Ingenuity Fall 2006 - College of Engineering - University of Arkansas

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Ingenuity Fall 2006 - College of Engineering - University of Arkansas

From the College of Engineering at the University of ArkansasFall 2006Arkansas is whereinnovation is happining


DEAN’S MESSAGEThe College of Engineering at the University of Arkansasis characterized by a commitment to student-centerededucation that is driven by excellence in research and timelyattention to the current needs of industry. In other words, atthe College of Engineering, we put ideas to work.When it comes to student education, “putting ideasto work” has a very literal sense. Each year, dozens ofour engineering students take advantage of the college’srelationships with industry to accept co-operative educationpositions that will give them real-world exposure to theworkplace. In addition, an increasing number of engineeringstudents choose to complete undergraduate research projects,often with the assistance of Honors College research funding or through the help ofState Undergraduate Research Funds. In either case, students come to understand howsuccessful research projects are structured, funded and executed. These are lessons thatwill come to bear later in their careers, whether they go on to become business managers,project engineers, R&D specialists or career academics.To advance this tradition of putting engineering ideas to work, plans are now underway to introduce academic “bridges” between the College of Engineering and theWalton College of Business. Coursework and workshops tailored to engineering studentswill assist them in framing engineering innovation in the context of a real businessenvironment and will give them a set of tools for negotiating – and succeeding in – theworld of business.Engineering education at the University of Arkansas is remarkable also for theextent to which our faculty remain deeply engaged with industry throughout theiracademic careers. This issue of Arkansas Ingenuity is full of examples of engineeringfaculty who are not only world-class researchers and educators in their own right, butalso entrepreneurial minds bent on bringing innovation from the lab to the factoryfloor. This propensity for translational research is one of the hallmarks of a greatengineering college, and the University of Arkansas is working hard to foster a nurturingenvironment for engineering entrepreneurial endeavors at every level of the educationchain.I hope you will enjoy reading about some of the ways in which the College ofEngineering continues to make strides in supporting the relationships betweenengineering innovation, industry applications and economic development for Arkansasand America. As you leaf through these pages, I invite you to take a closer look at theUniversity of ArkansasCollege of Engineering and the impressive array of research andteaching opportunities available in our classrooms and labs today. Keep in mind:Arkansas is where innovation is happening.With warm regards,Ashok SaxenaDean of EngineeringTwenty-First Century Endowed Graduate Research Chairin Materials Science and EngineeringARKANSAS INGENUITY FALL 2006


81114CONTENTSArkansas Ingenuity is publishedtwice yearly by the College ofEngineering at the Universityof Arkansas. Questions orcomments should be sent toArkansas Ingenuity, 4180 BellEngineering Center, Universityof Arkansas, Fayetteville, AR,72701 or sent by e-mail torbasu@uark.edu.Dean of the College of EngineeringAshok SaxenaEditorRitta M. BasuWritersMatt McGowanPeggy GabrielArt DirectorEric PipkinPhotographersRussell CothrenMark KussBeth HallDana LedbetterDon ShreveFEATURES8 Finding Space for Efficiency – Russ Meller’s design helps distributorsfind products easily for faster delivery which has resulted in customersreceiving their items quicker.10 COVER – Engineering the Human Condition –Vijay Varadan iscombining his knowledge of nanotechnology and medicine to address criticalhealth issues and also improve the economy of Arkansas.13 Education and Engineering Join Hands – University of Arkansas’science partnership with local teachers promotes excellence in scienceteaching.IN EVERY ISSUE2 Engineering News14 Faces of Engineering17 Alumni News20 On the Spot21 Engineering Fast FactsARKANSAS INGENUITY FALL 2006


ENGINEERING NEWS111113106College of Engineering U.S. News & World Report Rankings2005 2006 2007College of Engineering is Moving UpThe rankings for both the graduate andundergraduate programs in the College ofEngineering have been released and theUniversity of Arkansas ranks 113 th amonggraduate programs, and 106 th in theundergraduate rankings.Among the public colleges ofengineering offering doctoral degrees,the UA’s undergraduate program isranked at 68. There are more than 350undergraduate engineering programsnationwide, and 181 private and publicinstitutions that grant doctoral degrees inengineering.While undergraduate programs werenot ranked, Industrial Engineering’sgraduate program was ranked 26 th inthe nation. Computer Engineering tooka 20-point leap over last year’s graduateranking. In the past two years, the graduateprograms in Mechanical Engineering has risen38 positions in the rankings, while ElectricalEngineering rose 20 points in the same timeframe.Dean Ashok Saxena took over the helmof the college in 2003 with the expressed goalStephens Lab Dedicated Sept. 8of raising the perception of the College ofEngineering nationwide and moving it intothe group of top-ranked schools of engineeringin the country.“It is extremely gratifying to see the hardwork of our faculty and staff begin to bereflected in the U.S. News and World Reportrankings,” Saxena said. “The undergraduateprogram ranking is based solely on peerperception, and slowly we are seeing ourpeer institutions begin to take notice of thetremendous research and innovation that isgoing on here at the University of Arkansas.”The College of Engineering as a wholemaintained its overall graduate ranking of113, but Saxena said he is most encouraged bythe growth of the departments.“I am pleased with the progress made byour college in a very short time and evenhappier that we are getting better eachyear,” Saxena said. “Rankings influencethe perception about our quality and area measure of our success in implementingcontinuous quality improvement processesthat make us truly better at serving each ofour constituencies.” •The Larry and Gwen Stephens UndergraduateResearch Laboratory in IndustrialEngineering was dedicated September 8, asfaculty, staff and students thanked for HotSprings couple for their commitment to theCollege of Engineering.The lab will provide state-of-the-arthardware and software designed for industrialengineering projects. As many as 12 researcherscan be accommodated.Larry and Gwen Stephens pledged $75,000to establish the lab and support its upgrade overthe years ahead.“Our family has received so much fromthe university over the years that it is a realprivilege for us to be able to offer something inreturn,” Larry Stephens said. “The educationwe received, the life-long friendships wemade, and the enthusiasm we have for theuniversity makes us feel like we are part of theuniversity. Therefore, our gift is a contributionto our university family.”The Stephens’ gift supports the Collegeof Engineering’s goal for increasing researchopportunities for undergraduate students.“As we speak with potential students andprospective employers, there is a ferventinterest in engineering programs that offerundergraduates opportunities for hands-onSTEPHENS LAB continued on page 15ARKANSAS INGENUITY FALL 2006


UA Engineer Invents Diaper-Changing Pad,Helping Parents to Avoid Lifting Babies by FeetUniversity of Arkansaselectrical engineeringprofessor Li Cai, frustratedwith changing his ownchild’s diaper, created aninvention that will helpparents – and babies – feelbetter during the changingprocess. The patentedinvention – a simple, easyto-usediaper-changingpad – helps parents andcaregivers change diaperswithout having to liftbabies by their feet, whichoften causes acid to flow from the stomach intothe throat.“Changing my daughter’s diaper hadbecome a really frustrating experience,” saidCai, an assistant professor. He said whenhe’d change his daughter’s diaper after meals,pulling her legs into the air would often causeher to spit up.To prevent this from happening and tomake his daughter more comfortable, Caiinvented the pad in his home three years ago.He said his mother-in-law helped him withdesign modifications of a system consisting ofa removable pad near the baby’s bottom thatallowed Cai, his wife and his mother-in-law toremove soiled diapers, wipe the baby’s bottomand put on a fresh diaper while the baby lay onher back.“She was happier because stomach acidsweren’t rising in her throat,” Cai said. “And itwas much more convenient to change her.”Cai has joined with three Walton Collegeof Business students to create Contür, acompany focused on developing the padinto a commercial product. The group hasalso worked with an outside retail marketingcompany and a local prototype designengineer.The current version – 5 pounds, 36 incheslong, 18 inches wide and 8inches thick – is essentiallya large, rectangular traywith two sections, oneslightly larger than theother. The bigger sectionholds a thick piece ofmemory foam that supportsthe baby’s head and body.A smaller, rectangular trayfits into half of the smallersection. This smaller trayalso holds memory foamand supports the baby’slegs. A fresh diaper may beattached to this foam. Both pieces of memoryfoam are covered with a removable, washablecloth.The small tray functions as a panel thatslides back and forth under the baby’s legs. Aperson changing a diaper can slide the paneltoward the end of the large tray to have accessto the baby’s bottom. Then the parent orcaregiver simply needs to place a hand on thebottom of the baby’s feet and gently push thebaby’s legs upward. After the baby’s bottom iscleaned, the person changing the diaper slidesthe tray upward – under the baby’s legs andbottom – and fastens the diaper.While the product is tweaked, the Contürteam is searching for investors and ways tomarket the product. With resources in theSam M. Walton College of Business, Sproleshas conducted extensive market research. Heand the other Contür members are confidentthat the product will appeal to parents who aresearching for something more sophisticatedthan a simple, thin pad but not as big andexpensive as a large, immobile diaper-changingtable. Once the team secures financial backing,they believe they can achieve $3 million insales within the first year of operation. Theyexpect the retail cost of the changer to beabout $48. •Electrical Engineeringprofessor Li Cai hasdeveloped a diaperchanging pad that makeslife easier for parentsand babies.ENGINEERING NEWSARKANSAS INGENUITY FALL 2006


ENGINEERING NEWSBiomass Potential Discussedat Little Rock ConferenceThe College of Engineering and theUniversity of Arkansas System’s Divisionof Agriculture joined hands August 24-25to offer a statewide workshop for legislators,the business and manufacturing community,community leaders and interested citizenson the potential for producing energy andvalue-added products from biomass inArkansas at the Embassy Suites Hotel inLittle Rock.The workshop drew more than 250attendants, which included presentationsfrom a range of presenters including FirstDistrict U.S. Rep. Marion Berry, CalMcCastlain of Patriot Biofuels in Stuttgart,Gary McChesney of Eastman Chemical atBatesville, and Tommy Smith of PotlatchCorporation at Warren. Former U.S.Senator Dale Bumpers delivered the keynoteluncheon address.Attendees ranged from state legislatorsand community leaders to farmers, investorsand engineers.Major topics for presentations andaudience discussion were biomass feedstocks,biodiesel and other biofuels, biorefineries,value-added products, economic developmentbenefits, environmental considerations,business opportunities and state bioenergypolicies.Chemical engineering professors EdClausen and Jerry King wrote the proposalfor the workshop funding through a U.S.Department of Energy grant from theSouthern States Energy Board. Othersponsors of the workshop includedAgricultural Council of Arkansas; theArkansas Department of EconomicDevelopment-Arkansas Energy Office;Arkansas Farm Bureau; the College ofEngineering,; the Poultry Federation; Divisionof Agriculture; and Winrock International. •In Memoriam: Melvyn BellMelvyn Bell, the man who led thecampaign for the construction of BellEngineering Center, died July 8 in Little Rockat age 68. He had been battling cancer.Bell, a Little Rock businessman and FortSmith native, graduated from the Universityof Arkansas with a degree in engineering in1960. The majority of his career was spentrunning a hazardous waste incinerationcompany and he later owned severalentertainment spots including Magic SpringsFamily Theme Park and Belvedere CountryClub.In the spring of 1987, the UA’s newestbuilding, grand and modern in its style, wasunveiled in honor of Bell’s parents, Owen andHildur Bell. In making the gift, Bell creditedhis own success to his parents’ early guidanceand sacrifice.“My hope is that future generations willnot only benefit from this gift but perceiveit as a symbol of the virtues for which myparents stood and the love we shared as afamily,” Bell said during an April 3, 1987ceremony.In addition to the College of Engineering,Bell also supported cancer research at theUniversity of Arkansas for Medical Sciencesin Little Rock.He is survived by his son: Eric Bell andhis wife Deborah, their daughter Erin Bellof Little Rock, Arkansas; and his daughterMegyn Bell of Fayetteville. •ARKANSAS INGENUITY FALL 2006


Bio-Ag Students SweepNational Design CompetitionTwo teams of undergraduate students fromthe Department of Biological and AgriculturalEngineering were recognized this summerfor designing and building prototypes thatcould be developed into high-tech, life-savingproducts.The teams took first and second place atthe Gunlogson Student Design Competitionin Portland, Ore., July 10. The event waspart of the annual international meeting ofthe American Society of Agricultural andBiological Engineers. The top three teamsfrom schools nationwide were invited topresent their designs. The third team was fromThe Ohio State University.The first-place team members – Chase Darrfrom Alexander, Ark.; Andy Riester fromGreenwood, Ark.; and Sterling Powers fromEl Dorado, Ark. – designed a mobile child’sfeeding tube device.The team of Matt Graham from Pinopolis,S.C., and John Leach and James McCartyfrom Little Rock, Ark., took second place fordesigning a high-tech device to monitor afootball player’s body temperature while he’son the field.The first place team was inspired by aphone call from an Arkansas mother whose3-year-old son’s medical condition requireshim to be attached to an external feedingdevice that continuously pumps nourishmentfrom a bag directly into his stomach. It’s arare condition, but he is not unique. A smallnumber of children, with various medicalproblems, must also use an external feedingsystem.The current feeding apparatus available topatients, installed on a moveable intravenouspole, is designed primarily for bedside use.It only functions in an upright position, andseverely restricts daytime mobility, especiallyfor young children.Wanting to improve the quality of life forthese children, the UA team developed a newfeeding system that places the food bag, alongwith a pump and battery pack, on a vest thatthe child can wear. The parts are lightweightand distributed evenly in the front and back ofthe vest to help balance the device.The second-placeteam’s design dealswith a much morecommon healthproblem: heat stress.Football players areespecially at risk fromhigh temperaturesduring the summermonths of footballpractice and earlyseason games.Heat exhaustioncan set in when aperson’s internalbody temperaturereaches 100.9degrees Fahrenheit;if it reaches 104.9degrees a person can suffer a potentially fatalheat stroke. In the case of football players,the design team realized that if coaches andtrainers had the ability to monitor players’body temperatures, the problems from intenseheat could be avoided.The students designed a modified footballhelmet, embedding the padding withminiature wireless sensors and a transmitterto monitor a player’s body temperature onthe field. The sensor is positioned to restagainst the temporal artery, on either sideof the forehead, to register the core bodytemperature.The biological and agricultural engineeringdepartment is multidisciplinary with professorsand researchers contributing from the Collegeof Engineering, the Division of Agricultureand the Dale Bumpers College of Agricultural,Food and Life Sciences. •Andy Reister,Sterling Powersand Chase DarrMatt Grahamand John LeachENGINEERING NEWSARKANSAS INGENUITY FALL 2006


ENGINEERING NEWSWho’s No. 1?Arkansas Wins on Home WatersSOLARFayetteville, ARThe University of Arkansas solar boat teamtook the title of world champions at SolarSplash 2006 June 25 at Lake Fayetteville.This is the second time the Arkansasteam has carried home the championship,but the first time in the 13-year history of theintercollegiate solar boat competition that theteam has raced on home turf.In 2002, the University of Arkansas solarSPLASHboat team was named world champion at SolarSplash. In the past two years of competition,the team has finished second place overall.Fifteen teams from the United States,Canada and Puerto Rico competed over afour-day period in areas such as speed andendurance. Cedarville University of Ohiofinished second in the competition, with theU.S. Naval Academy team finishing third.“We were very happy with thechampionship title, but we were mostproud to co-host such a successfulevent with the city of Fayetteville,”said Alan Mantooth, UAARKANSAS INGENUITY FALL 2006


electrical engineering professor and one ofthe advisers for the team. “The students fromall the teams had a good time, and the peoplefrom the community who came out to watchreally responded well.”The solar boat competition was presentedby the College of Engineering and the city ofFayetteville.The city of Fayetteville agreed to closedown the lake for the week-long event andalso provided funding and staff support to helppromote and greet visitors on site.Fayetteville Mayor Dan Coody even cameout for the competition and was given a shorttour on the Arkansas boat.Each boat was required to operate ona combination of natural and stored solarpower. UA mechanical and electricalengineering students worked together to buildArkansas’ competition boat and prepare it forcompetition.Roy McCann, another electricalengineering professor who worked with theUA team to prepare for the competition, saidit was gratifying to see the Arkansas teammembers work together and all of the teamswork together to improve their boats andperformance for the competition.This year, the Arkansas boat had a newdesign, which helped with both speed andendurance, team co-captain Zac Pianalto said.Pianalto graduated in May with a degree inmechanical engineering.During the five-day event, teamsparticipated in five on-the-water competitiveevents. On-site competitions also includedvisual displays and workmanship.The team participants and the Solar Splashadministrative staff said they reallyliked the Lake Fayetteville venuefor the competition. Mechanicalengineering professor Bill Springersaid Solar Splash 2007 was alreadyslated for Lake Fayetteville andnow officials have agreed tohold the competition therethrough 2010. •ENGINEERING NEWSARKANSAS INGENUITY FALL 2006


Finding space for efficiencyRuss Meller’s Design Helps DistributorsFind Products Easily for Faster DeliveryBy Matt McGowanThe Internet and shift toward a serviceeconomy has led to an intense examinationof logistics and supply-chain management:Customers order products online, and theyexpect to receive their items as soon aspossible. Smart companies know that if theywant to be competitive, they must change theway they store and distribute goods. In thisnew environment, warehouses – now referredto as distribution centers – have become morethan a place to store extra product; they arean essential part of the supply and distributionchain.Russell Meller, professor of industrialengineering and director of the Center forEngineering Logistics and Distribution, housedat the University of Arkansas, has found away make distribution centers more efficient.By helping companies retrieve products fromwarehouse shelves faster, the discovery willcontribute significantly to the distributionprocess, which means customers will receiveitems quicker.“Our results suggest that for unit-loadwarehouses, radically new designs could lead tofaster retrieval rates and significantly reducedcosts for operating distribution centers,” Mellersaid.Meller and Kevin Gue, engineeringprofessor at Auburn University, studiedconfigurations of racks within warehousesand found that despite the increasing demandfor more efficient and rapid distribution ofproducts, conventional designs of distributioncenters have not changed. Even worse, theconventional designs constrain productivity,Meller said. Specifically, he and Gue discoveredthat two unspoken design assumptions, neitherof which is necessary from a constructionpoint of view, limit efficiency and productivitybecause they require workers to travel longerdistances and less-direct routes to retrieveproducts from racks and deliver them todesignated pickup-and-deposit points.“For many years, companies treatedwarehouses almost exclusively as cost centers,”Meller said. “This led to restrictive design rulesthat focused on storage density to maximizeutilization of space. Unfortunately, designinga storage area exclusively to maximize storagedensity ignores the operational cost ofretrieving items from the space.”ARKANSAS INGENUITY FALL 2006


The restrictive, conventional design isa system of parallel “picking” aisles that,depending on the size of the distributioncenter, are sometimes separated by one or morecross aisles. Within this configuration, theunquestioned design assumptions are:• that cross aisles are straight and must meetpicking aisles only at right angles.• that picking aisles are straight and areoriented in the same direction.Meller and Gue challenged theseassumptions and developed two alternativedesigns that accept lower overall densityof storage space but improve order-pickingresponse times.A traditional warehouse with 21 pickingaisles has no cross aisles, while the researchers’“Optimal Cross Aisle” model inserts twodiagonal cross aisles that originate at the samepickup-and-deposit point. Viewed from above,the two diagonal cross aisles make a “V” inroughly one-half of the total space occupiedby picking aisles and rack rows. This simplemodification gives workers – a forklift driver,for example – a “straight-line advantage”when traveling to and from some of the picklocations. Meller and Gue tested this designand discovered that it reduced picking costs by11.2 percent when compared to the traditionaldesign. Meller emphasized that the OptimalCross Aisle model had the same total lengthand capacity as the traditional design, althoughthe facility with the cross aisle would have tobe about 3 percent larger.“The main insight behind this design isthat a cross aisle that cuts diagonally acrossthe picking aisles affords an advantage in thatit allows pickers to get to many of the pickinglocations more quickly via a more direct route,”said Gue.For their second alternative design, Mellerand Gue kept the V-shaped diagonal crossaisles and added vertical picking aisles. Viewedfrom above, the V-shaped cross aisles extendfrom the bottom to the top of the entirespace allotted to picking aisles and rack rows.Horizontal rows of picking aisles occupy thetwo sections outside the diagonal, V-shapedcross rows. With this design, the researchersadded vertical lines of picking aisles on theinside the cross rows.The researchers call thismodel “Fishbone Aisles.” Thevertical picking rows combinedwith the V-shaped, diagonalcross rows led to even moredramatic savings. Meller saidtests revealed that the cost tomake a pick in the 21-aislewarehouse is 20.4 percent lowerthan in an equivalent traditionalwarehouse with the same totallength of picking aisles.“Fishbone picking aisles allowpickers to closely approximatedirect ‘travel-by-flight’ to thepickup-and-deposit point,” Guesaid.To prove this, Meller and Guecomputed the expected retrievaltime in an imaginary warehousein which workers couldtheoretically travel “as the crowflies” to every pallet location.They found that the imaginarywarehouse, which is impossibleto achieve, would deliver a 23.5percent reduction in costs whencompared to the traditional warehouse design.“We’re comfortable saying that although thefishbone design may not be the best possibledesign, it garners nearly all of the possibleimprovement,” said Meller.The research findings will be published inProgress in Material Handling Research: 2006.The researchers have applied for patents for thedesign models and are talking to major retailersabout implementing the designs in distributioncenters.“Our approach recognizes the emerging roleof distribution centers in industry,” Meller said.“A properly designed distribution center canprovide a competitive advantage to firms inretail and industrial distribution.”In addition to his position as professorof industrial engineering and director ofthe Center of Engineering Logistics andDistribution, Meller is holder of the HefleyProfessorship of Logistics and Entrepreneurshipin the College of Engineering. nTraditional warehouse designOptimal Cross Aisle designFishbone Aisles designARKANSAS INGENUITY FALL 2006


Biomedical engineering researcher isusing nanotechnology to solve some ofmedicine’s most perplexing challenges.By RITTA M. BASUVijay Varadan’s mind carries and createsenough ideas to fill volumes.Talk to the UA distinguished professor ofelectrical engineering one day and he willshow you how his nanotechnology research ispaving the way for an end to the devastatingeffects of Parkinson’s disease. You might evensee a video demonstrating the miraculouseffects of his discovery.Within a few minutes the Twenty-FirstCentury Endowed Chair in Nano and BioTechnology and Medicine might be talkingabout how the same technology could be usedto place a tiny biosensor into a soldier’s vest tosense overheating or biological and chemicalhazards.The next day Varadan’s creative and everactivemind may be focused on his researchARKANSAS INGENUITY FALL 200610


for using nanostructures to monitor patient’sheart conditions remotely.“A cardiologist in a metropolitan cliniccan see the blood pressure and heart rate ofa heart patient in a remote area by simplyputting one of these biosensors inside thepocket of a shirt,” Varadan says, holding up ashiny flexible device no larger than the tip ofa finely manicured fingernail.His latest research involves inserting sucha device inside the heart stent of a cardiacpatient to effectively measure blood flowand oxygen levels within the heart and toadminister medication over a period of years.If you think these ideas sound far fetched,think again.Varadan, who came to the University ofArkansas from Penn State University, hassecured more than $11 million in fundingfor his research since joining the faculty in2005. In addition, he has about $6.4 millionin research funding currently pending. Someof the sponsors of his medical research haveincluded international companies such asNeoPharma Industries headquartered in AbuDhabi in the United Arab Emirates.His most recent funding, which is stillworking its way through the lengthy stepsof final approval, comes in the form of a $5million grant from the Nizam’s Instituteof Medical Sciences, a highly prestigiousgovernment-funded medical researchuniversity in Hyderabad, India. The grantwill allow for about 1,000 test surgeries to beperformed on volunteer patients in India usinga prototype of the nanostructured heart stent.The prototypes are now under construction.Thus far, the wireless nanodevices are onlyapproved for testing in India. However, iftesting is successful there, Varadan can seekFDA approval in the United States for testingand introduction into the domestic medicalcommunity.school, Varadan sought ways to incorporatehis expertise in nanotechnology with thetreatment and monitoring people withdepilating diseases such as Parkinson’s,diabetes, and heart diseases.“Less than 5 percent of engineers pursuea career in medicine, yet all the medicalequipment is created by engineers,” saidVaradan, who also holds an appointment asprofessor of neurosurgery at the University ofArkansas for Medical Sciences in Little Rock.“I’ve been thinking for a long time, what can Ido as an engineer to improve the well-being ofhumans. Nanotechnology needs to be used inmedicine and that is what I am doing.”Varadan has also been awarded a $5million research contract from NeoPharmaIndustries in Abu Dhabi for developingimplantable sensors for treatment ofneurological disorders and for monitoringdiabetes – a disease that is being detected inepidemic proportions worldwide.Varadan has also been awarded two othergrants totaling a little more than $1 millionfrom the government of India. One grantwas for the development of a carbonnanosensor and wireless device formonitoring brain activity.In addition to his work in themedical arena, Varadan also servesas director of the High-DensityElectronics Center at the UA.He was awarded a $2.6 millioncontract from Engineering SystemIt takes an engineerWhile studying medicine at Penn State,where he still holds a post in the medicalARKANSAS INGENUITY FALL 200611


Research scientistJining Xie, right, andelectrical engineeringprofessor VijayVaradan examinenanotube samplesat the NanomaterialsResearch Laboratorylocated at theEngineering ResearchCenter in Fayetteville.Solutions Inc. in Frederick, Maryland tostudy the development of nanomaterial-basedbatteries and fuel cells with higher powerdensity and electrochemical efficiency at areasonable cost.Bringing home the moneyVaradan’s arrival at the UA has had a hugeimpact on the number of research dollarsthe College of Engineering is realizing. UACollege of Engineering researchers secured$22 million in research dollars for fiscal year2006 – Varadan brought in $11.6 million ofthat amount. In fiscal year 2005, the Collegeof Engineering’s research expenditures totaledover $19 million.Engineering Dean Ashok Saxena said,“Professor Varadan is a fine example of thetype of scholars that we have been able toattract to Arkansas as part of the Campaignfor the 21st Century. In a very short time,less than two years, he has built one of thebest facilities for biosensors research in thecountry, attracted large amounts of researchsupport from non-traditional sources thatopen future doors for the university, andhas used the financial support to build anoutstanding group of researchers here at theFayetteville campus and also at UAMS.”Varadan’s fellow researchers include researchfaculty, postdoctoral fellows, master’s andPh.D. students and undergraduate students.Not to mention, Varadan has collaborativeprojects ongoing with researchers around thecountry and the globe.“To top it all, two new companies havelocated in the GENESIS technology incubatorthat will be leveraging the intellectualproperty generated from Professor Varadan’sresearch and will contribute significantly tothe economic development of the region,”Saxena said. “His research is cutting-edge,exciting, highly relevant for improving thequality of life of humans and for the economicdevelopment of the state. Most of all, it hastremendous educational value that will havecontinued benefits for Arkansans for a longtime into the future.” nARKANSAS INGENUITY FALL 200612


Education and EngineeringJoin Hands to PromoteScience ExcellenceBy RITTA M. BASUThirty local teachers went back to school thissummer to conduct experiments they took backto their classrooms in hopes of boosting interestand test scores in science.The course for middle and junior high schoolteachers was a joint effort of the College ofEngineering and the College of Education andHealth Professions and was part of a three-yearprogram intended to boost teachers’ knowledgeand students’ subsequent science test scores.Shannon Davis, director of research in theCollege of Education and Health Professions, wasprimarily principal investigator for the program,which was funded by the Arkansas Department ofEducation.The project examines the premise that handsonexperiments have proven to be more effectivethan other methods in teaching children fromlow-income backgrounds and children learningto speak English, Davis said. Teachers take a twoweeksummer science course at the university forthree years, and Davis will analyze data after eachyear to see whether teachers’ content knowledgeincreased and their students’ test scores improved.Teachers from the Rogers, Prairie Grove, Gentry,West Fork, Springdale and Siloam Springs schooldistricts participated this first summer.Ed Clausen, professor of chemical engineering,and Carol Gattis, director of recruiting, retentionand diversity for the College of Engineering,served as co-investigators on the grant. CharlotteEarwood, director of the Northwest ArkansasEducation Renewal Zone based in the College ofEducation and Health Professions, assisted withrecruiting teachers for the project.Working with Clausen, teachers conducted avariety of science experiments – they learned tomake ethanol, to make a battery with fruits andvegetables, test acidity levels for many kitchenitems and many other simple experiments.They received the equipment they would needto conduct these simple experiments in theirclassrooms.Each day, participants were introduced to anew experiment, learn the background of thescience and then had time to discuss how toimplement the experiments at their schools,Clausen said. Teachers, who received a stipendfor attending, worked in groups according to thegrade they teach.“A follow-up component allows teachers toprovide feedback and presenters to offer furtheradvice on implementing the experiments in theclassroom,” Davis said. “A web site describesadditional experiments and an e-mail discussiongroup allows teachers to trade information abouthow experiments are working in their classes andgive presenters the opportunity to respond.” •ARKANSAS INGENUITY FALL 200613


FACES OF ENGINEERINGChancellor John Whiteand his wife, Mary Lib;Charles D. Morgan andhis wife, Susie; andRodger S. Kline.Campaign Philanthropists RecognizedFollowing the conclusion of the successfulCampaign for the Twenty-First Century,colleges and schools across campus took timeto celebrate the many examples of remarkablegenerosity from alumni and friends of theUniversity of Arkansas. This was particularlytrue for the College of Engineering, whichraised more than $70 million in endowed andnon-endowed funds to help support the growthand development of the college in years tocome.One of the most powerful legacies fromthe campaign, which ended in June 2005, wasthe creation of 24 endowed professorshipsand chairs for the faculty of the College ofEngineering. These new endowments representcritical opportunities for the college as westrive to compete as a nationally-recognized,student-centered research institution.Specifically, endowed professorships and chairsenable our departments to attract top academictalent to the University of Arkansas, and alsoprovide critical tools to retain outstandingfaculty already here at the College. Togetherthe college now has a total of 27 endowedpositions.Engineering Dean Ashok Saxena and ViceChancellor for Advancement Dave Gearharthosted a private dinner at University Househonoring three individuals whose contributionsto the campaign helped to define that effort astruly “an historic event of epic proportions,”as one campaign announcement described thedrive. Chancellor John White (BSIE `62)and his wife, Mary Lib; Charles D. Morgan(BSEE `66) and his wife, Susie; and Rodger S.Kline (BSEE `66) were each presented with auniversity scene chair.In his remarks during the presentationceremony, Saxena took time to point out howthese landmark gifts will ultimately benefita community far beyond the College ofEngineering alone. “By focusing on creating aknowledge-based economy in this state, we canoffer the people of Arkansas a better life. Wecan offer our students better opportunities; andwe can offer them an incentive to stay home– here in the state they love. The Collegeof Engineering is uniquely poised – throughoutstanding teaching, cutting-edge researchand dedicated service – to help the Universityand the state create a true research anddevelopment culture. And these gifts, as wellas every gift to the campaign, are truly turningthat dream into reality.”Saxena and Provost Bob Smith also hosteda recognition luncheon for three additionalalumni who made extraordinary contributionsto engineering during the campaign in the formof endowed professorships. Ansel Condray(BSCHE `64) and his wife, Virginia (BSE `64);Jim Hefley (BSIE `61) and his wife, Marie; andJim Womble (BSCE `66) and his wife, Patti,were each honored for the role they playedin providing unprecedented support to theiralma mater. Each couple was presented witha Philanthropic Leadership Medallion, theUniversity of Arkansasofficial form of publicrecognition for those who have demonstratedextraordinary commitment by creatingendowed professorships. •ARKANSAS INGENUITY FALL 200614


Richard Cassady Wins Charles and NadineBaum Faculty Teaching Award for 2006C. Richard Cassady, associate professorand holder of the John L. Imhoff Chairin Industrial Engineering, received themost prestigious teaching award at theUniversity of Arkansas: the Charles andNadine Baum Faculty Teaching Awardfor 2006. The award includes a $5,000stipend.Cassady is a native of Martinsville, Va.He earned his BS, MA and Ph.D degreesin Industrial and Systems Engineeringfrom Virginia Tech. He joined theuniversity in 2000 as an assistant professorin industrial engineering, earned tenureas an associate professor in 2004, andwas named to the John L. Imhoff chairin 2006. Cassady was named FacultyMember of the Year for 2004-2005 bythe Arkansas Academy of IndustrialEngineering; Outstanding Researcher inthe Department of Industrial Engineeringthe same year; and in 2005 received thefirst Imhoff Outstanding Teacher Award,for the College of Engineering. In all hehas received more than a half dozenteaching awards and several moreresearch awards so far in his career atthe university.In his letter informing Cassadyof the award, Bob Smith, provostand vice chancellor for academicaffairs wrote, “You have truly foundthe keys to active engagement andlearning and our students and ourUniversity have been the beneficiariesof your extraordinary creativity anddedication.”Cassady’s primary research interestsare in repairable systems modeling,which involves applying probability,optimization, simulation and statistics toproblems related to evaluating, improvingor optimizing the performance ofrepairable equipment. He also conductsresearch in the areas of reliabilityengineering, statistical quality control,logistics systems modeling and sportsapplications of operations research. •C. Richard CassadyFACES OF ENGINEERINGSTEPHENS LAB continued from page research with Ph.D. researchers and professors,”said Ashok Saxena, dean of the College ofEngineering.Larry Stephens is a 1958 UA industrialengineering graduate. He is vice chairman ofMid-South Engineering Co. in Hot Springs, aforest products consulting firm he helped foundin 1969. He has worked in the forest productsfield for nearly 50 years.With professional licenses and registrationsin eight states, Larry Stephens was a foundingmember and initial president of the ArkansasAcademy of Industrial Engineers and hasserved on the UA College of EngineeringAdvisory Council since 1992.He is a past board member of the ArkansasSociety of Professional Engineers, currentlyserves on the Levi Hospital Board and isactively involved in the Hot Springs andGarland County community. He is also and amember of the 2010 Commission and workedwith the College of Engineering on theCampaign for the 21 st Century.Gwen Stephens joins her husband of 44years as a lifetime member of the ArkansasAlumni Association, the Chancellor’s Societyand the UA Legislative Network.“We both believe in the university missionestablished by John White and the Councilof Trustees,” Larry Stephens said. “We alsosupport the goals and leadership of the deanof engineering and industrial engineeringdepartment. After discussing the departmentalneeds with John English, it was an easydecision to make this gift during the Campaignfor the 21st Century.” •ARKANSAS INGENUITY FALL 200615


FACES OF ENGINEERINGAlan MantoothAjay P. MalsheProfessors Named Twenty-First Century ChairsTwo UA College of Engineering professorshave been appointed to 21 st Century Chairsand are well on their way to making a name forthe college, the University of Arkansas and theengineering profession as a whole.Alan Mantooth, professor of electricalengineering, has been named to the Twenty-First Century Chair in Mixed-Signal IntegratedCircuit Design and Computer-Aided Designat the University of Arkansas. Mantooth isdirector of the National Center for ReliableElectrical Power Transmission, a U of A centerfor advanced power electronics research. He isalso chief scientist and co-founder of LynguentInc., an electronic design automation companybased in Portland, Ore., that focuses on analogand mixed-signal modeling and collaborativedesign tools.This Twenty-First Century Chair wasestablished to provide leadership in the areaof hardware and software design, creatinga crossover between electrical engineering,device physics and computer engineering.In his role as chair, Mantooth will attractand support research and create stimulus forintegrated circuit design and manufacturing,and software design cottage industries.“I am both humbled and excited at theopportunities that the chair position affordsour mixed-signal electronics program. Thesechair funds will be used to attract, supportand impact the lives of students, so thatthrough our scholarly contributions theUA’s international reputation as a top-flightengineering school can continue to grow yearafter year,” Mantooth said.Mantooth holds bachelor’s and master’sdegrees in electrical engineering from theUniversity of Arkansas College of Engineering,and a doctoral degree from the GeorgiaInstitute of Technology. He has receivedseveral teaching, research, and service awardssince joining the University of Arkansas fromindustry in 1998. In 2002, he was named tothe Georgia Tech Council of OutstandingEngineering Alumni and in 2006 was inductedinto the Arkansas Academy of ElectricalEngineers.Under Mantooth’s direction, the Mixed-Signal Computer-Aided Design Laboratoryhas collaborated with universities in Japan,England and the United States on electronicsprojects for space applications targeted toupcoming Lunar and Martian missions.Ajay P. Malshe, professor of mechanicalengineering, has been named to hold theTwenty-First Century Chair of Materials,Manufacturing and Integrated Systems at theUniversity of Arkansas.Malshe is the director of the Materialsand Manufacturing Research Laboratoriesat the university. He is also an adjunctfaculty member in the electrical engineeringdepartment and the microelectronics/photonics graduate program due to hisextensive work in the area of integration ofnano- and microdevices, primarily in the HighDensity Electronics Center. He is a co-founderand chief technology officer for two high-techcompanies, NanoMech and OMNIPak.The mission of Malshe’s program is“research inspired by discovery and innovationvia integration of student-centered educationalprograms, addressing problems of nationaland global interest, serving industries andcommunities.”Malshe has multiple international andnational awards for technology used innanoparticle composite coatings.His nanomanufacturing science andengineering and micro- and nanopackagingefforts offer interdisciplinary students andindustries a unique opportunity to bring newadvanced products to the global market.Malshe said, “The resources made availablethrough this prestigious honor will createopportunities to think beyond this decadeand derive strategies for achieving long-termnational and international leadership in keyareas such as nano and nanobiotechnologies,and advanced materials, manufacturing andrelated integrated system products.”


Engineering Leaders Recognizedat 2006 Alumni BanquetThe Fayetteville Town Center was ablazewith candlelight and colorful evening gownsfor the 2006 Engineering Alumni AwardsBanquet.The Engineering Hall of Fame Award,the highest honor given to alumni ofthe University of ArkansasCollegeof Engineering, was conferred to BillCravens (`56 BSIE) in recognition ofhis accomplishments in the finance andtelecommunications industries. As a longtimefriend of the Cravens family, ChancellorJohn White personally related Cravens’ manyprofessional and personal accomplishmentsto the banquet attendees, thanking him forhis years of quiet and unassuming service tothe College and to the University. AlongsideDean Ashok Saxena at the podium werethe attending members of the ArkansasEngineering Hall of Fame, each of whomwelcomed Cravens into their group by turnwith a handshake and a special word ofcongratulations.But it wasn’t only those with awardswho were announced at this year’s gala. Infact, each banquet guest was given a specialwelcome courtesy of RFID technologyembedded in his or her program for theevening. As each guest passed through theentryway to the banquet hall, a special RFIDreader registered their name, degree and yearof graduation and posted this informationon the video screens at the head of the roomfor all to see. In this way, each guest waspersonally “announced” as he or she enteredthe hall. The RFID reader technology wasprovided as a gift by Enterprise InformationSystems, Inc., of Austin, Texas. EIS choseto sponsor the event in this way to helpshowcase the College of Engineering’sgrowing prominence in the field of RFIDtechnology and to highlight EIS’ role insupporting student education in RFID design.Significantly, the technology used at thebanquet was designed and implemented byan undergraduate class in RFID led by NebilBuyurgan, assistant professor in industrialengineering. •ALUMNI NEWSARKANSAS INGENUITY FALL 200617


ALUMNI NEWSDistinguished Alumni Award RecipientsThe 2006 Alumni AwardsBanquet recognized thesignificant achievementsof numerous outstandingalumni.Bami Bastani, BSEE ’76President and Chief Executive OfficerANADIGICS, Inc.Warren, New JerseyRobert A. Davidson, BSIE ’70; MBA ’72President and Chief Executive OfficerArkansas Best CorporationFort Smith, ArkansasKenneth W. “Bill” Keltner, BSIE ’59General Manager Arkansas, retiredSouthwestern Bell Telephone CompanyLittle Rock, ArkansasJames E. Stice, BSChE ’49Professor, retiredUniversity of Texas, AustinAustin, TexasCharles E. Yates, BSCE ’60Vice President, International OperationsDivision, retiredAT&TAustin, TexasDavid O. Watts, MSME ’61D. O. Watts Company, President, retiredTulsa, OklahomaJ. Randy Young, BSAGE ’71; MSENE ’75Executive DirectorArkansas Natural Resources CommissionLittle Rock, ArkansasARKANSAS INGENUITY FALL 200618


Young Alumni Award RecipientsALUMNI NEWSPictured left to rightare, ChristopherKnight, Alex Lostetter,Jerry Newton, JeremyWebb, Scott Mills andMatthew Romine.Christopher D. Baltz, BSIE ’88Senior Vice PresidentYield Management and Strategic DevelopmentABF Freight System, Inc.Fort Smith, ArkansasScott Mills, BSCSE ’94CofounderIFWORLD Inc.Fayetteville, ArkansasBrock Hoskins, PE, BSCE ’89Vice President and Senior Project ManagerGarver Engineers, Inc.Fayetteville, ArkansasJerry D. Newton, BSME ’95ManagerManufacturing and Product SupportJohn Deere Russian OperationsMoscow, Russian FederationChristopher S. Knight, BSChE ’94; MSChE ’95Strategic Supply AssociateAlbermarle CorporationBaton Rouge, LouisianaMatthew Romine, BSCSE ’95; MSE ’99CofounderIFWORLD Inc.Fayetteville, ArkansasAlexander B. Lostetter, Ph.D. ’03PresidentArkansas Power Electronics International, Inc.Fayetteville, ArkansasJeremy Webb, BSCSE ’97CofounderIFWORLD Inc.Fayetteville, ArkansasARKANSAS INGENUITY FALL 200619


ON THE SPOTThis year’s Engineering Expo drewhundreds of students to the halls of BellEngineering Center to talk with and discusspotential job opportunities with the morethan 75 companies represented. Employersappeared eager to talk with UA engineeringstudents about potential future employment,as a number of students walked away withon-the-spot job interviews.A steel structure constructed as a serviceproject by members of the Chi Epsilon outsideBell Engineering Center was dedicatedin early April. Kevin Hall, head of theDepartment of Civil Engineering, presidedover the dedication.Melissa Tooley, center, is congratulatedby Arkansas Highway and TransportationCommissioner Jonathan Barnett and ArkansasHighway and Transportation DepartmentDirector Dan Flowers, upon her departureas director of the Mack-Blackwell RuralTransportation Center. Tooley served as directorof the center for seven years. Jack Buffington,research professor of civil engineering, isnow acting director for the MBTC. HeatherNachtmann, associate professor of industrialengineering at the UA, has been appointed asassociate director for the center.ARKANSAS INGENUITY FALL 200620


Where Our StudentsCome FromJawaharlal Nehru Tech University, IndiaOsmania University, IndiaUniversity of Madras, IndiaUniversity of Pune, IndiaVisveswaraiah Tech University, IndiaMumbai University, IndiaNagarjuna University, IndiaVn-Hcmc University of Technology, Vietnam0 10 20 30 40 50 60 70 80Our international graduate students enrolled fromENGINEERING FAST FACTS50403020Master’sFemalePh.D.MalePh.D.FemaleUndergraduateMale100AfricanAmericansAmericanIndiansAsians(domestic)Hispanic/LatinoCaucasianInternationalGraduate enrollment by ethnic group in colleges of engineering(Based on 2004 national data, 2005 UA data)In the past five years, our domestic graduate students enrolled from*Arkansas State UniversitySouthern Illinois University, CarbondaleU.S. Air Force AcademyArkansas Tech UniversityEmbry-Riddle Aeronautical UniversityMaster’s Male(of graduateenrollment)UndergraduateFemaleCrichton College of EngineeringUniversity of MemphisPark CollegeJohn Brown UniversityGender Breakdown ofUA Engineering StudentsBased on 2005enrollment data0 50 100 150 200 250*Data for 2001-2005ARKANSAS INGENUITY FALL 200621


ENGINEERINGPROFILEFace to Face with theCollege of EngineeringManuelStuartHometown: Prescott, ArkansasMajor: I’m pursuing bachelors’ degrees incomputer science and Spanish with a minor ininformation systems.Graduation: Expected May 2007Why engineering? My parents gave me an IBMPCjr for Christmas when I was in fourth grade,sparking my interest in technology. During mysenior year in high school, I received a NewHorizons Scholarship to study informationtechnology. I chose the computer science majorin the College of Engineering. By learning boththe science and the mechanics of technology,doors have been opened for a wide range ofemployment opportunities after graduation.What is a New Horizons Scholarship? Thesescholarships are awarded to Arkansas highschool students who participated in theEnvironmental and Spatial Technology program,E.A.S.T. Lab, and are interested in informationtechnology. The state and its leading companiessponsor the scholarship, which covers four yearstuition at any public university in Arkansas. Iwas so grateful to receive it. I knew I wanted tocome to the U of A, it was clear it was the rightplace for me, but I did not know how I was goingto pay for it. This scholarship was a blessing.Why the UA: The University of Arkansas wasthe perfect place for me at the perfect time. Iwanted to stay in Arkansas because it’s my homestate and my family is here. The size of theuniversity and its reputation nationwide wereparticularly appealing to me. In any engineeringfield, the quality of your education matters andArkansas’ reputation is growing continuously.Most memorable moment: There are so many!I spent the summer in Washington D.C. asan intern in Congressman Mike Ross’ office,and am now studying in Spain for the secondtime during my college career. I have createdmemories here that will last forever – includinghow to make grilled-cheese sandwiches with aniron.To contact Manuel Stuart, e-mail him atmstuart@uark.edu. •4180 Bell Engineering CenterCollege of EngineeringFayetteville, Arkansas 72701Nonprofit OrganizationU.S. Postage PaidPermit No. 278Fayetteville, AR

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