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Students Earn Several Achievements Over Summer

Monday, August 29, 2016

While many engineering students spent their summers working, in summer school, or enjoying a much-needed break, several distinguished themselves by winning prestigious awards and competitions.

SWIS Team Wins National Solid Waste Design Competition

A team of civil engineering graduate students from UTA's Solid Waste Institute for Sustainability won the Solid Waste Association of North America’s National Solid Waste Design Competition at WASTECON 2016 in August.

SWIS team wins SWANA SWDC competitionThe team, led by master's student Umme Zakira, included doctoral students Jobair Bin Alam, Elahe, and Rakib Ahmed and master’s students Nur Basit Zaman and Sangeeta. The students were tasked to solve a “real world” problem faced by solid waste professionals. Dr. Sahadat Hossain was the faculty advisor and Dr. Sonia Samir was the team mentor.

The students reached the final round after submitting an entry against many other universities in a preliminary round. They were one of three teams that were invited to present their project in the final round. In that round, they submitted a project report, poster presentation and oral presentation on “Landfill Mining Feasibility – A case study for Solid Waste Authority of Colt County Landfill in Indianapolis.”

The Solid Waste Association of North America (SWANA) is an organization of more than 8,300 public and private sector professionals committed to advancing from solid waste management to resource management through their shared emphasis on education, advocacy and research. SWANA’s National Solid Waste Design Competition (SWDC) is a student team competition to solve a “real world” problem faced by solid waste professionals. The competition aims at providing real world experience to students pursuing an education and/or career in solid waste management. MIT was the 2015 SWDC winner.

EE Ph.D. Graduate Earns IEEE Tom R. Burkes Student Award

Isaac CohenIsaac Cohen, a recent doctoral graduate in electrical engineering, was one of two winners of the Tom R. Burkes Student Award from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. The prestigious award recognizes contributions by a graduate student in engineering, science or technology associated with power modulation, power electronics, or repetitive pulsed power.

Cohen was honored “for outstanding contributions in the field of power electronics, power supplies, prime power, rotating machines, and energy converters – Fuzzy logic control of a hybrid energy storage module for pulsed power naval applications using a hardware-in-the-loop testbed."

Since 2013, UTA’s Pulsed Power and Energy Lab has been funded by the U.S. Navy’s Hybrid Energy Storage Module Future Naval Capabilities program to design and study the use of HESMS within shipboard power systems as both power supplies and as buffers to shipboard power systems. Cohen led that effort as a student and developed both new topologies and control algorithms for HESMs within a shipboard environment.

He recently began working for Lockheed Martin’s Skunk Works in Palmdale, Calif. 

MSE Student Wins Platinum Award for Poster Presentation at STLE Annual Meeting

Vinay SharmaVinay Sharma won the Platinum Award at the Society of Tribology and Lubrication Engineers’ Annual Meeting in June.

Sharma’s poster, entitled “Mechanism of Tribofilm Under Boundary Lubrication in Oils With Nanoparticles,” was one of three to win the Platinum Award out of 60 entries. The poster detailed research that explored a novel approach involving plasma modified nanoparticles-based additives as a potential route to improve the lubricant properties of oils. These functionalized nano-additives are more environmentally friendly and exhibit superior tribological behavior than existing lubricant additives.

ME Student Earns NSF Travel Grant to Present Paper at Symposium

Vignesh DakshnamoorthyVignesh Dakshnamoorthy, a graduate student in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department, earned a travel grant from the National Science Foundation to attend the 27th Annual Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium in Austin to present a paper on his work in design for additive manufacturing. 

Dakshnamoorthy presented his paper entitled, “Automated Lattice Optimization of a Hinge Fitting with Displacement Constraint,” which shows that additive manufacturing enables fabrication of complex lattice cell structures that are not able to be manufactured using conventional methods, and that optimized weight results from the lattice configuration depend on part stiffness requirements. The results show that lattice structures can be successfully implemented in weight-critical components where relaxation in displacement constraint is acceptable.

The Solid Freeform Fabrication Symposium is sponsored by The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society and the Laboratory for Freeform Fabrication at UT Austin.