Tammy Haut Donahue Selected to Participate in Women’s International Research Engineering Summit in Barcelona

Dr. Tammy Haut Donahue, Associate Professor, has been selected to participate in the Women’s International Research Engineering Summit (WIRES) in Barcelona Spain June 2 – 4. There were 276 applicants for the 50 US participant slots; full professors were selected on readiness to serve as role models, associate professors were selected based on demonstrated potential to conduct international research.

WIRES is the first annual international summit for women who are interested in pursuing international collaborative researching opportunities. The main objective of this summit is to enable meaningful and sustainable research exchanges between female engineers from around the world while identifying issues faced by females pursuing careers in engineering that could benefit from a global strategy.

Summit participation was limited to 50 US and 50 non-US women engineers. This event is the first in a series of such summits, and will focus on three research “clusters” or themes:

• Energy systems
• Micro/nanotechnology
• Simulation based engineering

Michigan Space Grant Consortium Grants Announced

The following Mechanical Engineering students were recently awarded Michigan Space Grant Consortium Grants:

• Daniel Dubiel,awarded $2,500 for research titled “Parametric Study of Stress Concentration in Artificial Heart using Finite Element Analysis,” advisor is Dr. Tammy Haut Donahue.

• Gareth Johnson, awarded $2,500 for research titled “Metal Nanotip Formation in Zero Gravity Re-Flight,” advisor is Dr. L. Brad King.

• Nate Wier, awarded $2,500 for research titled “High Altitude Autonomous Research Platform,” advisor Dr. L. Brad King.

Graduate Students:
• Megan Killian (BME), awarded $5,000 for research titled “Influence of Disuse and Microgravity on Meniscal Tissue,” advisor is Dr. Tammy Haut Donahue

Ossama Abdelkhalik to Represent Michigan Tech at the Universities Space Research Association’s Council of Institutions Region VI Meeting April 29-30

Dr. Ossama Abdelkhalik will represent Michigan Tech at the Universities Space Research Association’s Council of Institutions Region VI meeting April 29-30.

USRA is a private, nonprofit corporation founded in 1969 under the auspices of the National Academy of Sciences. Its current membership consists of 104 universities in the U.S. and abroad that have graduate programs in space-related sciences and/or engineering.

USRA focuses on space-related technical competencies with the goal of expanding knowledge and developing technology for the benefit of the academic community, space-related industries, and NASA’s mission to “pioneer the future in space exploration, scientific discovery, and aeronautics research”.

The corporate authority of USRA is vested in its 104 member universities through the USRA Council of Institutions, comprised of a representative from each member institution. All USRA member institutions have graduate programs in the space sciences or aerospace engineering. There are 95 member institutions in the United States, two in Canada, two in England, one in Germany, two in Israel, one in Australia, and one in China. The member institutions are divided into nine regional groups, with the nine non-U.S. members forming their own region.

Every three years, USRA appoints Regional Secretaries to represent their region’s institutional membership in a variety of organizational matters

Sheryl Sorby Elected Fellow of the Society for Engineering Education

Dr. Sheryl Sorby has been elected Fellow of the Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) in recognition of her outstanding contributions to engineering education. The 2009 Induction of ASEE Fellows will take place at the ASEE Annual Conference Awards Banquet in Austin TX, on June 17th.

Dr. Sorby is currently on assignment at the National Science Foundation as a Program Director for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics Talent Expansion Program (STEP).

John Johnson Testified March 24 Before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment of the Committee on Science and Technology

More research is needed to improve the safety and fuel economy of the nation’s truck fleet, a Michigan Technological University faculty member told a congressional subcommittee Tuesday.

John Johnson, a presidential professor of mechanical engineering-engineering mechanics, testified March 24 before the House Subcommittee on Energy and Environment of the Committee on Science and Technology. The hearing was part of a review of the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Vehicle Technologies research and development programs. Specifically, subcommittee members questioned expert witnesses on the funding levels and changing market and public needs.

Johnson expressed concern over the decline in federal funding for the 21st Century Truck Partnership. In 2000, DOE launched the Partnership to explore technological improvements in commercial and military trucks and buses. Funded through the DOE, the Department of Defense, the Department of Transportation and the Environmental Protection Agency, the Partnership also involves several national research laboratories and many industrial partners.


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Roshan D’Souza Wins National Science Foundation Career Award

Roshan D’Souza, Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering-Engineering Mechanics, has received the National Science Foundation’s most prestigious early CAREER Award.

The project, “Towards Interactive Simulation of Giga-Scale Agent-Based Models on Graphics Processing Units,” investigates techniques for efficient simulation of large scale agent-based models (ABMs). ABMs are increasingly being used to understand complex multi-scale behaviors in many natural, built, and social systems. This research investigates novel techniques designed to leverage the massive computing power available on commodity graphics processing units. It greatly expands the availability and applicability of agent-based modeling by effectively democratizing super computing for ABM simulation. Furthermore, it enables virtual testing of “what-if” scenarios in public policy, contingency planning for disaster relief, drug therapy design, etc., on inexpensive desktop computers at realistic levels of detail. The main challenge in this research is the re-formulation of ABM computation to fit the data-parallel model of GPUs. Educational topics include development of courses, outreach to K-12 students, and undergraduate research. The value of the award is $423,863 over five years.

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Laid-off Engineers Learning New Skills: Classes Focus on Hybrids and Electrics

A free class in hybrid and electric vehicle development offered to out-of-work engineers could become a model as Michigan tries to keep its skilled workforce from leaving the state.

About 60 engineers from their 20s to their 50s just began the class, which is a joint effort by Michigan Technological University, the Engineering Society of Detroit and General Motors.

“This is an opportunity to put some new skills in my toolbox,” said Kimberly Calloway, 38, of Southfield, a 15-year electrical engineer Ford laid off in August. “I’ll add the certificate from the class to my resume. It will give me an advantage when I’m interviewing.”

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Dr. Jeffrey S. Allen Selected to Receive a 2009 Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award

Dr. Jeffrey Allen, Assistant Professor in Mechanical Engineering, has been selected for a 2009 SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award.

The Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award reflects the firm belief of its donor that engineering educators are the most effective link between engineering students and their future careers, the SAE Ralph R. Teetor Educational Fund’s major program is focused on younger engineering educators. Its objective is to provide an engineering atmosphere in which these teachers can meet and exchange views with practicing engineers. The current decade places greater expectations upon the colleges and universities of the world to educate individuals who must successfully meet the challenges that face society. The purpose of the Teetor Award is to recognize and honor those younger educators who are successfully preparing engineers for this task.

The Award Committee stated “The credentials and standards of excellence in education of this year’s candidates were extremely high and brought about some very keen competition. Your outstanding contributions have distinguished you as one of the top engineering educators.”

As a Teetor Award recipient, Dr. Allen will be SAE’s guest for the week of SAW 2009 World Congress & Expositions which begins April 20, 2009 in Detroit, MI.