For many biomedical engineering students, the pursuit of a graduate degree is an investment in the future—a valuable training ground for tomorrow’s employment opportunities.
But for one unique UAB student, opportunity called sooner than expected.
Biomedical engineering student Lindsay Miller chose UAB because of the multi-faceted experience she could get through biomedical engineering graduate program and the Certificate in Technology Commercialization and Entrepreneurship program in the Collat School of Business. Unlike other students, however, Miller’s education isn’t preparation for some future payoff. She is actually completing her education as part of a new career at Birmingham-based Southern Research, where she has a full-time job that pays her to conduct thesis-related research, which she will then continue at Southern Research after graduation.
With the 2011 Alabama tornado catastrophe still lingering in the minds of many, UAB research has led to the creation of new technology designed to help save lives in a natural disaster.
Materials Processing and Applications Development (MPAD) Center were installed as an integral component of a safe room in a new-construction home in the Montgomery area.In June, tornado panels designed by engineers in the
Uday Vaidya, Ph.D., MPAD director and professor and chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, worked with Storm Resistant Systems and Cooper Structural Engineers to scale the panels for use in this home. The safe room is designed in accordance with FEMA standards to withstand 250 mile-per-hour winds, and was built to remain intact even if the house were destroyed during a strong storm, keeping its occupants from harm.
The UAB panels were approved by the National Storm Shelter Association to hold up against an EF5 tornado.
Thirty-Day Fundraising Effort Starts July 14
The UAB School of Engineering and Southern Company have a longstanding and mutually beneficial relationship. Each year, dozens of UAB undergraduates participate in co-ops and internships with the company, gaining valuable experience to supplement their engineering education and often using the experience as the first step toward a career with the company.
This week, UAB is launching a new crowdfunding campaign to strengthen that relationship even further by establishing the Southern Company Co-op Scholarship.
Over the next 30 days, UAB graduates currently working at or retired from Southern Company will attempt to raise $3,000 to fund scholarships for co-op participants from the School of Engineering.
“These scholarships mean so much, because they take some of the financial burden off of the students and allow them to focus on getting the most out of their education, rather than worry about how it will be funded ,” says current co-op student Katie Sheibley. “This will not only alleviate some of that financial burden, it will also provide an opportunity that really adds value to the educational experience.”
"This is the beginning of something that I hope will continue to benefit students long after our time at UAB," adds fellow co-op student Stephen Kelley. "It obviously benefits the students who receive financial assistance, but I believe it also benefits Southern Company by helping recruit the top engineering students to the company."
The scholarship will support UAB engineering students with a minimum GPA of 3.0 who are currently completing a co-op or internship at Southern Company.
myocardial bioenergetics, biomaterial and stem cells for cardiac repair, has been named the chair of the UAB Department of Biomedical Engineering.Jianyi “Jay” Zhang, M.D., Ph.D., a national leader in
Zhang will come to UAB from the University of Minnesota Medical School, where he’s the Engdahl Family Foundation Chair in Cardiovascular Regenerative Therapies and professor of medicine, biomedical engineering, electrical engineering and computer engineering. He was chosen to lead the BME Department—a joint department between the Schools of Engineering and Medicine—after a national search.
“With a strong background in both engineering and medicine, Dr. Zhang is the ideal person to lead the Department of Biomedical Engineering into this new era of collaboration,” says Iwan Alexander, Ph.D., dean of the School of Engineering. “We are very excited about the potential he brings to open new avenues for research for our engineering faculty and students, as well as for his vision to continue to grow the department as a world-class center for BME education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.”
Zhang will succeed longtime department chair Timothy M. Wick, Ph.D., who stepped down last year to accept a role as Senior Associate Dean in the School of Engineering. He will officially join UAB on Oct. 1, 2015.
“I am very excited for this bold opportunity at UAB,” Zhang said. “The University is innovative in its establishment of the department as a joint venture between the Schools of Medicine and Engineering. Pairing a top academic medical center and a successful School of Engineering creates the potential for impactful discovery, both for the field of biomedical engineering and in population health to benefit Alabama and its citizens.”