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University of Iowa News Release

July 7, 2005

UI Holds July 14 NSF Workshop To Advance Engineering Education

Frederick Stern, professor of mechanical and industrial engineering in the University of Iowa College of Engineering and research engineer at IIHR-Hydroscience & Engineering, and his colleagues from three other institutions will hold a July 14 National Science Foundation (NSF)-supported workshop on the UI campus as part of an on-going program to improve undergraduate engineering curricula in computational fluid dynamics (CFD).

Called the "Workshop on Dissemination of CFD Educational Interface" and designed for some 27 educators, the workshop will focus on evaluating teaching methods developed to date. The workshop is part of a three-year, $525,000 NSF grant Stern and colleagues received in 2002 that includes researchers from Fluent Inc. and Iowa State, Cornell and Howard universities.

The grant is part of the NSF's Division of Undergraduate Education Course, Curriculum, and Laboratory Improvement, Educational Materials Development, National Dissemination (DUE CCLI CCLI-EMD-ND) program to integrate computerized simulation technology into undergraduate fluid mechanics courses and laboratories by developing teaching modules for use in CFD, experimental fluid dynamics and uncertainty analysis.

IIHR, a unit of the UI College of Engineering, was selected for the program because it is one of the world's premier and oldest fluids research and engineering laboratories where students and researchers from around the world study and research such fluid dynamics phenomena as water flow along rivers, flash flood forecasting and ship hydrodynamics.

Stern, project director, says that undergraduate engineering curriculum is changing in response to rapid advancements in simulation technology and the emergence of international standards. He notes that the use of simulation-based design and virtual reality eventually will dominate the engineering practice as engineering becomes increasingly global. "Teaching modules developed under the present project will lead the way in this transition and represent a significant advance in U.S. undergraduate engineering education," he says.

Stern's colleagues, involved in developing, implementing, evaluating and disseminating the simulation technology, include: Tao Xing and Marian Muste of the UI College of Engineering and IIHR; Alric Rothmayer and R.G. Rajagopalan of the Iowa State University department of aerospace engineering & engineering mechanics; and faculty from Howard University and Cornell University. In addition, Donald Yarbrough of the UI College of Education will lead the evaluation of the modules. FLUENT, Inc. of Lebanon, N.H. will provide training and support for use of CFD/Flowlab templates for the project and will help with implementation and dissemination of the technology using Web-based techniques.

Stern, who joined the UI faculty in 1983, is the international leader in developing computational ship hydrodynamics, advanced towing-tank measurement systems for modeling and validation, and computational and experimental uncertainty analysis. A Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), he has published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and has developed revolutionary multimedia methods for integrating classroom lectures, laboratory experiments, computer simulations and uncertainty analysis.

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