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Arizona Engineer Fall 2011

Arizona Engineer Fall 2011

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Fall 2011 edition of the UA College of Engineering alumni magazine.
Fall 2011 edition of the UA College of Engineering alumni magazine.

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Published by: UA College of Engineering on May 10, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial


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Published by the UA College of Engineering 
 Online at www.engineering.arizona.edu/news
Baja Racing Club
Best performancein club history
 Alumni old and newcelebrate tradition
 Alumni Echoes
Where are they andwhat are they doing?
Read this issue online
Scan the tag on p.16with your phone
 All Systems Go
 —Some of the 23 systems and industrial engineering team members who gave new life tothe Freeport-McMoRan vehicles. Left to right: Robbie Hart, Sean Martinez, Patrick Lewis and Jon Schwab.
College of Engineering
 /Pete Brown
Students and Mining Industry Team Upto Reanimate Robotic Mine Vehicles
In just 10 weeks, a group of University of
Arizona engineering students took ve crates
of surplus hardware and two
heavy-duty test vehicles, which
didn’t run, and mixed them with youthful
enthusiasm, tenacity and many long hours to build a couple of robotic vehicles that recently
drove themselves around UA’s test mine.This was no easy task, and some said the
 job was too big for the one-semester course:ENGR 450/550, autonomous vehicle systems.But they didn’t factor in the can-do attitude
of 23 undergraduate and graduate students,who were willing to put in late nights
following classes and day jobs.
In a single semester, a group of systems and industrial engineering studentsbuilt two autonomous mining vehicles from an abandoned test program and afew crates of spare parts donated by mining company Freeport-McMoRan.
 Arizona Engineer 
is published twice a yearfor alumni and friends of the University of Arizona College of Engineering. All contents © 2011 Arizona Board ofRegents. All rights reserved.The University of Arizona is an
equal opportunity, afrmative action
institution. The University prohibitsdiscrimination in its programs and activitieson the basis of race, color, religion, sex,national origin, age, disability, veteran status,sexual orientation or gender identity, and iscommitted to maintaining an environmentfree from sexual harassment and retaliation.
fall 2011 • volume 34 number 2
 Arizona Engineer 
is available online at
Many stories in this print edition have beenedited for length, and it is not feasible toinclude related multimedia material such
as video and audio les, and hyperlinks to
related websites.
To get the full story, look for the story
number by the
icon embedded inthe article, then go to the online edition andenter the story number in the search box.
34:2 fall 2011
The University of ArizonaCollege of EngineeringP.O. Box 210072Tucson, AZ 85721-0072
pete brown
Welcome back to UA Engineering. Ifyou do not like change, then the UA is
a bit unsettling right now. We are in themiddle of a presidential search processand even the football coach has beenchanged. Despite the uncertainty, we
are moving forward in our three key
missions of education, research andoutreach, and this edition of
Brighter, more diverse student body and bigger research expenditure signal bright future
contains articles from all threeof these areas.We had a great spring and summer, andwe are still on a roll this fall semester. All of our undergraduate programs werereaccredited in July, and we have a
freshman class that ranks among our
best ever academically.SAT scores and GPAs for this new classexceed previous years and are still thebest in the UA. It’s also our most diversefreshman class, with 26 percent womenand 37 percent from underrepresentedgroups. Our undergraduates are now21 percent women and 30 percent from
underrepresented groups. Our rst-year
retention is now better than 87 percent,the highest at the UA.Our Engineering 102 in High Schoolsprogram has helped enrollment andwe now have 20 Arizona schools andmore than 300 students enrolled.By any measure we are bringing
in great students and working
hard to give them a strongengineering education.In research, our expenditureswere almost $29 million,another record, and ourgraduate student numbers are up. Wealso had a great year in competitiveproposals, winning two Major Research
Infrastructure awards from NSF, and ve
new awards of more than $1 million.
This surge will provide new knowledge
and opportunities for our students and
boost our national rankings. We are
forging stronger ties with industry, andremain strongly committed to our landgrant mission to help the students andindustries important to Arizona.I hope that during the past six monthsyou have had the chance to connectwith our expanded development andcommunication teams, who havelaunched a monthly email newsletter to
keep all our alumni up to date on the
latest UA Engineering news.If you are in our neighborhood, I invite
you to drop by and see rst-hand what
we have been doing. Hope to see you inthe near future.Bear Down!
Email: jgoldberg@arizona.edu Telephone: 520.621.6594 Twitter: @UA_ENGR_Jeff_G
College Surges Forward Amid Change
UA Baja Racing placed 21st out of a eld
of 100 teams in the 2011 international
collegiate off-road racing competition,
a personal best for the student
engineering club.
One hundred student teams fromthe United States, Brazil, Canada,
France, Mexico,
Argentina, Israel, and
India converged on the PittsburgState University campus in Kansas inMay 2011 to compete in the Baja SAE
Collegiate Design Series, organized by
the Society of Automotive Engineers.
The last few years have seen the UA
Engineering club climb steadily up therankings. The team ascended from the back 20 in 2007 to come in 33rd in 2008and 2009, but wrecks and mechanicalproblems pushed them back to 52nd
and 53rd in 2010, when they entered
two cars.
34:2 fall 2011 
UA Baja Racing Gives Best Performance in
Club History at International Competition
With majors in computer engineeringand piano performance, JonathanGross was nameda 2011 laureate bynational engineering honor societyTau Beta Pi.Gross was cited by Tau Beta Pifor his achievements in the arts,and received a $2,500 cash awardand plaque in October at the TauBeta Pi Association’s 106th annualconvention in Indianapolis.“I am humbled to have been chosenfor this award, and will strive toconduct my life in a manner worthyof such an honor,” Gross said. Healso noted that the cash element ofthe award was well received. “I havebeen very fortunate during my timeas a student regarding scholarships,
but many are only designed to t the
standard four-year student,” he said.“Since pursuing computer engineeringand piano performance together puts
me on a longer track, it is nice toreceive some extra nancial assistanceas a result of my work in both elds.”
Key Player
—Tau Beta Pi laureateJonathan Gross giving a piano recital.
Tau Bate is Laureate
College of Engineering
 /Pete Brown
Got Mud?
—Josh Spivey powers the Baja Racing off-road vehicle through the mud at theSAE Collegiate Design Series race meet at Pittsburg State University in May 2011.
Courtesy of Tyler Spivey
The UA team showed race-hardened
engineering expertise this year with
a solid performance against theexperienced international eld. UA BajaRacing’s overall score was 668 points
out of a possible 1000.
“We built a really solid car this year,”
said Josh Spivey, who graduated in
May 2011 in mechanical engineeringand recently stepped down as UA BajaRacing club president. Spivey’s seniordesign project, which he and his design
team presented at Engineering Design
Day in May 2011, was building a drivetrain for the Baja racecar.The nal event, the endurance race, isan epic test of every aspect of the car’sdesign and driver’s ability, and carriesfully 40 percent of the overall pointsavailable. UA tackled the demandingcourse to nish 22nd in this event with281 points out of a maximum of 400.

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