News about
The University of Iowa College of Engineering
Week of May 17, 2015

E/WEEK College Staff:
Editor:  Wendy Brentner, director of alumni relations and communications
Contributing Writer:  Gary Galluzzo, UI News Services
Technical Consultant:  Susan Beckett, director, Desktop Services
College Web Site:  www.engineering.uiowa.edu


1. Students Honored at Commencement
2. Munukutla, Patel Honored at UI College of Engineering Commencement
3. Electrical Engineering Seniors to Reenact Van Allen Radiation Belt Experiments
4. College of Engineering Adopts Undergraduate Art Requirement
5. Kindig Receives Tau Beta Pi Fellowship
6. Students Head to Italy to Study Statics
7. Alumni: Where Are They Now
8. About E/Week

1. Students Honored at Commencement

College of Engineering commencement ceremonies were held May 16 at the Marriott Hotel and Convention Center. Sastry Munukutla (PhD 1981 mechanical engineering, gave the charge to the graduates. Jacob Crome gave the graduating senior address. Daniel Reed, vice president for research and economic development, conferred 344 BSE degrees. .

Mariah Bankert of the Engineering Student Council presented the graduating senior award, chosen through nomination by the senior class, to Flora Duff.

Candidates graduating with highest distinction were:
Tony Bries, Tyler Dunkel, Nicholas Gerwe, David Harshman, Allison Kindig, Brian Kruse, John McCullough, Abhinav Sharma, Jocelyn Todd, William Tollefson, William Xie and Sanam Zarei. Graduating with highest distinction requires a cumulative grade point average of 3.85 or higher.

Graduating with high distinction were Xiang Kang Chan, Bess Fevold, Sean Fitzgerald, Brynn Gitt, Austin Hangartner, Zach Henningsen, Matthew Janechek, Julie Mustain, Thomas Myres, Bryan Senchuk, and Sraavya Undurty.Graduating with high distinction requires a cumulative grade point average of 3.75 – 3.84.

Graduating with distinction were Riley Brunson, Andre DeGroot, Flora Duff, Nicholas Eliason, Alexander Fischman, Jiaying Gao, Nicholas Herkert, Brock Kamrath, Keegan Kavanaugh, John Kintz, Parker Koch, Kayley Lain, Brian McClurg, Bryan Peterson, Hanbin Tao, and Changhao Zhou.  Graduating with distinction requires a cumulative grade
point average of 3.65 – 3.74/4.0.

Students graduating with University honors were Ian Armstrong, Andre DeGroot, Matthew Eganhouse, Jiaying Gao, Brynn Gitt, Weiwei Gu, Austin Hangartner, Bridget Johnson, Allison Kindig, Connor Kriz, Ryan McLaughlin, Julie Mustain, Courtney Paulsen, Hanbin Tao, Jocelyn Todd, William Tollefson, Christopher Winters, and Sanam Zarei.
Graduating with University honors requires a cumulative grade point average of 3.33 or above, and completion of an honors project under the supervision of a faculty member.

Student graduating with honors in their major were Alexander Brown, Nicholas Herkert, Eric Pahl, Kevin Simoens, and Kathryn Temple.

Nine earned dual degrees:
Jack Eckert, BSE in civil engineering and BA in art
Chao Geng, BSE in electrical engineering and BS in mathematics
Jianshen He, BSE in electrical engineering and BA in computer science
Parker Koch, BSE in electrical engineering and BS in mathematics
Chunhui Li, BSE in mechanical engineering and BS in mathematics
Tyler Nemmers, BSE in mechanical engineering and BA in dance
Courtney Paulsen, BSE in industrial engineering and BA in dance
Hanbin Tao, BSE in electrical engineering and BS in mathematics
Sanam Zarei, BSE in biomedical engineering and BA in psychology.

One-hundred-sixty-nine candidates graduated with a minor:
Aerospace studies (1);art (2); biology (1); business administration (32); chemistry (22); computer science (30); economics (2); entrepreneurial management (1); geoscience (1); German (1); human physiology (1); mathematics (100); military science (2); music (2); physical activity and nutrition (1); psychology (4); Spanish (9); and statistics (1)..

Of these, five graduated with a triple minor and forty-five graduated with a double minor.

Allison Kindig eared a Certificate in Global Health Studies.  She is also a Grand Challenges Scholar.

Stephen Bouxsein, Samantha Gordon, Luke Detert, Jaclyn Gutman, Nicholas Herkert, Haley Jindrich, Kayley Lain, and Sarah Salomon earned a Sustainability Program Certificate.

Nicholas Eliason, Douglas Kerr, Adam Westbrook, Garret Brown, Michael McAndrews and Eric Pahl earned a Technological Entrepreneurship Certificate.

Andrew Christ, Logan Derby and Neal Bunt earned a Certificate in Wind Energy. 

Twenty-seven candidates received M.S. degrees from the Graduate College:
biomedical engineering (7); chemical and biochemical engineering (4); civil and environmental engineering (8); electrical and computer engineering (4); industrial engineering (2) and mechanical engineering (3).

Fourteen candidates received Ph.D. degrees from the Graduate College.
Biomedical engineering: Marc Brouillette, Tianjiao Wang and Yin Yu; Chemical and biochemical engineering: Robert Bullard, Swapnilkumar Gandhi, and Richard Gonzales; Civil and environmental engineering: Tibebu Ayalew, and Muhieddine Kabbani; Electrical and computer engineering: Henry Baidoo-Williams, Ruben Llamas, and Michael Yocius. Industrial Engineering: Alexander Vinel; Mechanical engineering:Xuchun Ren and Dan Wu.

The following faculty members were recognized by seniors in their discipline for Nicole Grosland, professor of biomedical engineering; Charles Stanier, associate professor of chemical and biochemical engineering; Christopher Stoakes, lecturer, civil and environmental engineering; Anton Kruger, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering; Thomas Schnell, associate professor of industrial engineering and Justin Garvin, lecturer, mechanical engineering.

2. Munukutla, Patel Honored at UI College of Engineering Commencement

The University of Iowa College of Engineering honored a distinguished alumnus and prominent professor emeritus today at undergraduate commencement ceremonies held at the Marriott Hotel & Convention Center, Coralville, IA.

Dr. Sastry S. Munukutla (PhD 1981 mechanical engineering) was inducted into the college's Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy. The Academy recognizes University of Iowa engineering alumni for their personal contribution toward engineering achievement, leadership, and service to the profession and to society. Munukutla also delivered the "charge" to the graduates during the ceremony.

Professor Emeritus Virendra C. Patel was inducted into the Legacy of Iowa Engineering, which honors faculty, staff, alumni, and friends of the College of Engineering who made exceptional historical contributions toward advancing the College in teaching, research, or service during their engagement with the College.

As an educator, researcher, and engineer, Munukutla’s service to the theory and practice of engineering has been extraordinary. His work to develop innovative methods to improve power plant performance for the energy industry has made energy production more efficient and dependable. After earning his PhD degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Iowa in 1981, Dr. Munukutla served on the faculty of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Tennessee Tech University from 1986 until his retirement in 2012. He also served as director of the university’s Center for Energy Systems Research. At Tennessee Tech, his students chose him for the Outstanding Faculty Award for Teaching, an endorsement of his caring, dedicated work in the classroom.

Patel has served as a mentor and quintessential academic leader of the University of Iowa College of Engineering whose legacy to the institution is inspirational and unmatched. Educated at London University and Cambridge University, he arrived at the University of Iowa in 1971 and established himself as an international figure of fluid mechanics. He co-authored four books, more than 200 papers, and supervised completion of 32 doctoral students. Most remarkably, he has remained in touch with almost all of them as they forged their careers worldwide. At IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering and the Center for Computer-Aided Design, his sagacious and calm leadership as director invigorated research teams to earn their rightful place as global vectors in hydraulics and in computer simulation.

3. Electrical Engineering Seniors to Reenact Van Allen Radiation Belt Experiements

Four seniors from electrical and computer engineering are reenacting Van Allen’s original experiment with updated equipment for their senior design project.  Kevin Klosterman, Bryan Senchuck, Tyler Dunkel and Patrick Maloney, are working with physics and astronomy professor Phil Kaaret, to try to determine how much energy is emanating from the Van Allen belts at a specific altitude.  To measure that, they’ve built a radiation sensor attached to a circuit board that will launch into space on a small satellite. There, the radiation sensor will detect energetic particles from the Van Allen belts. The satellite will sit in a low-Earth orbit and circle the globe every 90 minutes, some data will be transmitted in real time, but all of it is stored for later transmission.
Not only did the students have to come up with a design concept, write the code to run the device, and build the circuit board by hand, they also had to learn and become licensed ham radio operators as well.

The satellite that the students are using to launch into space is part of the CubeSat program—an initiative supported by NASA to help give students more hands-on experience with space research—and is being constructed by AMSAT, the Radio Amateur Satellite Corporation, whose mission is to foster amateur radio participation in space technology. The data from a full day of operating the experiment will be transmitted from the satellite as it makes a single pass over the CubeSat tracking station on top of Van Allen Hall.

The final result will be a full mapping of the radiation levels at a low Earth orbit.
The instrument will be delivered to the spacecraft on June 1, with launch later in the year—a fitting commencement for new research, and for the new graduates to launch into their next phase of life.

4. College of Engineering Adopts Undergraduate Art Requirement

The University of Iowa College of Engineering faculty May 14 passed a new general education requirement for all new undergraduate students which includes at least three semester hours in the creative arts.

The requirement applies to all entering first-year undergraduate students in fall 2015.

Students will be able to select from a broad list of existing courses in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (CLAS) during the 2015-2016 academic year. Later, the College of Engineering Curriculum Committee will work with CLAS to develop a set of courses specific to the needs of engineering students.

Engineering Dean Alec Scranton says that many engineering students already come to the University of Iowa with confidence that they want to become engineers, but they want to be something more.

“At Iowa, they can combine engineering with the University’s strong liberal arts focus — natural strengths in international studies, writing and communications, health sciences, business, law, arts and humanities,” he says. “This makes the University of Iowa uniquely qualified to provide talented students the type of broad technological education demanded in a rapidly changing world.

“In addition to providing a rigorous undergraduate engineering education, the college has long focused on key non-technical areas to help enhance a student's academic experience.  This includes leadership, global awareness, teamwork, communications, entrepreneurship, and creativity,” Scranton added.

The engineering proposal for the creative arts states: “These courses will complement Engineering Problem Solving I and provide skills to our first-year students on creative problem solving, ‘outside the box thinking’ and help students develop their understanding of diverse ways of viewing and interacting in the world.  We propose that these courses should be ‘maker’ courses that focus on activity rather than surveys of knowledge.  These courses will be recruited from the disciplines of theater, painting, sculpture, 3-D design, creative writing, music composition, cinema and focus on active learning.”

5. Kindig Receives Tau Beta Pi Fellowship

Industrial Engineering senior Allison Kindig has received a 2015 Tau Beta Pi Fellowship.

She is the 18th UI Engineering student to receive the prestigious honor.

The Tau Beta Pi Association is the national honor society for the engineering profession.  Every year, the association supports graduate education through a nationally competitive Fellowship Program.

Kindig, who will graduate this month, also received a 2015 Gates Cambridge Scholarship to attend the University of Cambridge, England. She has conducted independent research on alternative cooking technologies in rural India and Cameroon as a UI undergraduate, and plans to continue her exploration of sustainable product design in the University of Cambridge's Engineering for Sustainable Development program.

6. Students Head to Italy to Study Statics

University of Iowa engineering students are taking advantage of a summer study abroad program in Italy. For four weeks, they will live on the CIMBA campus in Paderno del Grappa, located in the Venetian countryside just one hour north of Venice.

Engineering students typically complete two courses while at CIMBA: Statics and a course to fulfill the General Education requirement, with options such as Italy Live and Global Economics and Business.

CIMBA professors come from top universities throughout the United States and Europe, including the University of Iowa. Wilf Nixon, Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, teaches the Statics course, which is a big draw for UI engineering students.

This year’s engineering students are eagerly awaiting the start of their Italy adventure. Elizabeth Niedert, a biomedical engineering student from Glen Ellyn, Illinois, hopes to learn about Italian culture and gain a larger perspective on the world. Nickolas Kutsch, an electrical engineering student from Sherrill, Iowa, echoes Elizabeth’s sentiments:  “I hope to broaden my cultural background from this experience and get a better idea of what the rest of the world is like.”

For some students, CIMBA is a step toward future global experiences. Grayslake, Illinois native Ashley Morris hopes to work for a company that deals with international markets after completing her undergraduate studies in industrial engineering. Chemical engineering student


7. Alumni: Where Are They Now?

Benjamin Behrendt (BSE 2012), current student at the University of Virginia School of Law has been named a summer associate with Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, Washington, D.C.

Aaron Granquist has been named Project Manager with HR Green. 

Raymond J. Kearney (B.S. 1969 civil engineering) was inducted into the Iowa High School Swim Coaches Association Hall of Fame on February 14, 2015. http://www.ihssca.org/hof.html He will be inducted into the Clinton High School Athletic Hall of Fame on August 28, 2015


8. About E/WEEK

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