News about
The University of Iowa College of Engineering
Week of October 26, 2014

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. October 30 Kurtz Lecture Covers Wind Energy, Cost, Grid Responsibility
2. AIChE to Host Afternoon of Engineering Activities with a Halloween Twist
3. Grants and Contracts
4. Events for the Upcoming Week
5. Alumni: Where Are They Now
6. About E/Week

1. October 30 Kurtz Lecture Covers Wind Energy, Cost, Grid Reliability

Wind energy cost reduction and electric grid reliability will be the topic of the 2014 Kurtz Lecture, sponsored by the UI Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Lucy Pao, professor of electrical, computer, and energy engineering at the University of Colorado Boulder, will deliver the lecture from 5:00-5:50 p.m. October 30 in Macbride Auditorium, Macbride Hall.

Wind energy is recognized worldwide as cost–effective and environmentally friendly and is among the world's fastest–growing sources of electrical energy. Despite the amazing growth in global wind power installations in recent years, science and engineering challenges still exist. Megawatt wind turbines are large, flexible structures that operate in uncertain, time–varying wind and weather conditions and lend themselves nicely to advanced control solutions. Advanced controllers can help achieve the overall goal of decreasing the cost of wind energy by increasing the efficiency, and thus the energy capture, or by reducing structural loading and increasing the lifetimes of the components and turbine structures.  

Pao will provide an overview of wind energy systems by introducing the main structural components and operating regions of wind turbines, and will discuss her recent work in developing combined feedforward and feedback controllers for wind turbines using novel wind inflow sensing technologies. She also will address concerns that the variability of wind is a major obstacle to integrating wind energy on the utility grid, and will discuss how systems and control techniques can be used to actively control the power generated by wind turbines and wind farms to help regulate the utility grid frequency. Pao will highlight a number of continuing challenges and topics of growing interest, including coordinated control of arrays of turbines on wind farms, modeling and control of floating offshore wind turbines, and direct ice sensing and active de–icing control of wind turbine blades in cold climates.  

Pao earned B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering from Stanford University. Her research has primarily been in the control systems area, with diverse applications ranging from atomic force microscopy to disk drives to digital tape drives to megawatt wind turbines.  She is a Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) and a Fellow of the Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute.

Funded by an endowment from the Iowa power industry, the annual Kurtz Lecture is named for the late Edwin B. Kurtz, professor and head of the UI Electrical Engineering Department from 1929 to 1960. Kurtz was the architect of the world's first educational television station, directing experimental station W9XK in Iowa City during the 1930s.

2. AIChE to Hold Afternoon of Engineering Activities with a Halloween Twist

The student chapter of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers will host an Afternoon of Engineering Activities with a Halloween Twist, Sunday, November 2, 1-4 p.m. at the Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences. 

Cost is $15 for one child, $25 for two children, and $10 per child for any groups of 3 or more registered. 

To sign up, email anna-rawerts@uiowa.edu to obtain a permission form.  Fees may be paid at the event. 

Proceeds will benefit Shelter House.

3. Grants and Contracts

Thomas Schnell, associate professor in the department of mechanical and industrial engineering and director of the Operator Performance Laboratory, received a $50,000 contract from Fairchild Controls, Inc., for LIDAR connectivity and testing on MI-2. 

Larry Weber, professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, received a $50,000 subcontract for Nutrient trading in Iowa: a pilot study in the Catfish Creek Watershed.


4. Events

October 29 -- IIBI Medical Imaging Seminar, 3:15-5 p.m., Kelch Board Room, 1289 Carver Biomedical Research Building. Yuri Boykov, Associate Professor of Computer Science and Lena Gorelick, Research Scientist, University of Western Ontario, Canada, will present, “Higher-order and non-submodular segmentation functionals: Entroy, Color Consistence, Curvature, Convexity, etc. 

October 29 -- Library Xpress Class on Standards, 3:30 p.m., 2001C Seamans Center.

October 30—Chemical and Biochemical Engineering Seminar, 3:30 p.m., E105 Adler Journalism Building.  Scott Shaw, assistant professor, Department of Chemistry, University of Iowa will present, “Measuring Molecular Architectures at interfaces:  better than a needle in a haystack.”

October 30 – IEEE General Meeting, 6:30 p.m., 2133 Seamans Center.

October 31 – FTC League Championship, 8:00 a.m., Cedar Rapids Public Library.


5. Alumni: Where Are They Now?

Jenna Soyer (BSE 2007, MS 2009 civil engineering) is municipal relations coordinator at East Central Intergovernmental Association.  She will provide financial, community and economic development, and management and planning technical assistance to the elected officials and staff of member local governments in Cedar, Clinton, Delaware, Dubuque and Jackson counties. 

6. About E/WEEK

E/WEEK is a weekly electronic newsletter to inform faculty, staff, and students about important news and events of The University of Iowa College of Engineering.
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