UAH

Scientists get $369,092 in UAH internal research funds

Individual Investigator Distinguished Research

Thirteen UAH researchers have been awarded a portion of $369,092 in Individual Investigator Distinguished Research (IIDR) funds for their proposals, according to Dr. Ray Vaughn, vice president for research.

The university received 72 proposals from across the campus' academic disciplines seeking funds from the program for research endeavors. IIDR is a UAH internal grant program administered by the Office of the Vice President for Research.

"I want to offer my congratulations to these 13 principle investigators and my appreciation to all who applied," said Dr. Vaughn. "I would have liked to have funded more. We had a many very good proposals.

"I am proud to report that we invested nearly $370,000 in this program and when combined with all internal grant programs, more than $1 million has been invested by UAH in research," Dr. Vaughn said.

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UAH students take home top honors at AIAA regional conference

AIAA Regional Conference

Earlier this month, roughly 170 delegates from 16 universities converged on Memphis, Tenn., to take part in AIAA's 2014 Southeastern Regional Student Conference. One of the most well-represented schools was UAH, whose team of 16 included junior aerospace engineering major Markus Murdy.

"Events like this are important to me as a student because they are great for networking with students at other universities who are also passionate about aerospace topics," says Murdy. "They also provide an opportunity to present and promote my work in a professional atmosphere among my peers."

Of the six divisions that made up the conference, UAH students presented in five – and took home awards in four.

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How do we clean up the junkyard orbiting Earth?

Space Debris

The biggest-sized junkyard in the world orbits it, and a University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) aerospace systems engineering graduate student says it's time to get active about reducing the debris field before we reach a tipping point beyond which we may not be able to do much.

"Debris is the hot topic that nobody wants to touch," says Tom Percy. Percy is the primary author with his advisor, UAH Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering professor Dr. D. Brian Landrum, of a paper that outlines methods and policies that could be employed to mitigate space debris. ("Investigation of national policy shifts to impact orbital debris environments," Thomas Percy, Dr. D. Brian Landrum; Space Policy, April 2014).

"I saw a need in the space community, with my systems engineering background, to walk people through the thought processes of how you apply a systems engineering approach to policy questions," Percy says. "How do we bring the discussion to a subset of solutions we can ultimately implement?"

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University seeks applicants for cyber-security scholarships

Scholarship for Service

UAH is requesting student applications for full scholarships to study cyber security that it expects to be funded by the National Science Foundation's Scholarship for Service (SFS) program.

"UAH anticipates being awarded this very competitive Scholarship for Service program by the National Science Foundation in the very near future," said Vice President for Research Dr. Ray Vaughn. "We are delighted to be able to solicit applications for the program and believe these scholarships will allow UAH to attract highly capable graduate students as well as to support our very best undergraduate students as they pursue future careers in cyber security."

To receive scholarship support, students awarded a scholarship must be enrolled full time at UAH, a National Center of Academic Excellence in Information Assurance Education. The scholarships pay for tuition, reimburse health insurance up to a maximum of $2,000 a year, reimburse books up to $1,000 a year and pay for professional development travel up to $3,000 a year.

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UAH planning for regional vehicle manufacturing center

Phil-FarringtonTN

Greater research ties between vehicle manufacturers and UAH will result from a regional Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) for vehicle manufacturing that has received a National Science Foundation grant to support its planning.

UAH is partnering with Auburn University and Tennessee Technological University are using the grant to plan the creation of the Southern Alliance for Advanced Vehicle (SAAV) Manufacturing Center. The center will have sites at each campus, and the trio of universities is already in discussions with Clemson University, Louisiana State University and the University of Alabama about possible future expansion.

"A vehicle is anything that transports people or products from one location to another," said Dr. Phillip Farrington, UAH's principal investigator and a professor of Industrial & Systems Engineering and Engineering Management. "That would include automobiles, planes, trains, ships, submarines, spacecraft, missiles, unmanned aerial systems and helicopters."

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UAH student team designs project for Special Operations Forces

Capstone

A 10-member team of capstone design students from UAH has created a torpedo-like device with the goal of stopping suspect sailboats while they are under engine power by fouling their propellers.

Advised by Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering lecturer Dr. Christina Carmen and headed by team leader Dustin Coffman, the students are working on the Dept. of Defense project for the U.S. Special Operations Forces (USSOF). The project is made possible through the Stevens Institute of Technology (SIT) Systems Engineering Research Center (SERC).

"The U.S. Special Operations Forces (USSOF) have specific needs and, via the Stevens Institute of Technology Systems Engineering Research Center, the Dept. of Defense is able to specify their needs that, in turn, are made available to universities via Capstone design class projects," says Dr. Carmen. "It is always exciting to see what senior engineering students will create. They are not, in any way, inhibited in exploring unique solutions. It's an honor for UAH students to work on this project and aid the USSOF as they protect the security of our nation and our allies."

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Students turn $250 wheelchair into geo-positioning robot

Smap-student-with-robotTN

Talk about your Craigslist finds! A team of student employees at UAH's Systems Management and Production Center (SMAP) combined inspiration with innovation to make a $250 motorized wheelchair do the work of a $20,000 robot.

As its first official task, a remote-controlled version of the robot built on the cheap photographed a room and interior catalog of UAH's new Charger Union building for inventory and insurance purposes for the university's Physical Plant Administration Department. Equipped with a Ricoh panoramic camera on a mast, the machine rolls into position and snaps the shot, which is stitched together in an app and viewable on a smartphone within seconds.

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UAH professor’s protein crystal experiment set to fly to ISS

Dr. Joseph Ng

A UAH biology professor's experiment that is set to fly to the International Space Station (ISS) could shed new light on the roles enzymes play in biological processes.

Developed by UAH-owned company iXpressGenes in association with Oak Ridge National Laboratory and utilizing a grant from the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), the experiment is among the cargo flying to space aboard the SpaceX-3 cargo resupply mission scheduled to launch to the ISS today.

The experiment, Protein Crystals for Neutron Crystallography (PC4NC), studies an enzyme inorganic pyrophosphatase (IPPase). The microgravity environment of the ISS may be essential to Dr. Ng's neutron diffraction study of IPPase to determine how it functions in cells. IPPase plays a critical role in DNA replication, gene expression processes, fatty acid synthesis and other critical biological reactions.

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UAH ‘on leading edge’ in offering Lean Healthcare practices course

GREG REEDtn

UAH is on "the leading edge of higher education institutions nationally" by combining its research, educational and training functions to offer Lean process instruction to healthcare practitioners, says a nationally known Lean instructor.

Dr. Hugh McManus, senior special projects engineer at Metis Design and associate director of the LAI (Lean Advancement Initiative) Educational Network (EdNet), travels extensively to train the trainers who will be giving instruction in Lean principles.

Dr. McManus was on campus April 3 for a course to familiarize university staff, graduate students and Huntsville Hospital representatives with the one-day training so they could instruct others. UAH is a charter member of EdNet, which was founded at and collaborates with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).

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UAH sophomore’s product drawing investor attention

Bane-and-Tanner-2TN

Nestegg Bio, a 3D printing start-up founded by University of Alabama in Huntsville (UAH) student Tanner Carden and collaborators Devon Bane, Gavon Carden, and Tim Gualdin, has been selected to participate in the GIGTANK Accelerator program by The Company Lab (Co.Lab) in Chattanooga, Tenn.

Co.Lab will invest $15,000 toward accelerating development of Nestegg Bio, a company that leverages an innovative 3D printing process to lower the cost of producing cellular structures used in drug testing. Advised by Biology Department Chair Dr. Debra Moriarity, the developers of CarmAl were earlier awarded $9,948 in UAH Charger Innovation Fund support.

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