NASA Fellowship boosts engineering graduate student’s research project

TIantian Xiang's research focuses on learning more about land and atmosphere interactions . The knowledge can be used to improve water resources management.
TIantian Xiang’s research focuses on learning more about land and atmosphere interactions . The knowledge can be used to improve water resources management.

Support from the Earth and Space Fellowship program of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) will enable Arizona State University engineering doctoral student Tiantian Xiang to expand her examinations of hydrological processes in North America’s monsoon region.

Xiang’s studies in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment focus on hydrosystems engineering. Her research goal is to provide insights on how to improve water resources management in semi-arid regions such as the U.S. Southwest and northern Mexico.

She is among graduate students in earth science, astrophysics, heliophysics, engineering and planetary science from throughout the United States to be selected to receive fellowship grants from the NASA program.

Almost 400 students applied for the 2015 Earth Science Research fellowship awards. Fewer than 70 have been chosen to receive them.

Learn more about this fellowship and Xiang’s research project.

Sun Devil Racing Development earns SAE Baja awards

Sun Devil Racing Development, the student chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) on ASU’s Polytechnic campus, has earned two more SAE Baja Collegiate Design Series awards.

After earning the 10th overall award at their race in Maryland on May 10, 2015, the team’s off-road vehicle has now earned an 8th overall award from the International SAE Baja Competition held May, 29-31 in Portland, Oregon.

The competition brought together 115 teams from seven different countries, including India, Mexico, South Korea, the United Arab Emirates and Venezuela.

The Sun Devil Racing Development vehicle ran four races designed to test different criteria including hill climbing, acceleration, rock crawling and maneuverability. The overall award is based on the vehicle’s success across these four races, a four-hour endurance race and a presentation of the vehicle’s design, sales and cost. The team also earned a second place award in the rock crawl race—showcasing their excellent suspension system.

As the endurance race is designed to break even the toughest of off-road vehicles, electrical issues suffered during the race caused the team to miss a few laps. However, the team was quick to resolve the issues and get the car back on the track.

“Many cars broke suspension parts due to the course’s severe obstacles, but we did very well on them,” said Jim Contes, the team’s faculty advisor and an automotive engineering senior lecturer in the Polytechnic School.

Learn more about the SAE Baja team at the Polytechnic School and what it takes to research, design and build an off-road vehicle.

The team included manufacturing engineering students:
John Dolan, sophomore
Matthew Grunwald (team captain), recent graduate
Collin Johnson, senior
Josh Patton, senior
Julian Re, recent graduate
Jason Reichel, sophomore
Carl Scott, recent graduate
Zach Yeskey, junior

Written by Rose Serago
Originally published on Inner Circle

Engineering students invited to travel abroad for Fulbright Summer Institute

Johnson_Kaleigh_9686b Dorr_Brandon_FulbrightUK_2015

Two Fulton Schools students have been invited to the Fulbright Summer Institute—one of the most prestigious and selective summer programs operating worldwide.

Kaleigh Johnson, a chemical engineering junior, and Brandon Dorr, a biomedical engineering sophomore, will be traveling to the United Kingdom for four weeks to live and study at leading institutions.

Dorr will study at the University of Bristol beginning June 1, while Johnson will be at the University of Exeter beginning June 27.

Both Johnson and Dorr are students in Barrett, the Honor’s College at Arizona State University.

They also participate in the Fulton Undergraduate Research Initiative (FURI). Through FURI, Johnson is researching ways to economize the production of PHAs (bioplastics) from genetically modified E. Coli for potential applications in industry. She conducts this research in assistant professor David Nielsen’s lab.

Dorr is developing cellular regulators for genes of interest in improving growth characteristics of E. Coli. Working in assistant professor Xiao Wang’s lab, his research aims to create bacterial strains that aid in improved bioproduct production.

Johnson is also a member of the Grand Challenge Scholars Program, an individualized program for high-achieving engineering students, and Dorr is co-president of the ETHICS (Equity, Trustworthiness, Honor and Integrity in Corporate Society) Committee, an ASU student org that holds weekly meetings to discuss current ethical dilemmas and events.

The Fulbright Summer Program covers all participant costs. In addition, Johnson and Dorr receive visa processing support, a pre-departure orientation, enrichment opportunities in country, a re-entry session and the opportunity to join Fulbright alumni networks.

Undergrad earns poster award at cancer research conference

Nitish Peela, a sophomore studying biomedical engineering, received a top ten award for his poster presentation at the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Held April 18-22, the conference brought together researchers from all over the world to discuss and highlight the latest and most exciting discoveries in areas of cancer research—including treatments, diagnostics and prevention.

Nitish Peela
Nitish Peela

Peela’s presentation was entitled “Breast Cancer Cell Invasion in a Highly Organized Three-Dimensional (3-D) Tumor Model.”

It highlighted a portion of the research he conducts in Mehdi Nikkhah’s lab as an undergraduate researcher. Nikkhah is an assistant professor in the School of Biological and Health Systems Engineering, one of the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

“[In the Nikkhah Lab] we’re creating a physiologically relevant 3-D breast tumor model on a chip,” said Peela.

“This enables us to conduct accurate controlled studies on cancer invasion and develop causal relationships between microenvironmental cues and cancer cell behavior,” he added.

Continue reading Undergrad earns poster award at cancer research conference

Polytechnic SAE Baja team earns 10th place award despite collision

An off-road vehicle built by ASU students in the Polytechnic School put the endurance in Baja Endurance Race at this year’s Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) race in Mechanicsville, Maryland.

Team members Zach Yeskey (left) and Josh Patton (right) with their team’s 10th place award. Photo provided by Nancy Dickson
Team members Zach Yeskey (left) and Josh Patton (right) with their team’s 10th place award. Photo provided by Nancy Dickson

Built by the Polytechnic SAE Baja team, the off-road vehicle given number 42 finished 10th overall after enduring a collision and on-the-spot repairs during their four-hour race on May 10, 2015. The competition brought together 105 teams from across the country.

“The endurance race is conducted on a track that is designed to break your car,” said Jim Contes, the team’s faculty advisor and an automotive engineering senior lecturer in the Polytechnic School. The motocross track entails jumps, mud pits, rock piles and more.

Continue reading Polytechnic SAE Baja team earns 10th place award despite collision

Chemical engineering major awarded prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

Arizona State University engineering undergraduate Morgan Kelley (right) is doing research under the guidance of chemical engineering professor Lenore Dai (left). Kelley's research experience has helped her win a Goldwater Scholarship to support her in completing work for bachelor's degree. Photographer: Jessica Hochreiter/ASU
Arizona State University engineering undergraduate Morgan Kelley (right) is doing research under the guidance of chemical engineering professor Lenore Dai (left). Kelley’s research experience has helped her win a Goldwater Scholarship to support her in completing work for bachelor’s degree. Photographer: Jessica Hochreiter/ASU

Arizona State University chemical engineering student Morgan Kelley is among the academic high-achievers throughout the country to recently be awarded a Goldwater Scholarship — considered the premier undergraduate scholarship for mathematics, science and engineering majors.From more than 1,200 nominees she is one of 260 students — and one of 68 engineering majors — selected to receive the award that provides up to $7,500 per year to support completion of undergraduate studies.

The Goldwater Scholarship Program, honoring the late U.S. Sen. Barry Goldwater of Arizona, is intended to encourage outstanding students to pursue graduate studies and careers in engineering, science and mathematics fields.

Continue reading Chemical engineering major awarded prestigious Goldwater Scholarship

Students win first-place awards in geotechnical, construction engineering competition

A design created by ASU students was selected for the official t-shirt of the International Foundation Congress and Equipment Exposition.
A design created by ASU students was selected for the official t-shirt of the International Foundation Congress and Equipment Exposition.

A team of 17 Arizona State University civil engineering and construction engineering majors recently won top awards in the geotechnical engineering student competition at the International Foundation Congress and Equipment Exposition (IFCEE) in San Antonio, Texas.

The IFCEE is the world’s largest exhibition dedicated solely to the building foundation construction industry. It showcases technology related to design and construction of foundations and ground improvement systems for bridges, buildings, dams and other civil infrastructure.

The event was co-sponsored by the Geo-Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE), the Deep Foundation Institute, the Association of Drilled Shaft Contractors, and the Pile Driving Contractors Association.

Student competitions were held in five areas: geo-video production; t-shirt design; geo-prediction; mechanically stabilized earth wall construction and a geo-poster competition.

ASU’s team was the only one to qualify for all five competitions and to receive awards in three of them.

Continue reading Students win first-place awards in geotechnical, construction engineering competition

Students win first place at Hack to the Future competition

A talented group of hackers thrilled participants of the Hardware Weekend Series hack-a-thon with their modifications to a classic DeLorean DMC-12.

The Smoke and Mirrors team from ASU, including Cody Van Cleve, Frank Ross, Eric Person, Caleb Carlson, Josh Kosar, Deep Patel and Carly Thalman, created a chipKIT-based hack and earned a first place win at the Hardware Weekend, Phoenix Edition held March 28 and 29.

Event sponsor hackster.io provided a DeLorean DMC-12 in honor of the Hack to the Future themed event, which was hosted by Local Motors in Chandler. A total of 16 teams participated, competing for various prizes.

To give the car a true time-travelling look, the ASU team installed cool blue LED lighting throughout the car and dual alcohol burners with electronic ignition. The complex lighting, fuel pump and ignition systems were controlled by a chipKIT uC32 and Motor Control Shield from Digilent. The team had less than 18 hours to complete their project, which included multiple custom-mounted systems.

“The event was so much fun,” said Van Cleve. “We wired the Delorean with LED lights and used BBQ igniters to ignite Isopropyl alcohol to make the fire. This project was so “Poly.”

HKN Epsilon Beta earns Outstanding Chapter Award

The HKN (Eta Kappa Nu) Epsilon Beta Chapter at ASU was awarded an Outstanding Chapter Award from the IEEE-HKN national organization for the 5th year in a row.

Only around 20 of the 200 chapters receive this annual award. It is presented to the undergraduate chapters that showcase the most impressive records of scholarship and activities.

An example of one such activity was the HKN Career Mixer held during the fall semester, which brought together employers such as Intel, Texas Instruments, APS, Kimley Horne, Electron II International and Chrysler to network with more than 150 ASU students.

“Events like these put students names in front of recruiters and help foster a better relationship between ASU and industry,” said George Chen, president of the HKN Epsilon Beta Chapter.

Stephen Goodick, professor of electrical engineering, received the award on behalf of the ASU chapter at a ceremony in Hilton Head, South Carolina in March 2015.

IEEE-HKN is the International Honor Society of IEEE and is dedicated to recognizing excellence in fields such as electrical engineering, computer engineering, computer systems engineering and computer science. Outstanding juniors and senior in these areas of study are elected to the HKN Epsilon Beta Chapter at ASU.

Computer science senior wins top award in startup competition

ASU computer science student Taylor Meeks was part of team that won the top award in a recent business startup competition.

Meeks and two others joined software engineer Mark Tucker, one of the successful pitch makers, to work on a venture called FunCast. Its product is a party trivia game called Boast, played with an iPad or other tablet devices, with game information displayed on a TV screen using Chromecast, a digital media player.

Startup Weekend: Phoenix Global Startup Battle, hosted by Seed Spot,  a local nonprofit business incubator that aids social entrepreneurs, attracted more than 50 people looking to learn more about how to develop their ideas for tech-based ventures.

Meeks expects to receive his bachelor’s degree in the spring after completing studies in the computer science program in the School of Computing, Informatics, and Decision Systems Engineering.

Read Tech startup competition reinvigorates computer science senior on In the Loop