Dickey Electric Promotes David Wright, YSU STEM alumn, to Head of Estimating

“Joe” Dickey Electric has promoted David Wright to head of estimating and engineering. Wright replaces Gary Williams, senior estimator, who’s retiring after 40 years with the Mahoning Valley electrical contractor.

Wright was previously a junior estimator who completed his electrical engineering technology degree from Youngstown State University in 2013 while working full-time for “Joe” Dickey Electric. Before that, he joined the company as a journeyman residential electrician after completing an apprenticeship through the Youngstown Area Joint Apprenticeship and Training Committee in 2004. He’s a Youngstown native now residing in Washingtonville.

Williams is a well-known and respected electrical industry professional who is staying on part-time to help in the Wright’s transition.

“David is a bright, young star with a comprehensive background in the electrical industry,” said David Dickey, president, “Joe” Dickey Electric. “Between his experience and formal education, and the knowledge transfer he’s been receiving from Gary Williams, we feel very strongly about the future of our estimating department.”

While working as a journeyman electrician for “Joe” Dickey Electric, Wright continued his education earning an Associate’s Degree from YSU in technical studies. He was promoted to junior estimator upon completion of that degree. During the course of his Bachelor studies he was part of a Mahoning Valley National Electrical Contractors Association-sponsored student-engineering team that won a national championship in the Green Energy Challenge.

“Joe” Dickey Electric was formed in 1957, and strives to be the area’s most trusted and cost-effective electrical contractor, handling commercial, industrial, residential, green technology and 24/7 emergency electrical services. The company employs up to 250 electricians, has an office staff of 20 professionals and maintains a fleet of more than 50 specialized vehicles.

Transforming the Future: Professors Look to Harness the Power of Light

It’s pretty commonplace for each of us to have cell phones, a computer, and an internet connection. In order to get information to these devices at the user end, much of the information has to be sent through wires or wirelessly. But many people don’t realize that, even with wifi, most digital information is moved as light in fiber optics. Drs. Jim Andrews and Mike Crescimanno, both professors in the Department of Physics & Astronomy, are looking at new ways of manipulating that light.

“Transmitting information via light is more effective than transmitting it via electricity, but processing it as light has always been a challenge,” said Andrews.

Essentially, Andrews and Crescimanno are looking to control light with light, instead of another means of energy.

Crescimmano_Andrews story POEM 2014 zoom“It was one of those things that we came up with, and I really wanted to push it a bit further,” said Crescimanno. “When you pick up an old-fashioned telephone, there’s a wire that goes to the wall, and guess what happens? When the signal in the wire goes into the wall and goes to the bottom of the building, it gets converted to light and sent into fiber optics.”

Currently, information being transferred via light has to be converted into electricity and then converted back to light at every branch point along its path. Andrews and Crescimanno are working toward not having to convert the light to electricity, but instead having the light control other light directly by changing its polarization, that is, the direction of the light’s electric field, transverse to its propagation direction.

“So what we’ve done,” Crescimanno explained, “is thought very critically about how to change the polarization of light in a device more completely and efficiently. We’ve been looking rather critically at combining the existing methods of rotating the polarization of light by using wave interference in a process we call ‘coherent perfect rotation’.”

By harnessing the power of light and cutting out the middle step of converting the light to electricity, this makes for a more efficient and more cost effective way to transfer information.

Andrews and Crescimanno are working on this research with Dr. Chuanhong Zhou of the physics department and several students. They received support for this work from the National Science Foundation through a $129,750 Early concept Grant for Exploratory Research, or EAGER.

Sturrus Named Interim Dean

SturrusThe College of STEM would like to extend congratulations to Dr. W. Gregg Sturrus, who was named interim dean of the college on Wednesday! Dr. Sturrus is currently serving as chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy and will assume the position of interim dean on October 8. Everyone is excited to have Dr. Sturrus as the interim dean, including our STEM students, who have often referred to him as a funny and great professor.

Sturrus joined YSU in 1991 as an assistant professor and became the chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy in 2004. During his time at YSU, Sturrus has received eight grants, totaling over $1.75 million.

“I am pleased that Interim Provost [Martin] Abraham asked me to step in as the interim dean of STEM. I am optimistic about the challenges facing the current leadership of the university and believe the new president and provost will make changes that will make YSU increasingly attractive to a broad student base and a stronger urban research university. I am happy to be called to lead the STEM College in these exciting times,” Sturrus said.

Dr. James Andrews will be serving as interim chair of the Department of Physics and Astronomy, replacing Sturrus.

The decision to appoint Sturrus as interim dean came after Dean Abraham was appointed as interim provost and vice president for academic affairs for the university on September 17. The appointment is still pending official approval by the Board of Trustees, who will meet on October 7.

“I’m saddened to be leaving the day-to-day operations, but I won’t be far away and am looking forward to participating in their activities in my new role as provost,” Dean Abraham said.

Smith Receives Grant

Congratulations to Debbie Smith, a part-time faculty member in the YSU Physics & Astronomy Department, who was awarded an American Chemical Society Grant for $1,487. Ms. Smith, who is from Poland, was the sole principle investigator on the proposal. The grant is to purchase Vernier equipment for the Chemistry and Physics labs at Poland High School participating in the College-in-High-School Program at YSU in the STEM College. The equipment to be purchased includes Vernier interfaces, temperature probes, pH probes, conductivity probes, Colorimeter, Drop Counter, Light Sensors and Logger Pro3. With the new equipment, students will be able to perform experiments using extensive computer data collection techniques to help them interpret, analyze and draw conclusions in their laboratory classes.

7 Days of STEM

The 7 Days of STEM Festival will be seven whole days of celebrating science, technology, engineering, and mathematics with OH WOW! The Roger & Gloria Jones Children’s Center for Science & Technology. The festival, which will be held September 15-21, will be an exciting hands-on, critical thinking celebration that includes ‘walking on water,’ STEM student for a day, and much more. All of these activities are in preparation for Silly Science Sunday!

YSU STEM is involved with many of the different activities this year. We are offering activities for more than just children though. One of our biggest events will be a Lecture Series with Dr. Thomas Serenko, who, just this last year, was awarded Outstanding Alumnus at the STEM Awards dinner. On Tuesday, September 16, 2020 at 6:00 p.m., Dr. Serenko will be speaking on the The Utica and Point Pleasant Shale industry from a geological and historical point of view. To register for this event, please contact Jenifer Miller at 330.941.4635.

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New Addition to the STEMian Social Media Team

cassieHere at YSU STEM we have been providing you with the news and campus happenings for some time, but now it’s time to introduce our newest STEMian Social Media Team. This month, we’ll focus on the newsletter and social media side.

Cassandra Twoey is a senior professional and technical writing student, who has not only worked hard as the editor-in-chief for the Jambar, but has also worked as a co-editor for the Yo* Magazine. She has been accepted into graduate school, here at YSU, for the professional and technical writing track of the English master’s program.

Starting with the September Newsletter, Cassandra will be bringing a new and interesting vibe to our STEM News! We hope that you will all take the opportunity to welcome her to the STEMian community, but we also want to let you know what the STEMian Social Media Team can do for you.

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YSU Receives First Patent

Pict-Oder2014Dr. Tom Oder, a professor of Physics and Astronomy, has received a patent for a silicon carbine barrier diode. While this isn’t Oder’s first patent, it is the first for YSU.

A silicon carbine barrier diode is an electronic device made using silicon carbide semiconductor material that Oder said has been an idea of his since he was a graduate student, but it wasn’t until he was hired at YSU in 2003 that he began his research.

“What you have in your cell phone and most of your electronics is made of silicon. The problem of silicon is that it cannot withstand high temperature. So if your device is working at a high temperature, it has got to be cooled otherwise it is going to fail,” Oder said. Silicon carbide, however, is a great alternative material. Continue reading

Faculty Faction: Dr. Donald Priour!

priour_donaldOver this last academic year, YSU STEM has made it a point to introduce you to as many of our new faculty as we can. Some of them are new to teaching, but some of them are not. Professors, like Dr. Donald Priour, assistant professor in the physics and astronomy department, have taught classes before, but YSU holds something different for them.

Dr. Priour, who grew up in Kerrville, Texas, has been passionate about physics for as long as he can remember, but he counts his first real beginnings in the field as the first paper he had published 15 years ago. He graduated from Rice University with a degree in Physics, and earned his master’s degree and PhD in Physics from Princeton University.

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Faculty Faction: Dr. Holly Martin

Over the last semester you may have seen a new face in the Chemical Engineering Department. This year, the department added Dr. Holly Martin as an assistant professor to research and teach at all levels of YSU STEM students.

Dr. Martin, who is originally from Mobile, Alabama, earned her bachelor’s degree in engineering, with a minor in microbiology, from Mississippi State University. She also earned her Ph.D. at Mississippi State University, where her teaching career began as a graduate student.  She then completed two years of post-doctoral studies with the Chemical Engineering department, before joining the Center for Advanced Vehicular Systems (CAVS). Continue reading

$440 Million In-kind Grant Brings State-of-the-art Software and Training to YSU STEM

On May 30th, 2013, Siemens Corporation announced a donation of a $440 million in-kind grant to YSU and the College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics. This grant goes to further the advancement of YSU STEM and the community in the additive manufacturing world.

“It’s really a great day to be a dean of a STEM College. It is a really great day to be here at YSU, but this is really a great day for YSU students,” says Dean Martin Abraham of the STEM College, “because really it’s the students that ultimately are going to gain the greatest benefit from this.”

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YSU Attends Ohio Fuel Cell Corridor Meeting

On May 1st and 2nd, Dr. Clovis Linkous, professor of Materials; Stephen Rhoden, a post-doctoral associate; and Feroze Khan, Ph.D. Materials graduate student, all from the Chemistry Department, attended the annual Ohio Fuel Cell Corridor (OFCC) meeting at Lorain County Community College in Elyria, OH. Speakers from inside and outside the state, corporate and university came to report their successes in promoting the use of fuel cells as a power source in remote, stationary, and mobile applications. Part of the meeting involved an exhibit hall, where vendors could set up a booth and advertise their product or service. Member universities were, likewise, invited to set up a table and advertise their involvement in fuel cell and alternative energy research. YSU agreed to set up a table and supplied many passers-by with descriptions of the STEM College and its programs, especially the Ph.D. Materials Science and Engineering program, and reprints of fuel cell-related publications.

YSU STEM celebrates its first Sonia Kovalevsky Day

On Thursday, April 11th, 2013 Youngstown State University College of STEM held its first ever Sonia Kovalevsky Day. While this is the first time for YSU STEM, Sonia Kovalevsky events are held around the country to introduce the wonderful world of math to young women.

“Mathematics is a discipline where historically women have been a minority. These events where founded to promote mathematics among women, and to let them know that math is way beyond what they learn in high school and all different things they can do with a math degree,” says Dr. Alicia Prieto Langarica, assistant professor of mathematics and statistics.

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Alumni Corner: Dan Martin

DAN MartinDan Martin was a little surprised to hear that he would be presented with the outstanding young alumnus award at this year’s STEM Awards dinner.  The graduate of Youngstown State University, now a leader in Lubrizol Company, attended the dinner with his wife Amy.

Dan started at YSU in Industrial and Systems Engineering and graduated in 2003. Since YSU has such flexible programs, he decided to attend YSU again and earn his masters degree.

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Building Bridges: STEM College to High School Students

YSU got a good look at its future engineers on Friday, March 1st, at the Fifth Annual Mahoning Valley Miniature Bridge Building Competition. The competition gathered high school students from around the Valley to participate in building balsa wood bridges, which are then tested to see which team built the best bridge.

Each year, students gather from different schools, into groups of two to three, to build model bridges. They are given twenty balsa wood sticks, three three-foot long balsa wood sticks, one balsa wood plank, and medium-density super glue. With those supplies, the students have a maximum of three hours to build a miniature bridge that they will test by days end. They test the bridges to see which bridge has the highest load-to-weight capacity. Continue reading

The Fifth Annual STEM Awards Dinner

2013 Awardees

Youngstown State University College of Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics proudly honored and celebrated alumni, community partners and educational partners at the Fifth Annual STEM awards dinner on February 21, 2020 in the Chestnut Room of Kilcawley Center.

The 2013 awardees were Theodore Burke, James Cossler, Daniel Martin, John Scott, and Dr. Thomas Stellers with guest speaker Matthew Mrakovich who presented the college with a $15,000 donation from General Electric.  Mr. Mrakovich, a YSU grad with a Bachelors of Engineering, won The Edison Pioneer Award.  Since joining GE in 2001, Matt has twenty-six issued patents and was given the award because of his technical contributions, which has made a significant impact on the current, and future, vitality of General Electric. Continue reading