A New Center For Nanotechnology

Recent NSF Grant awarded to Masud Chowdhury, Ahmed Hassan and Mostafizur Rahman will be used to establish a new center for nanotechnology.

Remember when cell phones looks like bricks and had about enough computing power to make a call and send a text… and that was it?! Sure – by the time most of you reading this were born, Nokia offered snake and…for a very hefty price tag…you might get a very slow internet connection, but mostly phones were clunky and did very little.

So how did cell phones get smaller AND more powerful? Nanotechnology. Researchers across the globe are rushing to discover new and innovative ways to cram more computing power into smaller and more efficient devices, and it’s not just the phones you use. Nanoelectronics research supports wearable technology, circuitry and systems for your laptops and desktops, materials that are stronger and lighter than materials we use today, and applications in energy efficiency and biomedical advances that are shaping our futures.

All of this is why at UMKC’s School of Computing and Engineering (SCE) we are proud to have top researchers in nanoelectronics committed to engaging our graduate and undergraduate students in this growing field. Dr. Masud Chowdhury, Dr. Ahmed Hassan and Dr. Mostafizur Rahman have recently received a grant for $771,000 from National Science Foundation to develop a nanotechnology research facility.

This new center is named Center for Interdisciplinary Nano Technology Research (CINTR). This new center will be comprised of an equipment laboratory that will allow researchers and students for experimentation and fabrication of nanoscale devices and circuits, and a high-powered computer simulation to perform in-depth analysis and validation of nanoscale designs and applications. Additional goals for the team include ramping up K-12 STEM outreach around nanotechnology themes and welcoming high school students to utilize the facility for learning

“The types of research we are doing now are focused on the theoretical. With this new facility and centralized focus on nanotechnology, we can bring our research to next level,” shared Dr. Chowdhury. The research laboratory is already under development and we look forward to bringing you updates from the lab this Spring 2017.

About the NSF CISE Research Infrastructure Program Grant:

Grant Title: Experimental Characterization and CAD Development Testbed for Nanoscale Integrated Circuits

Agency: National Science Foundation

Approved Budget: $771,000

Project Summary: The aim of this NSF CRI-II-NEW project is to develop a testbed for computer aided design (CAD) simulations, experimental metrology, and software and hardware calibrations to support cross-layer evaluation of novel nanoscale 3D heterogeneous integration of CMOS and post-CMOS technologies. Proposed tools and equipment acquisitions and sustainment will allow bottom-up evaluations from materials, fundamental physics, and experimental metrology to device and circuits to large-scale systems. The proposed infrastructure is unique and will enable thorough evaluation of new 3D heterogeneous integration concepts with accuracy only parallel to full-scale experimental prototyping. It will directly impact the nano-electromagnetics, nano-device, circuits, 3D IC and manufacturing research directions, and will also have significant impact on the big data analytics, renewable energy, smart-city, RF and electromagnetics research initiatives in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering (CSEE) department at University of Missouri-Kansas City (UMKC). The testbed will not only facilitate transformative research, but will also allow broad ranging educational and outreach activities such as new undergraduate and graduate curriculum development with lab modules, training and mentoring of research students, research dissemination thorough forums and seminars, development of online repositories and online labs, and nanotechnology awareness for K-12 students through summer workshops. The boarder impact of this project is that the proposed infrastructure will provide unique opportunities for research, education and community outreach in the fields of nanomaterials, nanodevice, nanocircuit, biosensing, heterogonous integration, and nanomanufacturing.

Q+A With Alum: DeJ’on Slaughter

Bachelors of Science in Civil Engineering , Class of 2013
Community and Citizenship Director, Turner Construction Company
Current City: Kansas City, MO  Hometown: Kansas City, MO

What initially attracted you to UMKC?

What set UMKC apart from other colleges I visited was the campus, the staff, and the endless opportunities. Kansas City is home to many of the world’s most prestigious construction firms, and UMKC has the relationships and networks to connect their students with these firms. The close proximity to such impressive companies allows for valuable internships throughout the school year resulting in, at least in my case, excellent job offers.

What activities were you involved in at UMKC?

I was involved in the UMKC Chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and served as Vice President in 2012, and President in 2013. While assuming leadership positions in NSBE, I gained tremendous professional experience through community engagement and involvement, as well as industry relations. Alongside a solid team of dedicated NSBE students, we were able to have an impact in the lives of the collegiate students in our chapter, as well as many local high school students who were involved in the NSBE Jr programing and yearly events. It was also imperative that we had the support of Dean Truman and Chancellor Morton for NSBE initiatives.

How did UMKC prepare you for your career?

UMKC challenged me to become a problem solver. By tasking me with real world examples and hands-on education, I was also equipped with the essential skills necessary to navigate through the corporate world.

What do you love about the Engineering Community in Kansas City?

I love the competitiveness of the Kansas City market. Even as one of the world’s largest builders, we’re challenged to stay prepared, focused and bring our “A-game” in order to compete with the other construction firms in town. In result, the landscape of our city continues to be populated with many outstanding buildings and structures.

What advice do you have for students entering the field?

Make sure you have a passion for this field and never give up.

Q+A With Alum: James Lammers

Bachelors in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering, Class of 1987
CEO, President for Trinity Animation
Current City: Lee’s Summit, MO  Hometown: Kansas City, MO

Tell me about an average day at your job:
The animation studio is like many other consulting services businesses: there are busy and slow times, there are deadlines and there are a variety of client styles and needs. As CEO, when things are busy I make sure employees have what they need to do their job while focusing on marketing efforts and longer term planning. When things are slow I get very busy finding productive tasks for all the staff to work on, and try to close the deal on any pending projects. And of course every day includes technical and HR problem solving, accounting and other details of running a small business.

How did UMKC prepare you for your career?
UMKC provided serious intellectual challenges and demanding courses that helped me learn to persevere and get better at general problem solving.

What is something that you wish was available to you as a student that current students at UMKC have access to?
The internet. A massive compendium of information, instantly searchable and viewable.

Did you take any computer science or programming classes in High School?
No, but I did build a Sinclair ZX-81 microcomputer in Junior High, with my father’s sponsorship and encouragement. On this, I learned Z80 assembly language and BASIC programming. During my junior year I attended the Rose Hulman Polytechnic Institute and learned the obscure language APL; as well as getting a good taste of what attending a private college in another state might be like.

What societies and groups are you a part of and how do you feel that they have helped you professionally?
I helped start a 3D user group for Kansas City in 1993 that has been a wonderful source of new friends and information over the years. I stepped back from it a few years ago but the KC Autodesk Users Group carries on in the same vein and I enjoy going to this group’s meetings.

What excites you about the future for your field?
It is an overwhelmingly exciting and expanding field, with application in almost every sector of the economy. Right now I see augmented reality as something that will eventually upend and radically change many areas of communication, learning and entertainment. We intend to be part of this.

What advice do you have for students entering the field?
Plan to keep learning, changing and adapting for your whole career.
Always live below your means and avoid debt.
Try to adopt a “consultant” mindset at your jobs and simply contribute generously and positively to whatever project they are working on.

Learning to Fly with Dr. Fields

Click here to play video via YouTube.

We’re all a little fascinated with drones now, right? A quick visit to amazon and you can find over 10,000 commercial unmanned aircrafts available for purchase. If you’ve visited a local park, headed out to a sporting event, or popped by UMKC’s campus, you’ve probably seen them in the skies taking video or photographs – but for SCE faculty member, Dr. Travis Fields, they are doing something a bit more complicated, learning to fly.

Dr. Fields is conducting a research project that is focused on the building of a quadcopter that is much cooler than the traditional ones. How so? This drone can learn. Funded by a University of Missouri Research Board grant, his project entitled “In-Flight Learning with Indirect Adaptive Control: A New Paradigm in Flight Testing and Control” explores how to build an aircraft that can adapt as it is dropped and figure out how to adjust its behavior to stay in the air and avoid crashing.

As Dr. Fields explains, “the learning-based control system invokes small oscillations to the four quadcopter motors in order to learn how each motor effects the quadcopter motion. The oscillations provide sufficient data to create a model that can be used to efficiently control the aircraft.” Graduate student, Mohammed Alabsi, has been developing and testing this control system alongside Dr. Fields in the UMKC Drone Research and Teaching Lad (The DRAT). Check out our video to see what’s happening now. When the full research is completed, the ideal quadcopter would have a “fresh-brain” of its own. It will then be tossed from a building and will teach it’s self how to fly prior to reaching the ground!

10 Tips for Transferring

There are so many reasons that drive a student to transfer schools at some point in their academic career. Perhaps you started as at a local community college or your first choice turned out to not be the right fit – but either way, at SCE you are in good company! With almost 50% of our undergraduate population coming to us as transfers, transferring-guru and SCE Assistant Director of Recruitment, Micah Hildreth, compiled a list of the top ten ways to make the process easier.

  1. Pick a Major: Knowing what degree you want to graduate with will make course selection easier now—saving you time and money! Take a look at the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook to find out what careers are growing and how much money you can make with different degrees.
  1. Select a School: Requirements vary greatly between schools, so the sooner you select the school you will be transfering to, the sooner you can begin working on their requirements. Pick a school that’s a good fit academically, geographically, financially, and socially.
  1. Develop a Plan: Once you settle on a major and a school, you’re ready to develop an academic plan. Course selection matters.  For example, engineering degrees have a prescribed sequence that students must follow in order to stay on track. Working with advisors at both schools is a good idea.
  1. Make Sure Your Classes Transfer: At UMKC we have a few different resources to help you understand how your credits will transfer. Transfer guides show course equivalencies with our area community colleges.  We also participate in transferology.com, which is a free resource that allows students to see how all of their credits will transfer.
  1. Know the Deadlines: Universities love deadlines, the really do. So whether it’s an application deadline or a scholarship deadline, you’ll want to know those dates. Mark them down. Stay on top of them. It may make the difference between getting a scholarship or not, being admitted or not.
  1. Visit the School: Sometimes transfer students decide on a school without ever setting foot on campus only to discover it’s not the right fit. It’s too hot, too far from home, there are no good dining options on campus, and the list goes on. Do yourself a favor and schedule a campus tour.  Schools like UMKC offer a variety of visits to accommodate the needs of transfer students.
  1. Research Scholarships: Who wants free money? Spend some time researching what scholarships your school provides and what’s available in the community.  UMKC offers specific transfer scholarships that are awarded on the basis of GPA and number of credits completed. Beyond that, there are a number of external scholarships for which students can apply.
  1. Get Involved: Participation in clubs and organizations can help you network, serve your community, and become a better leader. They may also qualify you for more scholarships. For example, UMKC provides an additional scholarship for students who are in Phi Theta Kappa, which is a national honor society available at many community colleges.
  1. Attend an Orientation: Transfer students know how to do college, but at orientation, transfers learn how to be a student at that university. Registering for classes and paying your bill are school-specific functions. You’ll want to know the school’s policy for dropping a class or how late the library is open.  These topics and many more are covered at orientation. Plus, if you’ve never visited campus, it’s great opportunity to do so.
  1. Own the Process: Every transfer student situation is unique, so ask a lot questions and petition for exceptions when needed. Transfer friendly schools, like UMKC, are equipped to provide answers and address concerns. You are your best advocate, and with good planning and proper resources, you can ensure your success.

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.