Monthly Archives: April 2010

Two UMKC SCE teams compete in Student Programming Contest at CCSC-Central Plains Conference

Congratulations to our UMKC SCE students Student programming contest team 
who represented UMKC at the Student
Programming Contest at the 16th annual CCSC
-Central Plains conference, held at Park
University April 10 and April 11, 2010. There
were 17 teams from 10 schools at the contest. 
For the first time in several years, UMKC sent
two teams to the contest:  Team
UMKC++, with members Kevin Wisniewski,
Raquel Kemna, and Siddarth Padmanhaban;
and The Prototypes, with members Dylan
Edwards, Matthew Parish, and Madhurima Poddar. The Prototypes achieved a ranking of 5th place of the 17 teams, and will share a $45 cash prize.

To provide some context: Mr. Parish is in CS 101 this semester, Mr. Edwards is currently in CS 201, and Ms. Poddar took ECE 216 last semester. Needless to say, we’re looking forward to next fall, when UMKC will host the ACM regional contest on November 6.   The problem set from this year’s CCSC competition is posted in the display case outside the 4th floor labs.

Big Beam Team hopes for high strength

By Jason Patterson
Published: Monday, April 5, 2010
Updated: Monday, April 5, 2010Big Beam Team

The Big Beam team designs and builds concrete girders for bridges.
Starting with a pile of rebar and some bags of concrete, the Big Beam Team from the School of Computing and Engineering is engaged in a real-world competition designed to test their knowledge before they enter the workforce.

The Big Beam Contest is sponsored by the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute and is designed to help Civil Engineering students gain the knowledge to design and build concrete girders for bridges.

Every time you drive over a concrete bridge, you are benefiting from the knowledge gained by these students.

“It’s a good experience working in a team,” Sheedal Ajgaonkar, graduate student and beam designer, said. “We will get to see the actual casting done so, overall, it will be a very nice experience and provide practical knowledge for when we get into the workforce.”

The Big Beam Contest is quite involved. It starts with the students designing a 15-foot long concrete beam.

The beam must be able to support a minimum load over its span and be at least eight inches wide.

Then the team must do a variety of calculations to predict how much load can be applied to the beam before it starts to crack and fail. This step is important because part of their report for the competition requires them to predict when it will fail and they are judged on their accuracy.

After the team finishes their calculations and they are happy with the design, it is time to build the beam.

In the past, the team has been actively involved in the construction. But this year, the company that has assisted with the construction changed their procedure and will no longer allow the students to help in the construction process.

After the beam is built and it has cured for at least 28 days to reach its full strength, the team will travel with the beam to the University of Nebraska at Omaha to have it tested.

Unfortunately, UMKC lacks the equipment to load test beams of this length so it is necessary to go to another school to conduct the test.

When the load test is complete, the team will write their final report to submit for judging.

Their beam design is judged based on accuracy, cost of construction, overall weight, largest measured deflection before failure, most accurate prediction of applied load, cracking load and deflection at maximum load.

They are also judged on the quality of their report and the practicality, innovation and conformance to code.

The team recruits graduate and undergraduate students. Unlike other teams, the Big Beam Team does not have to travel to competitions. They must submit their reports by June 15.

For more information on the Big Beam Team, check out the Web site at /cme/students/teams/big_beam.aspx.

CME Seminar: Bio-Based Composite Sandwich Panel for Residential Construction

CME Seminar
April 23, 2010
2:00 PM
Rm 560L Flarsheim Hall, 5110 Rockhill Rd, KCMO 64110
Open to ALL: SCE & UMKC Faculty/Staff/Students and the Public (free)
Refreshments will be served

TITLE:  Bio-Based Composite Sandwich Panel for Residential Construction 

ABSTRACT:  Bio-based composite is a green, environmental-friendly, and sustainable material. It has a very promising future in various construction applications due to its mechanic and environmental properties. This presentation will demonstrate the development of an innovative hurricane resistant composite sandwich roof panel made of all natural composite materials.

First, unit beams with different natural materials and sandwich construction types were fabricated and tested to tailor the bio-based composites, and to determine the proper sandwich construction type. With a prototype of roof panel designed, a scale beam model was then fabricated and tested to validate the viability of the application of bio-based composite for the proposed monolithic roof panel. Two web-core sandwich unit panels were also fabricated and tested to investigate the localized flexural stiffness and in-plane shear stiffness and strength of the proposed sandwich panel, and the viability of using them as diaphragms in residential construction,

The presentation will provide a lot of information on the design, manufacturing, and testing of composite structures through pictures. Related theoretical/analytical research results will be also covered, including the stiffness test method for shear deformable beams, orthotropic and shear deformable plate theory, and composite sandwich panel optimization with multiple design constraints etc.

BIO:  Bo Hu received his Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the University of Delaware, Newark in 2006. He received his Master of Bridge Engineering in 1998 and his Bachelor of Bridge Engineering in 1995 from Tongji University. His research has been focused mainly on bridge engineering, including bridge seismic design methods, probability-based seismic criteria determination, and behavior of complex bridge structural systems. His research paper “All Natural Composite Sandwich Beams for Structural Applications,” published in Composite Structures in 2004 is now the fourth most cited paper among articles published in the past five years for the journal. Currently he is the Lead design engineer for the segmental concrete box girder alternative, duties including post-tensioning designs, substructure designs, and detail designs etc.

SCE Seniors Receive ASCE KC Section Senior Awards

Award PresentationThe American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Kansas City Section recognized two SCE civil engienering seniors, Chris Farney and Nick Heiser, at their Annual Awards Dinner on April 20, 2010. Chris was recognized as an ASCE KC Section Outstanding Senior and Nick was recognized as an ASCE KC Section Distinguished Senior.  The keynote speaker at the event was the national ASCE President Elect,  Ms. Kathy J. Caldwell, PE, M. ASCE, who visited SCE earlier in the day talking with administrators, faculty and students.  Dean Kevin Truman and Assistant Professor John Kevern then attended the dinner and were thrilled to see our students honored!  In addition, SCE Alumni Board member, Merrill Watt, P.E., was honored as an ASCE Life Member recognizing his 45  years of participation in ASCE which included his serving as a president of the KC Section of ASCE.  The dinner was held at the Brio Tuscan Grille on the Plaza.   Read the April 2010 Issue of The Kansas City Civil Engineer Newsletter for more details about the dinner and to learn more about the Kansas City Section of ASCE .

SWE Playground Build

Patti's Playground

SWE is partnering with St. Gabriel’s in North Kansas City to help build some playground equipment, as well as build a bench. This playground is very special to the Academy as it is in honor of their late Director.

When: Saturday, May 15th, 2010
Where: St. Gabriel’s ECLC, 4737 North Cleveland Avenue, Kansas City, MO 64117-1297
Time: 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM
RSVP to: Teri Cline: or Negar Khalandi:

SWE Engineer’s Night at the Royals Game

UMKC SWE is sponsoring Engineering Night at the Royals Game on Monday, April 26th!
The Royals are playing the Seattle Mariners at 7:10pm. Cost is $5 for tickets and there is a cost to park.
We are going to try to meet at UMKC and carpool to cut the cost of parking. We will also be tailgating before the game around 3pm!
Engineer’s night at the Royals game is open to all engineers who support women in engineering! It is not gender specific.

We are all pitching in for the tailgating! We ask everyone to bring a side dish large enough to share with approximately 20 people. When you RSVP let us know what you are bringing. We look forward to seeing you there!

RSVP to: Teri Cline: or Negar Khalandi:

SCE Welcomes ASCE President-Elect Kathy Caldwell

American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE)  President Elect Kathy Caldwell visited SCE on April 20, 2010.  She is the keynote speaker at the ASCE Kansas City Section Awards Dinner at which both outstanding students and life members will be recognized.  While at UMKC she met with SCE Dean Kevin Truman, several SCE faculty and enjoyed a pizza lunch with our students.  She also toured Linda Hall Library which is an ASCE repository.  Linda Hall Library is located near UMKC and is considered a world class Science, Engineering & Technology Library.  Her visit at SCE was coordinated by Dr. Jerry Richardson, P.E., D.WRE. 

An adjunct professor at the University of Florida as well as the president of Caldwell Cook & Associates, of Gainesville, Florida, Caldwell earned a bachelor’s degree in structural engineering from the University of Tennessee in 1985. She was a member of the Board of Direction from 2005 to 2008 and served on the Executive Committee in 2008. She has also chaired the Society’s Strategic Planning Committee, served on and chaired Region 5’s Board of Governors, and held many leadership positions within the Florida Section.

Caldwell is active in many volunteer organizations. She is a member of Engineers Without Borders–USA, the Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers’ transportation committee, the Florida Engineering Society, Chi Epsilon, and Tau Beta Pi.

CSEE student Abbey Trotta awarded first place in poster competition at CCSC-Central Plains Conference

Congratulations to CSEE student Abbey Trotta, who was awarded the first place prize in the poster competition at the 16th annual CCSC-Central Plains Regional Conference on Saturday, April 10, 2010.  Abbey presented research that she did during a summer REU program at Missouri University of Science and Technology (Rolla).  The project (and poster) was titled “Dynamic Social Grouping and Routing in Sensor Networks.”  Abbey’s team also won the best project award at MUST for their research.  As a result, she was invited to travel to Japan with the group’s faculty mentor, Dr. Sanjay Madria, to do further research this summer.

CSEE teams compete in CCSC Student Programming Contest

Congratulations to our UMKC CSEE students who participated in the Student Programming Contest at the 16th annual CCSC-Central Plains conference, held at Park University last weekend.  There were 17 teams from 10 schools at the contest.  UMKC sent two teams to the contest:  Team UMKC++, consisting of Kevin Wisniewski, Raquel Kemna, and Siddarth Padmanhaban; and The Prototypes, consisting of Dylan Edwards, Matthew Parish, and Madhurima Poddar.  The Prototypes achieved a ranking of 5th place of the 17 teams.  The problem set from this year’s CCSC competition is posted in the display case outside the 4th floor labs.  UMKC will host the ACM regional contest on November 6, 2010. 

CSEE teams

SIFE team wins league in SIFE Chicago Regional Competition

Congratulations to UMKC’s Students in Free Enterprise (SIFE) team for winning their league at the SIFE Chicago Regional Competition, held on April 8, 2010.  They have also won the Regionals in the past two years.   The team will be heading to the National Competitions in Minneapolis, held on May 11-13, 2010.  For more Chicago Regional results, visit the following website:  
UMKC’s SIFE faculty advisor is Cary Clark. 

SIFE team