Category Archives: Technology and Computer Science

ECU to host Live/Virtual Technology Showcase

East Carolina University will present a Live/Virtual Technology Showcase at the East Carolina Heart Institute on Friday, Feb. 23 from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

ECU students and faculty can learn about ongoing federal research and existing intellectual property and interact with principal investigators representing more than 90 federal laboratories and more than 300 federal facilities from the Southeast and Midwest regions of the Federal Laboratory Consortium (FLC).

These federal labs include the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, NASA, National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Agriculture and more, representing billions of dollars in funded research and opportunities for students in the areas of scholarships, internships, funded research, access to federal research and intellectual property, and mentorships with world-class researchers.

“Students and faculty will have the opportunity to interact live or virtually with these principal investigators,” said Joe Gaines, director of industry and economic development for ECU’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development. “Also, we hope students and regional entrepreneurs can use this technology infusion to form teams for our i6 Regional Innovation Strategies grant starting next semester.”

Those teams will have the chance to pursue funded commercialization activity and be part of a U.S. Department of Commerce grant.

Held in collaboration with the FLC and sponsored by ECU’s Office of Innovation and Economic Development, N.C. IDEA and the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Administration, the showcase will include a panel discussion on small business technology transfer and innovation research funding opportunities. There will also be seminars on how to work with federal labs and grant opportunities, and student/faculty research, scholarship and internship opportunities at federal labs.

For event details and agenda, visit http://www.ecu.edu/oeied/techshowcase.cfm. Lunch will be provided. Admission is free; for tickets visit https://www.eventbrite.com/e/ecu-livevirtual-technology-showcase-tickets-41470574605?aff=ehomecard.

 

Pirate entrepreneurship challenge moves to round three with seven teams

The Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge, the signature, three-round business pitch competition sponsored by the College of Business’ Miller School of Entrepreneurship, recently announced seven second-round winners that will move on to the final competition Feb. 22, 2018.

Second-round winners of the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge include, from left to right, Magus Pereira, Paul Safrit, Jordan Rice, Taylor Hicks, Nick Walden, Matt McCall and Victor Still. (contributed photos)

Second-round winners of the Pirate Entrepreneurship Challenge include, from left to right, Magus Pereira, Paul Safrit, Jordan Rice, Taylor Hicks, Nick Walden, Matt McCall and Victor Still. (contributed photos)

The winners were chosen from 12 teams that came out of round one and judged by East Carolina University representatives.

The round-two winners are:

  1. Magus Pereira, Sid Singh, Kevin Han – ClusterDucks

Mentor: Charles Banks, Small Business and Technology Development Center (SBTDC)

Description: Cluster Ducks is a network of Wi-Fi-enabled buoys designed to extend internet connectivity between distressed individuals affected by natural disasters to emergency personnel and family members.

  1. Matt McCall – Beyond Tutoring

Mentor: Scott Barker, SBTDC

Description: Beyond Tutoring, LLC is a college-level tutoring service for veterans that connects them to personal tutors and tracks their progress and tutoring sessions.

  1. Taylor Hicks, Nick Walden – Simple and Sentimental

Mentor: Ariana Billingsley, SBTDC

Description: Simple and Sentimental provides unique, hand-lettered items. Since starting in December 2016, the company has had almost 2,000 online sales with over 400 5-star reviews on its Etsy shop.

  1. Jordan Rice, Troy Demers – House Pool

Mentor: ECU Technology Transfer

Description: House Pool is a college-exclusive app that makes leasing easier for both the prospective tenant and landlord. It brings together college students and local housing options.

  1. Victor Still – Who is Rose?

Mentor: Miller School of Entrepreneurship

Description: “Who is Rose?” is a fashion line that highlights the motivation and components of success behind an individual’s life.

  1. Paul Safrit – Safrit Solar

Mentor: John Ciannamea, Innovator in Residence at East Carolina University

Description: Safrit Solar, LLC manufactures and distributes customized and stand-alone portable solar systems for outdoor activities, such as tailgating, camping or daily use.

  1. Nick Venditti, Chandler King – FOWL

Mentor: Hallie Hawkins, SBTDC

Description: FOWL’s mission is described by our slogan “wear your life.” The company is dedicated to creating the biggest bag and accessories brand in the world and bringing everyone together no matter the lifestyle.

“We have an impressive group of student entrepreneurs moving on to the final round of the Pirate Challenge,” said David Mayo, an instructor with the Miller School of Entrepreneurship. “Since round one, each team has made tremendous strides toward the growth of their ventures.”

A total of $20,000 will be split between the first-, second- and third-place winners from round three of the challenge.

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communications

Dept. of Construction Management Gains Reaccreditation

The College’s Department of Construction Management was recently reaccredited for another six years by the American Council for Construction Education (ACCE). In order to receive reaccreditation, the department had to meet 20 student learning outcomes, which was a new process required by ACCE.

“Previously, the accreditation process was prescriptive-based,” said Dr. Syed Ahmed, department chair. “We, along with a few other universities, were the forerunners of the new outcomes-based approach, and it showed our students are learning what they need to succeed.”

Ahmed said receiving the new accreditation also reflects numerous, positive approaches the department is taking. “Our curriculum is current. Our faculty is qualified. We excel at self assessing. And, our facilities are up-to-date,” he added.

The College of Engineering and Technology's Department of Construction Management was recently reaccredited. (Photo by Jay Clark)

The College of Engineering and Technology’s Department of Construction Management was recently reaccredited. (Photo by Jay Clark)

The reaccreditation has come at a good time. Ahmed sees the construction industry rebounding after a slump around 2006, which resulted in a drop in enrollment. Today, he sees an increase in enrollment across all universities due to growth in commercial and residential construction.

“The construction industry needs more students like our department is producing,” says Ahmed. “Our employment levels are excellent.”

In the spring of 2017, the department graduated 42 students. Of those students, 88 percent have landed a job. Dr. Ahmed is quick to point out that these students will also have a chance to make an exceptional salary upon graduation from college. Over the past 36 months, 62 percent of starting salaries for those with a bachelor’s degree in construction management have a range of $50,000 – $65,000 (and up). The national average is just over $54,000.

“Our students are serving a critical need for the construction industry,” added Ahmed.

As the construction industry grows, along with the demands for college to produce qualified talent, the need for additional faculty also grows.

“It’s a good problem to have,” said Ahmed. “We just need to make sure we can match our high level of student enrollment with the increased need for faculty in the department.”

 

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communication

 

College of Engineering and Technology Graduates First Environmental Engineering Students

Last week’s College of Engineering and Technology graduation ceremonies saw a couple of momentous occasions. First, the College’s Department of Engineering graduated its 500th student! Secondly, three students were the first to graduate with a concentration in environmental engineering.

Matthew Edwards, Brian Garrett and Troy Puryear came to the program two years ago and then this past Friday, they became a part of college history.

However, the impetus for this program started when the College wanted to add another engineering concentration almost five years ago. The goal was to create opportunities that would complement the needs of eastern North Carolina.

Pictured, from left to right: Instructor Jeff Foeller, Troy Puryear, Matthew Edwards and Asst. Professor Randall Etheridge, Ph.D. Puryear and Edwards are two of the first three graduates to receive an engineering degree with a concentration in environmental engineering. (contributed photo)

Pictured, from left to right: Instructor Jeff Foeller, Troy Puryear, Matthew Edwards and Asst. Professor Randall Etheridge, Ph.D. Puryear and Edwards are two of the first three graduates to receive an engineering degree with a concentration in environmental engineering. (contributed photo)

“We sat down internally and asked what’s going to make a good environmental engineer for this area,” said Jeff Foeller, an Instructor with College and one of the architects of the original curriculum. “We have a lot of water and lot of coastline. Therefore, we knew the program should have a water concentration.”

So, the department mapped out the classes, got the curriculum approved and classes were then made available.

Puryear, who is from Greenville, says this concentration appealed to him because he, “wanted the opportunity to work hands-on, in the field; rather than always indoors or in an office.” Puryear is currently an intern at a local firm and has hopes to continue with that firm as a full-time employee.

Along with the intimacy of the program, Edwards chose the environmental concentration because, “my uncle is an environmental engineer, and I’m able to work both outside and inside.” Edwards has accepted a position with an engineering firm in Raleigh.

Though only three graduated in this first group, Foeller expects to double that number over the next year. The goal is to sustain a program that can handle one or two dozen students a year.

“As we’re growing in the East and developing more land, the need for environmental engineers will increase,” said Foeller.

 

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communication

Five ECU Students Receive Scholarships from TiMOTION

Thanks to a company that “believes strongly in moving toward a better future,” five engineering students from the College of Engineering and Technology are each the recipient of a $1,000 scholarship.

Pictured, from left to right: Patricia Malcolm, Basel Abdelfattah and Laith Damreh. All three are biomedical engineering students who each received a scholarship from TiMOTION. (contributed photos)

Pictured, from left to right: Patricia Malcolm, Basel Abdelfattah and Laith Damreh. All three are biomedical engineering students who each received a scholarship from TiMOTION. (contributed photos)

In a recent news release, Taiwan’s TiMOTION and its North American Subsidiary awarded these scholarships, which will benefit full-time students of high academic standing who are enrolled in engineering programs. The company considers these awards an investment in the engineers of tomorrow.

Scholarship recipients include:

  • Basel Abdelfattah
  • Laith Damreh
  • Travis Harrison
  • Jamie LoScalzo
  • Patricia Malcolm

All five students are from North Carolina

Junior Jamie LoScalzo is a recipient of a $1,000 scholarship from TiMOTION.

Junior Jamie LoScalzo is a recipient of a $1,000 scholarship from TiMOTION.

Junior Jamie LoScalzo is from New Bern, and she’s currently president of the Dean’s Student Leadership Advisory Council for the College of Engineering and Technology. About the scholarship, she said, “this award helps to alleviate my financial concerns for next semester, and will allow me to focus on my coursework, as well as my extracurricular activities within the college.”

Laith Damreh, a junior from Raleigh, echoed LoScalzo. “This opportunity is very helpful because, with the scholarship, I can work less so I can focus more on my academics.”

Goldsboro’s Malcolm knew from an early age that paying for her education would fall squarely on her shoulders. “My parents told me from a very early age that they would not pay for my college education and that I would be responsible for it myself,” she said. “Getting this scholarship will allow me to continue pursuing my education goals.”

Abdelfattah is from Greenville. Like the other ECU scholarship recipients, this scholarship will have an impact. “It’s motivation for me to work diligently for academic success,” said Abdelfattah. “The scholarship will help lessen the impact of my tuition costs.”

As part of this funding, TiMOTION said it will provide “products for classroom learning and projects.”

TiMOTION is an industry-leading provider of electric linear actuators worldwide.

IEEE Installs New Honors Chapter at ECU

The College of Engineering and Technology recently witnessed history. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)-Eta Kappa Nu (HKN) Mu Lambda Chapter was recently installed at the college. The new chapter, as part of its ceremonies, also inducted three area professionals and seven engineering students as its charter members.

The IEEE HKN Mu Lambda Chapter charter members include:

  1. Bryan Barrera, senior
  2. Davis Harrison, junior
  3. Dean Lamonica, senior
  4. Michael David Soule, senior
  5. Keith Hill, engineering & facilities manager, Fresenius Kabi USA
  6. Ethan Thomas, electrical engineer, Edgecombe Martin Corporation
  7. Ricky Castles, assistant professor, Department of Engineering, College of Engineering and Technology, ECU

Charter chapter officers include:

  1. William F. Clukey Jr, secretary and treasurer
  2. Karl Durancik, vice president
  3. David Leake, president

Jim Conrad, IEEE Region 3 director and a UNC-Charlotte professor, officiated the installation. Dr. Jason Yao, associate professor in the College of Engineering and Technology, will be the chapter’s adviser.

The Mu Lambda Chapter of IEEE’s Honor Society, Eta Kappa Nu, was recently installed at ECU’s College of Engineering and Technology. Participating in the ceremonies were (left to right), Dr. Jason Yao (chapter advisor), Dr. David White (college dean), Dr. Hayden Griffin (Dept. of Engineering chair), Jim Conrad (IEEE Region 3 director), Karl Durancik (chapter vice president), David Leake (chapter president) and William Clukey, Jr. (chapter secretary and treasurer). (contributed photo)

The Mu Lambda Chapter of IEEE’s Honor Society, Eta Kappa Nu, was recently installed at ECU’s College of Engineering and Technology. Participating in the ceremonies were (left to right), Dr. Jason Yao (chapter advisor), Dr. David White (college dean), Dr. Hayden Griffin (Dept. of Engineering chair), Jim Conrad (IEEE Region 3 director), Karl Durancik (chapter vice president), David Leake (chapter president) and William Clukey, Jr. (chapter secretary and treasurer). (contributed photo)

According to IEEE’s website, IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN), the honor society of IEEE, is dedicated to encouraging and recognizing individual excellence in education and meritorious work, in professional practice, and in any of the areas within the IEEE-designated fields of interest.

Yao sees the Mu Lambda chapter as a way for its student members, who are juniors and seniors majoring in electrical engineering, to connect and network with professionals who can pass along their insights and experiences.

“These professional individuals will be great resources that students can approach for career-related advice,” said Yao. “It is also our hope that by inducting successful professionals in the electrical engineering-related fields, we create a body of role models for future students.”

Though Mu Lambda’s mission is still being defined, Leake does see the chapter focusing on and promoting industry awareness. He also is thinking about the legacy this chapter will hold for future members.

I hope to see the Mu Lambda chapter become an integral part of the East Carolina University engineering community,” said Leake. “The chapter should promote integrity in engineering, research in current engineering issues, and continuous pursuit of engineering excellence through community involvement and academic endeavors. The Mu Lambda chapter will represent the best up-and-coming engineers at ECU.”

The new chapter does not replace the student chapter of IEEE, which was started in 2013 and whose first president was charter Mu Lambda inductee Thomas. Mu Lambda will serve mainly as the recognition arm of the current student chapter and will assist it with regular activities, guest speakers and competitions.

 

 

-by Michael Rudd, University Communication

Computer Sciences and Business Students Participate in Hackathon

Between 9 p.m. Feb. 23 and 8 a.m. Feb. 24, 16 students from the College of Engineering and Technology (CET), the College of Business (COB) and other University colleges came together to help launch a company.

The College of Business’ Student Technology Center hosted a hackathon where these students created a website, or what they call a web store, for gamers, musicians, writers, artists, etc., to sell their content.

Computer Sciences Senior Patrick Luy, left, works with Samuel Carraway, computer sciences, junior, on a business model canvas during the hackathon. (photos by Michael Rudd)

Computer Sciences Senior Patrick Luy, left, works with Samuel Carraway, computer sciences, junior, on a business model canvas during the hackathon.
(Photos by Michael Rudd)

“I was working on a project in my spare time,” said Samuel Carraway, a CET junior from Chapel Hill. “I wanted to make it a reality.”

Carraway said he participated in two hackathons off campus and that’s where the idea germinated to have a hackathon at the University. He presented the idea to the recently formed student organization, EPIC or Empowering Pioneers through Innovative Culture, which includes students from all over the University who have an entrepreneurial spirit.

To help cultivate that spirit, COB’s Miller School of Entrepreneurship and instructor David Mayo oversaw that hackathon’s proceedings. Though these types of events are usually software intensive, Mayo believes it’s important to have a business component, as well.

“This hackathon not only produced a product, but we also came out with a business model that makes that product useful for the owner and the customer,” said Mayo.  “Entrepreneurship acts as a bridge for that innovation.”

We liked this collaborative atmosphere and having people from different majors and backgrounds come together,” said CET senior and EPIC co-president, Magus Pereira. “The hackathon was a good experience.”

The Feb. 23 & 24 hackathon included students from both the College of Engineering and Technology and the College of Business.

The Feb. 23 & 24 hackathon included students from both the College of Engineering and Technology and the College of Business.

Along with the new web store, a business plan was also finalized to help the store go to market. Teams of engineering and business students focused on three areas: the building of the website, a Kickstarter campaign, and a business model canvas. Business senior Christopher Rudkowski joined the hackathon and was anxious to take what he’s learned and put it to practical use. He said, “I’ve never been so immersed in a situation where we can get together and make something work.”

Business senior Dakota Votaw had never participated in a hackathon, but he’s glad he joined in this one. “It was a very positive experience for everyone,” he said. “I don’t think anyone left there thinking it was a wasted night.”

 

 

-by Michael Rudd, College of Engineering & Technology

ECU professors ‘rocket back to earth’ during NASA simulation

Three East Carolina University College of Education faculty members spent Jan. 18 at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas, learning about simulations for astronaut training and vehicle design.

Daniel Dickerson, Patricia Slagter Van Tryon and Abbie Brown from the Department of Mathematics, Science and Instructional Technology Education toured several NASA project areas: the rapid prototype lab developing and testing controls for the Orion spacecraft; the space vehicle mockup facility that includes full-scale simulations of the International Space Station and Orion; the Human Exploration Research Analog that allows teams to experience spending days and weeks on an isolated space station; and the neutral buoyancy lab containing a massive pool with a replica of a portion of the space station that allows astronauts to practice walking in a weightless environment.

From left to right, ECU faculty members Patricia Slagter Van Tryon, Abbie Brown and Daniel Dickerson stand in front of the Orion vehicle mockup at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. (contributed photo)

From left to right, ECU faculty members Patricia Slagter Van Tryon, Abbie Brown and Daniel Dickerson stand in front of the Orion vehicle mockup at NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston. (contributed photo)

As part of the visit, Brown and Slagter van Tryon were “rocketed back to earth” through a simulation. Re-entering the earth’s atmosphere – from 200 mph eventually to 20 mph – was made real through intense sound effects and video displays, Brown said.

“We are grateful to the six NASA team leaders who were very generous with their time, providing us with a view of how our country’s astronauts learn to work in space and how space vehicles are designed and developed,” said Brown, professor and interim chair of the department. “It’s something few people get to see at such a detailed level and we are excited to take this information back to our science education and instructional technology students.”

ECU faculty are exploring opportunities for possible collaboration with NASA in the future.

The opportunity to visit NASA came about after Brown attended an Adobe MAX conference last fall and met the creative team developing simulations for NASA astronaut training.

There are approximately 160 graduate students enrolled online in the instructional technology program, which supports K-12 educators, corporate trainers and government and military instructors. For more information, visit http://www.ecu.edu/cs-educ/msite/it/.

 

 

-by Crystal Baity 

ECU professors receive national recognition

Two engineering professors at East Carolina University have received national recognition for their work in the areas of diversity and management.

Dr. Evelyn Brown

Dr. Evelyn Brown

Dr. Evelyn Brown has received the “INSIGHT into Diversity” 2015 Inspiring Women in STEM award while Dr. Gene Dixon won the Bernard R. Sarchet Award from the American Society for Engineering Education.

Brown is one of 100 women recognized by the higher education magazine for achievements that encourage and inspire women to consider careers in science, technology, engineering and mathematics or STEM. The magazine will be published in September.

Brown is a charter member of the STEM Girls steering committee, a member of the FIRST Robotics board of directors and faculty advisor for the Society of Women Engineers, National Society of Black Engineers, Engineering Honor Society and Engineering Ambassadors. Brown was the primary investigator on a National Science Foundation grant that secured $540,000 in merit and need-based scholarships for the engineering department. She has spent numerous hours recruiting for the engineering department.

LaKesha Alston Forbes, associate provost of equity and diversity at ECU, nominated Brown for the award with input from Dr. David White, dean of the College of Engineering and Technology.

“Dr. Brown was one of our first hires in engineering and serves as a tremendous role model for our female engineering students and junior faculty,” White said. “She is a great advocate for diversity, particularly in STEM, and she is a tireless supporter of her passionate work for diversity in the STEM fields.”

Brown said she is honored to have been nominated by ECU for the award. “I’m also hopeful that this national recognition will bring attention to ECU and the many good things being accomplished by dedicated faculty in our department, college and university,” she said.

Dr. Gene Dixon

Dr. Gene Dixon

Dixon received a national award named after Bernard R. Sarchet, a founding member and first national president of the American Society for Engineering Management.

The prestigious award is given to an individual who has made significant contributions to the profession and to the engineering management division of the American Society for Engineering Education.

Dixon, who has been at ECU for nine years, oversees all capstone projects required for engineering majors in their senior year. Students work in teams to complete a yearlong project for a local business or industry.

Dixon works closely with industry partners to ensure that ECU students get work experience, leadership and entrepreneurial skills before they graduate. He also helps develop internship and cooperative work opportunities for engineering majors and has written multiple articles and presented at national and international conferences.

“Gene has applied his knowledge of engineering management in his scholarship and his teaching, and we are very fortunate to have him as a colleague,” said Dr. Hayden Griffin, chair of the engineering department at ECU.

 

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