SCE Geomaterials Lab Receives Donation for Specialized Freezing and Thawing Chamber

Thanks to a generous donation from the Midwest Concrete Industry Board (MCIB) and the Concrete Promotional Group (CPG) Dr. John Kevern’s geomaterials laboratory will be getting a new, specialized, concrete freezing and thawing chamber! This chamber will be one of only a handful operational in the United States.  The geomaterials laboratory supports teaching and research related to soils, concrete, and asphalt.  In these laboratory-based courses the students get actual hands on experiences with the materials and testing which makes them more aware and valuable in their careers. On-going related research includes the development on a new freeze-thaw test for concrete, investigation into the impacts construction methods have on concrete durability, and pollutant removal of pervious concrete containing industrial by-product wastes. Research activities are performed by all levels of students from freshmen undergraduate researchers supported by the UMKC SEARCH program to PhD students funded on national grants.

UMKC Receives FIRST Award

The School of Computing and Engineering’s (SCE) Dean Kevin Truman was honored to receive for UMKC a FIRST recognition award for UMKC’s substantial support and commitment to the FIRST Robotics Competition (FRC) for the past ten years.  UMKC and the SCE have provided space and logistics as well as hundreds of volunteer hours to FIRST events.   We are proud to be strong supporters of both the FRC event and the FIRST Tech Challenge competition.  Pictures from the awards ceremony and this year’s FRC event can be viewed here.

NSPE President Tim Austin, P.E., F.NSPE, Visits UMKC

UMKC and SCE were honored to meet with National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) president Tim Austin, P.E., F.NSPE, on September 17, 2015.  SCE administrators including Dean Kevin Truman, SCE Department Chairs and our Missouri Society of Professional Engineers (MSPE) student chapter faculty advisor, Dr. Faisal Khan, met with Tim Austin and his delegation of MSPE Western Chapter officers in the morning.  President Austin was also introduced to MSPE student chapter officers President Dakota McGilton, Vice President Michael “Cody” Miller and Treasurer Angelique Gilbert.  Especially enjoyable for SCE students was a “Pizza with the President” luncheon meeting where  students learned more about professional engineering licensure straight from President Austin.  Additionally, 14 MSPE student chapter members, 4 faculty and MSPE staff advisor Jane Vogl attended the dinner/presentation at the Grand Street Café on the Plaza.

SCE Hosts Successful 2015 National Student Steel Bridge Competition

More than 650 engineering students, guests, judges and faculty attended the National Student Steel Bridge Competition May 22-23 in Kansas City, hosted by the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Computing and Engineering.   Coordinating the competition which attracted over 50 teams took many hours to plan, dozens of volunteers to work the two-day event, and generous support from Kansas City engineering companies. “The fact that we were able to not only pull it off, but arguably host the best competition in history really says a lot about the quality of UMKC, its students and the support we had from the engineering community here in Kansas City,” said Jerry Richardson, Ph. D., SCE associate professor.  The local planning committee included Katie Gonzagowski, Laura Irwin, Jose Lopez, Sean Micheal, Paige Norris, Marco Toapanta; and faculty advisers John Kevern, Ph.D., and Jerry Richardson, Ph.D.  Dean Kevin Truman provided the welcome address at the awards dinner.  For details regarding the competition teams and results, judging criteria and regional area sponsors see the UMKC Today article, SCE Hosts Successful Steel Bridge Competition

UMKC SAME Student Chapter Recognized

SCE congratulates our UMKC Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) student chapter on winning a 2014-2015 Distinguished Student Chapter Streamer. Each student chapter and their Post sponsor are picked by the SAME College Outreach Committee for Distinguished Student Chapter Streamers. Congratulations on all the student chapters for their hard work! Many of our student chapters have done some great programming especially in regards to STEM, Wounded Warrior and Veteran Programs, and outreach to K-12. The UMKC SAME student chapter president is Casey Webber and Dean Kevin Truman is the UMKC SAME student chapter faculty adviser.

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Free Enterprise Center Advances

SCE students and faculty will soon have a state-of-the-art prototyping and product development facility on the UMKC campus, a vision championed by many at UMKC, including SCE Dean Kevin Truman and Development Director Minda Mason who helped to create the partnerships needed to achieve this goal.  UMatters reports  Gov. Jay Nixon announced on May 12th that he is releasing $7.4 million to allow construction of the new Robert W. Plaster Free Enterprise Center at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.  The state funds represent the public half of funding for the $14.8 million building, funded under a 50-50 matching program for public-private partnerships to fund capital projects at public colleges and universities in Missouri. Multi-million dollar grants from the Robert W. Plaster Foundation of Lebanon, Mo., and the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation are providing the private half of the match. JPMorgan Chase & Co. announced last year that it would donate a $50,000 grant for tech equipment for the center, including 3D printers to help it develop new products.

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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.”

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.

Kansas City Engineering Zone Hailed as Tremendous STEM Resource

Dean Kevin Truman and the faculty and staff of the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering joined with our Kansas City community to celebrate the opening of the Kansas City Engineering Zone (KC EZ) on Thursday, Jan. 29, 2015. Located on the UMKC campus at 4825 Troost Ave., KC EZ is a direct response to the equity and access issues faced by Kanas City’s K-12 urban schools and their students, providing tremendous STEM resources and mentoring.   

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Free Enterprise Center at UMKC Gathers Momentum

UMKC Vice Provost & Dean of the School of Computing and Engineering Kevin Truman continues to work toward the day when UMKC becomes home to the Free Enterprise Center. In the  July 23, 2014 Kansas City Business Journal article, UMKC enterprise center nabs funds for KC entrepreneurs,  he described why various constituents have currently pledged over $7.4 million, about ½ of the center’s estimated cost.  “It will be a fantastic entrepreneurial resource for the community,” Truman said. “Even though the center is proposed to be on the UMKC campus, it will handle budding entrepreneurs all the way through the industries here in town and be a resource for our students.  It’s a one-stop shop with equipment to build prototypes and explore ideas.”   The Free Enterprise Center will include laboratory space, rapid prototyping equipment, digital virtualization/visualization equipment and educational/collaborative space.  Business and technology transfer advisors will be available to serve the students, faculty, researchers, local industries, entrepreneurs, artists, and K-12 students that will utilize the center.