Some versions of Outlook (2010 and 2013) may distort this newsletter.
If you are having trouble viewing our newsletter in your inbox, try viewing this email in your browser
  ISSUE 2 • FALL 2016

There is a classic song by the Pointer Sisters called “I’m So Excited.”  One of the song’s lyrics is “I'm so excited, and I just can't hide it.”  That is how I feel now that we have a new dean, Dr. J. Murray Gibson, who is leading us in very positive directions.  Part of his vision is described in an article presented in this newsletter. Here, I would like to highlight a little more of Dean Gibson’s background.
Gibson is the founding dean of Northeastern University’s College of Science. While at Northeastern, in collaboration with faculty and staff, he was instrumental in helping the College raise $26 million in philanthropic funds over five years. Gibson also worked with faculty to raise annual research funding by 50 percent, and during his tenure the University moved up 25 points in national rankings.

Prior to his role as founding dean, he served as a professor in one of the nation’s top 10 engineering schools, the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he trained 15 doctoral students. An internationally recognized materials researcher in nanotechnology, Gibson also worked for 11 years at the renowned Bell Laboratories in Murray Hill, NJ. During his tenure at Bell, Gibson pioneered the use of advanced electron microscopy techniques to understand the structure/property relationships of semiconductor nanostructures.
Although he has only been in his new position since July 1, Dr. Gibson has already initiated a Strategic Planning Process (see designed to build a map of where we are today as a College of Engineering to where we seek to be in the future.  I have personally attended some of the strategic planning meetings, which is part of the reason for my excitement.

As always, this newsletter also highlights student, alumni and faculty accomplishments.  I am particularly proud of Dr. Farrukh Alvi being named the Don Fuqua Eminent Scholar.  This is a very prestigious award and is a result of Dr. Alvi’s hard work over many years.  I truly admire his work ethic and creativity in both research and teaching.  Congratulations Farrukh!

The good thing is that Dr. Alvi’s accomplishments are just the “tip of the iceberg.”  If you are an alumus or friend of our program, you will definitely be encouraged as you read what follows. 

Emmanuel Collins
John H. Seely Professor of Mechanical Engineering & Department Chair


FAMU-FSU CoE dean sets goal of becoming top 50 institution

J. Murray Gibson, dean of the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, says it has the right combination to become one of the country’s top schools in 10 years.

Gibson, addressing members of the college’s Management Council meeting Thursday, said the joint college also has the potential to supply engineers for future job demands in Florida, while also helping to fill the void of minority engineers nationwide.

“In five to 10 years, I could see this being a top 50 college, the best in the country for producing African-American engineers,” said Murray, who was appointed dean in June. Getting there will require increased private fundraising, hiring top professors, branding the college and convincing the Legislature that the school needs more money.

Read more here.


FAMU-FSU Engineering a national leader in robotics

The Florida A&M University - Florida State University College of Engineering has the distinction of having one of the top robotics engineering graduate programs in the country according to, a website dedicated to keeping track of the best graduate programs in the U.S. The FAMU-FSU program is ranked 11th nationally and captured 1st place in the state of Florida. This is quite an achievement for this program, which is led by the Center for Intelligent Systems, Control, and Robotics.

"I am elated about 11th place ranking among graduate robotics programs," said Emmanuel Collins, Director of CISCOR. "The ultimate credit goes to all of the CISCOR researchers, scientists, postdocs, and graduate students who have devoted themselves to our research efforts over the years."

Read more here.


Dr. Seungyong Hahn's no-insulation technique leads to magnetic field record of 40.2 tesla

A few months ago in April, the Mag Lab's Kristen Coyne reported a new record for the creation of a magnetic field, a record of 40.2 teslas. Our department's very own Dr. Seungyong Hahn led the effort, in which he and his fellow researchers combined the powers of a new HTS (high temperature superconductor) magnet wound with rare earth barium copper oxide (REBCO) conductors manufactured by SuperPower Inc., and a resistive magnet of 31 teslas to achieve the new 40.2 tesla record.

Thanks to the Mag Lab's No-Insulation HTS magnet technology, Dr. Hahn and his team were able to make the 40.2 tesla record a reality. The absence of insulation frees a magnet's electrical current to find a path with the least electrical resistance. In turn, the current avoids what's termed "quench," defined as a part of the path where superconductivity is lost. Insulated magnets lack this benefit because of a current's defined spiral path. Therefore, the absence of insulation provides a way for the current to protect itself and avoid quench spots.

Read more here.


Mechanical Engineering's Farrukh Alvi Newly Named Don Fuqua Eminent Scholar Chair in Engineering and Science

Dean J. Murray Gibson has announced the selection of Florida A&M University - Florida State University (FAMU-FSU) joint College of Engineering Don Fuqua Eminent Scholar Chair in Engineering and Science.  The honor is awarded to Dr. Farrukh Alvi, Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director of the Florida Center for Advanced Aero-Propulsion. Dr. Alvi recently served as the Cummins Professor of Engineering.

A selection committee of representative faculty noted for their accomplishments in science, engineering and technology selected Alvi based upon his extensive academic credentials, broad experience in engineering academia and distinguished record of research.

Dr. Alvi has been a member of the Mechanical Engineering faculty since 1993, when he joined the Department as a Post-Doctoral Research Associate.  He received his B.S. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of California at Berkeley and his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from The Pennsylvania State University.

Read more here.


Aerospace Researcher Wins Young Investigator Award

A Florida State University engineering professor has won a prestigious young investigator award from the U.S. Office of Naval Research for his promising work on fluid dynamics and flow control for aircraft. 

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Kunihiko (Sam) Taira will receive the award, which provides his lab with $510,000 over a three-year period to continue his research and help support his graduate students.

“I’m very excited,” Taira said. “It’s a very generous award. It’s also nice to know they value our research important enough to back it with this type of award.”

A better understanding of flow control can help aircraft operate more efficiently and in adverse situations.

Read more here.



FSU researchers win GAP awards to launch ideas to marketplace

Five Florida State University researchers are receiving financial support from the university to transform promising lines of research into viable technologies for the global marketplace.

Researchers Hoyong Chung, Daniel Kaplan, Biwu Ma, Yaacov Petscher and Cheryl Xu will receive a combined total of more than $100,000 from the university to work on new projects such as environmentally friendly plastics, cancer therapies and a new material for a light-emitting diode, among others.

They received the money through the university's biannual GAP competition, a "Shark Tank"- like event that allows researchers to pitch their ideas to a panel of local business men and women, Vice President for Research Gary K. Ostrander and Office of Commercialization Director Brent Edington.

"As a research university, FSU has a mission to produce new technologies and make discoveries that can make our world a better place," Ostrander said. "The GAP competition is an excellent opportunity for researchers to pitch their ideas and seek funding to help move their work to the next stage of development."

Read more here.

Two FSU engineering students claim Zonta International Amelia Earhart Fellowships

Two Florida State University graduate students are among the 35 talented women chosen from across the globe for Zonta International's 2016 Amelia Earhart Fellowship. Only one other university in the United States had two recipients of the six awards received by US students. The Fellowship of $10,000 was established to assist the future of women in aerospace and other aerospace-related sciences and engineering. Zonta International is an organization striving to empower women worldwide to achieve their full potential.

Margaret Schiener, an industrial and manufacturing engineering doctoral student, and Yiyang Sun, a mechanical engineering doctoral student, each won $10,000 offered by Zonta International. Since its inception, Zonta has awarded 1,473 Amelia Earhart Fellowships to 1,044 women from 70 countries across the globe.

Read more here.


2015-16 Senior Design teams claim awards at ASEE conference

From a photo bioreactor, to a gasket that repels oil, to a robot that can accurately map out floor plans, a variety of this past spring's Senior Design projects were presented at the American Society for Engineering Education Southeastern section conference, which took place at the University of Alabama in Tuscaloosa, Alabama on March 14th, 2016. Dr. Nikhil Gupta oversaw the participation of team numbers 1, 9 and 19 as they presented posters at the conference's Student Poster Competition.

Not only did the teams participate in the competition, but two of them won an award for their posters. Senior Design Team 1 took first place in the Senior Engineering Design Team Division. On Team 1 were students Erik Spilling, David Dawson, Heather Davidson, Norris McMahon, Daniel Elliott, and Aruoture Egoh. Spilling and Dawson presented the group's work, which centered on the testing of oleophobic membranes to be used as gaskets for internal combustion engines.

Read more here.



Mechatronic Art 2: an art/engineering course leads to exhibit at the Challenger Learning Center

Would you be surprised to learn that art students use AutoCAD on their work? Or laser cutting? How about 3D printing? Much to the surprise of two engineering grad students who took Mechatronic Art 2 during the Spring semester, these design software are unquestionably a part of the artistic design process.

Jason Brown, who is a PhD student in Mechanical Engineering, and Charles Carbiener, one of our Master's students, took Mechatronic Art 2 this past spring. This course is a collaboration between our department's Dr. Jonathan Clark and the FSU Art Department's Rob Duarte. The course teaches and incorporates concepts from both engineering and art, and how they are used toward a collaborative effort. In describing Mechatronic Art 2, Professor Duarte shared, "The goal of our collaborative course was to have students from the fields of engineering and art teach each other aspects of their own domains. We wanted them to recognize the overlap in the two seemingly disparate fields: from developing ideas through sketching on paper, to programming microcontrollers."

Read more here.


Mechanical engineering students participate in the 5th annual Whatever Floats Your Boat Regatta

Whatever Floats Your Boat is a competition where competitors build their boats out of recycled materials. According to the event website, "The goal of the event is to educate and showcase the various ways we can repurpose materials that would normally be thrown away."

Sophia Hawkins, a sophomore in mechanical engineering, is the historian for the student chapter of the Society of Women Engineers at the FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, and organized this year's regatta submission, 'SWE's Revenge'.

"SWE collected recycled water bottles through Garnet and Gold Goes Green before football games and saved our own recyclables," said Hawkins. "The only adhesive allowed, besides recycled materials, is duct tape."

Read more here.


FAMU alumna Kyra Massey Kennedy becomes patented inventor

FAMU alumna Kyra Massey Kennedy knew early on that the STEM fields were her calling. Having been introduced to engineering through FAMU’s MITE (Minority Introduction to Engineering) Program in the late eighties, in addition to an interest in “cars, engines, robots, gadgets,” Kyra dove right into Mechanical Engineering at FAMU. Although she ultimately switched her major to Mathematics, with a minor in Mechanical Engineering, her experience in the latter launched her toward a plethora of career opportunities.

Before even graduating, Kyra had job offers from AlliedSignal, General Motors, and Hewlett-Packard. She had an impressive resume under her belt, for even prior to her time at FAMU, during her high school years at FAMU’s Developmental Research School, Kyra sealed her place as a budding engineer when she earned 1st place four times at the school Science Fair. Her talent did not go unnoticed by Westelle Florez, a representative from the company Diesel Recon, who made sure Kyra joined the People to People Program, allowing her the opportunity to visit over six cities in Russia as a student ambassador.

Read more here.
Copyright © 2016 FAMU-FSU College of Engineering, All rights reserved.

Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list

This email was sent to
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
FAMU-FSU College of Engineering · 2525 Pottsdamer Rd · Tallahassee, FL 32310 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by MailChimp