UT College of Engineering News

Distinguished Alum Delivers Talk on NASA Technology

shyne 42015 Distinguished Alumnus Dr. Rickey J. Shyne, Ph.D, P.E. was welcomed back to the College of Engineering with a reception on Friday, October 9th. Dr. Shyne received his Master’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Ph.D in Engineering Science from the UT College of Engineering. He is now Director of Research and Engineering at NASA Glenn Research Center, where he has held various leadership roles for 32 years. In 2013, Dr. Shyne was selected for the Presidential Rank Award for Meritorious Service by President Obama from a select group of career senior executives who have provided exceptional service to the American people. Dr. Shyne also serves as a board member of the Cleveland Engineering Society and Minds Matter, a non-profit whose mission is to transform the lives of accomplished high school students from low-income families by broadening their dreams and preparing them for college success.

shyne 1Dr. Shyne delivered a lecture for engineering students, faculty, and staff on Friday following the Distinguished Alumnus reception. His lecture addressed the far reach of technology developed by NASA. “We look at the intersection of opportunities to use our technology to make an impact here on earth,” Dr. Shyne commented.  For example, the Cleveland Clinic used NASA flow visualization software with patient MRI images to visualize stresses during walking to study how diabetic foot ulcers develop, and Chevy used NASA topology mapping software to directly or indirectly alter vehicle speed to maximize MPG based on road conditions.

shyne 2The presentation included a picture of one of the first computers ever built, which occupied an entire room. Holding up his cell phone, Dr. Shyne stressed the importance of materials research and thermal control in enabling the computing power of that first computer to fit in the palm of a hand. “No one envisioned that THIS would ever be able to do what that first computer did,” Dr. Shyne noted, followed by an appeal to students: “Help us to continue to look at things differently.”

Dr. Shyne was honored at the annual Homecoming Gala on Friday night where he received the Distinguished Alumnus award. His wife Eulanda and two sons, Eric and Rickey Jr. attended the Gala and rode in the Homecoming parade on Saturday morning before attending the Homecoming football game in the afternoon.shyne 3

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