In each race the UMKC Baja Racing Team received the top overall score of Missouri universities competing and was second behind Kansas State for Kansas universities. Congratulations to the team members, officers and advisors participating in the competitions!
Elliott Goff, a UMKC SCE mechanical engineering graduate student has been awarded the prestigious Whitaker Fellowship from the Whitaker International Program to spend a year conducting research in Zurich at the Institute for Biomechanics at Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule (ETH).
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.
According to the CNNMoney article, The 15 college majors with the biggest payoffs, engineering and computer science majors can expect great starting salaries upon graduation. Our SCE students will be glad to know that “to get the best financial return on an investment in four years of college… it helps to have a head for numbers”. Here’s how the majors stacked up:
Median pay for a recent college graduate with a full-time job in 2010, the researchers found, stood at $53,976. But these 15 majors commanded substantially more:
Elliott Goff, a junior majoring in mechanical engineering at SCE, has been awarded a 2012 DAAD/RISE (Research Internships in Science and Engineering) scholarship for study in Berlin this summer. He was given his first choice of placement, and will be doing age-related bone formation research. As the RISE website explains, “the RISE is a very prestigious and competitive program for undergraduate students from the United States, Canada and the UK in the fields of biology, chemistry, physics, earth sciences and engineering. It offers unique opportunities for undergraduate students to work with research groups at universities and top research institutions across Germany for a period of 2 to 3 months during the summer. RISE interns are matched with doctoral students whom they assist and who serve as their mentors.“ Elliott’s long-term goal is a career in bio-medical engineering. He has already done significant undergraduate research with his mentor, Professor Amber Stern. Several UMKC students have received DAAD awards in recent years, but this is thought to be our first UMKC RISE grant. There are many opportunitites for students in the STEM fields, and we hope our SCE students will pursue them.
On May 26th SCE students travelled to Pittsburg, KS to compete in the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Baja Buggy competition in which 106 teams, including several international teams and one all-female team competed. Our team included Jesus Zamarripa, Oscar Vallecillos, Brian Huff, Alireza Farahani, Isaac Chleborad, Dwayne Dsouza and Francisco Garcia-Moreno. Several students volunteered their time and efforts toward helping SCE with their buggy and the competition. SCE alumni were also in attendance to support the team. Governor Sam Brownback stopped to witness the event and wish the contestants well.
The competition included design judging, performance testing, and culminated May 29th with the aptly named Endurance Race where going the distance means a lot more than just having enough fuel. The brutal course is designed to push the limits of the equipment and find any shortcomings in design, construction, and materials. The UMKC team placed 58th out of 106 total entries, showing just how tough the competition is. For the first time a Baja Buggy event was streamed live online and many videos of the event can be found on the Pitt State YouTube channel at http://www.youtube.com/user/pittsburgstate.
Following the competition several teams, including our UMKC SCE Baja Buggy team, were invited to bring their buggy and attend the NASCAR races at the Kansas Speedway on June 4th and 5th. Team members had a great time and were able to promote UMKC via the buggy. The team hopes to be invited again to a future event!