Engineering Retention, Diversity, and Inclusion Faculty Research and Publications

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  • ItemOpen Access
    Hyper-extractive counties in the U.S.: a coupled-systems approach
    (2013-02-01) Aistrup, Joseph A.; Kulcsar, Laszlo; Mauslein, Jacob A.; Beach, Sarah; Steward, David R.; kulcsar; steward
    In this paper, we advance a theoretical framework for defining hyper-extractive coupled-systems in the United States. Our purpose is to extend a model constructed for an agricultural system in Southwest Kansas into a general theory that can be used to successfully classify counties across the U.S. that depend on the extraction of natural resources. We begin with developing the theoretical foundations for the hyper-extractive coupled-system. We then fit this theory within the existing literature regarding the classification of rural counties. Finally, drawing on a coupled human–natural systems theoretical framework (Liu et al., 2007), we develop a new spatially based empirical measure of rural context that captures the complex, multidimensional interactions between humans and their natural environments. GIS hot spot and factor analytic techniques are used to empirically identify existing coupled-systems, linking contiguous counties in the rural U.S. based on 35 indicators of land use, employment patterns, demographics, physiography, and climate. In addition to identifying three different types of hyper-extractive counties across the U.S., our approach reveals a number of other coupled-systems based on agriculture and ranching, mining, manufacturing, scenic amenities, and forestry and fishing.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Food security in India: the bottom-up approach
    (2014-01-31) Bhadra, Rumela; rbhadra
  • ItemOpen Access
    Engineering Education Experience, E3, for teachers: a professional development workshop for 6-12 engineering education
    (2013-10-07) Grauer, Bette; Roberts, Karen L.; Roberts, Thomas C.; Clark, Gary A.; Betz, Amy Rachel; grauerb; kroberts; tcr; gac; arbetz
    This paper describes a professional development program developed for middle and high school teachers, counselors, and administrators designed to provide information about grades 6–12 engineering curricula, engineering career paths, the Kansas State University College of Engineering, and student preparation for the study of engineering. The program, Engineering Education Experience (E3) was developed at Kansas State University, a midwestern university with a comprehensive engineering college. The program was created to support the University Engineering Initiative Act (UEIA). The UEIA, approved by the Kansas Legislature in 2011, provides funding for the state’s three engineering colleges to increase the number of engineering graduates in the state. In support of this plan, Kansas State University College of Engineering created E3 to inform 6–12 teachers, administrators and counselors of engineering as a topic of study and career path with the intent of reaching middle and high school students. The program was offered to teachers as a summer professional development workshop. During the summer of 2012, the Kansas State University College of Engineering hosted two 3- day engineering education workshops for teachers. Topics of lessons and activities included (a) engineering design, (b) problem-solving, (c) biological and environmental engineering, (d) nanomaterials, and (e) wind power. Activities and discussions allowed teachers to extend their knowledge of STEM topics and to meet with College of Engineering administrators, faculty, and students. Sixty-six teachers, counselors, and administrators participated in the E3 workshops. Participants included middle and high school math, physical science, biological science, and gifted teachers, along with counselors and administrators. Participants received 20 hours of professional development credit. A pre-workshop survey assessed their existing knowledge of engineering and what they hoped to learn from the workshop. Participants also completed a post workshop evaluation survey. A majority of the responses were favorable to the E3 workshop, with 98.5% of participants rating overall quality of the presenters/sessions as very good or excellent. Participants indicated satisfaction in presentations of the many areas and applications of engineering, variety of programs, and careers associated with engineering, and engineeringrelated activities for the classroom. This paper includes discussion topics and lesson plans developed for the E3 program and used during the workshop, including hands on and collaborative activities related to biological and environmental engineering, nanomaterials, and wind power.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Automobile emissions: a problem based learning activity using the Clean Air Act
    (2013-10-07) Grauer, Bette; Grauer, Diana; grauerb
    A problem-based learning activity has been developed using automotive engineering and requirements of the Clean Air Act to examine complex environmental issues involving automobiles. After an introductory study, students sample the O2, CO, NO, and NO2 levels of automobile exhaust and analyze the results. The activity employs a constructivist approach and is appropriate for entry-level engineering classes. It can be modified for use in upper level engineering classes as well. To prepare for the emissions analysis lab, students study the composition of atmospheric gases, products of combustion, and the measurement of automotive emissions. The laboratory component is the actual sampling of engine exhaust from student selected automobiles using an exhaust emissions analyzer. Students use sample values of emission concentrations for O2, CO, NO, and NO2, combustion kinetics, and fluid dynamics to calculate the engine fuel flow rate, exhaust flow rate, and mass emission rates for CO and NOX. This paper presents an overview of the introductory studies followed by a description of the automobile exhaust sampling activity. Representative sample data of automobile emissions are presented along with a discussion of the sampling results, a method for approximating pollutant mass emission rate levels, and comparison to EPA standards.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Active diversity interaction: making choices
    (2013-10-07) Grauer, Bette; Bitsie-Baldwin, LaVerne; Wilcox, Emily; grauerb; lbaldwin
    This paper describes a program designed to encourage interaction between minority and majority student groups in engineering. Multicultural engineering advocates at Kansas State University, a predominantly white institution, developed a program designed to increase communication and interaction between multicultural engineering students and the general engineering student population. This program, Making Choices, was presented to Introduction to Engineering classes within different engineering disciplines to encourage students to engage in active diversity interaction. We defined active diversity interaction as seeking out opportunities and choosing to interact with students outside the groups in which they normally networked. During the activity, students interacted and discussed (1) underrepresented populations in engineering, (2) the need for diversity in engineering, (3) interaction opportunities, and (4) the benefits of diversity to all students. The presenters described research that has shown advantages gained from choosing diversity interactions in an academic setting, including physical and psychological health, cognitive growth, improved information transfer, and higher academic achievement. After the discussion, the students created graphs of the number of weekly interactions they had with persons of representative groups in the College of Engineering. For most students the graphs were curved showing that they had large numbers of interactions with just a few groups and small numbers of interactions with other groups. However, in the ideal engineering environment, the line should be nearly flat, showing similar numbers of interactions with all groups. A survey after the activity measured the affective responses of the students to the activity. Results of the survey indicated students tended to agree more with affective responses in the Organization category of Krathwohl’s Affective Domain than with those in the Valuing category. We concluded that many students incorporated diversity interaction into their value systems but were unwilling to self-initiate diversity interactions. We believe this indicates a need for diversity interactions to be included in the engineering curricula in order to provide the benefits that researchers have attributed to interaction between diverse groups, including improved cognitive growth and academic achievement.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Wireless slips and falls prediction system
    (IEEE, 2013-09-18) Krenzel, Devon; Warren, Steven; Li, Kejia; Natarajan, Bala; Singh, Gurdip; swarren; bala; gurdip; kejiali
    Accidental slips and falls due to decreased strength and stability are a concern for the elderly. A method to detect and ideally predict these falls can reduce their occurrence and allow these individuals to regain a degree of independence. This paper presents the design and assessment of a wireless, wearable device that continuously samples accelerometer and gyroscope data with a goal to detect and predict falls. Lyapunov-based analyses of these time series data indicate that wearer instability can be detected and predicted in real time, implying the ability to predict impending incidents.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Teaching old dogs new tricks: the effectiveness of community-based social marketing on energy conservation for sustainable university campuses
    (2013-01-02) Aronoff, Jennifer; Champion, Benjamin L.; Lauer, Casey S.; Pahwa, Anil; pahwa; champion; cslauer
    The paper presents a community-based social marketing (CBSM) study that was conducted at Kansas State University (KSU) to determine potential strategies to decrease energy consumption on college campuses. The study was supported by a National Science Foundation (NSF) Research Experience for Undergraduates (REU) project, “Earth, Wind, and Fire: Sustainable Energy for the 21st Century.” The ultimate goal of this research is to establish an effective campaign to make KSU a more sustainable community while ensuring that the needs and concerns of individuals-specifically, laboratory scientists-on campus are addressed as well. This approach to sustainability has the capability of motivating and empowering building users and managers to not only make KSU's campus more sustainable but also to stretch beyond the boundaries of the university in the future.
  • ItemOpen Access
    GumPack: a personal health assistant with reconfigurable surface components
    (2012-11-01) Li, Kejia; Warren, Steven; swarren
    Wearable and everyday-carry medical devices can improve quality of life for individuals that need frequent health monitoring. Such tools can supplement ubiquitous home care environments populated with medical sensors, extending the reach of these environments and increasing the freedom of their occupants. This paper presents the concept design for an everyday-carry medical device called a ‘GumPack’: a small cuboid-shaped device that offers wireless connectivity and plug-and-play surface components, where a component can be a biomedical sensor or a wireless network coordinator that manages a body area network. This geometrical layout optimizes access to surface-based medical hardware mounted on a small form factor. The device offers substantive computing power, supports local component reconfigurability, and promotes interoperability with medical device coordination environments. The GumPack is envisioned to be a personal health assistant carried in a pocket or handbag that can operate alone or interface to, e.g., a cell phone.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Impact of preventive responses to epidemics in rural regions
    (2013-03-03) Schumm, Phillip; Schumm, Walter R.; Scoglio, Caterina M.; caterina; schumm
    Various epidemics have arisen in rural locations through human-animal interaction, such as the H1N1 outbreak of 2009. Through collaboration with local government officials, we have surveyed a rural county and its communities and collected a dataset characterizing the rural population. From the respondents’ answers, we build a social (face-to-face) contact network. With this network, we explore the potential spread of epidemics through a Susceptible-Latent-Infected-Recovered (SLIR) disease model. We simulate an exact model of a stochastic SLIR Poisson process with disease parameters representing a typical influenza-like illness. We test vaccine distribution strategies under limited resources. We examine global and location-based distribution strategies, as a way to reach critical individuals in the rural setting. We demonstrate that locations can be identified through contact metrics for use in vaccination strategies to control contagious diseases.
  • ItemOpen Access
    On the existence of a threshold for preventive behavioral responses to suppress epidemic spreading
    (2012-09-05) Sahneh, Faryad Darabi; Chowdhury, Fahmida N.; Scoglio, Caterina M.; caterina
    The spontaneous behavioral responses of individuals to the progress of an epidemic are recognized to have a significant impact on how the infection spreads. One observation is that, even if the infection strength is larger than the classical epidemic threshold, the initially growing infection can diminish as the result of preventive behavioral patterns adopted by the individuals. In order to investigate such dynamics of the epidemic spreading, we use a simple behavioral model coupled with the individual-based SIS epidemic model where susceptible individuals adopt a preventive behavior when sensing infection. We show that, given any infection strength and contact topology, there exists a region in the behavior-related parameter space such that infection cannot survive in long run and is completely contained. Several simulation results, including a spreading scenario in a realistic contact network from a rural district in the State of Kansas, are presented to support our analytical arguments.