E-week at TTU offers glimpse of practical side of engineering

A weeklong engineering celebration will end Thursday with a career fair and recognition of notable professional engineers at Tennessee Tech University.

TTU’s College of Engineering will mark Engineers Week Feb. 20-23 with competitions and exhibitions on campus, including an egg launch and cardboard canoe races. TTU students organize E-week events every year to give the public a chance to see and touch engineering concepts in action. Teams use innovation to solve problems, and they also have fun.

“The point of Engineers Week is to bring attention to the great things engineers have done,” said Joseph J. Rencis, dean of the College of Engineering. “Engineering is about solving technological and social problems to make the world a better place for us to live.”

E-week events at TTU are:

Monday, Feb. 20

4 p.m. – Egg launch, Sherlock Park

6 p.m. – Dodgeball, Memorial Gym

8 p.m. – Poker and a chili supper, Roaden University Center Multipurpose room

Tuesday, Feb. 21

11 a.m. – Tug of War, Sherlock Park

8 p.m. – Cardboard canoe races, Fitness Center Pool

Wednesday, Feb. 22

4:30 p.m. – SAME Leadership Mind Obstacle Course, Tech Pride Room, RUC

10 a.m. – Engineering Bowl, including Imagineering tasks, Derryberry Hall Auditorium

Thursday, Feb. 23

10 a.m. to 3 p.m. – Career Fair, coordinated by Career Services, with more than 100 employers and recruiters expected, RUC Multipurpose room

7 p.m. – Engineering Banquet, RUC Multipurpose room

At the banquet, TTU will honor David C. Bond of Tullahoma and John A. Gordon of Cookeville as Engineers of Distinction.

A native of McMinnville, Bond graduated from TTU with a bachelor’s degree in 1971 and earned a master’s degree at TTU in 1971, both in electrical engineering. Bond entered federal civil service in 1971 as an electrical engineer at the Naval Weapons Laboratory in Dahlgren, Va.

He worked on assignments at the Pentagon, Edwards Air Force Base in California and Wright-Patterson Air Force Base in Ohio. Much of his work focused on achieving fleet operational safety, suitability and effectiveness. He also worked in recruiting and career management for military and civilian scientists and engineers. He is retired from the Senior Executive Service.

Gordon earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering and a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from Purdue University. A commissioned officer in the U.S. Public Health Service, Gordon advised states about nuclear power plants in the Southeast. At the Tennessee Valley Authority, Gordon supervised research on reservoir water quality management.

Gordon was a professor, researcher and consultant at TTU from 1974 to 2000. At TTU, Gordon received honors for his teaching and research in water resources and environmental engineering. He was a Distinguished Visiting Professor of Civil Engineering at the U.S. Air Force Academy from 1994 to 1995.

The 2012 Technologist of Distinction is Aleisa Cummins Bloom of Kingston. Bloom is a group leader for sustainability and technology deployment at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Environmental Sciences Division. She supports various Department of Defense environmental restoration, compliance, infrastructure and energy programs.

Bloom began her career as a quality engineer at Raytheon Missile Systems Division, then moved to the Oak Ridge Gaseous Diffusion Plant. In her work at ORNL, Bloom managed environmental programs at Dover Air Force Base, which was named the DoD Environmental Restoration Base of the Year as a result. That success led to Bloom receiving $25 million for an ARRA Energy Project in 2009.

Bloom is a TTU alumna, and she has served on TTU’s Manufacturing and Industrial Technology Technical Advisory Board. She received a bachelor’s degree in manufacturing and industrial technology from TTU in 1986 and a master’s degree in applied science and technology at East Tennessee State University in 1994.

The 2012 winner of the Brown Henderson award is Sastry Munukutla, who also received the award in 1996.

He has taught mechanical engineering at TTU for more than 25 years, and he directed TTU’s Center for Energy Systems Research for 10 years. His teaching career spans more than 40 years, with experience at IIT in Kharagpur, India, and Lehigh University.

Munukutla completed his undergraduate and graduate studies in India with bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and mathematics and a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering. He has a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Iowa.

He was elected associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in 1990. Munukutla was elected Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 1999, and he was named a Distinguished Alumnus of the Aerospace Engineering Department of the Indian Institute of Science in 2003.

TTU recognized Munukutla with the Caplenor Faculty Research Award in 1998 and the Outstanding Faculty Award for Professional Service in 2010.

Munukutla’s work in coal-fired power plant performance monitoring has received international recognition. He has worked with 21 major U.S. utilities on funded projects exceeding $2.7 million. He developed real-time Performance Monitoring Software that has been installed in the U.S., India, China and New Zealand.

The 2012 Kinslow award winner is Robert Caiming Qiu, a professor in the department of electrical and computer engineering and the Center for Manufacturing Research at TTU. He joined TTU in 2003.

Qiu has a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from New York University. His current work is in wireless communication and networking, machine learning and Smart Grid technologies. He founded Wiscom Technologies, Inc., and has worked for GTE Labs, Inc. (now Verizon) and Bell Labs. He also has worked in digital signal processing, underwater acoustics and fiber optics. He has more than five patents and has authored numerous papers, journals, books and standards. He has served on the advisory board of the New Jersey Center for Wireless Telecommunications.

The last award of E-week, the Sissom Award, will go to the MoLE-SI team of Joe Biernacki, Becky Asher, Pedro Arce, Marbin Pazos-Revilla, Eric Brown and Ken Wiant. Mobile Learning Environment and Systems Infrastructure, or MoLE-SI, provides remote access via an Internet connection to computer lab software for students anywhere. It is based on three key elements: a mobile device such as an iPad, a back-end server and virtualization infrastructure, and the collaborative classroom environment. Piloted by the department of chemical engineering, the team is working to test and enhance MoLE-SI for use across campus.

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