- Published March 05, 2014
- Hits: 346
Four students from the Propulsion Research Center at UAH have been placed with local industries as part of the 2013 Industry/University Cooperative Graduate Student Research Program funded by UAH's Office of the Vice President for Research.
Christopher Paaymans , advised by Dr. James Blackmon, is doing cooperative research at Bangham Engineering Inc.; Patrick Giddens, advised by Dr. Jason Cassibry, is at The Boeing Co.; Joseph R. Buckley, advised by Dr. George Nelson, is at Plasma Processes; and Michael Mascaro, advised by Dr. Gabe Xu, is at Aerojet/Rocketdyne.
"The students are gaining practical, hands-on experiences that combine a research flavor with their academic adviser combined with practical application at the participating companies," said PRC Director Robert Frederick. "This is all about developing relationships between UAH and local businesses and understanding how we can fulfill specialized research needs that will benefit our partner companies."
- Published March 05, 2014
- Hits: 226
Global farmers could get better decision-making help as refinements are made to North Alabama soil moisture modeling research being done by an atmospheric science doctoral student at UAH.
The models indicate how much added moisture would be needed in a given area versus historical data to achieve various crop yields, and they could aid in making expensive infrastructure investments by helping to determine their economic viability.
"The important thing that I want to stress is that this is not a predictive model, it is a decision-support model. It helps farmers and officials make decisions based on historical weather patterns," says doctoral student Vikalp Mishra. In areas where water is in short supply, irrigation infrastructure can be expensive and the model could help to determine its economic cost effectiveness.
- Published March 03, 2014
- Hits: 338
A UAH student's innovative research on forest cover in Panama has been selected for the Council on Undergraduate Research's Posters on the Hill session April 28 and 29 at the U.S. Capitol Building in Washington, D.C.
Now a UAH graduate student, as an undergraduate Casey Calamaio applied to the geosciences division of the poster competition and conducted his research on rates of Panama Canal Zone forestation from the 1920s to the present. He is only the third student from Alabama to make the trip in the past nine years.
Surprisingly, there is more forest cover in the Panama Canal Zone today than there was in the 1920s, Calamaio's research finds.
"Most of that forest is secondary growth, but the cover is more dense now," he says, a finding that he attributes to the Panamanian government's reforestation and conservation efforts since the 1970s. "In the older images from the 1920s through the 1950s, what you see are basically a lot of cleared areas."
The regrowth of forest has a direct impact on biodiversity in an area that is considered one of the world's diversity hotspots.
"Panama is such a dynamic area, with all the shipping and the changes that have come with the canal," Calamaio says, "and it is also an isthmus that serves as the link between North and South America to serve as a conduit for plants and animals."
- Published February 27, 2014
- Hits: 483
An Internet search engine developed specifically for schools by two UAH professors is being tested as a way to increase reading abilities in challenged students and help motivate intellectual development in gifted students, while saving schools money on textbooks.
Complexity Engine has been awarded a $10,000 development grant from the UAH Charger Innovation Fund and is in the final round of vying for an Alabama Launchpad grant. Launchpad is a program of the Economic Development Partnership of Alabama to promote, reward and increase the pipeline of high-growth, innovative ventures that have the potential to grow and thrive in the state.
"We just have a host of features we want to roll out with Complexity Engine and that's why winning the Launchpad competition is essential," says developer Dr. Philip Kovacs, an associate professor of education who conceived the system and is collaborating with Dr. Ryan Weber, an assistant professor of English, to develop it. Tripp Roberts, a Georgia Institute of Technology computer science junior, collaborates to produce the necessary software.
Complexity Engine uses a sophisticated algorithm to search websites for content and delivers free, customized and age-appropriate reading materials to a user's computer. It promises to give teachers, parents and students an efficient, affordable way to promote reading. Teachers and administrators can set parameters for the search results, and the reading experience can be either student self-directed or guided by the teacher.
- Published February 19, 2014
- Hits: 666
A specialized 3-D printing extruder developed by UAH sophomore and his collaborator could lower the costs of printing cellular structures for use in drug testing.
The CarmAl extruder – shorthand for Carbohydrate Anhydrous Rapid Manufacturing Aluminum extruder – its controlling software and the manufacturing processes being developed by second-year biological sciences student Tanner Carden and collaborator Devon Bane are able to produce a sugar grid that mimics blood vessels.
Normally a UAH mechanical and aerospace engineering undergraduate student, Bane is taking the semester off to catch up with the numerous inventions and commercial projects with which he's involved.
The CarmAl extruder's name is also a play on words, since the inspiration for the technology came from 3-D printers developed to make specialty candies.
- Published February 17, 2014
- Hits: 518
Dr. Greg Forbes, severe weather expert at The Weather Channel, joins Greg Carbin, warning coordination meteorologist at the Storm Prediction Center in Norman, Okla., and Bob Baron, president and CEO of Baron Services Inc., to headline the fourth Rocket City Weather Fest on Saturday, Feb. 22.
The trio will join other local, regional and national weather experts at the free event, which will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at UAH's Shelby Center for Technology. The festival is open to weather enthusiasts of all ages.
"The purpose of the event is to bring the community together to learn about weather and weather preparedness," says Elise Schultz, Weather Fest co-chair and president of the Huntsville Area Professional Chapter of the American Meteorological Society/National Weather Association (AMS/NWA), which is assisting with the event and hopes to become a joint sponsor in future years.
- Published February 10, 2014
- Hits: 753
A completely redesigned rocket will soar aloft when The University of Alabama in Huntsville's Charger Rocket Works team competes in the NASA Student Launch this spring at Bonneville Salt Flats, Utah.
Prometheus, the moniker bestowed upon the craft by the team, is bigger and all new, said Systems Integration Project Lead Ken Le Blanc.
"Everything is completely redone in the team's rocket design this year because we are involved in two projects at the same time," Le Blanc said. Under the supervision of Dr. Robert Frederick Jr., Dr. David Lineberry and Jason Winningham, the team is currently in the design finalization and early testing portion of the build.
Prometheus is being developed for the NASA Student Launch and as part of a multi-year NASA program for Nano Launch 1200, Marshall Space Flight Center's vision for smaller, lower-cost launch vehicles to deploy cube satellites. The idea is to arrive at designs that will provide lower-risk, faster access to space. The program allows several universities to enter into a competition of ideas with concepts they devise, which if shown to be viable, will be incorporated into the Nano Launch 1200 design.
- Published February 06, 2014
- Hits: 630
Five technology proposals at UAH have been awarded nearly $50,000 total in Charger Innovation Fund (CIF) grant support to stimulate efforts to commercialize intellectual property developed at the university.
Winners, their proposal titles and their grant awards are:
Dr. Junpeng Guo, "A Novel Surface Plasmon Enhanced Absorption Spectrometer Chemical Sensor," $10,000. This sensor measures small amounts of trace chemicals. Its enhanced sensitivity, smaller size and lower cost will have significant advantages for disease diagnosis, chemical analysis and homeland security.
Dr. Philip Kovacs, "Complexity Engine," $10,000. Powered by a sophisticated algorithm, Complexity Engine searches websites for content and delivers free, customized and age-appropriate reading materials to a user's computer. It will give teachers, parents and students an efficient, affordable way to promote self-directed reading.
- Published February 05, 2014
- Hits: 506
Stronger research ties between UAH and local industry partners would result if an effort to establish an Industry & University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) site at UAH succeeds.
The National Science Foundation (NSF) has funded a UAH planning proposal for the project. In collaboration with lead organization Mississippi State University (MSU), the planned UAH research center would focus on advanced composites in transportation vehicles. Each I/UCRC requires membership of multiple universities and multiple industry partners. In addition to being a research site, UAH would act as a co-equal partner with MSU to perform the related research.
"The ultimate goal that our team is focusing on now is successfully gaining the NSF approval for an I/UCRC," said Dr. Gang Wang, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering who is a principal investigator in the effort along with UAH Research Institute principal research engineer Chris Sautter, associate director for reliability in the Research Institute, and Dr. Houssam Toutanji, professor and chair of civil and environmental engineering. The planning proposal funds will support UAH's center planning workshop in summer 2014, Dr. Wang said.
- Published February 03, 2014
- Hits: 439
A sudden increase in lightning strikes inside a thunderstorm might one day soon give forecasters five to 20 minutes of additional warning that a storm cell is about to produce violent weather.
"The current severe storms warning system is based on radar reflectivity," said Dr. Themis Chronis, a research associate in UAH's Earth System Science Center. "But this lightning jump typically precedes the trigger point for reflectivity by from five to 20 minutes, so we could have that much more time to issue warnings."
Several oral presentations and a poster on related lightning research in UAH's ESSC will be presented this week during the American Meteorological Society's annual meeting at the Georgia World Congress Center in Atlanta.
The rapid jump in cloud-to-cloud lightning inside thunderstorm cells is related to horizontal rotation in a storm being tilted on-end upward inside a storm cell, according to Dr. Larry Carey, an associate professor of atmospheric science and one of the leaders in UAH's lightning research team.