Monthly Archives: April 2013

Partnership provides momentum for alternative energy workshop

Four SCE professors formed the UMKC E-Save through Automation and Education team which proposed and helped implement alternative-energy-focused projects envisioned by Paseo Academy high school students. According to the UMKC Today article, a partnership with KCP&L (Kansas City Power and Light) resulted in Paseo students having “access to the resources of the area’s major energy provider and the know-how of SCE professors and college students.” These were used by Paseo student teams when designing and creating the alternative energy projects which they presented at a day-long competition held on March 20.

SCE is Represented in the Race To Build Driverless Cars

The work of SCE Professor Vijay Kumar, his doctoral student Amol Khekar and SCE alum and entrepreneur Tim Sylvester were described in a Kansas City Star article examining the work being done to make driverless cars a reality. It’s clear that Kansas City is doing its part to develop safe and effective driverless technologies!

Jason Regina Awarded Summer Research Fellowship at NIST

Jason Regina, a SCE civil engineering student, has been notified of his acceptance to the Summer Undergraduate Research Fellowship (SURF) in the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in Gaithersburg, MD which is near Washington, DC. The eleven week summer program provides students the opportunity to work” elbow to elbow with researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology, one of the world’s leading research organizations and home to four Nobel Prize winners” and “Gain valuable hands-on experience, working with cutting-edge technology . . .” Jason attributes the help and encouragement of SCE faculty Dr. John Kevern and Dr. Deb O’Bannon, his advisor, to his successfully applying for the NIST SURF.

UMKC DBIA Student Chapter Visits Emery Sapp & Sons

The UMKC DBIA Student Chapter visited the office of Emery Sapp & Sons located in Kansas City, MO on March 8, 2013. After a tour of the facilities, Brian Johanning, Lowell Patterson and Tim Paulson gave a presentation on Emery Sapp & Sons business operations and industry hiring practices. The presentation included a management perspective on effective communication with clientele, expectations for future Design-Build construction projects, and tools currently used by the company for estimating and bidding. Sean Rivers if the president of the UMKC DBIA student chapter and Ceki Halmen is the UMKC DBIA faculty advisor.

SCE Marks Its 5th Year As GKC SAME Industry Day Partner

SCE is proud of its involvement with the Society of American Military Engineers (SAME) Greater Kansas City (GKC) Post! SCE Continuing Education Director Christina Davis and Dean Kevin Truman both served on this year’s planning committee for the 2013 SAME GKC Post Industry Day Education & Training workshop which was held April 1-April 3, 2013. SCE faculty/staff/students participated in events on the agenda, stopping by, viewing the displays and talking with representatives from local and regional consulting engineering firms, construction firms and materials suppliers (35 states were represented), other professional services companies, and government organizations such as the United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).

Kevin Truman described the close working relationship between our School and GKC SAME Post over the past several years in his welcome speech to the over 400 participants,. He thanked the Post for its generous funding support, its help with identifying experiences and opportunities for both our faculty and our students, its help with promoting our continuing education programs and its support of our UMKC SAME student chapter (one of the largest in the region). UMKC SAME student chapter president Samantha Baker and SAME student chapter members attending the workshop enjoyed building personal relationships, while expanding their knowledge and understanding of the engineering careers that are available.

With 6 United State Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) District Commanders in attendance representing the Kansas City, Little Rock, Memphis, Omaha, St. Louis and Tulsa USACE Districts, two Region 7 Small Business Managers (GS & EPA), and 45 company exhibit booths, the event indeed provided “a full program offering Professional Development Hours (PDHs) and Federal Program Briefing” which included “scheduled one-on-one meetings with the Corps of Engineers, Kansas City District Contracting Officers and Program Managers from each of the district’s three program areas: Military, Civil Works, and Environmental as well as representatives from NOAA, EPA and GSA”.

Photo Credit: Casey Hedge, Proposal Coordinator, MW Builders – SAME GKC Industry Day Welcome Talk.

Brian Hare Presents Poster at ACM SIGCSE Conference

Brian Hare, SCE Assistant Teaching Professor of Computer Science, presented his poster entitled “Classroom interventions to reduce failure in CS1” at ACM’s Special Interest Group for Computer Science Education (SIGCSE) conference. He presented data based on three consecutive semesters’ experience with peer mentoring and course support in CS 101 and its effects on reducing the withdrawal & failure rate. His results found that Intensive support definitely helped many students get better grades but didn’t affect the number of people dropping or failing the course. The biggest predictor of dropping or failing the course was being employed full time while also taking 12 or more credit hours. The significance of the work is that students often find that successfully completing their first semester at college is often one of the biggest hurdles they face. Finding ways to help students be more successful in courses that traditionally challenge freshman students pursuing a STEM degree, can lay the groundwork for future successes and can help prevent students from getting bogged down or behind schedule their freshman year. The SIGCSE conference, held March 6-9 in Denver, Colorado, attracted just over 3000 attendees from all over the world. There were over 150 papers, 11 panel discussions, twenty workshops before and during the conference, and over thirty exhibits associated with the SIGCSE conference.