Faculty Notes

Impact, Summer 2002 issue

Related in Impact:
Paulik and Krishnan earn international Best Paper Award

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Stokes Baker, associate professor of Biology, has received a Course Curriculum and Laboratory Improvement grant from the National Science Foundation. Ford Motor Company will match the grant, which will be used to purchase controlled environment chambers which allow control of many factors affecting plant life, including light, oxygen, carbon dioxide and temperature. The chambers will make it easier for students to design their own experiments in whole organism physiology, for example, experiments that mimic global environment changes. Baker says, "My goal is to get rid of the ‘cookbook' in laboratory courses. Learning should be hands-on and minds-on. This grant will enable our students to design and execute their own experiments in laboratory courses."

The equipment has been ordered and will be ready for implementation during the 2002-2003 academic year.

Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Nasiff Rayess' students will soon complete their senior design project: a contactless gear drive system.

Traditionally, gear drive systems have utilized gears with teeth to drive a mechanism. The teeth, however, are noisy, they wear out and they are relatively expensive to build. The new system designed by Rayess' students eliminates these problems because the gears do not actually come into contact with each other. Magnetic force turns the gears.

"We're really proud of this," says Rayess. "Our students are doing state-of-the-art work." The system will be tested this summer, when students will put their starter to work on an actual motor. "Everyone is waiting to see us make it work."

Rayess received the Engineering Teacher of the Year Award at the recent Slide Rule Dinner, an award he calls "unexpected" and "a great honor, because it comes from the students and that makes it very special."

On May 22, 2002 Dean Leo Hanifin spoke on UDM's International Programs in Engineering and Science as part of an executive panel on "High Technology and International Business." This panel was part of the Detroit Regional Chamber's Signature Events Series celebrating World Trade Week. Other speakers were Presidents, CEO's and Senior Vice Presidents at high-tech and venture capital companies and the Detroit Medical Center.


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