July 2016




Ahoya July 2016 Newsletter

EWB completes bridge in Guatemala

Bridge Building Guatemala 2016

Bridge Project Guatemala 2016

Bridge Opening Guatemala 2016



The Marquette University chapter of Engineers Without Borders recently completed construction of a 40-meter suspended pedestrian bridge in Joyabaj, Guatemala. The team was made up of civil engineering students Steve Pelrine, Samantha Wagner, Esther Baas, Kassie Paul and Cindy Perez; mechanical engineering students Cat Martin and Jess Thayer; alumni Nate Holmer, Eng ‘09, Grad ’10, and Kelsey Welch Eng ‘15; and Associate Dean Dr. Mark Federle.

The region of Joyabaj is heavily populated by subsistence farmers who work in each other’s fields, and the local communities of El Bosque and Piedras Blancas identified the need for a bridge. El Bosque, a community of approximately 200, does not have a school, and numerous people from Piedras Blancas are looking for work. El Bosque children will use the bridge to attend school, and the men of Piedras Blancas will now have access to work on the El Bosque side of the river.

The project was selected by the chapter in the 2015 spring semester. A site assessment was conducted last summer and design took place throughout the 2015-16 school year. The student team met with professionals throughout the process who assisted with designing and analyzing the structure. Students learned about multiple fields of civil engineering, as well as project management

In addition to the design work, the chapter also spent the past year fundraising for the bridge and future projects. Efforts included an annual silent auction, on-campus events, grants and local company support. The chapter received equipment donations from Milwaukee Tool and a $5,000 grant from the Posner Center for International Development.

$1 million gift from Rexnord will help launch 'Bridge to Business' program

Marquette’s Opus College of Engineering and College of Business Administration have joined Milwaukee-based manufacturer Rexnord to develop an immersive, four-week experience to give early career engineers business fundamentals.

The new program, Bridge to Business for Engineers, is being launched through a $1 million gift from Rexnord.

"Rexnord is making an excellent investment in our region’s future,” said Marquette President Michael R. Lovell. “From my work with Milwaukee corporate leaders and young professionals, I know this program will have great value for all involved — including our university’s engineering and business faculty and staff.”

"We are excited to partner with Marquette University on an initiative that provides engineering students with valuable cross-disciplinary skills,” said Todd Adams, president and CEO of Rexnord. “We see great value in an engineering program that provides a solid technical background supplemented with broader business knowledge. This skill set will set graduates apart in the workplace.”

Faculty grants

Dr. Jay Goldberg, associate professor of biomedical engineering, received a grant from the National Institutes of Health for the project “Multidisciplinary Team-Based Design Education to Create Biomedical Engineering Innovators.” This enhanced senior design course will prepare students to design, develop and launch innovative new medical devices and technologies. The project will expand students’ knowledge of the entire design process, including problem identification (front end) and design transfer and commercialization (back end) phases. The project will run through February 2021.

Drs. Patrick McNamara, assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering, Simcha Singer, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and Zhongzhe Liu, research assistant professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering, received a one-year grant from the Milwaukee Metropolitan Sewerage District for the project "Pilot-Scale Pyrolysis: [Auto-]Catalysis to Improve Yields and Quality." The goals of this research are to determine whether biochar catalyst particles can be directly added to the pilot-scale reactor for in-situ catalysis or whether a downstream catalytic reactor is required; determine the impacts of operating conditions such as temperature, residence time and heating rate on pyrolysis yields in a continuous, pilot-scale reactor where heat transfer plays an important role; and determine how long catalysts can be recycled while maintaining their effectiveness.

Girls Who Code club receives grant from Northwestern Mutual Foundation

The Marquette Girls Who Code club, a program of the Opus College of Engineering’s office of enrollment management and outreach, recently received a grant from the Northwestern Mutual Foundation. The club was invited to apply for the grant by the Northwestern Mutual Women Employee Resource Group’s outreach committee. Northwestern Mutual employees have committed to regularly attend the club’s weekly meetings as speakers, volunteers or mentors.

Girls Who Code is a national nonprofit organization dedicated to closing the gender gap in technology. Sixth through 12th grade girls meet two hours per week after school during the academic year. Clubs are free and host sites provide computer and internet access for all students.

Gilrs Who Code 2016

Williams attends congressional robotics conference

Dr. Andrew Williams, John P. Raynor, S.J., Chair and Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and director of the Humanoid Engineering and Intelligent Robotics Lab, attended the congressional robotics caucus. He discussed his research on the way humanoid robots and social justice can teach middle school girls how technology and computers can be used to improve their communities.

Student receives best poster award at international conference

Brandon Wegter, a Master of Science student in biomedical engineering, received the best poster award at the 5th International Conference on Engineering Frontiers in Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease for his poster titled “Characterizing the mechanical stimuli for a proposed new blood pressure gradient to guide treatment of aortic coarctation.” The conference brings together professionals in the engineering and medical disciplines to foster collaboration in the study of treatment of congenital heart disease.

Co-authors were Drs. Thomas J. Eddinger, professor of biological sciences at Marquette; Ronald K. Woods, specialist in pediatric congenital cardiac surgery at the Medical College or Wisconsin; and John F. LaDisa, Jr., associate professor of biomedical engineering at Marquette.


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