By Joe Mussatto, Sports Editor of The Oklahoma Daily
Some students choose OU because of its esteemed engineering school while others come to play for the school’s storied football program. Jordan Thomas is an exception that fits into both categories. The freshman cornerback and mechanical engineering major has chemistry and calculus books sitting alongside his defensive playbook. “Everyone’s dream is to go the NFL but we all know football is going to end eventually,” he said. “It’s a great degree to have and a great fall back.”
The “CB” next to his name on Oklahoma’s roster signifies his position but in high school it was all about AP — as in advanced placement courses. AP world history, U.S. history, calculus and physics comprised his curriculum. While Thomas couldn’t remember what he scored on the ACT, he knows it wasn’t half-bad. “I took it once and it was good enough to get me into Northwestern,” he said. Luckily for coach Bob Stoops, Thomas came to Norman despite originally committing to the prestigious Big Ten institution. In addition to a close proximity to home, the Klein, Texas, native wanted to pick a school that would best satisfy both of his passions.
Oklahoma was the answer. “OU gave him the opportunity to compete at a high level athletically and in the classroom,” Curley Thomas, Jordan’s father, said.
While the first several weeks have been busy, a heavy mixture of coursework and football activities, the cornerback hasn’t considered switching his line of study. “That’d be taking the easy way out and that’s something I never want to do,” he said. “If you’re going to be successful in life you’ve got to challenge yourself and that’s what I’m doing.” He’s enrolled in 13 hours this semester and his Wednesday schedule is packed with classes from 8:30 a.m. to 2:20 p.m.
Sophomore cornerback Zack Sanchez has mentored Thomas and said teammates understand when he shows up to practice a little late because of class or has to skip out on other activities in order to study. “I don’t know how he does it,” Sanchez said. “I know I was overwhelmed as a freshman when I had light classes. The other day he was talking about a chemistry test he had to go study for and I was like ‘go ahead, go study for it.’”
Despite the heavy academic load, Thomas has been an early surprise on the field for the Sooners. The three-star recruit recorded four tackles against Louisiana Tech and has played in every game. His academic prowess translates to the field. “I came in here with the mindset that I was going to learn the defense better than anyone else,” Thomas said. “Everyone’s ginormous and everyone’s fast so you just have to fit in and start from the bottom to get bigger, faster and stronger.” Where the 6-foot-1, 183-pound defender has lacked physically, he’s made up for it mentally. But sometimes his intelligence gets in the way. “He wants to overanalyze things,” his father said. “I always tell him, ‘stop thinking so much and just play football.’” His teammates and coaches like to give him a hard time about it. “When he messes up we’ll be like, ‘yeah he’s an engineering major.’ We’re always messing with him,” Sanchez said.
All jokes aside, Sanchez sees something special in Thomas. He spoke glowingly of the young corner’s ability to keep his life balanced despite his numerous responsibilities. Sanchez credited Thomas’ parents for Jordan’s success. His mother is an educator and although Curley said the importance of academics was always made clear, he gave all the credit to his son for having a plan. “He understands that he probably has to study more than the normal football player,” Curley said. “He has to get more tutoring. But at the end of the day, he understands that there’s life after football.”
Jordan Thomas is already preparing for that life. It might come in a few years or it might be after a long and successful NFL career. Until then, if he’s not on the football field, check an engineering classroom. “I try not to tell people that I’m a football player,” he said. “Not because I’m ashamed of it, but I just want to be known as a student first.”
Lauren Reiners is a senior in Mechanical Engineering at AME. Lauren has exemplified herself as a dedicated engineering student throughout the course of her academic career. She has displayed academic excellence with honors including the College of Engineering Dean’s Honor Roll, President’s Honor Roll, Chesapeake Scholar, multiple scholarships, and Outstanding Junior in Mechanical Engineering. Lauren is also an active member of several organizations including President of the Dean’s Leadership Council, Secretary of Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honor Society, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Society of Women Engineers, Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society, and Chi Omega Sorority. She currently works as an undergraduate teaching assistant for the freshman engineering orientation class for Associate Dean Dr. Antonio. Lauren knew AME would offer a great education, but she was unsure of what to expect in the beginning, “After just a short time at AME, my expectations were to gain the necessary skills to become a well-rounded Mechanical Engineering major. I think the professors in AME have done a great job in fostering my creativity and providing me the skills to succeed,” said Lauren.
Furthermore, engineering experience is not scarce with Lauren. She has completed multiple summer internships with companies such as Cronus Technology, Inc., Shell Oil Company, and Chevron. This past summer, Lauren interned for Chevron as a Subsea Facilities Engineering Intern in Houston, Texas, where she performed fluid dynamics analyses, gas breakout analyses and conducted an analysis for bearing capacity of a subsea mudmat.
After graduation in May 2015, Lauren will move to Houston, Texas, and join Chevron as a full-time Facilities Engineer in the Subsea Unit. In the next five years, Lauren hopes to work on major capital projects within Chevron in the Gulf of Mexico or internationally. She also hopes to attend graduate school for a Master of Business Administration degree to assist in her ultimate goal of a project manager. Regarding her time at AME, Lauren said, “I have really enjoyed the relationships between the faculty and the students at AME. The professors take the time to get to know the students and help them grow as engineers.”
Jeremy Smith is a first year graduate student pursuing his Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering. He completed his Bachelor of Science in Mechanical Engineering in May 2014 with Cum Laude honors at OU AME. Attending graduate school at AME was an obvious next step for Jeremy, “I decided to attend graduate school because I love the environment. The free exchange of ideas is liberating compared to what we’re fed from television all the time. The AME faculty are very passionate about their concentrations, as it’s their life’s work; just ask them!”
Jeremy was on the College of Engineering Dean’s Honor Roll every semester during his undergraduate degree and was also the recipient of many scholarships. His academic excellence did not stop there. Jeremy presented at two separate conferences last spring with a presentation titled Design and Modeling of a Martian Rover Leg to Assist Sandy Slope Traverse. His interest and knowledge of the design and modeling of a Martian rover leg led to his master’s thesis topic, a passive actuation system to assist sandy slope traversal, which he is now developing.
Furthermore, Jeremy’s list of extracurricular activities is endless. He was the Chair of the AME Student Advisory Council, President of Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honor Society, President of Oklahoma Energy Club, and Mechanical Lead of the OU Solar Racing Team. During Jeremy’s time at OU, he held several positions on the Sooner Off-Road Team including Chief Engineer and Powertrain Lead. As Powertrain Lead, he successfully designed a powertrain which earned a first place finish in the Acceleration Dynamic Event in Auburn, Alabama. Jeremy also mastered advanced machining techniques such as CNC machining utilizing G-Code and MasterCam. As Chief Engineer, Jeremy oversaw design changes of the whole team. He also led an effort to test the vehicle by implementing Data Acquisition systems and instrumentation.
Jeremy has a long-term goal of earning his Ph.D., “I plan to earn my Ph.D. I really am enamored with learning. I would like to become a professor someday, and I think I would be good at it.”
Thursday, September 11, 2014 12:30pm-4:30pm
Lloyd Noble Center
Whether you are looking for a full-time job or an internship, you will find the OU Engineering Career Fair a great place to start your search! Sponsored by the College of Engineering and Engineers’ Club, the event connects some of the nation’s brightest engineering and technical students with innovative companies and government organizations. The Engineering Career Fair provides a great opportunity for you to network with employers from a wide range of industries and to develop contacts for future employment opportunities.
BEFORE THE CAREER FAIR:
Activate and update your HIREsooner Page for 2014 – 2015 - When you check in at the career fair, a name tag will be printed with the name, major and graduation date on your HIREsooner page; therefore, make sure your HIREsooner page has your correct major and graduation date listed. If you have questions, please call Career Services at 325-1974.
Get your resume critiqued at Career Services and uploaded to HIREsooner - Upload a resume to be included in the OU Online Resume Books for employers to view prior to the career fair.
Research the attending organizations.
Take a close look at the organizations attending that have indicated that they are looking for your major.
Pre-register in Career Services.
Come by our office to make your nametag ahead of time in order to avoid lines at the career fair. You’ll receive an OU embossed portfolio and t-shirt!
THE DAY OF THE CAREER FAIR:
· Dress professionally
· Bring copies of your resume to distribute
· Bring your student ID to check-in
· Park on the south or east side of Lloyd Noble and enter in south tunnel
· Parking is free!
· Career Fair is free and open to all OU Students and Alumni
· Freshmen and Sophomores encouraged to attend!
For the map of the Career Fair booth set up please Click HERE.
INTERVIEWS THE DAY AFTER THE CAREER FAIR – On the day following the Engineering Career Fair, employers may choose to interview candidates they meet at the career fair. You will be notified by the company if you are chosen to interview. Interviews will be held at Lloyd Noble.
INTERVIEWS LATER IN THE FALL SEMESTER:
Many of the employers will return to campus later in the semester to interview for full-time and internship positions in the Career Services office. They will let you know when they will be back to interview and will let you know the last day you can apply. These on-campus interviews will be listed in your HIREsooner account. To apply, activate your HIREsooner page with Career Services, upload a resume, and apply for the interviews you want. HIREsooner will notify you by email if you are selected for an interview. Once you know you have been selected, you will be prompted to go back into your HIREsooner account and sign up for an interview time. You may begin applying for on-campus interviews at the beginning of the Fall semester.
(Blog post content compliments of The University of Oklahoma Career Services https://www.ou.edu/career/students/find-a-job/career-fairs/engineering-cf.html)
Dr. Jivtesh Garg, AME Assistant Professor, attended Massachusetts Institute of Technology where he received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering in 2011. Dr. Garg will teach AME 5573 Advanced Engineering Analysis beginning Fall 2014.
Dr. Garg has a background and research interests in first-principles prediction of transport properties of materials, thermoelectrics, coupled conduction and radiation heat transfer across nanoscale gaps, and thermal properties and rheology of nanofluids.
He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Materials Research Society.
The excellent research in the field of nanostructured composite materials for applications ranging from energy to mechanical properties is just one reason Dr. Garg joined the AME Team.
Click here to view Dr. Garg’s page on the AME website.
Dr. Liu’s research will focus on developing novel multifunctional nanocomposites and smart sensor systems, which can be potentially integrated within the next generation structural health management systems to improve the structural safety and to reduce the life-cycle maintenance costs.
He is a member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and Society of Photonics Engineers.
Dr. Liu looks forward to the collaborative work environment and outstanding faculty, staff, and students at AME and joining a team full of “A” players while having the opportunity to serve as a scholar.
Click here to view Dr. Liu’s page on the AME website.
On the evening of August 26, 2014, Dave Bert and Matt Green, both AME Board of Advisors, met with some of AME’s freshmen, sophomores, and juniors in the Engineering Practice Facility. During the evening, Mr. Bert and Mr. Green spoke to students about resume building, the importance of internships, and how to choose elective courses. This information was very valuable as both men graduated from AME and have a great deal of experience in the industry. Students were engaged throughout the evening by asking questions, leading discussion, and taking notes. There was roughly 40 students total in attendance.
Tonight Tommy Lear and Matt Green will speak with AME seniors and graduate students regarding important strategies to secure full-time employment. The event will take place in REPF 200 from 7:00-8:30pm.
For more information, please contact Danielle Geier by e-mail email@example.com.
On Tuesday, August 19, 2014 the AME Graduate Student Community (GSC) held a graduate student orientation for the new graduate students as well as a refresher to the current graduate students. The orientation included guests of faculty, staff, the GSC Leadership Team, and the current graduate liaison, Dr. Kuang-Hua Chang. During the orientation, information was provided to the new graduate students about resources, research, GSC involvement, and the opportunities awaiting each of them at AME.
AME would like to welcome the new graduate students and wish them good luck on their academic and research endeavors! We are glad to have you!
On Friday, August 15, 2014 the College of Engineering hosted the annual Meet & Greet for the incoming engineering students. The new AME students then attended a session just for them with AME faculty and staff in attendance. There were roughly 70 students in attendance ready and eager to begin their journey at AME. During the session there was great discussion about mechanical engineering and aerospace engineering as well as questions about the student teams, internships, and studying abroad. It is safe to say these new students are looking forward to starting this new adventure and all of us at AME are also looking forward to meeting and working with the students over the next several years.
AME Class of 2018, Welcome to OU and AME! Good luck on your first day!
Dr. Mrinal C. Saha and Dr. M. Cengiz Altan recently received research funding from ConocoPhillips for research titled Measurement of Thermal Conductivity of Insulation Materials Containing Moisture at Different Temperatures. Saha and Altan are working to increase the reliability and longevity of the pipelines used to transport oil and natural gas across the world.
Through the years many different insulation materials have been used to prevent corrosion in the pipelines. However, recent studies have shown different types of insulation materials are often damaged by humidity and rain, which may cause severe corrosion to the pipelines. Not only is corrosion difficult to detect, but it could possibly cause structural damage in the pipeline.
Dr. Saha and Dr. Altan will perform relevant experiments and develop predictive models for the longevity of a safely functioning pipeline before it must be replaced. First they will test the effectiveness of different types of wet and dry pipeline insulation by measuring their thermal conductivity. Saha and Altan will perform accelerated testing using a freeze-thaw cycle to achieve maximum water absorption by the insulation in a reasonable amount of time. They predict most insulation will absorb 70-80 percent of water in one week, whereas reaching this level of absorption may take several years for pipelines without accelerated freeze-thaw cycles.
Following the thermal conductivity measurements of the wet insulation, Saha and Altan will begin developing a predictive life cycle model for the pipeline insulation. There are many factors affecting the longevity of the insulation, water being the major factor. Different model parameters, extracted from the experimental data, will be incorporated in developing the predictive model for the pipeline insulation.
“The outcome is very important because the process is not only applicable to the gas pipeline, but it is also applicable in other areas such as asphalt, pavement, household insulation, shingles and roofing, and so on,” said Saha. “This could really benefit the industry as a whole.”
On Monday, July 14, 2014 a delegation group from Thai Nguyen, Vietnam visited the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma. The trip occurred to discuss a possible collaboration with the mechanical engineering program between OU and Thai Nguyen University of Technology (TNUT). If this program were put into place, it would send Vietnamese students selected by the government to OU and AME for Ph.D. completion. Those students would then return to Vietnam to become faculty members.
In order for TNUT students to qualify for the potential program, they must first be selected by the university, must have completed their advanced program which is a 5-year curriculum taught in English. To enter the program, students have to take a highly competitive entrance exam to qualify. Once that is completed, the student must apply through the Graduate College at OU before acceptance into the graduate program. This collaboration between AME and TNUT would have support for at least four years from the Vietnam government.
Dr. Feng C. Lai, AME Professor, has spent time in Thai Nguyen, Vietnam teaching students during the summer and winter intersessions. He is hopeful for the possible collaboration as he says the students in Thai Nguyen study hard and the overall quality is great. “This is a win-win situation for all,” said Dr. Lai, “This is a great opportunity to increase the number of Ph.D. students in our graduate program, while recruiting these highly qualified students.”
Details are in the works and still being finalized. The program may begin as early as Spring 2015, but the ultimate goal is to begin in Fall 2015.
Dr. Li Song, assistant professor in the School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma, along with her fellow research colleagues created a method to overcome inefficiencies in heating and cooling systems to reduce building operation costs as well as reduce energy consumption significantly. Song’s research has the possibility of reducing energy consumption in a single structure by as much as 20 percent. Furthermore, Song estimates some buildings could save as much as 30 to 50 percent.
A mathematical formula was created by Song’s research team based on existing output data such as pump speed and power. This formula allows monitoring of energy use in heating, ventilation, and air conditioning units. From these results, the formula can detect unreliable systems and faulty equipment that affects energy consumption. The formula creates virtual sensors used to identify energy waste in an air-handling unit and in a whole building.
“Waiting until exorbitant utility bills appear may be a sign that the equipment hasn’t worked optimally for years,” said Song. “This method allows earlier detection of minor equipment faults, possibly preventing an overhaul of the entire system.”
In addition to saving money on utility bills, Song’s formula is a low-cost option for commercial monitors allowing more companies to track and reduce energy consumption. An organization would need to purchase several ultrasonic flow meters, which monitor water pump performance, in order for accuracy costing roughly $5,000 per meter. This virtual process is within ±2% uncertainty range compared to commercial meters.
Previously, Song applied the energy monitoring, fault detection, and diagnosis manually in over 100 buildings saving over $70 million. For instance, in one building Song’s method reduced annual electricity consumption by 53 percent, electricity demand by 21 percent, and gas consumption by 49 percent in only one year. Another building qualified as an Energy Star building just after five months.
Song’s research has grown from the corporate sector and will now focus on the government division starting at Tinker Air Force Base in Oklahoma City. The U.S. Department of Defense awarded her research team a three-year $1 million contract to increase building efficiencies at military installments.
“The U.S. Department of Defense spends $4 billion each year in facility operations,” said Song. “They have a federal mandate to reduce building energy consumption by 30 percent by 2015. My research team thinks we can double the reduction.”
Song is only one of a few researchers working on efficiency improvements in heating, ventilation, and conditioning units using virtual sensor measurements. In addition, Song is currently developing a smart-device that contains the mathematical formulas allowing building owners to easily monitor an existing system as an ongoing task.
“The virtual valve flow meter won’t replace conventional flow meters if they are needed for utility metering for billing,” said Song, “but it does offer companies an inexpensive and readily accessible solution to monitor energy consumption. Companies can use the information to create a more efficient system, saving them money while reducing energy consumption.”