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Department News

Biomedical Engineering News:


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 >>

Ugrad Research


Civil Engineering News:


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 Dr. Ivey. 

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 solutions.


Electrical & Computer Engineering News:


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.



Engineering Technology


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


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 Student Conference.

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.

Sergio Mendoza
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 Marchetta.

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.

LCCThe 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 in length.

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 environment.

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Last Updated: 12/4/11