Tag Archive | "college of engineering"

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‘Decoding the Information Encoded in Neural Activity’ on April 24


MitchellTom M. Mitchell, the E. Fredkin University Professor at Carnegie Mellon University and a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, will present a seminar entitled “Decoding the Information Encoded in Neural Activity” on Monday, April 24, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., at the McArthur Engineering Annex, room MEA 202. Mitchell, whose presentation will be broadcast live, will discuss brain imaging methods. In his research, Mitchell uses machine learning to develop computers that are learning to read the web, and brain imaging to study how the human brain understands what it reads. For more information, please contact Valerie Zaldivar at 305-284-3291 or  v.zaldivar@umiami.edu.

To sign up for the live broadcast visit the event link: http://coe.miami.edu/speaker/Mitchell.

 

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View Live: ‘Prediction of the Earth System: A Grand Challenge for the Decades Ahead’ April 3


Antonio J. BusalacchiAntonio J. Busalacchi, president of the University Corporation for Atmospheric Research (UCAR) in Boulder, Colorado, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, will present a seminar entitled “Prediction of the Earth System: A Grand Challenge for the Decades Ahead,” on Monday, April 3, from 3:30 to 4:40 p.m. in the McArthur Engineering Annex, room MEA 202.

In his talk, to be broadcast live, Busalacchi will discuss the development of an environmental prediction capability that will require incorporation of additional components of the Earth system beyond the physical climate system.

For more information, please contact Valerie Zaldivar at 305-284-3291 or v.zaldivar@umiami.edu. To sign up for the broadcast visit: http://coe.miami.edu/speaker/Busalacchi.

 

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E-Week Celebrates the Power to Make a Difference

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E-Week Celebrates the Power to Make a Difference


By Andi Fuentes
Special to UM News

E-Week2

High school students put their engineering skills to the test during one of the activities held last Thursday as part of Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day.

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (February 23, 2017)—Making your own lip balm and stacking cups so they don’t fall—that’s engineering? Indeed, it is—as more than 200 high school girls discovered on Thursday at the Society of Women Engineers’ National Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day at the University of Miami.

Those fun learning activities helped illustrate the analytical thinking and critical reasoning skills every engineer needs to succeed. The students also toured laboratory facilities at UM’s College of Engineering and listened, enthralled, as Cynthia Gundersen, CEO of AMU Engineering, talked to them about her career path to leading a NASA-affiliated design and development firm.

This year’s celebration of National Engineers Week (E-Week) included the signature event of the UM Society of Women Engineers chapter and many other activities focused on the goal of E-Week, which is to highlight the contributions the engineering profession makes to society. It is celebrated annually during the third week of February to honor President George Washington, an engineer.

Introduce a Girl to Engineering Day was just one of the E-Week at the U programs that brought pre-college students to campus. Approximately 300 high school students from around South Florida kicked off the week on Friday, February 17, by participating in Build It, a design competition sponsored by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. At Build It, Sebastian the Ibis welcomed the students and Miami-Dade County Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho, the morning keynote speaker.

“You are the future of science, technology, engineering, art and mathematics—and you will be the ones to build and improve our world,” Carvalho told the audience.

Other daily programming included the Graduate Engineering Student Council’s poster display session, which gave every engineering student an opportunity to see how researchers share their results. Eager throngs of undergraduates avidly listened to graduate students explain their work—showing just how important such efforts are for engineers developing new technologies and products.

Later in the week, the Biomedical Engineering Society hosted a Biomedical Industry Night with a panel discussion led by several noted alumni, followed by networking for students and professionals in the biosciences. The UM chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers welcomed UM President Julio Frenk and CoE Dean Jean-Pierre Bardet to a forum on STEM diversity—an evening devoted to supporting the ongoing efforts by senior leaders to build a culture of belonging and excellence for every student.

The UM chapter of engineering honor society Eta Kappa Nu hosted a programmable engine Raspberry Pi design competition, and the week wrapped up with a shoreline cleanup day sponsored by Engineers Without Borders, proving that engineering makes life better around the world and in our own South Florida back yard.

Of course, no E-Week is complete without fun, and the Society of Hispanic Engineers welcomed all students to a picnic for the U “familia.” The Institute of Industrial Engineers Dunk Tank was, as always, a welcome and fun way for students to unwind on the Engineering Green.

Bardet has a simple, yet profound, message for everyone who participated in National Engineers Week: “You’ll have the power to make a difference! By becoming an engineer, you solve problems that are important to society. Engineering is a ‘helping profession’ and as an engineer you can clean up the environment, develop new medicines to make life better for those who suffer, and solve problems to make the world a better place. But what really matters is that you’ll get to do societal good on a local and global scale.”

At the U, global impact starts in the classroom and extends to service and student leadership. Once again, the 2017 University of Miami College of Engineering E-Week highlighted how our engineers excel in the lab, in the community, and wherever they reach out to help encourage future STEM leaders.

 

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Celik Receives Presidential Early Career Award

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Celik Receives Presidential Early Career Award


Special to UM News

Nurcin-Celik

Nurcin Celik

Outgoing President Obama honored Nurcin Celik, associate professor in the College of Engineering’s Department of Industrial Engineering, with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE). This award is the highest honor bestowed by the United States government on science and engineering professionals in the early stages of their independent research careers.

Celik is the first University of Miami recipient to be honored with a PECASE. The award recognizes her federally funded research into smart cities – specifically the use of dynamic data-driven multi-scale simulations for distributed energy systems in those cities.

“I congratulate these outstanding scientists and engineers on their impactful work,” President Obama said when he presented the awards. “These innovators are working to help keep the United States on the cutting edge, showing that federal investments in science lead to advancements that expand our knowledge of the world around us and contribute to our economy.”

Celik is one of 102 PECASE recipients for 2017. The awards recognize some of the nation’s finest scientists and engineers, who show exceptional potential for leadership in advancing scientific knowledge and engineering in the 21st century.

“All of us at the College of Engineering are excited to congratulate Nurcin on this extremely prestigious, well-deserved recognition. This award is a great honor to Nurcin, the industrial engineering department, the College of Engineering and the entire University of Miami,” said Jean-Pierre Bardet, dean of the University of Miami College of Engineering. “The PECASE is highly competitive, and recognizes not only the excellence and significance of Dr. Celik’s research contributions, but also her potential for future leadership and research impact.”

As part of her presidential award, the U.S. Department of Defense will grant Celik funding of $200,000 per year for five years to advance her research. She will also receive a citation and a plaque.

The awards, established by President Clinton in 1996, are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Awardees are selected for their pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology, as well as their commitment to community service – as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education or community outreach.

To see the full list of the 102 recipients of the Presidential Early Career Awards for Scientists and Engineers, click here.

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Surveys Explore Sad State of Water in Cuba

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Surveys Explore Sad State of Water in Cuba


By Barbara Gutierrez
UM News

MIAMI, Fla. (January 17, 2017)—When Evaristo lived in his native Cuba, hardly a day went by where he wasn’t dealing with water-related problems such as contaminated drinking water, leaky pipes or streets flooded with raw sewage.

The 60-year-old emigrated to the United States two years ago, leaving those problems behind. But when he returned to Cuba recently to visit his daughter in Havana, he discovered matters hadn’t improved but worsened—he still had to drink bottled water, shower late at night when the water pressure was sufficient, and avoid swimming in dirty rivers and streams.

“Everything in the island needs refurbishing,” he told University of Miami student Nancy Mendoza while waiting for a friend at Miami International Airport (MIA). “Water is no different.”

His story is a recurring one for Mendoza, a Miami Law student who for the past year has been conducting surveys of newly arriving travelers from Cuba to document the water problems on the Communist island.

Her work is part of an interdisciplinary study by College of Engineering Professor Helena Solo-Gabriele, School of Communication Professor Joseph Treaster and Catholic University of America sociologist Enrique Pumar to determine the state of the water in Cuba.

“The information we have on Cuban water is old and the data that is available is not peer-reviewed,” said Solo-Gabriele, who is of Cuban descent but has not visited the island. “We wanted to know the state of the water on the island.”

Initially funded by the UM Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) and the School of Communication, the study hopes to quantifythe availability of water, its quality and the impact it may have on people’s health, said Solo-Gabriele.

So far Mendoza and other UM students participating in the study have logged 500 interviews through a 43-question questionnaire. They hope to finish 100 more for the study to be completed. The interviews are taking place at Miami International Airport so as to avoid the restrictions Cuba would impose on external scrutiny of thecountry’s infrastructure, said the scholars.

Cuba water issues stem from an obsolete and deteriorating infrastructure. The original water and sewage systems on the island were installed prior to the Cuban Revolution in 1959. Very little maintenance has been done on the system in the five decades since, said Solo-Gabriele.

Daily water shortages, leaky pipes, non-working toilets and contaminated water is common. This may surprise many people, especially tourists who are visiting the island by the thousands since renewed relations between the U.S. and Cuba were established in 2014, said Treaster, who has worked on other water-related projects and visited Cuba several times in the ‘80s as a reporter for the New York Times.

“First thing I thought was Cuba has a great reputation for public health, what water problems could there be,” said Treaster, but then he remembered that as a visiting journalist in the ‘80s he only drank bottled water.

Tourists who visit the island encounter a very different reality with water issues. Hot baths and potable water is available around the clock for those who visit Cuba and stay at hotels, said Solo-Gabriele. But for every day citizens the reality of dealing with water issues can be daunting.

A large part of the problem in Havana stems from the aquifer underneath the Almendares River, said Solo-Gabriele. “The river is receiving all of the sewage and river water infiltrates into the aquifer, putting the drinking water at risk.”

Among the initial findings of the study:

  • Water scarcity affects Cuban citizens almost daily.
  • The outdated pipes are so corroded that often the water is contaminated.
  • Most Cubans have cisterns or water tanks in their yards to store water because official water systems usually provide running water for a few hours a day.
  • Water pressure is an issue in many buildings, requiring residents to use buckets to bathe themselves.
  • Disposal of garbage is spotty. Often, the trash ends up in the water, causing health problems.

Pumar, who was born in Cuba, and has visited the island in the ‘70s and ’80s, said that he was surprised by the extent of the water problems, noting that their interviews of newly arrived visitors cover folks who have come from several cities on the island.

“We have even heard of people getting sick from bottled water that they bought on the black market,” he said. “One journalist got sick because he ordered ice in a restaurant.”

Often, water bottles sold on street are filled with tap water and sometimes ice cubes are made with purified water, but they become contaminated by bartenders and waiters who failed to wash their hands after using the bathroom, said Treaster.

The scholars have an invitation to present at the Miami Institute for Advanced Study of the Americas at UM in the spring. Their study will be published in the journal Cuba in Transition, and they will write an article on the study for the journal Cuban Affairs.

Pumar said the scholars presented their findings at the July 2016 conference of the Study of the Cuban Economy in Miami.

They plan to launch a website with all the data to help organizations and businesses interested in investing in the island to become acquainted with the challenges.

On the practical side, the researchers want the website to be useful to the Cubans on the island and Cuban-Americans who visit their families and friends. Pumar believes that a push to educate both populations with tips such as how they should boil water and store it and the use of water filters would be very beneficial.

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