2012 Spring - Science & Engineering Newsletter - Seattle University


2012 Spring - Science & Engineering Newsletter - Seattle University

The College of

Science & Engineering




of the Year

Dr. Vicky Minderhout

page 7


25th Anniversary of Project Center

page 2

Studying Wave Energy in Chile

page 4

2 Science & Engineering seattle university 3

Project Center Celebrates Silver Anniversary

History of the Project Center

Electrical engineering seniors Michael Parks, Joseph McIntosh, Arihant Jain, and Charles Park are designing a truck noise cancellation system for Kenworth.

How do you get a job without experience, and how do you get experience without a job?

The Project Center is Seattle University’s answer to this perennial question.

Before graduation, every senior in engineering and computer

science and every master of software engineering student joins a

team of fellow students that completes a professionally sponsored

design project. Through the generous support of our project

sponsors, our students gain valuable real-world skills: coping

with shifting project scopes, managing limited budgets, meeting

real deadlines, and overcoming personnel issues. They learn the

nuances of negotiation, public speaking, scheduling, and

matching engineering design with the bottom line.

The practical utilization of skills discussed in the classroom,

when linked to the Jesuit mission of service to others, can bring

dramatic changes to people’s lives, and our Project Center has a

long tradition of doing public service projects. Here are just a

few examples: project teams have travelled to Nicaragua to help

coffee farmers improve the processing of their crops, to Zambia

to build a waterwheel to pump water away from a crocodileinfested

river, and to Haiti to help provide arable land to a hungry


The Project Center has become an indispensable element of our

engineering program. We are proud that our student project

teams regularly win national awards for their work and that

many of their project designs find their way into commercial

products. We celebrate our alumni who volunteer their time to

return to the program as sponsors and team liaisons. We are

grateful that project sponsors, large and small, have chosen to

join with us in shaping the next generation of engineers. ■

by Bob Heeren and Jean Jacoby

Over 25 years ago, three forward-thinking engineering chairs,

Dale Carlson (CE), Robert Hereen (EE), and Dennis Wiedemeir

(ME), envisioned an industry-sponsored engineering research

center housed in the School of Science and Engineering, as it

was called back then. The center would support design projects

as the focus of engineering seniors at Seattle U. It was an innovative

proposal. From this brainstorming emerged the Engineering

Design Center (EDC), precursor to the Project Center, authorized

by Dean Terry van der Werff and officially initiated during the

1987-1988 academic year.

Professor Rolf Skrinde, Founding Director of the EDC, recalls “I

was fortunate in … being associated with the Center in its early

years, and in working with industry and faculty members to provide

our graduating seniors with a taste of the real world of

professional practice in which they were about to enter. Sometimes

called a capstone experience, the Project Center was a relatively

new concept at the time, but now there are many such programs

at colleges and universities throughout the country. As Director,

… much of my work relat(ed) to introducing the concept to

industry and soliciting from them the types of projects that

could be accomplished by teams of students, who … would

dedicate approximately one quarter of their time during the

senior year to the program.” Subsequent directors have carried

on this tradition (Patricia Daniels, Jeff Gilles, and Jean Jacoby).

For 15 years, the Project Center was supported by Sheridan

Botts. In 2007, Amy Haedt took over project recruitment, sponsor

relations, and contract management. Forging and maintaining

these relationships with the sponsors is critical to the ongoing

success of the program.

Believing that the primary function of engineering is design, the

three engineering departments integrated the professional

practice of engineering into the senior design experience to give

engineering students an opportunity to apply their knowledge

in solving real-world problems. The current structure remains

largely unchanged from its early days. Through a yearlong

sequence of courses, student teams work to complete projects

sponsored by corporate, government, or non-profit agencies.

Project teams are composed of 3-5 students, a faculty advisor,

and a liaison engineer from the sponsor. Seniors in computer

science and graduate students in the Master of Software Engineering

program joined the program in 1996. In 2008 the Project

Center formed a partnership with the Albers School of Business

and Economics, enabling a common project recruitment base,

cooperative projects, and interdisciplinary student learning. This

Mechanical engineering seniors James Krumwied, Inri Haryono and Erika

Tyler proudly display their senior design project, “Design of Algae Photobioreactor.”

The sponsor wished to explore the possibility of using CO2

from power plant exhaust to grow algae for biodiesel production.

experience can also lead to student internship opportunities.

As we look back over a quarter of a century, we note that this

senior design experience is foundational for the engineering

and computer science programs in the College of Science and

Engineering. We have created an experience that trains engineering

students to do design work at an advanced level, and

we have maintained a strong relationship with highly satisfied,

repeat sponsors (e.g., The Boeing Company, AREVA/Alstom

Grid, Kenworth Truck Company, PACCAR, Puget Sound Energy,

Seattle City Light, and Seattle Public Utilities). The Project Center

has become a signature program of Seattle U. ■


A. K. Gordon & Assoc. + Adobe Systems + Alliant Techsystems + Alstom + Amazon + AMEC + Appia Engineering Consultants + Appian Graphics + Applied Microsystems +

AREVA T&D + ARIS + Artisan Instruments + Atigeo + AVTECH + Bass Educational Services + Better Lifestyles + Bioalgene + The Boeing Company + Center for Design of Analog-

Digital Integrated Circuits + Cingular Wireless + Citrix Systems + City of Seattle + Consolidated Metco + Costco + Coughlin Porter Lundeen + Cray + Cybergroup + Data I/O

Corp. + David Evans and Assoc. + David Taylor Research Center + City of Des Moines + DevDac + Duet Cascade + ELDEC + Electroimpact + Emerald City Rotary Club +

Enchanted Learning + Engineered Software + Engineers Without Borders + Fluke + Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center + Friends of Blackman Lake + FSI + Group Four +

GT Development + Harris Group + Harrison Comfort Footwear + HDR Engineering + Herrera Environmental Consultants + Hewlett-Packard + Honeywell + IEEE + Industrial

Revolution + Ingersoll-Rand + Intelligent Results + K2 + Kenworth + King County + Leadership Advancement Int’l. + Magnusson Klemencic Assoc. + Management Assistance

and Concepts + Medtronic Physio-Control + Microscan Systems + Microsoft + National Bureau of Asian Research + National Park Service + Neighborhood House + Nesting Bird Yurt

+ Noetix + Nordstrom + Nova Ray + Nutraceutix + Octaform + PACCAR + Pacific Northwest National Laboratory + PACLAND + Parsons Brinckerhoff + PATH + Philips Healthcare

+ Photon Machines + Pierce County + Port of Seattle + Potters for Peace + Pratt & Whitney + PSF Mechanical + Puget Sound Energy + Qwest + Rabanco + Regence BlueShield

+ REI + The Robbins Company + Saint James Cathedral + Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories + Seattle City Light + Seattle Lighthouse for the Blind + Seattle Public Utilities +

Seattle University + Siemens Medical Solutions + SignalSet + Snohomish County Public Works + Solution Recovery Services + Sound Transit + Spinoza Technology + SRAM + SRS

Energy + SunGard Collegis + SvR Design + Terabeam + Tetra Tech KCM + The Other Roadside Attraction + Tinnea & Assoc. + Triad Assoc. + Two Degrees Consulting + Univar

USA + Universal Avionics System + University of Washington + US Army Corps of Engineers + US Bureau of Reclamation + US Coast Guard + US Forest Service + US Public Health

Service + Valberg + Verizon + Vietnam Veterans of America + Washington Mutual + Washington Publishing Company. + Washington State Department of Transportation +

Washington State Ferries + Waste Management + Waterfront Construction + Wave Consulting Group + Wellness by Design + Westinghouse Hanford + Weyerhaeuser + Willapa

Hills Farmstead Cheese + Wire DynamiX + WISDM + World Bicycle Relief + Xilinx + Zetec

4 Science & Engineering seattle university 5

Message from the Dean

I was having coffee in the

Learning Commons a couple

of days ago when Rodney

Dwyer, a senior in mechanical

engineering, came up to

me to thank me for helping

make possible his study

abroad in Santiago, Chile.

Rodney said it was a powerful

experience, particularly

the visit to the Memory and

Human Rights Museum.

Dr. Michael J. Quinn, Dean

Later that day, I met with Dr. John Carter, who organized

the trip, which was the capstone experience of a new

elective course John created on the mathematical modeling

of wave-energy extraction. Eight students from electrical

engineering, mechanical engineering, and mathematics

attended lectures, did homework, and took exams here

in Seattle during winter quarter, then traveled with John

to Chile during spring break to hear a series of lectures

on the subject organized by Dr. Rodrigo Cienfuegos of the

Pontifical Catholic University. When John and his students

weren’t attending lectures or visiting laboratories, they

were immersing themselves in Chilean culture. What a

great example of one faculty member’s expertise and

hard work resulting in an incredibly rich experience for a

group of students!

Faculty are at the heart of every university, and creative

and enterprising faculty members like John Carter help

make the College of Science and Engineering an extraordinary

learning environment for our students. New faculty

members bring new energy and ideas to the College, and

for that reason I’m thrilled to report that we have hired

seven new assistant professors who will begin in the fall

of 2012: three in biology, one in chemistry, and three in

mathematics. I am confident they will have an immediate

impact. For one thing, they will represent 1/9th of the

total number of professors in the College. For another

thing, they are an extraordinarily talented and accomplished

group of people. Altogether, these seven new

faculty members have already published more than 50

refereed articles, many in highly respected journals, including

Nature and Science.

As we continue to attract remarkable faculty members

who have a genuine interest in working with students

and fostering their professional formation and personal

growth, Seattle University will become an even more

attractive destination for science and engineering students,

catalyzing an exciting new era in our College’s history. ■


Faculty and students pose at La Estación Costera de Investigaciones Marinas,

a facility of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile (PUC) on the bluff in La

Cruces, on the Chilean coast. From left to right: Juan Carlos Dominguez (PUC),

Caleb Bowman, Erin Shankel, Max Cerami, Maricarmen Guerra (PUC), Aaron

Klingensmith, Emily Frost, Dr. Rodrigo Cienfuegos (PUC), Adam Frank, Dr. John

Carter, Kia Braha, Rodney Dwyer, and Dr. Cristian Escauriaza (PUC).

Energy from Waves:

International Study in Chile

As part of the winter quarter course, “Mathematical Models of

Wave-Energy Extraction,” Dr. John Carter and eight SU students

traveled to Santiago, Chile, for spring break. These lucky students

participated in a series of lectures on ocean and tidal energy

extraction in this extraordinarily rich environment. The course

was organized by Dr. Rodrigo Cienfuegos at the Pontifical Catholic

University of Chile. Chile’s immense coastline and dramatic

energy needs affords excellent opportunities to explore harnessing

tidal and wave energies. Dr. Cienfuegos and his research group

are internationally known for being at the forefront of wave and

tidal energy extraction. (Following this course, Dr. Cienfuegos

flew to Sendai, Japan, for a conference on tsunamis.)

While the trip included a visit to the Department of Hydraulic

and Environmental Engineering at PUC and research facilities in

Santiago and Las Cruces, students also dedicated time to experiencing

Chilean culture. They visited a number of museums,

including the incredibly powerful Museum of Memory and

Human Rights, and spent several afternoons enjoying Santiago’s

lovely parks. They ate Chilean delicacies including pastel de choclo,

chorripan, and chorrillanas and drank pisco sours, Chilean

wines, and fresh-squeezed juices from a wide variety of fruits. A

highlight of the trip was the asado (Chilean BBQ) at Rodrigo’s


The opportunity for engineering and mathematics students to

study with this renowned Chilean team is inestimable. As future

generations strive to deal with energy shortages and the options

afforded by renewable energy sources, this experience will

shape these students from Seattle U. ■

Alumni News

On April 17th, physics alumnus

Paul Newman ‘78 received the

Alumni Board’s Professional

Achievement Award. Dr. Newman

is a leader in the use of aircraft for

atmospheric research and is the

Chief Scientist for Atmospheric

Chemistry at NASA’s Goddard

Space Flight Center in Greenbelt,

Maryland. Newman has authored

Paul A. Newman, Ph.D., ’78

or co-authored more than 130

refereed scientific papers and

reports, including several significant studies of atmospheric

ozone. He helps direct Goddard’s analysis of the dynamics,

chemistry, and radiative properties of the middle atmosphere.

Newman currently serves as co-chair on the Scientific Assessment

Panel to the Montreal Protocol, a landmark international

treaty banning ozone-depleting substances. He directed the

first flight of the NASA ER-2, a civilian version of the U-2

converted to scientific research. He has been named in ten

NASA Group Achievement awards and been twice chosen by

his Goddard colleagues for peer awards. Newman grew up in

St. Joseph Parish on Capitol Hill, Seattle. Several members of

the Newman family are also SU graduates, including his late

father Jerome ’58, daughter Mary ’02, brother Stephen ’81,

and sister Joyce (Griffin) ’80. The day before receiving the

Alumni Award, Dr. Newman addressed Seattle U students

on the impact of ozone-depletion and efforts to curb this


John Hooper, P.E., S.E., is Principal

and Director of Earthquake Engineering

at Magnusson Klemencic

Associates (MKA), an international

award-winning Seattle-based

consulting structural and civil

engineering firm. John graduated

from Seattle U in 1981 with a BCE

and joined Ratti Fossatti Associates.

He attended UC Berkeley in

John Hooper, P.E., S.E., ‘81

1983, earning his MS in 1984,

re-joining RFA that year as Technical

Director. In 1990 he became a Principal/Partner. In 1997, John

moved to MKA. An MKA owner for over 12 years, John has

been integral in directing the firm’s technical undertaking, focusing

on seismic and earthquake engineering, particularly

in the research and development of new codes, methodologies,

and approaches. Through project and technical committee

experience, John remains at the forefront of industry advancements.

He is the Chair of the American Society of Civil

Engineers’ Seismic Subcommittee, member of the NEHRP

Advisory Committee on Earthquake Hazards Reduction

(ACEHR), and very involved with the Earthquake Engineering

Research Institute (EERI), FEMA, and the Pacific Earthquake

Engineering Research (PEER) Center. John serves on the College

of Science and Engineering Advisory Board.

On February 9th, alumnus Charlie Lyford visited with mechanical engineering

majors to offer practical design and implementation advice.

Students Evan Sjostedt, Max Cerami and (hidden) Rick Frederick take

advantage of Lyford’s professional experience.

Alumnus Charlie Lyford ‘96 visited the campus in February

and provided a lot of practical advice to the ASME Student

Club that is designing a one-seat electric car. He has often

helped with go-kart and bike “design and build” projects,

lending his expertise and welcoming students to his state-ofthe-art

race car lab, T-Zero. Charlie has generously donated

equipment to the College’s machine shop, allowing engineering

students to gain valuable machine tool experience. The Lyford

family, including Mary ’12, has three generations of professional

motor sport racing experience. They are passionate about

hands-on engineering.

Upcoming Events

Science and engineering majors will participate in the

Celebration of Student Scholarship on Friday, May

18, from 9:00 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Student Center.

Engineering and computer science students will

present their work at the 25th annual Projects Day on

Wednesday, May 30. This year’s celebration will begin

at 1 p.m. in the Pigott Auditorium.

The College will host a large booth at the Seattle

Science EXPO at the Seattle Center, Saturday, June 2,

10 a.m. – 6 p.m.

All three of these events are free and open to the public.

6 Science & Engineering seattle university 7

Bannan Scholar Profile: Nichole Porter

I grew up in a family where education

was not considered important,

so I dropped out of high school in

9th grade, like my parents. As an

adult I took dead end jobs, living

paycheck to paycheck. When I was

22 I married and soon had my son,

Quinton, and daughter, Alexandra.

I became a stay-at-home mom with

a smaller income.

Just after I had my daughter, my best friend passed away suddenly.

Like me, she also had a three-year-old. I was heartbroken

but began to wonder, “If I were to pass away, what would my

children have from their mother? What would I like them to inherit

from me?”

I did not want them to struggle as I had, and I knew that the

way to change that was for me to return to school, to lead by

example. This would make it possible to pay for their education

and to show them how important education is.

STEM Club: Bannan Scholars in Service

Last fall the 21 Bannan Scholars, science and engineering juniors

and seniors, started an after-school Science Technology

Engineering Math (STEM) Club at Bailey Gatzert Elementary

School. The club seeks to encourage students to learn science

through engaging activities in a school where only 10% of the

fifth grade students meet state requirements. Eddie Lincoln, the

Success Coordinator at the elementary school, brought up the

idea with Ben Neal and Rachel Vranizan, senior co-leaders of

“the Bannans,” and soon all were on board. During their fall

quarter retreat, they brainstormed fun and thoughtful projects

for the STEM curriculum.

Elizabeth Brasseale works with a Bailey Gatzert student.

In considering my choices, I realized that I would like to become

an electrical engineer. I got my GED and enrolled in community

college. I was a good student, so I was accepted at Seattle University.

The issue of money was instantly a concern. Because I

received the Transfer Scholarship and the Bannan Scholarship,

my husband and I were able to make it work.

Since receiving the Bannan Scholarship, my experiences have

been phenomenal! I was instantly part of something that I could

never have imagined. I felt immediately accepted by my peers,

and my eyes were opened to much more of the world. I have

appreciated the speakers who generously bestow their knowledge

upon us in the Bannan Scholars meetings. The speakers

even inspired me to join Engineers Without Borders to try to

make a real difference in the world!

Receiving the Bannan Scholarship made it possible for me to

continue my education at a school that really cared about me

becoming a good engineer! I am very grateful for the opportunities

that Seattle University has given me and my children as well! ■

Lessons have covered the solar system, space travel, chemistry,

buoyancy of water, materials science, and the conservation of

energy, which was “experienced” when Gatzert students built

Rube Goldberg machines. Twenty-four 4th and 5th graders participated

in the STEM Club last fall. Now Seattle U student volunteers

Gina Esposito and Taisha Doo and K-12 Leadership

Team member Tyler Yamaguchi provide steady “anchors” and

“crowd control” support for club activities.

The Bannan Scholars are excited about being part of the Seattle

University Youth Initiative with their STEM Club program. “It is

awesome to see them [Gatzert students] get excited about science,”

says Jasmine Davis, a fourth year chemistry and forensic

science major. The journey has been filled with many pleasant

surprises. “Nothing is ever going to go how you plan it. The

stuff they find exciting is never what you intended to wow them

with,” says Elizabeth Brasseale, a third year physics major. “They

hang on your every word, and there’s nothing like hearing a

chorus of ‘ooooh’ and ‘aaah’ and ‘wow!’ following your demonstrations.

The rest of the time, you’re too busy trying to keep them

from eating the chemicals to worry what they think of you.”

“For me, STEM is an incredible experience… Whether they

enjoy the subject or not, they are constantly asking questions

and wanting to learn more,” says Justin Willis, a senior general

science major, reflecting on his experience. “It is encouraging to

hear, at the end of each Wednesday, that each of them learned

at least something new about the world of science.”

The Bannan Scholars plan to expand efforts in the coming years. As

faculty advisor Frank Shih says, “We’re just getting started….” ■

Professor Vicky Minderhout Honored as Washington’s

Professor of the Year

In November, Dr. Vicky Minderhout, professor of chemistry, was

named the Washington State “Professor of the Year” by the

Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the

Council for Advancement and Support of Education (CASE). She

was awarded this honor for her profound impact on student success

in her innovative approach to teaching. She is the first faculty

member at Seattle University to receive this honor and one of only

27 educators throughout the country to be honored in 2011.

In 1997, having completed 17 years at Seattle University, Dr.

Minderhout did something quite radical – she challenged everything

she had learned about teaching and dramatically changed

her teaching methods. After attending a conference where a

new approach was discussed, she turned away from the traditional

lecture method of teaching science. Adopting a Socratic

method, she began to think less like a conveyor of information

and more like a coach, one who strives to elicit the optimal performance

from each participant.

At first, Dr. Minderhout’s novel approach was a source of discomfort

for students who were used to the traditional formula

of lectures, labs and testing. This new method required creative

thinking and problem-solving, group participation and a deeper

understanding of the principles behind the lesson content. In

short, she challenged them to think, to analyze, and to apply

this new-found knowledge to other areas of their discipline and,

indeed, their academic lives. It stretched them – and her. Lectures

were abandoned in favor of small group problem-solving

sessions, research driven and designed to build not only base

knowledge but also the invaluable critical-thinking skills that

come to distinguish scholarly success.

“This, I believe, is the future of science

education, and it’s happening right now,

right here at our university.”

Michael Quinn, Dean

But Dr. Minderhout’s “conversion” did not rest with the successes

she witnessed in her classroom. She shared her success with her

colleagues. She and associate professor Dr. Jenny Loertscher coauthored

a workbook, Foundations of Biochemistry, securing a

National Science Foundation grant to test the material nationally. It

is now being used in over 50 institutions across the country.

Professor Minderhout has held 40 workshops to model the way an

inquiry-based undergraduate course can work. She continues to

publish extensively, and she is a sought-after speaker on the subject

as the method continues to grow in popularity. She generously

gives of her time in work with many other educational innovators

involved in re-shaping STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and

Math) curricula to better prepare students and teachers for the

future, including K-12 curricula. As Dana Riley Black, director of

Seattle’s Center for Inquiry Science at the Institute for Systems

Biology says of Minderhout’s efforts, “It’s not just hand-on, it’s really

minds-on, and that’s the type of workers we want in our field.”

Dr. Minderhout’s award was publicly recognized in a ceremony

last November 21 when Seattle University President Fr. Stephen

Sundborg, SJ, presented her with a plaque honoring her accomplishment.

8 Science & Engineering seattle university 9

Athletics Honors College’s Top Student-Athletes

The College of Science and Engineering boasts 58 student-athletes among its undergraduate majors.

Their overall performance in the classroom is commendable; as a group, they earned an average GPA

of 3.13 during fall quarter. By the end of winter term, eight of them had been recognized by the

Department of Athletics for their exceptional academic and athletic performance.

We proudly salute them: (top Row) Brandon Hammer, Liana Heberer, Marshall Kosaka, Caitlin McCleary,

(bottom Row) Bethany Richards, Katrina Schwab, Kacie Sowell, Katie Tougas.

Project Center Feature: Building a Better (Micro) Mouse

For five months the ECE 12.3 senior design team had worked

toward a one goal: to build the winning MicroMouse robot for

the IEEE Region 6 competition at the Boeing Museum of Flight

in February. The team invested 6000 man-hours in research, design,

prototype construction and the final robot build-out. The

stage was set to challenge 3-time winner, University of Alaska


The competition itself is straightforward. Each micro robot

searches out a 16x16 maze. Once the robot has thoroughly explored

the maze and “memorizes” the pattern, it returns to the

start. It is then clocked to make the fastest possible run to the

center of the square. The timed speed run determines the victor.

When Seattle University set their robot, “The Dude,” down, it

strolled through the maze, returned home, and made its sprint

to the center in only 27 seconds – a remarkable accomplishment

for a first year team! When the UAF team leader picked up his

stalled mouse mid-search, he succumbed to IEEE rules that

penalize the team with a 30 second penalty added to their best

run. This guaranteed the victory for Seattle U! ■

Chris McDougall, Bobby Seidensticker, and Hoang Tran watch “The Dude”

make its way through a copy of the competition maze. Associate professor

Al Moser served as faculty advisor to the team.

Student Research Briefs

Senior physics major Jeff Tibbals is working with professor

Mary Alberg to calculate the ways in which the momentum

of an elementary particle, like the kaon or the pion, is shared

among its constituent quark. Both attended the 2011 Fall

Meeting of the American Physical Society Division of Nuclear

Physics at Michigan State University last October. Alberg and

Tibbets have co-authored a paper describing this work, which

has been published in the journal Physics Letters.

Civil and environmental engineering students Caitlyn Echterling

and Jenny Graves worked under the supervision of assistant

professor Wes Lauer to perform aerial photograph

analysis that helped document the increase in stream bank

erosion in the Le Sueur river basin, a large agricultural watershed

in southern Minnesota. Dr. Lauer was part of a larger

team that worked for several years to develop a sediment

budget for the basin. Their work was published in the journal

Environmental Science and Technology.

Biochemistry majors Orrin Stone and Lauren Ryon and molecular

biology major Kelly Biette, accompanied by faculty

mentors Patrick Murphy, Vicky Minderhout, and Jennifer

Loertscher, attended the Experimental Biology conference in

San Diego April 21-25. Students were able to present the

projects they had been working on all year to the diverse


Senior Patrick Trainor and assistant professor of mathematics

McLean Sloughter have been working together to study pine

beetle infestations. Early in March, Trainer presented a talk

titled “Modeling of pine beetle caused mortality in Jeffrey

pine trees” at the Northwest Undergraduate Mathematics

Symposium at Lewis and Clark College. He collaborated with

Dr. Sloughter and another author on another talk titled “Living

in a bad neighborhood: the influence of spatial proximity

on Jeffrey pine beetle-caused mortality in the Lake Tahoe Basin,”

which was presented in late March at the Western Forest

Insect Work Conference in Penticton, British Columbia.

Engineering students Aimee Corn, Rachel Dang and Katie Stinson

exhibited their leadership skills by coordinating nine student

clubs to host activities for National Engineering Week in February.

The Society of Women Engineers offered the annual Resume

Night, which gives engineering and computer science students

the opportunity to receive individual feedback from local engineering

professionals. The student chapter of the IEEE hosted

Mock Interviews Night, offering students a chance to sharpen

their interviewing skills. Other events were hosted by student

chapters of EWB, ASCE, ASME, Habitat for Humanity, Concrete

Canoe, Steel Bridge, and Tau Beta Pi. The week was a great

success. ■

Associate professor Joanne Hughes Clark and physics majors Andrew

Hankins and Kayla Furukawa (not shown) presented a poster on their

summer research at the NASA Future Forum held December 9th, 2011,

at The Museum of Flight.

Fnu Pooja, a graduate student in computer science, has been

working under the supervision of associate professor Roshanak

Roshandel to develop techniques to detect malware behavior

in text messaging and telephony applications of Android devices.

She has developed a methodology to analyze user’s behavior

regarding individual phone usage and detection of anomalies.

A fellow graduate student in computer science, Pichai Assawaruangchai,

has been working with Dr. Roshandel to

develop a tool to analyze malware behavior by monitoring

network traffic and identifying attempts to contact IP addresses

that are known to be malicious or compromised. Doohyun

Chung, a graduate student in software engineering, has been

developing a framework for malware analysis on Android

phones and tablets. Doohyun is currently wrapping up tool

development for two novel algorithms for behavioral analysis

of smartphones. These algorithms will be able to detect when

a piece of malware on a smartphone is performing activities

that may compromise the security or privacy of the user’s

data. ■

Students Organize Engineering Week Activities

Before the official start of National Engineers Week, student clubs

organized a mixer in Casey Commons. Pictured in this photo are

Nicole Nakaoka, Hannah Rolston, Dr. Frank Shih, Anneliese Sytsma,

Renee Vandermause, and Mark Beggs.

10 Science & Engineering seattle university 11

Faculty Notes


Associate professors Katherine Kuder and Nirmala Gnanapragasam

authored a paper titled “Implementing peer-reviews in

civil engineering laboratories,” which will appear in the 2011

ASEE Conference Proceedings.

Nirmala Gnanapragasam has been a volunteer math club

coach at a North Seattle elementary school for the past 10+

years, preparing 12-15 kids each year for local, state, national

and international competition. Recently her team of 6th graders

took fourth place in Seattle Chapter MATHCOUNTS, moving

them to the state level at the Microsoft Campus, the dream of

every “mathlete.” MATHCOUNTS (mathcounts.org) is the

most prestigious contest for 6th through 8th graders; it is run

by the National Society of Professional Engineers (NSPE).

Assistant professor Wes Lauer published “The importance of

off-channel sediment storage in 1-D morphodynamic modeling”

in the textbook Gravel Bed Rivers: Processes, Tools, Environments.

Assistant professor J. Paul Smith published “Performancebased

framework for soil-structure systems using simplified

rocking foundation models” in Structural Engineering and

Mechanics: An International Journal.

J. Paul Smith co-presented a paper at the ACI 2012 Spring

Convention in Dallas, March 18-22. The title of the paper was

“Special considerations for the seismic analysis and design of

piers, wharves and yards supported on prestressed concrete



Dean Michael J. Quinn recently launched the fifth edition of

his text, Ethics for the Information Age. The book covers a

variety of issues related to the modern use of computers and

networks, such the effects on personal privacy of widespread

data-gathering by Google and Facebook, the implications of

widespread file-sharing on intellectual property rights, and security

weaknesses of wireless Internet access points.

Associate professor Yingwu Zhu received word of the acceptance

of his research paper titled “Evaluating mesh-based P2P

video-on-demand systems” by the 26th IEEE International Parallel

& Distributed Processing Symposium.


In December, assistant professor Henry Louie presented a

keynote address titled “The past, present and future of the

Power & Energy Society” at the IEEE Power & Energy Society

Innovative Smart Grid Technology conference in Jeddah, Saudi

Arabia. The conference was hosted by the IEEE, the King

Keynote speaker Dr. Henry Louie is recognized by conference chair

Bander Allaf at the Innovative Smart Grid Technology conference in

Saudi Arabia.

Abdullah University of Science and Technology and the Saudi

Electric Company under the patronage of the Saudi Minister

of Water of Electricity, Abdullah Bin Abdulrahman Al Hussien.

The conference, focusing on creation of more efficient electric

grid operation, improved use of renewable resources and

greater consumer empowerment, provided opportunities for

power utilities, regulators, and representatives of all interested

parties to meet and exchange ideas. Louie is Vice President of

Membership & Image of the IEEE Power & Energy Society.


Professor Shusen Ding gave an invited main lecture titled

“Norm inequalities for differential forms and related operators”

at the International Conference on Higher Structures in China

II. He also attended the international conference Nonlinear

PDEs and Applications in China, where he gave seminar talks

at the Harbin Institute of Technology and Tsinghua University.

Assistant professor Brian Fischer is co-author of “Effect of instantaneous

frequency glides on interaural time difference

processing by auditory coincidence detectors,” published in

the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

The paper “Partitioning Pythagorean Triangles Using Pythagorean

Angles” by professors emeriti Carl Swenson and Andre

Yandl is scheduled for publication in the May issue of the College

Mathematics Journal. Their paper “On a class of matrices with

zero determinant” has been accepted for publication in

Mathematics Magazine.


Professor Mary Alberg and University of Washington professor

Gerald Miller have co-authored a paper “Taming the pion

cloud of the nucleon,” which has been accepted for publication

by Physical Review Letters, the world’s foremost physics letters

journal. In this work they calculated the effects on the mass of

the proton of the short-lived fluctuation of the proton into a

neutron and a pion, a process allowed by Heisenberg’s uncertainty

principle. Their results are in excellent agreement

with the fundamental calculations of lattice QCD (quantum


Emeritus professor Pierre Gehlen (second from left) with the Engineers

Without Borders group and local residents in Mae Nam Khun, Thailand,


In Memoriam: Pierre Gehlen

Pierre Gehlen, professor emeritus of mechanical engineering,

passed away on January 3, 2012. Pierre taught in the Mechanical

Engineering Department from 1982-2006. He was a strong

supporter of engineering education and a great proponent of

Engineers Without Borders. In 2007 he helped install a drinking

water treatment system for a children’s dormitory in Thailand.

He also worked in Zambia with Father Bert Otten, SJ. He was

kind and intelligent and had a wonderful sense of humor. He

was a keen photographer and remained in contact with many

former students. He is sorely missed.

The Science & Engineering Newsletter is published semiannually by

the Seattle University College of Science and Engineering.

Editor: Patricia Whitney (senews@seattleu.edu)

Dean: Michael Quinn

Contributors: John Carter, Amy Haedt, Bob Heeran, Joanne Hughes Clark, Jean

Jacoby, Henry Louie, Hilary Northcraft, Nichole Porter, Frank Shih, Mike Thee

Photos: John Aronson, Kayla Furukawa, Anil Kapahi, Shelley Rolfe, CJ Taylor.

This newsletter is printed on FSC Mixed Sources paper — a product group

from well-managed forests, controlled sources and recycled wood or fiber.

A Century of Service:

Three Dedicated Faculty Members Retire

Three College faculty members

with a total of 104 years of service

to Seattle University are retiring at

the end of this academic year:

Mary Ehlers, Dan Matlock, and

David Thorsell.

Mary Ehlers, associate professor

of mathematics, began her career

at Seattle University in the fall of

1974. Mary calculates that she has

taught more than 5,000 students Dr. Mary Ehlers

in her classes over these years.

Her future plans are “yet to be determined.”

Dan Matlock, associate professor

of biology, started at Seattle University

in the fall of 1984. Dan

says he’s learned a few things

along the way: “(1) To my students

I say that the secret to a

rewarding career in the life sciences

is to choose an organism

for study that can only be found

in a part of the world you want to

visit, and more, importantly, one

that tastes good; and (2) to my Dr. Dan Matlock

colleagues, I recommend that

they think of their work not as a career, but as a hobby; a very

expensive hobby.”

Like Mary Ehlers, David Thorsell,

associate professor of chemistry,

started at Seattle U in the fall of

1974. He was appointed department

chair in 1976 and served in

that capacity for 12 years. David

says, “Having finally recovered

from that task, I will now retire

and work on home and boat

projects that have been sorely

neglected during my recovery.

Dr. David Thorsell

Vicky and I also plan to do some

car and boat trips and to spend

some time on Orcas Island where long-time friends recently

bought a home.”

We are pleased to announce that all three of these faculty

members have been granted emeritus/emerita status by Seattle

University, and we hope they will come back to campus frequently

to visit with us! ■

Non-Profit Org.



Seattle, WA

Permit No. 2783

901 12th Avenue

PO Box 222000

Seattle, WA 98122


DAY 2012

MAY 30, 2012 // 1 – 5:30 PM

WE ARE 25! Please join the celebration of the 25th Anniversary of

the Seattle University Project Center at Projects Day 2012. Students

present the results of their projects followed by a poster session and

free reception. Opening ceremony at 1 p.m. in Pigott Auditorium, Albers

School of Business and Economics followed by student presentations

and reception in Sullivan Hall, SU Law School.

Visit www.seattleu.edu/projectcenter for more details.

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