Campus community members are invited to a farewell reception for Dr. Nagi Naganathan Friday, Feb. 10, from 3 to 5 p.m. in the Thomas and Elizabeth Brady Engineering Innovation Center.
In November, Naganathan, dean of the College of Engineering, was named the seventh president of the Oregon Institute of Technology.
“As you can imagine, this is a bittersweet moment for me. UT granted me the privilege of shaping the futures of thousands of students in many ways. I am truly thankful for the same, and I am so proud of how well my students are doing after their graduation,” Naganathan said. “When I joined UT three decades ago, there was in no way I could have imagined the wonderful journey I have had here. This was possible because of the extraordinary friendship and support of my faculty and staff colleagues, as well as our friends and benefactors in the larger UT community, for which I will always remain grateful.”
Naganathan joined the UT faculty in 1986 and has led the College of Engineering as dean since 2003 after serving as the college’s interim dean for two years. He also served as interim president of the University from 2014 to 2015. Naganathan is a tenured professor of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering, with expertise in smart material systems and structures, robotics, vibrations and control, and microcomputer applications in electromechanical systems.
Under Naganathan’s leadership, the College of Engineering has achieved record high student enrollments and elevated its mandatory co-op experience program — one of only eight in the nation — exceeding 15,000 placements in partnership with more than 1,600 employers in more than 40 states in the U.S. and in more than 30 countries.
He grew the College of Engineering with the addition of the Nitschke Technology Commercialization Complex and the Thomas and Elizabeth Brady Engineering Innovation Center. Naganathan also created the Engineering Leadership Institute with philanthropic support from Roy and Marcia Armes. Roy Armes is a 1975 UT mechanical engineering graduate who served as CEO of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co.
On January 27th, the College of Engineering dedicated the Paul A. Hotmer Family CSTAR Lab and study lounge. Mr. Hotmer’s contribution to the CSTAR Lab will fund cutting edge software and equipment. Through gaming and simulation, cyber security competitions, and other applications, engineering students will gain the skills they need to solve the challenges of tomorrow. Students might go on to preempt cyber attacks, aid national defense, or support forensic research, for instance.
Paul Hotmer is twice an alumnus of this college, graduating in 1955 with a bachelors in general engineering and 1961 with a masters in engineering. He then spent 40 years of his career as an employee of Owens-Illinois on the site that now houses the College of Engineering. He served the company as a technician and as a computer software manager. After retiring from OI, he continued to work as a software specialist at this location when Edison Industrial Systems took over the buildings now known as North Engineering and Palmer Hall.
Paul’s gift leaves a legacy both at his alma mater and at the physical site where his career unfolded. He worked for OI during a time of major technological innovation- he experienced the shift from manual drawings and manufacturing to computer-aided design and manufacturing. The extreme change he embraced in just a few decades illustrates the importance of preparing students both for current industry needs and for future technology expansion.
Often college means learning the nuts and bolts of life — sometimes literally.
Consider the University of Toledo, which for the past 20 years has participated in the Formula SAE program, where students engage in a “club” activity that allows them to create a Formula (open-wheeled) race car from scratch over two semesters.
Sponsored by the Society of Automotive Engineers, the program was launched to give students a taste of the full spectrum of the automotive industry. As detailed on SAE’s website, the concept is that a team is contracted by a fictional manufacturing company to design a Formula-style race car that will then be tested and evaluated at the yearly competition held at Michigan International Speedway in mid-May.
This means the UT team, also known as Toledo Motorsports, must start from scratch each fall, modeling every chassis tube and suspension component and perfecting the aerodynamics before driving their creation on the tarmac in seven month’s time.
“We like to say that we do about 90 percent of the car in-house,” said team lead Jacob Kennedy.
PHOTO GALLERY: Speed school at UT
A sophomore in the UT mechanical engineering program, Mr. Kennedy explained that the only components team members don’t fabricate are the ones they can’t; the wheels, the engine, and shocks must be purchased rather than created.
From September to May, the team uses modeling software, welding, machining, and more in a machine shop in the school’s North Engineering building.
Team members also learn about the economic side of the field. They are responsible for sourcing the materials, soliciting sponsorships, and getting funding for the parts.
Public speaking is also a factor. As part of the main competition, the team must defend its design to a panel of experienced judges in a pseudo-Shark Tank environment.
While the concepts and general practices of the competition and program remain fairly consistent, Toledo Motorsports decided to break from the mold for the current season. For the last few years, the team has been recycling a similar chassis design paired to a Honda CBR 600cc motorcycle engine. This year it made the decision to change the motor to a KTM 450cc single-cylinder engine, which has caused a shake-up in the entire design of the car.
A complete redesign might seem unorthodox for a team that placed 21st out of 120 teams in last year’s competition, but as Mr. Kennedy puts it, “The team has pretty much maxed out what we can do with that [old] engine. … It got to the point that we were trying to fix something that’s not broken or trying to redesign something that’s already been gone over and over again.”
As the new semester starts, Team Motorsports is just about at the halfway point. As team members return to campus, they must still finish assembling the chassis so that the rest of the components can be installed or even designed.
Mr. Kennedy and his teammates hope to have their car assembled in time to work out the bugs before taking it to MIS in May, when their competitive rubber will finally meet the road.
While Toledo Motorsports won’t race against other vehicles, the competition includes various timed and static (design) challenges.
The UT Cricket Club is one of 24 teams that will play in the American College Cricket Nationals starting March 15 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.
The club advanced to the nationals by finishing second in the 2016 American College Cricket Midwest Championship, where the top 12 universities competed for the Midwest Region Gordon Gee Championship.
Under the captainship of Raj Patel, the UT Cricket Club defeated 2016 season champion Wayne State University in the semifinals and secured its place in the nationals. UT beat Wayne State in October at Lyon Oaks Cricket Field in Wixom, Mich.
With that win, the UT club became the new No. 2 team in the Midwest. League play for UT included facing Penn State University and Ryerson University.
“It was a dream come true for all the team to take UT to the national level in cricket. Beating Wayne State University was a very tough task as they are a pretty strong team and winners in the past,” said Yogendra Patil, right arm fast bowler and batsmen. “I am looking forward for the nationals in March. Me and the team will give 100 percent to bring home the trophy — #gorockets!”
Not only did UT finish as runners-up in the Midwest, the Player of the Series Award went to University alumnus Rohan Kapkar for his all-round performance, and Most Valuable Player was given to UT student Akshay Chawan, right arm fast bowler, batsman and secretary of the club.
“The UT Cricket Club is looking forward to competing and winning nationals in March,” Mohammad Wadood Majid, opening batsman and president of the club, said.
“We hope to bring the trophy to our very own Toledo,” Nitesh Ralhan, club coach, added.
“While others were dreaming of success, we woke up, practiced hard, and gave everything to achieve it,” Chawan said. “For me, it’s a dream to play in such a big tournament in the USA, but to win I never imagined. It’s impossible to explain what I felt at that moment — just very happy to win. Winning a national championship in Florida is the No. 1 target now.”
The team has been playing together for two years and set out to compete in big tournaments this year. UT students and recent alumni comprise the team. According to the American College Cricket Midwest Championship rules, two recent alumni are allowed to play.
People interested in watching a cricket match can find games at Beatty Park in Toledo; Lyon Oaks Cricket Field in Wixom, Mich.; and Murphy Park in Pontiac, Mich. Fan also can watch on Sony Six Live and ESPN.
The printing of electronic devices provides inexpensive solutions for diverse applications. But precision on a nanoparticle scale limits the success of sensors and transistors that are electronically printed. Dr. Hossein Sojoudi, Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical, Industrial, and Manufacturing Engineering, helped to engineer a solution: nanoporous microstructures that will serve as a next-generation stamp material, comprising polymer-coated aligned carbon nanotubes (CNTs). A paper on this new technology was recently published in Science Advances.
Since its invention in ancient times, relief printing, commonly called flexography, has been used to mass-produce artifacts ranging from decorative graphics to printed media. At present, higher resolution flexography is essential to manufacturing of low-cost, large-area printed electronics. However, due to contact-mediated liquid instabilities and spreading, the resolution of flexographic printing using elastomeric stamps is limited to 50-100 µm. “We designed and engineered the highly porous CNT microstructures to be wetted by colloidal inks, and to transfer a thin layer to a target substrate upon brief mechanical contact. This enabled printing of diverse micron-scale patterns of a variety of functional nanoparticle inks onto both rigid and compliant substrates,” Sojoudi said.
Sojoudi’s role in the research was to develop ultrathin polymer coatings to control elasticity and wettability of the porous CNT microstructures, using initiated chemical vapor deposition (iCVD).
“With a 30 nm thick polymer coating, we were able to prevent aggregation and shrinkage of the porous microstructures,” he said. “In addition to having micrometer-scale resolution, the direct printing of patterns with uniform nanoscale thickness is greatly beneficial to scalable manufacturing of devices such as high-performance transistors and low-cost wireless sensors.”
The project was led by Dr. Sanha Kim, a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. A. John Hart’s research group, in collaboration with other research groups at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Dr. Sojoudi was part of the research team while conducting his postdoctoral research with Prof. Gareth H. McKinley and Prof. Karen K. Gleason at MIT, before joining UT in August 2016.
This research news has been shared widely. Read more here:
Eurek Alert, The Global Source for Science News:
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By Vicki L. Kroll
Daniela Somaroo hopped in her car Dec. 18 in Detroit and drove down I-75 to visit friends in Toledo — and to make one special delivery.
First stop for the UT alumna: the home of Dr. Sammy Spann, assistant provost for international studies and programs.
She handed Spann a check for $4,000, a donation to the Center for International Studies and Programs.
“He immediately rejected it, which I expected was going to happen,” Somaroo recalled. “And I said, ‘No, this is something that I really need to do, and I’m not going to take it back because this could help somebody else.’”
“This was an unexpected blessing,” Spann said of the generous donation. “This will be used to help a young lady from Haiti who was getting ready to go home due to lack of funds. Now she can take classes next semester.”
Two years ago, Somaroo was that young lady lacking funds for school.
“During my last semester, the government body that administers currency exchange in my country wasn’t approving the release of dollars for me to be able to pay for school anymore,” the native of Caracas, Venezuela, said. “And, of course, if you don’t pay your last semester, you don’t get your diploma. That was my concern: If I didn’t have my diploma, I wouldn’t be able to submit my paperwork for a work visa.”
Somaroo was at the Center for International Studies and Programs and happened to see Spann.
“Like the awesome person Sammy is, he asked, ‘Hey, how are you doing? Were you able to pay for your semester?’ I wasn’t going to lie to him, and I told him I was still about $4,000 short, and I was graduating in four days,” Somaroo said. “I can walk in the ceremony, but I wouldn’t receive my diploma.
“So he talked to Cheryl Thomas, executive assistant in the Center for International Studies and Programs, who is also a great person, and he said, ‘Hey Cheryl, can you find $4,000 for Daniela’s account?’ And then he said, ‘Congratulations, you’ve graduated.’ That was just a shocker. Things like that don’t happen all the time. It was a life saver. I am forever indebted to him.”
It was December 2014, and Somaroo received a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering. Then she landed a job as a service engineer at Honeywell International Inc. and moved to Merrillville, Ind. For the past couple months, she’s been filling in at the company’s Detroit office.
“Sammy didn’t say it was a loan,” she said. “But I made myself a promise once he gave me that money to pay for the semester; I told myself I had to pay it back somehow someday. It took me two years, but I made it.”
Spann was moved to tears by the gift and posted about it on his Facebook page.
Comments poured in: “So awesome people like her still exist. Wow!” “She truly has a heart of gold.” “Thank you so much for showing love to our students.” “What an inspiration. I can’t wait to give back to the Center for International Studies and Programs!” “It is so amazing to see Rockets helping Rockets!” “Thank you for reaching back and investing in others!”
Somaroo was surprised by the post — and the comments.
“It was just extremely overwhelming. I didn’t expect anything. Sammy’s thank-you and knowing where that money is going to were more than enough, and I told him that,” she said. “The amount of comments and love I’ve received from that post — my heart is full.”
By Vicki L. Kroll
It’s a cool Yule outside iHeart’s WRVF station in downtown Toledo as more than 3,000 lights in the shape of a Christmas tree pulsate in time to 101.5 the River’s holiday music.
Last February, Alec Connolly was given the task of brightening up and adding joy to the sonic world this Christmas season. The UT junior majoring in electrical engineering is completing his co-op with iHeartMedia.
“My boss, Gary Fullhart [market director of engineering and information technology at iHeartMedia] came up with the idea, and we brainstormed and put the project together,” Connolly said. “He went up to Bronner’s in Frankenmuth, Mich., and he put this big bag of Christmas lights on my desk, and that’s when I knew it was actually going to happen.”
With a twinkle in his eye, Connolly began researching the project. By April, the UT engineering student had three units built for stations in Toledo, Lima and Napoleon.
“Most of the Christmas displays that you see are programmed to prerecorded songs; they pick 10 or 15 songs, and they program each individual light,” Connolly explained. “What we wanted to do is program it in real time. I can’t program every single light because on the radio, it’s random Christmas songs that play, so I wanted to do it in real time.”
Add a Raspberry Pi — a computer about the size of a credit card — running the free software LightShow Pi and it’s the most wonderful time of the year.
“The Raspberry Pi actually listens to the audio and converts it to the lights, which is what you see on the tree,” Connolly said. “Playing along to the music, the tree looks absolutely fantastic.”
“This is an interesting work that Alec has done,” Dr. Mansoor Alam, professor and chair of electrical engineering and computer science, said. “This shows that electrical engineering is not just hard work, but is also fun.”
“I visited Alec’s employer, iHeart Media, and talked to him about this project earlier this year,” Karen J. Gauthier, associate co-op director for electrical and computer science engineering, said. “His enthusiasm and willingness to go the extra mile to complete a project was evident.”
Synchronizing holiday songs and the lights proved inspirational for Connolly: “I’m planning to get the materials and make a unit again so that my house next year will have a display set up that’s synced to the River as well.”
The Sylvania resident wrote about the project for Radio World; read his article here.
And see the project in action in this video. Or dash down by the station at 125 S. Superior St.
“Folks can park by the Spaghetti Warehouse and sit in their cars and listen to Christmas on the River and watch,” Connolly said.
by Megan Cunningham
A longtime leader in the College of Engineering will serve as interim dean of the college, Provost Andrew Hsu announced Dec 8.
Dr. Steven LeBlanc, professor and executive associate dean for fiscal affairs, will lead the college starting Jan. 9 to fill the vacancy created by longtime dean Dr. Nagi Naganathan, who has accepted the presidency of Oregon Institute of Technology in Klamath Falls, Ore.
“Dr. Naganathan provided great leadership to the College of Engineering for many years, and we wish him well in his new opportunity as president of Oregon Tech,” Hsu said. “Steve has proven himself to be a strong leader, and I appreciate his willingness to again step into the role of interim dean to continue to advance the college.”
Hsu said the University will conduct a national search for a permanent dean for the College of Engineering with the goal to have that person in place for fall 2017.
“I appreciate the opportunity to serve in this role to support our faculty and students and continue the positive momentum of our college,” LeBlanc said. “The College of Engineering has a strong team dedicated to the success of our students, and I am honored to be asked to lead them during this transition. The College of Engineering will miss Dean Naganathan, and we wish him every success as the new president of Oregon Tech.”
LeBlanc joined the College of Engineering in 1980 and led the Department of Chemical Engineering from 1993 to 2003 when he joined the dean’s office to oversee academic affairs. Prior to coming to UT, he spent three years as a chemical engineer at Toledo Edison.
He is co-author of two textbooks, “Strategies for Creative Problem Solving,” which received the American Society of Engineering Education Meriam/Wiley Distinguished Author Award, and “Process Systems Analysis and Control,” a chemical engineering textbook from McGraw-Hill.
LeBlanc, who was named an American Institute of Chemical Engineers Fellow in 2010, has received the UT Outstanding Teacher Award and the American Society for Engineering Education North Central Section Outstanding Teaching Award.
He is a graduate of UT with a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering. He earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan and is a registered professional engineer in the state of Ohio.
A bike plan for the UT campus, a food truck tracker, a redesign of Carter Hall, a mechanical arm for a youth, and a plan for urban greening in the Vistula Neighborhood are a few of the projects that will be on display at The University of Toledo College of Engineering’s Fall 2016 Undergraduate Research and Senior Design Project Exposition.
The public is invited to take a look at more than 60 student projects at the Undergraduate Research and Senior Design Engineering Project Exposition from noon to 3 p.m. Friday, December 9th in Nitschke Hall.
The College of Engineering sponsors the event to showcase design projects created by graduating seniors from the departments of Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, Engineering Technology, and Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering.
As part of the required senior design capstone project, students create business-consulting units to develop a solution for a client’s technical or business challenge. Businesses, industries and federal agencies sponsor these projects.
For more information about the free, public exposition, call 419.530.8014 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
All project descriptions can be found at: http://www.utoledo.edu/engineering/docs/2016SeniorDesignProjects.pdf
By Vicki L. Kroll
Tyrone Jacobs Jr.’s drive to succeed is larger-than-life — like the ginormous image of him on a wall at LinkedIn headquarters in California.
A line from an April post is by his photo: “I will never, and I mean never, stop striving for greatness.”
“I got tagged in a post on LinkedIn. And I clicked on the link and it was me, and I was like, ‘Whoa!’ I had to stop. I thought: Is this for real? And I’m looking at it, and it’s for real — a wall, a mural, dedicated in my honor in their headquarters,” the UT junior majoring in electrical engineering said.
“Anybody who works at LinkedIn in California can see me all day — right there when you walk to the café — it’s a huge plastering of me,” he said. “I can’t put what it means into words.”
It all began in March when Jacobs attended the National Society of Black Engineers conference in Boston and interviewed with Boeing Co. In April, he was offered a summer internship with the world’s largest aerospace company and manufacturer of commercial jets.
“I got the offer, and I posted about it on my LinkedIn account,” he recalled.
Heartfelt and candid, the post began: “To be real, statistically, I should be dead or in jail. I’m a young black man that was raised in the hood by a single mother that had to support three other family members along with me. I don’t even know what to say. How did I make it this far in my life when the odds were always against me? I’m so in shock. I came from practically nothing and to get an offer from Boeing for an electromagnetics effects position just absolutely blows me away… I will never, and I mean never, stop striving for greatness.”
“The post just blew up,” Jacobs said. “It really took off like a rocket. It had 13,000 to 14,000 likes and comments.”
In fact, the post received so much attention that LinkedIn invited Jacobs to visit. He traveled to the business networking giant’s headquarters in Mountain View, Calif., in April.
“I flew out there for a photo shoot and a video shoot. My video is on the YouTube channel if you type in ‘defying the odds Tyrone Jacobs Jr.,’ you’ll see me with my big cheesy smile on the thumbnail of the video,” he said and laughed.
More than 3,500 have viewed that video, and thousands have seen Jacobs on LinkedIn’s wall, which went up during the summer.
“I’m just trying to spread my story to inspire someone,” he said.
It’s a moving tale about a boy born in Chicago who grew up in Toledo.
“I lived in a bad neighborhood. I come from where people don’t make it from. I saw a lot of police, violence, gangs, drugs — all these things you see in a movie or on TV, I was seeing in real life,” he said. “Sometimes we didn’t have electricity or food. And I didn’t have a father.
“My mom, she was so focused on me, going to school and keeping my grades up, making sure I was taking care of my business.”
Since the family didn’t have a computer, with his mom’s encouragement, Jacobs went to the library every day after school.
“My mom talks about that now, how I was always so studious. I was trying to get away from all the negative stuff around me,” he said.
His mom continues to motivate him.
“She’s worked so hard over the years, and she’s done what she can with so little,” Jacobs said. “She’s my inspiration. If I can make a better situation for her and the rest of my family, that’s why I’m doing what I’m doing.”
The 2012 graduate of Toledo Technology Academy has impressed many.
“Tyrone sets a great example of what all of our students can achieve. They are ready to take on major roles in industry and start making an impact right away, even before graduation, in Tyrone’s case,” Dr. Nagi Naganathan, dean of the College of Engineering, said. “Tyrone exemplifies the kind of leadership we want our students to embody. I don’t doubt that his perseverance and dedication will pay off in ways he has yet to realize.”
“I think Tyrone’s story is inspiring to anyone,” Dr. Mansoor Alam, professor and chair of the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, said. “It proves there is light at the end of the tunnel, but only for those who keep on and on — moving forward as Tyrone did.”
“I find Tyrone an inspiration,” Christie Hennen, associate director of student services in the Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department, said. “He never gives up on his goals. When faced with challenges, Tyrone perseveres and does it with a positive attitude.”
Jacobs found his passion in a high school digital electronics class. Choosing to attend The University of Toledo was easy.
“The main reason was because UT has a really strong College of Engineering. And the fact that the school is close to home, all my family is here,” he said. “I got offered scholarships as well to come here and pursue my education. Everything worked out.”
That includes landing internships with two Fortune 500 companies. In 2015, Jacobs worked in information technology at Eaton Corp. in Maumee.
Then there was Boeing: “I had a chance to see employees design airplane wings and other parts of airplanes. I was looking at military aircrafts, all this super-cool and confidential stuff that people usually don’t have a chance to see.”
Last month, Jacobs experienced more rarities when he returned to LinkedIn.
“I flew out there to meet with some of the people who have been working on my stuff,” he said. “And I was kind of a celebrity there in a sense for a moment. I was walking through the building, and everybody was freaking out: ‘Wait! Is this the guy?’ Everybody is stopping their work just to say hi. That felt pretty cool.”
As if that wasn’t enough, Jacobs met LinkedIn CEO Jeff Weiner.
“He was very humble, relaxed and cool. He shook my hand, we took a picture, I got to pick his brain for a little bit. He actually said, ‘I remember you, I liked your post.’ He actually likes my posts. I’ve never had a CEO of anything like my posts. I see his name pop up, and I’m just like wow, he genuinely likes my stuff. It’s crazy.”
Back on campus, Jacobs is concentrating on classes. He is president of the UT chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers and a member of the Roy and Marcia Ames Engineering Leadership Institute, and he is an information technology desktop support assistant in the College of Arts and Letters. Carrying a grade point average above 3.0, Jacobs plans to graduate in fall 2017 with a bachelor of science degree in electrical engineering and a minor in business administration. He’s applied for another internship with Boeing, this time in California, and hopes to get an offer letter soon.
“I want to use my all for everything that I’m doing right now — school, work, all my leadership on campus — everything I’m doing, I have to give it my 120 percent every day, not complaining, not making excuses, just getting the job done,” he said.
“I want to keep growing, making more moves, and keeping my eyes on the prize, and not stop until I get there.”