Dear Friends of the School of Engineering,
It is week 10 of spring quarter. Next week brings finals, a virtual commencement celebration, and the close of this historic academic year for our beloved Santa Clara. This has been a tremendously challenging time for students, faculty, and staff, made ever more difficult by the manifestation of racial injustice and resulting civil unrest in our country over the past week. At this pivotal time, we are grateful that Santa Clara is, as our President, Fr. Kevin O’Brien said, “committed to creating a community of generous encounter, a place where all feel respected, welcomed, and safe.”
With those inspirational and hopeful words, I share with you some of the good news and celebration shared by our community of Bronco engineers over the past few weeks, in this edition of the Five10 Report.
Wishing you peace,
Elaine P. Scott, Ph.D.
School of Engineering
Rachael Han '20 (civil, environmental, and sustainable engineering) writes about completing her senior project and senior year online and how her SCU experience gave her the tools to cope with the challenges. Read her account here.
Best Paper Award: Ali Khoshniat, PhD candidate, and Dr. Ramesh Abhari, adviser, (electrical and computer engineering) have been recognized for excellence by the DesignCon2020 Technical Program Committee and attendees with a Best Paper Award for "System Level Radiated Emission Mitigation at High Frequencies when Other Methods are Not Effective Enough." The award will be presented during the 2021 DesignCon conference.
Mariah Manzano ’20 (web design and engineering) has an uplifting message for her fellow graduates: We’ll find our place and opportunities in the world. Read her ”Ode to the Class of 2020” here.
Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers hosted a virtual SHPE Gilead Sciences Panel, May 18. Participants learned about what it is like to work at Gilead Sciences in Silicon Valley. Gilead is currently working on Remdesivir, a promising drug to fight COVID-19. The student organization also celebrated accomplishments of the past year, thanked sponsors, and announced 2020-21 officers in this fun YouTube video.
Mai Sinada '21 (civil, environmental, and sustainable engineering) shares her experience as a Community Facilitator living on campus during the shutdown. Mai aspires to provide solutions that build community as well as infrastructure, and is grateful for the support she received through the Student Emergency Assistance Fund. Read her story here.
Sustainability Champion Award: Congratulations to School of Engineering and College of Arts & Sciences students Carson Edgerton, Alex Estrada, Katya Fairchok, Andrew Feldmeth, Andrew Jezak, and Claire Pavelka, winners of the Forge Garden Award for creating a fully functional recycled greywater hydroponics system in operation at The Forge Garden. Read more about their project here.
2019-20 Faculty Awards
Teaching Excellence Award – Tonya Nilsson, Department of Civil, Environmental, and Sustainable Engineering: Praised for her contributions to the curriculum development of her department, students also appreciate Dr. Nilsson’s innovative teaching approach that encourages classroom engagement and interactive learning while addressing the different learning styles and challenges of SCU’s diverse student population. Read more.
Researcher of the Year Award – Behnam Dezfouli, Department of Computer Science and Engineering:
Dr. Dezfouli heads a robust research program in the field of IoT reliability, energy-efficiency, timeliness, and security requirements. Dedicated to involving undergraduate and graduate students in research, he has published 11 journal papers and 16 peer-reviewed conference papers in top-ranked venues. Read more.
Adjunct Lecturer of the Year – Stephen Hudgens, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering:
For more than a decade, Dr. Hudgens has been the principal contributor to the School of Engineering’s nanotechnology curriculum, for which he recently helped reestablish the ECEN 156/MECH 156, Introduction to Nanotechnology course. Read more.
Gerald E. Markle Award for Teaching Excellence in Applied Mathematics and Engineering – Robert Kleinhenz, Department of Applied Mathematics: Dr. Robert Kleinhenz has taught undergraduate probability and statistics and graduate courses in probability, stochastic process, and Markov chains at Santa Clara since 2009 and receives this award in recognition of his outstanding work with students. Read more.
Maya Ackerman (computer science and engineering) has been selected as a Woman of Influence by the Silicon Valley Business Journal! Dr. Ackerman is a leading expert on Artificial Intelligence and Computational Creativity, with unique insight into the commercialization of cutting-edge research on human-AI creative collaboration. She is CEO/Co-founder of WaveAi.
Ahmed Amer (computer science and engineering) is the latest guest on Fr. Kevin O’Brien’s Bridging the Distance series. Find out what he had to say here.
Prashanth Asuri (bioengineering, bioinnovation and design lab) was featured in an article, "Teaching from Another Time Zone," by UMC's Tracy Seipel. Prashanth has been staying on California time while teaching his classes from India during the COVID-19 shelter in place. Read the article here.
Laura Doyle (civil, environmental, and sustainable engineering) shares the story of how one of her senior design teams handled finishing their capstone project during the COVID-19 pandemic. Find it here.
Nam Ling (computer science and engineering) recently published a book, Travel the Holy Land, about sites in Israel and Jordan, their historical, spiritual, and touristic significance. During the initial release it was ranked #1 under Amazon hot new releases in the travel pictorial reference books category, and #27 under Amazon best sellers in the travel pictorial reference books category. Find it here.
Thank you to the 125+ alumni judges who zoomed in to evaluate nearly 70 student projects during our first-ever Virtual Senior Design Conference. In addition to their judging role, this resolute group of Broncos (find a list here) from around the country and from as far away as Qatar assisted us with testing procedures in advance of the big day. Their help was key to ensuring a positive Senior Design experience for our students!
Madison Martin ’19 and Ronak Gajrawala ’19 were guest speakers at the ACM and ACMW Alumni Speaker Series: Path to Paypal, where they described their transition from college student to full-time software engineer at PayPal.
Nikita Sushil Kumar, MS '16 (engineering management and leadership) had an article published with an India healthcare magazine called IndiaMedToday comparing the economic meltdown from the 2008 recession to the 2020 Covid-19 pandemic. Find it here.
Peter Nghiem, Ph.D. '17 (computer science and engineering adjunct lecturer) has a new patent for the Best Trade-off Point method (BToP) for optimal resource provisioning and performance efficiency. The BToP method is a breakthrough in finding the optimal trade-off point of everything in any systems and applications which could be characterized by an elbow curve of performance vs. resources for good decision making.
New Construction Management Minor: This fall, the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Sustainable Engineering will begin offering a minor degree in the area of Construction Management, available for SCU students who are interested in engineering and non-engineering careers in the construction industry. For any inquiries, please contact Hisham Said.
The Maker Lab is continuing to help Maker Nexus, a local non-profit makerspace, produce face shields for medical personnel, delivering 3D printed parts for over 10,000 face shields. They are now using 17 3D printers allowing them to print between 1,500-2,000 bottom reinforcements per week, and recently started helping cut face shields and ear savers using their 2 laser cutters. The Maker Lab has delivered 850 face shields and 750 ear savers. More here.
RSL Collaboration with NASA: One of the current spacecraft projects in the Robotic Systems Laboratory (RSL) is a collaboration with NASA on a new solar sail satellite. The satellite is currently in its design phase, and students/staff/faculty in RSL will be operating it once it is in space. The mission, known as the Advanced Composite Solar Sail System (ACS3) was featured in a recent Popular Mechanics article.
Dean Elaine Scott posted a LinkedIn article that looks at Senior Design from a 360-degree view, from students and advisors pulling together to reassess projects, to alumni judges zooming in from around the world, to the staff’s monumental task to take the conference virtual. Read it here.
Virtual Senior Design Conference: Congratulations to the seniors, advisors, alumni judges, faculty, and staff who helped make the 50th Annual and first-ever virtual Senior Design Conference a tremendous success! With 200+ senior presenters, 125 alumni judges, and 34 session chairs gathering in 17 live streamed Zoom sessions, there were a lot of moving parts, but it was a huge success! Find session results here.
Virtual Engineering Seminar: With outreach programs canceled due to COVID-19, the SoE held its 1st Virtual Engineering Seminar (VES) for nearly 200 high school students, May 31. Faculty panelists shared info on our academic programs and participants were invited into breakout panels on Women, First Generation, LGBT, Men of Color, and General Students in Engineering, led by current engineering students.
SCU is happy to officially invite our entire community to our ‘Celebrating the Class of 2020’ virtual celebration on Saturday June 13 at noon PDT. The pre-festivities will start at 11:30 a.m., and we encourage families, faculty, staff, and friends to post short videos or social posts honoring the graduates using the hashtags #SCU2020 and #SCUseniors. Everyone will be able to view the program for this hour-long event on our Commencement website.
Fall 2020 Update: The School of Engineering announced that all graduate engineering classes in the fall will be conducted remotely, in an interactive format. For undergraduates, Father O'Brien announced plans to open campuses in the fall, with modified in-person classes and instruction, to the extent permitted by local and state regulations. Find the latest news here.
De Novo Fellowships: Congratulations to the following engineering students who have been awarded De Novo Fellowships, encouraging underrepresented STEM students to participate in a faculty-advised research project: Joshua Seo, advisors Tonya Nilsson, Hisham Said; Karla Raigoza, advisor Mohammad Ayoubi; Joseph Pham, advisor Korin Wheeler; Carlos Mercado, advisor Christopher Kitts; Sruthi Sakthivel, advisor Zhiwen (Jonathan) Zhang.
Exciting news! With construction restrictions lifted in Santa Clara County, work on the Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation has resumed in compliance with safety protocols such as the use of masks and employee temperature checks at the construction site entrance. Glass, roofing, stairs and elevators are well on their way to completion, and interior improvements—ceilings, wall frames, and sheetrock—are in progress! Live cam here.
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