Thursday, January 28, 2010

Local computer company to generate new jobs

Written by Audrey Harris
The Oklahoma Daily
Wednesday, January 27, 2010

A Norman computer company’s expansion will create about 75 new jobs, possibly opening doors for OU students in the future.

Hitachi Computer Products will expand its facility by more than 200,000 square feet, according to a Hitachi press release.

Gary Riggs, Hitachi spokesman, said the expansion will cost around $15 million.

According to the release, Hitachi cited the Norman Economic Development Coalition and the State of Oklahoma as major factors in the expansion. Hitachi stated its support through the Oklahoma Economic Development Pooled Finance Program made the project possible.

“[Hitachi] told us the potential the program had and we were able to help them figure out how to do it using the programs that were available in the state,” said Don Wood, Norman Economic Development Coalition executive director.

Wood said the majority of jobs created by the expansion will be in warehouse distribution.

“There are college graduates working out of Hitachi in different areas and there may be jobs in the future targeted at college graduates,” Wood said. “I think the initial jobs probably wouldn’t be college graduate jobs but there is a potential that there will be some jobs in the future.”

Bette Scott, Career Services director, said Hitachi regularly hires OU students — primarily computer science or engineering majors.

Hitachi’s president, George Wilson, was hired as a graduating student from OU. The company also tries to hire at least three interns in the technical field, Riggs said.

Danielle Sherwood, mechanical engineering senior, said she has considered working for Hitachi. As a teacher’s assistant for an engineering orientation class, Sherwood took a group of freshmen to tour the company.

“The students absolutely loved it,” Sherwood stated in an e-mail. “It gave them a greater insight to the real engineering world and what possible majors would best suit them for this field.”

Sherwood said she thinks Hitachi is on the list of potential employers for every OU engineering student.

“I’ve definitely considered it but, unfortunately, my career path is headed towards the oil and gas industry,” Sherwood said.

'Three Cups of Tea' author coming to OU

Published January 27, 2010
Norman Transcript

'Three Cups of Tea' author coming to OU

Greg Mortenson, best-selling author of "Three Cups of Tea," will give a free public lecture 4 p.m. April 21 at the Lloyd Noble Center, hosted by the OU College of Engineering to mark the school's 100th anniversary.

For more than 16 years, Mortenson and the nonprofit organization he heads, Central Asia Institute, have worked to promote peace by establishing more than 130 schools --which all include girls-- in remote regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan.

In the book, Mortenson, along with journalist David Oliver Relin, recount Mortenson's failed attempt to climb K2, the world's second highest mountain located in Pakistan, to establish schools in some of the most remote areas of Afghanistan and Pakistan.

Here, Mortenson combined his knowledge of third-world, developing countries, to replace bombs with pencils and bring peace through education to these remote communities.

Mortenson was born in Minnesota in 1957 and grew up on the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro, Tanzania. He served in the U.S. Army in Germany during the Cold War, where he received the Army Commendation Medal.

Mortenson later graduated from the University of South Dakota and pursued graduate studies in neurophysiology.

Attendance to the event is free but space is limited. To reserve tickets, visit www.eventbrite.com/event/448141403.

For updates on the event, go to www.ou.edu/coe/centennial.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Devon Energy Hall to be dedicated Jan. 26

Originally Published By:
The Oklahoma Daily on Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Devon Energy Hall, the new engineering facility on the OU campus, will be dedicated in a public ceremony scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 26.

Speakers will include OU President David Boren; Larry Nichols, chairman, co-founder and CEO of Devon Energy Corp.; OU College of Engineering Dean Tom Landers; Devon intern and petroleum engineering senior Adela Porter; and Outstanding Senior Man and industrial engineering student David Stubsten.

“By partnering with the University of Oklahoma to build Devon Energy Hall, we are investing in the future engineers of our state,” Nichols said in a statement released by OU Public Affairs. “This facility will provide the tools necessary to develop a pipeline of engineers to help our industry produce the natural gas and oil needed to fuel our nation.”

Construction costs of the 103,000-square-foot facility are estimated at $30 million.

“Devon Energy is one of the most constructive corporate citizens in the state and the Nichols family ranks among the most generous donors to the university in its history,” Boren said in the statement. “The university is deeply grateful for the role played by Devon and the Nichols family in providing enhanced educational opportunities for OU students. The building symbolizes their important role in the life of our state.”

For more information about the ceremony or for accommodations on the basis of disability, call the Office of Special Events at (405) 325-3784.