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UT engineering team first to make 3D objects with high-temperature shape memory alloys

A University of Toledo engineering team’s research on additive manufacturing, better known as 3D printing, could lead to smaller, lighter aircraft and biomedical devices that can be customized to a patient’s specific needs.

The team, led by UT Professor Mohammad Elahinia, was the first to successfully make 3D objects using high-temperature shape memory alloys, smart materials used in the next generation of airplanes and UAVs (unmanned aerial vehicles).

Elahinia

The group published its findings in the March issue of Scripta Materialia, a peer-reviewed scientific journal.

To understand the importance of this research, one needs to understand actuators. Actuators are the components of a machine that control motion, like the mechanisms that trigger anti-lock brakes, open a valve, or help a prosthetic limb move.

Scientists are always seeking to improve the manufacture of actuators and to find ways that they can better mimic organic motion.

Shape memory materials offer simple and lightweight actuators. Unfortunately, the usual process of machining creates heat, which makes manufacturing challenging.

Additive manufacturing — building a 3D shape by adding layer upon layer of a material — solves that problem.

It has other benefits as well. It allows for the creation of more complex shapes, Elahinia said, and is a quicker, more efficient and adaptable process that can be customized to specific needs.

Another huge plus: Manufacturers can make actuators with more flexible motion, such as the ones used for morphing airplane wing tips.

The UT research is of special interest to NASA, which helped fund the work and is a partner in the project, said Elahinia, professor of mechanical, industrial and manufacturing engineering in the College of Engineering.

“They have expertise in alloy development and were instrumental in identifying the right composition of alloy for our research,” he said.

The breakthrough in UT’s research involved the high-temperature shape memory alloys. The team was able to 3D print the alloys to harness their ability for faster and more powerful actuation, which makes them more practical to use when manufacturing actuators in the aviation, automotive and biomedical fields. Actuators made with these alloys can operate at much higher temperatures and are faster and more powerful, Elahinia said.

“It’s an enabling technology,” he said. “Once you harness it, you can use it for many systems and make many different shapes. It opens the door to a lot of possibilities.”

For instance, it could be possible to replace the heavy, noisy hydraulic systems in the wings of fighter jets, drones and commercial airplanes with lighter, less costly actuators. An added bonus? Nervous flyers would no longer hear the churning hum of the hydraulic system as the plane takes off and descends.

Additive manufacturing with high-temperature alloys also could have implications for the biomedical field, Elahinia said, because manufacturers could customize medical devices quickly based on the anatomical needs of the patient.

This new technology probably won’t replace conventional manufacturing, Elahinia said, but is a better alternative for building actuators that are sensitive to heat and complicated to create.

The UT team’s next step is to fabricate prototype actuators using this technology and test them in vehicles.

Elahinia’s research was funded by more than $700,000 in grants from the Ohio Federal Research Network and the NASA Glenn Research Center. Research partners include the University of Dayton Research Institute, Case Western Reserve University and Ohio State University.

UT, AAA to host seminar June 21 on self-driving buses as future of public transportation

The University of Toledo College of Engineering and AAA Northwest Ohio are hosting the third in a series of free, public talks to educate consumers about how smart vehicles will impact the world.

The seminar focused on public transportation and self-driving buses is from 9 to 11 a.m. Thursday, June 21, in UT’s Nitschke Auditorium.

Speakers will include Jim Gee, general manager of the Toledo Area Regional Transit Authority; Chris Pauly, director of business development in North America for NAVYA; and retired Lt. Col. John Tucker, sales specialist for Path Master Inc.

All speakers also will participate in a panel discussion with Dr. Eddie Chou, UT professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Transportation Systems Research Lab, and Dr. Bhuiyan Alam, UT associate professor of geography and planning.

“Self-driving buses that are wirelessly connected with riders could provide convenient, flexible and affordable service as an alternative to driving,” Chou said. “Public transportation will continue to be an important part of the mobility solution, but it needs to adapt and embrace new technologies and paradigms and perhaps form public-private partnerships to provide desirable services.”

NAVYA, a manufacturer of fully autonomous, fully electric 15-passenger shuttles and six-passenger taxi cabs, will have an autonomous, driverless bus with no steering wheel parked at UT.

“Ever-advancing technology is bringing autonomous vehicle technology to our roadways, perhaps quicker than some may have anticipated,” Edgar Avila, AAA executive vice president, said. “Public self-driving shuttle buses are already in use across the country, like the AAA-sponsored bus offering service in Las Vegas and the electric shuttle that began offering rides on the University of Michigan campus this spring.”

“The steps taken today will positively impact the community by enhancing safety and improving mobility as this region progresses toward the connected and autonomous technologies of the future,” Tucker said.

Register for the free, public seminar online at utoledo.edu/engineering/webforms/TTTWJune.html.

Upcoming topics in the series will include infrastructure and government regulation in September and accessibility in November.

Bee proactive: UT students to compete in Biodesign Challenge in New York

A team of University of Toledo students is buzzing with excitement, preparing to compete against 29 schools in the Biodesign Challenge Summit in New York this month.

The four students will present “Apigiene Hive: Rethinking Bee Hygiene” at the international contest Thursday and Friday, June 21-22, at the Museum of Modern Art.

“We decided to focus on bees because of the recent problems with colony collapse disorder,” said Madeline Tomczak, who graduated with a bachelor of science degree in environmental science in May.

“And we simply found those tiny yellow-and-black insects adorable,” added Domenic Pennetta, a sophomore majoring in art. “By focusing on bees and their problems, we could help both bees and apiarists here in Ohio, and also have solutions that could potentially be used to benefit others around the globe.”

Solving problems creatively is what the Biodesign Challenge is all about. The Genspace NYC program offers college students the chance to envision future applications of biotechnology by working together interdisciplinarily.

At UT, the Biodesign Challenge class in spring semester brought together students majoring in art, bioengineering and environmental science, as well as peers from the Jesup Scott Honors College.

“The really wonderful part about participating in this challenge is it started with the students — they approached us about having the class,” Eric Zeigler, associate lecturer in the UT Department of Art, said.

“One thing we thought was paramount in teaching this class: We were their peers. We were in the trenches with the students, asking questions, learning together,” Brian Carpenter, lecturer and gallery director in the UT Department of Art, said. “It’s been so inspiring. I tell everyone this is my favorite class I’ve taken.”

Carpenter and Zeigler will travel with the team to the Big Apple, where the UT students will vie with teams from across the country, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Colombia, France, Guatemala, Japan and Scotland for awards, including the Animal-Free Wool Prize sponsored by PETA, Stella McCartney and Stray Dog Capital.

“These finalists were selected from a pool of 450 participants,” Daniel Grushkin, founder and director of the Biodesign Challenge, said. “I firmly believe that they are leading us into a sustainable future with their visions.”

Tomczak and Pennetta worked with Jesse Grumelot, who graduated in May with a bachelor of science degree in bioengineering, and Lucya Keune, a senior studying visual arts, to create additions for the popular Langstroth hive to fight one of the bees’ biggest foes: mites.

“A fibrous brush filled with zebra mussel diatoms will target Varroa destructor mites on the surface of adult bees,” Grumelot said. “In addition, mint-infused wax frames will eliminate Acarapis woodi mites, as well as Varroa destructor juveniles.”

“We researched the problem, talking to specialists and professionals, and focused on natural ways to give bees a better environment to thrive,” Keune said.

Part of that new environment includes placing a brush at the hive entrance to use what beekeepers call the sugar shake — but in a new way. To encourage bees to be more hygienic, beekeepers sometimes put powder sugar on the insects so they’ll clean off the sweet stuff — and the nasty Varroa destructor mites.

“We use powdered zebra mussel to increase hygiene behaviors, which in turn helps kill the mites,” Tomczak said.

The zebra mussel powder acts like diatomaceous earth, which, when crushed, can be used as a treatment for fleas and ticks on household pets.

“Since diatomaceous earth is often from oceanic rocks, we wanted to bring this part of the hive closer to home by looking at Lake Erie,” Tomczak said. “Zebra mussel shells are abundant and easy to collect, and can be ground down to a fine powder.”

The powder is then baked, sterilized, and made finer with a mortar and pestle. It will prompt the bees to clean up and get rid of the mites, and it will help kill any mites inside the hive.

And to tackle the Acarapis woodi mites, which invade the hive and lay eggs, the team turned to a natural deterrent: mint.

“We wanted to avoid the chemical sprays that can be harmful and stressful to the bee colony,” Keune said. “We learned mint is used to fight mites; it’s better for the bees and the honey.”

“Our new hive features starting frames of beeswax infused with natural corn mint and peppermint,” Grumelot said. “This method is a more accurate way to focus on the mite infestation, and it avoids spraying the entire hive, leaving the honey untouched and the bees happy.”

In New York, the UT students will present their project to more than 200 scientists, designers, entrepreneurs and artists.

“This is a great resumé-builder for our students,” Zeigler said. “Their design is economically feasible; beekeepers would just add two simple modifications to their existing hives. It’s a happy solution, and one that could have tremendous market impact all over the world.”

“This challenge is fantastic. It encourages students to think creatively, take risks, and gather science and data. They realize their designs can work,” Carpenter said.

“I hope that by participating in this challenge that others will begin to look at relevant issues critically and try to find better solutions in creative ways,” Pennetta said.

Faculty members receive promotion, tenure

A number of faculty members received tenure and promotion for the 2017-18 academic year approved in April by the UT Board of Trustees.

Faculty members who received tenure were:

College of Law
• Michelle Cavalieri
• Bryan Lammon

Faculty members who received tenure and promotion to associate professor were:

College of Arts and Letters
• Daniel Hernandez, Art
• Dr. Thor Mednick, Art
• Dr. Liat Ben-Moshe, Disability Studies
• Dr. Jason Levine, Psychology
• Daniel Thobias, Theatre and Film

College of Business and Innovation
• Dr. Kainan Wang, Finance
• Dr. Joseph Cooper, Management

College of Engineering
• Dr. Halim Ayan, Bioengineering
• Dr. Eda Yildirim-Ayan, Bioengineering

College of Health and Human Services
• Dr. Aravindhan Natarajan, School of Social Justice

College of Medicine and Life Sciences
• Dr. David Heidt, Surgery

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
• Dr. Rafael Garcia-Mata, Biological Sciences

College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
• Dr. Wissam AbouAlaiwi, Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

Faculty members promoted to professor were:

College of Arts and Letters
• Dr. Mysoon Rizk, Art
• Dr. Sujata Shetty, Geography and Planning
• Dr. Jami Taylor, Political Science and Public Administration
• Dr. Edmund Lingan, Theatre and Film

College of Business and Innovation
• Dr. Margaret Hopkins, Management
• Dr. Bashar Gammoh, Marketing and International Business

College of Engineering
• Dr. Scott Molitor, Bioengineering
• Dr. Sridhar Viamajala, Civil and Environmental Engineering
• Dr. Youngwoo Seo, Civil and Environmental Engineering
• Dr. Devinder Kaur, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
• Dr. Gursel Serpen, Electrical Engineering and Computer Science
• Dr. Chunhua Sheng, Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering
• Dr. Hongyan Zhang, Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering

College of Health and Human Services
• Dr. Tavis Glassman, School of Population Health
• Dr. Sheryl Milz, School of Population Health

Judith Herb College of Education
• Dr. Tod Shockey, Curriculum and Instruction
• Dr. Florian Feucht, Educational Foundations and Leadership

College of Law
• Elizabeth McCuskey
• Evan Zoldan

College of Medicine and Life Sciences
• Dr. Azedine Medhkour, Neurosurgery

College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics
• Dr. Tomer Avidor-Reiss, Biological Sciences
• Dr. Maria Diakonova, Biological Sciences
• Dr. Michael Weintraub, Environmental Sciences

College of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences
• Dr. Amanda Bryant-Friedrich, Medicinal and Biological Chemistry
• Dr. Frederick Williams, Pharmacology and Experimental Therapeutics

Faculty members promoted to associate professor were:

College of Medicine and Life Sciences
• Dr. Sumon Nandi, Orthopaedic Surgery
• Dr. Terrence Lewis, Radiology

Faculty members recognized for outstanding scholarly and creative activity

With the support of University Libraries and a subcommittee organized by the Office of Research and Sponsored Programs, President Sharon L. Gaber and Provost Andrew Hsu have recognized 26 faculty members from across campus with outstanding contributions in scholarly or creative activity over the past three years.

These contributions include articles in leading scientific journals with high standing that have attracted significant attention in the community; monographs that were published by premier academic presses that have received positive external reviews; and exhibits or performances of creative activity that have received high acclaim.

“I am pleased that the University Libraries contributed by identifying UT faculty articles and books published in preeminent journals and publishing houses,” said Beau Case, dean of University Libraries.

“Faculty members are raising the profile of The University of Toledo across the breadth of disciplines and programs at UT,” said Dr. Frank Calzonetti, vice president for research. “The excellent work of faculty members in disciplines outside of science and engineering is quite impressive and sometimes goes unnoticed.

“All too often research grant dollars are associated with faculty scholarly and creative activity,” Calzonetti said. “In some disciplines, such as in biomedical science, faculty members cannot sustain their research programs that lead to discoveries and publications without external funding to support laboratory needs. However, in many disciplines, such as pure mathematics or history, external funding is not as critical to faculty success in scholarly and creative activity.”

“Given the many faculty members who have had outstanding contributions in scholarly and creative activity over the past three years, it was a tall order to determine just 26 who should be recognized at this time,” said Dr. Ruth Hottell, chair and professor of the Department of World Languages and Cultures, and selection committee member.

The following faculty members were recognized:

• Dr. Abdollah Afjeh of the Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering;

• Dr. Ana C. Alba-Rubio of the Department of Chemical Engineering;

• Dr. Melissa Baltus of the Department of Sociology and Anthropology;

• Dr. Joe Elhai of the Department of Psychology;

• Dr. Kristen Geaman of the Department of History;

• Dr. Blair Grubb of the Department of Medicine;

• Daniel Hernandez of the Department of Art;

• Dr. Terry Hinds of the Department of of Physiology and Pharmacology;

• Dr. Bina Joe of the Department of Physiology and Pharmacology;

• Dr. Dong-Shik Kim of the Department of Chemical Engineering;

• Dr. Kristin Kirschbaum of the Instrumentation Center;

• Dr. Ashok Kumar of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering;

• Dr. Beata Lecka-Czernik of the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery;

• Dr. Barbara Mann of the Jesup Scott Honors College;

• Elizabeth McCuskey of the College of Law;

• Dr. Thor Mednick of the Department of Art;

• Dr. Munier Nazzal of the Department of Surgery;

• Dr. Kim E. Nielsen of the Department of Disability Studies;

• Dr. Michael Rees of the Department of Urology;

• Dr. Denise Ritter Bernardini of the Department of Music;

• Dr. Donald Ronning of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry;

• Stephen Sakowski of the Department of Theatre and Film;

• Dr. Yanfa Yan of the Department of Physics and Astronomy;

• Dr. Matt Yockey of the Department of Theatre and Film;

• Rebecca Zietlow of the College of Law; and

• Evan Zoldan of the College of Law.

Girls in science day at UT May 10

More than 160 sophomore high school girls will visit The University of Toledo Thursday, May 10, when prominent female scientists and engineers across the region will introduce them to the exciting world of science and technology careers through hands-on experiments and demonstrations.

The ninth annual Women in STEMM Day of Meetings, which goes by the acronym WISDOM, will take place from 8 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. on UT’s Main Campus and Health Science Campus.

Area students tested their handmade solar cells constructed with glass, blackberries and graphite during last year’s Women in STEMM Day of Meetings, which goes by the acronym WISDOM.

UT faculty and industrial professionals will help inspire a passion for science careers by exploring the tools of the trade.

The girls will carry out investigations in a number of areas, including physics and astronomy, chemistry, biology, psychology, engineering, pharmacy, and medicine.

Activities for students will include building solar cells, swabbing their cheeks for a DNA sample, aseembling a motor, generating electricity on a bike, making biodiesel fuel, creating lip balm, and touring the anatomy museum.

Football legend, technology expert to speak at UT commencement ceremonies

Chuck Ealey and Dr. Helen Sun will return to The University of Toledo to give addresses during spring commencement ceremonies Saturday, May 5, in the Glass Bowl.

Ealey, the football star and businessman, will speak at the undergraduate ceremony at 10 a.m. Sun, a technology strategist known for transforming companies, will come out for the graduate commencement at 3 p.m.

There are 3,094 candidates for degrees from the colleges of Arts and Letters; Business and Innovation; Judith Herb College of Education; Engineering; Health and Human Services; Graduate Studies; Natural Sciences and Mathematics; Nursing; Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and University College. There are 987 candidates for doctoral, education specialist and master’s degrees, as well as graduate certificates, and 2,107 for bachelor’s and associate’s degrees.

The public ceremonies can be viewed live at utoledo.edu/video.

Ealey

UT will award Ealey an honorary doctor of humane letters.

“It is amazing, wonderful and humbling to have the opportunity to speak to the 2018 graduates of The University of Toledo,” Ealey said. “What I want to share is what I have learned — and am still learning — after I graduated. It’s about a legacy dream that can come true.”

He made dreams a reality as the UT quarterback who became a legend leading the Rockets to 35 victories in three seasons and as a trailblazer for African-American QBs in the Canadian Football League.

After finishing 18-0 in high school in Portsmouth, Ohio, Ealey received a football scholarship to the University. While earning a business degree in economics, he earned some nicknames for his exploits on the field: Mr. Cool, The Wizard of Oohs and Aahs. With Ealey at quarterback, Toledo went 35-0 from 1969 to 1971. He racked up 5,903 yards in total offense and 54 touchdowns while leading the Rockets to final Associated Press rankings of No. 20 in 1969, No. 12 in 1970, and No. 14 in 1971, finishing eighth in the Heisman Trophy voting his senior year.

Despite the eye-popping numbers, Ealey was passed over as a quarterback in the 1972 NFL draft. Although offered other positions, he was committed to becoming a professional quarterback and elected to go to the Canadian Football League. As a rookie, he led the Hamilton Tiger-Cats to the Grey Cup Championship in 1972 and was named Most Valuable Player. During his seven years in the CFL, he also played for the Toronto Argonauts and the Winnipeg Blue Bombers.

After hanging up his helmet, Ealey was a certified financial planner with Investors Group for 30 years. He recently stepped out of his role as regional director to do more client and corporate coaching. The 1972 UT alumnus also inspires through the Chuck Ealey Foundation, which helps people discover and embrace their undefeated spirit to better themselves and their community.

Sun

Sun, chief technology officer of architecture, engineering and data management at JPMorgan Chase & Co. in Chicago, received a PhD in educational technology from UT in 2001. She is an expert in revolutionizing businesses through innovative solutions, including artificial intelligence, cloud, analytics and architecture.

“I’m very excited to be coming back to campus and reflect on how my IT career took shape during the years I attended UT,” said Sun, who developed websites while in graduate school.

“I’ll wrap my speech around three personal experiences: How I started a career in technology — find where your passion lies; how my seemingly diverse career path has taken me to where I am — take risks and never let fear of failure deter you away from opportunities; and who my true hero is throughout these years — don’t let what others do to you change who you are,” she said.

Prior to joining JPMorgan Chase & Co., Sun was vice president for cloud computing, information and architecture at Motorola Solutions Inc. She has held senior leadership positions at some of the world’s most recognizable companies, including Harbor Capitol Advisors, NewEdge Group, Oracle Corp. and Salesforce.com Inc.

At Oracle, Sun became the first woman to achieve Oracle Enterprise Architect status and was honored as Oracle Enterprise Architect of the Year in 2011. In 2016, the Chicago Business Journal named her one of 50 honorees for its Women of Influence Awards.

She is the co-author of “Oracle Big Data Handbook,” “Pro Salesforce Analytics Cloud: A Guide to Wave Platform, Builder and Explorer” and “Master Competitive Analytics With Oracle Endeca Information Discovery.” Sun is a frequent speaker at major conferences and symposia; she gave the keynote address at the Open Group Big Data Conference in 2012 in Barcelona, Spain.

In addition to her passion serving as a mentor for women, Sun was a member of the UT Business Advisory Board from 2012 to 2016. She is co-chair of the Computer Science Advisory Board at Bowling Green State University.

Those planning to attend commencement are advised to use the west entrance off Secor Road and the south entrance off Dorr Street to avoid congestion on West Bancroft Street.

The College of Law will hold its commencement Sunday, May 6, at 1 p.m. in the Thompson Student Union Auditorium.

And the College of Medicine and Life Sciences’ graduation ceremony will take place Friday, May 25, at 2 p.m. in Stranahan Theater, 4645 Heatherdowns Blvd. in Toledo.

UT engineering students to show off senior design projects April 27

From spaceflight hardware to a solar energy array, dozens of senior design projects will be on display from noon to 3 p.m. Friday, April 27, in The University of Toledo’s Nitschke Auditorium.

Businesses, industries and federal agencies sponsor the projects required for graduating seniors in the UT College of Engineering.

Shown here with their spaceflight hardware are, from left, Nai-Ning Kuo, Steve Will, Alexander Binder, Mark Gore, and Dr. Brian Trease, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering.

A design team made up of four students in the UT Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering traveled last week to NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab in California to present to NASA engineers the prototype for their senior design project, a deployable “wrap-rib” space structure to be used with a space telescope for exoplanet astronomy.

“We received positive feedback, and the Jet Propulsion Lab wants to keep pushing forward with the collaboration,” said Dr. Brian Trease, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering.

Another senior design team spent the semester working with UT Facilities and Construction on conceptual planning and logistics for a possible new 400-kilowatt solar array on Health Science Campus using $192,000 worth of Series 5 modules donated from First Solar. The team estimates a $500,000 savings in electricity costs over the 25-year life of the system. The team is scheduled to present its work at First Solar next week.

“This sustainability project is a hands-on opportunity to prepare students to be practicing engineers and creative problem solvers,” Jason Toth, UT associate vice president for facilities, said. “The engineering students did a great job identifying a location, preparing construction engineering drawings, and analyzing the cost.”

The free, public exposition showcases projects created by more than 250 graduating seniors from the departments of Bioengineering; Civil and Environmental Engineering; Electrical Engineering and Computer Science; Engineering Technology; and Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering.

Projects are the required senior design capstone project where students form business-consulting units to develop a solution for a client’s technical or business challenge.

Several projects over the last few years have gone on to become patented.

University recognizes faculty, staff for advising, research, teaching, outreach work

UT outstanding advisors, researchers and teachers, and recipients of the Edith Rathbun Award for Outreach and Engagement, were recognized last week.

Recipients of the Outstanding Advisor Award were:

Winners of the Outstanding Adviser Award were Dr. Jerry Van Hoy and Amanda Seabolt.

Amanda Seabolt, academic advisor in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. The UT alumna received a bachelor of science degree in biology, a master of public health degree, a master of science degree in nursing, and a graduate certificate in gerontological practice. She will graduate with a doctor of philosophy in curriculum and instruction from the University next month. Seabolt started advising students in 2015, the same year she received one of UT’s Outstanding Staff Awards.

“She is always giving students opportunities, whether it be in getting a new job, joining an organization, or participating in research,” one nominator wrote. “She is always pushing students to do their best.” “She shows great knowledge through her own personal experience and continued education. She never stops learning,” another nominator wrote. “If she doesn’t know something, she doesn’t stop looking until she finds the answer. She is always working for the student. She has been one of the most influential people during my time at the University.”

Dr. Jerry Van Hoy, associate professor of sociology in the College of Arts and Letters. He is co-director of the Program in Law and Social Thought and director of the Master of Liberal Studies Program. Van Hoy joined the University in 2000 and received one of UT’s Outstanding Teacher Awards in 2013.

“He flips the notion that advising is purely transactional on its head by listening to students’ needs and concerns. He helps students develop academic plans that work for them, addressing weaknesses and creating pathways to not only graduation, but to a life after college that students are excited about,” a nominator wrote. Another noted, “As a recent graduate, I faced some distressing events during my capstone project. Dr. Van Hoy provided objective feedback to let me know the problem wasn’t unusual, the troubling issues were not caused by me, and that they were not insurmountable. His advice was calming and reassuring. He was sensitive, diplomatic when needed, and direct as required.”

Recipients of the Outstanding Research and Scholarship Award were:

Receiving Outstanding Research and Scholarship Awards were, from left, Dr. Vijay Devabhaktuni, Dr. Yanfa Yan and Nicole Buonocore Porter.

Dr. Vijay Devabhaktuni
, professor of electrical engineering and computer science in the College of Engineering. He is executive director of emerging technologies and special advisor to the UT vice president, chief information officer and chief technology officer. Devabhaktuni joined the faculty as an associate professor in 2008.

He is a renowned expert in computer-aided design, machine learning, modeling, optimization and simulation as applied to electromagnetics, big data, biomedical engineering, cyber security, energy efficiency, virtual reality, wireless sensor networking, image and signal processing, and more. Since 2009, the National Science Foundation has supported his work. While at UT, he has received about $2 million in funding from more than 30 external grants and has published more than 80 papers. According to Google Scholar, Devebhaktuni’s work has been cited 3,200 times since 2013.

Nicole Buonocore Porter, professor of law in the College of Law. She joined the faculty as an assistant professor in 2007.

Porter is a nationally recognized scholar on the employment rights of women and individuals with disabilities. She is the author of a disability law casebook, published by a leading legal academic publisher, and is the co-editor of a forthcoming book titled “Feminist Judgments: Employment Discrimination Opinions Rewritten.” Her published articles address the persistent pay gap between men and women, discrimination against workers with caregiving responsibilities, and the employment rights of individuals with disabilities. Her work has been cited more than any other faculty member in the UT College of Law, and she is frequently invited to speak at symposia and national conferences. In addition, Porter was invited to join the Labor Law Group, a prestigious organization that produces scholarship on labor and employment law.

Dr. Yanfa Yan, professor of physics in the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics. He joined the UT faculty in 2011.

For two decades, Yan has been researching photovoltaics, solar fuels and energy storage techniques using a combination of theory, material synthesis, device fabrication, and material and device characterization. He has written or co-written more than 350 articles and has given more than 50 invited talks. According to Google Scholar, Yan’s work has been cited 16,868 times. His work has been funded with more than $5 million from the National Science Foundation, Department of Energy, Office of Naval Research and private industry.

Recipients of the Edith Rathbun Award for Outreach and Engagement were:

Recipients of the Edith Rathbun Award for Outreach and Engagement were Dr. Susan Batten and Kenneth Kilbert.

Dr. Susan Batten
, professor in the College of Nursing. She joined the University in 1995.

Batten coordinates patient intake for the UT Community Care Clinic at Cedar Creek Church, provides care during Labre Traveling Clinic in south and east Toledo, and for migrant workers at their resident camps in northwest Ohio. She also has mentored nursing, medical and pharmacy students during annual medical missions to Guatemala, Honduras and Haiti. Batten has worked with more than 1,000 UT students with her community outreach and service projects. Their work has impacted more than 4,000 chronic disease patients in northwest Ohio, 500 immigrant workers and their families in rural Ohio, and more than 40,000 patients in Honduras, Guatemala and Haiti.

Kenneth Kilbert, professor and director of the Legal Institute of the Great Lakes in the College of Law. He joined the University in 2006.

A scholar of environmental law, Kilbert’s work focuses on water issues affecting the Great Lakes region. Since 2006, he has planned UT’s annual Great Lakes Water Conference, which addresses legal and policy issues important to the region and its water resources. Each year, the conference draws approximately 300 guests and garners extensive media coverage. In addition, Kilbert has received multiple grants to study harmful algal blooms in Lake Erie. His scholarly work increases awareness, promotes best practices, and suggests legal solutions to address the algal bloom problem.

Recipients of the Outstanding Teacher Award were:

Kara Bruce, professor in the College of Law. She joined the faculty in 2010.

“Professor Bruce exemplifies everything a professor should be — teacher, mentor, friend,” a nominator wrote. “Professor Bruce strives to engage her students while teaching difficult, sometimes less-interesting classes. She provides practical examples, makes jokes, and she goes out of her way (sometimes at the expense of getting behind schedule) to make sure we all understand what she is teaching. Honestly, I wish I could take Professor Bruce for every class in law school.” “Professor Bruce is excellent at taking complicated and challenging material and making it manageable for her students. She presents the material in a way that acknowledges the difficultly without making it seem daunting,” another wrote. “Not only is she passionate about students passing her class, she is passionate about making her students pass the bar.”

Dr. Edward Cancio, associate professor of special education in the Judith Herb College of Education. He came to UT in 2007.

“Dr. Cancio has been the most knowledgeable and inspiring professor I have had in my four years at UT. Every week Dr. Cancio showed the same passion for the subject that he taught and brought out the best from my classmates and I. It is easy to see from his lectures, published articles, and just speaking to him that Dr. Cancio is an expert in his field and was happy to pass his knowledge on special education to the class,” one nominator wrote. “Dr. Cancio’s class focused on teaching students with emotional behavioral disorder, which is one of the most intimidating sections of special education. After taking his class, I know that I am more than prepared to go into this field.”

Elyce Ervin, senior lecturer in the School of Exercise and Rehabilitation Sciences in the College of Health and Human Services. She has been teaching at the University since 1999.

“I had Elyce Ervin for Anatomy and Physiology, which has never been so easily comprehendible than it was in her class. She provided mini-activities every other class that helped us to understand the material. She also provided great lecture notes that were organized and easy to keep up with. The notes were fill-in, which helped people pay attention in her class. She would always ask if anyone had any questions in between every slide to ensure we were understanding the material,” one nominator wrote. “The one thing that makes Elyce Ervin stick out is how she is continuing to have an impact on me. She is without a doubt one of the best people I have met in my life.”

Dr. Jackie Layng, professor of communication in the College of Arts and Letters. She has taught at the University since 1997.

“Dr. Layng has by far been the most knowledgeable and personable professor I have had at UT. Her classes always push me to do my best work and achieve professional-level skills. Many times her class assignments seem intimidating at first, but Dr. Layng is always available to guide students throughout the process,” a nominator wrote. Another noted, “Selfless, dedicated, inspiring, caring: If you asked me to list all of the amazing things about Jackie, I think it’d be impossible because she’s had such a profound impact on my life. She genuinely cares about her students. Her constant words of encouragement, honest critiques, and passion for her career genuinely keep me going, and I couldn’t have asked for a better mentor.”

Dr. Kim E. Nielsen, professor of history, disability studies, and women’s and gender studies in the College of Arts and Letters. She joined the faculty in 2012.

“Dr. Nielsen creates a classroom atmosphere that makes all of her students feel comfortable to share stories, ideas and opinions. She listens to every student and encourages all of her students to have a voice,” a nominator wrote. Another noted, “Dr. Nielsen goes out of her way to make sure every student succeeds. Her sense of humor makes every class intriguing and makes me want to learn more. I wasn’t much of a history buff until taking classes with her and hearing her passionate views. Dr. Nielsen is always available when you need her. She always comes to class with a smiling face even considering the boatload of other work she has to do. I wish I could have her for more classes.”

John J. Schlageter III, senior lecturer in the Paralegal Studies Program housed in the School of Social Justice in the College of Health and Human Services. He is a graduate of the UT College of Law and has been teaching at the University since 1998.

“He is truly the best professor that I had throughout my college career — always willing to listen, help in any way he can, and truly do everything in his power to help you begin your career in law,” one nominator wrote. Another noted, “Professor Schlageter goes above and beyond to help the students achieve great success in the paralegal classes. He always offers support, help and resources. He strives hard to make sure all students find a good quality internship. He always checks in on students and always offers support.” Another wrote, “He listens to every concern and teaches with such a passion. You can tell John loves what he does. He has helped myself and many others land jobs.”

Taking home Outstanding Teacher Awards were, from left, Elyce Ervin, Dr. Jackie Layng, John J. Schlageter III, Dr. Kim E. Nielsen, Kara Bruce and Dr. Edward Cancio.

Distinguished University Professors also were recognized at the ceremony:

Dr. Abdollah Afjeh of the Department of Mechanical, Industrial and Manufacturing Engineering in the College of Engineering;

Dr. Paul Hong of the Department of Information Operations and Technology Management in the College of Business and Innovation; and

Joseph Slater of the College of Law.

Read more about them here.

And Distinguished University Lecturers were honored:

Amy O’Donnell of the Department of Management in the College of Business and Innovation;

Sherry Tripepi of the School of Social Justice in the College of Health and Human Services; and

Sara Yaklin of the Department of English in the College of Arts and Letters.

Read more about them here.

Two successful engineering alumni named national trustees

Two successful graduates of The University of Toledo will join the UT Board of Trustees as national members.

Roy V. Armes, a 1975 mechanical engineering graduate of the UT College of Engineering who served as president and CEO of Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. in Findlay, and Birdel F. Jackson III, who graduated from UT in 1968 with a civil engineering degree and founded the B&E Jackson and Associates engineering and consulting firm in Atlanta, will join the UT Board of Trustees effective July 2. Their appointment was approved Monday.

UT established national trustees last year to take advantage of the diverse cultural, geographic, business, professional, public service and civic backgrounds, talents and experiences of friends and alumni of the University. Toledo native and award-winning journalist Christine Brennan was named the first national member. National trustees serve a two-year term without voting privileges.

Armes

“Roy and Birdel are among UT’s most distinguished alumni who are highly respected leaders in their professions,” Board Chair Steven Cavanaugh said. “The perspectives from these accomplished graduates will be invaluable as we make progress on our strategic priorities.”

Armes led Cooper Tire for a decade. He was appointed CEO and president in 2006 and chairman in 2007. He retired in 2016.

Armes’ career also included a variety of roles for the Whirlpool Corp. in the areas of engineering, manufacturing, global procurement and international operations management. He served as corporate vice president and general director of Whirlpool Mexico, vice president of manufacturing technology for Whirlpool Asia, and vice president of manufacturing technology-refrigeration products for Whirlpool Europe.

Armes and his wife, Marcia, were instrumental in establishing the Engineering Leadership Institute in UT’s College of Engineering to help undergraduate engineering students develop leadership skills. The Armes have provided generous support to The University of Toledo.

Jackson

Jackson established B&E Jackson and Associates in 1988 and grew the company into a respected professional consulting firm serving the transportation, aviation and civil engineering industries.

Jackson began his career in the bridge divisions for U.S. Steel in Pittsburgh and the District of Columbia Highway Department. He went on to work for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, General Electric, and engineering and architecture firms. He spent much of his career in Atlanta and is a registered professional engineer in Georgia and 13 other states.

Jackson is the president of the Jackson-Davis Foundation, which he established to award scholarships in honor of his grandparents and to make the engineering profession more diverse and inclusive. He has served his alma mater as past president of the UT Alumni Association and University of Toledo Foundation board. Jackson also has been recognized with the UT Alumni Association’s Gold T and Blue T awards.