UTEP
Building Partnerships and Pathways to Address Engineering Grand Challenges Conference
NSF



Plenary Speakers

Victor Mendez

Victor Mendez

Administrator
Federal Highway Administration

Victor Mendez was recently confirmed by the United States Senate as administrator of the Federal Highway Administration (FHA). Previously, he served as Director of the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT). Under his leadership, Mendez helped implement the multibillion dollar Regional Freeway System in the Phoenix area six years ahead of schedule. During his 24-year career at ADOT, he implemented innovations in management, funding and financing, research and technology and infrastructure and planning.

He has served as past president of the Western Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials and the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials. In 2008 he was elected as Leader of the Year in Public Policy in Transportation by the Arizona Capital Times. In 2009 he was named one of UTEP’s Distinguished Alumni, an honor given to former students who have completed notable success in their professional service to UTEP and in their community.

A graduate of The University of Texas at El Paso, Mendez received a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering. He earned a Master’s of Business Administration degree from Arizona State University.


Ray Orbach

Ray Orbach

Director
Energy Institute
The University of Texas at Austin

Dr. Raymond Lee Orbach currently serves as Director of The University of Texas at Austin’s Energy Institute, a multi-disciplinary institute that combines the strengths of the university's schools and colleges to advance solutions to today's energy-related challenges.

Sworn in as the U.S. Department of Energy's first undersecretary for science in 2006, he was also the chief scientist of the Department of Energy and adviser to Secretary Samuel W. Bodman on science policy. Orbach was confirmed to the Senate in 2002 and served as the 14th director of the Office of Science at the Department of Energy. Prior to that, he was the provost of the College of Letters and Science at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). He also served as chancellor of the University of California (UC), Riverside. Under his leadership, UC Riverside doubled in size, achieved national and international recognition in research and led the University of California in diversity and educational opportunity.

Orbach received his Bachelor of Science degree in Physics from the California Institute of Technology in 1956. He received his Ph.D. degree in physics from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1960. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He has held numerous visiting professorships at universities around the world and is a member of 20 scientific, professional and civic boards.



Panel Members


Technical Session I- Energy Sustainability in a Carbon Constrained World

Louis Albright

Louis Albright

CEA Program Director
Professor, Dept. of Biological and Environmental Engineering
Cornell University

Dr. Louis D. Albright is a professor of Biological and Environmental Engineering at Cornell and director of the Cornell Controlled Environment Agriculture (CEA) Program. He completed his doctorate in engineering at Cornell, was a faculty member at the Davis campus of the University of California for two years, and returned to Cornell in 1974 as a faculty member. Dr. Albright’s research interests are environmental control and energy management in CEA facilities, viewed from a systems perspective, and sustainable, controlled environment, agricultural production systems in general. He has taught courses in environmental control of agricultural buildings, computer programming, renewable energy systems design, and sustainable energy systems. He has authored/co-authored two textbooks and approximately two hundred scientific articles, including three U.S. patents related to greenhouse lighting control and energy optimization. Dr. Albright is a fellow of the ASABE and holds a Weiss Presidential Fellowship at Cornell, which is Cornell’s most prestigious teaching award.


Ahsan Choudhuri

Ahsan Choudhuri

Director, Center for Space Exploration Technology Research
Associate Professor, Mechanical Engineering
The University of Texas at El Paso

Dr. Ahsan Choudhuri is an Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering and the Director of Center for Space Exploration Technology Research (cSETR), a NASA University Research Center at The University of Texas El Paso. Dr. Choudhuri’s primary research interests are in aerospace systems and energy engineering. He received his degrees from School of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Oklahoma (MS, 1997, PhD, 2000) and Department of Mechanical Engineering at Khulna University of Engineering and Technology (BSc Engg, 1993).


Chuck Kutscher

Chuck Kutscher

Principal Engineer/Group Manager
Thermal Systems Group in the Center for Electricity, Resources, and Building Systems Integration
National Renewable Energy Laboratory

Dr. Chuck Kutscher is a Principal Engineer and Manager of the Thermal Systems Group at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory in Golden, Colorado (www.nrel.gov) where he currently leads the research on parabolic trough solar collector systems. He is a Past Chair and a Fellow of the American Solar Energy Society (ASES) and was General Chair of the SOLAR 2006 national solar energy conference held in Denver. He is editor of the 200-page ASES report, Tackling Climate Change in the U.S. (available at www.ases.org/climatechange), which details how energy efficiency and six renewable technologies can greatly reduce U.S carbon emissions by 2030. He is an adjunct professor at the University of Colorado at Boulder (UCB) and is a Founding Fellow of the UCB Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute. Dr. Kutscher writes a monthly column about addressing climate change for SOLAR TODAY magazine (www.solartoday.org). He has a B.S. in physics from the State University of New York at Albany, an M.S. in nuclear engineering from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Colorado at Boulder.


Robert R. Romanosky

Robert R. Romanosky

Advanced Research Technology Manager
National Energy Technology Laboratory
Department of Energy

Robert Romanosky received both his M.S. and Ph.D. from West Virginia University in analytical chemistry/instrumentation. He has been with the U.S. Department of Energy, National Energy Technology Laboratory, since 1978, spending 18 years working in the in-house research area. He has been involved in all aspects of both laboratory and process research dealing with advanced instrumentation and process analysis. Currently, Dr. Romanosky is the Technology Manager for Power Systems Advanced Research. This technology area encompasses research activities in Materials, Coal Utilization Science, Bioprocessing, University Research, and Computational Energy Sciences. The Materials Program fosters exploratory research whose aim is to generate new materials, ideas and concepts which have the potential to significantly improve the performance or cost of existing fossil systems or enable the development of new systems and capabilities. The Coal Utilization Program is concerned with fundamental development efforts in advanced sensors and controls, and development of models for power generation. This modeling development effort works in conjunction with the Computation Energy Science Program, whose goal is to provide simulation and computational resources to speed the development and reduce the cost of new power generation technologies. This work entails a broad spectrum of computational work including development of science based models of fossil fuel conversion phenomenon, simulation capabilities that couple unit processes in advanced power generation technologies, and virtual power plant simulations.


George A. Williams

George A. Williams

Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer
El Paso Electric

George A. Williams is Chief Operating Officer and Senior Vice President of El Paso Electric Company. He has 25 years of experience in the electric utility industry. Most recently he served as Senior President of Operation for Commonwealth Edison, which is a division of Exelon Corporation. WIlliams has also served as Vice President of Operation at Energy Nuclear South, General Manager of Nuclear Assurance for PPL Susquehanna, General Manager of Plant Operations for the Southern Region of Progress Energy Company, and Director of Corporate Planning and Analysis at PECO Energy Company.




Technical Session II- Engineering & Manufacturing Tools for Biomedical Discovery & Innovation

Scott Crump

Scott Crump

CEO, President & Chairman of the Board
Stratasys Inc.

S. Scott Crump has served as the Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman of the Board since Stratasys' inception in 1988 and as Chief Financial Officer from February 1990 to May 1997. Mr. Crump along with his wife Lisa H. Crump, a co-founder of Stratasys, are the inventors of Stratasys Fused Deposition Modeling® (FDM) technology. During the period from 1982 to 1988, Mr. Crump was a co-founder and Vice President of Sales of IDEA, Inc., which later changed its name to SI Technologies, Inc., a leading manufacturer of force, load and pressure tranducers. Mr. Crump continued to be a director and shareholder of the company until its sale to Vishay Intertechnologies, Inc. (NYSE: VSH) in April 2005. Mr. Crump, a registered engineer, is the son of Ralph E. Crump, director of Stratasys, Inc.


Semahat S. Demir

Semahat S. Demir

Director, Biomedical Engineering Program
National Science Foundation

Dr. Semahat Demir is the Program Director for Biomedical Engineering at National Science Foundation (NSF). She has led, developed and/or participated in 14 other NSF and interagency funding programs. She is also an adjunct professor with University of Memphis and an honorary research professor at Drexel University. She has 127 publications and has given 178 invited keynotes, talks, seminars and conferences out of her 278 presentations.

She has held leadership roles at IEEE, EMBS, BMES, ASEE, BED and SWE. She served on the governing boards of 6 technical organizations and has served as a reviewer for 11 journals and publishers. Currently she serves on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Medical Engineering and Technology (IJBET) and has been the Associate Editor for Industry Affairs of Engineering in Medicine and Biology Magazine since 2001. Dr. Demir is a fellow of American Institute of Medical and Biomedical Engineers (AIMBE) and has received 55 professional awards and honors.

Dr. Demir received her Bachelor of Science degree in Electronics Engineering from Istanbul Technical University, a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Bosphorous University, and a second Master of Science degree and PhD degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Rice University. She did her postdoctoral training at Department of Biomedical Engineering, John Hopkins University.


Ryan Wicker

Ryan Wicker

Mr. and Mrs. McIntosh Murchison I Endowed Chaired Professor
Mechanical Engineering
The University of Texas at El Paso

Director
W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation
University of Texas at El Paso

Ryan Wicker, Ph.D., is a Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Director and Founder of the W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation at the University of Texas at El Paso where he also holds the endowed Mr. and Mrs. MacIntosh Murchison Chair I in Engineering. Dr. Wicker received degrees from The University of Texas at Austin (B.S. in Mechanical Engineering with Highest Honors, 1987) and Stanford University (M.S. and Ph.D. in M.E., 1991 and 1994, respectively). Dr. Wicker worked in industry as an Engineering Thermodynamic Analyst with General Dynamics Fort Worth Division (1987-1989), and has spent his entire academic career at The University of Texas at El Paso (Assistant Professor, 1994-2000; Associate Professor, 2000-2005; Professor, 2005-present). In 2000, Dr. Wicker founded the Keck Center in which researchers have access to combined facilities for advanced manufacturing; reverse engineering, metrology & inspection; materials characterization & testing; experimental fluid mechanics (including cardiovascular flows); and tissue engineering (including scaffold fabrication, polymer synthesis and cell culture capabilities). Much of the research within the Keck Center relies on the development and creative use of additive manufacturing technologies for producing functional end-use devices, and the Center’s commercial and experimental additive manufacturing capabilities have grown from 1 machine in 2000 to 27 machines today.


Richard A. Wysk

Richard A. Wysk

Dopaco Distinguished Professor
Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
North Carolina State University

Dr. Richard A. Wysk is the Dopaco Distinguished Professor at the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering at North Carolina State University. One of the most recognized industrial engineers, Wysk has produced seminal work in advanced manufacturing and now focuses on developing new rapid manufacture processes for biomedical devices and developing a new generation of technologies to make medical implants antibacterial.

Wysk is widely established as the leading expert in computer integrated manufacturing and one of the most respected industrial engineers globally. His speaking engagements and keynote addresses span four continents and he has been elected a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial Engineers and Society of Manufacturing Engineers. He works with a variety of professional societies in leadership roles and has produced over 170 refereed papers, 15 books and numerous book chapters.




Technical Session III- Assessment and Management of Decaying Urban Infrastructure

Alexandre Bayen

Alexandre Bayen

CEA Program Director
Assistant Professor
Systems Engineering, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
University of California, Berkeley, CA

Alexandre Bayen received the Engineering Degree in applied mathematics from the Ecole Polytechnique, France, in July 1998, the M.S. degree in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University in June 1999, and the Ph.D. in aeronautics and astronautics from Stanford University in December 2003. He was a Visiting Researcher at NASA Ames Research Center from 2000 to 2003. Between January 2004 and December 2004, he worked as the Research Director of the Autonomous Navigation Laboratory at the Laboratoire de Recherches Balistiques et Aerodynamiques, (Ministere de la Defense, Vernon, France), where he holds the rank of Major. He has been an Assistant Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley since January 2005. He is the recipient of the Ballhaus Award from Stanford University, 2004. His project /Mobile Century/ received the 2008 Best of ITS Award for 'Best Innovative Practice', at the ITS World Congress, and a TRANNY Award from the California Transportation Foundation. He is the recipient of the CAREER award from the National Science Foundation, 2009. Mobile Millennium has been featured already on CBS, NBC, ABC, CNET, NPR, KGO, and the BBC.


Michael Darter

Michael Darter

Senior Engineer
Applied Research Associates

Director
Pavement Research Institute
University of Minnesota

Michael Darter has been involved in transportation infrastructure engineering and management throughout his entire 40-year career, and is an internationally recognized authority.

His professional experience in infrastructure includes the Utah DOT, a professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Illinois (developing and teaching the first class in evaluation, rehabilitation, and management in 1978), and in consulting engineering with ERES & Applied Research Associates, Inc.

He has contributed significant new knowledge and many widely used pavement management tools including the airport PCI rating system. Darter has served as PI of many TRB, FHWA, State, and industry R&D studies.

He has traveled widely throughout the world speaking and participating in various infrastructure projects.

His presentation today is on the important topic of assessing and managing urban highway pavement infrastructure.


Amir Mirmiran

Amir Mirmiran

Dean and Professor
College of Engineering and Computing
Florida International University

Dr. Amir Mirmiran, P.E. is dean of college of engineering and computing and professor of structural engineering at Florida International University.

Before joining FIU, he served on the faculty of NC State University from 2001 to 2004, University of Cincinnati from 1998 to 2001 and University of Central Florida from 1993 to 1998. Dr. Mirmiran received his PhD from the University of Maryland, College Park in 1991. He has worked as a professional engineer in Maryland for over 8 years. He holds two U.S. patents on composite systems, and has authored over 70 journal papers and 100 conference papers and technical reports. His research has been primarily on composites for repair and strengthening, high-strength and ultra high-performance concrete and prestressed concrete. His groundbreaking work on confinement modeling of concrete with composites has been cited over 200 times in the last 10 years. He is the author of the only Construction Specifications on FRP repair of highway bridges, a document published by the National Academies. Dr. Mirmiran has been funded by the National Science Foundation, National Academy of Sciences, Federal Highway Administration, Departments of Transportation in Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina, as well as county roadway agencies and industry. He is an elected fellow of American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) and an elected fellow of American Concrete Institute (ACI). He is regional editor of Elsevier's Construction and Building Materials, and also a member of editorial board of ASCE Journal of Composites for Construction, IST Press' Transactions of Civil Eng & Construction Management, and Multi-Science Advances in Structural Engineering.


Monica Starnes

Monica Starnes

Senior Program Officer
Strategic Highway Research Program 2
Transportation Research Board

Monica Starnes is a Senior Program Officer with the Transportation Research Board of The National Academies where she leads over a dozen projects of the second Strategic Highway Research Program. Prior to joining TRB, she was a Systems Engineer for Johns Hopkins University/Applied Physics Laboratory where she led evaluation of security transportation sensors in support of the US Department of Homeland Security. From 1999 to 2004, Monica was a federal employee with positions at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the US Department of Defense. As a Research Structural Engineer at NIST, Monica conducted World Trade Center (WTC) collapse studies related to fire/structure interaction, led the investigation of WTC passive fire protection systems, contributed to the Pentagon collapse investigation, supported the Hurricane George Reconstruction Project for the Dominican Republic, and researched nondestructive testing methods for structural strengthening techniques.

Monica holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of New Mexico and a Ph.D. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). She’s currently completing studies in the International Commerce and Policy graduate program at George Mason University.