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 Wed, 04 May 2016 09:00:00 CST Wed, 04 May 2016 09:00:00 CST Civil engineering faculty, staff receive outstanding contribution awards Kristina Ballard <kristina.ballard@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/04/civil-engineering-faculty-staff-receive-outstanding-contribution-awards <p>Staff member Sarah Curylo and Drs. Peter England, H. Gene Hawkins, Jr., Stefan Hurlebaus and Gretchen Miller of the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&amp;M  University, have been awarded College of Engineering excellence awards.</p> <p><img width="100" height="132" src="/media/1942651/scurylo2016web_100x132.jpg" alt="Image of Sarah Curylo" class="leftalign"/>Curylo, administrative coordinator, received the Staff Excellence Award. She joined the department in May 2013 and has since received two departmental excellence awards. Before joining the department, she worked in Engineering Human Resources.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p><img width="100" height="129" src="/media/558440/image-of-peter-england_100x129.jpg" alt="Image of Peter England" class="rightalign"/></p> <p>England, instructional associate professor, was awarded the Instructional Faculty Teaching Award. England began his teaching career teaching composition and literature in a college English program, but soon realized that technical writing and engineering communication were far more interesting. He has been promoted twice within the department. England now spends most of his efforts making sure civil engineering students work on writing and speaking situations that reflect what they will be doing after graduation. His most recent research deals with identifying characteristics of effective educational screencasts.</p> <p><img width="100" height="122" src="/media/544699/hawkins-gene-2014_100x122.jpg" alt="Image of Gene Hawkins" class="leftalign"/>Hawkins, associate professor and Williams Brothers Construction Development Professor, received the William Keeler Memorial Fund for Teaching. He holds a joint appointment as a research engineer with the Texas A&amp;M Transportation Institute (TTI) and serves as an associate director of the Southwest Region University Transportation Center. He received three civil engineering degrees from Texas A&amp;M. Before joining the Texas A&amp;M faculty in 2004, Hawkins worked at TTI for 18 years. </p> <p><img width="100" height="129" src="/media/559084/shurlebaus_100x129.jpg" alt="Image of Stefan Hurlebaus" class="rightalign"/>Hurlebaus, professor, received the Williams Brothers Construction Engineering Fellow Award for outstanding engineering contributions. He joined Texas A&amp;M in 2005. He worked for three years as the head of the adaptive structures group at the Institute of Applied and Experimental Mechanics at the University of Stuttgart, Germany. His research has directly impacted the safety and reliability of infrastructure through better diagnostic techniques, novel mitigation measures to prevent failures due to fatigue and fracture and smart structures to prevent damages from extreme events.</p> <p><img width="100" height="129" src="/media/556580/image-of-gretchen-miller_100x129.jpg" alt="Image of Gretchen Miller" class="leftalign"/>Miller, assistant professor, received the Dean of Engineering Excellence Award. She teaches fluid dynamics and groundwater engineering. She specializes in ecohydrology and groundwater sustainability, focusing on the interactions between groundwater, soil moisture, and vegetation and their implications for managing water resources in semi-arid climates. Her current work aims to better understand groundwater dependent ecosystems and their response to changes in groundwater availability and to improve methods of artificial groundwater recharge, such as aquifer storage and recovery systems.</p> <p>Recipients received their award at the annual banquet on May 3. </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/04/civil-engineering-faculty-staff-receive-outstanding-contribution-awards http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/04/civil-engineering-faculty-staff-receive-outstanding-contribution-awards Wed, 04 May 2016 09:00:00 CST Russell recognized for service to NAE Donald St. Martin <dstmartin@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/04/russell-recognized-for-service-to-nae <p><img width="210" height="270" src="/media/3603778/bdrussell.jpg" alt="Bdrussell" class="rightalign"/>Dr. B. Don Russell, Distinguished Professor and Regents Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, has been recognized by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) for his two-year service as vice chair and chair of membership. In this capacity, Russell has been responsible for the annual election process of NAE, the most prestigious engineering organization in the United States.</p> <p>The academy serves and provides advice to the president, congress and government agencies on all matters of science and engineering. Membership in the academy is one of the highest professional honors an engineer can receive. Russell has previously served NAE as chair of the Electric Power and Energy Section. He has also served as liaison from the academy to the National Research Council.</p> <p>Russell has been a faculty member in the electrical and computer engineering department for 41 years. Russell is a fellow of six technical societies and most recently was elected to the National Academy of Inventors. He serves the university as chair of the Executive Committee of Distinguished Professors. </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/04/russell-recognized-for-service-to-nae http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/04/russell-recognized-for-service-to-nae Wed, 04 May 2016 00:00:00 CST AggieStem wins TxDLA award Timothy Schnettler <tschnettler@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/04/aggiestem-wins-txdla-award <p><img width="400" height="300" src="/media/3603777/unknown_400x300.jpg" alt="Unknown" class="rightalign"/>Aggie STEM, a joint program between the College of Engineering and the College of Education, was selected as the recipient of the 2016 Texas Distance Learning Association (TxDLA) Award for Outstanding Commitment to Excellence and Innovation by a 4-Year Higher Education Institution.</p> <p>The award was based on the team’s innovation in providing both synchronous and asynchronous online STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) professional development for teachers. This includes access for teachers in locations across Texas to view experienced instructors working with secondary students to facilitate STEM project-based learning at Texas A&amp;M University. These opportunities for teachers complement Aggie STEM's work in face-to-face venues on the university campus and on individual K-12 campuses. </p> <p>Aggie STEM began in 2006 as a partnership with Texas A&amp;M and the Dallas ISD. It has since expanded its services to reach numerous public school districts and charter schools across Texas. Aggie STEM is dedicated to providing Texas educators with the tools necessary for advancements in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.</p> <p> </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/04/aggiestem-wins-txdla-award http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/04/aggiestem-wins-txdla-award Wed, 04 May 2016 00:00:00 CST Team to study birds in hopes of creating shapeshifting aircraft wings Jan McHarg <> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/04/team-to-explore-avian-inspired-morphing-aircraft <p><img width="210" height="262" src="/media/3603772/AFRL_sm_210x262.jpg" alt="AFRL Sm" class="rightalign"/>Dr. Darren Hartl, TEES Research Assistant Professor at Texas A&amp;M University, and a team of researchers is using extensive data on avian biological systems in the hopes of creating unmanned aircraft with wings that morph and change during flight, much like a bird.</p> <p>A five-year, $6 million grant sponsored by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research teams, Hartl with engineering researchers from the University of Michigan, Stanford, and UCLA in hopes of dramatically transforming aerodynamic performance. Dr. Daniel Inman, chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Michigan, will serve as the Principal Investigator for the project.</p> <p>By delving deeper into avian neurology and musculature, the team hopes to create unprecedented efficiency and flight longevity in small aircraft and UAVs. To this end, the team will work closely with bird biologists from the United Kingdom’s Royal Veterinary College, the University of British Columbia and Stanford to closely examine the complex systems birds use to alter their wings for flight control. Research will delve into multiple aspects of bird flight: control, aerodynamics, structure and adaptive structures, looking at the muscular-skeletal structures and how bird wings move and adapt in flight.</p> <p>Although previously studied morphing wings have been inspired by avian biology, the grant will be the first to examine the biological systems in such depth. Modern airplanes use drag-inducing flaps and slats for control, but birds manipulate individual feathers or clusters of feathers on their wings, adjusting them to create a fluidly morphing, reduced-drag surface suited to their needs. It has long been a goal to recreate such a flight system, and cutting-edge technology has been developed to examine these mechanisms of flight.</p> <p><img width="300" height="279" src="/media/3603773/SummaryColor_300x279.jpg" alt="Summarycolor" class="leftalign"/>Extending the paradigm of the “muscular-skeletal” structure of birds, the grant will also focus on using distributed multifunctional materials to drive morphing. Hartl will leverage years of experience in shape memory alloy (SMA) aerospace actuators to develop new “muscular” architectures, focusing on the active material that could be used to affect the morphing. Henry Sodano (University of Michigan) will explore new piezoelectric material forms and functions. Piezoelectric materials generally move at higher speeds with lower strengths and smaller motions, while SMAs are slower and have higher strength and larger motions. Both systems will be needed depending on whether the wing needs to morph slowly versus when it needs to move quickly.</p> <p>New distributed sensing systems (Fu-Kuo Chen of Stanford) and neuromorphic computation for control (Yong Chen of UCLA) will also be part of the discovery and implementation process. A parallel effort on bio-inspired evolutionary structural design approaches has also been initiated within the Air Vehicles Division of the Aerospace Systems Directorate at the US Air Force Research Laboratory, where Hartl also holds a position as a contracted research scientist.</p> <p>“It used to be that a biologist would just go out in the field with a pair of binoculars,” said Inman, “but the technology has advanced drastically in recent years.”</p> <p>Hartl added, “We plan to go far beyond simple qualitative imitation; we will quantify effects at the platform scale and muscular-skeletal configurations at the structural scale to develop new solutions to the morphing aircraft problem.”</p> <p>While Inman works on the whole bird, or the plane, Hartl will drill down into the bone and muscle and focus on the structure of the wing, particularly the parts needed to move the structures.</p> <p>Using new kinematics and dynamics data from avian researchers, the engineering team aims to make small airplanes and UAVs lighter, faster and more efficient, enabling longer flights. Drawing on bird biology and recent advancements in active materials, the team will research a morphing wing structure with distributed actuation and sensing that is capable of independent deflections throughout the wing.</p> <p>Hartl will start with ideas that are bio-inspired, including looking at novel energy circuits for active material actuation, much akin to the supply of energy via the bloodstream to the muscles in birds.</p> <p>“We’re looking at supplying electrical energy to shape memory alloy muscles using liquid metals, and then using that same liquid metal to flow the waste heat away,” said Hartl. “We’ll start researching that concept as we await the quantitative data corresponding to observation of the birds.”</p> <p>Research will officially begin with a meeting in Ann Arbor, Michigan on May 13. Hartl’s research begins in the fall when he joins the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&amp;M as a tenure-track assistant professor.</p> <p>His team at Texas A&amp;M will include two graduate students and three undergraduate students. Hartl is in the process of building a dedicated space for the project, including a new experimental wind tunnel test section in the basement of the H.R. Bright Building on the Texas A&amp;M campus. The test section will allow the team to test the muscular solutions with some kind of wing-type structures before integrating them with testing to be done at Michigan.</p> <p>Ultimately the team of collaborators hopes to create a new morphing wing structure capable of dramatically altering aerodynamic performance, allowing for planes that should be lighter, faster and dramatically more maneuverable than today’s stiff-winged aircraft.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/04/team-to-explore-avian-inspired-morphing-aircraft http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/04/team-to-explore-avian-inspired-morphing-aircraft Wed, 04 May 2016 00:00:00 CST Student innovations highlight 2016 Engineering Project Showcase Melanie Balinas <mbalinas@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/04/student-innovations-highlight-2016-engineering-project-showcase <p>The work of more than 700 students was represented at the Engineering Project Showcase on April 29 in the Hall of Champions at Texas A&amp;M University’s Kyle Field.</p> <p>The Engineering Project Showcase provides students an opportunity to demonstrate and display their engineering projects highlighting the ingenuity of engineers solving real-world problems.</p> <p>“The showcase has become a college signature program for industry, students and prospective students,” said Magda Lagoudas, executive director for non-profit partnerships. “It is an amazing feeling to be there and see the wide range of innovative projects on display and students excited to discuss their work. These are the leaders of future technological innovations and we are excited about their positive impact on our world.” </p> <p>The showcase has become a pinnacle event of the year with more than 700 students and 150 engineering projects represented. The event brought industry representatives and judges from nearly 40 companies to campus, providing students an opportunity to network and discuss potential collaborations for their innovations.</p> <p>“The benefit to us is to be able to present a year’s worth of work to an audience,” said senior biomedical engineering student Robert Faries. “It’s great to see all the other teams and their projects and be able to brag on each other.” </p> <p>The awards ceremony at the end of the showcase recognized the top teams with more than $13,000 in prize money awarded. Shell and Emerson sponsored the showcase.</p> <p>“Seeing the amazing work by each student team is truly inspiring,” said Rodney Boehm, director for Aggies Invent.  “Everyone who came to visit was impressed by the technical quality of each project, but more importantly the passion students had about their work. The industry representatives told me how much the showcase allowed them to see how the college of engineering is preparing students for the workplace.”</p> <p>Two teams, Cinching Dual Anchor and Mitigation Methods for Accidental Offshore Oil Spillages, tied for the overall Engineering Project Showcase award.  Each team received a $2,000 prize.</p> <p>Cinching Dual Anchor is a biomedical engineering capstone team under John Hanks and sponsored by Texas Children’s Hospital.  Team members include Sarah Gates Altieri, Jacob Heiner, Rebecca Sehnart, Faries and Berkay Basagaoglu.</p> <p>Mitigation Methods for Accidental Offshore Oil Spillages, isan AggiE_Challenge team under Dr. Zhang Cheng in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering. Team members include Monica Cuerno, Andrew Nguyen, Chang-Hyun Choi, Khuong Le, Matthew Carlin, Ehab Abo Deeb, Magy Avedissian and Nian Wei Tan</p> <p>The $1,000 Emerson Award for the highest placing capstone team  went to TSAT Communications: a CubeSat to Earth Communications Development.  Its team members included Trent Tate, Dakotah Karrer, Vince Rodriguez, David Smith and faculty advisor Mike Willey. It was sponsored by TSAT.</p> <p>The $1,000 Shell Award for the highest placing non-capstone team was a tie between the Texas A&amp;M Hyperloop Teamand Point of Care Health Informatics for Proactive Epilepsy Seizure Alert.</p> <p>The Hyperloop team was under the direction ofDr. Adonios Karpetis and Dr. Moble Benedict from the Department of Aerospace Engineering. Team members included Ashley Harris, Matthew Connely, Dean Ellis, Lucas Mussina, Christian Sotello, Brian Hubbard, Michael Bayern, Sreekanth Reddy and Daniel Mullen</p> <p>Point of Care Health Informatics for Proactive Epilepsy Seizure Alert, an AggiE_Challenge team, was under the direction of Dr. Satish Bukkapatman from the Department of Industrial Engineering. Team members included Ashif Sikandar Iquebal, Matthew Aquirre, Arwah Al-Kahtani, Cihan Barnett, Elnihum Lujain, Heran Guan, Ngan Le, Loke Binti Nur Sheril, Zimo Wang, Kahkashan Afrin, Iskander El Amri, Christina Sheldon, Advait Parulekar, Nguyen Ngan and Nguyen My Duyen</p> <p>In addition to the large overall awards 10 awards of $500 each were given for best Capstone projects in various departments, AggiE_Challenge, Ennovator (which includes Aggies Invent, EPICS and Startup Aggieland) small design team and large design team (10 or more students).</p> <p><strong>Biological and Agricultural Engineering</strong><br />Aquatics Robotics – SARA — San Antonio River Authority, sponsor.  Dr. Gregory Stark, faculty advisor. Team members: Lauren Nemec, Spencer Corry, James Veselka and Hunter Teel</p> <p><strong>Biomedical Engineering</strong><br />Noninvasive Hypoglycemia Monitoring System — Dr. John Hanks and Dr. Ellen Friendman, sponsors. Team members: Andrew Sutter, Kelsey Hicks, Utashya Shah, Andrew Lipinski and Visesh Keerty</p> <p>Cinching Dual Anchor — Texas Children’s Hospital, sponsor. Dr. John Hanks, adviser. Team members: Sarah Gates Altieri, Jacob Heiner, Rebecca Sehnart, Robert Faries and Berkay Basagaoglu</p> <p><strong>Electrical and Computer Engineering</strong><br />Ericsson Drone Signal Surveying — Ericsson, sponsor. Dr. Sam Villareal, adviser. Team members: Braeden Levine, Nicolas Bain, Kyle Sparrow and Yinwei Zhang</p> <p>Tactical Data System — Dr. Sam Villareal, adviser. Team members: Randy Neal, Renito Ramirez, Kevin Wilkens and Raul de la Fuente</p> <p><strong>Mechanical Engineering</strong><br />Improvement of Consumer Ice Chest — Igloo, sponsor. Dr. Noushin Amini, adviser. Team members: Hunter Strickland, Fengyi Fi, Tyler Buffington, Keven Kleppe and Joshua Lockhart </p> <p>Smart Valve Monitoring System — Bray Controls, sponsor. Dr. Noushin Amini, adviser. Team members: Joel Sam, Samuel Luedeker, Maxwell Snodgress, Shyla Escobedo, Jesse Yancy and Alex Schoening</p> <p><strong>Industrial and Systems Engineering</strong><br />Optimizing Delivery Territories and Vehicle Balance Plan for New UPS Hub — UPS, sponsor.  Dr. Erick Moreno, adviser. Team members: Sarah Valero, Charles Bentz, Cody Keller and Robin Hall</p> <p><strong>Engineering Technology and Industrial Distribution</strong><br />TSAT Communications: A CubeSat to Earth Communications Development</p> <p><strong>Ennovator</strong><br />Lite Alert Infant Monitoring Detector —  An Aggies Invent team working with Texas Children’s Hospital. Team members: Maximiliano Ortiz, Kristen Calhoun, Jessica Brezicha and Jessica Hanson</p> <p><strong>AggiE_Challenge</strong><br />Mitigation Methods for Accidental Offshore Oil Spillages</p> <p><strong>Small Design Team</strong><br />The Nanowell: A Novel Approach to Water Generation  — Team members: Coleman Fincher, Jeffery Ott, Jeffy Ho and Geoffrey Garner</p> <p><strong>Large Design Team</strong><br />TAMU Hyperloop Team</p> <p> </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/04/student-innovations-highlight-2016-engineering-project-showcase http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/04/student-innovations-highlight-2016-engineering-project-showcase Wed, 04 May 2016 00:00:00 CST Dai and Choi awarded Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers scholarships Donald St. Martin <dstmartin@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/04/dai-and-choi-awarded-society-of-tribologists-and-lubrication-engineers-scholarships <p>Wei Dai and Hyunho Choi, graduate students in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, were each awarded scholarships from the Houston Section of the Society of Tribologists and Lubrication Engineers (STLE) to study tribology.</p> <p>Dai has been conducting fundamental investigation in tribofilms and Choi has focused on physical principles of liquid-solid interfaces. Their research would benefit energy savings in mechanical systems such as engines and turbines and the protection in the surface of material systems.</p> <p>Beside research, both students have been actively involved as leaders in the Texas A&amp;M Student Chapter of STLE-Houston and organize monthly webinars. They are currently putting symposiums together for the STLE annual meeting to be held in May on the topics of tribology and manufacturing. At the annual conference, they will present research and also chair technical sessions. </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/04/dai-and-choi-awarded-society-of-tribologists-and-lubrication-engineers-scholarships http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/04/dai-and-choi-awarded-society-of-tribologists-and-lubrication-engineers-scholarships Wed, 04 May 2016 00:00:00 CST ETID student startup showcase Kidron Vestal <kidron@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/03/etid-student-startup-showcase <p><img width="450" height="301" src="/media/3596579/students.png" alt="Students_ETID" class="leftalign"/><br />Students from the Department of Engineering Technology &amp; Industrial Distribution at Texas A&amp;M University recently participated in an event that featured displays of student entrepreneurial ventures and a panel of industry speakers.</p> <p>Semester coursework for the class, IDIS 454: New Directions in Distributor Competitiveness, includes the student startup exhibit with subject areas ranging from food delivery services to outdoor adventure guides.</p> <p>Many professionals across the industrial distribution field visited with students throughout the semester and several gave remarks on this occasion. </p> <p>On the subject of pursuing success, Bob Borsh, former president of House of Forgings, Inc., said, “Those that want to make it, go for it.”</p> <p>Students were encouraged to represent their business models as they might in the real world. Several teams are considering continuing with their project after graduation.</p> <p><img width="345" height="269" src="/media/3596578/borsh_345x269.jpg" alt="Bosh" class="rightalign"/>Team “Grizzly South” is a figurative company that proposes a business plan to offer the Texas Hill Country community affordable means by which to explore nature through a variety of guided trips.</p> <p>“Some of us are more involved in it than others and would like to take it forth, but it will depend on popularity if we start to do merchandising,” McKenzie Hall, a junior, said of her group.</p> <p>Fellow team partner, Eugene Richards, class of 2016, said that knowing how to create a business plan is valuable, adding, “It’s been a wonderful treat going through this experience.”</p> <p>“This whole exercise was aimed at providing students an exposure to what it takes to start a business on their own,” said Dr. Malini Natarajarathinam, associate professor and honors program coordinator. “It became a rich experience for the students mainly because of the participation of the many mentors.” </p> <p>Photo (Top): “Grizzly South” team members (from left): Eugene Richards, McKenzie Hall, Michael Nguyen and Ricky Hill. Not pictured: Benjamin Stumpf and Yongjun Kwon.</p> <p>Photo (Right): Bob Borsh, former president of House of Forgings, Inc., gives advice to students.</p> <p> </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/03/etid-student-startup-showcase http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/03/etid-student-startup-showcase Tue, 03 May 2016 00:00:00 CST Student project hopes to impact Guatemalan women Kristina Ballard <kristina.ballard@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/03/student-project-hopes-to-impact-guatemalan-women <p><img width="399" height="299" src="/media/3596576/cooper-eng-showcase_399x299.jpg" alt="Cooper Eng Showcase" class="leftalign"/>Madison Cooper, an undergraduate student in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, participated in the 2016 Engineering Project Showcase on April 29. Over 150 engineering projects from every discipline within the Dwight Look College of Engineering were on display. The team, the Guatemala Project, competed in the Engineering Projects in Community Service division of the showcase that focuses on projects completed by multidisciplinary and multi-level student teams as part of a technical elective course. These projects are focused on engineering design, span several semesters, and are usually sponsored by nonprofit organizations.</p> <p>The team, which includes Cooper ’18, chemical engineering students Joe Hall ’17 and Ben Hall ’17, and general engineering student Isabel Hegedus ’19, sought to provide a solution for the Texas A&amp;M Conflict and Development Center’s Guatemala project to enhance the livelihood and incomes of rural women by building facilities for women to bring their home grown vegetables to be washed and packaged. The women can then sell their washed and packaged produce to make money for their families. These facilities only have one sink to wash with and a high volume of produce to be washed, which is the problem that Cooper and her team hope to solve with its project.</p> <p>They developed a human powered mechanical device operated by a foot pedal which spins a mesh basket that is partially submerged in the sink. The vegetables inside the basket are agitated by the motion, which cleans off the dirt like a washing machine cleans clothing. In June 2016, the center will take the 3-D model and engineering drawings of the project to Guatemala where a local engineer will fabricate a full sized prototype to be tested in the facilities. If all goes well with the testing phase, more will be manufactured and one will be delivered to each of these facilities. If each facility receives one of these devices, Cooper and her team’s project will impact the lives of over 2,000 Guatemalan women.</p> <p>For more information on Texas A&amp;M Conflict and Development Center: <a href="http://condevcenter.org">http://condevcenter.org</a></p> <p><span>Contributing author: Ryan Terry </span></p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/03/student-project-hopes-to-impact-guatemalan-women http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/03/student-project-hopes-to-impact-guatemalan-women Tue, 03 May 2016 00:00:00 CST NSSPI celebrates 10 year anniversary Kelley Ragusa <kelleyragusa@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/03/nsspi-celebrates-10-year-anniversary <p>The Nuclear Security Science and Policy Institute (NSSPI) held an event on April 25 to celebrate its 10th anniversary. NSSPI students, faculty and staff joined with administrators and collaborators from the Department of Nuclear Engineeringat Texas A&amp;M University, the Bush School of Government and Public Service and various other departments across The Texas A&amp;M University System to mark this milestone. As part of the program, current NSSPI Director, Dr. Sunil Chirayath, along with founding NSSPI Director, Dr. William Charlton, and nuclear engineering Department Head, Dr. Yassin Hassan, spoke about the history of NSSPI and its success over the past 10 years.</p> <p><img width="400" height="267" src="/media/3596575/anniversary-celebration-8994_400x267.jpg" alt="Anniversary -celebration -8994" class="rightalign"/>The Texas A&amp;M University System Board of Regents established NSSPI as a joint institute of Texas A&amp;M University and the Texas A&amp;M Engineering Experiment Station (TEES) in March 2006. NSSPI was the first university-based institute with a higher-education mission in the United States to focus specifically on the technical aspects of nuclear security and the interface between nuclear security science and national and international policy. NSSPI's earliest activities focused on promoting graduate-level education and research in nuclear material safeguards, and enhancing national security against nuclear terrorism. This was done largely in collaboration with the Bush School. More recently, NSSPI has also become very involved in nuclear security workforce development abroad in countries such as India, Indonesia, Brazil, Jordan and Nigeria.</p> <p>In the past 10 years, NSSPI students in the Department of Nuclear Engineering earned 49 Master of Science degrees, three Master of Engineering degrees, and 18 Ph.D. degrees through sponsored research in nuclear security and related topics. These students have gone on to jobs in various national laboratories, federal agencies, academia and the nuclear industry. NSSPI research projects have also supported numerous graduate students in other research areas within nuclear engineering, as well as other departments across campus, including the Bush School, mathematics, industrial and systems engineering, electrical engineering, political science, computer science, chemical engineering and statistics.</p> <p>Not only do NSSPI students learn about nuclear security through traditional classes and laboratory exercises on campus, but they also get to experience nuclear security through hands-on short courses at national laboratories, international and domestic nuclear facilities experiences, interactions with other young nuclear security professionals around the world through international workshops and meetings, and research projects in nuclear security topics. Texas A&amp;M also founded the first student chapter of the Institute of Nuclear Materials Management (INMM), which is advised by NSSPI faculty and has led to the creation of similar student INMM chapters in the United States and around the world.</p> <p>As part of the celebration, NSSPI compiled a video of interviews from people who were instrumental to the founding and continued success of NSSPI as an organization, as well as videos from former students, current students and collaborators. </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/03/nsspi-celebrates-10-year-anniversary http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/03/nsspi-celebrates-10-year-anniversary Tue, 03 May 2016 00:00:00 CST Kuo's SSI-LED research improves microelectronics inside everyday technologies Robert (Chris) Scoggins <rcscoggins@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/03/kuos-ssi-led-research-improves-microelectronics-inside-everyday-technologies <p>Dr. Yue Kuo, professor in the Artie McFerrin Department of Chemical Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, is continuing ongoing research in the field of microelectronics and semiconductor microchips that is evolving everyday technology such as cellphones, televisions, computers and more through the use of light emitting diodes (LED).</p> <p>Kuo’s research group focuses on the development of semiconductors for micro and nano electronic uses. This has entailed working with technologies from television screens to devices like universal serial bus (USB) flash drives to make them faster, smaller and more power efficient.</p> <p><img width="438" height="369" src="/media/3596570/coverpage-photo-jss-2016-03-1-.jpg" alt="KUO_SSI" style="display: block; margin-left: auto; margin-right: auto;"/></p> <p>Kuo and his research group have developed a new type of LED known as a solid state incandescent light emitting device (SSI-LED). This device would emit light for an extended lifetime at a very low energy cost. Kuo currently has one of these LEDs his group has deployed that has been continuously emitting light for in excess of 18,000 hours. The development of these LED devices has progressed from the same kind of technology that powered the first incandescent light bulb developed by Thomas Edison.</p> <p>“The chips used to make electronic devices work [come] from the vacuum tube,” Kuo said. “It was invented in 1907, and this tube was big. The first computer ever invented was made of thousands of these tubes. However, these vacuum tubes are not very reliable and the power consumption is very high and they burn out easily.”</p> <p>Kuo explains that technology has leaped from the vacuum tube, to transistor, to the modern microchip, which enables scientists to fit billions and billions of transistors into a single chip. Beyond microchips are the semiconductors that Kuo primarily works with that form the essential computer hardware components of electronic circuits. While advanced, similar issues that plagued traditional vacuum tubes such as a short life span and energy inefficiency, still effect modern day semiconductors, according to Kuo.</p> <p>“What I and my group have done is invented a new light bulb that is very similar in comparison to the leap from a vacuum tube to a computer chip,” Kuo said. “We make a small chip with no vacuum that can emit light, but is so small, smaller than your fingernail, that it will not burn out after even 20,000 hours of use. </p> <p>For comparison, current larger incandescent light bulbs have a maximum lifespan of around 2,000 hours of use, meaning that Kuo’s SSI-LED is both more energy efficiency and has greater device  longevity than conventional technology in addition to being no bigger than a human fingernail. The SSI-LED that Kuo and his group have developed has many uses, one of which includes potentially using the light emitting technology to transfer electrical signals within computing devices. Kuo believes that a development of this magnitude would change the way everyday computer users are able to communicate with one another.</p> <p>“The computer chips we have today are very fast, but as you know nothing satisfies us and no matter how fast we have, we want faster,” Kuo said.  “We’ve come, in terms of the modern design for computer chips, almost near the limit. The current speed is limited by how fast the signal is transmitted by metal. What we want to do is to transmit signals by light.”</p> <p>The LED Kuo’s group has invented is made out of silicon, giving it the potential to transmit signals in machines by light. This method would send signals tens of thousands of times faster than current transmission methods allow.</p> <p>“SSI-lEDs are an extension of Edison’s technology in a way,” Kuo said. “Inside each are many, many small dots that emit light, each oneis like Edison’s lamp. The engineers in my group use chemical engineering training to make computer chips and transistors that we make into things like your LCD TV’s that affect the lives of all people every day and that kind of potential is limitless.”</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/03/kuos-ssi-led-research-improves-microelectronics-inside-everyday-technologies http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2016/05/03/kuos-ssi-led-research-improves-microelectronics-inside-everyday-technologies Tue, 03 May 2016 00:00:00 CST