SCE Associate Teaching Professor Judy Mullins co-chaired the NCWIT (National Center for Women and Information Technology) Missouri & Kansas Affiliate Aspirations in Computing Award Ceremony and Reception held Friday, February 8, at UMKC. Fifteen young women from Kansas and Missouri high schools (2 were home-schooled) and representing grades 9 – 12, were honored as winners of NCWIT Aspirations in Computing Awards. Attending with their parents and their teachers, the students were welcomed by Judy Mullins and SCE Dean Kevin Truman. Awards were presented by Ruthe Farmer, director of strategic initiatives for the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT). The keynote speaker was NASA aerospace engineer Alicia Dwyer Cianciolo, who developed software for the entry and landing of the Mars Rover, Curiosity. Judy Mullins coordinated and organized the NCWIT event held at UMKC and co-chair John Dean of Park University organized a luncheon event at Park University. For pictures of the event and more information, see the UMKC Today article “Young Women Encouraged to Pursue STEM Careers”.
SCE civil engineering masters student Yanan Ma will be presenting her research poster, Watershed-level Analysis of Urban Raingarden Performance, at the ASCE Environment and Water Resources national conference in Cincinnati this May. Her research, conducted with her faculty advisor, Dr. Deb O’Bannon, examines how well raingardens can reduce urban flooding and improve water quality by reducing pollution in storm water. Yanan received two competitive awards, the Zonta Club of Kansas City, Missouri II Award and the Eleanor Brantley Schwartz Award, administered by the UMKC Women’s Council Graduate Assistance Fund (GAF). The awards will fund Yanan’s expenses to present her research at the ASCE conference.
SCE teaching professors Eddie Burris and Bob Cotter have been promoted to Associate Teaching Professor and Jesse Sherwood has been promoted to Assistant Teaching Professor. Each have distinguished themselves as outstanding teachers and mentors for our students and enthusiastic promoters of SCE. The instruction and involvement of our teaching professors is critical to our teaching mission and the success of our students. The teaching leadership and effectiveness that Bob, Eddie and Jesse along with all of our SCE teaching professors provide to SCE and their students is truly outstanding. Please congratulate Bob, Eddie and Jesse when you see them in the halls!
Tim Sylvester is getting noticed. He was recently listed in the the ENR Top 20 under 40 and is an active contributor to KC’s entrepreneurial community. Tim’s company, Integrated Roadways, recently completed installing modular pavement slabs on I-35 for KDOT. Future versions will include sensors that capture data related to roadway conditions such as traffic jams, potholes, cracks in addition to measuring vehicle type and throughput.
Dozens of SCE’s faculty, staff, students and alumni volunteered at the FIRST Tech Challenge (FTC) regional qualifier, RING IT UP, held Sunday, Feb. 3rd at the University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC) and hosted by SCE in partnership with the KC STEM Alliance. Pictures taken by the Kansas City Star captured the excitement and the many SCE volunteers serving on set-up, registration, safety, competition, judging, pit, queuing, refreshment, and traffic crews and as scorekeepers, announcers, and referees.
The event, organized and coordinated by SCE’s Whitney Molloy and Valeri Reynolds, attracted 23 teams from the Greater Kansas City area and beyond as teams traveled from Camdenton, St Louis, and Rolla in MO, Millington, TN and Lincoln, NE to participate. The following teams advanced to the state championship to be held in Rolla, MO on Feb. 23: iBot, Rolla Patriots, Cyberbotic Independence Alliance, Maniacal Mechanics, Camdenton 4-H Laser -5909, and TJ Titanium Titans.
The launch of the Digital Sandbox KC in Kansas City will accelerate the growth of IT-related start-ups. Funded by a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Commerce, the Digital Sandbox KC is supported by universities, entrepreneurial support organizations, government agencies and private companies. SCE Dean Kevin Truman, a Digital Sandbox KC advisory board member, is one of two Digital Sandbox KC University Representatives. The excitement generated by the Digital Sandbox KC launch was felt throughout the state and region with articles in the Kansas City Star and Omaha.com.
January 26, 2013 marked the tenth year that SCE engineering students, Professor Ganesh Thiagajaran and Engineering Research Technician Pat O’Bannon have happily provided logistics and volunteers for the 30th Annual Model Bridge Building Competition which is organized and sponsored by the Western Chapter of the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers (MSPE). SCE engineering students Tim Hines, Bhargav Javvaji, Clark Johnson, Bhavani Ramneedi, Sean Rivers and Jerome Shin loaded and measured each of the 11 model bridge entries and carefully recorded results. Under the direction of Contest Chairperson Jim Guthrie, DE, PE, bridges were tested while their high school student builders and their teacher mentors experienced memorable demonstrations on how truss-type bridge design must include attention to individual member and global requirements, and the economics of the lightest bridge for the largest applied load.
Everyone found out the maximum load their bridge could withstand as weight was added until the bridges broke. The purpose of the testing was to determine the most efficient bridge as all were constructed per the contest rules and specifications provided by the 2013 International Bridge Building Contest. The winning bridge spanned 300 mm, weighed 22.3 grams, and supported 62.5 pounds of sand (28,349.4 grams) for an efficiency rating of 1,271.3. Cash prizes of $150, $75 and $50 will be awarded to the builder and teacher mentor of the three most efficient bridges at the 2013 Engineers Week Luncheon which is attended by hundreds of practicing engineers.
The university researchers, entrepreneur and venture capitalists behind the development of EyeVerify’s innovative cyber and mobile security products based on biometric eye vein authentication research conducted by SCE’s Dr. Reza Derakhshani are featured in the Huffington Post article, EyeVerify’s Vein Popping Password Technology: Interview with CEO Toby Rush. The impact that university research has on economic development locally and nationally has been well documented. UMKC and SCE are proud that many of our engineering and computer science faculty researchers have contributed to Kansas City’s Silicon Prairie reputation.