News

Spring 2018 Dean’s List

Each semester, the Hal and Inge Marcus School of Engineering publishes its Dean’s List, recognizing students who excelled academically.  The criteria include earning a 3.5 GPA, carrying a full-time credit load, and not dropping any classes.  About 20% of students in engineering and computer science earn this honor each semester. In Spring 2018, 61 students from HIMSE were recognized on the Dean’s List.  Ten of them earned perfect 4.0 GPAs. The Dean’s List is posted in the foyer of Cebula Hall, and not shared electronically due to privacy concerns. Congratulations to these outstanding students!

Phi Tau Sigma

Tim Teipel, Kyle Witzel, and Professor Isaac Jung attended the Pi Tau Sigma annual conference in Miami from February 23rd  to the 24th. Pi Tau Sigma is the International Honor Society for Mechanical Engineers. There were over 200 students present representing 63 chapters, including SMU'S chapter Alpha Tau.  Keynote speakers for the conference included individuals from Autodesk and NASA. Astronaut Yvonne Cagel's presentation on NASA's future of going to the Moon and Mars was powerful and riveting. She challenged the mechanical engineering students to follow their passions and look for opportunities in the space industry.  For Saint Martin's student Tim Teipel, it has been a pleasure to attend this conference for the past two years, "The connections that you can make over the course of a few days with other engineers from different corners of the country is really special."  Alpha Tau chapter will hold its spring initiation in April.

Tacoma Narrows Bridge

SMU’s Hal and Inge Marcus Engineering students continue to get extraordinary internships and participate in exciting events. This past summer, Hal and Inge Marcus School of Engineering students Micaylla O’Leary ‘17, Jasper Heckman ‘17, and Tim Teipel’18 had the opportunity to be interns for the WSDOT Bridge Preservation section. Towards the end of the internship, they were able to assist with an inspection of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge cables. These same students were also interns for the WSDOT Bridge Preservation project. Micaylla, Jasper, and Tim are grateful for the opportunities given to them by the WSDOT internships!

Lacey Maker Space (LMS)

Saint Martin’s is partnering with the city of Lacey and the economic development council of Thurston County to provide resources for entrepreneurs to create jobs. Lacey Maker Space (LMS) is the emerging community hub for technology entrepreneurs. LMS recently hosted an introductory orientation to 3-d printing, a technology that is revolutionizing manufacturing, and that will be a major feature of the new LMS. The orientations were held in the Saint Martin’s University engineering complex, specifically Cebula Hall and the Panowicz Foundry for Innovation.  Chase Weeks ’18 taught the class.  Participants received an overview of 3-d printing.  They learned how to download a design from a web site, how to make basic customizations in a Computer Assisted Drafting program, how to export it to a format recognized by the printer, and how to print the design.  Participants either received their printed object at the time or they received the object later, depending on the number of participants and the printing time.  They also received a short overview of the LMS concept and vision. The MakerSpace is planning to begin occupying Zaverl Hall in July, and opening to the public this fall. This will benefit HIMSE students as well, increasing the resources for manufacturing and providing a source of part-time jobs for students. 

I-5 Bridge Senior Design Project

A Saint Martin's University civil engineering senior design team (Joy Sauer, Joanna Johnson, Alyssa Fink, Chase Weeks, John Cole, and Mikhail Kurkov) is tackling the redesign of a Washington Department of Transportation (WSDOT) bridge over Interstate 5. The prototype bridge, featured on the cover of the Fall 2012 issue of the PCI Journal, deployed an innovative precast concrete bent system with connections tested under cyclic lateral loads at the University of Washington.  The SMU student team is redesigning the structure to conventional standards, with a cast-in-place substructure and deck and typical WSDOT detailing. The students conducted their own type study, designed the foundations, abutments, pier and superstructure and developed a complete set of drawings per WSDOT standards. They were treated to a construction site visit of a similar bridge, guided by the designer of their prototype bridge.

2018 ASCE Regional Competition

SME sent 20 students to compete in the ASCE Regional concrete canoe, steel bridge, ethics, and environmental competitions April 5-8, 2018 held at Oregon Institute of Technology.  Students Hannah Briley ‘19 and Tyler Sloan ‘19 won 3rd place in the Environmental Engineering Competition.  Joanna Johnson ‘18 and Hannah Hoffman ‘20 organized the ASCE effort this year. Dean Olwell commented, “I am very proud of our students.  The teamwork, technical expertise, and hard work of the civil engineering students was amazing.  The seniors did a great job of involving the other classes so that we have continuity for the competitions next year and beyond.” The Hal and Inge Marcus School of Engineering will be hosting the ASCE regional competition for twenty universities in 2019, to the excitement of all of the SMU community. The civil engineering students are also preparing to defend their national PCI Big Beam championship and will cast their beam later in the semester.

Industry Expert Presents Dean's Lecture on Cybersecurity

There are many roads to the top of one's profession.  Ms. Marene Allison, World-wide Vice-president of Johnson and Johnson for Information Security, presented her "road less traveled" as the invited Dean's speaker on April 17th at Saint Martin's University.  Ms. Allison, who graduated from West Point in 1980 with an engineering degree, was commissioned as an officer in the Military Police Corps.  When positions were restricted for women, she became an FBI agent working counter-narcotics.  She then held a series of jobs in information security, including for the grocery chain A&P, the medical device company Medco, and the telecommunications company Avaya.  She has been at Johnson and Johnson for eight years.  She made the point that she has constantly had to reimagine and reinvent her career, and she has succeeded because she is a life-long learner and because she had confidence that sprang from a strong educational foundation. Ms. Allison described the contemporary challenges of protecting her multinational company's information from states, criminals, hacktivists, and disgruntled insiders.  She also pointed out that there is a 0% unemployment rate for cybersecurity professionals.  This presentation concluded a successful speaker series for the year that also  included Ms. Kristina Swallow, President of ASCE, on the National Infrastructure Scorecard; Dr. Scott Wilcox, Amazon, on the Amazon drone delivery engineering; and  Mr.Tim Moore, PE, WSDOT mega-project manager, on the Alaska Way Viaduct replacement project. 

SMU Engineering Students and Alumni Create Simulated Lunar Soil

Undergraduate student Vince Roux and mechanical engineering grad Melissa Roth have launched Off Planet Research, located in a lab on SMU grounds, to create simulated lunar soil. The project was primarily funded by Roux and Roth with the support from the university, and will have the capacity for on-site testing of lunar prototypes in the future.   This is the first ‘technology spin-off’ effort for the engineering school, and in addition to making new soil, we are breaking new ground! 

Civil Engineering student gets an internship for WSDOT’s Bridge Design Office

Chase Weeks received a position as a paid intern for WSDOT’s Bridge and Structure’s Office in Tumwater, WA. Dr. Bijan Khaleghi, State Bridge Engineer, offered his students an opportunity to apply. The duties required are to update the Span Capability Charts for all Girder types of the DOT designed bridges and to check loading ratings for the new paving train. The internship lasts until April 15, 2018. Congratulations, Chase!

SMU Engineering students attend the 2017 ASBI Conference in New York City

The American Segmental Bridge Institute (ASBI) holds an annual national confrence and invites AASHTO, subcomittee members, State Agencies, and the bridge community to discuss, and share new innovations, products, and construction methods as industry professionals. ASBI granted Dr. Khaleghi two sponsorships to send his students to this prestigious event. Dr. Khaleghi awarded those sponsorships to Micaylla O’Leary and William Miller. The 2017 ASBI Conference was held at the Mariott Marquis in Times Square, New York City, where the Bayonne Bridge, connecting New Jersey to Staten Island, was showcased.

Engineers to Europe

Dr. Jill Walsh has organized a class this spring semester on “Structures of Swiss Engineers.”  The class will focus on significant engineering structures created by Swiss engineers. Classroom sessions will study David Billington’s extensive work on structural engineering as art and the works of Swiss engineers. This includes the development of Robert Maillart’s use and understanding of concrete that lead to his graceful concrete bridges. The thin concrete shells of Heinz Isler, steel bridges of Othmar H. Ammann and the elegant modern bridges of Christian Menn will also be examined. The semester will culminate with a trip to Switzerland to view some of these structures.

Camino Santiago pilgrimage

Last fall, Dean Olwell and his wife walked a portion of the Camino Santiago pilgrimage trail in northern Spain.  This was their third time on the Camino, and brings their total pilgrim miles walked to over 500.   The modern civil engineering of the rail system and highways, with their graceful bridges and tunnels, contrasted sharply with the Roman-era and medieval bridges and road remnants that they (along with millions of other pilgrims over the last 1200 years – including Prof. Jim Harmon) actually walked across, as well as the enduring classical buildings and cathedrals. 

EAB Engineering Scholarship Fund

With the leadership of Mr. Brian Zeigler, president of the Engineering Advisory Board (EAB), and Mr. Terry Monaghan, long time member of the EAB, the EAB has established an endowed fund for the Dean to support engineering students with acute, short-term financial needs.  The fund was announced at the 2017 Gala in honor of Mr. Monaghan's 80th birthday.  The fund currently has over 100,000 dollars and the target is half a million dollars.  These funds will be used to help engineering and computer science students who have financial impediments to success.  Donations are still being gratefully accepted.  To donate, please contact the Dean, Dr. David Olwell or Katie Wojke.

Call for Civil Engineering Mentors

Dr. Floraliza Bornasal and Dr. Jill Walsh are looking for professional mentors for the Civil Engineering Senior Design course.  Many civil engineering undergraduates have limited experience with their field.  Mentors provide a link between academia and practice in the field.  In addition to assisting students with their design projects, mentors can meet with students to talk about mentors' careers and personal experiences that led them into the engineering career, helpful tips for starting a career, companies' work cultures and expectations for new hires, and any other topics of interest. Past mentors have averaged about two hours each month with their students, but the time commitment is established by each mentor.  If you are interested in becoming a professional mentor to civil engineering undergraduate students, please contact Dr. Floraliza Bornasal.

Featured events

2019 ASCE PNW Regional Student Conference, April 2019