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Oakland University | School of Engineering and Computer Science
The official newsletter serving students, alumni, faculty, staff and friends of the School of Engineering and Computer Science at Oakland University.


January 2013
Volume 2 - Issue 1

Senior Design Competition was a success 

Engineering and Computer Science students recently participated in the Fall 2012 Senior Design competition. This recent event included those majoring in computer engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering and engineering chemistry. Students complete interdisciplinary projects to demonstrate their understanding of the material.
"The students designed, built and competed with robots that would autonomously slalom through a line of small orange cones (similar to those used for soccer practice) and return straight back to the starting line," explained Professor Michael Latcha. "The actual number of cones (4-6) and their locations (placed 2 – 4 meters apart) were determined just before the competition began. Significant time penalties would be assessed if the robots touched the cones."
Thirty-eight students, divided into six teams, competed in the December 10th competition.
"This was a difficult task, made more difficult, but more 'real-world,' by the uncertainty of the weather conditions on the competition day as well as the number and placement of the cones," Dr. Latcha said. "These uncertainties required both flexible and robust designs.
The seniors, as always, rose to the challenge and developed designs that attacked the challenge in different ways," he continued. "Some groups chose to begin with R/C car kits while others built their robots from the ground up. The focus throughout the semester was on speed, from processing the data obtained from various sensors to keeping the robot on track as it sped through the course."
Dr. Latcha added that they are grateful for the continuing financial support of the Senior Design Experience by the Office of the Provost.


Students demonstrate their project for the Fall 2012 Senior Design competition, the culmination of their education at Oakland University's School of Engineering and Computer Science.

OU INC partnership branches into the entertainment industry 

OU INC-based tracking software company, iTrack LLC, is taking the entertainment world by storm. In late 2011, Sight and Sound Theaters of Lancaster, Penn., and Branson, Mo. Purchased a TNS-400 Tracking and Navigation System from iTrack. The system is used by the theaters to track actors and sets while on location.
Jerry Atkinson, CEO of iTrack, is looking forward to seeing the impact that the TNS-400 and other engineering ventures will have on the world of entertainment.
"This is a great opportunity to adapt this technology and provide the entertainment industry with a solution that will enhance their production capabilities and help inspire the creative minds of our entertainment industry partners," Atkinson said.
iTrack is currently a tenant client at OU INC.
Amy Butler, Executive Director of OU INC, has only positive thoughts about iTrack and their success.
"This is a great example of how we create an environment that grows innovation. iTrack is using solutions developed for one industry to meet the needs of and create new possibly for other industry sectors," Butler said.
Besides increasing productivity during filming, the TNS-400 allows the theaters to reduce spending in areas that the technology improves.

The TNS-400 Tracking and Navigation System from iTrack.

School of Engineering and Computer Science looks back at prosperous 2012

The year 2012 was an exciting time for Oakland University's School of Engineering and Computer Science. At the start of 2013, we reflect on a year of incredible growth and accomplishment.

Ground broken amid increasing enrollment
Responding to increased demand for the world-class engineering instruction it offers, Oakland University broke ground in October on a $74.6 million engineering center scheduled to open in August 2014.
This 127,000-square-foot facility will house SECS, which this fall alone has seen a 20 percent jump in undergraduate enrollment and an 18 percent jump in graduate student enrollment.
The Engineering Center will include state-of-the-art instructional, research and development space designed to foster student learning and creativity that will ultimately boost U.S. global competitiveness in alternative energy, health care, biomedical, automotive, defense and other high-tech industries.

OU, Changchun University of Technology sign educational agreement
Recognizing a worldwide need for engineers with broad international experience, Oakland University and Changchun University of Technology (CCUT) in Changchun, Jilin, China, recently entered agreement to create a joint undergraduate program in mechanical engineering.
In the program, students will spend their first two years taking CCUT courses that mirror those taken in the first two years of study at OU. Students will then transfer to Oakland for their last two years to complete degree requirements. Graduates will receive two bachelor of science degrees in mechanical engineering – one from each of the partner universities.

Dr. Sayed Nassar named OU's 2012 Distinguished Professor
Sayed Nassar, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Fastening And Joining Research Institute (FAJRI), has been named Oakland University's 2012 Distinguished Professor.
Dr. Nassar is the principal investigator on 19 funded research grants and has brought more than $13 million to the institution from TARDEC, NSF, NASA, Chrysler, Cummins, General Dynamics and DTE. At the same time, he has published more than 110 peer-reviewed papers, one book, and holds three patents.

Outreach events promote OU, industry and SECS 
Throughout the year, professors participated in events designed to introduce elementary through high school students to the industry and OU.
Several professors visited area schools to meet with students. Over the past few months, they visited Oak Park High School, Utica Community Schools, and Troy Community Schools.
Other outreach events are held on campus, including Go For The Gold, Engineering and Computer Science Day. SECS also hosted summer camps on campus, which gives participating students a chance to explore the university and meet other students interested in engineering and computer science.

2012 brought bundles of joy to Engineering and Computer Science faculty and staff 

For some faculty and staff, 2012 is a year they will not forget. Many welcomed children and grandchildren into their growing families. Here's a look at some of the little ones who were born last year.


Anka Tianqi Qu
Born on May 18th 2012
to Mengbin Qi 
and Dr. Guangzhi Qu,
8 pounds, 11 ounces,
21.5 inches long.

Sophia Cortina Frick
Born on May 26th 2012
at 5:30 p.m.
to Carl and Katie Frick,
6 pounds, 2 ounces,
20 inches long.
Granddaughter of Dr. Pieter Frick


Evelyn Ming Gao
Born on June 18th 2012
at 7:48 p.m.
to Dr. Xia Wang and Gary Gao,
8 pounds, 6 ounces,
20.5 inches long.

Lucille Lea Stevens

Born on July 27th 2012

at 3:01 p.m.
to Eric and Ritalee Stevens,
1 pound, 4 ounces, 

11 inches long.

Giada Kalani
Born on August 22nd 2012
to John and Erin, 
7 pounds, 13 ounces,
20 inches long.  
Granddaughter of Terry
and Cynthia Heinz

Alia Daisy Kobus
Born on August 26th 2012
to Dr. Chris and Jacquleine Kobus, 
7 pounds, 6 ounces.


Jacob Michael
Born on September 10th 2012
at 11:03 a.m.
to Chris and Emily
8 pounds, 12 ounces
21 inches long.
Grandson of Pat Bennett


Brandon Matthew
Born on October 6th 2012
at 11:27 p.m.
to Heather,
7 pounds, 1 ounce
18 inches long.
Grandson of Candy McLellan

William Conrad Sczygielski
Born on November 5th 2012
at 10:11 a.m.
6 pounds 0 ounces,
19.5 inches long.
Claire Aniela Sczygielski
Born on November 5th 2012
at 10:13 a.m.
5 pounds, 14 ounces,
19 inches long.

 Born to Dr. Megan Conrad 
and Andy Sczygielski



SAE team to represent OU at North American International Auto Show

New campus traffic routes to accommodate building construction


January 21
Classes suspended: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

January 22
DTE Energy Information Session

January 25
Graduation Application Deadline

January 26
Homecoming Open House

January 30
Winter Career Fair

February 2
Engineering and Computer Science Day

February 16 (10 p.m.) - 24
Classes suspended: Winter recess


Office of the Dean
248 DHE
Phone: (248) 370-2217
Fax: (248) 370-4261

Computer Science and Engineering
168 DHE
Phone: (248) 370-2200
Fax: 248-370-4625

Electrical and Computer Engineering
102A SEB
Phone: (248) 370-2177 
Fax: (248) 370-4633

Industrial and Systems Engineering
653 SEB
Phone: (248) 370-2989 
Fax: (248) 370-2699

Mechanical Engineering
170 DHE
Phone: (248) 370-2210
Fax: (248) 370-4416

Academic Advising
159 DHE
Phone: (248) 370-2201
Fax: (248) 370-2084

ATTENTION CURRENT STUDENTS: Are you participating in an exciting internship? Would you like to share your experience with other students on campus? If so, sent an e-mail to Academic Advisor Carmen Etienne or Communications Manager Emily Prawdzik Genoff to learn more.

The School of Engineering and Computer Science is always interested in hearing from our alumni. E-mail us a few lines about your latest job, accomplishment or relocation to
Oakland University   School of Engineering and Computer Science
248 Dodge Hall of Engineering
2200 N. Squirrel Road
Rochester, MI 48309-4478
(248) 370-2217

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