Faculty Highlights – Spring/Summer 2011

Bob Ashurst, associate professor in chemical engineering, is partnering with Integrated Surface Technologies to make superhydrophobic coatings affordable and durable for consumer applications, such as a waterproof coating called Repellix for cellular phones, laptop computers and other electronic devices that could be damaged by rain, accidental drops in water or spills. His project is the most recent in a longstanding collaboration between Auburn and Integrated Surface Technologies.

Mark Byrne, Daniel F. and Josephine Breeden professor in chemical engineering, has been elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering’s College of Fellows in recognition of his research and development of biomaterials and medical devices that deliver medicine more effectively and conveniently. Membership is one of the highest honors in the scientific community and is awarded to those who have distinguished themselves through extraordinary leadership and significant contributions to the field of biological engineering.

Bryan Chin, professor in materials engineering, has been named a fellow of ASM International, the materials information society. Chin has been honored for his distinguished contributions to understanding the relationships among composition, microstructure, processing and mechanical properties of ferritic and austentic steels for use in nuclear power generation. He was recently honored at an awards banquet in Houston.

Jerry Davis, associate professor in industrial and systems engineering, has joined the editorial board of the Journal of Safety, Health and Environmental Research (JSHER). Davis will help to promote JSHER and provide input on its format, as well as manage, select and review manuscripts for the scholarly journal. JSHER is an online publication devoted to reviews and editorials concerning health, safety and environmental issues.

Steve Duke, Alumni associate professor in chemical engineering, and Mark Byrne, Daniel F. and Josephine Breeden professor in chemical engineering, have been awarded $330,000 by the National Science Foundation, renewing the university’s Research Experience for Undergraduates Program in Micro/Nanostructured Materials, Therapeutics and Devices program for three more years. The 10-week summer research program is offered to 10 participants.

Mario Eden, Joe T. and Billie Carole McMillan associate professor in chemical engineering, received a five-year, $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Institute of Food and Agriculture for his project, “Fuel and Oxygenate Co-Products from Biomass Fractionation and Advanced Catalytic Conversion Processes,” which will be conducted in part at Auburn University’s Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts and will investigate the production of high-value chemicals and fuels from cellulosic biomass.

Kevin Gue, Tim Cook associate professor in industrial and systems engineering, was featured in Supply Chain Digest’s On Target e-magazine. In the article, “Where Does Crossdocking Have the Best Operational Fit,” Gue discusses the benefits of crossdocking, a method used by retailers to distribute their goods. According to Gue, crossdocking is effective for products with a stable demand, and whose customers are willing to wait for the product because of the small expectation that the item will be in stock.

John Hung, professor in electrical and computer engineering, has been named a fellow of the Institute of Industrial and Electronics Engineers, a distinction reserved for only 250 people each year. Hung’s teaching and research activities include the application of control system concepts to industrial processes. He has created solutions for electronic power converters, as well as electrical machines, robots and unmanned vehicles.

J. David Irwin, Earle C. Williams eminent scholar in electrical and computer engineering, has been recognized as the namesake for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Early Career Award for the Industrial Electronics Society. The award was renamed the IEEE J. David Irwin Early Career Award in November. Irwin became head of Auburn’s electrical engineering department in 1973, a position he held for 36 years.

Daniela Marghitu, Comp 1000 coordinator in computer science and software engineering and coordinator for the university’s Alliance for Access to Computer Careers (AccessComputing), has been awarded the AccessComputing Capacity Building award for advancing students with disabilities in computing and computer science. Marghitu is a leader in introducing local students with disabilities to computer engineering through robotics camps, which she has hosted at Auburn since 2007.

Anton Schindler, associate professor in civil engineering and director of Auburn’s Highway Research Center, has been awarded the 2011 American Concrete Institute’s (ACI) Wason Medal for concrete materials research. The award is presented annually to authors of a peer-reviewed paper that reports original research on concrete materials and their use, or a discovery that advances the knowledge of materials used in the construction industry. Schindler also received the Wason Medal in 2006.

Hareesh Tippur, McWane professor in mechanical engineering, has been named editor-in-chief of the technical journal Experimental Mechanics. Tippur’s term began in November. He will oversee the journal’s transition from producing six issues annually to nine, beginning this year. Experimental Mechanics has been the lead journal of the Society for Experimental Mechanics for the past 50 years and is published by Springer Publications, a global scientific publishing company.

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