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May 2016

From the Dean

As you can tell from the length of this issue of Momentum!, spring has been very busy here at the college. From building a large, artificial spider web and studying aggressive drivers, to winning funding for an onboard compression technology for natural gas vehicles and testing of a high-flying kite that harvests energy from the wind, our students, faculty, alumni, and industry partners are working hard to solve important engineering challenges ranging from climate change to community resilience.

Although we don't have an aerospace program yet, I am proud of our student team that placed sixth out of 80 teams from around the world competing at the Cessna/Raytheon Design Build Fly competition in Wichita, Kansas. And, our new student electric car team raced their "Beaver Bolt" against 13 teams to place second at the Shell Eco Marathon in Detroit, Michigan.

If you're on campus, be sure to attend our 2016 Undergraduate Engineering Expo on May 20 in the Kelley Engineering Center, where the Senior Design Showcase will feature nearly 200 student-built projects from across the engineering disciplines as well as tours of the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Center, the Radiation Center, and more.

Go Beavs!

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


A better way to boil water could keep electronics cooler
A research team that includes chemical engineering professor Chih-hung Chang has found a way to use inkjet printer technology to induce and control the formation of boiling bubbles, a breakthrough that might enable everything from industrial-sized boilers to advanced electronics to operate more efficiently and last longer. Links: Gizmag, ScienceCodex

Building a giant spider web to study vibrations
Researchers including Ross Hatton, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering, constructed a two-meter wide spider web made of aluminum, two types of rope, and a big subwoofer speaker in an effort to shed light on how orb weavers interpret the vibrations of struggling prey caught in webs. More…

Angry, aggressive driving is on the rise worldwide
A new study, conducted by Oregon State researchers, including Haizhong Wang, an assistant professor of transportation engineering, finds that angry, competitive, and aggressive driving is becoming a worldwide phenomenon of almost epidemic proportions and appears to be a reflection of the surrounding culture, both on the road and in society. More…

Landslide research at wave lab makes report's front cover
The cover of the Proceedings of the Royal Society features a photograph of the landside-generated tsunami testing conducted at the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Research Center as part of a research project led by H. M. Fritz of Georgia Tech. The work led to the largest 3D granular landslide-generated tsunami physical model to date. More…

Faculty & Staff

Sourabh Apte qualifies for Boston Marathon
Sourabh Apte, associate professor of mechanical engineering, crossed the finish line of the Eugene Marathon on May 1st with a time of 3:12:43, a finish that puts him in the fastest 10 percent of marathoners in his age group and qualifies Apte for the Boston Marathon. More…

Milo Koretsky wins chemical engineering award
Professor of chemical engineering, Milo Koretsky, has been selected as the recipient of the 2016 CACHE Award, which is given annually by the Chemical Engineering Division of the American Society of Engineering Education for significant contributions in the development of computer aids for chemical engineering education.

Brian Wood wins prestigious UK fellowship
Brian Wood, a professor of environmental engineering, has been awarded a fellowship by the London Mathematical Society (LMS), the UK's leading society for mathematics. Wood will conduct collaborative research and deliver lectures at Oxford, Cambridge, and other universities on the topic of upscaling in complex, hierarchical biological systems, such as tissues and organs. More…


Ryan Frederick receives Intel/SRC Fellowship
Ryan Frederick, a doctoral student in Professor Greg Herman's research group in the School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering, has been awarded an Intel/SRC Education Alliance Fellowship, a 3-year fellowship that provides tuition and fees, a $2,600 monthly stipend, and an annual $2,000 toward research expenses. More…

Student's work aimed at helping coastal communities
Kai Parker, a doctoral candidate in coastal and ocean engineering and a 2015-16 Robert E. Malouf Fellow funded by Oregon Sea Grant, is studying the complex impacts of climate change on small estuaries, in hopes of providing a universally usable tool to help coastal communities and ecosystems build resilience to climate change. More…

New electric car team places 2nd at national race
A team of engineering students that worked all year building its first electric race car affectionately named the Beaver Bolt placed second in the Shell Eco-Marathon on April 23-24 in Detroit, Michigan, competing against 13 other teams. “This is a great showing for their first year,” said Christopher Hoyle, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and the team's advisor. More…

Aeronautics team places sixth at International contest
Competing against 80 universities, from around the world, the OSU American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics Design Build Fly team placed sixth overall at the annual Cessna/Raytheon Design Build Fly competition in Wichita, Kansas, coming in ahead of MIT, Cornell, USC, UW, and other top aerospace engineering schools and cementing Oregon State's reputation as the highest ranking school without an aerospace program for the fourth consecutive year. More…

Kevin Bishop wins Fulbright scholarship to study in UK
Kevin Bishop, a second year honors student studying electrical and computer engineering has been awarded a position on the Fulbright Summer Institute to study at the University of Dundee and the University of Strathclyde in the UK on one of the most prestigious and selective summer scholarship programmes operating worldwide.


Onboard Dynamics wins $3M for natural gas compression
Onboard Dynamics, an Oregon State spinout company developing a natural gas compression technology for vehicles, has secured $3 million in public and private funding, with $2.4 million from the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E). The company was co-founded by Chris Hagen, an assistant professor at OSU Cascades. More…

NVIDIA researchers trained a car to drive
NVIDIA researchers have created a convolutional neural network which has learned the rules of the road by observing video from cars operated by human drivers. "A future with superhuman computer co-pilots and driverless shuttles is no longer science fiction," said Jen-Hsun Huang, ('84, electrical and electronics engineering), co-founder and CEO of NVIDIA. More…


Today, three of 10 OSU students are engineering majors
Oregon State Engineering has grown in the years since it was founded in 1889. Of the 29,576 Oregon State students tallied in this year's official enrollment summary, 8,265 — about three of every 10 — are engineering majors. By comparison, the next biggest group, liberal arts, has less than half that number: 3,905 majors. More…


Huang wins E.B. Lemon Award
Jen-Hsun Huang ('84, electrical and electronics engineering), co-founder and CEO of NVIDIA, a $4 billion visual computing technology company that employs more than 9,000 people worldwide, was awarded the E.B. Lemon Distinguished Alumni Award from the OSU Alumni Association. Last year, the Harvard Business Review named Huang the fourth-best performing CEO in the world in his field. More…

Bob Patterson recognized with top public works award
Robert Patterson ('87, civil engineering), public works director for the City of Pendleton, Oregon, was named a 2016 Top Ten Public Works Leader by the American Public Works Association for his work on the city's aquifer storage and recovery water distribution system, which uses micro-turbines and regenerative drive technology to power five wells that are part of the largest municipal storage program in Oregon and one of the most drought-resistant water systems in the country. More…

Rainwater reuse system wins sustainability award
A rainwater harvesting and reuse project managed by alumnus Brian M. Davis (Ph.D., '03, civil engineering) at St. Paul, Minnesota's CHS Field, home of the St. Paul Saints, won a Sustainable Saint Paul Award from the city and is considered the "Greenest Ballpark in America." More…

Justin Ihara lands dream job armed with online degree
After earning a degree in mathematics from Oregon State in 2009, Justin Ihara decided to go in a slightly different direction in 2013, enrolling in OSU Ecampus' online post-baccalaureate computer science program. Ihara is now an engineer for Micro Systems Engineering, Inc., based in Lake Oswego, Oregon. More…


A kite that harvests clean energy from the wind
A $125,000 grant from Oregon BEST is helping mechanical engineering associate professor Roberto Albertani and three of his students test a tethered kite technology under development by eWind Solutions of Beaverton, Oregon. The kite, tethered to a generator, flies at just under 500 feet to harvest electricity from the stronger and more consistent winds found at higher altitudes. More…

Preparing professionals for natural disasters
A research team led by Ted Brekken, an associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, has received a $500,000 grant to develop courses that will train professionals to meet the challenge of earthquakes and other disasters in the Pacific Northwest. Other Oregon State team members include Eduardo Cotilla-Sanchez, Annette von Jouanne, and Julie Zhang, plus Bob Bass of Portland State University. More…


Ashford to talk earthquake risks and resilience
At the May 18 OSU Business Roundtable in Portland, Scott Ashford, Kearney Professor and dean of the College of Engineering, will describe potential hazards from a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake (fires, landslides, vital infrastructure damage, emergency systems interruptions, etc.) and share how to ensure community and business resilience. More…

A retooled Da Vinci Days returns with help from OSU
Da Vinci Days, a city-wide eclectic mix of art, entertainment, engineering and science, returns to Corvallis after a 2-year hiatus. The retooled event now spans several months, and includes the Vecindario Creativo (The Creative Neighborhood) on May 15, the Oregon State Engineering Expo on May 20, and the kinetic sculpture race and main event on July 15-17. Christine Kelly, associate dean of academic and student affairs, is spearheading OSU's participation. More…

In Memoriam

Alumnus and Dow Chemical chairman Bob Lundeen
Bob Lundeen, a 1942 chemical engineering alumnus and Lifetime Trustee of the OSU Foundation, passed away on April 13 at age 94. After earning his degree at Oregon State and serving with the army during World War II, Lundeen had a successful career with Dow Chemical Company, where he rose to become executive vice president and then chairman of the board. After retiring from Dow in 1986, he served as chairman and chief executive officer of Tektronix. More…

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