Engineering News

UA Team Part of International Space Surveillance Conference

Associate professor of practice David Gaylor joined a strong University of Arizona contingent at the Advanced Maui Optical and Space Surveillance Technologies Conference on Sept. 20-23.

Gaylor, who serves as assistant director of the UA's new Space Object Behavioral Sciences initiative, presented on space situational awareness algorithms.

What's Next for OSIRIS-REx? AME Alumnus Explains

A screenshot of Kris Drozd being interviewed at the OSIRIS-REx launch partyThe OSIRIS-REx asteroid sample return mission saw a flawless launch on Sept. 8. So what happens next?

A KVOA reporter asked alumnus Kristofer Drozd just that on launch day. Drozd, who is pursuing a doctorate in the department of systems and industrial engineering, serves on the spacecraft's operations engineering team. 

Find out what he and his team will do to guide and support OSIRIS-REx over the next seven years.

AME Students and Alumni Are Mission Critical for OSIRIS-REx Success

Concept art of OSIRIS-REx in space with Earth in the background and a UA logo in the top left corner
NASA's OSIRIS-Rex spacecraft is scheduled to start its long journey to the asteroid Bennu tomorrow at 4:05 p.m. MST – thanks in part to the hard work of UA aerospace and mechanical engineering students and alumni, including master's student Tanner Campbell and graduates Kristofer Drozd, John Kidd, Daniel Wibben and Bradley Williams.  

Several of them have trekked to Cape Canaveral to lend a hand at launch. Those of us in Tucson are invited to watch the action at launch parties on campus and around town, and NASA TV will also provide live coverage online.

AME Alumnus Aims to Send Sailplane to the Stratosphere

Ed Warnock, front, and the Perlan crew exhibit their glider at the Experimental Aircraft Association AirVenture show in July 2015 at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, Wisconsin; photo courtesy of Ed Warnock

As CEO of the Perlan Project, aerospace engineer Ed Warnock is preparing to launch an engineless aircraft to the edge of space and elevate our knowledge about climate, the ozone layer and flying on Mars.

Given his own career trajectory, it is not surprising Warnock was captivated by the Perlan story.

Photo courtesy of Ed Warnock

Alumna Reflects on Need for More Native American Women in STEM

Suzanne SingerSuzanne Singer graduated from the UA with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 2003, received a PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, in 2009, and now works as an energy and thermal fluids analyst at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. 

She recently discussed her experience as a Native American woman in STEM and her ideas for promoting a more inclusive, diverse educational environment in the sciences and engineering.

Treating Arthritis with Cartilage Grown from Stem Cells on Scaffolds

John Szivek points out arthritis damage on a bone; image courtesy of ABC 12 WJRTA technique developed by John A. Szivek, professor of orthopaedic surgery and aerospace and mechanical engineering, may someday help arthritis patients avoid knee replacement surgery.

His research at the UA Orthopedic Research Laboratory grows cartilage from stem cells taken from fat tissue on scaffolding that mimics the structure of a normal bone.

AME Alumnus Loves Locomotives

Eric Hadder, chief mechanical officer at the Grand Canyon Railway, inspecting the boiler of a steam locomotive. Photo by  Caitlin O'Hara for The New York Times.

Eric Hadder has loved trains since he was two years old.

Pursing that passion brought him to the UA, where he received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1995. Hadder explains his pathway to chief mechanical officer at the Grand Canyon Railway in an interview with the New York Times.

Photo courtesy of Caitlin O'Hara/The New York Times 

Mechanical Engineering Student Mentors 4-H Campers

Elementary school students in the 4-H Summer Program. Photo by Aaliyah Montoya/Douglas Dispatch.Mechanical engineering undergraduate Juan Carlos Martinez is bringing science to elementary school students this summer. He serves as a mentor in the University of Arizona Cooperative Extension's 4-H Youth Development Program in his hometown of Douglas.

The program has taken him around the country to learn more about 4-H and its ideals on healthy living and eating – and to Mexico City, where he contributed to the development of an equivalent program.

Photo courtesy of Aaliya Montoya/Douglas Dispatch

Alumnus to Receive Medal of Merit from MFSW

Portrait of William R. AssenmacherThe Mining Foundation of the Southwest has selected William R. Assenmacher, CEO and principal owner of CAID Industries, to receive a 2016 Medal of Merit.

Assenmacher, who graduated from the University of Arizona with a degree in mechanical engineering in 1974, will be recognized for his contributions to the mining sector in a ceremony in Tucson on Dec. 3.  

Warnock Helps Take Gliders to Record-Breaking Heights

Cover of July 2016 Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine featuring the Perlan gliderThe current altitude record for level flight by a piloted aircraft is just over 85,000 feet, but the Perlan Project hopes to take their sailplane to 90,000 feet this summer, using stratospheric mountain waves near the Antarctic polar vortex.

University of Arizona alumnus Ed Warnock is helping the Perlan Project reach those heights. The 1968 graduate of UA's aerospace engineering program currently serves as the nonprofit's CEO.

Read more about the project, and Warnock's work, in the cover story of the July issue of Smithsonian Air & Space magazine.


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