Showing posts from July, 2009

Welcome from Elizabeth Cook, Diversity and MEP Director

Dear Engineering Alumni & Friends! It is with great excitement that I write this letter as a reflection of our Diversity & Multicultural Engineering Program (MEP) here at the University of Oklahoma. The history and legacy that Wayne Steen has left in his wake is a daily inspiration to the work that we do in the diversity program. I am so proud to be part of such an amazing College at the University of Oklahoma, and I want to thank you for delving into the “Diversity Issue” of this ‘Engineering Encounter’! The Multicultural Engineering Program is based on the hard work and commitment of both students and staff who were determined to turn engineering from a possibility to a reality to many students for whom engineering was simply a dream. The promise that Mr. Steen made to those students long-ago has not waned. We are continuing to work with diverse students and provide avenues of support including internship opportunities, scholarship opportunities, and academic support to rival

The Wayne Steen Legacy

When Wayne Steen – director of the OU College of Engineering’s Multicultural Engineering Program from 1980 through 2003 – died at the young age of 63 in March 2007, the effects were felt well beyond his immediate family. His untimely passing also impacted his extended family – namely, the students who had the privilege of getting to know this native Oklahoman and American Cherokee Indian who had invested so much of himself in them. Born and raised in Grove, a small town in northeastern Oklahoma, he graduated from the University of Kansas with degrees in aerospace engineering and counseling. Wayne’s industry experience with McDonnell Douglas in St. Louis, Mo., and educational experience with Haskell Indian Junior College in Lawrence and Johnson County Community College in Overland Park would provide the perfect context from which he would be able to relate to undergraduate and graduate engineering majors at the University of Oklahoma. And relate to them he did. Steen’s legacy was shaped

The 90,000-Mile Journey

In December 2008, Jonathan Pipkin earned his bachelor of science degree in environmental engineering from the University of Oklahoma School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science, celebrating the fruits of his labor in last May’s convocation ceremony. But this wasn’t Jonathan’s first time around the academic block. His first OU degree, conferred in 1988, was a bachelor of science which he has put to good use working for Halliburton in his hometown of Duncan for 11 of the past 18 years. So why does a full-time employee and father of three decide to spend eight years traveling 90,000 miles and spending 1,000 hours in his car? Well, it’s not just so he can listen to NPR. Jonathan had climbed as high up the Halliburton ladder as his first degree could take him. He had served as a field chemist and scientist performing laboratory work, pre-job testing and quality assurance in field camps in Fort Smith, Wilburton and Duncan, as well as in customer service and direct sales. However, J

OU racing produces its best season in team history

Wednesday, July 08, 2009 By Jay C. Upchurch In Norman, the University of Oklahoma has forged a football tradition steeped in history, filled with more than a century’s worth of colorful characters, unforgettable moments and unparalleled success. Across campus at the OU College of Engineering, the fan base pales in comparison. Saturday crowds are practically nonexistent and the roster of talent contains nary a single household name. Still, the Sooner racing team has managed to build a fairly respectable name for itself in the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) over the last few years. In fact, the 19-member crew — all mechanical engineering majors — recently finished off the most successful racing season in the program’s 15-year history. OU closed the 2009 season with consecutive top-5 finishes, including a fifth-place finish at the Formula-SAE West competition in Fontana, Calif. That field included 80 teams representing 10 countries and 24 states. And yes, Oklahoma bea

Cerato to receive Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers

Jana Smith, Director of Strategic Communications for R&D July 9, 2009 Norman, Okla.--Amy Cerato, assistant professor in the School of Civil Engineering and Environmental Science within the College of Engineering at the University of Oklahoma, is among 100 beginning researchers nationwide named by President Obama as a recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers starting their independent careers. “These extraordinarily gifted young scientists and engineers represent the best in our country,” President Obama said. “With their talent, creativity, and dedication, I am confident that they will lead their fields in new breakthroughs and discoveries and help us use science and technology to lift up our nation and our world.” Cerato is studying how to design and build robust foundations for critical infrastructures, particularly in marginal soils. She says the U.S. s