UMKC SIFE Team is TOP TEAM at Regional Competitions in Chicago

UMKC Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) Team, an interdisciplinary team with students from several UMKC School’s including the School of Computing and Engineering (SCE), achieved a level of success at the Chicago Regional Competitions never before experienced. For the first time, ever UMKC received the 2012 All Star Team Award. It was presented to UMKC SIFE advisor Cary Clark, by esteemed faculty at the Sam Walton Fellow Luncheon. Only one team from each of the eleven Regional Competitions across the country received this award. To sum it up, this means that the UMKC SIFE team was recognized as the Top Team at this Regional Competition. Cary Clark was almost speechless as the envelope was opened and the announcement was made, just like the Oscars. The team received a standing ovation from the faculty members of over 70 teams in attendance. UMKC SIFE was named the tournament’s best team, over well-known schools like Notre Dame, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Loyola Chicago, and the University of Illinois-Champagne Urbana. SIFE student team members attended a separate luncheon at which they ate and conversed with executives representing several U.S. top 500 companies. This gave them a rare opportunity to get career advice directly from executives at companies where they someday might like to work and have a career.

The UMKC SIFE Team, by earning Regional Champion of their league (League 7), will now go on to the National Competitions in Kansas City on May 22, 23 & 24. In addition to winning their league and the Top Team at the Regional Competition award, the team received the Club 44 Award for the second consecutive year. The award recognizes that UMKC SIFE is one of the largest teams in the U.S. The team also received the 4.0 Club Award. This award is a result of an intensive evaluation on numerous topics such as team accomplishment, the number of successful projects completed, impact in the community, the recognition received from the community, and the support that the team receives from its faculty and administration. In the past UMKC SIFE has received scores averaging 3.5, which is excellent. However a 4.0 is much more prestigious and coincidentally placed us in the top 4% of teams in the U.S.

Please join SCE in congratulating this exceptional group of students, especially our SCE team participants Kingsley Kantanka, Innocent Nsoh-Awasom and Ravi Patel. They have brought national attention to UMKC and they have demonstrated that UMKC creates academic excellence. For more information on SIFE, please contact Cary Clark at clarkcary@umkc.edu.

SCE & Rockhurst University Partner to increase STEM professionals in KC

Rockhurst University and UMKC’s School of Computing and Engineering announced an innovative partnership that will allow students enrolled at Rockhurst University to receive a computer science, engineering or information technology degree. Working closely together, Dean Kevin Truman,SCE, and Dean Timothy McDonald, Rockhurst, developed the program. “Having two prestigious Kansas City universities partner to increase the pool of qualified engineering and information technology professionals will be a huge asset to local and regional employers,” said Greg Graves, chairman and CEO of Burns and McDonnell and a Rockhurst University board member. “The heavy concentration of firms located in Kansas City should also be a benefit to students while they are in the program and upon graduation.” See the UMKC Press Release.

UMKC Steel Bridge Team Wins First Place Overall at Regionals

UMKC SCE’s Steel Bridge Team is going to the AISC Steel Bridge Nationals! The team of 5 seniors and 5 juniors have been declared the regional champions, returning from the April 19-20 Mid-Continent Conference Steel Bridge Competition in Lincoln, NE with FIVE 1st place wins, including FIRST PLACE OVERALL. Judged in 7 categories, our UMKC Steel Roos took first place in the categories of Construction Speed, Stiffness, Lightness, Efficiency and of course, FIRST OVERALL. They placed second in Economy and fifth in Display. Of particular interest and pride is that the measured deflection their bridge experienced upon loading matched exactly their analytical predictions! Two SCE seniors, Kyle Dunning and Isaac Somogie, were team co-leaders. Professors John Kevern and Jerry Richardson served as faculty co-advisors for the team. The team will go on to compete at the AISC Steel Bridge Nationals held May 25-26, 2012 at Clemson University. K-State secured second place overall and earned a trip to nationals as well. The final ranking was 1) UMKC, 2) KSU, 3) Mizzou, 4) UNL – Omaha, 5) MST, 6) UNL – Lincoln, 7) KU, 8 ) SIUE, 9) SLU, 10) U of OK, 11) SIUC and 12) MO State, OK State, & U of Arkansas.

Our Steel Roos have a tremendous record in this competition! In the last seven years of competition at the annual Mid-Continent Conference Steel Bridge Competition, the UMKC Steel Bridge Team has placed FIRST 5 times. This is unprecedented by any Steel Bridge team within the conference. From 2006-2009 they placed FIRST for four consecutive years; in 2010 the team took a year off from competition in order to rebuild; and in 2011 the team was disqualified because their bridge exceeded lateral deflection limits. At the 2009 national competition in Las Vegas, our Steel Roos took 1st in Stiffness and placed in the 10 ten of teams competing. We hope that 2012 will be the year when our Steel Roos advance their ranking at the national competition! 

From left to right: Jade Rodell, Jessica Everhart, Jessica Sturgess,Christy Wilson, Isaac Smogie, Kevin Buck, Spencer Solon, Taylor Christmas, Huy Dao and Kyle Dunning

 

 

Greg King 2011-2012 Faculty LEAP Award Recipient

Congratulations to Greg King, Assistant Professor in SCE’s Civil and Mechanical Engineering Department, and winner of the annual Leadership Excellence Achievement Program (LEAP) Award which was established by the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers Western Chapter (MSPE WC) in 2005. The LEAP award recognizes annually the SCE faculty, as determined by MSPE student chapter members via secret ballot, who has “demonstrated mentoring abilities that encourage students to seek leadership excellence in the engineering profession.” In addition to the faculty LEAP award, student LEAP awards are earned annually by the two MSPE student chapter students that write the best 300 – 1,000 word essays on engineering ethics. This year the question addressed in the student essays was based this scenario “Engineer A works for Company X which is owned by Engineer B. Company X is currently experiencing financial problems and Engineer B recently created another company, Company Y. Engineer A has learned that Engineer B recently advised clients of Company X to remit payments for work performed by Company X and its employees to Company Y” and the question posed was “What are Engineer A’s ethical obligations under the circumstances?” This year’s student winners are Taya Upkes and Sean Rivers.

Dr. Greg King, Taya Upkes & Sean Rivers were honored at the March 22, 2012 dinner/presentation that our UMKC MSPE student chapter hosted for the MSPE WC. Speaking at the dinner was UMKC SCE’s Dr. Larry Drbal who gave an amazing presentation on the Fukushima tragedy. In addition, the LEAP award winners were featured on the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers Western Chapter (MSPE WC) webpage and their names will be added to the LEAP Award Recipient plaque housed in Flarsheim Hall. The UMKC MSPE student chapter has benefited greatly from MSPE WC’s mentorship and support and thanks them for their sponsorship of the LEAP award.

Sean Rivers and Taya Upkes 2011-2012 Student LEAP Award Recipient

Congratulations to Sean Rivers and Taya Upkes! They are UMKC SCE’s 2011-2012 Student Leadership Excellence Achievement Program (LEAP) Award winners and are featured on the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers Western Chapter (MSPE WC) webpage! Each year, the student LEAP award is earned by the two MSPE student chapter students that write the best 300 – 1,000 word essays on engineering ethics. This year the question addressed in the student essays was based this scenario “Engineer A works for Company X which is owned by Engineer B. Company X is currently experiencing financial problems and Engineer B recently created another company, Company Y. Engineer A has learned that Engineer B recently advised clients of Company X to remit payments for work performed by Company X and its employees to Company Y” and the question posed was “What are Engineer A’s ethical obligations under the circumstances?”

Taya & Sean were honored at the March 22, 2012 dinner/presentation that our UMKC MSPE student chapter hosted for the MSPE WC. Their names will be added to the LEAP Award Recipient plaque housed in Flarsheim Hall. Included with each award is a $50.00 gift certificate. The annual LEAP Award was established by the MSPE WC in 2005.

In addition, to the two student LEAP award winners, one SCE faculty each year is the recipient of the faculty Leadership Excellence Achievement Program (LEAP) award. The UMKC School of Computing and Engineering faculty 2011-2012 LEAP award winner is Greg King, Assistant Professor in SCE’s Civil and Mechanical Engineering Department. . He was awarded the LEAP Award by the student members of the MSPE/NSPE. The faculty LEAP Award recognizes one SCE faculty per year for “demonstrated mentoring abilities that encourage students to seek leadership excellence in the engineering profession.”

Trifecta at SGA Award Banquet – SCE congratulates Reza Derakhshani, Whitney Molloy & Tim Williams

SCE proudly congratulates Whitney Molloy, Director of SCE Student Affairs, and Reza Derakhshani, Associate Professor of Computer Science Electrical Engineering, for being honored with Apple Polisher Awards at the April 12, 2012 banquet sponsored by UMKC’s Student Government Association (SGA)! SCE also proudly congratulates SCE Student Council President Tim Williams. Tim received the SGA’s 2012 Most Outstanding School Council Leader Award for his leadership and his work within the SGA.

Apple Polisher Awards honor UMKC outstanding faculty and staff who have had a made a significant impact on students’ lives, professionally, academically and/or personally. Nominations for the Apple Polisher awards are made by student leaders. Whitney Molloy was nominated for the award by SCE 2012 Student Council President, Tim Williams, and Dr. Reza Derakhshani was nominated by Sashi Kanth Saripalle, his Ph.D. student.

MSPE /NSPE Student Chapter Tours Iatan Power Plant 2

The April 13 Iatan Power Plant 2 field trip sponsored by SCE’s MSPE/NSPE Student Chapter, provided 20 SCE engineering students a first-hand look at the state of the art coal-fired electric power Iatan Generation Station Unit 2 which opened in 2010. Iatan 2, erected over a five-year period, was one of the largest and most complex construction projects in Missouri and KCP&L history [Source: KCP&L]. Prior to the tour, students were given an overview talk by KCP&L engineer John Modlin, P.E. that demonstrated how the various systems worked with emphasis on the fundamental thermodynamics of coal fired power plants. Guided by John and Mark Ward of KCP&L, SCE students then examined the boiler, generation unit, cooling system and environmental control devices. As a plus, students also toured the older generating unit, Iatan Generation Station Unit 1 that has been in operation since 1980 and is alongside Iatan 2. The contrast in technologies between units gave students a opportunity to see the evolution in power plant design Iatan 2 represents. SCE faculty Dr. Jerry Richardson, Associate Professor in our Civil and Mechanical Engineering Department, helped with student questions during the tour and with the organization of the tour.

UMKC Baja Buggy Team hosts Mid-America Packards Car Show

The UMKC SCE student chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers Baja Buggy Team hosted the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) first annual Mid-America Packards Car Show from 9 am – 2 pm on Wednesday, April 11, on the Quad at UMKC. Students, faculty, staff and visitors enjoyed getting their pictures taken with the vehicles and learning about Packard features our modern cars no longer provide such as storage areas specifically for top hats and golf clubs and front passenger seats able to handle a lady’s hooped opera skirt. Last year’s Baja Buggy was proudly displayed alongside its Packard friends.

Dr. Steve Christy, past director of Mid-America Packards and current secretary of the International Packards Club, worked with Mid-America Packards officers Tom Norman and Jon Root and former director Glenn Dooley to set up UMKC’s first annual Baja Packards show, a fundraiser for the UMKC SCE Baja Buggy Builders. Thanks to Dr. Christy’s efforts, space has reserved for an article in the 4-color International Packard publication. UMKC SAE’s student chapter President Oscar Vallencillos and Vice President Jesus Zamarripa-Ortega worked closely with the Mid-America Packards club, helping to make the show a great success! UMKC’s School of Computing and Engineering thanks the Mid-America Packards for their support and look forward to the next Packard car show at UMKC!

Tau Beta Pi Fellowship Awarded to Civil Engineering Student Kyle Dunning

Kyle Dunning, a SCE civil engineering student graduating with his BSCE from SCE on May 4, 2012, was recently awarded a $10,000 2012-2013 Tau Beta Pi Felllowship for full-time graduate study. Kyle will be attending the structures graduate program at the University of Texas Austin next year. This competitive and prestigious award, only 35 were awarded nationally in 2011, is given to Tau Beta Pi (TBP) members for “high scholarship, strong faculty recommendations, definite extracurricular contributions, unusual promise of substantial achievement through a definite plan or purpose, and a program through which accomplishment will advance the interest of the engineering profession”. The $10,000 award stipend can be used to defray tuition, books and living expenses. Kyle has been a Tau Beta Pi member since 2011. The SCE TBP honor society chapter faculty advisor is Dr. Deb O’Bannon.

Congratulations to SCE Programming Contest Winners

Our Computer Science Electrical Engineering Department’s student programming team won third place in the March 31, 2012 programming contest sponsored by the Consortium for Computing Science in Colleges at its annual conference in Springfield, MO. Teams from the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) student chapter competed. SCE is proud that our ACM student chapter programming team members took 3rd place in the competition. Sharing the $150.00 prize and bragging rights are Sarah Withee, Victoria Wu and Andrew Blackton. The School of Computing and Engineering congratulates Sarah, Victoria and Andrew!