Tag Archives: College of Engineering

With Engineering Clinic, TSU Students May Soon Design and Build Computer Games, Small Machines

Engineering-11
A new “engineering clinic” will allow students to design and build products related to their discipline. (Photo by John Cross, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Engineering and computer science students at Tennessee State University may soon be able to design and build products such     as hand-held computer   games, mobile robots, computer apps and small machines, thanks to a new funding from the National Science Foundation.

A $1.7 million, four-year grant intended to revamp the curriculum and increase the graduation rate of African-American males in engineering, will also include the creation of an “engineering clinic,” which will allow students to design and build products related to their discipline.

Hargrove
Dr. S. Keith Hargrove

“We are developing an innovative way of learning that would enhance students’ persistence and better prepare them for the rigors of the engineering coursework,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering and principal investigator of the NSF funding.

According to Hargrove there is a demand to produce a more diverse workforce by developing curriculums that reflect theoretical and practical knowledge and allow graduates to immediately make a contribution to industry. But incoming freshmen are less prepared for the rigors of the engineering curriculum in such areas as math. Only 5.5 percent of black eighth-graders completed calculus five years later, and a mere 1.1 percent of the nation’s black college freshmen enrolled in engineering programs in 2010, an analysis by the National Association of Black Engineers shows.

With the new funding, Tennessee State University, the largest producer of African American engineers in the state, is responding to this workforce demand, Hargrove said.

Dr. Sachin Shetty
Dr. Sachin Shetty

“We have developed a pre-engineering sequence of courses for freshmen that students must take before embarking on the traditional four-year curriculum,” he said. “These courses are infused with hands-on design projects to motivate and inform students about the discipline, and promote team dynamics and engineering fundamentals.”

Freshman Mechanical Engineering major Isaiah Pirtle, a beneficiary of the pre-engineering program, has seen great progress in his performance.

“I was fortunate to participate in the ‘Engineering Concepts Institute,’ a summer pre-college program,” Pirtle said. “That experience gave me an excellent academic background for the mathematics required in my major.”

According to Hargrove, with that preparation, Pirtle and his fellow classmates’ program for the next five years will focus on more design-related projects with the development of the engineering clinic.

Dr. Sachin Shetty, associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Co-PI of the NFS fund, will manage the project and the development of the clinic. The project will also support a retention study on the attrition of African-American students, with particular emphasis on black males. Faculty from the Department of Sociology Department and College of Education will coordinate the study.

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU to Host Defense Department Center of Excellence on Cyber Security

University to be part of $5 million multi-institution grant

 

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Since the 1970s, the area of cyberspace has developed into a constant evolving system of internet-based technologies that could cripple the nation and the U.S. military.

TeamAFRLGlobeIllustrationNo longer is the battle confined to a geographical area. Military commands at every level now face threats from cyberspace of potential attacks that can cause serious damage to the military’s infrastructure, such as hacking into systems to introduce malware, malicious hardware and crashing networks.

Now, in an attempt to counter cyberthreats from other countries, the U.S. Defense Department will develop a new strategy on how to respond to foreign threat with, Tennessee State University at the forefront by helping reduce the potential risk stemming from cyber attacks.

To counter future threats to the nation’s military capabilities, the Air Force Research Laboratory has awarded a $5 million collaborative grant to three universities, including TSU, to establish a Center of Excellence in Cyber Security. Old Dominion University and Norfolk State University are the other members of the five-year cooperative team.

The Center, according to the AFRL, will advance the research capabilities of Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other Minority-Serving Institutions. It will also contribute to the education of students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, and provide additional research opportunities for faculty.

“The Center of Excellence will respond to the Department of Defense’s demand for analysis, detection and response technologies to protect the cyber infrastructure,” said Dr. S.K. Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering. “The Center will further enhance TSU’s research capacity in cyber security.”

The research objective of the grant, made on behalf of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, is to create a Center of Excellence to develop a big data analytics enabled Cyber Analysis, Simulation and Experimentation Environment (CASE-V) to enhance situational awareness and decision-support capabilities for cyber defense and training.

Dr. Sachin Shetty
Dr. Sachin Shetty

The Center will have a satellite site at TSU, headed by Dr. Sachin Shetty, associate professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He will operate specific task orders with the Cyber Security Laboratory within the TIGER (TSU Interdisciplinary Graduate Engineering Research) Institute, located in the Research & Sponsored Programs Building.

“The Center of Excellence will develop analysis, detection and response capabilities to counter future advanced persistent threats plaguing the DoD cyber infrastructure,” said Shetty. “In addition, the Center will also develop a Live-Virtual-Constructive test bed to conduct cyber planning and training activities, as well as enable increased synergistic research collaboration with government, industry and HBCU partners.”

This is the second award TSU has received from the AFRL to study the development, discovery and integration of warfighting technologies to support air, space and cyberspace forces with the Department of Defense. In November 2013, the College of Engineering received a multiyear grant worth nearly $2 million to study power sources for air and space vehicles, and to study how to intelligently adapt communications and networks to provide friendly forces unfettered and reliable communications during joint forces operations.

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 45 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Data Sciences Workshop April 16-17 to Draw More than 100 Experts from the United States and China

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Billed as “the next big thing,” data science, a discipline or study that combines mathematics, statistics and computer science, is becoming the leading driver in innovation, competition and productivity.

The demand for professionals in this relatively new and rising discipline is high, as universities scramble to develop comprehensive data science degree programs to graduate data scientists.

Tennessee State University is looking to play a major role in bringing about greater awareness to a discipline that reports estimate will create 4 million data science-related positions in the United States by 2018.

On April 16, the University will host the first annual workshop on data sciences that is expected to bring together more than 100 data science researchers from over 20 universities and institutions in the United States and China.

The two-day workshop on the theme, “High Dimensional Data Analysis,” is expected to bring experts from national institutions such as Harvard University, Johns Hopkins University, the University of Memphis, Tuskegee University, the University of Tennessee Knoxville, Vanderbilt University, and China’s Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology.

Speakers and participants are also expected from Middle Tennessee State University, Jacksonville University, the University of Michigan, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

On July 11, 2013, TSU and MTSU signed a memorandum of understanding to “develop strategic areas of research in data sciences.” The MOU called for the creation of a joint institution for data sciences that would seek to participate in and enhance faculty and student research training programs.

With funding from NASA EPSCoR, Dr. Ali Sekmen, professor and chair of the Department of Computer Science, said the data sciences workshop is an offshoot of the MOU with MTSU.

“Tennessee State University wants to be a major player in data sciences,” Sekmen said. “We have all of the various disciplines being offered on our campus, and this is the reason why we are combining our efforts with all of the key areas including computer science, mathematics, engineering, and agriculture resources to promote this workshop.”

Sekmen said the workshop would include mini lectures on mathematical background for faculty and graduate students on the first day before going into the research and technical aspects of data sciences on the second day. Additionally, there will be concurrent sessions for undergraduate students at a less technical level.

“Because of the highly technical nature of data sciences, we want to make sure everyone, especially students are on the same page when we begin to discuss the specifics of the discipline,” Sekmen said.

The workshop, also sponsored by the National Science Foundation and TN-SCORE, is free but registration is required. For registration and questions, go to http://www.tnstate.edu/computer_science/datascience/committee.aspx .

 

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Engineering Dean Co-Authors Book Aimed at Helping Minority Faculty Members

HargroveNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – A professor from Tennessee State University has co-authored a book aimed at helping minority faculty members succeed during their academic career at higher-education institutions while offering useful strategies for recruiting, retaining and advancing women and minorities.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, and Dr. Pauline Mosley, associate professor of Information Technology at Pace University, collaborated for nearly 10 years on their book, Navigating Academia: A Guide for Women and Minority STEM Faculty, because, according to Hargrove, the need for minority faculty and their success in academia is “critical.”

bookNavigating Academia: A Guide for Women and Minority STEM Faculty explores the infrastructure of the academy and provides a systematic account of where and why women and minorities fall behind men in the preparation for and development of their academic careers. The book includes testimonials from faculty and administrators about how they made their ascent within the academy.

“There is a great need right now for minority faculty in institutions across the country,” said Hargrove. “Minorities currently represent 5 percent of faculty members, and their presence and success in navigating the career pathway is important for attracting and increasing the pipeline of new faculty. It is also important for the workforce of the nation.”

Hargrove knows all too well the difficulty some minority faculty may have navigating their career path. Having been in academia for nearly two decades, he has drawn on his own experience as a starting point. He has risen through the ranks from associate professor to dean of the College, as well as work as a research engineer at three major research laboratories and universities.

“I’ve been mentored by many individuals throughout my industrial and academic career, and my achievements are not mine alone,” he added. “They were the result of many supporters and advocates within my social network of personal and professional colleagues that have provided great experiences. Now I am able to share some of what I learned and help others be successful.”

Over the last five years, Hargrove has compiled some of his experiences with other colleagues to published the book which provides insight and reflections on how to succeed in academia for women and minority STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) faculty.

“After taking leadership roles in engineering education, I’ve tried to continue the same level of mentoring I did with students only now with faculty members,” said Hargrove. “Of course I am no expert, but I’ve tried to help the minority STEM faculty navigate outreach activities, research and strategies to become a better instructor. I hope my experiences can help other faculty members achieve their personal and career goals.”

Hargrove’s book also discusses how to modify and expand faculty-recruiting programs, how to diversify search committees, how to encourage intervention by deans, and how to assess past hiring efforts. This guide is an important resource for women and minorities seeking success in the academy as well as for administrators focused on faculty and professional development.

And what does Hargrove hope readers take away from the book?

“I think this is an opportunity for the reader to better understand the academic career pathway, learn from the experiences of others, and develop their own pathway for success in the academy,” Hargrove said. “Each of us is responsible for our own success…and I believe this publication can help make that process more achievable.”

 

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Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

Tennessee State University Engineering Students Participate in “Hack Nashville”

Myron Sallie, a junior Architectural Engineering mojor, conducts a soldering experiment during Hack Nashville, an event that brought computer programmers and coders together to collaborate on innovative products during the course of a weekend.
Myron Sallie, a junior Architectural Engineering major, conducts a soldering experiment during Hack Nashville, an event that brought computer programmers and coders together to collaborate on innovative products during the course of a weekend. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Students from Tennessee State University recently had the opportunity to hunker down with other like-minded “techies” and programmers from throughout the city to build products, share coding skills and participate in real-world programing exercises.

Billed as Hack Nashville, the event drew more than 300 participants who took part in the gathering November 7-9 where computer programmers and coders came together to collaborate on innovative products during the course of a weekend.

“So much innovation is coming out of these events,” said Dr. Sachin Shetty, assistant professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and one of the team leaders. “This was a great opportunity for our students to apply concepts they learn in the classroom to real-world applications. It was a tremendous boost to show the students exactly what they are capable of accomplishing.”

Hackathons have been around since the late 1990s and have sometimes been called a hackday or codefest where “hackers” meet other hackers, team up according to skill and interest, then collaborate and show off their final product. This is the sixth event hosted in Nashville since 2012 where organizers provide developers and designers a place to come together in a completely organic, unrestricted environment to create.

Shetty and co-team leader, Dr. Tamara Rogers, associate professor of Computer Science, helped prepare the engineering and computer science students compete in the cognitive exercise to develop solutions to real-world problems.

“We worked with other universities in the area to garner more student participation and interest in the event that has traditionally not been opened to students,” added Shetty. “Our students then came up with some unique concepts to demonstrate.”

A 10-member team of TSU students developed two projects at the event.  One project dealt with addressing the problem of controlling any software on a computer without using a keyboard or mouse, called a gesture-free recognition system.

The solution involved using the hands to interact with software on the computer. The team developed a system that used an armband to act as a sensor to control any program.

For example, the armband could enable hands-free audio mixing by altering pitch and volume of musical tones in any type of computer software by simply waving the hands.

Another team developed a low-cost mobile robot that teaches design principles, simple machines, and energy transfer to students in 5th and 6th grades.

“This opportunity was important to our students because it showed them what they are learning in the classroom has real-world applications and can be used to benefit and impact society,” said Shetty. “It also boosted their confidence knowing they have the skills, knowledge and ability to use this experience and take it to the next level and become marketable in any industry.”

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, agrees, noting the hackathon itself offered a taste of real-world experience to students who are just used to specific assignments from instructors.

“It is important we continue to challenge our students in the classroom and laboratory to enhance their critical-thinking skills, and, at the same time, promote team-based learning while they are students,” Hargrove said. “This will make them more competitive when they graduate and enter the workforce.”

 

 

Department of Media Relations

Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With more than 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU College of Engineering Research Focus Prepares Graduates for Employment; Receives $1 Million DHS Grant for Data Sciences Study

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The College of Engineering is aggressively pursuing research in strategic areas that complement the engineering curriculums and prepare graduates for careers in emerging areas for employment and entrepreneurship.

One of those emerging areas is the field of Data Sciences and Analytics, a key focus of the college, which, according to Dean S. Keith Hargrove, meets the “huge” industry demand to manage “big data” and helps businesses optimize their operations to meet the needs of their customers.

“We have responded to this industry demand with the development of advanced courses, industry partners, and qualified faculty to create a curriculum for this discipline and concurrently conduct research for cyber-security, analytics, and data storage,” Hargrove said.

Graduate student Adrian Parker develops multi-physics simulation models for lithium ion batteries and uses special equipment for battery devices. (courtesy photo)
Graduate student Adrian Parker develops multi-physics simulation models for lithium ion batteries and uses special equipment for battery devices. (courtesy photos)

Adrian ParkerThis effort has yielded positive results, he noted. Recently, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security awarded the College of Engineering a $1 million grant to develop an integrated research and education program in data analytics. The award will be implemented in two phases over a period of six years.

Dr. Martene Stanberry, assistant professor of Mathematics, and Dr. Sachin Shetty, assistant professor of Electrical Engineering, will manage the program by combining their expertise and experience in cyber security and control systems research, as well as leveraging resources and facilities already available to them under the TIGER (TSU Interdisciplinary Graduate Engineering Research) Institute, directed by Dr. Hargrove.

Also, another team of researchers in the college has received funding to examine ways to improve the life of batteries. The team, including Drs. Lizhi Ouyang, Landon Onyebueke, Mohan Malkani and Hargrove, received $150,000 from the Naval Engineering Education Center of the U.S. Navy Sea System Command, and $80,000 from the Crane Naval Warfare Center in Indiana. The team will conduct multi-physics modeling of lithium ion batteries, and perform testing of electro-chemistries for performance and reliability. Also a part of the TIGER Institute, the project will involve undergraduate and graduate students.

Under the DHS program, the thrust of the study will involve the development of data analytic approaches for anomaly detection in critical infrastructure, that are based on the prior work of the faculty in scalable machine learning and optimal control systems, Hargrove said. He added that the education thrust would enhance the existing undergraduate Mathematical Sciences and Electrical and Computer Engineering programs through curriculum enhancement, student recruitment and retention, outreach, and collaborative relationships with DHS Centers of Excellence, industry, federal labs, and academia. Students will receive training in statistical analysis, machine-learning methods, and cloud computing and storage technologies used in manipulating, storing, and analyzing cyber data.

According to Hargrove, the need to capture, store, manage, and interpret massive amounts of data for decision making in today’s high-tech environment, is expected to grow exponentially within the next decade.

“The spending in ‘big-data’ is projected to increase from $27 billion from 2012 to $55 billion by 2016,” the dean said, adding, “It is therefore our responsibility to help train and educate a diverse workforce to enter these emerging career fields.”

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 42 undergraduate, 24 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

High Performance Computing and Materials Science Workshop Prepares Students for Opportunities at National Labs

NEW OFFICIAL DOE SEAL COLORNASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Fourteen students from five universities around the nation are participating in a two-week workshop at Tennessee State University as part of a consortium to build a sustainable STEM pipeline between the U.S. Department of Energy labs and HBCUs.

The undergraduate and graduate students, who are mainly science and engineering majors, are receiving lectures and hands-on exposure to high-performance computing, structural modeling, computational materials physics and chemistry, and classical molecular dynamics.

According to Dr. Lizhi Ouyang, associate professor of Physics and coordinator of the workshop at TSU, the consortium is part of a new Minority Serving Institution Partnership Program of the National Nuclear Security Administration designed to expose students to state-of-the-art facilities and research.

“The MSIPP is designed to enrich the STEM capabilities of HBCUs in a sustainable manner that is aligned with the broad interest of DOE sites with emphasis on a career pipeline,” said Ouyang.

He said the partnership is the result of an MSIPP award to Prairie View A&M University to lead a research effort in Investigating and Characterizing Catalytic Activity in Novel Materials and Processes Using Computational Techniques.

Along with Prairie View A&M, the consortium includes the Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico, as well as TSU, Southern University, Allen University and Morehouse College, whose students are attending the workshop.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, welcomes participants from around the country to a two-week workshop at Tennessee State University as part of a consortium to build a sustainable STEM pipeline between the U.S. Department of Energy labs and HBCUs.  (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)
Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, welcomes participants from around the country to a two-week workshop at Tennessee State University as part of a consortium to build a sustainable STEM pipeline between the U.S. Department of Energy labs and HBCUs. (photo by Emmanuel Freeman, TSU Media Relations)

In a welcome statement Monday, Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, spoke about the importance of research and education with a global emphasis. He said while the field of engineering offers many opportunities, the College also emphasizes that its graduates are well rounded and able to cope on the global scene.

“We want to graduate students who are well rounded and ready to work in any part of the world,” said Hargrove, citing many study and travel abroad opportunities afforded students in the College. “We want our graduates to be able to demonstrate their capability in any part of the world where they find the opportunity.”

Hargrove acquainted the visitors with program offerings in the College of Engineering, and encouraged them to take their workshop seriously, and the opportunity to learn from faculty members who are highly capable in their areas of discipline.

The workshop, which runs from July 7-18, is being held in the Research and Sponsored Programs Building.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Professor Creates Simulation Model to Predict Storm Surge in the Event of Hurricanes

Dr. Muhammad Akbar, assistant professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing engineering, reviews satellite imagery from Hurricane Katrina from 2005. Akbar recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct research on a simulation model that would help predict storm surge from approaching hurricanes. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)
Dr. Muhammad Akbar, assistant professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing engineering, reviews satellite imagery from Hurricane Katrina from 2005. Akbar recently received a grant from the National Science Foundation to conduct research on a simulation model that would help predict storm surge from approaching hurricanes. (photo by Rick DelaHaya, TSU Media Relations)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – As coastal states watch the Gulf of Mexico with wary eyes for the beginning of hurricane season each year, scientists and researchers are working from different fronts to ease their anxieties.

A Tennessee State University researcher is working on a simulation model that would help predict storm surge in timely manner to better prepare coastal dwellers for the storm.

Dr. Muhammad Akbar
Dr. Muhammad Akbar

Dr. Muhammad Akbar, assistant professor of Mechanical and Manufacturing engineering, is using computational fluid dynamics and mathematical models to predict flooding caused by storm surges that bring ocean water onto land, causing major devastation, and erosion to cities and coastal wetlands.

Aided by a $209,403 grant by the National Science Foundation, Akbar is developing a simulation model that uses an “implicit solver.” While there are other models out there, this implicit model can use a larger timestep, potentially minimizing the overall prediction time.

“We input meteorological data that we receive every few hours, typically six hours, during a hurricane, and predict the surge a few days before its landfall,” Akbar said. “The model input data include the storm’s location, wind speed, pressure, and size of the hurricane eye, surface vegetation and structures,among others.

“The human element of this research can’t be overstated,” Akbar added. “We want to be able to predict the storm surge in a quicker time frame. The objective of this research is to assist the emergency management and people affected by an approaching hurricane with more time to make critical decisions, and evacuate the coastal region, if needed.”

Dr. Akbar points to the devastating effects of the Bhola cyclone that struck his native Bangladesh in 1970 killing nearly 500,000 people, and the more recent Hurricane Katrina that hit the Gulf coast in 2005, as a primary motivation behind his research for the past four years.

“When Katrina slammed into the Gulf Coast as a Category 3 storm, it brought sustained winds of 100-140 miles per hour,” he said, “and a predicted storm surge of 28 feet, causing about 2,000 deaths and more than $100 billion in damage.”

Funded by Department of Homeland Security, US Army Engineer Research and Development Center, and National Science Foundation, Akbar has a profound passion for storm surge research.

“I’m fortunate to get an opportunity to work with top experts in the field and grateful for the research projects,” he added. “These events and others like them have spurred a serious and sustained global effort to improve the ability to predict the coastal surge conditions.”

While it is a complex problem to solve because of the uncertainty of the hurricane track and strength, and other sources of error, Akbar is hopeful that the rapid and reliable storm surge prediction capability is not too far off.

“It is our hope that this research leads to advances in improving warning and evacuation systems, not only here but in the developing world,” Akbar said.

 

 

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

TSU Students Travel the World for Cultural Experiences, Academic Enhancements

Students from Tennessee State University had the opportunity to visit the ancient city of Ephesus during their study abroad trip to Turkey. The students spent three weeks in country and participated in a program that balanced academics, as well as social and cultural activities. (courtesy photo)
Students from Tennessee State University had the opportunity to visit the ancient city of Ephesus during their study abroad trip to Turkey. The students spent three weeks in country and participated in a program that balanced academics, as well as social and cultural activities. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Eight students from Tennessee State University had the opportunity of a lifetime recently when they traveled nearly 6,000 miles and immersed themselves in a foreign culture to gain a unique perspective of the world around them.

For three weeks in May, students from the Colleges of Engineering and Health Sciences participated in a program that balanced academics, as well as social and cultural activities during a study abroad program in Turkey.

“We want this to be a part of a student’s TSU educational experience,” said Dr. Ali Sekmen, professor of Computer Science, who traveled with the students. “This was a very different type of academic program for our students with a lot of flexibility.”

While the classes took place on university campuses throughout the country, Sekmen said student assignments and programming practices were done in the hotels and coffee shops while they interacted with their Turkish counterparts.

“It truly was a global experience,” he added.

The students visited Istanbul, Ankara, Antalya and Izmir, and were hosted by Bilkent University (the top university in Turkey, ranking 98 in the world), Antalya International University, and Izmir University of Economics. Sekmen pointed out that the students were required to satisfy the requirements of a MayMester course, specifically Java Programming.

“Its important to remember that even though this was a cultural immersion, there is also the academic requirement,” added Sekmen. “We conducted 37.5 hours of teaching while the students took a midterm and final just as if they were back in the states.”

While students earned credits in programming, they also received the cultural experience that study abroad offers, said Sekmen. The group visited Ephesus, the House of the Virgin Mary, Topkapi Palace, Thermoses and other cultural sites.

“In each city, our students had Turkish student ‘buddies’ with whom they developed a close friendship,” he said. “The group visited university administrators, the vice governor of Antalya, and some Turkish families.

That was an important aspect of the trip for Maggie Fitts, a junior Health Science major. Studying abroad, she said, was an adventure and learning experience all in one that allowed her to gain new perspectives on academic subjects and real-world issues.

“This opportunity allowed me to study issues more in-depth from a cultural perspective,” Fitts said. “Outside the classroom, my personal education was enhanced through the daily interaction in Turkey’s culture with our host families. I can honestly say this was an experience that helped me grow personally and mentally.”

The TSU study abroad program, in conjunction with the Tennessee Consortium for International Studies, or TnCIS, offers a range of initiatives to broaden the University’s global impact and enhance educational opportunities for its students. Combined, more than 30 programs are offered to destinations across the globe.

In the past year, more than 100 students from TSU have traveled across the world, studying in, among other countries, Costa Rica, China, Colombia, India, Germany, Italy and France.

According to Mark Brinkley, director of Study Abroad & Exchange Programs, students gain real-life experience on the global stage through the study abroad program.

“This is very consistent with the University’s position on enhancing global educational opportunities for our students,” said Brinkley. “This is a transformational experience for most students. It gives them an opportunity to expand their critical-thinking skills, and to look at the world a little differently through the lens of someone else from another country.”

For more information on education abroad, contact the Office of Diversity and International Affairs at 615.963.7660.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.

College of Engineering Holds Annual STEM Leadership Conference April 24-26

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The College of Engineering at Tennessee State University will host the 5th Annual STEM Leadership Conference April 24-26, and is designed to provide a leadership development experience for STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) majors at the University.

According to Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, the objective of the conference is to provide an opportunity for students to learn about key non-academic skills necessary for career success, advocated by working professionals that include alumni and strong industry supporters of the college.

“Through the conference, we hope to excite our current students about their career prospects, to seek global experiences, to learn about emerging technologies, and to prepare for the transition from academic to industry while networking with industry representatives,” said Hargrove. “With a strong demand for STEM graduates across the county, we believe that beyond academics requires further development of critical skills necessary for career advancement and achievement of our students.”

Conference agenda includes:

Thursday, April 24
(all sessions to be held in room 163 in the Research and Sponsored Program Building)

Session 1
9 – 9:45 am
“The Importance of STEM and Its Broad Applications”
Dr. Sujata Guha, Department of Chemistry, TSU

Session 2
10 – 10:45 am
“Leading the Community…Leading for Life”
Capt. Nathan Skopak, U.S. Marine Corps, Murfreesboro, Tenn.

Session 3
11 – 11:45 am
“Globalization”
Kennedy Germain, Procter and Gamble, Cincinnati, Ohio

Opening Luncheon
Noon- 1:30 pm
Keynote Speaker:  Lt. Col. Kenric Smith – Army ROTC, Nashville, Tenn.
President’s Executive Dining Room – Floyd Payne Campus Center

Session 4
2 – 2:45 pm
“Study Abroad Opportunities for STEM Students”
Mark Brinkley  – TSU Office of Diversity and International Affairs

Session 5
3 – 3:45 pm
“Preparing for a Behavioral-Based Interview”
Tiffany Johnson, TSU Career Development Center
(Presented by Society of Women in Engineering (SWE) student organization)

Awards & Recognitions Banquet
6 – 8 pm
Keynote Speaker:  Laron Walker, President, Sciberus Inc., Decatur, Ga.
Friday, April 25 

Faculty Forum with the Dean
9 – 11:30 am
Rm 243, Boswell Bldg.

Student Forum with the Dean
2 – 3:30 pm
Rm 243, Boswell Bldg.

 

Saturday, April 26

TSUEAA Summit
9 am – 1 pm
Rm 163, RSP Bldg.
(Research and Sponsored Programs Bldg.)

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John Merritt Boulevard
Nashville, Tennessee 37209
615.963.5331

 

About Tennessee State University

With nearly 9,000 students, Tennessee State University is Nashville’s only public university, and is a comprehensive, urban, co-educational, land-grant university offering 38 undergraduate, 22 graduate and seven doctoral programs. TSU has earned a top 20 ranking for Historically Black Colleges and Universities according to U.S. News and World Report, and rated as one of the top universities in the country by Washington Monthly for social mobility, research and community service. Founded in 1912, Tennessee State University celebrated 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu.