Monthly Archives: April 2013

SCE well represented at IEEE Region 5 Conference in Denver, CO

Two SCE senior design teams and our UMKC IEEE Robotics Team traveled to Denver, CO to attend the April 6-7, 2013 IEEE Region 5 Annual Meeting and Student Competitions. Our group of 27 students joined teams from across Region 5, twenty-seven in total. Due to some technical challenges, only 4 robots out of 24 competing were able to score. UMKC along with all others with no score placed 5th. Accompanying our SCE student teams were IEEE Student Chapter Staff Advisor Debby Dilks and ECE senior design faculty Dr. Reza Derakhshani.

Ceki Halmen 2012-2013 Faculty LEAP Award Recipient

4242Congratulations to Ceki Halmen, P.E., Assistant Professor in SCE’s Civil and Mechanical Engineering Department, and winner of the annual faculty Leadership Excellence Achievement Program (LEAP) Award which was established by the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers Western Chapter (MSPE WC) in 2005. The LEAP award recognizes annually the SCE faculty, as determined by MSPE student chapter members via secret ballot, who has “demonstrated mentoring abilities that encourage students to seek leadership excellence in the engineering profession.” Dr. Ceki Halmen was honored at the March 21, 2013 dinner/presentation that our UMKC MSPE student chapter hosted for the MSPE WC. Speaking at the dinner was UMKC SCE’s Dr. Greg King who gave a presentation on the research he is conducting into how falls happen at the UMKC Human Balance and Ambulation Research Laboratory. LEAP award winners were featured on the Missouri Society of Professional Engineers Western Chapter (MSPE WC) webpage and their names will be added to the LEAP Award Recipient plaque housed in Flarsheim Hall. The UMKC MSPE student chapter has benefited greatly from MSPE WC’s mentorship and support and thanks them for their sponsorship of the LEAP award.

4230In addition to the faculty LEAP award, student LEAP awards are earned annually by the two MSPE student chapter students that write the best 300 – 1,000 word essays on engineering ethics. This year the question addressed in the student essays was based this scenario “Is it unethical to develop the evening part-time job unrelated to your full-time engineering position, and why, or how do you resolve this professional obligation issue?” This year’s student winners are Timothy Hines and Sean Rivers.

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Ryan Holmes To Attend NSF’s NEES-REU Summer Program

Ryan Holmes, a SCE civil engineering student, was recently awarded an opportunity to attend the 2013 NSF’s NEES-REU Summer Program at the University of Nevada, Reno. This summer research program is designed for upper division undergraduate students interested in Earthquake Engineering. Ryan will spend 10 weeks at Reno and work on one of the NEES projects. The focus of his study will be on shake table modeling and seismic risk mitigation. As a part of the program, he will have the opportunity to attend a “Young Researchers’ Symposium” and the NEES Annual Meeting. Ryan Holmes has been working with Dr. ZhiQiang Chen in several research projects and has coauthored two technical papers. In the picture, Ryan Holmes (front) was preparing a unique dynamic fluid-soil-structure testing with Dr. Chen’s graduate student, Rahul Tripathi.

According to the National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) webpage, NSF “created the George E. Brown, Jr. Network for Earthquake Engineering Simulation (NEES) to give researchers the tools to learn how earthquakes and tsunami impact the buildings, bridges, utility systems and other critical components of today’s society. NEES is a network of 15 large-scale, experimental sites that feature such advanced tools as shake tables, centrifuges that simulate earthquake effects, unique laboratories, a tsunami wave basin and field-testing equipment. All are linked to a centralized data pool and earthquake simulation software, bridged together by the high-speed Internet2. The new NEESgrid system, a communications web that uses collaborative tools and tele-presence technologies, allows off-site researchers to interact in real time with any of the networked sites. With these tools, engineers and students from all parts of the country can collaborate on multi-site experiments using simulators that generate earthquake effects strong enough to bring down full-sized buildings.”

CS Students Win 1st Place in UMB Video Contest

Purna Biswa and Hang Summers, SCE computer science students, and Evgeniya Zvigunova, performance student, won first place in a recent UMB video contest Inspired to do more. Their video, Inspired to Make a Difference, earned them a cash prize and a trip to NYC where their video will be shown in Times Square.

2nd Place Won in IEEE Student Robotics Technical Report Competition!

UMKC Senior Design Team 2 members Tyler Cobb, James Mitchum, Josh Rawley, Tim Burke, and Jared Hargrave won 2nd Place in the IEEE Student Robotics Technical Report Competition. The award was presented at the Annual Banquet at the 2013 IEEE Region 5 Annual Awards Banquet held April 6, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. Dr. Reza Derakhshani, ECE senior design faculty and team advisor, accompanied the team.

SCE Spring Picnic Well Attended Despite the Weather

Students at the 2013 SCE Spring Picnic

The annual Spring Picnic sponsored by the SCE Student Council went on despite the cold and rain on April 23, 2013. Everyone just moved inside and continued to party. SCE students, faculty and staff enjoyed a great lunch complete with burgers (both veggie and regular) and potato salad! Volunteers from each of the SCE student teams and organizations helped the SCE Student Council keep the food and entertainment going strong. Thank you to all the student volunteers that helped to put on the show and the food. Great Event!

Students Eating at Spring Picnic Food Line

UMKC Steel Bridge Team Competes At Regionals

This year the Steel Bridge team competed at the Mid-Continent Conference Steel Bridge Regionals held at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville (SIUE). The competition was held April 4, with a record number of teams, fourteen, attending from the Mid Continent Conference. This year our team, the SteelRoos, did remarkably well but fell short of the top three. Our SteelRoos build time was good and the bridge stiffness was very good, winning 3rd place. The one of a kind connections used for the bridge intrigued many participants. However, some key construction and dimensional penalties knocked our SteelRoos out of the running for the top honors. Co-Captains Taylor Christmas and Jessica Everhart and team members, Kevin Buck, Huy Dao, Mitchell Eutsler, Jon Lamanes, Paige Norris, Spencer Solon, Jade Rodell-Tipton, Megan Ryan conducted themselves in a professional manner and represented UMKC and SCE very well. Professors John Kevern and Jerry Richardson serve as faculty co-advisors for the team. Much was learned for next year and many of this year’s team members will be returning. We are all proud of them!

Civil Engineering Students Take First Place at ACI Mortar Workability Competition

UMKC Civil Engineering students won the American Concrete Institute (ACI) Mortar Workability Competition. Our UMKC ACI team was awarded a certificate and award money at the 2013 ACI Spring Convention student awards luncheon held on Sunday, April 14, in Minneapolis, MN. In addition, their pictures will be featured in an upcoming ACI Concrete International magazine article. The undergraduate CE students winning the award were Andy O’Laughlin, Jon Lamanes, Jade Rodell-Tipton, and Antonio Sanchez. The graduate student advisors were Claire Cao, Tim Hines, and Mayuri Patil. Dr. John Kevern is the ACI faculty advisor.


John Kevern Receives ACI Young Member Award!


Dr. John Kevern accepts the ACI Young Member awardAssociate Professor John Kevern received the ACI (American Concrete Institute) Young Member Award for Professional Achievement at the 2013 ACI Spring Convention Opening Session and Awards Program on April 14, 2013 in Minneapolis, MN. Dr. Kevern was honored “for contributions to concrete technology, including concrete research, technical publications, presentations in multiple forums, service on ACI technical committees, and leadership in the education of students.” Congratulations, Dr. Kevern!

Amber Stern Receives Prestigious ASBMR Mentored Career Development Award

Amber Stern, Assistant Professor in our Civil & Mechanical Engineering Department, has been awarded $75,000 in funding to investigate Modeling Osteocytes at the Subcellular Level within a Mineralized Microenvironment: Changes in Osteocyte Mechanotransduction with Age and Osteoporosis. She is one of three inaugural recipients of the American Society for Bone and Mineral research (ASBMR) Mentored Career Development Awards (MCDA). The MCDA awards recognize ASBMR members who are young investigators with “. . . the demonstrated potential and desire to become independent, self-directed researchers.” Through the results of the research proposed in Dr. Stern’s grant, our understanding of the manifestation and progression of osteoporosis will be expanded. If her hypothesis is confirmed, and old and osteoporotic osteocytes are found to still be viable and the strains necessary to activate the cells simply do not reach the cells, this will be a high impact finding capable of changing clinical approaches in the treatment of bone diseases such as osteoporosis.