Friday, May 10, 2013

Hilti Group Awards $30,000 Engineering Scholarship at OU-Tulsa

TULSA, Okla. – The Hilti Group, which provides leading edge technology to the global construction industry, has awarded a $30,000, three-year scholarship to the University of Oklahoma College of Engineering. The Hilti Scholar funds will be awarded to Bhagyashri Darunkar, a doctoral student in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the Schusterman Center campus in Tulsa.
“We are extremely excited about the opportunity to partner with the OU College of Engineering in awarding this prestigious scholarship at OU-Tulsa,” said Clint Holler, Head of Information Technology for Hilti Western Hemisphere. “Hilti relies on leading universities such as OU to further develop students who are eager and ready to contribute at a high level immediately upon graduation.”
            “The OU College of Engineering is most grateful for Hilti’s generosity in providing a scholarship to support engineering students at OU-Tulsa,” said James J. Sluss, Jr., Ph.D., Director and Morris R. Pitman Professor, University of Oklahoma School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “We consider this an important first step in establishing a broader collaboration between Hilti and OU across all engineering disciplines on both the Norman and Tulsa campuses.”
            Pramode Verma, Ph.D., Williams Chair in Telecommunications Networking and Director of Telecommunications Engineering at OU-Tulsa, said Hilti’s support of an OU-Tulsa Ph.D. scholar is an important gesture of community goodwill. “It is also a tangible indicator of the company’s willingness to invest in producing technology leaders for the future. We greatly value Hilti’s global leadership in their area and are honored by their recognition of OU programs.
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, the first of its kind in the nation, created with the explicit purpose of improving the health of all Oklahoma communities. For more information about OU-Tulsa, call 660-3318 or visit

For more information, contact:
Tracy Kennedy (918) 660-3316  Cellular (918)691-7174
Glenda Silvey (918) 660-3317    Cellular (918)770-2407


Friday, May 3, 2013

OU Concrete Canoe Team Takes First in Regional Competition

NORMAN, Okla. – Fifteen students from the University of Oklahoma College of Engineering Concrete Canoe team will be taking their paddles to the national competition after earning first place in the regional engineering design, knowledge and stamina competition.

“The OU Concrete Canoe team has had great success in the past and this year is no exception,”
said Alyse Burgess, Concrete Canoe co-captain and architectural engineering senior. “The regional competition showed our newer members that the extra time and effort put into even the smallest details makes a big difference.”

This is the eighth in the past 13 years OU’s team has advanced to nationals. Burgess said this year’s success is due to their choice to focus on a more stable, lightweight design.

“By putting people in the canoe and racing it, we proved that the mix we designed can float and is strong enough to support the stresses caused by the paddlers,” said Burgess.

In April, the OU Concrete Canoe team attended the Mid-West Continent Regional Competition at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville through the American Society of Civil Engineers’ collegiate chapters. Their first-place finish landed them one of the coveted 18 spots in the National Concrete Canoe Competition, occurring June 20 to 22 at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign.

“We compete on a business and design level, as well as agility,” said Burgess. “Between now and nationals we can’t touch the canoe, but we can work on our technical paper and oral presentation. We’ll also have quite a few paddling practices.”

The competition connects the classroom to the real world by challenging members to apply school concepts to a working product in a team environment.

“I have learned valuable teamwork and leadership skills that you don’t quite get in a classroom environment, but are important when heading out into the engineering profession,” Burgess said. “I’ve also succeeded at taking on the challenge of doing something most people would think is impossible. Make concrete float; how many people can say that?”

For more information about the OU College of Engineering competition teams, contact Jimmy Cannon, OU engineering practice coordinator and competition coach, at (405) 325-6844 or