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UK Mining Engineering Receives $75,000 in Scholarship Funding

Sep 23, 2011   //   by Webmaster   //   News  //  Comments Off

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 23, 2011) — The University of Kentucky Department of Mining Engineering received a donation of over $75,000 from the Friends of Coal-Kentucky program to support Kentucky students pursuing a degree in mining-related fields.

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Electrical Engineering Alumni Couple Open Library in North East India

Aug 23, 2011   //   by Webmaster   //   News  //  Comments Off

Alumni Shamala Chickamenahalli and Chandan Das are Indian-born electrical engineering students who met on the UK campus in the mid-1990s. Shamala received her Ph.D. and Chandan earned his master’s degree in 1995. After graduation, they married and began successful careers in the United States. They currently work for Intel and live in Phoenix with their twin son and daughter.

Shamala and Chandan recently opened a library in Chandan’s hometown of Goalpara, Assam, India. The Chandan Shamala Library is their way of giving back to a community that has fallen into socio-economic decline. It opened with 550 books and has the capacity to hold 6,000 books total. In addition, they are offering crafts, drama and music classes to children in the community. Long-term, they hope to make health exams available to the public through their facility.

For more information on how these two alums are making an impact, visit

UK Receives Awards at Entrepreneurial Competition

May 3, 2011   //   by Webmaster   //   News  //  Comments Off

David Lowe, a senior in the SEAM program received $2,329 for his business concept pitch at State Idea U, a new statewide business concept and business plan competition designed to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship. Lowe’s business concept was for WebNoise to capture feedback on companies whose products and services are being discussed in social media and other on-line forums. This feedback is then compiled and provided to clients.

Another award recipient was Dr. Bruce Walcott, the faculty advisor for UK’s Entrepreneur’s Club where students across UK’s campus come together to further entrepreneurship and enterprise. Dr. Walcott’s team, BetaBase, represented UK in the Idea State U competition. BetaBase is revolutionizing the rock climbing industry by capturing high resolution, first-person point-of-view of climbing routes. Comprising BetaBase are three UK students: Tyler Yarbrough, Ben Freeman, and Tom Cunningham.

“Their specialty is the Red River Gorge,” said Walcott. “People don’t realize what an internationally-renowned attraction we have in our own back yard. The BetaBase product will not only help to make climbing safer, but will attract even more climbers to the Red River Gorge. “

When asked about his award, Walcott said, “I am deeply honored. Like every coach, I would have liked to have seen my team finish higher, but I was very proud of their efforts. Certainly, much of the credit for getting BetaBase to IDEA State U should be afforded to a number of other advisors: Wes Brooks, Nick Such, Dean Harvey, Natasha Jones, Jim Clifton, Jeff Ashley, Holly Hapke, Hank Dietz, Richard Stump and Randall Stevens. We are blessed to have students, staff, faculty and alumni who know so much about entrepreneurship and are willing to give back. I would be very much remised if I didn’t thank Paul Boisvert, who organizes the competition and gave our team a shot.”

Walcott added, “The $500 that BetaBase did receive from the competition will help fund their way to travel to California. There, they plan to give their pitch to Casey Sheahan, CEO of Patagonia, a leader in outdoor and climbing apparel. If they can get buy-in from Patagonia, BetaBase will have achieved a firm foot hold on their climb to the top.”

Idea State “U” is Kentucky’s new statewide business concept and business plan competition designed to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship by rewarding participating student teams from the commonwealth’s eight four-year state universities. Winning teams were those judged as having the best business concepts and business plans for proposed new ventures.

The event was held in Lexington, April 22-23, 2011.

Engineering Leadership Fellows Visit Washington, DC

Apr 26, 2011   //   by Webmaster   //   News  //  Comments Off

Students enrolled in the Engineering Leadership Class (EGR 599) spent three days during UK’s spring break in our nation’s capital. The group of 15, consisting of students from all majors from within the college, met with Congressman Ben Chandler as well as senior staff members of Kentucky’s Congressional delegation. In addition, the students received briefings from high-ranking officials at federal agencies including the Department of Energy, Department of Homeland Security, the National Nanotechnology Coordination Office, and the National Institute of Standards and Technology. A highlight of the trip was a meeting with UK civil engineering alumnus Major General Timothy Byers (BSCE ’81), the U.S. Air Force Civil Engineer, who then treated the students to a tour of the Pentagon. While in Washington, the group visited such landmarks as the U.S. Capitol, U.S. Supreme Court, and the Library of Congress as well as the U.S. Senate gallery during crucial budget deliberations.

The Engineering Leadership Fellows are chosen by interview from interested seniors on the basis of outstanding scholarship, participation in University and College organizations, and involvement in the community and non-profit organizations.

This is the fourth year of program which is funded by a generous grant from Mr. & Mrs. Stanley Pigman (MngE 1981) of High Point, NC.

Dean Thomas Lester serves as the course instructor.

College honors five 2011 Hall of Distinction inductees

Apr 19, 2011   //   by Webmaster   //   News  //  Comments Off

Terry Strange, Cliff Randall, Joan Herbig, Steve Gardner and Steve Saran

On Friday, April 15, 2011, the College of Engineering honored five alumni who have demonstrated distinguished engineering professional accomplishments, outstanding character and commitment to community service. This recognition serves to encourage exemplary achievements by current students and others. It is a symbol of the respect and admiration held by the University of Kentucky College of Engineering for these esteemed individuals.

The inductees are:

J. Steven Gardner, B.S. Agricultural Engineering, 1975 and M.S. Mining Engineering, 1991. Gardner is president and CEO of Engineering Consulting Services, Inc., where he is responsible for business and project management, planning and development. ECSI, based in Lexington, provides civil, mining, and environmental engineering services, surveying, health and safety evaluation and training, litigation support and laboratory and analytical services.

Joan E. Herbig, M.S. Computer Science, 1986. Herbig is CEO of ControlScan in Atlanta. She is responsible for business operations and is focused on growing the company’s revenues and expanding its position as a leading PCI compliance and security provider focused on small-to-medium-sized merchants.

Clifford W. Randall, B.S. Civil Engineering, 1959 and M.S. Civil Engineering, 1963. Randall served on the faculty at the Virginia Polytechnic Institute in Blacksburg, Va., where he served as chair of the Environmental Engineering and Sciences programs from 1979-96 and as a professor until 2001 when he attained emeritus status. His areas of interest include biological nutrient removal, eutrophication, industrial wastewater treatment and water pollution control.

Steven S. Saran, B.S. Mechanical Engineering, 1987. Saran is chairman of the board of Saran Holding, a company he founded in 1989 that is a 100 percent privately owned entity in Turkey. Saran Holding incorporates 29 companies including the Saran Defense, Saran Broadcasting, Saran Media, Saran Energy and Saran Health sectors and employs over 2,000 people.

W. Terry Strange, B.S. Chemical Engineering, 1972 and M.S. Chemical Engineering, 1974. Strange is the site manager for a state-of-the-art semiconductor facility now under construction for Hemlock Semiconductor in Clarksville, Tenn. He is responsible for the development of all procedures, standards and job roles to commission, start-up and operate the Clarksville site.

Scholarship donors and recipients come together to celebrate financial aid

Nov 24, 2010   //   by Webmaster   //   News  //  Comments Off

On Nov. 20 the College of Engineering hosted the annual David K. Blythe Recognition Society Luncheon. The event gives scholarship donors an opportunity to meet their recipients and interact with the quality students able to benefit from their support. Over two hundred donors, recipients and their families attended the event, held at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Lexington.

D. Ralph Young, BSEE ’53, was the speaker on behalf of scholarship donors. He created the D. Ralph and Janice Young Engineering Scholarship in 2009. The student speaker was Neil Bradford Horsley, a freshman from Lexington majoring in chemical engineering. Horsley is the recipient this year of the Robert B. and Helen P. Jewell Foundation Scholarship, established in 1986 by Robert B. and Helen P. Jewell.

We wish to thank the many donors and students who joined us for this special event. The David K. Blythe Recognition Society was established in 2005 to express the College of Engineering’s appreciation to its many alumni and friends who so generously support undergraduate scholarships. Dean Blythe was chosen as the namesake for this society because of his passion for undergraduate education and students. He was known for his advocacy for students, assisting them with everything from finances to resume writing. He was a founder of the Engineering Alumni Association and worked tirelessly for the College for over 40 years.

University of Kentucky Announces Premier Interdisciplinary Fellowship in Biomedical Engineering

Apr 15, 2010   //   by Webmaster   //   News  //  Comments Off

LEXINGTON, Ky. (April 15, 2010) – The University of Kentucky announced the establishment of a $1.15 million fellowship program in engineering and medicine, the Halcomb Fellows program, made possible through a donation from alumni Dr. Joe and Joan Halcomb and matching funds by the UK Research Challenge Trust Fund.

“There is hope for changing the Commonwealth of Kentucky through education, through healthcare, through the arts and through the things we’re doing today,” said Dr. Lee Todd, president of the University of Kentucky.

The Halcombs, of Camarillo, California, graduated from the University of Kentucky in 1974 with bachelor degrees in mechanical engineering and nursing, respectively. Dr. Halcomb also earned his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Kentucky in 1979.

The program provides the opportunity for graduate students in the University of Kentucky Colleges of Engineering and Medicine to engage in premier interdisciplinary research in the field of biomedical engineering, which has emerged internationally as an established discipline that integrates engineering with principles in the medical and health sciences.

“This is coming at a critical time for the College of Engineering and the College of Medicine,” said Dr. Eric Grulke, associate dean for research and graduate studies at the College of Engineering. “This is really a ‘lighthouse’ gift, in that it’s going to shine a light on some things that are new and that we think are very important,” he said.

The goal of the Halcomb Fellows in Medicine and Engineering program is to challenge UK students and enable them to learn “hands-on” skills, offer students prestigious research opportunities, encourage collaboration between disciplines, and foster a wide range of high level, goal-oriented interdisciplinary research. The first Halcomb Fellow will be announced this spring for their two-year appointment.

“UK was so much a part of growing up for me. It’s just so good to give something back,” Halcomb said as part of prepared remarks at a brief announcement ceremony Thursday afternoon. “Our gift today is just a small step to help others pursue their dreams and make giant leaps forward with research,” he said.

Of the initial gift from the Halcombs of $500,000, $400,000 has been matched by the UK Research Challenge Trust Fund. An additional $250,000 will be contributed over 10 years for a total of $1.15 million.

“A real strength for UK is that we have the engineering and medical campuses right next each other,” said Dr. Doug Kalika, chair of the department of chemical and materials engineering.

The gift reflects a trend of collaboration between engineers and physicians that has already been occurring at UK. Already College of Engineering faculty like Dr. Kim Anderson, Dr. Zack Hilt and Dr. Thomas Dziubla have collaborated with medical colleagues on projects diverse as new biomaterials for cancer treatment, new interfaces for drug delivery, bone and joint therapy technology and new ways to treat neurological disorders.

“We also have the relationship from proximity,” Kalika said, referring to the College of Engineering’s position so close to the College of Medicine on UK’s campus.

“The physicians work on such tight schedules already. Proximity makes things so much easier for faculty in dentistry, medicine or pharmacy,” said Dr. David Puleo, director of UK’s Center for Biomedical Engineering, which seeks to encourage of the kind of interdisciplinary research Halcomb Fellows will be engaged in.

“That proximity is a huge part of us being able to work that interface between the two disciplines. We don’t have that silo mentality that keeps each discipline separate,” Puleo said.

The ideal Halcomb Fellows will be “students who want to make possible tomorrow what we think impossible today,” Halcomb said.

“Joanie and I hope that this gift can help others see blue,” he said.