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Summer 2012

Udpa's Update

Message from Dean Satish Udpa

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

MSU Spin-Out Company to Market Biohazard Detection Technologies

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

College Awards First Environmental Engineering Bachelor’s Degree

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.
Read more

Getting to the CoRe of the Engineering Experience

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

Mission Critical: Assisting Students and Assessing Programs

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 Visit MSU to Discuss Collaborative Educational Programs

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

Computer Science and Engineering Sophomore Named Goldwater Scholar

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

MSU Women in Computing Hosts Workshop for Girls in 4th – 8th Grades

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

Message from Joe Gentile, Engineering Alumni Association Board Chair

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

College Honors Nine at Ninth Annual Alumni Awards Banquet 

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

Fourteenth Annual GOLD Club Reunion Recognizes Class of 1962

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

Kaman Family Displays Spartan Spirit

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.
He took the "MSU Fight Song," picked four key phrases, abbreviated them, and put them on the four license plates. They are: GRT4MSU, PTSGRW, WTHVIM and VY4MSU. Do you get it? If not, sing the song to yourself and you’ll see how they fit in. Read more

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.

Photo by Erin Groom


August 16

Last day of summer semester classes

August 29

First day of fall semester classes

August 31

Season opener—home football game

October 13

Engineering Homecoming Tailgate


Diversity Programs Office Receives 2012 Impact Award from NSBE and ExxonMobil

The College of Engineering Diversity Programs Office (DPO) was one of three recipients of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) and ExxonMobil 2012 Impact Award in recognition of their efforts in retaining underrepresented minority students in engineering programs. Theodore Caldwell, DPO director, accepted the award during an event held at the Carnegie Institution for Science in Washington, D.C. in April.

Faculty, Staff Honored at 22nd Annual Engineering Awards Luncheon

The College of Engineering honored faculty and staff members for excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service at the 22nd annual Engineering Awards Luncheon on March 22, 2012, at the University Club of MSU.

Seungik Baek Receives NSF CAREER Award

Seungik Baek, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, received a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Award.

K. N. Subramanian Recipient of TMS Distinguished Scientist Award

K. N. Subramanian, professor of chemical engineering and materials science, is the recipient of the 2012 Electronic, Magnetic, and Photonic Material Division Distinguished Scientist Award from The Minerals, Metals & Materials Society (TMS).

Ramani Narayan Invited to Join Working Group to Study Marine Debris

Ramani Narayan, University Distinguished Professor of chemical engineering and materials science, is among a group of 16 scientists selected to participate in a working group at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) at the University of California, Santa Barbara, on the subject of marine debris.

Guomin Zhu Named ASME Fellow

Guomin (George) Zhu, associate professor of mechanical engineering, has been named a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Teresa VanderSloot Named Walter Adams Advisor of the Year

Teresa VanderSloot, undergraduate student advisor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, was named the 2012 Walter Adams Advisor of the Year.

Thomas Wolff Elected National Vice President of Chi Epsilon

Thomas F. Wolff, associate dean for undergraduate studies in MSU’s College of Engineering, was elected national vice president of Chi Epsilon, the national civil engineering honor society.

Syed Hashsham Receives MSU Distinguished Faculty Award

Syed Anwar Hashsham, professor of civil and environmental engineering, was among 10 Michigan State University faculty members to receive a Distinguished Faculty Award at the annual MSU Awards Convocation in February.

Class Notes

Read about College of Engineering alumni accomplishments, awards, and updates.

Make a gift to the college

To give to the College of Engineering, contact Stephen Bates, Senior Director of Development and Alumni Relations, at or (517) 355-8339.

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