Monday, April 9, 2018

OU Engineering Senior Wins Grand Prize at 2018 Research Day at the Capitol

A University of Oklahoma Mechanical Engineering Senior in the Accelerated Bachelor and Master of Science program, Devin W. Laurence, is the Grand Prize winner at the 2018 Research Day at the Capitol, sponsored by the Oklahoma State Regents for Higher Education, Oklahoma Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research and National Science Foundation. Laurence was one of 23 undergraduate student researchers who presented poster presentations based on a technical abstract and five-minute presentation for review and evaluation by a panel of EPSCoR-appointed judges.

“Congratulations to Devin on his outstanding achievement. What a great success from our student representing cardiovascular biomechanics research at OU,” said Chung-Hao Lee, master’s thesis advisor and assistant professor in the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering, Gallogly College of Engineering. “Laurence presented, ‘An Integrated Experimental-Computational Approach for Multiscale Investigations of Atrioventricular Heart Valves with Applications to Individual-Optimized Surgery Planning.’”

As the Grand Prize winner, Laurence is the recipient of a $500 award, plus a $4,000 summer research internship. A $2,500 award is given to the sponsoring Oklahoma college or university laboratory to offset expenses of hosting the internship. In this case, OU’s Biomechanics and Biomaterials Design Laboratory ( will receive the award for conducting cutting-edge research in cardiovascular heart valve biomechanics.

Research Day at the Capitol was established more than 20 years ago to showcase the outstanding undergraduate research being conducted at Oklahoma’s colleges and universities in the areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics. Students are nominated by their institution’s leadership to participate in the prestigious event. Students present their research to state legislators and the public in the Capitol Rotunda during the legislative session.

Winners were announced at the conclusion of Research Day during an awards ceremony held on March 27 in the Capitol’s Blue Room. For more information, contact Gina Miller, Outreach Coordinator, at

Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Gallogly College Graduate Students Advance in OU Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition

From left: Lin Guo, First Place, ISE Ph.D. Student; Patrick McKernan, Runner-Up, SBME Ph.D. Student; and Bhagyashree Waghule, Runner-Up, AME Ph.D. Student 
Four graduate engineering students participated in the annual Three Minute Thesis (3MT®), a research communication competition developed by The University of Australia and held at more than 200 universities worldwide. Competitors are tasked with presenting their master’s or doctoral research in three minutes, conveying the major research points in an interesting and concise manner.  

The 3MT® at OU began with preliminary competitions Jan. 29 through Feb. 1, at which time ten students were selected to advance to the final competition Feb. 23. Among the ten finalists were – Lin Guo (advisors Drs. Farrokh Mistree and Janet Allen) and Saptarshi Mandal (advisor Dr. Ziho Kang) from the School of Industrial and Systems Engineering; Byagyashree Waghule (advisor Dr. David Miller) from the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering; and Patrick McKernan (advisor Dr. Roger Harrison) from the Stephenson School of Biomedical Engineering. 

Patrick McKernan and Bhagyashree Waghule tied for runner-up; both were awarded a $1,500 cash prize. Lin Guo was awarded first place and will advance to compete at the Midwestern Association of Graduate Schools 3MT® Competition in Grand Rapids, Michigan April 4-6 . In addition to the OU Graduate College sponsoring Guo’s participation in Grand Rapids, she also was awarded a $2,000 cash prize.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

OU Researcher Uses Geometry for Affairs of the Heart

NORMAN – Geometry is often referenced for matters of the heart. Marriage has been described as “two parallel lines,” and others have compared love to an “irrational equation” or as unending as “pi.” But when it comes to the medical matters of the heart, geometry can be a lonely and dangerous affair.
“The shape and size of a heart is not the same for every person, and a diseased heart, such as ischemia heart failure, is different than a healthy heart,” explains Dr. Chung-Hao Lee, an assistant professor in the Biomechanics and Biomaterials Design Laboratory in the University of Oklahoma’s School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering. “So, when it is necessary to do surgery on the heart, it important to map out the individual’s particular geometry to know how it will respond to different surgical treatment options.”
Lee’s recent research is focused on a predictive surgery for a serious heart condition called Functional Tricuspid Regurgitation, which affects approximately 1.6 million Americans. FTR is typically caused when the left side of the heart fails, causing the right side to expand and a geometric distortion of the heart. The distortion can lead to reverse blood flow, poor functioning of the heart valves, or worse, heart failure on the right side.
Long-term surgical outcomes to repair FTR have a 20 percent moderate to severe recurrence rate by 10 years after initial surgery. Also, up to 40 percent of patients who have cardiac surgery require additional surgery within five years due to the individual’s heart characteristics. This results in more open-heart repeat surgeries and significant increases in risk and mortality.
Lee and his team are developing a predictive modeling tool for individual-optimized heart valve surgical repair. The customized analysis will be a surgical planning tool for the treatment of that patient. Lee’s team uses to a combination of clinical image data, such as functional magnetic resonance imaging and clinical computed tomography, to reconstruct a 3D computational model of the heart. Lee’s model would guide surgeons on the best approach to repair FTR in a particular patient, reducing the risk of reoccurrence.
“Often, surgeons may have several options on how to repair a heart,” Lee said. “They may try to manipulate the geometry of the heart or valves or change the size of each individual apparatus. We can simulate those surgical scenarios, one by one, to know the individual-optimized therapeutic option.” The right approach can improve the durability of the repair.
We are now entering a level of knowledge and technical capability where computational modeling can deliver precision medicine,” Lee said. “If we can predict how a distinct heart will function under different surgical scenarios, we can help surgeon select the best approach to the surgery.”

 [JC1]Not a complete sentence.

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Graduate Student Recognized as Southern Plain’s Transportation Center Student of the Year by Council of University Transportation Centers

Nur Hossain, center, receives SPTC Outstanding Student of the Year award in Washington D.C. From left are Hossain’s father, Md. Rezaul Hossain; SPTC director and Professor Musharraf Zaman; SPTC Program Coordinator Cerry Leffler; wife, Tania Munmun; and mother Begum Nurun Nahar

Nur Hossain, a graduate research assistant from the University of Oklahoma, was named the 2018 Southern Plain’s Transportation Center Outstanding Student of the Year – one of the most prestigious awards given by the SPTC under the National University Transportation Center program. He was recognized at the Council of University Transportation Center’s Awards Banquet, held January 6, 2018 in Washington, D.C., in conjunction with the annual meeting of the Transportation Research Board.

Hossain is pursuing a doctoral degree in civil engineering with an emphasis in design and performance of pavement under the guidance of his advisor, Musharraf Zaman, professor and director of the SPTC. His research is titled “Mechanistic Input Parameters and Model Calibration for Design and Performance Evaluation of Flexible Pavements in Oklahoma”.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Hong Named Gallogly Chair

Yang Hong has served as a member of the University of Oklahoma School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science since 2007 and holds the titles of Presidential Research Professor, director of the Hydrometeorology and Remote Sensing Laboratory, co-director of research for the OU Water Technology for Emerging Regions Center, adjunct faculty member in the OU School of Meteorology, Fellow of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and most recently, recipient of the prestigious Gallogly Chair.

His areas of research span the range of hydrology-meteorology-climatology, with particular interest in bridging the gap among the water-weather-climate-human systems across scales in space and time. He developed and taught classes related to these topics, including remote sensing retrieval and applications, advanced hydrologic modeling, climate change and natural hazards, engineering survey/measurement and statistics, land surface modeling and data assimilation systems for hydrological cycle, and water systems under a changing climate.

Hong served on several international and national committees, review panels and editorial
boards of several journals. He served as chair of the AGU Hydrology Section Precipitation
Technical Committee from 2008-2013 and member of the AGU Natural Hazard Focus Group
Executive Committee from 2014-2017. In 2012 he co-edited the book Multiscale Hydrologic
Remote Sensing: Perspectives and Applications (568 pp., CRC Press). For his prolific publication record (more than 300 articles, 4 books, 31 book chapters and numerous technologies) and
contributions to the field, he received the OU Vice President for Research 2016 Award for
Scholarly Dissemination “in recognition of exceptional success in disseminating research,
scholarship, and works of creative activities and expression”; the NASA Group Achievement
Award (Global Precipitation Measurement Mission) in 2015; and the NASA Robert H. Goddard
Award in 2014.

Most recently, he co-authored the book, Hydrologic Remote Sensing: Capacity Building for
Sustainability and Resilience (413 pp., CRC Press, 2016).  It addresses the challenges and
opportunities of global water security, reviews the multiple satellite remote sensing observations
available for monitoring the water cycle in emerging regions and over the globe, and discusses
the application of satellite remote sensing in hydrological modeling and data assimilation. 
Furthermore, the book presents the hydrological capacity building tools developed by the NASA
Applied Science Program and the HyDROS group at the University of Oklahoma during the past

Hong received his doctoral degree major in Hydrology and Water Resources and doctoral degree
minor in Remote Sensing and Spatial Analysis from the University of Arizona in 2003, his
master’s degree in Environmental Sciences in 1999, and his bachelor of science degree in Geosciences in 1996 from the Peking (Beijing) University, China. On the awarding of the Gallogly Chair, the School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science director Randy Kolar remarked, “Dr. Hong is most deserving of receiving this prestigious chaired position. His vision, his intellect, and his work ethic are nothing short of extraordinary, and through that effort, he has established himself as one of the leading scientists in this field in the world. We are indeed fortunate to have a scholar of his stature among our ranks, and we look forward to many exciting discoveries from his research team in the future.”

Upon notification of receiving the Gallogly Chair, Hong reflected, “I am truly humbled and really thankful for this recognition while approaching my tenth anniversary at OU.  I am very proud to be a part of our great CEES community and am always inspired by our talented colleagues and outstanding leadership, as pursuing excellence is what the Gallogly College of Engineering is all about. Finally, I would like to take this opportunity to thank my great collaborators and my supportive family.”