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COEN Online News 9/28/15

COEN Online News 9/28/15

$1.5 Million IGEM Award to Boost Nanotech | Getting to the Root of Poverty in Sierra Leone | Efforts to Recover Car Engine Heat | Advising Matters Day | Faculty in Action | ITS News | COEN News | Funding Opportunities

$1.5 Million IGEM Award to Boost Nanotech at Boise State

By: Kathleen Tuck

Image of a woman in a hazmat suit in the IML

In 2013, nearly half of Idaho’s export sales were generated by computer and electronic products. Boise State is working to reduce or eliminate the technical barriers that discourage companies from pursuing new ideas. University researchers, students and industry partners will get help from a $1.5 million award from the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) to enhance nanotechnology capabilities and improve the Idaho Microfabrication Laboratory (IML).

IGEM creates partnerships that pair private sector experts with research professionals to bring commercially viable technologies to market. The initiative is creating new products, companies and high-value jobs, while increasing the research capacity of Idaho’s universities in strategic areas.

View the full “$1.5 Million IGEM Award to Boost Nanotech at Boise State” article.

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Getting to the Root of Poverty in Sierra Leone

By: Kathleen Tuck

Image of Don Plumlee in a village in Sierra Leone surrounded by African childrenEngineering faculty members Don Plumlee and Sondra Miller think a common root could help alleviate the affects of poverty in the West African nation of Sierra Leone.

Plumlee, chair of the Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, traveled to the economically depressed country to help survey a possible location for a cassava processing plant, including checking out site topography, soil conditions, groundwater flow and more. Miller, associate professor of civil engineering, will join him when he returns to Sierra Leone later in the year to help design the plant and begin construction.

View the full “Getting to the Root of Poverty in Sierra Leone” article.

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Article Highlights Efforts to Recover Car Engine Heat

By: Kathleen Tuck

Image describing what a nanostructured thermoelectric generator does

A paper co-authored by Yanliang Zhang and his students Nick Kempf and Luke Schoensee has been published in the journal Energy Conversion and Management. Zhang is an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering.

Titled “High-Temperature and high-power-density nanostructured thermoelectric generator for automotive waste heat recovery,” it focuses on the development of thermoelectric generators (TEGs) as a way to convert the waste heat from car engines into electricity.

View the full “Article Highlights Efforts to Recover Car Engine Heat” article.

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Advising Matters Day

Image of the Advising Matters Day flyer
Wednesday, September 30
11 a.m.1 p.m.
Student Union Patio

Representatives from more than 30 departments will be on hand to show you more possibilities than you knew existed to get the most out of your academic career. Meet with department advisors, schedule advising appointments, and learn about other resources like Study Abroad or the Career Center that will make your studies come to life.

Contact Advising and Academic Enhancement (AAE) at 426-4049 or go to the Advising Matters webpage for more information.

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Faculty and Students in Action

Image of Janet Callahan, Yu-Chang Hsu, Yu-Hui Ching, and Doug BullockThe National Science Foundation recently awarded a $164,000 grant to a multidisciplinary team of researchers from three colleges at Boise State. Janet Callahan from Materials Science and Engineering, Yu-Chang Hsu and Yu-Hui Ching from Educational Technology, and Doug Bullock from Mathematics will use the grant to develop an app from STEM students.

The project pilots an innovative approach to mathematics learning by engaging students enrolled in trigonometry in mobile app development. Using the MIT App Inventor, students will gain practical knowledge in app development while deepening their understanding of trigonometry.


Image of Don WinieckiDon Winiecki authored two articles that were published in Performance Improvement Journal (PIJ).  PIJ publishes reports of applied research and practice in the field of performance improvement.

The articles are titled: “Comparing a Few Behavior Engineering Models (BEM)” and “Truth(s), Fiction, and Storytelling in Performance Improvement.”

The articles are contributions in a series through which Winiecki relates theory to practice using examples from the field of performance improvement.


Image of Elisa Barney SmithElisa Barney Smith helped demystify the subject of memristors during an interview for HOT Radio in Phoenix, Arizona. Memristor chips mimic the human brain by adapting to new data. Listen to the “What are Memristors? interview.


Image of Claire XiongResearch by Claire Xiong that is funded by a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER Award is featured in an online article in ACerS Bulletin (American Ceramic Society).  Xiong is one of only two 2015 CAREER Awards in the NSF Ceramics program. The other researcher is William Chueh at Stanford University. Xiong is attempting to create a better battery using defect-drive oxide materials. Read about Claire Xiong’s research here.


Image of Said Ahmed-ZaidSaid Ahmed-Zaid wrote an article for the Idaho Statesman titled “Building Bridges of Understanding Takes Courage,” about an interfaith group, Healing Our Future, that hosted an event where more than 100 people listened to six panelists that represented Judaism, Christianity and Islam. They were asked a series of questions about their religions and respect for the other religions. Then all of the attendees broke out into several discussion groups and were visited by the panelists who spoke.

View the full Idaho Statesman article, “Building Bridges of Understanding Takes Courage”.

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IT Services News

Windows 10 is HERE!

The latest operating system available from Microsoft has been tested and evaluated for use with engineering software packages.

Next fall COEN Windows labs will be configured with Windows 10 to leverage enhanced security features and operating system functionality. MEC 201 and MEC 301 conference rooms currently have upgraded computers to introduce the new platform to faculty and staff.

To assist with this transition, COEN IT Services will schedule appointments with anyone interested in reviewing the configuration prior to computer labs implementation.

If you would like your system to be upgraded to Windows 10, please send a message to the COEN IT group to schedule the update.


Windows 10 Tour: Appointments Are Available

As previously announced, COEN labs will be upgraded to Windows 10 to leverage enhanced security features and operating system functionality.

To assist with this transition, COEN IT Services will schedule appointments with all interested in reviewing the configuration prior to the fall semester to become more familiar with the look and feel of Windows 10.

Please contact Maureen Moore or the COEN IT group if you are interested in scheduling an appointment.


New Conference Room Machines!

In preparation for next year’s ABET evaluation, new Dell all-in-one systems were installed in MEC 201 and MEC 301 conference rooms, replacing the very old, re-purposed computers. The computers are housed within locked enclosures (built by Bill Stipe) in the northwest corner of the rooms.

These computers are configured with Windows 10 to introduce the new operating system to faculty and staff at COEN. Windows 10 will be implemented in OIT-supported classrooms fall 2016, so here’s your chance to find out what’s new!

The cable available for projector laptop use is labeled and in the front of the room.

Conference Room Usage Information:

  • Power buttons on the all-in-ones are on the lower right-hand side of the computer case
  • To login locally to the machines, use .\mec201 or .\mec301 in the login field
  • Do not unplug cables to the Dell all-in-one systems; they’re now in locked enclosures to prevent equipment tampering
  • Power off the projector when finished to preserve bulb longevity
  • Turn off wireless mouse/keyboards to conserve batteries
  • Take your items with you (plates, hats, food, napkins, etc)
  • Shut off room lights, close the door to prevent theft

If you have problems with the equipment in these rooms, contact COEN IT Services at coenits@cs.boisestate.edu.


Student WordPress Editors

Student website editors must meet with Michele Armstrong for a short training session before gaining access. Training covers how to edit and add pages, sizing images and WordPress basics.

To schedule a training session email: Michele Armstrong


Marketing Checklist

The new 2015 marketing checklist is now available. Please download, print and use it to distribute your messages to our campus community. It includes a handy graphics reference guide, so it’s truly a “must have” document for all of us. Communications and Marketing also will be sending hard copies through campus mail. If you need extra copies for your office please contact Haley Robinson in the Office of Communications and Marketing.

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COEN News

Upcoming Events

  • September 30 – Construction Management Career Fair (for Business & Engineering majors too) (registered companies: Granite, RSCI, Power Engineers, Barnard, Blattner, Intermountain Slurry Seal, Kiewit, Knife River, Coleman Homes, McMillen, Turner, Petra, Ryan Companies, Lydig, Layton, Goodfellow Brothers, Whiting-Turner, McCarthy, ESI)
  • October 2ECE Seminar – Noon, MEC 114
    Pat Sewall, Entrepreneur
    Big Corp or Start Up: What do you want to do when you grow-up?
  • October 9MSE Seminar – 10:30 – 11:20 am, ENGR 110
    Dr. Jennifer Padilla – Boise State University
    Communication and Lack of Communication in Self-Assembly
  • October 14 – Boise State Career Fair (all majors)
  • University Events Calendar: Boise State Events

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Funding Opportunities

NSF Limited Competition: IUSE/Professional Formation of Engineers

Program Title:

IUSE/Professional Formation of Engineers: REvolutionizing engineering and computer science Departments (RED)

Synopsis of Program:

In FY 2016, the Directorates for Engineering (ENG), Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE) and Education and Human Resources (EHR) are continuing a program aligned with the Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) framework:REvolutionizing engineering and computer science Departments (herein referred to as RED). This funding opportunity enables engineering and computer science departments to lead the nation by successfully achieving significant sustainable changes necessary to overcome longstanding issues in their undergraduate programs and educate inclusive communities of engineering and computer science students prepared to solve 21st-century challenges.

In 2014, ENG launched an initiative, the Professional Formation of Engineers (PFE), to create and support an innovative and inclusive engineering profession for the 21stcentury. At the same time, in 2014, NSF launched the agency-wide Improving Undergraduate STEM Education (IUSE) framework, which is a comprehensive effort to accelerate improvements in the quality and effectiveness of undergraduate education in all STEM fields. The RED program was first offered in FY 2015 as a PFE initiative aligned with the IUSE framework. Additional programs have been created within the IUSE framework across NSF, such as the IUSE: EHR program within EHR.

Even as demographic and regional socio-economic factors affect engineering and computer science departments in unique ways, there are certain tenets of sustainable change that are common across institutions. For instance, the development and engagement of the entire faculty within a department are paramount to the process, and they must be incentivized. Departmental cultural barriers to inclusion of students andfaculty from different backgrounds must be identified and addressed. Finally, coherent technical and professional threads must be developed and woven across the four years, especially (1) in the core technical courses of the middle two years, (2) in internship opportunities in the private and public sectors, and (3) in research opportunities with faculty. These and other threads aim to ensure that students develop deep knowledge in their discipline more effectively and meaningfully, while at the same time building their capacities for 21st-century and “T-shaped” professional skills, including design, leadership, communication, understanding historical and contemporary social contexts, lifelong learning, professional ethical responsibility, creativity, entrepreneurship, and multidisciplinary teamwork. It is expected that, over time, the awardees of this program will create knowledge concerning sustainable change in engineering and computer science education that can be scaled and adopted nationally across a wide variety of academic institutions. The research on departmental change that results from these projects should inform change more broadly across the STEM disciplines.

  • Letter of Intent Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. proposer’s local time):     November 10, 2015
  • Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer’s local time):     December 15, 2015

 


Limited Submission Notice: National Science Foundation

Please reply to Linda Georgiev by October 9, 2015 if you plan to submit an application to this limited submission. You will be notified if an internal review process is necessary.

Title: Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity
Sponsor:  National Science Foundation
Sponsor Deadline: Letters of Intent: December 2, 2015; Full Proposals: January 27, 2016
Link: Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity

Synopsis: supports academe-industry partnerships which are led by an interdisciplinary academic research team collaborating with a least one industry partner. In this program, there is a heavy emphasis on the quality, composition, and participation of the partners, including the appropriate contributions for each role. These partnerships focus on the integration of technologies into a specified human-centered service system with the potential to achieve transformational change, satisfying a real need by making an existing service system smart(er) or by spurring the creation of an entirely new smart service system. The selected service system should function as a test bed.

Two submissions per institution are allowed.


CTR-IN Campus Visit October 8-9

Last year you had an opportunity to participate in Boise State’s campus visit from Principal Investigator Dr. Robert Langer and Project Coordinator Dr. Jim Kenyon, as part of the Mountain West Clinical Translational Research Infrastructure Network (CTR-IN).
Drs. Langer and Keyon will be returning to campus on October 8-9.

If you or a colleague wish to meet with these representatives again this year, either one-on-one or at an open meeting to learn about pilot grant opportunities, the visiting scholar program, the mini-sabbaticals, matching with mentors, and other services supported and offered by the CTR-IN infrastructure, please contact Kim Long by Tuesday September 15.


NSF: Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity (PFI:BIC)

Program Title:

Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity (PFI:BIC)

Synopsis of Program:

The Partnerships for Innovation: Building Innovation Capacity (PFI:BIC) program supports academe-industry partnerships which are led by an interdisciplinary academic research team collaborating with a least one industry partner. In this program, there is a heavy emphasis on the quality, composition, and participation of the partners, including the appropriate contributions for each role. These partnerships focus on the integration of technologies into a specified human-centered service system with the potential to achieve transformational change, satisfying a real need by making an existing service system smart(er) or by spurring the creation of an entirely new smart service system. The selected service system should function as a test bed.

Service systems are socio-technical configurations of people, technologies, organizations, and information [1] designed to create value by fulfilling the needs of those participating in the system. A “smart” service system is a system that amplifies or augments human capabilities [2] to identify, learn, adapt, monitor and make decisions. The system utilizes data received, transmitted, or processed in a timely manner, thus improving its response to future situations. These capabilities are the result of the incorporation of technologies for sensing, actuation, coordination, communication, control, etc.

PFI:BIC funds research partnerships working on projects that operate in the post-fundamental/translational space; the proposers must be mindful of the state of the art and the competitive landscape, yet recognize that it is not a central task in this proposal to carve out, or be on, a clear path to commercialization. These projects require additional effort to integrate the technology into a real service system, incorporating human factors considerations to assure the system’s efficacy. The research tasks in turn might spawn additional discoveries inspired by this interaction of humans with the technology.

Partnership activities that drive sustained innovation include the targeted allocation of resources such as capital, time, and facilities; and sharing of knowledge in a cross-organizational and interdisciplinary context. The research tasks of the project must demonstrate a highly collaborative research plan involving participation of the primary industrial partner(s) as well as of any other primary partners with the academic researcher during the life of the award.

NSF recognizes that a highly interdisciplinary collaboration involving many areas of expertise beyond those related to the technology is needed to achieve successful integration into a smart service system. The research components to be included in this project are: 1) engineered system design and integration; 2) computing, sensing, and information technologies; and 3) human factors, behavioral sciences, and cognitive engineering. The proposer must show how these components will be integrated in the context of the project as part of the research plan in the Project Description.

Limit on Number of Proposals per Organization: 2

Academic institutions are limited to participation on two (2) proposals as a lead institution, preferably involving distinct application areas.

Due Dates:  Letter of Intent Due Date(s) (required) (due by 5 p.m. proposer’s local time):

December 02, 2015

Full Proposal Deadline(s) (due by 5 p.m. proposer’s local time):

January 27, 2016

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