Spandana Vemulapalli’s Research Receives First at the 2015 SWE Region I Conference

Spandana Vemulapalli won 1st place at the 2015 SWE Region I Conference graduate technical poster competition held at the Marriott Country Club Plaza in Kansas City February 27-28 and hosted by our UMKC SCE Society of Women Engineers (SWE) student chapter.   Her poster is titled A Comparative Performance Analysis of Ultrawideband and Narrowband Microwave Imaging Sensor Arrays for the Early Detection of Breast Cancer and investigates microwave imaging as an alternative method for the detection of breast cancer.  The competitive award (6 states represented at the conference) is a major achievement for Spandana Vemulapalli, a UMKC masters of electrical engineering student.   Her research was supervised by Dr. Deb Chatterjee and Dr. Dhivya Ketharnath in the CSEE Department of the School of Computing and Engineering and is funded by a UM System Interdisciplinary and Intercampus (IDIC) research grant.

Research Significance: Current statistics from the American Cancer Society show that about 250,000 cases of breast cancer were reported in the year 2014 in the United States alone. These expanding numbers make early detection of breast cancer a necessary. The present breast cancer screening methods like Mammography and MRI have a wide range of limitations from Ionizing radiations, low specificity and high cost. Microwave imaging, for its discernible differences in the electrical properties of various breast tissues along with the utilization of non-ionizing frequencies, is a suitable alternative for the detection of breast cancer. Currently, this research is  working on simulations using commercial Electromagnetic Software called FEKO.  The main aim is to build a more contact-less, non-invasive and an affordable microwave imaging system for the early detection of breast cancer.

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Nine SCE Graduate Students Receive SGS Research Awards

SCE graduate students rock!  We are proud to announce 9 of our graduate students were awarded School of Graduate Studies (SGS) Research Awards.  In keeping with UMKC’s goal to support cutting-edge research activities and economic development, the (SGS) supports competitive graduate research grants.  Proposals are open to all graduate students at UMKC and are designed to elevate visibility of UMKC’s research and economic development activities.  Nine of our students were selected for these competitive awards of $7000 each.  This is the highest number of SGS awards won by a single school or college on the campus in this academic year.

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Dean Truman Selected as an Ingram’s 2015 Icon of Education

Congratulations to our very own Dean Truman!   Dean Kevin Truman was selected as an Ingram’s 2015 Icons of Education.  Since 2009, the local Kansas City business magazine has recognized the career contributions made by outstanding administrators, teachers, academic researchers and professors.  The award reflects Dean Truman’s successful efforts to make “our school a valued, urban school of computing and engineering in Kansas City. To be valued by Kansas City firms, we need to produce highly qualified graduates, perform cutting-edge research, provide professional development for their employees and provide graduate degrees for their employees.”

John Bazin Selected to Present Paper at AIAA Conference and Seminar

John Bazin, a mechanical engineering senior, has been selected as one of four student paper finalists for the upcoming American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Aerodynamic Decelerator Systems Technology Conference and Seminar.  At the March 30 – April 1 conference in Daytona Beach, Florida, John will be presenting his work on the “Validation and Flight Testing of a Wireless Load Distribution Measuring System” in competition for the title of Best Student Paper.  John will receive $1,250 for being selected as a student paper finalist, to help cover travel expenses, and another $1,250 if selected as the best student paper.  John was able to fund the research with the UMKC Summer Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program (SUROP) and theStudents Engaged in Artistic and Academic Research (SEARCH).  John’s academic and research advisor is Dr. Travis Fields, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering.

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Travis Fields Receives NASA-EPSCoR Missouri Funds for Parafoil Research

Travis Fields, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering, works to develop a system for providing immediate return of small payloads.  His research work will provide the characterization of the previously unexplored high-altitude parafoil flight regime, enabling small International Space Station experiment return missions to navigate to a desired target location enhancing the ISS experiment capabilities.  The Small Payload Quick Return (SPQR) concept, originating from the NASA Ames Research Center, relies on a three-stage deceleration system when deployed from the ISS. The focus of the proposed work is on the development of an accurate parafoil dynamic model and simulation, development and refinement of a high-altitude parafoil dynamic model, and identification of key parameters related to high-altitude parafoil stability and controllability.  Student researchers on Dr. Fields’ team include Chris Wolfe (BSME ’15) and Daniel McCullough, a mechanical engineering junior.  The NASA-EPSCoR Missouri funding started in October 2014 and continues until September 30, 2015.

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Four SCE Students Awarded UMKC Women’s Center GAF Fellowships

SCE proudly announces four of our Ph.D. students were awarded UMKC Women’s Center Graduate Assistantship Fund (GAF) Fellowships.  This fund provides financial support to post-baccalaureate students for their research, travel to professional conferences to present their work and to engage in educational opportunities beyond the classroom.  As of 2015, the fund has assisted more than 1,800 women by providing more than $1.4 million in graduate fellowships.  The awards are competitive. Our school congratulates our students selected for a 2015 award.  They were recognized and honored at the March 13, 2015 UMKC Women’s Center Graduate Assistantship Fund Awards and Starr Women’s Hall of Fame Reception held at the Grand Street Café.

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EyeVerify’s Technology Soon On Chinese Smartphones

EyeVerify, a Kansas City based tech firm founded on patented technology developed by a team headed by Reza Derakhshani, a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of Missouri-Kansas City,  announced a major deal recently.  Soon millions of Chinese Smartphone users will be using EyeVerify biometric technology to secure their phones.   Users will merely look at their phones to unlock them or a password protected site.  Congratulations to SCE’s Dr. Reza Derakhshani and his team!  For more information see the UMKC Today, the KCUR article and the Kansas City Star articles. 

KC STEM Alliance Awarded UMKC Trustees Community Engagement Award

On February 9, 2015 the KC STEM Alliance was awarded the UMKC Trustees Community Partnership Award which “recognizes a business or organization that contributes to the university through programs and/or projects that help the university live up to its urban-serving mission of education and research.”  In just three short years, KC STEM Alliance has become a leading convener of K-12 STEM education and enrichment in our region. Guided by Executive Director, Laura Loyacono and Advisory Board Chair, Kevin Z. Truman, Dean of UMKC School of Computing and Engineering; KC STEM Alliance collaborates with local school districts, post-secondary and research institutions, industry partners and hundreds of mentors and volunteers from around our region to provide STEM educational and enrichment opportunities to nearly 25,000 students.