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

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Civil Engineering and Meteorology Student Ben Toms Named Goldwater Scholar

University of Oklahoma honors student Ben Toms had been named one of two 2015 Goldwater Scholars, placing OU in the top ranks of universities nationally with 48 Goldwater Scholars since the competition began in 1991. The prestigious scholarships are awarded on the basis of potential and intent to pursue careers in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering.

“The University is extremely proud of Brandon Curd and Ben Toms,” said OU President David L. Boren. “They are continuing OU’s winning tradition nationally in the competition for Goldwater Scholars.”

Toms, a junior from Aurora, Colorado, maintains a 4.0 grade-point average and is pursuing degrees in civil engineering and meteorology. He has extensive research experience, including a project detecting black ice on Oklahoma roads with Jeffrey Basara, OU associate professor of meteorology and director of research for the Oklahoma Climatological Survey, and Yang Hong, professor of civil engineering and environmental sciences; test cases for fire flow with Randall J. McDermott, National Institute of Standards and Technology; the effects of a flood at the Colorado Front Range with Basara; an ongoing project at the National Severe Storms Laboratory, where he works with its director, Steven Koch, and David Turner of its Forecast Research and Development Division; and a mobile X-radar system for mountainous areas in Colorado with Pierre Kirstetter, research scientist with the National Weather Center Advanced Radar Research Center. His summer plans include two projects, one with Turner researching the environment of convective precipitation during the nighttime, and another with Kirstetter to place a mobile X-band radar within the Rio Grande National Forest in southern Colorado. His future plans include obtaining a Ph.D. in hydrometeorology and conducting research on terrestrial hydrometeorology while teaching at the university level.

Among his awards and honors are the OU School of Meteorology Non-Resident Award of Academic Excellence, Best Undergraduate Oral Presentation Award at the National Weather Association 39th Annual Meeting, OU College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences Excellence in Academia Award, Wylie Barbour Hamilton Excellence in Engineering Award, OU School of Meteorology Junior Academic Achievement Award, National Institute of Standards and Technology Summer Fellowship and NASA Student Airborne Research Program Summer Fellowship.

The national scholarship competition is conducted by the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program. This year, 1,206 college sophomores and juniors across the country competed for the 260 scholarships. The one- and two-year scholarships will cover the cost of tuition, fees, books, and room and board up to a maximum of $7,500 per year.

Friday, April 3, 2015

OU-Tulsa Telecommunications Professor Honored with National Award

The Information and Telecommunications Education and Research Association  (ITERA) honored Pramode Verma, Ph.D., Director of Telecommunications Engineering at  the University of Oklahoma – Tulsa, with its 2015 Distinguished Service Award for lifetime contributions to education and research. Dr. Verma received the award at ITERA’s annual conference in Washington, D.C., on March 28. 

ITERA is a non-profit academic association representing colleges and universities with degree programs focused on telecommunications, networking, information and computer science.  

“ITERA is excited to recognize Dr. Verma,” said Michael Bowman, Ph.D., Chairman of the ITERA Board of Directors. “For more than 40 years, he’s made significant contributions to the telecommunications industry and the education of young women and men in the U.S. and Canada. We’re especially happy to acknowledge and commemorate his service with this award.”

“I’m deeply honored to be recognized by colleagues whose work I respect so much,” Dr. Verma said.  “I’m proud of the work ITERA does to advance research and study in the telecommunications field. My association with students and colleagues in this organization is enriching from a personal as well as a professional perspective. The award means a great deal to me.”   

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 150 journal articles and conference papers, and several books in telecommunications engineering. He is also the co-inventor of eight patents. He has been a keynote speaker at several international conferences and has lectured in several countries.

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 and nurse practitioner programs, 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