Texas A&M Engineering News The Look College is one of the largest engineering schools in the country, ranking third in undergraduate enrollment and sixth in graduate enrollment by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) in its 2011 survey. The Look College also ranked seventh in the number bachelor's degrees awarded, 13th in master's degrees awarded and 10th in doctoral degrees awarded. And our college consistently ranks among the nation's top public undergraduate and graduate engineering programs, according to U.S. News & World Report. http://engineering.tamu.edu Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:00:00 CST Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:00:00 CST Beeny selected as Energy Institute Fellow Kristina Ballard <kristina.ballard@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/23/beeny-selected-as-energy-institute-fellow <p class="p1">The final 2014-2015 Energy Institute Fellowships were recently announced, a selection of 10 students out of over 60 applications from 20 departments and several colleges, including the Texas A&amp;M School of Law. </p> <p class="p1">Among those 10 was Bradley Beeny of the Department of Nuclear Engineering, for his research "Creation and Application of Computational Tools for Nuclear Energy Systems Analysis."</p> <p class="p1"><img width="235" height="414" src="/media/1561200/beeny_picture_235x414.jpg" alt="Beeny" class="rightalign"/>Beeny received both his B.S. and M.S. in nuclear engineering from Texas A&amp;M University in 2010 and 2012, respectively. Since 2007, he has worked as both an undergraduate and graduate student researcher in the Nuclear Heat Transfer Systems Laboratories under Dr. Karen Vierow. He has primarily focused on computational analysis of nuclear systems safety and thermal hydraulics using codes such as MELCOR and GOTHIC. He has participated in several MELCOR code development activities during his several internships with the severe accident modeling group at Sandia National Laboratories. He is currently conducting doctoral dissertation research while participating in other ongoing thermal hydraulics analysis projects. </p> <p>His undergraduate and graduate research activities at Texas A&amp;M have focused mainly on the application and development of nuclear reactor thermal hydraulics computational analysis tools, specifically with respect to systems-level computer codes as they apply to reactor safety. Past topics of research interest include condensation in the presence of noncondensible gas in nuclear systems, systems-level and design-basis event analysis for prismatic and pebble bed high temperature gas-cooled reactors, and light water reactor design basis event and severe accident analysis. He has applied existing computational analysis tools (computer codes like MELCOR, RELAP, and GOTHIC among others) in the course of my research and have participated in testing and development of new MELCOR code features as both a student researcher and an intern. In terms of creating reactor analysis tools, he has developed several computer code input decks for both gas cooled and light water cooled reactor systems. Additionally, he's developed a code coupling routine to enable higher-fidelity predictions of pressurized water reactor primary system and containment response under accident conditions. This particular tool finds application in the several ongoing collaborative projects that Texas A&amp;M has with members of the nuclear industry.  At present, he plays an active role in development of new MELCOR code user utilities while conducting doctoral dissertation research with the GOTHIC computer code. He is attempting to apply GOTHIC’s porosity/blockage formulation (based on the fractional area/volume obstacle representation method) and fully three-dimensional momentum solution to model in-vessel pressurized water reactor phenomena. More specifically, he's concerned with the implications for reactor safety of certain in-vessel debris blockages that may develop during the recirculation phase of core cooling subsequent to a design-basis accident.       </p> <p>The Energy Institute Fellowship is in the amount of $5,000 for a one-year term, and was funded by ConocoPhillips. The Texas A&amp;M Energy Institute handled the application/selection process, which was open to any graduate students conducting energy research. For more information, visit <a href="http://energy.tamu.edu/" target="_blank">http://energy.tamu.edu/</a>. </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/23/beeny-selected-as-energy-institute-fellow http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/23/beeny-selected-as-energy-institute-fellow Thu, 24 Jul 2014 00:00:00 CST Two NUEN students participate in the Nuclear Engineering Student Delegation held at the Capitol Kristina Ballard <kristina.ballard@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/23/two-nuen-students-participate-in-the-nuclear-engineering-student-delegation-held-at-the-capitol <p class="normal">Two nuclear engineering graduate students, Lane Carasik and Taylor Lane, spent a week in the nation’s capitol informing policy makers on nuclear science and engineering as part of the 2014 Nuclear Engineering Student Delegation (NESD). NESD is a student-led organization that gathers the country’s brightest nuclear science and technology students from across the nation. During the first three days the delegation met with representatives from: the American Nuclear Society, AREVA, Bechtel, Department of Energy, Environmental Protection Agency, Idaho National Laboratory, Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. In addition, the delegation “stormed the Hill” on Thursday and Friday, and met with the offices of most senators and over one hundred house representatives for a total of over 150 offices!</p> <p class="normal">The delegation’s policy statement, which can be found <a href="http://nesd.org/policy.html">here</a>, focused on continuing to fund the Integrated University Program (IUP), opposing STEM consolidation, licensing support for Small Modular Reactors (SMRs), reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank, more flexibility in future 123 Agreements, and a coherent nuclear waste plan. </p> <p class="normal"><img width="400" height="267" src="/media/1561196/2014-07-10-163034_400x267.jpg" alt="Carasik, Lane, Flores" class="leftalign" style="float: left;"/>Carasik (photo right) and Lane (photo left) had a very constructive meeting with Rep. Bill Flores (photo center), whose district includes Texas A&amp;M University. Flores was very excited to meet the students and voiced his whole-hearted support for their objectives. Flores was knowledgeable about nuclear issues and was familiar with the nuclear facilities housed at Texas A&amp;M. He has toured the Nuclear Science Center and AGN reactor in the past. Secondly, prior to redistricting, his district included the Comanche Peak Nuclear Power Plant which he has toured previously. </p> <p class="normal">Lane Carasik, a Ph.D. student studying thermal hydraulics under Dr. Yassin Hassan, department head, was a co-vice chair for the delegation. He is currently spending his summer abroad as a visiting researcher at Imperial College London in the United Kingdom.</p> <p class="normal">Taylor Lane, a master's student studying radiation-hydrodynamics under Dr. Ryan McClarren, was a first-year delegate and is on a summer internship at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, NM.</p> <p class="normal">            </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/23/two-nuen-students-participate-in-the-nuclear-engineering-student-delegation-held-at-the-capitol http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/23/two-nuen-students-participate-in-the-nuclear-engineering-student-delegation-held-at-the-capitol Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 CST Kezunovic named CIGRE Fellow Donald St. Martin <dstmartin@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/23/kezunovic-named-cigre-fellow <p><img width="210" height="270" src="/media/1561193/mkezunovic-11339-pm.jpg" alt="Mkezunovic 1.13.39 PM" class="rightalign"/>Dr. Mladen Kezunovic, the Eugene E. Webb Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been named a Fellow by CIGRE, the International Council on Large Electrical Systems.</p> <p>The CIGRE Fellow is a new award that recognizes sustained contributions to CIGRE technical activities.</p> <p>Kezunovic, who is also the director of the Texas A&amp;M Engineering Experiment Station’s Smart Grid Center, was cited for the award for outstanding and sustained contributions in system protection and to the technical mission of CIGRE. He currently serves as the site director of the Power Engineering Research Center (PSerc), and before joining Texas A&amp;M in 1986 he worked for Westinghouse Electric Corp.</p> <p>Kezunovic has published more than 450 papers in journals and conference proceedings and was invited to give more than 100 lectures worldwide and is listed as a distinguished speaker of the IEEE PES. While at Texas A&amp;M he has been the principal investigator on more than 100 research projects and supervised more than 40 graduate students.</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/23/kezunovic-named-cigre-fellow http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/23/kezunovic-named-cigre-fellow Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 CST Lutkenhaus named Montague-CTE Scholar Kidron Vestal <kidron@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/23/lutkenhaus-named-montague-cte-scholar <p><img width="210" height="270" src="/media/1436959/image-of-jodie-lutkenhaus.jpg" alt="Image -of -jodie -lutkenhaus" class="rightalign"/>Dr. Jodie L. Lutkenhaus, <span>assistant professor and the William and Ruth Neely Faculty Fellow in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, i</span>s the recipient of the Montague-CTE Scholar Award for 2014-2015, from the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University. Lutkenhaus came to the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering in 2010. From day one, she said she purposed to make complex material comprehensible and to impart enjoyment for learning among her students.</p> <p>“If you’re not having fun, the students aren’t having fun," she said. "Learning is fun. You have to integrate what you love so that the students will love it. We’re a team learning together, trying to figure out the material together—why things work a certain way.”</p> <p>Namely, Lutkenhaus has employed multiple sensory-appeals in the instruction of thermodynamics via her introduction of new technology and approaches to complex learning.  </p> <p>“I wanted to change the perception of thermodynamics, or at least make it palatable," she said.</p> <p>In the classroom, Lutkenhaus uses a combination of traditional and millennial methods, closing the distance between the textbook and application. Her tailored use of the Livescribe® pen, for example, has enabled Lutkenhaus to provide on-demand instruction of application exercises and problems, through recorded simulations that appear in video (visual and auditory) formats for students to reference.</p> <p>“It’s one of the highest teaching awards in the college and I was actually really surprised I got it,” she said. "Now I have the funds that are going to allow me to purchase some cool demonstrations for the class.”</p> <p>A blend of teaching styles in the journey of learning is important to Lutkenhaus.</p> <p>“To some of the students the math can be a little scary, but if you practice it, it’s not as intimidating,” she said, drawing upon the multiple delivery platforms she utilizes in achieving understanding.  </p> <p>In the classroom, students receive instruction that is complemented by worksheets, traditional lecture formats, and Youtube® videos for relevant examples of lecture topics. In her polymers class, Lutkenhaus also applies a similar format with additional demonstration scenarios.</p> <p>Outside of the classroom, Lutkenhaus said she likes to get to know the students in the role of mentor.</p> <p>“They want to be treated like adults,” she said.</p> <p>Dr. Naz Karim, department head, said, “Dr. Lutkenhaus is one of the most effective classroom instructors in the department. She has a knack of relating to students at their level and at the same time effortlessly teaching them complex concepts of thermodynamics and polymers. She is using all the modern pedagogical methods and tools to make her classroom interactive and fun. Congratulations to her; she is most deserving of this honor."</p> <p>Earlier this year, Lutkenhaus was named a recipient of the George Armistead, Jr. ’23 Faculty Excellence Teaching Award 2014.</p> <p>In 1937, Kenneth Montague graduated from Texas A&amp;M University and entered the Texas oil industry, before he and his wife Judy left an endowment to Texas A&amp;M in 1991 that funds awards for lifelong learners, in the name of the Montague-CTE Scholar Award. </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/23/lutkenhaus-named-montague-cte-scholar http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/23/lutkenhaus-named-montague-cte-scholar Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 CST ECE students take third place video in senior design contest Deana Totzke <deana@ece.tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/23/ece-students-take-third-place-video-in-senior-design-contest <p><img width="269" height="215" src="/media/1561184/2014_siic_texasam_269x215.jpg" alt="video contest winners" class="leftalign"/>Recently a group of students from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University won Third Place Video in a contest sponsored by DRS Technologies for senior design projects. <br />DRS Technologies’ Student Infrared Imaging Competition (SIIC) is designed for engineering study programs, or senior design projects for all disciplines. Projects could include but are not limited to the following: Image Fusion, Augmented Reality, Robotic Vision, Machine Vision, thermal imaging as a medium for an artistic interpretation and social media campaigns. <br />Cooper Barry (left center), Brian Cardinal (right center), Hector Orozco (center) and Ben Sullins (left) won third place video for their project titled Acquisition, Tracking and Pointing (ATP) Tracker. Videos are judged on three main criteria; creative use of infrared imaging, legitimate internet “viral interest” and quality of video. George Skidmore (right) of DRS Technologies presented the winners. To see their video or learn more about the contest visit <a href="http://www.drsinfrared.com/AboutDRS/studentcompetition.aspx" target="_blank">http://www.drsinfrared.com/AboutDRS/studentcompetition.aspx</a>. <br />DRS Technologies, headquartered in Arlington, Virginia, U.S.A., is a leading supplier of integrated products, services and support to organizations worldwide. The Network and Imaging Systems (NIS) division develops, manufactures and supports electro-optical technologies, including advanced cooled and uncooled thermal imaging solutions for industrial, security, public safety and firefighting purposes, as well as for man-portable, ground-vehicle, airborne, and maritime applications.</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/23/ece-students-take-third-place-video-in-senior-design-contest http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/23/ece-students-take-third-place-video-in-senior-design-contest Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 CST CSE hosts high school researchers Rachel Rose <rdaggie@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/23/cse-hosts-high-school-researchers <p><img width="253" height="380" src="/media/1561183/highschoolresearcherss_253x380.jpg" alt="High School Researchers" class="leftalign"/>This summer, there are five high school rising seniors who are participating in a ten week summer research internship with the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&amp;M.</p> <p>The summer interns include Jonathon Colbert, who is a student at A&amp;M Consolidated High School and also returning summer intern, and Juan Aguilar, Leslie Escalante, Ricardo Gonzales and Ariana Ramirez who are all students from Jimmy Carter Early College High School in La Joya, Texas.</p> <p>“I am planning on becoming a future aggie after graduation,” Aguilar said. “This university feels like home, people here are so nice and helpful, making the atmosphere friendly.”</p> <p>The La Joya high school students are staying at The Stack with the students participating in the CSE Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) Program and all of the high school researchers are working with CSE interim department head, Dr. Nancy Amato, as well as two graduate student mentors, Jory Denny and Read Sandstrom, who are working with them on a daily basis. All the students are working on various parts of the same general research project, User-guided Motion Planning.</p> <p>“In robotics, we often need to find valid paths for the robot to move in the world, which avoids obstacles,” Denny said. “Humans do this quite effectively everyday, so this research looks at combining human intuition with fully autonomous planners to arrive at more effective and customizable robotic motions.”</p> <p>These individuals are top students who are able to participate in research projects just like undergraduate students. If they decide to pursue their higher education here at Texas A&amp;M for their undergraduate studies, then they will be already prepared to join a lab and be productive in the classroom.</p> <p>“They are very bright individuals with a lot of passion and drive to work on graduate level research in high school,” Denny said. “They have exceeded my expectations and are progressing quite well. I am excited to be able to help mentor these students, and can't wait to see where they end up in life.”</p> <p>“The most influential and rewarding part of this internship has to be the opportunity to have conversations and be inspired by the department head, faculty and speakers who talk to us about admissions, graduate school and lessons on how to get the most out of being in College Station,” said high school participant, Ricardo Gonzales. “I've gathered a lot more than just the research project by joining this program.”</p> <p> </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/23/cse-hosts-high-school-researchers http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/23/cse-hosts-high-school-researchers Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 CST CSE introduces new faculty member Dr. Ruihong Huang Kathy Flores <> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/23/cse-introduces-new-faculty-member-dr-ruihong-huang <p><img width="196" height="252" src="/media/1559108/image-of-ruihong-huang_196x252.jpg" alt="Image Of Ruihong Huang" class="leftalign"/>The Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University welcomes <strong>Dr. Ruihong Huang</strong> who will join the CSE faculty as an assistant professor in Fall 2015. This coming year she will be a postdoc with Dr. Dan Jurafsky, professor of linguistics and professor of computer science at Stanford University.</p> <p>Huang's research lies in natural language processing and machine learning. She is particularly interested in information extraction and knowledge mining from large amounts of text, by developing weakly supervised learning algorithms that can leverage human prior knowledge in an efficient and flexible way. Her other research interests include semantics, discourse and the applications of computational linguistics to social sciences.</p> <p>Huang is enthusiastic about joining the faculty of Texas A&amp;M in 2015, and she is looking forward to teaching courses close to her research such as natural language processing (NPL) and computational linguistics.</p> <p>This summer Huang completed her doctoral degree in computer science at the University of Utah under the guidance of her adviser Dr. Ellen Riloff. She has a master's and a bachelor's degree in computer science from the Chinese Academy of Sciences and Shandong University, respectively.</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/23/cse-introduces-new-faculty-member-dr-ruihong-huang http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/23/cse-introduces-new-faculty-member-dr-ruihong-huang Wed, 23 Jul 2014 00:00:00 CST Dr. Aakash Tyagi is CSE's first professor of practice Kathy Flores <> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/22/dr-aakash-tyagi-is-cses-first-professor-of-practice <p><img width="180" height="245" src="/media/1559112/tyagi.jpg" alt="Image of Aakash Tyagi" class="leftalign"/>The professor of the practice program was established by the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University as part of its <a href="/25by25">25 by 25 initiative</a>, a transformational program to increase access for qualified students to pursue engineering education at Texas A&amp;M University. The program brings industry leaders to the classroom to help prepare the next generation of engineers by sharing their real-world experiences in industry. <strong>Dr. Aakash Tyagi</strong> joins the faculty of the <strong>Department of Computer Science and Engineering</strong> this fall as its first professor of practice.</p> <p>Tyagi retired from Intel Corporation early in 2014 to return to teaching. He taught courses in computer architecture, logic design, and microprocessor design as an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the University of Louisiana-Lafayette prior to joining Intel in 1994. Tyagi has a doctoral degree in computer engineering from the Center for Advanced Computer Studies at the University of Louisiana.</p> <p>His career at Intel encompassed a wide range of technical and managerial responsibilities, first as a circuit design engineer and then as a project design methodology manager and lastly as the Project Manager of Intel’s next generation Knights Landing Xeon-Phi CPU for Exascale Supercomputing.</p> <p>He comes to CSE with a passion for teaching. "I want to bring this passion to Texas A&amp;M in the capacity of a professor of engineering practice and play a role in the formative years of our bright engineering professionals of tomorrow. To me, teaching is more than a unidirectional exercise in imparting a lesson; it is an exercise in mutual learning, fueled by uninhibited inquisition, and centered in teamwork and collaboration."</p> <p>Welcome to our department, Professor Tyagi.</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/22/dr-aakash-tyagi-is-cses-first-professor-of-practice http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/22/dr-aakash-tyagi-is-cses-first-professor-of-practice Tue, 22 Jul 2014 00:00:00 CST Dr. Jeff Huang joins CSE faculty Kathy Flores <> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/17/dr-jeff-huang-joins-cse-faculty <p><img width="172" height="231" src="/media/1550604/jhuang_172x231.jpg" alt="Image of Jeff Huang news" class="leftalign"/>The Department of Computer Science and Engineering welcomes <strong>Assistant Professor Jeff Huang</strong> who will join its faculty this fall. Huang comes to us from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign where he was a postdoctoral research associate working with Dr. Grigore Rosu on "Runtime Verification of Concurrent and Distributed Systems."</p> <p>Huang will be teaching courses in software engineering at Texas A&amp;M and is well-known as a guest lecturer in the subject. His research focuses on developing techniques and tools for improving software performance and reliability based on fundamental program analyses and programming language theory. He is particularly interested in applying these techniques to solve problems in real-world, large-scale software systems.</p> <p>Among his many honors are the 2013 ACM SIGSOFT Outstanding Dissertation Award for his doctoral thesis, "Effective Methods for Debugging Concurrent Software," and a Distinguished Paper Award from the 2013 ACM SIGPLAN conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation (PLDI). He was also the winner of the 2012 PLDI Student Research Competition and a winner of the 2010 Professor Samuel Chanson Best Teaching Assistant Award.</p> <p>In 2012 Huang, advised by Dr. Charles Zhang, received his doctorate in computer science from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. He also holds a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the National University of Defense Technology in China.</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/17/dr-jeff-huang-joins-cse-faculty http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/17/dr-jeff-huang-joins-cse-faculty Thu, 17 Jul 2014 00:00:00 CST KBTX: Texas A&M Transportation Institute working to make train travel safer Donald St. Martin <dstmartin@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/16/kbtx-texas-am-transportation-institute-working-to-make-train-travel-safer <p>Making train traffic safer is the goal of a study being conducted at Wellborn and Graham Roads in College Station. That sound is tough to miss; the loud horn of a train as it rolls through Bryan-College Station.</p> <p>They are two cities with ties to the railroad <span class="itxtrst itxtrstspan itxtnowrap"><span class="itxtrst itxtrstspan itxtnowrap itxtnewhookspan">industry </span></span>that go back more than 100 years.</p> <p>Those ties make College Station an appropriate site for a study aimed at making train traffic safer.</p> <p>A group of researchers at the Texas A&amp;M Transportation Institute are using hi-tech sensors to test two types of retaining walls to see which one makes the ground underneath the tracks more stable.</p> <p>"As the trains pass by we record how much the wall moves and what stresses, the build up behind the wall," said Charles Aubeny, who is a p<span class="itxtrst itxtrstspan itxtnowrap"><span class="itxtrst itxtrstspan itxtnowrap itxtnewhookspan">rofessor</span></span> of civil engineering at Texas A&amp;M and a TTI researcher.</p> <p>"It's a very heavy train hurdling by. What are the dynamic loads on that wall and then one of the safety issues is if the wall deflects and moves the track could settle and you know cause a <span class="itxtrst itxtrstspan itxtnowrap"><span class="itxtrst itxtrstspan itxtnowrap itxtnewhookspan">potential </span></span>safety problem," said Aubeny, PH.D."</p> <p>The project is funded by a $300,000 grant from TxDOT through a partnership with Union Pacific Railroad.</p> <p>Helping Charles Aubeny with the study is a small team of students and <span class="itxtrst itxtrstspan itxtnowrap"><span class="itxtrst itxtrstspan itxtnowrap itxtnewhookspan">professors</span></span> from Texas A&amp;M and UT-San Antonio. </p> <p><a href="http://www.kbtx.com/news/local/headlines/Texas-AM-Transportation-Institute-Working-To-Make-Train-Travel-Safer-267249811.html">Click</a> to see the full report on KBTX.</p> <p> </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/16/kbtx-texas-am-transportation-institute-working-to-make-train-travel-safer http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2014/07/16/kbtx-texas-am-transportation-institute-working-to-make-train-travel-safer Wed, 16 Jul 2014 00:00:00 CST