Engineering Makes a World of Difference
Vol. 6 No. 1 – Summer 2023
Students in the News
USA Students win at AIChE Southern Regional/National Student Conferences!
The AIChE (American Institute of Chemical Engineers) Southern Regional Student Conference was held March 3-5 in Gainesville, FL. Twelve USA students attended the conference and each one competed in either the Chemical Engineering Jeopardy competition or the Research Poster Presentation competition. It was our first-time competing in the Jeopardy competition, but our team made the semi-finals. South also won both 1st and 2nd place overall in the poster competition beating out all other schools in the Southern region.
Last November, nine chemical engineering students from the University of South Alabama attended the AIChE National Conference in Phoenix, AZ. Seven of these students (pictured) participated in the national research poster competition with three of them -- Micah Dickens (far left), Jason Stallings (3rd from right), and Mariam Omar (far right) -- winning awards for their presentations.
Civil Engineering Senior wins Acott/Wilson Asphalt Industry Scholarship
Senior Cade Marty, studying Civil Engineering at the University of South Alabama, has been awarded the prestigious Acott/Wilson Asphalt Industry Scholarship by the National Asphalt Pavement Association (NAPA). This is the first time a student from the University of South Alabama has received this award. Cade has also been conducting asphalt research under the direction of Dr. Shenghua Wu of the USA Department of Civil, Coastal, and Environmental Engineering, and recently presented the results of their work at the 102nd Transportation Research Board Annual Meeting in Washington DC. Their work will also be published as a peer-reviewed journal paper in the Transportation Research Record.
Tianna Lewis is a recipient of the Gilman Scholarship
Tianna Lewis, a senior majoring in both Chemical Engineering and Foreign Languages, was selected to receive the Gilman Scholarship to study abroad starting January 2023. She will study general education courses at the University of Castilla-La Manchain located in Cuenca, Spain, a small, beautiful city between Madrid and Valencia. These courses are part of her second degree in Foreign Languages. They are taught entirely in Spanish, enabling total immersion in the Spanish language and culture. On graduation Ms. Lewis aims to become a Pediatrician and to use her fluency in Spanish to form interpersonal connections with Spanish-speakers, a crucial skill for care-givers working with Hispanic patients.
Engineering Laboratories
Undergraduate Laboratory Equipment Campaign

The College of Engineering continues to focus on their initiative to enhance our laboratories in Shelby Hall. These labs provide our students with hands-on experience and ensure that they are prepared to enter the workforce upon graduation. Your gift, of any amount, will have an immediate impact on our students and their future careers. To learn more about specific needs of each department, click Engineering Labs.
Faculty Research
Dr. Shenghua Wu (Civil, Coastal, and Environmental Engineering) is the Project Lead for new award from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Dr. Wu was awarded $1.9M through the Mississippi-Alabama Sea Grant Consortium to develop techniques and tools to help mitigate and prevent the presence of microplastics in the Gulf of Mexico leveraging resources along the Gulf Coast, including ten wastewater treatment facilities in Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida. See the full announcement on NOAA's website under the Marine Debris Challenge.
South Professor will lead $1.3M
EPA innovative nutrient reduction project

Dr. Kaushik Venkiteshwaran, Assistant Professor of Civil, Coastal, and Environmental Engineering at The University of South Alabama, will lead a three-year multi-institutional project, awarded by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), studing new technologies to reduce nutrient pollution from urban water runoff along the Gulf Coast. The project will collaborate with Mobile Baykeeper, a local NGO to lead high-school outreach activities encouraging awareness and pursuit of careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM). Dr. Venkiteshwaran and the research team will develop and implement novel nutrient adsorbing textiles which can be used in existing city infrastructure and can effectively remove and recover nutrients for reuse. Recovering nutrients like nitrogen and phosphorus from storm water for reuse as agricultural fertilizers will further help in achieving economic and environmental sustainability.
Faculty in the News
Dr. Jinhui Wang (Associate Professor in Electrical and Computer Engineering) received awards for both Excellence in Teaching and Excellence in Research in Spring 2023. Dr. Wang was a Postdoctoral researcher in VLSI Design at the University of Rochester, NY. after earning his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering at Beijing University of Technology (China) and a B.S. in Electrical Engineering at Hebei University (China).
Dr. Bret Webb has been awarded the Orville T. Magoon Sustainable Coasts Award for 2023. This award is given in recognition of Dr. Webb’s outstanding contributions to sustainable engineering practices in managing shorelines and coastal infrastructure through research, design, construction or management of the natural and built environment in the coastal zone.

This award was established by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) in 2013. The award is named after Orville T. Magoon, who was employed as a coastal engineer by the US Army Corps of Engineers from 1952 to 1985. He was well known as an early leader in sustainability and promotion of the concept of sustainability in coastal engineering research, design, construction and management.
New Chair of MABE
Dr. Charalabos (Haris) Doumanidis has been selected as the new Department Chair for Mechanical, Aerospace, and Biomedical Engineering. Dr. Doumanidis earned a Diploma from the Aristotelian University. of Thessaloniki, his MS from Northwestern University and PhD from MIT in Mechanical Engineering, followed by a Postdoctoral appointment at the MIT Laboratory for Manufacturing & Productivity. He has previously been a faculty member at institutions including Tufts University, MIT, the University of Cyprus, and the University of Nevada Reno. He is a recipient of the Marie Curie Chair of Excellence award from the European Commission, the ASME Blackall Award, the Presidential Faculty Fellow Award by the White House (President Clinton), and the NSF Young Investigator and the Research Initiation Award, as well as several grants from the EU, NSF, SME, and Honda. He has supervised ten Doctoral and thirty-six Masters' students, has received four best paper awards and started seven companies, and has mentored several young investigators in the US, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia.
Faculty, Staff, & Students
USA ASCE competes at multiple National Competitions
The USA-ASCE Concrete Canoe and Steel Bridge teams both placed high at the Regional Symposium hosted at USA in March. After being invited to participate in the National ASCE Student Championships for the first time in the University's history, the team and the canoe they designed and constructed finished eight in the Co-ed Sprint races and 11th in the other four races. The team finished 16th overall nationwide and won the "Spirit of the Competition" award based on the attitudes and theme of the students.
Launch society competes in international rocket competition
Our Engineering Launch Society competed at the 2023 Spaceport America Cup in New Mexico in June. Several universities, some representing other countries, participated in the competition. Our team's rocket, "Helios," successfully launched nearly 10,000ft. The rocket was 12ft long, weighed 70lbs, had a max thrust of 650lbs, a max speed of Mach 0.80, and a total impulse of 9,700 Ns. The rocket came within 700ft of the team's apogee prediction. Listed below are the team members:
Coleman Davis: Project Lead
Sam Jesse: Safety/Testing Lead
Ethan Ott: Structures/Propulsion Lead
Matthew Laski: Recovery Lead
Zach Miller: Payload Lead
Zane Box: Payload Team
Nathan Pierce: Structures Team
Josiah Pimperl: Recovery Team
Alex Jin: Outreach Lead
Matthew Van Welzen: Payload Team
College of Engineering
Scholarship Reception

In addition to recognizing 60 scholarships awarded to our students, the Student of The Year Awards for each Engineering department were presented: (from left to right) - Carly Ray (Computer), Sarah Grace Young (Electrical), Emily Pierce (Civil), Danielle Flores (Chemical), and Zachary Miller (Mechanical).
Alumni News
USA Electrical and Computer Engineering alumnus Warren H. Nicholson (center) was presented with the Mobile Area Council of Engineers "Individual of Special Recognition" award at a banquet held in January.
Save the Dates
August 14th - 17th 2023: Math Bridge Program
August 22-23, 2023: Week of Welcome - events for all new and returning students!
September 1, 2023: Welcome to the Jungle - events showcasing all engineering student organizations.

USA Football Engineering Tailgating Schedule 2023:

Sept. 9 - Southeastern Louisiana (hosted by BASF/AMNS Calvert)
Sept. 23 - Central Michigan (Homecoming hosted by PSE Designs Consulting Engineers)
Oct. 17 - Southern Miss (Tuesday evening - hosted by Hargrove Engineers + Constructors)
Oct. 28 - Louisiana (hosted by Airbus Americas - Engineering)
Nov. 11 - Arkansas State (hosted by Orion Engineering)
Nov. 18 - Marshall (hosted by Terracon Consultants Inc)
Thank you to our 2023 College of Engineering Alumni Society Golf Tournament Sponsors!

Tournament Sponsors
  • Vertext Refining
  • PCA (Packaging Corporation of America)
Lunch Sponsors
  • Airbus
  • AM/NS Calvert
Food Tent Sponsors
  • Orion Engineers & Constructors
  • PSE Designs Consulting Engineers
Hole Sponsors
  • McCrory & Williams, Inc. - Engineering Surveyors
  • Norton Engineering
  • Genesis Technical & Industrial Staffing
  • Michael Baker International
  • Performance Contractors, Inc. 
  • Volkert
Host an Engineering Information Session

We are looking for guest speakers interested in sharing their engineering experiences with our current students as well as companies interested in sharing the types of activities in which their engineers are involved. We can host in-person or virtual meetings.

Please contact the College of Engineering for more information.
College of Engineering Alumni Polos
College of Engineering Alumni polos are currently for sale! If you're interested in ordering a polo, orders can be placed and paid for online: Alumni Polo Order. We have several sizes and colors in stock. If we don't have your size or preferred color, the next order will go out in the Spring. All proceeds go towards the College of Engineering Alumni Society Scholarship. Polos are priced at $39.50 (shipping/handling included).

The polos are crafted using performance material and are offered in men's and women's sizes in the following colors: Black, Charcoal Grey, Navy Blue, Red, and White. Below is an example of a red polo with the USA alumni logo.
College of Engineering
150 Student Services Dr., Shelby Hall 2114
Mobile, AL 36688