Grand Opening Held for New NASA Kentucky Offices
On October 7, 2011, the NASA Kentucky Space Grant Consortium and EPSCoR Programs held a dedication ceremony and celebration to dedicate its new offices on the first floor of the Robotics and Manufacturing Building. The festivities included students from the UK Opera Theatre performing a medley of aerospace-themed songs at the Memorial Hall Amphitheater, tours of the Space System Laboratory and BIG BLUE Unmanned Aircraft Laboratory and a video call from the International Space Station.
UK alumnus Bobby Jones of ILC-Dover (which develops NASA’s spacesuits) furnished a spacesuit for display and alumnus Don Cooksey, who graduated from UK in 1957 and retired from NASA, graciously donated rare photographs from Apollo missions 8-11, including the first moon landing.
Davis Marksbury Building Dedicated
The Davis Marksbury Building, the second phase of the Digital Village was formally dedicated on October 20, 2011, with College of Engineering Dean Tom Lester, UK President Eli Capilouto, lead donor Davis Marksbury, former UK President Lee T. Todd, Jr., Lexington Mayor Jim Gray, donors Jim Hardymon and Jim McDonald and representatives from the U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) in attendance.
The day’s events included a ribbon-cutting ceremony and tours of the new facility, which received a LEED Gold certification from the USGBC in August.
“This building is a symbol by the institution that solar and other alternative sources of energy are going to have a major role to play in energy production,” said Dean Lester. “It demonstrates a commitment of the university and the college for sustainable solutions, not only for research buildings, but to construction and to life in general. And given the College of Engineering’s role as a leader in advancing environmental-related research in efficient energy production, it is extremely appropriate that the Davis Marksbury Building—a building dedicated to engineering and computer science research — is not only the first LEED certified building on UK’s campus, but a Gold-certified building as well.”
The Davis Marksbury Building is now home to the Center for Visualization and Virtual Environments as well as the Department of Computer Science and Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.
New Course Offers Multidisciplinary Look at Systems Thinking for Sustainability
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has selected an innovative University of Kentucky course design project for funding in its “Transforming Undergraduate Education in Science, Technology, Engineering and Math” (TUES) program.
The three-year UK project, “Systems Thinking for Sustainability” (STFS), will offer UK students a unique opportunity to develop projects in sustainability as members of collaborative teams with colleagues from four UK colleges: Engineering, Design, Education and Business and Economics. Together, these teams will tackle sustainability issues involving complex systems where economic, social, and technical factors interact in dynamic and challenging ways. Team-taught by faculty from the four colleges, STFS will be an essential preparation to the student’s senior capstone projects.
Dr. Dusan Sekulic (Engineering) and his co-PIs, Drs. Leslie Vincent (Gatton College), Fazleena Badurdeen (Engineering), Greg Luhan (Architecture) and Margaret Mohr (Education), will offer the new course for the first time in Spring, 2012.
Calvert Elevated to IEEE Fellow
The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) recently conferred the grade of Fellow to Chair and Professor of Computer Science, Dr. Ken Calvert for his work in the areas of internet topology and active networks. IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of membership and is recognized by the technical community as a prestigious honor and an important career achievement.
The IEEE is the world’s leading professional association for advancing technology for humanity. Through its 385,000 members in 160 countries, the association is a leading authority on a wide variety of areas ranging from aerospace systems, computer and telecommunications to biomedical engineering, electric power and consumer electronics.
Dr. Calvert holds degrees from M.I.T., Stanford and the University of Texas. He joined the Department of Computer Science faculty in 1998, becoming its chair in 2007.
Dr. Guoqiang Yu Awarded UK CCTS Grant
Dr. Guoqiang Yu (Ph.D.), assistant professor in the Center for Biomedical Engineering, was recently awarded a two-year pilot grant from the University of Kentucky Center for Clinical and Translational Science (CCTS) for a project entitled, “Noncontact Diffuse Optical Quantification of Hemodynamic Contrast in Breast Tumor.” This study is a multidisciplinary effort involving collaboration with Dr. Margaret Szabunio (M.D., Professor of Radiation Medicine) and Dr. Brent Shelton (Ph.D., Professor of Biostatistics). The project’s narrative follows.
This project is to develop a novel noncontact diffuse optical system for hemodynamic assessment of breast tumors. A noncontact fiber-optic probe with achromatic doublet lenses will be assembled and connected to an existing diffuse correlation spectroscopy flow-oximeter that was previously developed in our laboratory. The noncontact probe will be used to scan over the breasts in patients with tumors, sequentially. It is expected that hemodynamic (blood flow and oxygenation) contrasts in breast tumors exist and can be detected by the optical scanning. We anticipate that noncontact measurements have higher sensitivity and accuracy in measuring tumor-to-normal contrasts than contact measurements.
KWWRI Designated EPA Center of Excellence
The Kentucky Water Resources Research Institute, led by Raymond-Blythe Professor of Civil Engineering Lindell Ormsbee, was named a Center of Excellence by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The designation is the first for the state of Kentucky and only the seventh in the Southeast.
To become a recognized Center of Excellence, an institution must “demonstrate technical expertise in identifying and addressing watershed needs; involvement of students, staff and faculty in watershed research; capability to involve the full suite of disciplines needed for all aspect of watershed management; financial ability to become self-sustaining; ability to deliver and account for results; willingness to partner with other institutions; and support from the highest levels of the organization,” according to the EPA.
The KWRRI, under Dr. Ormsbee’s leadership, is designed to help communities identify watershed based problems and develop and implement locally sustainable solutions. Dr. Ormsbee is a UK graduate and has been on the faculty of the Department of Civil Engineering since 1983.
Drs. Agouridis and Warner Part of Award-Winning Commonwealth Collaborative Project
UK biosystems and agricultural engineering faculty members Carmen Agouridis and Richard Warner, along with Chris Barton (Forestry) are part of an award-winning Commonwealth Collaborative project “Reforestation of Surface Mined Lands in Kentucky.” In July 2011, this collaborative was named an Exemplary Project by the Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities.
Scholarships, Awards and Student Recognition:
Clayton Cross, mining engineering: Pittsburgh Coal Mining Institute of America Donald S. Kingery Student Grant Award ($2,000). Awarded at the PCMIA/SME Joint Meeting, October 27, 2011.
Clayton Cross, mining engineering: John Sidney Marshall Scholarship ($1,500). Awarded at the Coal & Energy Division Luncheon, February 21, 2012, during the annual Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration Conference in Seattle, WA.
William Walker, mining engineering: Mineral and Metallurgical Processing Division (MPD) Scholarship ($1,500). Awarded at the Mineral and Metallurgical Processing Division Luncheon, February 22, 2012, during the annual Society of Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration Conference in Seattle, WA.
Aaron Thomas, civil engineering: American Institute of Steel Construction/Southern Association of Steel Fabricators Scholarship ($2,500).
Robert Catron, civil engineering: Underground Earthquake Reconnaissance Team appointment for the 2012-2013 academic year.
Michael P. Sama, biosystems and agricultural engineering Ph.D. student: received the 2011 Sunkist Young Designer Award for his exceptional engineering creativity and achievements that have impacted the way biological and agricultural engineers collect and aggregate data for the more complex measurement systems used in the profession, and that have greatly benefited researchers, corporations, and consumers.