21 May

This week, a group of West Virginia University Institute of Technology (WVU Tech) students will make an 850-mile trip to Pittsburg, Kansas to participate in the 2014 Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Baja series hosted at Pittsburg State University, May 22–25.

The WVU Tech SAE team and their Baja racing buggy will compete against more than 1,000 students in dynamic events such as a sled pull, suspension/traction course and a four-hour endurance race.

The team started work in January, installing a brand new transmission, mounting a suspension system, designing and cutting panes for the buggy’s body and fine-tuning the vehicle for its various performance tests.

“We’ve put a lot of work into the build, spent a lot of late nights working on the buggy. We’re learning a lot about welding, machining and design,” said WVU Tech SAE member, Jason Browning.

The WVU Tech buggy is equipped with a 10-horsepower Briggs & Stratton engine, weighs in at around 500 pounds and can reach a top speed of 25 mph. Built on the frame from last year’s competition, the buggy’s motor is the same model Briggs & Stratton donates to each team in the competition.

“SAE students build the buggy from top to bottom with a focus on the design process. The project is both an opportunity to practice the skills students are learning in the classroom and a chance to work on areas where they’re weakest,” said Dr. Winnie Fu, WVU Tech Assistant Professor of Engineering Technology.

The SAE Baja series consists of three competitions in April, May and June. Each competition features 100 schools and buggies undergo a rigorous technical inspection before they are permitted to compete. Teams also provide a cost report, design report and sales presentation where students pitch their project to fictional clients.

This year’s WVU Tech SAE sponsors include spark plug manufacturer NGK, Hidden Trails Motorsports, Jarvis Hardware, March Westin, CM&I Products, the Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering at WVU Tech, the WVU Tech Student Government Association and a few dedicated parents.

“Our sponsors directly support the development of these future engineers,” said Dr. Fu. “SAE students are sought out by employers and often find work right out of school because of their technical and design abilities and the practical experience they get from these competitions.”

The SAE is always looking for new support. Interested sponsors can contact Dr. Fu at Winnie.Fu@mail.wvu.edu.

For more photos of the Baja buggy, visit WVU Tech on Flickr.

19 May

On Tuesday, May 13, 2014, great young minds in chemistry gathered in Charleston for the Kanawha Valley Section of the American Chemical Society’s (ACS) annual awards banquet.

The event recognized first and second-year high school chemistry students for their achievements in the 2014 ACS High School Chemistry Olympiad.

“We’ve got students who have excelled both in team and individual competitions. We’re here to recognize their outstanding achievements in chemistry and have some fun along the way,” said David Haas, Chemistry professor at the University of Charleston and President of the Kanawha Valley ACS section.

The ACS Chemistry Olympiad encourages achievement in high school chemistry. Students begin the Olympiad by taking an initial achievement (first-year students) or local (second-year students) exam. High-scoring students can then move on to the National exam and, if he or she does well, they may be one of the top four students in the nation that will represent the United States in the International Chemistry Olympiad in Hanoi, Vietnam this July.

Olympiad participants took initial exams at WVU Tech, West Virginia State University and the University of Charleston in March. Four top-scoring students from Oak Hill, George Washington and Riverside high schools visited WVU Tech in late April to take the national exam, administered by Dr. Rana Jisr, WVU Tech professor and local Olympiad coordinator.

At Tuesday’s event, top finishers in the local and achievement exams were awarded WVU Tech scholarships. George Washington High School student, Jay Sheth, received the first-place scholarship award. Jacob Pino of Oak Hill High School and Capitol High School’s Issac Liu took home second and third scholarship awards, respectively.

“Congratulations to all of the awardees and to all of the wonderful teachers whose results are these intelligent students,” said Dr. Z. Torbica, Dean of the Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences at WVU Tech. “And, of course, congratulations to the parents for supporting these students and helping them to succeed.”

In addition to dinner and the awards ceremony, attendees participated in an interactive chemistry presentation from Dr. Hasan El-Rifai, Associate Professor and Chair of the Department of Physical Sciences at WVU Tech.

Visit the ACS website to learn more about the Chemistry Olympiad, and check out WVU Tech on Flickr to see photos from this year’s awards event.

[Photo: Students (from left to right) Logan Flint, Chris Kelly, Dhruva Gupta and Arka Gupta visit WVU Tech to take the ACS Chemistry Olympiad National exam on April 25, 2014.]

12 May

WVU Tech Army Reserve Officers’ Training Corps (ROTC) cadets Ashley Burns, Christopher Jenkins and Tori Bragg were recognized for their contributions to the program at an ROTC event at the WVU Tech Student Center on Friday, April 25.

Cadet Burns received the National Sojourners Award for patriotism and excellence while Cadet Bragg was recognized with the Superior Cadet Decoration Award – the second highest Army medal awarded to ROTC cadets – for high academic standing and demonstrated officer potential. Cadet Jenkins received the Scottish Freemasonry Award for high academic standing and outstanding contributions in extracurricular activities or community projects.

Cadets from the University of Charleston, West Virginia State University and Glenville State College were also recognized at the event.

Though the spring semester is over, ROTC instructor Staff Sgt. Timothy Hatcher said many cadets will travel to Fort Knox, Kentucky to undergo additional training during the summer months. Sophomore students can attend a Leaders Training Course (LTC) to gain firsthand military life and leadership experience, while junior-year cadets will attend a month-long, intensive Leader Development and Assessment Course (LDAC). The LDAC trains and evaluates cadets on their skills in navigation, tactics, first aid, weapons training and cultural awareness while assessing the cadet’s potential to become an Army officer.

West Virginia State University serves as the host school for the local Army ROTC program, which includes the University of Charleston, Glenville State College and WVU Tech. Students interested in ROTC can visit the program’s website or contact Recruiting Operations Officer, Bill Kinsey by email or at 304-766-3295.

[Photo: From left to right, Pvt. Tori Bragg, Pvt. Christopher Gonzales, Cadet Christopher Jenkins, ROTC instructor Staff Sgt. Timothy Hatcher, Cadet Kodie Halstead, Pvt. Deonte Hill and Cadet Ashley Burns attend a recognition dinner on April 25, 2014.]

8 May

Recent WVU Tech graduates Rami Shamout, Megan Chestnut, Raul Martin Valencia and Rachel Facemire got a chance to showcase their civil engineering knowledge on Friday, May 2 as they presented their final project for the Integrated Civil Engineering Design course.

The group focused on the “rebuild” in WVU Tech’s mission to recruit, retain and rebuild. To accommodate an increase in freshman students – Fall 2013 saw the biggest freshman enrollment increase at WVU Tech in a decade – they designed a new residence hall for their senior project. They named the building in their project Keely Hall, after Montgomery Preparatory School’s first principal, Josiah Keely.

“We’re proud to be golden bears,” said Martin Valencia. “We had a lot of options for projects, but we wanted to work on something that would benefit WVU Tech, something we could give back in return for what WVU Tech has given to us.”

Greg Bailey, the course’s instructor and acting State Highway Engineer at the West Virginia Division of Highways, said the class is an opportunity for students to build a project from the ground up. Students work as a team and every course assignment and technical paper is a part of the overall design project.

“The course challenges students to see a conceptual design project through from start to finish,” he said. “It provides practical experience and allows them to interact with actual clients and professionals in the industry.”

In order to create a comprehensive plan for Keely Hall, the group had to consider factors such as site placement, slope integrity, water runoff and even how the proposed construction would impact soil pressure. Group members tackled these issues individually, conducting land surveys, measuring soil distribution curves and seepage factors, designing a low-impact foundation for the building and mapping the flow of water to and from the site.

The data was earned in long hours and muddy boots.

“We learned that the idea that engineers just sit in an office crunching numbers all day is a myth,” said Facemire.

The group worked closely with WVU Tech facilities to go over blueprints and schematics of current infrastructure in the area. To find out which amenities students would prefer in a new residence hall, they conducted a student survey.

Using their hard-won research and feedback from students, the group created a 3D model and blueprints of the proposed facility. The 261-foot long, 69-foot wide building would house 188 students and include a fitness area, resident director’s apartment, study and conference rooms, student storage and activity rooms where students could play games and hang out.

The group is hopeful that their project is a good starting point as WVU Tech expands.

“These students have put together something they can use as they go out into the workforce,” said Bailey. “It’s really impressive work, something on par with what you would expect to see from a team of professional engineers.”

[Photo: WVU Tech graduates (from left to right) Rami Shamout, Megan Chestnut, Rachel Facemire and Raul Martin Valencia gather after the 115th WVU Tech commencement ceremony on May 3, 2014.]

5 May

On Saturday, May 3, 2014, WVU Tech honored nearly 200 graduates at the 115th commencement ceremony at the Neal D. Baisi Athletic Center.

During the ceremony, graduates heard from a variety of speakers including WVU President E. Gordon Gee and WVU Tech President Carolyn Long, who offered presidential remarks.

“I know the words ‘infinite possibilities’ mean something special on this campus. Those words are especially fitting today because every commencement ceremony is a celebration of infinite possibilities,” said President Gee.

President Long encouraged graduates to become lifelong learners and shared, “You are WVU Tech’s bright and shining stars. You will be a representative of this great institution wherever you go.”

Student Government Association President Amy Haddix addressed the graduates, “You are composed of many different cultures, backgrounds and nationalities. Yet, one thing unites you – WVU Tech – the school many of you have called home for years. WVU Tech has prepared you with the knowledge to go out and face the world, to not just challenge it, but to improve it.”

“With the right amount of hard work and a lot of luck, it is not an overstatement to say that you have the potential to change the world,” said commencement speaker Mr. James Estep, President and Chief Executive Officer of the West Virginia High Technology Consortium.

Graduates Shae Shamblen and Daniel Eisenberg were recognized with Presidential Leadership Awards – the university’s most prestigious academic honor – while the National Association for Sport and Physical Education (NASPE) Major of the Year Award went to graduate Shaina Galinsky.

More than 500 guests attended the ceremony, including Golden Alumni from the class of 1964.

Check out the WVU Tech YouTube channel to see video of Saturday’s Commencement Ceremony or WVU Tech’s Flickr page for photos from the day’s event.

1 May

On Tuesday, April 29, hundreds of WVU Tech students took a break from studying for the last few days of final exams to stop by the Bears Den for this semester’s Top Chefs of Tech late-night breakfast.

Visitors enjoyed made-to-order omelets, waffles, pancakes, French toast, fresh fruit and other breakfast staples prepared by WVU tech staff, faculty and administration, including WVU Tech President Carolyn Long.

“This is my favorite event of the year,” said David Templeton of WVU Tech Dining Services. “The student response was outstanding and everyone had a great time.”

All told, nearly 300 students dropped in for the meal, which ran from 9-11 p.m.

Check out WVU Tech’s Flickr page to see more photos.

28 Apr

Tech's Got Talent, and It Shows

Zachary | April 28th, 2014

On Thursday, April 24, WVU Tech students, faculty and staff gathered in the Conley Hall Theater to watch student acts share their love for the performing arts at Tech’s Got Talent.

Organized by WVU Tech resident assistants Haley Pauley and Dan Eisenberg, the contest featured 12 acts including instrumental and vocal performances, salsa dancing, inspirational poetry and a cover of an Epic Rap Battle of History, a popular YouTube video series pitting famous figures against one another in rap battles.

“I’m proud that Dan and I were able to help make this show happen. It’s a fun event for students, faculty and staff to come out and enjoy,” said Pauley.

WVU Tech President Carolyn Long, Dean of Students Richard Carpinelli, and Associate Dean of Students Dr. Amy Cotner-Klingler served on the panel of judges for the show.

“It’s no secret that our students are talented – they showcase their academic talents in the classroom every day,” said President Long. “The talent show was an excellent opportunity to see our students share more of their gifts.”

Jackie Galloway took top honors of the night for his saxophone rendition of John Legend’s “All of Me.” Jaymee Hannan came in second with her cover of “A Drop in the Ocean” by Ron Pope while Scotty Stone and Cameron Waterbury’s guitar cover of Lorde’s “Royals” rounded out the top three.

“We had 12 great acts and a high audience turnout,” said Eisenberg. “Thanks to President Long, Dean Carpinelli and Associate Dean Cotner-Klingler for serving as our judges and being a part of a successful, talent-filled night.”

Head over to Flickr to see more photos from Tech’s Got Talent.

28 Apr

Since 1998, the Leonard C. Nelson College of Engineering and Sciences has recognized those students who excel both in and out of the classroom at the annual STEM Awards banquet. Now in its 17th year, the ceremony honored more than 30 dedicated students on Thursday, April 24 in the Tech Center Ballroom.

During the banquet, students from each of the college’s nine departments are recognized for their outstanding academic performance or their active participation in students groups and other activities.

“Every year I look forward to the awards banquet. It’s a great opportunity to recognize the exceptional work of students in their studies and in their service to the institution,” said Dr. Paul Steranka, associate dean and professor at the college.

In addition to the student awards, three Hazelton/Mellow Endowed Scholarships were awarded to WVU Tech students Wesley Cunningham, Jordan Lewis and Harrison Martin.

Check out photos from the banquet on the WVU Tech Flickr page.

WVU Tech would like to congratulate this year’s honorees:

INFORMATION SYSTEMS
Ashley Westfall – Outstanding Information Systems Student
Joshua Sizemore – Outstanding Information Systems Student

COMPUTER SCIENCE
Joshua Keiffer – Outstanding Computer Science Student
Kiarash Tirandazi – Outstanding Computer Science Student

MATHEMATICS
Lauren Caldwell – Outstanding Senior Math Student
Branden Frazier – Outstanding Junior Math Student
Dustin Sauriol – Outstanding Junior Math Student
Kyle Diem – Outstanding Junior Math Student
Loren Jackson Fox – Outstanding Freshman Math Student

MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
Juan Suarez Trujillo – Outstanding Academic Achievement
Branden Frazier – Outstanding Academic Achievement
Kaylah Bovard – Outstanding Academic Performance and Her Contribution to the Mini Baja Buggy Project
Derek Burdette – Outstanding Academic Achievement and His Leadership role in the Pi Tau Sigma, Mechanical Engineering Honorary Society
Thy Dinh – For his Dedication to NASA SPACE CLUB Activities and Outreach
Walter Engels – For his Achievement in Publishing/Presenting His Paper at the ASEE Conference & Receiving Third Place for Best Undergraduate Student Paper Award

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING
Shae Shamblen – AIChE Outstanding Senior

ENGINEERING TECHNOLOGY
Daniel Hull – Outstanding Civil Engineering Technology Student
James Ferrell – Outstanding Electronics Engineering Technology Student
Bradley Ponchak – Outstanding Mechanical Engineering Technology Student
Jorge Zapata – Outstanding Industrial Technology Student

CHEMISTRY
Jacob Riggins – Academic Achievement Award in Chemistry

BIOLOGY
Michala Dean – Academic Excellence Award in Biology
Brittini Lilly – Outstanding Service Award in Biology
Jonathan Eske – Senior Academic Excellence Award in Biology

COMPUTER ENGINEERING
Brandon Cole – Outstanding Computer Engineering Student Award
Dustin Sauriol – Outstanding Computer Engineering Student Award

ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING
Drew Fields – Outstanding Electrical Engineering Student Award
Amber Toney – Outstanding Service Award

CIVIL ENGINEERING
Jacob Harper – Bryan Bills Award
Kyle Diem – Outstanding Civil Engineering Junior Award
Rachel Facemire – Outstanding Civil Engineering Senior Award
James Ramsey – Outstanding Civil Engineering Sophomore

24 Apr

In early April, WVU Tech students made the trip to Charlottesville, Virginia to compete at the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) 2014 Virginias Student Conference.

The WVU Tech steel bridge team finished third overall and placed first in the lightness category. The 6-member team constructed their bridge in 22 minutes and 48 seconds and WVU Tech’s entry was one of only three bridges to pass the post-construction load test. The team plans to set up the winning bridge in the engineering building.

“Everybody worked hard and proved that we are able to compete with bigger schools. It’s a good feeling to be able to compete at that level and know that your work stands for itself,” said WVU Tech’s steel bridge team captain, Jacob Harper.

WVU Tech’s survey team placed second in the surveying competition, competing against six other schools. Armed only with a surveying rod, total station, calculator and paper and pencil, the team conducted a timed survey off a single given point. Judges determined winners based on measurement accuracy.

“Placing in this competition shows how WVU Tech’s Civil Engineering program is preparing its students for future careers,” said WVU Tech survey team member, Rachel Facemire. “I would also encourage any student, no matter what their major, to join the ASCE program.”

For more information, check out Golden Bears Set to Compete in the ASCE 2014 Virginias Conference.

23 Apr

WVU Tech NSLS Welcomes New Leaders

Zachary | April 23rd, 2014

The National Society of Leadership and Success (NSLS) operates with the motto, “We build leaders who make a better world.” On Monday, April 21, the organization got a new set of building blocks as 17 WVU Tech student leaders were inducted into the society.

Founded in 2001, NSLS maintains more than 350,000 members in 417 colleges across the nation. The society promotes student leadership with a focus on team-building, community involvement, goal attainment and effective communications skills. The new induction brings the WVU Tech chapter, established in 2012, to 184 members.

WVU Tech NSLS members are active on the campus, hosting trivia nights, mixers, campus movie marathons and bake sales. Society members have read to seniors in a local nursing program and spent time with special needs children at a local elementary school.

“We are dedicated to community service and academic integrity and we’re excited to welcome new students who want to be a part of that,” said Dr. Martha Maus, WVU Tech’s NSLS Campus Advisor.

Simply becoming a NSLS member is part of the society’s leadership training. In addition to maintaining a 3.0 GPA, new members are required to fulfill eight tasks before induction into the society, including orientation, a leadership training day, three success networking team sessions and three live speaker broadcasts.

The process provides students with a look at what to expect from membership and asks them to identify their passions and goals. The live speaker broadcasts offer students a chance to hear from successful leaders such as Mad Money’s Jim Cramer or Blake Mycoskie, founder of TOMS shoes.

The success networking team sessions put students in small groups as they identify specific goals and create a plan to achieve those goals. Team members provide support to one another as they strive for anything from getting a better grade on an exam to doing well at an upcoming interview.

Monday’s induction ceremony was the culmination of that work for 17 dedicated Golden Bears, and WVU Tech congratulates them on their commitment to success.

For more information about the NSLS, visit www.societyleadership.org, and check out the WVU Tech NSLS Facebook and Twitter pages.

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