Monthly Archives: May 2013

SCE 2013 Summer Camps Support Students and Teachers


SCE Summer Camps 2013Summer time is always a busy time at SCE. Over the past several years our labs and classrooms have been filled with students coming to UMKC SCE to attend various summer programs for elementary, middle and high school students and 7-12 teachers. This summer 2013 we are proud to host six summer camps during June and July.

Spring Awards Ceremony Recognizes SCE Student Involvement and Leadership

Spring Awards 2013 Awardees with Dean Kevin Truman

SCE’s Spring Awards Ceremony and Reception is held each year to recognize and honor SCE students participating in our student competition teams, student organizations, student mentoring and recruitment team (SMART), and our outstanding students (junior, senior, masters, IPh.D students in each discipline) as determined by the faculty in the students’ discipline. The May 2, 2013 ceremony held in the UMKC Student Union acknowledged the leadership, involvement, dedication and hard work required to successfully implement the goals and objectives these computer science, engineering and information technology students have accomplished. Parents and guests joined SCE’s dean, faculty and staff in celebrating their excellence, commitment and drive. We are proud to recognize their achievements and send to all involved our heartiest congratulations!

Spring Awards Ceremony 2013 Dean Kevin Truman speaks to students at Spring Awards Ceremony


Class of 2013 Encouraged “To Matter” by Burns & McDonnell Chairman & CEO Greg Graves, P.E.

Students at Commencement

170 SCE undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students graduated May 17, 2013 from the School of Computing and Engineering at the 2013 UMKC Commencement ceremony in the Swinney Recreation Center.  Commencement was preceded by the dean’s breakfast reception attended by 320 graduates and their guests.  Greg Graves, P.E., Chairman and CEO of Burns & McDonnell, a full-service engineering, architecture, construction, environmental and consulting solutions firm, was the keynote speaker.  He talked about how his favorite college teacher changed his life with this observation, “Hey Greg, the only thing that matters in life is to matter in life.”  Continue reading

UMKC students including SCE’s Jason Regina Receive Truman Awards – Bill Clinton Keynote Speaker

Jason Regina recieves Truman Award Foundation Scholarship

Four UMKC Students including SCE civil engineering student Jason Regina were guests to the Harry S. Truman Good Neighbor Award Foundation Luncheon held at the Kansas City Marriott Downtown Imperial Tower. The students received either the Eddie Johnson or the Sherman & Irene Dreiseszun travel scholarships, which are funded by the Foundation, and matched by UMKC. The competitive awards are given in support of long-term study abroad experiences with the Sherman & Irene Dreiseszsun Scholarship giving special consideration to undergraduate study in less traditional locations. Jason Regina will attend Konkuk University in Seoul, South Korea for the fall 2013 semester.

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SCE 2013 Graduate & Kauffman Scholar Cristina Ortiz featured in KC Star

Cristina Ortiz, 2013 SCE graduate and a member of the first class of Kauffman Scholars, was recently featured in a KC Star news article. Last summer, Cristina spent 10 weeks doing research as a NASA intern. Here at SCE, she will be missed but we know her future is bright!

Brazilian Rotarians Visit UMKC and SCE


Five Rotary Group Study Exchange (GSE) members from Brazil visited UMKC on May 7. Rotary clubs throughout the world provide students with scholarships to work and study in other countries as part of their mission to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace. Two of the five GSE members, information technologist Pablo Diego Schrammer and mechanical engineer Nilo Granciano, visited with Dean Kevin Truman, Department Chairs Mark McClernon and Ghulam Chaudhry, and SCE Student Services’ Whitney Molloy and Valeri Reynolds. UMKC students from Brazil joined the GSE team throughout the day’s activities. After touring SCE laboratories Pablo and Nilo re-joined their team members who had been at meetings at the UMKC Applied Language Institute, for a UMKC campus tour. A meeting with Director of International Student Affairs Sandy Gault, Director of International Academic Programs Linna Place and Director of UMKC’S Applied Language Institute Monica Minguicci ended with a fun lunch at UMKC’s student cafeteria in the Atterbury Student Success Center. Continue reading

Chairman & CEO Greg Graves, P.E. Awarded UMKC Honorary Engineering Doctorate


UMKC School of Computing and Engineering (SCE) was honored to award Burns & McDonnell Chairman & CEO Greg Graves, P.E., a honorary UMKC SCE engineering doctorate at our May 17, 2013 commencement ceremony. His distinguished contributions to engineering, the Kansas City community and engineering education are significant. As Chairman and CEO of Burns & McDonnell, Greg Graves leads one of the fastest growing and most successful engineering, architecture, construction, and environmental consulting firms in North America. In January 2004, when Greg was appointed CEO, approximately 1,500 employee-owners worked at Burns & McDonnell. Annual revenue in 2004 was $420 million. Since then the employee count has more than doubled and sales last year exceeded $2 billion. Under Greg’s leadership, Burns & McDonnell has earned a reputation as a national leader in many technical specialties within the energy, public infrastructure, government, aviation, process, and healthcare sectors. In 2012, Burns & McDonnell ranked as the 23rd largest engineering, architecture and construction firm in annual rankings published by Engineering News-Record magazine. Also in that issue, the firm’s transmission & distribution practice was ranked as the largest in the country. More importantly to Greg, the firm is now nationally recognized as one of America’s best places to work. In 2013, Fortune magazine ranked Burns & McDonnell the 18th best place to work in its annual ranking of the 100 Best Places to Work in America. It was the second consecutive year and third time in five years that Burns & McDonnell has been named to the high profile ranking.

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ZhiQiang Chen’s Remote Sensing Research Will Help First Responders


A massive two-mile-wide EF4 tornado (wind speeds from 166 – 200 miles per hour) hit Oklahoma City area on May 20, killing 24 men, women and children as it flattened homes, school buildings, farms and businesses. Just two years earlier, an EF5-tornado struck Joplin, Missouri taking 162 lives and incurring billions dollars of civil infrastructure and property losses. Dr. ZhiQiang Chen, SCE Assistant Professor in Civil and Computer Engineering, hopes the remote sensing and visual computing technologies he is developing will aid post-disaster rescue by providing real-time damage assessment for first responders at large-scale deadly disasters. Continue reading

Jesse Sherwood & Ganesh Thiagarajan are 2013 SCE Good Teaching Award Recipients


Each year two faculty from SCE, one from our Civil and Mechanical Engineering (CME) department and one from our Computer Science Electrical Engineering (CSEE) department, are selected for a Good Teaching Award by the School’s graduating seniors. Jesse Sherwood, Assistant Teaching Professor in CSEE, and Ganesh Thiagarajan, Professor of Civil Engineering in CME, were honored this year receiving the 2013 Good Teaching Awards at the all school faculty and staff meeting on May 3, 2013. According to their department chairs, their devotion to teaching and their profession is highly commendable. Both professors regularly receive comments for their students like “excellent instructor” or “great teacher, really makes sure we understand the material”. SCE gratefully acknowledges the SCE Alumni Association Board for their support of the Good Teaching Awards. The SCE AA Board established an endowed fund to support the Engineering Good Teaching award and works each year with the dean to review the SCE students’ nominations and ratify recipients.


Ceki Halmen Receives IIRP funding

Ceki Halmen, Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering, has received funding for “Decision Support Tool Model for Scheduling and Resource Allocation in Construction Projects” research in collaboration with Dr. Haitao Li from University of Missouri-Saint Louis. They will receive $37,000 from the University of Missouri Interdisciplinary Intercampus Research Program. The award is competitive and signifies confidence that the work will “elevate the University’s stature through enhanced scholarship and acquisition of external funds.”