Shan Jiang Joins Mechanical Engineering Faculty

Postdoctoral fellow brings research expertise to department, students

Assistant professor Shan Jiang is a new addition to the UM Department of Mechanical Engineering faculty. Submitted photo

When it comes to athletics, the University of Mississippi and the University of Missouri are rivals. But when Shan Jiang decided it was time to begin his professional teaching and research career at an R1 institution, he didn’t find it too difficult to forsake the Tigers for the Rebels.

“I was a ‘Mizzou Tiger,’ but Ole Miss also had a long history and great reputation,” said the newest assistant professor in UM’s Department of Mechanical Engineering. “I learned of this position from my previous Ph.D. adviser, who is also actively conducting research in the area of computational solid mechanics. I accepted because I believe that I fit this position very well based on my background and research interests.”

Jiang teaches courses in statics, engineering graphics fundamentals, and numerical engineering design and analysis. His research interests include mechanics of materials and structures; multiscale modeling and simulations, and strength of advanced materials; atomic/molecular-level simulations; thermo-mechanical response of nano-/mesoscale structures to extreme loading conditions; blast-resistant structures and materials, energetic materials, shock simulations; and high-performance computation for simulation-based engineering science.

“My short-term career goals are publishing high-quality research papers (in) international, top-ranked, peer-review journals, successfully securing some external research grants, developing my own special style of teaching to realize effectively and efficiently learning for both undergraduate and graduate courses,” Jiang said.

“Long-term, I want to form a well-known research group focused on simulation-based engineering science at Ole Miss and to develop more advanced courses to meet the requirements of the fast-increasing student enrollments in the ME department.”

Arunachalam Rajendran, chair and professor of the mechanical engineering department, said Jiang is an asset to the program and its students.

“Dr. Jiang brings exceptional talents in multidisciplinary research areas, including chemistry,” he said. “I am positive that Shan’s outgoing and easily approachable personality would lead to effective student interactions and synergism in the department. I am sure our students would love his teaching and perhaps performing undergraduate research under (him).”

Jiang said that receiving the Outstanding Ph.D. Student Award in the College of Engineering at Mizzou is his most fulfilling achievement to date.

“I’ve been working so hard during my time there, maintaining a 4.0 GPA and writing 12 journal publications,” he said. “I think this award is a good reflection of my hard work.”

Formerly a postdoctoral research fellow in the Sewell and Thompson Theoretical Chemistry Research groups at the University of Missouri-Columbia, Jiang holds Ph.D. degrees in civil engineering from there and in computational mechanics from Dalian University of Technology. He also earned master’s and bachelor’s degrees from Dalian. His research involves multiscale modeling and simulation of advanced materials, engineering structures under extreme conditions and shock simulations of energetic materials and blast-resistant structures.

“I have participated in several research projects that have been funded by several agencies, such as the U.S. Defense (Threat) Reduction Agency, the U.S. Army Research Office and the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research,” he said. “Under these projects, I have co-authored 20 peer-reviewed papers and two book chapters.”

Jiang and his wife, Cindy, have two sons: Aiden and Ethan. The couple enjoys playing games and watching funny kids’ movies with their boys.

“Sometimes, we go hiking and fishing outside to enjoy the nice weather,” he said.

And as for his SEC university loyalty?

“Joining the ME department is my honor,” Jiang said, “and Ole Miss is a great place for me to start my academic career. Hotty Toddy!”

For more about UM’s Department of Mechanical Engineering, visit https://engineering.olemiss.edu/mechanical/

 

 

 

 

Alumnus William H. Baker Jr. Presented McCulloch Lifetime Achievement Award

Honor recognizes contributions to Association for Manufacturing Excellence

William H. ‘Bill’ Baker Jr. is the 2016 Mac McCulloch Lifetime Achievement Award recipient. Submitted photo

Adding to many accolades during his career, William H. “Bill” Baker Jr. (ME 63) received the 2016 Mac McCulloch Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association for Manufacturing Excellence.

Established in 2004, the McCulloch Award not only recognizes service to the association but also honors an individual’s character, integrity and leadership. Recipients are nominated and selected by the AME Awards Council and presented the prize at the annual AME International Conference, which took place in Dallas, Texas, last year.

“After being a volunteer for 27 years, I am humbled to be given this recognition for my service,” said Baker, a Jackson native. “I’ve had many career highs over the years, but this one definitely tops the list.”

Baker retired in 2004 from Raytheon Co. and Texas Instruments Defense Systems (which Raytheon acquired in 1997). He is president and CEO of Speed to Excellence, a consulting company based in Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is also a prolific writer who has contributed articles to the National Productivity Review, Quality Progress and AME’s Target Magazine (of which he is now chairman of its editorial board).

He has co-authored best-sellers that include “Winning the Knowledge Transfer Race” with Michael English (McGraw-Hill, 2006) and “Lean for the Long Term” with Ken Rolfes (Productivity Press, 2015).

“Never dreamed I would be a writer and editor,” he said.

Baker’s other AME volunteer activities include serving as chairman of the 2005 international conference in Boston, where he had the opportunity to introduce the keynote speaker, Gov. Mitt Romney.

George Saiz, AME president and CEO, described Baker as “a tireless continuous improvement practitioner in his professional career (who) has brought that same spirit of improvement to his work at the organization.

“By adding his expertise to everything from AME publications all the way up to the most prestigious level of recognition through the AME Excellence Award, Bill has enabled thousands of continuous improvement practitioners to come together to share, learn and grow,” Saiz said.

Baker entered the University of Mississippi as a student-athlete and was on the freshman tennis team. He recalls Mechanics and Thermodynamics as a favorite engineering course.

“I liked the theories that I could visualize and enjoy,” Baker said.

As a mechanical engineering student, Baker also went through Air Force ROTC, where he was wing operations manager. He was also president of the student chapter of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and was selected for the Arnold Air Society and Scabbard and Blade honorary ROTC groups.

“This helped me be one of the first USAF rocket-propulsion engineers, who helped launch satellites from 1963 to 1967 and evaluating contractors’ performance,” Baker said.

Following graduation, Baker began a career in manufacturing engineering at Texas Instruments Defense Systems with responsibility for delivering missiles, night vision equipment and geophysical exploration equipment. He later spent two years as manufacturing manager at the University of Texas at Dallas, building mass spectrometers for Apollo 15, 16 and 17.

“The last one of moon exploration, Apollo 17, I physically helped build,” he said. “It is still on the moon.”

A frequent speaker on benchmarking, performance measurement, knowledge management, Raytheon Six Sigma and the Lean Enterprise, Baker has been instrumental in assisting several companies and organizations in pursuit of their strategic objectives. A senior Shingo Prize examiner and AME Excellence Award examiner, he was a key design contributor to the Lean Certification process developed by AME-Shingo-SME (Society of Manufacturing Engineers) and launched in 2006.

Baker, who also earned an MBA from Southern Methodist University in 1973, was responsible for knowledge management and benchmarking at both Texas Instruments and Raytheon from 1990 to 2004. Earlier in his career, he was the manufacturing manager on several high-profile missile/electronic systems, including Shrike, Paveway, Harpoon seeker, TOW Night Sight, HARM and Tacit Rainbow. Baker was the U.S. Air Force engineering chief, responsible for evaluating satellite launches at Vandenberg Air Force Base in California.

Baker and his wife, Martha Rea, who attended Ole Miss for three years, have three sons: William, Mark and David.

“I assist Martha, who is an accomplished artist,” Baker said. “And I love to spend time with our four grandchildren: Cas, Ruby, Bodhi and Charan.”

Baker also enjoys playing competitive tennis in Santa Fe.

For more about Speed to Excellence, visit https://billbakerste.com/ For more about the UM Department of Mechanical Engineering, go to https://engineering.olemiss.edu/mechanical/. For additional information about the Association for Manufacturing Excellence, see www.ame.org.

 

 

Colbert Lehr Reflects upon Time as Engineering Student Body President

With experience, planning, electrical engineering senior accomplishes a lot during his time in office

Colbert Lehr served as Engineering Student Body president in 2016-17. (Submitted photo)

Colbert Lehr, an electrical engineering major from Brandon, said that his time serving on the Engineering Student Body Leadership Council since his freshman year helped him decide to run for the position of ESB president. He was elected ESB president by his peers last spring and has spent the past 12 months working to better things for students in the School of Engineering.

“When I chose to run for ESB president, I had previously served on the ESB Leadership Council for two years,” he said. “I had experience planning, promoting and conducting different social events for engineering students.”

Lehr said he believes that it was his experience with events such as National Engineers Week (E-Week), the School of Engineering tailgate and Engineering Formal that helped make him the best candidate for the position.

“The ESB is not just an organization that hosts social events to help students engage and meet each other,” Lehr said. “The group is also responsible for helping to develop programs that promote career and professional development as well as representing the needs of engineering students to the engineering faculty and administration.”

Lehr organized the council into an academic committee and a social committee to help make sure all council members were involved and had a role in coordinating activities during the course of the year.

ESB Leadership Council member Jake Azbell said he appreciated Lehr’s leadership.

“Colbert is very professional when it comes to his work, which is needed to manage a group of people with varying perspectives and ideas,” he said. “He was also very detail oriented and helped make serving in the ESB an enjoyable experience.”

Since the ESB is the umbrella student organization for the School of Engineering, one of Lehr’s goals was to develop stronger relationships between the ESB and other engineering student organizations.

“Often, organizations operate independently since they are based within a specific engineering department,” Lehr said. “I attempted to remedy this by bringing leaders of student organizations together and addressing everything from collaboration on events to funding and support for schoolwide events.”

Lehr said he saw more communication between engineering organizations over the course of the year. Another goal for Lehr was to increase involvement among first-year students in the engineering school. He spoke to incoming freshmen at the annual Engineering Freshman Convocation about the opportunities to get involved in ESB and other organizations to help them acclimate to campus and meet people within the school.

Lehr also encouraged them to begin thinking about their professional career and to use resources such as visiting the School of Engineering’s career planning specialist Megan Miller.

As with many student government organizations, Lehr found it a challenge to make sure students understood the role of ESB.

“Our greatest challenge has been visibility and exposure,” he said. “Even though we host Bowling Nights, events for E-Week and the Engineering Formal, there are many students that do not readily recognize ESB or know what the group does for students.”

One success that Lehr noted was increased student attendance for events hosted by the organization. This year, the annual formal had over 300 students in attendance, surpassing previous events. He is also proud of the friendships formed within the Leadership Council since all of the students come from different engineering majors and are at different stages in their academic career from freshmen to seniors.

Lehr’s advice for future ESB presidential hopefuls is to make sure they truly want to work with a diverse group of people. He would also encourage them to listen to the quietest voice in the room when making decisions to ensure that all voices, thoughts and opinions are heard and taken into consideration. Lastly, he would advise future ESB presidents to lead by example and never require anything of anyone that they would not be willing to do themselves.

Lehr said he appreciates the generous support of Dean Alexander Cheng as well as the help and advice of ESB adviser Ryan Upshaw. He also thanks his fellow officers, Holly Pitts and Andrew Huff, for their work as well as the rest of the ESB Leadership Council.

In addition to his role as ESB president, Lehr has served on the executive committee of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers and was selected to attend the UM PULSE Leadership Conference in 2016. He has volunteered with the FIRST Robotics Competition, Engineers Without Borders and the Leap Frog program. Additionally, he has been selected for membership in Lambda Sigma, Golden Key, Tau Beta Pi, Omicron Delta Kappa and Mortar Board honor societies.

Last summer, he interned with Raytheon in Forest and plans to return as an intern for summer 2017. He said he hopes to pursue further education in electrical engineering or in business administration.

 

 

 

In Memoriam: Mark David Harrison

Electrical engineering alumnus lent expertise to defense agencies, companies in Huntsville

One of the University of Mississippi School of Engineering’s electrical engineering alumni, Mark David Harrison (BBA 83, BSEE 85) of Huntsville, Alabama, died April 1, 2017 at age 57.

Harrison was born to Louie Vardaman Harrison Jr. and Mary Ann (Pegues) Harrison in Winona, Mississippi, on Oct. 12, 1959. He grew up in Winona and graduated from Winona High School, where he played both offensive and defensive positions on the football team. As a young boy he played baseball, which he continued through junior high, high school and Holmes Junior College in Goodman, Mississippi.

Besides graduating from Ole Miss, Harrison also attended classes at the University of California, Los Angeles. He started the publication of Ole Miss Engineer and was recognized for accomplishments within the Department of Engineering. His expertise in the field of electromagnetic propagation theory within zinc compounds led him to achieve his first of many positions at Nichols Research in 1985 and positions at Coleman Research, both in Huntsville.

Harrison was the seeker subject matter expert for the Theater High Altitude Area Defense system, which continues today to be a system within our nation’s defense for the Missile Defense Agency. He contributed to efforts within missile defense, which included engineering expertise support within the U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command, various Program Executive offices and throughout the Department of Defense.

He extended his career knowledge by joining Miltec Corp., and while contributing to many programs and proposals, helped to lead a team to form and support the Advanced Hypersonic Weapon program. Within the last decade, he was employed by two companies, including one in 2009, which was started in collaboration with a group of colleagues, Harrison Research Corp., a system engineering company; and OTG/OPS Inc. (Over-the-Garage Operations), a software security company to support enterprise technology advanced security and operations/maintenance.

Harrison also supported and was a member of many defense and commercial organizations within the Huntsville area, such as the Institute of Electrical & Electronics Engineers, National Defense Industrial Association and Information Systems Security Association.

He enjoyed many activities outside of work including playing golf and shooting pool in the American Poolplayers Association league, and composing and playing music. He is survived by his wife, Elizabeth Anne (Cooley) Harrison; his sisters and brothers, Pam Hoover and her husband, Steve, of Mississippi; Kitty Stallings and her husband, Neil, of California; Dr. Louie Vardaman Harrison III and his wife, Sonya, of Mississippi; and Lee Harrison and his wife, Patty, of Texas, and many nieces and nephews.

Harrison had many friends and colleagues who remember his passion for his work, compassion and love of animals, as well as his intellect, ability to tell a great joke and dedication to the Ole Miss Rebels.

The family extends thanks to the dedicated medical staff at Crestwood Medical Intensive Care Unit in Huntsville and to Harrison’s personal physicians. Harrison was memorialized April 3, 2017 with a visitation at Laughlin Service Funeral Home in Huntsville. In his honor and remembering his love for animals, donations can be made to A New Leash on Life at anewleash.org or Tender Loving Care at TLCPaws.org.

Information for this article came from The Birmingham News and The Huntsville Times.