Wednesday June 15, 2011

Globetrotters

Summer break is a misnomer for students and faculty who are globetrotting to accept awards, participate in competitions and conduct research.

The traditional school year may be August to May, but there's no rest for the weary in the interim. Summer break is a misnomer for University of Dayton students and faculty who are globetrotting to accept awards, participate in competitions and conduct research.

Law students Jonathan Hall and D.J. Swearingen will compete in the International Air and Space Law Association's Moot Court Competition at The Hague July 6-8. They earned a spot after winning the Air and Space Law's North American Regionals in New York City in late March.

"When we go to The Hague, we will not only be representing ourselves, we will be representing the University of Dayton School of Law, the alumni and the Dayton legal community," Swearingen said. "To come home with anything other than a victory would not do justice to those we represent."

A group of engineering students also will be heading across the Atlantic Ocean in search of victory against the best the world has to offer. Brian Walsh, James Agans, Andrew McClinton, Brian Cranston and John Puttmann will head to Coventry University in the United Kingdom for the IT FLIES competition June 16. The competition, sponsored by the Merlin Flight Simulation Group, judges students on the design of their aircraft and whether it can fly. Students will test their aircraft on one of only 15 Merlin flight simulators in the world (The University of Dayton has the only one in the U.S.). The simulators are specifically designed for academic settings and are designed to teach students more about flight rather than teaching students to fly. Dave MacKay, chief test pilot for Virgin Galactic, will be among the contest judges.

Guru Subramanyam, chair of the electrical and computer engineering department, won't have the pressure of competition when he presents as a speaker at an international electronics symposium July 31 to Aug. 4 at Cambridge University in the United Kingdom. But, he still will be on a big international stage, sharing it with three Nobel laureates who also are speakers.

Subramanyam will discuss high-frequency devices, including his variable capacitor (varactor) that has attracted the attention of multiple cell phone manufacturers. The varactor is designed to allow cell phones to tune to multiple frequencies, allowing them to perform multiple activities and adjust to different frequencies around the world.

He just returned from a faculty leadership workshop on advanced electronic materials in India sponsored by the Indo-U.S. Collaboration for Engineering Education.
Aaron Altman, an associate mechanical and aerospace engineering professor, will head the across the Pacific Ocean. He'll pick up an American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Sustained Services Award June 29 in Honolulu. The AIAA will honor Altman along with John Lin, a NASA research engineer, for their sustained and significant service to the institute.

Kelly Kissock, chair of the mechanical and aerospace engineering department, is going to the southern hemisphere, Brazil, as part of a U.S. Department of Energy and Global Sustainability Electric Partnership initiative to promote sustainability energy development. Kissock, head of the University of Dayton's award-winning Industrial Assessment Center, will help develop university-based energy assessment programs. Global Sustainable Electricity Partnership, formerly known as e8, is a non-profit international organization, composed of the world's leading electricity companies, whose mission is to play an active role in global electricity issues.

"These opportunities for our faculty and students help enhance their teaching and learning in the Catholic, Marianist tradition of educating the whole person. Learning doesn't just happen in the classroom or during the 'normal' academic year," Provost Joe Saliba said. "These programs also help our faculty educate our students to be global leaders."

The University of Dayton Center for International Programs is sponsoring seven trips to Argentina, China, England, France, Germany and Italy covering topics such as "Engaging Social (In)Justice: Gender, Race and Class in a Global City," infectious disease history and "Sustainability, Environment, Energy and City Planning in Eastern Germany," among others.

The School of Business Administration is sponsoring trips to England, Ireland, Germany, Spain, Italy and the Czech Republic.

The School of Engineering's Engineers in Technical Humanitarian Opportunities of Service-Learning (ETHOS) program annually sends students to underdeveloped areas in Africa, Asia and Central and South America for eight- to 16-week internships working with non-governmental organizations or businesses doing research and engineering-related work. This summer, 33 students are working in 11 different countries in Asia, Latin America and Africa. Michael Zimmerman and Phillip Clauda are developing solar energy generators in the Amazon of Brazil.

Other recent projects include creating a clean-water delivery system for an African village, bringing solar-powered devices to sterilize medical equipment to rural areas of Nicaragua and showing people in remote areas of Bolivia how to make their own solar cookers to eliminate indoor cooking smoke, a worldwide leading killer of children.

The University's Center for Social Concern also sponsors summer cultural immersion trips. This year's offerings are opportunities in Guatemala, Zambia and Cameroon.

For more information, contact Shawn Robinson, associate director of media relations, at 937-229-3391 or srobinson@udayton.edu.