Author Archives: jbspeedschool

Engineering Fundamentals encourages students to think critically about their major, discipline

Dr. Jeff Hieb

Dr. Jeff Hieb

This fall semester Engineering Fundamentals welcomed approximately 600 students to the Introduction to Engineering course (ENGR 100); this includes first-time and transfer students.  In ENGR 100, students are asked to reflect on and think critically about their choice of major and discipline. To assist students in this thinking process, we (in collaboration with the Career Development and Cooperative Education Office) are hosting 12 seminars where representatives from some of Speed’s employer partners will speak to the first-year students about their company and what they are looking for in hiring engineering students.

Department of Engineering Fundamentals faculty member Dr. Jeff Hieb was recognized at the 2015 Celebration of Faculty Excellence for creative work resulting in new patents, licenses and options. Dr. Hieb, along with Dr. James H. Graham, were recently awarded a patent on a “Device, Method, and System for Processing Communications for Secure Operation of Industrial Control System Field Devices”. Drs. Hieb and Graham have been working in the area of cyber security for industrial control systems for the past 10 years with numerous funded research projects.


EF Faculty share teaching philosophy

Faculty in the Engineering Fundamentals Department worked with Marie Kendall Brown of the Delphi Center recently to update their teaching philosophy statements.  Junior and senior faculty members discussed their individual philosophies and examined how their ideas had changed over the course of their careers.  They shared their thoughts about both the rewards and challenges of teaching.  All are passionate about teaching and want to work together as a department to keep students at the center of all they do.

Students travel to Botswana on Service Learning Program


Marcella Kennedy

The UofL International Service Learning Program (ISLP) began in 1997 with a program in Barbados. Since then, the UofL ISLP has extended programs to the Philippines, Botswana, Belize, Croatia, and Trinidad and Tobago. The ISL program involves sending students to different countries around the world to teach younger students about their respective disciplines.

This year the Botswana program was available to engineering students. Nine engineering students attended this year, including Marcella Kennedy, Stephanie Coffey, Ian Van Lierop, Lily Yang, Nick Hudson, Alec Thompson, Gabrielle Hamilton, Kayla Meisner, and Rachel O’Connor. The students were led by the civil engineering department head, Dr. J.P. Mohsen. These students spent the spring semester preparing lesson plans for junior secondary students at various schools in Gaborone, Botswana.

After much preparation, the students departed for Gaborone from April 29 through May 8. The group had three lesson plans prepared: designing and building straw bridges with masking tape, building simple solar cookers with cardboard and aluminum foil, and assembling small solar powered cars. The students departed, excited for the opportunity to share their passion with young Botswana.

Throughout the next week, these lesson plans were taught in classrooms at four schools: Nanogang, Maoka, and Kwena-Sereto junior secondary schools, and Hope Mission. These activities ignited a passion for science and problem solving in many of the students in Gaborone. Additionally, the Speed School students had time to discuss what engineers do, how to become an engineer, and why being an engineer is awesome.

In addition to teaching junior secondary students about engineering, the UofL reps also had the opportunity to engage in cultural exchange events with students from Botho University, representatives from the Botswana Ministry of Education, and faculty from many schools in Gaborone. In their spare time, students also had the pleasure of going on a trip to a game reserve in South Africa! It was an enriching first ISLP trip for engineering students, and many of them plan to return next year!

For more information on the UofL International Service Learning Program, please visit their website.

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

Active Fall for Speed School Student Council

Students enjoy the Society Picnic

Students enjoy the Society Picnic on the steps of the JB Speed Building. Speed School Student Council sponsors this event and similar ones every semester.

The semester is well underway and Speed School Student Council has been busy helping the Speed School Class of 2017 get acclimated to campus and life as an engineering students.  Speed School Student Council (SSSC) is a branch of the Student Government Association specifically for student in J.B. Speed School Students.  Not only does student council sponsor and coordinate events like Engineers Ball and E-Expo, the student organization plans dozens of events and activities each semester focusing on involvement, friendship, and fun.

SSSC kicked the semester off with the annual Society Picnic which brings students and Speed School Student Organizations together for a recruiting fair.  Over 500 students both new and old enjoyed a cookout on the JB Speed steps while networking with leaders of each of the organizations.  The event offered students the opportunity to find major and career-oriented activities to get involved in across the Speed Campus.

Furthermore, SSSC sponsors a Freshman SSSC which allows the new campus leaders to hit the ground running in student leadership positions.  The elections for the Freshman Council just wrapped up and it looks like they will do big things.  Make sure you stay tuned to see what they have in store for their activities for this semester!

Lastly, SSSC is teaming up with the Speed School Alumni Council to sponsor a student and alumni BBQ as part of the homecoming week activities.  Tentatively, the BBQ will be around the noon hour on the J.B. Speed steps on October 18th.   The full details will be posted on the website next month!

Remember to find us on Facebook, follow us on twitter @ulsssc, and as always you can find more information on our website  If you would like to get involved, join us at our weekly General Body Meeting on Thursdays at 12:20 in J.B.100.


The Phoenix House: a permanent solution for disaster relief

Rendering of the Phoenix House

Rendering of the Phoenix House

The Phoenix House is designed to be a permanent solution for disaster relief. After a disaster, one’s life is forever changed, and one wishes to return to the life he or she once knew. With the Phoenix House, the hope is to return to a life better than before. The phoenix is a shining symbol of rebirth. Team Kentuckiana is proud to reveal the Phoenix House as our design for the 2013 Solar Decathlon.

New Chairman Joins Mechanical Engineering

After serving an impressive twenty years as M.E. Department Chairman at UofL, Prof. Glen Prater stepped down as chairman this past summer. As one can imagine, he made many notable contributions to academic life in the Speed School; most recently he helped ushered the M.E. program through another successful six-year accreditation and he was instrumental in developing the department’s on-site Masters program at the G.E. Appliance Park (to name just two things). Dr. Prater will continue teaching and conducting research in the M.E. Department. Thank you Dr. Prater!

Dr. Kevin Murphy, Chairman of Mechanical Engineering

Dr. Kevin Murphy, Chairman of Mechanical Engineering

After a national search, the M.E. Department and the Speed School have hired Prof. Kevin Murphy to serve as the new chairman. Prior to joining UofL, Dr. Murphy was a tenured, associate professor at the University of Connecticut, where he had served as the director of graduate studies and then as associate chairman. He earned his B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering and Applied Mechanics from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Duke University. His research focuses on nonlinear vibrations, stability, and solid mechanics. But his work also touches on acoustics, signal processing, and fracture mechanics. In particular, he has worked on vibration based structural health monitoring (SHM), adhesion/sticking contact in MEMS devices, and vibrations in manufacturing problems. Dr. Murphy has been awarded a number of competitive federal grants in support of his research program, including a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. He has also received several awards for distinguished teaching, in addition to being recognized by both branches of the Connecticut State Legislature for teaching excellence.

Welcome to the University of Louisville Dr. Murphy.