Monthly Archives: February 2011

SCE Students Get Sneak Peek at Hybrid Vehicles

The Toyota Ride & Drive event, sponsored by SCE and A&S held on the UMKC campus on Tuesday, Feb. 22, introduced UMKC engineering and computer science students to the prototype Toyota Fuel Cell Hybrid Vehicle-Advanced with an anticipated release in 2015, and the Toyota Prius Plug-in Hybrid Vechicle, with an anticipated release in 2012. UMKC friends, students, faculty and staff viewed the vehicles up close and had the opportunity to drive the cars while local and national Toyota representatives explained the new technologies embedded in each prototype. Fox4 covered the event and interviewed Jason Patterson, SCE student council president, who spoke with reporter John Pepperdine. Bill Reinert, a UMKC College of Arts and Sciences alumnus and national manager of Toyota Motor Sales, U.S.A. Inc.’s Advanced Technology Group was instrumental in providing this opportunity for UMKC. Detailed information about the event can be found in its UMKC Press Release.

Praveen Rao Awarded 2010 IBM Smarter Planet Innovation Faculty Award

SCE congratulates Assistant Professor Praveen Rao for being selected by IBM Corporation to receive a $10,000 research gift for his proposal titled “Towards Smarter Healthcare: New Healthcare IT Curriculum.” Through this award, Prof. Rao will develop new healthcare IT curriculum for students pursuing CS and IT degrees. Per IBM’s award letter, “this award is highly competitive and recognizes the quality of your program and its importance to our industry.”  The project’s goal is to help realize IBM’s vision of smarter healthcare.

SCE Students Volunteer at MATHCOUNTS Competition

Five SCE Missouri Society of Professional Engineers (MSPE) student chapter members volunteered at the 2011 MATHCOUNTS Competition. They helped a 115 local 6th-8th graders demonstrate their knack for problem solving and ultimately contribute to a future career in the STEM fields. The competition was hosted at Burns and McDonnell and sponsored by MSPE Western Chapter. The winners of the competition will go on to compete in the state MATHCOUNTS competition.

Ganesh Thiagarajan’s Bridge Approach Slab Research Report Published by MoDOT

Bridge Approach Slab Research conducted by Ganesh Thiagarajan, Associate Professor of Civil Engineering at UMKC’s School of Computing and Engineering, is featured in MoDOT’s January 2011 electronic newsletter, Fast forward, under the title More Cost Efficient Bridge Approach Slabs Possible.  Fast forward notes, “ Bridges are expensive to build and rehabilitate. And just a minor change in one of the components can save a significant amount of money. MoDOT research has discovered three new alternative designs for bridge approach slabs that are estimated to cost about 20 percent less. Potential savings were found for both new construction and bridge approach slab replacements.”

Dr. Thiagarajan was the principal investigator for this research.  He led a team that included a researcher from UMKC, Dr. Ceki Halmen and from UMC, Professor Gopalratnam, along with a number of graduate students from both institutions.  The research work was done in close collaboration with MoDoT engineers and took  two years to complete.  It is an excellent example of translational research as the findings will directly impact application in the field, potentially reducing costs associated with new bridge approach slabs.  Additional research on the field implementation of the proposed bridge approach slabs is currently underway.   For the full report, see

UMKC SCE Investigates Academic Degree Collaboration Opportunities with Indian Academic Institutions

Kevin Truman, Dean of the School of Computing and Engineering, and Vijay Kumar, Professor of Computer Science, traveled to India in mid December 2010 and met with a number of higher education institutions to explore the possibility of academic degree collaborations as well as research partnerships. Meetings were held with highly ranked institutions located in New Delhi, Mumbai and Indore including TRUBA College of Engineering & Technology and DEVIAHILYA University in Indore, VJTI Institute in Mumbai and JAYPEE Institute in New Delhi. Good progress was made in determining how UMKC School of Computing and Engineering could successfully collaborate with these institutions. Several exciting possibilities are being negotiated with the possibility of Fall 2011 initiation.