Category: CMS-Engineering & Physics

Dr. Benjamin Tayo Joins the Engineering and Physics Faculty

Benjamin TayoDr. Benjamin Tayo joined the faculty in Fall 2019 as an Associate Professor working in the areas of Computational Materials Science and Condensed Matter Physics. He earned his PhD in Computational Material Science from Lehigh University, his M.S. in Condensed Matter Physics from the University of Trieste (Italy), and his B.S. in Physics and Computer Science from the University of Buea in Cameroon. As the only faculty member in the department to have earned degrees on three separate continents, Dr. Tayo brings a wealth of experience to the department. He served previously as a tenured Associate Professor at Pittsburg State University in Kansas where he established an interdisciplinary research program that led to his mentoring of 5 M.S. projects, several undergraduate research projects, 8 refereed journal articles, 22 conference presentations, and 7 invited talks. Dr. Tayo’s computational research will provide collaborative opportunities with faculty in each engineering discipline, while also supporting the college’s Professional Science Master’s program. He has already begun working with several students on undergraduate research projects and senior design projects. We are very excited to have Dr. Tayo as a member of our faculty.

Joseph Dwerlkotte Graduates with Three Degrees

For most students, earning a degree and getting a job is sufficiently challenging to occupy their time. This past December, Joseph Dwerlkotte graduated with a BS in Mechanical Engineering, a BS in Electrical Engineering, and (if that were not enough) a BS in Engineering Physics. A product of Jones, Oklahoma, Joseph worked with Merik Aston, Josh Branscum, Colten Hutson, and Taylor Stow on a senior design capstone project to design and fabricate an assembly jig for the restoration of vintage Funk B85C Airplanes. He also did undergraduate research work on CAD modeling of a microwave imaging device to safely detect breast cancer. He did a summer internship with DJ Engineering in 2018 and is currently a Systems II Engineer with Boeing here in Oklahoma City.

Other students recently earning more than one degree are Mohamad Keblawi (EE/BME), Abby Magee (EE/BME), Andrew Matli (EE/ME), and Blake Obr (EE/ME). Several of our current students are also working on double degrees. They are in good company.

Oklahoma Academy of Science Meets on UCO Campus

OAS Poster Session in STEM BuildingThe 108th Annual Technical Meeting of the Oklahoma Academy of Science was held on the campus of the University of Central Oklahoma on November 8. The meeting was attended by approximately 350 science faculty and university students representing 21 colleges and universities from across the state, making it the largest meeting ever of this organization. During the course of this conference 80 oral presentations and 97 poster presentations were given. Luncheon speaker Dr. John Barthell, UCO Provost, described some of his research experiences with bees and the values of bees to society. Dr. David Bass and Dr. Chad King served as meeting co-coordinators while UCO’s Office of Academic Affairs and the College of Mathematics & Science co-hosted this conference. For information about OAS, check out the Academy’s web site at: http://www.oklahomaacademyofscience.org/.

Dr. Tierney Harvey Takes Over as First-Year Engineering Coordinator

Dr. Tierney Harvey first joined the department as a Temporary Lecturer in Fall 2015. In Fall 2018, she was hired into a Continuing Lecturer position and tasked with developing and implementing the department’s First-Year Engineering Program. Dr. Harvey earned her PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Duke University and a B.S. with High Distinction in Civil Engineering from the University of Virginia.

As Coordinator of the First-Year Engineering Program, Dr. Harvey carries several critical responsibilities. The first includes managing the Introduction to Engineering Lab and, over the past spring and summer, she has been redesigning the lab to better meet our goals for students entering into engineering programs at UCO. In addition, Dr. Harvey coordinates the department’s recruitment and outreach efforts. In this role, she works with the department’s Engineering Student Ambassador program, which was implemented last year. The Engineering Student Ambassadors take part in outreach activities at area schools and community colleges, as well as conduct tours of department facilities for prospective students and their parents.

Broncho Powered Vehicle Team Competes in Lansing, Michigan

In Fall of 2018, a group of senior engineering design students began working on a project to design and build UCO’s first-ever entry into the annual American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Human Powered Vehicle Challenge (HPVC). Many underdeveloped or inaccessible communities around the world rely on human powered transportation in their everyday lives. With this in mind, ASME developed the HPVC to task engineering students from across the country and around the world with designing and building efficient, well-engineered vehicles that can provide sustainable and practical transportation.

Taking the lead in the project (rebranded as the Broncho Powered Vehicle) were Jesse Green, Zackary Buck, Brant Davis, and Kale Harper supported by faculty member Dr. Tierney Harvey (see article above). Over half a dozen freshmen, sophomore, and junior students also supported them in various phases of the project. The team spent Fall 2018 in the design phase of their project, which included analyses of the vehicle’s strength, materials, and safety requirements. With financial support from Nortek Air Solutions and several smaller donors, the team began construction of the vehicle in January 2019. Construction was completed in March, and the competition took place at Michigan State University in April. The UCO’s Broncho Powered Vehicle placed 18th overall out of around 50 schools from across the country, which was an exceptionally strong finish for a group of first-time racers.

Dr. Harvey has already begun assembling a team for the 2020 competition and has established a crowd funding site to help support the project this year: https://give.uco.edu/project/16090.