Wednesday, September 02, 2015

UTSA's SiViRT engineering center accomplishes great things in first year

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SiVIRT lab

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(Dec. 2, 2010)--The UTSA Center for Simulation, Visualization and Real-Time Prediction (SiVIRT) has become an important resource for aspiring engineers. The research and education center, which integrates high-performance computing in all of its activities, launched a year ago in the UTSA College of Engineering and already has accomplished great things.

"The bottom line is that we want to support engineers through computing," said Stathis Michaelides, UTSA Robert F. McDermott Chair in Engineering and SiVIRT director. "That means everyone from middle school students on up to our research faculty."

SiViRT offers expertise to students in San Antonio and the region. In the spring, for example, the center assisted a Knippa, Texas, junior high robotics teacher and her class with free training on the SolidWorks software, which they received for their robotics program. The budding engineers now are using SolidWorks to prepare for their next robotics competition.

In the summer, the center sponsored nearly 80 middle and high school students at a two-week advanced robotics camp in the UTSA Interactive Technology Experience Center. The students built soccer-playing robots as a way to develop engineering, programming and teamwork skills. The camp culminated in a friendly three-on-three robot soccer competition.

At the college level, SiViRT has financially supported 53 UTSA students: 22 undergraduates and 31 graduate students. Each has received training in simulation, visualization and real-time prediction, which will increase their marketability once they graduate. Two-thirds of SiViRT students are minorities and women, supporting SiViRT's goal to improve the retention of under-represented and minority engineering students.

UTSA established the SiViRT center in 2009 with funding from the National Science Foundation as a response to the critical shortage of qualified professionals in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) related careers.

In addition to supporting the community and UTSA students, the center supports faculty using high-performance computing to research topics in imaging, real-time prediction and uncertainty quantification. In just a year, the SiViRT imaging team developed a new system to reconstruct and visualize three-dimensional Purkinje cells (neurons) from two-photon microscopy images.

The new method provides a much clearer picture of the neurons and has revealed hidden dendrite branches in those neurons. The real-time prediction researchers have developed a bio-heat transfer model for kidney cooling. The device will improve the kidney transplant process by allowing kidneys to survive for a longer period of time before transplantation.

To learn more about SiViRT community outreach, academic and research activities, contact Efstathios Michaelides at 210-458-5516.

 

 

Did You Know?

Football standouts make Roadrunner history

For Ashaad Mabry and Triston Wade, football is not just a passing fancy. Both players were part of the UTSA football program almost from the beginning. When UTSA opens the 2015 season Thursday at Arizona, it will be the first time the Roadrunners take the field without them. But Mabry and Wade will still be playing football; their uniforms will just be a different color.

Mabry, a defensive tackle from San Antonio's MacArthur High School, was an honorable mention All-Conference USA selection his final two seasons as a Roadrunner and second among the team's defensive linemen with 49 tackles last year. Wade, a defensive back from Tyler, was the most decorated player in school history. He was a semifinalist for the 2014 Jim Thorpe Award – for the nation's top defensive back – a three-time all-conference honoree and two-year team captain who set a school record of 293 tackles in his career. Both men had outstanding college careers that allowed them to make UTSA history.

Did you know? Mabry and Wade both agreed to terms as undrafted free agents with the New Orleans Saints and Seattle Seahawks, respectively, becoming the first UTSA players to move to the professional ranks.

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Architecture Connects

The UTSA College of Architecture, Construction and Planning’s 2015-16 Speaker Series begins Sept. 9 with Toshiko Mori, the Robert P. Hubbard Professor in the Practice of Architecture at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and principal of Manhattan-based Toshiko Mori Architect.
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Sept. 12, 11 a.m.

UTSA Football vs. Kansas State

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Changing the Conversation: Recovery Works!

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Durango Building 1.124 (DB 1.124), Downtown Campus

Sept. 24, 6 p.m.

The Power of Story in the Landscape of Memory and Identity

The UTSA College of Education and Human Development will host award-winning children’s author and illustrator Yuyi Morales. Morales will share personal stories that have influenced her work as an author and illustrator.
Buena Vista Building Aula Canaria (BV 1.328), Downtown Campus

Oct. 5, 9 a.m. - 3 p.m.

Civic Engagement Summit

This summit is an opportunity to showcase and share the variety of community engagement activities of UTSA students, faculty, and staff. The summit is currently accepting proposals for poster presentations. The Call for Posters deadline is Friday, Sept. 11.
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