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College of Engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio Online Magazine

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Steel bridge team takes 1st at regional conference

The University of Texas at San Antonio’s American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Steel Bridge Team took first place at the ASCE Texas-Mexico conference held January 17-18, 2014, at the Maverick Activities Center on The University of Texas at Arlington campus. Though winning for the second year in a row is quite an accomplishment for the team, especially after a 16-year dry spell, team captain Hiep Nguyen says there is something more rewarding than taking home the first place prize.

“Winning is great, but the most rewarding part of the process is we get to learn more about our fellow classmates,” said Nguyen, a College of Engineering senior Civil Engineering major and captain of the Steel Bridge Team. “In the beginning, we barely know each other, but by the end, we are all close. We have lot of fun experiences together.”

But the competition is not all fun and games. According to the ASCE website, the purpose of the competition is to provide civil engineering students with a comprehensive project experience involving the design and building of their own scaled-down steel bridge. The students are required to do their own design, fabrication, erection and testing with client specifications.

“A lot of people who join the team at the beginning, they don’t know what to do,” said Nguyen. “And we are like, ‘Don’t worry about it, we will teach you.’ And it’s a great learning experience for me too. The team captain does a lot of stuff in the background, planning the meetings, getting the materials, finding sponsors. And we design the bridge and teach the team as we put it together.”

The team will be competing in the national competition May 23-24, 2014 at the University of Akron.

US Secretary of Engergy Ernest Moniz

U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz visits UTSA

U.S. Secretary of Energy Ernest Moniz visited The University of Texas at San Antonio for a town hall meeting on energy issues and job creation on Thursday, February 6, in the Buena Vista Street Building at the UTSA Downtown Campus. Mayor Julian Castro introduced Moniz. UTSA students, local high school students, and community members attended the event and had the opportunity to ask Secretary Muniz questions during a Q&A session. The College of Engineering’s Texas Sustainable Energy Research Institute brought Secretary Moniz to campus.

Roadrunner Racing

Roadrunner Racing Sponsorship Appreciation event

The The University of Texas at San Antonio’s (UTSA) Society of Automotive Engineers held its Roadrunner Racing Sponsorship Appreciation event at the new UTSA Athletic Center on February 20, 2014. Roadrunner Racing sponsors were treated to dinner and had the opportunity to see and test drive the group’s car. Roadrunner Racing competes in Formula SAE, an international collegiate design competition that challenges students to conceive, design, fabricate and race a small formula-style race car. UTSA’s interdisciplinary team includes mechanical engineers, graphic design artists, and MBAs.

Masters Leadership Program

Masters Leadership Program COE tour

The University of Texas at San Antonio Research invited San Antonio’s Masters Leadership Program (MLP) to campus on February 5, 2014. The group took a tour of two College of Engineering labs, and had the chance to hear students and staff members talk about their programs within the college. The MLP provides proven leaders with a unique opportunity to learn firsthand about the issues and needs in Bexar County, while securing their commitment to serve the community through board service and volunteerism.

2014 Technology Symposium and CITE Awards

2014 Technology Symposium & CITE Awards

More than 40 senior design teams competed for The University of Texas at San Antonio College of Engineering departmental awards at the 2014 Tech Symposium held on April 29, 2014 at the UTSA H-E-B University Center ballroom on the Main Campus. Ten teams participated in the Center for Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship (CITE) 100k competition held during the symposium.

The Tech Symposium showcases innovative student projects and provides a public venue where UTSA students present advances achieved in their senior design projects. The ten engineering teams chosen for the CITE 100k Competition are partnered with business students to develop a business plan to market their project.

Team Mediflow was crowned the winner at the CITE $100k Competition with its prototype sleep apnea device and business plan to market the technology. UTSA competitors Velox Medical and Vitalassure placed second and third respectively in the business planning competition.

The Mediflow team developed a commercially viable business plan for a CPAP (continuous positive airway pressure) device that is smaller, more mobile, and aims to be more comfortable than other CPAP devices currently on the market. It integrates the blower into the facial mask itself and the power supply attaches to the body, eliminating the need for a hose and anchored power supply. Mediflow includes undergraduate engineering majors Joseph Barrios, Eluid Gutierrez, Aaron Mosqueda and Maxim Perkins and undergraduate business majors Nancy Perdicho, Spencer Reynolds and Kaleigh Simms. The Mediflow team won $2,000 cash and several in-kind business resources

“It feels great that our team won the CITE competition,” said Joseph Barrios, senior mechanical engineering student. “There was a lot of hard work that was put into this project and to be rewarded for it is even better. And the collaboration with the business team was great. We respected each other and each other’s ideas. Being optimistic goes a long way.”

“Mentoring this group was a fantastic experience,” remarked San Antonio medical device consultant Mark Standeford, who served as Mediflow’s business mentor for the competition. “They identified a good opportunity, structured a good business plan around that opportunity, and even if they hadn’t won first place they would have a winning commercial product.”


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