Tuesday, March 31, 2015

OU Research Team Receives NIH Grant to Facilitate Innovative Technique that Enhances Breast Cancer Detection

An innovative technique that enhances breast cancer detection while reducing radiation dose has been proposed by a University of Oklahoma research team.  In response, the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health has awarded a $3 million grant to the OU team to facilitate the technique, which includes building a patient imaging system and conducting preclinical evaluations and Phase I clinical trials.
The grant was awarded to a research team led by Hong Liu, professor of electrical and computer engineering in the OU College of Engineering, to translate a specific phase-sensitive X-ray technique to clinical practice to reduce radiation dose and imprliuove accuracy in breast cancer diagnosis.  Liu is also a member of the Stephenson Cancer Center, located at the OU Health Sciences Center.
“This technique can greatly enhance tissue contrast and significantly reduce radiation dose as compared to current methods,” says Liu.
 “The leadership, support and state-of-the-art facility at OU are essential to the success of our cancer imaging research.  We are grateful for the interdisciplinary environment and seamless collaboration in both research and education among the Norman and Health Sciences Center campuses,” Liu added. 
This interdisciplinary research involves close collaborations between academic and industry, engineers and clinicians in multiple institutions.  OU encourages and facilitates interdisciplinary research and education.
This research is supported by the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health under Award Number R01CA193378.  For more information about this research, contact Hong Liu at liu@ou.edu.

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Where are they now? An interview with 2012 Engineering Physics alumus, Scott Lowe

Scott Lowe graduated from OU in 2012 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Engineering Physics.

Scott describes himself, according to his LinkedIn profile, as a recklessly idealistic, generally irreverent, student of life.

We caught up with Scott in Detroit and asked him a few questions.

How did your OU degree in engineering physics prepare you for your career?
Physics was always about finding solutions for me. My physics degree helped me hone my problem solving skills, and in my day-to-day as a software engineer, those skills come in handy.

How did your involvement in the CCEW (Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth) while a student at OU impact you?
CCEW taught me the value of a good team. It was my first real exposure to start-ups and business. In that way, CCEW started me down my current path.

Where have you been since OU? Where are you now?

Describe your experience as a fellow with Venture For America.
My VFA fellowship provided me with the start-up training, connections and resources I needed to start a company. As a fellow, I worked for two years at start-ups in Detroit, first as a business analyst, then a software engineer.

Describe your experience as a software engineer with Chalfly.
My transition into software development resulted in a huge expansion of my responsibilities. By leveraging my problem solving talent, I skyrocketed my value-add to the company which earned me the latitude to contribute to nearly every arm of the business, from digital marketing to recruiting. Being in the trenches and working on the many problems that you inevitably encounter while building a start-up only fueled my passion for coding.

How did you become a co-founder of Rebirth Realty?
A few other Detroit fellows and I realized that the disparity between real estate prices and rental rates presented an economic opportunity, so we bought an abandoned mansion in the tax auction. The plan was to build a communal living and working space for Detroit fellows by restoring one of the many blighted properties that plague Detroit. Today, the rehab is nearly complete and the mansion currently houses six fellows who have started a combined four businesses in Detroit.

How did Castle come about? Tell me more about this start-up.
Castle is a real estate tech start-up that takes the work out of being a landlord. We provide the same services as property management companies much more efficiently through software, automation and on-demand labor. Check us out at entercastle.com

At the end of our fellowship, the Rebirth guys and I knew we wanted to build a new start-up, and Castle was born at the intersection of our tech skills and real estate experience. After a few months of research and experimenting with different ideas, we found a problem that we could solve: being a landlord comes with a stressful, part-time job!

Where do you see yourself in five years?
In five years, I'd like to look back and be proud of what I've built. Also a sports car would be cool. :]

Randa Shehab Elected New Senior Vice President, Academics by Institute of Industrial Engineers

Institute of Industrial Engineers Elects New Officers: The new senior vice president, academics, is Randa Shehab. Shehab is the Nettie Vincent Boggs Professor of Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. She holds B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. degrees, all in industrial engineering, from the University of Oklahoma.


Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Charles W. Bert, 1929-2015

By Danielle Geier
The AME family lost one of its valuable members, Dr. Charles W. Bert, on February 3, 2015. Bert began his journey at the University of Oklahoma in 1963, where he served the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering as a Professor for 41 years before retiring in 2004. During this time, Bert served as Director from 1972-1978 and again in 1990-1995. He also held the Benjamin H. Perkinson Chair during his time at AME. In 1981, he was the recipient of the highest recognition for research at the University of Oklahoma—the George Lynn Cross Research Professorship. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Higher Education Hall of Fame in 2011.

“I am deeply saddened to lose one of our best. Charlie was a giant in the broad field of mechanics and composite materials,” said M. Cengiz Altan, AME Director. “He has been such a positive influence on me since I started my career at OU. He has always been supportive and provided encouragement to many AME faculty, as well as to countless undergraduate and graduate students. I will miss him greatly as a mentor and a friend.”

Bert’s work in composite materials earned him an international reputation in the field; he authored and co-authored 205 papers in refereed journals, published one monograph, edited three books, produced 13 book chapters and 158 other papers. In connection with his research, he mentored 26 doctoral students and over 40 master’s students. He was a registered Professional Engineer, and consulted on numerous projects including the design of the propulsion clutch for the USS Nautilus (first nuclear submarine), first annular air-oil shock absorber, steel-belted radial tires and NASA Space Shuttle payload-bay doors. Charlie was elected as Fellow to seven technical organizations, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Society for Composites.

“Dr. Bert was a great mentor and guided me well throughout my career. His reputation and research accomplishments were spread worldwide. In international or national meetings I attended, there were always people who inquired about him when they saw my name tag mentioning OU,” said Subramanyam R. Gollahalli, AME Professor. “Above all, he was a great person. We miss him very much.”

The AME family would like to send its deepest condolences to the Bert family. Charlie’s kind heart, his encouraging words and supportive attitude along with his teaching, excellent research contributions and his friendship will be dearly missed by all.

Monday, January 5, 2015

Sooner Magazine features story about the AT&T Summer Bridge Camp

Joshua Tingle, of Sulphur, sets up one section of his team’s entry in the Rube Goldberg challenge portion of the Summer Bridge Program for incoming students who will be part of the College of Engineering’s freshman class. Photo credit: Steve Sisney, The Oklahoman

Bridging the Gap 

By Sarah Lobban

Rube Goldberg would have loved the competition that tops off the summer program offered by the OU College of Engineering to its entering freshmen. By Sarah Lobban The main bay in the ExxonMobil Lawrence G. Rawl Engineering Practice Facility looks like a cross between a mad scientist’s lair and a modern art installation. A crowd of people watch from the balcony as the first of six bizarre and intricate contraptions is set in motion. Read more.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Nollert Honored with 2014 Teaching Scholars Award

Matthias U. Nollert, associate professor in the School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering at the University of Oklahoma, was honored with the 2014 Teaching Scholars Award on October 31.

The recognition rewards Nollert for his exemplary dedication to students, teaching, and the scholarship of teaching, and comes with a $1,500 cash award. In addition to his demonstrated excellence in teaching, Nollert also helps others become more effective teachers.

According to Brian Grady, director of CBME, Nollert deserves this award for several reasons: excellent teaching evaluations, engagement with students and his efforts to secure a grant to enhance authentic research experiences for educators.

Grady further noted the largest and most in demand graduate-level elective course, Bioengineering Principles, taught by Nollert. “The high demand for this class is both because of the material covered, but also specifically because of Dr. Nollert’s reputation as a teacher,” Grady said.

Goldwater Scholar and 2013 CBME alumnus, Eddie Shimp recalled “His sense of humor and method of encouraging discussion on topics helped further the understanding of the material in a way that simply lecturing from a book or a PowerPoint slide could not.” Shimp is a product development engineer for Immuno-Mycologics, Inc. in Norman and adjuncts at Oklahoma City Community College where Nollert’s influence continues to be felt. “I could not be the teacher I am without having been his student,” said Shimp.

Nollert has been investing in students at OU for more than 16 years. Learn more.

Members of the Teaching Scholars Initiative committee accept and review nominations of qualified College of Engineering faculty members.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Daniel Resasco Named Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors

Daniel E. Resasco
Two University of Oklahoma professors—Daniel E. Resasco and Paul H. Weigel—have been named fellows of the National Academy of Inventors, a professional distinction awarded to academic inventors who have demonstrated a prolific spirit of innovation in creating or facilitating outstanding inventions that have made a tangible impact on quality of life, economic development and the welfare of society.

“Dr. Resasco and Dr. Weigel deserve this high honor, which brings great credit to the entire university,” said OU President David L. Boren.

Resasco, professor of chemical engineering in the OU College of Engineering, has been recognized multiple times by his peers and international organizations for his innovative contributions to the body of knowledge in the areas of chemical engineering.  Chiefly noted as the inventor of a method for producing single-walled carbon nanotubes from catalysts at lower cost and in great quantity, his research focuses on industrial processes in both molecular design of fuels with improved properties and synthesis of nanostructured materials based on single-walled carbon nanotubes.

Resasco is a founder of SouthWest NanoTechnologies, a company recognized as a leader in producing high-quality single-walled carbon nanotubes, and inventor of their core technology, their patented production method.  He holds 60 patents issued in 14 countries, demonstrating his inventive proficiency.  Resasco has demonstrated innovation in his teaching, research and commercialization efforts and has been a role model to faculty for combining academic pursuits with societal impact.

Paul H. Weigel, professor and chair of the Department of Biochemistry and Microbiology at the OU Health Sciences Center, has made significant contributions to the understanding of glycosaminoglycans, such as hyaluronic acid, how they function normally in the body and how they are involved in diseases.  Weigel is a leader in promoting entrepreneurship as well as collaboration between academia and the biotechnology industry.  His research program has led to 27 issued U.S. patents and 39 foreign patents.
He has been awarded over $11 million in research grants, many of which directly contributed to the commercialization of his basic research, including four Oklahoma Applied Research Support grants.

Weigel is noted internationally for his contributions to the field of synthetic hyaluronan production.  He serves as co-founder, co-chief scientist and director for Hyalose, LLC, a company formed in 2000 around his research and commercializations efforts, which was funded by the Austin-based investment firm Emergent Technologies.  Hyalose uses recombinant technology for the production of hyaluronic acid, which was previously produced by extraction from animal by-products or bacteria and required rigorous purification prior to use.  Recombinant technology developed by Weigel with Hyalose reduces the risk of unwanted contaminants and enables hyaluronan production of defined polymer length and content for use in biomaterials, drugs and reagents as well as medical device coatings.  Hyalose has successfully partnered with a global pharmaceutical company for the commercialization of this technology.

Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors will be inducted by the Deputy U.S. Commissioner for Patents, Andrew Faile, from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, during the Fourth Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors on March 20, 2015, to be held at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, California.  Fellows and their institutions are listed on a plaque on permanent display at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office headquarters in Arlington, Virginia.  Weigel and Resasco will join 2013 OU Fellows Paul DeAngelis and Jeff Harwell in this distinguished honor.