Faculty News

Read the latest faculty news from the School of Engineering

UM Researchers Create Device to Help Stutterers

UM Researchers Create Device to Help Stutterers [Video]

University of Mississippi professors Greg Snyder (left), Paul Goggans and Dwight Waddell conduct tests on a prototype of the prosthetic device they created to help people who stutter speak more fluently. UM photo by Kevin Bain.

OXFORD, Miss. - Drawing on one another’s expertise, a trio of University of Mississippi faculty members from different areas of campus has created a patent-pending device that could change the lives of people who stutter.

Paul Goggans, an electrical engineering professor, developed the prosthetic device, about the size of a cell phone, with Greg Snyder, associate professor of communications sciences and disorders, and Dwight Waddell, associate professor of health, exercise science and recreation management. The friends began working on the device after Snyder, himself a lifelong stutterer, demonstrated how he could speak much more fluently simply by feeling his throat while he and Waddell chatted over coffee.

“By feeling my throat vibrate when I speak, I get tactile speech feedback, which significantly reduces my stuttering,” Snyder said. “Dwight immediately understood my application of speech feedback and neural circuitry, and he then approached Paul, who agreed to make the device development a senior-level design project in his class.”

Since that time, the team has been focused on supporting and empowering the stuttering community by fighting social stigma and challenging the normal remedies associated with stuttering.
“Our device is portable, battery-powered and easy to use,” said Goggans, professor of electrical engineering and lead partner in the instrument’s design and fabrication. “These are important attributes because other behavioral treatments for stuttering are more intense; they require too much concentration and are exhausting.”

A prototype of the device was presented Tuesday (Oct. 16) as a “Hot Topic” at the 2012 Society of Neuroscience conference, which runs Oct. 13-17 in New Orleans. The paper is among 150 selected from thousands of submissions. An audience of about 33,000 neuroscientists and media representatives is expected at the conference.

Even after a long day of speech therapy, a stutterer might have no progress to show the next day, but the patient is tired because he or she worked so hard, Goggans said.

“This creation is offering a promising alternative that can be discreetly and easily used every day by adults,” he said.

While the device does not cure stuttering, it helps the user reduce his or her stuttering frequency and can improve the client’s quality of life, Snyder said.

“The team plans to include the prosthetic device within a holistic therapy program to better serve the real-life needs of stuttering clients,” he said.

About 1 percent of the global population stutters, representing a dramatically underserved population that has few alternatives available for effective long-term treatment. As a result, the stuttering population often suffers severe social prejudices that hinder educational and occupational opportunities.

“Building confidence and self-esteem in people who stutter is life-changing,” Waddell said.

“From childhood, we are told that stuttering is wrong, bad behavior - that it’s a personal weakness and if we would just work a little harder, we would speak fluently,” Snyder said. “Even though stuttering is a genetic and neurological condition, the inaccurate and destructive beliefs that children accept as fact follow people through adulthood and can hinder both personal growth and potential.”

With funding from a Technology Commercialization Initiative grant from the Division of Technology Management in the UM Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, the idea conceived by Goggans, Synder and Waddell is being turned into a prototype.

“It’s not always easy to convince folks that a project is worth doing,” Goggans said. “But this one was easy. Simply put, our team wanted to improve the lives of people who stutter.”

The patent rights to the device have been licensed to Hyperion Technology Group Inc. of Tupelo.

“We are excited to be working with a local company to commercialize this important technology,” said Walt Chambliss, UM director of technology management.

Alice Clark, vice chancellor of research and sponsored programs, expressed support for the trio’s invention as an example of interdisciplinary research success.

“This project is a great example of the value of multidisciplinary research in developing a technology that promises to have a transformative impact in society,” Clark said. “These researchers with complementary skills in speech therapy, neuroscience and electrical engineering serve as a model of collaborative research on campus.”

Though the new device is still being developed and tested, its potential benefit for people who stutter is clear.

“The stigma surrounding stuttering is overwhelming and cruel,” Snyder said. “For any number of reasons, I was able to successfully emerge from the challenges of stuttering and have stayed focused on finding a new and better treatment for others. It just makes sense to me that if we can wear prosthetics like eyeglasses to help with our vision and hearing aids to enhance our hearing, then why not a prosthetic to help with speech?”

The Technology Commercialization Initiative at UM is funded by a grant from the U.S. Small Business Administration. SBA’s funding should not be construed as an endorsement of any products, opinions or services. All SBA-funded projects are extended to the public on a nondiscriminatory basis.

For information, visit the Department of Electrical Engineering , Department of Health, Exercise and Recreation Management, and the Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders.

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Beloved Chemical Engineering Professor Emeritus, Associate Dean Frank Abel Anderson Dies at 98

Beloved Chemical Engineering Professor Emeritus, Associate Dean Frank Abel Anderson Dies at 98

OXFORD, Miss. - Frank Abel Anderson, 98, associate dean emeritus of the University of Mississippi School of Engineering and professor emeritus of chemical engineering, died Monday (July 23) at Azalea Gardens in Oxford.

Waller Funeral Home of Oxford is in charge of arrangements.

Credited with singlehandedly establishing the department of chemical engineering at UM, Anderson was a beloved mentor, instructor, colleague and friend whose life impacted lives from the classroom to the Lyceum and beyond. The Frank A. Anderson Hall in UM's School of Engineering is named after him.

His positive influence is being remembered by many of his Ole Miss friends and supporters.

"We're extremely sad that Dr. Anderson, founder of the chemical engineering department and mentor to many generations of students passed away," said Alexander Cheng, dean of the engineering school.

"To speak on behalf of the department of chemical engineering, we here at Ole Miss take great comfort in reflecting on Dr. Anderson's wonderful contributions to all our lives," said Clint Williford, chair and professor of chemical engineering.

Anderson joined the UM faculty as an assistant professor of chemistry in 1940. During his 39-year tenure at the university, he served served as professor of chemistry and chemical engineering, chairman of the departments of chemistry and chemical engineering and associate dean of engineering. Anderson's administrative ability was equal to his scholarship and research, officials said.

"During my years at Ole Miss, I have not known a more respected and loved person than Frank Anderson," said Robert C. Khayat, UM chancellor emeritus. "He was always positive but honest about our challenges. He accepted a wide variety of responsibilities over the years and established lasting relationships with his students and faculty.

Khayat served with Anderson on the Oxford-Lafayette County Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors.

"I was there when he suggested the L-O-U slogan for Lafayette-Oxford-University initiatives," Khayat said. "Through the years, that acronym has been widely utilized and reflects his spirit of cooperation and collaboration. He and his wife, Mary, were pillars of this community and the Oxford-University Methodist Church. He'll be remembered as one of the giants in the history of Ole Miss."

Russell E. Aven, a former student and colleague of Anderson's, remembered him as "one of the finest teachers I've ever known." Returning to the university to teach in 1956, Aven worked with Anderson until the latter's retirement in 1979.

"Frank was not only an outstanding teacher, but also a great individual," Aven said.

Samuel Deleeuw, chair emeritus and professor emeritus of civil engineering, remembered Anderson as "a gracious and nice man" who influenced his decision to come to the university.

"He was such a steadfast man who was exceptionally good to his students," Deleeuw said. "He always acted like a friend. If I ever had a problem, he would listen and share his wisdom."

Younger faculty also expressed a high regard for Anderson.

"Dr. Anderson was by all accounts an outstanding teacher and mentor for students here," said Peter Sukanek, professor of chemical engineering. "He could explain complex things in simple terms for others to understand. He was one of those very rare teachers who was demanding of his students, yet one who was universally loved by them. All engineering alumni have a great deal of affection and respect for him. He was truly a scholar and a gentleman."

Anderson was the second professor to receive the Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teacher Award and the first recipient of the Ole Miss Engineer of Distinction Award. In 1974, the chemical engineering building was named after him - a testament to his high regard among alumni.

Anderson contributed much to the local community both before and after his retirement. He was a member and on the administrative board at Oxford-University Methodist Church and served as president of the Rotary Club.

"I remember 'Mr. Frank' as the wonderful, sweet man who would teach science lessons to 4-year-olds at First Baptist Church during their pre-school education program during the week," said Marni Kendricks, assistant dean of the engineering school. "His wife, 'Mrs. Mary,' would play the piano as well. They lived near the church and would just come down and give great lessons to the children. My daughter, Mary Charles, absolutely loved him. To this day, science is her favorite subject, and I believe he played a very big part in that."

Born in Bridgeport, Conn., Anderson received his associate of arts degree from the Junior College of Connecticut in 1934. In 1936, he earned a B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the University of Southern California. He went on to receive a master's degree from the University of Maine and a doctorate from Louisiana State University in 1940 and 1947, respectively.

Anderson's numerous professional memberships and honors included Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, former president of the Mississippi Academy of Sciences, representative to the Council of the Oak Ridge Institute of Nuclear Studies and board of directors of Oak Ridge Associated Universities.

Anderson's wife of 69 years, Mary Allie Courtney Anderson, died in March. He is survived by a daughter, Phyllis Anderson Ambrosiani and her husband, Bjorn, of Stockholm, Sweden; a son, Frank Andrew Anderson and his wife, Karen, of Bolingbrook, Ill.; a grandson, David Andrew Anderson; a granddaughter, Lisa Courtney Anderson Reid and her husband, Jason, of Oxford; and two great-grandchildren, Kylie Reid and Courtney Jaye Reid.

In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Frank Abel Anderson Engineering Endowment, or Mary Courtney Anderson Piano Scholarship Endowment, c/o the University of Mississippi Foundation, P.O. Box 249, University, MS 38677 or a charity of the donor's choice.

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Electrical engineering chair retires after more than 30 years of service

Electrical engineering chair retires after more than 30 years of service

After 34 years of dedicated service to the UM School of Engineering, Allen Glisson, chair and professor of electrical engineering, has decided to retire.

Glisson earned his bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering, all from UM, in 1973, 1975 and 1978, respectively. He joined the faculty in 1978 as an assistant professor, rose to the rank of professor in 1989 and was appointed department chair in 2002.

"I have no real plans at the moment," Glisson said. "I enjoy what I am doing now, but I would like to find more time for research and possibly travel."

Reflecting on what brought him to the Ole Miss electrical engineering department from the small Mississippi town of Mendenhall, Glisson laughed and confessed that it was the space program of the late 1960s. He still remembers going to a friend's house to watch the moonwalk on a color television.

It was a giant step for a small-town boy to go from the back of a homemade cultivator adapted to plant rows of corn using a funnel-and-fingers technology (developed by his father) to a career in electromagnetic research.

"Things that don't make sense fascinate me," Glisson said, and sharing that fascination has been the hallmark of his teaching career. "Every time I teach a course, I also learn," he said.

While Glisson, admittedly, will not miss the paperwork, he said he will miss the interaction with students and faculty in uncovering the fascinating and making sense of it all. From his first encounter in 1969 with the department chair of the time, Chalmers Butler, Glisson has found an endless supply of "stuff to investigate."

As Glisson approaches retirement, he confesses to having thrown little away through his tenure at Ole Miss. He wants to use some of his new freedom to sort and plunder the treasures he has saved. He admits to a family history of "saving," counting a dozen relatives with a similar propensity. He plans to take up genealogy and said he will have no trouble finding the photos and letters to document a vivid story of growing up and finding fascination in Mississippi.

Glisson will be deeply missed in Anderson Hall and the engineering complex. He was three-time recipient of the Outstanding Faculty Member Award, the IEEE Memphis Section Outstanding Engineering Educator Award in 1998, the Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award in 1989 and the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Microwave Prize in 2004.

Former students can keep track of their mentor by watching progress in the development and application of numerical techniques for electromagnetic problems and in the modeling of antennas. Glisson has published more than 300 scholarly works in these areas, been named as a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and earned the title of fellow of the Applied Computational Electromagnetics Society.

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Dr. Glisson, Electrical Engineering Chair, retires

Dr. Glisson, Electrical Engineering Chair, retires

After thirty-four years of dedicated service to The University of Mississippi and the Department of Electrical Engineering, Dr. Allen W. Glisson will retire on July 1, 2012.

Dr. Glisson received the Bachelor of Science, the Master of Science, and Doctor of Philosophy degrees in Electrical Engineering, all from The University of Mississippi, in 1973, 1975, and 1978, respectively. He joined The University of Mississippi in 1978 as an Assistant Professor and rose to the rank of Professor in 1989. He was appointed Chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering in 2002 and served in this capacity until 2012.

During his long academic career, Dr. Glisson positively influenced the lives of many undergraduate and graduate students. He has continuously demonstrated his commitment to education through excellence in teaching and supervision of graduate and undergraduate students. He has received numerous awards for his outstanding contributions to teaching and research, including the school of Engineering Outstanding Engineering Faculty Member in 1986, 1996, and 2004, the IEEE Memphis Section Outstanding Engineering Educator Award in 1998, the Ralph R. Teetor Educational Award in 1989, and the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Microwave Prize in 2004.

Over the past thirty-four years, Dr. Glisson has pursued research and scholarly work towards the development and application of numerical techniques for electromagnetic problems and for modeling of antennas. He published over 300 scholarly works in these areas. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and a Fellow of the Applied Computational Electromagnetics Society.

Dr. Glisson will be greatly missed by students and colleagues. We wish him the best as he retires.

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Engineering Professor is Teacher of the Year

CMSE Founder, Chemical Engineering Professor is 2012 UM Teacher of the Year

OXFORD, Miss. - John O'Haver's vision, drive and enthusiasm inspire University of Mississippi students, faculty and staff in an almost contagious manner.

Colleagues across campus have taken notice of his lively teaching style, and alumni cite him as a major influence on their own successes. Thursday evening, at the university's 69th Honors Day Convocation, Chancellor Dan Jones introduced the professor of chemical engineering as recipient of the 2012 Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teacher Award.

"For me, teaching is much more than just the content, though it is obviously very important. Teachers shaped my life; I want to be available to help others," said O'Haver, a native Oklahoman who also serves as director of the Center for Math and Science Education. "This award is a recognition that others think I have done my job, and done it well. That I have covered the content, but also influenced lives for the better. That has always been my desire."

In many ways, O'Haver is exactly the kind of teacher the award was created to honor, Jones said.

"While having the fervor to reach out to public schools, Dr. O'Haver has been a respected researcher, a mentor of undergraduate and graduate researchers, a superior classroom teacher and an innovative administrator," Jones said. O'Haver is the university's only faculty member to have twice been recognized with the Faculty Achievement Award, UM's highest award given to a single faculty member each year who combines excellence in teaching, research and service.

"As a teacher-scholar, Dr. O'Haver is our university's very best," Jones added.

It's the second major award this week for O'Haver, who was named Tuesday as one of the first 12 winners of the Southeastern Conference Faculty Achievement Awards. The winners, one from each SEC institution, are recognized for extraordinary teaching and for records of scholarship that are recognized nationally and/or internationally.

A member of the UM faculty since 1996, O'Haver teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in chemical engineering. Students praise him as a powerful educator, motivator and mentor.

"He engages in life coaching as much as teaching," one student wrote in her nomination letter for the Hood award. Another marveled that, "Dr. O is the best teacher I have known and is undoubtedly an even better mentor."

O'Haver had always wanted to be an educator at the university level.

"When I left teaching high school to go back to grad school, I knew that I wanted to go into academia. I just love working with students," he said. "I love the 'light-bulb' moments. I like being a mentor to those who want me to be one.

"I poke fun at myself. I am very transparent. I do a lot with problem-based learning. We do a lot in teams. I try hard to make the tough concepts very clear and memorable. I try to relate them to life and then ask them to apply the concepts."

The goal is to let his students know he cares, he said.

"My undergrad days were some of the worst for me, mostly because I didn't have anyone in my life that I could ask tough questions. So I am available to say to students, 'I've been there. I've walked the rough path. I've made these bad decisions and I can tell you what happened.'"

O'Haver earned his bachelor's and his master's degrees in secondary education and his doctoral degree in chemical engineering, all from the University of Oklahoma. Since joining the UM faculty, he has been 'the' leader for outreach efforts that focus on university-level expertise toward improving science, technology, engineering and mathematics teaching in public schools, with special emphasis in the K-6 grade levels.

He was appointed associate dean for academic and student affairs for UM's School of Engineering. In this role, O'Haver developed new programs, including a set of writing courses for engineering students and a special class to help certain entering engineering majors shore up their fundamental academic skills.

An accomplished researcher with expertise in applied surfactants and surface chemistry, he publishes regularly in the peer-reviewed journals in his field and has directed the theses and dissertations of approximately 20 students, including a number as part of a cooperative arrangement with institutions in Thailand.

O'Haver and his wife, Kevie, have a son, Hudson, and a daughter, Maren, both 14.

Each year since 1966, the university has recognized excellence in teaching by presenting the Elsie M. Hood Outstanding Teacher Award. Based on nominations from both students and faculty, the award includes a personal plaque and a check from the chancellor. Recipients' names are also engraved on a plaque listing previous winners, which is displayed in the J. D. Williams Library.

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VISTA Worker Honored with Award

Oxford AmeriCorps VISTA Worker Honored with Governor's Award for Volunteer Excellence

OXFORD, Miss. - Rosie Nelson of Oxford, an AmeriCorps VISTA volunteer at the University of Mississippi, has been honored with the inaugural award for Outstanding Service by a National Service Participant by the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service.

The award is part of the 2012 Governor's Initiative for Volunteer Excellence Awards, which celebrate ordinary Mississippians doing extraordinary things to improve lives and communities across the state. Nelson was recognized at the recent GIVE Awards luncheon at the Mississippi Museum of Art.

"Rosie serves with compassion and intelligence," said Stephen Monroe, UM assistant dean of liberal arts and director of the North Mississippi VISTA Project. "VISTAs are dynamic and highly motivated people, and Rosie is a wonderful example. We're proud of her service and of this accomplishment."

Nelson is among 11 AmeriCorps VISTA members fighting poverty through education with the North Mississippi VISTA Project at the university.

Serving in the School of Engineering, Nelson helps to develop service-related initiatives and provides support to faculty developing service-learning coursework. She has served more than 800 hours as a VISTA member, working with faculty, staff and students to develop a service-leadership organization for engineering students, as well as a small grant program that provides students with startup funds of up to $500 to create science and technology-related service projects within the local community. Her work in this capacity has unlimited potential for positively affecting Lafayette County, Oxford, and the Ole Miss communities.

Nelson has revived the university's chapter of Alpha Phi Omega, a national co-ed service fraternity, and serves as its chapter adviser. She assists other chapters throughout Mississippi and nearby states in developing their service programming. Besides VISTA and Alpha Phi Omega, Nelson volunteers with the Boy Scouts, Girls Scouts and Lafayette County 4-H.

Nelson has served as an AmeriCorps NCCC member, where she participated in several projects along the Mississippi Gulf Coast. In honor of her work as an NCCC member, she was awarded the Gold Level President's Volunteer Service Award, as well as the Congressional Award Bronze Medal. She was a volunteer in multiple groups as an undergraduate at the University of California at Berkeley and as an employee of the Walt Disney Co.

She is committed to sharing her passion for service with others and encourages her peers to volunteer for causes that are personally meaningful.

"I am a relatively new resident, but I have embraced Mississippi as my home, and I am honored to give back to the communities here," Nelson said.

VISTA volunteers are sought for 2012-2013. Applicants must be at least 18, a U.S. citizen and have a bachelor's degree or minimum three years' work experience. Each of these full-time, one-year placements is supported by AmeriCorps with a modest living allowance, health benefits and an education grant, which can be used for graduate education or to repay qualified student loans. Those interested in serving should submit a brief letter of interest and resume to Stephen Monroe by 5 p.m. June 11. Successful candidates will begin their one-year terms in August.

"Like Rosie, our VISTAs make real and lasting contributions to the people of Mississippi," Monroe said.

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Mechanical Chair, Professor Recognized

Mechanical engineering chair, professor recognized for outstanding teaching

As chair of UM's Department of Mechanical Engineering, Arunachalam M. Rajendran has earned the respect of administration and faculty, and his research achievements are known worldwide. But being selected for the school's monthly Faculty Teaching Award is the most meaningful honor yet for "Dr. Raj," as he is affectionately called on campus.

Dr. Raj's students speak highly of their teacher and showed their gratitude by nominating him for the honor in teaching earlier this semester.

"Helping and mentoring students to advance in their studies to achieve their academic goals is what I enjoy most about my job," Rajendran said. "Whether nominating students for awards or writing recommendations for graduate programs, I enjoy seeing students become well-rounded members of society."

Rajendran teaches Mechanical Engineering 101 and other mechanical engineering elective courses. He ensures that his students grasp the material in his courses by presenting the same information in different ways.

"It's important for me to know the students' individual capabilities," he said. "All students learn on a different level. Some may understand the theory while other students may only understand the experiment. So it's important to go outside of the textbook and use life experiences that will allow both types of learning styles to comprehend."

His open-door policy allows students to come in at any time with concerns, no matter what the topic may be.

"Dr. Raj is very friendly and helpful," said Richard Lucas, a freshman from Maylene, Ala. "He always invites me to sit and chat when I visit him in his office. Although he is very busy, he always makes time for his students. Dr. Raj really wants to see everyone in the department succeed."

Rajendran makes sure that his students are aware of all the resources of the mechanical engineering department by providing them with tours of various facilities throughout the semester.

"I really enjoyed getting to see all the facilities that are part of the mechanical engineering department," Lucas said. "We were able to see the blast lab, the National Center for Physical Acoustics and the machine shop."

Rajendran said his mission is to see students succeed.

"To do this, we must help them get recognition," he explained. "It's important to do well in the classroom, but it is about more than that. Students must exhibit other qualities, such as leadership and activities to show their capabilities, and I make sure my students know that that's what's important."

Michael Presnell, a recent master's graduate of the department, considers himself a testimony of how helpful Rajendran is.

"I came into the master's program with a very low GPA," Presnell said. "Rajendran gave me a chance when no one else was willing to. I was inspired by his belief in me. I presented a paper at the worldwide conference on shock physics and earned a master's degree."

Rajendran said Presnell's weakness was his undergraduate GPA, but his strength was his creativity.

"I took the time and trained him with certain software that would allow him to use his strengths more freely," Rajendran said. "He was a great student that gained tons of leadership skills, communication skills and experience."

Formerly the chief scientist at the Engineering Sciences Directorate in Durham, N.C., Rajendran was also an adjunct professor at North Carolina State University before coming to Ole Miss. Despite a distinguished career, he says that his work is not done. He hopes to continue making sure students are putting their best works forward and said he really enjoys building relationships with students.

"It's not about the awards; it's about showing our students that hard work and leadership will pay off," Rajendran said.

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Engineering Professor Wins Research Award

Electrical Engineering Professor Wins Distinguished Research Award

OXFORD, Miss. - During his 25-year tenure at the University of Mississippi, Atef Elsherbeni has spent a fair share of time in the classroom teaching electrical engineering principles and mentoring students. He also has carved out a legacy of research that has led to significant improvements in the telecommunications industry.

Elsherbeni, professor of electrical engineering and associate dean of research and graduate programs in the UM School of Engineering, added another career accolade this weekend. He has been named the fifth recipient of UM's Distinguished Research and Creative Achievement Award.

The award, including $7,500 and a personal plaque, was presented during UM's main commencement ceremony Saturday (May 12) by Alice Clark, vice chancellor for research and sponsored programs.

"The award was created to recognize and pay tribute to a faculty member whose career and achievements have generated national and international accolades; someone who has been a leader in his chosen field, who has inspired and encouraged others, who is admired and respected by his peers and who has made outstanding lifelong contributions to his profession and to our institution," Clark said.

"Dr. Atef Elsherbeni has done all this. His contributions have made an enormous impact on science, engineering and technology, particularly in the technologies that make the wonders of modern communication possible: electromagnetic waves, radar power, miniaturized antennas and personal communication systems.

"His research projects have garnered support from both government and industry and these projects have advanced basic knowledge, provided educational opportunities for students, provided real-world solutions to important problems and had a tremendous impact on the university research stature and recognition."

Reflecting upon the recognition, Elsherbeni said, "This is a great honor and recognition. I am very pleased to be among those few who received this award. At the same time, I felt the pressure and responsibility to do better and be more productive. It is not easy in today's challenging environment, but we all have to try our best."

He has authored five books, 136 refereed journal articles, 28 book chapters, more than 330 professional presentations, 26 short courses, 29 invited seminars and 74 technical reports throughout the world. Since serving on his first doctoral committee, he has been the dissertation chair for more than 13 doctoral students and 33 master's students.

Presented with the 2009-2012 Finland Distinguished Professor by the Academy of Finland, it was noted that "Professor Elsherbeni simply brings a high-caliber prestige and recognition to any institution/organization he is associated with."

His research efforts have brought more than $10 million to the university. Several Mississippi companies and national corporations have supported his research group activities by direct contracts and gifts.

Elsherbeni is a member of many professional organizations, including the Applied Computational Electromagnetics Society and the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. He served as editor of ACES Journal and assumes major responsibility for the organization's annual symposium.

His stellar reputation is known to have helped bring several Egyptian government-funded doctoral students for various engineering departments to the Oxford campus. Over the years, he has developed with his students many educational software packages that are being used in numerous schools and are referenced in well-known textbooks in the field.

As recipient of the Distinguished Research and Creative Achievement Award, Elsherbeni said he feels that his family and the engineering school should share in the honor.

"First is my mother, who taught me all elementary school subjects and made me love mathematics in my early stages of my education; my father, for his continuous encouragements especially, at the difficult times while studying for my Ph.D. degree in Canada; my wife, for her continued support and sacrifice for more than 30 years, and my children, who accepted my busy academic life and did not complain."

Elsherbeni also acknowledged his Ph.D. adviser, M. Hamid, his mentor and former department chair Charles E. Smith, his students and colleagues.

"I especially (credit) Dr. Fan Yang with whom we have been successful to maintain good research productivity in very difficult years; my former dean, Dr. Kai-Fong Lee, who provided me with continuous encouragement, support and important contributions to our research group; and my current dean, Dr. Alexander Cheng, who believed in my capabilities and was not reluctant to support unique teaching and research activities and for nominating me for this award," Elsherbeni said.

Elsherbeni joined the Ole Miss faculty in 1987 and has been a visiting professor at UCLA, Magdeburg (Germany) and Syracuse universities. He received both bachelor's and master's degrees from Cairo University, and he holds a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Manitoba.

Elsherbeni is married to Magda Elshemy. They are the parents of two daughters and a son.

The annual Distinguished Research and Creative Achievement Award is sponsored by Pharmaceutics International Inc., whose CEO, Syed Abidi, is a UM alumnus. The inaugural recipient of the award, in 2008, was Sam Shu-Yi Wang, F.A.P. Barnard Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Larry A. Walker, director of the National Center for Natural Products Research, was the 2009 recipient, Charles Reagan Wilson, the Kelly Gene Cook Chair of History and professor of Southern studies, received it in 2010 and Dale Flesher, Arthur Anderson Lecturer in the Patterson School of Accountancy, was last year's recipient.

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Professor of the Month- March

Professor of the Month teaches life lessons as well as chemical engineering

With a loose open-door policy and a passion for maintaining positive relationships with his students, John O'Haver is a popular choice for Professor of the Month for the School of Engineering.

A professor of chemical engineering and associate dean of engineering, O'Haver teaches courses to engineering students of all classifications. He also supervises outreach to middle school and high school students as director of the UM Center for Math and Science Education.

"Dr. O'Haver is such an outstanding teacher and scholar that he has won the University of Mississippi Faculty Achievement Award for Outstanding Teaching and Scholarship twice, once in 2000 and the second time in 2011," said Alex Cheng, dean of the engineering school. "Although I don't have the full record, I suspect that Dr. O'Haver is one of the few, if not the only one, who has such [an] honor."

O'Haver's open-door policy is obvious to anyone who visits - students frequently drop by with questions not limited to his courses or even to the field of engineering.

"Upon my first encounter with him, I thought to myself, 'This man is going to play a significant role in shaping my college experience,'" said Ramsey McNeil, recent graduate of the chemical engineering department. "Never could I have conceived such an understatement. Since then, he has served as my academic adviser and has taught four of my core chemical engineering classes. Dr. 'O' has been a phenomenal professor, a wonderful mentor and a father away from home for me."

O'Haver's success at those professor-student relationships is a source of immense satisfaction.

"These students arguably have one of the hardest majors on campus," he said. "They need relationships and open ears to be efficient. One of the things that attracted me to Ole Miss was that I felt that the university understood balance. I could be who I wanted to be, succeed as a professor but have time for the students, and I wouldn't have it any other way."

He has received many invitations to students' graduations, weddings and even childbirths. One of his fondest memories is a trip to a student's wedding in Malaysia, where he gave the "father speech" in the place of the student's deceased father.

"Whether mentor or father - whatever you choose to call it - I'll gladly play either role," he said. "It's about creating life moments and teaching life lessons to my students."

O'Haver earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in secondary education from the University of Oklahoma, then taught mathematics for 12 years at his alma mater, Del City High School. After this "first career," O'Haver returned to the University of Oklahoma and completed his doctorate in chemical engineering. He then taught at Oklahoma for a year before coming to Ole Miss.

"I knew I wanted to end up as a Chem E faculty member," he said. "I knew I needed to teach."

O'Haver's teaching style promotes problem-based learning and theory. During the recent winter intersession, he taught Physical Chemistry of Surfaces at Chulalongkorn University in Bangkok.

He looks forward to one of the newest projects from the Center for Math and Science Education, an inflatable planetarium for outreach to middle school and high school students.

Away from campus, O'Haver enjoys cooking, herb and vegetable gardening, reading his Bible and studying theology. He and his wife, Kevie, have two children, Maren and Hudson. His household also includes three horses, two dogs, four cats and two goats.

Wherever he is, O'Haver strives to give his all to his students, fellow employees and family.

"When I die, if all I have are publications, my life would have been a failure," O'Haver said. "It's bigger than I am. I want to do a good job; I want to serve."

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Professor Assists with Flood Recovery

Professor assists with flood recovery, receives major transportation grant

University of Mississippi civil engineering professor Waheed Uddin stays on the move. In the past few months, he has helped with flood recovery in Thailand and partnered with a Mississippi State University-led consortium to create a national university transportation center.

After Bangkok, Thailand, was inundated by floodwaters last winter, Uddin was invited to inspect the flooded site and provide hands-on guidance on post-flood recovery, restoration and rebuilding of the Asian Institute of Technology campus.

"I earned my master's degree at AIT through a full scholarship from the United Kingdom government," the professor and director of the UM Center for Advanced Infrastructure Technology (CAIT) said. "I provided timely email advice on how to start the recovery and restoration process. Subsequently, AIT's president invited me to serve on the campus recovery and rebuilding committee. Through funding support from both institutions, I traveled to Bangkok after final exams were given here in mid-December."

Uddin's activities culminated in a symposium organized by AIT/ASEAN Affairs in association with CAIT. The objectives of the meeting were to provide lessons learned from the disaster and offer future directions for flood prevention.

In January, the National Center for Intermodal Transportation for Economic Competitiveness, a national university transportation center, was established through a $3.5 million grant from the Research and Innovative Technology Administration of the U.S. Department of Transportation. CAIT has partnered with the NCITEC university consortium led by Mississippi State University.

"CAIT's subcontract grant started in March," Uddin said. "NCITEC seeks to promote the development of an integrated, economically competitive, efficient, safe, secure and sustainable national intermodal transportation network by integrating all transportation modes for both freight and passenger mobility. NCITEC plans to competitively select projects at partnering institutions in research, educational, workforce development and technology-transfer areas that address intermodal connectivity for both freight and passenger systems."

Uddin expects more than $500,000 will be awarded to UM projects.

"Both of the activities provide different perspectives on the role of engineers in the society," he said. "The first activity (AIT flood disaster assessment, and recovery and restoration) was my service project. This service to the global community and to the civil engineering profession was possible because of my several years of research in flood disaster mitigation after the 2005 Hurricane Katrina disaster on the Gulf Coast.

"The second accomplishment is the grant award of a national center for integrated intermodal transportation system after an intensive collaborative proposal effort with Mississippi State University and three other universities," Uddin said. "This research effort provides new funding opportunities to the entire University of Mississippi academic and research units in the areas of research, workforce development education and technology transfer."

One of the performance measures of the selected projects will be the number of graduate and undergraduate students contributing to each project.

"Personally, these recent accomplishments show my worldwide credibility in sustainable transportation infrastructure and flood disaster mitigation, as well as my service contributions to the University of Mississippi community, state, nation and global community," Uddin said.

Uddin's achievements were praised by Christopher Mullen, interim chair and associate professor of civil engineering at UM.

"The Department of Civil Engineering appreciates Professor Uddin's leadership in working collaboratively with partner institutions to obtain a substantial share of the NCITEC grant," Mullen said. "This nationally competitive grant provides recognition of his research in the area of transportation and infrastructure management, which he has pursued throughout his career at the university. The thrust of the center specifically in areas of multimodal transportation and economic competitiveness will enable faculty and students to benefit from exciting multidisciplinary research opportunities not pursued here in the past to my knowledge."

For more information on funding opportunities and proposal deadlines, visit research.olemiss.edu/nictec2012.

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Chair Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

Engineering Chair Receives Lifetime Achievement Award in China

OXFORD, Miss. - A University of Mississippi faculty member is the recipient of a highly prestigious award from the International Conference on Computational and Experimental Engineering and Sciences.

Arunachalam Rajendran, chair and professor of mechanical engineering, was presented ICCES's Lifetime Achievement Award at the organization's 2011 annual meeting in Nanjing, China. He was honored for his research in "Impact Behaviors of Advanced Materials and Structures." Rajendran is the first in his field to receive this award, which recognizes his sustained and significant contributions in the forms of research, teaching and community service.

Rajendran is among only six people in the world, including three in the United States, to receive the honor, which is not given every year.

"The recognition through this award will provide more or enhanced opportunity to conduct collaborative research with researchers in leading institutions around the world," Rajendran said. "The honor also enables me to attract and recruit post-doctoral fellows from top institutions in countries that participate in the ICCES conferences each year."

Alex Cheng, dean of the UM School of Engineering, said Rajendran's extensive administrative and research experience is most deserving of the recognition.

"Dr. Raj's research on the ballistic impact on armors has vital contribution to the nation's security," Cheng said. "Several of Rajendran's material failure models are included in the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy design codes and routinely used by scientists and engineers working in government and private laboratories.

"He has served as the lead organizer for numerous national and international workshops and symposiums throughout his career, bringing researchers together to brainstorm future requirements for advanced material models for protective structures under extreme loading environments. His international award will bring the mechanical engineering department, the School of Engineering and the University of Mississippi national and international attention."

ICCES founder Satya Atluri, member of National Academy of Engineers and distinguished professor at the University of California-Irvine, informed Rajendran of his selection. An anonymous award committee identified researchers based on recognition by peers, continuous contribution to the field for 20 years or more, active participations and publications in ICCES conferences and demonstrated leadership on organizing symposiums and workshops.

"I have been recognized for my work by several other awards throughout my career," Rajendran said. "This international award further validates my contributions to the field."

Born and raised in India, Rajendran earned his doctorate from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering at the University of Washington. Before joining the UM faculty in 2008, he served as chief scientist for the Engineering Sciences Directorate in the U.S. Army Research Office; a team leader at the Army Research Laboratory in Maryland; a mechanical engineer at the Army Materials Technology Laboratory in Massachusetts; and a group leader and associate research engineer at the University of Dayton Research Institute in Ohio.

Other honors and awards Rajendran has received during his 23-year career include ICCES's Professor Eric Reissner Medal, the Army's Research & Development Achievement Award, the Wohlleben/Hochwalt Award and Martin/Marietta's Manned Space Systems Award.

Rajendran also was active in Tamil Nadu Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Maryland, and successfully executed several charitable projects as TNF president. These included "Computers-on-Wheels," which promotes computer education among rural high school students in India. He was recognized for his leadership for this project - both in the United States and India - through the "Outstanding Non-Resident Indian" award given by the Intellectual Forum of India.

He is a member of the American Physical Society, an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a fellow of both the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Army Research Laboratory.

Over the past decade, the ICCES has emerged as a major international forum with thousands of participants from the Americas, Europe and Asia convening to share recent research results in engineering science. ICCES emphasizes the closure of theory, computation and experiment across the sciences, engineering and mathematical modeling.

For more information on ICCES and the Lifetime Achievement Award, visit icces.org. For more about the Department of Mechanical Engineering, call 662-915-5770 or email Rajendran at raj@olemiss.edu.

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Former Dean Karl Brenkert Jr. Dies

Former Engineering Dean Karl Brenkert Jr. Dies

OXFORD, Miss. - Karl Brenkert Jr., 89, dean emeritus of the University of Mississippi School of Engineering and professor emeritus of mechanical engineering, died Thursday (May 19) in Sun City West, Ariz.

Popular with students and well-respected among UM deans, Brenkert helped boost the school's enrollment, budget and academic profile, adding professional disciplines and a doctoral program in engineering. A native of Detroit, he served as dean from 1964 to 1979 and continued to teach mechanical engineering courses until his retirement in 1989.

"Academically, the school made some giant steps under Karl; for example, we received accreditation throughout his tenure as dean," said K.P. George, professor emeritus of civil engineering. "The school became known all over the country for its engineering science program, and as research funding increased, the graduate enrollment increased by leaps and bounds."

Brenkert earned his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1944 from the University of Michigan, where he was chapter president of Alpha Tau Omega Fraternity and belonged to Tau Beta Pi national engineering honor society. He worked as an engineer forBrenkert Light Projection Co. and RCA Victor Corp. before continuing his education at Stanford University, where he completed his master's and doctoral degrees in engineering mechanics in 1952 and '55, respectively.

He authored "Elementary Theoretical Fluid Mechanics," a widely used textbook, and held several patents in the motion picture projector industry.

He was an associate professor of fluid mechanics at both the University of Alabama and Michigan State University before becoming assistant dean of engineering at Auburn University. After three years at Auburn, he served as program director for the Science Facilities Evaluation Group at the National Science Foundation in Washington.

"Dean Brenkert first came to the university as part of an accreditation inspection team," said Russell Aven, professor emeritus of chemical engineering. "The administration was impressed with him, and when Dean (Frederick) Kellogg left for Memphis State in 1964, they asked Brenkert to come in and take over as dean."

One of Brenkert's first moves was to strengthen the school's research component by hiring faculty members proficient in research, often from prestigious engineering schools across the country. That strategy began to pay off almost immediately, said Sam DeLeeuw, professor emeritus of civil engineering who came to UM from Yale University in 1965 as department chair.

"During my first year, a committee hired by the board of the Institutions of Higher Learning visited us, looking at the possibility of consolidating the engineering programs among the state universities," DeLeeuw recalled. "This happened again three or four years later. Both committees included respected national leaders of engineering, and both committees recommended continuing the Ole Miss engineering school."

Many researchers across the country credit Brenkert for nurturing their careers. One of them, Vijay Gupta, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Colorado, was awarded the 2008 Robert E. Horton Medal, the highest international honor in the field of hydrology as a geophysical science, by the American Geophysical Union.

"I flourished in research in scientific hydrology to solve challenging engineering problems due to Karl's unique support that set the stage for what I would accomplish in later years," said Gupta, who joined the Ole Miss faculty as an assistant professor of civil engineering in 1977. "He told me, 'If I could do what you do, then I would not be dean. The next best thing I can do is to support faculty like you.'"

Brenkert himself was recognized for his effectiveness in the classroom and was named in 1971 as one of the Outstanding Educators of America. Many of his students affectionately referred to him as "Sweet Old Brenkert."

"He would often bet Cokes on student GPAs," DeLeeuw said. "If a student didn't make the GPA and brought the equivalent money for a Coke, Brenkert wouldn't accept it. He would say 'The bet was a Coke, not the money to buy a Coke.'"

His honors included a Distinguished Engineering Service award from the Mississippi Engineering Society, the 1988 UM Engineer of Distinction award and inclusion in Who's Who in America and Who's Who in American Men of Science.

Also known as a fierce competitor, Brenkert enjoyed playing tennis and board games, particularly games of strategy. Students often visited his house on weekends for marathon board game sessions, and Brenkert generally listed himself on score cards as "The Old Pro."

Survivors include Brenkert's wife of 66 years, Elizabeth "Betty" Brenkert of Sun City West; sons Karl "Buzz" Brenkert III of Cincinnati, Scott Brenkert of Rio Rico, Ariz., and U.S. Air Force Lt. Col. (ret.) Eric Brenkert of Monument, Colo.; daughters Gail Brenkert of Spokane, Wash., and Dr. Pam Reband of Lake Havasu City, Ariz,; one sister, Virginia Tiefel of Eau Claire, Wis.; eight grandchildren and 10 great-grandchildren.

Services were Sunday at Sunland Memorial Park in Sun City. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to The Elizabeth and Karl Brenkert Scholarship Endowment Fund in Mechanical Engineering at UM.

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Mechanical Engineering Chair

Engineering Chair Receives Lifetime Achievement Award in China

OXFORD, Miss. - A University of Mississippi faculty member is the recipient of a highly prestigious award from the International Conference on Computational and Experimental Engineering and Sciences.

Arunachalam Rajendran, chair and professor of mechanical engineering, was presented ICCES's Lifetime Achievement Award at the organization's 2011 annual meeting in Nanjing, China. He was honored for his research in "Impact Behaviors of Advanced Materials and Structures." Rajendran is the first in his field to receive this award, which recognizes his sustained and significant contributions in the forms of research, teaching and community service.

Rajendran is among only six people in the world, including three in the United States, to receive the honor, which is not given every year.

"The recognition through this award will provide more or enhanced opportunity to conduct collaborative research with researchers in leading institutions around the world," Rajendran said. "The honor also enables me to attract and recruit post-doctoral fellows from top institutions in countries that participate in the ICCES conferences each year."

Alex Cheng, dean of the UM School of Engineering, said Rajendran's extensive administrative and research experience is most deserving of the recognition.

"Dr. Raj's research on the ballistic impact on armors has vital contribution to the nation's security," Cheng said. "Several of Rajendran's material failure models are included in the Department of Defense and the Department of Energy design codes and routinely used by scientists and engineers working in government and private laboratories.

"He has served as the lead organizer for numerous national and international workshops and symposiums throughout his career, bringing researchers together to brainstorm future requirements for advanced material models for protective structures under extreme loading environments. His international award will bring the mechanical engineering department, the School of Engineering and the University of Mississippi national and international attention."

ICCES founder Satya Atluri, member of National Academy of Engineers and distinguished professor at the University of California-Irvine, informed Rajendran of his selection. An anonymous award committee identified researchers based on recognition by peers, continuous contribution to the field for 20 years or more, active participations and publications in ICCES conferences and demonstrated leadership on organizing symposiums and workshops.

"I have been recognized for my work by several other awards throughout my career," Rajendran said. "This international award further validates my contributions to the field."

Born and raised in India, Rajendran earned his doctorate from the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering at the University of Washington. Before joining the UM faculty in 2008, he served as chief scientist for the Engineering Sciences Directorate in the U.S. Army Research Office; a team leader at the Army Research Laboratory in Maryland; a mechanical engineer at the Army Materials Technology Laboratory in Massachusetts; and a group leader and associate research engineer at the University of Dayton Research Institute in Ohio.

Other honors and awards Rajendran has received during his 23-year career include ICCES's Professor Eric Reissner Medal, the Army's Research & Development Achievement Award, the Wohlleben/Hochwalt Award and Martin/Marietta's Manned Space Systems Award.

Rajendran also was active in Tamil Nadu Foundation, a nonprofit organization in Maryland, and successfully executed several charitable projects as TNF president. These included "Computers-on-Wheels," which promotes computer education among rural high school students in India. He was recognized for his leadership for this project - both in the United States and India - through the "Outstanding Non-Resident Indian" award given by the Intellectual Forum of India.

He is a member of the American Physical Society, an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and a fellow of both the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Army Research Laboratory.

Over the past decade, the ICCES has emerged as a major international forum with thousands of participants from the Americas, Europe and Asia convening to share recent research results in engineering science. ICCES emphasizes the closure of theory, computation and experiment across the sciences, engineering and mathematical modeling.

For more information on ICCES and the Lifetime Achievement Award, visit icces.org. For more about the Department of Mechanical Engineering, call 662-915-5770 or email Rajendran at raj@olemiss.edu.

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UM Engineering and Nation of Colombia

UM Engineering and Nation of Colombia Team Collaborate

OXFORD, Miss. - The University of Mississippi School of Engineering and the National University of Colombia are working together to help faculty at the latter complete their much-needed doctoral programs.

The Universidad Nacional de Colombia, or UNdC, operates engineering schools at its Medellin, Manizales and Bogota campuses in Colombia. The university recently signed an agreement with the Southern Universities Engineering Consortium to enable seasoned UNdC faculty to earn terminal degrees in engineering at either Ole Miss or the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. The UM School of Engineering is a founding member of the Southern Universities Engineering Consortium.

Funding for the collaboration is being provided by UNdC and Colciencias, the Colombian equivalent of the National Science Foundation. The Ole Miss School of Engineering and Office of International Programs - in close cooperation with their counterparts at UNdC - are working to identify suitable candidates for enrollment this fall and beyond.

"Developing collaboration programs with top institutions of higher education abroad is at the heart of the university's, as well as the School of Engineering's, internationalization agenda," said Alex Cheng, UM engineering dean. "This particular collaboration will bring highly-qualified, externally-funded students from Colombia to our doctoral engineering programs."

Under the terms of the partnership, Colombian faculty will retain their positions at home while studying in the United States. Colciencias will assist the Southern Universities Engineering Consortium in promoting the opportunities the collaboration with UNdC stands to generate.

"The presence and inclusion of international students on campus stimulates in American students an appreciation and knowledge of people around the world and of issues other countries face," said Greet Provoost, director of UM's Office of International Programs. "Moreover, it provides them the opportunity to actively engage in a global market of ideas and helps to assure that all students - foreign or domestic - are well prepared to contribute meaningfully locally and globally."

Due to the limited number of doctoral training programs as well as increased higher education participation rates on account of the nation's rising affluence and middle class, Colombia has an acute shortage of people with terminal degrees. To address this issue, Colombia has launched a national capacity-building campaign in science, technology and engineering fields.

"Selected lecturers, as well as select students identified to become professors in the future, are given the opportunity to complete their Ph.D. studies in Colombia or abroad with support of funding agencies and their respective institutions," Cheng said.

UNdC and Colciencias are also interested in deepening the collaboration with the Southern Universities Engineering Consortium to include study and research opportunities in engineering for its students and faculty and to expand the collaboration also to other academic/research disciplines.

"International collaboration programs create opportunities for all students as they prepare for personal and professional success in a globalized world," Provoost said.

For more information about UM's School of Engineering, go to engineering.olemiss.edu. For more information about the Office of International Programs, visit international.olemiss.edu

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New MMRI Director

New MMRI Director Rocks and Rolls From Geological Engineering to Mineral Resources

OXFORD, Miss. - Long before environmentalism became a popular movement, Greg Easson unearthed his passion for the planet.

"I've made my living and my livelihood studying what is in, on, and underneath the Earth's surface," said Easson, who became director of the Mississippi Mineral Resources Institute at the University of Mississippi in January. Less than two months in the position, he appeared before the Mississippi Legislature to appeal for leniency as severe state budget cuts are proposed and finalized.

"MMRI operations have been vital to the state's economic growth," Easson said. "We need funding to remain as close to current levels as possible in order to continue progress."

Before assuming his new role, Easson was department chair and associate professor of geology and geological engineering at UM. His research at Ole Miss has focused on the various aspects of remote sensing and geographic information system development. Before joining the UM faculty, he was a staff geologist for the U.S. Geological Survey and the Missouri Department of Natural Resources.

"Dr. Easson is the ideal person to lead the institute," said Alice Clark, vice chancellor of research and sponsored programs. "His broad experience and expertise coupled with his visionary leadership will advance the institute's role as a vital resource for Mississippi, continuing the tradition of excellence that the late Dr. Bob Woolsey established for MMRI."

Easson, who is also founder of the UM Geoinformatics Center and executive director of the Enterprise for Innovative Geospatial Solutions, said his combined duties are both clearly defined and being developed.

"As director, I lead research in the energy, marine, mineral, environmental and geospatial information areas," he said. "I am also to enhance the cooperative relationships between MMRI staff, academic departments, faculty and students."

Easson is "uniquely qualified to lead" MMRI research that, hopefully, stimulates the economy, said Alexander H.D. Cheng, dean of the School of Engineering. "He has established the strong foundation of skills necessary to lead this diverse group of scientists and engineers," Cheng added.

Easson earned his doctorate from the University of Missouri at Rolla. He also has a master's degree from the University of Missouri and a bachelor's degree from Southwest Missouri State University.

The Board of Trustees of State Institutions of Higher Learning created MMRI in 1972 to coordinate mineral-related research in the state. The mission remains to provide both public and private sectors with expertise to help make responsible decisions regarding Mississippi's and the nation's resources and environmental well-being.

The institute pursues research projects that address contemporary issues, provide educational and practical training to college students who work on these projects, provide results to interested parties in industry, government and academia, and engage in community service activities.

"Since its creation almost 38 years ago, MMRI has served the state of Mississippi by leading the effort to better understand the challenges and opportunities related to our natural resources," Clark said. "The institute's work related to Mississippi's energy resources is more important than ever."

While MMRI faces huge challenges, Easson said he is not intimidated by his new role.

"Everything I've done in my career so far has led me to my current position," Easson said. "I'm always ready to dig a little deeper into the endless possibilities and opportunities presented daily."

For more information about MMRI, visit mmri.olemiss.edu/Home.aspx or call 662-915-7320.

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Professor Wins Research Award

Cook Chair of History, Southern Studies Professor Charles Reagan Wilson Wins of Distinguished Research Award

OXFORD, Miss. - Charles Reagan Wilson's list of achievements spans decades, continents and organizations. Most recently, the Kelly Gene Cook Sr. Chair of History and professor of Southern Studies became the third recipient of the University of Mississippi's Distinguished Research and Creative Achievement Award.

The award was presented Saturday (May 8) during the university's commencement ceremony.

"This award honors Dr. Wilson for his scholarly contributions and his role in anticipating, inspiring and facilitating a field of interdisciplinary research known as Southern Studies," said Alice M. Clark, UM vice chancellor of research and sponsored programs. "Dr. Wilson's scholarship - Southern religion, memory and culture - has elevated observances of life in the South to an area of academic inquiry."

Formerly director of the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, Wilson is co-editor of the first important scholarly collection on religion during the Civil War, a revised edition of The Encyclopedia of Religion in the South and the forthcoming Mississippi Encyclopedia project. Wilson was also a primary scholar in the Religion and Region series and Southern Spaces online documentary project.

"I haven't received other research awards, thus making this especially meaningful," Wilson said. "Receiving this award is a humbling experience because there is so much excellent research going on across campus in so many departments and programs."

Wilson joined the UM faculty in 1981. During his tenure, he has published four monographs on Southern history, edited or co-edited eight books of essays, published 41 scholarly articles and made 62 presentations at conferences, symposia, workshops or lectureships. The Encyclopedia of Southern Culture (which he co-edited with William Ferris in 1989) received the Dartmouth Prize from the American Library Association as best reference book of the year.

He has presented papers at conferences in Germany, Denmark, France and Turkey and was a visiting professor at the University of Mainz last summer.

Wilson also credited his successes to the continuing support he has received from history department chairs Bob Haws and Joe Ward, CSSC Director Ted Ownby, Associate CSSC Director Ann Abadie and College of Liberal Arts Dean Glenn Hopkins.

Admired and respected by his peers, Wilson holds memberships in the Southern Historical Association, American Society of Church History, American Studies Association and Mississippi Historical Society.

He actively conducts and directs basic and applied research projects in the interdisciplinary study of the South and regards the 24-volume New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture as his main achievement. Volumes of the encyclopedia began publishing in 2006 and will be finished in 2012. The total value of the research projects conducted and directed by Wilson is in excess of $200,000.

"Charles Wilson has been active and influential as an essayist, a great organizer and editor," Ownby said. "Collaborative works can be frustrating and time-consuming, but he has kept up an impressive record of publishing his own work and always having time for students and colleagues."

Sam Shu-Yi Wang, F.A.P. Barnard Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering, was the inaugural recipient of UM's Distinguished Research and Creative Achievement Award in 2008. Larry A. Walker, director of the National Center for Natural Products Research, was the 2009 recipient.

Award recipients receive $7,500 and a personal plaque. Pharmaceutics International Inc. sponsors the annual award. The company's CEO, Syed Abidi, is a UM alumnus.

For more information about the Center for the Study of Southern Culture, visit olemiss.edu/depts/south or call 662-915-5993.

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UM Center Sponsors Indo-US Symposium

Milli Gazette: UM Center Sponsors Indo-US Symposium

Bangalore, 7 December 2010: A two-day Indo-US Symposium on Methodology of Research in Indian Systems of Medicine will be inaugurated here at the Atria Hotel tomorrow (8 December) by Mr. S. Gandhiselvan, Minister of State for Health and Family Welfare, Government of India. Mr. S.A. Ramadas, Minister for Medical Education, Government of Karnataka and Mr. B. Sriramulu, Minister for Health and Family Welfare, Government of Karnataka will also grace the occasion.

The symposium will mainly focus on research methodology adopted for validation of Ayurveda, Siddha and Unani (ASU) systems and their products for market authorization in the global market. It will also take stock of the current status of research in these systems and discuss strategies for developing these systems and their products in tune with the global demand. The symposium will also provide a platform to the Indian herbal and the ASU industry and the other Research & Development institutions to showcase their strengths and approaches in clinical research and manufacture of ASU products.

The symposium will have eminent national and international scientists as speakers from reputed academies and R & D institutions. The participants will include scholars of Indian Systems of Medicine, and experts from the US FDA, NCNPR, University of Mississippi, National Institute of Health (NIH), American Botanical Council, US Pharmacopoeia and National Center for Complimentary and Alternative Medicine (CAM).

The symposium is being organized under the aegis of Indo-US joint Centre for Research in Indian Systems of Medicine (CRISM) by Central Council for Research in Unani Medicine (CCRUM) - an autonomous organization of the Union Ministry of Health & Family Welfare, Department of Ayurveda, Yoga & Naturopathy, Unani, Siddha and Homoeopathy (AYUSH). The Indian Institute of Integrative Medicine (IIIM), (CSIR), Jammu Tawi and National Center for Natural Products Research (NCNPR), University of Mississippi, USA are collaborating in the event.

The CRISM was set up by the Department of AYUSH at the NCNPR, University of Mississippi, USA through a memorandum of understanding signed between Department of AYUSH and the University of Mississippi in August 2008 for co-operation in the field of development of Ayurveda-Siddha-Unani herbal and botanical products of global standards. This Centre is functioning with the primary mission of facilitating internationally important joint research for the scientific validation of Indian Systems of Medicine including Ayurveda, Unani and Siddha and for creating greater awareness about these systems and their products in the US and other countries.

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Retiring NCCHE founder

Retiring NCCHE Founder-Director Sam Wang Reflects Upon 43 Years of Leadership, Service

OXFORD, Miss. - When Sam S.Y. Wang joined the University of Mississippi faculty, it was mainly because of counsel from his dissertation adviser at another institution. Forty-three years later, Wang realizes his stellar career success as a renowned researcher, educator and administrator began with the man who saw the engineer within and lured him here.

"Dr. John A. Fox, who was my Ph.D. research adviser and professor at the University of Rochester, was the key reason why I came to work at Ole Miss," said Wang, who is the Frederick A.P. Barnard Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering and founder-director of the National Center for Computational Hydroscience and Engineering. He is retiring from his administrative post June 30.

"When I had almost completed my dissertation, Dr. Fox accepted the offer from the UM School of Engineering to become chair of mechanical engineering," Wang said. "His kind persuasions caused me to rethink my decision to begin working at the Shell Oil Research Corp., in Houston. Instead, I came here as an assistant professor of mechanical engineering."

Wang settled down, worked hard and excelled professionally. The rest, as they say, is history.

"The longer I stayed, the more I liked the working conditions and living environment," Wang said. "All my co-workers in the engineering school and other offices on campus have provided me with all kinds of assistance. Oxford was also an ideal place to live and raise my children."

Wang said his work at UM has been satisfying in many respects.

"Efforts in educating the young engineers and promoting their professional development have led to me receiving one of four inaugural F.A.P. Barnard Distinguished Professorships, which is the highest honor a faculty member can receive," he said. "I also received the inaugural Distinguished Research and Creative Achievement Award, Senior Faculty Research Award (twice), the Outstanding Engineering Faculty Award (twice), the Outstanding Faculty Adviser Award from the American Institute of Astronautics and Aeronautics, and the Ralph R. Teetor Award from the Society of Automotive Engineers."

A pioneer in applying computational modeling methodology to hydroscience research, Wang has gained worldwide recognition. His accolades include the Hans Albert Einstein Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers, and the Qian Lin Prize from the World Association for Sedimentation and Erosion Research, the two highest international honors given for soil erosion and sediment transport research.

Wang said he considers the establishment of NCCHE as one of his most important career achievements. Started in 1983 with a single investigator and few sponsoring institutions, the center has gradually grown into an institution of national and international prominence.

Mustafa Altinakar, the center's associate director and research professor, credits Wang with being a visionary in his field.

"Professor Wang probably foresaw earlier than anybody else the potential of computational hydroscience and engineering," Altinakar said. "It was Dr. Wang's vision that created NCCHE as a place where the state-of-the-art models not only are created but also continuously refined and maintained. The NCCHE models, employed over a long span of time by a multitude of users with a wide range of problems, are among the best."

"The computational models simulating the environmental, water resources and soil conservation phenomena of our contemporary society have been utilized by thousands of professionals in institutions worldwide," Wang said.

For example, NCCHE's flood prediction modeling has been used to create emergency management plans to reduce damage to a water supply system during a disastrous flood. Similarly, soil erosion and sediment transport models are used to design erosion control structures to conserve topsoils and protect water resources from excessive pollution by sediments and contaminants, Wang said.

Another of Wang's professional milestones was chairing the American Society of Civil Engineers' Task Committee on Three-Dimensional Free Surface Flow Model Verification and Validation. The committee, which included 15 experts from six nations in hydraulic modeling research, produced a 500-page monograph, of which Wang was the principal editor.

Longtime colleagues and associates said working with Wang has been rewarding.

"Dr. Wang has remained always close to NCCHE personnel," said Altinakar. "His door is always open to all, and he is always eager to help in any way he can."

"Dr. Wang treats me as if I am a colleague," said Janice Crow, NCCHE administrative coordinator. "I have been very appreciative that my boss would think enough of my opinion. He has always treated me with respect and I can truthfully call him my friend. He will be truly missed."

Chancellor Dan Jones described Wang as "a respected leader in his discipline and within our academic community. He has an impressive record of peer-reviewed, original research publications, a long and consistent track record of superb grantsmanship and a strong commitment to education."

Alice Clark, vice chancellor of research and sponsored programs, said she has seen the prominent role Wang has played and the achievement the NCCHE has made through his leadership.

"In addition to being internationally revered and respected in his discipline, Dr. Wang is equally well-regarded for his kindness and consideration of his colleagues," she said. "Our research community has certainly benefitted from the enormous impact of his leadership, scholarship and mentorship."

Wang's former students credit him with encouraging them to reach their full potential.

"Even after I graduated from Ole Miss, I always consult my former adviser, Dr. Wang, for suggestions and advice on my career development," said Jennifer Duan, assistant professor of civil engineering and engineering mechanics at the University of Arizona. "Because of Dr. Wang's reputation in computational hydraulics, I was selected from among 90 applicants as a tenure-track faculty member at UA, a top-ranking public school in the U.S."

Wang said he has enjoyed his work, but believes that it is time to pass the baton to someone else.

After June 30, Wang said he plans to rest but later return to work as a half-time employee. His focus will be on his latest research project, which he hopes to complete within the next year or two.

"Then I will 'retire' again - this time completely - so that I can devote my time to authoring a few articles at a leisurely pace while touring the world's rivers to gain additional inspirations in hydroscience," he said.

Wang said he is grateful that Fox wooed him to Ole Miss.

"I constantly feel that I have been the luckiest person in this world to have been supported by all the people around me," Wang said. "Most of all, I am the luckiest person because of my family and especially my beloved wife, Jine, who has given me her understanding and the strongest support for almost 50 years. Without all of these, I couldn't possibly have accomplished what I have done."

For more information about the UM School of Engineering, go to engineering.olemiss.edu

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UM Engineering Researcher on Italian TV

MMRI Researcher Spotlights UM Engineering on Italian TV Show

OXFORD, Miss. - Fifteen minutes was all the time Leonardo Macelloni had, but it was also all the time he needed.

Interviewed recently on one of Italy's national television shows, the University of Mississippi researcher praised his employer for its advanced technology, cutting-edge research opportunities and cordial people.

"I am really proud and happy to be affiliated with Ole Miss," said Macelloni, a geophysicist in UM's Mississippi Minerals Research Institute. "Of course, I wore red and blue on the program to show my support for the university."

He appeared on the two-hour program at the request of a colleague at the University of Rome, where Macelloni was a visiting professor this summer. The show's theme focused on why Italians often choose to emigrate elsewhere for educational advancement and career opportunities. A University of Rome alumnus, Macelloni spoke of his own experience.

"I discovered the university while completing my master's thesis six years ago," he said. "The University of Mississippi has one of the most advanced tools for deep-sea exploration anywhere in the world. We're also involved in installing the first sea floor observatory in the Gulf of Mexico. These things, plus the beautiful, historic campus and warm faculty and students, appealed to me very much."

Although he finished his degree in Italy, Macelloni's research interests led him back to MMRI, where he has been employed for the past five years. He and his advising professor in Rome have been instrumental in bringing at least five Italian scientists to experience education in the UM School of Engineering.

"One Italian scientist went to work for an oil company, another works in Norway and a third is completing his doctorate at the University of South Carolina," Macelloni said. "Two more master's students arrived here in July and will remain on campus through the spring 2011 semester."

While he probably won't become a celebrity as a result of his brief TV appearance, Macelloni feels certain that some of those who saw and heard him will investigate UM. And that's enough for him.

"When Italian scientists start looking for a university to further their education, I want them to consider coming to Ole Miss," Macelloni said. "Why go anywhere else when what they seek can probably be found right here?"

For more information about the Mississippi Mineral Resources Institute, go to mmri.olemiss.edu or call 662-915-7320.

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Engineering Advisory Board

Alumni in Action - May 2010

The Ole Miss Engineering Advisory Board held a productive meeting April 8-9. The 25-member board supports the continued development of the School of Engineering, recognizing the desire and need for the school to maintain programs of excellence and a posture of leadership in engineering education. The board meets every spring and fall.

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