https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Infection-fighting-device-wins-2017-Discovery-Competition.aspx639Infection-fighting device wins $25,000 in 2017 Discovery Competition<p>​A medical device built by undergraduate students to prevent infections in patients using catheters has won $25,000 in the <a href="/current-students/outside-classroom/discovery-competition/Pages/default.aspx">2017 Discovery Competition</a>, sponsored by the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis.<br/></p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/WashU%20Engineering%20Project%20Starfish%20Startup.jpg?RenditionID=2" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/News/34_.000">a</a></div><p>The winning team, named Project Starfish, is creating a device that uses short-wavelength ultraviolet light (UVC), which kills bacteria, molds, viruses and other pathogens, to continuously and effectively kill bacteria in urinary catheters. About 75 percent of urinary tract infections acquired in the hospital are associated with the use of a catheter, and up to 25 percent of hospitalized patients in the hospital receive a urinary catheter, according to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>Project Starfish has received a provisional patent for its device and has confirmed with FDA consultants that the device will follow a relatively inexpensive regulatory pathway, said Elizabeth Bowman, a team member who received a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering with a minor in commercial entrepreneurship May 19.</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>With Bowman, other team members are:</p><p></p><ul><li rtenodeid="2">John Bisognono, a sophomore majoring in computer science with a minor in bioinformatics<br rtenodeid="4"/></li><li rtenodeid="5">Elliot Jaffe, a BS/MS student in electrical engineering with a second major in physics<br rtenodeid="7"/></li><li rtenodeid="8">Caleb Ji, a first-year student majoring in math<br rtenodeid="10"/></li><li rtenodeid="11">Daniel Lane, a doctoral student in biomedical engineering<br rtenodeid="13"/></li><li rtenodeid="14">Jessica Miller, founder and an MD/PhD student at the School of Medicine and in biomedical engineering<br rtenodeid="16"/></li><li rtenodeid="17">Vineet Chauhan and John Henschen, MBA students in the Olin Business School<br rtenodeid="20"/></li><li>Jay Vasileva, a graduating biomedical engineering student from Saint Louis University<br/></li></ul> The team plans to incorporate as a startup this summer.<p></p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>“We’re really glad that we won this competition because we needed to the money to move us forward to the next step,” said Bowman, who plans to continue working on the project in addition to working as a health-care consultant in Silicon Valley.</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>The team’s initial funding to build a 3-D prototype and a small circuit board came from Sling Health (formerly IDEA Labs).</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>The School of Engineering & Applied Science launched the Discovery Competition in 2012 to promote new and innovative discoveries to solve challenges or needs. The competition provides engineering undergraduate students the forum to explore their entrepreneurial interests with support from mentors, to use their creativity to develop solutions for real-world problems and to compete for financial resources that could help turn their ideas into businesses. The annual competition is funded by Engineering alumni.</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>Taking second place, a $2,500 cash prize and $5,000 in legal in-kind services from Polsinelli was the CyberPowered Home LLC team, which developed a device to manage electric energy use in the home and provide smart-home functionality that could save users as much as 25 percent a year on electricity. Team members Will Blanchard, a junior majoring in computer engineering with second majors in financial engineering and economics & strategy, and Allen Nikka, who received a bachelor’s degree in computer engineering and a master of engineering in computer science with a minor in computer science May 19, say the device could pay for itself in two to five years and would benefit both homeowners and electric utility providers. Blanchard and Nikka plan to start a company this summer to continue work on the project.</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>Taking third place, which includes a $2,500 cash prize and $2,500 in in-kind legal services from Polsinelli, is SomniScan, a low-cost, in-home test for sleep disorders. More than 40 million Americans have a chronic sleep disorder, but up to 80 percent of them are undiagnosed due to the cost and access to overnight, in-hospital sleep studies. The SomniScan sleep-screening system would detect the presence of sleep disorders, particularly sleep apnea, using a smartphone and a $40-$80 purchase. The study would generate a report that a patient could take to his or her physician to follow up for further care.</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>Team members are:<br/></p><p></p><ul><li rtenodeid="23">Kenny Kim, who received a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering with minors in electrical engineering and biology May 19<br rtenodeid="25"/></li><li rtenodeid="26">Christian Shewmake, who received a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering and a master’s in systems science & engineering with a minor in computer science May 19<br rtenodeid="28"/></li><li>Teja Vallapuri, who received bachelor’s degrees in biomedical engineering and electrical engineering May 19<br/></li></ul> <br/>The team plans to incorporate this summer to continue work on the technology.<br/><p></p><SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN><p><br/></p>​​​​​<div><br/></div><div><br/> <div>​​<br/> <div class="cstm-section"><h3>Entrepr​​eneurship at WashU</h3><ul><li> <a href="/our-school/initiatives/Pages/entrepreneurship.aspx">WashU engineers </a>are engaged in St. Louis' startup community and contribute to more than 20 accelerators and incubators.</li><li> <a href="http://fuse.wustl.edu/">WashU Fuse</a> - igniting innovation and connecting entrepreneurs​<br/></li></ul></div>​​​</div><br/></div>Project Starfish is a student startup company developing a biomedical device to reduce catheter-associated urinary tract infections.Beth Miller2017-05-22T05:00:00ZProject Starfish is a student startup company developing a biomedical device to reduce catheter-associated urinary tract infections.
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Four-faculty-members-receive-25000-WashU-Engineering-Collaboration-Initiation-Grants.aspx630Four faculty members receive $25,000 Collaboration Initiation Grants<p>​Matthew Lew, Mark Meacham, Jonathan Silva and Silvia Zhang, all assistant professors in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, have each received $25,000 grants from the school’s Collaboration Initiation Grants program.<br/></p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/WashU%20at%20Night%20by%20Clayco%20Corp.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/News/34_.000">a</a></div><p>The program, in its third year, awards one-year grants to projects that facilitate collaborative research outside of and within Engineering departments for tenure-track faculty. The grants are a pathway for faculty to apply for larger, interdisciplinary grants, to create a more synergistic project than could be achieved by one researcher in one discipline, and to demonstrate the potential to sustain the collaboration and obtain external funding. Each awardee receives $20,000 from the school and must have $5,000 in cost-sharing from their department or collaborators.</p><p><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Matthew-Lew.aspx"><img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Lew_Matthew_5620.jpg?RenditionID=3" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/></a><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Matthew-Lew.aspx">Lew</a>, in the Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering, will work with James Buckley, professor of physics in Arts & Sciences, to build a single-molecule fluorescence-lifetime imaging nanoscope to view the chemical environments surrounding individual molecules with nanoscale resolution. These fluorescent molecules respond to changes in their chemical environment, such as pH, ionic strength or membrane potential by altering their fluorescence lifetime. Lew and Buckley plan to build an ultrafast camera with high sensitivity and fast frame rate, then integrate the camera with a fluorescence nanoscope to take images of the position and lifetime of fluorescent molecules. Once built, this technology is expected provide researchers with unparalleled resolution and insight into the dynamic chemical environments in living cells.<br/><br/></p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Mark-Meacham.aspx"><img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Meacham_Mark.jpg?RenditionID=3" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin: 5px 10px;"/></a><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Mark-Meacham.aspx">Meacham</a>, in the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science, will work with Mikhail Berezin, assistant professor of radiology at the School of Medicine, to reduce inconsistencies in producing fluorescent tumor-specific antibodies and antibody-drug conjugates through miniaturization and automation of synthetic steps in a microfluidic device. Such a platform would enable cancer researchers to speed development of new antibody conjugates that improve diagnosis or create powerful new targeted therapies to treat cancer patients. Key to this technology is use of acoustics, or ultrasound, to achieve better control over nanoscale synthetic processes, which would improve the consistency of the products that result. By replacing the current manual macroscale process with a more reliable, automated microfluidic approach, researchers would be able to perform process optimization and evaluate drug candidates more quickly to accelerate the pace of cancer research.<br/></p><p><br/></p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Jonathan-Silva.aspx"><img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Silva_Jon.jpg?RenditionID=3" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin: 5px 10px;"/></a><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Jonathan-Silva.aspx">Silva</a>, in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, will work with Jonathan McJunkin, MD, in the Department of Otolaryngology at the School of Medicine, to create a 3-D holographic visualization of head and neck anatomy using mixed-reality display. This technology would improve their view of the surgical site and provide the potential to improve surgical outcomes in otolaryngology, which includes the ears and sinuses, where there are complex neurovascular structures.<br/></p><p><br/></p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Xuan-(Silvia)-Zhang.aspx"><img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Zhang_Silvia_5631.jpg?RenditionID=3" class="ms-rtePosition-1" alt="" style="margin: 5px 10px;"/></a><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Xuan-(Silvia)-Zhang.aspx">Zhang</a>, in the Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering, will work with Christopher Gill, professor of computer science & engineering, to focus on efficient and reliable power delivery for autonomous systems, such as self-driving cars, drones and robots. These systems have an uncertain power demand due to unpredictable interactions with the environment. Zhang and Gill plan to design new power modules using synergistic hardware and software approaches to deliver “energy packets” to different components that need power, similar to how data packets are delivered by networking routers in the Internet. In addition, they plan to develop an intelligent control scheme to improve reliability as well as efficiency for power delivery. Their ultimate goal is to build a functional prototype to assess the feasibility of their proposed power orchestration framework.<br/></p><SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN><p><br/></p>Beth Miller2017-05-10T05:00:00ZCollaboration Initiation Grants are a pathway for faculty to apply for larger, interdisciplinary grants and to create a more synergistic project than could be achieved by one researcher in one discipline.
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/Valedictorian-Seth-Ebner-shares-tips-for-future-WashU-engineers.aspx629Valedictorian Seth Ebner shares tips for future WashU engineers<p>​As Seth Ebner, the 2017 valedictorian for the School of Engineering & Applied Science, plans to graduate with bachelor’s degrees in computer science and electrical engineering, we asked him to give his best advice to incoming Engineering students:<br/></p><p><br/></p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/Seth%20Ebner%20WashU%20Engineering.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><h3>Q: Which professors should I get to know?</h3><p>A: Talk with professors who seem interesting to you and get to know them outside the classroom. You’ll often find that you get along well and that they’re doing some incredible research. Some of my favorite professors include Ron Cytron, Hiro Mukai, Martha Hasting, and Vladimir Kurenok. Office hours provide a great way to get to know your professors and for them to get to know you.<br/></p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>Some of the best conversations I’ve had with professors were about classes not in my main field of study. For example, I learned so much from talking with linguistics professors about our course material and beyond. As an Engineering student, don’t hesitate to engage with professors teaching non-Engineering courses!<br/></p><p><br/></p><h3>Q: What was your favorite class?</h3><p>A: My favorite class in CSE was Introduction to Formal Languages and Automata (CSE 547T, taught by Ron Cytron). I really enjoyed the theoretical implications of the course material, and I even returned to the class as a TA.</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>My favorite ESE course was Probability and Stochastic Processes (ESE 520, taught by Vladimir Kurenok). This class built on concepts from earlier probability theory courses, and it was challenging but rewarding.</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>I came out of both of these classes feeling that I had truly learned a lot.</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"><br/></p><h3>Q: What classes should I take?</h3><p>A: Choosing electives can be daunting. There are often many more appealing classes than you can possibly fit into your schedule. My rule of thumb is to choose classes that will help you develop the skills that are necessary for what you want to do after graduation. Because I am entering graduate school for natural language processing, I chose to take courses in optimization and linguistics.</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p>However, I’d recommend extending your horizons and experimenting with classes in fields you wouldn’t otherwise have the chance to explore. I took two courses in art history my freshman year, and it was a blast!</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"><br/></p><h3>Q: Where should I study?</h3><p>A: There are plenty of great study spots across campus. Lopata Gallery, the Danforth University Center (DUC), Bear’s Den (BD), and study rooms on the South 40 all provide excellent places for group work and collaboration. Olin Library and the East Asian Library (in January Hall) are nice, quiet locations for when you need to study by yourself.</p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"></p><p style="color: #000000; font-family: "times new roman"; font-size: medium;"><br/></p><h3>Q: Where can I get a late-night snack?</h3><p>A: As an underclassman, BD is definitely the place to go for late-night study sessions and food. The Village and Peacock Diner (open 24/7) are great places, too, for students living north of campus.<br/></p><br/> <br/><span><br/><div class="cstm-section"><h3>#WashU17 Events<br/></h3><div> <strong>Thursday, May 18</strong><br/>Engineering Student Recognition Ceremony</div><div>1:30 p.m.<br/><br/></div><div> <strong>Friday, May 19</strong><br/>All-University Commencement</div><div>8:30 a.m.<br/></div><div> <br/> </div><div></div><div> <a href="/current-students/student-services/Pages/commencement.aspx">>> More Information </a><br/></div></div></span>Seth Ebner2017-05-09T05:00:00Z"Some of the best conversations I’ve had with professors were about classes not in my main field of study."
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/2017-Class-Act-Deko-Ricketts.aspx6212017 Class Act: Deko Ricketts<div class="div.youtube-wrap"><div class="iframe-container"> <iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/1hs16FTc--E"></iframe>   </div> </div><p>​During his sophomore year in high school, Deko Ricketts and his friends — he called them “The Bros” — got caught lighting matches in the chemistry lab. The stunt was stupid and dangerous. It also was not the first time The Bros broke the rules at Barstow, an elite, private school in Kansas City, Mo. The friends had a reputation for playing pranks and acting wild. They even commandeered an out-of-the-way nook and turned into their own hideaway, which they called Party Cove.<br/></p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/washu%20engineering%20deko%20ricketts.jpg?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><p>​“You know the book, ‘The Outsiders?’” Ricketts said. “We felt like we were golden, like we could do anything we wanted.”<br/></p><p>Well, clearly not anything. After the chem lab incident, the head of school immediately suspended Ricketts and his friends and threatened expulsion. Ricketts panicked.</p><p>“I decided I needed to be the best person Barstow has ever seen,” Ricketts said. “I told the head of school, ‘I’m going to get my grades up. I’m going to be a leader on the track team. I’m going to regain the trust that I’ve lost from my teachers. And I’m going to show you that this isn’t a definition of character but a lapse of character.’”</p><p>Ricketts did just that. So did his friends. They served as officers in student government and captains of sports teams. They starred in plays, started new clubs and, when it came time to apply to college, they all got accepted to their first-choice schools.<br/></p><p>For Ricketts, that was Washington University in St. Louis.</p><h3>‘Dream big, think big and expect big’</h3><p>Four years later, Ricketts is ready to graduate from the School of Engineering & Applied Science with a degree in electrical engineering. At the Office of Sustainability, he sought out new renewable energy projects for the university. At the engineering school, he mentored classmates in circuit design. And, as a member of the track team, he set the school record this year for the men’s 800 with a time of 1:49.61 and won the NCAA Division III Indoor Track & Field national championship.</p><p>“Deko set school records and became an indoor national champion — all with a smile on his face guiding the men’s team,” head coach Jeff Stiles said. “People are drawn to him, and he has changed the team’s culture in terms of thinking big. He only knows one way — that’s to dream big, think big and expect big.”</p><p>Ricketts started two businesses at Washington University, neither of which succeeded — at least not in an obvious way. His first enterprise, See3, set out to design 3-D holograms. The idea was born in his high school physics class. His teacher was trying — and failing — to draw 3-D motions on a chalkboard. There must be a better way, thought Ricketts. After studying differential equations freshman year, Ricketts thought he found it. He got some friends together, won funding and started building models. But the more they learned, the more they realized what they did not know.</p><p>“We realized we needed to understand fluid dynamics,” Ricketts said. “And wind turbine design. Basically, there were a lot of things we needed to master before we could move on.</p><p>“We were literally taking things we had learned in class that day in putting them into our design. A month later, we would learn something new and change the design all over again.”</p><p>His second endeavor was called Solar Optics. Ricketts wanted to develop residential solar cells that could be mounted inside of a home. It was a good idea but he realized the supporting technology did not yet exist. He set aside the project, but not his passion for solar energy.</p><p>“WashU gave me the space to fail, not just mess up,” Ricketts said. “Messing up is getting suspended. Failing is doing what you think is actually right and not being good enough — at least not good enough yet.”</p><h3>Going for ‘golden’ </h3><p>It has been an incredible journey for Ricketts, the youngest of four children. His mother, Nia Becker, remembers introducing a 7-year old Deko to fractions over a pie at Minsky’s Pizza. He got the concept right away, so they moved onto decimals. Soon, they were working out of a middle school textbook.</p><p>Becker could see her son needed to be challenged. So she wrote to Barstow and asked if they would admit three of her four children. Her eldest had already completed high school. It was an audacious ask for a woman who could not afford the tuition for one child, much less three. But Becker believed her children each had unique gifts to bring to Barstow. The school agreed and provided a large scholarship. Still, Becker needed to work two nursing jobs — one caring for the elderly in their homes; the other in a psychiatric ward. She was at work more than she was at home.</p><p>“It was hard for all of us,” Ricketts said. “I asked her why it was so important that I go there and she said, ‘I want you to know there is abundance in this world.’ Before Barstow, I never saw it. I entered a world where everyone was either rich, or a genius, or both.”</p><p>Though Becker struggled, her family boasted a proud legacy. Her grandfather earned a law degree from Columbia University, but was not allowed to take his board exams because he was black. Still, he worked with Marcus Garvey, a leader of the black nationalist movement. Her father, Leslie Becker, M.D., earned many “first black” accolades including first black physician appointed to teach at the University of Kansas School of Medicine and the first black doctor at Providence Hospital in Kansas City.</p><p>The grandfather was Ricketts’ earliest role model. But the man who lead him to Washington University was Sid Devins, M.D., the father of his longtime girlfriend Sky. Ricketts started dating Sky not long after his suspension and wanted to prove to both of them that he was worthy. Devins believed in Ricketts and encouraged him to apply to Washington University, where he had completed his medical school residency.</p><p>“He installed that confidence in me,” Ricketts said. “He took this idea of golden and made me feel like I could actually be whatever I wanted. It’s the difference between childishly believing you can conquer the world and realizing, ‘Yes, I have what it takes to make a difference.’”</p><p>But Ricketts knew confidence would not pay the bills. That’s why he ran track in the first place — to earn a scholarship. But when Washington University, a Division III school, came through with a large <a href="http://bearsports.wustl.edu/sports/track/video/Ricketts">academic scholarship</a>, Ricketts was as surprised as he was relieved.</p><p>“I could go to D-1 school to be a runner, or to a school like Missouri S&T to be an engineer,” Ricketts said. “But at Washington University, I knew I could do anything I wanted.”</p><h3>‘All you need is to be smart enough’</h3><p>What Ricketts wants to do is improve lives by addressing the global energy crisis. As the world’s population swells and usage surges, engineers must find ways to produce clean, cheap energy.</p><p>“Give a community electricity and you open so many doors,” Ricketts said.</p><p>Ricketts, himself, occasionally went without electricity as a child. He knows no electricity means no air conditioning in a blazing-hot summer, no light for homework.</p><p>“I’m not going to pretend that my life was Third World,” Ricketts said. “When you can’t pay all the bills each month, you pick and choose and sometimes my family chose no electricity. But that experience helped me understand the importance of energy in a way most people can’t comprehend.”</p><p>Ricketts’ coursework and experience with his enterprise Solar Optics drew him to solar, the engineer’s energy. Think about it, he said. Nature has given us this clean, abundant resource. It’s up to engineers to turn it into fuel.</p><p>“With fossil fuels, the questions are, ‘Are you in the right spot? Do you have enough money to do these huge projects,” Ricketts said. “Solar is mind-driven: ‘Are you smart enough to make it happen? Is your engineering good enough?’</p><p>“When you start thinking about it that way, you realize you don’t need to be a huge company. There’s a reason why you don’t see any startup oil companies. But you can have a team of five engineers and do a multi-million dollar, 10-megawatt project because all you need to do is be smart enough.”</p><p>That’s exactly what Ricketts is doing. He is now an engineer for <a href="http://azimuth.energy/">Azimuth Energy</a>, a St. Louis-based firm that designs and builds large-scale solar projects for utilities, businesses and institutions like Washington University. Earlier, as an intern for Azimuth, Ricketts developed potentially life-saving technology that can remotely shut down rooftop solar arrays in the case of an emergency. All new construction boasts such rapid shut-down capabilities. But there are countless older buildings with no retrofit. That puts firefighters, who sometimes must cut through a roof to ventilate a building, at risk.</p><p>“Deko’s solution is simple, foolproof and attractive to the market,” said Marc Lopata, president of Azimuth Energy and SolarIsland Energy. “If you give people a solution that is cost-efficient, they are much more likely to do the right thing.”</p><p>After further testing, Ricketts and Azimuth hope to apply for a patent this summer.</p><p>Lopata said Ricketts’ idea is both results-driven and people-driven. He is excited Ricketts has accepted a position as full-time project engineer with his company, and has charged him with engineering solar and micro-grid projects.</p><p>“Before I hire anyone, I’ll typically interview 30 people,” Lopata said. “It’s not enough for a candidate to be a great engineer, but they need to be a great person. That’s Deko. He always wants to know, ‘How is this helping someone?’”</p><br/><span><br/><br/> <div class="cstm-section"><h3>#WashU17 Events<br/></h3><div> <strong>Thursday, May 18</strong><br/>Engineering Student Recognition Ceremony</div><div>1:30 p.m.<br/><br/></div><div> <strong>Friday, May 19</strong><br/>All-University Commencement</div><div>8:30 a.m.<br/></div><div> <br/> </div><div></div><div> <a href="/current-students/student-services/Pages/commencement.aspx">>> More Information </a><br/></div></div></span><br/> <div> <span> <div class="cstm-section"><h3>Media Coverage<br/></h3><div> <strong>The Kansas City Star: </strong><a href="http://www.kansascity.com/sports/spt-columns-blogs/vahe-gregorian/article152726929.html">With second chance, Barstow’s Deko Ricketts flourishes</a><br/></div></div></span><br/></div>Ricketts amid the solar panels on the roof of Hillman Hall on the Danforth Campus of Washington University. (Photo: Joe Angeles/Washington University)Diane Toroian Keaggyhttps://source.wustl.edu/2017/04/running-solar-power/2017-04-28T05:00:00ZEngineering student, start-up founder and track star Deko Ricketts calls solar power “the engineer’s energy.”<p>​Class Acts-Innovation & Entrepreneurship: Ricketts engineers his own course<br/></p>
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/WashU-engineer-aims-to-change-group-dynamics.aspx604WashU engineer aims to change group dynamics<div class="div.youtube-wrap"><div class="iframe-container"> <iframe width="854" height="480" frameborder="0" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/7JMDdJX7XXU"></iframe> </div> </div><p>​An engineer at Washington University in St. Louis plans to develop principles that could be used to control the collective behavior of individuals in a group that could ultimately be applied to yield high-resolution medical images, reduce jet lag, stabilize power systems and shed light on advancing brain-stimulation technology.<br/></p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/washu%20engineering%20jr%20shin%20li.JPG" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><div id="__publishingReusableFragmentIdSection"><a href="/ReusableContent/News/34_.000">a</a></div><p><a href="/Profiles/Pages/Jr-Shin-Li.aspx">Jr-Shin Li</a>, the Das Family Career Development Distinguished Associate Professor in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, will develop these principles with a three-year, $589,486 grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. While the work is theoretical and computational, Li says the goal is to understand the fundamental limits on the ability to control the dynamics of a group or a population system. Li's group has extensive and close collaboration with biologists, chemists and applied physicists. The methods they develop will be tested and validated experimentally on cellular networks, chemical networks, mice and bees.</p><p>"The common thread is that we're trying to manipulate dynamic patterns or structures, such as synchrony," says Li, a faculty member in the Preston M. Green Department of Electrical & Systems Engineering. "A typical goal is to design one global or a few sparsely distributed inputs to change the dynamics and encode spatiotemporal information of a complex system constituted by an ensemble of dynamical units as desired." </p><p>For example, using light may help reset the circadian rhythm to reduce jet lag, using brain stimulation may help reset the neuronal system behind Parkinson's disease, and using electromagnetic pulses may help enhance sensitivity in high resolution nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging. </p><p>The major challenge in the control of ensemble or population systems is that one cannot send control signals to each individual system in the ensemble, but only to the ensemble as a whole, Li said. </p><p>"In the brain, there are billions of neurons, and in magnetic resonance applications, there are 10 to the 23<sup>rd</sup> power," he says. "It is hard to imagine how to manipulate such a huge number of systems simultaneously, for example, for pattern formation and for inducing synchronization or stability."</p><p>Li has already done some early work in this area. In his lab, he designed an input that changed the pattern of a group of harmonic oscillators from a star to a maple leaf. While it might sound simple, Li asserts that it is a very challenging problem to solve and an algorithm to design to compute the optimal input. </p><p>Li's research focuses on dynamics and control, optimization and computational mathematics, and machine and dynamic learning. In particular, he is interested in studying complex systems arising from emerging physical, biological and medical applications. In 2010, Li received a Young Investigator Award from the AFOSR, and in 2008 received a National Science Foundation Career Award. <br/></p><SPAN ID="__publishingReusableFragment"></SPAN><p><br/></p><p>​<br/><br/></p> <span> <div class="cstm-section"><h3>Jr-Shin Li<br/></h3><div><p style="text-align: center;"> <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Jr-Shin-Li.aspx"><img src="/Profiles/PublishingImages/Li_Jr-Shin.jpg?RenditionID=3" class="ms-rtePosition-4" alt="" style="margin: 5px;"/></a><br/></p><div style="text-align: center;"><div style="text-align: center;"> Professor Jr-Shin Li’s research group has extensive and close collaboration with biologists, chemists and applied physicists.</div> <br/> <a href="/Profiles/Pages/Jr-Shin-Li.aspx">View Bio</a></div></div></div></span><br/>Pattern Formation for a Population System: The design of a global input that transforms the dynamic pattern in an ensemble of harmonic oscillators - from a star to a maple leaf.Beth Miller2017-04-11T05:00:00Z While the work is theoretical and computational, the goal is to understand the fundamental limits on the ability to control the dynamics of a group or a population system.<p>​Jet lag, medical imaging, brain disorder treatment could see benefits <br/></p>
https://engineering.wustl.edu/news/Pages/WashU-Engineering-honors-distinguished-alumni.aspx600WashU Engineering honors distinguished alumni<p>​WashU Engineering alumni, ranging from civil engineers to aerospace engineers to entrepreneurs were among those who received Alumni Achievement Awards from the School of Engineering & Applied Science March 30 at the Saint Louis Art Museum. <br/></p><img alt="" src="/news/PublishingImages/WashU%20Engineering%20Alumni%20Achiemvent%20AWard.JPG?RenditionID=1" style="BORDER:0px solid;" /><h3>Libby Allman</h3><p>As vice president of manufacturing and product procurement at Hallmark Cards, Libby Allman leads domestic manufacturing and direct global sourcing activities in support of the greetings, home décor, gifts and retail businesses. Results of her leadership and expertise include growth in revenue, leading more than 1,000 employees through major operational change and effective budget management. She led the creation of Hallmark's first collaborative corporate process for IT prioritization and co-founded the Hallmark Women's Network.</p><p>A Kansas City resident, Allman earned a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at WashU in 1991, a bachelor's degree in physics from William Jewell College, and an MBA from Rockhurst University.<br/><a href="/alumni/programs-events/alumni-achievement-awards/Pages/2017.aspx" style="background-color: #ffffff;">>> Read more and watch video.</a></p><p> <br/></p><h3>Brian Hoelscher</h3><p>Leveraging a 30-year career with engineering and management experience, Brian Hoelscher has led the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) since 2013. As executive director and CEO, he is responsible to execute more than $3 billion in capital improvements while servicing 1.3 million people. Hoelscher has been a steadfast leader, notably driving MSD's Capital Improvement Diversity program. His advocacy for minority- owned and women-owned companies has resulted in more than $43 million in completed construction projects. </p><p>Hoelscher earned a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from WashU in 1985 while breaking records on the baseball and football teams. <br/><a href="/alumni/programs-events/alumni-achievement-awards/Pages/2017.aspx" style="background-color: #ffffff; outline: 0px;">>> Read more and watch video.</a><br/></p><p> <br/></p><h3>Raghu Sugavanam</h3><p>In 2014 Raghu Sugavanam co-founded Interpreta, an analytics company that updates, interprets and synchronizes clinical and genomics data by creating a personalized health-care roadmap. These real-time insights provide physicians, care managers and clients with the patient specific information needed for quality improvement, prioritization, population management and precision medicine. Within two years of its founding, Centene Corp. acquired 19 percent of Interpreta.</p><p>A resident of San Diego, Sugavanam earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, a master's in chemical engineering from WashU in 1978 and a master's in computer science from Rutgers University.<br/><a href="/alumni/programs-events/alumni-achievement-awards/Pages/2017.aspx" style="background-color: #ffffff; outline: 0px;">>> Read more and watch video.</a><br/></p><p> <br/></p><h3>Peter Young</h3><p>Peter Young's first position was with Allied-Signal Aerospace as a materials and process engineer. In 1983, Young returned to Hong Kong and founded Chemcentral Group, which provides raw materials and equipment for manufacturers in China. Chemcentral Group has grown into an international trade and investment organization with branches specializing in paper industry products, chemical materials, real estate, ecotourism and recreation. With offices worldwide, Young's companies have remained the largest supplier of coating clay in China since 1984. Young holds stock in PURE brand whisky, brandy and scotch and investments in a hotel and spa property, the Lihua International Hotel & Spa, in Longjing, China.</p><p>A resident of Hong Kong, Young earned a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from WashU in 1980. He also attended the University of Southern California for graduate work in plastics and engineering.<br/><a href="/alumni/programs-events/alumni-achievement-awards/Pages/2017.aspx" style="background-color: #ffffff; outline: 0px;">>> Read more and watch video.</a><br/></p><p> </p><p> </p><h3>Engineering Entrepreneurship Award, Michael Lefenfeld <br/></h3><p>Michael Lefenfeld is co-founder and chief executive officer of New York City-based SiGNa Chemistry, a global manufacturer of highly-active, environmentally friendly chemicals. SiGNa's products are used to improve production processes in the energy recovery, petrochemical refining and chemical manufacturing industries. His work has led to safer industrial environments, better medical technologies and more effective, affordable energy solutions. Prior to SiGNa, Lefenfeld developed and commercialized several new technologies, launching and selling three companies by age 30. Lefenfeld holds more than 50 patents in medical devices, controlled release, electronics, chemical reactivity and information technology.</p><p>After earning a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering at WashU in 2002, Lefenfeld, a resident of New York City, earned a master's in chemistry at Columbia University and an executive education certificate at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business.<br/><a href="/alumni/programs-events/alumni-achievement-awards/Pages/2017.aspx" style="background-color: #ffffff; outline: 0px;">>> Read more and watch video.</a><br/></p><p> <br/></p><h3>Dean's Award, David & Carol Gast</h3><p>As undergraduates and St. Louis natives, David and Carol Gast met at a football game. David made a business of installing sound systems around campus, including the first system in Graham Chapel. David continued his entrepreneurial streak after a stint in the U.S. Army, where then-Lieutenant Gast was an instructor in the Guided Missile School. He later joined the electrical and mechanical industrial equipment sales firm Carl F. Gast Co., which his parents had founded in 1935. After starting as a salesman, he became CEO. Carol later became the bookkeeper for the firm. Since Gast's retirement in 2005, the company is managed by third-generation owners.</p><p>The Gasts have generously supported annual engineering scholarships and the Gast Window in Preston M. Green Hall and have made an estate commitment to endow a professorship in the School of Engineering & Applied Science. </p><p>David earned bachelor's degrees in physics and in electrical engineering in 1953 and a master's in electrical engineering in 1954 from WashU. Carol was in the Liberal Arts class of 1956.<br/><a href="/alumni/programs-events/alumni-achievement-awards/Pages/2017.aspx" style="background-color: #ffffff; outline: 0px;">>> Read more and watch video.</a><br/></p><p> <br/> </p> <span> <div class="cstm-section"><h3>Awardee Videos<br/></h3><div><ul><li> <a class="nothumblink button" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VxiOlVnJioQ">Libby Allman</a><br/></li><li> <a class="nothumblink button" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VXLBnkUb4g">Brian Hoelscher</a><br/></li><li> <a class="nothumblink button" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dJxU3BklvbE&index=4&list=PLysD4ocsusqpH0TyzSJtnyaP4XRYfR-eM">Raghu Sugavanam</a><br/></li><li> <a class="nothumblink button" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hEnvRRf6xXs">Peter Young</a><br/></li><li> <a class="nothumblink button" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0_mZOwsxrGs&t=2s">Michael Lefenfeld</a><br/></li><li> <a class="nothumblink button" href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8P5KvXihA8">David & Carol Gast</a><br/></li></ul></div></div></span>L to R: Michael Lefenfeld, David Gast, Peter Young, Libby Allman, Carol Gast, Raghu Sugavanam, Brian Hoelscher2017-04-05T05:00:00ZAlumni, ranging from civil engineers to aerospace engineers to entrepreneurs were among those who received Alumni Achievement Awards.

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