Welcome to the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering's E-Newsletter

Calendar of Events

Dean Benefield It’s been a long cold winter underpinning tight budgets, but this has not slowed faculty efforts in the classroom or lab. According to the American Society of Engineering Education, Auburn Engineering now ranks 46th in the nation in research expenditures – a significant jump from 80th in 2002.

It’s not surprising that others are taking notice of these efforts. Chemical engineering faculty member Virginia Davis followed up her 2008 NSF CAREER Award with a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE); and electrical and computer engineering faculty member Shiwen Mao was recognized with a NSF CAREER Award.

Our students are also showing up in the spotlight. Case in point: chemical engineering senior David Harris was awarded a Gates Cambridge scholarship, one of 30 such scholarships nationwide awarded out of a pool of 800 applicants, which will allow him to pursue a master’s in advanced chemical engineering at Cambridge.

As an Auburn graduate, you know the value of your education. Our goal is to make sure that Auburn Engineering moves from “best kept secret” to being recognized for what it is: one of the nation’s finest engineering programs.

Larry Benefield
Larry Benefield
Dean of Engineering

Feature Story

Davis Earns Prestigious White House Honor

Virginia A. Davis, associate professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering, is among 85 researchers named by President Barack Obama to receive the prestigious Presidential Early Career for Scientists and Engineers Award (PECASE), the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on early-career researchers.

Virginia A. Davis

Davis, one of 19 nominated to this honor by the National Science Foundation, received her award at a White House Ceremony. Awardees are selected on the basis of two criteria: pursuit of innovative research at the frontiers of science and technology and a commitment to community service as demonstrated through scientific leadership, public education or community outreach.

Davis was recognized for innovative research to advance the understanding of nanomaterials as well as their dispersion, microstructure, processing and properties on a macro scale. She was also honored for engaging in outreach activities involving K-12 students from underrepresented groups.

In her research, Davis explores how ultra-small materials, known as “nanomaterials,” can be assembled into newer, more advanced materials, including macroelectronic devices, sensors, electro-optical devices and antimicrobial coatings that could prevent diseases from spreading on contaminated surfaces.

“We are so pleased that Dr. Davis has received this national award in recognition of the importance of her scientific research in nanotechnology and also her outreach work to future scientists and engineers,” said Auburn University Provost Mary Ellen Mazey.

Christopher Roberts, chemical engineering department chair, said, “We’re obviously very proud of Virginia for this achievement and what it represents in terms of her potential and stature as a scientist and an engineer, but also because it brings tremendous recognition to her efforts to encourage students to explore science and engineering careers.”

“Science and technology have long been at the core of America’s economic strength and global leadership,” President Obama said in announcing the awards. “I am confident that these individuals, who have shown such tremendous promise so early in their careers, will go on to make breakthroughs and discoveries that will continue to move our nation forward in the years ahead.”

National Science Foundation PECASE awardees come from universities around the country and excel in research in a variety of scientific disciplines including biological sciences, computer and information science and engineering, education and human resources, engineering, geosciences, mathematical and physical sciences and social, behavioral and economic sciences.

The PECASE Awards were established by President Bill Clinton in 1996, and are coordinated by the Office of Science and Technology Policy within the Executive Office of the President. Winning scientists and engineers receive up to a five-year research grant to further their study in support of critical government missions.

For a video of Davis in her lab, Click Here

Development Story

Auburn University Receives In-Kind Software Grant Valued at $195.5 million

Auburn University has received its largest in-kind gift in the history of the institution through a Siemens PLM Software in-kind software grant with a commercial value of $195.5 million, according to university president Jay Gogue. Siemens PLM Software is a division of the Siemens Industry Automation Division and is a leading global provider of product lifecycle management software and services. Read more>>

More development stories>>

Faculty Stories

Eden Selected for National Academy of Engineering Symposium

Mario Eden, Joe T. and Billie Carole McMillan associate professor in Auburn University’s Department of Chemical Engineering, was selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering’s (NAE) 2010 Frontiers of Engineering Education (FOEE) symposium. Eden is one of 53 young engineering educators chosen for developing and implementing innovative approaches to teaching. Read more>>

More faculty stories>>

Academic Stories

Tauyuan University Delegation Presents Seminars

A delegation from Taiyuan University of Science and Technology in Shanxi, China, (TYUST) visited the college and Auburn's campus in January. Delegates include Yuesheng Chai, TYUST vice president and director of the international education office, Yabing Guo, dean of environmental and safety engineering, and Hong Liu, director of the university president’s office.Read more>>

Outreach Stories

Auburn’s Thomas Walter Center Hosts Entrepreneurship Challenge

Auburn University’s Thomas Walter Center, along with the university’s Business-Engineering-Technology (B-E-T) program and the new Auburn Student Inventor’s Club, recently hosted the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance (NCIIA) Invention2Venture (i2v) Apprentice Challenge workshop, a program to equip students with entrepreneurial skills. It is the first event of its kind to be held in partnership with a university in the state of Alabama. Read more>>

More outreach stories>>

Research Stories

Auburn Research Center in Huntsville Advancing Space Exploration and Homeland Security

John Mason, vice president for research, Rodney Robertson, director of Auburn's Huntsville Research Center, and Jay Gogue, president of Auburn UniversityAuburn President Jay Gogue and university officials met recently with Huntsville business and community leaders and also toured Redstone Arsenal for a first-hand view of national security research activities and needs.

The university's new Huntsville Research Center is already working closely with area industry and federal agencies, including plans to develop cyber security technologies designed to protect U.S. soldiers and information systems on the battlefield. Read more>>

More research stories>>


This year’s fall seminar schedule was a full one. Here are some highlights: Read more>>

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