Undergraduate Students Developing Important Biosensors
Students in the Department of Biomedical Engineering are working on cutting edge sensors
to detect potassium levels in the body. See the video >>
U of M Students Contribute Research to the University District Area Community Project
The University District Community Project is a comprehensive initiative designed to
make recommendations regarding prioritized strategies for supporting a sustainable
and vibrant University District community. An essential part of the project is to
develop a University District Area Transportation Plan. The goal of the plan is to
improve safety, connectivity, and functionality of the network for users of all modes.
Particular emphasis will be placed on improving conditions for bicycle, pedestrian,
and transit uses.
Undergraduate civil engineering students, led by Dr. Stephanie Ivey, completed the
first portion of the project by assessing the existing transportation systems surrounding
the University of Memphis. The students assessed district area neighborhoods to gauge
the suitability for bicycle and pedestrian traffic. Students also performed morning
and evening pedestrian counts for specific locations around campus. One of the student
researchers, Kelsey Ford, said, “Doing pedestrian counts and neighborhood assessments
is something I took a great deal of pride in because I was doing something that mattered.
Taking something from a text book and applying it to “reality” was a great opportunity.”
Graduate student, Stephen Edwards, conducted a community transportation survey and
will help finalize the plan this fall through a graduate level projects course with
Another graduate student, Jeff Karafa, is working with Dr. Mihalis Golias to develop
traffic simulation models for the area to see the impact of proposed designs and alternative
Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty and students working to save lives in
the Middle East
Almost daily, there are news reports from the Middle East of military helicopter crashes,
roadside bombs and suicide attacks. The Center for Advanced Sensors (CAS) is working
to create a new device that could have a significant impact on the safety of US Military
Forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and beyond.
The device, known as Spatially Selective Mask, allows for real-time imaging through
the use of terahertz waves that can penetrate common materials such as clothing and
plastic. This technology has significant implications for use by the US Military by
detecting concealed explosives, locating detonators (trip wires) for roadside bombs
and allowing helicopters to detect danger upon landing in dusty and sandy environments.
Although other devices with the ability to see through objects or materials exist,
this one has aspects that others do not. Click here for more on terahertz research.
Students Bring Home Awards from IEEE Conference
The University of Memphis Student Branch of IEEE recently traveled to Nashville to
participate in the yearly IEEE Region 3 conference, SoutheastCon. The teams were composed
of students majoring in Mechanical, Electrical and Computer Engineering, as well as
Electrical and computer Engineering Technology. The Students had entries in the website,
T-shirt, hardware and software competitions.
The hardware competition involved building a robot to autonomously seek out victims
of a natural disaster and report the victims’ status. The team had their best year
ever reaching the second round and tying for fifth place.
The software team was given a list of specifications and a limited amount of time
for the three team members to write the programs. Ben Avants (EECE), John Burr (Engineering
Technology) and John Olson (EECE), were able to complete three of the five problems
set forth. They were awarded second place among the 17 teams that competed. This was
the first time the Memphis Student Branch competed in the software competition, and
the first major competition in which they have taken home an award.
Mechanical Engineering Student Takes Top Prize at Aerospace Conference
Senior mechanical engineering student Sergio Mendoza Galvis won first place in the
undergraduate division for his paper “Rotary Fuel Cell” at the prestigious American
Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Region II Student Conference held
at the University of Alabama in April.
AIAA is the world’s largest professional society devoted to the progress of engineering
and science in aviation, space and defense. The competition included schools from
the University of Tennessee, Vanderbilt University, Georgia Tech, University of Florida,
University of Alabama, North Carolina State University and Mississippi State University.
The winners are awarded cash prizes and advance to the AIAA Foundation International
Galvis’ research effort was the culmination of collaboration between Dr. Tarek Farhat
in chemistry and his major adviser, Dr. Jeffrey Marchetta of mechanical engineering.
In addition, several U of M undergraduates won the second place award in the “Undergraduate
Team Division” for their paper “Development of a Novel Compound Cross-linked Silica
Aerogel-RTV 655 for Cryogenic Propellant Tanks.” Team members are James Habernicht,
Andrew Brock and Laura Lyons. Their research effort, funded by NASA and the Tennessee
Space Grant, is the result of collaborative work with their major adviser, Dr. Firouzeh
Sabri of physics, and Marchetta.
Senior Sergio Mendoza Galvis (left) took first place at a prestigious aerospace conference
in Alabama. At right is his major adviser, mechanical engineering professor Jeffrey
Herff Students Visit Large Cavitation Channel
Herff student members of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the American
Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics visited the The William B. Morgan Large
Cavitation Channel (LCC) in Memphis.
The LCC is one of the largest and most technically advanced high-speed, variable-pressure
water tunnel facilities in the world. It is capable of testing all types of ship and
submarine propellers and propeller-hull interactions with scale models up to 40 feet
The LCC’s sophisticated design permits the U.S. Navy to measure submarine and surface
ship power, efficiency, and propeller noise by using models in a controlled but realistic