Tag Archives: College of Engineering

NSF Funding Helps College of Engineering Support Local High School STEM Programs

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The College of Engineering has received several grants from the National Science Foundation related to developing simulation and gaming modules to enhance learning in engineering education. These research projects engaged undergraduate and graduate students in developing simulations in machine design and graphics.

In support of STEM Education in Metro Nashville Public Schools, the College of Engineering is also assisting with the creation of the gaming and simulation laboratory at Stratford STEM Magnet High School, under a partnership with the National Safety and Security Technologies Academy at Stratford.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering, who has been affiliated with Stratford High for more than two years, serves as an advisor to the NSST academy, as it transforms the curriculum to STEM disciplines and careers.

“Our college is committed to supporting K-12 education and partnering with MNPS through the Pencil Foundation, and playing a key role in educating future engineering students from our local community,” Hargrove said.

The Foundation, which administers eight educational programs involving volunteers and mentors, links community resources with Metro Nashville Public Schools. It also provides academic enrichment opportunities, and prepares students for graduation.

As part of the COE/NSST partnership, a group of six students and two instructors from Stratford Magnet High School participated in a Virtual Reality Workshop on Oct. 10 at Tennessee State University. The workshop, conducted by Dr. Sachin Shetty, assistant professor of Electrical Engineering, introduced the students to software tools used in commercial Virtual Reality systems.

According to Dr. Shetty, participants gained practical experience creating simulations with Vizard, a 3D engine used to create Virtual Reality Applications.

This was a step up from the 2D gaming module the students had previously been exposed to, according to Roger Osborne, one of the Stratford instructors. “The experience of creating a 3D virtual world and learning techniques to animate 3D characters and objects was extremely valuable,” he said.  “The students were able to ‘learn by doing’ through a sequence of exercises geared toward exposing them to development of a 3D virtual reality game.”

Osborne expressed interest in deploying the Vizard software in the Stratford gaming labs, as well as adopting it to the school’s criminal justice program to help students create an investigative scene in a 3D virtual world.

 

 

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. 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, coeducational, 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 celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu

TSU Trained Engineer Helps NASA Troubleshoot Computer on Malfunctioned Spacesuit

Ron Cobbs, International Space Station Avionics Chief Engineer and TSU graduate, helped NASA engineers identify the cause of a serial interface issue with a spacesuit that malfunctioned during a spacewalk on July 16. (courtesy photo)
Ron Cobbs, International Space Station Avionics Chief Engineer and TSU graduate, helped NASA engineers identify the cause of a serial interface issue with a spacesuit that malfunctioned during a spacewalk on July 16. (courtesy photo)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – Teamwork does pay even if you are not part of the team. Just be good at what you do.

Ask Ron Cobbs, a NASA avionics chief engineer assigned to the International Space Station operations. His input has helped investigators trying to unravel the cause of a spacesuit malfunction during a recent spacewalk.

“I personally am not part of the official Extravehicular Mobility Unit (space suit) investigation team that is looking into the suit anomaly,” said Cobb, a 1989 TSU graduate with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering. “

However, Cobbs said, since the problem appeared to be electrical, he was asked to “look into” the situation.

“I discovered that the problem was a systems problem relative to operational use of the serial port on the laptop side of the suit,” he added.

As a result, the procedures for the astronauts were rewritten and retested, and subsequently lead to identifying the problem.

“It worked,” Cobbs exclaimed to the excitement of his fellow engineers.

It all started on July 16 when astronaut Luca Parmitano was doing a spacewalk outside the ISS when his suit malfunctioned, cutting short the spacewalk or extravehicular activity. Water used to cool the suit started to leak into his air ventilation system, causing the astronaut’s helmet to start filling with water. Crewmembers sent a short video describing the incident to ground control engineers.

Immediately, a team of investigators, not including Cobbs, was assembled to see what was the cause of the problem with the spacesuit. However, as astronauts and team engineers were having problem downloading the data from the suit for analysis, Cobbs was called in to troubleshoot the problem.

“I am not a mechanical engineer, nor would I have been able to troubleshoot the air recycling/thermal system, but they did call me because of a serial interface issue and I was able to help,” Cobbs said, adding, “The operations group wrote the procedures and the engineers told them how the hardware works, but forgot to tell them that everything works as a system.”

He said, operationally, the laptop Wi-Fi on the spacesuit was active with software loads operating in the background, but “no one asked how they all interact together.”

“It is not enough to know about the design product, but also how it works in the environment, what are the interfaces to the design, and who are the users. All of this is known as the Concept of Operations, which was not appropriately applied in this situation to find the cause of the problem,” Cobbs added.

Cobbs, who also holds a master’s degree in Space Systems Engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology, said to solve the problem, he repeated the steps of the “documented procedure” to see if he could come out with the same “error.”

“I found out that there were some ambiguities that created the problem. The hardest part in the procedures was making sure they were clear so that anyone could understand them. Never assume that they already know,” he added.

“Ronald Cobbs is a true example of an electrical engineering graduate with passion for life-long learning and professional growth,” Dr. Satinderpaul Singh Devgan, professor and head of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said of his former student.

“I think Ron Cobbs’ achievement at NASA is a great story,” added Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, dean of the College of Engineering.

Cobbs, who graduated TSU with honors, is a member of the Eta Kappa Nu Honor Society. He joined NASA at the Johnson Space Center immediately after graduating TSU. He has moved through the ranks from design engineer, systems engineer to now ISS avionics chief engineer.

Department of Media Relations
Tennessee State University
3500 John A. 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, coeducational, 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 celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu

College of Engineering Names New Head of Civil and Architectural Engineering

Dr. Gouranga Banik
Dr. Gouranga Banik

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (TSU News Service) – The College of Engineering at Tennessee State University recently named Dr. Gouranga Banik as head of civil and architectural engineering. He assumed his current position August 15.

Most recently, Banik served as President and CEO for Bencons LLC, a private engineering services company. His previous experience also includes serving as professor of construction management at Southern Polytechnic State University from 1998 until 2012.

While at SPSU, Banik helped the department to increase student enrollment and graduation, research and scholarship. In the academic arena, he had significant experience of leading graduate programs, starting new academic programs, and faculty development and governance issues. He led the architectural engineering division as Division and Program Chair, and the Construction Engineering Division as Program Chair for the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE), where he served as proceeding editor besides other leadership responsibilities. Banik served the continuing education committee of American Society of Civil Engineering (ASCE) as Chair, and on the editorial board of Leadership and Management in Engineering. In addition, he received the Teacher of the Year award for 2007 and Outstanding Faculty award by SPSU for his excellence in the classroom, and also received the National Teaching award by the Associated School of Construction (ASC).

“Dr. Banik brings with him a wealth of leadership experience and the entrepreneurial skills necessary for building partnerships and developing strong educational programs,” said Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, Dean of the College of Engineering. “Additionally, he brings a broad and distinct interdisciplinary perspective to the Department. These attributes are essential to position the Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering for regional and national recognition as a leader in engineering and science education, research and technology innovation.”

Banik’s research focuses on sustainability, infrastructure systems and engineering education. He has ideas on how to infuse the undergraduate curriculum with interdisciplinary and project-based learning; promoting innovative research in critical areas of the built environment and developing cooperative relationships with leaders in the region’s engineering and construction industry to help promote an adaptive, sustainability-conscious industry framework. Being a certified project manager and professional engineer, Banik developed qualities and competencies to plan, manage, lead programs and projects to a successful end.

“I am excited about the possibilities at the University,” Banik said. “We want to be known for addressing the grand challenges facing us, creating excellent educational infrastructure, experiences and programs for our students who will be recognized in the industry as leaders, problem solvers, innovators and entrepreneurs.”

Banik earned a Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from Iowa State University, an M.S. in Project Management from University of Manchester-Institute of Science & Technology (United Kingdom), and a B.S. and M.S. in Civil Engineering from the Bangladesh University of Engineering & Technology. As a registered professional engineer, he is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Construction Institute, Transportation Research Board, and the American Society for Engineering Education.

 

Department of Media Relations 

 

Tennessee State University
3500 John A. 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, coeducational, 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 celebrates 100 years in Nashville during 2012. Visit the University online at tnstate.edu

Engineering Professors Attract Funding for Scholarships and Research

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – For the past four years, two professors from Tennessee State University have been relentless in writing grant proposals to initiate and generate funding to begin research projects.  Between the two, they have generated more than $7 million to support research, scholarships, and the engineering curriculum to enhance the academic profile of the College of Engineering.

Dean of the College, Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, points out that the amount of funding the College has secured is remarkable given the competition for grant dollars.

“This is rather impressive since the competition typically results in about a 10-15 percent success rate,” said Dr. Hargrove, who along with Dr. Sachin Shetty, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, have secured grants from the National Science Foundation, Boeing and the U.S. Navy among others. “Because of the competition, re-submissions are very common in this highly competitive field of science and engineering solicitations.”

According to Dr. Hargrove, the opportunity to attract external funds through research helps develop students with their involvement, enhance the quality of the academic program, and integrates new knowledge in the classroom and laboratory.

“Our goal is to provide the best academic experience for our students, and research continues to broaden a student's competence and knowledge with a depth of expertise in a discipline of engineering,” stated Hargrove. “This makes our students more marketable and qualified for the many career pathways they may take.”

Among the many grants secured by Dr. Shetty, he has attracted external funding to support his research in cyber security and advanced visualization. He has collaborated with a multi-disciplinary faculty team within and outside of the University to receive more than $3.5 million from the National Science Foundation, U.S. Air Force, Department of Homeland Security, Boeing, and Amazon. He is currently working on multiple NSF funded research and educational projects along with Dr. Tamara Rogers, associate professor of computer science, worth $500,000 in cloud auditing.

With the popularity and growth of smartphones in the last decade for on-the-go financial, business and social transactions, Shetty has also sought out funding for identifying, understanding and mitigating new security risks to these “open softphones” critical to ensuring their continued viability and success in the mobile communications marketplace.

The Air Force has provided more than $700,000 in grants and contracts to support Shetty’s collaborative research with Dr. Mohan Malkani, associate dean and professor, along with Pennsylvania State University in the area of cloud and smartphone security. The Department of Homeland Security has also provided two grants worth $800,000 to support his research with Dr. Deo Chimba, assistant professor of civil and architectural engineering, in cloud security and incidence management.

His partnership with Dr. Hargrove and Rowan University to develop visualization software for engineering education has resulted in multiple National Science Foundation grants of more than $750,000.

Shetty has received several awards for his efforts, including recognition from the Annual TSU Research Symposium, a Department of Homeland Security Leadership Award, and Teacher of the Year from the College of Engineering.  He also serves as the Director of the Cyber-Defense and Security Visualization Laboratory in the Department of Electrical Engineering.

Dr. Hargrove, who not only serves as dean of the College but also as a professor of mechanical engineering, focuses his research on advanced manufacturing techniques, virtual and augmented reality, and energy storage devices.

He recently initiated research in advanced battery technologies, combining the multidisciplinary talents of professors in chemistry, physics and engineering.  Drs. L. Ouyang, Landon Onyebueke, Mohan Malkani, Richard Mu of Fisk University, and Hargrove recently traveled to a naval research facility to develop a partnership in batteries, and are currently developing a state-of-the art laboratory for battery testing and evaluation.  These efforts are part of the newly formed TIGER (TSU Interdisciplinary Graduate Engineering Research) Institute, a self-sustaining research unit obtained from a  $1.2 million award from the National Science Foundation.

The TIGER Institute will conduct applied research in cyber-defense, bioinformatics, advanced visualization, nano-materials, and energy systems. The U.S. Navy and Air Force, Boeing and the National Science Foundation sponsor current funding of the institute.

Dean Hargrove recently collaborated with Fisk University to receive a $1 million award to support the professional development of teachers.  Fisk University will offer several workshops to enhance the quality of teaching for Metro Nashville Public Schools. For his efforts and engagement with K-12 schools, Hargrove received the 2013 TSU Community Service Staff/Administrator Award.

The most recent award from the collaboration of Drs. Hargrove and Shetty is a $600,000 award for scholarships, and $400,000 for research in energy systems (batteries), both funded by the National Science Foundation.

“We believe our role as a College and academic unit is to contribute to the affordability challenge of our students by attracting external funds through research or scholarships,” said Hargrove. “Our goal is to enrich the student’s experience and provide the opportunity for learning.”

TSU Engineering Students Help “Bridge” Real-World Problem for U.S. Military

NASHVILLE (TSU NEWS SERVICE) – Tennessee State University engineering and computer science students are taking on some major challenges that could be helpful to the nation’s military forces.

Recently, they put their engineering calculations and theories to test to solve a real-world problem facing the U.S. Air Force.

The students, all six from the College of Engineering, joined other students from across the United States to participate in the annual University Design Challenge sponsored by the US Air Force Research Lab at Elgin Air Force Base in Florida.

In this year’s competition, students were challenged to build a portable bridge that could be used by a soldier or airman in a variety of situations.

Specifically, the students were asked to design a device that would allow military Special Operations personnel to cross over up to 20-foot-wide gaps with maximum weight of 350 pounds, typically the weight of a Special Ops member with all his gear. Additionally, the device should be convenient to transport, and should be versatile for use to scale buildings.

In a combined team effort, the TSU students and six others from Prairie View A&M University, joined forces to represent the Minority Leadership Program sponsored by Houston-based Clarkson Aerospace Corporation.

The TSU-PVAM group designed and entered two solutions in the competition. The first was able to complete the competition at the 16-foot range, and the second could be used to cross over an 18-foot-wide gap.

A Shalimar, Fla., local newspaper quoted TSU Electrical and Computer Engineering major Alvin Hughes as saying that while meeting the required parameter was quite a feat, the practical applications were another matter.

“The first semester was basically concepts,” said Hughes as he and other students quickly discovered that as opposed to the classroom, calculations on a computer do not always work in the real world.

Overall, the two solutions presented by the TSU/PVAM team received positive nods from the judges.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, Dean of the College of Engineering, gave the TSU students high commendation for their participation in the Design Challenge, pointing to the “strong partnership” between the AFRL and his college.

“The College of Engineering has maintained a strong partnership with the Air Force Research Lab for more than two decades,” he said.  “This relationship extends beyond research in sensor networking and surveillance, but also applied projects for student learning.”

He called design competitions “an excellent method” for students to put engineering concepts to practice, while enjoying the camaraderie they obtain by working with other students and other institutions.

Other TSU students whop took part in the Design Competition were: Jasmine Knox and Kamisha White, Mechanical Engineering; Grantland Gray, Electrical and Computer Engineering; and January Wisniewski and James Calhoun, Computer Science.

Some of the other 16 institutions that participated in the Design Challenge were Ohio State University, Utah State University and Brigham Young University.

$334,000 Research Grant Seeks Technology on Identifying Hidden Enemy Intent in Military Warfare

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – A major problem U.S. military counter-insurgency operations face is the ability to easily identify hostile enemy group intent and hidden dangers in obstructed environments.

Such group activities are generally embedded in clutters in urban locations, involving well-trained individuals who blend in with the general population to carry out their mission. The results usually are surprise attacks and high civilian casualties.

A Tennessee State University mechanical engineering professor thinks he has the answer.  As a result of a proposal to the U.S. Army Research Office, he has won a $334,000 defense grant to investigate the possibility of developing an advanced technology that improves the capability of automated surveillance systems.

Dr. Amir Shirkhodaie, professor in the College of Engineering and director of the Center of Excellence for Battlefield Sensor Fusion, said his research will develop a new capability for behavioral pattern learning of partially obscure group activities that take place in confined, obstructed spaces.

“The ultimate goal of this project is to develop a robust information-theoretic framework with supportive techniques that can detect obscure group activities in areas such as inside a vehicle, boat, airplanes or corner alleys of urban areas,” said Dr. Shirkhodaie.

He said this could greatly reduce the false alarm rates in surveillance operations that frequently occur as a result of miscalculation of enemy intent, and help shift the “balance of power” in peacekeeping operations.

“If we can deliver this kind of technology to the battlefield, this is a game-changer,” said Maj. Jay Deason, an aviator with the Tennessee Army National Guard, who has served two tours in Iraq, flying Black Hawk Helicopters.

He said while this technology would have limited application for air reconnaissance operations, it would be greatly useful to ground forces and civil affairs specialists, who identify critical requirements needed by local citizens in combat or crisis situations.

Civilians would also greatly benefit from this technology in homeland security, crowd control, and anti-drug and anti-crime operations, Dr. Shirkhodaie said.

Maj. Deason, who has also served one tour along the southwest U.S. border flying UH-72 helicopters, said this technology will greatly help the civilian population and in border patrol operations.

“This is very exciting. This technology has the capability to save lives,” Deason added.

The main objective of Dr. Shirkhodaie’s proposal, “Detection of Partially Observable Group Activities (POGA) in Confined Obstructed Spaces,” is to develop context-based taxonomy and ontology schema for coherent analysis and inferences of POGA.

The investigation will take place in three phases, including the development of a robust Adaptive Image Processing technique for detecting and tracking of behavior pattern of POGA; a Computational Intelligence technique based on a hybrid neuro-fuzzy system architecture; and a Multi-Layer Hidden Markov Model technique for probabilistic spatiotemporal state transition modeling that leads to context-aware discovery on anomalous group activity.

In student learning, Dr. Shirkhodaie said the project would greatly enhance research opportunities for TSU students in this area, as well as offer scholarly training opportunities for underrepresented minority students in the STEM disciplines.

The Dean of the College of Engineering, Dr. S. Keith Hargrove who also announced three new research projects with Boeing for more than $500,000, congratulated Dr. Shirkhodaie on his award, adding that the grants represent the dedication and commitment of faculty to research and attracting students to the College of Engineering.

“The opportunity for academia and industry to collaborate to solve industry problems makes the company more competitive, and enhances the quality of our engineering programs for students and faculty,” said Dr. Hargrove.

The three Boeing projects include using artificial intelligence for the development of aircraft propulsion controls; the development of resilient control mechanisms to mitigate cyber attack in engineering embedded systems; and the development of mathematical models for energy harvesting and storage.

The faculty members involved in these projects are Drs. Sachin Shetty, Mohammed Saleh Zein-Sabatto, both professors of Eleectrical Engineering; and Dr. Landon Onyebueke, professor of Mechanical Engineering.

TSU Students Make Connection Between Educational Disciplines and Community Service

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Loréal Spear did not choose Environmental Engineering as a major at Tennessee State University by accident.

“I just love preserving the natural esthetics of the environment,” said the graduate student from Nashville.

Building on the “Think, Work, Serve” mantra, Spear said her interest also allows her to serve as a way of giving back to the community and helping to improve the environment in and around her hometown.

“I have actively participated in TSU’s Service Day and Hands On Nashville service events throughout my undergraduate and graduate career,” she said.

So, it came as no surprise on Saturday, March 23, when Spear joined nearly 200 TSU students, faculty and staff in a day of service as they worked to restore the natural habitats of the community.

The event was part of the Go Green North Nashville program and Hands On Nashville, where volunteers spread out into the surrounding community areas and took part in “Diggin’ It,” a day devoted to planting and rejuvenation.

Dr. Linda Guthrie, acting director of the Center for Service Learning, said the annual spring volunteer day is important not only for TSU, but also to the community that surrounds the University.

“Our community is close-kit and caring,” said Guthrie in an earlier statement. “We try to teach our students to look unselfishly beyond themselves, and to reach out to others and the world. The North Nashville area has supported the University from the beginning. We want to build lasting connections with our neighbors, and aid in the restoration of the natural habitats that surround our community.”

Projects included the TSU Riparian Reforestation, where volunteers replanted native trees along the flood-damaged banks of the Stones River; and Building TSU Rain Gardens, where volunteers dug and planted rain gardens to slow rainwater runoff into the soil.

Spear and fellow graduate student Jamal Henderson, a Civil Engineering major from Bridgeport, W.Va., joined others in TSU Energy Savings Tree Plantings, where volunteers strategically planted tress around the North Nashville community to provide shade and help cut energy costs.
“Giving my background in Architectural and Civil Engineering, these tree planting projects are very relatable as far as helping to improve the beauty and esthetics of the land,” said Henderson. “They improve energy usage and the environment.”

Another project was TSU Tree Potting, where volunteers planted tree seedlings into pots to be stored until the next fall planting season.

Service learning and community service is nothing new to the students, faculty and staff at the University. According to the Center for Service Learning, TSU offered 93 service-learning courses last year, while more than 2,000 students performed 20,000 community service hours at an estimated value of $400,000.

Just recently, TSU was named for the fifth year in a row to the President’s Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll, the highest federal recognition a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.

TSU Graduates Receive Top Recognitions at 2013 Black Engineer of the Year Awards

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – Tennessee State University graduates continue to make great inroads in industry and career achievements.

At the recently ended 27th annual Black Engineer of the Year Awards (BEYA) and Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Global Competitiveness conference (Feb. 7-9) in Washington, D.C., four TSU graduates were recognized in several key categories of the prestigious awards.

The awards recognize the achievements of African Americans in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). It also encourages young black Americans to pursue careers in STEM fields.

This year’s award ceremony was hosted by the Council of Engineering Deans at Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Lockheed Martin Corporation, US Black Engineer & Information Technology magazine, and Aerotek.

Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, Dean of the College of Engineer, who was at the conference, is a member of the Council of HBCU Engineering Deans.

The conference, which is attended by hundreds of “elite” professionals and students representing the top tier of people in STEM, allows participants the opportunity to acquire and retain talent, and to learn and network among the best and brightest technology minds in the country.

The TSU graduates and recipients of 2013 Black Engineer of the Year Awards include:

Modern Day Technology Leader award: Lamar Blackwell – a 1996 TSU graduate with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering – As systems engineer staff, Blackwell is the Flight Controls Airworthiness Certification Lead at Lockheed Martin Aeronautics. He also holds an MBA from the University of Phoenix.

Sheldon Rashad Greene – 2006 M.S. Electrical Engineering. Recognized for his “proven” ability to stand out as a technical contributor in the defense system and industry, Green is Senior Systems Engineer at Raytheon. He develops software architecture and requirement specifications at the giant defense contractor. He is also part of the engineering program at Northeastern University in Boston, where he is pursuing a master’s degree in Engineering Management and Leadership. Green recieved his B.S. degree in Electrical Engineering from Florida A&M University.

Tretessa Johnson – 1995 B.S. in Electrical Engineering. Johnson is Senior Staff Reliability Engineer at General Dynamics C4 Systems in Scottsdale, Ariz. She also holds an MBA degree from Arizona State University.

Community Service award: Rhonda Thomas – 1980 B.S. Electrical Engineering. Thomas is a General Engineer with the Federal Aviation Administration in Washington, D.C.

“On behalf of the College of Engineering, we want to congratulate these alumni for representing a high level of technical competence complemented by leadership skills in the workplace, said Dr. Hargrove. “Our educational challenge is to continue to produce quality graduates through innovative instruction and experiential learning that acknowledges an employment investment of our major industry and government recruiters.”

This is not the first time TSU graduates have been recognized at the BEYA awards. Previous two-time BEYA award recipient Terrence Southern – 2003 B.S. Computer Science – was recognized in the Modern Day Leader category in 2007, and at the 2012 conference he took the award for Most Promising Engineer.

In talking with the award winners, one thing is common. They all credit their TSU preparation for their academic and career successes.

“TSU provided me with the foundation that has allowed me to thrive academically and professionally,” said Thomas, adding that her involvement with the alumni association has taught her the importance of giving back especially to the youth.

For Southern, the two-time BEYA award winner is particularly thankful for the mentoring and leadership skills he developed at TSU as a resident assistant and founder of a professional organization.

“I find that to be successful in academia or in the work place, one must learn to prioritize, complete tasks, and learn to efficiently use time,” he said. “My TSU family prepared me for great challenges after college, which have helped me along the way.”

TSU Engineering Alumnus Receives National Recognition for Giving Back

NASHVILLE (TSU News Service) – John Brew is giving back to his alma mater …in a big way.

Since graduating from Tennessee Sate University in 2005 with a degree in Civil Engineering, Brew has remained a frequent presence in the College of Engineering.

He mentors students, attends career fairs, and helps with capstone design project presentations and recruitment ….all while maintaining a busy, full-time work schedule.

In fact, as the TSU “Champion” with Gresham, Smith and Partners, a Nashville-based architectural firm with more than 15 offices around the country, where Brew has worked since his days as a student at TSU, he interacts with students and faculty to identify “the best and brightest” students to recruit for his company.

“Giving back to the University and those students who seek my advice is very rewarding, and I am always glad to do so,” said Brew. “I also feel that it is part of my responsibility as an alumnus to help better prepare the graduates of the program that helped me in my profession.”

Well, giving back to his community and helping younger students achieve their goals have earned the Nashville native recognition not just from his former professors and dean in the College of Engineering, but also the American Society of Civil Engineers.

At the Society’s just ended (Feb. 8-9) ASCE 2013 Eastern Region Younger Member Council Meeting in Warwick, R.I., Brew was presented with the Outstanding ASCE Practitioner Advisor Award. The award is given to members who are involved in the development of local younger members in their communities, and who participate in student chapter activities such as educational conferences and seminars.

“I am very excited and humbled by this award and will continue to work even harder to help our young students,” said Brew.

The Dean of the College of Engineering, Dr. S. Keith Hargrove, described Brew as an example of “our students who continue to demonstrate a high level of technical competency and leadership” in the work place and in the community.

“In the tradition of ‘Think-Work-Serve,’ Mr. Brew represents the attributes of a TSU alum in job performance, work ethic, continuous education, and service to the community,” Dr. Hargrove said.  “We commend his contribution to the development of current students, and his relentless pursuit of excellence in a rewarding career as an engineer.”

Brew, who also holds a master’s degree in Structural Engineering from TSU, has remained active with the ASCE Student Chapter since his college days at TSU. A member of the Phi Kappa Phi Honor Society, Brew serves on the advisory boards of the Tennessee State University Engineering Alumni Association, and the Civil Engineering Department. He is a member of the Tennessee Society of Professional Engineers.

After holding several different responsibilities at Gresham, Smith and Partners, where he has worked since obtaining an internship while an undergraduate at TSU, Brew is now assigned in the Structural Design Department of the firm.

He is married to his former high school classmate, Julie.

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