Monday, November 23, 2015

Tar Creek Superfund Site Clean Up- One Gallon of Clear Water at a Time

New life is being brought to the Tar Creek Superfund Site in far northeastern Oklahoma. It's the nation's worst toxic waste site. Plans are now underway to build a second water treatment site. Funding has been requested for a third.  

View the video. about Dr. Robert Nairn and team's great work to bring new life to the Tar Creek Superfund Site, one gallon of clear water at a time.

By Charles Ely, Channel 8, ABC Tulsa

Friday, October 23, 2015

OU Engineering Professor Leads NSF Grant on Infrastructure Resilience

Whether it is malicious or an act of Mother Nature, an infrastructure attack could cripple the nation as more people depend on the interconnected services such as water, electricity, communication, transportation and health care.

University of Oklahoma School of Industrial and Systems Engineering researcher Kash Barker is leading a team to evaluate how analytics from multiple sources can increase network resilience. The National Science Foundation project, titled “Resilience Analytics: A Data-Driven Approach for Enhanced Interdependent Network Resilience,” is a cooperative research effort between OU Gallogly College of Engineering colleague Charles Nicholson and researchers at the University of Virginia, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Stevens Institute of Technology, Penn State University, Virginia Tech and the University of North Texas.

“Resilience is broadly defined as the ability of a system to withstand the effects of a disruption and then recover rapidly and efficiently,” Barker said. “As disruptions become more frequent – even inevitable – designing resilience into our infrastructure systems, such as the transportation and electric power networks, is becoming more important.”

For example, when a large-scale tornado hits, debris may be strewn across roads, power lines disabled and citizens injured. The related systems – transportation, power grid and emergency care – all rely on each other. Hospitals require electricity to serve an influx of patients, but roads free of debris to repair downed power lines also are required. Understanding how all such systems work together throughout a disruptive event helps decision-makers make better decisions regarding allocation and scheduling of resources.

Barker’s project is part of the first round of funding for the National Science Foundation activity known as CRISP: Critical Resilient Interdependent Infrastructure Systems and Processes. These three- and four-year projects, each with funding up to $2.5 million, are part of a multiyear initiative on risk and resilience.

The National Science Foundation’s fiscal year 2015 investment in CRISP is a multidisciplinary collaboration between the Directorates for Engineering, Computer and Information Science and Engineering and Social, Behavioral and Economic Sciences. As a result, Barker’s project is a multi-disciplinary approach to evaluating and planning for resilience. The systems engineering perspective analyzes how these networks behave together and can be optimized. Computer and data sciences are addressing how to turn large amounts of data into something meaningful to improve interdependent resilience, and the social sciences evaluate how the resilience of the society depends on the resilience of the physical infrastructure.

 “Analyzing data from a variety of sources is important,” Barker said. “We emphasize the role of the community in providing data about not only their experience, but what is happening in the underlying physical infrastructure to give us a better idea of the behavior of interdependent networks before, during and after a disruption.”

Knowledge from these will lead to innovations in critical infrastructure, strengthening community support functions and in delivering even a broader range of goods and services.

Pramod Khargonekar, National Science Foundation assistant director for engineering, predicts the new understanding of infrastructure, combined with advances in modeling and smart technologies, will offer important, groundbreaking discoveries to improve resilience. “These research investments will help support national security, economy and people for decades to come,” Khargonekar said.

The Gallogly College of Engineering at the University of Oklahoma challenges students to solve the world’s toughest problems through a powerful combination of education, entrepreneurship, research, and community service and student competitions. Research is focused on both basic and applied topics of societal significance, including biomedical engineering, energy, engineering education, civil infrastructure, nanotechnology and weather technology.

The programs within the college’s eight areas of study are consistently ranked in the top third of engineering programs in the United States. The college faculty has achieved research expenditures of more than $22 million and created 12 start-up companies.

The National Science Foundation is an independent federal agency that supports fundamental research and education across all fields of science and engineering. In fiscal year (FY) 2015, its budget is $7.3 billion. NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and other institutions. Each year, NSF receives about 48,000 competitive proposals for funding, and makes about 11,000 new funding awards. NSF also awards about $626 million in professional and service contracts yearly.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

OU Researchers Work to Provide Safe Water for Rural Ethiopians

University of Oklahoma researchers Jim Chamberlain, center, and David Sabatini, right, are a part of a project that seeks to correct elevated fluoride levels in water in Ethiopia's Great Rift Valley.
BY SILAS ALLEN Staff Writer | July 26, 2015
After six years and several trips to the east African nation, a University of Oklahoma project that seeks to improve water quality in a region of Ethiopia is beginning to take shape.

Researchers from OU’s WaTER Center visited the country this summer as a part of the center’s effort to help rural communities in Ethiopia’s Great Rift Valley deal with elevated levels of fluoride in the area’s water.

Read more.

Monday, May 18, 2015

CBME professor, Roger Harrison, publishes new edition bioseparations book

The demand for highly purified biological products for commercial and consumer use has increased significantly over the past decade, leaving a widening gap between the application and engineers trained in the process. To respond to the growing need to separate and purify these bioproducts, Roger Harrison, University of Oklahoma College of Engineering professor in the School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering and also in the Biomedical Engineering Center, has released a revised edition of the book “Biosepartions Science and Engineering” along with co-authors Paul Todd, Scott Rudge and Demetri Petrides.

New to the second edition are updated descriptions of the important chromatography separation method, which is required for the purification of bioproducts that must be injected into the bloodstream. As in the first edition, the various operations in bioseparation processes are explained by first developing the scientific basis and mathematical theory and then describing the applications of the theory in engineering practice with an emphasis on design and scale-up. Aimed at students and industry practitioners, the book also includes updated cost information and expansion of the chapter on bioprocess design for the integration of various bioseparation operations to develop economically optimal processes.

More than 60 universities worldwide teach courses using the “Bioseparations Science and Engineering” textbook, a powerful testament to the growing necessity of biotechnology development and implementation throughout the world.

“As the world relies more on the development of new biotechnology products in the pharmaceutical, agricultural and specialty chemical industries, science and engineering will depend on efficient bioseparation processes to meet the demand,” Harrison said. “This revised edition addresses today’s growing need to educate a new generation of scientists and engineers requiring up-to-date capabilities for developing new bioseparations processes.”  

Thursday, April 23, 2015

OU President David L. Boren Announces $30 Million in Gifts to Benefit OU Students in Engineering and Related Fields

President Boren announces historic $30 million in gifts to the College of Engineering
University of Oklahoma President David L. Boren today announced more than $30 million in new resources to benefit OU students in engineering and related fields on the Norman campus, including construction of a new academic building in the Engineering Quadrangle, creation of a School of Biomedical Engineering, establishment of 12 new endowed positions and formation of a $3.5 million endowment for graduate fellowships.

The resources are being made possible through major gifts from Jim Gallogly of Houston and Peggy and Charles Stephenson of Tulsa.

A New Academic Building
In addition to serving the full College of Engineering community, the new academic building to be constructed will house the new School of Biomedical Engineering, which will integrate engineering and medicine and will further develop three areas of existing strength in the College of Engineering: biomedical imaging, nanomedicine and neuroengineering.

A New School
The School of Biomedical Engineering is being created to respond to the increase in biomedical engineering jobs anticipated as the world population continues to grow and age. Two years ago, CNNMoney cited biomedical engineering as the top jobs field for the period 2010 to 2020 with median pay of $87,000 and 10-year growth of almost 62 percent in employment opportunities.
To help create the school, Peggy and Charles Stephenson have pledged a major gift from the Stephenson Family Foundation.

A New Name
In appreciation of the gifts, Boren said he will recommend to the OU Board of Regents that they recognize the donors by naming the College of Engineering and the new academic building in Gallogly's honor and that the new school be named in the Stephenson's honor.

Thank you, Jim Gallogly
Gallogly, who serves on the Board of Visitors for the OU College of Engineering, worked for Phillips and later Chevron Phillips Chemical and ConocoPhillips in a career spanning nearly 30 years. Upon joining Phillips in 1980, he held various roles in exploration and production, refining, chemicals, legal and finance, including international assignments. He rose to senior vice president of chemicals and plastics, vice president of olefins and polyolefins and vice president for North America production. He joined Chevron Phillips Chemical as president and chief executive officer in 2000. Six years later, he joined ConocoPhillips, serving first as executive vice president of refining, marketing and transportation. In 2008 he was named executive vice president of exploration and production.

He then worked for LyondellBasell, one of the world's largest plastics, chemical and refining companies, serving as CEO from 2009 until his retirement in 2015.

Gallogly has served on the boards of directors of the American Chemistry Council and the Society of Chemical Industry. He also has served on the board of directors and executive committee of Junior Achievement of Southeast Texas. An OU law alumnus, he is a member of the Oklahoma, Texas and Colorado bar associations. For his leadership in his profession, OU awarded Gallogly an Honorary Degree in 2012.

Thank You, Peggy and Charles Stephenson
Peggy Stephenson is executive director of the Stephenson Family Foundation. Charles Stephenson is a 1959 OU petroleum engineering graduate and retired chairman of the board, president and CEO of Vintage Petroleum Inc., which was sold in 2006 to Occidental.

The Stephensons, who grew up in the southeastern Oklahoma community of Antlers, are longtime partners in philanthropy, parenting and life. Their gifts have helped fuel OU's rapidly growing Research Campus in Norman benefitting research progress and economic development in the state of Oklahoma. In 2002, their gift to OU helped build a Research and Technology Center, which transformed an empty field into OU's now-burgeoning Research Campus. Four years later, they made a lead gift to help build a Life Sciences Research Center, and in 2010, the Stephensons presented OU with a major gift to benefit cancer programs for all of Oklahoma and to create the Stephenson Cancer Center.

Monday, April 13, 2015

OU Engineering Researcher Reshapes Military Communications

Jessica Ruyle, electrical and computer engineering professor in the University of Oklahoma College of Engineering, is improving communication abilities for soldiers in the field by literally reshaping how they transmit communications. With a nearly $500,000 grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), Ruyle will design and develop a thin, flat antenna that can be placed conformably on anything from vehicles to uniforms – making the antennas both less conspicuous and more rugged for field use.

“The design is similar to a sticker that is flexible and can conform to a variety of surfaces and shapes,” Ruyle explained. “What makes it radical is that it is a completely different antenna than what is currently being used in our nation’s defense.”

Invented in the late 1800s, whip antennae have been a staple in military communications. Inexpensive production cost and easy installation has kept the metal antenna in military use for more than 80 years with little design updates. However, the antennae make identification of communications vehicles and soldiers obvious and are easily damaged in rough terrain; a simple bend of the antenna can significantly reduce performance. Ruyle’s new thin, flat antenna design allows communications systems to operate uninterrupted in the field.

While Ruyle’s technology is for military use, her design won’t be limited to military applications. Police forces, firefighting teams and commercial airplanes are some of the areas where the new design can improve efficiency. Police and firefighters can incorporate the antennas into their uniforms and vehicles to replace cumbersome, traditional whip antennae. Aircraft that hang large antennae can improve aerodynamics with the smooth, flat antenna sticker.

“DARPA allows researchers like me to push the envelope with design and application,” Ruyle said. “I’m excited that my work also will help spur innovation for industrial and commercial uses.”
As an educator as well as researcher, Ruyle looks forward to further educating the graduate students who will join her to develop the new antenna design. The grant funds a student team to assist Ruyle while they also use the project to support their thesis or dissertation.

“The work we do has a very real impact on the world,” Ruyle said. “This is a great example I can show students of how as engineers we solve fundamental, everyday problems.”

The University of Oklahoma College of Engineering challenges students to solve the world’s toughest problems through a powerful combination of education, entrepreneurship, research, and community service and student competitions. Research is focused on both basic and applied topics of societal significance, including biomedical engineering, energy, engineering education, civil infrastructure, nanotechnology and weather technology. The programs within the college’s eight areas of study are consistently ranked in the top third of engineering programs in the United States, with research expenditures of more than $22 million and the formation of 12 start-up companies.

Friday, April 10, 2015

Texas Instruments Names Patrice Tompkins-Everidge Vice President

DALLAS (March 4, 2015) – Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) today announced that Patrice Tompkins-Everidge has been elected vice president of the company. Tompkins-Everidge serves as worldwide Environmental Safety and Health (ESH) director and is responsible for ensuring the safety and health of TIers working in over 250 sites worldwide while also ensuring that TI complies with environmental laws in the countries in which it does business.

Tompkins-Everidge joined TI in 1997 as an ESH manager for TI’s non-manufacturing sites. She has since held a number of positions within ESH, including worldwide facilities project engineer and ESH manager for TI’s DMOS5 manufacturing facility. Tompkins-Everidge most recently served as worldwide ESH risk & compliance manager.

Tompkins-Everidge earned a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from The University of Oklahoma.

About Texas Instruments
Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) is a global semiconductor design and manufacturing company that develops analog ICs and embedded processors. By employing the world's brightest minds, TI creates innovations that shape the future of technology. TI is helping more than 100,000 customers transform the future, today. Learn more at