Engineering FYI, May 2015

Christopher F. Benson, P.E. (UT A ’08), has been named to the 2015 “40 Under 40” list by Consulting-Specifying Engineer magazine. Read the press release for the full list of winners being recognized for “standing out in all aspects of their lives, particularly in the nonresidential building community.” Benson is a commissioning authority at Total Building Commissioning (TBC) in Salt Lake City, UT.

“He is recognized internationally for HVAC designs that use innovative control methods to maximize comfort and minimize energy usage while addressing known communication barriers.” In addition, Benson is a co-founder of Meet an Engineer day at the University of Utah, a TBP advisor to the Utah Alpha Chapter and TBP District 12 Director, and he writes folk music and has released two albums. Click here for his profile

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A team of three Tau Bate graduate students from MIT recently won the 25th annual MIT 100K Entrepreneurship Competition. Their team proposed “using camera-carrying drones to survey farmland and pinpoint damage before pests and diseases can decimate crops.” They beat out 193 other contestants. Team members of Raptor Maps include: Edward W. Obropta Jr., MA B ’13; Forrest E. Meyen, MO A ’11; and Nikhil A. Vadhavkar, MD A ’10.

Obropta and Meyen are doctoral candidates in the department of aeronautics and astronautics. Vadhavkar is a doctoral candidate in the health sciences and technology division. Read the full article from The Boston Globe for details about the origins of the team during a NASA-funded planetary geology expedition.

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Each dean at California State University, Fresno, selects an undergraduate medalist and a graduate medalist based on academic excellence, community involvement and other achievements for its Dean Graduate Medalist award. At the 104th Commencement, on Saturday, may 16, one of these medalist will be announced as the University Graduate Medal winner. Olga E. Jumbo Sanchez, CA R 2013, was selected from the Lyles college of Engineering. She earned her master’s degree in electrical engineering with a 4.0 GPA.

“Her graduate project work is in 3D sonar mapping. She held a leadership position with the Society of Women Engineers, where she served as secretary, and she was president, vice president, secretary and graduate adviser for the CA Rho Chapter of Tau Beta Pi. She has accepted a position as a research assistant in image processing at the University of Miami with a full scholarship.” Read the news article for more information, including the undergraduate medal that went to Kelsey R. Hoffman, CA R 2015.

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