Tag Archive | "college of engineering"


Engineering Professor Emeritus Moiez Ahmedali Tapia Remembered as ‘Champion of Religious Tolerance’


Moiez Ahmedali Tapia

Moiez Ahmedali Tapia, professor emeritus in the College of Engineering’s Electrical and Computer Engineering Department who chaired UM’s Islamic Center for many years, passed away September 3.

“Dr. Tapia was a lifelong champion of religious tolerance and understanding in the community, devoting countless hours promoting interfaith peacemaking efforts,” Shihab Asfour, professor and chair of Industrial Engineering, recalled fondly. “His students and his family were his consuming passion, always caring and compassionate for all he encountered.”

A member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department for 35 years, Tapia joined the faculty in 1967 and served as associate department chair in 1987. He was a three-time recipient of the college’s Alexander J. Orr Excellence in Teaching Award.

Born in Surat, India, he received his B.E. from the University of Poona in 1960, his MS.E.E. from the University of Illinois in 1962, and his Ph.D. from the University of Notre Dame in 1966. His first academic appointment was as an assistant professor the Georgia Institute of Technology, where he taught from 1966-67 and again from 1968-72.

The author of six books and more than  75 refereed professional journal articles and presentations, Tapia concentrated his research on multivalued calculus and accuracy of computation and data mining.

In addition to UM’s Islamic Center, Tapia served as chairman of the Universal Heritage Institute and was a member of the board of directors of the Urban League of Greater Miami and of the Jewish Arab Dialogue Association (JADA). He is survived by his wife, Farzana, and numerous family members, including several nieces and nephews. His burial service was conducted the day after his passing at the Muslim Cemetery in Hialeah Gardens.




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Lake Osceola Bridge a Living Laboratory for Students


Lake Osceola Bridge a Living Laboratory for Students

By Barbara Gutierrez
UM News

From left are Omid Gooranorimi, Carlos Morales, and Guillermo Claure.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (August, 27, 2015)—Students from the College of Engineering and School of Architecture got some real-world experience recently when they spent time at the construction site of the Lake Osceola bridge that will span the lake and give pedestrians an easier route across campus.

Wearing hard hats and sweating under the sweltering sun, the students, under the direction of Antonio Nanni, professor and chair of the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering, and staff from Moss Construction, helped install reinforcement bars made of fiber reinforced polymer (FRP), instead of standard steel. The FRP bars do not corrode easily and stand the test of time.

They also installed 16 sensors that will lie underneath the concrete to monitor the stability of the structure.

“This is part of the research and work that we do in civil engineering,” said Guillermo Claure, a Ph.D. student in engineering. “We get our hands dirty and have the opportunity to carry out real work. It is a great opportunity for us students.”

Slated to open in early October, the 210-foot-long bridge will stretch from the Lakeside Patio to the Billings Walkway that borders the Eaton Residential College parking lot.

For now, it has become a living laboratory for the students who are learning the ins and outs of bridge construction.

“It is great for UM to invest in us this way,” said Omid Goornarorimi, a second-year Ph.D. student in engineering. “These sensors that we are installing will help us monitor the stability of the bridge over time.”

For Italian-born Marco Rossini, a civil engineering student from Politecnico di Milan, who is working on his master’s degree and spending the academic year at UM, the bridge project provides a unique opportunity.

“I would never have this chance back at home,” he said. “I am so grateful to the University of Miami for the chance to get real experience.”




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Eminent Engineer Asad M. Madni Addresses the Convergence of Emerging Technologies on September 14

Asad M. Madni

Asad M. Madni

Asad M. Madni, the former president, COO, and CTO of BEI Technologies Inc., will present a seminar titled “Convergence of Emerging Technologies to Address the Challenges of the 21st Century,” on Monday, September 14, at 3:30 p.m. in the McArthur Engineering Annex, room 202.

In his talk, which is part of the College of Engineering’s Distinguished Speaker Series, Madni will discuss the application of major technologies, such as intelligent sensors and wireless sensor networks, intelligent cars and smart highways, telehealth (wireless health care), microelectromechanical systems (MEMS), nanotechnology, clean technology, robotics and automation, smart grid, and ultra-high throughput and wide bandwidth instrumentation.

He is currently an independent consultant, distinguished adjunct professor/distinguished scientist at UCLA, and executive managing director and CTO of Crocker Capital. He is credited with more than 170 refereed publications, 69 issued or pending patents, and is the recipient of numerous national and international honors and awards.

In 2011, Madni was elected to the U.S. National Academy of Engineering and, in 2014, he was elected Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors. He is a fellow/eminent engineer of 14 of the world’s most prestigious professional academies and societies.

Light refreshments will be provided at the talk. For more information, contact Kendra Parks at 305‐284‐3291 or k.parks@miami.edu.


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Student Chapter of Industrial Engineers Wins 5th Gold Award


Student Chapter of Industrial Engineers Wins 5th Gold Award

UM News

IIE Video

The chapter won second place in an IIE contest for its video on industrial engineering.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (August 20, 2015)—For the fifth consecutive year, UM’s Institute of Industrial Engineers (IIE) Student Chapter, which has created two videos and hosted a Girl Scout Engineering Day to introduce high school students and young girls to engineering, has received the IIE’s Gold Award for overall achievements in 2014-15.

Comprised of 93 industrial engineering students and advised by Nina Miville, assistant professor in practice in Industrial Engineering, the chapter actively promotes the industrial engineering profession with numerous activities, including hosting the IIE regional conference three years ago, offering a Six-Sigma Certification Green Belt course to UM students and alumni for the past two years, and bringing as many as eight guest speakers to campus annually to introduce students to industry practices.

But one of the chapter’s most visible accomplishments is the annual Girl Scout Engineering Day, which has brought more than 100 girls from kindergarten through eighth grade to campus each of the past four years. As Miville notes, traditional “Introduce a Girl to Engineering” days are geared to high school girls, yet research shows that girls are behind if they don’t begin taking higher-level math and science in middle school. The chapter’s Girl Scout Engineering Day is designed, she said, to close that gap and let girls know in their critical younger years that STEM fields like engineering are, indeed, for girls, too.

Chapter members, who include more than 50 women, have not, however, overlooked high schoolers. They have produced two videos aimed at attracting high school students to the profession, including Industrial Engineering – A Way of Life, which took second place in IIE’s contest.

Chapter members also have placed second for three years in the Southeast Region IIE’s Technical Paper Competition and, for the past three years, have been invited to present papers on the chapter’s best practices to other students at the IIE’s International Annual Conference.

“Ultimately the goal and the focus of the IIE student chapter is to provide resources and programs to promote the profession of Industrial Engineering and to get the students ready for life after graduation,” Miville said. “I am very proud that our IIE student chapter has been recognized for fulfilling its mission.”

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Scientists Recommend Monitoring Beach Sand, Along with Water


Scientists Recommend Monitoring Beach Sand, Along with Water

By Marie Guma-Diaz
UM News


A panel of UM and other scientists from around the world recommends the sand on recreational beaches be monitored to protect human health.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (August 12, 2015)—Beach sand contains all kinds of microorganisms, including those that can harm human health. Yet current guidelines are focused exclusively on monitoring the levels of microbes in the water.

Now, an international panel of scientists is recommending monitoring the sand at recreational beaches to minimize health risks for beachgoers. Their advice is based on the general consensus reached during the international conference “Trends in Environmental Microbiology and Public Health,” held in Lisbon, Portugal in September 2014.

“Beach sands accumulate contaminants, and people can get exposed to these contaminants during beach recreational activities,” said Helena Solo-Gabriele, professor at the University of Miami College of Engineering, corresponding and first author of a paper that summarizes the findings.

“Hopefully this paper will make a difference in convincing regulators of the need to include sand in beach monitoring programs,” she said.

The article, published in the July issue of the Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, reflects the international experience of all scientific and technical papers published up to date, including data from beaches in the U.K., Portugal, and the U.S.

“This publication is a landmark paper,” said co-author João Brandão, manager of the sand microbiology and public health programme at the National Institute of Health in Portugal and national delegate for the European Confederation of Medical Mycology. “It wraps it all up and hopefully lays down the foundation for the future.”

Many of the studies used to develop recommendations were conducted in South Florida, including on Hobie Beach, along the Rickenbacker Causeway, just west of Key Biscayne. Other beach locations in the U.S. included the Great Lakes, Hawaii, and California.

Previous studies have shown that the swash zone of the beach environment, with the wetting and drying processes and the presence of seaweed, algae, and sargassum, is prone to regrowth of disease-causing microbes, including unhealthful bacteria, viruses, nematode larva and eggs, and harmful yeast and fungi.

The scientists note that in 2003, the World Health Organization recommended that epidemiological studies on the impact of sand quality on bathers’ health be conducted, and surveillance strategies established. Yet so far, “unfortunately no country has implemented this recommendation.”

Specific recommendations of the paper include:

  • Identification of disease-causing agent(s), so effective control and monitoring programs can be implemented
  • Methods that estimate public health risks from various pathogens in the sand
  • Studies that can assess exposure to microbes in the sand by contact, ingestion, and inhalation
  • Indicators, other than fecal indicator organisms (FIOs), to determine the presence of sewage and human waste
  • Detection and quantification of microbe levels for specific pathogens
  • Determine if FIOs are indicative of fecal pollution that carries pathogens, or separated from their original source through survival and regrowth
  • Tools to identify sources of pathogens
  • Regulatory standards that reflect microbial sources, the pathogens they contain, and the associated health risks
  • Reliable sand collection methods that take into consideration that pathogen contamination at sandy beaches tends to be patchy
  • Determination of beach sand quality at freshwater versus marine beaches
  • Assess beach sand quality based on contamination by land and air
  • Standardized methods to recover and disinfect FIOs and pathogens from different types of sands

The article, “Beach sand and the potential for infectious disease transmission: observations and recommendations,” was produced by an interdisciplinary team of scientists from 19 universities and research institutions, including the University of Miami, National Institute of Health in Portugal, University of South Florida, Aberystwyth University in the U.K., University of Hawaii, University of Minnesota, National Oceanographic Centre in the U.K., Oporto University, University of Lisbon, Canada Center for Inland Waters Environment, University of Ljubljana in Slovenia, Canisius-Wilhelmina Hospital in the Netherlands, University of Wisconsin, University of Madeira, University of Azores, CBS-KNAW Fungal Biodiversity Centre in the Netherlands, Tel-Aviv University, University of Brighton, and the Polytechnic Institute of Lisbon.


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