Archive for the ‘Engineering’ Category

Visiting Professor to Explore Passive House Research at UMaine Composites Center

Friday, May 22nd, 2015

Juana Domenech Subiran from La Rioja, Spain has joined the University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center for summer 2015.

Subiran holds a Ph.D. in industrial engineering from Universidad del Pais Vasco (University of the Basque Country). Her current research interest is centered around passive houses. The passive house building standards aim to reduce energy consumption by 60–80 percent through improved materials and modified construction methods, according to the U.S. Passive House Institute.

Subiran will work with UMaine’s Roberto Lopez-Anido, a professor of civil engineering. The UMaine Composites Center is supporting Subiran’s research with aspects aligned with the center’s core expertise including the use of engineered wood products, thermoplastic composites, fiber reinforcement, hybrid materials, material durability, joining methods and test methods.

The research aims to increase building construction efficiency and reduce overall energy costs for homeowners.

More information about passive house practices is on the U.S. Passive House Institute’s website.

Animal, Veterinary Sciences Major Featured in Mainebiz

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Mainebiz published a feature article on recent University of Maine graduate Matthew Hodgkin, an animal and veterinary sciences major. The article focused on Hodgkin’s research, lobster-related business and his working relationship with Bob Bayer, executive director of the Lobster Institute. While at UMaine, Hodgkin was involved with research related to developing a noninvasive way of testing the viability of lobsters for shipping, as well as finding a way to commercialize the invasive green crab. Hodgkin also co-owns Lobster Unlimited LLC with Bayer; Lobster Institute Associate Director Cathy Billings; and Stewart Hardison, a business partner from outside the UMaine community. The company aims to develop products from lobster-processing industry waste, such as shells with the goal to get more money to lobstermen and improve Maine’s economy. Hodgkin spoke about how Bayer and UMaine’s Innovation Engineering program helped him discover his interest in research. “It’s been fun, it’s always exciting. And once you reach those milestones where your idea is getting closer and closer to fruition, it’s very exciting,” Hodgkin said.

Peterson Quoted in Baltimore Sun Report on Preakness Race Track Conditions

Monday, May 18th, 2015

Mick Peterson, a professor of mechanical engineering at the University of Maine, was quoted in a Baltimore Sun article about track conditions at Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore ahead of the 140th Preakness Stakes horse race. In the week leading up to the race, sun and wind drew moisture from the track, requiring that up to 70,000 gallons of water be sprayed on the track each day, according to the article. Peterson, whose research focus is horse racing track surfaces, said mud isn’t necessarily dangerous and a 1980s study showed wet tracks were safer. He said the problem is when racing surfaces become uneven and inconsistent, making it difficult for horses to see slippery places or puddles.

Hampden Family Earns Ninth Degree at Commencement, Weekly Reports

Tuesday, May 12th, 2015

The Weekly published a University of Maine news release about a Hampden-based family that at Commencement earned its ninth UMaine degree among six immediate members. On Saturday, Margaret McCollough received a bachelor’s degree in sustainable agriculture. She is the daughter of Catherine Elliott, a sustainable living specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, and Mark McCollough of Hampden, who met at UMaine in the 1980s and both hold two UMaine degrees. Margaret McCollough’s boyfriend Garth Douston, who she also met at UMaine, has a bachelor’s degree in sustainable agriculture. Margaret McCollough’s brother Aaron McCollough completed a bachelor’s degree in computer and electrical engineering and a master’s degree in computer engineering. While pursuing that degree, he became engaged to Morgan Burke, who completed her bachelor’s degree in wildlife ecology.

Media Cover UMaine’s 213th Commencement

Monday, May 11th, 2015

The Associated Press and Maine Public Broadcasting Network were among news organizations to report on the University of Maine’s 213th Commencement. M. Peter McPherson, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, delivered the Commencement address and received an honorary degree. Dana Connors, executive director of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, and Dennis Rezendes of Colorado, who pioneered the hospice program in the U.S., also received honorary degrees, according to the AP. The Bangor Daily News, WABI (Channel 5) and WVII (Channel 7) reported on UMaine graduate Johanna Haskell — the great-great-granddaughter of Edwin James Haskell, one of six members of UMaine’s first graduating class in 1872. “I am incredibly proud to both carry on the legacy of our family and to have accomplished a personal goal of graduating,” Haskell said. Seacoastonline, WMTW (Channel 8 in Portland) and seattlepi carried the AP report.

Part of the Legacy: UMaine Grads Reminded of Their Role in Carrying the Land Grant Mission Forward

Saturday, May 9th, 2015

More than 10,800 family members, friends and colleagues filled Harold Alfond Sports Arena May 9 for the two ceremonies of the 213th Commencement at the University of Maine.

An estimated 1,687 undergraduate and graduate students participated in Commencement, one of the largest graduation events in the state. This year’s Commencement is part of UMaine’s 150th anniversary celebration.

Commencement speaker M. Peter McPherson, president of the Washington, D.C.-based Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, told members of the Class of 2015 that they are now part of UMaine’s 150-year legacy — and have a role to play.

“This institution’s work and commitment to bettering Maine are found in its students and in every corner of the state,” McPherson said. “The University of Maine is committed to its public purpose of seeking new knowledge, and helping to solve problems throughout Maine and beyond.”

The University of Maine has lived up to the vision of the Morrill Act, signed into law by President Abraham Lincoln, to enable every state to have a land grant college with a statewide mission of teaching, research and public service, McPherson said.

“This land grant, sea grant and flagship university will continue to change, but it also will continue to be more than the sum of its parts,” McPherson said. “No other institution in Maine is in position to play the same leadership role in academic, research and engagement within the system and for the whole state.”

UMaine’s land grant mission is “at the center of its being” and imparts an obligation on its graduates to be “constantly working to make a more fair, just and prosperous world.”

“Being from a land grant institution, particularly one as notable as the University of Maine, means that you have an obligation to carry that land grant status with you — and as part of you — for the rest of your life,” said McPherson.

“The University of Maine sweatshirt you now have should not just be a sign of where you’re from, but where you’re going,” McPherson said.

The morning Commencement ceremony included the College of Education and Human Development, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Division of Lifelong Learning, and the Maine Business School. The afternoon ceremony includes the College of Engineering, and the College of Natural Sciences, Forestry, and Agriculture.

Honorary doctorates were awarded to McPherson, and alumni Dana Connors of Gray, Maine, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, and Dennis Rezendes of Boulder, Colorado, who pioneered the hospice program in the United States.

This year’s valedictorian is Gwendolyn Beacham of Farmington, Maine, a biochemistry major and honors student. The salutatorian is Katelyn Massey of Waterville, Maine, a psychology major with a concentration in development and a minor in communication sciences and disorders, and a member of the UMaine women’s ice hockey team.

Also honored were four faculty members in civil engineering, philosophy, history and communication who received UMaine’s highest awards:

The 2015 Distinguished Maine Professor is Bill Davids, the John C. Bridge Professor of Civil Engineering. The annual award is presented by the University of Maine Alumni Association in recognition of outstanding achievement in UMaine’s statewide mission of teaching, research and economic development, and community engagement.

Kirsten Jacobson, associate professor of philosophy, is the 2015 Presidential Outstanding Teaching Award winner; Richard Judd, Col. James C. McBride Distinguished Professor of History, the 2015 Presidential Research and Creative Achievement Award; and Laura Lindenfeld, director of the Margaret Chase Smith Policy Center and associate professor of communication, the 2015 Presidential Public Service Achievement reminded of their role in carrying the land grant mission forward.

Contact: Margaret Nagle, 207.581.3745

UMaine Community Members Share Campus Memories with WABI Ahead of Commencement

Friday, May 8th, 2015

Members of the University of Maine community spoke with WABI (Channel 5) about their time at the University of Maine and the university’s 150-year legacy ahead of Commencement. Katherine Musgrave, who taught nutrition at UMaine from 1969 until last year, spoke about what campus looked like when she first arrived. “When we walked across the campus at the University of Maine for the first time and I saw those stately brick buildings, well arranged but very sedate, there was nothing glitzy at all,” she said. “I immediately fell in love with it.” Senior Peter Violette spoke about the community’s friendliness. “The campus is really accepting and inviting, and you can really go and talk to anybody you wanted to and strike up a conversation,” he said. University of Maine College of Engineering Dean Dana Humphrey spoke about the univeristy in relation to its 150th anniversary. “To be able to look up and see Fogler Library on one end and Memorial Gymnasium on the other; that’s an image of the University of Maine I think will remain for the next 150 years, and that’s exactly as it should be,” he said.

UMaine Awarded a Nearly $498,000 Advanced Manufacturing Technology Planning Grant

Friday, May 8th, 2015

The University of Maine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center has received a $497,965 award from the National Institutes of Standards and Technology for mapping technical manufacturing challenges in structural thermoplastic materials.

UMaine’s Advanced Structures and Composites Center, in collaboration with Celanese Corporation, Eastman Chemical Company, Polystrand and Royal TenCate, will launch CMIST — the Consortium for Manufacturing Innovation in Structural Thermoplastics. Working groups of material scientists, product developers, manufacturers and potential end users will identify, characterize and map technical challenges to the adoption of thermoplastic composite materials as substitutions in primary structural applications, allowing U.S. manufacturers to bring solutions to market first.

Low in cost and weight, recyclable and corrosion resistant, thermoplastic composite materials are strong enough to be used as a substitute in many primary structural applications, including ones in which aluminum once replaced steel in aircraft and automobiles. Such substitution has the potential to transform manufacturing. Global manufacturing competitiveness, historically dictated by raw-material costs and labor, can instead be dictated by efficiency, knowledge and smart manufacturing. U.S. manufacturers intending to benefit from such a transformation face two challenges: technical issues and competitive market threats. Technical issues include: realizing faster manufacturing cycle times; developing fast and reliable thermoplastic joining methods; and characterizing thermoplastic composites for desired performance and economical manufacturing. The vision and applied research that results from this planning mission will help U.S. manufacturers bring their products to market faster and in advance of global competition.

UMaine’s award is part of the $7.8 million in NIST Advanced Manufacturing Technology Planning Grants. More about the NIST Awards is online.

UMaine Mentioned in Engineering News-Record Report on Floating Bridge in Vermont

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

Engineering News-Record mentioned the University of Maine in an article about the world’s first composite floating bridge in Brookfield, Vermont. The 318-by-20 feet, single-lane bridge employs a fiber-reinforced polymer (FRP) flotation system with a 100-year design life, according to the article.  The $2.4 million bridge is set to be completed by Memorial Day weekend. Since design codes for FRP bridges do not exist, the team worked with UMaine and the Vermont Agency of Transportation (VTrans) to develop a set of criteria, the article states.

Immediate Family to Hold Nine Degrees from UMaine Following Commencement

Wednesday, May 6th, 2015

When Margaret McCollough graduates from the University of Maine at the institution’s 213th Commencement on May 9, her immediate family will hold nine degrees from the university.

McCollough, who will earn a bachelor’s degree in sustainable agriculture, is the daughter of Catherine Elliott and Mark McCollough of Hampden, who met at UMaine in the 1980s.

Elliott, a sustainable living specialist with the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, came to UMaine in 1980 to pursue a master’s degree in wildlife management, which she completed in 1983. As a student, she met her now-husband, Mark McCollough, who also was working on a master’s in wildlife management, which he earned in 1982.

The pair stayed at UMaine to complete their doctoral degrees in wildlife. Mark McCollough earned his Ph.D. in 1986 and Elliott earned hers a year later.

In 2011, the couple’s son Aaron McCollough completed a bachelor’s degree in computer and electrical engineering while also a student of the Honors College. He continued at UMaine to earn a master’s degree in computer engineering in 2013. While pursuing that degree, he became engaged to Morgan Burke, who completed her bachelor’s degree in wildlife ecology in 2012 and brought the family’s degree total to seven.

Margaret McCollough’s boyfriend Garth Douston, who she also met at UMaine, has a bachelor’s degree in sustainable agriculture, which he earned in 2014. With Margaret McCollough’s graduation, the family will hold nine UMaine degrees among six members.

“Margaret’s graduation will be wonderful,” her mother says. “Going to college was not at the top of her list of things to do when she completed high school, so having her graduate from a program she has loved is incredible. And to have had her at UMaine for the past four years has been icing on the cake. We are very proud of her.”

Margaret McCollough says she hadn’t planned to go to college after graduating from high school. She worked for a summer on a couple of farms out west before she discovered that UMaine had a sustainable agriculture program. She decided it was time to make a change and came back to enroll in the program that fall semester.

The program provided her with opportunities to network and build relationships with those already working in agriculture throughout Maine, she says.

“To be a good farmer you have to have a good working understanding of multiple disciplines. It won’t happen for you just out of a love of nature and an ability to do physical work. UMaine has provided me with a breadth of knowledge and analytical skills that will certainly serve me well as I work to build both a sustainable and profitable farm,” Margaret McCollough says.

Margaret McCollough and Douston now run Sweet Thyme Farm in Arundel, Maine. This past summer was the pair’s first season. They planted about 1.5 acres of crops and plan to add another acre this year. The farm, which has been certified by the Maine Organic Farmers and Gardeners Association (MOFGA), produces a variety of vegetables and some herbs, as well as raises ducks and chickens for eggs.

Margaret McCollough credits two student-run agricultural programs for giving her and Douston the confidence to start the farm. For two summers, Douston managed the Black Bear Food Guild, a student-run community supported agriculture (CSA) program; and she managed UMaine Greens, a winter greens production program run by student volunteers.

“Both of these programs require those students who participate to take on a lot of responsibility,” she says, adding they allow students the chance to grow at production scale while managing customers and co-workers, meeting deadlines, staying on budgets and keeping accurate records.

Margaret McCollough says UMaine has allowed herself and her family to do work that makes them happy.

“My mom, dad and older brother love the work that they do; they’re so passionate about their disciplines, and also really good at what they do,” she says. “I will feel proud to join them in doing good work in a field that I feel really passionate about. I know that my parents are really proud of my brother and I; recognizing the value in education.”

While Elliott, Margaret McCollough’s mother, was finishing her Ph.D., she was hired as a research associate in the Department of Wildlife Ecology. After graduating, she became a faculty member with UMaine Cooperative Extension. By June, Elliott will have been employed by UMaine for 29 years.

Elliott’s husband Mark McCollough works on endangered species recovery at the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Ecological Services Maine Field Office in Orono.

“My parents still gather with a large group of friends that they made while studying here, and they’ve become mentors and basically extended family members to my brother and I growing up,” Margaret McCollough says.

Aaron McCollough and his fiance Burke live in Manchester, New Hampshire where Burke is pursuing a doctorate in physical therapy at Franklin Pierce University. Aaron McCollough works for L-3 Insight as an embedded software engineer. They will be relocating to Portland, Maine in June while Burke does clinical rotations to complete her degree.