Dean Lutchen details BU effort to boost STEM teachers
Dean Kenneth R. Lutchen and Associate Dean for Outreach & Diversity Gretchen Fougere were among a select group of educators invited to the White House recently to highlight the College’s work in preparing excellent STEM teachers.
The event was sponsored by the Office of Science and Technology Policy, and by 100Kin10, an organization that aims to place 100,000 STEM teachers in the nation’s school to educate the next generation of innovators and problem solvers. Fougere is among the initial group of 100Kin10 Fellows, who are challenged with finding ways to increase access to high-quality engineering education.
“The Boston University College of Engineering is a leader in STEM teacher preparation and has gone above and beyond as a partner in the 100Kin10 network,” according to Talia Milgrom-Elcott, executive director of 100Kin10. The College was among just 42 universities, companies and non-profits — and the only engineering school — invited to the event. Also speaking at the event were leaders from the National Science Foundation and Jonathan Holdren, director of the Office of Science Technology and Policy and the science advisor to the President.
Reception celebrates collaboration and impact
Since 2010, Santander Universities has supported almost 250 BU School of Public Health students as they embark on Global Practicum experiences. In the 2014–2015 academic year, we had 63 Santander Scholars with 22 organizations, in 17 countries.
Santander Scholars put their public health skills to use and immersed themselves in challenging, low-resource environments, giving them a remarkable opportunity to hone skills essential to their future careers—and they, in turn, helped meet some of the many public health needs around the world.
At a recent reception, Santander guests joined BU faculty to hear our 2015 BU Santander Scholars share stories from their most recent experiences in places like Kenya, Bangladesh, Mexico, Haiti, and Nicaragua. These stories are further proof that the landscape for BU School of Public Health students seeking global health experience has been substantially improved through this collaboration.
Read more about the Santander Universities Scholars Program.
Mark Barrasso (ENG’15) wins the Top Hacker Award
Boston University Students showcased novel open source “Internet of Things” (IoT) solutions at Cisco Live! San Diego. BU collaborated with Cisco, Estimote, and the Industry-Academia Partnership for their novel Smart Cities Applications over OpenDaylight.
Boston University students displayed their Smart Cities apps in the “DevNet Zone for IoT,” hosted by Cisco at its annual Cisco Live! event held in San Diego on June 10–11. The BU apps provide visualizations of mobile device positions on interactive maps of both indoor facilities and aerial/satellite imagery by combining signals acquired from disparate “things” including Bluetooth low energy (BLE) beacons, internet routers, and GPS.
Students who contributed to the apps include: Mark Barrasso, Jose Bautista, Justina Choi, Sean Liu, Nehal Odedra, Niklas Kunkel, Qingqing Li, and Yingchao Zhu. The students were supervised by Professor Orran Krieger and Dr. Ata Turk of the BU Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Industry mentors included Lionel Florit of Cisco and Jim Ballingall of the Industry-Academia Partnership (IAP).
Mark Barrasso (ENG’15) won the Top Hacker Award for the Smart Cities projects for leadership in application design and coding. Mark also acted as scrum leader for one of the BU student teams, and represented BU and his colleagues at Cisco Live! San Diego.
Inaugural Schlumberger–Boston University Research Fellowship Grants Awarded
Graduate Fellowships to Support Innovation in Oil and Gas Extraction
Professor Xin Zhang and Assistant Professor James C. Bird (both ME, MSE) have received the first Schlumberger-Boston University Research Fellowship grants. These grants pair BU graduate students with Schlumberger researchers to pursue early-stage research in technical areas of potential importance to Schlumberger.
Approved by a committee comprised of BU and Schlumberger researchers, each one-year grant provides a stipend and fees for one graduate fellowship per faculty member.
The new program is jointly sponsored by BU and the Cambridge-based Schlumberger Doll Research Center (SDR), which conducts scientific research to invent and develop future Schlumberger products and services in sensor physics, mathematics and modeling, reservoir geosciences, mechanics and materials science, and carbon dioxide mitigation and sequestration.
Read more about the awards on the BU College of Engineering website.
May 2–3, 2015
PTC is a board member of BU’s Engineering Product Innovation Center (EPIC) at the College of Engineering, where students work on hands-on design, prototyping, and small-scale manufacturing as part of their engineering curriculum. In May, PTC hosted a hackathon at EPIC over a period of 24 hours, where students from BU and surrounding colleges gathered to solve PTC customer challenges in a fun-filled competition. Winners of this competition went on to present their innovations to Steve Wozniak on stage in front of 2,000 people at PTC’s Internet of Things conference.
The hackathon helped PTC work with the developer community to use their technology and generate ideas for customers. Students gained new technical skills and an opportunity to win cash prizes. PTC posed three challenges in the areas of Smart City, Smart Agriculture, and Accessibility (for citizens with disabilities). At the start of the hackathon, students learned briefly about PTC, the three challenges, and how they affect PTC customers. Then, they picked a challenge, formed teams, and developed a customer solution to the challenge using a common platform or device from PTC.
Wells Fargo provides $75,000 clean technology and innovation grant
A research team at Boston University is working to reduce energy costs and improve energy efficiency with clean technology in a low-income housing community. The group of professors and graduate students is looking at air conditioning and heating use in Madison Park Village, a low-income community outside of Boston, with the help of residents to understand how economic, environmental, engineering, and sociological concerns affect energy use.
When office and residential buildings are hot during a snowstorm or chilly on a hot August day, it’s not surprising that buildings account for more than 40 percent of energy use and carbon emissions in the U.S., says Robert Kaufmann, a professor in the earth and environment department. The group of researchers has set out to change that for Madison Park Village residents by understanding how they use energy and finding clean-technology solutions that improve efficiency — and comfort.
Pictured above: BU Professor Robert Kaufmann, Madison Park Development Corporation’s Jean Pinādo, Wells Fargo’s Jim Quirk, and Project Manager Marta Marello
Grant to advance STEM education for urban youth
The Technology Innovation Scholars Program (TISP) at BU’s College of Engineering received a $145K grant from AT&T to create a two-year engineering and technology program for an urban high school population, and to document its impact on high school graduation rates.
Tomorrow’s event open to all faculty, staff
If companies want their future employees to be gifted team workers and leaders, communicators, and analysts, why not help train those future workers while they’re still in college? BU has partnerships with several big companies interested in just that, including AT&T, GE, Phillips, and Schneider Electric.
“These companies are willing to get involved and help students develop these skills through work in the classroom or internships,” says Kathy Lynch, BU’s director of corporate relations. They’re “willing to provide access to data, challenges, scenarios, and executives to provide our students with opportunities to apply the skills that they are learning in the real world.”
Industry Leaders Highlight Global Health Innovation on Campus
Sponsored by the Office of Technology Development, the Center for Global Health & Development, the School of Management Health Sector, and Global Health & Technology, the February Global Health and Engineering Meet-Up (GHECHo) was a networking and informational event designed to strengthen links between engineers, public health, and business communities around BU. These links will facilitate collaborations that can lead to new solutions for global health challenges.
On February 24th, the meetup—emceed by Professor Muhammad Zaman of BU Biomedical Engineering—attracted a full crowd to the BU Photonics Center. Industry panelists discussed go-to-market strategies, reviewed competing posters, and heard startup companies make their pitch in an exciting “Shark Tank” session with expert judges.
Executives from Philips Healthcare and Boston Scientific provided cash prizes to the winning teams. Panelists and “sharks” also included executives from Cardinal Health, CIMIT, Joslin Diabetes Center, VentureWell, and John Snow, Inc.
Read more at Global Health & Technology Meetup (GHECHo).
To Train & Hire High-Tech Workers
A number of businesses are supporting technical education in hopes of producing a more experienced workforce.
Tom Hubschman adjusts his safety glasses as sparks fly from the computer-controlled plasma torch slicing through a piece of metal. The Boston University mechanical engineering major is working on his senior design project in the school’s 9-month-old Engineering Product Innovation Center. At his disposal are hardware and software for computer-assisted design and 3-D prototyping, a machine shop, an automated robotic manufacturing line, a metals foundry and a carpentry shop.
These riches are the result of a collaboration with four big partners – General Electric Aviation, Schlumberger, Procter & Gamble and technology company PTC – plus a substantial investment by the university.
Any BU student interested in taking a product from design to manufacturing is welcome at EPIC, although the chief beneficiaries are the future engineers. Having access to cutting-edge technologies while in college can lower the odds of making costly and time-consuming mistakes later – when the task is to design parts for a jet engine, for example – and thus be a big advantage in the job search.
Engineering grads “can say, ‘Oh yes, I know that machine, and not from a book. I’ve worked with it. I’ve had my hands on it,'” Hubschman says.
Read more on US News & World Report.