E/Week

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E/WEEK
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News about
The University of Iowa College of Engineering
Week of April 23, 2017
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E/WEEK College Staff:
Editor:  Wendy Brentner, director, alumni relations and communications
Contributing Writer: Mikael Mulugeta, IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering
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. Iowa Board of Regents Approves New BSE Degree in Environmental Engineering at University of Iowa
2. College to Host Events for Campaign Celebration Weekend
3. Choi, Lin Paper Published by Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology
4. Craig Just Wins Teaching Sustainability Award
5. Sobhani Earns First Prize at High Performance Computing Symposium
6. Three College of Engineering Student Workers Take Top UI Student Employee Honors
7. Advanced Silicon Group Awarded Competitive Grant from National Science Foundation
8. Grants and Contracts
9. College Events for the Coming Weeks
10. About E/WEEK
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1. Iowa Board of Regents Approves New BSE Degree in Environmental Engineering at University of Iowa

The Iowa Board of Regents has approved a new Bachelor’s of Science Engineering (BSE) degree in environmental engineering for the University of Iowa. The degree will be the first environmental engineering bachelor’s degree program in Iowa. The goal of program is to prepare the next generation of students to address the complex food, energy, water issues of the 21st century.

Starting in Fall 2017, the UI Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering will offer the degree.  Establishing the program is based, in part, on the continual high ranking of the college's environmental engineering graduate program by US News & World Report.  For 2017, the graduate program was ranked 22nd in the nation in the environmental/environmental health category.

Environmental engineers apply engineering principles to design systems that control pollution and protect public health, as well as restore air, soil, and water quality at sites that have already been contaminated as well as work at the front lines of the clean energy economy by developing systems that convert waste into energy.

The engineers are in high demand within the state of Iowa and nationally. Iowa Governor Terry Branstad’s recent call for increased efforts and funding to improve water quality in Iowa highlights the need for innovative water quality solutions that can be provided by environmental engineers. Nationally, the occupational outlook for environmental engineers is excellent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 12% growth in Environmental Engineering, which is outpacing overall growth in all other occupations. Forbes Magazine concluded based on these statistics that Environmental Engineering is the 5th most valuable major.

"The environmental engineering degree program will produce students with a solid background in basic chemistry, physics, mathematics, and environmental sciences as well as quantitative problem solving skills necessary for designing complex solutions to environmental problems," Michelle Scherer, professor and departmental executive officer of civil and environmental engineering, said. "The students will be well positioned and marketable for obtaining employment in the growing field of environmental engineering both in Iowa and around the nation."

2. College to Host Events for Campaign Celebration Weekend

The College of Engineering will hold several events April 29 to help celebrate the end of the University of Iowa’s major capital campaign (https://now.uiowa.edu/2017/02/iowa-forever-more-campaign-raises-1975-bil...).

They include a brunch for alumni and friends with a welcome and overview of the college by Dean Alec Scranton; presentations by Grand Challenge Scholars, Biomedical Engineering design projects, the NEXUS Engineering and the Arts, and a mock up of the new Design Room; and tours of the new Annex to the Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences.

3. Choi, Lin Paper Published by Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology

A paper authored by Sanghun Choi, assistant research scientist at IIHR--Hydroscience and Engineering, with Ching-Long Lin serving as senior corresponding author, has been published by the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI, http://www.jacionline.org/).  The paper is entitled “Quantitative computed tomography imaging-based clustering differentiates asthmatic subgroups with distinctive clinical phenotypes."

“The goal is to use imaging-based variables to identify patient clusters via machine learning and establish their associations with clinical characteristics, Lin noted. "The clustering membership may be used as a basis for therapeutic interventions.” The patient population under study is derived from the NIH-sponsored Severe Asthma Research Program (SARP), seeking to understand why some asthma subjects are unresponsive to standard therapies.

Imaging variables, including airway diameter, wall thickness, and air trapping, have been found to be important metrics when differentiating patients with severe asthma from those with nonsevere asthma and healthy subjects. In this new study, additional measures were introduced which better relate to the airway measures which influence flow patterns within the airway tree which in turn influence inhaled particle deposition.

The JACI is the #1 most-cited allergy/immunology journal. To access the paper, go to http://www.jacionline.org/article/S0091-6749(17)30146-X/fulltext.

Co-authors include Dr. Eric A. Hoffman, UI director, Advanced Pulmonary Physiomic Imaging Laboratory: APPIL, professor of radiology, internal medicine, and biomedical engineering, and four faculty researchers from three other major institutions associated with the SARP study.

The work is primarily funded by the National Institutes of Health, and is related to another recent FDA grant for Lin.

The research team is in the process of applying the multi scale imaging-based clustering analysis (MICA) developed in the JACI paper to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

4. Craig Just Wins Teaching Sustainability Award

The Institute of Industrial Engineers Sustainable Development Division has awarded Craig Just the 2017 Excellence in Teaching Sustainability Award.

The award recognizes Just, a University of Iowa assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering and assistant faculty research engineer at IIHR--Hydroscience & Engineering, for his outstanding contributions toward advancing the knowledge and practice of sustainability in the field of industrial engineering. Just will receive the award at the IISE Annual Conference & Expo on May 22 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in Pittsburgh, PA.

Just has been instrumental in the development of sustainability education at the University of Iowa since 2008, when his involvement in the design of the Certificate of Sustainability began. Just designed and taught the Introduction to Sustainability course, which was open to all majors, from 2009 until 2015. In 2010, he received a research grant from the Department of Education to develop and improve the course.

In recent years, sustainability principles have spread further and have become integrated into a variety of courses, Just says.

“In my Principles of Environmental Engineering course, the first chapter of the textbook is all about sustainability,” says Just. “Sustainability principles are interspersed within various engineering courses now. We’re really trying to paint the picture for our young engineers about the sustainability challenges that they’re going to have going forward.”

Just’s courses address sustainability issues including efficient water use, reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and helping people in resource-constrained countries develop with minimal pollution. He notes that public and corporate attitudes about sustainability have shifted greatly in recent years.

“It’s a recent development that you can talk about sustainability with companies and they recognize the value of being a sustainable company,” says Just. “To me, this award is a symbol that sustainability is taking root more deeply and broadly than it ever has before.”

Brion Hurley, a former student of Just’s and currently an employee of Rockwell Collins in Portland, Ore., nominated him for the award.

“Brion took my class while he was a working professional, working toward his sustainability certificate,” says Just. “Now he’s busy with his career but he and one of my faculty colleagues wrote letters for the nomination. The fact that people took time to nominate me is very humbling.”

5. Sobhani Earns First Prize at High Performance Computing Symposium

University of Iowa Engineering graduate student in chemical and biochemical engineering Negin Sobhani received First Place Student Oral Presentation for the Third Symposium on High Performance Computing for Weather, Water, and Climate in January in Seattle, WA.  Her oral presentation was entitled "Performance Analysis and Optimization of the Weather Research and Forecasting Model (WRF) Advection Schemes.”

The Third Symposium on High Performance Computing for Weather, Water, and Climate is organized by the AMS Board on Environmental Information Processing Technologies and is sponsored by the American Meteorological Society.

6. Three College of Engineering Student Workers Take Top UI Student Employee Honors

Three students who work for the College of Engineering were recently honored as top student employees of the University of Iowa.

Rachel Bruflodt was named UI’s 2016–17 student employee of the year.  Rojahn Kakavandi, Women in Science and Engineering, and Anna Seydel, Center for Computer-Aided Design, received Certificates of Distinction.

To read more about them, go to https://www.engineering.uiowa.edu/news/brudflodt-honored-ui-top-student-....

7. Advanced Silicon Group Awarded Competitive Grant from National Science Foundation

Advanced Silicon Group (ASG), a company formed through research at the College of Engineering, has been awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) grant for $225,000 in collaboration with the University of Iowa to conduct research and development (R&D) work on using silicon nanowire arrays for the sensitive and simultaneous detection of multiple biomarkers for the identification of lung cancer by a blood sample.

University of Iowa Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Fatima Toor conceived the idea—a silicon-nanowire-array optoelectronic cartridge for cancer biomarker detection—and worked to assemble a group of principals to form the company.

Lung cancer caused over 1.6 million deaths worldwide in 2016 and is the leading cause of cancer deaths in the U.S.  The NIH estimates the direct costs of lung cancer treatment in the U.S. at $13.4 billion in 2015, with much higher indirect societal costs.  Expensive, painful, and risky biopsies are presently needed to diagnose and type lung cancer for treatment.  Thus, the effect of therapy on the cancer a patient is fighting is not monitored regularly.  ASG’s silicon nanowire technology promises to sensitively measure multiple biomarkers from a blood test allowing doctors to track the progress of targeted therapy.  ASG has demonstrated the ability to detect biomarkers using their nanowire sensor and the work performed under this grant is intended to develop this capability for detection of lung cancer biomarkers.  This has the potential for earlier, less invasive, and less expensive testing with a more precise diagnosis leading to better outcomes and lower costs for patients and society.

“The National Science Foundation supports small businesses with the most innovative, cutting-edge ideas that have the potential to become great commercial successes and make huge societal impacts,” said Barry Johnson, Director of the NSF’s Division of Industrial Innovation and Partnerships. “We hope that this seed funding will spark solutions to some of the most important challenges of our time across all areas of science and technology.”

“ASG is very excited to be able to apply our silicon nanowire technology through this grant to the important application of the diagnosis of lung cancer and eventually other diseases,” said Dr. Marcie Black, CEO of ASG.

Once a small business is awarded a Phase I SBIR/STTR grant (up to $225,000), it becomes eligible to apply for a Phase II grant (up to $750,000). Small businesses with Phase II grants are eligible to receive up to $500,000 in additional matching funds with qualifying third-party investment or sales.

8. Grants and Contracts

Mike Gannon, research specialist, IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, received a $15,500 contract from Fox Engineering Associates, Inc. for “Alternative Water Source Evaluation Proposal, North Liberty, IA.”

Soura Dasgupta, professor of electrical and computer engineering, received a $13,500 from the US Department of Defense, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, for “Mission-oriented Adaptive Placement of Task and Data (MAP).”

Marian Muste, research engineer, IIHR—Hydroscience & Engineering, received a grant for $41,626 from the US Department of Defense, Army Corps of Engineers, for a “Decision Support Tool for the Texas Multi-Hazard Tournment.”

Tim Brown, senior team leader, National Advanced Driving Simulator, received a $10,527 grant from the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for “Comparative Assessment of Driving Impairment in Occasional Versus Heavy Marijuana Users.”

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9. College Events for the Coming Weeks

April 25 – College of Engineering Faculty and Staff Reception and Awards Ceremony, 3:30 p.m., Stanley Auditorium, 1505 Seamans Center.  The College of Engineering Faculty and Staff Excellence Awards will be presented, as well as longevity awards to staff who have worked in the College for 5, 10, 15, 20, 30, and 35 years.  The late Louis Landweber, professor emeritus, will be inducted into the Legacy of Iowa Engineering.

April 28 – “Water for All” Global Engineering Fundraiser, 6:00-8:30 p.m., McCord Club Lounge, Kinnick Stadium.  The "Water for All" Global Engineering Fundraiser supports experiential learning and project management training for master’s students active in the University of Iowa student chapters of Engineers Without Borders USA and/or Bridges to Prosperity (a.k.a. Continental Crossings). To RSVP, go to http://whoozin.com/P7Q-E77-6CRE.

April 28 – Biomedical Engineering Senior Banquet.  Dave Frazee, Biomedical Engineering advisory board chair and Chief Technology Officer of 3M Health Information Systems, will receive the Dean’s Award for Distinguished Service and will deliver the keynote address.

April 29 – Campaign Celebration Weekend, Seamans Center. The College of Engineering will host a brunch, followed by presentations by select student groups and tours of the new Annex to the Seamans Center for the Engineering Arts and Sciences (https://now.uiowa.edu/2017/02/iowa-forever-more-campaign-raises-1975-bil...).

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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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