Sunday, April 13, 2014

OU-Tulsa Team Takes First Place in ITERA Student Case Study Competition

TULSA, Okla. – A team of OU-Tulsa telecommunications engineering students took top honors in the ITERA (Information and Telecommunications Education and Research Association) Student Business Case Study Competition, held at ITERA’s 12th Annual Conference on Telecommunications and Information Technology, April 4-6, in Louisville, Kentucky.

Students Rasha El Hajj, Kyrus Kuplicki, Kashish Jaiswal and Rupesh Nomula were awarded first prize for their presentation, “Critical Infrastructure Secure Network.” They developed their project in response to a solicitation by the U.S. government and the governments of Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee for the design, implementation and operation of a secure and sustainable communications system linking five sites that store dangerous materials.

“ITERA’s annual conference is highlighted by a challenging network design case study open to teams of graduate and undergraduate students,” said ITERA Board Chairman Michael Bowman, associate professor of Telecommunications System Management at Murray State University. “In addition to the technical aspects of a network, students must include critical business and project management issues such as return on investment, business plan and life cycle costs. We congratulate the University of Oklahoma – Tulsa’s winning team.”

Student team leader Rasha El Hajj said it was an honor to represent OU-Tulsa in the ITERA case study completion. “We learned a great deal and worked hard, so it is gratifying that our work was acknowledged. We are grateful to our faculty sponsor and to everyone else who supported us.”

Pramode Verma, Ph.D., Professor and Director of the Telecommunications Engineering Program at the University of Oklahoma College of Engineering, served as faculty sponsor.

James J. Sluss, Jr., Ph.D., Director and Morris R. Pitman Professor, University of Oklahoma School of Electrical and Computer Engineering said the college is proud of OU-Tulsa’s student team. “The first place win is strong evidence of their intellectual capability, excellent academic preparation, competitive spirit and strong work ethic.”

The University of Oklahoma Schusterman Center is home to all OU programs in Tulsa. Located on a 60 acre campus at 41st and Yale, it strengthens OU’s presence in northeast Oklahoma and expands educational, research and patient care programs in the Tulsa area. OU-Tulsa offers six bachelor’s degree completion programs; 14 master’s degree programs, including the physician assistant program, nurse practitioner program, doctoral programs in medicine, physical therapy, education, early childhood education, engineering, pharmacy and nursing, as well as nine residency programs in medicine. It is also home to the OU School of Community Medicine, created with the explicit purpose of improving the health of all Oklahoma communities. For more information about OU-Tulsa, call 660-3318 or visit

Friday, March 28, 2014

Biomedical Engineering Seminar Presented at 7:15 p.m. on April 3 in DEH 120

Biomedical Engineering Seminar presented by the University of Oklahoma College of Engineering

John (Jack) H. Linehan
Biomedical Engineering Advisor from Stanford University and Northwestern University

TITLE: Medical Device Innovation: Engaging our Students

Thursday, April 3, 2014
7:15 - 8:30 p.m.
Devon Energy Hall, Room 120


ABSTRACT: Medical devices can save lives and improve our quality of life. Disruptive medical devices often emerge from small, entrepreneur-led, start-up companies. In present times, funding for early-stage companies has been challenging. Investors tend to be risk adverse. To minimize risk, understanding the process of medical device innovation is critical. While not formulaic, the steps leading to a successful medical device innovation are known. Training opportunities can help make the innovation process more efficient.

This lecture will discuss the medical device industry and current training opportunities in the medical device space. Students are eager to engage in this type of experiential learning because it is “real-world”. Learning in the innovation space supports multi-disciplinary (engineering, medicine and business) team-based approaches.

Early stages in the process of medical device innovation will be discussed with examples. The first step is to find the right unmet/undermet clinical and and then ensuring that one has gotten the need right (validation and verification).

Before brainstorming solutions to the need, it is prudent to understand current products addressing the clinical need, the intellectual property space covering the need and do market research on the scope of the need. Brainstorming and prototyping are keys to identifying potential product concepts, which are evaluated by clinicians and other users. Attention to manufacturing issues and regulatory pathways complete the businss plan.

BIOGRAPHY: Since 2005, John Linehan has been a Consulting Professor of Bioengineering in the Department of Bioengineering and the Bio-design Program at Stanford University, and since 2007 he has been a Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Northwestern University. From 1998 - 2005, Dr. Linehan was Vice President of the Whitaker Foundation. Dr. Linehan was responsible for implementing and managing educational grant programs and for creating and organizing a number of unique national programs including the Biomedical Engineering Educational Summit meetings (2000 & 2005) and the Academic Leadership Program for developing young faculty leaders. The Whitaker Foundation, having invested more than $800 million primarily in biomedical engineering education and research in the past 30 years, closed its doors in June 2006.

Prior to joining Whitaker in 1998, Dr. Linehan was the Rose Eannelli-Bagozzi Professor of Biomedical Engineering and the founding Chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Marquette University in Wisconsin. Until 1998, Dr. Linehan was also adjunct Professor of Physiology and Medicine at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He is a fellow and past president of the Biomedical Engineering Society and a founding fellow and past president of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. In 2006, Dr. Linehan was elected to the National Academy of Engineering.

Accommodations on the basis of disability are available by contacting or (405) 325-8539

Thursday, February 20, 2014

OU-Tulsa Telecommunications Professor Receives High Award from Indian Government

Tulsa, Okla. – Pramode Verma, Ph.D., Director of the Telecommunications Engineering Program at the University of Oklahoma – Tulsa School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, recently returned from New Delhi, where he received one of the highest awards bestowed upon non-resident Indians by the Government of India. Dr. Verma was honored with the Hind Rattan award, (translated to English as “jewel of India”), given annually by the NRI (non-resident Indians) Welfare Society, under the umbrella of the Government of India. The award is given to people of Indian origin in recognition of their research, professional accomplishments and positive contributions to the scientific community and a growing world economy.

James Sluss, Jr., Ph.D., Director and Morris R. Pitman Professor, University of Oklahoma School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said, “The fact that Dr. Verma has been presented with this prestigious award is a clear indication of the high regard in which he is held by the engineering profession and the notable contributions he has made over his exemplary career.”

Dr. Verma also holds the Williams Chair in Telecommunications Networking. Prior to joining the University of Oklahoma in 1999, he held a variety of professional and leadership positions in the telecommunications industry at AT&T Bell Laboratories and Lucent Technologies. He is the author/co-author of more than 100 journal articles and conference papers, and several books in telecommunications engineering. He is also the co-inventor of seven patents. He has been a keynote speaker at several international conferences and has lectured in several countries.

In his acceptance speech, Dr. Verma called the evening “an exciting moment,” and said he was thrilled to be in the company of other honorees.

“As I reflected on this award, I thought of a quote from Gandhi that has resonated with me: ‘Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.’  When I look back at my own accomplishments – it is this tenet of learning, lifelong learning that has been the key to my success. Even today, after being in a diverse and rewarding career that has spanned over 40 years, I continue to learn and apply new ideas to what I do every single day.  I credit this desire for lifelong learning to my upbringing in India.  From my family who supported my education to my grade school teachers who kept me interested and to the brilliant educators at the Indian Institute of Science that I had the fortune of learning from and who inspired and stretched me to be my best.  Suffice it to say, it is this India, this culture and the vibrancy and talent of this nation that helped me get my start and gave me the tools I needed to be successful.

Finally, I would be remiss if I did not recognize my wife, Gita, who has been alongside me in this career journey, who has unconditionally supported me, and is never short of great advice.  I truly would not be here without her and she is as deserving as I of this recognition.  Gita, I share this award and recognition with you.”

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Multi-million Dollar Grant Addresses Region’s Transportation Infrastructure

“Becoming a Regional Transportation Center presents a great opportunity to OU to become an even stronger leader in the field,” said OU President David L. Boren.
In addition to OU, the Southern Plains Regional Transportation Center consortium includes Oklahoma State University, Langston University, University of Arkansas, The University of New Mexico, Louisiana Tech University, The University of Texas at El Paso and Texas Tech University. Regional transportation centers differ from other U.S. Department of Transportation funded centers in that consortium members must be located in the region they serve and address regional needs.

“Oklahoma’s central location positions our state at a critical crossroad for the shipment of goods and travel across the nation,” said U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe, a senior member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. “Two primary constitutional duties of the government are providing a strong national defense and supporting a strong transportation and infrastructure system to facilitate commerce. With this grant, our Oklahoma universities will continue to advance Oklahoma’s research, technology and expertise in the transportation industry.”

"I am pleased that the Department of Transportation will award more than $2.5 million in grant money to the University of Oklahoma’s UTC consortium," said Congressman Tom Cole. "This grant recognizes that Oklahoma is advancing viable solutions that will repair broken infrastructure and improve other transportation needs nationwide. I look forward to the difference this money will make through the bright minds in Norman and through the seven other consortium universities in Oklahoma, Louisiana, Texas and New Mexico.”

“Extreme weather conditions can create enormous challenges for our transportation infrastructure,” said Governor Mary Fallin. “This grant will support research that will help make our roads, bridges and rail systems more climate adaptive and less vulnerable to bad weather.”

The funding helps advance U.S. technology and expertise in transportation through education, research, technology transfer, and workforce development at university-based centers of excellence. The two-year grant awards each regional UTC $2.6 million annually for the next two years, with eligibility to renew for multiple subsequent years.

“Increased truck traffic and limited resources for construction, maintenance, and preservation of infrastructure challenge every state in the nation,” said Oklahoma Secretary of Transportation, Gary Ridley. “But the southern plains region’s volatile weather conditions place an additional burden on the system.”

Extreme summer temperatures, flash floods and large numbers of freeze-thaw cycles, coupled with poor soils, create enormous challenges to the region’s transportation infrastructure and public safety. According to OU Civil Engineering Professor and Southern Plains Regional Transportation Center Director, Musharraf Zaman, counting only recent severe droughts, economic losses are estimated at almost $9 billion annually to managed systems in Oklahoma and Texas alone, including transportation infrastructure.

“Fortunately, we can access some of the world’s best weather research and information in our back yard,” said Zaman, referring to weather entities that include the National Weather Center, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Severe Storms Laboratory, and Radar Innovations Laboratory located in Norman, Okla.  Zaman said the Southern Plains Regional Transportation Center plans to overlay weather expertise upon infrastructure research to focus on climate adaptive transportation and freight movement. “This will give us a more accurate picture of the challenges and stress on the southern plains region transportation infrastructure and insight to the best solutions,” said Zaman.

The group plans to research all aspects of extreme weather on transportation infrastructure from direct impact to innovative materials, winter weather vehicles and multi-modal freight movement.

“The center will address the most challenging issues of both the Federal Highway Administration and State Transportation Agencies. The commercial, agricultural and energy transportation corridors in the southern plains keep our nation’s economy moving forward. OSU is proud to be a partner in this consortium,” says Oklahoma State University Engineering Dean Paul Tikalsky. 

“Sustainable transportation infrastructure is crucial to public safety and economic prosperity.  Through the Southern Plains Regional Transportation Center we have assembled an outstanding team that fully represents the states in our region, and we look forward to working together,” said OU Engineering Dean Tom Landers.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

OU professors named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors

Norman, Okla.—Two University of Oklahoma professors—Paul L. DeAngelis and Jeffrey Harwell—have been named Fellows of the National Academy of Inventors, a high 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.

DeAngelis, professor of biochemistry and molecular biology at the OU Health Sciences Center College of Medicine, is the co-founder of four spin-out companies and holds a total of 92 patents in 20 countries.  In 2000, Hyalose was formed to commercialize unique recombinant technologies.  Two sister companies, Choncept and Heparinex, are based on DeAngelis’s inventions to offer related recombinant technologies for biopolymers, which are important to healthcare, cosmetics and biomedical research.

Most recently, Caisson Biotech was formed as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Heparinex to develop a novel heparosan-based drug delivery system called HEPtuneTM.  This delivery platform has broad applications for a variety of therapeutic areas and has recently been licensed to Novo Nordisk to engineer and develop compounds within undisclosed therapeutic areas.  The delivery platform also is being evaluated by several other pharma companies for various therapeutics. 

Jeffrey Harwell, who holds the Asahi Glass Chair and former associate dean of the OU College of Engineering, has 30 patents in 12 countries and has launched and collaborated with start-up companies in the areas of enhanced oil recovery, ground water remediation and carbon nanotubes.  These companies, based wholly or partially on his inventions, employ more than 30 people in Oklahoma.  He has worked with Fortune 500 companies around the world to invent and improve surfactants, nanoparticles and colloids for better product performance, greater cost efficiency and reduced environmental impact in areas, such as nanotechnology, consumer products, environmental remediation and polymer composites.
Harwell’s creative pursuit of inventive concepts, determination to reduce them to novel practices and his ability to apply them in the world have yielded tangible impact on society through the creation of jobs, a cleaner environment and a generation of students prepared to emulate his leadership.
National Academy of Inventors Fellows will be inducted by Deputy U.S. Commissioner for Patents Andy Faile, from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, during the Third Annual Conference of the National Academy of Inventors on March 7, 2014 in Alexandria, Va. at the headquarters of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Fellows will be presented with a special trophy and a rosette pin.  Fellows also will be honored in a full-page advertisement in The Chronicle of Higher Education and in a future issue of Technology and Innovation—Proceedings of the National Academy of Inventors.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Saving the World One Drop at a Time

OU College of Engineering Hosts International WaTER Conference and Prize

Editor’s Note: For more information, interviews or photos, contact Lori Johnson at (405) 840-4222.

Norman, Okla. — The WaTER (Water Technologies for Emerging Regions) Center at the University of Oklahoma is bringing together researchers and advocates from around the world to focus on the life-sustaining resource – clean water. The center reports more children die each year due to unsafe water, inadequate sanitation and poor hygiene than AIDS and malaria combined. This is not due to water scarcity, but rather poverty, inequality and government failures that result in poor or dangerous water quality.

The WaTER Center will address both technical and non-technical water and sanitation issues at the 2013 International WaTER Conference, scheduled for Sept. 23 through 25 at the National Center for Employee Development Conference Center and Hotel in Norman, Okla. The two-and-one-half-day conference includes local and international speakers, breakout sessions, and poster and paper sessions in the fields of social entrepreneurship, behavior change, water technologies, climate change and hydro-philanthropy in the developing world. The center anticipates as many as 200 participants from more than 20 countries, with many of these being developing countries.

The highlight of the conference will be a lecture and presentation by the OU International Water Prize-winner Ada Oko-Williams, formerly an associate director at Water and Sanitation for Africa and currently the assistant director at the Sustainable and Thriving Environments for West Africa Regional Development program, a U.S. Forest Services International Programs/USAID program. Oko-Williams was nominated and selected for her advocacy and collaborative community approach for clean water, sanitation and hygiene in Africa.

The conference also will feature water and sanitation experts Richard Taylor, University College London; Tamara Baker, iDE-Cambodia; Feleke Zewge, Addis-Ababa University-Ethiopia; Frank Kansiime, Makerere University, Uganda; and Hans Mosler, EAWAG- Switzerland. A panel discussion on Tuesday, Sept. 24, will discuss “Climate Change and Water: Challenges Across Sectors”; a question-and-answer session will follow.

The conference is open to anyone with an interest in the role clean water plays in global health. To register, go to The deadline to register online is Sept. 20. To register by phone call (405) 325-2379.

For accommodations on the basis of disability, contact Molly Smith at (405) 325-5913 or Please make all requests for accommodations by Sept. 20.


The WaTER Center, a part of the OU College of Engineering, started in 2006 as an organization focused on bringing water and sanitation to remote villages. The vision of the WaTER Center is a world in which all humankind has safe, reliable drinking water. The center’s mission is to help solve drinking water challenges for impoverished regions, both internationally and locally, through innovative teaching and research initiatives. OU’s WaTER Center was established to meet a growing need for university-based programs, personnel and resources, including technical innovations and educational opportunities for U.S. students and citizens of the affected regions. For more information on the WaTER Center, visit

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

OU Engineering Program Challenges Creativity Through Contraptions

NORMAN– The gold standard in engineering is to create efficiency, but for 47 University of Oklahoma incoming freshmen students, the goal is total complexity.

Engineering students taking the OU College of Engineering’s AT&T Summer Bridge Program are challenged to take a simple task, like turning a page, and make it complicated while still completing the task. The teams' off-the-wall contraptions are famously inspired by the designs of Rube Goldberg.

“It may seem backwards, asking engineering students to take something as simple as hammering a nail and make it as complicated as possible, but by thinking through the grandiose process, these students are learning the basic skills of engineering mechanics such as the value of experimentation, teamwork and design reliability,” said Lisa Morales, program director.

The AT&T Summer Bridge Program is a four-week, on-campus residential program that prepares students for life as an engineering student. In addition to early exposure to course work, the students meet fellow classmates, faculty and staff and earn early college credit.

“These students are highly motivated as they already see the value in planning ahead and investing part of their summer to increase success in the classroom this fall,” said Tom Landers, dean of the University of Oklahoma College of Engineering. “Because engineering coursework can be a challenge, this program prepares incoming freshmen academically for the rewarding road ahead.”

University of Oklahoma AT&T Summer Bridge Program is a four-week-long, residential camp for incoming freshman students who have been accepted to the University of Oklahoma and are planning to major in engineering. This program is geared toward students who are African American/Black, Hispanic/Latino, Alaskan Native/Pacific Islander, American Indian or first-generation students; however, the program considers all applicants regardless of background. This annual program is intended to encourage diversity within the College of Engineering, helping students connect with engineering students, faculty and staff; acclimate to the college; and prepare academically for engineering and math coursework.

“The Rube Goldberg project helped me think outside the box and expand my thinking style.” – Ramiro Brigueda, Weatherford, OK

“My favorite part about the AT&T Summer Bridge Program was the opportunity to get used to college life and meet crucial people in college career services. The Rube Goldberg project helped me prepare for the application of engineering. Whether you are a petroleum engineer or a civil engineer or any other kind of engineer, people need to put basic subjects like physics to work, they need to probably think of unconventional methods to accomplish such tasks. The Rube Goldberg project is the epitome of inventive thinking.” – Hyeon Joon (Harry) Jun, Seoul, South Korea

“My favorite part was experiencing college life and getting to know both other students in my field of study as well as the campus. The Rube Goldberg project gave me a little hands on experience as well as an idea of the way I should think as an engineer in the future.” – Desmond Alexander, Houston, TX

“I really enjoyed getting to experience dorm and campus life before everyone else. I also liked getting college credit for the class I took. Most importantly, I loved meeting all the campers.” –Teresa Ayala, Wylie, TX

“Working on the Rube Goldberg project has helped me prepare for my first semester as an engineering major by being able to practice my problem solving and math skills.” –Hunter Bonham, Kingfisher, OK

“My favorite part about the AT&T Summer Bridge Program was meeting people from all over the United States who are planning to pursue engineering who are similar to me. We come from many different backgrounds but all share the same goal. The Rube Goldberg project taught me that if we get along with other easily what great wonders we will achieve.” – Skylar Calhoun, Norman, OK