Faculty members from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering joined Bessemer City Schools superintendent Fred Primm last week to speak to Bessemer students and parents at a STEM Awareness Forum.
Department chair Murat Tanik, Ph.D., attended the event, along with assistant professor Arie Nakhmani, Ph.D., associate professor Hassan Moore, Ph.D., and Abi Yildiorim, Ph.D., director of the Signal Processing & Embedded Systems Laboratory.
The event was part of an ongoing effort to spur interest in STEM disciplines of science, technology, engineering, and math. "Right now, we still have a good cohort of scientists and engineers who design our future," Nakhmani said in an interview posted on al.com. "Unfortunately, the trend is moving from the society of inventors and critical thinkers to users who don't understand the principles of science and technology. If this trend persists, any progress on medicine, science and technology will be delayed, and the only way to reverse the trend is by providing adequate STEM education."
In addition to helping parents and students understand the importance of STEM, Nakhmani says events such as this one also help SOE faculty by providing critical feedback that helps educators understand the interests, needs, and expectations of upcoming generations of college students.
The event was organized by Muirhead Graham (M&G) Technologies.
Two UAB biomedical engineering students recently attended an event hosted by the UNCF Merck Science Initiative at the National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland.
Ophelia Johnson and Donovan White were named UNCF Merck Undergraduate Research Fellows in the spring. They were joined by UAB biology student Quincy Jones, who also was named a UNCF Merck Fellow.
The three UAB students were among just 15 undergraduates selected nationally. In addition to the trip to the NIH, each Fellow will present a research project at Merck & Company’s research and development facility this fall.
Each UNCF Merck Fellow receives a $25,000 award. The BME students may share their award with the department in the form of a departmental grant worth up to $10,000 per award.
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.)