News about
The University of Iowa College of Engineering
Week of February 7, 2016

E/WEEK College Staff:
Editor:  Wendy Brentner, director of alumni relations and communications
Contributing Writer:  Tricia Brown, UI Strategic Communications
College Web Site:  www.engineering.uiowa.edu


1. Solar Cells Show Promise for Cancer Testing
2. UI Tier:  New online course evaluation tool saves time, money
3. Spring 2016 Engineering Career Fair Scheduled for February 11
4. Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute to Hold February 12 Symposium
5. Canadian Broadcast Corp. features NADS
6. Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity to Hold Rush Week
7. Grants and Contracts
8. Alumni: Where Are They Now
9. Events for the Upcoming Weeks
10. About E/Week

1. Solar Cells Show Promise for Cancer Testing

Fatima Toor, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering has developed a device that will test for early stages of cancer. 

A patient being tested for prostate cancer can submit a drop of blood to be placed on a device covered with nanowires and the antibodies of a specific cancer.  When viewed under a high-powered microscope, scientists can see how the blood is interacting with the antibodies to determine whether or not the patient has cancer.  Use of this new technology could impact the need for biopsies. 

Toor has formed a company called Advanced Silicon Group to develop and manufacture the product.  She and her group was a semi-finalist in the SPIE Startup Challenge.  They will compete in San Francisco February 13-18 at the 2016 Photonics West Conference for a share of the $25,000 grand prize. 

2. UI TIER:  New Online Course Evaluation Tool Saves Departments Time, Money

The University of Iowa College of Engineering has operated its course evaluations online for about 15 years.

But, when the person who managed the course evaluation survey software decided to retire last year, administrators knew it was time to find a commercial solution.

And when Keri Hornbuckle, professor and associate dean of academic programs for the College of Engineering, heard about a TIER initiative aimed at rolling out a new online course-evaluation tool across campus, she thought her college would make an excellent pilot.

“This project created an opportunity for us to solve the problem,” Hornbuckle says. “We didn’t have a person lined up to take on this big task for our college, and we certainly didn’t want to go back to paper course evaluations in the interim.”

The Application Portfolio Management Project aims to consolidate the university’s application portfolio by identifying business needs and priorities and eliminating redundancy. A large part of the project, which is one of the 16 OneIT@Iowa initiatives, is devoted to getting departments and colleges across campus to adopt a streamlined course-evaluation system called ACE Online.
ACE Online, or “Assessing the Classroom Environment,” allows students to complete course-evaluation forms on any computer or mobile device, as opposed to a printed course-evaluation form.

In addition to eliminating paper waste and expense, ACE Online is customizable, which makes changing questions easy for faculty. Its digital nature also provides immediate results that allow faculty to see how many students are responding in real time. The tool is forecast to save the university $350,000.

After a pilot in spring 2015, the College of Engineering implemented the ACE Online tool for all faculty.

“It went really well. We learned a lot and used it again in our summer courses, and now we are in the process of helping faculty understand how to incentivize it, so there’s been a lot of discussion about best

Overall, Hornbuckle says, the project has provided the College of Engineering with a product that better fits its needs.

“TIER allowed us to move from an old, antiquated product to a new method for online evaluation of our courses that’s higher quality and more responsive to the needs of our faculty and students.”

3. Spring 2016 Engineering Career Fair Scheduled for February 11

Engineering Professional Development will host almost 100 employers from 1:00-5:00 p.m. February 11 in the Main Lounge of Iowa Memorial Union. 

Corporate sponsors of the Career Fair include Rockwell Collins, Pearson, and Schneider & Associates. 

4. Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute to Hold February 12 Symposium

The UI Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute will hold the NNI Winter Symposium at 2:30 p.m. February 12, featuring keynote speaker Karen Wooley, W. T. Doherty-Welch Professor Chair and Distinguished Professor of Chemistry at Texas A&M.

The symposium will be held in 104 Iowa Advanced Technology Laboratories.

Wooley has served as the director of a Program of Excellence in Nanotechnology, which is financed by the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute.  She was the recipient of the 2014 Centenary Prize of Royal Society of Chemistry and serves as an associate editor for the Journal of the American Chemical Society. In 2015, Wooley was recognized by and named as a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences for her expertise in the novel development of degradable polymers. Her group focuses on both fundamental and applied studies of these materials for the diagnosis and treatment of disease, use as non-toxic anti-biofouling coatings, and applications such as ultra-high–resolution photoresists for microelectronics patterning.

Also speaking at the symposium will be Jennifer Fiegel, associate professor of chemical and biochemical engineering.  Her talk is from 1:00-1:30 p.m.

The symposium will conclude with a poster session and refreshments from 3:30-5:00 p.m.

5. Canadian Broadcast Corp. Features NADS

Researchers at UI’s National Advanced Driving Simulator are featured in a Canadian Broadcast Corp. segment on how smoking marijuana affects a person’s ability to drive. 

The NADS study found drivers who use alcohol and marijuana together weave more on virtual roadway than drivers who use either substance independently.  However, the cocktail of alcohol and marijuana does not double the effect of the impairment. 

To watch the report, go to https://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLvntPLkd9IMclGMYuEObbhpjojETckjqV&v=....

6. Theta Tau Professional Engineering Fraternity Rush Week

Theta Tau will hold Rush/Pledge Week February 5-11.  Events will include
information sessions at 10:30 a.m. February 8 in 3026 Seamans Center and at 6:30 p.m. February 10, 6:30 p.m., in 2133 Seamans Center.

Students are encouraged to join Theta Tau members at 6:30 p.m. February 9, 6:30 at the Airliner or at 6:30 p.m. February 11 at Buffalo Wild Wings.

7. Grants and Contracts

James Buchholz, associate professor of mechanical and industrial engineering and associate faculty research engineer at IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, received a $168,013 grant from the US Department of Defense, Air Force, for “Three-dimensional vortex dynamics in unsteady, separated flows.”

Nicole Grosland, professor of biomedical engineering, professor of orthopaedics and rehabilitation and researcher at the Center for Computer-Aided Design, received an $819,786 grant from the Roy J. Carver Charitable Trust for the “Carver Medical Device Design Laboratory. Advancing Medical Device Design, One prototype at a time.”


8. Alumni: Where Are They Now?

Anthony Melchiorri is a post-doctoral scientist at Osiris Therapeutics. 

Dean Alec Scranton lunched with alumni employed by Apple.  Kristi Schmidt Bauerly coordinated the luncheon.  Attendees included Bob Ridenour and Ross Errett.  Also joining the group was John D. Lee, former UI College of Engineering faculty member and current professor of industrial engineering at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.


9. Events for the Upcoming Weeks

February 11 – PhD Thesis Defense, 9:30 a.m., 3210 Seamans Center.  Mohammad Saleh-Miri will present, “A multimodal machine-learning graph-based approach for segmenting glaucomatous optic nerve head structures from SD-OCT Volumes and fundus photographs. 

February 11 – Spring 2016 Engineering Career Fair, 1:00-5:00 p.m., Main Lounge, Iowa Memorial Union.

February 12 – Spring 2016 Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute Symposium, 1:00-5:00 p.m., Iowa Advanced Technology Laboratories

February 12 – Envrionmental Engineering & Science Graduate Seminar, 3:30 p.m., 3505 Seamans Center.  Drew Latta, research scientist will present “An overview of a national lab post-doc (with some insights into redox-driven iron-uranium dynamics).’


10. 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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