Monday, December 23, 2013

CT Space Grant Consortium Spring 2014 Call for Applications

The list of available fellowships and grants has been posted for faculty and students on the Connecticut Space Grant Consortium website.
The Consortium's Spring 2014 application deadline is February 4, 2014, at 2 p.m.
Download a poster with information about the Consortium's call for applications.
Visit, email, or stop by in person at the Space Grant Consortium office in Dana 203 with any questions.

Sabbaticals Awarded for 2014–2015

President Walter Harrison and Provost Sharon L. Vasquez are pleased to announce that the following faculty members have been awarded sabbaticals for the 2014–15 academic year. 

Professor Abiodun Ilumoka (Fall Semester 2014)
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture

Professor Ilumoka will use her sabbatical in collaboration with the Connecticut Science Center, to exploit synergies between the two institutions to establish a powerful cluster of innovative and dynamic STEM workforce development programs. Project components will include a range of activities from after-school enrichment programs to summer programs, Saturday workshops, field trips and mentoring/shadowing experiences provided by industry-based STEM professionals.  

Associate Professor Saeid Moslehpour (Fall Semester 2014)
Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering
College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture

Professor Moslehpour will use his sabbatical to write his second book of electronic system design using electronic design automation titled Computer Aided Digital Circuit Analysis Using Cadence. He will also be a visiting professor at Power and Water University of Technology teaching and learning about distance learning (eLearning). 

Associate Professor David Pines (Spring Semester 2015)
Department of Civil, Environmental, and Biomedical Engineering
College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture

Professor Pines will use his sabbatical to strengthen and deepen the humanitarian service learning projects in India and Kenya in which he and others have been engaged for the last seven years. These cross-cultural experiences have emphasized the importance of listening and understanding so that relationships can be developed to address the basic needs facing the residents of Abheypur, India and Western Kenya. The humanitarian projects exemplify the University’s mission statement which stresses the importance of engaging our students to contribute to a pluralistic, complex world.

Professor Chittaranjan Sahay (Fall Semester 2014)
Department of Mechanical Engineering
College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture

Professor Sahay will use his sabbatical to pursue research in the area of Machining of Titanium Alloys, and prepare material for a handbook in manufacturing metrology. During the last year, the University of Hartford has established a Center for Manufacturing and Metrology. The laboratory facilities for the Center consist of a manufacturing metrology lab in D 102 and at the Advanced Manufacturing Center of the Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology. A graduate certificate program in manufacturing metrology has been established to meet the needs of the industry. There is however a lack of textbooks in this fast developing area.

Biomedical Engineering Seniors participate in a "Kitchen Battle"

On Friday, December 7th, the biomedical engineering seniors competed in a Kitchen Battle at The Kitchen at Billings Forge.  The event, part Dr. Arico’s Biomedical Engineering Senior Design course offered an off-campus opportunity to hone their team work and communication skills.  Each student team was tasked with making a dish using ingredients in the ‘mystery basket’.  Students then worked with the Kitchen staff to create the dish.  Following the judging/eating period, students reflected on the similarities and differences in team dynamics and communication in the different setting.
Mohammed B.:  “The kitchen battle was an amazing opportunity for us as senior students. We could see the differences in the group work in two different areas, at the senior design class and at the kitchen. At the senior design class, my group is more confident and can deal with things so easily. The reason behind that is that they are used to this kind of work, which makes them feel confident about it. But at the kitchen, they were not as confident as in the design class. They were so shy since almost no one knew how to cook. I think the reason behind that is that they did not get used to this kind of work, they just need more practice in cooking so they achieve better results in this side.” 

Alyssa B: “On Friday, December 7th, our BE460 class gathered at Kitchen at Billings Forge in Hartford to participate in a team building kitchen battle. The class split into our design project teams and we were given a basket of ingredients to cook three dishes out of. Our group discussed possibilities of dishes and decided on three before heading back to the kitchen to start cooking. Once in the kitchen, each member of the group began performing a certain task such as cutting onions or preparing chicken for the grill. In the end, I was surprised by what our group could accomplish by working as a team. Our communication in the kitchen was functional and produced very successful and tasty dishes.  I did notice a difference in communication during the Kitchen Battle compared to our normal group work. Our group seemed more respectful of other members of the team and more functional and productive as a whole. I am not sure why we were more productive in the kitchen compared to doing project related things. Maybe it was because we were given a set timeline by the chefs and everyone was completing their own task. There was no set leader and no one was controlling or criticizing another.” 

Lydia W: “The Kitchen Battle was a really fun experience that was also a great team building activity. You have to be able to truly trust the people in your class if you are going to eat food that they make. I think that it was good for my group, but it was also something that made our class better friends. Before the kitchen battle, I had never spent anytime outside of class with the majority of the people in BE 460, so it was nice to get to know people on more of a personal, rather than professional, level. I know that a lot of people were not enthusiastic about this event, but it seemed like everyone really enjoyed it. I will admit that I was not looking forward to this event, but I had a great time, and I believe that my group will definitely benefit from participating.”

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Sawruk Publishes Article About CETA's Work in Afghanistan

The article, "Reconstructing Afghanistan: An Architecture Curriculum for a 'New Way of Life'" by Associate Professor of Architecture Theodore Sawruk was recently published in the British-based International Journal of Islamic Architecture (Volume 2 Number 2, ISSN 2045-5895).
Female students on the Herat University campus with the Engineering Building in the background.

In 2008, the University of Hartford's College of Engineering, Technology, and Architecture (CETA) was given a $1.33 million grant from the World Bank to help re-establish the School of Engineering at Herat University in western Afghanistan. The grant mission facilitated creating a new Architectural Engineering Technology program to address the growing needs of contemporary Afghanistan.
Over the next three years various individuals worked to forge an innovative curriculum, one that melds the historic traditions of a 2,000-year-old city with the contemporary needs of a Western-style Islamic society.  When the ideally conceived, Western-inspired curriculum was finally taken to Herat University for approval and implementation, a new and harsher reality emerged.
Sawruk's article chronicles the events, individuals, and unique constructs that eventually reshaped the proposed curriculum.  It relays how the current state of the profession, cultural traditions, expanding innovations, and economic realities came to bare on the development of this new program, and how Western preconceptions were revised by Islamic realities.  And finally, how did the melding of these realities supplant the initial utopian agendas of Hartford faculty members in the creation of a more viable, integrated curriculum, one which evolved to support an evolving, unique, and contemporary architectural identity?
Sawruk can be reached via email at