Life-saving Technology Installed at Historic Le Mans Race Circuit
For more than a decade, the SAFER Barrier has proved its life-saving ability at NASCAR and IndyCar circuits across the United States. This year, the device is going international.
The SAFER Barrier is making its European debut at the historic circuit in Le Mans, France, site of the world’s oldest active endurance racing event, the 24 Hours of Le Mans.
The SAFER Barrier, which stands for Steel and Foam Energy Reduction, is the invention of Dean Sicking, Ph.D., a mechanical engineering professor and researcher at the UAB School of Engineering.
Sicking says the installation of his product at Le Mans is significant in that it marks the first time a racing facility has performed an independent evaluation of two competing barrier systems. Earlier renovations to the Le Mans circuit in 2014 installed TechPro barriers, a fundamentally different type of barrier system.
“We are very pleased that Le Mans is installing the SAFER Barrier, because we believe it validates what we already know; that our barrier is the best option to improve driver safety,” said Sicking.
ME Grad Uses Senior Design Trip to Land Job with Chrysler
When a team of engineering students took their senior design project to Detroit for a competition in April, it was the end of a long journey and the culmination of months of hard work. For one member of that team, however, the trip that capped his college engineering career resulted in a new beginning—a job offer from Fiat Chrysler Automotive.
Chrysler Institute of Engineering Program—a multi-phase training program that immerses new employees in seven different areas of automotive development while also paying for them to pursue master’s degrees at select Detroit-area universities.Michael Burke, who graduated from UAB in the spring with a degree in mechanical engineering, will start work in mid-June as part of the
“I’ve always been passionate about cars, so this is a dream opportunity,” says Burke. “I’ve never lived in the North before, so that part will be an adjustment, but this is a chance to continue my education while working for Chrysler. I can’t pass that up.”
While it may seem that Burke is stepping straight from college to the big leagues, the job with Chrysler is not his first foray into industry. As an undergraduate, he completed an internship at Southern CaseArts in Bessemer as well as a co-op position at Nemak Alabama—a manufacturing facility in Sylacauga that, coincidentally, makes engine blocks for Chrysler.
Both of those experiences, he says, were invaluable once he arrived in Detroit. “I would encourage any engineering student to take advantage of the co-op and internship opportunities that are available through Career Services,” he said. “Even though I’m entering a training program at Chrysler, every question in my formal interview was about my prior work experience. If I had focused only on school work and hadn’t explored those jobs, I don’t believe I would have gotten this chance.”
Kevin Franks is the Youngest of Family's 6 UAB Graduates
On the Thursday night before UAB's 2016 spring commencement, the graduating class of engineers participated in the Order of the Engineer ceremony before a large crowd of faculty and family members at the Hill Student Center.
Click here to view all of the photos from the ceremony.
Blount County parents Woodrow and Margie Franks will watch the youngest of their six sons — who have all attended UAB — graduate this weekend. Each of the six Franks brothers has received an undergraduate degree from the university, spanning nearly two decades of studying at the campus.
On Saturday, April 30, Kevin Franks will be the final Franks brother to cross the stage at Bartow Arena and receive his degree.
“I thank God that my sons were blessed with the opportunities they had while at UAB,” Margie said. “They’re an important part of our life, so we were thankful that they didn’t have to look far from home to find a world-class education.”
“Having my last son graduate brings as much joy as having my other sons graduate. I am equally proud of each son,” Woodrow said. “There is a relief that all were given the opportunity to attend a great university, and each one obtained a degree that provides knowledge necessary to participate in their chosen career.”
From applications for outer space to refining the centuries-old process of pouring hot metal, a wide range of state-of-the-art innovations were on display recently at the UAB School of Engineering. And even though some of them may sound like the subjects of millions of dollars of grant money, the projects were all 100 percent student driven as part of the Capstone Senior Design courses.
On Wednesday, April 20, interdisciplinary teams from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Materials Science and Engineering demonstrated their projects in the lobby of the Business-Engineering Complex.
On Friday, April 22, biomedical engineering students will present their final designs, along with their partners from the Collat School of Business.
Students in Electrical and Computer Engineering, as well as Civil, Environmental, and Construction Engineering, presented their projects in private events before boards of faculty and industry partners.