Monthly Archives: September 2009

Drs. Richardson & Kevern Promote Student Professional Involvement

SCE Students Will Assist at the National ASCE Conference This October

The UMKC Student Chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers (SCE ASCE) will be representing Kansas City’s Engineering School at the ASCE 139th Annual National Civil Engineering Conference October 29-31, 2009.  The theme for this conference is “From Builders to Integrators- Engineers Leading the Way” and will bring the top Civil Engineering leaders of the country and internationally to Kansas City for three days of meetings. ASCE is the oldest and largest engineering organization in the country, and is internationally known as the pre-eminent engineering organization in the world.

The School of Computing and Engineering is playing a prominent role in assisting the Kansas City Section of ASCE in hosting these engineering leaders. Dr.’s Jerry Richardson and John Kevern serve as co-Faculty Advisors to the SCE ASCE Student chapter, and have been assisting the leadership team of the student chapter (Stephen Huffman, President) to organize student chapter volunteers to serve as hosts at this important conference.  These faculty also liaison with the Kansas City Chapter of ASCE and incoming President Alysen Abel.

Dr. Wang received second NIH grant award

Dr. Wang Yu-Ping received his second NIH grant under the Academic Research Enhancement Award (AREA) program.

Title: Accurate detection of chromosomal abnormalities with multi-color image processing
Funding agency: NIH/National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS)
Principal Investigator: Wang Yu-Ping
Period: 09/21/2009 – 08/31/2012
Amount: $229,519

His first NIH grant was awarded in July, 2009

Title: A New Paradigm for Integrated Analysis of Multiscale Genomic Imaging Datasets
Funding agency: NIH/National Library of Medicine (NLM)
Principal Investigator: Wang Yu-Ping
Period: 07/01/2009-06/30/2011, $404,459.
Amount: $404,459.

Together with another of his recent NSF grant, the total funding for his work is nearly $1.2 million.

Dr. Greg King & Dr. John Kevern funded by NSF for exploratory Research

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has approved $40,000 for an Early Concept Grant for EAGER: Improving Pedestrian Safety Using Pervious Concrete to Reduce Slip-Related Falls, beginning January 2010.  This one-year project will provide support for one graduate student and enable the PI’s, Dr. Greg King and Dr. John Kevern, to advance their concept in an effort to seek additional, more extensive funding in the future.

Pervious concrete is becoming a widespread stormwater management tool, especially in cold climates, for its ability to reduce stormwater volume and quantity of pollutants contained therein. Some large municipalities such as Minneapolis and Chicago have begun installing entire pervious concrete roads to help manage flooding. The high permeability of this pavement makes melting snow and ice much less likely to refreeze and form surface ice. Less surface water, coupled with its open surface texture, may result in a much safer pavement under adverse winter conditions. Slipping and falling is a concern both for actual and perceived mobility, particularly among older adults. Pervious concrete is likely to provide a safer walking surface by reducing incidences of falling, thereby helping maintain the independence and mobility of older adults and lowering hospital and insurance costs for everyone.

The expertise at UMKC in concrete material and biomechanics, will allow characterization of pedestrian biomechanics and comparison between traditional and pervious concrete pavements. The surface characteristics of the pavement types will be characterized in the Human Balance and Ambulation Research Laboratory at UMKC under dry and icy conditions using force sensors and motion capture equipment. This interdisciplinary research will determine how pervious concrete impacts pedestrians in comparison to traditional pavement.

Pizza with the President

Pizza Prez (1)

SCE Students engaged in lively discussion with the 2009-2010 NSPE President Samuel W. Grossman, P.E., F.NSPE when he visited SCE on September 17, 2009. Students obtained information related to P.E. licensure issues and professional practice.

For 46 consecutive years, the President of the National Society of Professional Engineering (NSPE) has visited Kansas City to connect with NSPE’s local and state chapters. Each NSPE President serves for one year. For the past six years, our School of Computing and Engineering has been priviledged to be a part of the President’s visit to Kansas City, hosting sessions with the President and our faculty and students.

Our UMKC student chapter of the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers (MSPE is strongly supported by the Western Chapter of the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers (WC MSPE is a local Kansas City MSPE chapter) and the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers (MSPE is a state chapter of NSPE). UMKC MSPE student chapter members are invited to attend WC MSPE monthly meetings, participate in field trips and compete for the Leadership Excellence Achievement Program Award sponsored by WC MSPE. This award annually recognizes two students that have shown outstanding leadership and exemplary ethics and one faculty that has demonstrated mentoring abilities that encourage students to seek leadership excellence in the engineering profession Awardees are honored at the March monthly dinner which was held at the School of Computing and Engineering in 2008.

                                                    2008 LEAP Awardees & Story

Pizza Prez (2)Pizza Prez (3)

Cory Douthat, John Balling, Noah Boydston               Dr. Reza Derakhshani & John Balling  

Two SCE Students and one SCE faculty received Leadership Excellence Achievement Program (LEAP) Awards sponsored by the Western Chapter of the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers (WC MSPE).   John Balling, President of the Western Chapter of the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers, hosted the awards ceremony at WC MSPE’s monthly dinner/presentation meeting on March 12, 2009 which was held at the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering. The student LEAP award recognizes annually two SCE students that have shown outstanding leadership and exemplary ethics. Noah Boydston (BSME) and Cory Douthat (BSECE) were presented the award. The faculty LEAP award recognizes annually an SCE faculty that has demonstrated mentoring abilities that encourage students to seek leadership excellence in the engineering profession. It was awarded to Dr. Reza Derakhshani.

Dean Kevin Truman Co-PI on $1.2 million NSF grant serving students with disabilitites

The $1.2 million NSF-sponsored project, “Building an Alliance for New Careers in STEM (KC-BANCS): An Infusion Model for Inclusion of Youth and Veterans with Disabilities” is a community engagement opportunity that embodies and reinforces the UMKC and School of Computing and Engneering’s mission of being a model urban university, one that we strive to have emulated by other urban institutions.  Dr. Ronda Jenson, UMKC Institute for Human Development, is the PI and Dean Kevin Truman, UMKC School of Computing & Engineering, is a Co-PI.   

The UMKC School of Computing and Engineering and the UMKC Institute for Human Development will co-lead this program and an Alliance of secondary, post-secondary, employer, and community organizations who are committed to increasing the participation of people with disabilities in STEM education programs and pathways.   The project is designed to assure that youth and veterans with disabilities are included in the wealth of STEM initiatives already occurring within the Kansas City region. In fact Kansas City is the 4th largest engineering community in the nation and the 1st in the number of engineers per capita. UMKC and its Alliance partners are ideally positioned to facilitate improved access to STEM careers for individuals with disabilities.    

The UMKC School of Computing and Engineering brings a long history of excellence in STEM education and has well developed partnerships and Alliances with a regional network of secondary and postsecondary STEM education programs.  The UMKC Institute for Human Development brings a 30 year history of excellence in services and support to people with disabilities and their families and serves as the University Center for Excellence in Disabilities for the state of Missouri.  Together they bring a unique blend of the expertise and access to regional partners that are needed to make this program a success.   

This project fully aligns with the UMKC mission and is of great importance to the community, employers and especially the disabled individuals that can benefit from a STEM education.  See the September 16, 2009 Wednesday Sun article, Grant will help university serve more students with disabilities.

Balanced Among the Disiciplines: UMKC Human Motion Laboratory supports interdisciplinary research

See UMKC Press Release  –Balanced Among the Disiciplines:  UMKC  Human Motion Laboratory supports interdisciplinary research for pictures and more details.

In the third-floor Human Motion Laboratory at the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering (SCE), a research subject adorned with reflective body markers and electromyography (EMG) sensors walks across four metal plates as cameras record his movements. Assistant Professors of Mechanical Engineering Trent Guess and Greg King watch as the subject’s movements are projected onto a computer screen.

This state-of-the-art equipment exists thanks to a $263,685 grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) entitled “Major Research Instrumentation: Acquisition of an Experimental Platform to Support Research and Educational Activities in Human Motion”. Each year, the National Science Foundation receives about 44,000 competitive requests for funding, and accepts only 11,500.

King, co-principal investigator, said he believes SCE received the competitive grant for several reasons.

“The multidisciplinary nature of this project had a lot to do with it,” King said. “Our Human Motion Laboratory can support research in electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, psychology, nursing, criminology, dance and more.”

The NSF grant enabled King and Guess, co-principal investigators; Reza Derakhshani, co-principal investigator and assistant professor of electrical engineering; and Walter D. Leon-Salas, co-principal investigator and assistant professor of electrical engineering to purchase force plates for measuring ground reaction forces, electromyography sensors for measuring muscle activations, a motion capture system for measuring body segment kinematics, a high-speed high-resolution camera for measuring ocular and body motion and instrumentation to characterize body area sensor nodes. 

Planned projects within the laboratory include capturing real-world human activities for multi-scale computational knee model simulations, predicting and eliminating fall risk among balance-impaired older adults, finding gait characteristics for biometric identification and validating sensor networks used in mobile motion capture applications.

Other applications include:

  • Teaching high school students and teachers engineering principles through summer programs, such as ARROWS (Achieving Recruitment, Retention and Outreach with Science, Technology, Engineering and Math)
  • Studying dance movements and injury prevention with the Conservatory of Music and Dance
  • Studying startle responses with the Department of Psychology
  • Collaborating with the School of Dentistry to build computational models of bones
  • Studying geriatric movement with the School of Nursing

Posted: September 03, 2009See 09.03.09 UMKC Press Release  –Balanced Among the Disiciplines:  UMKC  Human Motion Laboratory supports interdisciplinary research for more details and pictures.

Student Council Picnic Kicks Off the Year

The School of Computing and Engineering (SCE) Student Council fed 400 students, faculty and staff at the SCE Welcome Picnic on September 2. Sandwiches, chips and sodas were provided by the council, and the first 300 students received a t-shirt with the winning slogan for the annual SCE slogan contest. This year’s winning slogan was submitted by Haiyang Qian:

The world of chemistry is made up of 108 elements;
The world of mathematics is made up of 10 digits;
The world of physics is made up of 4 basic particles;
The world of computer science and engineering {we} is made up of 0 and 1.
Welcome to the simplest world!

Dean & Newt

“I can’t believe the fall picnic has become such a tradition. Ten minutes before the food arrived there were a hundred students lined up for a free lunch and t-shirt,” Erik Knight, Student Council president, said. “It’s always fun to serve lunch to your professors and Dean. I tried to bargain lunch for grades but no one would go for it.”
SCE Student Council provides support to all currently enrolled students and recognized student groups in the School of Computing and Engineering at UMKC. The council is responsible for allocating funds to SCE student groups, promoting group activities and assisting with the administration and organization of activities of multiple groups, including the annual e-week activities.

Food Eating