Jerry Richardson awarded 2010 NHI Instructor of Excellence Award

SCE Professor Jerry Richardson received the Instructor of Excellence Award for 2010 from the National Highway Institute (NHI) for the second consecutive year. The award is based on consistently high evaluation scores in the classroom, a demonstrated commitment to the adult learning philosophy and for maintaining the highest standard of quality for transportation training. Only 15 instructors nationwide received this award in 2010 with 300-400 different classes offered. Dr. Richardson is a certified instructor for NHI courses regarding river engineering, hydraulics and scour. He taught 5 classes in 2010.

SCE PhD Student Wins MINKWIC Poster Contest

SCE students and faculty experienced a variety of events and activities during the first Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska and Kansas Women in Computing (MINKWIC) Conference, held in Kansas City on Oct. 7-8, 2011. This regional meeting, modeled after the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing, brought 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. 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 spoke at the event, and students were able to present their research and areas of study.

In addition, the conference hosted both an undergraduate and graduate poster competition. There were 14 graduate posters in the competition from students at Kansas State University, University of Kansas, University of Iowa and Northwest Missouri State University.  A panel of six judges used guidelines from the ACM/Microsoft Student Research Poster Competition to evaluate the posters.  Posters were evaluated on 1) Knowledge of research area, 2)contribution of research and 3) presentation.

SCE PhD student Sunae (Sunny) Shin won the graduate poster contest, for which she will receive a full scholarship to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Computing in 2012.  She will present her poster at that conference, where she will be competing for a spot in the national ACM/Microsoft Research Poster contest.  Shin’s research interest is on location management techniques in wireless networks.

ECE Student-Athlete Kelsey Knoche earns the Jack Gant Award

Student athlete and electrical computer engineering student Kelsey Knoche is both an outstanding UMKC volleyball player and an excellent student. She is the recipient of the Jack Gant Award which is presented annually to the best overall student-athlete at UMKC in terms of both athletic and academic performance. Kelsey was also named to the Summit League Fall Academic all-League Team as a Distinguished Scholar and placed on the Commissioner’s List of Academic Excellence.

SCE Professors Baker & Richardson work on North Platte River Stabilization Design

Professors Don Baker, P.E. and Jerry Richardson, P.E. presented their research finding in a talk entitled North Platte River Stabilization Design to over 50 attendees at the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Greater Kansas City Post monthly luncheon/presentation on September 22, 2011. This research project was conducted for the Nebraska Community Foundation to develop a design for river training structures at the measuring weir on the Platte River near Nebraska-Wyoming. Accurate flow measurement at this structure has been adversely affected by channel migration, and bar formation due to high sediment loads in the Platte River. Previous construction of at this site had failed to result in a repeatable and consistent stage-discharge relationship.

A combined numeric and physical modeling approach was effective in understanding the complex velocity patterns at this site and to design river training structures to stabilize the channel and improve the discharge rating of the weir. Mr. Phil Balch, a fluvial geomorphologist from Wildhorse Riverworks, Inc. and Mr. Nathan Grahl, SCE civil engineering undergraduate senior, are also members of the research team. Mr. Balch assisted in the design of the model and Mr. Grahl helped build and run the model and analyzed the research data. Following the presentation, several of the luncheon participants came over to UMKC SCE’s Fluids lab to observe a demonstration of the model.

CSEE Monthly Student Puzzle – September Winner

In the SCE September newsletter, the Computer Science Electrical Engineering (CSEE) Department introduced a new monthly contest for CSEE students. Students in the CSEE department are encouraged to send in their answer to puzzles published in each newsletter. The first undergraduate CSEE student to send in the correct answer will receive a gift and be featured on the SCE website.

KJ Behler is the winner of the September puzzle contest. KJ is a junior in the BIT program. KJ’s Fun Fact: He is an avid pistol shooter. He was the first student to send in the correct answer to the September puzzle:  

“Suppose you are in a field in the shape of an equilateral triangle, each side of which is 150 feet. At one of the corners, there is a steel pipe of 14 feet, at another corner a steel pipe of 22 feet, and at the last corner, a wooden pole of 35 feet. Your task is to cut the wooden pole into two pieces: one piece of 30 feet, and the other 5 feet. You can use only the steel pipes to make measurements. You are not allowed to cut the steel pipes, but are allowed to make one or more pencil marks on the wooden pole.  The steel pipes are too heavy to be moved. The wooden pole is too heavy for one person to move, but your friend is willing to help out as long as you promise to buy him a meal for every time the pole is carried across the field. Describe a method that will accomplish the assigned task. Calculate the number of scratch marks you make and the number of meals you will need to buy your friend.”

Answer: The trick is to figure how the sum or difference of the lengths of the steel poles can be used to equal the desired length of 30 or 5. One of the correct answers for the number of meals owed is 3.