Wednesday, Mar. 6, 2013
The following piece, written by electrical engineering alumnus David Njuguna '08, M.S. '10, was extracted from the proposed Jesuit University of Eastern Africa's JU e-Newsletter.
I believe that the best gift one can ever be given is education; not just any education, but one that allows for respectful exchange of ideas. Leaving the comfort of my home in Kenya, I travelled to the USA to study at the Santa Clara University School of Engineering. Though not my first choice, attending a Jesuit institution turned out to be the best thing that has ever happened to me in my quest for higher education. It has allowed me to see the world in a different light with respect to the importance of social justice, ethics, community, freethinking, and building, using the engineering skills that I learnt during my time there.
The values that I shared and obtained, while in this community, have afforded me the opportunity to have a better understanding of the world as a whole. I remember with nostalgia substituting food for fines in the library, for overdue books. I did not mind the penalty knowing that though I was fined it helped me put food on the table of a needy person. For me, education at a Jesuit institution came with some very special characteristics, key among them being the level of intellectual rigor encouraged by the teaching staff who continually set very high expectations for the students in both their studying and community activities. We learnt the spirit of community, the sense of embracing different kinds of people from all parts of society, as well as the integration of both ethics and social justice values. All this with the goal of making better future leaders that have a sense of purpose, driven by the right values for the human race and encouraging free thinking on all topics irrespective of their palatability. I fondly recall chatting with friends at Benson Center over a cup of coffee, enjoying an invitation for conversation and lunch with the Jesuits at their residence at the University.
I believe that the Jesuit University of Eastern Africa will provide a higher level of education that has yet to be experienced in this region. It will be an education centered in a high level of thinking, and doing at the same time; more so for the local community. An education grounded and steeped in ethics and social justice as the pillars of building a new community that respects each other in spite of their ethnic differences. An education that will set the beginning of changing Africa, one student at a time, by showing them that real change is possible through individual participation. Later, helping their fellow citizenry within their communities as a whole instead of following the “me first” mantra that has produced the current social quagmires.
Tuesday, Mar. 5, 2013
Although 55 percent of college undergraduates are women, only about 20 percent of all engineering students in the United States are women.
With numbers like that, organizations such as theSociety of Women Engineers (SWE) become all the more important, not just for providing opportunities for personal and professional enrichment for undergraduate students, but also for reaching out to local high school girls interested in the STEM fields (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math).
Monday, Mar. 4, 2013
Last week, the Santa Clara community recycled a ton of e-waste. Actually, it was more than a ton. Staff and students came together to donate 2,198 pounds of old and broken electronics to the e-waste drive organized by SCU's Solar Decathlon team.
Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013
Tuesday, Feb. 5, 2013
Tim Hight, Ph.D., has been the faculty project manager for all of SCU's Solar Decathlon projects. He has seen the project grow into one of SCU's areas of distinction, as the University has placed 3rd in its past two competitions. Read more about Dr. Hight's experience with the team and about the Solar Decathlon's impact on SCU.
Wednesday, Jan. 2, 2013
The School of Engineering's new Frugal Innovation Lab has had a busy and productive year. Read all about it in the 2012 year end report.
Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2012
SCU's chapter of Engineers Without Borders will provide a Honduran community access to clean water while empowering community members to improve their quality of life. Read about the students' recent trip to begin the initial surveying process.
Wednesday, Oct. 3, 2012
For the SCU 2013 Solar Decathlon team, the challenge of building a solar house is testing more than just design and engineering skills. The U.S. Department of Energy’s competition is putting the students in many roles they have never explored.
Friday, Sep. 21, 2012
Congratulations to Professor Terry Shoup (mechanical engineering), who recently received the President's Special Recognition Award from Santa Clara University President Michael Engh, S.J. In awarding this distinction, Fr. Engh recognized Shoup as "an outstanding scholar who has served the SCU community with wisdom and a steady guiding hand since 1989 as a faculty member, a senior administrator extraordinaire, and a leader both within and outside of the academy."
Engh continued, "His 13 years of service as dean of the School of Engineering saw the doubling of both the number of endowed professorships in the School and the number of donors. He pioneered five “pipeline” programs to encourage underrepresented students to consider the engineering profession. He created two advisory boards – one for engineering alumni and the other for minority programs – and established a special fund to promote student leadership in the School. He also oversaw the introduction of the Engineering Study Abroad program in 1990, the construction of the Civil Engineering Strength and Materials Lab in 1995, and the creation of the Mission Control Center in 2000.
"He helped the School address the emerging field of sustainability by introducing a certificate program in Environmental Engineering in 1993.
"In 2011, the Silicon Valley Engineering Council inducted him into the Silicon Valley Engineering Hall of Fame, which celebrates the accomplishments of area engineers, technical leaders and scientists.
"In addition to serving as the engineering dean, he has served as interim dean of the School of Education, Counseling Psychology and Pastoral Ministries, interim vice provost for Enrollment Management, and interim executive director of International Programs. Most recently he chaired both the successful search for the new dean of the School of Education and Counseling Psychology and the School of Engineering’s Centennial Steering Committee.”
The School of Engineering and the University are fortunate, indeed, to have the this scholar and leader in our midst.
Thursday, Sep. 13, 2012
In its annual ranking, “America’s Best Colleges 2013,” U.S. News & World Report ranked Santa Clara University second overall among master’s universities in the West. At 93 percent, SCU has the highest freshman retention rate of all master’s universities. Santa Clara’s average undergraduate graduation rate, 86 percent, was the third highest rate of the 625 master’s universities across the country.
Thursday, Sep. 13, 2012
The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) invites students majoring in CS, COEN, ELEN, MECH, and OMIS to join Cisco for a very special networking event on Wednesday, September 26 from 6:00-8:00 pm in the Benson’s California Mission Room. The event will be set up as round robin networking where groups of students will have 10-minute rotations with professionals across Supply Chain, Sales, and IT. These rotations will give students meaningful insights into Cisco's culture, job functions, and opportunities that are available.
Interested students should contact Rahul Krishnakumar.
Thursday, Aug. 16, 2012
Monday, Jul. 9, 2012
Undergraduates Russell Wetherley (mechanical engineering) and Catherine Borst (mechanical engineering) learn about social justice first-hand by taking part in SCU's Walk Across California.
Tuesday, Jul. 3, 2012
It takes more than engineering knowledge to complete a Senior Design project. Read one team's account of their experience here.
Wednesday, Jun. 20, 2012
The School of Engineering was honored to have Nathan Rogers '12, civil engineering, present the valedictory remarks at the 2012 SCU commencement ceremony. Watch the video here.
Saturday, Jun. 16, 2012
Nathan Rogers '12, civil engineering, presented the valedictory remarks at the 2012 SCU commencement ceremony. Read his address here.
Tuesday, May. 22, 2012
Two teams of Santa Clara University students will compete against universities across the country in the MaxTech and Beyond: Ultra Low Energy Appliance Design Competition Wednesday, May 23. Santa Clara University is the only Bay Area school participating in the Department of Energy contest.
One team of graduate mechanical engineering students Ying-Heng (Carlo) Peng, Diego Melani, and Miguel Gomez, advised by Professor Hohyun Lee, developed a lighting system that cuts energy use by controlling the angle of window blinds and using LED bulbs.
Team DryAir, comprised of undergraduate senior mechanical engineering students (Michael) Zach Chong, (Peter) Colin Dess, Tim Hussey, and Liz Papengellin, advised by Professor Tim Hight, created an electric clothes dryer that reuses hot air—a basic concept that could have a lasting impact on the future of energy savings.
The competition will be held Wednesday at both the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab and the Department of Energy Headquarters in Washington, D.C. and will be broadcast live on the web: https://cc.readytalk.com/r/2un7890hudc0
1:00 - 1:15 p.m. Efficient Lighting System via Automated Control of Blind Angle and LED Light Bulbs
1:15 - 1:30 p.m. Reduction in Energy Use in Electric Clothes Dryers
More info on competition: http://maxtechandbeyond.lbl.gov/
Media Contact: Marika Krause, 408-829-4836
Wednesday, May. 16, 2012
Robots, a hybrid racecar, dozens of solar panels, these things are not unusual sights around Bannan Hall, the home of Santa Clara University’s School of Engineering. Rather, it was the number of engineering students dressed in formal wear that was downright weird.
On May 10, senior engineering students put on their most professional duds for the 42nd Annual Senior Design Conference. Projects ranged from a hybrid racecar to a high efficiency clothes dryer and were presented throughout the afternoon during both classroom sessions and outdoor demonstrations.
“This is our centennial year, so we’re looking for special performances from our students,” said Godfrey Mungal, the School of Engineering’s dean. “We’re trying to raise the bar for senior design projects.”
Mungal cited a new faculty initiative as helping to achieve this goal. For the first time, faculty received teaching credit for advising student projects. This included the Formula Hybrid, a project where 20 students and 6 faculty advisors collaborated to compete in the international competition. Teams from around the world designed, built, and then tested open-wheel, single-seat, electric or hybrid-electric racecars against each other during the 2012 competition in New Hampshire.
“It was an exciting experience to compete with teams from universities in Canada and Spain,” said Robert Kozak, a mechanical engineering student.
The SCU team ended up placing 16 out of 44 universities. According to Kozak their performance impressed judges. In order to compete, teams must first have their car vetted by judges as adhering to the competition’s stringent guidelines. “The judges told us that most first year teams don’t pass inspection,” he said.
Other projects on display were the results of continuing research started by previous senior classes. One such example was the Roverwerx: Robomedic for Triage. This robot is designed to enter disaster areas, search for survivors, and then assess their medical needs in order to assist emergency responders.
“When we started work on it, the robot didn’t move and the arm had less mobility,” said Kelsey Brunts, a bioengineering major.
Brunts and seven other students across four disciplines were able to get the robot moving and add several degrees of arc to the robotic arm attachment, which can be outfitted with various medical sensors, such as one that detects respiration. For Brunts the hardest part of the project was communication—and not between herself and some of the lay audience at the day’s outdoor demonstration.
“Communicating across disciplines is challenging,” she said. “We work with other disciplines on homework all the time, but to work on an actual physical, three-dimensional robot in a very collaborative project is a big challenge.”
For a complete list of 2012 Senior Design Conference Winners, go here
Friday, May. 4, 2012
The Frugal Innovation program at Santa Clara University was featured in the Asociation for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education's 2011 Higher Education Sustainability Review in the report's "Innovative campus-community sustainability partnerships" section.
Read the article here.
See the entire report on the AASHE website.
Friday, May. 4, 2012
Tuesday, May. 1, 2012
Santa Clara University’s Solar Decathlon 2013 team will unveil the latest plans for its custom-designed solar home to the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon director visiting from Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, May 8 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The Energy Department’s Richard King is visiting Santa Clara University as his first stop in California, where four collegiate teams have been chosen to participate in the competition.
Every two years, the Solar Decathlon determines which of 20 teams can design and build the most beautiful, energy-efficient, solar-powered house.
This is Santa Clara’s third time in the competition. The school won third place in 2007 and 2009. Faculty and students decided to skip 2011 to recharge and prepare for the 2013 decathlon. Now that they’re in, they’re moving full steam ahead with an entirely new look, features, and new goal.
“We’re focusing on creating a home that’s affordable for more families,” says Jake Gallau, student project manager for Team Santa Clara. “With energy costs skyrocketing across the country, we want to show the world that it doesn’t take much to design and build a solar-powered home that looks good and runs efficiently.”
Without revealing too much, the students say they transformed their plans that they submitted to the DOE last month into something that’s striking, modern, and yet functional.
“The design takes advantage of the outdoor space without compromising its aesthetics,” says Jay Dubashi, assistant student project manager for the Santa Clara team. “In fact, the new design will somewhat mask the photovoltaic panels so that they’re not as prominent as they have been in all the homes from previous competitions.”
The Solar Decathlon takes places Oct. 3-13, 2013 at the Orange County Great Park in Irvine, Calif. However, all students must build their homes on their own campuses, dismantle it, ship it to the competition site, rebuild it, and then operate it for the jurors and the public.
King, faculty, and students will be available for media interviews on Tuesday, May 8 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m.