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It started with a dead chicken’s beating heart

June 29th, 2016

By Keith Miller

Keith and Deanne Reeves Miller

Keith and Deanne Reeves Miller
St. Petersburg, Russia
1998

My interest in science started at South Eugene High School in 1960, but it was biology, not space travel, that first hooked me. I loved watching tiny creatures through a microscope, dissecting frogs and anatomy.

Before the annual science fair, I searched for project ideas. My teacher knew of a student who had kept a chicken heart beating in a saline-filled petri dish. Because my dad hauled these critters to the Swift & Company slaughter house, he had access to live chickens. I got the saline solution at a drug store. The teacher anesthetized the chicken, and we dissected its chest and removed its heart. That heart kept beating for over an hour, which fascinated the visitors and the science fair judges, who awarded me first place. Read the rest of this entry »

Graduate students attend Global Summit of Women

June 29th, 2016

By Krista Klinkhammer

Global Summit of Women

Left to right: Liz Jachens, Kendra Sharp, Dick Evans, Gretchen Evans, Phylicia Cicilio, and Susan Elliott.

Three engineering graduate students and Kendra Sharp, professor of mechanical engineering, recently accompanied Richard ’69 and Gretchen ’69 Evans to the 2016 Global Summit of Women in Warsaw, Poland. They were among 1,000 women from 75 countries, and many government and industry leaders, including CEOs and former heads of state.

The three graduate students in attendance were recipients of Evans Family Fellowships for field work related to their graduate programs:

  • Liz Jachens, MS student in Water Resources Engineering, received a fellowship for fieldwork in East Africa to develop a School 2 School initiative between U.S. and African schools as part of the Trans Africa Hydro Meteorological Observatory (TAHMO.org) project. The team is working to install weather stations spaced every 30 km across Africa.
  • Susan Elliott, MS student in Water Resources Engineering, received a fellowship for fieldwork in Ethiopia working with the International Water Management Institute.
  • Phylicia Cicilio, Ph.D. student in Electrical Engineering, received a fellowship for fieldwork in rural Alaska to acquire and analyze data on the integration of diesel microgrids with renewable energy and energy storage.

Richard Evans moderated a plenary panel called Closing the Digital & Technology Gender Gap, and presented on the success of drawing females to engineering through the Humanitarian Engineering program at Oregon State. The percentage of female engineers in humanitarian engineering coursework offered at Oregon State or funded by scholarships or fellowships through the program is nearing 70 percent.

“This type of experience is so critical to enabling our female students to truly envision themselves as future leaders who can aspire for the top roles in their organizations,” said Sharp, who is also the Richard and Gretchen Evans Professor in Humanitarian Engineering.

The students were able to attend due to the Evans’ generosity, and appreciated the opportunity to learn from women in leadership positions all over the globe. “I hope to be back in a few years to network and represent myself as a young woman in the industry,” said Jachens.

Stemming the flow: Students identify costly stormwater intrusion in Corvallis sewers system

June 9th, 2016

By Steve Frandzel
Stemming the flow: Students identify costly stormwater intrusion in Corvallis sewers systemBy analyzing average daily water flow rates through the Corvallis sewer system and the length of time that pumping stations operated, Mathew Palmer and his Expo project team determined that large volumes of excess water is infiltrating the system through cracks and fissures in underground pipes.

“Whenever it rains a lot, water seeps into the sewer system through these cracks,” explained Palmer, who is graduating with a degree in chemical engineering. “That means the pumping stations have to work longer, and that costs Corvallis money that could be spent on other things.” Read the rest of this entry »

Finding the right angle to improve solar panel efficiency

June 9th, 2016

By Steve Frandzel
Finding the right angle to improve solar panel efficiency

Corbin Moser’s Expo team was tasked by EarthCruiser USA in Bend, Oregon, to increase the efficiency of solar panels mounted on the company’s all-terrain expedition vehicles.

EarthCruiser vehicles are designed to be self-sufficient during long-term travel in remote locations. They rely on solar panels coupled with batteries for power when parked, and are equipped with an onboard water purification system. Read the rest of this entry »

A river runs over it: Students propose a ford to alleviate eastern Oregon flooding

June 9th, 2016

By Steve Frandzel
A river runs over it: Students propose a ford to alleviate eastern Oregon floodingAfter major rainstorms, Pine Creek outside of Halfway, Oregon, floods surrounding farmland and threatens nearby homesteads and sewage holding lagoons.

Will Dickman and his fellow Expo team members considered several possible solutions to mitigate the flooding and presented their recommendations to the Oregon Department of Transportation. Read the rest of this entry »

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