Our 3rd annual awards dinner was held last month. There was a great turn out, including a good variety of students, professionals, and all three of our ASME Fellows including our globetrotting professor Robert Boehm who has become Nevada’s alternative energy specialist and just returned from an educational exchange in China.
Our guest speaker was Dr. Joseph Carleone, President of American Pacific who presented a thought provoking look into the driving factors, both past and present, for the US Space Program. It was discussed how engineers created safe and reliable rockets and how those rockets eventually became to be used in conjunction with the space program. The many benefits of how the space program benefits our daily life was discussed, such as the Global Positioning System (GPS), rubber compounds used is sneakers, and adding nutrition to baby food. The mission to Mars was discussed as well as the next launch vehicles that will replace the Space Shuttles.
In addition to a great keynote, three awards were presented. Anthony Santo Domingo received the award for winning the Student Poster Competition. The guidelines for the poster competition were to discuss what mechanical engineering innovations might have an impact on the Las Vegas Valley in the future. Anthony’s poster focused on a Worcester Polytechnic Institute research program which has been installing water filled piping into roads in order to recover the heat. His poster boasts that this technology can create power at a cost cheaper than photovoltaic cells, especially when used in Las Vegas.
Daniel Lowe was awarded the Outstanding Volunteer Award for his contributions to our ASME Silver State Section. Daniel has been our Student Section Liaison since January 2008. He has been very active with the ASME student section, including building a male fairing for the human powered vehicle contest. He has written numerous articles for our Section Newsletter, regularly attends the executive meetings and is always willing to help. He helped setup a tour of the UNLV engineering research facilities earlier this year for our members. We thank him for his support!
Dr. Brendan O’Toole received the Southern Nevada Engineering Achievement Award. This award is presented to an individual, group or company that has made significant contributions to the advancement of the Mechanical Engineering profession in Southern Nevada. Dr. O’Toole has been a Mechanical Engineering Professor at UNLV for more than fifteen years and has served as the faculty advisor for many mechanical engineering student organizations, including: ASME Human Powered Vehicle team, Student chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers, Student chapter of the Society for the Advancement of Material and Process Engineering, and Nevada Beta chapter of Tau Beta Pi. Through his actions as the faculty advisor to these numerous student organizations, Dr. O’Toole has encouraged both undergraduate and graduate students to pursue engineering outside of the classroom, better preparing them for their future engineering careers. For our Silver State Section, he has held the offices of Secretary, Technical Activity Sub-Chair, and was the Treasurer for 5 years.
His Research interests and activities include such topics as experimental and computational solid mechanics, analysis, design, and fabrication of components and structures with an emphasis on composites, and mechanics of solid cellular foams. He is the author of numerous articles for peer-reviewed journals and conferences. He has received numerous outstanding teacher awards and certificates from the UNLV mechanical engineering department and student groups. Dr. O’Toole has many outstanding service contributions, such his involvement with the FIRST Robotics Competition. He is a member of the Las Vegas FIRST Robotics Regional Planning Committee and has been responsible to assist Las Vegas high schools with engineering mentorship. Through this process, his actions have inspired many local high school seniors to consider engineering as a future career option. We were excited to be able to recognize the achievements and impact that Dr. O’Toole has had on our community.