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Welcome to another issue of e-Currents. This edition showcases the impressive achievements of our undergraduate students and highlights some new developments in our undergraduate programs. The college now offers a bachelor of science degree in environmental engineering, our first-year engineering program moved into 2012 with a new director and a new name, and we are proud to announce that we have another Goldwater Scholar. Read more
News From the College
A new company formed around Michigan State University nanotechnology promises to move speedy detection of deadly pathogens and toxins from the laboratory directly to the field. The company, nanoRETE, will develop and commercialize an inexpensive test for handheld biosensors to detect a broad range of threats such as E. coli, Salmonella, anthrax, and tuberculosis. A significant leap forward in detection and diagnostic technology, it utilizes novel nanoparticles with magnetic, polymeric, and electrical properties developed by Evangelyn Alocilja, professor of biosystems and agricultural engineering, AgBioResearch scientist, and nanoRETE’s chief scientific officer. Read more
When Kelly McElroy walked across the commencement stage on December 10, 2011, she became the first MSU engineering student to earn a bachelor of science degree in environmental engineering, marking a major step forward for the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) and the beginning of new opportunities for CEE students and faculty. “Getting a bachelor’s degree in environmental engineering is very beneficial, because more and more companies are becoming environmentally conscious and they need environmental engineers to assist them in making sure that they are complying with all environmental laws and regulations,” says McElroy, who is now an engineer at the Donald C. Cook Nuclear Plant near Bridgman, Mich.
MSU’s first-year engineering program moved into 2012 with a new director and a new name—the Engineering CoRe Experience, integrating the cornerstone (Co) and residential (Re) programs both in name and in focus. The new director is S. Patrick Walton, associate professor of chemical engineering and materials science. “The CoRe Experience is our opportunity to begin the process of turning students with raw ability into Spartan Engineers who will change the world,” says Walton. Read more
For Daina Briedis, it’s all about assisting students and assessing programs as she steps into her new role as assistant dean for student advancement and program assessment, a newly created position in MSU’s College of Engineering. In the area of student advancement, Briedis says her goal is to “lift up and encourage high-achieving undergraduate students.” She is also responsible for assessing the Engineering CoRe Experience, the cornerstone and residential components of the undergraduate program. These efforts will improve the quality of the college’s undergraduate experience and will help make MSU more visible nationally. Read more
Top officials from India visited Michigan State University recently to explore collaborative efforts in education, training, and research between MSU and institutions of higher learning in India. The visitors met with College of Engineering administration, and also with MSU President Lou Anna K. Simon later in the day. “We are working with our partners in India to establish collaborative programs that combine a solid academic foundation with training in applied research and development,” says Satish Udpa, dean of MSU’s College of Engineering. Read more
Student News & Accomplishments
Mairin Chesney, a computer science and engineering sophomore from Brighton, Mich., is one of two students from MSU to be named a 2012-13 Goldwater Scholar, bringing MSU's total number of Goldwater Scholars to 32. She is among the 282 undergraduate sophomores and juniors from the United States who were awarded the scholarship. Megan Buczkowski, a materials science and engineering junior, received honorable mention. In the past 11 years, the College of Engineering has produced 10 Goldwater Scholars, 2 Churchill Scholars, and a Gates Cambridge Scholar. Read more
More than 40 girls in 4th-8th grades from area schools spent a Saturday in March participating in a Technology Workshop sponsored by MSU Women in Computing. Fifteen MSU student volunteers led sessions on creating web pages with HTML and CSS, as well as basic programming concepts using Scratch. During the workshop, Satish Udpa, dean of the College of Engineering, paid a visit to the classrooms and talked to the girls about careers in computer science and engineering. Read more
Alumni & Development News
Greetings from the College of Engineering Alumni Association Board. As you will see in this issue of e-Currents, much has happened within the college during the past few months. This spring, the College of Engineering granted 288 BS, 28 MS and 18 PhD degrees. We’d also like to report to you the results of our communications survey. Read more
Nine individuals were honored for their exceptional achievements by Michigan State University’s College of Engineering at its ninth annual Alumni Awards Banquet held Saturday, May 5, at MSU’s Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center. In addition to eight alumni awards, the Green Apple Teaching Award was presented to a K-12 teacher who has inspired students to study math, science, and engineering. Read more
The College of Engineering’s Fourteenth Annual GOLD Club (Graduates of Lasting Distinction) Reunion was held June 7, 2012. More than 60 alumni, guests, and faculty and staff members attended the celebration luncheon at the MSU Kellogg Hotel and Conference Center in honor of alumni who graduated 50 or more years ago from the college. Read more
John Kaman (BS Chem Egr ’76) and his family are die-hard Spartans. John graduated from MSU; his wife, Anne, took MSU classes in ’86 and ’87; their daughter, Jessica, graduated from MSU in ’09; and their two sons are currently enrolled at MSU—Tom, slated to graduate in ’13, and Jeff in ’15. This fall the license plates on all four of the Kaman cars needed to be renewed. “So, in the true spirit of an MSU family, I followed a brainstorm I had–Mark Hollis would be proud,” explained Kaman.
MSU Trivia: The “MSU Fight Song” was written by Bay City engineering student Francis Irving Lankey, class of 1916. Read more
Mechanical engineering seniors (l to r) Ben Ambrose, Zach Albright, Erika Crosby, and Khoa Nguyen discuss their bean-threshing device with Brian Thompson, professor of mechanical engineering, and Thomas Wolff, associate dean for undergraduate studies in the College of Engineering, during the college’s Design Day on April 27. The student team used their 2012 spring break to travel to Guatemala City, Guatemala, to work on their ME 491 International Development class project—developing a bean thresher for Latin America. Traveling with the students was Luis Geovanny Flores, an assistant professor in MSU’s Institute of International Agriculture. Thompson teaches the International Development course. To learn more about the ME 491 projects, view pages 97-102 of the Design Day booklet.