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Inside Portland State: October-November 2009
Author: Kathryn Kirkland
Posted: October 9, 2009

Vietnamese students are Intel Scholars

Students from Vietnam are pursuing electrial or mechanical engineering degrees through a new $2 million Intel scholarship program.TWENTY-EIGHT top science students from Vietnam are studying engineering at Portland State thanks to a $2 million investment from Intel.

The Intel Vietnam Scholars program is paying for the students' tuition, fees, books, room and board, and other expenses. Upon graduation in 2011, Intel expects to employ the new electrical and mechanical engineers at its largest global assembly and test site, slated to open soon in Ho Chi Minh City.

Portland State already works closely with Intel in Oregon and is the third largest supplier of engineering talent to Intel in the United States.

The University is also a familiar partner in Vietnam. PSU offers an advanced training program in computer science with two Vietnamese universities and works with agencies there on studies of urbanization and public leadership.

Josh Dankovchik, Aaron Parker, and Stephanie Quindt proved that waves coming through a constricted opening can generate power in a turbine.Wave power packs a punch

ENGINEERING STUDENT Josh Dankovchik (pictured at left with Aaron Parker and Stephanie Quindt) has always marveled at the power of water. While growing up in Kona, Hawaii, he played at a beach where incoming waves blasted through a natural blowhole in the rocks to shoot straight up into the air. Dankovchik always wondered, could a similar restriction of water create usable power?

Apparently so. Dankovchik and three other students proved it for their Capstone project. The students built a laboratory prototype under adviser Graig Spolek, professor of mechanical and materials engineering. They used plywood, pipes, and funnels to restrict water and built an ingenious turbine to capture power from the channeled water as it flowed in and out. Their turbine did not rotate, but its blades changed position with the flow.

The students measured a net power gain, validating their concept. The project garnered interest and funding from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and Sulzer Pumps USA, which has a facility in Portland. In fact, Dankovchik interned at Sulzer and now works for the company.

Only a prototype, the students' project would require pools and piping at an ocean's edge or an oceanside seawall. Their turbine is a particularly good idea, says adviser Spolek. In a full-scale model, a large turbine would be too heavy to rotate, so an internal method for changed orientation for reverse water flow is the way to go.

Accolades earned

"BEST" AND "BEST in the West" rankings were conferred upon Portland State in recent months by two nationally recognized reviews.

U.S. News & World Report’s 2010 edition of America's Best Colleges singled out the University for its commitment to engaged learning through community classes and programs, and Princeton Review selected PSU as one of 123 institutions it recommends in its "Best in the West" review.

U.S. News & World Report ranked Portland State among the top public institutions nationally under the section "Academic Programs to Look For" in five categories: first-year experience, internships/co-ops, senior capstone, learning communities, and service learning. This is the seventh consecutive year that PSU has been recognized.

The Princeton Review chooses schools based on "their excellence academic programs" as reported by students and others. In its profile of PSU, the University earned a "Green Rating" of 90 out of 99 for its environmentally related policies, practices, and course offerings.

Present and future food industry executives are the business of marking professor Tom Gillpatrick.First and second helpings given here

FOR THE PAST six years, 95 percent of new grads from the PSU Food Industry Leadership Center's certificate program have found employment in the industry. Executive Director Tom Gillpatrick is proud but not surprised.

Industry leaders make sure the center's programs are current and relevant, says Gillpatrick, so talented students and seasoned executives can lead the country's $2.1 trillion food industry.

The Food Industry Leadership Center began in 1994 as a partnership between the School of Business Administration and industry. Retail and packaged good companies provided seed funding in order to establish a resource for recruiting and developing top management talent specific to the food industry. And it is working.

In 2008, PepsiCo recruited at 16 schools around the country. With the economic downturn, this year it approached just two: Portland State and one other school. Gillpatrick is seeing similar situations from Costco Wholesale, Nestlé Purina PetCare, and PepsiCo subsidiary Frito-Lay.

Caroline Ngere, a June graduate of the center's certificate program and the business school, is one of those snatched up by Frito-Lay. She landed a position in the company's district sales leadership training program in Southern California.

Executive Becky Skaggs took advantage of the center's continuing education. A longtime employee of retail grocery and pharmacy giant Haggen, Inc., Skaggs credits the center's executive leadership program with expanding her management expertise. Last year, Skaggs was promoted to vice president of strategy and consumer insights at Haggen.

More than 140 companies—including food processors, manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and brokers—have participated in the Food Industry Leadership Center's various executive programs. Later this month, the center hosts its annual Executive and Women's Leadership forums. Industry leaders will share innovative ideas and hear from David Dillon, chairman and CEO of Kroger, and Ellen Raim, principal at Portland's Corraggio Group.