E/WEEK

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E/WEEK
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News about
The University of Iowa College of Engineering
Week of June 28, 2015
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E/WEEK College Staff:
Editor:  Wendy Brentner, director, alumni relations and communications
Contributor: Sara Diedrich, UI Strategic Communications
College Web Site:  www.engineering.uiowa.edu
E/WEEK Archives:  http://list.uiowa.edu/archives/eweek.html
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IN THIS EDITION:

1. Hornbuckle, Scherer Appointed to Bently Professorships in Engineering
2. Kusiak Appointed Visiting Research Professor at University of Hong Kong
3. UI Studies Impact of Marijuana on Driving
4. WISE Student Awarded Fulbright Scholarship
5. About E/WEEK

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1. Hornbuckle, Scherer Appointed to Bently Professorships in Engineering

Keri C. Hornbuckle, professor of civil and environmental engineering and associate dean for academic programs, and Michelle M. Scherer, professor and departmental executive officer of civil and environmental engineering, will be appointed by the College of Engineering to Donald E. Bently Professors of Engineering, effective July 1, 2015.

Hornbuckle is an internationally recognized expert in the fate and transport of pollutants in the environment whose research publications have been sited more than 3,200 times. She has made seminal contributions to our understanding of the environmental sources, transport, fate, and impact of semivolatile organic pollutants, such as polychlorinated diphenyls (PCBs), and emerging chemical pollutants such as perfluorinated compounds, synthetic musks, and siloxanes.  She was selected to serve as the associate editor of Environmental Science and Technology, and was appointed to the Scientific Advisory Board of the International Joint Commission.  Hornbuckle has served as departmental executive officer of civil and environmental engineering, as well as president, chair, and vice president of several international and national scientific and professional societies and associations. She also is a UI professor of occupational and environmental health, faculty research engineer at IIHR--Hydroscience & Engineering, and researcher at the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research.

Scherer is widely known for her ground-breaking work on redox reactions which occur at mineral-water interfaces, and her work has fundamentally changed scientists' understanding of this important aspect of environmental chemistry.  Her research has resulted in numerous publications in high impact journals, such as Environmental Science & Technology (ES&T), JGR-Atmospheres, and PNAS, and has more than 4,800 total citations. The impact of her research has been recognized by several awards including the UI Faculty Scholar Award (2005-2008), the UI College of Engineering Award for Exceptional Research (2007) and the prestigious 2010 Malcolm Pirnie/AEESP Frontier in Research Award.  Michelle's research program has been funded by the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and USDA. She is a researcher at the Center for Global and Regional Environmental Research, the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute, and research engineer at IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering.

The Donald E. Bently Professorship in Engineering was established in June 2002 through a gift to the University of Iowa Foundation from University of Iowa engineering graduate Donald E. Bently of Minden, NV.  A globally recognized authority on rotor dynamics as well as vibration monitoring and diagnostics, Mr. Bently graduated from the UI in 1949 with a B.S. degree with distinction, and in 1950 with an M.S. degree, both in electrical engineering, from the UI College of Engineering. Working from his garage as a graduate student, Mr. Bently pioneered and perfected a transistorized design for a new type of distance-measuring device. His transducer soon found its application inside machinery where it was used to observe the vibration and position characteristics that are important indicators of machinery condition. For more on Mr. Bently, a member of the college's Distinguished Engineering Alumni Academy, go to http://www.engineering.uiowa.edu/alumni-friends/honor-wall/distinguished....

2. Kusiak Appointed Visiting Research Professor at University of Hong Kong

Andrew Kusiak, professor and departmental executive officer of mechanical and industrial engineering, has been appointed visiting research professor at the University of Hong Kong.

Kusiak will be helping develop a research program in big data through a proposed Asian Institute of Open Innovation, research in the design of digital awareness devices, and big data research in health care.

The institute will serve as an incubator of innovation science leading to large commercial impact involving University of Hong Kong faculty, the local Hong Kong business community, and government agencies.

The research in digital awareness device design will involve smart human-centric devices such as wearable devices, smart home solutions, devices and systems supporting and enhancing the quality of life, solutions improving human and animal well being, virtual systems enhancing decision making, and systems enhancing safety.

The health care big data research will focus on classification of patients, diesease prognostics, disease diagnosis support, patient specific treatment recommendations, and alerts of adverse effects.

The University of Hong Kong (informally known as HKU or Hong Kong University) is a public research university located in Pokfulam, Hong Kong, founded in 1911 during the British Colonial era. It is the oldest tertiary institution in Hong Kong, originally established to compete with other countries that had opened higher learning institutions in China at the beginning of the twentieth century. Today, HKU is organized into 10 academic faculties, exhibiting strength in scholarly research and education of humanities, law, political sciences, and biomedicine.

3. UI Studies Impact of Marijuana on Driving

A new study conducted at the University of Iowa’s National Advanced Driving Simulator (NADS) has found drivers who use alcohol and marijuana together weave more on a virtual roadway than drivers who use either substance independently. However, the cocktail of alcohol and marijuana does not double the effect of the impairment.

“What we saw was an additive effect, not a synergistic effect, when we put them together,” says Tim Brown, associate research scientist at NADS and corresponding author of the study. “You get what you expect if you take alcohol and cannabis and merge them together.”

The study, which was published June 23 in Drug and Alcohol Dependence, also found that participants who consumed only alcohol weaved more during a 35- to 45-minute simulated driving test than those who consumed only vaporized cannabis.

The results are part of a larger study—the first of its kind to analyze the effects of inhaled cannabis on driving performance—sponsored by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, National Institute of Drug Abuse, and the Office of National Drug Control Policy. The UI was selected for the research because of the NADS' authenticity to real driving and the university's expertise in medicine, pharmacy, and engineering. The NADS is the only simulator of its kind that is publicly owned.

The outcomes could help shape future legislation in the United States where some experts say policies on drugged driving are woefully behind.

To date, medical marijuana is legal in 23 states and the District of Columbia while marijuana has been approved for recreational use in four states and D.C. Since legalizing medical marijuana, Colorado has reported an increase in driving under the influence of cannabis cases and fatal motor vehicle crashes with cannabis-only positive drivers while states without legalized marijuana have experienced no significant change in cannabis-related crashes.

In 2014, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s Roadside Survey of Alcohol and Drug Use by Drivers found the number of drivers with alcohol in their system had declined by nearly one-third since 2007. However, that same survey found the number of weekend nighttime drivers with evidence of drugs in their system climbed from 16.3 percent in 2007 to 20 percent in 2014. The number of drivers with marijuana in their system grew by nearly 50 percent.

Brown says plenty of research has been done on the effects of drinking alcohol and driving, but little has been done to measure the effects of using marijuana and driving.

“Alcohol is the most common drug present in the system in roadside stops by police; cannabis is the next most common, and cannabis is often paired with alcohol below the legal limits,” Brown says. “So the questions are: Is alcohol an issue? Is cannabis an issue? We know alcohol is an issue, but is cannabis an issue or is cannabis an issue when paired with alcohol? We tried to find out.”
Researchers selected 18 participants—13 men and five women—between the ages of 21 and 37 who reported drinking alcohol and using marijuana no more than three times a week. After spending the night at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics to ensure sobriety, participants arrived at NADS for six “dosing visits.”

First, participants were given 10 minutes to drink a mixed drink with alcohol or plain juice in an alcohol-rimmed glass and topped with alcohol to mimic alcohol taste and odor. The idea was to get the participants blood alcohol level to about .065 percent at the start of the simulated drive.

Next, they were given 10 minutes to inhale a placebo or vaporized cannabis using a vaporizing system designed in Germany called “Volcano Medic ™.”
A comparison of lane weaving observed in a simulated driving study between common legal drunk driving limits (BrAC) and the blood concentration of THC that produce a similar amount of lane weaving.

Once in the simulator—a 1996 Malibu sedan mounted in a 24-feet diameter dome—the drivers were assessed on weaving within the lane, how often the car left the lane, and the speed of the weaving. Drivers with only alcohol in their systems showed impairment in all three areas while those strictly under the influence of vaporized cannabis only demonstrated problems weaving within the lane.

Drivers with blood concentrations of 13.1 ug/L THC, or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the active ingredient in marijuana, showed increased weaving that was similar to those with a .08 breath alcohol concentration, the legal limit in most states. The legal limit for THC in Washington and Colorado is 5 ug/L, the same amount other states have considered.

The study also found that analyzing a driver’s oral fluids can detect recent use of marijuana but is not a reliable measure of impairment.

“Everyone wants a Breathalyzer which works for alcohol because alcohol is metabolized in the lungs,” says Andrew Spurgin, a pharmacy research fellow on the project and co-author. “But for cannabis this isn't as simple due to THC's metabolic and chemical properties.”

4. WISE Student Awarded Fulbright Scholarship

Sarah Mayer, a member of Women in Science and Engineering (WISE), housed in the College of Engineering, has received a 2015-16 Fulbright U.S. Student Award to Colombia where she will work as an English Teaching Assistant (ETA). Mayer is a UI Spanish and biochemistry major.

She will start a mentoring program in Colombia, based on her experiences in the WISE Peer Mentoring Program. It will be similar to the mentorship role she has played to first-year students in the WISE program. She hopes to organize career workshops and facilitate volunteer opportunities for Colombian students interested in medicine at a local hospital.

The Women in Science and Engineering Program expands and improves educational and professional opportunities for women in all fields of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by facilitating individual, institutional, and social change.

To learn more about Mayer and her plans in Colombia, go to http://international.uiowa.edu/news/ui-honors-student-awarded-fulbright-....

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5. About E/WEEK

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