Monthly Archives: November 2013

Admissions Holiday Message

Wow!  Thanksgiving is one day away.  The Holiday Season is upon us.  This also means that seniors have 45 days until the Jan 15th deadlines approach.  January 15th is the deadline to apply for UofL and Speed School scholarships.  This year is flying by, so now is the time to finish them up.  Students must also have completed the application for admission by January 15th as well.  Don’t get left out in the cold, get your applications done now so that you can relax and enjoy the holidays.

At UofL we have so much to be thankful for:  a record freshmen class of amazing students, a record setting year in Cardinal athletics, and the opening of our new state of the art rec center.  As I type this I am looking out of window at the construction of both a new engineering research park and new student apartment complex.  Looks like 2014 is going to be a banner year well.  Now is the perfect time to come and join the Speed School community.  Come visit UofL and the J.B. Speed School of Engineering and see for yourself if it fits.  Remember, Life Takes Engineering and Speed School Delivers!  Happy Holidays!!!


Endowed Chair Position

We are looking for an outstanding scholar to fill the position of the Mechanical Engineering Endowed Chair.

As a prominent position of leadership, this Endowed Chair is expected to be an outstanding scholar, who significantly contributes to the University’s national and international research profile

The Department of Mechanical Engineering is pleased to announce that it has begun a search for a new Endowed Chair Professor.  The department is seeking an energetic and recognized leader with expertise in manufacturing related areas, including but not limited to novel materials, materials processing, micro- and nano-manufacturing, design, process control and additive manufacturing.  As a prominent position of leadership within the Speed School, this endowed chair is expected to be an outstanding scholar who will contribute significantly to the tripartite mission of teaching, research, and service.  All the while, s/he will contribute to the University’s national and international reputation.

This endowed search has already begun and will continue throughout next semester.  And the hope is that the position will be filled by the start of the fall semester, 2014.  For details on the position, please visit

Hey Girls? Where are you?

By John S. Usher, Associate Dean

Where are all the girls in engineering?  As I look at the recent numbers here at Speed School, I wonder.  Right now, our undergraduate enrollment is at 19.4% female, which is actually up from 15.5% in 2010.   Still that number seems far too low to me.  I’m no expert on the subject, but my opinion is that girls do not get positive messages growing up about engineering as a potential profession.  One might argue that this is caused by cultural attitudes among parents.   Girls can’t do math.  That’s completely ridiculous. The females in my classes here do just as well with complex math as their male counterparts.  Girls need to choose a profession that is less demanding and more conducive to rearing a family in the future.  Again, I would point to many of our female graduates who have found engineering to be an excellent profession that can be enriching and flexible for women who choose to build a solid family life.  I would argue that engineering is a great degree choice,  that sets graduates up for a wide variety of professions, including being a great mom.  Girls are more interested in professions that allow them to show compassion and concern for improving the human condition.  This may be true and may be why girls tend to choose degrees in fields such as nursing, teaching, and social work.  But I don’t buy the logic, because it is through engineering that girls can often have a profound impact on improving quality of life for others, for example, by designing more efficient hospitals and health care facilities, creating new medical devices that save lives, building smarter power grids that reduce greenhouse gasses, building improved water systems that protect the environment, and so on.

In fact, while parents and society play an important role in messaging to our female youth, it ultimately is the fault of the engineering profession who has not delivered the message in clear and compelling ways. We need to improve our story and re-double our efforts to reach girls at younger ages.  Waiting until high school to try to convince a young woman to study calculus and physics, is way too late.   We need to show girls that engineering wants them and needs them to create a better world in the future.

Check out a company who is trying to change the perception.

and check out their Rube Goldberg video.

For more on the opportunities for girls (and boys) to learn about engineering, check out the Speed School outreach programs!

Women can’t do math? That’s an excuse, not a fact.

Cyber Defense Update

Cyber defense has had some successful runs since the last update. University of Louisville won the CSSIA CyberWars competition on October 12. CyberWars is a hybrid competition that involves having to defend the same services as in other competitions (web, email, dns, etc.) while also having Kali and Backtrack Linux Virtual Machines to attack other teams with. The rules are less strict than with Cyber Defense, and virtually anything goes — needless to say, it was nice being the only team with working e-com all day. The team also won the latest CCDC Invitational, beating West Coast schools such as UC Berkeley.

The group is preparing for upcoming events as well. We will host an internal Cyber Defense Exercise next week, and will also be assisting with a competition for the CIS Department‘s network security course in December. The CIS competition will be run by Dr. Im and will include over 30 student defenders competing against industry and government professionals. This competition will be much more intense than the one last year, and everyone is excited for it.

At our weekly meetings, we have continued doing talks and training for all participants. Recent topics have included common vulnerabilities, access control, and cryptographic primitives. Our weekly meetings will conclude next week with the exercise, and we will pick up again next semester with more advanced topics.

Advising Changes and preparation

It has been a few crazy weeks in advising as students have actually been registering for classes, Vivian Lochner retired, and Jimmy Kidd started in the office. With all of the change and students in and out of the office it has made the office think about what can students do in preparation for their advising appointment. The best thing that a student can do before meeting with their advisor is to think about what classes they are hoping to take during the next few of semester. If you look ahead your advisor can help you stay on your Flight Plan. If we know what classes you are hoping to take we can offer insight into what semesters are the best to take them. Also, this gives us more time to talk about how you are doing in classes and get to know you better. Good luck with finals and have a wonderful Thanksgiving!

Lost in the Woods

Each baja car built at UofL is given a name based upon the personality that car develops during the season.  The 2009 car was named the Chariot of Darkness for being the teams first all black paint schemed car.  2010, The Troop, for its black and white Stormtrooper appearance.  In 2011 the car was named Leroy based on a World of Warcraft youtube video because like Leroy Jenkins in the video, Leroy has a tendency to do whatever it wants at times.  In 2012, car built Junior; a car that is nearly identical to Leroy with only minor changes to fix mistakes made on Leroy.

Early in the season the team decided that the 2013 car was going to be the team’s first girl because of the curves and hips given to the car’s shape with the new carbon fiber body.  So that was part one of the process for naming the car.  At the first and second competitions, the car had a tendency of getting “lost” on the endurance track.  The car would break down and because the team had no way of seeing or communicating with the driver, they would have no idea where the car was until it appeared in the pits being towed by an ATV; thus, it got “lost.”  The car was then aptly named Carmen after the computer game character from the 80’s and 90’s Carmen Sandiego.

This recurring theme of getting lost in the woods not only inspired the name for Carmen but, also became an appropriate title to our 2013 season video.  And so without further ado, the 2013 University of Louisville Baja team presents Lost in the Woods.

Engineering Exposition 2014

Engineering Exposition (E-Expo) is an annual event held by Speed School Student Council where everyone, from elementary school students to adults, are invited to campus to discover the exciting opportunities for engineering at the University of Louisville. Tours of open labs, hands-on activities, competitions, and a Keynote speaker are meant to engage younger students into the joys of engineering. E-Expo’s main goal is to unite students, industry, and the community by inspiring innovation and ingenuity in the minds of future generations.

Mark Your Calendar for March 1, 2014 for E-EXPO

Save the Date postcard announcing the 2014 E-EXPO

This year, E-Expo will be on Saturday March 1st, 2014 from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. The theme for this year is SPEEDing to the Next Frontier with a Keynote speaker from NASA coming. There will be a Rube Goldberg competition for elementary, middle, and high school students, Balsa Wood Bridge competition for elementary and high school students, and a Bottle Rocket competition for middle school students. Every engineering department will have open labs available for tours, and Speed School societies will hold hands-on activities for students to participate in throughout the day.

E-Expo doubled in size last year, and we expect it to continue to grow this year. Please join us in celebrating the opportunities in engineering by attending the event or volunteering to help out! For more information on the event, please visit and don’t hesitate to send any questions to