Watching the battlefield

Keeping an eye on the battlefield

Military intelligence is about to become a lot more intelligent thanks to two engineering professors and a $390,000 grant from the U.S. Army Research Office. Professors Haibo He and Steven Kay are developing computer algorithms to analyze vast amounts of information gathered by drones, aircraft, radar and other sensors that monitor battlefields. The professors aim to develop algorithms that can quickly distinguish threats in an expansive and complicated landscape peppered with civilians and foliage. Their algorithms will also help software learn from one battle to the next. For example, the software could identify and track a tank that appeared in one village rolling into a different village.

Aspiring engineers

The College of Engineering welcomed 302 aspiring freshman engineers in September. Mechanical engineering once again took the top spot as the college’s most popular program, enrolling 60 students. Women comprised 14 percent of the class, and 17 percent of the class comprised the very best in African American, Native American and Hispanic engineering talent from across the United States.

Welcome home

Living Learning Community
Members of the professional engineering fraternity Theta Tau help freshmen move into their residences in the Engineering Living Learning Community.

For about 500 engineering students, the commute to class couldn’t get any faster. In September, they moved into residence halls across campus, placing them within a 15-minute walk of classes, dining halls and entertainment. Of the engineering residents, nearly 300 freshmen joined the Engineering Living Learning Community in Bressler, Merrow and Tucker halls. The community offers strong academic and social supports through special events, access to engineering Resident Academic Mentors (RAMs) and more. All told, about 40 percent of all engineering students live on the Kingston campus.

Bishop heads to Italy

Engineering Associate Dean for Research Paul Bishop is in international demand. Next spring he’ll take a leave of absence from the University to become the Fulbright Endowed Chair of Environmental Engineering at the University of Parthenope in Naples, Italy. There he plans to conduct water quality research and teach classes.

NSBE hosts zone conference

More than a hundred aspiring engineers descended on the Kingston campus on Oct. 13 for the National Society of Black Engineers New England Zone Conference. Hosted by the University of Rhode Island chapter, the one-day conference brought students from about 15 universities to discuss the latest innovations in engineering.

Distinguished alumni

Three engineering alumni who personify the University of Rhode Island’s tradition of excellence in achievement, leadership and service received Distinguished Alumni Awards in October 2012. Thomas Wroe (B.S., industrial engineering, ’72) serves as chairman and CEO of Sensata Technologies, a global company whose sensors and controls are found on everything from airplanes to household appliances. Carl Engle (B.S., civil engineering, ’65) serves as vice president and chief engineer at the Cardi Corp. and has overseen the construction of key components of Rhode Island’s infrastructure. Retired Coast Guard Rear Admiral Daniel May (M.S., ocean engineering, ’84) led a military career that combined engineering training and management skills to deliver unparalleled efficiency to the U.S. armed forces.