Kevin Z. Truman General Co-Chair for NSF Think Tank

UMKC’s Dean Kevin Z. Truman and Director of Research Dr. Ronda Jenson served as general co-chairs for the Transition STEM –Think Tank– a veterans’ STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education think tank – sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) in Kansas City on July 27-28, 2011. Kevin Truman is the Dean of the School of Computing and Engineering and Dr. Ronda Jenson is the Director of Research at UMKC’s Institute for Human Development, The invitation-only event convened national leaders to help veterans with service-connected disabilities transition into post-secondary science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education. The Think Tank was the first of its kind and was featured in the Association of University Centers on Disabilities News and in NSF Discoveries. See the Transition Stem website for more details on the objectives and goals of the Think Tank and the NSF funded KC-BANCS grant which sponsored the Think Tank.

Professors Mullins & Sprading co-chair first regional Women in Computing Conference

University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) School of Computing and Engineering (SCE) Associate Teaching Professor Judy Mullins and Northwest Missouri State University Associate Professor of Computer Science and Information Systems Carol Spradling will co-chair the first Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas Women in Computing (MINKWIC) conference Oct. 7-8 at the Embassy Suites Kansas City – Plaza, 220 West 43rd St., Kansas City, Mo. A career fair featuring 14 companies and 4 graduate schools is scheduled for 2:15 p.m. on Oct. 8, as well. For more information, visit http://http://minkcwic.acm.org/.

This regional meeting, modeled after the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, will bring together students, faculty and technology leaders from across the four states to discuss the role of women in today’s computing and technology fields, share experiences and strategies for success and explore issues common to women working in these fields. Specifically, the goal is to provide an opportunity for young women to explore opportunities in computing, network with other women from academia, industry and government and create friendships among women in the region who share the same interest and passion for computing. This celebration is part of a nationwide effort to address the alarming decline of women choosing computer science professions. Representatives from Microsoft, Google, IBM, Cerner, Garmin, Monsanto, Hewlett-Packard, Booz Allen Hamilton and Principal Financial will speak at the event, and students can present their research and areas of study. See the UMKC Press Release.

SCE Hosts Regional ACI Competition & Luncheon

SCE hosted the regional American Concrete Institute luncheon and competition on Thursday, Sept. 15th. John Kevern, SCE Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering, and ACI student chapter advisor explained, “This regional competition will really prepare students for the national pervious concrete competition, which will be held at the ACI Cincinnati convention in October,” Seven teams from KSU, Pitt State, UMKC, Rolla, and SIUE participated in the competition. Team 1 Rolla took first, Team 1 UMKC took second, and Team 2 from Rolla and UMKC tied for third. Since only one award per school was given out, third went to SIUE. Kenneth C. Hover, ACI president, presented the luncheon’s keynote speech and presented the ACI banner to our newly formed UMKC ACI student chapter. Dr. Ganesh Thiagarajan, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering, is also an ACI faculty advisor. For full details read the UMKC Press Release.

SCE Alums Spotted at Smith Electric Vehicles Tour

SCE is fortunate that the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) Kansas City chapter saves a few slots for our SCE students and faculty when they organize their professional tours. This month’s tour of the Smith Electric Vehicle plant tour turned up two SCE Alums working at Smith Electric Vehicles, Robin Carroll-Dolci and Anupartha Howlander. These SCE electrical computer engineering graduates were just recently hired by Smith Electric Vehicles. In addition to these alums, the organizer of the tour Jeremy Fields, an employee of FIKE Corporation, graduated from our mechanical engineering program in 2006. It was great to see SCE alums working in Kansas City and contributing to improving our environment through green technologies. The tour was fantastic and included a walk down the assembly line where Smith Electric vehicles were being assembled. Thanks Jeremy!

DBIA student chapter visits JE Dunn Construction Headquarters

The UMKC Student Chapter of the Design-Build Institute of America (DBIA) visited JE Dunn Construction Headquarters in downtown KC on Monday, Sep. 19th for a presentation and tour of their new facility. JE Dunn is among the largest contractors in the United States, specializing in various building projects including healthcare, municipal, corporate offices, federal and state facilities. The 15 students and faculty, along with representatives of the DBIA Region from KC, learned that the 200,000 square feet building was designed and built by 360 Architects and JE Dunn on an 18 month schedule to a LEED gold sustainability standard, for approximately $40 Million. The facility features integrated work spaces for team collaboration, some open ceiling and floor areas to view building systems, state of the art technology and facility management capabilities, a cafeteria, gymnasium and recreation / gaming area for employees. JE Dunn employee hiring and intern programs were also discussed. The DBIA Student Chapter is sponsored by the SCE Department of Civil & Mechanical Engineering, and accepts students from all disciplines.