Douglas H. Ross, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering since 2009, successfully defended his dissertation on July 10 to earn a Ph.D. in Computer and Information Sciences.
Ross earned a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from the University of Illinois, Champaign in 1979. He went on to work a variety of engineering positions in Illinois before relocating to Birmingham and joining UAB in 2002. He earned a master’s degree from UAB in computer science with a specialization in computer graphics in 2007.
In his role as an assistant professor in ME, Ross has primarily focused on freshman-level classes. He taught the computer methods for engineering for several years and has taught the engineering graphics class as part of the FYE since 2008. He has mentored numerous introduction to engineering projects, including the Sumobots competition he introduced this past spring. He also teaches numerical methods, machine design and automated manufacturing.
Ross is also the School of Engineering representative for the UAB QEP of "Learning in a Team Environment".
The 38th Annual Southeastern Consortium for Minorities In Engineering (SECME) Summer Institute concluded on Friday with a day of tours and demonstrations at the School of Engineering.
SOE faculty and student volunteers explained the many opportunities available to students in the various engineering disciplines taught at UAB.
“For many of these students, this is the first time they’ve been able to set foot on a college campus and see the opportunities that a university offers its students,” said Michele Williams, interim executive director of SECME, Inc. “That’s one of the real values of this week, to allow them to see firsthand what they can experience as a student at a place like the UAB School of Engineering.”
More than 100 middle and high school students from across the nation participated in the event, which covered three days of workshops, tours, and competitions.
Student participants earned their way into to the UAB event by winning local or regional events. The result was some high-level competition on Thursday when they put their pitted their engineering skills against one another in competitions involving robotics and mousetrap cars.
(Story continues beneath the slideshow. Photos by Tyler Harris.)
This month, the School of Engineering is hosting the 38th Annual Southeastern Consortium for Minorities in Engineering (SECME) Summer Institute and sponsor the SECME National Student Engineering Competition Finals, in partnership with the UAB Office for Equity and Diversity.
SECME is a professional development institute dedicated to focusing on equity in science, technology, engineering and math initiatives by bringing together K-12 educators, university faculty, and industry and government representatives to share the best in their fields of expertise. Students are able to be involved in the institute through participation in the engineering competition finals.
This year's SECME Summer Institute will begin June 22 with about 120 K-12 educators from around the nation who will reside on campus for a week of professional development workshops in STEM to enhance student achievement and interest in these subjects.
"The goal of the week's events will be to help promote inclusion in learning in STEM fields, and that is something we value at UAB," said Hassan Moore, Ph.D., associate professor of mechanical engineering and outreach director for the School of Engineering. "We look forward to hosting these important discussions and learning from experts from across the nation."
Mechatronics and the Future of the Auto Industry
By Todd Dills
(This article originally appeared in UAB Magazine.)
Alabama has become an unlikely leader in the automotive industry, with manufacturing plants from Mercedes, Honda, and Hyundai producing the latest SUVs, minivans, and sedans. Meanwhile, at the UAB School of Engineering, Vladimir Vantsevich, Ph.D., Sc.D., and his students are working on the next generation of vehicles.
Vantsevich is the leading specialist worldwide in the dynamics, energy efficiency, and mobility of both conventional and unmanned multi-wheel drive vehicles. His work is based in an engineering discipline called mechatronics, a combination of electronic and mechanical systems that he describes as “a technology, a philosophy, and a science” all rolled into one. The automotive industry is a primary adopter of mechatronic systems, Vantsevich explains. Electronically controlled braking systems are one example; another is adaptive cruise control, which deploys radar and electronic controls to automatically adjust vehicle speed in order to maintain a safe following distance.
But these high-tech devices come at a cost. “The average car today has about two kilometers of wires” inside and may have up to five computers, Vantsevich says. That adds more than 60 pounds, “and you have to burn more fuel to carry that weight.”