Alum Saravan Rajendran Promoted to VP at Cisco

Saravan Rajendran was recently promoted to Vice President of Engineering, Data Center Group at Cisco. He completed a Masters in Computer Science and Telecommunications in 1992 at UMKC. He also holds over 17 patents in the areas of switching, service chaining and virtual networking Rajendran is responsible for the Nexus 1000V product line across multiple hypervisors, Nexus 1010 and projects in the areas of virtual and cloud services. He is also responsible for the Virtual Interface Card (VIC), third party adapters as well as storage solutions in Cisco’s flagship server platform – Unified Computing System ( UCS). Rajendran has an active role across Cisco and with partners in the development and execution of Cisco’s virtualization strategy.

Rajendran is one of three founders of the Nexus 1000V concept and led the execution of the product to market in partnership with VMware. During his 14+ years at Cisco, he has been a key architect of L3 switching concepts in the Catalyst 6500 platform, led a number of L4-7 load balancing projects and incubated the Application Oriented Networking (AON) BU. Rajendran was a co-founder of Desana Systems which grew from a company of 8 to 120 employees delivering an intelligent L4-7 switch in 2001.

UMKC now has three alums who are Vice Presidents at Cisco. Dr. Deep Medhi, UMKC Curators’ Professor of Computer Science, remembers Saravan Rajendran as his first ever graduate research assistant when he was a new faculty member in the Computer Science Telecommunications program at UMKC. Dr. Adrian Tang was Saravan Rajendran’s UMKC MS faculty advisor. UMKC and SCE congratulate Saravan and thank his company, Cisco, for the equipment Cisco has provided for our UMKC SCE computer science and telecommunications laboratories.

UMKC Ranked in top 50 Sierra Club Cool Schools 2012

SCE salutes the efforts of our UMKC Sustainability Team. Their efforts have resulted in UMKC being ranked nationally in the top 50 Sierra Club Cool Schools. This is the 6th year the Sierra Club has annually ranked schools and UMKC went from 95th in 2010 to 50th in the ranking just released! As the team’s coordinator Kaye Johnston noted, “All of our collective efforts are what have moved us up in the rankings and we should be really proud of the work we are doing”. We couldn’t agree more – teamwork is the KEY.

Our SCE UMKC Sustainability team members include SCE staff Selena Albert who serves as a co-chair of the Education and Funding Committee, Christina Davis and Lynn Hurd. SCE faculty Involved are Dr. Vijay Kumar and Dr. Zhiqiang Chen who both serve on the Voluntary Energy Management sub-committee. One of the research areas of their E-Save Team is the promotion of social justice in energy related issues. Dr. Chen also is a member of the Provost’s Sustainability Committee. Dr. John Kevern helped install a pervious concrete demonstration section and developed the low co2 concrete mix being used in the construction of the new Executive Hall for Entrepreneurship and Innovation for the Bloch School of Management. In addition the Geomaterials course Dr. Kevern teaches is developing a concrete mixture which incorporates the use of ripple glass waste. He hopes to place some of mixture on campus this upcoming spring. It is efforts like these that helped UMKC jump into the top 50 Sierra Club Cool Schools.

UMKC Sustainability Team Mission Statement: The UMKC Sustainability Team at the University of Missouri-Kansas City aspires to provide the framework for environmental stewardship, natural resource conservation, emissions reductions, and sustainability. The team will act as a resource to support and promote the University’s environmental commitments and policies. The UMKC Sustainability Team is committed to enhancing awareness and understanding of the principles of sustainability throughout the University community.

CS Alum Jane Zupan at home in both France & US

Alum Jane Zupan has recently been promoted to Vice President of Marketing at Nuxeo. Jane obtained her Master in Computer Science (MS-CS) from UMKC SCE in 2001. After completing her MS, Jane worked in Paris for eight years – first for optical networking company Corvis – and then she moved into the software space. She is now based in Boston, traveling to Paris often because of her work. Jane remains in touch with SCE professor Dr. Medhi, her MS advisor while here at UMKC SCE.

Baek-Young Choi Spends Summer at Air Force Research Laboratory

Dr. Baek-Young Choi worked on an energy-efficient cooperative and opportunistic positioning system for heterogeneous mobile devices at the United States Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) located in Rome, NY during the 2012 summer break. She has also been working on a book titled ‘High Performance Semantic Cloud Auditing’ with collaborators at the AFRL. The fast growing popularity of smartphones and tablets enables us the use of various intelligent mobile applications. Many of those applications require position information which smart mobile devices provide using positioning methods such as GPS, WiFi, or Cell-ID based positioning services. These positioning methods have different characteristics of energy efficiency, accuracy, and service availability. Her work is to combine those positioning methods for resource-constrained environments. While at the AFRL, Dr. Choi gave a couple presentations on site and at an Air Force bi-annual conference, the Cyber and Information Challenges Conference, in Utica, NY.

Certificate in Engineering and Construction Project Management Announced

Working professionals in engineering and construction can now earn a 12 credit-hour graduate-level Certificate in Engineering and Construction Project Management in the School of Computing and Engineering (SCE) at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The certificate program is designed to cover the key areas critical to the successful planning and completion of construction projects. “Construction and engineering companies are increasingly emphasizing project management skills for those who hold technical degrees,” said Kevin Truman, Dean of the School of Computing and Engineering. “With this program, working professionals can add to their skill sets and become better positioned to be successful in their organizations.” Students in the program will attend convenient evening classes taught by an expert faculty of professional engineers, bringing the most up-to-date experience into the classroom. Engineers successfully completing graduate certificate courses may be eligible to have credits applied toward a Master of Civil Engineering degree. SCE Continuing Education Director Christina Davis developed and implemented this exciting new program. Professionals seeking more information or wishing to enroll for the fall semester should contact Christina S. Davis, Director of Continuing Education, at 816-235-1262 or scecontinuinged@umkc.edu. Prospective students can also apply online at the Continuing Education page . See the UMKC Press Release for the complete story.

Alum Taya Upkes featured in KC Star

UMKC SCE Alumna Taya Upkes was featured in Tuesday’s July 24 Kansas City Star article, Engineering challenges: Keep female graduates, stoke interest among girls. The article focuses on the opportunities for female engineering graduates and the unfortunate nationwide trend of fewer women choosing engineering as a career. Laura Loyacono, Director of the Kansas City based KC STEM Alliance, said that “the perception that engineering is for boys only remains a big deterrent”. The KC STEM Alliance was funded and supported one year ago by the Kauffman Foundation. Kevin Truman, Dean of the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering, was instrumental in obtaining the KC STEM Alliance grant and currently serves as the chair of its board of directors.

SCE participates in UMKC Summer Blood Drive

Numerous UMKC staff and faculty members either donated blood at the 7/25/12 UMKC summer blood drive or helped get the word out about it, lending their support and communication channels to make the drive a success. SCE is proud our faculty and staff participated in drive which attracted 57 UMKC donors, with 29 first time donors. Fifty units of blood were collected, surpassing CBC’s goals for our first UMKC annual summer blood drive. Jane Vogl of SCE served as the CBC site coordinator for this drive. She noted how heartwarming it was to have donors make appointments with every appeal that went out and that the results are reflective of our giving, caring and socially responsible UMKC community. Teamwork was really important as the summer drive’s success relies heavily on UMKC staff and faculty donors.

Amber Rath Stern receives ASBMR Young Investigator Award

SCE congratulates Dr. Amber Rath Stern, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering in our Civil and Mechanical Engineering Department (CME). She received the 2012 ASBMR Young Investigator Award at the 2012 Topical Meeting on Bone and Skeletal Muscle Interactions being held at the Westin Kansas City at Crown Center in Kansas City, Missouri. The abstract that Dr. Stern submitted to the ASBMR Topical Meeting: Bone and Skeletal Muscle Interactions was scored as one of the highest at the ASBMR Topical Meeting and because of that, she was chosen to receive an ASBMR Young Investigator Award. As an ASBMR Young Investigator Award recipient, Dr. Stern received a $1000 honorarium and a plaque commemorating this award at the networking reception held Monday evening, July 17, 2012. Dr. Stern also was an instructor at the workshop held prior to the meeting teaching colleagues about biomechanical methods used to characterize bone, as well as presenting her recently published novel bone cell isolation technique.

Start-up EyeVerify using technology developed by SCE professor Reza Derakhshani

KCTV5 featured start-up EyeVerify in its June 7th Building An Entrepreneurial City segment. The start-up company, headed by entrepreneur Toby Rush, is using the biometric technology developed by Dr. Reza Derakhshani and colleagues in an application that will make your eye the only password you will ever need to secure your smart phone and mobile devices. The company has raised $1,400,000 and plans to pilot the product this Fall with the commercial release in early 2013. EyeVerify was recently featured in VentureBeat and also listed as one of Silicon Prairie’s notable tech start-ups in the Kansas City Star article, Tech startups sprout on Silicon Prairie.

Kyle Dunning selected as a Tau Beta Pi Scholar

Kyle Dunning, SCE civil engineering graduate (BSCiE 2012), was featured as a Tau Beta Pi Scholar in the Summer 2012 issue of THE BENT OF TAU BETA PI. Only 200 Scholars were selected in 2012-2013. Kyle received the James Fife Fellowship which was established by William Fife in honor of his father. According to his FIFE Fellow bio Kyle, “is pursuing a master’s with plans to advance research on carbon nanotube (CNT) carbon reinforcement to improve the material’s usefulness and cost-effectiveness. Kyle believes the nation’s crumbling infrastructure and inefficient design call for a reinvention of the way we build and repair. ”