labeled Lipoprotein and Determination of Protein Corona Composition in Iron Nanoparticles
  • Juarez, Corey [Major: Mechanical Engineering; University Honors College] (Faculty Project Adviser: Deborah Pence, School of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering, College of Engineering): Influence of Vapor Extraction on Bubble Dynamics during Two-Phase Heat Transfer
  • Rich, Stephanie [Major: Environmental Engineering; University Honors College] (Faculty Project Adviser: Lewis Semprini, School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering): Chlorinated Ethene Transformation by the Mycobacterium ELW1 in Simulated Aquifer Environments
  • Smesrud, Logan [Major: Environmental Engineering; University Honors College] (Faculty Project Adviser: Tyler Radniecki, School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering, College of Engineering): Quantifying Antibiotic Resistance in Bacteria Exposed to Environmental Concentrations of Antibiotics

IIE student chapter wins video contest
The Institute of Industrial Engineers Oregon State chapter took first place in a video contest against eight other universities. The video showcases the history and significance of industrial engineering. The IIE club will be recognized at the upcoming IIE Annual Conference & Expo in Montreal, Canada. More…

ASCE student chapter receives two honors
Congratulations to the ASCE student chapter for winning the 2014 ASCE Distinguished Chapter Award and the 2014 Richard J. Scranton Outstanding Community Service Award.

SAE Baja team takes first place
The student SAE Baja team took first place at a national competition in Texas, beating out 100 other teams. They also placed second in the Endurance Race, third in Business Presentation, third in Overall Dynamics, and second in Maneuverability. The team is now prepping for a second competition in Illinois in early June.


Oregon State partners with OpenPOWER Foundation
Twenty-five members including Oregon State University have joined OpenPOWER Foundation, an open development community dedicated to accelerating data center innovation. The foundation hosted an Open Innovation Summit in late April with more than 100 leading industry executives and technologists on hand. More…

Amorphyx seeks to reshape manufacturing displays
Oregon State spin-out Amorphyx has ambitious goals to change the economics of manufacturing liquid-crystal displays. More…


Making a maker campus
Students, faculty, and the community at large got their taste of the maker movement when alumnus Travis Good from MAKE magazine came to Oregon State to talk about the value of making for campus and Corvallis. His talk was followed by a micro maker faire, with 13 groups from Oregon State and Corvallis sharing their creativity and know-how. More…


OSU Community Day of Service
Volunteer. Be part of Beaver Nation on May 17. More…

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