Dean's February 2020 Newsletter
At the University of Idaho College of Engineering, we have alumni working across the globe to turn ideas into reality and make a difference in the world.
Delivering engineering and computer science education for more than 125 years, we have more than 25,000 living Vandal engineers in the world today. Many of those graduates work for leaders in engineering technology, including Micron Technology, Nike, Apple, Amazon, Jacobs Engineering Group, Boeing, HDR, Microsoft, Hewlett-Packard, Intel Corporation and many more.
This month, our students took advantage of several events connecting them to local and regional recruiters. The spring Career Fair welcomes more than 200 employers to campus, the majority of which are looking for STEM-educated individuals to fill engineering and computer science-related positions.
Our college also hosted its own career networking social presented in partnership with Idaho Forest Group, giving students personal interaction with employers from Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories, Micron Technology, POWER Engineers, GeoTek, Keller Associates, KPG and more.
Held the night before the Career Fair, the event helped facilitate valuable one-on-one interactions between students and employers looking to hire Vandal engineers. Students were able to ask questions and discuss career opportunities in a relaxed social setting and establish rapport and recognition with recruiters before attending the Career Fair the next day.
Eighty-seven percent of graduates in the College of Engineering reach commencement with a job lined up or are enrolled in additional education or military service. According to the U.S. Department of Education’s College Scorecard, the University of Idaho has the highest graduation rate of any public college in Idaho.
In addition to their education, our students are gaining connections with leading industry while in school to gain true hands-on experience and build relationships that will lead them to job placement in the future.
The engineering cohort in U of I’s Cooperative Education (Co-op) Program consisted of many electrical engineering and computer science students. Students spent six months as full-time employees, working for Hewlett-Packard, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Idaho National Laboratory (INL) and Vandal startup Safeguard, known for its innovative Compass, a device that alerts lineworkers to unseen electrical threats that could be dangerous.
In Co-op, students alternate terms of classroom study with six-month sessions of on-the-job experience to earn $18,000-$28,000 as a student. These extended experiences allow students to be involved in major projects and make a difference in the companies they serve. Computer science senior Conrad Mearns worked with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, migrating radiation portal data collected at border crossings and major import centers. Joel Berain, also a computer science senior, worked in Hewlett-Packard’s Boise office to determine motor failure rates in brush motors of popular printers.
Our students also participate in the Fenway Group partnership with the U of I College of Business and Economics. Students earn $12 to $20 per hour in the program and have worked with businesses like Starbucks, CenturyLink, Southwest, Verizon and Kraft. The program has a 100 percent placement rate.
Students in our college regularly partner with industry in fellowship and assistantship programs as well as our nationally recognized Senior Capstone Design Program, preparing thoughtfully engineered and tested outcomes and prototypes for many different companies, including INL and SEL, which employ hundreds if Vandal engineers and a large number of student interns.
Our college has much to celebrate thanks to the successes of our hardworking and dedicated alumni working in every sector of the economy.
Dean, College of Engineering
It is that time of year to submit nominations for the 2020 class of the U of I College of Engineering Academy of Engineers.
The academy is a mix of U of I alumni and others recognized for their personal contributions to engineering achievement, leadership, education, service to the profession and advancement of society.
Nominations will be accepted through March 15, 2020.
Support Engineering Student Initiatives
Three engineering student organizations and competition teams are leading efforts to fund major initiatives this year:
Concrete Canoe Competition
American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) U of I Chapter is raising money for materials to compete in the Concrete Canoe Competition at the ASCE Pacific Northwest Student Conference. Qualifying teams then get to compete at the 2020 ASCE National Concrete Canoe Competition in June.
The competition engages student creativity to design a canoe shape that's stable and slim enough to race using a mix of lightweight aggregates, expanding glass beads and pumice, to create a canoe close to the density of water so it can float.
ASME's New Student Lounge
The American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) U of I Chapter Student Lounge provides a great space to host industry speaking events and gives students a space to engage with others in their studies, to work on projects, and generally de-stress between classes.
However, the lounge needs a serious boost. ASME’s goal is to install a projector screen that was recently donated to the club, paint, replace aging furniture, and to add more worktables and sound dampening tiles to create a relaxing and enjoyable space.
Clean Water for Challcha
Our U of I Humanitarian Engineering Corps (HEC) is student-run design organization that connects U of I students of all majors and technical backgrounds through international service opportunities. This summer they finished a five-year project working with the community of Carani on the Bolivian Altiplano, and the team will start a new project this summer with the community of Challcha in Bolivia.
Support will cover travel expenses and building supplies for the summer trip to Challcha to discuss project goals with community leadership, educate community members about system maintenance, and turn our designs into drinking water!
Tendons connect muscle to bone and are essential to our body’s ability to stand, run, sit, jump and haul our skeletons around.
There are more than 16 million reported tendon injuries in the U.S. each year, impacting athletes and non-athletes alike.
Current research in the U of I Department of Biological Engineering in assistant professor Nathan Schiele’s lab aims to understand the mechanisms that guide tendon tissue formation to ultimately engineer tendon tissue replacements and regenerative therapies.
The lab brings together students from all college levels, funded through many different resources, including the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Idaho IDeA Network of Biomedical Research Excellence (INBRE), Burroughs Wellcome Fund, Beckman Scholars Program, the U of I Office of Undergraduate Research and scholar programs across our college.
Chemical engineering undergraduates Sierra Knowles and Kendall Reeder recently received grants through the U of I Office of Undergraduate Research to present at the Oregon Bioengineering Symposium this past November.
Their research focuses on a method of categorizing cells that could improve cancer diagnosis and detection of other diseases.
Senior Courtney Molvig won OUR grants for both fall and spring, and placed first at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers Pacific Northwest conference with her poster on characterizing red blood cells using stress and aging tests.
She is developing diagnostics that can be used to better identify if a person has Lyme disease, a tick-borne illness that can attack the nervous system and cause paralysis and death if left undetected.
Congratulations to Our 400 Dean’s List Students!
Congrats to the 400 Vandal engineering students who made the Dean's List for fall 2019. These students earned a 3.5 GPA or better last semester!
A research article written by University of Idaho Department of Chemical and Materials Engineering assistant professor Soumya Srivastava was recently selected for publication in Applied Physics Reviews. The annual peer-reviewed scientific journal selects articles important to current topics in science and engineering. Submitted articles undergo a rigorous selection process, and Srivastava’s paper, which was co-written with 2019 U of I doctoral graduate Ezekiel Adekanmbi, was selected from 175 submitted articles.
March 6 – Women in Engineering Exploration – Ninth and 10th-grade students are invited to learn more about STEM and college life by participating in hands-on activities, meeting female engineering professionals and exploring campus.
March 11 – Cybersecurity Activities at INL – Zachary Tudor, Associate Laboratory Director of Idaho National Laboratory’s National and Homeland Security directorate, will be on campus to present.
March 12 – National Society of Black Engineers U of I Chapter Dynamic Engineers Lecture Series – Lecture series featuring Zachary Tudor, Associate Laboratory Director of Idaho National Laboratory’s National and Homeland Security directorate. Attendance is free and open to the public.
May 1 – Engineering Design EXPO 2020 – The University of Idaho Engineering Design EXPO welcomes young learners, industry leaders and community members to experience the many ways U of I students are making a difference and solving real-world problems.