Four SCE Women Graduate Students Receive GAF Awards

Four talented UMKC SCE women graduate students have been selected to receive UMKC Women’s Council Graduate Assistant Fund (GAF) Awards.  These competitive awards are based on the merits of their proposed projects and/or scholarly activities. Lean more about how their efforts will be making a difference.   

Qiwei Cao, Ph.D. Civil Engineering student; Faculty advisor is Dr. John Kevern

Improving concrete lifecycle, reducing our CO2 footprint and landfill needs, and providing a cheap, universally available material to internally cure concrete are the potential impacts of Qiwei Cao’s unique and innovative research. Internal curing increases concrete strength, durability, and performance.  Qiwei is examining if drinking water treatment waste (DWTW) could be used to cure concrete.  Her preliminary study on cement pastes and mortars has shown DWTW is an effective internal curing agent. Her GAF award will help fund her expenses to present her research, Using Drinking Water Treatment Waste as a Low cost internal Curing Agent for Concrete, at the American Concrete Institute Spring 2014 Convention at Reno.

Xinjie Guan, Ph.D Computer Science Telecommunications student; Faculty advisor is Dr. Baek-Young Choi

Reducing energy consumption by large data centers by increasing energy efficiency through VNE optimization is the aim of Xinjie Guan’s research project, Software Defined Network Related Research. Right now, these data centers consume a large amount of energy (1.1% – 1.5% of the worldwide total electricity usage) so her research could significantly reduce our global carbon footprint.  Her GAF Award will help fund her expenses to present her research (acceptance is pending) at a prestigious international conference the ICCCN 2014.

Yanan Ma, Ph.D. Civil Engineering student; Faculty advisor is Dr. Deb O’Bannon

Assuring better water quality, reducing expensive flood clean-up and sewer repair/expansion are the goals Yanan Ma’s involvement with an ambitious multi-year research project is helping to achieve.  Examining how to prevent urban storm water run-off by evaluating run-off data (flow monitors were placed in sewers serving the areas) from a test area (100 acres) and an adjacent control area (80 acres), Yanan is using quantitative data analysis to assess the effectiveness of urban stormwater control measures (SCM) which include rain gardens.   Her research results are showing how well rain gardens reduce stormwater runoff and illustrate the benefit of green solutions.  Her GAF award will help her present this research,  Effectiveness of Urban Stormwater Control Measures in a 100-acre Test Site,  at the EWRI 2014 conference in Portland, Oregon this June.

Sailaja Pedaprolu, Masters in Computer Science student; Faculty advisor is Dr. Reza Derakhshani

Imagine being able to check and see if you are having a heart attack using an economical sensing device with your notebook or smart phone  Working to design and build this is a collaborative team of researchers from both our School of Computing and Engineering and a medical team headed by Dr. Brotto, UMKC School of Nursing.  Sailaja’s current computer science studies and prior BS in electronics and communications engineering serves the team well.  They are combining photographic (optical) Troponin sensing with an ECG analysis to increase the sensitivity and specificity of the whole system through canceling the uncorrelated errors of each source via novel multi-modal pattern recognition software running on an attached mobile device.  Her GAF Award will help her attend the 6th Annual international conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC’14) that will be held from August 26-30, 2014 in Chicago.

Congratulations to Qiwei, Sailaja, Xinjie and Yanan on your great accomplishments.