Tag Archives: 2013

UMKC Baja Buggy Team Comes Home Ready to Burn Rubber Next Year


The UMKC Baja Buggy Team proudly took “The Duke” on the road to the April 18-21 Baja SAE Tennessee Tech and June 6-9 Baja SAE Rochester racing competitions. Our UMKC Baja team finished in the top 50 of the endurance race at Rochester and were especially proud that the buggy remained in working order over the 4 hour course. Drivers for the Rochester competition were: 1) John Smith for the Acceleration event; 2) Jared Kleinowski for the Hill Climb event; 3) Michael Snowden for the Maneuverability event; 4) Cody Wallingford for the Suspension and Traction event; and 5) Cody Wallingford and Levon Pogosov for the Endurance Event.

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SCE Professors Praveen Rao and Ganesh Thiagarajan Promoted

Two very well-respected SCE professors will be promoted effective September 1, 2013. We congratulate Dr. Praveen Rao on his promotion to Associate Professor with tenure in the Computer Science Electrical Engineering Department of SCE and Dr. Ganesh Thiagarajan on his promotion to full Professor in the Civil and Mechanical Engineering Department of SCE. Their promotions represent significant career milestones and we celebrate with them on achieving this well-earned recognition and acknowledgement of their excellence in teaching, research and service.

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

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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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.


Alumni Achievement Award Recipient Rajiv Chilakalapudi Travels from India to Visit Alma Mater


SCE is very proud of alum Rajiv Chilakalapudi (Master of Science in Computer Science 1997), our 2013 SCE Alumni Achievement Award Recipient. Traveling all the way from India, Rajiv spent several days this April at UMKC and SCE reconnecting with the faculty that inspired him, sharing with SCE students and faculty how he started his company and lessons learned from his experiences, meeting with school friends and participating in events in honor of the Class of 2013 Alumni Award recipients. Continue reading

UMKC’s Kevin Truman and Linna Place Join Governor’s Trade Mission to Taipei and Seoul


The Missouri Governor’s Trade Mission to Taipei and Seoul included four Missouri educators who explored educational collaborations and partnerships with their Taiwan and South Korea counterparts. UMKC delegates, SCE’s Dean Kevin Truman and UMKC’s Director of International Academic Programs Linna Place, joined Northwest Missouri State University and Missouri State University representatives. Together they talked with educational ministry representatives and university representatives discussing development opportunities for students to come to UMKC and UMKC students to attend their universities. While in Taipei, Taiwan the delegation visited the National Taiwan University, the National Taiwan Normal University and the Ministry of Education. In Seoul, South Korea, meetings were held with representatives from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology, Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute, Pukyong National University and Seoul National University. A visit to the campus of Konkuk University, where SCE civil engineering student Jason Regina will attend in Fall 2013, completed the delegation’s South Korea itinerary. The larger contingent of Missouri business leaders and government officials met with Taiwan and South Korea business leaders and government officials exploring potential trade agreements, one of which – an agreement to buy $1.9 billion of Missouri goods over the next 4 years – has been recently announced.

Dean_Truman_Korea UMKC_Delegates_Trade_Mission Trade_Mission_2013

Jim Mahoney & Pat O’Bannon honored by SCE students

SCE faculty James Mahoney, P.E. and SCE staff Pat O’Bannon each received well-deserved recognition as ”2013 UMKC Apple Polishers” for their outstanding service and mentorship of students.  UMKC’s Apple Polisher Awards honor UMKC outstanding faculty and staff who have made a significant impact on students’ lives, professionally, academically and/or personally.  Nominations for the Apple Polisher awards are made by student leaders from each academic unit.

Jim_Mahoney_Apple_PolisherJames Mahoney, P.E. has taught at SCE for over 10 years.  In the Fall you will find him teaching senior and masters mechanical engineering students Finite Element Methods.  In the Spring he helps mechanical engineering juniors learn ME399-Heat and Mass Transfer.  A University of Missouri engineering alumnus, he works as Chief of Analysis at Honeywell.

Pat_Obannon_Apple_PolisherPat O’Bannon, SCE’s Senior Engineering Research Technician, keeps our SCE engineering laboratories running smoothly as he trains students on power tools and laboratory equipment.   Every SCE engineering student can attest to Pat’s amazing spectrum of talent and willingness to help students.  His office is the first stop for students when they need materials and/or technical advice when working on class projects.  Both our students and our faculty rely on him to find needed equipment or spare parts.   Pat is always ready to help new engineers to solve problems and achieve success.

SCE proudly congratulates James Mahoney and Pat O’Bannon!  All award recipients were honored at the April 23, 2013 Apple Polishers award ceremony in Pierson Auditorium. The annual recognition event is organized by UMKC Student Government Association.

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

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!