News from the College
Society of Automotive Engineers Racecar Team
SAE Racecar Team
with Faculty Advisor Dan Pope
(back row, third from right)
From nuts and bolts, fiberglass and metal, UMD undergraduates are designing and constructing a streamline racecar from motor to wheels.
"All of our work," said UMD senior mechanical engineering student Ben Logan, "is to prepare in competing against other universities in the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) event in May 2013 at the Michigan Speedway."
With paper, mind, and knowledge, the UMD SAE Race Team begins with an idea, formulates a plan, and then builds an aerodynamic machine that can withstand high speed, instant braking, and a race course that's right up there with auto-cross. In other words, the racecar isn't just for show. While building the car, students follow the Formula SAE rules and guidelines. The measurement regulations are fairly similar to nationally-known racing organizations.
Featured Student: Benedicth Ukhueduan
Curiosity is second nature to Benedicth Ukhueduan. As a child in Nigeria, she spent hours looking at bugs, rocks, and plants. She took apart small appliances. She wondered what paint was made of. And, she'll tell you with a smile, she liked to blow things up. "Aerosol cans with matches – wow."
Fast forward ten years or so and Ukhueduan is a sophomore at UMD with a duel major in chemistry and biochemistry. "Chemistry is like life," she said. "It's everything around us, everything we wear. I can make a very full connection with chemistry; that makes it easy for me."
Pouring her energies into her classes, she has become a tenacious student. "School is an opportunity. What you learn, you can take and run with it," she said.
Read more about Benedicth (article written by Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann, UMD Office of External Relations; October 2012)
Geology Alum, James "Jim" R. Burnell to receive Public Service Award
In September, Jim Burnell will be presented the 2012 AIPG John, T. Galey, Sr., Memorial Public Service Award at the American Institute of Professional Geologists (AIPG) Annual Meeting in Rapid City.
This award recognizes Dr. Burnell's efforts to publicize the importance of the mining industry by pointing out the US's needs for mineral commodities. In a political atmosphere that generally doesn't view mining favorably, Jim has been pointing out the uncomfortable fact that the US is dependent on imports for most of the mineral commodities we need for our modern technology and our economic health.
Jim has been working in various aspects of geology for over forty years. In some of his diverse experience, he has conducted minerals exploration in the Southern Appalachians and the Great Lakes Region, conducted research in the mobility of various radionuclides in the natural environment, directed investigations on contaminated sites in six states from Maine to California.
NSF Grant to Study Landscape Vulnerability in the Face of Land Use and Climate Change in the Minnesota River Basin
The National Science Foundation (NSF) recently awarded a $4.3 million Water Sustainability and Climate (WSC) grant to a group of investigators, with the University of Minnesota as the lead institution, to develop a framework for sustainability studies by identifying and/or predicting processes, locations and times that are most susceptible to climate and human-induced changes. Karen Gran, assistant professor in UMD Dept. of Geological Sciences, is a co-investigator.
The goal of the NSF funding is to develop a better understanding of the interactions between water and land-use systems and specifically to develop a means to predict their response to changes in climate and human land and water management.
Jim Miller, associate professor, Department of Geological Sciences and director of the Precambrian Research Center, was awarded the 2012 Goldich Medal at the 58th Annual Institute on Lake Superior Geology held in Thunder Bay, Ontario, in May 2012. The Goldich Medal is awarded annually by the ILSG Board of Directors to a geoscientist who has made particularly noteworthy and meritorious contributions to the understanding of Lake Superior geology and mineral deposits.
MEHS Faculty, Harvey Burski, Receives Highest Honor
Harvey Burski, adjunct associate professor, Master of Environmental Health and Safety program, received the 2012 Arthur E. McCauley, Jr. Occupational Health and Safety Leadership Award. He received the award, which is the highest honor that a safety professional can receive in the State of Minnesota, during the Governor’s Safety Award Luncheon at the Minnesota Safety Council Conference in May 2012.
Burski has been teaching classes in the MEHS program since it began in 1975. Over the years, he has been involved with the training of over 700 MEHS students, the majority of whom have worked or continue to work in the Midwest region and particularly in the state of Minnesota. A significant number of these safety professionals have gone on to assume key management roles in safety and health at various corporate and government entities.
Dr. Tom Johnson Awarded American Geophysical Union 2011 Fellow
Regents Professor Tom Johnson is a world leader in the field of geological limnology and has now been awarded the first ever UMD Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. He's served on two NAS National Research Council Committees, a Fulbright Senior Fellow to France in 1993-94, an Overseas Visiting Fellow in St. John's College, Cambridge University in 2005, and a Gledden Fellow at the University of Western Australia in 2006. In 2003 he was awarded the W. H. Bradley Medal by the International Association of Limnogeologists and their climatologically drivers on time scales up to hundreds of thousands of years. In 2009, he was honored with a Regents Professorship (one of 30 in the University of Minnesota system) and selected as a Residential Fellow in the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment for 2010 – 2013
Student Committee Agrees to Distribute $625,584 in Tech Fees
This year, over $625,000 in student-paid tech fees were distributed to SCSE departments. A student committee established a formula for setting funding levels and recently reviewed proposals for special projects throughout the college. Find out more about the allocation.
Dr. Viktor Zhdankin Receives 2011 ACS Award
(l-r) Dr. Paul Kiprof (Dept. Head),
Dr. Zhdankin, and
Dr. James Riehl, SCSE Dean
Dr. Viktor Zhdankin, Professor, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, is one of the world’s leading experts in the organic chemistry of hypervalent main group elements.
Dr. Zhdankin’s research has led directly to the development of several important reagents that are currently used in chemical and pharmaceutical laboratories all over the world.
Dr. Zhdankin was officially presented with the ACS Award for Creative Research and Applications of Iodine Chemistry on March 28, 2011 at the 241st ACS National Meeting and Exposition in Anaheim, CA. (read more in Chemical & Engineering News).