eDragon Notes - Drexel Engineering
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March 2012

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CoEAA Beerfest  

April 4, 2012    


Philly Robotics Expo

April 23, 2012  

Dr. Joe Hughes 
As Spring break comes to an end, Drexel Engineering is excitedly preparing for the next academic quarter. We look forward to welcoming you back with news of great accomplishments and our endeavors to come in the community. During break, the College hosted another successful Sea Perch Underwater Robotics Competition with more than 600 people from the Greater Philadelphia region in attendance.  While we wrapped up the Underwater Robotics Competition, we were busy at work in the community planning Drexel's participation in this year's Philadelphia Science Festival. We encourage you to take part in the celebration of the sciences as we participate in the 10-days of activities. While we recognize our work in the community, we also reflect on the achievements of our faculty. Dr. Steven May and Dr. James Rondinelli, assistant professors of Materials Science and Engineering, each received a prestigious three-year Young Investigator Program award from the ARO that will enable new research projects to happen here at Drexel.  We celebrate these successes of Drexel's students and faculty, which serve as a reminder of how our College of Engineering is unparalleled. Let us continue to write the story of Drexel success.  

Dr. Joseph B. Hughes


National Robotics Week is coming up April 7-15. National Robotics Week at Drexel is celebrated by showcasing robotics at Drexel with lab tours. Read more.

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Materials Engineers Receive Young Investigator Recognition from ARO

Steve May & James Rondinelli
Dr. Steven May and Dr. James Rondinelli, assistant professors of Materials Science and Engineering, have each received a three-year Young Investigator Program award to enable new research projects in materials science and engineering.  May and Rondinelli  earned recognition from the Army Research Office's (ARO) Physics Division for their promising research achievements within the first five years of receiving their doctoral degree. May will receive $357,000 to conduct research on "Symmetry mismatched heterostructures: New routes to bandwidth control in oxides." This project will explore the specific role that crystal symmetry plays in determining the electronic, optical and magnetic properties of complex oxides. The ARO awarded Rondinelli $360,000 to investigate his research entitled "Ab initio design of noncentrosymmetric metals: crystal engineering in oxide heterostructures." This project focuses on identifying routes to combine the disparate properties of high electrical conductivity and optical activity into a single complex oxide material.  Read more.   

Drexel Hosts Underwater Robotics Competition

Sea Perch 2012Drexel Engineering hosted middle, high school and community college students in the 2012 National Sea Perch Challenge -  an underwater robotics competition March 24. Using the Drexel Recreation Center pool,  the teams navigated their underwater robots by remote control. The underwater robots are called sea perches. The goal of the event is to increase students' interest in robotics, science, mathematics, engineering and technology. Sea Perch is part of the Office of Naval Research's "Recruiting the Next Generation of Naval Architects" initiative.  Read more. 

Naval Research Grant Will Give Fins to Drexel's Robotic Fish

Robotic FishIn taking robotics to the next level, Dr. James Tangorra, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics and head of  Laboratory for Biological Systems Analysis, developed a robotic fish that could soon be leading the way for development of unmanned, automated marine vehicles. Tangorra and his lab are using the robotic fish model to understand the movement and sensory abilities of fish fins and attempting to translate this information into making more sophisticated marine systems for the Office of Naval Research. Tangorra's team will collaborate with Harvard University and the University of Chicago. The lab received $1.1 million for funding over the next three years from the ONR to take the next steps in understanding the multifunctional nature of rayed fish fins using behavioral observations, robotic and mathematical models. Read more.

Drexel Helps Bring to Life the Philadelphia Science Festival  

Philadelphia Science FestivalDrexel University is again a core collaborator in the Philadelphia Science Festival, an innovative 10-day initiative to celebrate the region's strengths in science and technology April 20-29. Involving more than 105 partners, the Festival will include an extensive line-up of programs and exhibitions designed to inspire the next generation of scientists and spark discussion. Drexel will be participating and hosting a series of events that includes a free public outdoor carnival on the Parkway, the Philly Robotics Expo, Science Night at the Ballpark with the Phillies and the Science of Music. Read more.

Drexel Engineers Apply New Test and Monitoring System to Reduce Biological Fouling in Seawater

Saltwater Test
Dr. Charles Haas, L.D. Betz Professor of Environmental Engineering, department head of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering and Principal Investigator of the project is partnering with American Water's Dr. Mark LeChevallier, Co-Principal Investigator to monitor and reduce the biological fouling. The team will apply a new test that is intended to extend the lifespan of seawater filtering membranes by predicting the growth of damaging biofilm on them. The test, called Bioluminescent Saltwater Assimilable Organic Carbon (AOC), will help to measure the amount of biodegradable organic matter in seawater and enable researchers to predict the level of biological fouling -formation of biofilm- that could occur on the filtering membrane.  Read more.

In Memoriam: Dr. Werner Krandick  
Werner Krandick
Dr. Werner Krandick, associate professor of Computer Science, died March 26, from a tragic accident. Werner, originally from Germany, joined Drexel University in 2001 as an assistant professor of mathematics and  Computer Science and was promoted to associate professor in 2006. His passing was unexpected and he will be sorely missed by the Drexel community. Information regarding memorial services will be forthcoming as we receive further information.

Please contact the editor,
Elizabeth Brachelli, with
any questions or for more information about
Drexel's College of Engineering.

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