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 Fri, 09 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CST Fri, 09 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CST Paying it forward through Trajectories Toward Graduate School event Lorian Hopcus <lorian.hopcus@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/09/paying-it-forward-through-trajectories-toward-graduate-school-event <p>­As a graduate student in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, Karla Gonzalez Coronado is passionate about helping make the road to graduate school a bit smoother for her peers.</p> <p><img width="296" height="211" src="/media/4447882/karlafor-web_296x211.jpg" alt="Karla Gonzalez Coronado" class="leftalign"/>When approached by Dr. Sonia Garcia, senior director of Access and Inclusion, to be part of a minority graduate student focus group, Gonzalez Coronado was excited and ready to begin making a difference for future minority graduate students.</p> <p>“This was really exciting for me because as a minority student, it is sometimes difficult to find role models in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) careers,” Gonzalez Coronado said. “I also truly want to help first-generation college students see graduate degrees as an obtainable goal.”</p> <p>The duo, along with the help of other students and faculty members, began discussing ways Texas A&amp;M and the Texas A&amp;M College of Engineering could help minority students successfully attend graduate school.</p> <p>With the help of Garcia, and a grant specifically for pilot programs with similar goals, a committee was formed to organize Trajectories Toward Graduate School, a two-day event about graduate school at Texas A&amp;M outlining the application process.</p> <p>“The team consisted of Dr. Garcia, Dr. Michael Demkowitz, Dr. Samuel Meriwether, Juan Rodriguez, Tajuanada Montreuil, Jules Henry and myself,” Gonzalez Coronado said. “We worked for four months to organize and implement the necessary tasks to make sure the event was a success from the very beginning.”</p> <p>Gonzalez Coronado initially helped with the creation of the application and goals of the program, encouraging students to apply to graduate school in the college of engineering at Texas A&amp;M, and even posing for a few pictures for new promotional materials.</p> <p>“Industrial engineering taught me to be organized and how to make sure things flowed properly and efficiently,” Gonzalez Coronado said. “These skills came into play greatly when gathering current students for the speed mentoring session during the inaugural event in November. We are really proud that we had a total of 36 prospective students participate. Twenty six were from out of state and 10 were from the Texas A&amp;M College of Engineering.”</p> <p><img width="423" height="282" src="/media/4447889/4x9a0287web_423x282.jpg" alt="Karla speaking with prospective graduate students" class="leftalign rightalign"/>Gonzalez Coronado also recruited current graduate students to act as mentors throughout the two-day event that hosted prospective students. The prospective students attended workshops about preparing for graduate school and funding opportunities for graduate school, as well as what steps to take next for the application process. Visiting students were also given opportunities to ask current graduate students about their experiences in the college of engineering.</p> <p>“My goal for this event is that Texas A&amp;M decides to hold it every single year so our graduate population increases with Hispanic, Native American and African American students enrolled in engineering graduate programs,” Gonzalez Coronado said.</p> <p>This event is a part of the Texas A&amp;M College of Engineering’s Access and Inclusion program, whose mission is to increase the diversity of the college by recruiting and supporting students who come from historically underrepresented population groups in Texas, or students whose backgrounds and experiences will contribute and enhance the overall diversity of the college of engineering.</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/09/paying-it-forward-through-trajectories-toward-graduate-school-event http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/09/paying-it-forward-through-trajectories-toward-graduate-school-event Fri, 09 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CST Industrial and systems engineering students give back in unconventional ways Lorian Hopcus <lorian.hopcus@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/09/industrial-and-systems-engineering-students-give-back-in-unconventional-ways <p><img width="326" height="239" src="/media/4447883/img_0702-news_326x239.jpg" alt="Kevin Lee and Sara Lance" class="leftalign"/>Aggies are known for being genuine, helpful and hospitable. Two juniors in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University follow the same desire to serve others in their own unique way. Sara Lance and Kevin Lee are reaching outside the typical realm of industrial engineers to make a difference in the lives of others.</p> <p>Lance ’18 developed a passion for camping in fifth grade when she embarked on her first adventure. Her middle school science teacher was also a full-time canoe guide and gave students the opportunity to experience the outdoors for a day, concluding with a big dinner in the great outdoors.</p> <p>“That kind of started off my love for camping,” Lance said. “It clears my head, getting away from everything; laying on the ground in the fresh air total primal style just de-stresses. It’s my form of meditation. </p> <p>Outdoor camping has been more than a hobby and meditation for Lance. While at home in Colorado during the summers, she worked for her retired science teacher. Now, she is the vice president and Boatswain’s mate of Students Serving Scouting (SSS). The co-ed outdoor service organization supports scouting in the Brazos Valley area.</p> <p>“Juggling outdoor camping and engineering is quite difficult,” Lance said. “I often wish there were more than 24 hours in a day.”</p> <p><img width="259" height="388" src="/media/4447885/img_0707-web_259x388.jpg" alt="Sara Lance" class="rightalign"/></p> <p>Leading young boy scouts and showing them the great outdoors has made Lance reflect on how not too long ago she was in a very similar situation. The past has been a great motivator, since she wants others to experience the same fun and excitement as she once had.</p> <p>“Camping brings out personalities in people and makes you enjoy the simple things, like skipping rocks on a river,” Lance said. “I notice other people stop worrying about their problems just by being outside. It’s such a cool thing to see.”</p> <p>During the camping trips, SSS divides responsibilities among the organization’s officers. Lance helps with preparing all materials for Boy Scout events. Additionally, she has used skills learned in the classroom to create procedures to unpack gear more efficiently when arriving at a campsite.</p> <p>“We try to assign activities we enjoy, it allows everyone to enjoy the trip more,” Lance said. “Answering and instructing eager kids has in return improved my communication. It’s another reason camping is such an important part of my life.”</p> <p>While Lance is serving in the outdoor frontier, Lee has been involved in the ever-increasing digital frontier.</p> <p>Websites like YouTube, Twitch, IGN and others have made video game tutorials a popular niche of the online community. Lee ‘17 saw an opportunity to focus on the less popular games, while using support characters, which are also less popular in the games themselves. Lee developed a YouTube channel, JinOkami, to host tutorial videos for other gamers with like interests. The channel has over 70 tutorial videos on different massively multiplayer online role-playing games.</p> <p>“I picked a not so popular character, and tried to showcase what I had learned,” Lee said. “It is my way of giving back, while promoting something I enjoy.”</p> <p>His videos provide tips and tricks to conquer the game, along with some good background music. His simple, yet effective video style has earned his channel more than 100,000 views.</p> <p>“Whenever I see people watching my videos, I feel shocked and elated,” Lee said. “People are encouraging and positive in the comments, and sometimes ask for the name of the background song, which is usually an Indie song.”</p> <p><img width="314" height="471" src="/media/4447884/img_0704web_314x471.jpg" alt="Kevin Lee" class="leftalign"/></p> <p>Lee advises that people should initially pursue YouTube as a hobby instead a worthwhile income. Only a very small fraction of the total YouTubers become famous and can make a living doing videos. Popular YouTube channels are more like communities. They form around personalities, but Lee pointed out that social media plays a large role in popularizing something.</p> <p>“Fans and viewers can interact and communicate with their favorite YouTube personality through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram,” Lee said. “So the more people we have making fun, helpful and interesting videos, the better the community is going to get.”</p> <p>Alongside his industrial engineering major, Lee is pursuing a minor in sociology. He chose sociology because he hopes it will help him stand out when he enters the job market, as well as optimize the style, content and delivery of his videos.</p> <p>“When researching video creation and information delivery, a lot of parallels are drawn with classrooms and lectures,” Lee said. “It made me aware of the time my instructors and professors devote to their craft.”</p> <p>Sociology has allowed Lee to see the impact of his videos, while industrial engineering classes improved the efficiency of his video making. Time management is one of the foundations of industrial engineering, and conveying information under time constraints can be tricky.</p> <p>“My human factors class has helped me to conduct more effective research when looking for new ideas and techniques for editing and creating the videos,” Lee said. “My sociology classes have expanded my knowledge of people and their interaction with each other to better serve and expand my followership.”</p> <p>Video game tutorials are going to continue to be a hobby of Lee’s, but he realizes the impact he is making. By populating the World Wide Web with unconventional videos, he is encouraging the breaking of norms. JinOkami to some viewers has been the safe haven of learning and help.</p> <p>Lance and Lee chose to serve two polar opposite industries but have a united goal of helping others, whether that be helping a young Boy Scout set up his tent, or helping a random stranger defeat the latest video game boss. Not motivated by grades, money or pride, Lance and Lee enjoy their hobbies and want to share them with those willing to listen and accept help.</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/09/industrial-and-systems-engineering-students-give-back-in-unconventional-ways http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/09/industrial-and-systems-engineering-students-give-back-in-unconventional-ways Fri, 09 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CST Sponsors needed for Senior Capstone Design Program Donald St. Martin <dstmartin@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/09/sponsors-needed-for-senior-capstone-design-program <p>Do you have a back-burner project you can’t seem to get to? How about giving a senior capstone design team a shot?</p> <p>The <a href="https://engineering.tamu.edu/mechanical/capstone-design">Senior Capstone Design Program</a> offers senior engineering students, working in teams, the opportunity to learn a top-down, systems design process that encourages innovation and has real world applicability. These design projects take place over a two-semester sequence of courses and provide a bridge between core engineering courses and a working career by applying engineering principles to practical problems.</p> <p><img width="440" height="293" src="/media/4447888/iac_capstone_440x293.jpg" alt="Capstone solicitation 2" class="leftalign"/>Sponsors are needed, whether individual or corporate, to supply projects student teams can design, prototype and test over two semesters. Additional project types include exploratory studies, conceptualization and analysis and simulation. Nondisclosure agreements and/or intellectual property protection are available to the sponsors upon request. To cover the costs associated with the student team expenses, a $12,000 contribution is requested for gifted support, or $18,000 for the contracted projects. </p> <p>For more information on how to sponsor a Senior Capstone Design Project in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, please contact Joanna Tsenn, Ph.D. at  979.458.8443 or <a href="mailto:joanna.tsenn@tamu.edu">joanna.tsenn@tamu.edu</a></p> <p><br /><strong>Pictured:</strong> Multi-constituent fuel mixing and metering system with constant gaseous output design,<br />Sponsored by E-Controls</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/09/sponsors-needed-for-senior-capstone-design-program http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/09/sponsors-needed-for-senior-capstone-design-program Fri, 09 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CST Niedzwecki honored with Distinguished Alumni Award from alma mater Kristina Ballard <kristina.ballard@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/09/niedzwecki-honored-with-distinguished-alumni-award-from-alma-mater <p><img width="169" height="217" src="/media/557505/image-of-john-niedzwecki_169x217.jpg" alt="Image of John Niedzwecki" class="leftalign"/>Dr. John Niedzwecki, Cain ’13 Chair and Regent’s Professor in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, was recently honored with the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award from the school of engineering at his alma mater, the Catholic University of America.</p> <p>The award recognizes outstanding alumni and their achievements and contributions to the field of engineering. Niedzwecki’s leadership while head of the Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&amp;M played a key role in his recognition. He is the first former student in the higher education field to receive the award. Niedzwecki has been a faculty member at Texas A&amp;M for more than 30 years. He was instrumental in spearheading the launch of a National Science Foundation Offshore Technology Research Center for the Texas A&amp;M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) and The Texas A&amp;M University System.</p> <p>Niedzwecki specializes in offshore civil engineering, with interests in deep-water offshore and coastal structures, multi-body marine hydrodynamics, statistical analyses of model basin and oceanographic field data, and most recently, the effects of lightning strikes on offshore structures.</p> <p> “Catholic University has a special place in my heart,” said Niedzwecki. “There was this dialogue between the students and the faculty and I think it was all about trying to find out on an individual level what excited us. That made a big mark on me in my career and how I interact with students.”</p> <p>Contributing author: Ryan Terry</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/09/niedzwecki-honored-with-distinguished-alumni-award-from-alma-mater http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/09/niedzwecki-honored-with-distinguished-alumni-award-from-alma-mater Fri, 09 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CST Petroleum student organization offers opportunities for improvement and involvement Nancy Luedke <> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/08/petroleum-student-organization-offers-opportunities-for-improvement-and-involvement <p>The Texas A&amp;M University student chapter of the Society of Petroleum Engineers (TAMU-SPE) is an organization with deep historic roots. From its inception as a petroleum engineering geology club in 1932, to its current chapter affiliation with SPE, the forward-thinking goals it fostered through the years prove how dedication to service and academic pursuits creates a positive future for student members.</p> <p>The 2016-2017 academic year is no exception to this successful strategy. Through workshops, events and a mentoring program, TAMU-SPE hopes to hone its members’ skills and talents to increase their chances of landing jobs. The chapter also encourages outreach to Texas A&amp;M and the community, where members help others and learn to help themselves in return.</p> <p><img width="336" height="250" src="/media/4447867/tamu-spe-outstanding-chapter.jpg" alt="2016 TAMU-SPE outstanding chapter award"/></p> <p><strong>Professional and technical skills</strong></p> <p>“TAMU-SPE is really the bridge between the classroom and the industry,” said Alex Lambros, current president of the Texas A&amp;M chapter. “Our purpose is to enhance our students’ technical skills, enhance their professional skills and connect them with the industry. We want to absolutely complement what we’re learning in the classroom with what we’re willing to bring to the industry, to differentiate our students in the marketplace.”</p> <p>TAMU-SPE started the year with a Resume Workshop that brought in so many students it went well past its allotted time. The students were able to use their new resumes during the Career Enhancement Event.</p> <p>In one day, the Career Enhancement Event provided the opportunity for more than 500 petroleum engineering students to meet with 27 companies. Some businesses were new to the event — not the usual exploration and production companies — and exposed the future engineers to careers outside the box, but still involved with petroleum.</p> <p> <img width="375" height="250" src="/media/4447865/tamu-spe-career-enhancement-event.jpg" alt="2016 TAMU-SPE career enhancement event"/></p> <p>“It’s not your typical career fair where students come in and talk to companies,” said Lambros. “The companies come in and educate our students on what they are offering and what’s unique about their company. We view it as very important that the student knows what the company is, what they believe in and what they offer before talking to a recruiter.”</p> <p>The chapter hopes to provide a new soft skills workshop in the spring for its members. The workshop will involve writing professional emails and other communications, and offer tips on public speaking. Lambros stressed the need for the workshop, citing an online SPE international survey, which revealed these are two skills companies want from engineering students.</p> <p>In addition, TAMU-SPE will continue to host Lunch and Learns each month, where companies with specific products or skills host a talk while students ask detailed questions.</p> <p><strong>Service to Texas A&amp;M and the community</strong></p> <p>TAMU-SPE members provide assistance to ENGAGE, a program where high schools make arrangements with the Texas A&amp;M University College of Engineering to have their juniors and seniors tour departments on campus. TAMU-SPE volunteers talk to these students about Texas A&amp;M and guide them through a lab in the Harold Vance Department of Petroleum Engineering.</p> <p>TAMU-SPE members regularly participate in the Big Event, the largest one-day student-run service project in the nation. Students complete service projects such as yard work, window washing and painting, to show their appreciation to the surrounding community. The chapter also adopted a street in College Station this year, which it will clean up on a regular basis.</p> <p>The TAMU-SPE members also support their fellow students and people worldwide through the Student Mentorship Program and service to a student organization called Build.</p> <p>The Student Mentorship Program pairs 29 upper classmen with incoming students to guide them through internship and industry experiences.</p> <p>"We all started somewhere and made some mistakes to get to where we are today,” said Kyle Soares, a TAMU-SPE member and director of the program. “More often than not we probably had someone help us along the way. The program allows mentors to give back to underclassmen by providing insight into what it really takes to get hired, from a student's perspective."</p> <p><img width="225" height="300" src="/media/4447866/tamu-spe-build.jpg" alt="2016 TAMU-SPE Build volunteers"/></p> <p>Build is a student organization that takes old decommissioned shipping containers and turns them into hospital clinics. The containers are then shipped to third-world countries for use.</p> <p> “The service comes in when actually converting these shipping containers to medical clinics,” Lambros said. “It takes weeks to do that, and what we’re going to do is send student groups to the Build location — hopefully we can help them with at least one container. </p> <p>“I haven’t found a student initiative on campus that I think is more incredible than this. I really am amazed by the logistics of everything. They have it all worked out and it’s great, especially for us, because [the petroleum industry] operates in some of these third-world countries and it’s important that we’re giving back to them.”</p> <p><strong>Outstanding Student Chapter</strong></p> <p>TAMU-SPE was recently named an Outstanding Student Chapter at the SPE Annual Technical Conference and Exhibition in September. This prestigious award recognizes student chapters with exceptional programs in industry engagement, operations and planning, community involvement, professional development and innovation. </p> <p>“I joined SPE because I thought it would be fun,” said Brian Redick, a graduate student in the department. "I discovered much more than camaraderie. In addition to top-tier instruction and research, Texas A&amp;M petroleum engineering has a few things down better than anyone else. The program, in conjunction with TAMU-SPE, has built and maintains an incredible network of oil and gas professionals.</p> <p>“I've experienced great professional growth and had many opportunities because of the department and Texas A&amp;M’s vested interest in all students. Texas A&amp;M petroleum engineering truly opens up a whole new world to each student."</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/08/petroleum-student-organization-offers-opportunities-for-improvement-and-involvement http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/08/petroleum-student-organization-offers-opportunities-for-improvement-and-involvement Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CST Taylor named Fellow of Association for Computing Machinery Donald St. Martin <dstmartin@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/08/taylor-named-fellow-of-association-for-computing-machinery <p><img width="180" height="245" src="/media/4447859/taylor.jpg" alt="Taylor" class="rightalign"/>Dr. Valerie E. Taylor, senior associate dean for academic affairs and the Royce E. Wisenbaker Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, has been named a Fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM).</p> <p>Taylor was honored for leadership in broadening participation in computing. A total of 53 individuals were honored by ACM, the world’s largest computing society, for major contributions in areas including artificial intelligence, cryptography, computer architecture, high performance computing and programming languages.</p> <p>ACM will formally recognize its 2016 Fellows at the annual awards banquet to be held in San Francisco on June 24, 2017. </p> <p>“As nearly 100,000 computing professionals are members of our association, to be selected to join the top one percent is truly an honor,” said ACM President Vicki L. Hanson. “Fellows are chosen by their peers and hail from leading universities, corporations and research labs throughout the world. Their inspiration, insights and dedication bring immeasurable benefits that improve lives and help drive the global economy.”</p> <p>Taylor, who is also a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), is the former head of the computer science and engineering department, having served in that role from 2003-2011. She was appointed the senior associate dean for academic affairs in 2013.</p> <p>She earned her bachelor’s in electrical and computer engineering and her master’s in computer engineering, both from Purdue University. She received her Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1991. From 1991 through 2002, Taylor was a member of the faculty in the electrical and computer engineering department at Northwestern University.</p> <p>Additional information about the ACM Fellows, the awards event as well as previous ACM Fellows and award winners is available at <a href="http://awards.acm.org">http://awards.acm.org</a>. </p> <p class="Default"><strong>About ACM</strong></p> <p class="Default">ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery (www.acm.org) is the world’s largest educational and scientific computing society, uniting computing educators, researchers and professionals to inspire dialogue, share resources and address the field’s challenges. ACM strengthens the computing profession’s collective voice through strong leadership, promotion of the highest standards, and recognition of technical excellence. ACM supports the professional growth of its members by providing opportunities for life-long learning, career development, and professional networking.</p> <p class="Default"><strong>About the ACM Fellows Program</strong></p> <p>The ACM Fellows Program, initiated in 1993, celebrates the exceptional contributions of the leading members in the computing field. These individuals have helped to enlighten researchers, developers, practitioners and end users of information technology throughout the world. The new ACM Fellows join a distinguished list of colleagues to whom ACM and its members look for guidance and leadership in computing and information technology.</p> <p> </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/08/taylor-named-fellow-of-association-for-computing-machinery http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/08/taylor-named-fellow-of-association-for-computing-machinery Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CST Oh presents research at New York Academy of Sciences Shraddha Sankhe <shraddha@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/08/oh-presents-research-at-new-york-academy-of-sciences <p><img width="447" height="298" src="/media/4447868/jun-k-oh-v3_447x298.jpg" alt="Jun K Oh" class="leftalign"/>Jun Kyun Oh, doctoral student in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, presented his graduate research to PepsiCo, Inc.’s research and development professionals at <a href="http://www.nyas.org/Landing/Pepsico.aspx">Journey Through Science Day</a>.</p> <p>The event, which was hosted by the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) and PepsiCo, Inc. in New York City, included  49 other early career scientists from across the nation.</p> <p>“I am fortunate to have had the opportunity to meet and network with PepsiCo’s R&amp;D professionals and discuss their sustainable food safety needs,” said Oh. “I learned about practical applications of various materials in food packaging.”</p> <p>Oh’s research, “Surface modification of food processing and handling gloves for enhanced food safety and hygiene,” highlighted how altering the coating on gloves used for food handling could make pathogens less likely to stick. </p> <p>“Foodborne illness is a constant issue for food handlers and while gloves are preferred, they are still not a fool-proof way to protect consumers from possible contamination,” said Oh. “The advanced coating that I am testing gives the gloves superhydrophobic characteristics and the bacteria-repellent quality of these gloves has proven to deter both salmonella and staphylococcus aureus strains of bacteria.”</p> <p>Oh attributes his success at the event to his graduate adviser, <a href="https://engineering.tamu.edu/materials/people/makbulut">Dr. Mustafa Akbulut</a>, associate professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering, and co-advisor, <a href="http://hortsciences.tamu.edu/people/faculty-2/luis-cisneros-zevallos/">Dr. Luis Cisneros-Zevallos</a>, associate professor in the Department of Horticultural Sciences in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.</p> <p>Contributing author: Haley Posey</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/08/oh-presents-research-at-new-york-academy-of-sciences http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/08/oh-presents-research-at-new-york-academy-of-sciences Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CST Koola joins ocean engineering as professor of practice Shraddha Sankhe <shraddha@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/08/koola-joins-ocean-engineering-as-professor-of-practice <p><img width="200" height="234" src="/media/4318765/paul-mario-koola_200x234.jpg" alt="Koola, Paul Mario" class="leftalign"/><a href="https://engineering.tamu.edu/ocean/people/koola-paul-mario">Dr. Paul Mario Koola</a> has joined the Department of Ocean Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University as a professor of practice. Koola has more than 30 years of combined experience in teaching engineering and broad interdisciplinary research and development of complex interacting systems. </p> <p>Koola has prior teaching experience at the Indian Institute of Technology Madras Department of Ocean Engineering. He has more than17 years of small business innovative research experience at KBSI managing a wide range of interdisciplinary projects. He has developed and implemented complex and diverse technologies such as ocean wave power plants, data analytics, machine learning, data fusion and visualization in the domains of missile defense, aging aircraft, ship corrosion and paint degradation, NDI/NDE image mining, aircraft carrier autonomous aircraft integration, decision sciences and cyber physical systems and instrumentation.</p> <p>Koola is a U.S. Fulbright Scholar, a German Alexander Von Humboldt Fellow and a Danish Danida scholar. </p> <p>During his time at IIT Madras, he helped build one of the world’s first bottom-standing offshore wave power plants — the hydrodynamic design of which was part of his Ph.D. thesis. This unique practical experience coupled with international exposure drives his passion to educate the next generation of engineers to develop innovative solutions to the world’s problems.</p> <p>Koola currently serves as the interim coordinator for freshman engineering at Texas A&amp;M University at Galveston, motivating and instilling Aggie values to future budding engineers.  His vision for teaching is to introduce interdisciplinary systems thinking and new and innovative concept generation to the next generation. He is a proponent of experiential learning using student-led projects that can be sponsored by establishing strong relationships with industry partners.</p> <p>His current research interests include applications of systems engineering, machine learning and AI targeted to the marine domain including novel ocean infrastructure. Some of these are smart energy absorbing structures (SEAS), energy stations at sea, renewable energy powered autonomous ocean exploration vehicles and marine cyber security.</p> <p>Koola is a mechanical engineer with a Ph.D. in ocean wave energy from the Indian Institute of Technology, Madras. He also has an MBA from the Mays Business School at Texas A&amp;M. He currently advises startups and small businesses across the globe.</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/08/koola-joins-ocean-engineering-as-professor-of-practice http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/08/koola-joins-ocean-engineering-as-professor-of-practice Thu, 08 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CST Han co-PI on new $4.2 million NIH Tissue Chip Testing Center Deana Totzke <deana@ece.tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/07/han-co-pi-on-new-42-million-nih-tissue-chip-testing-center <p><img width="173" height="222" src="/media/452352/ahan_173x222.jpg" alt="Han, Arum" class="leftalign"/>Dr. Arum Han, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, is the co-PI on a new $4.2 million Tissue Chip Testing Center established at Texas A&amp;M.</p> <p>The center, which is one of two established by the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) of the National Institutes of Health (NIH), will provide a way to test and validate the performances of developed tissue chips. The second center has been established at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.</p> <p><img width="300" height="450" src="/media/4447853/han-story.jpg" alt="Han research" class="rightalign"/>A large number of potential medications fail during human clinical trials because they are found to be either toxic or do not have much effect. Tissue chips, also called organ-on-a-chip or microphysiological systems, are hybrid microsystems that contain both microfabricated structures and human cells to mimic the multi-cellular structure of human organs. These tissue chips are designed to mimic the function of organ systems, and are expected to be used in high-throughput drug screening and toxicity screening assays to faster and more accurately predict the effects of candidate drugs, vaccines or biological agents.</p> <p>The newly established testing center where Han is participating, TEX-VAL: Texas A&amp;M Tissue Chip Validation Center, is led by Dr. Ivan Rusyn professor in the Department of Veterinary Integrative Biosciences at Texas A&amp;M, and funded by a $4.2 million U24 cooperative agreement grant from NIH. Han has been developing microfluidic organ-on-a-chip systems, especially brain-on-a-chip systems, to facilitate drug development for treating neurological disorders. His expertise in microfluidics and organ-on-a-chip systems will be instrumental to the success of the center since the center will be charged to test up to 12 different tissue chips with various drug compounds.</p> <p>The center will test how reproducible, accurate and reliable these developed tissue chips are, and also test whether the tissue chips reproduce the human physiological responses when tested with drug compounds. This stage is critical in moving tissue chips towards widespread use.</p> <p>“This center grant is providing a unique opportunity for tissue chip developers, such as myself, to directly interact with toxicology researchers on campus as well as the pharmaceutical industry consortium and the regulatory agencies such as FDA, by providing a critical test bed for the emerging area of tissue chips,” Han said.</p> <p>Han, director of the NanoBio Systems Lab and an expert in microfluidic lab-on-a-chip technologies, joined the electrical and computer engineering department in 2005. His research is at the interface of micro/nano technology and life sciences, with interest in solving grand challenge problems in the broad area of health and energy through the use of micro/nano systems technology and multidisciplinary team effort. He received the outstanding professor award from the department in 2012, a TEES Fellow award in 2012, the Eugene Webb Faculty Fellow from the college of engineering in 2014, an Engineering Genesis Award for Multidisciplinary Research in 2014, the E. D. Brockett Professorship Award in 2015 and the Dean of Engineering Excellence Award in 2016.</p> <p>For more information visit:</p> <p>NCATS/NIH <a href="https://ncats.nih.gov/tissuechip/projects/centers/2016#texas">website</a>.</p> <p>KBTX <a href="http://www.kbtx.com/content/news/Texas-AM-researching-working-to-make-cosmetics--cleaning-products-safer-398421971.html">article and video</a>.</p> <p>Texas A&amp;M Department of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences <a href="http://vetmed.tamu.edu/news/press-releases/newspress-releasestexas-am-researchers-awarded-grant-to-establish-tissue-chip-center">News Real</a>.</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/07/han-co-pi-on-new-42-million-nih-tissue-chip-testing-center http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/07/han-co-pi-on-new-42-million-nih-tissue-chip-testing-center Wed, 07 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CST Park’s paper published in "Proceedings of the National Academy of Science" Deana Totzke <deana@ece.tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/07/parks-paper-published-in-proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-science <p><img width="138" height="184" src="/media/4223157/sung-il-park_138x184.jpg" alt="Park" class="leftalign"/>Sung Il Park, assistant professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, recently had a paper published in the prestigious research publication Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS).</p> <p><img width="255" height="356" src="/media/4447824/park-image_255x356.jpg" alt="Il Park research" class="rightalign"/>In his paper, "Stretchable multichannel antennas in soft wireless optoelectronic implants for optogenetics," Park says soft, multichannel antennas enable wireless, battery-free operation of fully implantable optoelectronic systems designed for use in studies of brain function. These systems support independent remote control of multiple light-emitting diodes that inject into targeted regions of the deep brain, where they separately stimulate activity in genetically and spatially discrete neural circuits, via the use of the techniques of optogenetics. These capabilities represent significant advancements over alternative technology approaches for this important branch of neuroscience research. In vivo studies using optimized systems demonstrate wireless control of two different brain regions and distinct activation of subpopulations of neurons using separately activated light sources associated with these subdermal devices.</p> <p>PNAS is one of the world's most-cited and comprehensive multidisciplinary scientific journals, publishing more than 3,100 research papers annually. Established in 1914, PNAS publishes cutting-edge research, science news, commentaries, reviews, perspectives, colloquium papers and actions of the National Academy of Sciences.</p> <p>Park earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Stanford University, his Master of Science from the University of Texas at Austin and his Bachelor of Science in Engineering from Hanyang University. His expertise is in soft neural interfaces, low power analog circuits, high frequency RF circuits and antennas and wireless power/communications systems that create new technology for interfacing with individual neurons in the nerve systems to complex neural circuits in the brain.</p> <p>Park has served as a peer reviewer for Applied Physics Letters, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering and Progress in Electromagnetics Research. His recent work on soft, stretchable, fully implantable miniaturized optoelectronic systems for wireless optogenetics has been featured in Nature Biotechnology and several news agencies.</p> <p>The paper can be viewed on the <a href="http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2016/11/23/1611769113.full.pdf">PNAS website</a>.</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/07/parks-paper-published-in-proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-science http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/12/07/parks-paper-published-in-proceedings-of-the-national-academy-of-science Wed, 07 Dec 2016 00:00:00 CST