School of Engineering
An interdisciplinary team of UAB students is building a house powered completely by solar energy in a competition against 11 other colleges from around the world. The team unveiled the beginning stages of the house in a ceremony at the construction site on Tuesday.
UAB was among an elite group of collegiate teams selected to participate in the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon 2017 competition. UAB’s team is made up of students from a variety of disciplines across the university who have begun working on the house, along with students from neighboring Calhoun Community College.
The team is working toward completing the design, construction and testing stages for what they have dubbed the surviv(AL) house, before bringing it to the Solar Decathlon 2017 competition site in Denver for the October event.
A recent brief in the Wall Street Journal points to a troubling trend in engineering. Even as the computer science and engineering fields are growing, the article states, “men continue to flock to those lucrative positions in significantly larger numbers than women.”
The gap is especially evident in the field of materials engineering, but according to a presentation by a group of UAB graduates at a recent meeting of the Birmingham chapter of the American Foundry Society (AFS), there are good reasons why women engineers should take a second look at foundry work. A group of four women—three of them graduates of the UAB MSE program—spoke to the group about their job satisfaction in a field dominated by men.
Click to read a synopsis of the AFS presentation from 2013 UAB graduate Lindsay Hamner.Read more
The group included recent UAB graduates Kelly McCool, Lindsay Hamner, and Emily Shedlarski, as well as Patti Buksa. “The purpose of our group speaking at the meeting was to introduce the Birmingham Chapter to the relatively new Women in Metalcasting Group,” said Hamner. “We thought it would be informative to show four women in different stages of life and their careers to come speak about what it is to be a woman in this male-dominated industry.”
An important outreach effort by the School of Engineering continues to grow, thanks to a big grant awarded to the Birmingham Public Library (BPL).
BPL recently received a $95,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Greater Birmingham. The funds will be used to expand Teens Engineer Birmingham, a pilot afterschool program that pairs engineering faculty and students with teens. The program is currently held at three city libraries – Central, Southside and Woodlawn, but BPL will use the grant money to expand the program to five libraries over the next two years.
The Community Foundation announced the grant and other recipients on May 26.
Teens Engineer Birmingham began at the Central Library in 2015. Last year, it was expanded to Southside and Woodlawn branch libraries after BPL won a $50,000 Community Impact Grant from the UAB Benevolent Fund.
Mentors from the UAB School of Engineering, led by Outreach Director Abidin Yildirim, Ph.D., provide weekly STEM-based robotics programming students who come from home schools as well as nearby schools such as Phillips Academy, Woodlawn and Ramsay high schools.
The $95,000 grant from the Community Foundation will be used to buy laptops, software, tools, safety equipment, and to fund stipends for the UAB engineering students mentoring the teens at the five libraries across the city.
“This expansion will mean more opportunities for teenagers to get involved in STEM, but it is also a great opportunity for UAB faculty and students to give back to the Birmingham community,” said Yildirim. “Outreach programs such as this one are vitally important to make sure young people are exposed to the opportunities that are available to them in STEM fields, such as engineering.”
Four UAB biomedical engineering undergraduates—Brody DeSilva, Allaire Doussan, Ali El-Husari, and Paige Severino—are among the five recipients of the first UAB Presidential Innovation Summer Fellowship program.
The students, all members of the Science and Technology Honors Program in the UAB Honors College, will continue their work this summer in a unique program that pairs undergraduates with working nurses and clinicians to work toward translating ideas into improved patient care and outcomes.
The program, UAB’s Solution Studios™, is a partnership among the Honors College Science and Technology Honors Program, UAB Medicine and the UAB schools of Engineering and Nursing. The purpose of the program is to accelerate the translation of clinical innovation by training clinicians and STEM students — those studying science, technology, engineering and math — to collaborate and think creatively around solutions to clinical problems.
Nurses and clinicians have chosen to devote their lives to patient care, during which they sometimes come across processes or products that could be improved. While they have little time to give to moving a solution to the problem forward, their experience with patients on a daily basis makes them adept at identifying opportunities for improvement.
That is where the teams of innovators come in. The fellowship program will allow the students to continue the work they started in UAB Solution Studios™.