The Roots Run Deep

A similar thread of DNA links the Fuller family to The University of Alabama College of Engineering. From valuing education to their desire to engineer the future, this family has…

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In This Issue

The Roots Run Deep

One family continues 90-year UA engineering tradition

Building a Warrior

Young alumnus competes on American Ninja Warrior

InSPIREd to Lead

Alumnus named president of natural gas utilities in Alabama and Mississippi


Noteworthy News and Research


Stats from the College of Engineering


Events from Around the College



UA block A
Where Legends Are Made Logo


The internet barely existed when Nan Jackson Boden enrolled in college so UA prepared her for a future she could not see yet. Today, she leads technology partnerships for Google Cloud and envisions the future for millions of people every day.

Big bg image of Nan Jackson Boden


Want to Shed a Few Pounds? Researchers Test New Technology to Help

The National Institutes of Health has awarded a consortium of university researchers, led by The University of Alabama, a $2.5 million grant to further evaluate a wearable device designed to change eating behaviors.

NASA, UA Strengthen Relationship for Work on In-Space Manufacturing

An agreement between The University of Alabama and NASA will enhance inventive research assisting space exploration and strengthening education of tomorrow’s aerospace workforce.

UA Part of Tornado Research Project in Alabama

A group of University of Alabama students will soon visit and spend time with some homeowners to better understand how they find out when severe weather is happening and how…

UA Researchers Continue Groundbreaking Work in Greenland

For the second consecutive year, a team of researchers from The University of Alabama traveled to the Arctic Circle to help unveil ancient climate history and provide perspectives on improving climate models.

Two UA Technologies Part of National Start-Up Program

Two innovative projects at The University of Alabama are part of a national program aimed to help take technology from the lab to the market.

UA to Lead Study on Irrigation-Fed Farming Impacts in Deep South

Unique research led by The University of Alabama will study whether more irrigation-fed farms in the Deep South could lead to a more robust agriculture industry, possibly becoming an even greater economic engine.


UA engineering students succeed at Lockheed Martin challenge

Three University of Alabama engineering students opened Lockheed Martin’s Space Challenge Box by correctly solving a high-value problem and unlocking a future of opportunities with the company. Lockheed Martin visited…

Alabama LSAMP Bridge students get a college head start

A program at The University of Alabama is helping new college students get a head start with the goal of seeing them succeed throughout their academic careers and beyond. The…

UA Engineering Hosts Annual E-Day

The University of Alabama College of Engineering will soon host E-Day, an open house for prospective students that explores the many opportunities the College has to offer.

New to the college

Cognitive Neuroscientist Leading the Alabama Life Research Institute

After a national search, a noteworthy researcher in cognitive neuroscience will lead the Alabama Life Research Institute as executive director.

As the first, full-time head of ALRI, Dr. Sharlene D. Newman will provide a coherent vision for collaborative life research that embraces the full range of disciplines represented on campus while strengthening The University of Alabama’s research portfolio and profile. She begins her tenure at UA Oct. 1.


DR. DAVID CORDES professor of computer science, retired in September 2019 after 31 years at The University of Alabama. His research interests focused primarily on software systems, including distributed and networked systems as well as component based development. Cordes earned his bachelor’s degree in 1982 from the University of Arkansas, master’s degree in 1984 from Purdue University and his doctorate in 1988 from Louisiana State University, each in computer science. He began his career at UA in 1988. He served as department head for computer science from 1997 to 2018 and was the director of the College’s Freshman Engineering Program from 2007 to 2018. Cordes was honored with the College’s T. Morris Hackney Faculty Leadership Award in 2003 and served as national chair of the Computing Accreditation Commission of ABET in 2013-2014. He is a Fellow of the Computer Sciences Accreditation Board.


DR. JAY LINDLY professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering, retired December 2019, after more than 32 years of service to The University of Alabama. He earned his bachelor’s degree in 1976 from the University of Kansas, master’s degree in 1977 from Kansas State University and his doctorate in 1987 from Purdue University, each in civil engineering. In addition to his teaching duties, Lindly was the director of the University Transportation Center for Alabama, a transportation research center established by the UA Board of Trustees in 1999 with the theme of Management and Safety of Transportation Systems. Lindly’s research projects included studying the use of seat belts in school buses,relative reflective properties of different types of highway edge lines, health of the intercity bus system in Alabama and the deterioration level of pavements.


ChBE Grad Student Places Second in Three Minute Thesis Competition

Nathaniel Sturm’s talk on “Species Detection in the Dark” won the 2019 Three Minute Thesis competition.

Collaborative paper earns UA engineering student a conference award

A University of Alabama engineering student and professor’s collaborative research paper was awarded a top honor at a recent technical society conference. Emin Ucer, an electrical and computer engineering doctoral…

Randall Outstanding Undergrad Research Awards Recognize Innovation

The Randall Outstanding Undergraduate Research Award Program recognizes the best research activity conducted by undergraduate students at The University of Alabama.


UA civil engineering students place in national contest, adviser wins award

A team of University of Alabama students placed in the top five at a national competition in civil engineering and their faculty adviser won an award for his contributions to…

UA Aerospace Professor Wins 2019 ASC Outstanding Research Award

A University of Alabama engineering professor was recently recognized for his outstanding research. Dr. Samit Roy, William D. Jordan Professor of Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, received the American Society for…

Computer Science Professor Tapped to Direct Cyber Initiatives

Dr. Jeffrey Carver, professor of computer science, has been named the chair of UA cyber initiatives.


19th Annual CES Golf Tournament raises more than $53,000

The 19th Annual Capstone Engineering Society Golf Tournament was held Sept. 16, 2019, at Old Overton Country Club in Vestavia Hills, Alabama. Thanks to generous contributions from sponsors and teams,…

Senate Confirms UA Graduate to Lead US Strategic Command

The U.S. Senate has confirmed a University of Alabama graduate to head the U.S. Strategic Command.



photo of JOHN AKERS


(Photo courtesy of Atmos Energy)

BSMinE, has been named president and chief
executive officer of Dallas-based Atmos Energy


photo of


BSIE, MSIE ’99, plant manager of ZF Chassis
Systems in Tuscaloosa, accepted the 2019 Large
Manufacturer of the Year Award, presented by the
Alabama Technology Network and the Business
Council of Alabama.


photo of BRAD NEWMAN


BSIE, has been appointed program manager
for NASA’s Human Landing System at Marshall
Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama. She will
oversee development of the lander that will carry
the first woman and the next man to the Moon’s
surface in 2024.



BSMtE, MSMtE ’08, has been named president
of Illinois American Water, a subsidiary of
American Water.

photo of KEN TODD

KEN TODD /2004

BSCE, was recognized by UA’s civil, construction
and environmental engineering department with the
2019 Civil Engineering Outstanding Fellows Award
for professional achievement and service to the
department. Todd is vice president of construction
at McAbee Construction in Tuscaloosa.



(Photo courtesy of Dewberry)

BSCE, has been hired as a senior project manager at
Dewberry, a privately held professional services firm.
He joined the firm’s resilience solutions group in Denver,
Colorado. In his new role, Sutley is responsible for project
management and business development.



(Photo by Randy Montoya)

BSMtE, MSMtE ’09, was named to Business Journals’
2019 Influencers: Rising Star list, which spotlights 100
executives nationwide who are having an impact early
in their careers on business in cities across the nation.

2019 CES Golf
Tournament Sponsors


Drummond Co logo


Dynetics logo


alabama power logo
american logo
Brasfield & Gorrie General Contractors
HPM logo
McAbee Construction, Inc. logo
Neptune Technology Group logo
VIC logo
Bama Concrete logo


jones walker logo


bl harbert logo


Apache Construction Corporation
Bernhard TME
C&B Piping
CS Beatty Construction, Inc.
Dunn Construction
Evans Family Sauces
Ferguson Waterworks
Hargrove Engineers + Constructors
Hunt Refining Company
Kimley Horn
LBYD Engineers
McGiffert and Associates, LLC
Morell Engineering
Nucor Steel Decatur
Nucor Steel Tuscaloosa
Process Automation and Simulation Services (PASS)
Schoel Engineering
Seabrook Solutions
Thompson Tractor
Vulcan Materials Company
Vulcan Painters, Inc.
Wade Sand & Gravel Co., Inc
Wallace Family-Roscoe, Nicole, Mackenzie & Roscoe Jr.


Barnett Jones Wilson
Gonzalez-Strength & Assoc.
SAIIA Construction Company
Spectrum Environmental, Inc.

In Memory


Johnny G. Armstrong died July 28, 2019, in Lancaster, California. He was born in Jackson, Mississippi, and raised in Tuscaloosa. After high school, Armstrong worked as a summer aide at Redstone Arsenal in Huntsville. He graduated from The University of Alabama in 1956 with a bachelor’s degree in aeronautical engineering. In 1957, Armstrong became an Air Force lieutenant at the Air Force Flight Test Center headquartered at Edwards Air Force Base in California. He worked on the YB-58A test team and became the first non-rated Air Force officer to fly at Mach 2 in the aircraft. Armstrong left active duty in 1961 and continued working on flight tests at Edwards, where he worked for the majority of his 55-year career. His first assignment as a civilian in 1962 was as a flight planner on the joint U.S. Navy/NASA/U.S. Air Force X-15 flight test program. He also worked on the F-104, lifting bodies such as HL-10, M2-F3, X-24A and X-24B. Armstrong’s career included work on space and hypersonic vehicles such as the X-33, X-34, X-37, X-38/X-40A Future-X, X-43 Hyper-X, and X-51 Waverider. He became the Hypersonics Combined Test Force Chief Engineer in 2004 and retired from the position on February 6, 2012. Armstrong was named a Distinguished Engineering Fellow at The University of Alabama in 1991.


Lt. Col. Ken Dyson died Aug. 15, 2019. Born in Marshall, Texas, he graduated from Texarkana Texas High School in 1956. After graduating from Texas A&M University with a bachelor’s degree, Dyson earned a master’s degree in aeronautical engineering from The University of Alabama in 1971. He was a pilot in the U.S. Air Force for 22 years, where he spent five years as a tactical fighter pilot and 15 years as a military test pilot. Dyson flew two tours in Southeast Asia and was on two classified programs, Have Blue and Tacit Blue. After retiring from the Air Force, he joined Rockwell International as an engineering test pilot. Dyson flew the first flight X-31 Post Stall Aircraft and retired as chief test pilot and director of flight test in 1993. He received the Legion of Merit, two Distinguished Flying Crosses, nine air medals, was named an Engineering Fellow of the Test Pilot School, was inducted into the Lancaster Aerospace Walk of Honor and was included in Aviation Week and Space Technology’s Aerospace Laurels. Dyson was named a UA Distinguished Engineering Fellow in 1993.


Glenn Bishop died July 24, 2019, in Birmingham. Born in Columbia, South Carolina, and raised in Birmingham, he graduated from Ramsay High School in 1958. Bishop then attended The University of Alabama where he was a member of Sigma Nu Fraternity. He earned a bachelor’s degree in 1964 and a master’s degree in 1966, both in civil engineering. For seven years, Bishop worked at Hudson and Associates. He then founded his own firm, E. Glenn Bishop and Associates, in 1973. The structural and civil engineering firm, now named LBYD, has five offices and more than 100 employees today. Bishop was named a Fellow of the UA civil engineering department, the UA College of Engineering and the American Council of Engineering Companies, and he was selected to the Alabama Construction Hall of Fame and the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame. Bishop was a past chairman of the UA College of Engineering Leadership Board and the Council of American Structural Engineers National Guidelines Committee, and he was a past president of the American Consulting Engineers Council of Alabama. Bishop served on the Board of Advisors of the UA civil engineering department and the University of Alabama at Birmingham civil engineering department. He worked on the Board of Directors of the Alabama Concrete Industries Association and the Construction Education Foundation of Alabama. Bishop was an engineering advisor for the state of Alabama’s Board of Registration and a trustee for the Birmingham Chamber of Commerce. One of his professional accomplishments was the expansion of The University of Alabama’s Bryant-Denny Stadium. He was a member of the American Institute of Steel Construction, American Society of Civil Engineers and International Code Council.


Charles Jackson “Jack” Granade Jr., of Mobile, died May 16, 2019. Born in Attalla, he was raised in Grove Hill and graduated from Grove Hill High School. Garanade earned both a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in civil engineering from The University of Alabama in 1967 and 1969 respectively. He worked as a professional engineer for both the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Thompson Engineering. Granade helped design the RSA Trustmark Building, RSA Battlehouse Tower, Austal USA shipbuilding hangars and the GulfQuest National Maritime Museum of the Gulf of Mexico.


The Honorable Alvin Paul DuPont Sr., of Tuscaloosa, died July 31, 2019, in Canton, Texas. He graduated from The University of Alabama with a degree in civil engineering in 1961. After graduating, DuPont became an employee of the city of Tuscaloosa, working as city engineer and then city planning director. DuPont served five terms as mayor of Tuscaloosa. His final term ended in 2005. He worked on the Holy Spirit Catholic Church’s site selection committee, when the church moved locations, and the building committee, for the design and construction of the structure. In 1995, DuPont was named a UA Distinguished Engineering Fellow.


Edwin Milton Hardin, of Chelsea, died May 8, 2019. Hardin served with an engineer combat battalion in World War II and the Korean conflict. After his service, he earned a bachelor’s degree from The University of Alabama in civil engineering in 1956. Hardin first worked for Walter Schoel Engineering, and in 1963, he joined Rust International Corporation. In 1989, he was named vice president-operations at Rust. He also served as president of Rust Engineering of New York, North Carolina and Michigan, and vice president of Pullman Power of Ohio. Hardin retired in 1992. He served as vice chair and chairman of the Alabama State Board of Professional Engineers and Land Surveyors. He was also active in the Alabama and National Society of Professional Engineers, the American Iron and Steel Engineers, American Society of Military Engineers and the American Society of Engineering Education. Hardin helped form and charter the Birmingham Chapter of the American Society of Certified Engineering Technicians. He founded the Engineering Advisory Council at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and served as its first chairman. In 1988, Hardin was named a UA Distinguished Engineering Fellow. In 1993, he was inducted into the Alabama Engineering Hall of Fame.


John Wiley Lewis Jr., of Birmingham, died May 25, 2019. A graduate of Ramsay High School, he earned achemical engineering bachelor’s degree in 1942 from The University of Alabama. He also played the tubain the Million Dollar Band. Lewis served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy on the USS Norton Sound duringWorld War II. After the war, he received a master’s degree at the Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy.Lewis and his brother, Jack, owned and operated Dixie Fire Brick Company in Alabama, which laterbecame A.P. Green Refractories. He was named a Distinguished Fellow by the College of Engineeringat The University of Alabama in 2002. Lewis served on the board of trustees at First United Methodist Church of Birmingham, where he was a lifelong member.


Buell Vernon Moore died in Birmingham Nov. 8, 2019. Born in Logan, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy during World War II and was accepted into the V-5 Aviation Cadet Training Program. A 1949 mechanical engineering graduate of The University of Alabama, Moore began his career with Chicago Bridge & Iron Company. In 1959, he moved his family to London where he worked in sales in Europe, the Middle Eastand Africa and traveled the world. Moore started at CB&I as an engineer and draftsman and eventually became president of the company. He was named a UA Distinguished Engineering Fellow in 1988.


Dr. William Harrington Tranter, of North Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, died May 5, 2019. Born in Greensboro, North Carolina, his family later moved to Dothan. Tranter earned all three of his degrees —bachelor’s, master’s and doctorate — in electrical engineering from The University of Alabama in 1964,1965 and 1970 respectively. He served as an assistant and associate dean of engineering from 1980 to 1985 at the University of Missouri-Rolla and was named Schlumberger Professor in 1985. In 1997, Tranter was named the Bradley Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Virginia Tech and was a member of the Mobile and Radio Research Group. From 2009 to 2011, he served as a program director of the National Science Foundation’s Computer and Information Science and Engineering Directorate. Tranter contributed chapters to a number of books and published more than 75 research journal and conference papers. He also co-authored several undergraduate textbooks in the communications area. Throughout his career, Tranter was active in the Institute of Electronics and Electrical Engineers and was named a Fellow in 1985 and a Life Fellow in 2005. He served as a member of the Board of Governors and Director of Journals of the IEEE Communications Society, was elected vice president technical activities, and served an 11-year term as the editor-in-chief of the IEEE Journal on Selected Areas in Communications. He received an IEEE Centennial Medal in 1984, a Millennium Medal in 2000,the Donald McLellan Meritorious Service Award from the IEEE Communications Society in 2000, and the Publications Exemplary Service Award in 2001. In 1988, Tranter was named a UA Distinguished Engineering Fellow.

End User

Photo of Julie Ember

Julie Ember, College of Engineering director of financial affairs, was one of three UA staff members selected to receive the Vergil Parks McKinley Sr. Employee Award. The award recipients were recognized by University of Alabama President Stuart Bell at the Fall 2019 Campus Assembly. This Capstone Award was established to recognize enterprising employees, who by action or idea, contribute to The University of Alabama’s mission of teaching,research and service. Employees had to be nominated by their immediate supervisor to be eligible for the award. Learn more about Ember in this Q&A.

CE: What do you do in Financial Affairs?

Ember: As the director of financial affairs within the College of Engineering, I oversee the finances and human resources for the College.This includes a wide range of responsibilities,including overseeing the spending within the College, ensuring financial and purchasing policies and procedures are followed at the College and departmental levels, and assisting the departmental staff with state funds as well as contracts and grants. For human resources,I am involved from the beginning to the end for faculty and staff including the creation and advertising of positions, interview process to ensure the continuity of recruiting, on boarding procedures, payroll and annual evaluations.

CE: How does your job support the College of Engineering faculty, staff and students? Why is your job important to keeping the College successful?

Ember: My job is to ensure funding to support the mission of teaching, research and service for our undergraduate and graduate programs,including the various offices that support our students. I assist the dean in the process of allocating funds to ensure that we not only cover our routine obligations, but plan ahead for the goals of the College. For endowments and gift funds, this means I follow MOAs to ensure we meet donor expectations while meeting the needs of the College. For contracts and grants, I assist the departments to ensure that we cover our obligations and meet the necessary deliverables expected by the sponsor.

CE: How were you selected for the Vergil Parks McKinley Sr. Employee Award? How did it feel to receive this award?

Ember: Dr. Vergil Parks McKinley Sr. retired after 25 years of service at the University and was known by his students and peers for his impeccable character. My nomination consisted of multiple letters of support from the administration within the College, including Drs. John Wiest,Tim Haskew, Ed Back and Steve Daniewicz. I was extremely surprised and honored.

CE: What is something you wish people knew about Financial Affairs and/or the UA College of Engineering?

Ember: The COE Financial Affairs office is happy to assist faculty, staff and students in any way possible.

CE: How long have you worked at UA? What is it like working here?

Ember: I have worked at UA for almost 13 and a half years, and I love working at my alma mater.During the three years I have been in the College of Engineering, I have enjoyed working with our extremely dedicated staff, successful faculty and supportive administration. Even though my position does not typically interact directly with students, I enjoy knowing that I am able to make an impact that affects their academic success.