Professors to provide insights into pursuing transdisciplinary research

Posted by on Jun 21, 2022 in Events, News | 0 comments

Katina Michael

Katina Michael

For more than a decade and a half, Katina Michael and Roba Abbas have collaborated on research at the intersection of society, technology, ethics and regulation. Their experience over this time, and across a range of projects, will be the basis for a virtual seminar on Friday, July 1, 2022, “The Art of Transdisciplinary Research in the Information Systems and Technology Disciplines: Reflections from the Field.”

The seminar is part of the year-long Extraordinary Women Extraordinary Science Seminar Series being presented in conjunction with commemorative events marking the 25th anniversary of the IEEE Women in Engineering, or WIE, organization within the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers.

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ASU team continues upward climb in automotive engineering competition

Posted by on Aug 7, 2017 in Organizations and Teams, Students |

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The Sun Devil Motorsports team spent most of the past year designing and building the race car that team members took to this summer’s international Formula SAE competition. Photographer: Alexander Nie/ASU


The team that Arizona State University’s chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers sent this summer to the most prominent international student race car design and performance competition showed vast improvement over the previous year.

The Sun Devil Motorsports team of about 30 students — most of them in ASU’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering — scored 375.5 points in the Formula SAE event in Lincoln, Nebraska. That tripled the score achieved by the 2016 team, and came up only 4.7 points shy of the best score yet by an ASU team in a few dozen Formula SAE competitions since the mid-1990s.

This year’s score put the squad in 40th place among the 80 or so college and university teams that participated in the event, a result that was a jump of 20 places over last summer’s performance.

“We are building momentum,” says Troy Buhr, who captained this year’s team. “We’ve laid a foundation to build on what we’ve learned through each of the past years’ competitions, and we are staying aggressive.”

The team’s car was evaluated on design, engineering, costs, driving performance, endurance and more — including a business plan. Photographer: Alexander Nie/ASU

In the competition, cars are evaluated on technical details and cost analysis. Teams submit to judges an in-depth evaluation of the engineering principles that guided the design and building of the car.

Teams also give a sales presentation requiring them to make the case for how mass production of their vehicle could be a viable business venture.

Cars are judged further on their performance in acceleration, aerodynamics, braking, general driving stability, overall efficiency and endurance. They’re driven on an autocross run, a timed competition requiring drivers to navigate a track designed to test the vehicle’s responsiveness and road-handling capabilities.

Buhr graduated this past spring with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Fulton Schools and is now working for Ford Motor Company in Michigan. He will be succeeded as captain of ASU’s Formula SAE team by William Craig, a junior electrical systems engineering major.

Buhr leaves the role confident the team will build on its recent progress.

“They will continue to improve. I believe the team could easily score 500-plus points in 2018 and move up another 20 or more places,” he says. “They have the leadership and the knowledge to do that.”

Interested in joining the team? Learn more about Sun Devil Motorsports and the Formula SAE team.

ASU’s Formula SAE team poses with its race car during the competition in Lincoln, Nebraska. Photographer: Alexander Nie/ASU


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Earning the gold: IISE chapter recognized for outstanding service to students

Posted by on Jul 21, 2017 in Students |

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IISE chapter

Some of the officers of ASU’s chapter of the Institute of Industrial & and Systems Engineers attended the national organization’s annual Western Regional Conference hosted by Oregon State University earlier this year. From left to right are Fulton Schools industrial engineering students Lewis Ruskin, Kelly Wilmink, Monica Kiilehua, Alejandra Casas, Rebecca Mercer and Erin Glavin. Photograph courtesy of IISE ASU chapter.


The Institute of Industrial and Systems Engineers has awarded Gold Status to its Arizona State University chapter for what the student group has done to benefit its members over the past year.

During the 2016–2017 academic year, the chapter’s leadership has organized career-fair preparation sessions, with industry professionals and faculty members on hand to evaluate students’ résumés.

Students were also connected with résumé and job interview preparation services offered by the Fulton Schools Career Center.

Chapter luncheon events helped to build relations between students and faculty.

“One of our members found his thesis director through our spring luncheon,” says the chapter’s new president Monica Kiilehua, a senior in ASU’s Barrett, the Honors College and an industrial engineering major.

The group, with more than 70 members — 30 of whom are members of national IISE — also partnered with the ASU student chapter of the Supply Chain Management Association and GE Healthcare to host a workshop focused on “lean manufacturing.”

After the workshop, a number of students “were able to apply lean manufacturing principles in their class projects and internships,” Kiilehua says.

The chapter provided 17 members scholarships to cover fees to become members of the national IISE, sent six members to the national organization’s Western Regional Conference and three to the Annual National Conference, where they participated in a student engineering design competition.

At the conference, strong relationships were built with chapters at the University of Arizona and Oregon State University, and with IISE leaders with the Intel Corporation and other engineering and technology companies, Kiilehua says.

The group also made progress on plans to launch a high school outreach program this year, organize tours of industry centers and host social events.

The Gold Status award confirms “that ASU has an active and healthy IISE chapter,” Kiilehua says.

IISE, an international nonprofit association, is the world’s largest professional society dedicated to the support of the profession by providing leadership for education, training and research in industrial and systems engineering, as well as the development and application of those branches of engineering.

The ASU chapter’s accomplishments “have been a team effort, the entire leadership team deserves the credit,” says Daniel McCarville, a Fulton Schools industrial engineering and engineering management professor of practice who has been the student organization’s faculty advisor for the past three years.

The group’s 2016–2017 academic year officers were Kiilehua (treasurer), and other industrial engineering majors Erin Glavin (president), Lewis Ruskin (vice president), Rebecca Mercer (secretary), Alejandra Casas (membership director) and Kelly Wilmink (fundraising director).

Fulton Schools Professor Feng Ju becomes the chapter’s faculty advisor in August.

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Radio quiz show appearance caps off spring graduate’s senior year

Posted by on May 15, 2017 in Students |

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Frea Mehta spent the past five years as an engineering and science student in ASU’s Barrett, the Honors College — including a semester studying abroad in Singapore and two summer research internships in Germany.

ASU engineering graduate on NPR show

Recent Fulton Schools graduate Frea Mehta came oh-so-close to being the winning contestant on a popular National Public Radio program.

She did more research for her honors thesis project during almost two years exploring aspects of stem cell biology under the mentorship of David Brafman, a Fulton Schools assistant professor of biomedical engineering.

Mehta graduated this spring with degrees in chemical engineering and molecular biology — just a few weeks after receiving a prestigious Fulbright scholarship to spend most of the next year in a research program at Maastricht University in the Netherlands.

Then she plans to head to the Boston area, where she has been accepted into the biomedical engineering doctoral degree program at Tufts University.

Along with those impressive accomplishments, Mehta also got the opportunity to bring all the education she has attained in her successful undergraduate years to tests of her knowledge of words that start with the prefix “re,” “Things With Wings,” and names and phrases containing letters and words that describe modes of transportation.

That challenge came by way of her appearance a few weeks before graduation on the popular National Public Radio program “Ask Me Another,” a quiz show of puzzles, word games and trivia, mixed with humor and music.

A fan of the program and its “house musician,” singer-songwriter Jonathan Coulton, Mehta said she just happened to tune into local NPR affiliate station KJZZ during an announcement that the Brooklyn, New York-based production was coming to Arizona to record a show at the Orpheum Theatre in Phoenix.

ASU engineering student on NPR show

Mehta posed for this photograph on a hill overlooking a castle in Bavaria, Germany during one of her summer research internships. Alas, her knowledge of science and engineering was of little help on the “Ask Me Another” quiz show.

She later went onto the program’s website to buy tickets and noticed the link to apply for a chance to appear on the show that’s taped before a live audience.

The application consisted of “questions about popular culture and games similar to the kinds of things they have on the show,” Mehta recalls. “If I didn’t know something, I just made a silly joke. I guess they liked my funny answers.”

She was contacted within a few days and invited to be a contestant.

“Things were very casual,” she says of the production. “They told us to come an hour before the show to run over the rules. They reminded us that we were going to be on public radio, so no swearing or saying anything crazy.”

Still, she says, “being on stage in front of a lot of people was nerve-racking.”

Nevertheless, Mehta made it through two quiz rounds to become one of the two contestants in the final round.

She came in second when she couldn’t answer a question about the name of a long-running television music show whose name contained a mode of transportation. (It was “Soul Train.”)

In banter with the show’s hosts, however, she did get to tell the story of the time she accidently stumbled and did a “face plant” into an exhibit of the Declaration of Independence during a high school trip to the nation’s capital city.

And she got a chance to explain a bit about the biological engineering work she will be doing in her Fulbright Scholarship project with one of the world’s leading researchers involved in developing artificial meat in the laboratory.

You can listen to Mehta’s national radio debut on the recording of the April 28 broadcast of “Ask Me Another” on the NPR website.















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Health protection, musical-instrument sustainability combine in student’s award-winning project

Posted by on May 4, 2017 in Students |

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Photograph courtesy of Ahwatukee Foothills News.

Fulton Schools electrical engineering student Rachel Rhoades’ ingenuity recently earned her the highest honor bestowed by the Girls Scouts.

A former long-time Girl Scout and marching band musician, the freshman undertook a “music-hygiene” project for the band at the high school from which she graduated.

Her efforts to help protect the health of band members and teach them how to keep their expensive instruments in good working condition brought her the much sought-after Girl Scout Gold Award.

The full story is published in her hometown newspaper, the Ahwatukee Foothills News.

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