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UTA researchers are applying
insights from engineering
to improve medical training,
increase patient safety, and
ensure quality of care for all.
The newly opened
Science & Engineering
Innovation & Research
building on the UTA
campus creates a Volume VII / 2018
collaborative space
where researchers
from the colleges of
engineering, science,
and nursing and
health innovation can
push the boundaries
of knowledge.

After the Storm

UTA civil
professors were
there before and after
Hurricane Harvey to
help cities weather the
storm—and prepare
for the next one.


02 Dispatch Engineering
03 Lab Notes Health Care

04 Faculty Researchers from
06 Research the Department
of Industrial,
08 Classroom Manufacturing, and
20 Beyond the Lab Systems Engineering
22 Class Notes are helping make
health care safer and
24 Re-Engineered 10 In Depth more efficient.

Peter E. Crouch
s e n i o r a s s o c i at e d e a n
f o r a c a d e m i c a f fa i r s
Lynn Peterson

Encouraging a s s o c i at e d e a n f o r
g r a d u at e a f fa i r s
Erick Jones

Innovation a s s o c i at e d e a n f o r r e s e a r c h
Anand Puppala

a s s i s ta n t d e a n f o r
reativity and innovation are prized s t u d e n t a f fa i r s
J. Carter Tiernan
concepts in the field of engineering.
senior direc tor
Many of our students—and indeed, o f c o m m u n i c at i o n s
and marketing
many of you—are engineers because they Jeremy Agor
have a natural curiosity and desire to find direc tor of
solutions to problems, make life easier, or marketing services Endowed
just experiment and analyze the results.
Tracey Faulkinbury Chair
Through a gift from
As a College of Engineering, an integral DIVISION OF INSTITUTIONAL local couple Mike

part of our mission is to help our students ADVANCEMENT and Sunny Dolabi,
UTA has established
vice president the Mike and Sunny
learn how to be innovators and encourage Deborah (Dee) J. Robinson Dolabi Endowed
their creativity. Many of our faculty, stu- editorial direc tor Chair to promote
research, innovation,
dents, and alumni are entrepreneurs, and we Jessica Bridges
and the development
are putting in place mechanisms to encour- designer of best practices in
Brody Price the areas of business
age more to make that leap. logistics, supply
contributor chain management,
The College hosted its inaugural Innovation Day in April. More than 160 Herb Booth systems engineer- UTA's Formula
ing, and operations SAE team
graduate and undergraduate students presented over 90 projects throughout raced its 1998
management. The
the day, including 42 Research Experience for Undergraduates projects fund- endowed chair will competition car at
be used to recruit a an international
ed by the College, 15 senior design projects, and dozens by graduate students. renowned professor event in England.

I also had the pleasure of attending several departments’ senior design who will strengthen
UTA Engineer is published

Revisiting the Past

showcases at the end of the spring semester, and I was duly impressed and annually by the Division of research efforts at
Institutional Advancement. UTA.
inspired by our students. These events make powerful statements about the

Reproduction in whole or part “As local business
without written permission owners, we are
quality of our students and the education they receive at UTA. is prohibited. The comments always looking for wenty years after winning its first inter- they split with two wins apiece. Despite its age, the
From a University standpoint, the new Science & Engineering Innovation and opinions expressed in this ways to enhance our
magazine do not necessarily business operations, national championship, UTA’s Formu- car also registered several head-turning runs on the
& Research building is bringing with it opportunities for faculty pursuing represent those of The Univer- and UTA’s contin- la SAE team returned to the site of the track, and alumnus driver Ken Hassler won the Most
sity of Texas at Arlington or the ued excellence in
interdisciplinary research in the health care field, including several from en- staff of UTA Engineer. Copyright victory, England. The milestone, which Entertaining Driver award. The 2018 car finished
both business and
gineering, to collaborate in making advancements in the fight against cancer, 2018, The University of Texas at fell in July, coincided eighth of 100 teams.
“The organizers were
engineering makes
Arlington. UTA does not dis- it an ideal place to with the 20th anniversary of the Being invited back to drive the
heart disease, and other public health issues. criminate on the basis of race,
stunned that we had
combine fields that Formula Student United Kingdom 1998 car was an experience of a
color, national origin, religion, will have a far-reach-
In this issue of UTA Engineer, you’ll read about innovations by faculty in age, gender, sexual orientation, competition. lifetime, Hassler says. “The ’98
the original car. We
ing impact,” says Mike
the Industrial, Manufacturing, and Systems Engineering Department, as well disabilities, genetic information, Dolabi, who studied The event’s previous 20 win- car is very special because it’s
and/or veteran status in the edu-
gave them a taste of
electrical engineering ners were invited to the anniver- one of the first where we were
as how faculty from the Civil Engineering Department took leadership roles cational programs or activities at UTA and is now the
it operates. For more info, visit sary celebration at Silverstone starting to master handling and
what the technology
in helping communities plan for and respond to Hurricane Harvey. Our inno- president and owner For info regarding of National Autobody Circuit racetrack. UTA brought it had a unique 4-cylinder engine
vative spirit exemplifies outside-the-box thinking! Title IX, visit
was like back then.”
Parts Warehouse. the 1998 competition car, three package that could hit 19,000
College of Engineering “We are confident this
UTA Box 19019 chair-holder will not members from that team, and rpm. Unlike the European teams,
Arlington, TX 76019 only change the way the 2018 car and team for several days of racing and we actually keep our cars every year and drive them.
we do business, but
Peter E. Crouch 817-272-3682 memories. The organizers were stunned that we had the original
will also revolution- ize how we look at The 1998 car participated in four drag races car. We gave them a taste of what the technology was
DE A N, C OL L E G E OF E N GI N E E R I N G industry.” against last year’s winner, Cardiff University, which like back then.”


Hullender, who started at UTA in brings the number of NAI fellows
 1970. “It’s never seemed like a at UTA to 12, the highest number

Professor job. I enjoy teaching students and

often I learn from them as well.” NUMBER WISE
of any university in Texas.
“Dereje Agonafer is a passion-

Elected The award, established in 1958

to recognize outstanding col-
ate contributor and dedicated
teacher in his field who has been
President lege professors across Texas, is
given annually to 15 educators to
at the forefront of new technolo-
gies around thermal engineering,
Civil engineering Professor Jim
honor their dedication to teaching many of which are now routinely
Williams is the new president of
and their outstanding academic practiced in the industry, reduc-
Chi Epsilon, the national civil en-
achievement. Hullender is the ing product development lead
gineering honor society. The or-
11th UTA professor to receive the times and costs,” says Chandra-
ganization has 141 chapters across
award. kant Patel, chief engineer of HP
the country and has inducted
“Instilling self-confidence to be Inc. and HP senior fellow.
more than 132,000 members.
Academy of
a lifelong learner starting in the Election as an NAI fellow is a
Dr. Williams, who will serve a
classroom is Professor Hullen- high honor bestowed upon aca-
two-year term, was elected at the
der’s mantra as teacher and men- demic innovators and inventors
biennial Chi Epsilon Convention,
fellows from
tor,” says Erian Armanios, chair who, according to the academy,
which was held at UTA in March.
of the Department of Mechanical have demonstrated a “prolific
the College of
“I’m honored and a little bit
and Aerospace Engineering. “To spirit of innovation in creating or
surprised,” says Williams, who
quote one of his former students: facilitating outstanding inven- Dereje Agonafer
joined UTA in 1986. “Our goals
Dr. Hullender’s teaching is a life tions and innovations that have is the newest UTA
are to strengthen existing chap- faculty member
experience both through in-depth made a tangible impact on quality
ters, develop new chapters, and named a National
view of the course material and of life, economic development, Academy of
expand leadership opportunities
real engineering problems.” and the welfare of society.” Inventors fellow.
for our members. We also plan to
In 2014, Hullender won the de-
sharpen our focus on engineer-
partment’s Most Valuable Faculty
ing ethics. We have to remember
award. He also received the 2008
our responsibility to the public in
Lockheed Martin Excellence in
everything we do.”
Teaching Award, the 1983 Out-
“Dr. Williams truly cares about
standing Teacher in the College of
our students and tries to make
Engineering, and the 1972 Young
them exemplary in every respect,”
Engineer of the Year sponsored
says Ali Abolmaali, chair of the
by the Fort Worth Chapter of the
Civil Engineering Department and
Texas Society of Professional
a Chi Epsilon member. “His elec-
SPOTLIGHT tion to this national post helps
He earned his doctorate at the
accomplish his goals for those

Women in Tech Awards

Massachusetts Institute of Tech-
nology and his bachelor’s and

master’s degrees from Oklahoma
State University.
anli liu, an expert in brain imaging and professor in the Bio- 

engineering Department, was among 26 women selected by the Outstanding 

Dallas Business Journal as winners of the 5th annual Women in Teaching Agonafer
Technology Awards. The awards celebrate and honor female tech maver-
icks who are forging the way for both women and future tech leaders in
Awarded Named NAI
David Hullender, a longtime
Dallas-Fort Worth. “I am honored and humbled to be recognized at the professor of mechanical and
aerospace engineering, has been
Women in Technology Awards,” Dr. Liu says. “I am proud to be included named a 2018 Piper Professor by
The election of Dereje Agonafer,
Jenkins Garrett Professor in the
alongside these brilliant women as an example of the influence that the San Antonio–based Minnie
Mechanical and Aerospace Engi-
Stevens Piper Foundation.
women in the Dallas-Fort Worth area have on their organizations and the “I’m honored and humbled
neering Department, to the Na-
tional Academy of Inventors (NAI)
greater community.” to receive this award,” says Dr.


and diagnose congenital heart tries using robots that wish to re- SPOTLIGHT

Higher-Speed Internet
conditions that could then be duce the time of on-site training
treated with gene therapy.” or retraining of workers, as well
as prevent workplace accidents.

“iWork will produce personal-
 ized, low-cost vocational training n article published by electrical engineering Professor

solutions that have huge econom-
Michael Vasilyev in Nature Communications detailed an exper-
ic and societal impacts,” Make-

for Robot don says. “It could impact mil-

lions of people seeking to retrain
imental demonstration of an optical medium in which multiple
beams of light can autocorrect their own shapes without affecting one
Co-Workers for a manufacturing job, includ-
ing those facing a type of learning another. The project, funded by the National Science Foundation, enables
As automation becomes a sta- or aging disability or returning
ple of the manufacturing sector, simultaneous nonlinear-optical processing of multiple light beams by
from military service with some
vocational training for people health issues.” a single device without converting them to electrical form, opening the
who work alongside robots will be
increasingly important. way for this technology to reach its full multi-Terabit per second potential,
Fillia Makedon, a professor  which would result in cheaper and more energy-efficient high-speed inter-
in the Department of Computer
Science and Engineering, and Monitoring net communications. Dr. Vasilyev collaborated on the project with Taras I.

Concrete Lakoba, a mathematics professor at the University of Vermont.

her team are developing iWork, a
smart, robot-based system that
assesses workers’ skills while
they perform simulated manufac- Bridges
turing tasks. Texas has hundreds of bridg-
Dr. Makedon’s Heracleia es, most of which are concrete.
Human Centered Computing Civil engineering Professor Nur
Laboratory conducts experiments Yazdani is working with the Texas
to study how best to train and Department of Transportation to
prepare workers, both with and ensure that the vital infrastruc-
without disabilities, for the in- ture remains safe for years to
dustry of the future, where work- come.
Juhyun Lee, seated,  Victoria Messerschmidt and Zach ers must safely and efficiently He and his team will inspect
is developing a Bailey, two doctoral students, and collaborate with advanced robots. and evaluate new and existing
microscope to
capture motion Constructing Richard Bryant, who is seeking iWork will assess in real-time concrete bridge components using

a Beating
and construct a his master’s degree, are assisting cognitive skills, including at- non-destructive methods and will
4D beating heart. on the project. tention and task awareness; the determine the true load capac-

Heart in 4D “We are trying to understand

biological forces through en-
physical and collaborative abili-
ties of a person to work with a ro-
ity of bridges to ensure that the
posted weights represent what
Juhyun Lee, an assistant professor gineering,” says Dr. Lee. “This bot; weaknesses; and the special the bridges can actually support.
in the Bioengineering Depart- research is still in its basic needs required for personalized They will also test the perfor-
ment, is working to determine stages, but what we learn now training and/or rehabilitation. mance of a carbon-fiber-rein-
how blood flow and cardiac could someday allow doctors to The research is closely con- forced polymer wrapping that
muscle contraction affect gene pre-identify heart abnormalities nected to manufacturing indus- is less than one-half millimeter
development that leads to ven- thick and stronger than steel for
tricular chamber development in possible future bridge repairs.

the heart. “Making safer structures makes
He is using a two-year, transportation safer and benefits
$154,000 Institutional Research
Grant from the American Heart
U.S. patents the community,” Dr. Yazdani
says. “If a bridge suffers a cat-
Association to develop a new mi-
croscope that can capture 3D mo-
issued to College astrophic failure, there’s a huge
cost in terms of social, financial,
tion, then add time to construct
a 4D beating heart using optical
faculty in 2017 and time losses, so anything we
can do to make it easier to inspect
imaging techniques with fluores- bridges and quickly address is-
cent nanoparticles in a zebrafish. sues beforehand is important.”


 she wanted to study civil engi- is pursuing a master’s degree at

Designed to
neering. This passion recently UTA.
was rewarded when she was NUMBER WISE “I feel like UTA has prepared

Help with named one of 10 “New Faces

of Civil Engineering, Collegiate
me well for my future in this
field,” Frias says. “The classes

Disabilities Edition” for 2018 by the American

Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
and electives reflect what em-
ployers in the field are looking
Assistive technologies, including The program recognizes civil for, and I really like the profes-
those based on artificial intel- engineering students for their sors here. They do a great job and
ligence, can shape how people academic accomplishments and put a lot of effort into making
with disabilities navigate daily
tasks. However, what seems like
commitment to serving others.
As an undergrad, Frias was
foreign sure we learn what we need to be
successful. That really makes a
a good idea to an engineer in a involved in several student countries difference.”
lab doesn’t always translate to
the real world when a person
organizations, including UTA’s
ASCE Student Chapter, where
with a disability tries to use the she served as president, concrete by current At the College 
UTA computer scientists
canoe design sub-captain, and
historian. She was also a member
engineering of Engineering's
Innovation Celebrating
and faculty associated with the
disability studies minor in the
of the Engineering Student Coun- students Day, students
displayed and
cil and was named the College’s explained their
College of Liberal Arts were
awarded a grant from the Nation-
Ms. Engineer in 2017. Now, she research to guests
and judges. Innovation Day
al Science Foundation to create a More than 160 graduate and
campuswide assistive technology undergraduate students present-
program that will teach under- ed their research at the College’s
graduate students—especially inaugural Innovation Day, show-
minorities, women, and students casing the transformative re-
with disabilities—how to design search being performed in UTA’s
assistive technology to help re- engineering laboratories.
duce barriers faced by people with “Our inaugural College of
disabilities. Engineering Innovation Day was
“We’re excited about this grant a successful display of our stu-
because it will give students re- dents’ work,” says Peter Crouch,
search experience while they gain dean of the College of Engineer-
SPOTLIGHT a deeper understanding of the ing. “It was wonderful to see so

Dreams Come True

barriers encountered by people many students showing their
with disabilities and the value of research, and I was impressed by

universal design, or designing for the quality of their work. It was
a wide range of bodies and abili- also gratifying to see the excite-
enior Justin Hawthorne isn’t your average engineering student. ties,” says Sarah Rose, director of ment with which they present-
He is a motivational speaker, runs a clothing drive in Dallas called the disability studies minor. ed their research to guests and
Computer science and engi- judges. The support of our many
Clothing the Homeless, and spent last year in a professional neering Professor Ishfaq Ahmad sponsors—both financially and
internship with the Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing, and Engineering is principal investigator on the in their presence at the event—
grant. was very much appreciated. I
Services teams at Walt Disney World Resort in Florida—all while pursuing hope that these interactions will
dual majors in mechanical and aerospace engineering. “I contributed to further strengthen our ties to
 industry in the future.”
several projects at Disney World, including installing domestic water lines
Judges rated the posters and
so cast members could easily access drinking water,” Hawthorne says. “I projects throughout the day and

was hired in part because of my experience using SolidWorks and Auto- Commitment chose winners in each category,
plus L3/Link Innovation Awards
CAD, which I learned in MAE 1351. I made the most of this opportunity, and Rewarded for one undergraduate and one
graduate project. The awards for
I can’t thank Carole Coleman in the College’s Internship and Co-Op Office Ever since she was a preteen in the inaugural Dean’s Freshman
enough for helping me realize this dream.” middle school, Maria Frias knew Challenge were also presented.



Health Care
adio frequency iden-
tification (RFID) was
Smart Scarf
originally conceived
RFID sensors in a
for use in supply chain
scarf or hat allow
management to allow doctors to monitor
companies to inventory warehouses Embedded EEGs unobtrusively
more efficiently. But the technolo- Microchip and determine
Patients could be if women’s post-
gy has subsequently proven useful
responsible for Smart Sheet
in hundreds of applications. Now, partum sleep
their own health Hospital bedsheets
patterns are harmful.
UTA’s RAID (RFID and AutoID) Lab are embedded with
records by using RFID
is applying it to health care. technology to scan a RFID sensors to
Erick Jones, RAID Lab director, microchip embedded ensure that they are
associate dean in the College of in their body. clean and to monitor
how often nurses
Engineering, and a professor in the
turn the patient.
Industrial, Manufacturing, and Sys-
tems Engineering Department, has
explored using the technology to
prevent surgeons from accidentally
leaving medical sponges and med-
ical devices inside patients, to track
patient movement and medication
usage, and to perform brain scans
unobtrusively. He is also investigat-
ing how to use electrical impulses Detection &
from RFID sensors to stimulate Tracking of
tissue growth. Patients
RFID is often preferable to build- RFID chips could be
ing unique, traditional sensors for embedded into a
each product because economies patient’s clothing or
a hospital wristband
of scale make it difficult to broadly
to track movement
implement the latter without cost
in a room, such Smart Surgical
becoming an issue. In contrast, Smart Pill as falling out of Glove & Smart
RFID allows engineers to get their Pills are equipped bed or walking to Sponge
products to the market and helping with RFID technology the bathroom. An RFID sensor in
patients faster. to track whether the sponge is easily
and when patients detected by RFID
“We have created a wide range
are taking their sensors in the glove,
of products with health care ap-
medications. making it simple to
plications,” Dr. Jones says. “This
locate and remove
technology is a good fit for use in the sponge without
health care because it can be incor- unnecessarily
porated into items that will be used moving organs.
inside the body or to ensure higher
standards of patient care.”


When Hurricane Harvey finished
wreaking havoc on the Texas
Engineers from The University of
Texas at Arlington were there before,
during, and after the storm.
Civil engineering Assistant Professor
Nick Fang helped emergency officials in
Houston’s medical district—the larg-
coast, UTA engineers were there est medical center in the world—plan
how to proceed before and during the
to help cities recover—and hurricane, while Associate Dean Anand
prepare for the next disaster. Puppala swept into Beaumont to help
with the recovery by mapping the re-
sulting trash, debris, and street disrepair
A UTA team with unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs).
used UAVs to Both men and their teams played critical
capture aerial
images of roles in preserving life and property and
debris piles helping communities deal with Harvey
in Beaumont and its aftermath.
after Hurricane
Harvey to help
the city assess Preparing for a Disaster
the scope of While earning his doctorate at Rice
the cleanup.
University in the mid-2000s, Dr. Fang

began developing a radar-based flood
warning system for the university and
n August 25, 2017, Hurricane Harvey made Houston’s Texas Medical Center. In
landfall on the Texas coast. The Category 4 the decade since, he has expanded and
refined his system, in part by collecting
storm swirled above South Texas, moving data on Brays Bayou during the state’s
previous worst flooding events.
inland and dropping more than 4 feet of rain. When As Hurricane Harvey approached
Houston, officials from Rice and Texas
the skies finally cleared and the water receded, the Medical Center called on Fang and his
region was left with $125 billion in damage and a radar to provide inundation updates for
Brays Bayou, the Rice campus, and Texas
long recovery. Medical Center based on the estimat-


After the Storm
ed rainfall—between 7 and 20 inches, A&M University at Galveston to under- collaborative located at Rice. In addi- develop more effective flood warning to an event or action. Dr. Puppala’s team give a better picture of the scope of the
according to the National Oceanic and stand how such a devastating weather tion to Fang and Rice professors, its capabilities. included Junzhou Huang, an associate problem. Being able to accurately assess
Atmospheric Administration—so they event affects coastal ecological systems researchers hail from the University “City officials need to know how rain professor in the Department of Comput- how much debris needs to be removed
could better prepare and initiate effec- and coastal erosion. of Houston, UT Austin, UT Rio Grande events will affect runoff so they can er Science and Engineering, and a group and make accurate cost estimates is im-
tive emergency plans. “We used our MavAir fleet of UAVs Valley, Texas A&M University, Texas decide whether and when to close roads of LSU researchers led by Navid Jaffari. portant because it allows agencies to be
In addition, the U.S. Army Corps of to collect coastal terrain and vegeta- Southern University, Louisiana State and dispatch emergency personnel to Surya Sarat Chandra Congress, a civil more prudent with how taxpayer mon-
Engineers, the State Operations Center, tion data,” Fang says. “The UAVs are University, and Vieux Inc. keep people safe,” Fang explains. “They engineering doctoral student, and Cody ey is spent, and it also helps safeguard
and the Texas Division of Emergency equipped with several state-of-the-art Pre-disaster flights were conduct- need to know what’s next, and we Lundberg, a research engineer at the against trucking firms that may over-
Management for state emergency opera- sensors that can collect imagery in the ed in Brazoria and Galveston counties, can help them better understand how UTA Research Institute, also participat- charge for their services based on low
tions incorporated Fang’s data into their visible, near-infrared and longwave along Galveston and Follett’s islands. weather will affect their cities.” ed in the project. They piloted the UAV, estimates of the number of truckloads it
plans. He held daily conference calls near-infrared, or thermal spectrums, “We believe that we were the first and created flight paths and waypoints, and will take to complete the job.”
with emergency personnel to coordinate which enabled us to classify different maybe the only group collecting data Cleaning up the Aftermath geotagged the images using a high-pre- In addition to debris piles, Puppala’s
the mapping for 22 watersheds in Harris coastal vegetation types efficiently and near the landfall location before Hurri- After Hurricane Harvey was finished cision global navigation satellite system. team also applied techniques learned
County until the storm dissipated. effectively.” cane Harvey hit,” Fang notes. pummeling Beaumont last September, The UAV was flown over 15 stockpiles in through a separate TxDOT contract
“We provided information that en- He and his team have been working After the storm, the researchers residents began the process of restoring the Beaumont area, which took about 15 to assess the condition of roads and
abled them to better understand the im- with the Severe Storm Prediction, Edu- returned to the shoreline to see how it their neighborhoods. Soon, construction minutes per stockpile. The team then highways in Beaumont. Some roadways
pact and consequences of a most power- cation, and Evacuation from Disasters, changed. They found that there wasn’t debris, trash, and other items began built 3D computer models and ortho- showed signs of rutting and cracking
ful natural disaster—Hurricane Harvey— or SSPEED, Center to study the impact of much damage from storm surge, al- lining the streets in growing piles. photos, which it used to estimate the that indicated that they might have sus-
and plan effective measures properly,” natural hazards on coastal communities though the surge had carried a lot of Anand Puppala, associate dean for volume and area of the stockpiles to tained damage that wasn’t immediately
Fang says. “The impact from Harvey in Texas and to develop flood mitigation sand with it. research in the College of Engineering centimeter-grade accuracy. visible. Since UAVs can give a view of an
was just unprecedented in Texas.” and warning systems for the region. The “The data we collected can be used in and a professor in the Civil Engineering “After a disaster such as this, there are area that may be inaccessible due to road
UTA partnered with Rice and Texas SSPEED Center is a multiparty research the future to prepare for major storms,” Department, led a team to help map a hundred things happening at once and conditions or remote locations, collect-
it’s hard to understand the scope of the ing this data along with the primary
cleanup,” Congress says. “We gave the project data is important for agencies
city of Beaumont the tools and the data making repairs to infrastructure after a
it needed to make it easier to manage major storm. (The city had earlier used
costs and allow people’s its own UAV to find
lives to return to normal. where chemicals
We also provided an ac- “We believe that were leaking from
curate representation of we were the first local factories dam-
the debris so officials had
a better idea of the ac-
and maybe the aged in the storm.)
Ali Abolmaali,
tual situation and could only group the Tseng Huang
budget for and prioritize collecting data Chair of the Civil
areas in their response Engineering De-
near the landfall partment, believes
Since their return location before Fang’s and Pup-
from Beaumont, Puppala
Hurricane pala’s projects are
and his team have taken examples of how
the UAV surveys, cali- Harvey hit.” UTA researchers can
brated the volumes of the be agile and posi-
debris stockpiles, and compared them tively affect the wellbeing of the state in
with landfill volumes. They are devel- the area of Global Environmental Impact,
oping an algorithm to help agencies and a theme in UTA’s Strategic Plan 2020:
community managers quickly determine Bold Solutions | Global Impact.
how many trucks to order to remove “The use of unmanned vehicles has
debris after storms in the future so they opened new opportunities for civil en-
Clockwise from Fang says. “We’re also looking at the trash, debris, and street disrepair in the can better predict cleanup costs. They gineers to make a difference in disaster
top left: Nick Fang vegetation along the shoreline. We can city. The researchers used UAVs to create will also work with their counterparts recovery efforts,” he says. “Drs. Puppala
describes his
Houston bayou already see that the wash has changed highly accurate 3D and profile maps of at LSU to compare their data with data and Fang and their teams were able to
flood data to a group the vegetation distribution, which is the detritus so the city would know the collected by cellphones on the ground respond quickly and develop procedures
of water experts; important data for future research in full extent of what it needed to remove. and make both methodologies available to provide accurate inundation maps and
Hurricane Harvey
as seen from space; coastal resiliency.” This work was funded by a National to users. information about debris volumes that
Anand Puppala Back in Arlington, he is working with Science Foundation RAPID grant. RAPID “Collecting data with a cellphone is helped Houston and Beaumont in their
(left) and his team leaders in Grand Prairie and Carrollton stands for Rapid Response Research and less expensive, but using a UAV can preparations and recovery efforts. Their
map debris left by
Harvey in Beaumont. to develop inundation maps for several is a funding mechanism for research be done quickly and is more accurate,” findings will be useful in future efforts
low-water crossings so the cities can proposals that are submitted in response Puppala says. “Combining data will in similar hazard events.” ₪


rin g W
ith the opening of the Science &

e r
Engineering Innovation & Research

building this fall, The University of

Texas at Arlington is embarking on a new era in

n C
health science research. Faculty from the College

of Engineering are helping lead the way.

In addition to making headline-grabbing

breakthroughs in cancer, brain trauma, and car-

n t
dio-pulmonary disease, College of Engineering

E eal
researchers are looking at the health care indus-
try itself, analyzing the delivery of care, moni-
toring of patients, and training of professionals
to increase quality and efficiency of treatment for

ial, al
str eq
u Training Medical Students
indu ve th ers. Department of Industrial, Manufacturing, and
om ro id
ht s fr o imp p rov Systems Engineering (IMSE) Chair Paul Com-
ig t d
ing nts an
ponation and Associate Professor Susan Ferreira
g ins e r have worked with UT Southwestern (UTSW)
yin ine tie
appl s eng or pa Medical Center since 2015 to present a patient

rs are stem care f safety and quality improvement “boot camp” for

a rche nd sy ealth medical, nursing, and engineering students. The

ese ing, a y of h boot camp has developed into a partnership be-
TAr ur et
act d saf
tween UTA’s College of Engineering and College
U f
nu n of Nursing and Health Innovation and UTSW’s
ma ncy, a Department of Quality, Safety, and Outcomes
cie Education.
effi The camp is a focused, one-week, 40-hour
course, followed by an 11-week application-ori-
ented project in UTSW clinics and labs. It was
created in response to a change in regulations
that required health care professionals to be
trained in continuous quality improvement with
an eye on cost efficiency and patient safety. While
some classes presented introductions to the topic,
none delivered the focused classroom training
and application-oriented practicum needed.
The boot camp delivers classroom instruction
on quality improvement methodology through
daily participation in team activities and simula-
tions. The students are also given a health system
case study with a detailed database of relevant
quality issues, patient safety issues, and medical
data. To successfully complete the course and
solve the case study, they must combine their
individual discipline skills with their new quality
improvement tools. Additionally, the course has
the teams work with UTSW/UTA researchers on
health care-focused projects over the summer.
Recent examples of these projects include im-
proving transfer care for cardiothoracic surgery
patients and evaluating EMR (electronic medical
records) opioid interventions.
“The UTSW/UTA partnership is helping us pre-
pare our next generation of health care providers


intended to reduce patient harm and improve useful information from the data for disease mine how a negative event in surgery can affect a
patient outcomes in the future as physicians diagnosis?” cardiac surgeon’s performance in the future.
and the rest of the health care team perform the Next, Kan hopes to use heterogeneous sen- Because cardiac patients have assorted risk
standardized procedure,” she says. “The UTSW/ sor fusion to incorporate other bio-signals and factors, each surgery differs in complexity. If a
UTA collaboration has already paid dividends, images to give a much more in-depth look at surgeon has a psychological shock from losing a
with other projects branching off from the boot everything that a cardiac patient is experiencing. patient during a procedure, it could affect his or
camp, including a study on chronic disease con- For example, if an anomaly were detected, the her next surgery. Zhou hopes to lessen this risk
trol in Dallas County. In this project, researchers doctor could bring the patient in for an MRI, then to patients by using control factors—for example,
from both universities are looking at incidences use the image and EKG data together to detect patients’ predicted risk factors based on clinical
of chronic disease and how they are influenced by damage from a cardiac infarction or other event, indices and a surgeon’s past performances—to
factors such as access to healthy food, communi- giving the cardiologist multiple sources of infor- predict the surgeon’s performance on his or her
ty support, transportation, and education.” mation on which to base a diagnosis.
In the future, he would like to take his process
From Manufacturing to Cardiac Care to the microscale and look at ion channels that
Heart disease is the No. 1 killer in the world, ac- regulate cardiac processes to detect distress in
cording to the World Health Organization. At UTA, the earliest stage.
IMSE Assistant Professor Chen Kan is developing
new techniques to detect anomalies in cardiac Applying Systems Modeling to
electrical activity that would help physicians Health Care
identify potential problems and begin treatment Yuan Zhou, an assistant professor in the IMSE
at an early stage to save lives. Department, is applying modeling techniques to subsequent surgeries and create better manage- Yuan Zhou tracked
Dr. Kan has research interests in both ad- research involving the spread of disease in public ment processes to improve patient safety. how the flu spreads on
vanced manufacturing and smart health. For places. She’s also investigating whether a nega- To do this, Zhou and her colleagues will first the UTA campus. The
boxes represent (from
cardiac care in particular, he is developing tive outcome in one surgery affects a surgeon’s look at any mortality cases that a surgeon has ex- left) a single classroom,
mathematical models to extract key biomarkers performance in successive ones. perienced in the past at a given time, then at his the University Center,
from sensory data like EKGs, then use process Using an agent-based simulation model, or her performance during the following surger- and the Library. The
dots in the figures
monitoring techniques such as control charts to Dr. Zhou is looking at micro-level behavior of ies, measuring the times in between. above represent
identify abnormal cardiac activity and provide students, faculty, and staff on the UTA campus “We expect that the longer a surgeon waits students, faculty,
the results to cardiologists. The doctors can then to determine how the flu spreads through inter- after experiencing a loss during surgery, the less and staff; the lines
represent interactions
decide what actions to take. actions in public areas. Her model allows her to the psychological shock will affect the next sur- between people.
Kan is now expanding his work to incorporate take individuals’ characteristics—such as vul- gery,” she says. “If we can determine a threshold
the new technology of the Internet of Things nerability, infectivity, and whether the individual of the time period as the ‘safety net,’ surgeries at
(IoT). Combining IoT sensing, wireless commu- is exposed, infectious, or recovered—and use risk could be delayed or swapped with other sur-
nication, and cloud-computing makes it possible algorithms to determine how those characteris- geons to increase the chances of a good outcome
(Top) Chen Kan is by educating them on teaming and continuous to continuously monitor patients’ cardiac condi- tics, combined with in- for the next patient. It’s really about
developing math
“How can we
models to detect process improvement,” Dr. Componation says. tions and identify potential problems anywhere, dividuals’ heterogeneous patient safety. We don’t want to
cardiac anomalies; “The summer projects let them put their new anytime. behaviors in mobility and harm patients because of unintended
Yuan Zhou is
researching the
skills to work right away, reinforcing learning
and improving operations at UTSW.
“This is the future of the health care industry,”
Kan says. “People will be able to wear sensors
interaction, affect the
spread of disease from
efficiently and consequences from an event that they
weren’t part of.”
spread of disease
in public places. “The boot camp focuses on problem-solving 24/7, and instead of having to make appoint- person to person. effectively Zhou hopes to expand her research
techniques and approaches that will allow doc- ments with their doctor, their doctor will contact “Agent-based simula- to test how this information could
tors, nurses, and engineers to be part of longterm them if they need to come in.” tion allows us to derive extract useful be applied beyond mortality cases

improvements to health care delivery, including In recent years, the National Science Foun- the average behavior of to readmission rates, where patients
patient safety and cost,” he continues. “It also dation and National Institutes of Health have such a complex system might have reoccurrences of the
allows students to better understand the health
care system and see firsthand how the concepts
increasingly focused on personalized medicine.
Kan believes that if researchers have data on pa-
from the behaviors of in-
dividuals at a micro-lev-
from the data issues they had surgery for in the first
place. Additionally, it could poten-
they are recommending fit into it.” tients over an extended period, they can develop el,” Zhou explains. “The for disease tially be used on a doctor’s social
Dr. Ferreira has worked with UTSW on stan- a baseline for what is normal for each patient, information we collect is network: He or she might practice
dardizing a health care procedure across mul- allowing them to quickly detect anomalies and very rich and enables us diagnosis?” at multiple hospitals, and the nature
tiple departments. Her team was responsible provide personalized therapies. to create a high-fidelity of the affiliation and the resources
for creating educator curriculum and training “There are many challenges related to IoT- representation of the underlying system in reality. available could affect his or her performance.
modules for students in UTSW’s new simulation based cardiac care and I focus on addressing We will be able to design computer experiments Although Zhou is focusing on cardiac surgeons,
center, which provides state-of-the-art devices the challenge of big data analytics,” he says. to simulate how the disease is introduced and her research could also be generalized to emer-
medical students can practice on before seeing “Longterm monitoring of a single patient gener- propagated, and then use the model to detect, gency room trauma surgeons or military doctors
live patients. ates large amounts of data, and IoT aims to con- monitor, and report incidences of influenza.” in war zones who deal with catastrophic inju-
“We helped the team put together a standard- nect tens of thousands of people. The question Zhou is also working with colleagues in UTA’s ries on a regular basis and might be negatively
ized process and training curriculum. This is is how can we efficiently and effectively extract College of Business to use data analytics to deter- affected. ₪


 devices such as Fitbit—to make

Recognized for
it easier to continuously monitor
aging individuals’ health regard-
Get Involved
Achievement less of which system they use. He in Alumni
will then improve the design of
James Narey (’00 B.S., Electri- adaptive interventions for elderly
cal Engineering; ’10 M.B.A.) was people and their caregivers. Alumni involvement is crucial
honored with the Professional “When I was a student work- to the College of Engineering for
Technical Achievement award at ing until the wee hours of the industry relationships, mentor-
the Hispanic Engineer National morning in my research lab, the ing, networking, and many other
Achievement Awards Conference GTA office, or the computer lab, I reasons.
Alumna Monica in October 2017. The award rec- never imagined that I might win
Hew studied The Fort Worth alumni chapter
altitude sickness at ognizes his experience in research, a CAREER Award one day,” Roy has been meeting since late 2017
the German Space management, and community says. “Loving research, making and members have participated
Center in Cologne. outreach with Lockheed Martin work the first priority, aiming for in events like E-Week and Inno-
Aeronautics in Fort Worth. high-quality publications, and vation Day and passed out alum-
Narey is a technical sub- above all being a good student, ni license plate frames to new
ject matter expert on a product friend, colleague, and adviser paid graduates at commencement. The
development team that designs, off!” chapter has also hosted several
develops, and tests electric power get-togethers with speakers and
generation, conversion, distri- networking opportunities.
bution, and advanced battery  The Dallas alumni chapter held

technologies for use on the F-22, an organizational meeting in
F-16, T-50, and F-35 aircraft February and is seeking members
“It is an honor to have received Cultivates who wish to be involved.
If you are interested in becom-
this award,” he says. “Diversity
powers the innovation engine.
Burning Desire ing involved with the Dallas or
Fort Worth College of Engineering
Embrace it and encourage some- Andrew Feghali (’12 B.S., Mechan-
alumni chapters, or if you’d like to
one new to pursue their own ical Engineering; ’16 M.B.A.) be-
start a chapter in your city, please
destiny through a future STEM came an entrepreneur at a young
contact J. G. McLaughlin, director
career based on accountability, age—in middle school, he started
of development, at 817-272-5216
trust, and happiness.” a lawn service and hired neigh-
borhood children to work for him.
Over the years he has honed that James Narey (top)
innovative spirit and, after gradu- and Nirmalya
 Roy were both
ating from UTA, built a successful
Alum Wins
SPOTLIGHT recently honored
fire testing company. NUMBER WISE for their work.

Space Swelling Prestigious

His company, Aeroblaze, is
one of only about 10 in the United

s an undergraduate, Monica Hew (’13 B.S., Aerospace Engi-
Award States that performs burn tests on
interior components for aircraft.
Nirmalya Roy (’08 Ph.D., ’04 “I wanted to be in business
neering) focused on her goal of someday flying in space. Now as M.S., Computer Science and En- for myself, but I really enjoy the
gineering), an assistant professor engineering side,” Feghali says.
a doctoral student at Stanford University, she recently spent six of information systems at the “I’m using the engineering skills I
months at the German Space Center in Cologne studying tissue swelling University of Maryland–Baltimore developed at UTA daily as I build
County, earned a prestigious my company.”
developed in oxygen-deprived environments. She designed and built a National Science Foundation Early Last spring, he worked with undergraduate students
machine to handle an ultrasound probe, hiked 15,000 feet up a moun- Career Development Program
(CAREER) Award.
a UTA mechanical engineering
senior design team to help him
were named to the
tain to run experiments on altitude sickness, then developed a software Dr. Roy will work to design, develop and design equipment to spring 2018 Dean’s List
program to analyze the results. “Engineering is very enabling,” Hew says. implement, and evaluate smart simulate aircraft panels in flight
home sensor systems such as for burn testing.
“UTA gave me a good set of skills, which I used to build equipment, design Amazon Echo or Google Home—
software, and run experiments in an extreme environment.” along with Internet of Things


1964 George Nnanna (M.S., Community College 2012 Energy Leaders pro-
Coy Garrett (B.S., ’69 ’02 Ph.D., Mechanical En- District’s STEM Institute. Hua Wang (Ph.D., gram. He is a mentor
M.S., Mechanical En- gineering) was selected After leaving UTA, he Computer Science and at the Houston Tech-
gineering) has been as dean of the College earned his doctorate in Engineering) earned a nology Center, a busi-
William Springer (’74 B.S., ’79
working on the redevel- of Engineering at the structural engineering National Science Foun- ness accelerator that
M.S.,’82 Ph.D., Mechanical Engi-
opment of the former University of Texas of from Imperial College dation CAREER Award assists Houston-based
neering), 71, Nov. 27, 2017, in Little
Six Flags Mall and its the Permian Basin in London, then returned in 2017 for a research emerging technology
Rock, Ark. Dr. Springer taught
interface with Arling- April 2018. He is the first to Dallas and was lead project to create a new companies by provid-
mechanical engineering for
ton’s General Motors engineering dean since educator for applied machine-learning model ing in-depth business
more than 40 years, including
plant. He has enjoyed a the university split the science at the Perot for mining various kinds guidance, access to
25 years on the faculty of the
successful career as a colleges of business and Museum of Nature and of data that could lead capital and professional
University of Arkansas. He was a
commercial real estate engineering in August Science and, from 2014 to easier, earlier, and services, and education.
Fellow of the American Society
investor, developer, and 2017. He previously until taking his new less-costly detection of
of Mechanical Engineers and a
broker and was honored led the mechanical post, director of edu- neurological diseases Shivani Patel (B.S.,
member of the Arkansas Acade-
in 2017 with the Texas and civil engineering cation for the Frontiers such as Alzheimer’s or Aerospace Engineering),
my of Mechanical Engineering.
Association of Real- departments at Purdue of Flight Museum. Parkinson’s. Dr. Wang an engineering man-
tors’ William Jennings University and was was recently promoted ager at Houston-based
Award for outstanding director of its Northwest 2007 to associate profes- GoEngineer, explained
Michael Ho (’16 M.S., Software
commercial transac- Water Institute for more Tim Wallace (B.S., Civil sor at the Colorado in Design News how a
Engineering), 28, Feb. 12, 2018,
tion and the National than 10 years. Engineering) was named School of Mines. light saber was ripped
in Arlington. He was a doctoral
Association of Realtors an associate at civil apart and what caused
student in the Computer Science
award for outstanding 2000 engineering firm Wier 2013 an explosion in the most
and Engineering Department.
commercial transaction. Tom Le (M.S., Electri- & Associates in 2017. Deval Pandya (M.S., recent Star Wars movie.
cal Engineering) runs He began his career at Aerospace Engineering;
1990 Luraco Massage Chairs the firm as an intern in ’13 Ph.D., Mechanical 2015 Faculty, Staff,
Pamela Holland Obio- with fellow alum Kevin 2007 and has worked Engineering), a data Hoger Villegas Gaona and Supporters
mon (B.S., Electrical En- Le. He also helped as a design engineer scientist in advanced (B.S., Aerospace Engi- Jack Fitzer, 91, Jan. 3, 2018, in
gineering), a professor invent Magna Jet, which on projects including analytics at Shell, has neering), an airman first Eugene, Ore. Dr. Fitzer was profes-
of electrical and micro- circulates water in public infrastructure been selected to join class, was accepted into sor emeritus of electrical engi-
electronic engineering pedicure basins via air. and the design of the prestigious World the Air Force’s officer neering. He retired in 2004 after
at Prairie View A&M natural gas pipelines. Energy Council’s Future training school and 38 years at the University and
University, was named 2001 pilot training program. served in multiple roles during
dean of the Roy G. Perry Sushil Sharma (M.S., his tenure, including department
College of Engineering Computer Science chair, acting chair, associate
at that university. and Engineering) was chair, and graduate adviser.
named chief product NUMBER WISE
1997 officer at LendingTree. Wen Chan, 72, Sept. 15, 2017, in
The college added
Supporting Innovation
Sajeeb Wazed Joy (B.S., Colleyville. Dr. Chan was a pro-
Computer Engineer- 2003 fessor in the Mechanical and

ing) is the information Anurag P. Lakhlani (M.S., Aerospace Engineering Depart-
and communications Electrical Engineering) ment and director of the Center hrough a gift from entrepreneur and businessman Paul
technology adviser made his publishing for Composite Materials. He
to Bangladesh Presi- debut with the release worked at UTA since 1988, serving E. Andrews Jr., UTA has established the Dr. Bob Woods Chair in
dent Sheikh Hasina. of Manage Your Mind, as associate chair of the depart- Automotive Engineering to promote research, innovation, and
a self-help book that ment from 2002-03, followed by
1999 teaches readers how a year as interim chair. He was a the development of best practices in automotive engineering and
Kevin Le (B.S., ’01 they can develop ef- Fellow of the American Society design, mechanical engineering, and the Formula SAE racing team.
M.A., ’05 Ph.D., Electri- fective skills to manage of Mechanical Engineers and the
cal Engineering) runs stress in everyday life. new tenure or American Society for Composites. The chair honors longtime FSAE adviser and Professor Bob Woods.
tenure-track faculty
Luraco Massage Chairs
“Bob has always encouraged innovation and ingenuity,” says Andrews.
with fellow alum Tom 2004 Have an item for Class Notes?
Le. He also helped Jason Treadway (M.S., since 2016 Email for possible
inclusion in the next issue.
“UTA’s Formula SAE team is the gold standard of collegiate racing, and
invent Magna Jet, which Materials Science and
Bob has been the heart and soul of the program for more than 30
circulates water in Engineering) was named
pedicure basins via air. director of the Dallas years. I am happy to recognize him by endowing a chair in his honor.”




about sustainability and social

Food hubs are small-scale,
B E A M AV E R I C K .
socially minded aggregators that
benefit both farmers and con-
sumers. Some try to bring the
most benefit to farmers and focus
on high-end markets like restau-
rants and specialty stores, while Students in the College of Engineering
others try to benefit low-resource
are gaining the skills and knowledge they
consumers. Successfully serving
both these stakeholder groups is a need to change the world. Your gift can
major challenge, and in the last 10
years, many food hubs have failed help support them along the way.
or are barely hanging on because

From Farm to Fruit Tray

they lack logistics expertise.
“There are many ways that

industrial engineering can be
oday, when most people want sell from them face difficulties in applied to small-scale distribu-
expanding their businesses, which tion, such as backhauling, vehicle
fruits or vegetables, all they have routing, quality management,
can negate those earnings.
to do is run to the grocery store. “Knowing where your food and scheduling,” Dr. Krejci says.
comes from matters to ensure that “For example, we have helped
But what if they only want to buy develop an inventory tracking app
food production and distribution
from a seller who knows where and systems are safe, equitable, and for farmers and food-hub man-
healthy,” says Assistant Professor agers that facilitates collabora-
how that produce was grown? Alter- tion and information-sharing for
Caroline Krejci, who is applying
natives can often be hard to find. industrial engineering and logis- greater logistics efficiency. To be
tics techniques to help farmers a responsible citizen, it’s import-
Local farmers markets or road- deliver their products to consum- ant to be aware of how your food
choices can promote longterm
side food stands may be a solution,
but—despite earning better profit
ers more efficiently through food
hubs, which are values-based sustainability, where everyone in
margins—the small farmers who organizations that are concerned the supply chain benefits.”


Box 19019 Non-profit Org.
Arlington, TX 76019-0019 U.S. Postage
Burlington, VT 05401
Permit No. 19


ands-on learning is a valuable part of and manufacturing equipment and teach them
an engineering education. When students to use it. “I hope having these spaces gets more
are trained to build their own prototypes students involved in hands-on projects,” says Rob
for testing and production, they are better pre- Taylor, a professor-in-practice in the Mechanical
pared to understand how to design for manufac- and Aerospace Engineering Department. “In addi-
turing, thus saving time and money. That’s why the tion to building useful skills, using this equipment
College of Engineering has created three maker enables students to apply principles learned in the
spaces on campus to give students access to tools classroom to help them become better engineers.”

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