Graduate Education & Research Seminar Series

Parks College Office of Graduate Education & Research offers Seminar every semester, and features professionals from industry and academia. Occasionally, speakers are entrepreneurs or our own SLU students. Subjects range from their research, their experiences transitioning from school to career, or instructional. Graduate Seminar is a great opportunity for students to network and learn from those who have come before them. Because all Engineering departments participate, the material shared is varied. We believe Engineering Graduate Students’ experience is enhanced by the inclusion of our Graduate Seminar.

Contact Information

If you have questions please contact Nicole Mispagel at (314) 977-8306 or mispagelnh@slu.edu.

 Graduate Education & Research Seminar Series Events

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Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Career Development Skills

Speaker: Floyd Welsh

Time: 3:10 - 4 p.m.
Location: Tegeler Hall, Carlo Auditorium 

Abstract
Whether pursuing a career in academia, research, or industry, effective career development skills are critical. A successful job search depends on: effective application documents and interviewing, strategic searching for the right job opportunities, and professional networking. All of these skills are supported by Career Services and available to all current students and alumni for life. This workshop will provide some specific tips and strategies. 

Bio
Welsh has over 25 years of experience working with college students including the past four years at SLU. His current role in Career Services provides the opportunity to support students as they define their career goals and creating a plan to make them possible. He earned his master’s degree in Higher Education from Southern Illinois University Carbondale and proud resident of the City of St. Louis since 2004.

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Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Evaluating Mechanisms of Cytoplasmic Delivery of Nanoparticles through Single-Quantum Dot Tracking

Speaker: Mohammad Zahid, B.S.

Time: 3:10 - 4 p.m.
Location: Tegeler Hall, Carlo Auditorium 

Abstract
Inefficient cytoplasmic delivery of macromolecules and nanoparticles has been an ongoing problem in targeted drug delivery, genetic engineering, and molecular imaging. The underlying multistep process of endocytosis and vesicular release are difficult to both understand and control due to a lack of accurate characterization tools. This presentation will discuss the application of imaging semiconductor nanoparticles, also known as quantum dots, in live cells in order to derive new classes of quantitative analysis metrics to understand mechanisms of intracellular delivery. This presentation will demonstrate how single-particle tracking lets us merge trajectory diffusion analysis with particle brightness measurements, and how this enables the quantification of nanoparticles loaded in single cells, particle cluster distribution, and cytosolic release. We use these metrics to evaluate independent contributions of uptake and vesicular release underlying osmotic pinosome lysis delivery for a diverse physicochemical range of nanomaterials.  We hope that this combination of quantum dots and single-particle imaging can be widely applied to inform nanomaterial design rules for next-generation molecular probes and macromolecular biologics.

Bio
Mohammad Zahid earned his B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and Mathematics from Saint Louis University in 2012. He is currently a PhD candidate the Department of Bioengineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign working in Andrew Smith’s lab.  His research interests in include single-molecule imaging, cell-nanoparticle interactions, and quantitative bioimaging.

 

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Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Enabling Cost-/Power-/Compute-Efficient Ultrasound

Speaker: William D. Richard, PhD

Time: 3:10 - 4 p.m.
Location: Tegeler Hall, Carlo Auditorium 

Abstract
This talk will describe, at a high level, the cost-, power-, and compute-efficient technology behind the first smartphone-based medical imaging device approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The talk will include a real-time demonstration, and example ultrasound images from several different applications will be presented.

Bio
Since joining the faculty at Washington University in 1988, Richard has continued the development of advanced computer architectures and image processing algorithms for ultrasonic imaging. He is the author of many widely-cited papers on ultrasonic imaging, and in 2004 he was awarded a patent on a novel technique for real-time synthetic focus ultrasonic imaging. The Universal Serial Bus (USB) ultrasound probes he developed, which require only a laptop to form a complete ultrasonic imaging system, were named by Popular Science Magazine as one of the Best 100 Innovations of 2006. The same year, the International Academy of Science named the USB probes one of the top 10 finalists for their “Technology of the Year Award.” Professor Richard and his former Washington University in St. Louis colleague David M. Zar adapted the USB probes for use with Microsoft Windows Mobile smartphones. The smartphone project was funded by a grant from Microsoft Research.

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Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Engineering Data Rich Construction Projects

Speaker: Chris Gordon, PhD

Time: 3:10 - 4 p.m.
Location: Tegeler Hall, Carlo Auditorium 

Abstract
Emerging developments in design and construction technology, such as building information models, laser scanners, and embedded sensors, have enabled data-rich management of construction projects.  Decision support is needed to help determine when and where to collect data and to evaluate and analyze obtained data to meet construction management objectives. This presentation describes techniques to plan and rapidly interpret construction site data in support of work process decisions.  The presentation describes use of stochastic search methods including genetic algorithms and simulated annealing to evaluate sensor-driven data collection plans as well as reasoning to rapidly evaluate and analyze collected data in the field.

Bio
Chris Gordon is Associate Professor at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and serves as the Associate Dean of the School of Engineering and co-director of the Construction Leadership Institute.  In his research, Gordon investigates engineering education and automation and innovation in the construction industry.  Gordon earned a Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University and both a B.S. and M.S. in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University.  Prior to his doctorate, Gordon’s professional experience includes construction management on projects worldwide between $25 million and $2.5 billion as well as product development for an early-stage start-up software company.

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Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Interactive Lecturing Strategies  

Speaker: James Fortney, M.A.

Time: 3:10 - 4 p.m.
Location: Tegeler Hall, Carlo Auditorium 

Short Description
This talk will provide an overview of evidence-based strategies for making lectures more interactive.

Bio
James has been teaching undergraduate courses on communication, identity, and difference for nearly a decade. Prior to joining the Center in July 2015, he was faculty in the Department of Communication Studies at Western Washington University. He also taught communication courses as a graduate instructor at University of Colorado Boulder and University of Utah. His research embraces a focus on concrete, mundane communication practices as constitutive of larger social structural systems. Through this perspective, he is committed to helping faculty and graduate students develop courses that challenge students to participate in society in more effective, inclusive, and dignifying ways. He is particularly interested in designing courses that nurture classroom dialogue on matters of equity and social justice.

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Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Mechanobiological Communication with Plant and Animal Cells  

Speaker: Guy Genin, PhD

Time: 3:10 - 4 p.m.
Location: Tegeler Hall, Carlo Auditorium 

Abstract
How does a cell learn about its environment? A tremendous array of tools exist for this, including a broad range of very well understood biochemical signaling pathways. Both plant and animal cells also possess a less well understood toolbox that enables them to transduce information about their environment mechanically. Unlocking this toolbox is the focus of Washington University’s new NSF Science and Technology Center for Engineering Mechanobiology (CEMB). By harnessing the engineering principles used by living cells, we hope to reveal pathways for cures in pathologies of mechanics, and to guide development. This is particularly important because several pathologies with a mechanical basis have, unsurprisingly, not yielded significantly to the efforts of chemists and geneticists. We also hope to learn to talk to plants. After overviews of the field of mechanobiology and of CEMB, this talk will summarize the degree to which the plants are listening, and describe some of the tools and challenges associated with characterizing and controlling animal cells mechanically.

Bio
Professor Genin joined the faculty at Washington University in St. Louis in 1999 following postdoctoral research at Cambridge and Brown. He is a professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, and in the Department of Neurological Surgery at the Washington University School of Medicine.

Professor Genin is the recipient of several awards for engineering design, teaching, and research, including a Research Career Award from the National Institutes of Health, the Skalak Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, Professor of the Year from Washington University in St. Louis, the Yangtze River Scholar Award from the Chinese Ministry of Education, and best paper awards from several conferences and journals including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers’ Journal of Biomechanical Engineering.

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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Virus Purification Based on Surface Properties  

Speaker: Caryn L. Heldt PhD

Time: 3:10 - 4 p.m.
Location: Tegeler Hall, Carlo Auditorium 

Abstract
In this age of modern medicine, viral diseases continue to take the lives of millions of people. The most effective method to prevent viral infections is vaccines. However, there needs to be an improvement in the current manufacturing process of viral products to efficiently produce new viral vaccines and other viral products. In our pursuit to improve the purification process, we began by studying an important surface property of viruses, surface hydrophobicity. Once we determined that our model virus, porcine parvovirus (PPV), was highly hydrophobic, we then examined methods to purify the virus using this principle. This talk will focus on two methods, virus flocculation in the presence of osmolytes and aqueous two-phase extraction (ATPS).  Both are alternatives to chromatography and ultra/nanofiltration. ATPS works by partitioning the hydrophobic virus to the PEG-rich phase, while the more hydrophilic contaminating proteins stay in the salt-rich phase. ATPS works well on our model virus, with a 64% recovery.  However, the osmolyte flocculation works well for both the non-enveloped PPV and also the enveloped Sindbis virus. The flocculation occurs because the hydrophobic viruses are more susceptible to the removal of water by high concentrations of osmolytes, as compared to the hydrophilic proteins. We have achieved a recovery of 55% infectious PPV with diafiltration, while removing >80% of the host cell proteins in one purification step.  In the future, we will determine if osmolyte flocculation has the potential to become a platform approach to virus purification. This would greatly reduce the cost of viral product manufacturing and expand the ability of low-income countries to obtain needed vaccines. 

Bio
Dr. Caryn L. Heldt is the James and Lorna Mack Chair in Bioengineering, an Associate Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, and an Adjunct Associate Professor in Biological Sciences at Michigan Technological University. She received her B.S. in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 2001. She worked for two years at BASF Corporation before commencing her Ph.D. studies. Upon receiving her Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University in 2008 under the guidance of Dr. Ruben Carbonell, she joined Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute for her 2-year postdoctoral training under the guidance of Dr. Georges Belfort.  In 2010, Dr. Heldt began as an Assistant Professor at Michigan Technological University and was promoted to Associate Professor in 2015. In 2015, Dr. Heldt was awarded an NSF CAREER award to study virus surface chemistry. She is currently on sabbatical as a Visiting Scientist with Pfizer.  Her lab is focused on the purification, removal, inactivation and detection of viruses and other pathogens.

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Tuesday, November 29

Smart Cities 

Speakers: Gregory Yablonsky PhD, H. S. Mallik PhD

Time: 3:10 - 4 p.m.
Location: Tegeler Hall, Carlo Auditorium 

Abstract
The ‘Smart City’ is a label for representing variety of factors that constitute shaping an urban life in a modern city. Variety of definitions abound, but the presenters prefer Navigant Research’s definition: A smart city is characterized by the integration of technology, into a strategic approach to sustainability, citizen well being, and economic development. Aforementioned variety of factors shaping a smart city 
include, but not limited to: sensors and big data, energy, conservation, smart buildings, intelligent transportation, smart vehicles. etc.

The seminar is a brief presentation of a undergraduate elective/graduate class to be offered in spring semester of 2016.

Bios
Dr. Gregory Yablonsky is an Associate Research Professor of Chemistry at Parks College and the College of Arts and Sciences. Previously (1997-2007), he was a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering as Washington University in St. Louis.

Yablonsky is a world recognized expert in the area of chemical kinetics and chemical engineering, in catalytic technology particularly, which is one of main driving forces of sustainable development. He has authored two monographs and more than 200 peer-reviewed papers on these topics.  In March 2010, Yablonsky was granted by the honorary doctor degree from the University of Ghent (Belgium). Dr. Guy Marin, of Belgium, who presented Dr. Yablonsky during the ceremony, called Yablonsky a “scientific catalyst” and “an inexhaustible source of scientific curiosity, always pushing colleagues towards new challenges and insights.”

Dr. H. S. Mallik is presently the Chair of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department at Parks College. He first joined Parks in 1989 as an Assistant Professor to the Department of Electrical Engineering, and was promoted with Tenure to Associate Professor in 1995. He served as department Chair from 1999 to 2002. During his term as Chair, the department was re-accredited by ABET.

He obtained his undergraduate degree in Electrical Engineering with Distinction in 1980 from Bangalore University and taught briefly at UVCE College, Bangalore University during 1980-1981. He pursued higher education by joining graduate school at University of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania in 1982 obtaining his Masters degree in Electrical Engineering specializing in Power Systems in 1984. He continued his graduate education at University of Pittsburgh for his Ph. D in Electrical Engineering. He obtained his doctoral degree in 1989 in the area of Image Processing/Filtering.

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Tuesday, November 22

MOF-Coated Monolithic Adsorbents for Post-Combustion CO2 Capture

Speaker: Fateme Rezaei , PhD

Time: 3:10 - 4 p.m.
Location: Tegeler Hall, Carlo Auditorium 

Abstract
Burning fossil fuels to produce electricity is mostly responsible for the current high rate of carbon dioxide emissions. Metal-organic frameworks (MOFs) have emerged as promising class of adsorbents for applications in CO2 removal from post-combustion flue gas. This class of materials is highly porous providing high surface area and pore volume, thereby exhibiting high CO2 loading. However, despite many advantages offered by this class of materials and although many MOFs have been prepared for CO2 capture processes in recent years, nearly all published studies of MOF adsorbents describe their use as either powders or pellets. The successful employment of these adsorbents in CO2 capture applications requires a scalable process configuration such as monolithic supports that could address the challenges associated with traditional packing systems. This talk focuses on combining the advantages of MOF materials and monolithic structures by coating a layer of various MOF films on commercially available ceramic and zeolite substrates. In particular, the immobilization of several MOFs namely, MOF-74(Ni) and UTSA-16(Co) on cordierite and 13X zeolite monoliths (600 cpsi) along with their adsorptive behavior in CO2 capture are discussed. Various bottom-up growth techniques are introduced, followed by their optimization with respect to uniformity, thickness, and adsorption characteristics of the MOFs films. It is shown that the choice of a suitable coating procedure depends primarily on the type of the MOF material. Moreover, it is demonstrated that that a relatively high MOF loading (as high as 55 wt%) could be achieved for the studied MOFs on the monolith supports. Finally, the performance of MOF-coated monoliths in post-combustion CO2 capture is discussed with respect to equilibrium and kinetic adsorption characteristics.

Bio
Dr. Rezaei is an assistant professor of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering at Missouri S&T. She obtained her PhD degrees in Chemical Engineering from Monash University in Australia and LTU in Sweden. She worked as a postdoctoral fellow at Georgia Tech before she joined Missouri S&T in 2014. Her research focus broadly lies at the interface of chemical, materials science and environmental engineering, where the general goal of her work is to develop advanced materials and processes for clean energy and sustainable chemical processes. She is the author of over 40 peer-reviewed journal papers. She is also the associate editor of Adsorption Science & Technology journal. Currently, she is leading several NSF and NASA funded as well as internal projects focused on advanced gas separation processes.

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Tuesday, November 15

Preservation and Renewal of Civil Engineering Infrastructure Using Fiber Reinforced Polymer Composites  

Speaker: Abdeldjelil Belarbi, PhD, P.E., F.ASCE, F.ACI, F.SEI

Time: 3:10 - 4 p.m.
Location: Tegeler Hall, Carlo Auditorium 

Abstract
Fiber Reinforced Polymers (FRPs), as advanced composite materials manifest their presence in the civil engineering construction market in an increasing pace with their superior material properties compared to conventional construction materials. Their lightweight, high tensile strength, resistance to corrosion and easy formability and handling make them a noteworthy alternative to other materials. FRP systems have emerged as one of the most promising and widely accepted methods for new construction as well as strengthening and retrofitting of existing concrete structures. The acceptance and utilization of such design techniques depends on the availability of reliable design guidelines. Considerable amount of effort has been spent within the last three decades to develop and verify design procedures for FRP as internal reinforcement and external strengthening material for concrete structures. In this presentation, existing analytical models and design methods developed for externally bonded FRP shear reinforcement will be presented and evaluated using existing experimental results available in the literature. Furthermore, the presentation will provide new directions in the constitutive modelling of shear elements using existing analytical tools.

Bio
Dr. Abdeldjelil Belarbi is Hugh Roy and Lillie Cranz Cullen Professor Distinguished Professor of Civil Engineering. He is actively engaged in a broad spectrum of structural engineering research areas, with primary contribution in the constitutive modeling, analytical and experimental investigation of reinforced and prestressed concrete structures. His research has also focused on seismic and wind structural performance of building envelopes, as well as smart structures and use of FRP composites with focus on the development of advanced materials and use of FRP for rehabilitation and strengthening of aging and deteriorated civil engineering infrastructure. Dr. Belarbi has served as principal investigator or co-investigator on numerous research projects with a research expenditure of over fifteen millions US dollars, has published over 200 technical papers and had supervised over 50 MSCE theses and PhD dissertations. Dr. Belarbi is the recipient of numerous awards and honors. Dr. Belarbi is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the American Concrete Institute (ACI) and the Structural Engineering Institute.  He is also very active (member and/or Chair) on several technical and educational and national committees within ACI, PCI, ASCE, ASTM, and TRB.

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Tuesday, November 8

A Snail Model Organism for Neurobiology and Biomedical Research

Speaker: Fenglian Xu, PhD

Time: 3:10 - 4 p.m.
Location: Tegeler Hall, Carlo Auditorium 

Abstract
Neuronal outgrowth, regeneration, synapse formation, and neuroplasticity are pivotal for not only normal brain functions, but also for repairing neuronal damage after degeneration, stroke, trauma and neurotoxicity. Dr. Xu’s research investigates how factors in the extracellular matrix (e.g. trophic factors) regulate the development of neuronal circuitry in early stage of development. She also investigates how environmental neurotoxins (e.g. clinical medicines, environmental pollutants) may interfere with critical genes or proteins and cause developmental retardation or neuronal degeneration. The ultimate goal of her research is to identify genes, proteins and cellular signaling pathways that are critical for brain development and help develop strategies (biological and biomedical) to either promote nerve growth and regeneration, or ameliorate negative effects of environmental neurotoxins.

Dr. Xu conducts her research using the brain of a simple model system, the fresh water snail, Lymnaea Stagnalis.  Large and functionally defined individual snail neurons can be easily extracted and cultured in vitro at room temperature. In the presence of trophic factors, these neurons not only regenerate their neuronal processes, but also re-establish their synaptic connectivity patterns which resemble the ones seen in vivo. Remarkably, these cells could regenerate robustly within minutes to hours after nerve injury. Using this model system, Dr. Xu has conducted extensive research on cellular and molecular mechanisms of trophic factor-induced synapse formation, synaptic transmission and neuronal regeneration. She also actively collaborates with biomedical engineers to develop neuron-chip interface technology and nanomaterial technology for promoting neurite outgrowth and nerve regeneration.

Bio
Dr. Xu joined the Department of Biology at Saint Louis University as an assistant professor in August 2015. She obtained her Ph.D. degree in Neuroscience from the University of Alberta, Canada in 2006. She completed her postdoctoral training at the University of Calgary in Canada and was subsequently appointed as an adjunct assistant professor at the U of Calgary where she was actively involved in both research and teaching. Dr. Xu has extensive experiences in teaching neuroanatomy, neuroscience, human anatomy and physiology, and biology to undergraduate, graduate, biomedical engineering and medical students. She was a recipient of a 5-year Discovery Grant award from National Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC, equivalent to NSF). Dr. Xu has published 24 peer-reviewed articles, among which she was first author of 10, second author of 8 and corresponding author of 4. Dr. Xu is the invited external reviewer for NSF CAREER grant proposals and is an active reviewer for several journals including FASEBJ, Neuroscience, Molecular Brain, Journal of Neurophysiology, Scientific Report, Environmental Science & Technology, Neurotoxicology Research, International Journal of Nanomedicine, Neurobiology of Aging, and Recent Patents on Materials Science etc.

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Tuesday, November 1

Multiscale Functionally Graded Tendon-to-Bone Insertion – Mechanistic View

Speaker: Victor Birman

Time: 3:10 - 4 p.m.
Location: Tegeler Hall, Carlo Auditorium 

Abstract
The tendon-to- bone insertion site represents a fascinating example of multiscale mechanics of a joint between orthotropic (tendon) and isotropic (bone) tissues with vastly different properties. The stiffness of connected tissues varies by nearly two orders of magnitude in a narrow region adjacent to bone. The outcome of such variation is a naturally optimized attachment possessing desirable strength, stiffness and toughness. The effectiveness and response of the insertion site are affected by multiscale material and morphological grading occurring on nanoscale, microscale and macroscale levels.

Four regions constitute the tendon-to- bone enthesis: adjacent tendon, unmineralized and mineralized fibrocartilage, and bone. Both unmineralized and mineralized fibrocartilage are functionally graded and consist of collagen fibers binded by proteoglycans and mineral deposits with the concentration increasing from the boundary between unmineralized and mineralized tissues to bone.

The nanoscale analysis involves a characterization of collagen fibers and modeling of mineral accumulation in and around the fibers from tendon to bone. Mineral accumulates in the gaps between collagen molecules and around the fibers forming a sheath around the latter in the vicinity to bone.

At the microscale level, two gradients combine resulting in a functionally graded material. The orientation of collagen fibers varies in the vicinity to bone. Combined with the mineral gradient, such grading results in a compliant band with lower stiffness than those of either tendon or bone. Presumably, the function of such a drop in stiffness is increased toughness of the joint. The waviness of the boundaries between bone and mineralized fibrocartilage and between mineralized and unmineralized fibrocartilage also enhances toughness at the expense of higher stresses.

In the lecture, we demonstrate the multiscale mechanical analyses modeling the functionally graded tendon-to- bone insertion site and entirely based on observations and experiments with biological tissues. This study can help in developing restorative surgical protocols and postoperational therapy. Such knowledge is also helpful in biomimetic engineering solutions aimed at joining of dissimilar materials.

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Tuesday, October 25

Policy-based Architectures for Network Programmability

Speaker: Flavio Esposito, PhD

Time: 3:10 - 4 p.m.
Location: Tegeler Hall, Carlo Auditorium 

Abstract
The goal of Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is to simplify network management and the development of network applications through network programmability. Existing SDN solutions such as OpenFlow often limit this programmability to traffic forwarding rules. In this talk, Esposito will present VINEA, an architecture that enables policy programmability for the virtual network embedding problem. One of the protocols used in VINEA improves and generalizes a consensus-based auction algorithm used also for the distributed mission allocation problem of a fleet of unmanned aerial vehicles. 

Bio
Dr. Flavio Esposito completed his Ph.D. in computer science in 2013 at Boston University, and then having spent several years as a member of the advanced technology group at Exegy Inc here in St. Louis. Flavio’s research centers on networked systems, including network virtualization, network management, software-defined networks, network architecture and wireless networks. Flavio is a PI on a recent NSF award in collaboration with Mizzou. The focus of that grant is building robustness of virtual cloud computing networks that could be deployed in cases where traditional networks suffer from high-congestion (such as at times of natural or human-made disasters).

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Tuesday, October 25

Parallel Real-Time Computing and Highly Reliable Cyber-Physical Systems

Speaker: David Ferry

Time: 3:10 - 4 p.m.
Location: Tegeler Hall, Carlo Auditorium 

Abstract
Parallel computing as a technique has been historically unavailable to safety critical and high-reliability systems. Traditional parallel runtimes are focused on high throughput and make no guarantees about the timeliness of parallel computations. However, modern cyber-physical applications (especially autonomous applications) are built upon compute-hungry algorithms like computer vision and simulation. Thus, reliable parallel real-time computation is highly desirable and necessary for current and future systems. In this talk I will discuss one approach used to achieve parallel real-time performance, its application to the problem of structural validation for earthquake engineering, and my desire for future collaborations in the realm of high-reliability cyber-physical systems.  

Bio
David Ferry joins us from Washington University, where he will be completing his Ph.D. in 2016. David has broad interest in computer systems research and specializes in real-time systems, parallel runtime systems, and cyber-physical systems design. His wrok in real-time concurrency platforms has potential applications in autonomous vehicles, video surveillance, computer vision, radar tracking and real-time hybrid testing.

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Tuesday, October 4

Surfaces and Synergies: Children’s Environmental Health at SLU College for Public Health and Collaborative Opportunities with SLU Biomedical Engineering 

Speaker: Roger D. Lewis, PhD, CIH, FAIHA 

Time: 3:10 - 4 p.m.
Location: Tegeler Hall, Carlo Auditorium 

Abstract
Roger D. Lewis and colleagues at the Environmental Health Research Laboratory at Saint Louis University College for Public Health and Social Justice have worked for close to twenty years to reduce the burden of lead poisoning, asthma, and diarrheal disease, which take a heavy toll on children both in the St. Louis region and around the world.  Dr. Lewis looks back on many of his teams’ projects in children’s environmental health that address surface contaminates in residential housing and how his work informed policy on lead and allergen abatement at the federal level.   Complimentary or “synergistic” projects such as those that address prevention of diarrheal diseases through point of use water filters and marketing programs to distribute these filters will also be discussed.  Opportunities for collaborations in children’s and other environmental health areas with the SLU biomedical engineering department and Parks College at large will be offered.

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Tuesday, September 20

Impacts of Hazardous Algal Blooms and Cyanotoxins on Drinking Water Treatment Design and Operations

Speaker: Craig Adams, Ph.D., P.E., F.ASCE

Time: 3:10 - 4 p.m.
Location: Tegeler Hall, Carlo Auditorium 

Abstract
Cyanotoxins are produced in hazardous algal blooms (HAB) in many lakes and rivers used for drinking water in the United States and worldwide. Due to significant human health impacts, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency created in 2015 new drinking water health advisories for microcystins and cylindrospermopsin that are much lower than the previous World Health Organization guidelines. Meeting these new guidelines requires operating procedures based on detailed understanding of fundamental chemical and microbiological impacts of water treatment on both the cyanobacteria (or bluegreen algae) and the toxins which they form and release.

In this seminar, the occurrence and monitoring HABs will be addressed as it relates to drinking water utilities. The main focus of the seminar will methods and approaches to control cyanotoxins in water treatment plants. Such control is complicated by a wide variety of factors including that cyanotoxins may enter a treatment plant in either intracellular or extracellular forms, low-level oxidation of cyanobacteria may cause the release to these toxins into the water phase during water treatment, the four main classes of cyanotoxins have very different reactivity to chemical oxidants common to water treatment, and many other issues.

This seminar will address the means by which water utilities must face the challenge of provide safe water when impacted by HABs in their water supplies. 

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Tuesday, September 13

Professionalism, Licensure and Ethics

Speaker: Marlon Vogt, PE F.SEI, Senior Engineer, Ulteig 

Time: 3:10-4 p.m.
Location: Tegeler Hall, Carlo Auditorium

Abstract
This presentation will discuss the evolution of engineering as a profession.  It will also address the importance and role of engineering licensure, as well as the licensure process along with recent trends in national licensure.  It will include discussion of professionalism and the importance of industry codes and standards, particularly Codes of Ethics.  The presentation will conclude with brief considerations of some classic examples of ethical issues related to engineering failures.

Speaker Bio
Marlon Vogt, PE, F.SEI, M.ASCE is a Senior Engineer for the power market at Ulteig Engineers. He has more than 38 years of experience with all aspects of planning, design, and construction of 12.5 kV-345 kV distribution and transmission systems.  He is a member of the Iowa Engineering and Land Surveying Examining Board, the ASCE Design of Steel Transmission Pole Structures committee, the steering committee for ASCE ETS 2015 Transmission and Substation Structures Conference and is a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.

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Tuesday, September 6

How to Simulate Brain Aneurysm Surgery

Speaker: Dr. Saleem Abdulrauf (Med ’91), Professor of Neurosurgery,

Time: 3:10-4 p.m.
Location: Tegeler Hall, Carlo Auditorium

Brain aneurysms are minutely different from patient to patient. During the operation, a surgeon is tasked with determining how to reach the aneurysm with minimal effect on surrounding tissue. The surgeon must calculate, in real time, the optimum angle to get into the area while factoring in the depth at which the aneurysm occurs and the size of the clip to close the aneurysm area. Developing a method to simulate an individual patient’s specific brain aneurysm presented a few challenges. Because the simulation would be most effective as a physical model that the surgeon could interact with and practice the procedure on, the models therefore needed to be a 1:1 scale of the patient’s brain. If the models could additionally mimic the feel and look of brain matter, so that surgeons could use the same equipment on the model as they would on the patient, it would be even more beneficial to surgeons. Achieving simulation models with those parameters first requires an accurate high resolution map of the patient’s brain translated into a 3D CAD model. Next, a manufacturing method that is extremely fast is needed because patients will be suffering from the aneurysm in real time. Lastly, for the models to truly demonstrate potential as a future business model viable for doctors, a fast and a cost-effective production solution is required. Ideally, each model would be created as a one-off part unique to each patient’s particular brain abnormality. Therefore conventional production, with high costs for single tools that are dedicated to large volumes of identical parts, would not be sustainable for the low volume needs pertinent to a patient case-by-case creation.

Bio
Prof. Abdulrauf is considered a leading figure in the field of neurosurgery. Neurosurgeons from around the world come to SLU throughout the year to be taught complex neurosurgical techniques by him. He has served as a visiting professor to over 100 universities around the globe. He has authored the main reference textbook for brain bypass surgery titled “Cerebral Revascularization” in which Dr. Abdulrauf details extra-cranial to intra-cranial bypass surgery. Additionally, he has pioneered a procedure for brain bypass that is named after him.

He has served on the boards of multiple neurosurgical societies including the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), the North American Skull Base Society (NASBS), and the World Federation of Skull Base Societies (WFSBS). His most preeminent role was his appointment as the inaugural President of the Walter E. Dandy Neurosurgical Society, which is considered the primary international society for operative neurosurgery. He has been named as one of the Best Doctors in America annually for the last eight years. Dr. Abdulrauf’s opinion is routinely sought for the treatment of complex cases by neurosurgeons from around the world. 

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Tuesday, August 30

Our New Wind Tunnel is Awesome!

Speakers: Dr. Mark McQuilling, Associate Professor in Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering, Sally Warning, Miranda Pizzella, & Mary Jennerjohn, PhD students in Aerospace & Mechanical Engineering

Time: 3:10-4 p.m.
Location: Tegeler Hall, Carlo Auditorium

Over the summer of 2016, Parks College installed a new polysonic wind tunnel in Oliver Hall. Designed by graduate students and faculty from Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering and funded by industry and SLU, this new wind tunnel provides a unique and important capability for studying a wide variety of compressible flows. This talk introduces the operation of the tunnel system with attention given to design concerns of each component. Measurement capabilities will also be discussed, along with future plans for enhancement.