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COEN Online News 8/10/17

COEN Online News 8/10/17

Meet COEN’s New Dean | IGEM Grant | Nanotechnology is Reaching New Heights | Welcome Back | Engineering in Action | ITS News | COEN News | Funding Opportunities |

Boise State Names Next Leader for College of Engineering

By: Sherry Squires

Image of JoAnn Lighty

Please welcome JoAnn S. Lighty as the new Dean of Boise State University’s College of Engineering.

Dr. Lighty has been serving as a division director for the National Science Foundation since October 2013. She was also a professor of chemical engineering at the University of Utah and has held leadership positions in research, teaching and service.

“I am honored to lead the College of Engineering,” she said. “Building upon the college’s recognized excellence in undergraduate education and the university’s collaborative culture and innovative approaches, this is a wonderful opportunity to work with faculty, students, staff and the community to enhance and grow the college’s research and education potential.”

View the full “Boise State Names Next Leader for College of Engineering”article

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Boise State Researchers Awarded IGEM Grant to Combat Potato Rot

By: Cienna Madrid

Image of Harish Subbaraman, left, works with graduate students in the Advanced Nanomaterials and Manufacturing Lab.In Idaho, potatoes are both a humble stereotype and a half-billion dollar crop. According to the Idaho Farm Bureau Federation, every spring farmers plant more than 320,000 acres of potatoes valued at between $550-$700 million. Yet unbeknownst to most consumers, roughly 30 percent of the potatoes harvested spoil before they reach a grocery store shelf.

Boise State University researchers Harish Subbaraman, David Estrada and Yantian Hou hope to change that. In a recently awarded one-year $413,681 Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) grant, Boise State is collaborating with Idaho State University and industry partners Isaacs Hydropermutation Technologies, Inc (IHT) and Emerson to develop a wireless sensor network that would be able to detect temperature, humidity levels, and carbon dioxide and ammonia levels in real time, to help with early detection of rot. The cloud-enabled sensor system will feature three-dimensional hot spot visualization and help predict on-coming rot or deteriorating quality of stored potatoes. This will allow owners to use the real-time sensor data, along with a miniature air scrubber system IHT is developing, to respond to potential problems quickly, as they develop

View the full “Boise State Researchers Awarded IGEM Grant to Combat Potato Rot” article.

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Nanotechnology is Reaching New Heights at Boise State University

By: Sherry Squires

Image of Nanotechnology studentsDave Estrada, assistant professor in the Micron School of Materials Science and Engineering, offers a graduate course titled Nanoscale Transport that facilitates industry partnerships and hands-on experiences for students. He recently partnered with NASA and MicroLink Devices to take nanotechnology to new heights.

NASA is particularly interested in nanotechnology solutions that promote successful crewed missions to Mars. MicroLink Devices specializes in cultivating new materials for use in wireless communications devices. The materials are also useful in fabricating advanced solar cells that can be used in space, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and here on our own planet Earth.

View the full “Nanotechnology is Reaching New Heights at Boise State University” article.

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Fall 2017 Back to School Meeting Activities

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

President’s State of the University Address 
President Kustra provides an overview of recent accomplishments along with a look ahead to the opportunities, priorities and goals for the near future. This annual message is intended for the entire campus community and general public. Faculty and staff are especially encouraged to attend. 

Morrison Center for the Performing Arts
10:00 am

President’s Picnic
A luncheon gathering for the campus community, to be held immediately following the President’s Address. Details and rsvp instructions will be sent via campus email.

College-wide Meetings
Faculty and staff in each college are invited to join their dean for a college-wide meeting.

College of Engineering
Engineering Building – Room 110
Starting at 1:30pm

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Engineering in Action

Image of Dean JoAnn S. Lighty

Dr. JoAnn S. Lighty, Dean of the College of Engineering, has been named the selected candidate for the 2017 Lawrence K. Cecil Award in Environmental Chemical Engineering from the Environmental Division of AIChE.

This award recognizes an individual’s outstanding chemical engineering contribution and achievement in the preservation or improvement of the environment. The recipient must be a member of AIChE, have 15 years of chemical engineering experience in the environmental field, and demonstrate leadership in research, teaching, engineering, or regulatory activities in either the public or private sector.

Dr. Lighty will be presented the award at the 2017 American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) Annual Meeting in late October, where she will also give the Cecil Award lecture.

Image of In-Gu KangIn-Gu Kang received the 2017 Distinguished Dissertation Award from the International Society for Performance Improvement (ISPI) during the 2017 performance improvement conference held in Montreal April 30 – May 2.  Kang’s dissertation is titled “Empirical testing of a human performance model: Understanding successes in federal agencies using second-order structural equation modeling.”

View the full article here

Image of Don Winiecki

Professor Don Winiecki from the Department of Organizational Performance and Workplace Learning in the College of Engineering, is working to find the intersection of art and science. In this Boise State podcast, Winiecki discusses his work developing a computer program called ANA that draws and paints autonomously.

Listen to the Don Winiecki’s podcast

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ITS News

Web Accessibility at Boise State University

The Americans with Disabilities Act ensures individuals with disabilities are not denied the benefits of services, programs or activities of Boise State, including content on WordPress public-facing websites.

In addition, State policies #8140: IT Accessibility and #8040: University Webpages and Electronic Publications require University public-facing websites to comply with WCAG 2.0 accessibility guidelines.

Compliance with these University policies is required. Websites with inaccessible content put the organization at risk for a lawsuit.

What does this mean for College of Engineering websites?
Anyone editing Boise State or COEN sites must follow the Web Accessibility Best Practices Guidelines (pdf). Inaccessible content regards a spectrum of issues including text formatting, labels (or ‘Alt Text’) for graphics and images, and a myriad of other issues that may impede a screen reader’s ability to interpret content and render it accessible.

Each engineering department must have a designated person responsible for website content and reviewing Siteimprove Reports in order to address and correct accessibility errors. If you are the contact for your department and need a Siteimprove account, you may request one by submitting a ticket to the OIT Help Desk.

The COEN IT Services team is currently in the process of sifting through 4,000+ pages on engineering websites to correct accessibility related errors, and may contact your department’s website “point of contact” in order to address the situation.

As a reminder, all new COEN students, faculty or staff must attend training with Michele Armstrong prior to receiving website editing access.

Going forward, website editors will be immediately notified of accessibility errors in order to correct them. If there are continuous problems with the same web pages/content editors, website editing privileges will be revoked and training revisited.

Tips for editing or creating new pages:

  • COPIED CONTENT: When coping text from Microsoft applications (such as Word), use the “Paste as Text” feature in WordPress, which strips out formatting (which is a significant source of accessibility issues in SiteImprove reports)

screenshot of dialog box, paste as text

  • FORMATTING: Format text using native WordPress editing features, not third-party software
  • IMAGES: Add “Alt Text” to all images (so screen readers are able to identify image content)

Screenshot of Alt text dialog box

  • BOLD: Use <strong> not <b> when bolding text with HTML (OK to use the Bold feature in native WordPress visual editing tools)
  • ITALICS: Use <em> not <i> when italicizing text with HTML (OK to use the Italicize feature in native WordPress visual editing tools)
  • UNDERLINING: Never underline text <u> using HTML or WordPress visual editing tools; underlining present as a URL hyperlink to screen readers
  • HYPERLINKS: Make all links contextual (i.e. specific to the linked content). Avoid using general phrases such as “Click Here” or “Read More” and opt for descriptive text instead
  • VIDEOS: All videos MUST be captioned or accompanying transcripts provided. Videos used in academic course materials may be uploaded to BlackBoard (without captioning)
  • PDFs: All PDFs must be accessible

Additionally there are several free University training classes and resources available regarding Siteimprove reporting tools, WordPress website editing, Video Captioning and Making PDFs Accessible.

Reference materials:

If you have any questions regarding WordPress website editing, Siteimprove reports or matters regarding accessibility, please contact Michele Armstrong at


What Is Happening
COEN Computer Labs have been upgraded to Windows 10 for the fall 2017 semester to leverage enhanced operating system security features and overall system functionality.

What this means to COEN users
These labs (and Windows computer consoles) are configured to Windows 10 64bit: 

  • ENGR212 (open lab)
  • ENGR215
  • ENGR238
  • ERB3100
  • ET336
  • ET312
  • ET337
  • MEC103
  • VLAB 1 & 2

Show & Tell Tour of Windows 10
If you’d like to schedule an assisted tour of Windows 10, contact COEN IT Services for an appointment:

Drop-in options:

  • Engineering computer labs (based on room availability) are configured with Windows 10. Login using your existing organizational “MyBoiseState” credentials to try it out.
  • Computer consoles in MEC201 and MEC301 conference/classrooms are also running Windows 10 and available for exploration (access also based on room availability). 

Questions regarding COEN Computer Labs?
Contact COEN IT Services support at

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Updating your Personnel Profiles on the COEN Directory

Go to and login with your BroncoWeb username and password. This will take you to the dashboard. Next, on the left hand navigation go down to COEN Faculty/Edit Personnel Profile. This will take you to you profile where you can edit your bio, research etc.

If you have any questions please contact Michele Armstrong at

Upcoming Events

  • August 16 – College Meeting – ENGR 110, 1pm
  • August 21 – First Day of Classes
  • September 7 – CM Career Fair – Simplot Ballroom
  • University Events Calendar:Boise State Events

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Funding Opportunities

Google Research Awards

SPIN ID:  04600 (
Opportunity Title: Faculty Research Awards
Sponsor:  Google Research
Deadline Date: 30-Sep-2017
Funding Amount: 150,000.00 USD

Contact Email :
Sponsor Website :
Program URL :
Deadline Dates (ALL) :  30-Sep-2017
Synopsis Google Faculty Research Awards are one-year awards structured as unrestricted gifts to support the research of world-class permanent faculty members at top universities around the world.

NIH: Synthetic Biology for Engineering Applications (R01)
National Institutes of Health (NIH) and its participating Institutes and Centers invite applications for research to advance the understanding and application of synthetic biology for human health. It will support 1) the development of innovative tools and technologies in synthetic biology and 2) their application in biomedical research and human health. An integrative research plan based on collaborations of synthetic biologists with computational scientists, cell biologists, engineers, and/or physician scientists is strongly recommended. Early stage investigators in Synthetic Biology are especially encouraged to apply. This FOA will use the NIH Research Project (R01) award mechanism.

Program Objectives
This Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) will support research in the burgeoning field of synthetic biology. The overarching goals of this FOA are 1) to develop tools and technologies to control and reprogram biological systems, 2) to increase the fundamental understanding of synthetic biology concepts as they relate to human health, 3) to gain fundamental biological knowledge, 4) to apply synthetic biology approaches for the development of biomedical technologies, and 5) to encourage the participation of early stage investigators in synthetic biology.
Synthetic biology for human health is advancing, but major challenges, such as the inability to engineer robust complex metabolic and signaling networks or to produce cells with reliable and predicable behavior once in the host, currently limit application. This FOA encourages the development of tools and technology to tackle challenges in biomedical research and in cell-based therapies and diagnostics. Specific topics of interest include, but are not limited to, those listed below.
Cell-free and cell-based systems for testing and analyzing biological systems and for the efficient and scalable synthesis of complex biological products

  • Cell-free (prototyping genetic circuits, discovering and evolving enzymes, and conducting biomolecular reactions)
  • Cell-based (materials and pharmaceutical production, microbiome reprogramming, diagnostics)
  • Natural and engineered biological circuits for implementing regulation and decision-making strategies in cells (modeling, analysis, design, and use of biological circuits, cell-cell communication, gene regulation, computation strategies)

Expanding biochemical functionality (novel genetic alphabets, changing molecular machinery of the cell, constructing genomically recoded organisms, genetically encoded reporters)

Advanced genome editing techniques for manipulating DNA (computational algorithms, zinc finger nucleases, TAL effector nucleases, CRISPR-Cas9)Design and evolution strategies to construct biological systems (directed evolution, continuous evolution, multiplexed evolution)

NASA: In-Space Manufacturing (ISM) Multi-material Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab)

This release of the NextSTEP-2 BAA includes Appendix B: In-Space Manufacturing (ISM) Multi-material Fabrication Laboratory (FabLab). Sustainable, long-duration human spaceflight missions require on-demand manufacturing capabilities that will provide solutions for fabrication and repair of multi-material components, consumables, tools, and structures. The ability to produce parts and components on-demand during missions has the potential to significantly reduce mission logistics mass, increase reliability, mitigate risk, and enable novel capabilities by taking advantage of the unique and unforeseen opportunities created by in-space manufacturing.
Appendix B proposals require a minimum cost sharing threshold for eligibility which includes both direct contributions during the period of performance and may include limited prior industry investment. Eligible applicants from U.S. companies, universities, and non-profit organizations must submit proposals electronically by 5 p.m. EDT
August 30, 2017

Note that the original proposal deadline of August 2, 2017, has been extended by four weeks to August 30, 2017, to allow potential offerors more time to develop teaming arrangements. It is expected that this extension will allow the development of higher quality proposals, especially for those offerors that require technical and business planning across multiple team members. The solicitation number has also been updated to conform to NASA FAR Supplement guidance, and the correct NextSTEP BAA Umbrella numbering.

NASA: Smallsat Technology Partnerships

Release of the NASA Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) SpaceTech-REDDI-2017 Appendix E1: Smallsat Technology Partnerships (NNH17ZOA001N-17STP_E1

Mandatory NOI due date: August 21, 2017 5:00pm; Eastern
Proposals due date: September 20, 107 5:00pm; Eastern

The National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Headquarters has released a solicitation, titled “Smallsat Technology Partnerships (STP)” as an appendix to the Space Technology Mission Directorate (STMD) NASA Research Announcement (NRA), titled “Space Technology Research, Development, Demonstration, and Infusion 2017 (SpaceTech-REDDI-2017).”

The STMD Small Spacecraft Technology program seek proposals from accredited U.S. universities to develop unique, disruptive, or transformational space technologies that have the potential to enable mission capabilities that are more rapid, more transformative, and more affordable than previously achievable. The overall objective of the Small Spacecraft Technology program is to facilitate development projects and demonstration missions that: enable new mission architectures for which small spacecraft are uniquely suited; expand the capability of small spacecraft to execute missions at new destinations and in challenging new environments; enable the augmentation of existing assets and future missions with supporting small spacecraft.

The appendix exclusively seeks proposals that are responsive to one of three topics:

(1) Instrument Technologies for Small Spacecraft.

(2) Technologies That Enable Large Swarms of Small Spacecraft.

(3) Technologies That Enable Deep Space Small Spacecraft Missions.

Only accredited U.S. universities are eligible to submit proposals. Teaming with a NASA Center is required (see the appendix for complete eligibility and teaming requirements).

Mandatory Notices of Intent are due on or before August 21, 2017 and applications are due on or before September 20, 2017. Selections will be announced in November 2017 (target). The solicitation is available by opening the NASA Research Opportunities homepage at, selecting “Solicitations,” then selecting “Open Solicitations,” and, selecting ” Smallsat Technology Partnerships (STP)”.

NSF: EFRI 2018

Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation 2018 (EFRI 2018)

Synopsis of Program:
The Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation (EFRI) program of the NSF Directorate for Engineering (ENG) serves a critical role in helping ENG focus on important emerging areas in a timely manner. This solicitation is a funding opportunity for interdisciplinary teams of researchers to embark on rapidly advancing frontiers of fundamental engineering research. For this solicitation, we will consider proposals that aim to investigate emerging frontiers in the following two research areas:

  • Chromatin and Epigenetic Engineering (CEE)
  • Continuum, Compliant, and Configurable Soft Robotics Engineering (C3 SoRo)

This solicitation will be coordinated with the Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO) and the Directorate for Computer and Information Science and Engineering (CISE).

EFRI seeks proposals with transformative ideas that represent an opportunity for a significant shift in fundamental engineering knowledge with a strong potential for long term impact on national needs or a grand challenge. The proposals must also meet the detailed requirements delineated in this solicitation.

INFORMATIONAL WEBCAST: The Emerging Frontiers and Multidisciplinary Activities (EFMA) Office will host an informational webinar on September 7th, 2017 at 1:00 PM EST to discuss the EFRI program and answer questions about the FY 2018 solicitation. Details on how to join this webinar will be posted on the EFMA Website.

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