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, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 CST Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 CST Dehghanian among 20 young scholars to attend international seminar Shraddha Sankhe <shraddha@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/17/dehghanian-among-20-young-scholars-to-attend-international-seminar <p>Payman Dehghanian, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, is among 20 young scholars from across the globe who have been selected to attend the Next Generation of Research in Electric Power Systems seminar in April at Tsinghua University in Beijing. This is the second consecutive year that he has been invited.</p> <p>“I am excited to present my research and undergo creativity training to solve the major challenges of the future electricity grids,” said Dehghanian.</p> <p>Dehghanian is in the final year of his graduate studies and is advised by <a href="https://engineering.tamu.edu/electrical/people/mkezunovic">Dr. Mladen Kezunovic</a>, the Eugene E. Webb Professor in the department. Dehghanian is currently president of the Texas A&amp;M student branch joint chapter of the IEEE Power and Energy Society, Power Electronics Society and Industry Applications Society. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Tehran in 2009 and his master's degree from Sharif University of Technology in 2011, both in electrical engineering. His research interests include power system protection and control, power system reliability, asset management, maintenance scheduling, renewable integration and smart-grid applications.</p> <p>In February, Dehghanian co-chaired the inaugural 2017 <a href="http://pect.tamu.edu/">Texas Power and Energy Conference</a> on campus, which was the first student-run power engineering conference in the state of Texas.</p> <p>Dehghanian’s other honors include being awarded a scholarship from the Association of Energy Engineers Lone Star Chapter, being selected as a potential future leader by IEEE, receiving the Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid-of-Research, receiving a second place prize for Best Poster Award at the 2016 IEEE Power and Energy Society Transmission and Distribution Conference and Exposition, receiving a research grant scholarship from the American Public Power Association under the Demonstration of Energy and Efficiency Development Program, being awarded the Roland and Margaret Prove Southerland Aggie Leader Scholarship for the 2016-17 academic year and being selected as the IEEE Industry Application Society Electric Safety Workshop 2017 student program chair.</p> <p>Dehghanian was also selected for the Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals Higher Standards Scholarship and a Graduate Student Presentation Grant, funded by the Association of Former Students and the Office of Graduate and Professional Studies at Texas A&amp;M.</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/17/dehghanian-among-20-young-scholars-to-attend-international-seminar http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/17/dehghanian-among-20-young-scholars-to-attend-international-seminar Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 CST Saghati receives IEEE graduate fellowship Shraddha Sankhe <shraddha@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/17/saghati-receives-ieee-graduate-fellowship <p>Ali Pourghorban Saghati, a graduate student in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, is among 12 elite graduate students from across the globe to have been named a recipient of IEEE’s Microwave Theory and Techniques Society (MTT-S) Graduate Fellowship. He is the first Texas A&amp;M graduate student to receive this fellowship.</p> <p>Saghati received the fellowship for his research proposal, “Near-Field Microwave Sensor for Contact-Less Ultra-Wide-Band Dielectric Spectroscopy,” conducted under the supervision of his adviser <a href="https://engineering.tamu.edu/electrical/people/kentesari">Dr. Kamran Entesari</a>, an associate professor in the electrical and computer engineering department.</p> <p>Saghati has been the primary author of eight publications in high-impact IEEE peer-reviewed international journals and conferences. His recent paper on microwave miniaturization techniques was listed as the most popular paper of IEEE Transactions on Microwave Theory and Techniques in January 2016.</p> <p>He received his Master of Science degree with honors in electrical engineering from Ferdowsi University of Mashhad in Iran in 2014, and he is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in electrical engineering at Texas A&amp;M. His research interests include miniaturized RF/Microwave passives and antennas, reconfigurable multiband and broadband antennas, and microwave chemical sensing suitable for lab-on-a-board applications. Saghati was a recipient of the department’s graduate student scholarship in 2014 and the L. Fouraker Fellowship in 2016.</p> <p>The fellowship will be presented during the Student Awards Luncheon at the 2017 International Microwave Symposium in June in Honolulu, Hawaii.</p> <p> </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/17/saghati-receives-ieee-graduate-fellowship http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/17/saghati-receives-ieee-graduate-fellowship Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 CST Vice chancellor and dean and two college of engineering faculty members appointed University Distinguished Professors Donald St. Martin <dstmartin@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/17/vice-chancellor-and-dean-and-two-college-of-engineering-faculty-members-appointed-university-distinguished-professors <p><img width="547" height="195" src="/media/4705749/distinguished-professors-cropped_547x195.jpg" alt="Alfriend, Banks and Needleman" class="leftalign rightalign"/>Three from the Texas A&amp;M University College of Engineering have been appointed as University Distinguished Professors. The recipients are Dr. Kyle T. Alfriend, TEES Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering; Dr. M. Katherine Banks, professor and holder of the Harold J. Haynes Dean’s Chair in the Zachry Department of Civil Engineering; and Dr. Alan Needleman, TEES Distinguished Research Professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. The title, which is bestowed in perpetuity, is among the highest honors awarded to Texas A&amp;M faculty members.</p> <p>The 2017 University Distinguished Professor honorees join a select group of more than 90 current faculty members who hold the prestigious title. The designation denotes a faculty member who is pre-eminent in his or her field, has made at least one seminal contribution to the discipline, and whose work is central in any narrative of the field and is widely recognized to have changed the direction of scholarship in the field.</p> <p>“University Distinguished Professors represent the highest level of achievement for our faculty,” said Dr. Karan L. Watson, provost and executive vice president. “They are recognized as pre-eminent scholars in their fields and their accomplishments are exemplified by seminal contributions to their respective disciplines. They demonstrate to the world the high quality of scholarship underway at Texas A&amp;M University.”</p> <p><strong>Dr. Kyle T. “Terry” Alfriend</strong> </p> <p>Alfriend joined the faculty of the college of engineering in 1997. He earned his Ph.D. in engineering mechanics from Virginia Tech. Before coming to Texas A&amp;M, Alfriend served on the faculty of Cornell University, conducted postdoctoral research at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center and held positions with the Naval Research Laboratory, CIA Office of Development and Engineering and the Naval Postgraduate School.</p> <p>Alfriend’s primary expertise is astrodynamics. His diverse career experience includes research, development and management in the private sector, government and academia. He is recognized for his theoretical contributions, applied research and leadership in satellite orbital mechanics and spacecraft attitude control. </p> <p>Alfriend is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and a Fellow of the American Astronomical Society (AAS). He has received the prestigious AIAA Mechanics and Control of Flight Award and AAS Dirk Brouwer Award. In 2016, he received the AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Award that is given to one person every other year, and he received a Distinguished Achievement Award for Research from The Texas A&amp;M Association of Former Students.</p> <p>Alfriend has published one book, two book chapters and more than 280 journal and conference papers in astrodynamics. His paper “The State Transition Matrix of Relative Motion for the Perturbed Non-circular Reference Orbit” has been cited more than 200 times.</p> <p><strong>Dr. M. Katherine Banks</strong>  </p> <p>Banks also serves as vice chancellor and dean of the college of engineering and director of the Texas A&amp;M Engineering Experiment Station.</p> <p>Banks received her Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from Duke University and joined the faculty of the Texas A&amp;M University College of Engineering in 2012. She previously served on the faculty of the Lyles School of Engineering at Purdue University, served as head of the Department of Civil Engineering and directed two research centers and one state-supported center. </p> <p>She is a pioneer in the field of phytoremediation of organic contaminants, having published the first article assessing microbial degradation of petroleum degradation in the rhizosphere and conducted the first large-scale trial of phytoremediation of petroleum contaminants in California, Virginia, New Jersey and Texas. Banks is also recognized as a leader in phytostabilization of metal contaminants, publishing on the mobilization and uptake of heavy metals in the rhizosphere. In addition, she is a recognized leader in applied biofilm research. Her earlier work evaluated the competition of bacterial species in biofilm and more recently focused on developing tools to assess microbial activity at the nanometer scale. She created a unique biofilm water recycling system to be used by NASA in a future Mars mission.</p> <p>Banks is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and is a recipient of the Margaret Petersen Woman of the Year Award and the Rudolph Hering Medal, both from the American Society of Civil Engineers. She has published 107 peer-reviewed articles, 37 peer-reviewed proceedings and book chapters, has over 200 presentations and has been responsible for $24 million in research funding.</p> <p><strong>Dr. Alan Needleman </strong></p> <p>Needleman joined the faculty of the college of engineering in 2015. He earned his doctorate in engineering from Harvard University. </p> <p>Following a career spanning almost 45 years with service at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Brown University and the University of North Texas, Needleman was a member of the inaugural class of Texas A&amp;M University Institute for Advanced Study (TIAS) Fellows in 2013.</p> <p>Needleman is a preeminent leader in the area of mathematical modeling of materials. His contributions include the development of a ductile fracture computational methodology, the development of cohesive surface methods for fracture analysis and creation of a framework that enables the use of discrete dislocation plasticity to solve general boundary value problems. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.</p> <p>Needleman is the recipient of a number of top honors and awards, including a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Timoshenko Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the Prager Medal from the Society of Engineering Science and the Drucker Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He was recognized by the Institute for Scientific Information as a Highly Cited Author in both the fields of engineering and materials science. His work has received more than 20,000 citations.</p> <p>Texas A&amp;M President Michael K. Young and the Texas A&amp;M Foundation will host a reception on April 26 recognizing the new university distinguished professors and honoring all of the University Distinguished Professors. More information, including a complete list of University Distinguished Professors, is available online at: <a href="http://dof.tamu.edu/Awards-and-Honors/University-Distinguished-Professor/UNIVERSITY-DISTINGUISHED-PROFESSORS" title="TAMU distinguished professors">http://dof.tamu.edu/Awards-and-Honors/University-Distinguished-Professor/UNIVERSITY-DISTINGUISHED-PROFESSORS</a>.</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/17/vice-chancellor-and-dean-and-two-college-of-engineering-faculty-members-appointed-university-distinguished-professors http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/17/vice-chancellor-and-dean-and-two-college-of-engineering-faculty-members-appointed-university-distinguished-professors Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 CST Student-run 2017 Texas Power and Energy Conference kicks off on campus Shraddha Sankhe <shraddha@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/17/student-run-2017-texas-power-and-energy-conference-kicks-off-on-campus <p>Students from Texas A&amp;M University’s IEEE Power and Energy Society, Power Electronics Society and Industry Applications Society joint chapters hosted the inaugural 2017 Texas Power and Energy Conference (<a href="http://pect.tamu.edu/">TPEC</a>) Feb. 9 and 10 on campus. The conference was the first one of its kind in the state of Texas and was completely student-run.</p> <p>More than 100 participants from industry and 17 universities from across the globe attended the event.</p> <p><a href="https://vpr.tamu.edu/about/vpr">Dr. Glen A. Laine</a>, vice president for research at Texas A&amp;M, kicked off the conference with his opening remarks, which was followed by <a href="https://engineering.tamu.edu/electrical/people/nreddy">Dr. Narasimha Reddy</a>, associate dean for research in the College of Engineering, who welcomed and introduced the power systems and energy community to Texas A&amp;M traditions.</p> <p>“The electric power industry is rapidly changing, with lots of new research helping to drive this innovation,” said <a href="https://engineering.tamu.edu/electrical/people/overbye-thomas">Dr. Thomas Overbye</a>, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and TPEC adviser. “Texas is certainly a leader in this effort, so it is exciting to have a conference here on campus in which researchers, including students, can present their latest work.”<a href="https://engineering.tamu.edu/electrical/people/nreddy" class="rightalign"><img width="516" height="344" src="/media/4705746/tpec-1_364x242.jpg" alt="TPEC 2017 2" class="leftalign"/></a></p> <p>The keynote speakers at the conference included Cheryl Mele, senior vice president and chief operating officer of the Electric Reliability Council of Texas; Dr. Robin Podmore, president of IncSys Corporation and co-founder of IEEE Smart Village; Kenneth Mercado, senior vice president of electric operations for CenterPoint Energy; Dr. Mark Laufenberg, senior vice president of PowerWorld Corporation; and Dr. Wei-Jen Lee, vice president of the IEEE Industry Applications Society.</p> <p><a href="https://engineering.tamu.edu/electrical/people/lxie">Dr. Le Xie</a>, associate professor in the electrical and computer engineering department and TPEC adviser, led and moderated a panel discussion about the future of power and energy and its impact on society with <a href="https://engineering.tamu.edu/electrical/people/mkezunovic">Dr. Mladen Kezunovic</a>, Eugene E. Webb Professor and Regents Professor in the electrical and computer engineering department; Dr. Robert Hebner, research professor and director of the Center for Electromechanics at The University of Texas at Austin; Dr. Wei-Jen Lee, professor and director of the Energy Systems Research Center at The University of Texas at Arlington; and Dr. Masoud Barati, an instructional faculty member in the Cullen College of Engineering at the University Houston.</p> <p>Twenty-eight technical papers were presented at the conference and submitted to be included in the IEEEXplore database.</p> <p>“The conference provided an opportunity for researchers, especially graduate students, to present and publicize new and interesting research quickly to a wide range of audiences, both at the conference and through the IEEEXplore archive,” said Adam Birchfield, conference student chair and graduate student in the electrical and computer engineering department. “The students involved in the leadership committee gained experience in organizing a successful, high-quality technical program, and coordinating to create an event that would be valuable for industry and academic attendees alike."</p> <p>“The students put countless hours of hard work and dedication to the success of this conference,” said Xie. “This is yet another great example of leadership and service by a Texas A&amp;M student organization.”</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/17/student-run-2017-texas-power-and-energy-conference-kicks-off-on-campus http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/17/student-run-2017-texas-power-and-energy-conference-kicks-off-on-campus Fri, 17 Feb 2017 00:00:00 CST Alfriend appointed University Distinguished Professor Jan McHarg <> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/16/alfriend-appointed-university-distinguished-professor <p><img width="210" height="270" src="/media/3521220/T-Alfriend.jpg" alt="T Alfriend" class="rightalign"/>Dr. Kyle T. Alfriend, TEES Distinguished Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, has been appointed a University Distinguished Professor. The title, which is bestowed in perpetuity, is among the highest honors awarded to Texas A&amp;M faculty members.</p> <p>For more than 40 years, Alfriend has been making key contributions to the understanding of the flight mechanics and control of space vehicles. His career includes an unusually rich mix of experience in academia, industry and government.</p> <p>Alfriend’s innovations appear prominently in subjects as diverse as analytical celestial mechanics; satellite formation flying; attitude dynamics and control; surveillance of space; probabilistic problems in astrodynamics including probability-of-collision formulations used by NASA to ensure safety of manned space flight; and application of space systems to intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance.</p> <p>While his primary expertise is astrodynamics, Alfriend’s diverse experience includes research, development and management in the private sector, government and academia. Papers from every phase of his career continue to be cited regularly at conferences and in journals.</p> <p>Alfriend joined the faculty of the Texas A&amp;M College of Engineering in 1997.  He earned his Ph.D. in engineering mechanics from Virginia Tech. Before coming to Texas A&amp;M, Alfriend served on the faculty of Cornell University, conducted postdoctoral research at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, and held positions with the Naval Research Laboratory, CIA Office of Development and Engineering, and the Naval Postgraduate School.</p> <p>His many honors include election to the National Academy of Engineering, election to the International Academy of Astronautics and a citation for a Navy Meritorious Civilian Service Award. He is an Honorary Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and a Fellow of the American Astronomical Society, and has received both the Mechanics and Control of Flight Award and the Dirk Brouwer Award from these societies.</p> <p>In 2016, Alfriend received the AIAA Guidance, Navigation and Control Award that is given to one person every other year, and he received a Distinguished Achievement Award for Research from The Texas A&amp;M Association of Former Students. Alfriend has also received the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) International Scientific Cooperation Award for his decade-long efforts to organize the U.S./Russian Space Surveillance Workshop series. He continues today as one of the two principal American organizers of this unique contribution to international understanding.</p> <p>In addition to his academic and industrial posts, Alfriend has served as editor-in-chief of the <i>Journal of Guidance, Control and Dynamics</i>, and the <i>Journal of the Astronautical Sciences</i> and as associate editor of the <i>International Journal of Celestial Mechanics and Dynamical Astronomy</i>.</p> <p> </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/16/alfriend-appointed-university-distinguished-professor http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/16/alfriend-appointed-university-distinguished-professor Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 CST Mortari to deliver plenary lecture at Israel Annual Conference on Aerospace Sciences Jan McHarg <> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/16/mortari-to-deliver-plenary-lecture-at-israel-annual-conference-on-aerospace-sciences <p><img width="210" height="280" src="/media/4447833/D_Mortari_2016_ue_210x280.jpg" alt="D Mortari 2016 Ue" class="rightalign"/>Dr. Daniele Mortari, professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, has been invited to deliver a plenary lecture at the 57<sup>th</sup> Israel Annual Conference on Aerospace Sciences March 15-16, in Tel Aviv and Haifa, Israel.  The conference covers all areas of aerospace sciences, attracting about 500 participants from academia and industry.</p> <p>Mortari will speak on “From Art to Science: The Satellite Constellation Evolution.” He will focus his talk on the recent approaches to design satellite constellations complete with animations.</p> <p>The flower constellations theory evolution began with Luigi Broglio’s “Sistem Quadrifoglio,” a four-satellite configuration to study how the upper part of the atmosphere — the troposphere — is affected by solar activity.</p> <p>In 2003, Mortari generalized some properties of this constellation and created the original theory of Flower Constellations. This new way to design satellite constellations has generated interesting subsets such as the shape-preserving constellations, the rock around orbits and the two-way orbits.</p> <p>Because of number theory mathematical properties, the theory has been generalized to the 2-D and 3-D Lattice versions, and finally to the Necklace problem. The mathematics behind the design process uses number theory relationship.</p> <p>Unexpected, untapped and unexplored constellations can be created not only to improve the existing applications — communications, observation and  GPS — but also for potential current and futuristic applications. The art of designing orbits, satellite constellations and formations will have a large impact on the future space mission architectures and concepts.</p> <p>Mortari works in the field of attitude and position estimation, satellite constellation design and sensor data processing. In addition, he has taught in the School of Aerospace Engineering at the University of Rome, and in electronic engineering at the University of Perugia. </p> <p>He received his doctorate in nuclear engineering from the University of Rome “La Sapienza” in 1981. He is an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and Amerian Astronautical Society (AAS) Fellow, AIAA Associate Fellow, Honorary Member of IEEE-AESS Space System Technical Panel and former IEEE Distinguished Speaker.</p> <p>He has published approximately 300 papers, and has been widely recognized for his work, including receiving a best paper award from AAS/AIAA, two NASA’s Group Achievement Awards, a 2003 Spacecraft Technology Center Award, the prestigious 2007 IEEE Judith A. Resnik Award and the 2016 AAS Dirk Brouwer Award.</p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/16/mortari-to-deliver-plenary-lecture-at-israel-annual-conference-on-aerospace-sciences http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/16/mortari-to-deliver-plenary-lecture-at-israel-annual-conference-on-aerospace-sciences Thu, 16 Feb 2017 00:00:00 CST Jiménez serves as program chair of HPCA 2017 Rachel Rose <rdaggie@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/15/jimenez-serves-as-program-chair-of-hpca-2017 <p><img width="180" height="245" src="/media/552380/jimenez.jpg" alt="Image of Daniel Jimenez" class="rightalign"/>Dr. Daniel A. Jiménez, professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, was elected program chair of the 2017 Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture (HPCA).</p> <p>HPCA offers attendees the opportunity to network with leaders in the area of high-performance computer architecture. Along with the International Symposium on Microarchitecture (MICRO) and International Symposium on Computer Architecture (ISCA), HPCA is considered a top-tier conference in computer architecture research with a very high impact.</p> <p>As program chair, Jimenez had numerous responsibilities, including selecting the technical program committee and external review committee, managing the paper submissions and reviewing process, overseeing the online discussion and response process, organizing and holding the program committee meeting, establishing the technical program and selecting a technical speaker for the conference. He also appointed a program chair for HPCA's industrial session of papers with a separate call for papers, providing an industrial perspective not normally found in research papers.</p> <p>The program committee consisted of 46 people from many different universities and companies representing several areas, including North America, Europe, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The external review committee had 94 people from all over the world who gave expert reviews.</p> <p>During the technical program of the conference, each author gave an 18-minute presentation. Jimenez also initiated a lightning round session where authors were able to deliver the main points of their presentation in 60 seconds with three slides. Dr. Steve Keckler, vice president of research at NVIDIA, gave a keynote presentation on the cutting-edge research in big data and neural networks at NVIDIA.</p> <p>HPCA 2017 had record participation with 320 attendees. It is held in conjunction with the Association for Computing Machinery Symposium (ACM) on Code Generation and Optimization (CGO) and the ACM Symposium on Principles and Practice of Parallel Programming (PPoPP), for which computer science and engineering Eppright Professor, Dr. Lawrence Rauchwerger served as program chair.</p> <p>“It was my pleasure to work with Lawrence on arranging joint activities for the combined conferences,” Jimenez said. “I was very honored to be elected as the program chair for HPCA and I would be happy to serve again in a few years.”</p> <p> </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/15/jimenez-serves-as-program-chair-of-hpca-2017 http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/15/jimenez-serves-as-program-chair-of-hpca-2017 Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 CST Hwang’s research featured on February cover of CMBE journal Marcus Misztal <m_misztal@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/15/hwangs-research-featured-on-february-cover-of-cmbe-journal <p><img width="330" height="435" src="/media/4705742/Hwang Story Pic_228x300.jpg" alt="Hwang Story Pic.jpeg" class="leftalign" style="float: left;"/>The research of <a href="/biomedical/people/hwang-wonmuk">Dr. Wonmuk Hwang</a>, associate professor in the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, has been featured on the February cover of the <i>Cellular and Molecular Bioengineering</i> (CMBE) journal.</p> <p>Hwang and his colleagues were recognized for the research article, “<a href="http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12195-016-0466-3"><i>In Vitro </i>Analysis of the Co-Assembly of Type-I and Type III Collagen</a>.” The featured research focuses on the different types of collagen, how they co-assemble in different ratios and with the help of other additive molecules, generate an amazing diversity of biological tissues.</p> <p>“Various tissues of the human body have been recently recognized as a biological ‘alloy’ or ‘amalgam,’” Hwang explained. “The knowledge of how their different components interact and control the resulting assembled structures is crucial for generating artificial tissues and developing better strategies for a wide range of applications such as wound healing and cancer detection and therapy.”</p> <p>Collagen is the most abundant protein in humans and forms most of the solid tissues and structures. Although properties of individual constituent molecules have been extensively studied, far less is known about how they co-assemble together.</p> <p>Initially, Hwang and his colleagues used the two most common collagen types, collagen-I and collagen-III. He found that mixing them at different ratios and observing how they assemble using atomic force microscopy does not lead to behavior that is intermediate between the two collagen types assembling separately. Instead, a subtle balance between their surface properties and propensity for assembly leads to more collagen fibrils forming rather than the assembly of pure collagen-I or collagen-III. The enhancement of nucleation is consistent with the increase in expression of collagen-III during the wound healing process or development of an organism, where rapid generation of fine and flexible fibrils would be desired.</p> <p>For quantitative analysis of the experimental images, Hwang used the Computer-Aided Feature Extraction (CAFE) software that he is currently developing. This resulted in an impressive one-to-one match between the experimental image and the corresponding <i>in silico</i> model of the collagen fibril network, which was selected for the cover of the<i> </i>journal.</p> <p>The formation of ordered biological structures via molecular self-assembly is a topic that has  fundamental as well as practical significance and due to the complexity of the system, advanced computational analysis of imaging data is essential. In this regard, Hwang feels image analysis and image-based modeling may see an explosive growth in the coming years.</p> <p>For more information regarding the article, visit: <a href="http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12195-016-0466-3">http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s12195-016-0466-3</a></p> <p>For more information about Dr. Wonmuk Hwang, visit: <a href="/biomedical/people/hwang-wonmuk">/biomedical/people/hwang-wonmuk</a></p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/15/hwangs-research-featured-on-february-cover-of-cmbe-journal http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/15/hwangs-research-featured-on-february-cover-of-cmbe-journal Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 CST Rauchwerger, computer science faculty chair 2017 Principles and Practice of Parallel Programming Conference Rachel Rose <rdaggie@tamu.edu> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/15/rauchwerger-computer-science-faculty-chair-2017-principles-and-practice-of-parallel-programming-conference <p><img width="145" height="186" src="/media/553130/image-of-lawrence-rauschwerger_145x186.jpg" alt="Image of Lawrence Rauschwerger" class="rightalign"/>Dr. Lawrence Rauchwerger, Eppright Professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, served as program chair of the organizing committee for the 2017 Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) Special Interest Group on Programming Languages (SIGPLAN) Symposium on Principles and Practice of Parallel Programming (PPoPP).</p> <p>PPoPP is the symposium for groundbreaking work on all aspects of parallel programming, such as concurrent and parallel systems. This includes multicore, multithreaded, heterogeneous, clustered systems, distributed systems, grids, clouds and large-scale machines.</p> <p>As program chair, Rauchwerger was responsible for the technical program of the conference as well as appointing the area chairs and other members of the organizing committee.</p> <p><img width="212" height="148" src="/media/4704854/amato-jhuang_212x148.jpg" alt="Amato-Huang" class="rightalign"/>Other faculty members from computer science and engineering at Texas A&amp;M were also involved with PPoPP 2017 in various capacities. Dr. Jeff Huang, an assistant professor, served as publicity chair, while Dr. Nancy M. Amato, Unocal and Regents Professor, was also a member of the program committee.</p> <p>PPoPP was held in Austin, Texas, Feb. 4-8, and was held alongside the 2017 International Symposium on Code Generation and Optimization (CGO) and the 2017 IEEE Symposium on High Performance Computer Architecture (HPCA).</p> <p> </p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/15/rauchwerger-computer-science-faculty-chair-2017-principles-and-practice-of-parallel-programming-conference http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/15/rauchwerger-computer-science-faculty-chair-2017-principles-and-practice-of-parallel-programming-conference Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 CST Scaling up the next generation of UAVs Jan McHarg <> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/15/scaling-up-the-next-generation-of-uavs <p><img width="300" height="400" src="/media/4699550/Kellen_Benedict-with-Cyclocopters.jpg" alt="Kellen Benedict With Cyclocopters" class="rightalign"/>After working for more than a decade on hover-capable drones no bigger than the palm of a hand, Dr. Moble Benedict and a team of researchers are studying the feasibility of scaling these concepts to larger unmanned aircraft (UAVs).</p> <p>Developing the next generation of UAVs requires revolutionary vehicle concepts that are compact, hover-efficient, high-speed capable, highly maneuverable with low acoustic-signatures and high gust tolerance. Benedict, a professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering at Texas A&amp;M University, and his team have been conducting pioneering research on these hover-capable Micro Aerial Vehicle (MAV) concepts for the Army, Navy and NASA, along with the University of Maryland. </p> <p>Through this research, Benedict hopes to develop the next generation of propulsion systems for large-scale UAVs. He believes that these propulsion systems may have some performance advantages in terms of efficiency, forward flight speed, agility and gust tolerance when compared to conventional helicopter rotors.</p> <p>So far, the key outcomes from this research are the development of the first flying cyclocopter, the only two-winged hover-capable flapping-wing aircraft in the 100-gram weight category, and successful demonstration of hover to forward flight transition of a 250-gram quad-biplane. These novel concepts have shown unprecedented performance over conventional helicopters at micro scales.</p> <p>Research at Texas A&amp;M will now focus on upscaling the cyclopcopter and flapping wing for larger vertical take-off and landing (VTOL) capable UAVs. Today, large-scale UAVs are used for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance types of missions, as well as carrying weapons systems and other large payloads. They also have civilian applications, such as aerial photography and potential package delivery. VTOL is highly desired for any of these applications.</p> <p><img width="299" height="177" src="/media/4696372/Benedict-cyclocopter_299x177.jpg" alt="Benedict Cyclocopter" class="leftalign"/>A cyclocopter uses a cycloidal rotor consisting of multiple airfoils rotating around a horizontal axis to generate lift and thrust. This makes it very maneuverable, able to transition from a stable hovering position to high-speed forward flight without needing to pitch itself forward like a helicopter. At small scales, cyclocopters are able to utilize available 3-D space, requiring a much smaller footprint than conventional helicopters, resulting in a highly compact flying vehicle.</p> <p>Adam Kellen, an aerospace graduate student on Benedict’s team says, “Developing cutting edge VTOL UAVs requires engineers to consider alternative propulsion methods to combat poor flight time. The cycloidal rotors’ ability to operate at high-pitch amplitudes without stalling among other aerodynamic phenomenon at micro scales are key to its performance and are the focus of the current UAV scale research.”</p> <p>Benedict’s team is looking at the feasibility of upscaling their cycloidal rotor to be used on larger VTOL UAVs weighing hundreds of pounds, and whether they would be viable in small manned aircraft. They are targeting test drones scaled up in size in the tens of pounds. They will be looking at how the vehicles perform as the scale increases, how they compare to helicopters and whether they become more efficient with scaling up.</p> <p>Biological flapping-wing flight offers superior maneuverability with excellent gust tolerance. Benedict’s research will focus on understanding the underlying unsteady aeroelastic mechanisms present in flapping wings and how these would scale up with size. Benedict’s goal is to understand why, in nature, only insects and the smallest of birds are capable of hover flight.</p> <p>The team will develop some aeroelastic scaling laws and conduct some benchtop experiments using a scaled-up flapper around four times the size of the wing used on their 60-gram robotic hummingbird. The goal is to measure the forces, wing shape and flowfield around the wing. This will help them understand the underlying physics on a scaled-up wing. Based on these results, they will decide whether it is worthwhile to build a scaled-up flapping-wing UAV.</p> <p>Scalability in both cases entails understanding how aerodynamics, structural mechanics, vehicle dynamics/stability/controllability and weight scales with size. State-of-the-art test rigs will be designed and built to measure the aeromechanics of dynamically scaled rotor/wing models in a range of various sizes.</p> <p>“If this study proves that these concepts are indeed scalable up to a manned aircraft, it could pave the way for the next generation of flying vehicles such as personal air vehicles, air taxis and more,” Benedict says.</p> <p><em>Photo: Adam Kellen, holding the 29 gram cyclcopter, and Dr. Benedict, standing next to the upscaled cyclorotor.</em></p> http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/15/scaling-up-the-next-generation-of-uavs http://engineering.tamu.edu/news/2017/02/15/scaling-up-the-next-generation-of-uavs Wed, 15 Feb 2017 00:00:00 CST