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.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Lambeth Named Outstanding Senior Engineering Student

Andrew Lambeth of Oklahoma City, a senior chemical engineering major at the University of Oklahoma, was named the College of Engineering’s Outstanding Senior. Lambeth and 18 other students chosen from other OU undergraduate colleges received this special recognition at a November ceremony and during halftime at the OU vs. Iowa State football game.

Lambeth visited OU’s College of Engineering during his junior year in high school as part of the Junior Engineering Technical Society program. He visited several universities, but none felt quite as right as OU.

While he said his original intent was to become a doctor, after immersing himself in the degree’s coursework and industry experience during a co-op, he now plans to pursue a career in the oil and gas industry.

“Andrew is a leader in every sense of the word,” said Brian Grady, director of the OU School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering. “He is one of those people that make everyone around him feel very comfortable and valued. I certainly expect great things from him as he leaves OU and goes out into the ‘real’ world!”

After graduation in May, Lambeth will move to the Los Angeles area, where he will work as a summer intern for Valero before returning to Norman in the fall to pursue his master’s degree in engineering.

The Outstanding Senior Awards, presented by Sooner Parents, recognizes and celebrates achievement in the areas of scholarship, honors, awards, leadership and service to the university and community.

Monday, December 8, 2014

OU Professor, Inventor Reaches Major Milestone in the Development of Interband Cascade Lasers

A team led by the University of Oklahoma professor who invented the interband cascade laser has reached a major milestone in the development of interband cascade lasers by creating a robust technology that operates at room temperature and works continuously—an important component for building practical systems.

Rui Q. Yang, professor of electrical and computer engineering in the OU College of Engineering, proposed the concept for interband cascade lasers 20 years ago.  He continues to perfect the technology for use in multiple applications, such as detecting pipeline leaks, finding new oil and gas wells and in the NASA Mars rover Curiosity.

At OU, Yang’s research group collaborates with Professors Matthew B. Johnson and Michael B. Santos and their research groups in the Homer L. Dodge Department of Physics and Astronomy in the OU College of Arts and Sciences.  This latest development of room-temperature and continuous wave interband cascade lasers was a result of their collaboration with J. Gupta and colleagues at the National Research Council in Canada.

“Like a waterfall that cascades from level to level gaining energy with each step, interband cascade lasers are energy-efficient mid-infrared semiconductor laser sources for sensing chemicals in a number of applications,” says Yang.  “The latest continuous wave interband cascade laser operates at room temperature yielding a more efficient product.”

Though small, the mid-infrared laser market is growing four times faster than the laser market as a whole, according to market analyst Strategies Unlimited.  Yang owns four patents on interband cascade lasers and related devices with interest in assisting the technology transfer and commercialization of these semiconductor device components.
Before joining the OU College of Engineering in 2007, Yang worked for NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif.  He led the research and development of an interband cascade laser used to support missions to Mars.  Yang continues to collaborate with NASA, Sandia National Laboratory and others on his research.

The National Science Foundation Small Business Technology Transfer Program supports OU research on interband cascade lasers and related optoelectronic devices.  For more information, contact Rui Q. Yang at rui.q.yang@ou.edu or visit the Quantum Device Laboratory at http://qdl.ou.edu/.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Sooners Without Borders Headed to El Salvador


From News9.com

NORMAN, Oklahoma - Thanksgiving break for most students means spending time with family and food. But a group of OU students is sacrificing their break for service. They're headed more than 2,100 miles away to Central America.

It's not your average trip these Sooners are packing for. They are carrying with them tools, a GPS unit, hefty bags and a bunch of tape; all for a trip to El Salvador for about a dozen OU students, who will fly out with five faculty members.

View the video.

Friday, October 10, 2014

New Master’s Degree of Engineering Program with a Concentration in Data Science and Analytics

NORMAN – Big data – two small words that will have a major impact on how companies make key decisions about everything from improving productivity to predicting consumer behavior and, in some cases, the future strategy of the company. But the copious numbers only tell part of the picture – how the organization interprets and applies the data determines its business impact.

The University of Oklahoma College of Engineering is helping shape the application of big data in its new interdisciplinary master’s degree of engineering with a concentration in data science and analytics. While many companies take advantage of big data to monitor and track everything from retail purchasing to product performance, being able to predict future operations and behaviors is the key that will revolutionize the way companies compete, produce and innovate. The new program’s curriculum teaches algorithm development from a systems perspective. OU graduates will have the skills to design and build tools to extract, assimilate and analyze data, and the systems understanding to predict and enhance future performance for enterprises across all domains of the private and public sectors. A collaboration between the Schools of Computer Science and Industrial and Systems Engineering, the first cohort of students started their graduate work this fall.

“The insight big data can provide is far-reaching. The opportunities to use the information to predict and improve performance of all types of systems, across all types of enterprises, are wide open,” said Randa Shehab, director of the OU School of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

Many reports, including one published by McKinsey Global Institute, have identified the urgent need to address the current shortage of data scientists in the United States which is expected to exceed the number of current graduates by as many as 200,000 hires over the next decade. The White House has launched the “Big Data Research and Development Initiative,” which includes expanding the workforce to support the needs of the big data community as one of its primary objectives. The MSDSA at OU plays a major role in accomplishing these objectives by helping to prepare a future workforce that can design, analyze and apply big data solutions.

“As computing power has grown, so has the vision for how this power is harnessed for research, innovation and economic growth,” said Charles Jones, OU College of Engineering Advisory Board member and retired consultant for McKinsey & Co., a global management consultant company. “But the volume, velocity and variety of big data require big investments from industry and education to really capture its true potential.”

Over the past 20 years, big data science has evolved from merely creating descriptions of what happened from 500 gigabytes of internal data to forecasting what is likely to happen based on petabytes of data captured from multiple sources.

“In the 1990s, companies’ were limited to making strategic decisions based on descriptive, retrospective data analysis and gut feelings,” Jones said. “Fast forward 25 years and several monumental technological advancements, and progressive companies are building strategies around data that not only forecasts what’s likely to happen, but also describes why it will happen.”

While most companies recognize the importance of big data, many are overwhelmed by the challenge of integrating, analyzing and finding value in the volume, variety and velocity of the data sources available to them. Companies can easily access massive data from a variety of sources, including home appliances, credit cards and social media posts. But just because a company has this data, doesn’t mean that they can turn raw numbers into actionable insights.”

“The data deluge presents both an opportunity and a challenge to most companies,” said David Franke, OU College of Engineering Advisory Board member and chief scientist at Vast, provider of marketplaces and big data insights for consumers’ big purchases. “The opportunity lies in a company’s ability to easily collect, store and test data sets and use that information to enhance business performance measures like supply chain management and customer satisfaction. The challenge lies in the lack of people who possess the skill set to create value from raw data.”

Big data by itself tell more about what has happened than why it has happened. “Determining the why is where data science becomes an art form,” Franke said. “Not only must data scientists’ possess technical skills in computer programming and statistical analysis to test the data, but they also need analytical skills and contextual knowledge to extract and isolate the meaningful interconnections in the data and transform it into actionable intelligence.”

“Companies don’t need people to just tell them what’s happened, they need people to help them predict what’s going to happen and provide options to capitalize on these predictions,” said Jones. “Big data needs big intelligence, and OU College of Engineering’s MSDSA program is bridging the gap between real-world problems, abstract data and effective solutions. The program is designed to teach students how to define the problem and then find solutions in the data.”

The MSDSA coursework will be driven by case studies, and students in the program will complete an industry internship or a research practicum. Students will work closely with an industry or government partner to solve real-world scientific or business problems in preparation for their career.

“With the advent of the Internet and big data, we had a revolution of tools to gather data,” said Franke. “With the MSDSA program, we are leading a new revolution of tools to do something with that data – to glean meaningful information from the vastness of big data so we can make better large-scale, long-term decisions.”

“I wish I were 25 again, so I could go back to college and get a master’s in data science and analytics, then the fun would really begin” chuckled Jones.

Big Data Helps Big Energy Find Big Solutions

The energy industry has been leveraging big data for decades to determine where natural resources reside and how to bring them to the surface. But despite advancements in tools, technologies and data storage, many oil and gas companies struggle to translate data into tangible business value.

“Energy companies have trouble extracting and finding meaning from the vast amounts of data points on the path from construction to production to delivery,” said Charles Nicholson, OU College of Engineering assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering. “This problem is as much of an infrastructure issue as it is a human resources issue. There simply aren’t enough people who have computer, mathematical and industry specific knowledge to harness the power of big data. ”

The College of Engineering is partnering with Oklahoma energy companies to help capitalize on big data in a big way. Through strategic partnerships with companies like Devon Energy, MSDSA students will work directly with professional teams to transform disparate data points into valuable assets that improve decision making, operational efficiency and customer service.

“Partnerships with companies like Devon Energy address the skills gap issue that emerges between the classroom and the corporate office,” said Nicholson. “The MSDSA program’s research and internship opportunities allow our students to contribute to solutions for everything from estimating costs and timelines for projects to optimizing field exploration, equipment maintenance and delivery.”

“It’s easy to forget that data in and of itself has no tangible value until a human being finds and assigns it value,” Nicholson said. “Our program is focused on developing a well-rounded data scientist who can combine technology, process and human intuition to solve complex problems.”

Sunday, July 27, 2014

New CoE Leadership Roles Assumed

Jim Sluss, the Morris R. Pitman Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, became the senior associate dean as of July 1. Previously, he served as the director of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

His current research and teaching interests are in the areas of optical communications, photonics, and intelligent transportation systems. He has been awarded seven U.S. patents, has authored/co-authored numerous journal and conference publications, and has been principal/co-principal investigator on over $11 million in sponsored research grants and contracts.

In his new role as senior associate dean, he will focus on career development of faculty including the full scope of teaching, research and service, as prescribed by our newly adopted PP03 policies and procedures. He will lead the research administration in the College of Engineering and will direct the Engineering graduate program. Learn more.

John Antonio, became the associate dean for academic affairs in January.

Antonio was a faculty member at Purdue University and Texas Tech before joining OU as professor and director of computer science in 1999. During seven years of service as the director of the School of Computer Science, he oversaw a 50% growth in the number of computer science faculty members and a tripling of the school’s research expenditures. Antonio has been an investigator for a number of funded research projects. Defense agencies supporting this work include Rome Laboratory (Air Force Research Laboratory), NRaD (Navy Research and Development), DoD/STTR, and DARPA. This body of work included a major project funded by DARPA for the design and development of an ultra-low power parallel computing platform, housed on a small unmanned aerial vehicle, for real-time synthetic aperture radar processing. During the period from 2008 to 2011, Antonio received grants from RiskMetrics Group, Inc. This work included research and development of scheduling and control mechanisms for a massively distributed computing platform. From 2011 to 2013, he worked for MSCI, Inc. where he led a global team chartered with optimizing the performance and stability of the company’s massively parallel production computing platform.

As the associate dean for academic affairs, Antonio represents the Dean’s office on matters related to academic programs and services, including outreach, recruiting, scholarships, advising, diversity and inclusion programs, and accreditation. He also provides leadership in identifying and developing opportunities for students to grow through experiential learning, professional development, and leadership training; with the ultimate goal being to equip students with competitive advantages in pursuing future careers. Read more.
J. R. Cruz, Professor and Tilley Chair of Electrical Engineering, began serving as acting director for the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering effective July 1. Permanent designation as director is pending action at the September Regents’ meeting, retroactive to August 16.

Cruz is a nationally recognized educator and researcher, with extensive experience both in industry and academia. He started his career as an engineer and task leader at the NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, and later became a member of the research staff of Motorola. He is a world-renowned expert in signal processing and coding for magnetic recording and is currently the principal investigator on a three-year NSF project to develop the next generation of two-dimensional magnetic recording technologies. Cruz is a Fellow of the IEEE "for contributions to communications signal processing and education," and Distinguished Lecturer of two IEEE societies: Communications and Vehicular Technology. He holds several patents and counts among his numerous scholarly publications the Best Paper Prize at the 2007 IEEE International Conference on Communications (ICC).

Cruz assumes the leadership of ECE at an exciting time, building upon the outstanding leadership of Jim Sluss, who is assuming the role of senior associate dean for the College of Engineering. Sluss says of Cruz “I am delighted that J. R. Cruz has accepted the appointment as director of the School.  He is held in very high regard by the ECE faculty and brings a wealth of experience to the position of director, having served on Committee A and as chair of the ECE Undergraduate Studies Committee.  He also has substantial administrative experience through his service in various positions within the IEEE. I have the utmost confidence in him to lead the School to new heights of achievement.”

ECE growth in recent years, both in terms of scope and achievements, is justly reflected in rising prestige and national rank. Read more.

Jerry Holmes, Major General, U.S. Air Force (Retired) and CoE distinguished graduate, has been named the Faculty-in-Residence at the ExxonMobil Lawrence G. Rawl Engineering Practice Facility, following the recent retirement of Professor John Fagan. General Holmes developed the course, “Leadership and Management for Engineers,” which his students describe as life-changing. The REPF is the home of the OU undergraduate engineering processes for product and professional realization. As Faculty-in-Residence, General Holmes will be uniquely positioned to mentor all of the leaders in our student organizations through the process of becoming professionals.

Brian Grady, Conoco/DuPont Professor in the School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering and director of the Institute for Applied Surfactant Research, will assume the role of director of the School of Chemical, Biological and Materials Engineering on August 16. Grady's vision and energy to lead CBME will continue to build on an already strong record of achievement. Read more.

After 16 years of outstanding service, Lance Lobban will step down as the director of CBME. He will devote more time to teaching, research and service. He will continue to hold the Francis W. Winn Chair.

Monday, July 7, 2014

Pulat to Serve OU as Vice Provost for Faculty Development

Senior Associate Dean and Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, Simin Pulat, has moved to Evans Hall to serve OU as the Vice Provost for Faculty Development. Over the past eight years, Dr. Pulat has served our OU engineering community as Associate Dean and most recently Senior Associate Dean. While continuing to be highly productive as an ISE faculty member, she has had a transformative influence on the entire CoE. She has been a most effective agent for positive change in engineering education. She has given extraordinary leadership in the engineering accreditation process and led our initiatives in experiential learning, including first and second year courses that are attracting substantial private support and national recognition. We are grateful for all she has done and for the opportunity to continue working with her in advancing the University and the College, through STEM initiatives and faculty professional development.

President David L. Boren Visits CS Software Studio Student Presentations

President David L. Boren and Dean Tom Landers enjoy listening to the student presentations at the Software Studio's project report out.
Sridhar Radhakrishnan, director of the School of Computer Science, had an idea to develop a Software Studio, a working environment designed to help students explore high-level computer programming, develop computer programs, collaborate with non-computer disciplines and connect to business professionals.

“The Software Studio gives students from all areas of study the access and support to bring their big ideas to digital life,” Radhakrishnan said. “This is not organized by a professor, but rather by groups of students who have the desire to learn and apply computer science.”

In the program’s first year, three student teams developed apps for mobile devices and one team is developing an interactive video game to address bullying. One team will begin beta testing their app, a road condition monitoring system called Siren, with more than 1,700 semi-trucks prior to the official launch in February 2015. 

Friday, May 30, 2014

Gavia Named One of Nine Regents' Alumni Award Recipients

David Gavia, holding the Regents' Alumni Award, stands with President David L. Boren and members of the OU Board of Regents.
Nine exceptional University of Oklahoma alumni and friends received Regents’ Alumni Awards for their dedication and service to OU in a ceremony on May 9, on the Norman campus.

Gavia, who earned his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering in 2000, is the sole holder of two U.S. patents and the co-inventor on three patents, all related to drill bit technology. He has been published twice by the Society of Petroleum Engineers.

A walk-on member of the Sooner cross country team for two years, Gavia studied abroad at Polytechnic University in Valencia, Spain,  was a member of the Multicultural Engineering Program and an officer of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers.

Professionally, Gavia was instrumental in encouraging Baker Hughes, where he serves as product manager of drill bits in the North America region, to sponsor mechanical engineering capstone projects, and has served as a mentor to teams for two years. He has participated on the Baker Hughes Campus Champions team for OU and regularly engages in recruiting and interviewing activities. A true ambassador for OU, Gavia regularly uses social media to share Sooner success stories, ensuring new audiences have access to the great work of OU students, faculty, staff and alumni.

Gavia serves as a member of the College of Engineering Dean’s Advisory Board on Diversity and Inclusion, currently on the external relations committee. Dedicated to guiding and encouraging students through their pursuit of an engineering degree, he spends countless hours mentoring and coaching students in person and virtually. He and his wife, Jennifer, have supported OU through a number of initiatives, including establishing a Multicultural Engineering Scholarship to provide financial assistance to students from underrepresented groups in the College of Engineering.

Presented by the OU Board of Regents and OU Alumni Association, the Regents’ Alumni Award honors the important roles of OU alumni and supporters to the life of the university. A committee formed by the Alumni Association selects the award recipients from nominations made by alumni, friends, and OU faculty and staff. Each year’s recipients receive a plaque and their names are engraved on a permanent plaque in Oklahoma Memorial Union.

Three Inducted Into the Distinguished Graduate Society During May Convocation

From left, Alan Armstrong, Dean Thomas L. Landers, Anil Gollahalli and Charles Richard "Dick" Sivalls.
Alan Armstrong
Alan Armstrong graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering.

He is the president and chief executive officer of Williams, as well as chairman of the board and chief executive officer for Williams Partners L.P. Since joining Williams in 1986, his notable career has included previous appointments as president of Williams’ midstream and olefins businesses in North America, vice president of gathering and processing, vice president of commercial development, vice president of retail energy services, and director of commercial operations for Williams’ midstream business in the Gulf Coast region.

Armstrong served as a board member and past chairman of the OU College of Engineering’s Board of Visitors. He is committed to education and community service, and serves on the boards of directors of several education and community-focused organizations including Junior Achievement USA, Junior Achievement of Oklahoma, Teach for America – Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Business Education Coalition and the Tulsa Regional Chamber’s executive committee as the vice chair of economic development. He is also on the boards of The Williams Foundation and the Philbrook Museum of Art.

Armstrong lives in Tulsa with his wife Shelly, and their children Caitlin, Claire, Jarret and Gabrielle.

Anil Gollahalli
Anil Gollahalli graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1997 with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. In 2000, he received his Juris Doctorate from the University of Chicago Law School.

Gollahalli serves as the University of Oklahoma vice president and general counsel. Within that role, he is also counsel for the OU Board of Regents, and is responsible for the legal matters of all OU campuses, Cameron University and Rogers State University.

His past appointments at OU include vice president and associate vice president for technology development, assistant general counsel and fellow in the Center for the Creation of Economic Wealth. He has taught classes at the university in both the College of Law and the Price College of Business. Before returning to OU, Gollahalli worked in the field of litigation and intellectual property law.
Gollahalli is involved in Leadership Oklahoma, the Oklahoma Foundation for Excellence and the Oklahoma Venture Forum. He is a board member of Oklahoma Youth in Government, and sits on the community investment committee of the United Way of Norman. Among his many awards and commendations, Gollahalli was a recipient of the “Forty under Forty” award by OKC Business in 2006 and “Achiever Under Forty” by the Journal Record in 2009.

Gollahalli lives in Norman with his wife and children.

Charles Richard “Dick” Sivalls
Dick Sivalls graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1957 with a bachelor’s degree with distinction in mechanical engineering. He is a licensed professional engineer and a Fellow with the National Society of Professional Engineers.

Sivalls is the president and chief executive officer of Sivalls, Inc., and has been employed with the company since 1959. Under his leadership, Sivalls, Inc. has grown to be a major lease surface equipment supplier worldwide. He is also the president of Control Equipment, Inc. and Tectrol, Inc., both in Odessa, Texas.

In addition to being a leader in his field, Sivalls has authored more than 40 technical papers on oil and gas production and processing equipment design, and has taught short courses on gas processing and oil treating practices at the University of Oklahoma, Texas Tech University and Texas A&M University. As a young man, he served a brief stint in the U.S. Army.

Sivalls has held multiple leadership posts in many civic organizations including the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, Odessa Industrial Development Corp, Odessa Rotary Club and other local organizations. He is an active lay leader in his church.

He lives in Odessa, Texas, with his wife, Lura Jo. He has a son and daughter and three grandchildren.

In 1990, the College of Engineering established the Distinguished Graduates Society to honor our most accomplished alumni. Selection is based upon prominent and distinguished professional or technical achievement, notable public service, outstanding contribution to and support of education, honors of election in organizations and other contributions to the engineering profession.
Membership in the society affords the public acknowledgment and recognition befitting administration, faculty and students of the College of Engineering at the University Convocation.
We welcome the 2014 members of the College of Engineering Distinguished Graduates

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 http://tulsa.ou.edu.

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

RSVP: kdboren@ou.edu

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 kdboren@ou.edu 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.