Site News

Annual Speed Golf Scramble raises over $9k for engineering outreach

October 14, 2014
Annual Speed Golf Scramble raises over $9k for engineering outreach

Alumnus Phil Johnston tees off during the annual golf outing.

The J.B. Speed School Alumni Council sponsored the 2nd Annual Golf Classic for Outreach June 9th at Nevel Meade Golf Course. A 4-person golf scramble, various golf challenges, and a silent auction were held which raises over $9,000.

“All this would not have been possible without the hard work from the Council members, the students, the Dean’s office volunteers, and the Alumni Association, said Norb Paulin, event chairman. “A very special thank you to all participating golfers and sponsors, especially to Neutral Zone who was our event sponsor for the second year.”

Proceeds from the tournament, sponsored in part by Neutral Zone Cardware, go toward outreach efforts offering a variety of hands-on engineering programs. These programs are designed to foster the interest of young children by making science and technology fun and relevant to their world, and to encourage students to continue their study of math and science to prepare them for later college admission and the career opportunities that lie beyond. Speed School offers an array of day camps during the summer months and works closely with 22 elementary and middle schools in the Louisville metropolitan area touching more than 3,000 students each academic year.

A portion of the proceeds from the “Golf Classic Fore Outreach” will be used to update equipment, purchase additional kits and various other program materials as the outreach program continues to grow at a record pace.

Brown-Forman Engineering Academy enters third year, inspires students

July 13, 2018

Logo for the Brown-Forman Engineering Academy

For the past two years, the Brown-Forman Engineering Academy (BFEA) has afforded prospective students the opportunity to learn more about engineering studies, helping them to transition from high school to college. A two-week program, students stay in the Engineering Living Learning Community, where over the course of their stay, they are assisted with academic prep, peer support, faculty relationship building, and student success programming.

The program was realized under the leadership of Interim Dean Gail DePuy, and developed by Heidi Neal, Director of Student Success and a panel of faculty, staff, and students. Heather Mann, Assistant Director of Student Success, organizes and coordinates the event, working closely with students throughout the process. Mann understands that for many making the transition into college is difficult.

“Studies show that students need more examples of what real-engineering is like for when engineering gets hard,” said Mann. “A lot of students need that end goal. They love it. I’ve truly only heard good things, and seen it enacted. The students stay really close to each other. They learn a lot from each other.”

Sophomore Payton Atwood, an Industrial Engineering major, took part in the program in 2017. As a first generation student that lives over two hours away, Atwood was apprehensive coming into college. For her, the BFEA offered not only an opportunity to learn about the rigors of academia, but Louisville as a whole. Through the academy, she was not only able to learn skills pertinent to her studies, but to develop a community that have continued to help support her in the interim.

“Nearly a year later, Heather Mann, Nick Wright, and the peer mentors are always open and willing to help with anything,” said Atwood. “First semester, all of my study groups were made up of my BFEA peers. My current roommates are girls I met at BFEA. I wholeheartedly believe BFEA was a direct contribution to my success in Speed School thus far and I absolutely recommend the experience to all incoming freshmen.”

In the first two years of the program, the BFEA alumni have maintained at or above the average cohort GPA and retention rates.

Industrial Engineering junior Laura Acevedo has developed into a better student, had a comparable experience in community building, attributable largely in part to the BFEA. For Acevedo, never especially engaged or inspired during high school, she has navigated the crucible of her freshman and sophomore careers and come out stronger for it.

“My whole college experience would’ve been completely different without this camp,” said Acevedo. “I find my transition into Speed School pretty smooth due to the things I learned in this camp and the people I met. I am so grateful to have been a part of BFEA!”

Like Acevedo, Kavonte Jones is an ambitious student. A junior majoring in Chemical Engineering, Jones took opportunities to enroll in advanced placement (AP) courses in high school whenever possible, taking time to participate in extracurricular activities like the academic team and community programs like the Hardin County Teen Court Program. While not shy, Jones realized that he lacked experience critical to his educational objectives, which led him to the BFEA.

While he believes he had a strong support system prior to attending the Speed School, it was through the academy that Jones fostered his confidence with science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. Despite his outside accomplishments in high school, Jones struggled with math in particular, and has since developed strategies that help him remain successful.

“It's because of BFEA that I am succeeding so much now,” said Jones. “I had a great time with the program and I am grateful for the confidence, pride, and success it has given me.”

The program runs July 22 through August 2 this year and concludes with a closing program featuring group presentations given by the students  to invited guests.

Hoff earns Leadership Through Inclusion Alumni Award

October 26, 2018
Hoff earns Leadership Through Inclusion Alumni Award

2018 Leadership Through Inclusion Alumni Award Winner Kyran Hoff (left) with presenter Dr. Mara Broering.

Kyran Hoff was presented with the 2018 Leadership Through Inclusion Alumni Award during the annual Speed School homecoming dinner held October 26 at the Brown Hotel. She earned the award for her contribution to and enhancement to the field of engineering while demonstrating an exceptional understanding of diversity and inclusiveness beyond her regular duties.

Hoff is Executive Director, Chief Engineer for GE Appliances, a Haier Company, headquartered in Louisville, KY. She leads the Office of Chief Engineer organization with responsibility for independent technical oversight across all product lines and platforms including energy regulations, technical regulations and standards, product safety, and cyber security. In this role, she also has responsibility for the Edison Engineering Development Program, Technical Career Path, and Intellectual Property.

Hoff earned a B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Louisville Speed School of Engineering. Her career spans 22 years with GE Appliances in roles of increasing responsibility, first joining the company as a design engineer in the Dishwasher Technology organization. Her previous leadership roles include Engineering Manager - Technology Services, a global role with responsibility for the strategic planning and tactical execution of the engineering services for Lighting, Appliances, and Industrial Systems and Executive Director, Dishwasher Technology with responsibility for leading the dishwasher engineering team to build a strong pipeline of leadership products and a culture of continuous improvement. Since 2014, Kyran has also served as the Women’s Network Champion for GE Appliances.

Hoff was the recipient of the Speed School 2013 Professional Award in Mechanical Engineering. Kyran lives in Louisville with her husband Phil, a fellow Speed graduate, and enjoys running, cooking, and traveling in her free time.

This is the third year that the Leadership Through Alumni Award has been presented. Alumna Allison Seward won the inaugural award while husband and wife alumni Rudy and Rosalind Lewis were presented with the award in 2017.

Renewable energy prize winner to speak at UofL

March 6, 2018

Jay Whitacre, winner of the 2017 Leigh Ann Conn Prize for Renewable Energy from the University of Louisville, will give a public lecture March 15.

An international pioneer in sustainable energy technology, Whitacre’s free lecture will begin at 3 p.m. at the UofL Gheens Science Hall and Rauch Planetarium.

Whitacre, director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, is known for his work with sodium-ion batteries, which are an economical way to incorporate renewable energy into the grid. While at UofL, Whitacre will receive the Conn Prize medal and $50,000 award at a dinner in his honor.

The Leigh Ann Conn Prize is given every other year by UofL’s Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research at the J.B. Speed School of Engineering. The prize acknowledges ideas and achievements in research related to the science, engineering, technology and commercialization of renewable energy. It is named for the late daughter of Hank and Rebecca Conn, who are center supporters and prize benefactors.

The inaugural Conn Prize was won in 2013 by Dr. Michael Graetzel, developer of the dye-sensitized solar cell. The 2015 prize was awarded to Dr. Dan Nocera for the development of the Artificial Leaf and large-scale flow battery.

Parking for the lecture will be available in the Speed Art Museum parking garage or in the University Club/Alumni Center parking lot by the north entrance to Belknap Campus.

For more information, visit

3-D Printing, tiny tech and Iron Man at UofL conference

August 8, 2018
3-D Printing, tiny tech and Iron Man at UofL conference

Jason Lopes speaks at the Ky. Nanotechnology + Additive Manufacturing Conference at the University of Louisville.

By Baylee Pulliam

Nanotechnology and 3-D printing can be used for all kinds of things — to quickly and cheaply create prototypes, for example, or to make machines smarter.

And, if you’re Jason Lopes, you can use them to create a working “Iron Man” suit for actor, Robert Downey Jr., or a life-size replica of soccer superstar, Cristiano Ronaldo.

“It’s called pushing the boundaries,” said Lopes, who worked in film special effects before joining technology company, Carbon. “When people tell you no, use that as inspiration to show them how it can be done.”

And to push those boundaries, universities and industry can accomplish more by working together. That was the subject of the 2018 Kentucky Nano + AM Symposium, held Aug. 1-2 at the Speed Art Museum on UofL’s Belknap campus. Lopes was the first keynote speaker.

The inaugural conference, themed “Strengthening Industry Collaborations with Academia,” focused on collaboration in advanced manufacturing fields, including additive manufacturing and micro/nanotechnology.

“Universities play a critical role in the advancement and application of these technologies for industry,” said Dr. Kevin Walsh, associate dean of research at UofL’s J.B. Speed School of Engineering, who led the organizing committee. “Our goal was to bring both sides together, and showcase the innovation generated by that collaboration.”

The event was a partnership between UofL and the University of Kentucky. Together, they offer a collection of advanced manufacturing core facilities open to industry and academia, called the Kentucky Multi-Scale Network.

Kentucky Multi-Scale is part of the National Science Foundation’s National Nanotechnology Network, which consists of 16 academic sites across the U.S. with similar advanced core facilities.

At UofL, those facilities include the Micro-Nanotechnology Center (MNTC), the Rapid Prototyping Center (RPC), and the Conn Center for Renewable Research. Those facilities work with industry on a variety of projects, from brewing beer in space to saving energy when manufacturing cement.

This goes to show that the potential applications for nanotechnology and 3-D printing are broad, and can impact diverse industries — from space travel, to manufacturing, to medicine, to movies.

Lopes, for example, has also used 3-D printing to create a giant sneezing monster for Comic-Con and light-up mohawks for Katy Perry.  Now, he’s working with the dental division at Carbon to make better dentures and embedding tracing technology into 3-D printed sneakers.

“This is what excites me,” Lopes said. “Embedding the technology inside all of this.”

And Walsh said combining these technologies, as in Lopes sneakers, could lead to more innovation. For example, he said, future human prosthetics and implants could be both 3-D printed, and contain sensors so they’re smarter, safer and function more effectively.

“But for that to happen, we need the micro/nano community to be fully engaged with the additive manufacturing community,” he said. “This symposium provides that opportunity and we plan to offer it every year.”

UofL Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching Goes to Yampolskiy

June 8, 2015

University of Louisville President James R. Ramsey has notified Dr. Roman Yampolskiy that he has been chosen to receive the 2015 Distinguished Faculty Award for Teaching. President Ramsey and Provost Neville Pinto will host a Celebration of Faculty Excellence in September to honor the faculty's commitment to teaching; service; and scholarship, research and creative activity.

Award winners receive a medallion and a check for $1,000. They will be featured on campus banners later this year.

Dr. Yampolskiy is an Associate Professor of Computer Engineering and Computer Science at the J.B. Speed School of Engineering. He holds a Ph.D. degree from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering at the University at Buffalo. There he was a recipient of a four-year NSF (National Science Foundation) IGERT (Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship) fellowship. Before beginning his doctoral studies, he received a BS/MS (High Honors) combined degree in Computer Science from Rochester Institute of Technology. He held a position of an Affiliate Academic at the Center for Advanced Spatial Analysis, University of London, College of London. In 2008 he accepted an assistant professor position at the Speed School of Engineering, University of Louisville, KY.

At UofL, his teaching interests include: C/C++, Artificial Intelligence, Forensics, and Project Design.

Click here to learn more about Dr. Yampolskiy.

El-Baz named chair of Department of Bioengineering

September 19, 2016

Dr. Ayman El-Baz has been appointed Chair of the Department of Bioengineering at the J.B. Speed School of Engineering effective October 1 this year. He joined the faculty at UofL in 2006, and is an expert in the fields of bio-imaging modeling and non-invasive computer-assisted diagnosis systems. In  2009, Dr. El-Baz was named a Coulter Fellow for his contribution in the biomedical translational research.

He has developed new techniques for the accurate identification of probability mixtures for segmenting multi-modal images, new probability models, and model-based algorithms for recognizing lung nodules and blood vessels in magnetic resonance and computer tomography imaging systems, as well as new registration techniques based on multiple second-order signal statistics, all of which have been reported at multiple international conferences and journal articles. His work related to novel image analysis techniques for autism, dyslexia, and lung cancer has earned multiple awards, including the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Early Career Translational Research Award in Biomedical Engineering Phase I & Phase II, a Research Scholar Grant from the American Cancer Society (ACS), and first place at the annual Research Louisville meeting seven times.

Dr. El-Baz  has been invited to present his research on image-based techniques for early diagnosis of lung cancer at the Siemens Research Corporation and Siemens Medical Solutions. He has been the instrumental in leading nearly $7 million in funded research projects in his career.  He has authored or coauthored more than 300 technical articles (94 journals, 12 books, 42 book chapters, 160 refereed-conference papers, 77 abstracts), and has 12 US patents/disclosures.
“Dr. El-Baz is a tremendous asset to the University of Louisville, Speed School, and the entire engineering profession, and I have the utmost confidence in his ability to lead the Bioengineering Department.” said Dr. John Usher, acting dean of Speed School.

Retired faculty thanked for their years of dedication

October 29, 2014

Nine Speed School faculty have retired from full-time teaching as part of the Voluntary Separation Incentive Program announced by President Ramsey in his 21st Century Status Report.

Civil & Environmental EngineeringLouis Cohn
Civil & Environmental EngineeringRoswell Harris
Civil & Environmental EngineeringRobert Ullrich
Civil & Environmental EngineeringBrenda Hart
Engineering FundamentalsMel J. Maron
Electrical & Computer EngineeringJames Graham
Electrical & Computer EngineeringBarry Horowitz
Industrial EngineeringWilliam Biles
Industrial EngineeringGerald Evans

"Losing over 300 years of experience from the Speed School is a huge loss, and we are grateful for their many years of dedicated service," said Neville Pinto, Dean. "We wish them all the best in their retirements."

Atchison Earns KSPE Distinguished Service Award

March 5, 2018

The 2018 Kentuckey Society of Professional Engineers Awarded for Distinguished Service Award was presented to Celeste Atchison.Chemical Engineering senior Celeste Atchison was recently recognized by the Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers for her outstanding service to the Society of Women Engineers (SWE) at the University of Louisville. The award was presented at KSPE's annual banquet on March 2 at the Seelbach Hilton Hotel, Louisville.

Atchison has received several awards due to her diligence in helping diverse communities have a voice, including her hand in establishing Speed Spectrum, an LGBTQ society. During her time with SWE, Atchison was instrumental in redecorating their space, helping to find the funding for the project through the relationships she has developed throughout her experience working with the Speed School Student Council. She also helped institute a continuity plan for the role of treasurer, to ensure that subsequent treasurers, a function she holds currently, are adept at finding and negotiating resources for future events or projects.

The society used to function regionally, with the each chapter grouped with other nearby chapters. While this helped to create a larger community within SWE, regions were grouped by population density, leaving some of the smaller, less fortunate members of the overall organization with a comparably limited support base, causing some office to go bankrupt. Atchison saw this as an opportunity to help strengthen that community by taking the initiative to build on those relationships.

“I’ve created a network of treasurer. When we were losing those offices, I thought it was a shame. It’s crucial to keep up with those folks. So, I started our treasurer network. It started off as something informal, but we’re hoping to get it back on track,” she says.

Atchison was nominated by Laura Edkins, the current president of SWE. While Edkins had the opportunity to nominate herself, she looked to Atchison and her accomplishments instead. Humbled, Atchison felt fortunate to have the opportunity, one she ultimately shared with someone special in her life.

“This award was really special, because my mom won it in 2007," she explained. "So it was kind of a homecoming. My mom is my hero.”

Faculty duo recognized with Outstanding Achievement in Education Award

March 9, 2017

Drs. Patricia Ralston and Larry TylerDrs. Larry Tyler and Patricia Ralston were recognized by the Louisville Chapter of the Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers during the annual banquet on February 24 at the Speed Art Museum. The annual award, Outstanding Achievement in Education, is presented to an individual or individuals within the academic community who has/have contributed outstanding service to education.

“If you ask anyone who has graduated from Speed School in the last 25 years who they remember most, the overwhelming majority will say ‘Ralston and Tyler’,” said john Usher, acting dean of Speed School. “Simply put, these two amazing professors have tagged-teamed to deliver our innovative math and calculus sequence to thousands of engineering students over the years. I am so proud to have them on our faculty and to see them honored with this prestigious award!”

Ralston and Tyler both agreed that it was truly an honor to be recognized as a teaching duo by the KSPE.

"Our interactions while teaching highlight our enthusiasm and encourage students to become engaged," said Ralston.

"Our goal is to inspire students to learn as we develop the topics together and show our passion for teaching," Tyler said.

Tyler is a professor in the Department of Engineering Fundamentals and has an associate appointment in Mechanical Engineering.  He has an undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering, graduate degrees in both mathematics and engineering  with an interdisciplinary PhD that included engineering and physics.

In his 54 years of teaching, Tyler has taught thirty courses covering a broad range of topics from undergraduate engineering mathematics, statics, dynamics, thermodynamics, and other fundamentals courses to graduate courses in engineering mathematics. He has been recognized by students and colleagues for outstanding teaching on many occasions, including the 2008 University of Louisville Distinguished Teaching Faculty Award.

Ralston is professor and chair of the Engineering Fundamentals Department at the J. B. Speed School of Engineering at the University of Louisville.  She is also has an associate appointment in the Chemical Engineering Department. As chair of Engineering Fundamentals since its creation in 2007, she has focused on developing faculty teaching excellence through the development, evaluation and adoption of innovative teaching methods, both traditional and technology enabled.

An alumna of UofL, Ralston earned a bachelor’s degree in Chemical Engineering in 1979, a master of engineering in Chemical Engineering in 1980, and received a PhD in 1983, also in Chemical Engineering.

UofL’s Logistics and Distribution Institute receives $1 million technology gift

August 18, 2016
UofL’s Logistics and Distribution Institute receives $1 million technology gift

Drs. Kevin Gue and John Usher accept a $1 million gift from Michael Golway of Advanced Solutions, Inc.

Donation used to enhance newly renovated Speed School lab

The University of Louisville’s Logistics and Distribution Institute (LoDI) has received a $1 million gift of equipment and technology that will help it develop the next generation of engineers.

Advanced Solutions Inc., a Louisville-based software marketing and service company, provided the gift, which included the installation of interactive SMART Board technology and software designed to enhance the curriculum associated with warehouse design and optimization.

LoDI is a university-wide, multi-disciplinary research institute dedicated to finding solutions to challenges facing the logistics industry. The institute’s laboratory, part of the J.B. Speed School of Engineering, is primarily used for research and is available for study groups, presentations and instruction.

Several forces have converged in recent years to offer new challenges to the logistics research community, including the rise of e-commerce, robotics, the Internet of Things, crowdsourcing business models and a serious shortage of skilled labor.

LoDI director Kevin Gue said the equipment donated by Advanced Solutions “will become an excellent means through which to communicate the knowledge generated in this institute” and help Speed School students graduate with a competitive advantage.

“Today’s engineers are expected to bring a new level of skill sets to the industry, setting them above the competition,” said Michael Golway, president and CEO of Advanced Solutions. “This donation will enable the faculty to shape graduates for the growing industrial engineering and logistics marketplace while giving students the state-of-the-art tools necessary to compete.”

Industrial Engineering student Alisha Davis-Kent crowned Ms. Cardinal 2018

January 22, 2018

Ms and Mr Cardinal 2018On Sunday, January 21st at a Cardinals basketball game, fifth year industrial engineering student Alisha Davis-Kent was recognized as UofL Ms. Cardinal 2018, an honor awarded to to seniors in honor of their high academic achievement and contributions to the university. Davis-Kent balances her time between NSBE, her work with Outreach, and her studies, which she plans to wrap up soon. While Davis-Kent already has a position lined up post-graduation as part of GE Aviation in Cincinnati, she stays grounded at the university, putting one foot in front of the other.

Davis-Kent grew up in Louisville, Kentucky, attending high school at DuPont Manual, where she was crowned Ms. Manual, the high school equivalent to her current accolade. As a Porter Scholar, academic excellence is imperative to her continued success, but one that she was happy to work towards. Struggling to achieve the academic requirements for the Speed School, Davis-Kent enrolled as an A&S student to get her grade point average up. During her sophomore year, Davis-Kent was welcomed into the Speed School, where she has worked since.

“My UofL Story lines up with the qualities of our University in the sense that we face many challenges, but we remain steadfast in our goals towards excellence. I think it speaks to the university as a whole, but the students who come into UofL that they’re able to write their own story,” says Davis-Kent.

For Davis-Kent, the title of Ms. or Mr. Cardinal applies to anyone that reflects the core values of community service and academic achievement intrinsic to the spirit of the University. According to the application, the award is bestowed to an outstanding senior as Mr. and Ms. Cardinal. This award is based on academic achievement, extra-curricular activities, contributions to the University, an explanation of what the "Mr. and Ms. Cardinal Award" means to the applicants as well as an interview by a panel of judges.

Davis-Kent says, “I don’t know how much it speaks outside of the people in Louisville KY, but definitely people here, not just university wide, but city wide, it’s a great achievement. I’m honored to hold the title.”

Learn more about her story below:

UofL, UK win large federal grant, join new national network

September 21, 2015
UofL, UK win large federal grant, join new national network

Pictured are a portion of the NSF Grant team: UofL faculty, Drs. Kevin Walsh, Shamus McNamara, Bruce Alphenaar, along with Dr. J. Todd Hastings, UK Center for Nanoscale Science & Engineering Director.

Nanotechnology to be shared with small business, industry, academia

LOUISVILLE, Ky. –The University of Louisville and University of Kentucky today announced receipt of a $3.76 million grant to create a national center of excellence in micro/nanotechnology. The highly competitive grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) is one of just 16 awarded to universities across the country. More than 100 colleges and universities competed for the NSF grant.

UofL and UK are joining a new national network which will make university facilities, tools and expertise in nanoscale science, engineering and technology available to outside users.

Eight  key nanotechnology and advanced manufacturing facilities at UofL and UK will  become a collaborative center for academia, small businesses and industry to “make the next generation of smart products using the tiniest materials” according to Dr. Neville Pinto, UofL interim provost.  “This will be a boon to Kentucky’s economic development future and support the ongoing work of UofL’s Institute for Product Realization (IPR) in our new research park” Pinto said.

The five year grant will be used to:

  • Enhance and upgrade advanced manufacturing equipment at UofL and UK research facilities
  • Add  staff to help train and support up to 500 additional external users
  • Provide seed money for research projects in key advanced manufacturing areas
  • Engage more minorities and women in nanoscale science, engineering and technology.

"The next generation of commercial, medical and industrial products will contain embedded tiny sensors and miniature wireless communication electronics” said Kevin Walsh, director of UofL’s Micro/Nanotechnology Center. “New manufacturing technologies will need to be developed so these smart products can be made quickly, reliably and economically. UofL and UK are tackling those challenges.”

“UK and UofL are developing unique infrastructure and expertise to build miniature solutions for applications in healthcare, energy, security and beyond” said J. Todd Hastings, director of the UK  Center for Nanoscale Science and Engineering. “This award enables academic and industrial researchers nationwide to join us.”

Click here to view the press conference recording.

Professional Award in Engineering presented to select alumni

October 24, 2015
Professional Award in Engineering presented to select alumni

The 2015 recipients of the Speed School Professional Award in Engineering.

Six Speed School alumni were presented with the Professional Award in Engineering (PAE) and one alumna received the Outstanding Young Engineer (OYE) during the 2015 Speed School Homecoming celebration held October 23 at the University Club.

Recipients of the PAE were Molly Hemmeter (Chemical Engineering), Collen Dale Bratcher (Civil & Environmental Engineering), Tarek El-Sadany (Computer Engineering/Computer Science), Robert A. Burckle (Electrical & Computer Engineering), Michael W. Golway (Industrial Engineering), and Andrew H. Susemichel (Mechanical Engineering). The OYE awards will be presented to Erica Hides for Bioengineering. CMTA, Inc. was be recognized as the Outstanding Corporate Partner.

Criteria for the PAE is

  • Outstanding career performance in engineering such as a major executive, inventor, educator, in government service, medicine or the humanities.
  • Exceptional efforts by an individual to foster the professional development of young engineering college students.
  • Exceptional ability in the planning and direction of significant and important projects in technical engineering.
  • Exceptional contribution by an individual to technical engineering knowledge.

Professional Engineering Awards presented at Homecoming Dinner

October 15, 2017
Professional Engineering Awards presented at Homecoming Dinner

The 2017 recipients of the Speed School Professional Award in Engineering.

Six Speed School alumni were presented with the Professional Award in Engineering (PAE) and one alumna received the Outstanding Young Engineer (OYE) during the 2017 Speed School Homecoming celebration held October 13 at the Brown Hotel.

Criteria for the PAE is

  • Outstanding career performance in engineering such as a major executive, inventor, educator, in government service, medicine or the humanities.
  • Exceptional efforts by an individual to foster the professional development of young engineering college students.
  • Exceptional ability in the planning and direction of significant and important projects in technical engineering.
  • Exceptional contribution by an individual to technical engineering knowledge.

Rudy and Rosalind Lewis were presented with the Leadership Through Inclusion Alumni Award for their contribution to and enhancement to the field of engineering while demonstrating an exceptional understanding of diversity and inclusiveness beyond his/her regular duties.

Professional Engineering Awards presented at Homecoming Dinner

October 26, 2018

The Professional Awards in Engineering (PAE) and the Outstanding Young Engineer (OYE) were presented to select alumni for their accomplishments during the 2018 Speed School Homecoming celebration held October 26 at the Brown Hotel.

Kyron Hoff was recognized with the Leadership Through Inclusion Alumni Award for her contribution to and enhancement to the field of engineering while demonstrating an exceptional understanding of diversity and inclusiveness beyond his/her regular duties.

Speed School event spotlights girls in science, engineering, math and science

March 20, 2018
Speed School event spotlights girls in science, engineering, math and science

The J.B. Speed School of Engineering is hosting girls April 14 for the first Girls Rule STEM Summit, a fun day camp designed to encourage careers in science, technology, engineering and math.

It will feature hands-on sessions for girls in grades 5-12 to engage them in STEM content and give them access to women in engineering. Demonstrations are interactive, designed to show, not tell students interested in STEM something about the physical world around them, including a look at the molecular breakdown of everyday items that students have likely encountered. There are three tracks throughout the day for parents, to allow them to learn more about what the Speed School offers.

“Although women make up nearly half of the American workforce, they hold only a quarter of the jobs in STEM fields,” said Jessica Newsom, an academic counselor and outreach coordinator in the Speed School. “The goal of the Speed School is to change these statistics.”

Registration is $25 and is required online.

Dr. Jason Saleem Receives Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality Award

February 9, 2017

Headshot of Jason SaleemThis last September, Dr. Jason Saleem, an Assistant Professor with the Department of Industrial Engineering and the Director of the Center for Ergonomics, received the first ever grant awarded to the Speed School from the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality for his work on exam room layouts. His work, which synthesizes engineering and psychology, is largely designed for the tacit psychological elements of exam room design particular to doctor/patient interaction.

A former employee at the VA hospital in Indianapolis, Dr. Saleem pioneered research into the use of electronic record keeping in the medical field made mandatory by the Obama administration. He explains, “physicians were angry. Physicians were used to having a relationship with the patient. Now they’re required to do it all when the patient is there to get it all down. Now you have this third entity there (the computer) between interacting with the patient. Physicians value being able to touch the patient, to have a relationship with the patient.”

He adds, “Now they’re focused on the computer and they have to do all this documentation. How do you integrate the computer into that relationship? Now the physicians have to become good at using the computer as a way to enhance their communication with the patient, to involve them with what they’re doing on the computer. Then how do you design that stuff to make it flexible for them to be able to do that?”

But Dr. Saleem is committed to finding a solution that benefits everyone. He says, “When they started putting computers in the room, they would just put them wherever the outlet was. Now you see these wall-mounted flexible arms for computer monitors that results in more eye gaze on the patient, because they are able to spend more time looking at the patient. We’re measuring that in the lab right now. I have real physicians coming in to do simulated patient visits.”

UofL, Speed School partners with The Robotics Education & Competition Foundation to provide scholarships, provide volunteers

Feb 10, 2015

Scholarships valued at $60,000 offered to students participating in the annual VEX Robotics Competition

The Robotics Education & Competition (REC) Foundation and the University of Louisville’s Speed School of Engineering today announced a partnership to establish new scholarships for students participating in the annual VEX Robotics Competition, which are valued at $60,000. In addition, the University of Louisville will participate at the VEX Robotics World Championship by providing volunteers, campus tours to student competitors, and exhibit as part of College Row, which will be held at the Kentucky Exposition Center on April 15 – 18, 2015. Further, the University of Louisville will start a new on-campus VEX U team to participate in robotics engineering competition at the collegiate level.

“The University of Louisville is a critical partner in so many ways and we are pleased to have their support of the REC Foundation Scholarship Program, which now exceeds $2 million in scholarship awards.” said Jason Morrella, President, REC Foundation. “I also appreciate the University’s willingness to provide volunteers. Their valuable contribution of time and talent ensures that the students attending the VEX Robotics World Championship will have a rewarding and enjoyable experience.”

“The University of Louisville, JB Speed School of Engineering is excited to be a community education partner with the VEX Robotics World championship coming to Louisville in April 2015. This partnership is a natural fit as both the Speed School and VEX Robotics world championship are passionate about engaging students interested in STEM through hands on engineering programs,” said Neville G. Pinto, Dean of the Speed School of Engineering, University of Louisville. “Speed School students, faculty and staff look forward to welcoming and supporting competitors from across  the globe,  with scholarships, event volunteers, and informational sessions for attendees.”

The REC Foundation manages the VEX IQ Challenge, the VEX Robotics Competition and VEX U, which provides more than 10,000 teams of students worldwide with hands-on, curriculum-based robotics engineering programs while also offering valuable teamwork and problem-solving experience. Teams compete year-round at more than 800+ events, which culminate in April at the VEX Robotics World Championship.

The University of Louisville’s new scholarship offerings will expand the overall scholarship program to more than $2 million available to students participating in the VEX Robotics Competition. The University will manage the application process and students must apply by January 15, 2016. To learn more about the REC Foundation Scholarship Program and the University of Louisville’s application and requirements, please visit or

The REC Foundation seeks to increase student interest and involvement in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) by engaging students in hands-on, sustainable and affordable curriculum-based robotics engineering programs across the U.S. and internationally. The REC Foundation develops partnerships with K-12 education, higher education, government, industry, and the non-profit community to achieve this work.

The J. B. Speed School of Engineering offers B.S. degree programs in bioengineering, chemical, civil, electrical, industrial, and mechanical engineering, and computer engineering and computer science accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of ABET, The EAC of ABET accredited programs for Master of Engineering degree program is also offered in all of these disciplines. The Speed School’s engineering program are the first to achieve dual level accreditation by EAC of ABET for its baccalaureate and master of engineering programs.

Walsh named Associate Dean of Research

September 1, 2016

Dr. Kevin Walsh assumed the position of Associate Dean of Research at the J.B. Speed School of Engineering in January of this year. Since 1980, Dr. Walsh has taught at the university as a member of the Electrical and Computer Engineering faculty. His teaching experience includes work in Microfabrication, MEMS, Semiconductor Physics, Circuits, Electronics, and Calculus. His research includes work with MEMS, No-power Sensors, Nanotechnology, Bistable Devices, Novel 3D Microfabrication Strategies, and Engineering Education.

During his tenure, Dr. Walsh founded and subsequently directed the Micro Nano Technology Clean Room, which started in 1997. He has a history of administrative experience including running the core facility, serving as the president of the Speed Faculty Council, and chairing the Research and Scholarship Committee.

"My position wasn’t well defined. It’s not like do this and this and this,” says Dr. Walsh explaining, “One of the goals when they created this position was to increase research and research dollars. I spend a decent amount of time just overseeing the renovations and doing brainstorming on physical resources to the departments. A fair amount of my time is that."

Dr. Walsh has an array of initiatives meant to encourage growth in terms of research dollars.

“I used to be a tennis coach. I think coaching you tend to spend a lot of time with your young people," Walsh said. "They are the ones that are going to be the nucleus of your program. We’ve reached out to the new faculty. I think if I can get the new faculty successful, it sets them and the school up for future success.”

Additive Manufacturing Workshop offers training and 3D printing kit

December 12, 2017

 Last Friday, December 8th, the Rapid Prototyping Center hosted a one day additive manufacturing workshop, which provided attendees with a free 3D printer classroom kit for their school, including software, student exercises, curriculum examples and student modules. The event was a joint effort between Tennessee Tech University and Ed Tackett, who led the program throughout the day, helping attendees set up and learn their software. Sponsored by an NSF grant, AM-WATCH, the event is intended to help educators learn how to integrate additive manufacturing into the classroom.

Educators from a variety of locations and backgrounds were in attendance, including teachers and community activists from Indiana, Chicago, and Tennessee. For many, the introduction of 3D printers into their curriculum is an extension of their pre-existing programs, involving AutoCAD and technology.

For Seth Caudill, who teaches advanced manufacturing and higher tech in the West Clark Community Schools in Sellersrburg, IN, additive manufacturing helps realize their vision.

“I’m hoping to give kids something they can hold in their hands, so if they take an idea from their head, they create it with Autocad software, and then they have something tangible they can hold onto," said Caudill. "That really enhances the learning experience.”

Teaching mostly non-verbal students with moderate and severe disabilities, Katherine Cooper of the Churchill Park School in Louisville, sees their 3D Printer as an opportunity to engage her students, many of which have difficulty with basic communication. Echoing the sentiments of Caudill, there is a tactile quality to additive manufacturing that she believes may inspire a deeper degree of understanding and expression.

“Our thoughts were using this for making things for them to manipulate that go with the curriculum that we’re teaching," Cooper said. "Their goals are to interact with objects. If they were reading a book, and we wanted to make an object from the book. Things that the students are willing to touch.”

Hailing from the Chicago Eco House, Ben Anderson and Quilen Blackwell had a different use in mind entirely for their 3D printer. Founded by Blackwell, the organization is a network of non-profits in inner city Chicago, by providing opportunities for at risk youth.

“We use it to spur some economic development in the inner city. From an environmental standpoint, our materials are biodegradable, secondly when you manufacture on locally, you’re cutting off that transportation route. It’s made locally, on demand. Our kids are learning to how to design fidget spinners, or jewelry, or things that people want in specific,” says Blackwell.

Anderson adds, “we’re starting eco works and we’re starting to develop that more, so that the kids can make money, experience entrepreneurship, and get marketable skills like 3D printing. I’m excited to learn more about it and to pass it on.”

View photos from the workshop.

Advanced Energy Materials, LLC Awarded NSF Phase II

October 9, 2014

A startup company at UofL, Advanced Energy Materials, LLC (AdEM) was awarded NSF Phase II, $750K and is now eligible to seek additional matching funds from the state. The company was founded by Mahendra Sunkara, Conn Center Director, in 2010 to translate the technology developed in U of L laboratory to the commercial space. Vasanthi Sunkara, an MBA graduate from UofL and long-time employee of Louisville Water Company later on joined the startup to lead the business operations. Several students from the Conn Center also helped out with the initial stages of the startup.

AdEM is focused on scale-up and commercialization of inorganic nanowire materials and new nanoscale materials for clean tech energy technologies. They licensed the bulk production of nanowire technology from UofL and is currently involved in designing and developing high performance catalysts, adsorbents and batteries. Their first product was a high performance catalyst called “AdeSulfur” and is used for removing sulfur from a variety of fuels.

“Sulfur removal from fuels is important as it can produce acid rain, increase harmful emissions and hamper the performance of several systems,” said Founder, Mahendra Sunkara.
AdEM first applied for Phase I grants from the National Science Foundation and Department of Energy and received its first SBIR Phase I grant of $180K from NSF in January of 2011 then received SBIR matching funds of $150K from Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development’s funding program. The Phase II proposal was turned down as its intended commercial partner, Li-ion battery maker, was sold to Chinese investors.

Again AdEM won another Phase I grant of $180K for its proposal on nanowire based materials for catalyst applications which they started in January of 2013 along with a second matching funds grant of $150K and went on to receive a Phase II grant of $750K in September of 2014. They are now eligible to receive matching funds from KY Cabinet for Economic Development along.

“This award will allow us to scale-up our technology to ton/day scale,” said Sunkara. “At this scale, we should be able to attract real customers and allow us to become part of Launchpad as well.”

AdEM was also nominated for a TiE50 award and was awarded one of the TiE Top 50 awards in April 2014 at the TiE convention held at the Santa Clara Convention Center.


Site News

There are currently no results for this search.

AiChE to host freshmen open house

February 13, 2018

 This Valentine’s Day, the students of the American Institution of Chemical Engineers are hosting a CHE Freshman Open House event entitled My AiChE Breaky Heart.

The event, located in Ernst 310 at 2 p.m., features a valentine exchange, dessert competition with prizes, and games, all as an opportunity for freshman to meet with faculty and experienced students to learn what Chemical Engineering has to offer.

Developing an interest in her chemistry class during her high school, AiChE president senior Deanna Gilliam, gravitated towards Chemical Engineering in college as a field that would compliment her interests, while offering her plenty of potential post-graduation opportunities. Once committing to CHE, Gilliam developed her role in AiChE, networking with other students and faculty, and developing a love for the organization along the way, for the teamwork and friendships that she has enjoyed through her experiences.

“One of the biggest things I’ve come to appreciate is the teamwork of the officer teams over the years. It’s so refreshing to have a group of people that you can trust and work with to get others involved to enjoy the perks that we’ve come to deeply appreciate,” says Gilliam.

She adds of the future of the AiChE, “I have seen this organization grow in the last 3 years, and I don’t want to see it fall due to little interest or a drop in Chemical Eng. students. I plan to leave plenty of information to keep the organization going strong and running smoothly, as well as my contact information in case they need an alumni to speak, or have questions about who to contact and what to do next!”

In addition to the free food, games, dessert competitions, and valentine’s exchanges, the AiChE Breaky Heart event will give students the chance to explore what the program has to offer. The Unit Operations lab will be operational, featuring demonstrations of a distillation column, lab-scale catalytic reaction, filtration tank, lab-scale cooling tower and students are invited to tour the facilities. Gilliam understands that the program can prove intimidating to incoming students, and hopes the AiChE Breaky Heart event can help assuage those concerns.

“A lot of engineering students I talk to in Speed School hear Chemical Engineering and automatically assume they wouldn’t be able to do it, or get through it. The professors are very helpful and encouraging always, which is helpful when those crazy weeks come around where we have seven exams to take, but we’re only taking six classes,” says Gilliam.

Academic & Leadership Center opens at Speed

June 1, 2018

On May 14th, the Academic & Leadership Center (ALC) softly launched in LL16 of the JB Speed Building. Working in partnership with REACH, the center offers tutoring five days a week with specific sessions for CEE 205, CECS 130, and CECS 220, as well as open tutoring sessions, with the goal to build more from there. The ALC is designed to employ the tutelage of REACH to engineering specific subject, while simultaneously offering opportunities for students to develop their leadership and networking abilities in a controlled environment.

“This will be the first center of its kind at an engineering school in the country as it incorporates both academic tutoring and leadership development,” said Interim Dean Gail DePuy. “We hope it will make Speed School attractive to both prospective students and help engage our current students.”

Research indicates not only the efficacy, but necessity of tutoring, and the ALC affords a new opportunity with students struggling with courses unique to engineering to feel welcome. A goal of the Speed school for several years, the long term objective of the project is not only to expand the tutoring opportunities, but the physical space into a more visible and comparably accessible location.

“We think this center is a nice add on to what students are already getting at the Speed School. What will be really unique on the tutoring aspect of it, is that we’ll hire tutors who will tutor for a specific major,” said Heidi Neal, Director of Student Success. “Reach does a really good job now of offering help for 100 and 200 level classes. They are the experts in training the tutors and understanding what makes for a good tutor.”

Studies involving retention for STEM students shows that assisting through academic work through tutoring, is really essential, as well as creating a sense of belonging.

"We’ve had this vision for a few years now for opening an academic and leadership center," Neal said. "But it’s the leadership piece that really makes it unique. When you talk to our students, community members, and employers, they look for more experience to leadership, how students play on a team."

Neal is motivated to grow the ALC and has aspirations to develop the leadership program. Following the Leadershape model for teaching leadership, Neal hopes to see multi-day programs for students focused on personal growth and ethical decision making that culminates in a certificate program. If possible, she hopes for that to include our alumni to help share their voices to mentor young adults and foster relationships.

“We want to bring in an alumni speaker series. We think there is nothing better than the alumni coming back and understanding our students,” says Neal. “Plus, our alumni are really fantastic.”

Session TypeMondayTuesdayWednesdayThursdayFriday
No Appt. Necessary
9 AM - 1 PM9 AM - 1 PM9 AM - 5 PM
CECS 130
No Appt. Necessary
1 PM - 5 PM9 AM - 5 PM9 AM - 5 PM
CECS 220
No Appt. Necessary
1 PM - 5 PMNoon - 5 PM1 PM - 5 PM1 PM - 5 PM
CECS 220
No Appt. Necessary
1 PM - 4 PM9 AM - Noon9 AM - 1 PM

Alphenaar named chairman of Electrical and Computer Engineering

August 28, 2013

Dr. Bruce W. Alphenaar is now chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering department effective July 1, 2013.

A Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Dr. Alphenaar has been on the faculty of the J.B. Speed School of Engineering since 2000. He also holds the appointment of University Research Scholar in Nanotechnology. Dr. Alphenaar brings to the chairman position a distinguished career as an educator and researcher, and an energizing vision for advancement of the Electrical and Computer Engineering department.

A member of the American Physical Society and the Materials Research Society, Dr. Alphenaar joined the University of Louisville in 2000 after seven years working for Hitachi Europe in partnership with the Cambridge University Microelectronics Centre.

His research focus includes energy scavenging and high-efficiency photovoltaic devices. He has published over 50 peer reviewed journal articles, holds 8 US and European patents, and has been invited to speak on his work at numerous international symposia. Since joining the University of Louisville, he has been principal investigator or co-principal investigator on over $35 million in research funding.

Dr. Alphenaar earned his B.S. degree from Trinity College, Hartford CT, and his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Applied Physics from Yale University. His experience prior to joining the University of Louisville in 2000 includes industrial research appointments at Phillips and Hitachi, and an academic appointment at Cambridge University. Dr Alphenaar will bring to the position a distinguished career as an educator and researcher, and an energizing vision for advancement of the Electrical and Computer Engineering department.

Alumni honored with Professional Award in Engineering

October 17, 2014

Five Speed School alumni will be presented with the Professional Award in Engineering (PAE) and two alumni will receive the Outstanding Young Engineer (OYE) during the 2014 Speed School Homecoming celebration. The Oct. 17 reception and dinner will be held at the Hilton Seelbach in downtown Louisville.

Recipients of the PAE are Angela Ciliberti-Riedling (Computer Engineering/Computer Science), David Bradley (Chemical Engineering), Rudy Lewis (Electrical & Computer Engineering), Charles Noon (Industrial Engineering), and Gerald Hubbs (Mechanical Engineering). The OYE awards will be presented to Megan Spencer for Bioengineering and Rusty Crosier for Civil & Environmental Engineering. Cook Medical, Inc. will be recognized as the Outstanding Corporate Partner.

Speed School alumnus tagged to lead Institute for Product Realization

January 5, 2016
Speed School alumnus tagged to lead Institute for Product Realization

Speed School alumnus David Adams hired as CEO of the Institute for Product Realization

The University of Louisville Foundation executive committee on Dec. 22 named a director for the new Institute for Product Realization and selected Louisville’s NTS Development Co. as its development partner on three business and research parks.

The foundation selected David Adams as CEO of the Institute for Product Realization, a center that will promote research and innovation in advanced manufacturing, logistics, renewable energy and analytics and computing.

“I am so thrilled with the selection of Dave Adams as the CEO of the  Institute for Product Realization," said. Dr. John Usher, Dean of the Speed School of Engineering.  " I can tell you, and so will anyone else who knows him, that he has an incredible passion for UofL and Speed School.  When you combine that with his impressive career accomplishments and his expertise in financial management, entrepreneurship, and innovation, you have a really special person to lead the IPR.  I am looking forward to working closely with him on this extremely complex and challenging project that will reap tremendous benefits for UofL.”

The IPR beta site is located off Brandeis Avenue and includes the FirstBuild facility, Engineering Education Garage and UL Additive Manufacturing Competency Center. The IPR will eventually be moved to a yet-to-be-constructed building in the coming Belknap Engineering and Applied Sciences Research Park.

Adams who earned a bachelor's and master's degrees in Industrial Engineering from the J.B. Speed School of Engineering, comes to UofL from The BVI Group, an Indianapolis-based consulting firm he founded in 2007 to serve the strategic and operational needs of businesses and private equity firms. He also worked for former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels to lead the operational improvement and merger of the state’s $30 billion pension systems and was a founding member of the executive team that grew i2 Technologies Inc. into a software giant.

In another move, the foundation selected NTS as its official development partner of the Belknap research park, which will be built behind the Speed School, as well as the J.D. Nichols Campus for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in downtown Louisville and the ShelbyHurst Research and Office Park on UofL’s Shelby Campus in eastern Jefferson County.

NTS was chosen after it responded to a request for qualifications issued by the foundation in September. It beat out one other respondent, Louisville’s Jefferson Development Group.
NTS already has worked with the foundation to build three office buildings at ShelbyHurst and a parking garage on the J.D. Nichols campus.

Aly Farag wins Trustees Award

April 9, 2015

UofL trustees announced the selection of Aly Farag as the receipient of the 2015 Trustees Award during the April 2 meeting.

A professor of in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at the J.B. Speed School of Engineering, Farag has graduated more than 25 doctoral students, taught nearly 20 different courses and co-authored nearly 400 peer-reviewed research manuscripts. He’s also established the Computer Vision and Image Processing Laboratory at UofL. The CVIP Lab, which focuses on computer vision, biomedical imaging and biometrics, has been recognized around the world as a center of excellence.

For his efforts, Farag has received the Trustees Award. UofL trustees announced the selection at an April 2 meeting. The highest honor given by the trustees, the award recognizes outstanding contributions to the student experience and carries with it recognition on a plaque in the Swain Student Activities Center and a prize of $5,000.

Read the UofL Today feature on Farag.

Applied Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Online Course offered in Summer 2015 term

April 8, 2015
Applied Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Online Course offered in Summer 2015 term

Applied Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Online Course offered in Summer 2015 term

The Speed School of Engineering at the University of Louisville is again proud to offer an online Applied CFD course for Summer Semester 2015 through the Department of Chemical Engineering. This course is uniquely tailored for both graduate students and non-degree seeking career engineers in need of introductory CFD training.

CFD is a cutting edge software tool increasingly used in industry and research for predicting fluid flow, heat and mass transfer, chemical reactions, and related phenomena by numerically solving the set of governing mathematical equations that describe these processes.

CFD analysis is used for:

  • conceptual studies to test new processes and designs
  • overcoming complex product development and technical challenges
  • high level and detailed troubleshooting
  • redesign of existing systems for greater efficiency

Economically sound results!
CFD analysis reduces the cost and total effort required for design, testing, and experimentation/data acquisition.


This course teaches the software and techniques toward CFD proficiency for simulating and predicting phenomena of fluids-related engineering problems.

Learn to solve fluid flow problems using FLUENT, the leading commercial CFD package. Topics include software and techniques for geometry creation, meshing, model and solver setup, and post-processing of results. This CFD course emphasizes applications in balance with theory.

Concepts Covered

  • Geometry Generation: 2D & 3D geometry generation
  • Meshing: 2D, 3D, mesh quality, resolution, numerical diffusion
  • Computation: Convergence and stability, steady state, un-steady state, Newtonian and Non-Newtonian fluids, heat transfer, and turbulence models
  • Post-Processing


Complete flexibility
Our cyber instruction runs on YOUR time, unlike the traditional classroom. Access the course and assignments at any time, day or night, from any location.

Register as a non-degree seeking student or for elective credit towards graduate degree in progress.Prerequisite: undergraduate Fluid Dynamics.

Student Benefits
Non-degree seeking students enjoy
access to Ekstrom Library, student recreation centers, and all other UofL facilities and organizations.

About the Instructor
Dr. Eric Berson is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Louisville. His extensive experience with CFD modeling of a diverse array of flow systems and reactors has resulted in numerous peer-reviewed scientific publications. He has performed CFD modeling for industry clients, university collaborators, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the Department of Energy.

For More Information
Download course information flyer, call (502)852-1567 or contact Dr. Berson via email.

Applied Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Online Course offered in Summer 2016 term

May 3, 2016
Applied Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Online Course offered in Summer 2016 term

Applied Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) Online Course offered in Summer 2016 term

The Speed School of Engineering at the University of Louisville is again proud to offer an online Applied CFD course for Summer Semester 2015 through the Department of Chemical Engineering. This course is uniquely tailored for both graduate students and non-degree seeking career engineers in need of introductory CFD training.

CFD is a cutting edge software tool increasingly used in industry and research for predicting fluid flow, heat and mass transfer, chemical reactions, and related phenomena by numerically solving the set of governing mathematical equations that describe these processes.

CFD analysis is used for:

  • conceptual studies to test new processes and designs
  • overcoming complex product development and technical challenges
  • high level and detailed troubleshooting
  • redesign of existing systems for greater efficiency

Economically sound results!
CFD analysis reduces the cost and total effort required for design, testing, and experimentation/data acquisition.


This course teaches the software and techniques toward CFD proficiency for simulating and predicting phenomena of fluids-related engineering problems.

Learn to solve fluid flow problems using FLUENT, the leading commercial CFD package. Topics include software and techniques for geometry creation, meshing, model and solver setup, and post-processing of results. This CFD course emphasizes applications in balance with theory.

Concepts Covered

  • Geometry Generation: 2D & 3D geometry generation
  • Meshing: 2D, 3D, mesh quality, resolution, numerical diffusion
  • Computation: Convergence and stability, steady state, un-steady state, Newtonian and Non-Newtonian fluids, heat transfer, and turbulence models
  • Post-Processing


Complete flexibility
Our cyber instruction runs on YOUR time, unlike the traditional classroom. Access the course and assignments at any time, day or night, from any location.

Register as a non-degree seeking student or for elective credit towards graduate degree in progress.Prerequisite: undergraduate Fluid Dynamics.

Student Benefits
Non-degree seeking students enjoy
access to Ekstrom Library, student recreation centers, and all other UofL facilities and organizations.

About the Instructor
Dr. Eric Berson is an Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Louisville. His extensive experience with CFD modeling of a diverse array of flow systems and reactors has resulted in numerous peer-reviewed scientific publications. He has performed CFD modeling for industry clients, university collaborators, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and the Department of Energy.

For More Information
Download course information flyer, call (502)852-1567 or contact Dr. Berson via email.

Dr. Sundar Atre Receives Award from Ohio Soybean Council to Study Soy-PK Resin

February 22, 2018

Headshot Sundar AtreLast Fall, Dr. Sundar Atre, a professor in the Mechanical Engineering Department and endowed chair of Manufacturing and Materials, received an award from the Ohio Soybean Council to study 3D Printing with a Soy-PK Resin.

A biodegradable material, the Soy-PK Resin would provide a green alternative to plastics, one that is sturdy, but also easy to apply. Atre, who’s current research involves advanced materials and systems focuses on powder injection molding and additive manufacturing of metals and ceramics, is working to employ the resin in a 3D printer that employs a micro-mirror system to test the unique qualities of soy in this context.

He explains, “The Soy-PK material is interesting because by the nature of that chemistry, these materials I use now go straight into a landfill. The argument now is, can you make a more sustainable product that would have the potential to degrade more rapidly?”

Beyond the potential positive environmental impact, the use of organic materials for 3D printing also offers a comparatively safer medium for public use. Likewise, replacing comparably toxic additives with organic materials allows not only a healthier environment, but allows for a larger potential user base to engage in 3D printing technology.

Atre said, “If you want to have 3D printers in a school environment, office environment, etc., if they are petro-chemical materials, they all have different levels of toxicity. There is a potential that you could make it something that is less intrusive around, for children, in hospitals.”

In addition to the pragmatic uses of organic additive, Atre and his team are exploring the material properties of soy, which may prove softer or more malleable. When employed to engineer prosthetics, additives can at times prove harsher or more abrasive, which he compares to a prosthetic foot crafted for a duck. Atre hopes that in exploring new additives, it may open new doors.

“It’s easy to imagine looking at what those kids printed, to imagine that it could have a softer material, so that there is more comfort for the bird. In addition to the form, there is an organic quality for it too. The potential exists for accessing that also. We are interested in trying to go down that route,” said Atre.

“You see shoe companies going towards 3D printing with the manufacturing time. It’s a drop in the ocean," said Atre of the potential for continued research in organic additives. "There is an argument that you aren’t going to change the environment with this type of change. These chemistries make it easier to change a whole lot of attributes such as appearance, feel, comfort, stuff like that. It gives us creative latitude.”

Dr. Kihwan Bae Awarded Outstanding Mentor of a Doctoral Student Award

April 18, 2018

Headshot of Dr. Ki Hwan BaeDr. Kihwan Bae was awarded the Outstanding Mentor of a Doctoral Student Award. Given by the Graduate Student Development and Welfare Committee, a subcommittee of the Graduate Council in the school of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies, the award recognizes faculty who excel at helping students to realize their potential, working with their final projects, which culminate in graduation.

As a student at Virginia Tech, Bae was inspired by his own mentor to follow in their tracks. As such, Bae has developed his own approach to mentoring, which involves not only elements of advising, but in assisting his mentees in developing professional relationships. Pulling from his background as an Industrial Engineer, which is focus on efficient solutions and improvements to systematic problems, by requesting his students to consider their resources, primarily time, and move forward in the most economical way available.

“Every student I encounter is unique; it requires different amounts and kinds of attention, advice, and encouragement. Some students are proactive to approach their mentors, while others are hesitant to seek help. I've been trying to learn individual characteristics and how to be more effective in response to their needs,” says Bae.

Despite the recognition by his colleagues and students, Bae has a pragmatic and humble view of his accomplishments.

He explains, “I consider the award as an evidence of communal efforts and achievement by the department, the engineering school, and the university rather than to myself.”

He will receive his award at the Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony on Friday, May 11, 2018 at 3:00 pm.

Bertocci recognized with 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award for Bioengineering by University of Pittsburgh

August 28, 2013

UofL and the J.B. Speed School of Engineering are pleased to announce that Dr. Gina Bertocci was recognized by the University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering with the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award. The award was presented at Swanson School’s annual banquet held in April.

Dr. Bertocci, BSME ’83, MSME ’91, PhD BioE ’97, Endowed Chair of Biomechanics and Professor, Bioengineering Department, University of Louisville, was named the Department of Bioengineering Distinguished Alumna. Dr. Bertocci earned her Bachelor’s and Master’s Degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Pittsburgh. She completed her PhD in Bioengineering in 1997 also from the University of Pittsburgh. Upon receiving her PhD, she became a faculty member at the University of Pittsburgh’s Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology, with secondary appointments in Bioengineering and Pediatrics, where she remained through 2004. In 2004, Dr. Bertocci joined the University of Louisville, where she is a Professor in Bioengineering and Endowed Chair of Biomechanics. Dr. Bertocci is also the Director of the Injury Risk Assessment and Prevention Laboratory, established in 1997.

Dr. Bertocci’s research interests include the application of injury biomechanics to the early detection of child abuse and the study of pediatric injury risk in falls. She also conducts research in the areas of wheelchair transportation safety and accessibility, and more recently has developed an interest in the field of canine orthopedic biomechanics. Dr. Bertocci has over 60 peer-reviewed journal papers and 120 conference proceedings. Her research has been funded through agencies that include the National Institutes for Health, Center for Disease Control, National Institute for Disability and Rehabilitation Research, National Institute for Justice, the Arthritis Foundation and Paralyzed Veteran’s of America.

Biddle named Speed Alumni Fellow

October 22, 2013

The UofL Alumni Association established the Alumnus/Alumna of the Year Award and the Alumni Fellows program in 1983. These awards recognize graduates who have distinguished themselves in their chosen fields and are exemplary ambassadors for the university and their college or school. Recipients reflect the high standing and character of their alma mater.

Michael Biddle has been named Alumni Fellow for the J.B. Speed School of Engineering for 2013.

He started MBA Polymers about 20 years ago - literally from his garage in California. In addition to leading the technology and business development, he raised over $150 million from private, VC, PE and strategic investors to fund the development and growth of MBA Polymers.

Biddle worked for several large companies, namely GE, Cummins and Dow, before striking out on his own in 1992. He received a B.S. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Louisville and a Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from Case Western Reserve University, both with high honors. He was also a Sloan Fellow at Stanford University (Executive MBA).

Biddle has received numerous international awards. He won the prestigious 2012 Gothenburg Award for Sustainable Business (previous winners include Al Gore, Kofi Annan and Gro Harlem Brundtland – the former President of Norway), the 2010 Economist Innovation Award for Energy and the Environment, the 2006 Intel Tech Museum Award and was named a 2006 World Economic Forum Tech Pioneer. Biddle also won the first Thomas Alva Edison Award for Innovation and the first Ascent Award for Entrepreneurship. Biddle’s TED talk has over 1 million views and hundreds of positive comments across the Internet, being hosted by over 50 different websites.

Biddle and his wife, Elisabeth, have two children.

Building Operator Certification Instructor Positions Available

December 1, 2017

 The J.B. Speed School of Engineering’s Kentucky Pollution Prevention Center (KPPC) is partnering with the Midwest Energy Efficiency Alliance (MEEA) to bring the Building Operator Certification (BOC) program to KY, an energy efficient training program for operators of commercial buildings. The BOC offers opportunities to gain teaching experience, to network with other professionals, and as an avenue of professional development. Funded by the Kentucky Department for Energy Development and Independence (DEDI), the BOC is currently seeking qualified instructors with experience in operations and maintenance. Instructors teach full day classes in their areas of expertise, using BOC materials and curriculum covering a wide range of topics including building systems, energy conservation, benchmarking, HVAC systems and controls, facility lighting, environmental health and safety regulation, indoor air quality and facility electrical systems.

Instructors are treated as individual contractors, and classes will be assigned based on availability and interest. MEEA does not require a minimum number of classes per year, nor do they guarantee that instructors will be assigned a certain number per year. The application goes through an approval process that may take up to 45 days, so you are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Some funding available to purchase instructor books and provide travel reimbursements for up to six new instructors to shadow other instructors. These will be made available to the first six instructors to have their applications submitted and approved. New instructors are typically required to cover their own expenses during the training process.

Applications should be submitted directly to Haley Keegan with MEEA at . Please also email Haley with any questions or contact her directly at (312) 374-0928.

To learn more about KPPC, contact Lissa McCracken, Executive Director, at (502) 852-0965 or or visit the website at

Emmanuel Collins named Dean of Engineering

April 10, 2018
Emmanuel Collins named Dean of Engineering

Dr. Emmanuel Collins

LOUISVILLE, Ky. --- The University of Louisville today announced that Emmanuel Collins will be the next dean of the J.B. Speed School of Engineering, effective July 1 pending a tenure vote by the Speed faculty and approval of the Board of Trustees.

Collins is currently the John H. Seely Professor and Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, College of Engineering, Florida A&M University-Florida State University (FAMU-FSU). He is also founder and director of that institution’s Center for Intelligent Systems, Control and Robotics.

“Dr. Collins brings with him a deep understanding and participation in both graduate and undergraduate education, a strong background in research, an impressive record of encouraging teaching innovation and emphasizing experiential learning, and a great desire to enhance the school’s community involvement with civic agencies and businesses throughout the city, state and region,” said Acting Provost Dale Billingsley.

During his 23 years at FAMU-FSU, Collins was an engaged faculty member and administrator. Prior to his current positions, he served in roles that included engineering professor, associate chair of graduate studies and college director of graduate student recruitment, a role focused on the matriculation and retention of STEM graduate students from underrepresented minorities.

“I am truly excited at the opportunity to join the Cardinal family and help provide leadership to the Speed School of Engineering,” said Collins. “I look forward to harnessing the ideas and insights of the faculty, staff and alumni to set and achieve high goals that advance our graduate and undergraduate programs.”

Collins holds bachelor’s degrees from Morehouse College and the Georgia Institute of Technology and, from Purdue University, a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and a doctoral degree in aeronautics and astronautics.

Dr. Gail DePuy, an admired and respected member of the school’s faculty and administration, has served as interim dean since July 2017.  She will continue as interim dean until Dr. Collins begins his term as dean.

Conn Center to grow hemp for scientific, educational purposes

August 23, 2016
Conn Center to grow hemp for scientific, educational purposes

Hemp planted on UofL's Belknap campus for scientific and education purposes

Crop to be used to explore uses in manufacturing, fuels

The University of Louisville’s Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research has begun growing industrial hemp to enhance its research in fuels and manufacturing.

In partnership with the Kentucky Department of Agriculture and the University of Kentucky Agriculture Department, UofL researchers have planted hemp in a 40-by-40-foot plot adjacent to the center offices in The Phoenix House on the Belknap Campus. Nearby plots will be planted with switchgrass and kenaf, two other plants that have similar potential as fuels.

Unlike its better-known relative, marijuana, industrial hemp has none of the chemicals that produce a “high” for its users, making it worthless as a recreational drug. The hemp plant does, however, boast long, dense fibers that already are proving valuable in some manufacturing applications. It also has a woody core that may be effective once compressed as a supplement to or replacement for fossil fuels.

Research will be carried out by Jagannadh Satyavolu, biofuels theme leader at the Conn Center; Noppodon Sathitsuksanoh, assistant professor of chemical engineering; and Eric Berson, associate professor of chemical engineering. Seven other Kentucky universities are conducting research on hemp, but UofL is the only one focusing on the plant as a fuel resource.

“Hemp is cleaner and cheaper to produce than coal, oil or other resources,” said Mahendra Sunkara, professor of chemical engineering and director of the Conn Center. “It could solve many of the nation’s future energy needs while providing a new, lucrative cash crop for Kentucky’s farmers.”

In addition to using the plot for research, the Conn Center will use the planting to educate the public on the uses for and benefits of industrial hemp.

“We want to eliminate the stigma that is attached to hemp,” said Andrew Marsh, the center’s assistant director. “When people learn the characteristics of the crop and understand its potential for economic development, we think they will become advocates for its production.”

For more information, contact Marsh at (502) 852-8597 or .

View photo gallery of planting.

Conn named to Entrepreneurship Circle of Fame

Nov. 16, 2018
Conn named to Entrepreneurship Circle of Fame

Hank Conn (left) and Van Clouse are the newest members of UofL's College of Business Entrepreneurship Circle of Fame.

The University of Louisville’s College of Business will add two names to its Entrepreneurship Circle of Fame on Nov. 16.

Hank Conn, a UofL alumnus who pledged over $20 million to create the J.B. Speed School of Engineering’s Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research, is an honoree this year. Van Clouse, a 30-year UofL professor who co-founded the entrepreneurship MBA program.

Conn earned his undergraduate degree from the Speed School in 1966, an MBA from the College of Business in 1969 and a Master of Engineering from Speed in 1972. Since 1983, he has been involved in more than 25 startups.

Mahendra Sunkara, director of Conn Center, attributed Conn’s passion for entrepreneurialism in shaping the center’s focus. “Hank has fueled the spirit of the university’s challenge for excellence and contributed significantly to the vision for innovation-based entrepreneurship that accelerates technology concepts to the marketplace,” he said.

The pair were officially recognized at a ceremony beside the granite monument where their names will be inscribed located just outside the COB in Jane Goldstein Plaza.

Clouse and Conn will bring to 16 the number of honorees in the Circle of Fame, begun in 2012.

Conocimiento celebrates inaugural year with Black and Brown Leadership: The Invisible Line that Divides and Unites Us

March 2, 2018

Black and Brown LeadershipIn addition to the annual Engineering Expo hosted by the Speed School Student Council this weekend, Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers are celebrating their inaugural Conocimiento event, which seeks to provide minority students with an opportunity for networking and outreach. Translated to “knowledge,” Conocimiento is a leadership workshop aimed at a diverse student population that includes minority students, to build intercultural community and foster belonging. Titled "Crafting Critical Consciousness through Relationships with Ourselves and Each Other," Conocimiento is presented by Dr. JuanCarlos Arauz, with free lunch provided by Mayan Café, and breakfast provided by LG&E and KU Energy.

Held in the Shoemaker Building, Room 139 from 10am to 4pm, Conocimiento features a bridge building competition, food, drinks, and student led discussion panel. Set up in part with the assistance of Latin American and Hispanic Student Organization and the National Society of Black Engineers, Conocimiento wants to engage and challenge people of color to leadership roles in their communities.

For Jorge Martinez, a member of SHPE, he appreciates how tight knit his community is, but hopes that events like Conocimiento open up the door to a larger world.

Martinez says, “It’s great because you can meet new people, new contacts who can help you in the future to help you get a good job. For Latin or international students, it’s harder to get a job here. That’s my goal.”

SHPE President Ismayra Jimenez is optimistic that this is the start of something lasting. She hopes to not only bring minority communities together, but to position them to effect change while embracing their heritage.

“You are who you are. Be proud of that fact. A lot of people who come here have an inaccurate view of what it will look like. But they have to face this decision of do I have to say where I’m from. That’s what I’m hoping that people will get from it,” says Jimenez.

She adds, “We’re here. We will treat you with as much respect as we possibly can, but we want the same. We want to help, not to be a roadblock. If you allow us to help, we can do that.”

Crawford Named Young Engineer of the Year Award

March 23, 2018

KSPE Young Engineer of the Year, Neal Crawford. Photo credit: Kentucky Society of Professional EngineersSpeed School alumnus Neal Crawford received the KSPE Louisville Chapter Young Engineer of the Year award at the chapter's annual banquet held in early March at the Seelbach Hilton Hotel in downtown Louisville.

Growing up with an aptitude for math and science, Crawford was further encouraged to a STEM education by way of his older cousin and step-father, both engineers. It was that push that led him to enroll in the Leadership Advantage program hosted by the Triangle Fraternity for future Speed School engineering students, prior to his enrollment in the Fall of 2001. Initially intending to major in Computer Engineering and Computer Science, Crawford switched his interest to Civil Engineering. He received his Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering in August 2007 and Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering with a focus on Water Resources in December 2008.

Crawford attributes his award to his time spent at the Speed School, his coworkers, and the people that he has worked for and with at Heritage Engineering and Qk4. He gained employment at Heritage Engineering prior to graduation, which afforded him the opportunity to work for a smaller company, taking on a variety of tasks. Now, Crawford works for Qk4, a relationship he developed through his co-op rotations.

“Speed School provided me the foundation for which everything has been built upon and the people I have worked for have provided me countless opportunities and support in my personal and professional development," said Crawford. "The people I have worked with have put in many long hours to complete successful projects, which make a positive impact on the communities.”

In 2016, Crawford received the DV Terrell Award from KSPE at the Louisville Chapter and the statewide level for outstanding performance in the engineering profession and superior service to KSPE. He continues to build on his previous successes to grow as an engineer. Not only does he find validation for his efforts in his awards, but encouragement to continue to evolve his skills.

“Since I’ve been in the engineering design workplace for nearly 14 years now (including the co-ops) and even though sometimes I feel like it I’m still not old," he said. "The award(s) inspires me to continue to strive to be better and do better for the good of the community and those impacted by my designs and to continue to promote the engineering profession.”

According to the KSPE site, to qualify nominees must be no older than the age of 35; be a registered professional engineer or a certified engineer-in-training; have professional integrity and a reputation beyond question; and must have consistently worked for the professional, civic and technical interests of the engineering profession.

Cyber Defense Team Takes Home 3rd Place at Midwest Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition

May 17, 2017

Cyber Defense Team at Regional Competition

The University of Louisville JB Speed School Cyber Defense Team is a measured response to an increasingly hostile digital landscape. This year, the team took third place at the Midwest Regional Collegiate Cyber Defense Competition (CCDC) at Moraine Valley Community College on March 17th and 18th. The Cyber Defense team is a student interest group relative to, but not part of the Speed Association for Computing Machinery, dedicated to cyber security, both offensive and defensive with meetings once a week to discuss security topics and host hands-on training. Sponsored by the Department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science, the team is multi-disciplinary, mentored by Ron Lile since 2011, who sees his position as the moral and administrative support for the students.

“When I came in 6 years ago and went to the nationals, they were on top of their game. From that point on, I started seeing a downward spiral. They were good enough to get to the regionals. For most of those years, they were consistently able to get to the regional level. But they were not very competitive. This year, is really a step up in the right direction,” Lile says adding of his own involvement, “Personally, I’m going to try to do everything that I can to build on this. Try to do a little bit of more serious recruiting for the team.”

This year was an especially difficult competition, as the CDT lost in the preliminary round to Northern Kentucky University on February 4th. To account of that, the team had to pick up the wildcard ticket, which meant that they had to compete and win against nine states to gain entry into the competition. On March 4th, they did just that.

“At all three levels of competition, the teams are placed in a ‘real world business environment’ where computing systems of all types has already been placed in various states of vulnerability. Then, after being given a brief period to familiarize themselves with the environment, the teams are hammered/attacked by a Red Team, while at the same time being expected to keep up with the everyday needs of the users they support,” says Lile.

Operating without faculty involvement, Lile believes in the self-sufficiency of the team’s leadership.

“To me, this speaks volumes about their character and technical/educational capabilities. Being able to regularly compete at the regional level, completely depending upon themselves for training is truly amazing. For the past few years, Mehdi Sabraoui has been a huge part of that leadership, with Ben Brown representing the team this year as the captain,” says Lile.

He adds, “In my opinion, this type of competition and student involvement epitomizes what a university should be all about.”

You can learn more about the Cyber Defense Team here.

Day Two of Spring Career Fair Provides an Opportunity for Students to Find Potential Employers

February 23, 2018

More than 60 companies were on hand for the Spring 2018 Engineering Career Fair. Held again in the University Club, the event serves as a recruiting opportunity for students hungry for experience, be that in discovering a co-op opportunity or in discovering a potential employer. Students prepared with mock interviews, touching up their resumes with the assistance of the Co-op Center, and using resources like Symplicity to get ready when speaking with possible employers.

The event took up three separate rooms at the University Club, the walls lined with a variety of possibilities. Each potential employer was broken down not only by what specific majors they sought, but with a special note as to whether or not they employed Speed School alumni, who in some cases were present to speak.

For Audrey Duke, a Master’s Chemical Engineering student who graduated last year, personality is the x-factor that makes a candidate stand out. A countermeasure design engineer at the Naval Surface Warfare Center, Duke works as part of a team to in the countermeasure branch, involving flares, decoys, and chaff, where she helps design systems for submarines, fighter jets, and the various defense systems used in battle. It’s that team that she values the most.

“Speed School helped me to sell myself. You have to be able to talk to people," Duke said. "They had mock interviews you had to do before you had co-op even. At work, we need self-starters. You’re not going to get work unless you’re going out of your way to get projects and work with people. Speed School helped with that. We’re looking for people who are outgoing, who can talk to us.”

Like many students, Bioengineering major Morgan Van Riseman had a specific objective in mind, a strategy for who she wanted to speak with. Using Symplicity to inform her choices, Van Riseman plotted a course and pre-prepared her questions. Ultimately though, she was most impressed by the breadth of her available options.

“There have been a lot of great companies that are out here today," said Van Riseman. "It’s great that I don’t have to just talk to Bioengineering companies, I can talk to Industrial Engineering companies if that’s what I’m interested in.”

Finalists for Engineering Dean Announced

January, 11 2018

The University of Louisville has announced four candidates for the position of dean of the J.B. School of Engineering. The finalists will each spend two days on campus meeting with administration, faculty, staff and students and touring engineering facilities on Belknap campus.

Dr. J. Cole Smith, Professor & Department Chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering at Clemson University will visit UofL January 11 and 12.

The second candidate is Dr. Mei Wei, Professor and Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Education at the University of Connecticut. She will be on campus January 22 and 23.

January 25 and 26 will bring Dr. Emmanuel G. Collins, John H. Seely Professor and Department Chair of Mechanical Engineering, at Florida A&M University – Florida State University (FAMU-FSU) College of Engineering (COE). Collins also serves at Director, Center for Intelligent Systems, Control, and Robotics.

The final candidate, Dr. Arvin Agah, will be in Louisville on January 30 and 31. Agah is currently the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs for the School of Engineering, and Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Kansas.

The search committee, chaired by Dr. Robert Fox, University Libraries, and co-chaired by Dr. Kevin Walsh, Professor and Associate Dean for Research, consists of nine faculty members, representatives from Speed School staff, student body, alumni, the Commission for Diversity and Racial Equality (CODRE), and a Provost designee.

For more information about the engineering dean search, visit

Search launched for next chair of Computer Engineering and Computer Science

The Department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science (CECS) in the J. B. Speed School of Engineering at the University of Louisville (UofL) seeks candidates for the position of Department Chair. The Chair will lead the department, and set an innovative vision for its growth in alignment with the Speed School strategic plan.

The current chairman, Dr. Adel Elmaghraby, has been tagged as the Director of Industry Research and Innovation, a position in which he will facilitate the development of new research ties between industry and Speed School. He will continue as chair  of CECS, while a national search is conducted.

Click here for complete details about or to apply for administrative role of chairperson of CECS.

DePuy named Associate Dean of Academic Affairs

January 5, 2015

Dr.  Gail W. DePuy has taken over the role of Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from Dr. Michael Day at the J.B Speed School of Engineering. Dr. Day will return to teaching after a sabbatical during the spring 2015 semester. Dr. DePuy is a Professor of Industrial Engineering, and has been a faculty member at the Speed School since 1995. She is highly regarded as an educator for her teaching excellence, concern for student engagement and welfare, and innovation in the classroom.

During her tenure at the University of Louisville, Dr. DePuy has won numerous teaching awards.  Her area of scholarship is manufacturing logistics. She has led a successful research program that has attracted over $2.4 Million in external research funds. Dr. DePuy's research program has greatly benefited a large number of our students at the bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral levels.

Dr. DePuy served as Director of Graduate Programs in Industrial Engineering,  and chairs the Speed School Graduate Education Committee. She has been extensively involved as a leader in curriculum development both at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Dr. DePuy  is passionate about programs that support pathways for children to learn about science and engineering and strengthen diversity in engineering.

DePuy receives 2017 INSIGHT Into Diversity Magazine Giving Back Award

March 9, 2017

Assoc Dean Gail DePuy standing on the front porch of the JB Speed Building.Dr. Gail DePuy is a recipient of the 2017 Giving Back Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the oldest and largest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education. The Giving Back Award honors college and university administrators who go above and beyond their everyday leadership duties and “give back” to their campuses and communities. Associate Dean of Academic & Student Affairs for the J.B. Speed School of Engineering, DePuy will be featured, along with 38 other recipients, in the April 2017 Leadership Support and Giving Back issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

Giving Back Award recipients were nominated by their colleagues and selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity based on their outstanding demonstration of social responsibility; involvement with students, faculty, staff, and the community; and commitment to serving underrepresented populations. Each honoree is recognized for his or her passion, dedication, and support for diversity and inclusion.

"Dr. Gail DePuy has demonstrated amazing leadership here at the Speed School in the promotion of diversity and inclusiveness." said Dr. John Usher, acting dean of Speed School. "As Associate Dean for Academic & Student Affairs, she and her team have implemented an array of outreach and educational  programs to attract and support a diverse group of students, as well as fostering the growth of new student organizations that, in turn, help our students succeed as engineers.  I am very proud of her work as a colleague, mentor and role model!"

INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected DePuy because of her leadership and steadfast commitment to diversity and inclusion with the engineering community.

“The Giving Back Award is being awarded to leaders of institutions of higher education who exemplify what it truly means to ‘give back’ to others,” says Holly Mendelson, publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “These administrators are role models, and we honor their efforts to promote diversity and inclusion on their campuses and in their communities.”

Other recipients of the 2017 Giving Back Award include:

  • Sefa Aina, Pomona College
  • Philip S. Bailey, PhD, California Polytechnic State University
  • Andra Basu, PhD, MEd, Lehigh Carbon Community College
  • Venessa A. Brown, PhD, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • Marc Burnett, Tennessee Technological University
  • Marie Chisholm-Burns, PharmD, MPH, MBA, FCCP, FASHP, FAST, University of Tennessee Health Science Center
  • Kathryn B. Chval, PhD, University of Missouri
  • Patrick Coggins, PhD, JD, EdS, Stetson University
  • Daryll Coleman, PhD, Lane College
  • Deborah Deas, MD, University of California, Riverside
  • William E. Easterling, PhD, The Pennsylvania State University
  • Nitza Milagros Escalera, JD, EdM, Fordham University
  • Greer Glazer, RN, PhD, CNP, FAAN, University of Cincinnati
  • Natalie Gibson, Kentucky Community and Technical College System
  • Craig Hillemeier, MD, Penn State Health
  • Lisa Kirtman, PhD, California State University, Fullerton
  • Paul L. Koch, PhD, University of California, Santa Cruz
  • Ming Li, EdD, Western Michigan University
  • Elizabeth G. Loboa, PhD, University of Missouri
  • Linda Logan, PhD, Olivet College
  • Patrice Gouveia Marks, PhD, Raritan Valley Community College
  • Shane P. Martin, PhD, Loyola Marymount University
  • Maureen A. O'Rourke, JD, Boston University
  • Rafael Ortega, MD, Boston University
  • Tonantzin Oseguera, EdD, California State University, Fullerton
  • Jennifer Rosato Perea, JD, DePaul University
  • Clyde Wilson Pickett, MEd, Community College of Allegheny County
  • Yasmin S. Purohit, PhD, Robert Morris University
  • Fatima Rodriguez-Johnson, SUNY Geneseo
  • Paula T. Silver, PhD, Widener University
  • William Silver, PhD, Sonoma State University
  • Kelli Sinclair, Waubonsee Community College
  • Christina Swaidan, EdD, MEd, Westfield State University
  • Charles Taber, PhD, Stony Brook University
  • David E. Thomas, EdD, MEd, Community College of Philadelphia
  • Gregory Townsend, MD, University of Virginia
  • Roberta J. Wilburn, EdD, ThD, Whitworth University
  • Victor Wilson, MEd, University of Georgia

A call for nominations for the Giving Back Award was announced in October 2016. Award recipients include administrators of both community colleges and baccalaureate-granting institutions.

For more information about the 2017 Giving Back Award and INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, visit

Doctoral candidates to participate in hooding ceremony

May 6, 2015

Dr. Beth A. Boehm, Dean of the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies has announced award and honors recipients for the Spring 2015 Commencement.

These individuals were nominated by their program's Chair, Director of Graduate Studies or their faculty mentor. After careful review by The Scholarship and Awards Committee of the Graduate Council, these individuals were recognized as outstanding in their respective disciplines.

The following students were invited to the Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony on Friday, May 8, 2015, 4:00 PM, Kentucky International Convention Center. During the ceremony, doctoral recipients will participate, with their faculty mentors, in the vesting ceremony and will have their degrees conferred by President James Ramsey.

The John Richard Binford Memorial Award will be presented during the May 8th ceremony. The Binford Award is presented to the doctoral degree recipient who excels in both scholarship and leadership within his or her discipline. This year's recipient is:

  • Abdallah Eteleeb
    Computer Science and Engineering;
    Associate Professor Eric Rouchka
    Dissertation:  An Island-Based Approach for RNA-Seq Differential Expression Analysis

Speed School students receiving the Graduate Dean’s Citations are:

  • Venkata Durgaprasad Gullapalli
    Civil Engineering; Professor Mark French
    Dissertation:  Nanoscale Electrode Architectures for Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage
  • Eslam Abdelfattah Mostafa
    Electrical Engineering; Professor Aly Farag
    Dissertation:  Face Modeling for Face Recognition in the Wild
  • Matthew Joseph Nitzken
    Electrical Engineering; Co-Chairs Associate Professor Ayman El-Baz and Associate Professor Tamer Inanc
    Dissertation:  Shape Analysis of the Human Brain

    The following students have completed their Ph.D.:

      • Behnaz Abdollahi
        Electrical Engineering; Co-Chairs Assistant Professor Hermann Frieboes and Assistant Professor Karla Welch
        Dissertation:  Computational Methods to Predict and Enhance Decision Making with Biomedical Data
      • Marc Bjoern Beck
        Computer Science and Engineering;
        Co-Chairs Associate Professor Roman Yampolskiy and Associate Professor Ahmed Desoky
        Dissertation:  A Forensic Software Toolkit for DNA Steganalysis
      • Raymond Rex Dsouza
        Mechanical Engineering; Professor Gina Bertocci
        Dissertation:  Development of a Surrogate Bruising Detection System to Describe Potential Bruising Patterns Associated with Common Childhood Falls
      • Shuangshuang Jiang
        Computer Science and Engineering;
        Professor Hichem Frigui
        Dissertation:  Semantic Indexing of Video Simulations for Enhancing Medical Care During Crises
      • Shanshan Li
        Civil Engineering;
        Associate Professor Thomas Rockaway
        Dissertation:  Comprehensive Assessment of the Performance of Stormwater best Management Practices on Belknap Campus at University of Louisville
      • Arsalan Paleshi
        Industrial Engineering; Co-Chairs Professor Gerald Evans and Assistant Professor Ki-Hwan Bae
        Dissertation:  Simulation-Based Optimization of Mitigation Strategies for Pandemic Influenza
      • Daniel Allen Porter
        Mechanical Engineering;
        Associate Professor Thomas Berfield
        Dissertation:  Bi-Stable Buckled Energy Harvesters Actuated Via Torque Arms
      • Ata Radfar
        Civil Engineering;
        Associate Professor Thomas Rockaway
        Dissertation:  Artificial Neural Network Models for the Analysis of Permeable Pavement Performance
      • John Lawrence Tatarko
        Chemical Engineering;
        Associate Professor Gerold Willing
        Dissertation:  The Production, Properties, and Applications of the Zinc Imidazolate ZIF-8
      • Venkat Kalyan Vendra
        Chemical Engineering; Co-Chairs Professor Mahendra Sunkara and Associate Professor Delaina Amos
        Dissertation:  Nanoscale Electrode Architectures for Electrochemical Energy Conversion and Storage

        Ph.D. candidates to participate in doctoral hooding ceremony

        December 17, 2015

        Dr. Beth A. Boehm, Dean of the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies has announced award and honors recipients for the Winter 2014 Commencement.

        These individuals were nominated by their program's Chair, Director of Graduate Studies or their faculty mentor. After careful review by The Scholarship and Awards Committee of the Graduate Council, these individuals were recognized as outstanding in their respective disciplines.

        The following students were invited to the Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony on Friday, December 18, 2015, 3:00 PM, KFC Yum! Center. During the ceremony, doctoral recipients will participate, with their faculty mentors, in the vesting ceremony and will have their degrees conferred by President James Ramsey.

        The following students have completed their Ph.D.:

          Sam Abdollahian
          Civil Engineering
          Associate Professor Thomas Rockaway
          Dissertation:  Assessing the Water Quality Benefits of Green Infrastructures Stormwater Control Measures

          Masoudeh Ahmadi
          Chemical Engineering
          Associate Professor Gerold Willing
          Dissertation:  Heat Transfer Mechanisms in Water-Based Nanofluids

          Amine Ben Khalifa
          Computer Science and Engineering
          Professor Hichem Frigui
          Dissertation:  Multiple Instance Fuzzy Inference

          Maria de Lourdes Carreon Garciduenas
          Chemical Engineering
          Professor Mahendra Sunkara
          Dissertation:  Plasma Catalysis Using Low Melting Point Metals

          Jubin Chen
          Mechanical Engineering
          Associate Professor Thomas Berfield
          Dissertation:  Mechanics of Electrode Materials in Lithium Battery Applications

          Takiyah K. Cooper
          Computer Science and Engineering
          Associate Professor Ahmed Desoky
          Dissertation:  Excluisve-Or Preprocessing and Dictionary Coding of Continuous-Tone Images

          Stefan Jedeck
          Industrial Engineering
          Assistant Professor Li Yang
          Dissertation:  Spare Parts on Demand Using Additive Manufacturing:  A Simulation Model for Cost Evaluation

          Farid Nemati
          Civil Engineering
          Professor William McGinley
          Dissertation:  Macro Model for Solid and Perforated Masonry Infill Shear Walls

          Swathi Sunkara
          Chemical Engineering
          Professor Mahendra Sunkara
          Dissertation:  New Visible Light Absorber for Solar Fuels: GaSbN

          Kai Zeng
          Industrial Engineering
          Professor Brent Stucker
          Dissertation:  Optimization of Support Structures for Selective Laser Melting

            Sixteen engineering students invited to doctoral hooding ceremony

            December 12, 2017

            December 12, 2017

            Dr. Beth A. Boehm, Dean of the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies has announced award and honors recipients for the Winter 2017 Commencement.

            These individuals were nominated by their program's Chair, Director of Graduate Studies or their faculty mentor. After careful review by The Scholarship and Awards Committee of the Graduate Council, these individuals were recognized as outstanding in their respective disciplines.

            The following students were invited to the Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony on Friday, May 15, 2017, 3:00 PM, KFC Yum! Center. During the ceremony, doctoral recipients will participate, with their faculty mentors, in the vesting ceremony and will have their degrees conferred by Interim President Dr. Greg Postel.

            Speed School students receiving the Graduate Dean’s Citations are:

            • Nadieh Mohamadi Moghadam
              Electrical Engineering
              Associate Professor Hongxiang Li
              Dissertation:  Queue Stability Analysis in Network Coded Wireless Multicast
            • Tegjyot Singh Sethi
              Computer Science and Engineering
              Professor Mehmed Kantardzic
              Dissertation:  Dynamic Adversarial Mining – Effectively Applying Machine Learning in Adversarial Non-Stationary Environments

            The following students have completed their Ph.D.:

            • Behnoush Abdollahi
              Computer Science and Engineering
              Professor Olfa Nasraoui
              Dissertation:  Accurate and Justifiable:  New Algorithms for Explainable Recommendations
            • Jasmin Beharic
              Electrical Engineering
              Professor Cindy Harnett
              Dissertation:  Applications of Polarized Metallic Nanostructures
            • Heba Mohamed Elgazzar
              Computer Science and Engineering
              Professor Adel Elmaghraby
              Dissertation:  Network Science Algorithms for Mobile Networks
            • Mohammad Ghavami
              Civil Engineering
              Assistant Professor Qian Zhao
              Dissertation:  Cationic Surfactant Modification and Its Impact on the Engineering Behaviors of Montmorillonite
            • Yisen Guo
              Mechanical Engineering
              Associate Professor Yongsheng Lian
              Dissertation:  Numerical Investigation of Drop Impingement on Dry and Wet Surfaces
            • Bashir Hasanzadeh
              Civil Engineering
              Professor Zhihui Sun
              Dissertation:  Testing and Modeling of the Thixotropic Behavior of Cementitious Materials
            • Sadra Javadi
              Civil Engineering
              Assistant Professor Qian Zhao
              Dissertation: Engineering Applications of Organic Surfactant Modified Bentonite in Sorptive Soil Barriers
            • Joseph Latham
              Electrical Engineering
              Professor Michael McIntyre
              Dissertation:  Observation and Estimations Study for Sensorless Control of Linear Vapor Compressors
            • Brandon Lavery
              Chemical Engineering
              Co-Advisors Professor Mahendra Sunkara and Professor Thad Druffel
              Dissertation:  Novel Processing Approaches for Thin Film Solar and Related Technologies
            • Mohammad Taghi Mohebbi
              Electrical Engineering
              Associate Professor Michael McIntyre
              Dissertation:  Control of Power Electronic Interfaces in Distributed Generation
            • Gopi Chand Nutakki
              Computer Science and Engineering
              Professor Olfa Nasraoui
              Dissertation:  A Framework for Adaptive Topic Tracking on Social Media Streams
            • Marie Kristine Riggs
              Mechanical Engineering
              Professor Gina Bertocci
              Dissertation:  A Novel Approach to Assess Minimally Invasive Surgical Device Failure Utilizing Adverse Even Outcome Severity and Design Complexity
            • Hanwen Yuan
              Mechanical Engineering
              Co-Advisors Professor Robert Keynton and Professor Stuart Williams
              Dissertation:  Fabrication and Characterization of a Micro/Nanofluidic Platform for Electroporation
            • Shanshan Zhang
              Industrial Engineering
              Assistant Professor Li Yang
              Dissertation:  Design, Analysis and Application of a Cellular Material/Structure Model for Metal Based Additive Manufacturing Processes

            Doctoral hooding ceremony to be held May 12

            May 11, 2017

            Dr. Beth A. Boehm, Dean of the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies has announced award and honors recipients for the Spring 2017 Commencement.

            These individuals were nominated by their program's Chair, Director of Graduate Studies or their faculty mentor. After careful review by The Scholarship and Awards Committee of the Graduate Council, these individuals were recognized as outstanding in their respective disciplines.

            The following students were invited to the Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony on Friday, May 12, 2017, 3:00 PM, KFC Yum! Center. During the ceremony, doctoral recipients will participate, with their faculty mentors, in the vesting ceremony and will have their degrees conferred by Interim President Dr. Greg Postel.

            Mahsa Badami is the recipient of the Guy Stevenson Award for Excellence in Graduate Studies and will give the student commencement address during the hooding ceremony.

            Speed School students receiving the Graduate Dean’s Citations are:

            • *Mahsa Badami
              Computer Science and Engineering
              Assistant Professor Olfa Nasaroui
              Dissertation:  Polarization in Recommender Systems
            • *Faezeh Tafazzoli
              Computer Science and Engineering
              Professor Hichem Frigui
              Dissertation:  Vehicle Make and Model Recognition for Intelligent Transportation Monitoring and Surveillance
            • *Zhenzhen Xie
              Chemical Engineering
              Associate Professor Xiaoan Fu
              Dissertation:  Electronic Nose for Analysis of Volatile Organic Compounds in Air and Exhaled Breath

            The following students have completed their Ph.D.:

            • Jasmin Beharic
              Electrical Engineering
              Associate Professor Cindy Harnett
            • Jaafar Ben-Abdallah
              Computer Science and Engineering
              Assistant Professor Olfa Nasaroui
            • Jeffery Wayne Borden
              Mechanical Engineering
              Associate Professor Michael Voor
            • Scott Douglas Cambron
              Mechanical Engineering
              Professor Robert Keynton
              Dissertation:  Development and Evaluation of a Biocompatible Electroactive Sensor for Continuous Blood Pressure Measurement
            • Chen Cao
              Electrical Engineering
              Assistant Professor Hongxiang Li
              Dissertation:   Low-Resolution ADC Receiver Design, MIMO Interference Cancellation Prototyping, and PHY Secrecy Analysis
            • Alejandro Martinez Garcia
              Chemical Engineering
              Professor Mahendra Sunkara
              Dissertation:  New Light Absorbers for Renewable Hydrogen for Renewable Hydrogen Production:  Chemical Vapor Deposition of Nearly Epitaxial III-V Semiconductors & Other Films for Unassisted Water Photoelectrolysis
            • William C. Harrington, Jr.
              Industrial Engineering
              Assistant Professor Ki-Hwan Bae
              Dissertation:  Performance Analysis of Organizations as Complex Systems
            • Brandon Wayne Lavery
              Chemical Engineering
              Professor Mahendra Sunkara
              Dissertation:  Scalable Manufacturing of Solar Cells Using Intense Pulsed Light
            • Santanu Mukherjee
              Mechanical Engineering
              Assistant Professor Sam Park
              Dissertation:  Development and Degradation Analysis of Novel Nanostructured Transition Metal Oxide (TMO) Anodes for Aqueous Sodium and Lithium Ion Batteries
            • Ernur Saka
              Computer Science and Engineering
              Assistant Professor Olfa Nasaroui
            • Li Yang
              Civil Engineering
              Assistant Professor Young Hoon Kim
              Dissertation:  Non-Contact Based Structural Damage Assessment Using Stochastic Subspace Identification and Finite Element Modal Updating
            • Hanwen Yuan
              Mechanical Engineering
              Professor Robert Keynton
              Dissertation:  Micro/Nanofluidic Platform for Nanoscale Cellular Electroporation
            • Yibo Zhang
              Civil Engineering
              Professor J. P. Mohsen
              Dissertation:  A Tool to Evaluate Sustainability of Pavement Maintenance Projects

            Doctoral hooding ceremony held May 11

            May 11, 2018

            Dr. Beth A. Boehm, Dean of the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies has announced award and honors recipients for the Spring 2018 Commencement.

            These individuals were nominated by their program's Chair, Director of Graduate Studies or their faculty mentor. After careful review by The Scholarship and Awards Committee of the Graduate Council, these individuals were recognized as outstanding in their respective disciplines.

            The following students were invited to the Doctoral Hooding and Graduation Ceremony on Friday, May 11, 2018, 3:00 PM, KFC Yum! Center. During the ceremony, doctoral recipients will participate, with their faculty mentors, in the vesting ceremony and will have their degrees conferred by Interim President Dr. Greg Postel.

            The following students have completed their Ph.D. and are recipients of the Graduate Dean's Citation:

            • Lee Alan Evans
              Industrial Engineering
              Assistant Professor Ki-Hwan Bae
              Dissertation: Simulation-Based Analysis and Optimization of the U.S. Army Performance Appraisal System
            • Robert Warren Stallard
              Electrical Engineering
              Associate Professor Karla Conn Welch
              Dissertation: Longitudinal Tracking of Physiological State with Electromyographic Signals

            The following students have completed their Ph.D.:

            • Austin Levi Carver
              Electrical Engineering
              Professor Bruce Alphenaar
              Dissertation: Development of a Capacitive Photocurrentscanning Microscope with Carrier Depletion Super-Resolution
            • Jung Won Cha
              Electrical Engineering
              Professor Amir Amini
              Dissertation: Segmentation, Tracking, Kinematics of Lung Parenchyman and Lung Tumors from 4D CT with Application to Radiation Planning
            • Milad Ebrahimi
              Civil Engineering
              Associate Professor Thomas Rockaway
              Dissertation: Assessment and Optimization of Environmental Systems Using Data Analysis and Simulation
            • Heba Mohamed Elgazzar
              Computer Science and Engineering
              Professor Adel Elmaghraby
              Dissertation: Network Science Algorithms for Mobile Networks
            • Shade Awad El-Hadik
              Computer Science and Engineering
              Associate Professor Ahmed Desoky
              Dissertation: Cognitive Performance Application
            • Gerhard Koch
              Industrial Engineering
              Professor Gail DePuy
              Dissertation: Multi-Self-Adapting Particle Swarm Optimization (MSAPSO) 
            • Sowmya Kolli
              Electrical Engineering
              Professor Bruce Alphenaar
              Dissertation: Vertical Gallium Nitride Schottky diodes for Power Switching Applications
            • Yi Li
              Computer Science and Engineering
              Professor Adel Elmaghraby
              Dissertation: Designing Interactive Virtual Environments with Feedback in Health Application
            • Anju Panicker Madhusoodhanan Sathik
              Computer Science and Engineering
              Professor Hichem Frigui
              Dissertation:  A Framework for Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Scene Retrieval from Medical Simulation Videos Based on Object and Activity Detection
            • Venkata Karthik Nadimpalli
              Industrial Engineering
              Assistant Professor Li Yang
              Dissertation: Ultrasonic Nondestructive Evaluation of Metal Additive Manufacturing
            • Pablo Robinson Rivera
              Electrical Engineering
              Associate Professor Michael McIntyre
              Dissertation: Grid-Connected Photovoltaic Systems Based on Nonlinear Control
            • Emur Saka
              Computer Science and Engineering
              Professor Eric Rouchka
              Dissertation: Region Based Gene Expression Via Reanalysis of Publicly Available Microarray Data Sets
            • Andrew Hardesty Work Jr. 
              Mechanical Engineering
              Associate Professor Yongsheng Lian
              Dissertation: The Measurement of the Adhesion of Glaze Ice 

            Dr. Amir Amini Elected to the AIMBE's College of Fellows

            December 21, 2016

            Dr. Amir Amini

            Dr. Amir Amini was recently elected to the College of Fellows at the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE, which represents the most accomplished and distinguished medical and biological engineers responsible for innovation and discovery. Dr. Amini was nominated for membership as a result of contributions to the field, peer-reviewed by the College of Fellows Selection Committee.

            A nonprofit, AIMBE is an honorific society that serves as the authoritative voice and advocate for the value of medical and biological engineering to society. It is an organization of leaders in their fields, consisting of academic, industrial, and professional society councils; and the individually-elected members of the College of Fellows.

            Dr. Stuart Williams receives funding from the NASA Kentucky EPSCoR Program

            September 27, 2017

            Stuart WilliamsAn alumnus of the Speed School born and raised in Louisville, Dr. Stuart Williams has an affinity for infinity and beyond. A recently tenured member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Williams was recently awarded funding from the NASA Kentucky EPSCoR Program for his work on “Enhanced Science on the ISS: Influence of Gravity on Electrokinetic and Electrochemical Assembly in Colloids,” which exams the impact of weightlessness on particle solutions.

            You might see a colloid in detergent or blood, any solution that might separate over time. Williams and his team will work to determine if there is any way to suspend that process, which will add longevity to products that may otherwise have a limited shelf life.

            “Think of a colloid as any particle that stays in homogeneous suspension. We are trying to determine the impact of specialized nano-particles and how they prevent micro-particles from aggregating. We’re using certain chemical and electro-field means to control it and to understand the governing mechanisms to use that knowledge and apply it to future products,” explains Williams.
            Williams gravitated towards Mechanical Engineering as a field with a diverse array of study. After the events of 9/11, Williams, then an undergraduate, had the opportunity to intern at San Dimas National Laboratory, who at the time had received a generous amount of funding to work on chemical sensors for bomb detections. It was there that Williams found his focus.

            “We had the lowest level security clearance, but we didn’t always know what we had in our hands. There was interesting stuff going on, and I thought this is neat. Let me stick with this. Let me make a difference. That blossomed into continuing to educate myself and learn everything I can,” says Williams.

            Attending Purdue in pursuit of his PhD, Williams’ was exposed to manipulating particles. When Deep Water Horizon happened, a host from NPR contact his advisor, who specialized in particle visualization, to get an idea of the environmental impact. That attention helped bring in funding, which again gave Williams new opportunities for research.

            He says, “I learned how to use particles and fluids into how to learn how to get information from that. In that case, particles were able to give us information. I built research on that. What kind of information can I gain from particle behavior?”

            Now Williams is a backed by a multi-disciplinary team of students and researchers, all at varying stages of their education and with different motivations. One of Williams roles is to ensure the continuity of the project, and navigate the many moving parts that comes with working with NASA.

            “It is a team approach. Every once in a while, people do their own thing. It is a managerial role,” he says. “I talk to NASA. Their launch time is always fluctuating. We can’t become reliant on their timeline, because it’s not set in stone. You have to make sure that students are properly trained. There is a lot of communication and making sure people are on the same page.”

            Ultimately, he hopes that this is one leg of his research, and one that may yield another tool for use in stabilizing solutions.

            “The scientist in me, wants to understand the physics in how this works. We have some goals in terms of why this physical mechanism does what it does. Once we can understand the fundamentals, then we can apply it. Then we can apply it to products,” says Williams.

            Zhang Receives NSF Career Award

            May 25, 2017

            Headshot of Harry (Hui) ZhangExplaining higher-dimensional space is in many ways an expression of the inexpressible, and exactly the kind of work that Dr. Hui Zhang is engaged in. A professor in the department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science since the Fall of 2015, Zhang was recently awarded an NSF Career Award for his work, “CAREER:  Visualizing Mathematical Structures in High-Dimensional Space.”

            Higher Dimensional Space
            It’s a heady topic to reduce to layman’s terms, although a challenge that Zhang is more than eager to engage. His work materializes a theoretical space that is neither a destination or physically reproducible place, but a mathematical construct used in higher level equations and formulas.

            “In the mathematical world, 4th dimensional, 5th dimensional, etc. Human beings can only perceive 3d space. But when the computation is about xyzabc. It’s about equivalence, how one entity is equivalent to another one in high dimensional space,” explains Zhang.

            He continues adding, “This is purely mathematical. The 4th dimensional world is the fourth axis. We use a lot of very interesting phenomena. In our 3-dimensional space a ribbon can go into a ring and lift up the ring. In 4-dimensional space, this is not possible. A ring would fall through the ribbon. This kind of analogy from 1-dimensional to 2 dimensional to 3-dimensional… many of these phenomena that I’m trying to visualize already existed in a mathematical book (on the page).”

            Zhang’s ambitious project is meant to help negotiate a logical puzzle impossible for many to perceive. His visualizations offer new opportunities for mathematicians, educators, and students to engage daunting hypothetical research.

            He explains, “From a computer science perspective, many of the techniques that we use for visualization can be used for a lot of other areas. Within mathematical areas, it has two applications. First it helps mathematicians with their hypotheses. Second, it helps with students to visual interface, to try for things without theory, how to navigate 4-dimensional space.”

            E-Expo touts entrepreneurial engineering theme

            February 13, 2018

            Beyond the traditional student competitions, laboratory tours, and hands-on activities, the University of Louisville’s annual Engineering Expo, is expanding to incorporate a young alumni panel, a start-up fair and specific sessions geared to high school and current university students. E-Expo is scheduled for Saturday, March 3, at the J.B. Speed School of Engineering.

            “In the past, we tried to plan for a wide age range. We’ve seen not as large a participation from high school students." said Saralynn Callahan, event co-organizer. "They used to come to campus, participate in the games and leave.”

            This year the theme is “Start Up Speed” focusing on engineering entrepreneurship with the aim of introducing students to resources that are available, and to help them learn where and how to get funding. The keynote speaker is Alex Frommeyer, a co-founder and CEO of Beam Technologies, a dental benefits company.

            “Right now with shows like Shark Tank and events like startup weekend there is a real hype with entrepreneurship and startup companies. It’s nice because it encompasses all the disciplines,” said Callahan.

            Frommeyer, who will speak at noon and again at 2 p.m. in Ernst Hall Auditorium, was selected as a Forbes 30 Under 30 Honoree in Manufacturing and founded Uproar Labs. He earned a bachelor’s and a master’s degree, both in Civil Engineering from the University of Louisville.

            In effort to expand outreach to more individuals, this year’s event will include separate tracks: K-8 students, high school/admitted senior students, and current engineering students. Each track will have a distinct schedule with activities appropriate for each age group. The event, sponsored by the Speed School Student Council, is free and open to the public.

            Among the highlights: Elementary, middle and high school students will participate in competitions to test pre-built balsa-wood bridges, and Rube Goldberg machines. Speed School students will display their competition vehicles including the reigning national champion rocket. Tours will be conducted of research and teaching labs on the Belknap campus.

            “By not inviting students who are actually admitted, we aren’t reaching students who may want to come here” said Brooke Barrow, president of Speed School Student Council and event co-organizer.

            Operated under the umbrella of the E-Expo is the Speed Student Research Exhibition, an event that features poster presentations for undergraduate, master’s, and doctoral students. The three categories are five to ten minute presentation, a quick Q&A, with the top two winners will be given a small scholarship.

            Sponsored by the SSSC and presented by the Speed School, the Speed Student Research Exhibition is aimed at breaking down the barriers between students interested in research and available funding opportunities. The research exhibition is scheduled for Friday, March 2 from 1:30 to 5:00 p.m. in Bigelow Hall of the Miller IT Center.

            Callahan hopes that it creates a comfortable space for students to present their work. “I know that as an undergrad, I was intimidated to come, but now that I’m in my grad, I know it’s not that hard to do.”

            Parking is available behind the J.B. Speed Building on Eastern Parkway. For media interested in the competitions and demonstrations, the best times are between 10 a.m. and 1:30 p.m.

            To register or for more information, visit

            El-Baz Named to UofL Top 4 Faculty Favorites

            September 21, 2016

            Dr. Ayman El-Baz has been named a “Top 4” Faculty Favorite of 2015-2016 through an online poll of university students.

            El-Baz joined the faculty at UofL in 2006, and is an expert in the fields of bio-imaging modeling and non-invasive computer-assisted diagnosis systems.  In  2009, he was named a Coulter Fellow for his contribution in the biomedical translational research. Most recently, El-Baz has been appointed Chair of the Department of Bioengineering at the J.B. Speed School of Engineering effective October 1.

            One nomination stated that he is a “Fascinating teacher with a lecture method that ensures a full understanding of the subject material” while another submitted “He keeps his audience alert by challenging their minds.”

            “Dr. El-Baz is a god among mere mortals. He is a leading expert in the field of Medical Imaging and cares enough to truly impart his knowledge to his students,” declared another student. “He is a very approachable man and one of the greatest professors I have ever had the pleasure to learn from. Words cannot describe the respect I have for him.”

            El-Baz and all nominated faculty favorites will be honored at luncheon on February 10, 2017 in conjunction with the 2017 Celebration of Teaching and Learning.

            “I am delighted so many students took the time to nominate their favorite faculty member because it demonstrates how much they appreciate our faculty’s efforts,” said Dr. Gale S. Rhodes, Associate University Provost and Executive Director of the Delphi Center for Teaching and Learning.

            Other Speed School faculty who received nominations were:

            DepartmentFaculty Member
            BioengineeringHermann Frieboes
            BioengineeringMartin O'Toole
            BioengineeringThomas Roussel
            BioengineeringPatricia Soucy
            BioengineeringMichael Voor
            Chemical EngineeringDelaina Amos
            Chemical EngineeringThomas Starr
            Computer Engineering/Computer ScienceHichem Frigui
            Computer Engineering/Computer ScienceAdrian Lauf
            Computer Engineering/Computer ScienceRoman Yampolskiy
            Engineering FundamentalsGale Crush
            Engineering FundamentalsAdrienne Parsons
            Engineering FundamentalsPatricia Ralston
            Industrial EngineeringErin Gerber
            Mechanical EngineeringSundar Atre
            Mechanical EngineeringThomas Berfield
            Mechanical EngineeringEllen Brehob
            Mechanical EngineeringWilliam Hnat
            Mechanical EngineeringKevin Murphy
            Mechanical EngineeringGary Osborne

            El-Baz Students Receive Houchens Prize Back to Back

            July 7, 2014
            El-Baz Students Receive Houchens Prize Back to Back

            Fahmi Khalifa, 2014 Houchens Prize Winner

            Fahmi Khalifa, Electrical and Computer Engineering major will receive the 2014 John M. Houchens Prize. He is the second student of Dr. Ayman El-Baz, bioengineering associate professor and interim department chair, to receive this prize with the first being Ahmed Elnakib in 2013. He is being co-advised by Dr. El-Baz and Dr. Karla Welch.

            Khalifa joined the Bioimaging Laboratory at UofL as a graduate research assistant in 2009 and will be graduating this May. He received his bachelors and masters in Electrical Engineering at Mansoura University in Mansoura, Egypt in 2003 and 2007, respectively. He is currently completing his Ph.D. at UofL with a primary focus in the area of medical image analysis.

            “I am thrilled to receive the John M. Houchens Prize for the outstanding dissertation. This is the most prestigious award I have ever received during my graduate studies at the University of Louisville, and it is a great honor for me,” said Fahmi Khalifa.

            While working on his Ph.D., Khalifa has authored and co-authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications that have been published in a number of prestigious journals in the filed including IEEE Transactions on Medical Imaging, IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, NMR in Biomedicine Biotechnology Journal, and Medical Physics.

            He has spent the last several years developing computer-aided diagnostic (CAD) systems for the evaluation of human organ functionality using contrast-enhanced medical images. He has used these CAD systems to help improve early detection of acute renal transplant rejection and functional assessment of myocardial perfusion among many other things.

            Khalifa was also the recipient of the Citation Paper Award from the Society of UroRadiology (SUR) in 2011, the Outstanding Student at Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in 2012, and the Theobald Scholarship Award in 2013.

            “I feel extremely happy and very proud that two of my Ph.D students have received the John M. Houchens Prize for outstanding dissertation. It is also very exciting to have had both of my students receive this award back to back.” said Dr. El-Baz.

            Dr. El-Baz teams with Dr. Susan Harkema for SPARC Grant on Bladder Control

            December 4, 2017

            Dr. Ayman El-BazIn 2014, Dr. Susan Harkema, professor in UofL's Department of Neurological Surgery, assembled the team that developed an implantable device in a patient with spinal cord trauma that grants them the temporary ability to walk. Part of that team was current department of Bioengineering chair Dr. Ayman El-Baz, who is continuing his work with Harkema on a new project entitled, “Functional Mapping with Lumbosacral Epidural Stimulation for Restoration of Bladder Function After Spinal Cord Injury,” which aims to attend to deficits in urologic function after spinal cord injury, specific to bladder dysfunction.

            “I am the one who worked with Dr. Harkema to find the best combination for the software to guide them to make the charge and discharge of the blood,” says El-Baz. He adds of their newest project, “We are writing the software that Dr. Harkema needs to help the patient to charge and discharge."

            El-Baz earned his PhD in bioimaging, a path shaped by personal experience after a member of his family experienced kidney failure. After a successful transplant, El-Baz realized that the new kidney would require further scrutiny and attention to prevent another failure, and began developing non-invasive imaging tech for acute renal regeneration.

            He sees his work with Harkema as an opportunity at growth, not only in his interdisciplinary connections, but in his ability to evolve his own skills, applying them where they may make a positive cultural impact.

            “I’ve started to learn about the human neural system. It’s a new field for me. I started to see how the neuro-system is correlated with blood, heart rate, muscle activation. This grant opened a lot in front of me," said El-Baz. "It’s a little different than lung or prostate cancer, because it has more than one trend. If you want to view cancer, it usually has one similarity. But this is completely different depending on the injury. This can control the patients breath, heart rate, blood functionality. This is why during this project I’m learning a lot. We discover something."

            Their efforts have yielded a SPARC (Stimulating Peripheral Activity to Relieve Conditions) grant, which is new type of grant from the National Institute of Health (NIH) that is milestone driven. Each year is built around a milestone, with further funding providing with each successive achievement met. For now, that grant is capped at a three-year period, with a possibility for more based on their ability to meet their goals.

            “We have monthly meetings with NIH to check our progress. Dr. Harkema divides the work. My job here is to design the software to visual the signals (from imaging) into something you can see," said El-Baz. "It’s better to take the signal and visualize it as an image. In order to make the bladder to start to charge, I have to visualize that all muscles are not activated to see what the best is to get the bladder charging.”

            Elaine Allen recognized with Outstanding Performance Award

            January 29, 2014

            Elaine Allen is presented with the 2013 Outstanding Performance Award by President James Ramsey and Provost Shirley Willihnganz.President James Ramsey honored 11 staff members Nov. 18 for their hard work, dedication to students and the university, leadership and public service at the annual Outstanding Performance Award reception. Three people received honorable mentions. Among the 11 staff members recognized was Speed School's Elaine Allen, program manager, J.B. Speed School of Engineering, dean’s office.

            Allen has worked at Speed School for more than 37 years. Her outstanding performance comes from the passion she has for her work, deep knowledge of UofL, an unwavering commitment to saying “Yes, we can find a solution to your problem,” transparent affection for students, exemplary initiative in helping co-workers with both professional and personal needs, a genuine interest in people and their welfare and an unmatched commitment to the well-being and reputation of Speed School.

            Dr. Elmaghraby and his team awarded Cybersecurity Workforce Education Grant from NSA

            January 8, 2018

            Headshot of Dr. Adel ElmaghrabyLast fall, a team including doctors Elmaghraby and Lauf from the Department of Computer Engineering and Computer Science, along with Dr. Andrew Wright and Dr. Ghiyoung Im from the Business school Computer Information System program, and Dr. Michael Losavio from the Department of Criminal Justice, received a grant for Cybersecurity Workforce Education from the National Security Agency. The award provides qualified schools, those recognized as Centers of Education Excellence in Cybersecurity, funding intended to grow programs germane to the field.

            Applying for several different funding opportunities, the team were awards two totaling $580,069. The first part of their grant funding is geared to enhance the existing cybersecurity courses and education on campus. The second builds on the existing infrastructure here on campus to expand the program for people who want to learn about cybersecurity who have a background in policing or security, to give them the foundations relevant to cybersecurity. The grant will include fellowship money for individuals to enroll into this camp to help top performing students continue in the program to receive a graduate certificate.

            “We already have over 100 applicants. Everything will be mostly online. These are busy people. They question how to buy their time. We’re trying to attract them and this is the beginning of getting their foot into cybersecurity information. Hopefully we will screen them in these bootcamps and take the advanced courses,” says Dr. Elmaghraby.

            To aid in this study, the CECS department are installing approximately 200 servers to allow for a controlled virtual environment, where students can negotiate compromised technology, navigating viruses and other obstacles, and to see how those programs evolve. The team are currently testing for bugs, an ever evolving obstacle course, to ensure the safety of the shared servers.

            Elmaghraby admits, “there flaws in the operating system of the computer.” He adds that if not properly handled that preexisting bugs like Meltdown or Spectre which target these types of digital landscapes can, “slow down up to 30%. We want to get the servers protected, but the price is that it will slow us down in the meantime.”

            Engineering faculty honored for years of service

            May 19, 2015

            Several Speed School faculty members with 25+ years of service to UofL were among the 45 people President James Ramsey and Provost Shirley Willihnganz honored at the Faculty Service Awards ceremony May 4, 2015.

            The annual Faculty Service Awards honor faculty who have been at UofL 25 or more years, in five-year increments. They receive dinner at the University Club and Ramsey and Willihnganz present each with a certificate. Faculty with 25 years of service get a choice of a captain’s chair or rocker. Those with 30, 35, 40, 45 or more years receive a crystal bowl with the name and years of service engraved on it.

            40 years

            30 Years

            25 Years

            Engineering majors selected as Homecoming Candidates

            October 1, 2014

            UPDATE: Katy Ashby named to Top 5 Homecoming Queen Candidates. The winner will be crowned during halftime of Saturday's football game! Learn more about Katy Ashby.


            Congratulations Katy Ashby and Kyle Withers

            Katy Ashby is a junior majoring in Mechanical Engineering. She is Vice President of Speed School Student Council (SSSC), and an SGA Senator. Katy is also a Speed School Admissions Ambassador, Shadow Host, works with the Leadership Advantage Program, and is a member of Sigma Kappa Sorority, and serves as a Cardinal Host. She is sponsored by SSSC. Learn more about Katy Ashby.

            Kyle Withers is a senior Civil Engineering major. He is a former Speed School Senator, Triangle Fraternity Alumni and is a fifth year representative for SSSC. He is sponsored by SSSC.

            UofL will crown the 2014 Homecoming King and Queen during halftime of the football game Saturday, Oct. 18. Congratulations and good luck to our Speed School students!

            Learn more about Homecoming 2014

            Engineering Student Support Programs Receive National Recognition

            August 15, 2018

            National Recognition of Programs That Are Making a Difference for All Underrepresented Groups in the Fields of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM)

            2018 STEM Award INSIGHT Into Diversity logoTwo of Speed School's student support programs received the 2018 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award from INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, the largest and oldest diversity and inclusion publication in higher education. The Inspiring Programs in STEM Award honors colleges and universities that encourage and assist students from underrepresented groups to enter the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). Speed School will be featured, along with 77 other recipients, in the September 2018 issue of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine.

            Both the Brown-Forman Engineering Academy and the Office of Student Success were selected by INSIGHT Into Diversity based on efforts to inspire and encourage a new generation of young people to consider careers in STEM through mentoring, teaching, research, and successful programs and initiatives.

            "Our efforts wouldn’t be possible without the support of the faculty and staff who dedicate their time to assist in our programs, the Dean’s office and central administration for their constant support," said Heidi Neal, Director of Student Success. "Creating a welcoming and inclusive environment for all is vital to the success of our students."

            INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine selected the Brown-Forman Engineering Academy because it is designed to assist underrepresented students with the transition to college by engaging in academic preparation, interacting with faculty, academic advisors, engineering students and alums, and striving to build support systems through team-building activities, mentorship, and industry tours.

            The Office of Student Success was selected due to their focus on maximizing retention and graduation rates and their outreach initiatives for underrepresented students in K-12 education and college education.

            “We know that many STEM programs are not always recognized for their success, dedication, and mentorship for underrepresented students,” says Lenore Pearlstein, owner and publisher of INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine. “We want to honor the schools and organizations that have created programs that inspire and encourage young people who may currently be in or are interested in a future career in STEM. We are proud to honor these programs as role models to other institutions of higher education and beyond.”

            A call for nominations for this award was announced in April 2018.

            For more information about the 2018 Inspiring Programs in STEM Award and INSIGHT Into Diversity magazine, visit

            Engineers Without Borders to host information session

            February 20, 2017

            This Tuesday evening, Engineers Without Borders (EWB) are hosting an information session with Faina Matveeva on General Electric Appliances. A Russian immigrant, Matveeva has lived in Lexington for the last twenty years, where she attended the University of Kentucky graduating last year with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. During her undergraduate, Matveeva became involved with the EWB, which she remains engaged with presently.

            She moved to Louisville to work at GE, where she had previously co-oped. Currently she is employed in the Supply Chain Development Program at GE Appliances working as a continuous improvement engineer in GEA’s plastics and injection molding plant rotational position, where she works six months in different aspects of Supply Chain Operations.

            “I fell in love with the city and the work I was doing,” she explains of her co-op time, adding, “It’s manufacturing, so it’s very practical problem-solving. I like to say the environment in which I work is fast-paced and people-oriented, and I find that to be an environment in which I thrive.”

            Since graduating, she has served with in the EWB USA on a regional level as the KY and WV State Representative between the national headquarters and the chapters in KY and WV, currently serving as the Great Lakes Regional co-president. Her love of EWB is twofold: working with communities around the world for sustainable solutions and to provide real world training opportunities to burgeoning engineers.

            Matveeva carefully balances her professional and community service carefully. She believes, “I’ve found it not to be a burden to juggle my personal life with my job and EWB USA. I enjoy the work that I do and the people I’m surrounded by. I’m very early in my career and I’m sure the balance will become trickier as I progress. I want to make service in engineering a priority in my life, and I hope I’ll be able to do that for many years to come.”

            While you’ll have to wait for Tuesday to get her talk on applying her degree to her career, she has some advice to anyone looking to get into the work place soon.

            “If you’re in engineering, follow what you like! The job stability will be there if you’re willing to look for it and to work for it. So, you may as well pursue a field of engineering that will keep you curious and interested for upwards of 40 years of your life! There’s plenty of variety within engineering to find a niche where you feel like you really belong—don’t compromise that possibility for yourself,” says Matveeva.

            The Engineers Without Borders meeting is from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 21st in Vogt. Free pizza will be available for anyone hungry to learn more.

            SSSC To Host Annual Engineers’ Ball on April 19th

            April 3, 2018

             The annual Engineers' Ball is scheduled for Thursday, April 19th from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Hosted by the Speed School Student Council, the nearly 100-year-old event will be held at the Frasier Museum, and open to everyone from Speed School students to staff and faculty.

            The Engineers’ Ball features the announcement of the Speed Research Competition winners, a summary of SSSC’s major accomplishments of the year, and the induction ceremony for the newly elected SSSC officers. Dinner will be provided and a cash bar will be open.

            A formal event, the Engineers' Ball is an opportunity for students, faculty, and staff to interact outside of the structure of a class environment for an evening to refresh and regroup for whatever may come next, be that the Summer Semester, or for some, graduation.

            According to Director of Student Activities Batuhan Ulasan, the Engineers’ Ball is a tradition worth continuing.

            “It is awesome, because almost all the times I’ve been there, I was an elected director at that point, and feeling that welcoming feeling was great. It’s not news that Speed School is very hard, and especially during the end of the Spring Semester, having such a relief event, that makes it special.”

            Tickets cost $15 for a single ticket, and $20 for a pair. You can learn more about the event here and buy tickets here. You can also pick up tickets in person, as members of the SSSC staff will have them on hand for sale at tables set up in Duthie.

            Engineers Without Borders to host Professional Development Conference

            April 3, 2018

            Engineers Without Borders USA LogoThe University of Louisville Chapter of the Engineers Without Borders is hosting their third annual Professional Development Conference on Friday, April 20th from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. The conference will include guest speakers including Marianne Barnes, the Master Distiller at Castle&Key and a Chemical Engineering alumnus, as well as Congressman Thomas Massie, an engineer, inventor, and businessman.

            The event serves both as an opportunity for professional engineers to come in and share their experiences and as a chance to network with industry professionals. Tickets range from $150 for Professional Engineers who can earn continuing education credits with their price of admission, to $12 for students.

            As an organization, EWB is committed to helping providing humanitarian aid around the world, with the long term goal of implementing sustainable engineering design in developing communities. Their most recent project abroad involves the building of a bridge in the Osa peninsula of Costa Rica over the River Riyo Riyito

            Former Eagle and Boy Scout John Ciaramitaro, the Chapter President, wants to make a difference. Drawn to the organization for the design opportunities, Ciaramitaro is eager to prove that not only can EWB lend a helping hand, but that he is ready and willing to work for it.

            He says, “I wanted to help participate in helping organize the conference, because it can establish myself as someone who wants to work for it.”

            Treasurer Lauren Reinersman is a first year Mechanical Engineering student and Governor’s Scholar alum. For Reinersman, who works with the philanthropic RaiseRed event as well, it was the service aspect of the organization that encouraged her participation.

            “I knew if there was some way to combine engineering and service, I was all over it. It’s given me more leadership skills,” says Reinersman.

            She adds of the organizations local efforts, “We’ve been able to work with local services like Project Warm. And we’re working on building outdoor playground equipment for cats and dogs in shelters.”

            You can find more information about the event, which is located in Vogt Room 311, here. You can pre-register here.

            Faculty Favorites Named For 2016-2017

            October 10, 2017

            Tom BerfieldThirty members of the Speed Faculty were recognized as 2016-2017 Faculty Favorites, with representatives from each department. Joining the Speed School in 2008, Dr. Thomas Berfield has garnered accolades from his students for his engaging teaching methods. A member of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Berfield is approachable, available, and committed to making his class as memorable as it is informative. 

            Students had this to say about Berfield through their anonymous submissions:

            • Tom is excellent as a teacher. Normally it is difficult to get a large class to engage in a lecture but Tom manages to do so. Through loads of diagrams and object lessons such as "the exploration of how a pressure vessel could rupture through a comparison with hot dogs, then the class gets to eat the hot dogs" lets him connect with his students. He always is kind and friendly with his students. I can think of no better option for the faculty favorite choice for the fall semester of 2016.”
            • Dr. Berfield is the best professor I've had, and he makes class enjoyable and simple. If you need help, he is there to help and will make sure you understand the content.
            • I had the pleasure of taking Dr. Berfield's 'Experimental Stress Analysis' class this semester and thoroughly enjoyed the class setting and material. Teacher is very approachable and is willing to help.
            • "T Berf was great, effectively taught the material, was available outside of class to answer questions and clarify material, provided lots of help for the ME 324 Lab, overall a great professor and great guy. The hot dogs were a great bonus too."

            Other Speed faculty who received nominations were:

            DepartmentFaculty Member
            BioengineeringNathan Brown
            BioengineeringAyman El-Baz
            BioengineeringHermann Frieboes
            BioengineeringSteven Koenig
            BioengineeringJonathan Kopechek
            BioengineeringMartin O'Toole
            BioengineeringTommy Rousel
            Chemical EngineeringJames Watters
            Civil & Environmental EngineeringMark French
            Civil & Environmental EngineeringW. Mark McGinley
            Computer Engineering Computer ScienceAntonia Badia
            Computer Engineering Computer ScienceIbrahim Imam
            Computer Engineering Computer ScienceRoman Yampolskiy
            Engineering FundamentalsJeff Hieb
            Engineering FundamentalsPatricia Ralston
            Engineering FundamentalsLarry Tyler
            Industrial EngineeringLihui Bai
            Mechanical EngineeringJeffery Borden
            Mechanical EngineeringEllen Brehob
            Mechanical EngineeringKevin Murphy
            Mechanical EngineeringGary Osborne
            Mechanical EngineeringSam Park
            Mechanical EngineeringGlen Prater
            Mechanical EngineeringSrinivasan Rasipuram
            Mechanical EngineeringChris Richards
            Mechanical EngineeringStuart Williams

            For the full list click here.  

            The Fall 2017 nomination period opens on November 13 and closes on December 15. The Spring 2018 nomination period opens on April 2 and closes on May 4.

            Faculty Honored During Celebration

            September 17, 2014

            As part of 2014 State of the University Week, the administration Sept. 16 held the 2014 Celebration of Faculty Excellence. The awards were conferred by Provost Shirley Willihnganz and William Pierce, executive vice president for research and innovation.

            “Great universities have great faculty,” UofL President James Ramsey said in his remarks. “We have a great faculty – a truly amazing faculty – at the University of Louisville.  We have a faculty who excel in teaching, service, scholarship, research and creative activity.  A faculty who care.  A faculty who raise the bar for all of us as a university.”

            The 13th annual ceremony recognized:

            • Recipients of the President’s Distinguished Faculty Awards in the areas of excellence in outstanding scholarship, research and creative activity; service; and teaching;
            • Recipient of the President’s Exemplary Multicultural Teaching Award;
            • 2013 faculty winners of the Community Engagement award;
            • 2013-2014 Paul Weber Award for Departmental Excellence in Teaching;
            • New endowed chairs and professors;
            • New Distinguished University Scholar and University Scholars; and
            • Those whose creative work has resulted in new patents, licenses and options.

            Outstanding Scholarship, Research and Creative Activity

            • Recognizing departments engaged in sustained efforts to promote teaching excellence through implementing best practices in teaching and learning;
            • Rewarding departmental faculty teams who collaborate in exemplary ways to enhance student learning;
            • Encouraging and rewarding those who implement research-based initiatives to document student learning at the departmental and unit level; and
            • Supplementing departmental efforts to sustain meaningful innovations in teaching and learning.

            President’s Distinguished Faculty Awards

            Award winners receive a medallion and a check for $1,000. They will be featured on campus banners later this year.

            Steven Koenig, professor, Speed School of Engineering. Koenig is the Endowed Chair of Cardiac Implant Science in the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute and a professor in the departments of bioengineering and surgery. He helped developed an advanced heart failure research program that conducts clinical, engineering and scientific research and development to clinically translate novel diagnostic tools and innovative therapies for advanced heart failure. His broad research focus is to understand physiologic responses and remodeling of the heart, vasculature and end-organs during mechanical circulatory support for the treatment of advanced heart failure to improve heart failure patient outcomes and restore quality of life.

            Dr. Koenig was also recognized as a new Endowed Chair Faculty.

            Distinguished Faculty Awards in Service

            Service to the Profession

            Jacek Zurada, professor, Speed School of Engineering. Zurada has been with the University of Louisville since 1981 and serves as a professor of electrical and computer engineering. He authored or co-authored several books and over 370 papers in computational intelligence, neural networks, machine learning, logic rule extraction, and bioinformatics, and he has delivered over 100 presentations and seminars throughout the world. His work has been cited over 8,000 times. Since 2009, he delivered 13 keynote or plenary invited conference talks in Mexico, Chile, Netherlands, China, Singapore, Turkey, Poland, and Italy. He has served as a PhD. advisor to 19 students. He serves as the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE) V-President, Technical Activities (TAB Chair), and also chairs the IEEE TAB Management Committee.

            Distinguished Faculty Awards in Teaching

            Distinguished Teaching Professor Award for Full-time Teaching

            Jeffrey Hieb, associate professor, Speed School of Engineering. Hieb is an associate professor in the department of engineering fundamentals. In his teaching, he focuses on innovative and effective use of tablets, digital ink and other technology. He is an ASEE campus star and in 2010 he won the best paper award at the Workshop on the Impact of Pen-based Technology on Education for his paper “A digital ink and computer algebra system mashup to enhance classroom learning.” Since 2011, he has been using the flipped classroom model in some of his classes and recently redesigned Introductory Calculus to use the National Center for Academic Transformation’s emporium model redesign. Since 2005, he has been working in the area of cyber security for industrial control systems.

            New Endowed Faculty

            Kevin Gue, Speed School of Engineering. Gue is the Mary Lee and George F. Duthie Endowed Chair of Engineering Logistics and director of UofL’s Logistics and Distribution Institute. Gue’s research addresses the design and control of logistics systems, with a focus on distribution, warehousing and material handling. He is co-inventor of the warehouse aisle designs known as the Flying-V, Fishbone and Chevron, work that received multiple best paper awards and the Technical Innovation in Industrial Engineering Award in 2009. He and his wife, Bonnie, have eight children and three grandchildren.


            Distinguished University Scholars

            Mahendra Sunkara, professor of chemical engineering, Speed School of Engineering. Sunkara is a distinguished university scholar and the director of the Conn Center for Renewable Energy. He joined UofL in 1996 and has established a research lab focused on diamond and related materials. His technology on scalable manufacturing of nanowires is being commercialized through a startup, Advanced Energy Materials, LLC. His current research interests include renewable energy technologies such as solar cells, Li Ion batteries, production of hydrogen from water and process development for growing large crystals of diamond, gallium nitride and bulk quantities of nanowires.

            Farag selected as IEEE Fellow

            September 10, 2014
            Farag selected as IEEE Fellow

            Dr. Aly Farag

            Each year, following a rigorous evaluation procedure, the IEEE Fellow Committee recommends a select group of recipients for one of the Association's most prestigious honors, elevation to IEEE Fellow. Less than 0.1% of voting members are selected annually for this member grade elevation. Dr. Aly Farag was selected for his contributions to image modeling and biomedical applications.

            At UofL, Dr. Farag founded the Computer Vision and Image Processing Laboratory (CVIP Lab) which focuses on imaging science, computer vision and biomedical imaging. He has authored over 350 technical papers, edited two volumes on Deformable Models for Biomedical Applications (Springer 2007). He is the author of the text book Biomedical Image Analysis: Variational and Statistical Approaches – Cambridge University Press, 2014.

            During the past two decades, Dr. Farag has been principal investigator of a number of major projects funded by the NSF, DoD, NIH and various federal and industrial organizations in the United States. He has graduated 30 MS and 20 PhD students, mentored a 20 postdoctoral researchers, and currently advising 12 MS and PhD students. He holds five US patents on object modeling, computer-aided diagnosis, and visualization.

            Congratulations Dr. Farag on this well deserved honor!

            Speed School adds to 3D printing capabilities with partnership

            March 22, 2019

            LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The J.B. Speed School of Engineering at the University of Louisville has finalized a strategic partnership with Farsoon Technologies - Americas to offer state-of-the-art training and research aimed at making advanced metals manufacturing more accessible to consumers.

            Farsoon’s FS271M advanced metal laser sintering manufacturing system

            FaPerson inspecting product made on Farsoon’s FS271Mrsoon’s FS271M advanced metal laser sintering manufacturing system has been installed at the Speed School’s Rapid Prototyping Center (RPC), recognized around the world as a leader in 3D printing/additive manufacturing research, education, and outreach. RPC has been assisting industrial users with 3D printing/additive manufacturing in metals and polymers since 1993 and is one of the most advanced university AM research facilities in the United States. Farsoon Technologies is a global comprehensive solution supplier of industrial-grade polymer and metal laser sintering systems.

            “This partnership with Farsoon Technologies - Americas expands our role in manufacturing workforce development while also providing our students and faculty access to a state-of-the-art system for metal additive manufacturing research and engineering education,” said Dean Emmanuel Collins.  “We look forward to working with Farsoon Technologies - Americas in the coming years.”

            Closeup of products made on Farsoon’s FS271M“Farsoon Technologies - Americas is looking forward to leveraging the expertise at the University of Louisville to assist in the development of advanced applications in metals additive manufacturing, as well as enhancing our direct consumer engagement,” said Chuck Kennedy, VP of Business Development of Farsoon Technologies - Americas. “The partnership will allow Farsoon users to be trained in all production topics including the newly revised National Fire Protection Association regulations for safe operation of additive metal systems and will expose users to the unique capabilities of our Farsoon metal additive manufacturing production system.”

            For further information, contact Ed Tackett at



            Federal grant puts UofL on cutting edge of digital manufacturing research

            July 7, 2014
            Federal grant puts UofL on cutting edge of digital manufacturing research

            Dr. Glen Prater speaks to the press about UofL's involvement in the cutting edge of digital manufacturing research.

            LOUISVILLE, Ky. – The University of Louisville is one of the prime players in a consortium of Midwestern universities and companies selected to participate in a Chicago-based advanced manufacturing institute.

            The award of a U.S. Department of Defense grant as part of a planned $320 million Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation (DMDI) Institute was announced today by President Obama. The institute is part of Obama’s initiative to establish a National Network for Manufacturing Innovation, which calls for a network of independent, public-private entities performing advanced manufacturing research. UI Labs, a Chicago-based research and commercialization collaborative affiliated with the University of Illinois, will oversee the new DMDI operation.

            The DMDI Institute will be headquartered in Chicago with a network of manufacturing partner and research sites across the U.S. – including one at UofL. The institute’s goal will be to increase the competitiveness of the manufacturing sector of America’s economy by developing software, data management tools and innovative, networked production processes that reduce costs and improve efficiencies for both large companies and small/medium sized manufacturers.

            Selection as a DMDI Institute site places UofL on the cutting edge of the digital manufacturing movement, according to university officials. It is expected to bolster the university’s efforts to build an applied science and engineering park on a 39 acre site south of the Belknap Campus, give the state’s manufacturers access to technologies and tools they need to be competitive in a changing global marketplace, provide co-op and research opportunities for students, and ultimately, create new jobs.

            It also is expected to raise UofL’s stature as an institution where groundbreaking research is performed.

            The funding base for the initiative includes a $70 million grant from the U.S. Department of Defense. That grant will be leveraged by investments and support commitments of $250 million from industry, academia, government and community partners.

            “The University of Louisville is focused on providing the skills and technology to boost economic opportunities for Kentuckians,” said UofL President James Ramsey. “This federal award will help us build on our competitive advantage in manufacturing, provide more jobs for Kentuckians and establish UofL as a leader in advanced manufacturing, design and innovation.”

            As it participated in the extremely competitive DMDI bidding process, UofL and the rest of the proposal team were aided by support from the Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development. Letters of recommendation also were submitted to the Department of Defense by U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Rand Paul, and U.S. Reps. John Yarmuth, Harold “Hal” Rogers and Andy Barr.

            Official White House press announcement

            Kendra Ford Receives Outstanding Leadership Award from Speed NSBE

            March 2, 2018

            Tonight, the Kentucky Society of Professional Engineers (KSPE) is hosting an engineer’s banquet where they will honor Chemical Engineering student Kendra Ford, a member of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), with the Outstanding Leadership Award. Ford is the recipient of both the Woodford R. Porter Scholarship and is a Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) Scholar, splits her time between various part-time jobs, her work with NSBE, a tutor and mentor for kids at the Cabbage Patch Settlement House and through the Students for Students Mentoring program at the university, and her educational concerns.

            Since entering the Speed School, Ford has been an instrumental figure in NSBE, serving as the finance chair during her sophomore year, during which time she helped to redefine the role her position, focusing on fundraising and outreach opportunities.

            According to NSBE advisor Erica Gray, “Kendra has shown great dedication to the NSBE chapter through the countless hours of work put into fundraising, finding sponsorships, and organizing events. Two years ago, she helped re-establish NSBE’s Annual Miss Black U of L Scholarship Pageant, which showcases the talents and accomplishments of our distinguished black women at the university. The pageant has become the chapter’s biggest annual fundraiser and a heavily anticipated event on campus.”

            A cheerleader from a young age, Ford has a long history and natural curiosity for chemical engineering. Suffering from blemishes, Ford used various skin care products to try and resolve her issues, realizing along the way that the available materials out there offer only a limited spectrum of the various ways in which skin problems manifest. It was through that, that Ford began to consider how she might apply a practical solution through her education, a problem-solving quality that she equally applies to her other endeavors.

            “Makeup was something that I started using when I was, say, five. Throughout the process, I noticed that makeup appeared differently on my skin tone versus other people’s skin tones. What could make it appear better on one skin tone versus another skin tone? I feel like if I have the opportunity to go into that field, I could help develop a greater variety of skin care products,” says Ford.

            Raised in an engineering family, Ford has a long investment in the continued success of NSBE. This year, Ford rededicated herself to her previous position of Finance Chair, directing her efforts where she felt that she could do the most good.

            “My mom also attended the UofL. She was also the president of the chapter. From middle school to high school, she put me in a bunch of engineering programs. That was something that my mom, my whole childhood, told me about NSBE. That was the first thing that I was looking for when I came to campus. That’s why I felt so passionate about the organization and I want everyone to have a good experience.”

            Garrett McGrady named Goldwater Scholar

            April 29, 2019
            Garrett McGrady named Goldwater Scholar

            Goldwater Scholar Garrett McGrady

            Speed School is celebrating the announcement of Goldwater Scholar junior Garrett McGrady.

            The recipients were announced April 26 for the prominent award, which goes to U.S. sophomores and juniors pursuing research careers in math, science and engineering. The $7,500-per-year scholarship helps cover education-related costs.

            UofL has had five Goldwater Scholars in the last decade.

            McGrady, who is also a Grawemeyer Scholar, is an electrical and computer engineering major who plans to earn a doctoral degree in electrical engineering. McGrady has been conducting research on microfabrication techniques in UofL’s Micro/Nano Technology Center cleanroom. He also completed a cooperative education program at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in 2018. His mentor is Kevin Walsh, Samuel T. Fife Endowed Professor.

            "Without the mentorship of Dr. Kevin Walsh, I wouldn’t have had half the opportunities during my undergrad degree! I really appreciate his patience and confidence in me," said McGrady.

            Praneeth Goli, a junior chemistry major at UofL, is also a recipient this year.

            McGrady and Goli are both from Louisville and are duPont Manual High School graduates.

            There were 496 Goldwater scholars this year, selected from a pool of more than 5,000 candidates. The program honors Sen. Barry Goldwater and is a preeminent scholarship for STEM careers.

            Grant will help Conn Center expand

            October 22, 2014

            LOUISVILLE, Ky. – A grant from the National Science Foundation will allow University of Louisville’s Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research to expand its facilities and staff. The five-year, $20 million award is being made to the state for the “Powering the Kentucky Bioeconomy for a Sustainable Future” project, a collaborative, multi-institutional research effort. The funding comes from NSF’s Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), an initiative to build the country’s research and development capacity and to advance its science and engineering capabilities. An additional $4 million is being provided by Kentucky’s EPSCoR program.

            The project will address the significant challenges the state faces as its energy economy transitions toward renewable resources. Areas of focus will be electrochemical energy storage, biomass feed stocks and nanocomposite membranes.

            UofL’s Conn Center will receive $4.2 million in grant funds over five years, according to its director, Dr. Mahendra Sunkara. The center, founded at UofL’s J.B. Speed School of Engineering in 2009, leads research that increases homegrown energy sources to meet the national need while reducing energy consumption and dependence on foreign resources.

            “The Conn Center will utilize these valuable resources from the NSF EPSCoR program toward our goal of becoming a national center of excellence,” Sunkara said. “Using the award, we will hire several key faculty and staff for energy research, advance science and technology frontiers, and develop industry interactions.”

            Specifically, the Conn Center will hire at least three faculty members and a senior research scientist for energy storage. They will strengthen ongoing research in energy storage, biofuels/biomass conversion, and electrolytes and membranes of faculty members (Gamini Sumanasekera from Physics, Eric Berson from Chemical Engineering, Cindy Harnett from Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mark Running from Biology) and Conn Center staff (Thad Druffel, Jagannadh Satyavolu and Jacek Jasinski). There also will be opportunities for at least seven to ten PhD students to participate in the project.

            In addition to UofL, other institutions involved in the research effort are the University of Kentucky, Kentucky State University, Northern Kentucky University, Western Kentucky University, Eastern Kentucky University, Morehead State University, Murray State University, Big Sand Community & Technical College and Bluegrass Community & Technical College.

            UofL wins grant to help women, minority scientists become entrepreneurs

            March 10, 2017

            By Mark Hebert

            The University of Louisville, Indiana University and Missouri University of Science and Technology will be helping women and minority faculty, staff and student innovators improve their success in securing money to commercialize their inventions.

            The National Science Foundation has awarded a $225,000 grant for a pilot program, called AWARE: ACCESS: Building Innovation Capacity through Diversity. UofL is the lead institution for the grant.

            “Women and underrepresented researchers have great ideas that need to be translated into the marketplace” said Rob Keynton, UofL’s director of research initiatives and lead investigator of the program. “Unfortunately, these innovators have had limited success in securing federal business grants and other funding. We hope to change that with this new program.”

            According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, woman-and minority-owned small businesses receive less than 16 percent of federal grants (SBIR/STTR) to move their research and technology to the marketplace.

            “Increasing the participation of women, African-Americans, and other underrepresented groups in the technology industry is an important social and economic challenge in America. AWARE: ACCESS will help lay the foundation for making significant progress on this issue,” said Malcolm Townes, associate director of Missouri S&T’s Office of Technology Transfer and Economic Development.

            The pilot program has four major goals for women and minority academic innovators:

            • Identify, engage and mentor them to pursue entrepreneurship as a career
            • Expand educational, experiential and networking opportunities
            • Enhance their competitiveness for federal grant applications
            • Create a regional ecosystem for entrepreneurs and sharing of best practices by UofL, IU and Missouri S&T


            “We are thrilled to help Midwestern female and minority entrepreneurs become better equipped to compete for federal funding through this regional grant from the NSF,” said Padma Portonovo, program manager at the Indiana Clinical and Translational Sciences Institute.

            NSF Program Director Jesus Soriano said “The National Science Foundation recognizes the tremendous potential of women and underrepresented groups in innovation. We hope the AWARE: ACCESS program will enable more underserved groups to achieve their technological and commercial potential and enhance U.S. leadership in science and engineering discovery.”

            The chairperson of the Speed School Diversity Committee, Keynton is a professor of the Bioengineering Department and the Lutz Endowed Chair of Biomechanical Devices.

            AWARE: ACCESS is an acronym for Advancing Women And UnderRepresented Entrepreneurs: ACCelerating Entrepreneurial SucceSS.

            Erica Gray & Celeste Atchison Recognized for their commitment to Diversity

            November 1, 2017

            The Speed School is proud to announce that two members of the engineering community were recently recognized for their achievements in helping to engender and foster a safe and diverse environment. Erica Gray, a co-op coordinator in the Co-op office and advisor for the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE) at the Speed School, received the Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award, while Chemical Engineering student and a charter member of Speed Spectrum, Celeste Atchison, received the Diversity & Inclusion Visionary Award.

            Distinguished Diversity Enhancement Award
            Headshot of Erica Gray

            Gray joined Speed School in 2015, and the University in 2012. Since then, Gray has balanced her responsibilities as a staff member in the co-op office as an advisor for Chemical and Electrical Engineering majors, with her continuing work with the students in NSBE. Currently, Gray is working towards a doctorate in Educational Leadership at Spalding University. Her research/dissertation topic is the “Self-Efficacy and Support of First-Generation College Students.”

            Noting both her commitment and professionalism, Gray’s advocates offer high praise for her efforts, which have touched many.

            One nominator notes that Gray, “ has a clear commitment to diversity and inclusion both personally and professionally. She works tirelessly to ensure that each student feels supported individually and as a cohesive group. Not all student organization advisors thoroughly advocate for their advisees or advertise their organization events, but Erica is quick to spread the word about NSBE's events (and other diversity events) through emails and flyers.”

            “Her patience and willingness to listen to students tell their stories and concerns is truly admirable. Furthermore, she is a strong advocate for each of her students and is never one to back down from an unjust or unfair situation; she will stand up for what is right, embodying a true representation of an ally,” admits another.

            Diversity & Inclusion Visionary Award

            Senior Chemical Engineering major Celeste Atchison is a founding member and former president of the Speed Spectrum organization for LGBTQ+ engineering students. Her efforts have proven pivotal in building and sustaining the center, enduring at times facing adversity from others on her campus. Currently the treasurer for the organization, she has taken an active role in LGBTQ+ and diversity training offered at UofL, as well as work on Safe Zone training for faculty and staff.
Atchison’s leadership expands to her role as treasurer of the Society of Women Engineers. She has also been on the Diversity Week Student Committee (2016), as well as served on the Women’s Leadership Conference Committee (2015, 2016). It’s through her accomplishments that she has become so widely recognized as a guiding voice in the Speed Community as a tireless advocate for women and the LGBTQ+ community at large.

            One proponent considers Atchison, “ the definition of an ally. Her commitment to diversity and inclusion shines through in everything she does academically, professionally, and personally.”

            Another says, “I have worked with Celeste in various capacities and am always impressed with her passion for learning about other identities and experiences, her willingness to step in and support students of all races, ethnicities, abilities, gender identities/expressions, sexual orientations, religions, etc., and her ability to never shy away from identifying ways in which Speed can create a more welcoming and inclusive environment for students, faculty, and staff.“

            Dr. Kevin Gue Receives 2017 Reed-Apple Award

            November 13, 2017

            Headshot of Kevin GueDirector of the Logistics and Distribution Center (LoDI) and professor in the department of Industrial Engineering, Dr. Kevin Gue was recently awarded the 2017 Reed-Apple Award, a lifetime achievement award that recognizes industry leaders who have made exceptional and continuing contributions to material handling and material handling education. 

            “I am one of very few researchers whose entire career has been focused on the material handling field. I’ve been fortunate to have had a couple of good ideas that were well-received by the industry and by my colleagues," Gue said. "All of my research has come from collaboration with good friends and colleagues. I am especially grateful to John Bartholdi at Georgia Tech, Russ Meller at Fortna (and formerly the University of Arkansas), and Kai Furmans at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology—all brilliant scholars who have helped shape my career.”

            The award was given by The Materials Handling Education Foundation, a philanthropic arm of MHI, a trade group representing the material handling and logistics industry. His career continues to evolve with his research, working towards efficiency measures for warehousing intended to reduce labor costs. That includes innovations in the field of logistics, ongoing research addressing order fulfillment for e-commerce and high-density, and puzzle-based material handling.

            Looking forward he explains, “I plan to extend my work with Kai Furmans at Karlsruhe Institute of Technology on the subject of decentralized control of modular material handling systems. The idea is to develop material handling systems that behave like Legos, in that you can plug them together to perform specific functions, then reconfigure them easily to do something else. We remain hopeful that these ideas will find applications in industry in the near future.”

            Gue believes that he could not have succeeded in his efforts without the help of his colleagues and peers along the way. Humbled by his accolades, he admits, “It’s always nice to be appreciated. I am thankful for the long standing relationships I have had with leaders at MHI and the Material Handling Education Foundation, and for the many great colleagues who have helped me along the way. Research and education is a team sport.”

            Dr. Gautum Gupta Receives Award from the Los Alamos National Lab

            September 27, 2017

            Headshot Gautum GuptaLate March, Dr. Gautum Gupta received an award from the Los Alamos National Lab for the development of 2D materials. A recent addition to the university with experience in the area of solar cells and electro-catalysts, Gupta is as an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering with a background working with the LANL.

            In particular, Gupta and his team are looking for a more efficient power source for a vehicle. Electric powered vehicles are limited in range and scope, due not only to the fuel source, but in terms of battery life.

            He explains, “Most current EVs use lithium-ion batteries that store no more than the equivalent of 16-24 kWh of energy in a single charge, short of the amount of energy in a gallon of gasoline. A subcompact car with a 10-gallon gas tank can store the energy equivalent of 7 Teslas, 15 Nissan Leafs or 23 Chevy Volts, according to industry sources.”

            His solution is to develop a system fueled by solar energy that breaks down water molecules, which can be harnessed to power the vehicle, for more efficiently than an electric power system.

            “We have been primarily setting up our lab to go from solar to water splitting, to use sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. We focus on rationally designing the materials for clean energy applications. Right now, the only catalyst that is good is platinum. We’re developing materials that are cheaper, to replace platinum with non-precious metal catalysts to make it more affordable. We need new materials,” says Gupta.

            Part of his effort is to develop affordable and durable 2D materials to work in conjunction with the system.

            “We invest in renewable energy. We keep pushing and developing new materials and show good applications and good performance,” says Gupta adding, “First step is your developing good solar cell materials. Second part is that you are developing catalyst to break the water into hydrogen and oxygen. The next step is that we need good materials, so that we can form water again in a fuel cell and get energy out.”

            Henderson named UofL Alumnus of the Year

            September 27, 2017
            Henderson named UofL Alumnus of the Year

            Bruce Henderson, 2017 UofL Alumnus of the Year

            The CEO of one Louisville’s family-run companies is the latest recipient of the highest honor bestowed by the University of Louisville Alumni Association.

            Bruce Henderson, co-owner, chairman and chief executive officer of Henderson Services, is the 2017 Alumnus of the Year. Henderson will be honored at the annual Wilson Wyatt Alumni Awards ceremony in October.

            The Wilson Wyatt Alumni Awards recognize prominent graduates who have earned distinction in their careers and been exemplary ambassadors for the university. Along with Henderson, the Alumni Association selects 13 Alumni Fellows representing UofL schools, colleges and units. New this year are awards honoring alumni from University Libraries and Student Affairs.

            “The accomplishments of this year’s awardees exemplify the impact UofL graduates have locally, nationally and globally,” said Josh Hawkins, assistant vice president of the Alumni Association. “We are excited to honor Bruce and our 13 alumni fellows because of their countless contributions to both the university and their respective communities.”

            Henderson Services is an electrical contracting construction firm that began in Louisville in 1919. Henderson, a third-generation owner, has been leading the company since 1979. He graduated from UofL's J.B. Speed School of Engineering with both his bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and his master of engineering in electrical engineering in 1973.

            He is a longtime supporter of UofL, serving on numerous boards and committees including the Board of Overseers, Speed School Industrial Board of Advisors, Speed School Electrical and Computer Engineering Board of Advisors, Pediatric Advisory Board, Athletic Association Board and the Alumni Association Board.

            Henderson and the Alumni Fellows will be recognized at an event 6 p.m., Oct. 12, at the Galt House Hotel.

            Bioengineering Senior Hadley Hendrick Wins Mary K. Bonsteel Tachau Essay Contest

            November 17, 2017

             A student in Bioengineering, senior Hadley Hendrick is the winner of the Mary K. Bonsteel Tachau Essay Contest, which is designed to raise awareness of the historical sociological attitudes toward women of the 20th Century and their impact on individuals and society as a whole. A member of Women 4 Women, a professional board that prepares women to become leaders on campus and in the community, Hendrick balances her time between her work as a member and her education, which is a full time commitment.

            Passionately Curious

            Inspired by her uncle, who suffers from quadriplegia, Hendrick wanted to pursue a field of study that could help others like him to live better lives. Initially interested in pursuing medicine, Hendrick is uneasy with the sight of blood, but still wanted to do something that could positively impact the lives of others. No less committed to her vision, she has developed and pursued a passion in bioengineering.

            “If doctor’s don’t have the tools that they need, they can’t do their job. That’s going back to the source of how I can make an impact. My uncle can’t even tie his own shoes. Seeing him, he loves technology. He’s one of the most technology advanced people in the household, so that he can write emails, and stay up with the news, even though he can barely use his hand. He uses his knuckle for the mouse. He has a lot of patience,” says Hendrick.

            Her Story

            Sponsored by the Tachau family, the contest encouraged students to consider the struggle of women in the workplace, and how those efforts continue to shape the world around us. Named for Dr. Mary K. Bonsteel Tachau, a chair in the History department, the first woman to hold the position of chair at the University, Hendrick’s essay attended to the difficulties posed to Tachau, and how she overcame them.

            She says, “My essay talked about the work that she did. She wrote a ton of letters to different people in our state legislature at the time and worked with different groups to work mainly on gender equality as that related to higher education. Also looking at it as a more social issue across the board. It also talked about and how that relates to now. How the work that she did was really important, but not quite as intersectional as it could be.”

            Intersectional feminism focuses on the experiences of women of all social stripe, regardless of race, ethnicity, or economic class, something that Hendrick focuses on in her time in Women 4 Women.

            Part of the Women’s Center, she explains of the group that they are, “dedicated to increasing education mainly, awareness through different topics. We are affiliated with the Women’s Center. We utilize them for resources for different events.

            Life After Graduation

            Ideally, Hendrick hopes to work in a medical device, part of her continuing pursuit of helping others whenever possible. In the meantime, she stays especially busy in her various extracurricular activities.

            “I don’t have a life. I do a lot. It’s not easy, but it’s been one of the most important things for me, because it gave me a community on campus that engaged with social justice issues. Not just for women, but for LGTBQ+, people of color… it’s been really useful to me. It was definitely something that I really wanted,” says Hendrick.

            IEEE Recognizes Dr. Amini with the Distinguished Lecturer Award

            September 15, 2014

            The world’s largest professional association for the advancement of technology, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), has honored Dr. Amir Amini, Speed School’s Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Endowed Chair in Bioimaging, with the Distinguished Lecturer Award for Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS). Dr. Amini has a long list of professional accolades which can be viewed at his webpage .

            Medical imaging became a technical area of interest for Dr. Amini since he had a strong interest in signal and image processing and gravitated towards the analytical methods that Electrical Engineering offered. Recognizing that the field of medical imaging has revolutionized medical diagnostics (it is on the list of the top 20 engineering achievements of the 20th Century by the National Academy of Engineering), he decided to devote his career to better the human condition through contributing to the field of medical imaging.  At the University of Louisville, where significant effort is devoted to research on cardiovascular disease, one area that his group has focused attention on is development of cutting edge MRI methods for imaging blood flow.The video below is result of joint work with colleagues in the Department of Medicine, Cardiovascular Division, and  with his recent Ph.D. graduate, Dr. MJ Negahdar, who as of August has joined Speed School as Research Associate of Electrical Engineering:

            View video of 4D Magnetic Resonance flow imaging method

            The video displays results from a new 4D Magnetic Resonance flow imaging method which was utilized to acquire the through-plane velocity components of blood exiting the heart as a function of time in the systolic phase of the cardiac cycle through the aortic valve of a normal volunteer.

            " I feel energized by students at Speed School and have a keen interest in passing on my excitement for signal and image processing and medical imaging to them.  I also work with my M. Eng., M.S., and Ph.D. students on a daily basis to ensure that they receive a solid foundation in performing medical imaging research and that they move on to successful industrial and academic careers." -Dr. Amini.

            The Medical Imaging Laboratory's recent graduates have been placed in top academic (Stanford and Yale) and industrial labs (Philips Medical Systems).

            "The University of Louisville and J.B. Speed School of Engineering have provided me with an environment to flourish and to develop a research program that has resulted in this professional award. The award has already resulted in travel to several institutions in the US and will soon take me to places as far as Chile, Argentina, Peru, and Malaysia where I will be an academic ambassador for the University and will deliver lectures on our research. Even though I am not from Louisville, I feel a strong sense of pride in the University, the Speed School, and the Department of Electrical Engineering." - Dr. Amini.

            J.B. Speed School recognizes excellence in undergraduate & graduate education; our engineering school takes pride in faculty members such as Dr. Amini for reaching outstanding professional accomplishments such as this one.

            "The field of medical imaging is truly an exciting field of research and it is where engineers are making significant impact and improving human health through their innovation and research.  It is a field that is at the cross roads of traditional areas of engineering such as signal and image processing with clinical diagnostics." -Dr. Amini

            Inaugural Engineering Design & Innovation Showcase deemed a success

            By Janet Cappiello

            At the University of Louisville J.B. Speed School of Engineering this academic year, students were quietly working on projects to make the future a better place:

            • Shower doors made with “smart glass.”
            • Ways to make distilleries zero-waste.
            • Purification systems to turn wastewater into water for brewing craft beer.
            • A system to minimize plastic waste in the ocean.
            • Methods to prevent corrosion in concrete roads and bridges.
            • Products to keep children from being forgotten in hot cars.

            From solar batteries to building designs to a specialized Alexa product for Papa John’s franchisees, the projects and prototypes demonstrated at the first J.B. Speed School of Engineering Engineering and Design Innovation showcase showed the depth and breadth of UofL engineering students’ ingenuity and enthusiasm.

            The event, held in the Student Activities Center April 18, featured teams of seniors — as well as a select group of first-years — demonstrating their capstone projects. Almost 90 teams totaling more than 350 students showed their posters and prototypes to representatives from the president’s office, members of the boards of trustees and overseers, faculty, industry professionals, administrators, fellow Speed students, K-12 students and even a few proud parents.

            Fifty teams had company sponsors for a total of $168,000. Additionally, four companies sponsored coveted industry awards — DuPont, Papa John’s, Qk4 and TOPY America, Inc.

            EDIS Papa John's Most Innovative AwardOne team, Saf-T Child, took home two of the four industry awards: DuPont’s Innovation to Thrive Award and the Papa John’s Most Innovative Award, each worth $1,000. The team designed a weight-sensing pad that alerts drivers if a child remains in the car after it is turned off. Team members were Clay Groeschen, Hadassah Lamppin, Michael York and Kendall Ogden.

            The QK4 Engineering Award, worth $500, was given to the team Technology for People Living with Dementia, which came up with an affordable computer system that those with dementia can use when caregivers cannot help with tasks. Team members were Kody Arvin, Robert McKinney and Daniel Padgett.

            The winner of the TOPY America Inc. Environmental Award, also worth $500, was Operation: Save the Turtles. The team’s goal was to protect ocean life by coming up with an alternative to recycling plastic that would convert plastic into useful products such as diesel fuel. Team members were Delaney Coovert, Allison Melvin, Miao Ting Li and Jianchao Zhao.

            “I could feel the excitement and the interest of those who were attending,” said Speed School Dean Emmanuel Collins, who promised to make the showcase an annual event.

            Watch the video here:

            Interim administrative positions approved by UofL Board of Trustees

            August 29, 2017

            University of Louisville Board of Trustees approved the appointment of all nominated Speed School of Engineering Interim Associate and Assistant Deans as recommended by Interim Dean Dr. Gail DePuy.  As of July 1, 2017 the following interim administrative appointments will begin.

            Interim Associate Dean of Administration, Planning and Faculty Affairs, Dr. J.P. Mohsen

            Dr. J.P. Mohsen, Chair of Civil & Environmental Engineering Dr. Mohsen's job duties include leadership and management of Speed School faculty affairs, accreditation, alumni affairs/development, strategic planning, Speed IT and marketing. This position will supervise the Speed School's Directors of Communications and Marketing, IT, and Data Analytics. Dr. Mohsen has served as the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) Department Chair for 13 years.  As such he has experience in many of the job duties of this Interim Associate Dean of Administration, Planning and Faculty Affairs position including promotion and tenure of faculty, ABET accreditation preparation, leadership in execution of strategic plan, and supervisory experience of both faculty and staff.

            While Dr. Gail DePuy serves as Interim Dean of Speed School, her job duties as Assoc. Dean of Academic and Student Affairs will be divided between two positions; Interim Asst. Dean of Academic Affairs and Interim Asst. Dean of Student Affairs.

            Interim Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs, Dr. Erin Gerber

            Headshot of Erin GerberDr. Gerber's job duties include leadership and management of the engineering undergraduate and graduate programs and curricula, course and classroom management. This position will supervise the Speed School's Director of Graduate Affairs. Dr. Gerber will split her time between Interim Assistant Dean of Academic Affairs and Industrial Engineering Assistant Professor. Dr. Gerber has served as a lecturer and Assistant Professor at UofL since 2013. She is generally regarded as a premier undergraduate and graduate instructors as evidenced by her evaluations and award nominations. She is a graduate of Speed School’s BS, MEng, and PhD programs and therefore is familiar with the engineering undergraduate and graduate programs from both the student and faculty perspective. Dr. Gerber has served as a member of the Speed School's Undergraduate Education Committee and the Student Affairs Committee where she has demonstrated an interest and aptitude for academic policy.

            Interim Assistant Dean of Student Affairs, Heidi Neal

            Headshot of Heidi NealMs. Neal's job duties include leadership and management of Speed School student affairs including outreach, recruiting, admissions, academic advising, student success, retention, diversity initiatives, student organizations, co-operative education, and career development. This position will supervise the Speed School's Directors of Admission, Student Success and Career Development. Ms. Neal has served as the J.B. Speed School of Engineering Director of Student Success for 3 years. Previously she was a recruiting coordinator for the UofL College of Business, Associate Director of Enrollment Services and Career Services at Ivy Tech, and Assistant Director of Student Leadership and Civic Engagement at Nova Southeastern University.  Through her current and previous positions she has gained experience in the primary areas of this Interim Assistant Dean of Student Affairs position; outreach, recruiting, advising, student success, and career development.

            While Dr. Mohsen serves as Interim Associate Dean of Administration, Planning and Faculty Affairs, his current CEE Department Chair position will be filled by an Acting CEE Department Chair.

            Acting Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Chair, Dr. Zhihui Sun

            Zhihui SunDr. Sun's job duties include leadership and management of Speed School's Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) department. She has served as a CEE faculty member since 2005 and has been the PI or co-PI on $1.88M in research grants/contracts,and  has published over 70 refereed journal articles and conference proceedings. Dr. Sun has served as a member of many departmental, unit, and university committees.

            ISLP Trip to Peru a First of its Kind

            July 23, 2018

            Engineering students work on water issues in Peru during the International Service Learning Program.The annual International Service Learning Program (ISLP) features a multi-disciplinarian gathering of students working to solve a problem in a foreign culture and help them attend to a problem, in places like Belize, Botswana, Croatia, the Philippines, and Trinidad and Tobago. This year a trip to Cusco, Peru, specifically the Calca and Saccilo regions, has been added for engineering students to address water issues.

            The Peru ISLP trip was established in part through a relationship with the Andean Alliance for Sustainable Development (AASD). AASD is an organization that puts academics and indigenous cultures to together to share and collaborate. “What we’re trying to do is to figure out what we can reasonably do to help them and what the community can accomplish,” said Dr. Thomas Rockaway, who is leading the team.

            Michael Keibler and Mary Andrade, from the Co-op and Career Development Office, initiated the ISLP trip to Peru in order to increase the number of global opportunities for engineering students. This coincides with the development of a global engineering track for co-op students that launches this fall. Keibler will travel with the group and will extend his stay to meet with other institutions to identify other study abroad programs specific to engineering.

            “This is truly a community-based service learning experience and immerses our students in Peruvian cultures, lifestyles, and guides them on how to critically think about the engineering aspects of global problem-framing and solving,” said Keibler. “We are excited about the collaborative effort with the AASD and look to continue to build on the community relationship, and ISLP relationship, for many years to come.”

            Engineering students pause their work for a group photo in Peru during the International Service Learning Program.For Mechanical Engineering Junior Melanie Babin, the ISLP has offered her an opportunity to help in less developed areas to find sustainable, long-term solutions to environmental and technological issues. Originally studying to be an artist, Babi elected to tackle Mechanical Engineering as a practical means of both supporting her interests and providing a stable income. An intern and part time employee at Samtec, she hopes to work with product designers or industrial designers after her graduation.

            In addition to her burgeoning knowledge of mechanical engineering, Babin filters her experience through the Golden Rule, and wants to apply her skills altruistically, to accept the community as she hopes to be accepted herself. “I believe that technology can improve the quality of life without obscuring traditions and harming the environment."

            Chemical Engineering junior Peyton Paulson likes to solve problems. From a young age, she was engaged in math and chemistry, and eager to apply her knowledge to real-world applications. Paulson has co-op experience at DuPont, which she hopes will better inform her work abroad. Beyond just the critical analysis and chemistry skills that she brings to the table, she is optimistic that her team can find a solution that not only satisfies the problem now, but that is modular for the next group to work in the community.

            Dr. Tom Rockaway (left) and Michael Keibler (right) traveled to Peru with engineering students to work on water related issues.“Our first priority is obtaining data and conducting research and I know my co-op experience and lab experience will help with this. Upon arriving, we hope to conduct interviews to help further our assessment of the situation,” said Paulson. “We want to know all aspects of the problem before truly forming a ‘solution.’ We want our work to be long lasting and impactful. Whatever solution we outline or implement, we want locals to be happy and eager to maintain it.”

            The first year of this project is set to establish a basic plan and to gather baseline information. Ideally, future ISLP trips will be modular in operation, building on the work of the previous participants. Ultimately, the goal is to build a long-term relationship with people of Cusco, both to help the community and enable our students to participate in real-world problem solving.  

            The Peru trip runs from July 29th through August 16th. 

            Jasinski receives grant for research on phosphorene

            November 6, 2018

             Dr. Jacek Jasinski, the team leader for Materials Characterization in the Conn Center for Renewable Energy, was awarded a grant from the Department of Energy, Basic Energy Sciences Division for his work to develop a new type of phosphorene, a two-dimensional (2D) allotrope of phosphorus. The grant, which totals almost $500K, will fund research into the synthesis of blue phosphorene, a currently predicted material with interesting properties at the quantum level that have yet to be demonstrated.

            Working with Drs. Ming Yu and Gamini Sumanasekera, both of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, Jasinski serves as the primary investigator for the team. Graphene, a well-known example of 2D material, which consists of a layer of graphite, has a unique in-plane bonding allowing for high mobility of electrons. Like graphene, phosphorene has comparably interesting properties. Of these, it can absorb light of different wavelengths, and can allow for separating electron and heat transport, which can be utilized in thermoelectrics.

            He believes his research may yield fresh insight into how black phosphorous may be intercalated with alkali metals. This process of inserting alkali metal atoms between the layers of black phosphorus seems to be a key step in producing phosphorene by inducing the desired change of material structure.

            “Last year we published a paper on phosphorene, a review paper on properties and applications of this material," said Jasinski. "Phosphorene has many potential applications; for instance, it can be applied for electrodes in electrochemical energy storage devices, such as lithium or sodium batteries. Even compared to graphene, this material has a lot more exotic properties.”

            A relatively recent discovery, two-dimensional materials offer electronic and mechanical properties that conventional materials do not, which leads to their applications in transistors, batteries, and solar cells. Since the discovery of graphene in 2004, a single layer material made out of graphite and the first of this kind, scientists have worked to expand the possibilities of these exotic materials.

            “Physicists found out that if you have a single layer, electrons behave differently than if they have a 3D space of bulk material to move in,” said Jasinski. “You start to influence the quantum behavior of electrons if they are in a single layer of atoms.”

            Ultimately, Jasinski and his team have two outcomes that they desire in their process. For the first, they hope to discover new physics from the use of the material, relative to how atoms interact on a two-dimensional plane versus the traditional three dimensions that we employ.

            “The problem with our research, is that there can be critics saying that our findings may be difficult to reproduce on a large scale,” said Jasinski. "However, even if you can produce just a little bit of this unique material, you can learn a lot from this even from small volumes.”

            Beyond that, Jasinski hopes that they can find new ways to produce similar exotic, two-dimensional materials.

            “There are some ways of maybe scaling up our approach. By producing this material, we will prove that it can be synthesized and that this method is really working. Our research may serve then as a blueprint for producing other novel materials through this method,” said Jasinski.

            Jay Whitacre awarded UofL renewable energy prize

            December 4, 2017
            Jay Whitacre awarded UofL renewable energy prize

            Jay Whitacre, 2018 Leigh Ann Conn Prize Winner

            An international pioneer in sustainable energy technology who specializes in ultra-low-cost, water-based energy storage solutions has been awarded the 2017 Leigh Ann Conn Prize for Renewable Energy from the University of Louisville.

            Jay Whitacre, PhD, director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, will give a public talk at UofL and receive the Conn Prize medal and $50,000 award in March. The biannual award recognizes outstanding renewable energy ideas and achievements that have had a proven global impact.

            Whitacre’s sodium-ion batteries, which use only water-based chemicals, are an economical way to incorporate renewable energy into the grid. Whitacre has received 16 United States patents and multiple international patents. The company he founded, Aquion Energy, is now rapidly growing after being acquired in the summer of 2017.

            “Dr. Whitacre is a world-class scientist and entrepreneur dedicated to the viability of low-cost energy storage,” said Greg Postel, interim UofL president. “The University of Louisville celebrates his research and its positive influence. In a changing world of energy use, he is an outstanding winner of the Leigh Ann Conn Prize.”

            The prize, which is administered by UofL’s Conn Center for Renewable Energy Research at the J.B. Speed School of Engineering, is named for the late daughter of Hank and Rebecca Conn, who are center supporters and prize benefactors.

            “This revolutionary battery technology and Jay’s resilient entrepreneurial spirit demonstrate a vitality that resonates. It’s what we all need,” Hank Conn said. “It is exciting to recognize his innovations and their translation into impactful technology.”

            The inaugural Conn Prize was won in 2013 by Dr. Michael Graetzel, developer of the dye-sensitized solar cell. The 2015 prize was awarded to Dr. Dan Nocera for the development of the Artificial Leaf and large-scale flow battery.

            Nominations for the 2019 Leigh Ann Conn Prize competition run Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2018; visit

            John Usher named acting dean

            May 20, 2015

            Dr. John Usher has agreed to serve as acting dean of the J.B. Speed School of Engineering effective May 11. He will serve in this role as Dean Neville Pinto assumes the position of interim executive vice president and university provost at the conclusion of this academic year.

            Currently serving as associate dean for administration, planning and faculty affairs, Dr. Usher has been a member of the UofL family for many years, first as an undergrad and grad student and, since 1987, as a member of the faculty.

            In addition to his role as associate dean, Dr. Usher has extensive experience as a department chair, serving as professor and chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering from 2005 to 2012.

            He is a renowned researcher, with more than $8 million in funded research for organizations including General Electric, the National Science Foundation, IBM and the Office of Naval Research. Dr. Usher is well published, with more than 100 papers and other publications to his credit.

            He also is an accomplished and popular teacher. In fact, the university recognized him in 2001 with its Distinguished Teaching Professor Award for his excellence in the classroom.

            Entrepreneurship: Dr. Angelique Johnson selected for national Nanotech panel

            May 17, 2018

             Dr. Angelique Johnson, was recently selected as one of the panelists for the Nanotech Entrepreneurs Share Commercialization Challenges and Successes webinar hosted by the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office on May 21st. The founder and Chief Executive Officer of MEMStim LLC, Johnson and her team work not only to build practical medical devices that includes implantable cochlear implants to help patients with hearing loss, but in enriching her community with her service to others.

            Johnson’s work with the University has primarily focused on research and development, where she has helped to educate people on the value of MEMs technology. Through her partnership with the university, she has cultivated a relationship with the Micro Nano Technology Center, in specifically in her utilization of the Clean Room space, which has helped her business to flourish. Prior to relocating to Louisville, she lived in Michigan, Pennsylvania, and the East Coast, which has afforded her some perspective on the economy opportunities in Kentucky.

            “The things that I have done here to impact lives, would not have been possible in other cities. You can find people to work with," Johnson said. "There are some great high-tech labs in Louisville that are under-utilized. When you are in Louisville and you’re a start up, you can get priority to things. That makes things easier manufacturing. I do agree with the idea of possibility city. I think there is a lot more energy now.”

            Johnson hopes to foster entrepreneurship with the students that she encounters, whether through her opportunities to mentor or to work with them through the co-op program. Through her relationship to the Speed School, Johnson solicits students to intern at MEMStim as part of their co-op opportunities, which she believes will yield unexpected experiences for the students.  

            “I hope that students getting out there are seeing that there is an opportunity for startups. You come to a startup and you’re really needed," said Johnson. "My interns, I think what they enjoyed is that they were critical members of the team. They were able to learn the real business side of an enterprise. By the time they left their internship, they wanted to get their PhD. He liked the experience of being able to be in charge of your product on the innovation side.”

            She believes that her experiences as a CEO running a small business, as well as her relationship with industry and student outreach, that she has something to offer individuals looking to follow in her footsteps. It’s that drive to see a product from concept to realization that motivates Johnson.

            “When you’re trying to sell something to a real life human being, they want something that is reliable that works, that cures their pain," Johnson said.  "When you are selling something to an organization, you’re not as concerned with reliability, you’re trying to make something that’s very innovative. You end up compromising scale, but in terms of practicality, can you actually manufacture it.”

            Johnson is an Adjunct Assistant Professor (gratis) in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

            Keynton named National Academy of Inventors Fellow

            December 14, 2017

            Dr. Rob Keynton

            UofL bioengineering researcher Robert S. Keynton has been named a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). The announcement was made Dec. 12, 2017.

            Keynton is a professor and the Lutz Endowed Chair of Biomechanical Devices of the Department of Bioengineering at the J.B. Speed School of Engineering. Keynton was founding chair of the bioengineering department, which under his tenure grew into the most productive basic and translational research department in the Speed School. He is also the director of research initiatives in the office of the executive vice president for research and innovation.

            “I am humbled by the nomination and support from my colleagues at UofL and I am truly honored to have been selected to be a member of the National Academy of Inventors and to be associated with such a prestigious group,” Keynton said.

            Keynton’s research focuses on Lab-on-a-Chip devices, microsensors, biomedical devices and biomaterials. He joined UofL in 1999 and has co-founded three companies with UofL colleagues. His career has centered on multidisciplinary research, which includes more than $51 million of funding from agencies such as the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, Wallace H. Coulter Foundation and the Veterans Administration.

            Keynton is the fifth UofL researcher to be named an NAI Fellow including  Kevin M. Walsh, Associate Dean of Research & Physical Facilities and Samuel T. Fife Endowed Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering in 2014.

            The new NAI Fellows will be inducted April 5 as part of the Seventh Annual NAI Conference of the National Academy of Inventors at the Mayflower Hotel, Autograph Collection in Washington, DC.

            As an undergrad, Keynton studied engineering science and mechanics at Virginia Tech. Upon the completion of his degree, he attended the University of Akron for his master’s and PhD, focusing specifically on cardiovascular fluid mechanics.

            “There is a history of my grandfather on my dad’s side, he had a heat stroke. It’s cardiovascular related," he said. "My grandfather on my mother’s side, died from cardiovascular disease. I wanted to do research in that area that would help people down the road.”

            His first teaching position was as an assistant professor at  Louisiana Tech University. There Keynton developed an interested in micro/nano technology, training himself on the matter in their clean room, before moving to Louisville for his ongoing tenure in the J.B. Speed School of Engineering. In that time, Keynton has has been involved in multidisciplinary research that includes over $48 million (over $16 M currently active) of funding from NIH, NSF, DHS, DOE, DoD, NASA, Coulter Foundation, Helmsley Trust and the Veterans Administration. That research has included work on explosive detection systems, spinal cord rehabilitation, and heavy metal sensors that can help prevent water contamination, among many others.

            “Those were all fun projects. They resulted in things that have been continuous entities within the university that are recognized," said Keynton. "I like to build things, I like to grow things. That’s why helping to build the department was fun. Now, by moving into the EVPRI office, I get to build more things.”

            With each successive project at the University, Keynton has expanded his scope, pulling back from the specificity of the MNTC to his work helping to craft the Bioengineering Department, and now in his role as director of Research Initiatives. It’s there that Keynton hopes to continue his multi-disciplinary work in growing the university’s research opportunities.

            “When I was the department chair, I’ve always enjoyed working and mentoring with their faculty to help them be successful. Within six years, we were number one in research in 6 years. That’s the kind of faculty I work with, who have a passion for their research,” said Keynton. “On a personal level, it is nice to have your work recognized and appreciated and have others see the value in it. All the work that we’ve been doing over the years to see that we’ve been contributing to society as a whole.”

            Kleier named Speed School Alumni Fellow

            September 29, 2014
            Kleier named Speed School Alumni Fellow

            Alan Kleier, '76 Bachelors, '77 MEng

            The University of Louisville Alumni Association has named the J.B. Speed School of Engineering Alumni Fellow for 2014. Alumnus Alan A. Kleier has distinguished himself as an engineer and been an exemplary ambassador of UofL. Kleier and the other alumni award recipients will be honored on Thursday, Oct. 16 at the 2014 Alumni Awards.

            Kleier graduated with a B.S. in mechanical engineering in 1976 and an M.Eng. in mechanical engineering in 1977.

            In 2013, Kleier retired as vice president for Chevron’s mid-continent business unit. His 36 year career began in 1977 in domestic and international oil and gas for Texaco, working as a petroleum engineer in the producing department in Ardmore, Oklahoma. Kleier spent 25 years with Texaco prior to their merger with Chevron in 2001. Kleier was with Chevron for 12 years and served in the following various leadership roles around the world.

            During Kleier’s tenure with Chevron, he was a member of the management committee that served as a resource to implement best practices sharing across organizations, monitor deployment of key initiatives and processes and promote accountability for meeting business plan commitments. Kleier’s experience in the diverse domestic and international oil and gas industry included responsibility in drilling, production, exploration, new field development, major capital projects, business development and commercial and fiscal negotiations with a focus on improving company safety and environmental performance in every aspect of the business.

            Kleier gives a yearly presentation to students at the Speed School concerning what true "success" is. He discusses with students the different things he did through his career and why.

            Kleier and his wife, Janetta, live in Seminole, Florida and have three children.

            Dr. Jonathan Kopechek awarded the Scientist Development Grant from the American Heart Association

            June 29, 2017

            Headshot of Jonathan Kopechek

            A junior faculty member of the Bioengineering department, Dr. Jonathan Andrew Kopechek was recently awarded the Scientist Development Grant from the American Heart Association. The grant offers research funding to help junior investigators establish independent research careers. The project, entitled “Ultrasound-Targeted Delivery of miRNA Therapeutics for Cardiac Repair after Myocardial Infarction,” work is to evaluate whether targeted delivery of micro-RNA therapeutics to the heart can suppress pathological ventricular remodeling and promote cardiac repair following a heart attack.

            “In this project, we will explore ultrasound and microbubble-targeted therapeutic delivery in a mouse model of myocardial infarction. We expect to work on this project for three years and we hope to follow it with additional studies assessing efficacy in large animal models before proceeding to clinical trials. We also plan to continue investigating the mechanisms involved in facilitating targeted delivery to the heart with this therapeutic approach,” says Kopechek.

            A graduate from Ohio State University, with a Ph.D. from the University of Cincinnati, his studies educational background is split between Electrical & Computer Engineering and Bioengineering, with an emphasis on medical imaging. As a bioengineer with expertise is in the areas of ultrasound imaging and the development of microbubbles for therapeutic delivery, Kopechek is part of a multi-disciplinary team working on the project.

            He explains, “Our team includes Dr. Roberto Bolli, Chief of Cardiovascular Medicine and Director of the Institute of Molecular Cardiology, and Dr. Guruprasad Giridharan, Associate Chair of Bioengineering and a member of the Cardiovascular Innovation Institute.”

            Continuing he adds, “Dr. Bolli and his team have extensive research and clinical expertise in cardiac therapy and biology, and Dr. Giridharan has significant expertise in modeling and testing of cardiovascular flow dynamics. I have over 10 years of research experience in the field of image-guided therapy. Our collaboration brings together a significant amount of knowledge and experience across a wide range of disciplines, which will be invaluable for this project.”

            The grant scored in the top 0.28% of applicants, which is no small feat.

            “The Scientist Development Grant from the American Heart Association is designed to support promising beginning scientists as they transition toward independence in cardiovascular research. This grant provides funding that will enable Dr. Kopechek to build a strong Bioengineering research program at UofL. The success of his grant application reflects well on the Department of Bioengineering, the Institute of Molecular Cardiology, and the Speed School of Engineering at UofL,” says Dr. El-Baz.

            Kopechek is optimistic that their research could provide realistic and affordable treatment for heart patients, while learning more about their promising delivery system.

            “Our ultimate goal is to reach the stage where our research can be translated to the clinic for patient care. Ultrasound and microbubbles are already approved for clinical use, so we expect that our approach will be a feasible non-invasive treatment for patients. At the same time, we also hope to learn more about the mechanisms of action for ultrasound and microbubble-targeted therapeutic delivery,” says Kopechek.

            UofL to host KY Nanotechnology and Additive Manufacturing Symposium

            June 26, 2018

             On August 1 and 2, the Kentucky Multiscale Network will host the KY Nanotechnology and Additive Manufacturing Symposium. Subtitled “Strengthening Industry Collaborations with Academia,” the event intends to unite researchers and industry in advanced manufacturing fields including additive manufacturing and micro/nanotechnology for opportunities to learn more about how each facility can benefit prospective users. The symposium will feature talks on experts in fields related to advanced manufacturing, including speakers on additive manufacturing, 3D printing, and micro-nano-technology.

            The symposium is chaired by Dr. Kevin Walsh, Speed School Associate Dean of Research and Facilities, and coordinated by program manager Ana Marie Sanchez-Galiano, with the cooperation of a multi-disciplinarian organizing committee from across both universities. Where previous symposiums have focused only on industry, this symposium looks to expand to include academia as well, with sessions running in parallel.

            “Sometimes industry has that challenge, working with universities, and know where to go,” said Sanchez-Galiano. “We like the industry members to come and visit, but we help a lot of internal clients as well in academia.”

            KY Multi-scale

            Comprised of four core facilities here at the University of Louisville, including the Rapid Prototyping Center, the Conn Center for Renewable Research, and two Micro-Nano Technology Centers, and four centers at the University of Kentucky, the KY Multiscale Network works to provide opportunities for academia and industry alike to make use of the extensive multi-scale manufacturing resources from the Universities of Louisville and Kentucky.

            Funded through the National Science Foundation, specifically through the National Nanotechnology Coordinated Network, the organization serves as a guide to interested parties who may find their opportunities overwhelming.

            “It’s a network. It’s almost like Linkedin for all these core facilities. Our purpose is to help these core facilities. We help financially a little,” Sanchez-Galiano said. “We also have provide for workshops that will help people in the core facilities to learn more about the processes.”

            How to participate

            This event is open to all scientists, engineers, or students interested in learning more about microtechnology, 3D printing, additive manufacturing, renewable energies, biotechnology and beyond. Interested presenters can answer the call for abstracts at the link. You can find more information at the website.

            Latest grant gives UofL trifecta in efforts to commercialize research

            May 7, 2015

            by John Karman

            The University of Louisville has received a three-year, $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to create an Innovation Corps Site to strengthen the innovation ecosystem in the region and nationally through networking and training opportunities.

            I-Corps sites support researchers working to move their technology into the marketplace by providing infrastructure, advice, resources, networking opportunities, training and modest funding.

            With this new award, UofL becomes the only university in the country to receive three of the most prestigious innovation-associated awards – the NSF I-Corps, National Institutes of Health Research Evaluation and Commercialization Hub (REACH) and Coulter Translational Research Partnership grants. All three support the translation of research into viable commercial products. UofL announced the REACH award last week. It received the Coulter grant in 2011.

            Given their shared goals, all three programs will work together to establish UofL as a world leader in innovation.

            “The I-Corps grant further advances UofL’s efforts to aid researchers in bringing discoveries to the marketplace,” said William Pierce Jr., executive vice president for research and innovation. “Already having received Coulter and REACH awards, we feel like we’ve hit the trifecta.”

            Goals of the UofL I-Corps project include strengthening Kentucky’s high-tech industries, particularly in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields, and creating a group of researchers and graduates who can translate innovations to the market and foster business development.  The UofL I-Corps Site program is a multidisciplinary partnership between the J.B. Speed School of Engineering and the College of Business’s Forcht Center for Entrepreneurship.

            “The UofL I-Corps Site will provide a catalyst for STEM entrepreneurial discovery and business development, which will stimulate the creation and growth of new, high-tech industries and higher paying jobs, while at the same time developing the entrepreneurial infrastructure of the state,” said Robert Keynton, Lutz Endowed Chair for Biomechanical Devices and chairman of the Department of Bioengineering in the Speed School. Keynton is principal investigator and Forcht Center director Van Clouse is co-principal investigator on the I-Corps grant.

            Senior Holly McTaggart Receives Outstanding Collegiate Member Award from the Society of Women Engineers

            September 27, 2017

             This last August, Holly McTaggart, a senior in the Industrial Engineering department, was recognized as by the Society of Women Engineers with an Outstanding Collegiate Member Award. According to the SWE, the award is granted to, “collegiate members who have made an outstanding contribution to SWE, the engineering community and their campus.”

            A non-traditional student upon her return in 2014, McTaggart was excited to parlay her industry experience in a leadership at Amazon into a formal degree, with her sights set on a masters in Engineering Management, post-grad. A California native, McTaggart has found a balance between her education and professional pursuits, balancing her co-ops as at Jim Beam as a Maintenance Reliability Engineering Intern and current position as an IT Service Desk Agent at Compucom with her work with the SWE, which she sees as an opportunity to give back to the community.

            “I have gained so much valuable leadership skills, as well have learned how to set goals and achieve them. My personal and professional networks have grown dramatically, which really sets me up for success in my career. I know that I will always have my SWE network to back me up and encourage me to create and achieve great success in my life. I am anticipating the time when I can give back to SWE and become a life member. I plan to continue encouraging females in this field and always be on the lookout for ways that I can improve someone’s future the way that SWE has improved mine,” says McTaggart.

            McTaggart gravitated immediately towards the SWE. Since then, she has held positions first as the Diversity Chair, then as the Secretary, and last year as the organizations local President. Wanting to continue on, McTaggart currently holds the position of Region Collegiate Representative for Region, which oversees all 32 collegiate sections in our region. That position comes with a number of responsibilities, including helping to organize the leadership,

            “When I transferred I was told that Speed had a lot of resources for women in engineering, so I was on the lookout to make sure I was utilizing all of my options. My personal goals aligned perfectly with SWE.  I firmly believe that females are much more likely to pursue a career in engineering or stem in general when they see other females already there,” says McTaggart.

            She adds, “I want to be a role model for both females and males that it is okay to pursue a career in engineering even if it is not in the most “traditional” way.  I believe that SWE builds up females in engineering to be more confident and better leaders in their fields. SWE has provided me ample opportunities to build my network that never would have been accessible in other avenues.”

            She took her receipt of the Outstanding Member award as an honor, humbled even to be nominated let alone recognized. Persevering through difficult times during her leadership, enduring a heavy workload and personal sacrifice, McTaggart worked against any doubts to ensure an increase in membership numbers and engagement, and feels satisfied at her accomplishments, while remaining optimistic for a continuity of her work.

            “At times I felt I was putting in too much effort and was not sure if my efforts would be worth it in the end. At some point last year the tables started to turn.  I really saw my leadership team step up into their roles, I saw our members engaging and participating in our section, and I started to see how we were impacting our little community at Speed school,” she says. McTaggart adds of her team, “At the end of the spring semester I held an awards ceremony to honor all of our leaders and the effort they all put it.”

            Dr. Mahendra Sunkara Named 2016 KSEF Fellow

            January 30, 2017

            Headshot of Mahendra SunkaraFor the last two decades, Dr. Mahendra Sunkara has served as an educator and innovator in his field. His efforts in materials research, energy, storage, and variety of innovative technologies, including coatings and material synthesis and processing, made him the ideal candidate for director of the Conn Center for Renewable Resources, a position that he has held since it opened for operations. Dr. Sunkara is the founder of Advanced Energy Materials, an innovator in clean fuel solutions.

            Recently, Dr. Sunkara was appointed a 2016 KSEF Fellow. The KSEF, or Kentucky Science & Engineering Foundation, is an organization that according to their website “invests in research and development activity to promote innovation, new product development and commercialization, to advance new ideas and technologies that could add value to scientific and economic growth in Kentucky.”

            The KSEF Fellow honor is reserved for people with significant contributions in the advancement of excellence in science and engineering in Kentucky. This distinction is meant to foster science and engineering innovation-based entrepreneurial culture in the Commonwealth.

            But Dr. Sunkara has a very practical approach to his award. He admits, “I put in my package, and I was supported by the right people. A technical director at Clareon. The vice president for research supported it. He knows that I’m a prolific inventor that could potentially grow to tens of employees. In fact, they’re moving to a facility near First Build.”

            He continues, “On top of that, they know my work from the Conn Center. We’ve been promoting that innovation in this area. They all know that we promote startup companies and making them successful. About six companies out of the Conn Center right now have actually received public funding. They all happened in the last four to six years. My company is leading the way.”

            According to Dean Usher, “Dr. Sunkara is a well-deserving recipient 2016 KSEF Fellow honor. Because of his outstanding efforts as a Professor of Chemical Engineering, Distinguished University Scholar, and Director of the Conn Center for Renewable Energy, Dr. Sunkara is a huge asset to the JB Speed School of Engineering and the University of Louisville. He teaches our students, provides countless hours of service to the profession, and pursues groundbreaking research and entrepreneurial endeavors that contribute to the overall excellence of science and engineering here in Kentucky and beyond. We are all very proud to have him as a colleague.”

            Dr. Sunkara believes in the people that surround him. He says, “It’s the people. Almost all my students support it. It’s basically having a lot more students, who are very bright, who believe in my mission. The company that I started have five PhD graduates working there. I don’t have to spend time. It’s a measure of having bright people for the public. That’s what’s happening right now. I’m not involved with other startups, but my team leaders in the center are involved in getting them up and running.”

            Ultimately, it’s the work that drives his continued innovation and drive for creative solutions.
            He says, “I’ve always believed in filing for patents, publishing in journals, and training very bright students. I look at them as a resource. With innovation, you can retain the brightest people. That’s the dream for the state, is that you train all these bright people, but they end up leaving the statement. The link between an academic organization and the community, can support each so much, so that they can support one another in innovation.”

            Dr. Michael McIntyre Partners with GE Appliances on a Cooler Refrigerator

            November 1, 2017

            Dr. Michael McIntyreDr. Michael McIntyre, a Kentucky native and Speed School alumni recently tenured in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, spent part of his time this summer partnering with GE Appliances to help bring good things to life. With previous experience with the company, McIntyre used his relationships in the industry and knowledge of electrical engineering to help craft a compressor designed to make refrigeration units more energy efficient.

            He summarizes, “It’ll help their refrigerator products to use less energy,” McIntyre said. He added that in doing so intend to help GE “stay in the marketplace when energy standards become more challenging and difficult to meet.”

            A senior electronic design engineer at General Electric from 1998 to 2003 and again 2006 to 2007, McIntyre has worked on the design for his Linear Vapor Compressor Control since August of 2013. Through his research in power electronics, control systems, and in the area of electrical energy systems, he has received several patents with more pending.

            With continued work with GE Appliances and the promise of more innovation on the horizon, McIntyre remains on the “lookout for self-motivated students interested in working on cutting-edge problems in Nonlinear Control Systems with applications in Electrical Engineering Systems. Interested students with a strong mathematical background and/or an aptitude for fundamental research are encouraged to contact Dr. McIntyre for details. Check here for more information of University Fellowship and Research Assistantship.”

            Mechanical Engineering PhD grad claims Guy Stevenson Award for Excellence in Graduate Studies

            May 22, 2013
            Mechanical Engineering PhD grad claims Guy Stevenson Award for Excellence in Graduate Studies

            Robert James Loomis lll, winner of the Guy Stevenson Award for Excellence in Graduate Studies

            Robert James Loomis lll is the winner of the Guy Stevenson Award for Excellence in Graduate Studies, which honors a former Graduate Dean. The Stevenson Award is presented to a doctoral degree recipient who excels in scholarship, leadership, and other areas within his or her discipline. Loomis will carry the School of Interdisciplinary and Graduate Studies banner at commencement ceremonies.

            According to his thesis advisor Dr. Balaji Panchapakesan, "James is the type of graduate student every advisor dreams of. James can take an idea and transform it experimentally into new avenues of scientific research." Such abilities are a clear mask of excellence in research and show great promis for a future as an academic/industry leader. James's doctoral work has opened new avenues of research in functional nanocomposites. Two of his articles on grapheme-based photomechanical actuators and grapheme-based photoconductive devices, published in the journal Nanotechnology, were downloaded more than 3000 times within a year of their publication. Both of these works were showcased by the Nanotechnology journal, which publishes more than 1000 papers every year from scientists all around the world, as "top gems" in 2012. His mentor notes that "even one paper being showcased in the annual highlights of the journal is a significant achievement for anyone's research, let alone two within the same year." James' recent work on incorporating thermally expanding mircosphere in nanotube-based polymer composites has opened a new line of thought on how to design future stimuli responsive materials with large changes in size, density, mechanical and electrical properties.

            James joined Dr. Panchapakesan's group from industry with no prior experience in academic publication. However, at the time of this award, he has published nine journal articles and has an upcoming article in the new journal called Scientific Reports by NATURE publishing group. Further, James' work had led to several patent applications and featured cover images in journals. His work will have significant impact in the area of functional composites for years to come.

            In addition to the Stevenson Award, James is also a recipient of the Graduate Dean's Citation. He delivered the outstanding student address at the doctoral hooding ceremony for the University of Louisville held May 10 at the KFC Yum! Center.

            James was mentored by J.B. Speed School of Engineering Associate Professor, Dr. Balaji Panchapakesan.

            Under the lights: Midnight Mayhem offers off-road contest Oct. 3

            September 25, 2015
            Under the lights: Midnight Mayhem offers off-road contest Oct. 3

            The UofL Baja SAE racer flies over a hill during a competition.

            Trimble County event expected to attract 700 students from 50 universities

            Hundreds of college students will converge Oct. 3 for some Saturday racing that tests their stamina and vehicle design skills during the Midnight Mayhem competition that University of Louisville students host and organize for off-road cars.

            More than 700 students bringing about 100 cars from nearly 50 universities across the United States and Canada are expected to compete at Nickota Motorsports Park, 373 Buck Run Road, in Bedford, Ky. Competition begins at 9 a.m. with the main event -- an endurance race on a dirt track -- running from 8 p.m. to midnight. Spectator admission is $5.

            Teams will drive four-wheel, off-road vehicles called Baja SAE racers. In the endurance race, the vehicle completing the most laps wins. Drivers can switch out when they need to refuel the student-designed vehicles, which use 10-horsepower stock engines and fuel tanks.

            The UofL student chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) is host of the event.   Three UofL teams, involving 25 Speed School of Engineering students, will race in Midnight Mayhem using vehicles from previous years of competition.

            UofL's Baja SAE teams and others race in competitions regionally and nationally, but this night invitational event at a motocross track began in 2008 as an unofficial race that gives teams racing experience in the fall before the official competitions resume in the spring and summer.

            As a new feature this year, four cars, including one from UofL, will be outfitted with cockpit cameras so the teams can stream video live to YouTube from 7 p.m. to 12:30 a.m. The live broadcast will be at

            UofL students raise funds for, design, manage, build, test, promote and drive their vehicles. Although they do not receive course credit for the work, they apply the technical and project management concepts learned in class to building and racing the vehicles under time and budget constraints.

            For more information, check or contact team captain Chris Gruner at 859-380-6087 or or mechanical engineering alumnus and head organizer Alex Bays at 859-321-7102 or

            Mohsen Announced as the 2014 ASCE Computing in Civil Engineering Award Recipient

            July 7, 2014
            Mohsen Announced as the 2014 ASCE Computing in Civil Engineering Award Recipient

            Dr. JP Mohsen

            The Computer in Civil Engineering Award was established by the ASCE (American Society of Civil Engineers) in order to recognize outstanding achievements and contributions in the use of computers in the practice of civil engineering. It’s rewarded annually to a member of the ASCE with the presentation of a plaque and cash prize.

            This year the award will be presented to Dr. J.P. Mohsen, Ph.D., Professor and Department Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering here at UofL. Dr. Mohsen received his Bachelors of Science and Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering and Master of Engineering in Engineering Management and Industrial Engineering at UofL and went on receive his Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Cincinnati. He has taught at UofL since 1981.

            "Receiving this award is an honor for me since I am being recognized by my peers." said Mohsen, "This award is based on the culmination of many years of service to the profession and validates the long-term commitment that I have made to the university as well as the field of civil engineering."

            He has been involved with the ASCE since 1991, beginning as a faculty advisor at UofL and now involved in the Geomatics Education Committee, Review Webinar Instructor for the Civil PE Sessions, and PE Review Webinar Coordinator for the Civil, Environmental, and Structures. He’s also been involved with the ASEE (American Society for Engineering Education) and served as the president from 2009-2010.

            He has received a number of awards for his outstanding teaching and service not only to the university, but also to the community, including the George K. Wadlin Distinguished Service Award, Civil Engineering Division in 2011, Outstanding Campus Representative Award in 2010, Distinguished Teaching Professor in 2009 and many more.

            The award will be presented during an International Civil Engineering event in Orlando, Florida in June.