EX Dec 2022 Engineering Monthly

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Oregon State University

College of Engineering | Engineering Monthly, December 2022

From the Dean
Scott A. Ashford, Ph.D., P.E. (California)

Among the many areas of growth within the College of Engineering, I am continually impressed with our ever-expanding portfolio of research projects. The amount of new sponsored research awards, $75.8 million in 2022, has nearly doubled in the past eight years, with the college setting funding records in each of the last four years. Every month, I share with you some of the results of this research. I find it especially rewarding to highlight stories about how College of Engineering research is contributing to life-saving advances. This month, we’re featuring research about small changes to urban intersections that can prevent fatal cyclist accidents, a way to make magnetic nanoparticles better at fighting cancer, and a test that people with epilepsy can use to track their anti-seizure medication levels. Below, you can read about these discoveries as well as student, faculty, and alumni achievement and other news about the college.

Go Beavs!


Computer graphic showing a bike lane with green shading

Bike boxes can save lives

A roadway setup known as the “bike box,” a painted-off area at the front of an urban, signalized intersection, can help cyclists stay safer, according to College of Engineering research. Learn more … (See also Bike Portland, Tech Xplore)

 Illustrated image depicts magnetic nanoparticles in a tumor, where upon exposure to an alternating magnetic field they can heat to the cancer-killing temperature of 50 degrees Celsius.

Hotter nanoparticles show promise to fight cancer

A team of Oregon State scientists — including Pallavi Dhagat, professor of electrical and computer engineering — has invented a way to make magnetic nanoparticles that get hotter than any previous nanoparticle, potentially improving their cancer-fighting ability. Learn more …

Illustration depicting a person taking a test, that test strip being processed, and then pills

Rapid test could help people with epilepsy adjust medication

College of Engineering researchers led by Elain Fu, associate professor of bioengineering, and postdoctoral researcher Lael Wentland have taken a key step toward improving the lives of people with epilepsy by developing a sensor system that can quickly test saliva to see if they have the correct level of anti-epileptic medicine in their system. Learn more …


Brian Woods with a student looking at a computer

Presidential appointment

President Joe Biden has named Brian Woods, head of the School of Nuclear Science and Engineering and the Henry W. and Janice J. Schuette Chair in Nuclear Engineering and Radiation Health Physics, as a member of the Nuclear Waste Technical Review Board. The Board's purpose is to perform independent technical and scientific peer review of the U.S. Department of Energy's activities related to managing and disposing of high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel.  The Board reports its findings & recommendations to Congress and the Secretary of Energy. Learn more …

Wide shot of Pacific Northwest coastline

Underwater data

Merrick Haller, professor of ocean and coastal engineering, and Meagan Wengrove, assistant professor of ocean and coastal engineering, are using data from marine radar towers and undersea cables to track subtle changes in the movements of the ocean that may indicate the presence of submarines or other objects. “There’s already so many of these cables down there and people are just starting to realize how much information can be gained from sampling them,” Haller said.Learn more …

Zhenxing Feng

Top 1%

Zhenxing Feng, associate professor of chemical engineering, was one of four at Oregon State to be named a Highly Cited Researcher 2022 by Clarivate, along with Moyu Wang, a former postdoctoral researcher in his lab. Wang and Feng have conducted pioneering research involving catalysts that shows hydrogen can be cleanly produced with much greater efficiency and at a lower cost than is possible with current commercially available catalysts. Learn more … (See the full list)

Joe Davidson in an orchard with a bot

Where are the orchard bots?

At a November Science Pub Talk in Corvallis, Joe Davidson, assistant professor of robotics, shared details about three robotic tree-fruit systems under development at Oregon State: a harvesting robot, a pruning robot, and a fertilizing robot. Learn more …

Kelsey Stoerzinger

Rising star

Congratulations to Kelsey Stoerzinger, assistant professor of chemical engineering, who was recently honored with a Materials Today Rising Star Award, which recognizes future leaders in materials science and engineering. Learn more …

Yue Cao working on machinery

On the frontier of engineering

Yue Cao, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, was recently selected into the National Academy of Engineering’s Frontier of Engineering Class of 2022. This FOE aims to bring together outstanding, early-career engineers from industry, universities, and other research institutions in the United States and Europe to introduce their areas of engineering research and technical work. Learn more …

Believe it - extended

More affordable plastic waste reduction

Skip Rochefort, associate professor of chemical engineering, and his students are testing a novel use for pyrolysis, a well-established chemical process, to reduce plastic waste. Rochefort and his team hope to install pyrolysis reactors in remote and underserved communities, where plastic waste disposal can be difficult and costly. Learn more …


Graduate Student Lindsay Benage, Orthopedic Tissue Engineering

Watch Now: Lindsay Benage, Orthopedic Tissue Engineer

Lindsay Benage, who recently earned her Ph.D. in bioengineering, is inspired to find biomedical solutions for people suffering from chronic orthopedic injuries. Her research examines how tendons and cartilage respond biologically to stress and injury. Her interdisciplinary work was advised by Morgan B. Giers, assistant professor of bioengineering, and Ravi Balasubramanian, associate professor of mechanical engineering. Watch the video …

Shaurya Gaur

Happiness is a warm playlist

For his Honors College thesis, Shaurya Gaur has developed a program that creates playlists that assess your current headspace — whether it’s depressed, sad, low-energy, or tired — and serve up songs that progressively get more happy, positive, and high-energy. Learn more …

Western ite logo, text is surrounded by mountains, windmills, and a palm tree

Fostering engagement

Computer science Honors College students Oliver Elliott and Adrian Baker developed the HC Community Connector app to help build community and foster engagement among Honors College students. Learn more …

One of the members in the middle of two presenters holding the award

SHPE Chapter of the Year

Congratulations to the Oregon State student chapter of the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers on receiving the 2022 National Student Chapter of the Year Award from the SHPE national chapter. This is the highest honor bestowed to a student chapter organization by SHPE.

Aaron Reynolds

Best paper at ANS summer meeting

Congratulations to postdoctoral scholar Aaron Reynolds, who was awarded the Mathematics and Computations Division’s best paper and presentation award at the 2022 American Nuclear Society summer meeting for his summary, “Verification and Scaling of Time-Dependent Shift Using the AZURV1 Benchmark.” 


Gold SIR Award statues

AGC SIR Awards

Congratulations to Walt Gamble, construction engineering management ’69, Todd Hess, construction engineering management '80, and Scott Ashford, Kearney Dean Engineering, on being honored with the SIR Award from the Association of General Contractors Oregon-Columbia Chapter. Learn more ...


NuScale Power Module

TIME’s Best Inventions of 2022

The NuScale Power Module, the first small modular nuclear reactor design to gain U.S. regulatory approval, has been named one of TIME Magazine's Best Inventions of 2022 for its safe, scalable, and cost-competitive design. It was developed from research that began at Oregon State. Learn more …


Students on the steel bridge team posing together outdoors on campus around their steel bridge model

Engineering enrollment tops 10,000

For the first time in College of Engineering history, enrollment topped 10,000 in Fall 2022 — with 9,250 students seeking undergraduate degrees and 1,215 seeking graduate degrees. Computer science remains the most popular major across the university. Overall enrollment at the university topped 35,000 for the first time. Learn more …

Researchers in wave lab watching simulated waves crashing against an artificial coast

Wave lab receives Hamaguchi Award

Japan’s Port and Airport Research Institute presented its Hamaguchi Award to the O.H. Hinsdale Wave Laboratory at Oregon State for contributions to the understanding of tsunamis, coastal hazards, and disaster prevention work. Lab director Pedro Lomonaco accepted the award at a ceremony in Tokyo. Learn more …

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