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Arizona Engineer Fall 2008

Arizona Engineer Fall 2008

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Fall 2008 edition of the UA College of Engineering alumni magazine.
Fall 2008 edition of the UA College of Engineering alumni magazine.

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Published by: UA College of Engineering on Feb 19, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Lowells give $2 million to Mining and Geological Engineering
College of Engineering
 d  S  t  i  l   e s 
UA professor hopes little plastic boxes will excitemiddle school students
eBlocks arehands-on fun
Continued on Page 14
Visit our website at
Fall 2008
Vol. 31 • No. 2
Continued on Page 14
hile Sputnik-generation engi-neering graduates are retir-ing in their thousands, the National Academy o Sciences estimates only 6percent o today’s undergraduates areengineering majors.Te resulting “engineering gap”– with ar ewer engineers availableto replace those who are retiring –could cause America to all behind intechnology development and bringdisastrous economic consequences.Closing the gap is not impossible,but the question is: How do we inter-est more students in math and science?Part o the answer might be oundin a series o small, plastic boxes that were strewn across Susan Lysecky’sdesk recently.
Assistant Professor Susan Lysecky
(left) and graduate student Anuradha Phalke demonstratesome of the eBlocks they have designed and built. They hope these eBlocks, which can be linkedtogether to make electronics projects and test equipment, will show today’s middle school studentsthat science and math are not only worth studying but fun and exciting, too.
Lysecky, an assistant proessor inElectrical and Computer Engineer-ing, hopes these “eBlocks” will show today’s middle school students thatscience and math are not only worthstudying – but actually un andexciting.UA alumni J. David and EdithLowell have made a $2.06 million gitto create the David Lowell ProessionalProgram in Mineral Resources inMining and Geological Engineering.David Lowell is considered one o the world’s leading experts in miningexploration, having discovered morecopper ore than any other person inhistory. In 2002, he was inducted intothe American Mining Hall o Fame.Te $2.06 million is part o a $4.5million git the Lowells made to UA in January. Te other $2.5 million willgo toward construction o the new bas-ketball and volleyball practice acility northeast o McKale Memorial Center.Lowell received a bachelor’s degreein mining engineering rom the UA in1949 and a master’s degree in geology rom Stanord University in 1957.He obtained a proessional engineerdegree rom the UA in 1959. He alsoreceived honorary doctorates romUniversidad Nacional de San Marcosin Peru in 1998 and the UA in 2000. With rapid changes in technology,computer automation and robot-ics, Lowell and aculty in Miningand Geological Engineering (MGE)recognize the need to help miningexecutives stay competitive globally.Te Lowell Proessional Program inMineral Resources will be a distance-based master’s program that combinesengineering and management courses.“In addition to covering cutting-edge research in the eld, the program
In a resource-limited world, UA engineers are pioneering 
technologies for more efcient use of our nite natural resources
Engineering Solutionsto Social Challenges
Using ‘More info’
By Tom Peterson
 Arizona Engineer 
is published twiceyearly or alumni and riends o TeUniversity o Arizona College o Engineering. All contents © 2008 Arizona Board o Regents. All rights reserved.
Fall 2008 • Vol. 31, No. 2
   ©   U   A   /   R  o   b  e  r   t   W  a   l   k  e  r
 At the end o several stories in
 Arizona Engineer 
, you’ll nd a word orphrase under “More ino.” You can usethis phrase to search or a longer versiono that story at
. ypethe word or phrase into the search box atthe top right o the web page and click the magniying glass icon.
 You have probably been ollow-ing news o the successul PhoenixMars Mission, led by Te Univer-sity o Arizona, as it analyzes thepolar Martian soil or evidence o  water and other chemical species.Te intellectual pursuit o inor-mation about resources on Marscertainly captures our imagination.Perhaps less glamorous, butcertainly ar more critical, arethe resource challenges here onEarth that are in many waysunprecedented in history. Energy, water and natural resource needshave risen to levels that aect thepolitical and social iber o theentire globe.Our alumni and students areintegrally involved in the Phoenixmission. Similarly, the Collegeo Engineering and its aculty,students and alumni are doing theirpart to solve some o the technolog-ical problems on which hinge thebalanced use o the planet’s energy, water and other natural resources.Tis newsletter highlights a smallsample o this work.Not surprisingly, given our loca-tion in the sunny Southwest, someactivities in our college ocus onboth the benets and the potentialdangers o living in an area o highinsolation. Joe Simmons, head o the Department o Materials Scienceand Engineering, leads the univer-sitywide Arizona Research Instituteor Solar Energy (AzRISE).Under the supervision o Ray Kostuk, proessor in the Depart-ment o Electrical and ComputerEngineering, a group o engineer-ing students designed and builtinstrumentation that will evaluatethe eciency o photoconversiondevices. And a group o our seniordesign students is developing real-istic solar ovens that can, surpris-ingly, be used indoors.In addition, realizing the potentialdangers to long-term exposure tosolar rays, Jennier Barton, proes-sor o biomedical engineering, isdeveloping new methods or early detection o skin cancers and othercancers and abnormalities that existon the surace o tissues.Materials or construction andmanuacturing, such as copperand aluminum, are in highdemand as countries such asChina and India undergo substantialeconomic growth.David Lowell, College o Engi-neering alum and probably the world’s most prolic discoverero copper ore, has invested in aprogram here in mining engineer-ing that is designed to assist in thecontinuing education o miningengineers throughout the world.Loren Wood, engineer, nancialadviser and adventurer, has honoredhis ather with an endowed Proes-sorship in Aerospace and Mechani-cal Engineering. You can read about all thesedevelopments in engineering in thepages that ollow. Clearly, solutionsto many pressing societal problemsare only going to be ound throughengineering and technology. Ouraculty and students are contributingtangible solutions to some o theseproblems, and we’re proud o theprograms they represent.
Pete BrownE-mail: pnb@email.arizona.eduelephone: 520.621.6594
Matt Brailey Te University o Arizona is an equalopportunity, armative action institu-tion. Te University prohibits discrimi-nation in its programs and activitieson the basis o race, color, religion, sex,national origin, age, disability, veteranstatus, sexual orientation or genderidentity, and is committed to maintain-ing an environment ree rom sexualharassment and retaliation. Arizona Engineer, Te University o  Arizona, College o Engineering, P.O.Box 210072, ucson, AZ 85721-0072.
Daniel Marsh
 d  S  t  i  l   e s M a t   t   ai  l   e y 
UA’s new imaging lab opens its doors
Student wins $3,000in Michelin contest
USIF Director 
Supapan Seraphin (left) and Bryan Tracy, manager of the Materials Characterization
Lab at Spansion, during the USIF Open House. They are sitting in front of a Hitachi S3400N
scanning electron microscope that’s equipped with an X-ray spectrometer and Renishaw structuraland chemical analyzer.
Nearly 70 people rom Arizona’suniversities and their corporate sup-porters celebrated the ocial openingo UA’s new University Spectroscopy and Imaging Facilities (USIF) in April.USIF and its partners — HitachiHigh echnologies America, TermoFisher Scientic and Renishaw PLC— have teamed up to make state-o-the-art spectroscopy and imagingtechnologies available to Arizona’suniversities and high-tech industries.USIF gives researchers rom publicand private institutions, and romindustry, access to expensive state-o-the-art equipment that may not oth-erwise be available or would requireobtaining a grant, remodeling spaceand setting up equipment. Researcherspay to use the USIF acilities and vari-ous rates apply depending on whetheran investigator needs a technicianto operate the microscope and otheractors.
More info: USIF
 News Briefs 
UA ECE students win 2008 edition of the Intel Robotics Challenge
team o UA Electrical andComputer Engineering studentsdeeated three Arizona State Univer-sity teams in April to win the 2008 Arizona Robotics Challenge.Te all-senior team – ony Leung, Joe Joyce, John Stockbauer, Michael Anderson and Tanh Ho – was ableto overcome a server crash to win thecompetition against three teams rom Arizona State University.UAs sel-guided security robot, Aegis, demonstrated that it couldmap an unknown oor plan, avoidobstacles and detect intruders.Te challenge was held in an indooroce environment with a number o cubicles, which served as the testingground.Each team’s robot had to demon-strate its ability to learn the oor plano the testing ground by generatingand sending a map o the testing areato the monitor station.In addition, the robot had to detectobjects or people, send an alert andtransmit a video o the object orperson to the monitoring station.Te robot also had to track people itdetected and request a security code orpassword. Te robot also served as a realarm when it detected intense heat.“Even more than the engineer-ing skills the students showed, I
UA’s winning robotics team with faculty mentors M. Anthony Lewis (far left) and Charles Higgins (far right). Higgins and Lewis are associate professors in Electrical and Computer Engineering.
 was impressed with their ability to work under pressure, to makesignicant changes to their system with only 10 seconds to go,” said Associate Proessor Charles Hig-gins, one o the team’s advisors.“Tat’s the kind o leadership skillyou can’t really teach.”
More info: Robotics Challenge
i   on a S  t   a t   e Uni   e s i   t   y  p o t   o
Daniel Marsh, a junior inMining Engineering, won $3,000and an engraved plaque in the 2007Michelin Mining Essay Contest.Marsh was therst runner-up inthe contest.Experts romthe mining indus-try selected the winning essays.Te essays were judged on how  well they addressed the topic, as well as or creativity, originality andhow well the essay communicatedthe student’s thoughts.Students at 13 colleges and uni-versities throughout North Americaentered the contest, which is in itsthird year.Marsh submitted a 1,500-wordessay titled Mining Reclamationand Sustainability.
More info: Michelin

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