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Alumni in the news

Alumnus in Army engineers corps promoted

Corey Spencer

Corey Spencer (photo: U.S. Army Corps of Engineers)

Corey Spencer, an alumnus of the Del E. Webb School of Construction, recently became deputy commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Afghanistan Engineer District-South, based at Kandahar Airfield. Spencer earned a master’s degree in construction management at ASU in 2000.

As deputy commander, he assists with leading a unit that provides construction and engineering services in support of the NATO International Security Assistance Force and U.S. military forces in southern Afghanistan.

The District designs and constructs facilities that support the fielding of the Afghan National Army troops and Afghan National Police, facilities for U.S. and coalition forces, and sustainable development projects to help improve the living conditions for the Afghan people.

Previously he commanded the 62nd Engineer Battalion at Fort Hood in Texas.

During his career as an Army engineer, Spencer has earned commendations of merit including two Bronze Star Medals and five Meritorious Service Medals. His other decorations include awards of service during time of war such as the National Defense Service Medal, an Iraqi Campaign Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.

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Mitman named officer of ASU Young Alumni Council

John Mitman has been named an officer of the for the 2011-2012 Arizona State University Young Alumni Council and also serves on the Engineering Alumni Chapter Board.

John Mitman, named an officer of the for the Young Alumni Council, also serves on the Engineering Alumni Chapter Board.

John Mitman, Mechanical Engineering ’10, has been named an officer for the 2011-2012 Arizona State University Young Alumni Council. Mitman is currently pursuing a master’s degree in solar energy engineering and commercialization in the School for Engineering of Matter, Transport and Energy.

The council was formed in 2009 to direct development of the university alumni association’s Young Alumni program for ASU graduates age 35 and younger. The Young Alumni program is for individuals who are interested in staying involved with ASU through volunteer efforts, ASU events and networking.

Engineering alums named to leadership positions at prominent universities

Two ASU engineering alumni have recently been named to top leadership positions at prominent universities.

Debra Larson, Ph.D. Civil Engineering ’94, has been named dean of the College of Engineering at California Polytechnic State University. She will leave her position as an engineering professor and academic affairs administrator at Northern Arizona University, where she has been a faculty member since 1994. Read more at

John Nicklow, Ph.D. Civil Engineering ’98, has been named provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at Southern Illinois University-Carbondale. His doctoral work was supervised by Larry Mays, a professor in the School of Sustainable Engineering and the Built Environment. Nicklow joined the SIU-Carbondale’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in 1998 and rose to associate dean of its College of Engineering in 2007. Read more:

Opening doors to computing skills for students with visual impairment

Ten young Phoenix-area students who are visually impaired recently took part in a special four-day computing workshop designed especially for them, thanks to an alumna of Arizona State University’s Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering.

Stephanie Ludi, Ph.D. Computer Science ’03, leads a National Science Foundation (NSF) project to encourage middle school and high school students who have visual impairments to study computing.

Ludi focuses her research on ways to make computer science and engineering more accessible to those with disabilities. The workshop that the students took part in used specially designed programs that displayed large print combined with a voice function that would read the contents of the computer screen. The audio-visual enhancements were use to assist the students with programming commands to control robots.

The workshop was a success, as students became more comfortable with the program they began to enjoy themselves and work together to control the robots. By allowing the students an opportunity to work with specialized tools, they learned and enjoyed learning about computer science and engineering. This workshop was just the start of a new wave of technology that will open the door for students with disabilities to pursue a career in the fields of Computer Science and Engineering.

ASU alumnus selected for National Academy of Engineering honor

Sid Suryanarayanan

Sid Suryanarayanan is among 85 “of the brightest young engineers” selected by the National Academy of Engineering.

Arizona State University engineering alumnus Sid Suryanarayanan is among 85 “of the brightest young engineers” selected by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) to participate in the 2011 U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium.

The NAE chose engineers considered to be “performing exceptional engineering research and technical work in industry, academia, and government,” to take part in the symposium taking place Sept. 19-21 at Google headquarters in Mountain View, Calif.

Suryanarayanan earned a master’s degree in 2001 and a Ph.D. in 2004 in electrical engineering at ASU. Since 2010, he has been an assistant professor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering department at Colorado State University.

He conducts research on design, operation and economics of advanced electric power systems, and the integration of renewable energy technology to the electricity grid. Suryanarayanan has more than 50 publications in technical journals and conference proceedings, including some that have won best paper awards.

He is a senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. In 2009 the institute recognized his work by giving him the T. Burke Hayes Faculty Recognition Award.

The NAE symposium is examining cutting-edge developments in additive manufacturing, engineering sustainable buildings, neuroprosthetics and semantic processing.

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