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.
Eugene Eckstein, Ph.D.
Professor and Chair, Biomedical Engineering
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
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.
Shahram Pezsehk, Ph.D.
Pickering Professor and Chair, Civil Engineering
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
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.
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!
David J. Russomanno, Ph.D.
R. Eugene Smith Professor and Chair, Electrical and Computer Engineering
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 continues its mission to produce the highest quality graduates.
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.
Scott Southall, Associate Professor and Interim Chair,
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.
Baja Racecar Competiton: Mechanical Engineering students from the Herff College design
a Baja racecar for the Society of Auto Engineering competition. See the video >>