Monthly Archives: October 2009

KC ICON Project – MSPE Student Chapter Field Trip (in conjunction with APWA)

For those of you interested in getting some firsthand knowledge of what goes into a huge project like this, both in terms of the engineering and the project management,  we would love to include you on the tour. 

MSPE Student Chapter Field Trip!
Friday Nov. 6th, 2009 (9:00 AM – 12:00PM, or 1:00 – 4:00 PM)
In conjunction with APWA Student Chapter

There will be two tour groups, one for the morning (9-12) and one for the afternoon (1-4).  Pizza will be provided between 12 and 1 for both groups.  The tour is reserved for student chapter members of either APWA or MSPE, so if you’re interested in joining either group as a Student Chapter member, contact Tom Assel ( for MSPE.  We’ve got up to 8 spots for each group, so let myself or Kati know as soon as possible if you would like to go in either group. 

We’ll be taking a guided tour of the KC ICON project. What is KC ICON? To quote the website,  “This $245 million “interstate connections” project will upgrade Interstate 29/35 to six lanes from just north of the Route 210/Armour Road interchange to Independence Avenue. An additional southbound lane will be built from the northeast corner of the Central Business District loop to Oak Street. Numerous on-ramps and off-ramps will be rebuilt and several interchanges reconfigured.  An “iconic” cable-stayed bridge expandable to eight lanes and capable of accommodating a future bicycle/pedestrian facility will also be built just east (downstream) of the existing Paseo Bridge.” Artist’s rendering of what the finished bridge will look like can be found at the KC ICON website.

KCP&L Featured at SCE Career Connections on Oct. 29th

CP&L will discuss a variety of career paths. However, as an FYI – they have just posted two internships (Mechanical Engineering – College Intern and Electrical Engineer – College Intern) today in CareerExec.

• Learn about companies within the Kansas City market
• Learn about potential careers within each organization
• Network with employers

Fall 2009 Schedule (all presentations are 4:00-5:30 pm in FH 557):
Thursday, October 15 – HNTB
Thursday, October 22 – Blue Scope Buildings
Thursday, October 29 – KCP&L
Thursday, November 5 – SPX*
Thursday, November 12 – URS Corp*
Thursday, November 19 – Burns & McDonnell

In partnership with UMKC Career Services, the School of Computing and Engineering is excited to announce SCE Career Connections—a new program designed to create dialogue between employers and UMKC students.

U.S. SPECIAL FORCES Presentation

This presentation will include discussions on the world’s most rigorous military training program, underwater delivery vehicles and aspects of the ongoing naval special warfare operations that are unclassified.

Don’t miss this unique opportunity to participate in an interactive discussion with eh CDR Irwin and learn about the cutting edge of the training, equipment and missions of the U.S. Military’s Special Warfare Command.

WHEN: OCTOBER 27, 2009 @ 4PM

National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE) President Meets with SCE Faculty

Faculty & PrezSCE faculty obtained important information on P.E. licensure and had an opportunity to discuss with the 2009-2010 NSPE President Samuel W. Grossman, P.E., F.NSPE, trends in engineering and computer science related to pipeline, curriculum, research and licensure.


Later in the afternoon, a smaller goup of SCE faculty presented overviews of their research and highlighted some fun SCE faculty outreach activities which included a radio show and our involvement in the upcoming American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) national conference which will be held in Kansas City in late October 2009.

SCE Research

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.

Visit Schedule:
09:20 AM:  Welcome & Orientation Meeting
10:15 AM:  Licensure & Alternative Pathways Discussion
11:05 AM:   Pizza with the President in Room 557 Flarsheim Hall (SCE Students)
12:05 PM:   Future Curriculum Needs For Future Engineers
01:15 PM:   Research & Outreach

SCE Scholarship Applications Due January 31, 2010

SCE 2010-2011 Scholarship Application Process and Deadline

Applications for 2010-2011 SCE Scholarships must be received by the SCE Scholarship Office no later than January 31, 2010 for Round 1 First Priority consideration (note: all 2009-2010 scholarships except one were awarded to Round 1 applicants so getting an application in by January 31, 2010 is important). Information about available SCE scholarships, including eligibility information (most require undergraduate status) for each scholarship and the downloadable general scholarship application form can be found at:

The general SCE application form is valid for ALL SCE scholarships, but additional application materials may be required for specific scholarships (see link above). All applicants are required to complete the downloadable General SCE Scholarship Application and write a Statement of Support Essay that describes, to the SCE Scholarship Committee, your educational and career goals, how a scholarship will benefit you, and why you should be selected over other equally qualified applicants.

Deliver the completed Application, Essay and any additional materials to:
JANE VOGL, SCE Scholarship Coordinator
534C Flarsheim Hall (Dean’s Office Suite)

Round 1 Deadline: January 31, 2010

The SCE Scholarships are administered by our School of Computing and Engineering academic unit. Students applying for the SCE Scholarships are applying ONLY for the scholarships listed at

Students applying for any other scholarships or financial aid need to apply for those separately. It’s recommended that all students interested in financial aid or scholarships, visit one of the sites below to find out about what is available and how to apply.

Additional financial resources for UMKC students can be found at:

SCE also keeps a list of external scholarships awarded by industry groups and organizations that we learn about at: . SCE students can review them to see if they are eligible to apply.

SCE Student Council Gearing Up for EWeek

The SCE Student Council kicked off  its Engineers Week (EWeek) planning with a meeting on Oct. 12th.  Engineers Week is February 14-20, 2010 and marks the 59th annual anniversary of the first Eweek in 1951.  Eweek at SCE includes a wide variety of activities including student competitions, community service and outreach and career related development.   Contact SCE Director of Student Affairs, Whitney Molloy, or the President of the SCE Student Council, Eric Knight, to learn more.

SCE Career Connections Seminar Series Kicks Off with HNTB at SCE

In partnership with UMKC Career Services, the School of Computing and Engineering  announced the start of SCE Career Connections—a new program designed to create dialogue between employers and UMKC students.  SCE and UMKC students can learn about:

• companies within the Kansas City market
• potential careers within each organization
• and network with employers

The first program of the series featured a speaker from HNTB and attracted well over 40 students.

Fall 2009 Schedule (all presentations are 4:00-5:30 pm in FH 557):
Thursday, October 15 – HNTB
Thursday, October 22 – Blue Scope Buildings
Thursday, October 29 – KCP&L
Thursday, November 5 – SPX*
Thursday, November 12 – URS Corp*
Thursday, November 19 – Burns & McDonnell

SCE Ph.D. Student to Present Poster at International Conference

SCE Computer Science Ph.D. student, Mariam Nersisyan, has been accepted to present a poster , Ethnic Polymorphism Evaluation Tool (ePet), at the International Conference & Meetings EMBnet-RIBio 2009 in Cancun, Mexico October 26 – 29, 2009. The poster will highlight an analysis of genetic differences between different ethnic groups that might play a role in differing disease susceptibility. Dr. Deendayal Dinakarpandian is Mariam’s Ph.D. supervisory committee chair and advisor. UMKC and SCE have contributed travel funds.

Every Drop Counts – The Greening of Our Sewers

UMKC civil engineering students installed a rain gauge for the stormwater project funded by USEPA. The demonstration area for rain gardens and stormwater BMPs is bounded by Troost, the Paseo, 75th Street and 79th Street in Kansas City, MO.  Prof. O’Bannon is directing the project. 

The UMKC Press release for article copied below:

Every Drop Counts – The Greening of Our Sewers
By Dr. Deb O’Bannon, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at UMKC School of Computing and Engineering

Engineers design useful things, and more specifically, civil engineers design projects that benefit the general public. So, getting deeply involved in Kansas City’s stormwater and combined sewer solution was a natural extension of my role as a UMKC civil engineering professor.

Together with representatives from the general public and the Kansas City Water Services Department, I participated as a local expert, along with UMKC’s Dr. Ray Coveney, UMKC Professor of Geosciences, on the Wet Weather Community Panel. The panel, which met from September 2003 to December 2008, discussed possible engineering solutions for local weather-related problems, especially problems affecting residents and business owners.
Solutions to correct or reduce the effects of combined sewer overflows can be expensive and extremely inconvenient. Digging up every street to install separate stormwater and sewer pipes is a terrible disruption to residents and businesses, and has other hidden complications because of buried utilities. More traditional solutions, which will also be employed in Kansas City, include larger pipes, underground storage and increased capacity at the wastewater treatment plant, which are termed “grey solutions,” referring to the concrete and steel.
What are other options?
One approach is to modify the classic recycling motto, reduce-reuse-recycle to become reduce-delay-recycle for stormwater. Reduce in this motto means reducing the quantity of stormwater that gets to the sewer inlets by disconnecting downspouts, and installing rain barrels and green roofs. Delay means storage and controlled release. Such a release helps the sewer system to dodge the peak flow, which overloads the system, and to release stormwater slowly into the system for treatment. Recycle means creating opportunities for the rainfall to soak into the ground. Green spaces, rain gardens and porous pavement also serve to delay or recycle, depending on the design. These efforts are called “green solutions.” We remind people that Every Drop Counts.

A USEPA-funded project quantitatively measures the effectiveness of this reduce-delay-recycle strategy for Kansas City conditions. Why Kansas City? Our municipality must ameliorate the effects of combined sewer overflows, and the Midwest has high-intensity rain storms and low-permeability clay soils. Other performance studies of green solutions for stormwater mitigation were done in areas with gentle rainfall and more permeable soils. Our natural conditions, combined with small lot sizes and compacted soils, make the USEPA demonstration project, bounded by 75th Street, 79th Street, Troost Avenue and Paseo Boulevard, a “perfect storm” for measuring the effectiveness of green solutions.

UMKC is providing on-the-ground monitoring for the demonstration project. My group’s responsibilities include flow monitoring, water quality monitoring, soil infiltration studies, lot and street assessments, rain gauging and performance measures of the green solutions. These represent real implementations in a real neighborhood. Consequently, in addition to the ongoing surveys [see photograph at right], we also attend neighborhood association meetings, and meetings focused on the project hosted by Cindy Circo, Councilwoman for the 5th District. The other participants of the USEPA project are TetraTech (project management), Mid-America Regional Council (communications and education), University of Alabama (Dr. Bob Pitt, a nationally-recognized green solutions expert) and Bergmann Associates (modeling).

A parallel effort to the USEPA demonstration project is a weekly radio program on KCMO 710 AM. I host Water, Water Everywhere, a talk show aiming to educate the public on the reasons for and implications of water projects, to share water-related success stories in an effort to help build confidence in engineering decisions, and to highlight the qualifications of the engineers and decision-makers. The first show aired in January 2009 and is currently sponsored by the Water Pollution Control Department of Independence, Missouri; the Water Services Department of Kansas City, Missouri; and the UMKC School of Computing and Engineering.
Read about Dr. O’Bannon and her work at her Web site.