2017 Spring Alumni and Friends Conference

What a great conference!  April 7, 2017 was our Annual CSE/ECE/MME Alumni & Friends Conference in the CEC complex.   Great crowd (students, alumni, faculty and staff) and wonderful speakers.

Watch for updates as planning unfolds for the 2018 Conference, scheduled for Friday, May 4, 2018.

Questions about the event?  email or call Clark Kelly kellyca@MiamiOH.edu , (513) 529-0702

2017 Schedule of Events

BEN 001 | CSE Faculty Current Research talks | Dr. Femiani, Dr. Rao

Dr. Femiani presentation: Large scale urban modeling, incorporating deep learning: Work in progress. The fusing of multiple sources of information to create large urban 3D scenes, employing computer vision and deep learning techniques. 

Dr. Rao presentation: The truth about "ground truth" of Zika & Chikungunya epidemics: A machine learning story:- It's about global health, so yes, this is a women's issue, a family and international issue. What does machine learning using 3.5 million simulations running on 3000 cores of a supercomputer answer? The elementary -- "Once you eliminate the impossible, whatever remains, no matter how improbable, must be the truth." That's right Sherlock; the ground truth is that only fractions of actual cases were being reported by CDC/PAHO. In Puerto Rico only 6% of the cases were being reported, but 90% of infected people were spreading the disease! Scary? Wait until you hear the whole story.

BEN 002 | Cyber Security Awareness & Education | Allen Perk

This presentation will compare internet security to “home” security and then explain the “holes” in both and how they are exploited. We will also discuss government regulations on this subject as well as give REAL LIFE examples of how small & large corporations have made security blunders. Finally, practical measures will be presented to help the user protect themselves from Data Piracy and internet security threats.

BEN 006 | The Science Behind What's Next - Technology in the Ad Tech Industry | Grace Metzger

At Nielsen, we develop technology to measure what people watch and what people buy.  As the consumption of content turns increasingly to the internet, marketers need to understand how to reach their consumers through digital media.  The Ad Tech industry and the concept of a "Marketing Cloud" was born to fulfill this need, and the number of start ups and players in this industry exploded. Using big data technology and advanced modeling techniques, the Nielsen Marketing Cloud team builds and populates segments of online users.  Marketers use this data to target relevant audiences, expand the reach of their content and overall, increase the effectives of their digital advertising.

BEN 008 | Senior Design Teams

CSE:  Myaamia Lunar Calendar

CSE:  Project Dragonfly

ECE: Compressive Sensing with a Single Pixel Camera

MME:  JETCAT - optimized jet engine initiative for DOE

BEN 009 | Engineering Alumni Panel

Austin Kephart, David Goode, Rob Graessle, and Dave Hammond

The Engineering Alumni panel offers students and alumni an opportunity to connect with Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical and Manufacturing Engineering, and legacy School of Engineering and Applied Sciences alumni in interactive panel discussions as they share their perspectives on finding that first career job, early-career success factors including non-technical skills that may be critical to long-term career success, and career planning.  

10:30am - 11:00am

BEN 001 | All I Really Need to Know I Learned . . . After Graduation | Alan Perkins

The first years of your professional life are critical. Decisions you make now, and actions that you take, will influence the trajectory of your career for years to come. But not everything matters, and the things that do matter aren’t always apparent. And the things that made you successful in college won’t necessarily help you climb the ladder after graduation. Alan will share some observations from his 30+ years in business that will help you to make the most of this phase of your career. No theories, just real world experience that will help you maximize options and avoid pitfalls. 

BEN 002 | Careers Are Surprises (When Opportunity Knocks) | Austin Kephart

Career arc surprises (when opportunity knocks) is a speech about being open to opportunities and applying your own passions and talents towards those opportunities to create change in your career and the organizations you work for.

There is a word used in the business world to define this type of person, opportuneurs: someone who seeks purpose and wants to create change. They follow their passions and look for opportunities where they can use their talents to create this change. Allowing yourself to explore new career paths can lead to greater skillset diversity, workplace happiness and passion. Being in school it’s hard to imagine how many different opportunities you’ll be exposed to during the first five years of your career. It’s estimated that only 27% of college graduates will get a job out of school that is closely related to their major. Being flexible and open to these opportunities is considered a huge benefit in the business setting. Having an engineering background will only improve upon this benefit. Today more than every companies are searching for problem solvers, not just someone they can plug into the system and it continues to operate but someone who will evaluate the system and find ways to improve it. Early on, opportunities won’t be as obvious, these could be promotions but often they will be lateral moves or even a step backwards. The key is that each step along the way helps build you as an individual, you must maintain a long-term view when evaluating each opportunity you encounter. As your career progresses each opportunity along the way will act as another tool in your toolbox as you start to become a leader within the organization.

BEN 006 | Development of an IoT-based Mobile Computing Platform for Fall Risk Prediction | Dr. Jahangir Majumder

Falls are major health risk with which the elderly and disabled must contend. Scientific research on smartphone-based gait detection systems using the Internet of Things (IoT) has recently become an imperative component in monitoring injuries due to these falls. Analysis of human gait for detecting falls is the subject of many research projects. Progress in these systems, the capabilities of smartphones, and the IoT are enabling the advancement of sophisticated mobile computing applications that detect falls after they have occurred. This detection has been the focus of most fall-related research; however, ensuring preventive measures that predict a fall is the goal of this health monitoring system. By performing a thorough investigation of existing systems and using predictive analytics, I built a novel embedded system that uses smartphone and smart-shoe sensors to predict and alert the user of fall before it happens. The major focus of my research has been to develop and implement this unique system to predict the risk of falls. I used built-in sensors in smartphones and a sensor embedded smart-shoe. The interactions between these sensors and the user resulted in distinct challenges for this research while also creating new performance goals based on the unique characteristics of this system. In addition to providing an exciting new tool for fall prediction, this work will make several contributions to current and future generation IoT-mHealth (mobile health) and mobile computing research.

BEN 008 | Senior Design Teams (until 11:30am)

CSE:  Campus Mapping

CSE:  Drones

MME:  SOLAR - solar powered drone

ECE: IoT-shoe: Design and Development of a Next Generation Smart IoT-shoe for Gait Assistance

BEN 009 | Computing Alumni Panel (until 11:30am)

Jennifer Kutz, Parker Johnston, Ron Boutell, and Tye Monnin

The Computing Alumni panel offers students an opportunity to connect with Computer Science and Software Engineering, and legacy School of Engineering and Applied Sciences alumni in interactive panel discussions as they share their perspectives on finding that first career job, early-career success factors including non-technical skills that may be critical to long-term career success, and career planning.

11:00am - 11:30am

BEN 001 | Enjoy the Ride - A career is a long journey | John Stamper

While some colleagues have maintained a clear and concise career track focused on specific goals, I have always found myself wandering. If someone had asked me as a senior at Miami where I would be in 20 years I would have had a very specific answer. That answer, however, would be a very different place from where I am today, but I would not change a thing. In this talk, I will discuss lessons learned on a wild journey to my current career as a professor at Carnegie Mellon University.

BEN 002 | Engineering - A Universal Business Language | Brad White

With 1 in 4 people in the world speaking English at a functional level, it is often said that the international business language is English. This may be true from a linguistic standpoint but at a professional level, the languages of engineering and finance dominate the discussion. Having an education that enables you to speak one of these two tongues is invaluable to employers.

BEN 006 | Center for Assistive Technology | Dr. James Chagdes

Assistive technology is broadly defined as a technological solution to enable an improved quality of life. This presentation will provide an overview of the Miami University Center for Assistive Technology and the multiple efforts being made to enable engineering solutions for socially relevant problems to improve quality of life by assisting the lives of older adults and people with disabilities. During the presentation, Dr. James Chagdes will discuss ongoing work in identifying postural instability. Falls due to instability are common in older adults and individuals with neurological impairments. Many of these individuals suffer debilitating injuries from their fall, drastically reducing their overall mobility, ability to perform daily activities, and overall quality of life. This presentation will discuss the type of instabilities related to common neurological impairments such as Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, and concussion. A novel signal analysis method with the potential for advanced assessment and diagnosis of postural instability will be discussed.


Transition to Shriver | J. Dolibois Rooms | main floor


11:45am - 1:15pm

Lunch | Global Engineering for a Small Planet | Keynote Speaker: Dr. Bernard Amadei, Founder of Engineers without Borders (USA)

Dr. Amadei is Professor of Civil Engineering at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He received his PhD in 1982 from the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Amadei holds the Mortenson Endowed Chair in Global Engineering and served as Faculty Director of the Mortenson Center in Engineering for DevelopingCommunities from 2009-2012. He is also the Founding President of Engineers Without Borders - USA and the co-founder of the Engineers Without Borders-International network. Among other distinctions, Dr. Amadei is the 2007 co-recipient of the Heinz Award for the Environment; the recipient of the 2008 ENR Award of Excellence; the 2015 Washington and ASCE OPAL awards; an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering; and an elected Senior Ashoka Fellow. He holds five honorary doctoral degrees (UMass Lowell; Carroll College; Clarkson, Drexel, and Worcester Polytechnic Institute). In 2013 and 2014, Dr. Amadei served as a Science Envoy to Pakistan and Nepal for the U.S. Department of State.

1:30pm - 2:00pm

BEN 001 | How to Balance Risk-taking & Security in your Career Choice | Doug Schneider

Doug will illustrate through his career and life journey how risk-taking and security were both valid decision criteria in making career choices, but took on different levels of significance at different points in time. In the process, he will speak to four key questions that factored into his career

  1. What are the best kinds of investments to make?
  2. What kinds of people should you get to know?
  3. What should you do when things don't go well?
  4. Can you have it all?

BEN 002 | Thinking Big: NAE Grand Challenge Scholars Program | Dr. Doug Troy 

Students (any major) - attend this session to explore becoming a part of the Grand Challenge Scholars Program (GCSP), a world-wide program designed to help prepare you to solve some of society's most pressing problems.  Alumni and Friends -  learn about Miami's GCSP with an eye toward possible future involvement in helping us to offer this new program.  The National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholars Program is a combined curricular and extra-curricular program with five components that are designed to prepare students to be the generation that solves the grand challenges facing society in this century.  Miami is one of about 40 universities in the U.S. to offer this new and innovative program.  

BEN 006 | Why Communicating is so Important | Kevin Martin, Jacob Slotta

In today’s IT consulting work environment, communicating with clients, prospects, software publishers and your team is vital. Hear from Jacob Slotta ’16 and Kevin Martin ’83 on how a 20+ local IT firm based in Cincinnati and focused on mid-market solutions from Sage, Microsoft and Acumatica uses today’s tools to manage and set expectations for projects and growing staff

BEN 008 | Senior Design Teams (until 2:30pm)

CSE: Episcopal Retirement Center System

MME:  BAM Team 2 - Design of bamboo processing tools and techniques for third world countries

ECE: Design and Optimization of a Portable, Off-Grid Photovoltaic Energy System for an Irrigation System

BEN 009 | Women in Technology Panel (until 2:30pm)

Jennifer Kutz, Mary Ellen Giffels, Sophia Knowles

The Women in Technology panel offers students the opportunity to connect with alumna in STEM fields as they share their career experiences and perspectives.

2:00pm - 2:30pm

BEN 001 | Career has been an Adventure | Parker Johnston

How can a phone call, email, or job loss take your career from a typical day to day to a life long adventure? Having been through all of these situations, we will talk about what each moment meant to me and how I moved from wanting normalcy in my career to thriving during the daily adventure of software development and life. 

BEN 002 | 3 Keys of a Successful Career | David Goode

David shares his perspective on three keys he has learned to help achieve a successful career. David will discuss partnering deliberately, continually improving your offering and fulfilling unmet needs. Understanding and putting these into practice will benefit young engineers as they seek job opportunities and start out in the professional world.

BEN 006 | Why We Should All Strive for Discomfort | Mike Bivins

Every role you take on in your career should make you uncomfortable.  There should be some level of responsibility that makes you nervous because you have limited to no experience in the area, leaving you primed for growth.  I’ll walk you through my uncomfortable journey and share a few things I’ve learned along the way.

2:30pm - 3:30pm

BEN 001 | Practical Business solutions in the Engineering World of Artificial Intelligence | Scott Taylor (until 3:30pm)

Big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence are rapidly changing the world around us.   We hear much in the news about autonomous cars, robotics, and other areas of advanced research.   But what are some of the practical business applications deploying today?  How do companies need to retool their skills and development strategies to embrace AI and machine learning through the full life cycles of marketing, sales, development, and support?    What can people do to build career skills for this market?  We’ll look at examples including:

  • Voice enabled personal assistants auch as Siri and Amazon's Alexa
  • The rapidly evolving distributed energy grid
  • Enterprise customer engagement

BEN 002 | Having Fun and Doing it; The Trials and Tribulations of an Entrepreneur | Manny Villafana (until 3:30pm)

Manny Villafana has always felt that his greatest business accomplishments have been that his companies have engineered products that are changing people's lives and have become new standards for patient care. During his presentation, Manny will share with you the challenges and rewards of designing and manufacturing some of the most life changing medical devices in use today.

BEN 006 | MME Faculty Material Research | Dr. Jahan and Dr. Corti

Dr. Jahan presentation: Ti-6Al-4V (Grade 5 titanium alloy) is a widely used material in aerospace applications due to its lightweight, high specific strength, and corrosion resistance. However, it is considered as a difficult-to-cut material due to its poor thermal conductance, strong alloying tendency and work-hardening characteristics. In this study, the effectiveness of titanium aluminum nitride (TiAlN) coating on carbide tools for machining of Ti-6Al-4V was evaluated in both conventional flood coolant and sustainable dry machining conditions. The performance of TiAlN-coated and uncoated carbide tools was compared based on the resulting cutting forces, tool tip temperature, surface finish and tool wear.

Dr. Corti presentation: Silica nanosprings (SN) are a unique high surface area one-dimensional nanomaterial made of amorphous silica. SN offer several advantages over other one-dimensional nanostructures, such as: mild growth conditions at 350°C and atmospheric pressure, thermally stable >1000°C in air, hydrophilicity, hierarchical coating and functionalization, more than 350m2/g of accessible surface area and photolithography compatible. These advantages are being measured as a interlocking mechanism between laminae on Fiber Reinforced Composite (FRC), and as a surface coating to improve heat transfer rate on heat exchangers.

BEN 008 | Senior Design Teams (until 3:30pm)

CSE:  Automatic Grading

MME:  BAJA Team 1 - Design optimization of BAJA racing vehicle

ECE: Industry Hex Rotor Copter

BEN 009 | What is in the future for CEC? | Dept. Chair & Dean's Staff Panel (until 3:30pm)

Moderator will ask a few questions of the three department chairs and a member of the Dean’s staff about the future of their departments and CEC. Participants: Qihou Zhou, Tim Cameron, Jim Kiper, and Diane Delisio