Category Archives: SCHOOLS AND COLLEGES

National Science Olympiad Competition Comes to TSU Feb. 16

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – More than 325 middle and high school students from across Metro Nashville are expected to converge on the College of Engineering at Tennessee State University on Saturday, Feb. 16 for the Regional Science Olympiad, a premier national science competition.

According to event organizers, the Science Olympiad includes rigorous, standards-based challenges aimed to enhance science education. Teams of up to 15 students compete in nearly 23 different age-related events over the course of the day.

Competition covers all areas of science including anatomy, experimental design, helicopter construction, astronomy, materials science and circuit lab, among others.

The competition at TSU is being held in partnership with the Volunteer State Community College and Nashville State Community College. Sponsors include Boeing and General Motors.

Time and Location of Events 

Registration:            7 a.m.-7:45 a.m.

Events:           8 a.m. – 11:50 a.m.

Lunch:            Noon – 12:45 p.m.

Awards ceremony: 1 p.m.

All events will be held in the Physics, Math and Chemistry Building

For more information contact:

Kevin R. Woods
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
Phone:            (615) 512-7023
Email:                        krwoods@tnstate.edu

College of Engineering Awarded Research Projects to Improve Driver Safety

NASHVILLE (TSU NEWS SERVICE) – The College of Engineering at Tennessee State University has been awarded two research projects sponsored by the Tennessee Department of Transportation to improve driver safety on the roads throughout the state.

TDOT has sponsored several projects at the College since 2011, mostly related to traffic safety and traffic management. The latest projects are expected to begin later this year and will continue the trend.

Dr. Deo Chimba, assistant professor in the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering, will conduct both studies, which will last between 30-48 months, and look at the effectiveness of cable rail systems, and pavement marking retroreflectivity durability and safety.

The first study will look at the effectiveness of cable rail systems with respect to reducing the number of crashes, and the severity of injuries and fatalities. According to the Department of Transportation, median crossover crashes often result in fatalities or serve injuries to occupants and to the drivers in opposing traffic lanes. The concrete and metal beam barriers traditionally used to prevent these crashes, however, don’t perform well on sloped terrain. In addition, concrete and metal beam barriers are expensive, and state and local agencies often lack the resources to rapidly deploy these technologies to areas where vehicles frequently cross over the adjacent medians.

The cable rail system research will last 30 months with a funding level of $105,000 and will look at how some of the road geometries and traffic characteristics affect cable barrier performances. Other outcomes are expected to include an updated safety effectiveness performance of the median cable barriers in the state, and an evaluated performance of different types of cable barrier systems used on Tennessee’s roadways.

The second research project will be a collaboration partnership between Dr. Chimba and Dr. Mbakisya Onyango of the University of Tennessee-Chattanooga, and evaluate pavement-marking performance in Tennessee. The study, according to Dr. Chimba, will provide vital information to road users. “If adhered to, the results will improve road users’ safety with the many benefits to TDOT,” he said.

According to the proposal, the benefits of the research project would include: the proposed pavement marking replacement (maintenance) timing for different types of pavements; increased road users safety measures by ensuring that the retroreflectivity levels are maintained at the minimum levels recommended by the Federal Highway Administration; establish correlations, if any, between pavement markings and crash frequency and types, which will help in the pavement marking replacement scheduling; and increase efficiency in pavement marking maintenance, taking into account traffic, environment and pavement surface characteristics.

The second project has a recommended funding level of $500,000 with approximately 40 percent of the fee for the University, and will last 48 months, conducted in two phases.

TSU Students Compete in Tennessee Academy of Science Conference

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – More than 15 students and faculty members from the College of Engineering at Tennessee State University participated in the Centennial meeting of the Tennessee Academy of Science November 16 at Vanderbilt University and presented their on-going research in engineering and environmental science.

The College of Engineering had 10 students compete in the Engineering & Technology Section, and received three awards for first and second place finishes by competing with public and private universities in the state.

Students receiving awards included:

  • 1st Place: Heather Housel, civil and architectural engineering major; Review of Incident Transportation Emergency Evacuation Systems for Populated Areas
  • 2nd Place: Cornel Zlibut, electrical engineering major; Real Time Wireless Video Transmission Using Software Defined Radio
  • 2nd Place: Hung Wai Ho, civil and architectural engineering major; Sorption isotherm of copper and quaternary ammonia compounds to zeolite-perlite-granular activated carbon in a storm water filter

“Our engineering students continue to demonstrate a high level of technical competence, knowledge and leadership ability with their interaction with faculty, and academic performance to prepare them for the careers of the 21st century,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, Dean of the College of Engineering. “They develop outstanding research skills that transfer to the ability to think critically…which is an asset for any college graduate in any occupation.”

The Tennessee Academy of Science serves as collegial organization to promote scientific research within the state among colleges and universities. It involves faculty across the state, and also encourages the active engagement of student research and other professional development opportunities in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.

The College of Engineering became active with this organization two years ago, and has since received numerous accolades based on student research presentations and posters.

Faculty researchers including Drs. Sachin Shetty, Thomas Byl, Liang Hong, Roger Painter, Dafeng Hui, and S. Keith Hargrove led the students through the conference and presentations.

NNSA Awards Research Grant to College of Engineering

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) –The College of Engineering at Tennessee State University was one of 22 Historically Black Colleges and Universities and six Department of Energy sites to recently receive part of a $4 million grant from the National Nuclear Security Administration.

The funding launches NNSA’s new Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program, a consortium program organized to build a sustainable Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics pipeline between DOE plants and laboratories, and HBCUs.

The partnership program is designed to enrich the STEM capabilities of HBCUs in a sustainable manner that aligns with the broad interests of DOE sites and emphasizes the entire career pipeline. The partnership also provides STEM students with the cutting edge resources and technology housed at DOE facilities, ultimately increasing STEM student retention.

“Hands-on participation in research is imperative for students in the STEM field,” said Dimitri Kusnezov, NNSA’s chief scientist. “The MSIPP will provide an opportunity for students to be exposed to state-of-the-art facilities and research, creating an opportunity to expand their knowledge and further prepare them for a career in STEM fields.”

The College of Engineering will benefit from this funding with research in nano-materials.  In partnership with the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, the College will begin to examine ways to better engineer materials for capturing energy, more specifically; using platinum-based nanostructures. Research has demonstrated catalytic activity to harness energy for multiple applications, including fuel cells.

Led by Dr. Lizhi Ouyang, Assistant Professor of Physics, a team of undergraduate and graduate students will conduct experiments to advance the knowledge of catalytic novel materials, particularly in platinum-based battery research.  These efforts support the research agenda of the new TIGER (TSU Interdisciplinary Graduate Engineering Research) Institute, to advance research in cyber-security, computation, nano-materials and renewable energy systems.

“An interdisciplinary approach to address and solve problems in science and engineering is critical to shortening the product development cycle from laboratory to commercial use,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, Dean of the College of Engineering and Director of the TIGER Institute. “We are promoting STEM faculty to do more collaboration and aggressively pursue opportunities that exist with federal laboratories and industry to enhance the quality of our academic curriculums for our students at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.”

The College of Engineering also recently continued a partnership with Boeing to further research of aircraft systems, providing nearly $600,000 worth of funding, and received a $300,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to promote research in applied mathematics and curriculum development.

The National Nuclear Security Administration was established by Congress in 2000 as a separately organized agency within the U.S. Department of Energy, and is responsible for the management and security of the nation’s nuclear weapons, nuclear nonproliferation and naval reactor programs.

TSU Integrates College of Engineering with Community and Industry Needs

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Since arriving to Tennessee State University in 2009, Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, Dean of the College of Engineering, has remained focused on growing the College of Engineering in research activities, student achievement and resource development to contribute to the needs of the state of Tennessee to produce more engineers.

As an alumnus of TSU in mechanical engineering, he has worked in industry and as a researcher at three major federal research laboratories.  He decided to pursue a career in academia to continue to impact and grow the number of underrepresented groups in STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) occupations, such as engineering. As the state of Tennessee struggles to attract and produce more STEM professionals to grow a more educated workforce, he believes academic institutions must continue to play a major and strategic role to meet this urgent and important economic challenge.

Recently, Dean Hargrove discussed the mission of the College, its future and how it serves the community and the state.


TSU News Service: How old is the College of Engineering?

Dean Hargrove: The Division of Engineering was established in 1948, and has emerged for more than half a century to include several engineering and technology programs. It was changed to a School of Engineering in 1951, and graduated its first student in Civil Engineering a few years later.  The School of Engineering was one of six original engineering programs established at an HBCU (Historically Black College & University).  The school later added electrical, mechanical and architectural engineering.  In some respects, our engineering program represents the historical significance of the founding of TSU as “Tennessee Agricultural & Industrial State Normal College”.

TSU News Service: What are the current programs in the College of Engineering?

Dean Hargrove: The College of Engineering now has four accredited engineering programs that offer Bachelor of Science degrees: Architectural, Civil, Electrical and Mechanical Engineering.  We have the only accredited engineering programs at a public university in Middle Tennessee.  We also have an accredited program in Computer Science, Aeronautical & Industrial Technology, and recently added Mathematical Sciences.  The college provides a graduate degree for working professionals (Master of Engineering), and the Master of Science, and unique PhD degree in Computer & Information Systems Engineering (CISE).  This program helps prepare graduates for careers in systems engineering with the defense industry and the IT field.

TSU News Service: What kind of research initiatives is the College pursuing?

Dean Hargrove: The College of Engineering has been engaged in several emerging research areas.  More specifically, with recent research grants and contracts in cyber-security with the Air Force and the Department of Homeland Security, we are developing solutions relative to detecting cyber attacks within the cloud environment, and with mobile phones.  Other research is being conducted in sensor networking, robotics, intelligent health monitoring, transportation systems, environmental remediation, and aircraft seat design with organizations such as Boeing, Army Research Laboratory, EPA, Rolls Royce, and the Tennessee Department of Transportation.  Our research activities enhance our undergraduate programs via laboratories and faculty expertise.  We recently opened a new laboratory to focus on research themes promoted by the National Academy of Engineering and supported by the National Science Foundation.

TSU News Service: How is the College involved in the community?

Dean Hargrove: TSU has a long history of community service and civic engagement.  In fact, it is part of our motto “Think – Work – Serve”. The College of Engineering is collaborating with the Pencil Foundation to support schools such as Stratford Magnet STEM High School.  We are assisting them with the development of a simulation and gaming laboratory, and working with the middle school STEM Preparatory Academy (charter school) to help with tutoring and mentoring students.  We are also part of the Go-Green Nashville Initiative to promote energy efficient homes, and Hands-On Nashville.

TSU News Service: What are the future goals for the College?

Dean Hargrove: Our goals are consistent with the strategic initiatives of Tennessee State University.  We want to continue to provide access to students from diverse communities, promote academic quality, enhance our research funding that complements our curriculum, and be engaged with improving our quality of life.  The College also promotes gaining a global education with its study abroad program. We had several students go to China, Korea and Germany during this past summer. We also want to expand our facilities in the future to increase enrollment and partnerships with local businesses and other academic institutions.  As employment opportunities grow in healthcare, Information Technology, and manufacturing in the automotive industry, we plan to continue to prepare graduates with the necessary skills in programming, critical thinking, and innovative technologies to help industry grow within the state and make them more business competitive.  It is also critical that we continue to support the state’s STEM Initiatives in K12 and higher education.