Alums in the News: Myers (M1), Ellison-Taylor, Adams

Let’s see who made the news this week…

myersOliver Myers ’94, M1, mechanical engineering, M.S. ’96, mechanical engineering, and Ph.D. ’07, mechanical engineering, who’s now an associate professor of mechanical engineering at Clemson University, recently spoke to the USM Foundation about the effect the Meyerhoff Scholars program has had on his life and career: “You don’t consider the impact when you’re going through school, but thinking about it now, it weighs heavily.”

ellison-taylorKimberly Ellison-Taylor ’93, information systems managementis the new chairman of the board of directors for the American Institute of CPAs. Ms. Ellison-Taylor is head of global account strategy for Oracle America, and served on the AICPA board for four years prior to accepting the chairman position.

adamsJerome Adams ’97, biochemistry and molecular biologywas honored at a Golden Laurel Professional Reception for African-American medical professionals hosted by the Indianapolis Recorder newspaper this past week. Dr. Adams is the first African-American to be appointed Indiana State Health Commissioner by a Republican governor, as well as an assistant professor of anesthesiology at the Indiana University School of Medicine.

Tell us your big news in a class note!

The Fast Lane

Thirty-eight weekends a year, John Klausmeier ’04, mechanical engineering, gets a trackside view to NASCAR’s fiercest races, carefully watching a high performance Chevrolet SS that he has tuned sweep into the curves at nearly 200 miles per hour.

s14_klausmeieringarageGrowing up, Klausmeier loved diving underneath the hoods of automobiles to find ways to make them go faster. That interest (and his time at UMBC) helped him find a career in which he travels the country’s NASCAR circuit as a lead race engineer for one of the sport’s most successful drivers – Danica Patrick – and her #10 car.

Klausmeier found his passion for automobiles and how they work at his parents’ repair shop in Perry Hall. The shop was where he tinkered with carburetors and other components to figure how they worked, and how they could work better.

When it came time for college, “I felt that studying engineering would be a catalyst for merging something I had as a hobby into a career,” he says.

Continue reading The Fast Lane

Outstanding Faculty: Dr. Anne Spence

Over the next few weeks we’ll be introducing you to this year’s Alumni Award winners. The UMBC Alumni Association proudly honors distinguished alumni and faculty for their accomplishments and dedication to UMBC. Today we’re talking with Dr. Anne Spence, Department of Mechanical Engineering, about her career working as a professor at UMBC.

Name: Dr. Anne SpenceAnne Portrait 2
Job Title: Professor of the Practice, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Award Category: Outstanding Faculty

Q: Why did you choose to teach at UMBC?

I chose to teach at UMBC because of its diverse student body, the strength of the undergraduate engineering programs, and the freedom to pursue my interests in engineering education.

Q: Please tell us a little about the trajectory of your career and what you are working on now.

I have had the privilege of engaging in many activities related to engineering education. Our current work to prepare teachers to teach engineering in elementary, middle, and high school will open the doors of engineering to a new generation of students. We are also developing new mentoring programs that will ensure that all students entering mechanical engineering will benefit from the types of activities formerly reserved for members of our scholar programs.

Q: What do you most enjoy about working with UMBC students?

I love the fact that UMBC students come from a variety of backgrounds. They bring a diversity of experiences that make the student body stronger. It is also great to see students who have participated in Project Lead the Way and FIRST LEGO League coming to UMBC to pursue their dreams.

Q: What is your favorite memory of your time at UMBC?

My favorite memories are of the freshman engineering design competitions. I love watching students flex their engineering muscles through the design of robots, submarines, catapults, solar rice cookers, and hot air balloons while competing and cooperating with their colleagues.

Q: What inspired you to pursue a career in engineering and education?

When I was an undergraduate, I was the only female student in my class and never had a female instructor except in the arts, humanities and social sciences. A few women started with me as freshmen but did not continue in the major. I thought that if they had seen someone at the front of the room that looked more like them, they might have persisted. I felt like maybe I could be that role model for both female and male students alike. I am so happy that I made that choice!

Check out the other Alumni Award winners.

Lift Off

Kamili Jackson ’97, M.S. ’99, mechanical engineering, has witnessed one NASA space launch in person during her nine years at ths14-alumprofile-jacksone agency: the Hubble Servicing Mission 4 in 2009.

Jackson was a contracted materials engineer at NASA for that mission, helping the team make decisions on what metals, plastics and ceramics should be used for the craft. And as she watched her hard work blast off and enter orbit, she was filled with satisfaction.

That same year, Jackson co-founded a project that helps high school students take off into careers in engineering – the Future Innovative Rising Engineers (FIRE), National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), Junior Chapter in Greenbelt.

“We wanted to have a consistent impact on a set of kids,” says Jackson. The FIRE students come from all over Maryland and even Virginia, and they often stay on the team until they graduate from high school and find a college or university. (In 2013, the program began accepting middle school students as well.)

The competition and mentoring in the program is intense. Professional engineers and parents coach participating students through four national competitions in robotics, model rocketry and math. They also teach them coding, software and building techniques, and also facilitate discussions throughout the process. The goal is for the students to design and build their own robots and rockets.

“We get them to learn by doing,” says Jackson. “We want them to take ownership of what they’re learning.” Continue reading Lift Off

Round-Up: UMBC In the News 8/8

One of the things that makes UMBC great is how wonderful our alumni, students, faculty, and staff are. Because of these amazing people, UMBC often finds itself “in the news,” so each week, we’ll be sharing with you a round-up of the most newsworthy achievements from our community.

View all the other great news on Insights Weekly.

Celebrating Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement, 4/23

Join us as we celebrate the amazing work our students do during the Undergraduate Research and Creative Achievement Day (URCAD) on Wednesday, April 23, 2014. URCAD celebrates research, scholarship and creative work carried out by UMBC undergraduates across all majors and areas of study.

coreyThe event will also feature as its guest speaker alumnus Corey Fleischer ’05, ’08 MS Mechanical Engineering, who is Senior Mechanical Engineer at Lockheed Martin. In 2013 Corey was chosen to be part of Discovery Channel’s “The Big Brain Theory: Pure Genius.” He participated in several challenges that put his engineering skills to the test. In the final challenge, Corey’s team had to build a bridge to span a thirty-four-foot gorge. The bridge had to be mobile; all of the components had to fit in the back of a pick-up truck. The team had to build the bridge and prove that a truck could drive over it. After prevailing over nine other talented engineers, Corey won the competition.

Learn more and join us on April 23!

GE Innovator: Brian Wayman ’99, MechEng

Mechanical engineering major Brian Wayman ’99 is using the skills he learned at UMBC and at Georgia Tech (MS, Ph.D.) to improve the lives of premature babies.

A mechanical engineer at GE Healthcare, Wayman was profiled recently on the College of Engineering and IT’s website. Prior to joining GE in July 2010, Wayman was the R&D Team Lead, New Product Development at Becton Dickinson.

Brian has several patents and patent applications for his work at Becton Dickinson on disposable syringes designed to prevent re-use of the syringe following injection.  In addition, he has several publications in peer-reviewed bioengineering journals.

Read the full story here.