Archive for the ‘Engineering’ Category

UMaine Advanced Manufacturing Center, Maine MEP Announce Partnership

Monday, January 26th, 2015

The University of Maine’s Advanced Manufacturing Center (AMC) has entered into a new agreement with the Maine Manufacturing Extension Partnership (Maine MEP) that will expand the center’s capacity, Maine MEP announced.

The partnership, which will place a Maine MEP project manager at AMC, will promote closer collaboration between the organizations with the goal of enhancing the services available to manufacturers in the state, according to a Maine MEP news release.

Forest Wentworth, a UMaine graduate with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology, has been hired as the MEP/AMC project manager. Wentworth will provide research, design and manufacturing services to private sector clients and will serve as Maine MEP’s liaison with AMC, the release states.

“This partnership expands the capacity of AMC to offer engineering and manufacturing solutions to Maine companies,” says John Belding, director of AMC.

Belding said although Wentworth will be mainly responsible for supervising projects in the AMC machine and fabrication shop, he will also contribute to outreach efforts by regularly visiting manufacturers around the state to promote the center’s services.

The Maine MEP is a program of the Maine Department of Economic and Community Development and an affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) under the U.S. Department of Commerce.

The full release is online.

UMaine at 150

Monday, January 26th, 2015

The University of Maine is celebrating its 150th anniversary in 2015 with events on campus and statewide, and an interactive website to encourage community engagement by the many constituents of the state’s land and sea grant university.

In a Jan. 23 letter to the community, UMaine President Susan Hunter noted the significance of this anniversary for the state and its many constituents — an opportunity to celebrate UMaine’s legacy and to understand how that history informs the university’s future.

“The University of Maine’s 150th anniversary observance will reaffirm the teaching, research and economic development, and outreach mission of a 21st-century land grant institution, and its potential to change lives,” President Hunter said in her community letter.

“For 150 years, the University of Maine has had a leadership role in the state. Because Maine’s potential is our purpose, UMaine serves as the state’s major research and cultural hub, linking our resources with the needs of industries and businesses, schools, cultural institutions, Maine government and communities. In this, our 150th year, there is more recognition than ever that the land grant university can — and must — play a key role in enhancing the quality of life for citizens all across Maine and beyond,” Hunter said.

President Abraham Lincoln signed the first Morrill Act establishing the land grant mission with the goal to provide “practical education that had direct relevance” to people’s daily lives.

The Maine legislature passed a bill to create Maine’s land grant institution on Feb. 24, 1865. Gov. Samuel Cony signed it the next day.

The first board of trustees, chaired by Hannibal Hamlin of Bangor, addressed the Maine people three months later, noting that “it is by the union of scientific knowledge with physical industry, that labor becomes most productive, and the laborer gains.”

UMaine welcomed its first class of 12 students in September 1868; the first graduation was held in 1872.

Today, UMaine enrolls more than 11,200 undergraduate and graduate students from throughout Maine and the U.S., and more than 65 countries, and has more than 105,000 alumni worldwide.

UMaine’s 150th anniversary events began with the School of Performing Arts benefit production, “150 Years of American Song: A Celebration of the University of Maine,” Jan 23.

Other 150th celebration events during this anniversary year:

  • University of Maine Day at the State House in Augusta, Feb. 24 — the date 150 years ago that the Maine legislature passed the bill creating the Maine State College of Agriculture and the Mechanic Arts.
  • Women in Leadership Week, March 23–27, featuring a Presidential Installation on March 26, Collins Center for the Arts.
  • Maine Day, April 29.
  • Commencement, May 9.
  • Open University Day and Homecoming, Oct. 17–18.

More information about these and other anniversary events will be on the 150th website.

The 150th website provides news, archival photos and historical information, and opportunities for members of the UMaine community and its many constituents to share their memories of the university.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745

UMaine Students Cited in Mainebiz Article on Portland Companies Attracting Talent

Monday, January 26th, 2015

The University of Maine was mentioned in a Mainebiz article about companies in Greater Portland that are finding creative solutions to attract new and talented employees. Kepware Technologies, a communications software company, plans to increase its staff by one third in 2015, according to the article. UMaine’s Electrical Engineering Department, has been a steady source of junior-level talent for the company, which funds three scholarships and hosts five paid summer internships each year, the article states. Kepware’s president told Mainebiz the relationship with UMaine allows the company to get to know the students, and for the students to get to know Kepware. Company officials also sit on UMaine’s advisory board, so they can provide curriculum advice and ensure that students have the skills they need to work in current and emerging markets, the article states.

Pendse Awarded Funds to Encourage Involvement of Females in Forestry

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Sheila Pendse, a project development associate in the Dean’s Office of the University of Maine College of Engineering, is leading a project that aims to engage female middle school students from rural Maine communities in forest bioproducts research programs and STEM careers.

The Engineering Information Foundation recently awarded Pendse $12,540 to create a Sustainable Energy Leaders of the Future (SELF) group to address the need for a diverse workforce in the state’s forest industry.

Girls Engineer Maine (GEM), a statewide educational outreach program designed to increase the number of women studying engineering, aims to start the education initiative by promoting awareness about the responsible use of a forest ecosystem among middle school girls.

The project’s objective is to introduce about 80 girls to forest bioproducts research for potential renewable energy sources and value-added materials that will provide STEM career opportunities within Maine’s forest industry, according to the researchers.

SELF will pair each participant with a female mentor who is enrolled in an undergraduate STEM degree program at UMaine. When the participants start high school, they will have the opportunity to create research projects in sustainable forest management and forest bioproducts, the researchers say.

NYT Cites Peterson’s Work with Horse Racing Association

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Professor of mechanical engineering Michael Peterson’s work with the New York Racing Association was cited in the New York Times and Queens Chronicle following the deaths of 11 horses since late November while running at Aqueduct Racetrack. The New York Racing Association is working with Peterson, executive director of the Racing Surfaces Testing Laboratory in Orono, as one measure to ensure the safety of equine athletes and jockeys.

Peterson’s Track Review Cited by New York Racing Association

Tuesday, January 13th, 2015

Mick Peterson, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maine, was mentioned in an official New York Racing Association (NYRA) statement addressing the health and safety of equine athletes and jockeys at Aqueduct Racetrack. In December 2014, the NYRA secured an independent review of Aqueduct’s inner track led by Peterson, who returned in January 2015 to further evaluate the track, according to the release. “New York has set the bar for the standard of care of racetrack surfaces. What stands out in New York is the record-keeping and the ability to compare measurements from year to year,” Peterson said. “We owe it to the fans, the riders, and horsemen to ensure this safety and accountability.” Horse Racing Nation published the article. Peterson’s review of the Aqueduct Racetrack also was cited in Horse News report for NJ.com.

Public Service Mission

Thursday, January 8th, 2015

The University of Maine is one of 240 colleges and universities in the United States selected to receive the 2015 Community Engagement Classification of the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

UMaine and 156 other institutions received reclassification; 83 colleges and universities received first-time classification.

In 2008, UMaine and Bates College were the first two institutions in Maine to receive the Carnegie Community Engagement Classification. The 2015 reclassification is valid until 2025.

Today, five colleges and universities in Maine — UMaine, Bates, Saint Joseph’s College, Unity College and the University of Maine at Machias — are among the 361 institutions nationwide that have achieved the Community Engagement Classification from the Carnegie Foundation.

“Community engagement is an institutional priority that is critical to helping meet the needs of communities in Maine and beyond,” said UMaine President Susan Hunter. “Since its inception, UMaine has been committed to public service as part of its statewide land grant mission. Today, community engagement is an important component of the UMaine student experience, and more integral than ever to our research and economic development initiatives.

“This reclassification by the Carnegie Foundation recognizing our commitment to community engagement is a fitting tribute to UMaine’s 150-year legacy that we’re celebrating in 2015.”

The Community Engagement Classification recognizes those colleges and universities with an institutional focus on community engagement. Unlike the other Carnegie Classifications of Institutions of Higher Education that rely on national data, the Community Engagement distinction requires colleges and universities to voluntarily submit materials documenting their community engagement.

In order to be selected, the colleges and universities provided descriptions and examples of institutionalized practices of community engagement that showed alignment among mission, culture, leadership, resources and practices. For reclassification, UMaine and the other institutions also had to provide evidence that the ongoing community engagement has become “deeper, more pervasive, better integrated and sustained.”

In UMaine’s application to the Carnegie Foundation, numerous university-community partnerships and projects were highlighted. University of Maine Cooperative Extension, Maine Sea Grant, all six colleges and many university centers were represented, demonstrating the range and depth of the university’s commitment to engagement, according to Claire Sullivan, associate dean for community engagement in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. Several efforts are geared toward the creation of collaborative networks across disciplines, institutions and state organizations.

Partnerships include collaborations with local schools, as well as those that work toward the promotion of the arts and humanities. For example, one cultural project called Tree and Tradition featured a collaboration with the Hudson Museum, the Native American Studies Program, the School of Forest Resources and the Maine Indian Basketmakers Alliance, whose mission is to preserve the ancient tradition of brown ash and sweetgrass basketry among Maine’s tribes.

UMaine’s community partnerships also serve an economic development function. That includes the Foster Center for Student Innovation, which has a leadership role in the Blackstone Accelerates Growth internship project.

The university has placed an emphasis on aiding the people of Maine through projects devoted to youth, the elderly, families and diverse populations, as well as tackling important societal and health-related issues, such a hunger, autism spectrum disorders and substance abuse. Cooperative Extension, UMaine’s largest outreach component, has a presence in every county, putting research to work in homes, businesses, farms and communities.

UMaine also has focused on its natural resources through such initiatives as Sea Grant’s Marine Extension Team, linking coastal communities with scientists to address pressing issues, and the Cooperative Forestry Resource Unit, working with Maine’s forest landowners to ensure effective public policy and sustainable forest management practices. The university has been instrumental in developing alternative energies research, education and partnerships, and connects knowledge with action through the Sustainability Solutions Initiative, promoting strong economies, vibrant communities and healthy ecosystems in Maine and beyond.

At UMaine, community engagement is integral to the student experience. Student participation in the Bodwell Center for Service and Volunteerism programs has increased 192 percent in the past three years, with 5,975 students completing 19,400 service hours in 2013. Students are involved in service-learning courses, music and theater ensembles, Alternative Breaks, Engineers Without Borders, sustainable agriculture projects, Black Bear Mentors and the University Volunteer Ambulance Corps, to name a few.

“The importance of this elective classification is borne out by the response of so many campuses that have demonstrated their deep engagement with local, regional, national, and global communities,” said John Saltmarsh, director of the New England Resource Center for Higher Education. “These are campuses that are improving teaching and learning, producing research that makes a difference in communities, and revitalizing their civic and academic missions.”

Amy Driscoll, consulting scholar for the Community Engagement Classification, noted that, in this first reclassification process, there is “renewed institutional commitment, advanced curricular and assessment practices, and deeper community partnerships, all sustained through changes in campus leadership, and within the context of a devastating economic recession.”

A news release about the Carnegie Foundation’s 2015 Community Engagement Classification is online.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745

UMaine Offshore Wind Project Cited as One of Press Herald’s Top Business Stories of 2014

Friday, January 2nd, 2015

The University of Maine’s offshore wind efforts were mentioned in the Portland Press Herald article, “Top 10 Maine business stories of 2014.” In May, the University of Maine’s offshore wind project was selected as an alternate by the U.S. Department of Energy for its next phase of the Advanced Technology Demonstration Program. The UMaine project received $3 million for further research and development, and will be considered for more funding should additional funds become available.

Media Report on UMaine’s 56-meter Wind Blade Test for Spanish Company

Monday, December 29th, 2014

The Associated Press, North American Windpower, 4-traders, Composites World, Wind Energy Industry Today, reNews and Mainebiz reported the University of Maine has tested its largest wind turbine blade to date. UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center completed static strength testing of a 56-meter (184-foot) wind turbine blade for Spain-based Gamesa, a global technological leader in the wind industry. The blade was manufactured in North America and delivered to UMaine in August. In the testing, the blade was subjected to loads in four directions to prove the structure met international strength standards. “We are honored to have served one of the world’s leading wind turbine manufacturers,” said Habib Dagher, director of the UMaine Composites Center. The Boston Globe, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, Sun Journal and Illinois Business Journal carried the AP report.

CNF Potential at Paper Mill Covered By MassLive.com

Friday, December 19th, 2014

The University of Maine was highlighted in a MassLive.com story about Paperlogic, a 120-year-old paper mill in Turners Falls, Massachusetts, seeking to make new products with innovative cellulose nanofibrils (CNF) produced at the university. UMaine was recently awarded $350,000 to construct a commercial-scale CNF manufacturing plant with a capacity of 2 tons per day. The plant will accelerate CNF commercialization by making large quantities of it available to support the growth in application development activities. Paperlogic is a collaborator on the plant project that is funded by P3Nano.