Tech, Art and KC – Haya Qureini

Hey! My name is Haya Qureini and I’m a senior pursuing a double degree in electrical & computer engineering and computer science. I’m an artist, a die-hard Kansas Citian, and I’m all about creativity and innovation. My dream is show everyone how art and engineering are beautifully immersed and intertwined in the world we live in.

When I first was exploring where to do my undergraduate program, I decided to attend UMKC because of its academic reputation, its location, and its close proximity to home. The degree program I’m studying is only available at 11 other universities, making SCE an exceptionally great school to pursue my passion for engineering.

I wanted to come to a school that would challenge me both inside and outside of the classroom while providing support to allow me to grow academically and personally. SCE simply provided that by having some of the leading professionals teaching the courses, the technology that is up to date with the industry, and the organizations that continuously provide leadership skills to students. I also wanted a school that would provide the opportunity for me to pursue not only my passion for engineering, but also my passion for art. Since UMKC provides so many degrees and SCE is flexible with courses, I’m able to pursue my double degree in engineering and a minor in art with complete ease.

Aside from how great the academic reputation is at SCE, I also chose UMKC for its location. It’s based in the best city in the Midwest! I feel like Kansas City is the perfect place for a student that wants to experience the college life to its fullest. There’s The Plaza, Westport, and Downtown, and they’re all relatively close to the school, opening opportunities for so many great events on a constant basis. I’m able to have a social life and go out with friends while maintaining my academic career, all at the same time. Not only that, but since UMKC is very close to home, I’m able to be with my family whenever I please.

During the past few years that I’ve been here, I have come to value UMKC more than I ever thought I would have. This school has met more than my expectations and I know that I made the right decision to attend UMKC’s School of Computing and Engineering.

UMKC Steel Roos Compete At 2016 ASCE/AISC Student Steel Bridge Competition

Our UMKC Steel Roos are back home from the Mid-Continent Conference 2016 ASCE/AISC Student Steel Bridge Competition hosted by Missouri University of Science and Technology in Rolla, MO April 21-23, 2016.  Competition was fierce and the competition rules made if difficult to build a light, strong, fast bridge, which could withstand the complicated loading. Because of this a high number of bridges were disqualified during the construction and lateral testing.  Dr. Jerry Richardson, faculty co-advisor to the team reported in regard to loading, “with about half the weight on the bridge (see picture) the bridge started deforming laterally, (even though vertically there was hardly any deflection).  The lateral deflection exceeded maximum and the bridge was disqualified.”  A big blow to being able to place in the competition but not to the team’s spirit.


Says Dr. Richardson, “The UMKC team had effectively executed a unique construction plan in less than 23 minutes with 5 builders. This was much better than most all the schools competing this year. With time penalties for dropped bolts the adjusted construction time was 29 min-16 seconds.   The net weight of the bridge was an impressive 212 lbs, however there were some minor geometric infractions that added 100 lbs to the total weight of the bridge and the bridge performed flawlessly on lateral deflection. All in all our team did very well. Many of the bridges were disqualified before loading, and one school’s bridge actually collapsed during loading.”  The UMKC Steel Bridge team faculty co-advisors are Dr. John Kevern and Dr. Jerry Richardson.


In the team photo from left to right standing are Jose Romo, Jacob Asgian, Joshua Oathout, James Cobb, Andrew Ramsey, Jonathan Cooksey, Spencer Sinkhorn and Paige Norris.  In the bridge is Katie Gonzagowski and Bryce Coulter. Reclining is Evan Johns.  Team member Jacob Muller not shown.


Competition Recap:

This year a total of 14 teams participated, results are not yet posted but we do know that UMKC did not place this year.   

Mid- Continent Engineering schools

University of Kansas

Southern Illinois University –Edwardsville

Southern Illinois University – Carbondale

University of Nebraska Lincoln

University of Missouri Columbia

University of Missouri Kansas City

Oklahoma State

University of Oklahoma

University of Nebraska Omaha

University of Arkansas

Kansas State

Technology Schools:

Missouri State

Oklahoma State University Industrial Technology

Invited not conference guest: Vanderbilt


UMKC Robotics Team Earns Silver and Bronze Awards at Honda’s National Robotics Challenge!

On Wednesday, April 6th, the UMKC Robotics Team left for Honda’s National Robotics Challenge in Marion, Ohio where they competed with 65 teams, 144 robots and 1100 students. This competition has been held in Marion since 1986 and is very well established.  Teams could choose which competitions in which they wanted to participate.  These included the Robot Maze, Mini-SUMO, Robo Hockey, Combat Robot, SUMO, Internet of Things, Bot Ball, Rescue Robot and Autonomous Vehicle Challenge.  Our UMKC Robotics Team participated in the Mini-SUMO and the Autonomous Vehicle Challenge. In the mini-SUMO one robot was to push the other robot out of the ring and our robot was programmed to find any moving object within a foot and attack.  The team received the Bronze Award in this competition.

The other robot competition we entered was the Autonomous Vehicle Challenge where the robot was to go around a square course, which was outside in the elements, and then go through the hoop and we could end by jumping the ramp.  The team planned to make this final effort in the third round only if necessary since it would destroy the robot.  Fortunately the team had already secured the Silver award so why destroy it?

During the trip the team encountered heavy rains when they arrived Thursday, April 7, at 5:30 a.m. On Friday they encountered sleet and snow when running the autonomous vehicle giving them a whole new experience.  On Saturday after the awards ceremony the team headed out in a blizzard that followed them for about 20 or 30 miles outside of Marion, Ohio.  Everyone was glad to get back to Kansas City’s spring time weather.

Robot Team members were: Kristen Bilgere, Edwin Amilasan, Darren Cogan, Chris Denniston, Gretchen Gilbreath, Jack Goza, Kyle Hejtmanek, Josh Herndon, Matt Jones, Jedrzej Kosinski, Thai Lang, Connor Murphy, Calvin Seever and Katie Struthers. Debby Dilks, Advisor also travelled with the team.