3E-Engineering, Excellence, Edwardsville

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3E-Engineering, Excellence, Edwardsville

Welcome to the 2022 Issue of 3E

Cem Karacal, PhD, Dean

Message from the Dean

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Welcome to the latest issue of 3E – Engineering, Excellence, Edwardsville

As the year came to a close and the planning began for this publication, I found myself so proud of what our faculty, staff and students have accomplished. This year, the SIUE School of Engineering found much to celebrate, including:

  • A return to in-person operations
  • The dedication of our Enterprise Holdings Foundation Atrium and state-of-the-art Robotics lab
  • The 50th anniversary of our civil engineering and electrical engineering programs
  • A total enrollment growth of 3% with record high graduate and international enrollment
  • A robot donation from Amsted Rail
  • A $500K endowed professorship donated by the Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program of the Southern Illinois Builders Association
  • Twice as many scholarships as the School was able to offer last year

The School of Engineering continues to provide excellent education through its student-centered holistic approach to learning, and our students continue to excel:

  • Our students placed first in the Analog Blackbox competition and third in the Digital Blackbox competition at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers St. Louis Section Blackbox competition
  • The SIUE Cougar Baja team placed first in the international Baja SAE series sled pull
  • The SIUE Student Chapter of American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air-Conditioning Engineers (ASEE) received global recognition at the ASHRAE 2022 Design Competition and the Rising Star Award in the applied engineering challenge

To all of those who support our School, we are extremely grateful for your generosity. We could not be as successful in executing our mission without your support.

Anyone interested in finding out what they can do to join our efforts to meet the needs in our region and across the nation for more engineers, computer scientists and construction managers can contact Lisa Smith, director of development, at lsmitag@siue.edu.


Cem Karacal, PhD

Chancellor James T. Minor, PhD

Message from the Chancellor

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Greetings, SIUE School of Engineering alumni and friends!  

It is my honor to serve as the 10th Chancellor at SIUE. My bold ambition is that SIUE be first and best at providing high-quality, affordable degree opportunities for students from all backgrounds. The School of Engineering is helping the next generation of innovators, entrepreneurs, scientists, and difference makers reach their full potential. Today, SIUE is the top producer of bachelor’s degrees in the region, powering today’s workforce and defining the future of industry. 

I applaud the continued success of our students and faculty.  You can read about some of their impressive accomplishments throughout this report, including a first-place finish at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Region 5 Student Conference and a $364,000 award to fund research centered on improving bridge design and maintenance across the state.  

This is a special season for SIUE. The University is setting new standards for alumni engagement and community partnerships. I invite you to join us as we define SIUE’s future. Learn more about our vision and action plan at siue.edu/strategic-plan

James T. Minor, PhD

About the School

Engineering Building

School of Engineering Points of Pride

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Since 1983, the School of Engineering has prepared students to meet the growing needs in our region and nation for more engineers, computer scientists and construction managers.  Our efforts fuel the prosperity of our region. 

Points of Pride 
  • A growing reputation for outstanding programs 
  • Rising academic qualifications of applicants 
  • Nearly 100% job placement of our graduates 
  • Graduated more than 7,000 engineering professionals 
  • More than 60% of our graduates work in the St. Louis metro area 

Visit us at siue.edu/engineering for the latest news and information about the School.

Electrical Engineering's 50th Anniversary

Historic photo of electrical engineering students

Celebrating 50 Years of Electrical Engineering

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The electrical engineering program at SIUE began 50 years ago with just two faculty members and eight graduates. Since then, 29 faculty members, including nine current faculty, have accrued more than 500 years of collective instruction and research experience at SIUE. The program has graduated more than 2,600 electrical engineers since its humble beginning in 1972, and their collective accomplishments continue to inspire the next generation of SIUE electrical engineering students.


Friends Gather to Celebrate Golden Anniversary
School of Engineering faculty, students, industry partners and alumni gathered on September 24 in the Engineering Building’s Enterprise Holdings Foundation Atrium to celebrate the electrical engineering program’s 50th anniversary. The event featured opportunities for attendees to share their memories, hear about alumni accomplishments, and learn about the outstanding projects and endeavors of current students.

“Every academic year for the past 50 years, we have welcomed enthusiastic students who are eager to become electrical engineers. Each year, they graduate and go out into the industry or become researchers who will forever shape our changing world.”
Cem Karacal, PhD
Dean, School of Engineering

Event Gold Sponsors
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Bode, the SOE robotic dog

Tyria Riley, PhD

Alumna Riley Proud to Serve as Example for Future Generation

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Tyria Riley, PhD, has broken countless glass ceilings since graduating from SIUE in 2002 with a bachelor’s in electrical engineering. As a Black female, she chose to pursue a career in engineering despite the field’s historical lack of diversity.

“I was raised in East St. Louis, Ill., during a time when there was not as much focus on STEM fields as there is currently,” Riley said. “It was uncommon to see and know African-American engineers by name. Now, I can be one of many examples of the excellence that comes from my hometown and SIUE.”

Today, Riley serves as the Boeing Defense Space and Security Mission Systems model-based engineering senior leader at The Boeing Company. In this role, she is responsible for leading the adoption and implementation of model-based engineering and model-based systems engineering technologies across the mission systems enterprise function.

“My degree in electrical engineering prepared me to not only be able to solve complex problems as an engineer, but it also exposed me to the theories and applications of electrical engineering,” Riley shared.

In addition to her role at Boeing, Riley remains involved with her alma mater, serving as a member of the School of Engineering Advisory Board and coming back to campus to speak to and mentor current students.

“I think it is important that we do not forget where it all started,” added Riley. “I would highly recommend to my colleagues in industry and/or academia to be involved in the University in some way. I believe students need to see us and know that we are supporting them on their journey.”
Engineering students and faculty at IEEE Region 5 Student Conference

Electrical Engineering Students Place #1 in IEEE Competition

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Students from the School of Engineering’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) celebrated standout showings at the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Region 5 Student Conference in Houston last spring. The IEEE is one of the world’s largest professional societies, with Region 5 encompassing most of the central part of the country.

  • William Gallagher, BS ’22, and current ECE graduate student Wyatt Marks, BS ’22, earned first place in the Circuit Design Competition for using an Arduino micro-controller and several sensors to solve a technical problem presented on the day of the competition.
  • ECE graduate student Dexter Elmendorf took second place in the Student Poster Competition for his presentation, “Flexion and Abduction Finger Tracking Gloves for VR Applications.” The presentation represented the work of his senior design group, which also included Spencer Smith, Keri Henschen and Mason Burt.
  • Seniors Kelsey Haines and David Mathus participated in the Student Ethics Competition.
The SIUE IEEE student branch is co-advised by Amardeep Kaur, PhD, associate professor, and George Engel, PhD, professor emeritus, who accompanied the group to Houston. Engel shared, “While SIUE has participated in the IEEE student contests many times over the past 30 years and has even placed in the top three in some of the other student contests, this is the first time that we have placed in one of the top three spots in the Circuit Design Competition.”

Civil Engineering's 50th Anniversary

Historical photo of civil engineering at SIUE

Recognizing Civil Engineering’s Golden Anniversary

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In 1972, SIUE recognized the need to support local industry with civil engineers. Over the past 50 years, this vision has evolved into a civil engineering program that has seen tremendous growth in enrollment and research endeavors. The Department of Civil Engineering now includes specializations in environmental/water resources engineering, geotechnical engineering, structural engineering, and transportation engineering. The Department’s cooperative PhD program with Southern Illinois University Carbondale was established in 2007.


Civil Engineering Community Gathers for Anniversary Celebration

The Department of Civil Engineering celebrated 50 years of civil engineering excellence on November 5 in the Morris University Center’s Meridian Ballroom. Faculty, students, alumni and industry partners gathered to reminisce about the past 50 years, learn about the accomplishments of alumni and current students, and network with industry leaders.

“The Department of Civil Engineering celebrates 50 years of educating the designers of society’s infrastructure. Every time you turn on the faucet, enter a building, or drive on a road, civil engineers have impacted your life. Our celebration reflects on the past and insights into the design of our future communities.”
Ryan Fries, PhD,
Professor and Chair, Department of Civil Engineering

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Engineering student showcasing a model bridge

Bill Stahlman

Alumnus Stahlman Working to Support Region’s Evolving Transportation Needs

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As a School of Engineering student in 2003, Bill Stahlman began working at America’s Central Port in Granite City, Ill., as an intern for SIUE alumnus George Andres, a member of the civil engineering program’s first graduating class. Today, Stahlman serves as the Port’s director of engineering and construction, overseeing projects ranging from building maintenance and rehabilitation to transportation infrastructure construction for the expansive network of rail, marine structures and roadways within the Port.

“From the professors who developed the analytical skill set I use every day to the friends, peers and mentors who helped shape me into the engineer I am today, the relationships I developed while attending SIUE provided a sound foundation for my career at the Port,” said Stahlman, who earned a bachelor’s in civil engineering in 2005.

Located in the heart of the country’s transportation network, the Port provides access to three key modes of transportation: river, rail and road. In 2016, Stalhman oversaw the development of the Port’s $50-million intermodal Madison Harbor, the northernmost ice-free and lock-free public harbor on the Mississippi River. This project is just one example of how Stahlman is actively working to ensure the Port is meeting the region’s evolving transportation needs.

In addition to his work at the Port and in professional organizations such as Inland Rivers, Ports and Terminals, Stahlman continues to make time to support current SIUE engineering students by assisting student organizations and providing tours of the Port.

“I believe it is vital to invest your time and talent into future generations so they can be successful in their own goals and career paths,” Stahlman said. “In my opinion, the success of those who follow in your footsteps is the true measure of your own impact within this world.”
Engineering students working on research to analyze scour estimates

Soil Erosion Research Aims to Improve Illinois Bridges

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Research shows that 60% of bridge failures in the United States are related to scour — the erosion of soil around the base of a bridge pier from the flow of water. Through a $364,000 award* from the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT), SIUE is conducting a four-year research project to analyze scour estimates at bridge sites in Illinois to improve bridge design and maintenance.

“Our primary goal is to improve the scour estimate analyses at bridge sites in Illinois. Our work will improve the stability of existing and new bridges, reduce costs of bridge design and maintenance due to an enhanced knowledge of scour estimates at sites with a cohesive riverbed, and equip IDOT with state-of-the-art field equipment developed by the Federal Highway Administration in the field of scour measurement.”
Abdolreza Osouli, PhD
Principal Investigator and Associate Professor, Department of Civil Engineering

*This project is supported by the U.S. Department of Transportation as part of an award totaling $363,832, of which $272,874 are federal funds with 0% financed with nongovernmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by the U.S. Department of Transportation or the U.S. Government.

SIUE and Enterprise Holdings Foundation Celebrate Innovative Atrium and Robotics Lab

Enterprise Holdings Foundation Atrium ribbon-cutting ceremony
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Ribbon-Cutting Ceremony Showcases Atrium and Robotics Lab Funded by $1.5M Gift

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The School of Engineering and the Enterprise Holdings Foundation joined for a long-anticipated ribbon-cutting ceremony on November 10. The event celebrated and showcased the beautifully renovated Enterprise Holdings Foundation Atrium and Robotics Lab prominently featured in the Engineering Building as spaces for innovation and collaboration among future industry leaders. 

The redesigned Atrium and new Robotics Lab are the product of a generous $1.5 million donation from the Enterprise Holdings Foundation. Announced in 2019, the three-year, $500,000 annual contribution marks the School’s largest gift to date and has amplified its position as a top-tier institution cultivating academically and technically prepared talent. 

“The School of Engineering values innovative curricula and an educational environment that fosters intellectual excitement among our students and encourages them to reach their full potential,” said Dean Cem Karacal, PhD. “We extend our sincere appreciation to the Enterprise Holdings Foundation for recognizing our impact as a prime source of technical talent and bolstering our commitment to collaboration and interdisciplinary activities.” 

The Enterprise Holdings Foundation Atrium features multiple information technology ports, projection capabilities, ample charging stations and numerous electrical outlets. High-quality furnishings offer students, faculty, alumni and industry stakeholders a welcoming place to convene.  

“This donation to the School of Engineering will help strengthen SIUE as an institution and provide a valuable resource for students to learn and grow,” said Enterprise Holdings Foundation President Carolyn Kindle. “We are honored to know that our support will foster an environment where innovation and collaboration can thrive.”


Students using robotic arm in new Robotics Lab

Robotics Lab Serves as State-of-the-Art Learning Space

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Adjacent to the Enterprise Holdings Foundation Atrium, the School of Engineering’s state-of-the-art robotics lab opened in fall 2022. The lab’s corner window offers visitors an up-close view into the technically advanced teaching and learning hub. 

The lab supports the increasing level of automation and robotics activity across the School and is shared by all courses involving robotics. Faculty have implemented several robotic setups within the lab, including ViperX 300 robot arms, autonomous vehicles, omnidirectional robots and Fanuc LRMate 200iD robotic arms. Bode, the School’s Boston Dynamics Spot robot dog, also lives in the lab.   

“The lab’s large corner window provides tremendous visibility of lab activities to visitors as they enter the building,” said Associate Dean Chris Gordon, PhD. “This helps to engage our community in the hands-on learning that we highly value in the School of Engineering.” 

Student Spotlights

Students in Senior Showcase

Student Spotlights

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International Student Akdemir Makes the Most of Her Dual Degree Program

When Istanbul native Simay Akdemir had the opportunity to spend two years studying in the U.S. through SIUE’s Dual Diploma Program with Istanbul Technical University (ITU), she jumped at the chance. Akdemir attended ITU for her freshman and junior years and spent her sophomore and senior years at SIUE. The May 2022 graduate now holds two bachelor’s degrees in industrial engineering, one from each university. 

“Being an industrial engineer has been my biggest dream since high school, and I am proud to have achieved this dream under the umbrella of SIUE and ITU,” said Akdemir. “With the support of my professors in the School of Engineering, I developed my ability to detect and analyze problems to find a logical solution for them.”  

Akdemir’s coursework was bolstered by her experience working at the National Corn-to-Ethanol Research Center (NCERC) at SIUE with Jie Dong, PhD, assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry. She oversaw and enhanced the experimental industrial processes in the research center.  

“I really enjoyed working with Simay,” said Dong. “She is a student who can really think while doing a research project and can utilize what she learned in class in real life work.”  

As an SIUE student, Akdemir benefited from the support of mentors, both on campus and in the community. She took part in the highly-selective St. Louis Regional Business Council Mentor Network Program and was active in professional organizations such as the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) and IEEE Women in Engineering.  

According to Akdemir, she was also able to discover more about the entrepreneurial spirit in the U.S. after receiving the Grady Family Foundation Entrepreneurship Scholarship in 2022, which was named after civil engineering alumnus Edward Grady ’72. 

Today, Akdemir is an onboarding engineer at Logiwa Technology based in Chicago. Thanks to her experience at SIUE, she is prepared for the demands of the job.  

“I chose SIUE to pursue my studies diligently while gaining some unique life experiences,” said Akdemir. “The day I got my industrial engineering degree, I felt confident the knowledge I gained in the SIUE School of Engineering prepared me for a rewarding engineering career.” 


Simay Akdemir

Award-Winning Graduate Student on the Cusp of Groundbreaking Research 

Consistency, determination and striving to achieve are some of the attributes that make one a serial winner. Such is the story of Cristian Rodrigo Tolava Torrico, a second-year graduate student in the Department of Civil Engineering. 

Tolava is the recipient of the American Concrete Institute (ACI) Foundation’s W. Gene Corley Memorial Scholarship. Named after a recognized industry leader, the scholarship is awarded to graduate students with an interest in forensic engineering and the behavior and design of concrete structures. 

“This recognition became an extraordinary component of my life and keeps me moving forward,” said Tolava. “I certainly have more to accomplish and more to learn.” 

Tolava has previously earned several accolades at the regional level, including the ACI Missouri Chapter Scholarship and his designation as the Concrete Council of St. Louis and the ACI Missouri Chapter’s 2022 student honoree deemed most deserving and best able to utilize knowledge of concrete construction in their career. 

Tolava enjoys the opportunity to develop research that comes with the privilege of establishing connections with different companies and collaborating with department colleagues. His current research involves investigating the use of multiple dosages of a high-performance concrete mix strengthened with carbon and steel fibers in different gradations of lengths and quantities.   

John Cabage PhD, chair and associate professor in the Department of Construction and one of Tolava’s mentors, noted, “Tolava ranks in the best graduate assistants I have ever had. He has a strong work ethic, and his research is cutting edge in the field. He is deserving of all of these recognitions.” 

While describing the uniqueness of Tolava’s research strength, Cabage noted that his home country of Bolivia faces a costly steel import process to build more earthquake-resistant structures. Tolava is working to reduce the amount of steel used and create a way to absorb more energy during an earthquake. 

“This level of research sets Tolava apart,” said Cabage. “He is on the verge of groundbreaking research.” 


Cristian Rodrigo Tolava Torrico

Alumni Spotlights

Commencement ceremony

Doctoral Graduates Find Success in Academia

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The SIUE School of Engineering participates in a collaborative program with the College of Engineering at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) to offer a doctorate in engineering science. SIUE is designated as an approved residence center; coursework completed at SIUE is applicable toward SIUC's residency requirements.

Graduates of the program have accepted roles in a variety of industries, including higher education. We caught up with three recent graduates to ask about their experiences.


Siyuan (Simon) Xing, PhD, Engineering Science ’19
Assistant Professor, California Polytechnic State University, San Luis Obispo 

“During my six years of graduate school at SIUE, I enrolled in over 30 courses across multiple disciplines, including mathematics and mechanical, electrical and computer engineering. This prepared me with a solid background in mathematical modeling, design and implementation, allowing me to almost seamlessly enter a new research field in robotics after graduation.  

It would not be possible without the generous financial support from my department and my advisor, Albert C.J. Luo. Dr. Luo made me discover the joy of doing research and exploring unknowns. For many students in our group, Dr. Luo is like a father, who teaches us not only how to do research, but also how to work with people, and, of course, how to talk and enjoy jokes.” 


Siyuan Xing

Saeed Onsorynezhad, PhD, Engineering Science ’21 
Assistant Professor of Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering, Indiana Tech 

“The most valuable aspect of the cooperative PhD program was experiencing the benefit of being in a big school and a small one simultaneously. A big school offers you a bigger department and diverse faculty members with different viewpoints and research opportunities. Also, more courses are offered, which help students to find appropriate courses to prepare for their research. 

And, in small schools, you have the opportunity to build a good relationship with the faculty members, and you have the chance to prove yourself and your abilities. And faculty members spend more time helping you. I would like to gratefully thank Dr. Fengxia Wang, as she always kindly supported me and provided me with lots of freedom and valuable suggestions, which helped me to develop both my research and myself.”


Saeed Onsorynezhad

Danie Raja, PhD, Engineering Science, Specialization in Mechanical Engineering and Energy Processes ’21 
Assistant Professor of Physics and Engineering, Greenville University 

“I was admitted into the cooperative PhD program with a teaching assistantship. As a result, I taught pretty much every fall and spring semester I was enrolled in class or research. All of the professors I worked with guided me and taught me their ways of teaching. I eventually was able to develop my own teaching style which incorporated and hybridized much of their styles to the classes I am teaching now. It goes without saying that the concepts taught to me during my time at SIUE helped me develop the material I need to teach my current classes. 

One particular faculty member to whom I owe my success is Dr. Soondo Kweon. His support, guidance, encouragement and constant advice helped me get to the position I am in now.” 

Danie Raja

Faculty Spotlights

John Matta, PhD, and computer science students

Employing Computer Science to Empower Minorities and Underserved Populations

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As a member of SIUE’s Immersive, Meaningful Practices for Accountable Campus Transformation (IMPACT) Academy, John Matta, PhD, was inspired to consider how computer science could contribute to a more diverse and equitable society. Now Matta aims to develop a software solution to help researchers conduct respondent-driven sampling (RDS), a survey technique to collect data on hard-to-reach populations.     

His project, “Developing an Open-Source Mobile App to Improve Participation of Underserved Populations in Respondent-Driven Sampling Surveys,” is a continuation of his current research interests, which involve using computer science to study social and medical problems.   

Matta, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science, and his research team will conduct user tests and focus groups to inform the creation of an RDS survey app where the needs of low-income respondents with low-power devices are given special consideration. According to Matta, moving RDS surveys from computers to more accessible smartphones and tablets will expand the range of populations being reached, leading to improved public health data.  

“Currently, RDS is lacking a go-to software solution that aids distribution and management of a survey,” he explained. “An open-source app for participant use paired with a website for survey management will provide a low cost, effective and innovative solution that will have benefits for both researchers and survey recruits.”  

“The overall research goal is to use computer science to empower minorities and the underserved,” Matta added. “RDS surveys are a tool used by many researchers to gain information about hard-to-reach populations. Developing a custom RDS tool is a first step toward continuing research involving collecting and analyzing social and medical data concerning those populations.”  

By connecting to underserved and disadvantaged populations who do not have access to current computers or smart phone devices, Matta’s research will make a significant impact to improve both understanding of and response to the needs of these populations.  

“Diversity, equity and inclusion are currently important topics in computer science. Dr. Matta’s research is early in the field to focus on that area and is likely to be well-received,” said School of Engineering Dean Cem Karacal, PhD. “Hopefully his research will lead to a time when it is standard practice to put diversity considerations first when designing software and algorithms.” 

New School of Engineering Faculty Members  

John Cabage, PhD  
Chair/Associate Professor  
Department of Construction  
Research areas: construction materials, sustainability  

Ralph Tayeh, PhD  
Assistant Professor  
Department of Construction  
Research areas: building information modeling, virtual design and construction, virtual augmented reality, generative design, manufacturing in construction  

Dali Ismail, PhD  
Assistant Professor  
Department of Computer Science 
Research areas: Internet of Things, low-power wide-area networks, wireless sensor networks, real-time and embedded systems  

Pictured below from left to right: John Cabage, PhD; Ralph Tayeh, PhD; Dali Ismail, PhD.


Left to right: John Cabage, PhD; Ralph Tayeh, PhD; Dali Ismail, PhD

Industry and Community Partnerships

Robotic arm donation from Amsted Rail

Robotic Arm Donations Provide Industry Experience for Students

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School of Engineering students have already begun benefitting from two state-of-the-art robotic arms donated by H-J Family of Companies and Amsted Rail, respectively. The School’s mechatronics and robotics engineering program is one of only a few such programs in the U.S. with a focus on automation and robotics. It develops engineers who have the interdisciplinary knowledge necessary to oversee the design and development of intelligent devices from start to finish.

Both robotic arms are housed in the School’s new Enterprise Holdings Foundation robotics lab and provide students with industry-level experience from which they will benefit upon graduation.

“Supporting the new lab not only supports SIUE and the students learning about robotics, but also the future of engineering and manufacturing, which ultimately supports the H-J Family of Companies,” said Jim Shekelton, H-J founder and owner.

Amsted Rail’s Tyler Thorpe and John Weidner, both SIUE alumni, understand the value of hands-on skills training in preparing students for future endeavors in automation and were excited to contribute to the learning experiences of SIUE students.

“I used this robot as a co-op with Amsted Rail while finishing my mechatronics and robotics degree at SIUE,” said Thorpe. “Combining learning in the classrooms at SIUE with the hands-on experience of working with this robot prepared me for the challenges I face with automation in my career.”

“We have been teaching our students how to control robots using theoretical models and small-scale educational robots,” said Jagath Gunasekera, PhD, lab manager and instructor in the Departments of Industrial and Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering. “These generous donations will help our students be more prepared for industrial jobs and highly sought after by companies after graduating.”


Robotic arm donation from H-J Family of Companies

Students working at the SIUE Environmental Resources Training Center

Partnership Enhancing Water and Wastewater Services in Illinois

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The Illinois Environmental Protection Agency (IEPA) renewed a $1.14 million interagency agreement with the SIUE Environmental Resources Training Center (ERTC) in fall 2021. The grant, which runs October 2021-September 2024, funds:

  • Water Pollution Control Training to run IEPA’s Cross Connection Control Device Inspector Certification program
  • Managing the Drinking Water Operator Certification Exam Program
  • Managing the Wastewater Operator Certification Exam Program 
  • Various projects to enhance the water and wastewater certification testing process
  • Upgrading equipment at the ERTC’s pilot plants
The ERTC trained 3,057 students and provided 111,739 educational contact hours throughout the previous three-year grant period.

“The renewal of this interagency agreement demonstrates the confidence the IEPA has in the continued service provided by the ERTC," said Matthew Maas, ERTC director. "Our collaboration with the IEPA enhances the abilities of both parties to better serve the water and wastewater operators of Illinois.”

Advisory Board Spotlights

Engineering Building

Advisory Board Spotlights

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Dennis Araujo 
Member/Project Executive, Contegra Construction Company, LLC
Department of Construction Advisory Board 

“As a highly ranked ACCE accredited program, the Department of Construction has a proven track record of excellence, due in large part to the experienced and knowledgeable faculty and staff. As with any project, workplace or job site, quality begins with the individuals involved.  

The Department of Construction utilizes a solid curriculum that integrates engineering and business courses to provide a well-rounded education for students, preparing them to immediately move into the workforce upon graduation. By cultivating and maintaining a close working relationship with the local industry, the Department leverages input to ensure the program is current and applicable to the needs of the marketplace. 

I serve on the Department of Construction Advisory Board in the hopes of providing meaningful support to the University, the School of Engineering and our local construction industry. I have been fortunate to find success in this field and firmly believe in giving back to ensure others can find success as well.” 


Dennis Araujo


Ryan Freeman, BS Mechanical Engineering ’01 
President, PayneCrest Electric  
School of Engineering Advisory Board 

“I serve on the School of Engineering Advisory Board to partner with faculty and staff to increase demand for SIUE engineering graduates. The School of Engineering produces excellent students, and increasing the awareness of that in the business community will only enhance the program. I am grateful to be a part of the growth of the School and the University as a whole.    
SIUE and the School of Engineering provide a great education in a variety of in-demand disciplines for an affordable price. Campus life has continued to grow since I graduated in 2001 and the facilities are incredible. The extracurricular activities available in engineering, like the solar car and baja teams, provide a variety of ways to get engaged beyond the classroom.    
The School of Engineering provides top talent for industry employers in the region. The partnership between the two provides students with opportunities to stay in the area after graduation and feeds the local economy.”  


Ryan Freeman


Atique Malik
President, AIControl 
Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering IPAC 

“I am the chair of the Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering IPAC. We meet at least quarterly to look into ways that we can improve the link between industry and the Department of Mechanical and Mechatronics Engineering to a mutual advantage. 

The School of Engineering is in a good position to reach out and help local industries recruit its graduates and to help guide its professors into research that is locally relevant and profitable to both sides. I am committed to making this happen as a volunteer after more than four decades in the industry doing research and development, product development, and project implementation in Europe, Canada and the U.S.  

An industrial advisory committee is essential to match up academia and industry as the two sides often miss the obvious ways in which they can help each other. As funding grows tighter every year, this role is key to the growth of engineering schools, and that is why I enjoy it so much.” 


Atique Malik


Help Shape the School of Engineering’s Future 

Consider joining the School’s Advisory Board or one of its Industrial and Professional Advisory Councils (IPAC). As an Advisory Board or IPAC member, you will have the opportunity to provide strategic support, help the School and its departments prepare for future trends, and participate in mentoring opportunities with student organizations.  

For more information and to view the list of Advisory Board and IPAC members, visit siue.edu/engineering/about/advisory-board. 

Alumni Hall of Fame Inductee

Scott Miller

Alumnus Scott Miller Inducted into Alumni Hall of Fame

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Scott Miller, BS civil engineering ’96, was inducted into the SIUE Alumni Hall of Fame in September. Miller currently leads a global research and development team focused on improving housing affordability and sustainability through innovations that drive off-site construction. As vice president of global structural system technology at MiTek, Inc., Miller and his team are creating better ways to construct buildings while making them safer and more economical and sustainable. 

Teamwork has always been an important part of Miller’s professional philosophy. He is motivated by helping others succeed. Through his team’s combined efforts, they are delivering solutions to improve the way buildings perform in earthquakes and wind events, as well as how they resist fire. 

Miller is also creating positive change in his community by actively serving on several boards, including the SIUE School of Engineering Advisory Board, the International Code Conference – Evaluation Services Board of Managers, the Truss Plate Institute Board of Directors as vice president, and the St. Louis area Fellowship of Christian Athletes Board of Directors. He is deeply involved in his church as well. 

“The SIUE School of Engineering supported me as a student with faculty who knew me by name and showed genuine care for me as I worked hard to earn my engineering degree while also working,” shared Miller.  

“One example was when I took the soils class during an accelerated summer term,” Miller continued. “I performed poorly on a midterm exam and my professor, Dr. Linn, pulled me aside in the hallway and asked what happened. I let him know that my grandfather had passed away and I did not study as hard as I should have. I did well in the rest of the class and was able to see that my final grade did not fully reflect the poor midterm test grade. It was clear he cared about me and looked at my overall performance; he balanced my grade with both care and integrity. After graduation and now 25 years later, I still count some of these faculty as friends and experts from whom I can seek guidance as a professional.”  

Learn more about all of the 2022 Alumni Hall of Fame inductees at siue.edu/alumni-hall-of-fame


Dean Cem Karacal and Scott Miller

Friends of Engineering

Engineering students at the Senior Showcase

Thank You, Donors!

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The faculty, staff and students at the School of Engineering extend sincere appreciation to all our alumni, friends, corporate partners, foundations and organizations who contributed to the school in fiscal year 2022 (July 1, 2021-June 30, 2022). Every gift makes a positive impact on the success of our degree programs and our students. We are grateful for their investment. On behalf of everyone at the school, thank you for making a difference in the lives of our future engineers, computer scientists and construction managers. 

Cem Karacal, PhD, Dean 

Exalted Donors* 

Roger Heise & Angela Heise ’96 

Edwardsville Community Foundation 
SICAP - Southern Illinois Construction Advancement Program 
The Grady Family Foundation 

Esteemed Donors** 

Dr. Raghupathy Bollini & Saila R. Bollini ’80 
William H. Gentry ’82 & Jean Daniel-Gentry 
Paul M. Guse ’83 & M. Kay Guse ’88 
Luke M. Snell & Billie G. Snell ’88 ’91 
Jo Ann K. Cote 

Agency for Community Transit 
Amsted Rail Company 
Emerson Climate Technologies 
Helmkamp Construction Company 
H-J Enterprise, Inc. 
Holland Construction Services, Inc.
J.F. Electric, Incorporated
MiTek USA, Inc. 
Nidec Motor Corporation 
Oates Associates, Inc. 
PayneCrest Electric and Communications 
Poettker Construction Company 
River City Construction, LLC 
Southern Illinois Sheet Metal Contractors - SISCO 
The Korte Company 
The Lake Family Fund 

Elite Donors*** 

Dr. Tyria D. Riley ’02 
David J. Sherrill & Sharon E. Sherrill 
Jason E. Gotsch ’00 & Cathleen R. Gotsch ’01 ’02 
Michael J. Blakey ’93 ’99 & Verbal J. Blakey ’93 
Jackie A. Becker ’17   

Gremley & Biedermann, Inc. 
Construction Financial Management Association 
Emerson Tool Company 
National Association of Women in Construction 
RJN Foundation, Inc. 
The Western Construction Group 

Matching Gift Companies 
Ameren Corporation Charitable Trust 
Anheuser-Busch Companies Foundation 
Intel Corporation 
Microsoft Matching Gifts Program 
The Boeing Company 
The Northrop Grumman Foundation 
Verizon Foundation 


These distinguished donors are among the top supporters to the School of Engineering in FY22. 

*Top 1% 
**Top 5% 
***Top 10% 

Print Editions

3E-Engineering, Excellence, Edwardsville

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