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NSF REU Poster Session
2013 NSF REU Poster Session
(Click for larger image)

Departments Host NSF Research Experiences for Undergraduates Site

The Departments of Computer Science and Industrial Engineering hosted nine undergraduate students on the Texas Tech campus in the months of June through August 2013 as a part of a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Site grant. The students tackled research topics ranging from robotics and big data to software engineering and cybersecurity. The NSF REU Site Program is sponsored by NSF Grant No. CNS-1263183. The students were advised by Drs. Susan Urban, a professor of industrial engineering, Joseph Urban, a professor of industrial engineering, Mohan Sridharan, assistant professor of computer science, and Yong Chen, assistant professor of computer science.

The site is co-funded by the Department of Defense in partnership with the NSF REU program. The research project consists of a 10−week program where students collaborate on cybersecurity, robotics, and software engineering research issues. The participants work closely with faculty members on their current research projects, make short progress presentations to their peers during program meetings, attend presentation skills workshops, make a formal poster presentation of their research experience at the end of the program, submit a written and final report describing the results of their research, and work with faculty and graduate students to publish research results.

Research project descriptions, along with the posters for each of the students are available at the NSF REU website.

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Student News

Clark Wins Best Technical Presentation at HP Intern Project Fair

Alexander W. Clark, a senior electrical engineering major, won first place in the Best Technical Award category at the 2013 Hewlett-Packard (HP) intern Project Fair for his poster and presentation. The competition featured 50 intern presentations that were selected for judging.

The Project Fair is a two-day event providing opportunities for interns to showcase, summer projects, network, enhance presentation skills, and find opportunities for future employment at HP. Nearly 200 interns participated in the 2013 Project Fair at the Houston site. Interns came from schools around the world and ranged from high school-level to doctoral-level students.

"Texas Tech has undoubtedly been a great preparation and will continue to be invaluable to my education," said Clark.

Faculty News

Jackson Addresses ICES
as Conference Chair in July 2013

Jackson Serves as ICES Conference Chair

Dr. Andrew Jackson, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, served as the conference chair for the 2013 International Conference on Environmental Systems (ICES) that was held in July 2013 in Vail, Colo. The conference is organized by the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), and supported by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and the ICES International Committee.

The 43rd ICES covered all topics related to humans living and working in hostile environments with applications inside or outside of terrestrial or outer space habitats or vehicles, including aerospace human factors; environmental control and life-support system technology; environmental monitoring and controls; planetary protection; EVA system technology; life sciences; planetary habitats and systems; and thermal control systems technology for both manned and unmanned vehicles.

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Alumni News


Grasz Wins Jefferson Award for Work With Asante Africa Foundation

Erna Grasz, a 1985 graduate with a bachelor of science in electrical engineering, has been named a Jefferson Award winner in the San Francisco Bay Area for her service in funding education and developing leaders. Grasz is the founder, CEO, and chairman of the board for Asante Africa Foundation, an organization providing sustainable solutions that help disadvantaged children gain a solid education in schools in 31 villages in Kenya and Tanzania. More than 660 teachers and 30,000 students have directly benefited from the work of the foundation through primary and secondary school scholarships, training for youth and teachers, and the 69 infrastructure projects completed to date, including classrooms, student dormitories, latrines and water tanks.

"I am deeply humbled by this honor," said Grasz. "The real heroes are the people delivering our programs, and the kids who are seizing the opportunities we give them and leveraging them to transform their world."

The prestigious Jefferson Award recognizes "Unsung Heroes" – ordinary individuals performing extraordinary deeds – and were established as national awards in 1972 to encourage and honor individuals for their achievements and contributions through public service. Grasz was nominated by Asante Africa Foundation volunteer Sonja Stewart for her outstanding work in East Africa as well as her impact on local and global volunteers. Both Asante Africa Foundation's educational programs and leadership culture revolve around empowering people to use existing talents and leadership skills to accomplish results.

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Foster Receives $7.5M Department of Defense MURI Grant

Dr. John Foster, a 2002 graduate with a bachelor of science and a 2004 graduate with a master of science in mechanical engineering from Texas Tech and an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at San Antonio, is one of the recipients of a $7.5 million Department of Defense contract as a part of its Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI). Including the recent MURI grant, Foster has been awarded nearly $2 million in research grants since he joined UTSA in Fall 2011. The grant will seek to advance the understanding and use of a relatively new mathematical modeling theory called peridynamics, which allows scientists to more accurately predict material failure.

The MURI program supports research by teams of investigators that intersect several traditional science and engineering disciplines in order to accelerate research progress. The five-year project will contribute to the advancement of a modeling and predictive simulation framework that will allow the technical community to better understand how heterogeneous materials behave under stress. This could allow for significant improvements in the safety and cost of materials that make up everything from airplanes and cars as well as assisting in energy production technology such as hydraulic fracturing.

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Grants and Contracts

July 22, 2013 – August 22, 2013

Investigator(s) Agency Title Amount
Chemical Engineering
Dr. Ronald C. Hedden
Dr. Rajesh S. Khare
National Science Foundation DMREF: Combinatorial Methods to Enable Rapid Prototyping of Pervaporation Membranes for Bio-alcohol Recovery $639,929
Dr. Harvinder S. Gill Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency Engineering Pollen Grains into Novel Antigen-transporters for Oral Immunomodulation $149,205
Dr. Gregory B. McKenna
Dr. Brandon L. Weeks
Office of Naval Research Resolving the Complexity of Hot Spots Caused by Weak Energy Concentration and Coupling in Composite Energetic Materials $37,500
Computer Science
Dr. Joseph N. Rushton DARPA/Kestrel Technology, LLC Defectory: A Crowd-sourced Program Verifier $125,284
Dr. Mohan Sridharan Office of Naval Research Knowledge Representation and Reasoning for Collaboration in Ad hoc Human-robot Teams $225,000
Center for Pulsed Power and Power Electronics
Dr. James C. Dickens
Dr. John J. Mankowski
Dr. Andreas A. Neuber
U.S. Army/Lockheed Martin Corporation Compact Hard Tube Vircator System $148,122
Electrical and Computer Engineering
Dr. Hamed Sari-Sarraf J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board Fulbright Grant - Dr. Sari-Sarraf at Baku State University (Azerbaijan) $21,640
Dr. Timothy J. Dallas Keck Foundation/University of Utah MEMS for Education of Dimensional Downscaling $32,700
Mechanical Engineering
Dr. Juan G. Araya HYDAC Technology Corp Direct Numerical Simulations (DNS) of the Temperature Field on Turbulent Spatially-Developing Boundary Layers with Wall Roughness $7,573
Dr. Michelle L. Pantoya Office of Naval Research Resolving the Complexity of Hot Spots Caused by Weak Energy Concentration and Coupling in Composite Energetic Materials $18,750
Petroleum Engineering
Dr. Marshall C. Watson Permian Basin Petroleum Association Economic Impacts of the Permian Basin: Past and Present $9,000
T-STEM Center
Dr. John R. Chandler
Dr. Andrea D. Fontenot *
TX Education Agency 2012-2013 GEAR UP Professional Development and Student Academic and College Readiness Support $83,000
Water Resources Center
Dr. Audra N. Morse National Aeronautics & Space Administration NASA FELLOWSHIP: Advancement of Membrane-aerated Biological Reactors via Postinoculation Hibernation and Novel Membrane Fabrication for Enhanced Mission Sustainability (Dylan Christenson) $68,000
Dr. William A. Jackson
Dr. Audra N. Morse
National Aeronautics & Space Administration Optimization and Evaluation of a Membrane Aerated Nitrification Denitrification Bioreactor for Sustainable Human Habitation $50,275
Whitacre College of Engineering Dean's Office
John A. Rivera NSF/Stevens Institute of Technology Engaging Student: Everyday Examples in Engineering Mini-Grant Application $2,000

* Primary Investigator


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