STEM https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/ en A thousand tiny things: Dr. Ilke Celik’s students save energy one choice at a time https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/thousand-tiny-things-dr-ilke-celiks-students-save-energy-one-choice-time <span property="schema:name">A thousand tiny things: Dr. Ilke Celik’s students save energy one choice at a time</span> <span rel="schema:author"><span lang="" about="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/user/14" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" xml:lang="">Alison S Parkins</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-02-14T19:14:45+00:00">Fri, 02/14/2020 - 13:14</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/stem" hreflang="en">STEM</a></div> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span>Anyone who has touched a light switch in the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s Ottensman Hall recently may have noticed a small green placard near the plate urging people to turn the lights off when they leave the room. That placard is the work of Dr. Ilke Celik’s Green Building Design students, who are trying to get everyone to think about how the tiny choices they make add up to big energy savings. Along the way, Celik’s students learned a sobering lesson about the energy used by devices and lights when nobody is in the room, a lesson which Celik, an assistant professor of sustainability and renewable energy systems, hopes to expand to other buildings in the university – and beyond.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“My initial idea was for my spring design students to audit many buildings on campus, not only Ottensman. But for now, we decided to start with Otts,” said Celik, who teaches both Green Building Design and Sustainability courses within the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department. “We use a kilowatt device that shows how much power is consumed by each device. My students split into five-person teams, visited each classroom and tried to get an understanding of how much, and for how long, each piece of equipment is being used.” </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The project called for some repeat visits and careful calculation. “For the computers, they would visit a classroom, see how many classes were held in the room, when computers are being used versus not used, and how much power consumption that use represented,” explained Celik. “They made multiple visits at different points in the week to collect raw data, so we ended up with some average values.” </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Next, Celik encouraged her students to think deeply about how they could use the information they had gathered to make the university greener. “Our idea was to find cheap or zero-dollar solutions. So there were a lot of ideas for reducing consumption, like changing to lower-energy devices, but we wanted to see how we can encourage change <em>without</em> putting extra expense out. So after they made their first calculations, I met with my students and we'd go through all these suggestions, discussing if they made sense. Each team met with me, and there was a lot of feedback.” </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Eventually, the class landed upon the idea of a public campaign to encourage small, environmentally friendly habits. “In terms of energy usage, the choice to turn off a light or a device is a really minor-seeming change, but it is very <em>applicable</em>, as opposed to something very costly,” said Celik. “In other words, really cheap solutions are also really implementable, and I wanted students to see how big an impact small changes can have on society.” </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The idea for the placards was born. But how to design them? “I have a lot of engineering students, but some were also coming from business and from the SRES program, so the teams were very diverse in terms of background,” said Celik. Her class’s diversity of discipline came in handy when it was time to decide on issues of graphic design, typography and wording. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>While it’s too early to tell what effect the placards will have on overall usage, Celik is already thinking about ways she can bring more students into the evolving conversation around energy usage and the environment. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“For the next semester, the project could possibly continue; I'm still in the thinking and planning process about that,” Celik said. “I'm wondering if I can take the approach from the Green Building Design class to the Sustainability class. It's a really important lesson that <em>students</em> can make this change.” </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>To reinforce the message, Celik made sure that each sign contained some important information. “We let them know in all the placards that the 2019 Green Design Class was responsible for them, so I think that will help draw attention to the impact of the class.” </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>All signs point to a big impact – and a greener future for UW-Platteville. </span></span></span></span></p></div> Fri, 14 Feb 2020 19:14:45 +0000 Alison S Parkins 708 at https://www.uwplatt.edu/news https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/thousand-tiny-things-dr-ilke-celiks-students-save-energy-one-choice-time#comments EMS students showcase their ‘Kiln Rats’ pottery in Nohr Gallery https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/ems-students-showcase-their-kiln-rats-pottery-nohr-gallery <span property="schema:name">EMS students showcase their ‘Kiln Rats’ pottery in Nohr Gallery</span> <span rel="schema:author"><span lang="" about="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/user/14" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" xml:lang="">Alison S Parkins</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-02-11T21:30:10+00:00">Tue, 02/11/2020 - 15:30</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/arts-culture" hreflang="en">Arts & Culture</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/stem" hreflang="en">STEM</a></div> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span><span><span>Two University of Wisconsin-Platteville students from the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science are using a creative outlet to enhance their education. Brady Zink and Sam Horsnell share a passion of science and ceramics, which has led their collection of pottery to be showcased in the </span><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/department/harry-and-laura-nohr-gallery"><span>Harry and Laura Nohr Gallery</span></a><span> until March 3. Their collection of art is titled Kiln Rats.</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>“It’s such a wonderful experience to be able to have this opportunity to show my work,” said Horsnell, a senior engineering physics major from Oregon, Wisconsin. “This is my first show I’ve ever been in. This is the first time someone has asked me to be in a show and celebrate my works of art.”</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“It feels good to show the rest of campus just because you are not an art major, it doesn’t mean you have to separate yourself from that area,” added Zink, a senior sustainability and renewable energy systems major from Winneconne, Wisconsin. “It’s nice to demonstrate the fact engineering, math and science is connected to art.”</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Zink and Horsnell are both studio assistants. Zink has been part of the art department since his freshman year, and Horsnell joined his sophomore year after taking a ceramics course to fulfill a general education requirement.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“</span><span>My first ceramics course was with Bruce Howdle, and it was his last semester here. I got to build up a relationship with him. In the fall Scott [Steder] taught the advanced ceramics course that I took. He hired me on as a shop hand and I’ve been working there ever since,” Horsnell said.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“Your daily job is to make things the students and classes will use,” said Zink. “It continually makes you learn on the spot, you make mistakes, but you learn on the spot. You gain a lot of experience in active chemistry.”</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Through their ceramic experiences, they took on the challenging task of using a wood kiln for the majority of their pieces displayed in Nohr Gallery. Using a wood kiln is a </span><span>labor-intensive process where every seven minutes wood needs to be placed in the kiln. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“We fired the kiln for almost five days straight. It was five days of firing it, 24-hours of feeding it with wood and splitting wood,” said Zink. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“You are more likely to have a failing pot firing with wood fire kilns than any other type of firing,” said Horsnell. “It’s because of this dramatic process; these flames wrapping over the pots creating heat differentials across the pots which creates tension.”</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Horsnell calls the process alluring. “If you are distracted, if you’re taken away from it, if you’re not intentional on how you do things, you have failure,” he said. “The attention to detail and the relationship you have with your work is something I find really beautiful and very powerful."</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Zink wants the audience to see the process of experimentation through science. He acknowledges when he first started making pottery, he wanted everything to be perfect, but now he focuses on removing that hesitation.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“It was the engineering side coming out,” he said. “I want to fight that when I’m making stuff. It’s what I try to do – I try not to overthink; a lot of overthinking happens in all my other classes.”  </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Horsnell enjoys creating vessels in a Japanese style due to the strong forms. “I want people to wonder how these things were made and why they look how they do; I think that’s very powerful,” he said. “The initial question allows for a series of other questions that really empowers viewers to keep asking questions.” </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Through their artwork both students recognize working in the ceramics studio is beneficial when it comes to their studies. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“You can’t do art without math and science. You can’t do math and science without creativity. Creating lines between those is really disingenuous to either process,” said Horsnell. “Through ceramics I learned a lot about the chemistry involved, thermodynamic process, as well as many of the physical components of what’s going on. It goes back to when I’m thinking of solutions in my engineering world, I’m kind of thinking outside of the box.”</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Zink echoes that sentiment. </span><span>“Exploring creativity is never a bad thing to do no matter what field you are going in to. For me, specifically, I apply the concepts I learn to the art I make. Through applying that, I learn a little bit more about the very same subject through the art.”</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>As both students are nearing the end of their academic career at UW-Platteville –  Horsnell is graduating in May and Zink in December – they said they’ll always remember this moment of presenting their Kiln Rats collection.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“We are always in the art building, always challenging each other,” Zink said. “We have one piece where both of our pottery is on there, it’s called Challenge and Passion. It’s because we are both passionate about what we are doing for a career and creativity. It was important to have the show with Sam, and I’m glad we got the opportunity to do it.”</span></span></span></span></p></div> Tue, 11 Feb 2020 21:30:10 +0000 Alison S Parkins 699 at https://www.uwplatt.edu/news Something That You Love Doing: The David Murphy and Virginia Bowar Scholarship https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/something-you-love-doing-david-murphy-and-virginia-bowar-scholarship <span property="schema:name">Something That You Love Doing: The David Murphy and Virginia Bowar Scholarship </span> <span rel="schema:author"><span lang="" about="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/user/14" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" xml:lang="">Alison S Parkins</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-02-10T16:34:43+00:00">Mon, 02/10/2020 - 10:34</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/alumni" hreflang="en">Alumni</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/stem" hreflang="en">STEM</a></div> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span>When you ask Dave Murphy to describe the goals of the UW-Platteville scholarship that bears his name, the recently-retired president of MSA Professional Services is typically modest. “I really hope that I made it easier on the students’ parents, on the families who are supporting them,” he said. “And I hope it makes a difference to the students.” </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>But when you begin to delve into Murphy’s career and life experience, you quickly discover that the civil engineer has blazed a trail that any Pioneer would be hard-pressed to follow—not least because if you follow in Dave Murphy’s footsteps, you had better grab a paddle. And some hiking boots. Oh, and a backpack, a sea kayak, a dogsled, a reinforced pickup truck capable of withstanding subzero temperatures, and some skis. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Murphy’s college career started out fairly typically. The Beloit, Wisconsin native chose Platteville for its small size and friendly feel, with the plan that he’d eventually transfer to UW-Madison and pursue mechanical engineering. But after two years of being a Pioneer, with summer jobs in construction and on railroads, Murphy decided that he loved being outdoors too much to pursue a career working inside. He switched to structural engineering, and after graduation landed a job outdoors. <em>Very</em> outdoors.</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“I secured a job in Antarctica—assistant manager to the Field Party Processing Center in McMurdo,” Murphy said. “All the best scientists in the world were going to Antarctica, and I made sure they were outfitted for the rigors of where they were going,” says Murphy. Besides readying food, sleeping bags, and gear for helicopter trips to the dry valleys, Murphy provisioned sledges and scuba diving equipment for the scientists working on ice and in the sea—responsibilities which kept him busy for six and a half days per week. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“On Sundays we had free time, and it was just glorious. We would go skiing; it was light 24 hours a day, so we would get done with dinner and ski over to an escarpment overlooking the ocean and ice climb there,” said Murphy. “It’s what you do when you’re 22, right?”  </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>It might not be what the average 22-year-old does with his first job out of college, but it was in-character for Murphy, who spent the next years skiing and taking a job at the Rockford Sanitary District, which didn’t fit his nature. “You can only design so many sewers until you can do it in your sleep,” he said. Hungry for more interesting work, and harboring a passion for the outdoors that had ignited in Antarctica and would follow him for the rest of his life, Murphy decided to get his master’s in environmental engineering. He chose UW-Madison—not least because it had a sizeable canoeing and kayaking club—and earned his master’s in between wide-ranging weekends spent exploring the Class 4 and 5 rapids of Tennessee, West Virginia, and Idaho. So strong was his love of the outdoors that after graduation, Murphy and a group of friends embarked on an extended trip through Colorado, the Grand Canyon, Arizona, and Utah, before leaving the US entirely and heading through Canada to Jasper and Banff. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“At that point, we ran out of money,” said Murphy. “So we drove 36 hours straight through, and I started a job the next week at MSA Professional Services in Baraboo.” </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The job was well-timed; following the highly publicized environmental disaster in which the Cuyahoga River outside Cleveland caught fire, the nation was unprecedentedly ready to invest in clean water. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“Suddenly, after years of not getting funding for environmental projects, money started flowing through from the EPA,” said Murphy. “So I started designing wastewater treatment facilities and water systems all over Northern Illinois and Wisconsin; designing utilities for subdivisions, laying out the streets, starting an industrial water treatment plant for a canning company in Reedsburg.” </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Murphy would go on to work with MSA for an astonishing 39 years, helping expand the company from a single office employing 15 people in Baraboo, to 15 offices throughout the upper Midwest employing approximately three hundred engineers, architects, planners, funding experts and environmental scientists, many of whom had themselves graduated from UW-Platteville. “I truly believe that UW-Platteville set me up for success,” said Murphy. “Not only the formal education, but the social interaction that I had on campus, and being the leader in a bunch of groups, all those things contributed.” Eager to give back to the place that had helped guide not only his career, but the careers of so many other MSA employees, Murphy organized a fundraising drive among the Pioneers at the company, convincing the board to match donations 2 to 1 and eventually raising $50,000 to sponsor a study area within the College of EMS. After a 10-year presidency of MSA, Murphy retired as Chairman of the Board in 2013, an occasion made vastly more meaningful by the surprise his company had organized for him. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“I worked right up to the last minute, nearly got to my own retirement party late, and they surprised me. They were purchasing a classroom in the new engineering building, for 100,000 dollars, in my name. And that was pretty special,” said Murphy. “I would not have been the success I was without the support and the education I got at Platteville.<span><span>”</span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>But Murphy wasn’t done. “With all that behind me, I thought it was really important for me to give back. I thought back to my parents; they sacrificed a lot to send me and my brother to Platteville. I didn’t know it at the time, but my dad gave up bowling to help with my tuition and room and board, and I worked three jobs to get through school. I didn’t think I struggled—I was having fun—but it was a lot of work, and as I thought back on my parents and what they went through, and I thought, it’s time for me to give a hand back, not just to the students, but to the parents who are supporting them.” </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>He, together with wife Ginny Bowar, formed the David Murphy and Virginia Bowar Scholarship, a fund which supports civil and environmental engineering students at Platteville—students like Jack Wasechek, a junior from Prairie Du Chien who wants to use his degree to address water quality and the reclamation of polluted sites. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“It’s a pretty fulfilling major,” said Wasechek. Receiving the scholarship has given him much more breathing room to focus on studying. “It's given me a lot more flexibility with my time. I don't have to worry about working and can focus on keeping my GPA up.” </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>It’s a sentiment echoed by recipient Brady Rufenacht, who has just finished his freshman year, but who has already landed an internship with <span>Westbrook Associated Engineers, Inc., in Spring Green, Wisconsin. Much like Murphy, Rufenacht comes from small-town Wisconsin, and loves the opportunity Platteville gives to enjoy the great outdoors. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“</span><span><span>While being a full-time student I am also on the Platteville Bass Fishing Team,” said Rufenacht. “We have the opportunity to travel across the country competing in bass fishing tournaments against other collegiate teams.” </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>Which, as it turns out, aligns perfectly with the vision Dave Murphy had for his scholarship. When asked what advice he would give to any young engineering student just starting out with their career, he pauses and gives the question some real thought before responding. “I would say, find something that you love doing, and have a balance in your life between, work, relationships, and <em>hopefully</em> outdoor activities. I would encourage everyone to get out there—as much as possible. I mean … that’s been my life. It’s been doing outdoor activities, from hunting and fishing, to biking and skiing, to kayaking and backpacking. I made a point of making time for those outdoor pursuits, and not to be consumed by one area of your life. I’m just hoping that I can help these students pursue their dream in civil engineering and kickstart their career.” </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span><span>With the help of the David Murphy and Virginia Bowar Scholarship, both Wasechek and Rufenacht, as well as countless future recipients, are well on their way to a career—and a life—full of adventure. </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span> </span></span></span></p> <p> </p></div> Mon, 10 Feb 2020 16:34:43 +0000 Alison S Parkins 684 at https://www.uwplatt.edu/news Strand Associates’ impactful gift to support College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science students https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/strand-associates-impactful-gift-support-college-engineering-mathematics-and-science-students <span property="schema:name">Strand Associates’ impactful gift to support College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science students </span> <span rel="schema:author"><span lang="" about="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/user/14" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" xml:lang="">Alison S Parkins</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-02-05T14:35:42+00:00">Wed, 02/05/2020 - 08:35</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/alumni" hreflang="en">Alumni</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/stem" hreflang="en">STEM</a></div> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span><span>A longtime partnership between the University of Wisconsin-Platteville and Strand Associates was recently reaffirmed with a $200,000 commitment from the engineering firm, located in Madison, Wisconsin.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“The University of Wisconsin-Platteville is an important strategic partner for Strand Associates Inc.,” said Matt Richards, president and CEO of Strand Associates. “UW-Platteville graduates are well-educated and well-prepared, and have and will continue to play a large role in Strand’s growth.” </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>Strand Associates currently employs nearly 50 UW-Platteville alumni, including Richards, who graduated in 1991. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“Strand’s UW-Platteville graduates recognize the tremendous value of their education and are honored to be able to give back and share their success,” said Richards. “We wish continued prosperity for UW-Platteville as it embarks on the construction of Sesquicentennial Hall.”</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The gift will support the College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science’s Center for Projects, Opportunities, Instruction, Networking and Teamwork. Known as CenterPOINT, the space offers College of EMS students resources for success – a comfortable area for group work and tutoring, computer stations, and tools to check out, such as graphing calculators, laptops and more. A portion of the gift will support student employment at CenterPOINT, as students play a significant role in tutoring and outreach in the center.</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“We are so grateful for Strand’s longstanding commitment to student success at UW-Platteville and for this most recent gift for CenterPOINT, which will support students and operations now, and in its future home in Sesquicentennial Hall,” said Dr. Molly Gribb, dean of the College of EMS. “This gift supports students financially and academically in a time of great need. Partnerships like this one with Strand will help UW-Platteville continue to thrive well into the future.”    </span></span></span></span></p></div> Wed, 05 Feb 2020 14:35:42 +0000 Alison S Parkins 676 at https://www.uwplatt.edu/news Selent and students prepare for battle https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/selent-and-students-prepare-battle <span property="schema:name">Selent and students prepare for battle</span> <span rel="schema:author"><span lang="" about="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/user/14" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" xml:lang="">Alison S Parkins</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-02-04T14:43:46+00:00">Tue, 02/04/2020 - 08:43</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/stem" hreflang="en">STEM</a></div> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span><span>Somewhere, right now, on the University of Wisconsin-Platteville’s idyllic rural campus, a battle is brewing. Dr. Doug Selent’s students are feverishly perfecting their programmed pets for Pokemon-style virtual combat, in a game tournament the software engineering assistant professor calls “Battle Pets.” </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“The purpose of Battle Pets is to for students to learn good Object-Oriented Programming and Design to create maintainable, reusable, and extendable software,” said Selent, who launched the first Battle Pets project last year in an attempt to make programming skills more relatable and immediate than a textbook exercise. “With Battle Pets, I get to try a large amount of Active Learning techniques, which are drastically more effective than any lecture format (from my own observation).” </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The basic structure of Battle Pets is simple: students pick one of three pets as their “fighter” in a series of rounds conducted much like “rock, paper, scissors.” The virtual pets have a small set of attack moves (Rock Throw, Scissors Poke, Paper Cut, Reversal of Fortune, and Shoot the Moon) which inflict damage based on the pet type, the opponent’s skill choices and an element of random chance. Each skill has a recharge time associated with it, such that the same skill cannot be used consecutively. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“<span>A fight consists of multiple rounds, where each pet will simultaneously choose a skill to attack with,” explained Selent. “The fight ends when all opposing pets drop below zero hp (hit points) and fall asleep.” </span></span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Selent has structured an entire class around the wildly popular game. “Students work in teams of four to five over the course of the semester to complete biweekly programming assignments related to different parts of the game,” he said. “Students do not know what features will be added to the game in the next homework assignment, therefore having a good design will allow their programs to be more flexible and support unexpected new features.” </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>As the course progresses, Selent incorporates lessons not only in specific programming techniques, but in the kinds of research skills his students will need to succeed in software development careers. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“The newest thing I have been trying is a Just-In-Time-Learning-Model for the ‘Just-Google-It Era,’ "which encourages students to look up information as needed, rather than memorizing it,” said Selent. “I often give in-class problems for teams to solve and encourage them to Google the solutions before I go over the problem.” </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Besides developing research skills, Selent’s students learn the importance of carefully thinking through their program design before building. “<span>After a few homework assignments, students realize the importance of a good program design,” said Selent. “By the end of the course, they will have completed a software application significantly larger than anything completed in previous courses and have learned good software design. I have seen greatly improved programming over the course of the project.  Several minor improvements can make a big difference in the quality of the code (e.g. following programming conventions).” </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The end goal of the course? Tournament glory. In the final homework assignment of the semester, Selent’s students must create an AI program which will guide their pet to compete with all the other pets in a single elimination tournament, known as the Battle Pets King of the Ring Tournament. The tournament draws a crowd — not only Selent’s 70-plus students, but also guests and friends who come to share in the excitement. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“</span><span>I ran the final-four of the tournament in the lecture hall during the final exam period in a battle consisting of 1,001 fights, where the winner of the most fights wins the battle,” said Selent. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>The tournament is followed by a Battle Royale (a circular fight between all the pets); a Legends Battle Royale, which includes pets from previous years; and finally a Battle for the G.O.A.T., in which the previous year’s King of the Ring Tournament winner competes against the current year’s winner. </span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span><span>“This year we created a tournament mode using the Iterator pattern,” said Selent. “Next year, there will be a different assignment using a combination of design patterns to add another feature to the game.”  But, in true Battle Pets fashion, Selent isn’t giving anything away to his eager students. “The details are a secret.”</span></span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Let the battle begin.</span></span></span></p></div> Tue, 04 Feb 2020 14:43:46 +0000 Alison S Parkins 673 at https://www.uwplatt.edu/news https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/selent-and-students-prepare-battle#comments Boebel Hall renovations set to begin https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/boebel-hall-renovations-set-begin <span property="schema:name">Boebel Hall renovations set to begin</span> <span rel="schema:author"><span lang="" about="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/user/29" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" xml:lang="">Paul J Erickson</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-01-25T19:15:26+00:00">Sat, 01/25/2020 - 13:15</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/biology" hreflang="en">Biology</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/environment" hreflang="en">Environment</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/geography" hreflang="en">Geography</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/press-release" hreflang="en">Press Release</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/stem" hreflang="en">STEM</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/research" hreflang="en">Research</a></div> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>Renovations to Boebel Hall are set to begin in the upcoming weeks on the UW-Platteville campus. The $23.7 million project will renovate existing laboratory and classroom space to become instructional laboratories, preparation and support space, research and undergraduate research space and one general assignment classroom. The state-of-the-art science laboratories will serve majors from a wide range of disciplines including biology, chemistry and the newly approved environmental science and conservation bachelor of science degree program.</p> <p>The State of Wisconsin designated capital building project money (not tuition dollars) for this important project, which completes first-floor renovations done in 2010.</p> <p>The doors under the linking bridge to Gardner Hall will be the entrance for first-floor classes at the start of the semester. Other entrances will not be available once the construction fencing is installed. </p> <p>The renovations will house student collaborative space in a two-story atrium facing the Markee Pioneer Student Center and will feature an interior design that connects with the identity of the Driftless Area. The project is scheduled for completion and re-occupancy for the fall 2021 semester.</p> <p>A public ground-breaking ceremony will be held Monday, Feb. 17 at 4 p.m. to celebrate the beginning of these renovations. <em>(UPDATE 2/14/2020: Groundbreaking ceremony postponed to a date to be announced)</em></p> <p> </p></div> Sat, 25 Jan 2020 19:15:26 +0000 Paul J Erickson 661 at https://www.uwplatt.edu/news UW-Platteville faculty, students help defend the Great Lakes https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/uw-platteville-faculty-students-help-defend-great-lakes <span property="schema:name">UW-Platteville faculty, students help defend the Great Lakes</span> <span rel="schema:author"><span lang="" about="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/user/14" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" xml:lang="">Alison S Parkins</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-01-22T16:16:02+00:00">Wed, 01/22/2020 - 10:16</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/stem" hreflang="en">STEM</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/research" hreflang="en">Research</a></div> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span>It is no secret that Wisconsin has great fishing opportunities, attractive to both residents and tourists from surrounding states. However, many are unaware of a threat posed to the state’s fishing industry by invasive fish, such as bighead carp and silver carp. Dr. Thomas Zolper, assistant professor of mechanical engineering at UW-Platteville, and his students, have spent the past several years collaborating with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) to combat this threat. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>“Invasive carps can grow up to 100-plus pounds and consume two to three times their body weight daily,” said Zolper. “They are able to outcompete many native species and threaten the local ecosystems that support the major game fish.” </span></span></p> <p><span><span>The invasive carp species were originally imported to fish farms in the southern United States to control plankton. However, flooding in the 1970s and 1990s allowed them to escape into the Mississippi River. Since then, they have proliferated throughout the Mississippi River basin and are encroaching upon the Great Lakes through the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. In 2011, Wisconsin and several other Great Lakes states sought a Supreme Court order to force the City of Chicago to close the canal, but it was declined.    </span></span></p> <p><span><span>According to Zolper, if invasive carps enter the Great Lakes basin, they could severely impact the $7 billion fishing industry, including Wisconsin’s $185 million share of it.  </span></span></p> <p><span><span>In 2016, USGS biologist Aaron Cupp and Zolper began a collaboration to evaluate the infusion of carbon dioxide into simulated river locks as a possible deterrent to upstream migration of invasive carps. Studies have demonstrated that infusing carbon dioxide into water deters fish from those treated areas. This technique proved effective in the laboratory and in pond testing, but its engineering feasibility at field scales was generally unknown. River lock treatment could require infusing carbon dioxide into millions of gallons of water in a quick and efficient manner. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>Zolper, who teaches Fluid Mechanics at UW-Platteville, saw an opportunity for he and his students to take on the task. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>“Gas-to-liquid infusion is commonly seen in aquarium bubblers and carbonated beverages, but doing large-scale lock infusion is a formidable challenge,” said Zolper.</span></span></p> <p><span><span>For the past four years, Cupp and Zolper have been researching various methods to rapidly infuse carbon dioxide into water. In 2016, Zolper directed 10 mechanical engineering students to design and manufacture gas-to-liquid infusion devices and test their performance in a flume on the UW Platteville campus. The results were a first step towards addressing the engineering associated with the use of carbon dioxide for invasive species control and led to funding for additional research.  </span></span></p> <p><span><span>In 2017, Zolper and Dr. Jorge Camacho, UW-Platteville assistant professor of mechanical engineering, along with three engineering interns, developed intermediate-scale infusion equipment that was installed in a large test pond at the USGS Upper Midwest Environmental Sciences Center in La Crosse. The evaluation resulted in several prototypes for future research with findings published in the Journal of Fluids Engineering. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>In 2019, Zolper collaborated with several federal, state and academic partners to evaluate the feasibility of a full-scale carbon dioxide system on the Fox River near Kaukauna, Wisconsin. The research team conducted a series of studies to evaluate the costs, engineering, fish behavior, effects on non-target organisms and human health safety associated with a carbon dioxide deterrent at a navigational lock. Data from this study are currently being analyzed and will inform the potential use of carbon dioxide for invasive species control. </span></span></p> <p><span><span>“Fluid mechanics is a major intersection of biology and engineering, leading to multiple interdisciplinary research projects,” said Zolper. “This research collaboration between the USGS, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and UW-Platteville provided unique educational opportunities for 18 of our UW-Platteville students. This and other projects to control invasive carps and zebra mussels have brought nearly $250,000 in federal research funds to UW-Platteville and engaged dozens of other Platteville students. Fortunately, UW-Platteville has many industrious students who have contributed to the success of these collaborations.  Some of the projects even have patents pending with students included as inventors.”</span></span></p></div> Wed, 22 Jan 2020 16:16:02 +0000 Alison S Parkins 654 at https://www.uwplatt.edu/news Withstand more, fail better: Dr. Robabeh Jazaei contends with concrete https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/withstand-more-fail-better-dr-robabeh-jazaei-contends-concrete <span property="schema:name">Withstand more, fail better: Dr. Robabeh Jazaei contends with concrete</span> <span rel="schema:author"><span lang="" about="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/user/14" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" xml:lang="">Alison S Parkins</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2020-01-21T14:56:50+00:00">Tue, 01/21/2020 - 08:56</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/stem" hreflang="en">STEM</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/research" hreflang="en">Research</a></div> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span>Dr. Robabeh Jazaei is an expert in the characterization and simulation of advanced materials subject to static and dynamic loadings; but more than that; she is an expert in a special type of failure. The lecturer in civil and environmental engineering at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville has forged her career around the study of failure mechanism in all its forms: cracking, crumbling, and collapsing. Failure that is not marked with a red grading pen, but with lives lost and cities damaged. Jazaei studies concrete reinforced by nano materials, because, as it turns out, conventional concrete fails a <em>lot</em>. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“Everyone knows the application of concrete in their daily lives, right?” said Jazaei. “Concrete is everywhere. The problem with concrete is that it’s an exceptional material for compression, but it is not particularly strong in terms of tensile strength or impact load, because concrete is a brittle material. If you pull it out from both sides, it can’t flex, and so it breaks and cracks. It cannot resist all forms of the impact loads that apply to it.” </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Those loads can range from hundreds of commuting cars, to landing airplanes, to the enormous volume of water held back by a dam. In most cases, the concrete involved in structures like bridges and buildings sustains a few small cracks or erosions, but still holds. But when stresses become too much, concrete failure can be sudden, and the resulting damage, catastrophic. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“For 100 years, we’ve added many different kinds of reinforcements and aggregates to concrete to increase its strength.” said Jazaei. “All those reinforcements and aggregates increase concrete’s strength, but it’s still not strong enough for important applications, such as airport runways, bridges, bulletproof safety jacket for soldiers.”</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Enter the carbon nanotubes. Jazaei has been working with these microscopic structures to see if their astonishing strength can be harnessed to solve the problem of crumbling and failing concrete. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“A carbon nanotube is a long tube of carbon atoms whose thickness is about the same as the strand of a human hair, and the length is about 5-50 nanometers. These additives increase concrete strength significantly,” explained Jazaei. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>With increased strength, comes increased possibility. “First, we could use the strengthened concrete in high-impact wearable applications, like a safety or bulletproof jacket,” said Jazaei. “The other application is in airport runways and pavement, or anywhere we have high impact.” </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>It’s not just areas of extreme impact that could be helped by Jazaei’s carbon nanotube-charged concrete. “Nanotubes could be used in bridges, buildings, and other concrete types of infrastructure that are subject to sudden failure and collapse,” she explained. “Imagine a bridge concrete made of a ductile material that will crack but not fail, and even if it fails, it’s more like a windshield, where damage does not result in collapse. Changing the <em>way</em> concrete absorbs damage and fails is very important. This new concrete reinforced by nanomaterial additives could now give us some notice before it collapses. At least we could evacuate a building if we notice it early – at least we would have some time, even if we couldn’t repair it.” </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>One intriguing possibility for the future includes a “smart” concrete, embedded with sensors and semiconductive carbon nanotubules, which could alert engineers to imminent failure.  </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>Jazaei’s research, like all of the groundbreaking work at UW-Platteville, is made possible by the involvement of many undergraduate students from a variety of backgrounds, from engineering to chemistry. In 2018, Jazaei’s team won the Foxconn Smart Cities Smart Futures prestigious award for its innovative ideas. The multidisciplinary nature of Jazaei’s nanomaterials lab creates a rich learning environment. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“My students learn to communicate effectively because it’s a teamwork process,” says Jazaei. “They learn how to conduct literature review on the cutting-edge research in nanomaterials, design cement-based nanocomposites, characterize mechanical properties of the materials, write technical reports, prepare a poster and present their research at the end of the semester, and those who are in civil engineering learn how to work with concrete before they begin on the canoe competition, ACI competition or advanced courses.” </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>The nanomaterial work is challenging – carbon nanotubules are hydrophobic, which means that students must learn to use an ultrasonic wave-producing device called a sonicator to force the nanotubules to disperse into solution, and a field emission scanning electron microscope (FESEM) to check the quality of the dispersion. Some of the processes used in the lab depend less on technology, and more on old-fashioned pencil-and-paper math. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“We have a manual drop-weight machine which has a heavy steel ball that we drop on the nanocomposite sample; we use a physics equation to compute how much energy the nanocomposite sample absorbs after each drop. This is something they do by hand,” explained Jazaei. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>No matter how simple or complex the technology being used, the goal is always the same: to create stronger concrete, less prone to cracking, crumbling, and failure. But in Jazaei’s lab, the focus on failure produces another kind of success: students who can think critically, communicate effectively and find new ways to solve engineering’s most persistent challenges. </span></span></span></p></div> Tue, 21 Jan 2020 14:56:50 +0000 Alison S Parkins 651 at https://www.uwplatt.edu/news Joanne Wilson leads the way in STEM https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/joanne-wilson-leads-way-stem <span property="schema:name">Joanne Wilson leads the way in STEM</span> <span rel="schema:author"><span lang="" about="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/user/14" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" xml:lang="">Alison S Parkins</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2019-12-18T20:51:17+00:00">Wed, 12/18/2019 - 14:51</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/campus-community" hreflang="en">Campus & Community</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/stem" hreflang="en">STEM</a></div> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p><span><span><span>When Joanne Wilson arrived in Platteville to take a job as an assistant professor in <a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/college/engineering-mathematics-science/general-engineering">general engineering</a> in 1986, she could not have known that she was embarking upon a career journey which would last for 34 years and take her into some of the highest leadership roles the university had to offer. But surely at some point during this October’s Homecoming Parade, while riding down the middle of Main Street wearing the Grand Marshal’s orange satin sash, the penny must have dropped: her time at UW-Platteville has been a resounding success. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>This coming spring, Dr. Wilson will retire from her role as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs. Characteristically, however, she will mark the occasion by holding the door open for a new group of women eager to make their way in STEM. The <a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/department/financial-aid/wistem-scholarship-and-leadership-program">WiSTEM Scholarship and Leadership program</a>, a new initiative at the university, will welcome its pilot cohort of students in the fall of 2020.</span></span></span> In honor of Wilson, the first cohort will be named the D. Joanne Wilson Women in STEM Scholarship and Leadership Cohort.</p> <p><span><span><span>“The idea came out of a conversation about getting more women engaged in STEM majors,” said Wilson. “Tammy Salmon-Stephens and Angela Udelhofen brought the idea to the three deans, Dr. Melissa Gormley (College of Liberal Arts and Education), Dr. Molly Gribb (College of Engineering, Mathematics and Science), and Dr. Wayne Weber (College of Business, Industry, Life Science and Agriculture). The deans committed to putting enough scholarship money together to support a cohort of students for a four-year pilot program, and they chose me as the named scholarship, which was a big honor.” </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>It's a big honor, but a fitting one. When Wilson first arrived at UW-Platteville over three decades ago, the STEM fields were heavily dominated by men. However, at UW-Platteville, she found an organization open to change. Over the years, the Women in EMS (WEMS) program at UW-Platteville has grown from a dream to a multifaceted and comprehensive set of student support services, including a Living and Learning Community, Mentor and Professional Mentor programs along with a dedicated Mentor Center, an active chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, an annual banquet, and outreach programs to local middle and high schools. The efforts have paid off: twenty three percent of the current students are enrolled in STEM majors on campus. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>For her part, Wilson was developing into a campus leader. Promoted to full professor in 1996, she accepted a role as executive director of First Year Experience Program in 2007, and was named Interim dean of the College of EMS in 2010. Moving to a university-wide leadership role in 2011, she served (at different points) as interim assistant chancellor for Student Affairs, assistant vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, associate dean for the College of EMS, interim provost and vice chancellor for Academic Affairs, and finally as Provost and Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs (her current role). Along the way, Wilson served on countless committees and task forces, building her familiarity with nearly every facet of the university’s operation, and gaining the deep and abiding respect of her colleagues. That respect has been commemorated with several awards, among them the Underkofler Excellence in Teaching Award for UW System professors in 1994, the Professional Fraternity Association Faculty Award of Excellence in 1996, and UW-Platteville's Woman of the Year award in 2004. (Although the Grand Marshal position for the Homecoming parade is, to date, the only award to come with a sash.) Her newly named scholarship, however, may be the most personal honor of all. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“The scholarship is really all about the idea of promoting leadership amongst the students,” Wilson says. “The intent would certainly be to graduate young women who have leadership skills, skills which will lead them to success. I would hope that some of them would consider graduate school, or careers in higher education.”</span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>To ensure that the students have all the help they need to excel, three professors have volunteered to personally mentor the first cohort of scholarship recipients: Dr. Chris Underwood, Associate Professor and Chair of Environmental Science and Geography; Dr. Jodi McDermott, Assistant Dean of the College of BILSA; and Dr. Christina Curras, Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“Those three phenomenal faculty members are going to contribute to the students’ lives, and provide those mentoring relationships,” said Wilson. “And the joy of retirement means I can have the whole student cohort over for dinner once a month or so, if it’s not too big a group.” </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>As anyone familiar with Wilson could attest, her retirement won’t mean an end to her engagement with the university community that has been her home for so many years (though it will mean more time to devote to her astonishingly intricate quilts, which can be seen displayed in local fabric shops and at quilting shows all over the southwestern Wisconsin region). </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>“We’re investing in students individually and encouraging them to consider coming to UW-Platteville,” Wilson said. </span></span></span></p> <p><span><span><span>If one of those students wanted to see a future that exemplified success in STEM, she wouldn’t have to look very far. Joanne Wilson will still be right here. </span></span></span></p></div> Wed, 18 Dec 2019 20:51:17 +0000 Alison S Parkins 588 at https://www.uwplatt.edu/news Students give back with second annual Holiday Toy Hack https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/students-give-back-second-annual-holiday-toy-hack <span property="schema:name">Students give back with second annual Holiday Toy Hack</span> <span rel="schema:author"><span lang="" about="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/user/14" typeof="schema:Person" property="schema:name" datatype="" xml:lang="">Alison S Parkins</span></span> <span property="schema:dateCreated" content="2019-12-18T14:53:37+00:00">Wed, 12/18/2019 - 08:53</span> <div class="field field--name-field-news-category field--type-entity-reference field--label-hidden field--items"> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/campus-community" hreflang="en">Campus & Community</a></div> <div class="field--item"><a href="https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/stem" hreflang="en">STEM</a></div> </div> <div property="schema:text" class="field field--name-body field--type-text-with-summary field--label-hidden field--item"><p>UW-Platteville students recently took part in the second annual Holiday Toy Hack. During the event, students from across campus joined together in Engineering Hall and made adaptations to toys so that they can be used by children with special needs.</p></div> Wed, 18 Dec 2019 14:53:37 +0000 Alison S Parkins 583 at https://www.uwplatt.edu/news https://www.uwplatt.edu/news/students-give-back-second-annual-holiday-toy-hack#comments