Four students in the College of Engineering received prestigious awards through the National Science Foundation Fellowship Program. This program recognizes and supports outstanding graduate students in NSF-supported science, technology, engineering and mathematics disciplines who are pursuing research-based Master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited institutions in the United States. Fellows receive a three-year stipend of $34,000 along with a $12,000 cost of education allowance for tuition and fees.

The recipients include Elizabeth Holzenthal, Ph.D. candidate in civil engineering; Phylicia Cicilio, M.S. candidate in electrical engineering; Maoya Bassiouni, Ph.D. candidate in water resources engineering; and Mark Surette, Ph.D. candidate in environmental engineering.

Elizabeth Holzenthal, Ph.D. candidate in civil engineering.
Elizabeth Holzenthal, Ph.D. candidate in civil engineering.
Maoya Bassiouni, Ph.D. candidate in water resources engineering.
Maoya Bassiouni, Ph.D. candidate in water resources engineering.
Phylicia CicilioM.S. candidate in electrical engineering.
Phylicia Cicilio, M.S. candidate in electrical engineering.
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Mark Surette, Ph.D. candidate in environmental engineering.

Hanna Rolston, a Ph.D. candidate in environmental engineering, received the National Defense Science & Engineering Graduate Fellowship. Awarded by the Department of Defense, these three-year graduate fellowships are offered to individuals who have demonstrated the ability and special aptitude for advanced training in science and engineering.

Hannah Rolston, Ph.D. candidate in environmental engineering.
Hannah Rolston, Ph.D. candidate in environmental engineering.

Iftekhar Ahmed, Ph.D. candidate in computer science, received an IBM Ph.D. Fellowship. This competitive program awards Ph.D. students who have an interest in solving problems that are important to IBM and fundamental to innovation in many academic disciplines and areas of study. Ahmed will receive a $20,000 stipend for the academic year and a $10,000 education allowance.

Iftekhar Ahmed, Ph.D. candidate in computer science.
Iftekhar Ahmed, Ph.D. candidate in computer science.

Alexandra Simpson, M.S. candidate in Civil Engineering, and Dylan Jones, M.S. student in robotics, received Honorable Mentions.

Mechanical engineer endeavors to improve hand surgeries

Sutures have been the primary way to connect muscles, tendons, or any biological tissue for 30,000 years. This fundamental method of sewing together living body parts has served humankind well, but Ravi Balasubramanian sees room for improvement. Through a new research project called REHand (for Re-Engineering the Hand) he is designing a mechanical implant that provides an alternative to the suture for attaching muscles to tendons in certain applications such as tendon transfer surgeries on patients with hand injuries.  Continue reading

When a massive chemical spill contaminated West Virginia’s Elk River in January, up to 300,000 residents were without access to potable water. Officials began lifting the ban on using tap water only a few days later, citing lowered concentrations of 4-methylcyclohexane methanol (MCHM), the licorice-smelling chemical used in the separation and cleaning of coal products. Continue reading

Talia Helman (right) conducts research in Assistant Professor Joe Baio's lab (photo by Mitch Lea).
Talia Helman (right) conducts research in Assistant Professor Joe Baio’s lab (photo by Mitch Lea).

Oregon State University sophomore Talia Helman received a Johnson Scholarship Fund that enabled her to work on cutting-edge research with bioengineering faculty member Joe Baio. Her experience was made possible by Peter Johnson, ’55 ChE, and his wife Rosalie, who donated $2.4 million to the School of Chemical, Biological, and Environmental Engineering (CBEE) to endow the Peter and Rosalie Johnson Scholarship Fund. Thanks to their generosity, more than 200 CBEE students have benefited from this unique scholarship–internship program, including Talia. Read more about her time as a Johnson Intern and how the experience shaped her career goals in medicine. Continue reading

TheyPages from Terra-ALL-final-lowres-1 say nature does it best, and researchers in the College of Engineering are discovering just how true this can be. They are turning to birds, bats, and butterflies for inspiration in the design of Unmanned Aerial Systems (UAS). These devices can fly above ground to lower risks to fire fighters, reduce cost of collecting data on wildlife, and help locate lost hikers or skiers. Now, College of Engineering faculty are working hard alongside businesses, economic development organizations, and the state government to advance the technology. Read the whole story in Terra.