YSU STEM has a new minor! Natural Gas and Water Resources!

YSU STEM students now have the opportunity to pursue a new and relevant academic minor in Natural Gas and Water Resources, a program that provides a focus on the emerging oil and gas industry. The STEM College’s Department of Geological and Environmental Science heads this minor.

With the rapid emergence of the regional natural gas industry, the Natural Gas and Water Resources Minor at YSU was first proposed in November 2011 and was quickly approved by the Board of Trustees in April 2012.

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Student Spotlight: Katie Smith

Katie SmithMost college seniors dread looking for careers in the months after graduation. Katie Smith, a senior chemical engineering major, is ahead of the game, having already procured a position with the Edison Engineering Development Program at General Electric Lighting, in East Cleveland, Ohio.

Starting in June, Katie will embark on the first leg of the Edison Engineering Development Program’s two-year rotation. The program is an accelerated track for gaining leadership within the company.

During the past two summers, Katie has interned with the company in two separate departments: LED Technology and Fluorescent. Continue reading

Student Spotlight: Massey Fowler

Massey Fowler

Massey Fowler

Any student at YSU will tell you that a full schedule of classes is a lot to handle. Massey Fowler, however, just keeps adding more to his already busy schedule. The junior Mechanical Engineering and Math major likes keeping busy all the time.

Massey is currently the president of the YSU STEM Leadership Society. As if being the president wasn’t an accomplishment enough, he is one of the founding members that brought SLS to YSU’s campus.

“SLS’s mission is to develop students into better leaders and therein greater successes beyond their years at YSU,” Massey says.

STEM Leadership Society is a student organization where students are provided excellent opportunities for networking, mentoring, and interaction with area businesses.

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Inside STEM Professional Practice

by Kara Miller

stemprofpracjan13In just over a year, the STEM Professional Practice Program has shown me, and many other students, all it has to offer. Students have the opportunity to meet with the program’s coordinator to discuss the opportunities offered to them, like constructing a resume and landing an internship. Students are also offered a variety of resources like career development and professional etiquette techniques. The opportunities for students are always growing with new grants and programs being added all the time.

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Electrical Contractors Award 5 Scholarships to YSU Students

Mahoning Valley NECA Chapter recognizes local engineering scholars

YOUNGSTOWN (Dec. 18, 2012) – Five local Youngstown State University students were named recipients of the Mahoning Valley National Electrical Contractors Association’s annual scholarship.

Students from left to right: Michael Currao, David Wright, Jason Nutt, Ethan Parks and Kalen Wallace

Top row from left to right: Paul McFadden (YSU Foundation), Rex Ferry (VEC, Inc.), Bob Magni (RLM Electric), Bill Leone (Tri-Area Electric), Joe Dickey, Jr. (Joe Dickey Electric), Jalal Jalali (YSU Electrical Engineering), Tom Travers (Mahoning Valley NECA executive director), Ted Bosela (YSU, Electrical Engineering Technology), and Dean Martin Abraham. Students Awardees of the Mahoning Valley NECA Scholarship from left to right: Michael Currao, David Wright, Jason Nutt, Ethan Parks and Kalen Wallace.

The students were recognized at a luncheon in their honor hosted by the YSU Foundation at the Youngstown Club today.

“These young men are exemplary representatives of Mahoning Valley NECA, each having shown tremendous academic achievement, strong character and award-winning participation in extra-curricular activities, namely the student NECA chapter,” said Thomas J. Travers, Mahoning Valley NECA executive director. Continue reading

First-Year Engineering: An Introduction

The first year of engineering at Youngstown State University is a time for STEM students to experience, research, and test out engineering. The first semester combines a number of classes teaching the basics of engineering.puttputta

Students during the first semester take the mathematics and engineering courses that are the necessary building blocks to the next four years of their undergraduate degrees. In these courses they learn to do research, compile the data, and then put it to use.

First-year engineering students are introduced to the main concepts of engineering, and then they have to use those concepts in a major project with a written and oral report. Over the fall semester, the students have put their engineering concepts to work in two major projects: the edible cars and the putt-putt course.

The edible cars were a project in which the students had to create a car with all the components being edible. The three person teams were then judged on speed, distance, and creativity, in addition to their written and oral reports. Approximately fifty students participated in this event.

edible-cars

The second project the first-year engineers had to complete was a mini-golf course. The course had to have a change in elevation, bends, and some sort of obstacle. Using AutoCAD, the students had to develop their courses before they could golf a couple rounds. The students presented their projects to Dr. Kerry Meyers, their first-year engineering professor.

Meyers said that she loves the enthusiasm the students put into their projects. “They go above and beyond [in their projects] when they are excited,” she said.

Stay tuned next semester as the first-year engineering students start another project for the OH WOW! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science and Technology.

STEM Leadership Society: Making You a Success

By: Teresa McKinney

slshabitat“Making you a success.” Youngstown State University STEM Leadership Society, known on campus as SLS, is working to do just that for its members—the top students in YSU’s STEM college. SLS was created to provide outstanding students with the tools to grow and develop into leaders in their respective STEM fields. The organization is working to become a presence both on campus and in the community. It offers members the opportunity to have a supportive network of peers and faculty that will help pave the way for a successful, undergraduate experience at YSU.

STEM Leadership Society is a student organization that gives students the tools to succeed. One of its main goals is to convince top high school seniors of that YSU is the university for them. Continue reading

YSU GECT team takes first in Las Vegas NECA competition

Fifteen Engineering students from Youngstown State University’s National Electrical Contractors Association chapter have won the fourth annual Green Energy Challenge in Las Vegas, Nevada in September. It was the Youngstown State University Green Energy Challenge Team’s first victory.

NECA and ELECTRI International– The Foundation for Electrical Construction jointly sponsor the competition. In the past, the YSU team won third place in 2010 and second place in 2011.

“Once again, our students shone on the national stage against competitors from prestigious engineering schools around the country,” said Theodore R. Bosela, YSU professor of Engineering Technology and the team’s advisor. Continue reading

MathFest: Making Math and Music Fun

High school students around the Mahoning Valley geared up for the 10th Annual MathFest this October at Youngstown State University. For the special 10th year anniversary,

MathFest Students

A group of high school students at MathFest

“Calculus: The Musical,” provided by the College of STEM and the YSU Student Government, preformed for the students and faculty.

Dr. Angela Spalsbury, associate professor of Mathematics and Statistics, has organized YSU MathFest for the last ten years. The event requires a great amount of organization and preparation, consisting of a mixed competition, the Challenge of Champions, and different student- and faculty-led workshops.

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Incredible Edible Cars! The First Edible Car Competition At YSU!

While the future of cars keeps evolving, edible cars may not be the best road to travel down. But for STEM students, edible cars are a great way to learn and apply the different aspects of engineering. At the beginning of the month, almost 50 first-year engineering students participated in the First Edible Car Competition. The three-person groups were judged on speed, distance, and creativity.

Check out the video to see how some of the cars were created!

International Internship for Mechanical Engineering Student

Bryan Zilka is going global with a co-op internship in Seoul, South Korea this summer.

A junior mechanical engineering major in YSU’s College of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics, Zilka will be working for light electric vehicle manufacturer MPS Korea Co., Ltd. MPS is based in Seoul and sells products throughout Asia and North America as the maker of small electric vehicles, such as golf carts, electric manufacturing trucks and other applications.

This is the first time the STEM College has been able to send an intern on a foreign assignment in recent memory. Zilka will spend the summer and return in the fall.

Zilka says he’s excited for an opportunity to work abroad in his field. He will be staying in Seoul for nearly two months this summer, working on the product line for an MPS industrial truck.

“Mechanical engineering is a much broader field than I thought it was going into my major,” said Zilka. “So I’m working on figuring out all the opportunities available to me before deciding on a career. That’s what this internship will really help me do.”

Zilka is a member the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Honors Program at YSU.

The Youngstown/Warren Regional Chamber approached the STEM College in the spring about the opportunity, as in their communication with MPS found a need for engineering support for some of MPS’s upcoming new products. The Regional Chamber’s Vice-President of International Business Attraction, Eric Planey, lauded the efforts by MPS to hire Zilka:  “MPS has given us at the Chamber great insight as to the business climate in Korea, to help attract Korean businesses to the area. Further, we have seen how MPS excels at engineering-driven solutions for its products, and we thought this would be an excellent opportunity for a student like Bryan and the STEM College to showcase their talents.”

MPS was one of three Asian companies that came to Youngstown to attend  the YSU Sustainable Energy Forum, and they were hosted by the Regional Chamber.

Students present at Material Research Society Conference

Andrew B. Smith and Michael McMaster, students of Physics and Astronomy, presented a poster at the Material Research Society Conference in Boston the week of November 28, 2011.

The poster Andrew and Michael presented involves research being done in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in Dr. Tom Oder’s Wide Band Gap Semiconductor Laboratory, which currently focuses on optimizing the production of smooth, very high purity Zinc Oxide thin films. They then dope these high quality films, that is, inject specific foreign elements into the ZnO to adjust its electronic properties. The subsequent semiconductor material can be used to make, in the case of ZnO, optoelectronic devices such as LEDs and transparent electrodes.

ZnO is an attractive semiconductor, at least concerning optoelectronic applications, because of its low cost and low toxicity compared to competing materials. The negative doping of ZnO is well-established in industry, but the essential next step for ZnO’s advancement as a competitive semiconductor is to unlock the key to positive doping, which has so far proven to be a real challenge for researchers including ourselves. Solving this problem would open the way for many new and more efficient applications and devices.

Travel funds for the trip were provided by the College of STEM and the Office of the Provost.

Cushwa Fellows

Three STEM graduate students are taking the next step in their academic aspirations. YSU graduates Kristin Frank, Michael Kovach, and Adam Palumbo are the recipients of the 2011-2012 Cushwa Commercial Shearing Graduate Fellowship. Established in 2003 by the Cushwa family, in cooperation with the YSU Foundation, the Fellowship gives outstanding graduate students real work experience through research and internships (working 20 hours a week for 16 weeks) and lessens the financial burden by granting a $15,000 stipend. For the Fellows, a great deal of their preparation began as an undergraduate.

For chemistry student Kristin Frank, she said “as an undergraduate I spent the majority of my time studying and preparing for classes to ensure the best grades possible.” Her dedication has paid off. With YSU chemistry professor Dr. Brian Leskiw, Frank is conducting research in the physical chemistry field, and will be interning with Timothy Eastly, another YSU faculty member, through Toxicology Enterprises Inc., a Warren based drug and alcohol detection laboratory. Frank will be assisting Eastly with probationary drug testing. Frank said that the Fellowship…” has provided me with several opportunities I would have probably not otherwise had access to.” Frank’s future plans include obtaining her Doctor of Pharmacy degree.

Michael Kovach’s mechanical engineering background has given him the opportunity to work with General Motors, Lordstown. Kovach is working on one of the main robotic arms in the planting department conducting a failure analysis (weakening of frequently used parts). Kovach said that when one of these arms fails, the production slows or shuts down; this can potentially cause a considerable loss of revenue. After completing his project Kovach said that…”we are trying to develop a monitoring system that would give an early indication of trouble so it could be fixed. If successful, it may be implemented on other robotic arms and /or other GM facilities.” With the Fellowship, Kovach said that he has gained “real life experience” and plans on obtaining his Professional Engineering license.

Adam Palumbo, another mechanical engineering Fellow, has taken a different route with his research. Palumbo is working on using different technologies to cool surfaces of solar panels. Palumbo said that he was fortunate to have begun research as an undergraduate with faculty member Dr. Ganesh V. Kudav. Palmubo said this helped him transition to the graduate program, and the Fellowship has provided him with a “sense of responsibility.” Like Kovach, Palumbo also plans on obtaining his PE license in the future, after working full-time with a company.

The Cushwa Commercial Shearing Fellowship provides students with unique opportunities, and experience in their field. In addition to the three students highlighted, other Fellows include Brianne Ciccone, industrial systems engineering, Mark Macali, mechanical engineering, and Brandon McMillen, mathematics. Students with an undergraduate degree from any STEM discipline, including those who have obtained their degrees from other institutions, are encouraged. Also for the first time, students interested in the new PhD in Materials Science and Engineering are welcome to apply; the PhD stipend level has been established at $25,000 The next application deadline will be April 2012.

More information about the Fellowship is available here.

News For CS&IS

A new student association, Information Technology Student Association (ITSA), has been established in the department of Computer Science & Information Systems. The goals of ITSA are (1) to stimulate student interest in information technology field, (2) to seek networking opportunities between students within the department and companies doing business in information technology field in the region, (3) to help CS&IS department publicize Information Technology field to the university and the public. Membership is open to anyone who is interested in Information Technology at YSU. Some of the initiatives ITSA has taken are opening a facebook account, Department of Computer Science and Information Systems, and a twitter account at YSU_CSIS for the CS&IS department.

National Green Energy Challengers

Six YSU students placed second nationally in this year’s Green Energy Challenge in both their team project presentation and the poster competition, winning a total of $2,800 for their accomplishments.

For the national competition, the team traveled to San Diego in late October as one of three finalist teams to present their project, which involved a full-scale energy audit and upgrade to YSU’s Cafaro House dormitory.

The team beat out several others from Purdue, Texas A&M, Oregon State, Southern Polytechnic University and more in the initial round of judging in May. It’s the second year in a row that a team from Youngstown State University placed within the top three teams in the nation for the competition.

This year’s team, from left, includes:

  • David Wright, sophomore electrical engineering technology student of Youngstown.
  • Ethan Parks, freshman electrical engineering technology student of Greenford, Ohio.
  • Justin Hosseininejad, graduate engineering student of Austintown.
  • Jason Nutt, junior electrical engineering technology student of Cortland.
  • Jarrett Scacchetti, third year student of Canfield in electrical engineering and applied mathematics.
  • Michael Sammartino, senior electrical engineering student of Austintown.

Courtesy of YSU Department of Marketing