National Engineers Week spotlights #whatengineersdo at Miami


Beena Sukumaran, dean of the College of Engineering and Computing, says that "our young engineers and computer scientists are internally motivated to solve society’s toughest problems." (Photo by Clark Kelly)

By Carole Johnson, communications and marketing

It’s National Engineers Week (Feb. 20-26), and at Miami University there is much to learn about what it is that biomedical, chemical, computer, electrical, mechanical, manufacturing, robotic, and software engineers do.

Take a look at the list below to see how students, faculty, and staff in Miami’s College of Engineering and Computing put theory into practice over the last few months.

  • With more than $2 million in funding from the Ohio Federal Research Network (OFRN), the College of Engineering and Computing faculty and their multi-institutional teams are launching two new projects to advance science and technology innovation to support U.S. national security initiatives. Led by Mark Scott, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, researchers will develop commercial airliner and military aircraft's power electronics that have lower weight and improved performance over existing technology. On a second OFRN-funded project, Miao Wang, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, is working with a team of researchers to develop electronically dimmable protective eyewear that is ready to be mass-produced. 
  • Miami University will receive $1.49 million in grant funding from the National Science Foundation’s Division of Undergraduate Education for scholarships to students pursuing degrees in engineering, computer science, and technology. The project is titled, “Supporting Student Success and Higher Degree Attainment in Engineering: A Scholars Comprehensive Strategy for Talented Low-Income Students.”
  • Vaskar Raychoudhury is leading a team of researchers from across the country in developing MyPath, an app to help people in wheelchairs reach their destinations. Their original AI-based system records surface patterns on roads and sidewalks. The project received $600,000 from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Community Living. Raychoudhury is an associate professor in the Department of Computer Science and Software.
Students take center stage in competitions and community service projects
  • Miami University’s first-ever iGEM team won a gold medal and was one of four teams nominated for two special awards in iGEM 2021, the annual International Genetically Engineered Machine competition.
  • Computer science and software engineering students are ranked No. 2 in the nation based on their technical skills, according to CodeSingal, a skills-based assessment platform operated by American Company BrainFights, Inc.
  • During Miami’s winter term, students participated in the Systems Automation Springboard to Internships (SASI workshop. This workshop helps train students prior to a targeted summer internship in the areas of systems, process control and automation.
  • Miami University is currently planning on creating a new Living Learning Community (LLC) specifically for upper-class students in the College of Engineering and Computing. Socially Engaged Engineering and Computing (SEEC) is an initiative that addresses the needs of society and engages the engineering community.
  • Four students received awards in the poster competitions at the 2021 American Institute for Chemical Engineers (AIChE) national conference. Undergraduate students Jessica Flower, Fiona Kanis, and Maddy McKinney and graduate student Abhishek Sen entered a poster competition at the conference and each won an award for their work, each being in a research lab with Andrew Jones, assistant professor in the Department of Chemical, Paper, and Biomedical Engineering.
  • This fall, Miami hosted its first ROBO FEST, a joint venture between the College of Engineering and Computing and Miami’s Department of Theatre. The event allowed spectators to not only see the robots in action but to interact with and control them. The family-friendly program had all ages in attendance.
  • The division’s K-12 Outreach Program volunteered with The Big Brothers Big Sisters program from the area this fall. Children visited the campus and explored the College of Engineering and Computing. Students learned about the paper-making process and worked with robots.
  • Students competed this fall in the MUCAT Design Competition. Team Smart Container developed a phone app for visually impaired people to be able to keep records of the containers within their refrigerator, specifically with the idea of leftovers in mind. 

Just recently, Intel Corporation announced its $20 billion investment in Ohio to build two semiconductor plants. Miami joins other higher institutions in support of developing a pipeline of talent. 

“Our graduates are well-versed to address the needs of the semiconductor industry through our curriculum and the experiential learning opportunities we provide,” said Beena Sukumaran, Dean of the College of Engineering and Computing.

During the week of April 25-29, the College of Engineering and Computing will be celebrating Engineering and Computing week with the Tau Beta Pi annual banquet, Senior Design Expo, and Alumni and Friends Conference, along with other events during the week.