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Biomedical Engineering
Civil Engineering
Electrical & Computer Engineering
Engineering Technology
Mechanical Engineering

Department News

Biomedical Engineering News:


Eugene Eckstein, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Biomedical Engineering
The last year was an eventful one for the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Steven Slack passed away on April 29th. To pay tribute to his passion for teaching and commitment to his students, the Steven Slack Fellowship was established. The department was reviewed twice. One review was for our undergraduate BME degree program by a team from ABET, Inc., and the other, at the graduate level for review by the Tennessee Board of Regents. Although final results haven’t been released, the prognosis is quite good. Strengths that were noted include a robust involvement of faculty with the teaching and research experiences of students; sound outcomes were shown by student projects, theses, dissertations, and placements after graduation. Moreover, and this is very important to us, friendly functional connections with local industry and research groups were noted.

Of special note, Egleide Elenes was awarded an NSF predoctoral fellowship; she joins Duong Nguyen in the small group of undergraduates who have brought this distinction to the undergraduate program. Internships, which about a quarter of our students have bring a special dimension to their educational experiences, to those of their teammates, and enhance their senior design projects. We (faculty and students) find these experiences to be invaluable.

Can your company provide an internship for a biomedical or other engineering student? If so, please call me or any of our faculty members! Remember, we’d love to have you visit the department and Herff College, especially when you bring along a potential applicant. Those visits help increase interest and fill America’s engineering and innovation pipelines.

Civil Engineering News:


Shahram Pezsehk, Ph.D.
Pickering Professor and Chair, Civil Engineering
Our Department continues to face both opportunities and challenges. On the opportunity side, we had our accreditation visit in Fall 2009 and received outstanding reviews. This external, positive evaluation of our undergraduate program is another indication that our civil engineering program continues to provide our students an excellent foundation on which to build successful careers and to make significant contributions to society. The dedication and commitment of our civil engineering faculty and their high standards have resulted in our great success. Through their commitment to teaching and scholarship, our faculty attracts excellent students to our program. These students often secure top-level jobs around the country.

On April 6th, the Department celebrated the grand opening of the Thomas S. Fry Soil Mechanics Laboratory. Over $350,000 was committed to this effort, and the renovated laboratory looks wonderful. Look for detailed coverage of this event in the College's up-coming Annual Report.

In 2009, our ASCE students participated in the Deep South Regional Conference Competition, sponsored by the ASCE. The 2009 competitions were held in Jonesboro, Arkansas. The contest featured entries from nine schools including Louisiana State University, Arkansas State University, and Ole Miss. I am pleased to inform you that our concrete canoe team placed first overall. As a result, U of M won the right to participate in 2009 ASCE Canoe Competition, which was held June 10-13 at the University of Alabama. One of this year's national sponsors was Baker Concrete Construction. Dan Baker, founder and several of his associates talked to scores of canoe team members from around the country and selected five of them to receive $1,000 scholarships. This is an outstanding accomplishment when you consider that there were 22 canoe teams at the finals and each team had 10-20 members.

Our ITE student chapter will represent the Tennessee Section in the Traffic Bowl for the Southern District ITE meeting in April. They were selected as the Robert Stammer Outstanding Student Chapter last spring based on their annual report, which is how they were selected to proceed to this year’s Traffic Bowl event.

We are excited about our highly motivated and talented students who go on to become supportive and dedicated alumni. A strong and generous alumni base is another reason for our great success. We have an outstanding Advisory Committee who continuously helps us with all aspects of our curriculum, recruiting, outreach, and with our most recent accreditation evaluation. Furthermore, they volunteer to help with various activities, such as E-Day, CanStruction, our annual Career Fair, and many others.

Thank you for your support of our program.

Electrical & Computer Engineering News:


David J. Russomanno, Ph.D.
R. Eugene Smith Professor and Chair, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Singer-songwriter Bob Dylan’s album entitled: The Times They Are a-Changin' reflects happenings in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (EECE). Drs. Charles Bray and Carl Halford will be retiring effective June 30, 2010. Sadly, Dr. Michael Daley passed away this past February. All three of these faculty members have made a tremendous impact in the lives of several EECE faculty, students, and alumni. Also, I will be leaving Memphis later this summer to become dean of the Purdue School of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis (IUPUI). I will always be grateful to EECE and the Herff College for the opportunities provided starting seventeen years ago when I joined the department as an assistant professor. I will always be a Memphis Tiger!

Although the loss of four professors is unsettling, the leadership of the department is in good hands. Dr. Eddie Jacobs will become the interim department chair, effective July 1, 2010. Eddie has gained extensive management and leadership experience while working for the U.S. Army’s Night Vision and Electronic Sensors Directorate. Dr. Peter Lau recently transferred from the department of engineering technology to EECE and he is ramping up his research activities to complement his teaching contributions.

The department continues to enjoy success in securing new research awards. Although we face difficult times with base budgets cuts and the challenge of replacing several key faculty members, the department’s teaching and research programs remain strong. Also, our students continue to be very successful in obtaining top job offers or pursuing opportunities for graduate study. We are grateful for your continued help in conveying to prospective students the vibrant career paths that an EECE education provides.

Engineering Technology


Engineering Technology continues its mission to produce the highest quality graduates.

Scott Southall, Associate Professor and Interim Chair,
Engineering Technology
Chad Marshall, May 2010 Engineering Technology graduate, was selected for one of 10 Volkswagen Distinguished Scholars internships. This program offers students from five select Tennessee Universities the opportunity to participate in cutting edge automotive-related research at Oak Ridge National Laboratory. An optional second summer is possible where students will further their research with the Volkswagen Group of America at the new Chattanooga Plant. Chad was also selected by the department faculty as recipient of the Department Outstanding Senior Award, presented annually to the outstanding senior in engineering technology based upon scholarship, leadership and service.

David Kennedy, a combination senior/graduate student in Engineering Technology, won second place in the University of Memphis Student Research Forum for his “Mobile Robotics” project. The forum is an annual event which showcases the diverse research of undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Memphis. David plans to continue his research in this area during the course of his graduate studies in Engineering Technology. David also serves as IEEE Student Chapter Chair and was selected by the faculty as the 2010 Featured Engineering Technology Student during Engineers Week in February.

After having served as Engineering Technology Department Chair since Fall 2004, Professor Deborah Hochstein will be assuming the duties of Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for the College of Engineering on July 1. Professor Scott Southall will assume the duties of Interim Department Chair at that time.

We would also like to thank all of our alumni who participated in our recent alumni survey. This input and your continuing support of Engineering Technology allows us to continue to offer a quality educational program.

Mechanical Engineering


Baja Racecar Competiton: Mechanical Engineering students from the Herff College design a Baja racecar for the Society of Auto Engineering competition. See the video >>

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Last Updated: 12/4/11