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Lighting the way for future engineers

Jennifer Hibberts

Jennifer Hibberts

Jennifer Hibberts traveled an especially unique path to Clemson, one that spanned nearly 7,000 miles, three generations, and the Eastern and Western Hemispheres. Hibberts grew up on a small Army garrison in the Marshall Islands, located in the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the Philippines. About 1,000 people live on the island of Kwajalein, and Hibberts’s high school graduating class had only 18 students.

The laid-back island lifestyle in this tightknit community was all Hibberts had ever known until she enrolled at Clemson in 2014. “I was used to an endless summer, and always being able to relax on a beach in the afternoon or go surfing on the weekends. I had to adapt to the ‘brutal’ winters of the Upstate, and football now fills much of my free time on weekends,” said Hibberts.

Despite growing up thousands of miles away, Hibberts’ family has close ties to Clemson and the Southeast, as her parents are legal residents of South Carolina, and she’s now the eighth woman in her family to attend Clemson. “I’m proud to come from such a successful group of women, and grateful for the opportunity to receive the same quality education that propelled them into the careers they are thriving in,” Hibberts said.

Following in her family’s footsteps, Hibberts quickly forged her own path at Clemson in the biosystems engineering program, Calhoun Honors College, extracurricular activities like the debate team and club water polo team, and her community of friends. Hibberts is also a Grand Challenges Scholar at Clemson. The program, sponsored by the National Academy of Engineers, seeks to equip college students to become well-rounded engineers ready to tackle the world’s largest challenges.

Through the program, Hibberts has been provided opportunities to study abroad in the French Riviera, gain hands-on research experience and network with industry leaders. In spring 2016, Hibberts added another honor when she became one of five inaugural recipients of the Hubbell Lighting Annual Engineering Scholarship, established by Hubbell Lighting to provide scholarships to exceptional engineering students. Hubbell Lighting and the Hubbell Foundation also established the Hubbell Foundation Scholarship Endowment, which will fund scholarships for years to come.

As the recipient of multiple scholarships at Clemson, Hibberts understands the importance of giving back. When she graduates from Clemson in 2018, she plans to apply to the Peace Corps. Hibberts’ experiences growing up in the Marshall Islands and at Clemson have instilled in her a passion for service and a global perspective. “I have been blessed to be able to travel and live in so many places around the world, and it has sparked a deep wanderlust within me,” says Hibberts. “I’d love to continue to live and work overseas.” The gift from Hubbell Lighting and the Hubbell Foundation was part of the successful $1 billion Will to Lead for Clemson campaign.

Siemens provides Clemson with largest ever in-kind technology grant

 

At the announcement of the Siemens gift, a “thought leadership” panel discussion
was moderated by Ted Pitts, president and CEO of the S.C. Chamber of Commerce.
U.S. undersecretary of education Ted Mitchell, automotive engineering graduate student Shweta Rawat, associate professor of mechanical engineering Greg Mocko and adjunct professor of automotive engineering Joerg Schulte discussed the Siemens software and the role of technology in education and Upstate South Carolina’s role in the automotive sector.

Clemson has received the largest grant-in-kind in its history from Siemens, a global technology company. Software valued at more than $357 million will be incorporated into coursework and projects related to computer-aided design, engineering simulation, industrial design, digital manufacturing and manufacturing management in the College of Engineering, Computing and Applied Sciences.

Both undergraduate and graduate students will have access to a product lifecycle management (PLM) software used by more than 140,000 companies throughout the global manufacturing industry — including 35 in South Carolina — to design, develop and manufacture some of the world’s most sophisticated products in a variety of industries.

This academic partnership will help students compete for jobs throughout the world and aid in building a workforce equipped with the skills needed for the high-tech jobs of tomorrow. “Preparing students to be highly competitive in the 21st century global economy is a central part of Clemson’s mission, and this new partnership with Siemens will provide our students with access to cutting-edge technical tools that can make them even more attractive to future employers — especially many of the world-class, advanced manufacturing companies operating in South Carolina,” said Clemson President Jim Clements. Kevin Yates, a 1989 Clemson alumnus and head of Siemens energy management division, said, “I am proud that Siemens is providing students with access to this software, positioning the University at the forefront of innovation and technology.

This partnership is rooted in a shared commitment to innovation and collaboration, and will allow Clemson — and South Carolina — to build a pipeline of skilled talent for the state’s growing manufacturing industry.” Clemson’s dedication to technology and innovation makes the University an ideal recipient for the in-kind software grant. With the University’s vision to create a high-tech collaborative environment through the Watt Family Innovation Center, Clemson shares Siemens’ commitment to fostering innovation, advancing technology and developing the next-generation workforce. To learn more about students using Siemens software, go to clemson.world and click on “Clemson Forever.”

My Clemson: Joey Wilson ’17 Duncan, South Carolina

My time at Clemson has been quite a ride. I watched the Tigers win their first football national championship in 35 years. I’ve devoted my senior year to serving as undergraduate student body president. I met former Vice President Joe Biden while working in the fight against sexual assault. I’ve traveled the world from the Balkans to China.

The thing that probably drives me the most is my desire to have an impact on the world and change Clemson for the better. Every morning when I wake up, I take some time and think about different things I could do to make someone’s day a little bit better.

Relationships are so important. I think in our generation one of the things that’s lost right now is personal interaction. Some technology is great, but I think it’s important to meet face-to-face with someone and have a real conversation. That’s how you solve a lot of problems.

In my travels, I’ve learned that everyone is more similar than they are different. Everyone wants to be loved. Everyone wants to find happiness. Even if you don’t speak the same language, just a smile and handshake goes a long way. It’s not always about where you go. It’s about who you meet and who you’re sharing it with.

The honors I’ve received while at Clemson University have been humbling. It’s been wonderful to have been named a Schwarzman Scholar and to have received the Astronaut Foundation scholarship. I wouldn’t be here without the support of my family, the Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, the Department of Bioengineering at Clemson, my research mentor Dr. Delphine Dean, all my professors and the Calhoun Honors College.

I’ll miss Clemson after graduation. But I’m excited about the next chapter in my life, and I will always be a Tiger.

Joey is graduating this month with a degree in bioengineering and a minor in global politics and will be pursuing a master’s in public policy at Tsinghua University in Beijing, China, as a Schwarzman Scholar this fall. In 2018, he will move to England to pursue a Ph.D. in oncology as a Cambridge International Scholar at Cambridge University.

Trustees approve plans for new business building, tennis center

Renderings of the new Clemson Business SchoolAt their February meeting, the Clemson Board of Trustees approved final-phase plans and resolutions authorizing issuance of revenue bonds to construct a new academic building to house the College of Business and a new tennis center on campus. Final approval by the State Fiscal Accountability Authority was granted May 2.Proposed site of Clemson Business School

The business college will relocate from its current home in Sirrine Hall, which was built in 1938. The proposed new 170,000-square-foot business building, scheduled to open in early 2020, includes classrooms and learning laboratories, faculty and administrative offices, study and gathering spaces, and common areas for greater collaboration among students, faculty, staff and business partners.

“This new home for our outstanding College of Business is a key component of the university’s ongoing efforts to provide the type of academic facilities necessary to keep Clemson among the very best public universities in the country,” said Preside James Clements. “We very much appreciate the support from our leaders in state government for this extremely important project and look forward to breaking ground on what will become one of the first business education facilities in the country.

The total project cost, estimated to be $87.5 million, will be funded through a combination of state capital appropriations, state institution bonds and private gift funds.

LMN Architects of Seattle is designing the building in collaboration with the Greenville office of South Carolina-based LS3P, the architect of record.

Scott May of LS3P, the project’s lead architect said careful consideration was given to respecting the character of other buildings on campus, particularly those iconic structures within eyeshot. LMN

“The planning team has created something timeless, by mixing old and new,” May said. “We didn’t want to replicate the likes of Tillman, Like or Godfrey, but rather take cues from them to maintain the campus’s structural harmony.”

The predominately brick and glass towers will feature an open design that includes an atrium. The towers will be connected above ground by an expansive outdoor stairway leading to a place and overlooking Bowman Field, and by an interior hallway on the building’s first floor. In addition to a multitude of technology-equipped classrooms, the building will house faculty and staff support offices, the college’s institutes and many shared learning spaces.

Sirrine Hall, the business school’s current home, will become swing space for people transitioning to new locations on campus due to renovation or new construction.

The proposed tennis center for the men’s and women’s varsity teams will retain existing tennis facilities, including outdoor competition courts and a 700-seat permanent stadium. The new 48,000-square-foot tennis center will include six indoor courts, two outdoor courts, a clubhouse, locker rooms, a training room, equipment rooms, a players’ lounge, laundry, coaches’ offices, a ticket office, public restrooms and related site work.

The total project cost, estimated to be $12.5 million, will be funded either by athletic facilities revenue bonds and/or athletic private gifts. It is scheduled to be completed in winter 2017-18.

Take Two: Twin sisters agree on all things Clemson

Mindy and Megan EarnestMindy and Megan Earnest are fraternal twins who could easily pass for identical. Both are engineering majors in the Calhoun Honors College and active in Tiger Band. It’s easy to see how people get them confused — just ask some of the people who have mistakenly had a conversation with one sister expecting her to be the other.

Hailing from Knoxville, Tennessee, Mindy and Megan both chose Clemson for similar reasons but avoided talking about it before making the big decision. “We announced our final choice at the same time so we didn’t influence each other, but we were also looking for the same things in a school, like a good college town and a nice campus feel. Clemson fit both of those,” said Megan.

Still, the twins went different ways when it came to declaring their major concentrations after freshman year. Mindy, more math minded, settled on electrical engineering, while Megan chose industrial engineering, which offers a more business-focused approach. After completing co-ops at different engineering companies, both sisters say they plan to pursue careers that center on research. And if possible, they’d like to wind up living close to each other. But like many soon-to-be college graduates, they both feel confident in going wherever a job may take them.

Mindy Earnest, Photo courtesy of Christopher Sloan, Imagine! Studios

In music, as in academics, the things the Earnest sisters share are also the things that distinguish them: Mindy plays the trumpet and Megan the piccolo. And while many people with siblings may find it hard to envision spending so much time with a sister or brother, the Earnests see their shared time as a helpful advantage. “There’s always someone to keep you accountable. Back when we were in the same engineering classes we always had someone there to do homework with and ask questions,” said Megan.

Megan Earnest, Photo courtesy of Christopher Sloan, Imagine! Studios

Mindy quickly echoed the sentiment. “There’s always someone there who thinks more like you. It makes it easier to explain concepts to each other,” she said, even when they’re working in different subjects.

Shared memories

Freshman year was a hallmark one for Mindy and Megan, and not just because it was the last time they took a class together. It was also the first time they took the field with Tiger Band.

In 2013, the Tigers opened their football season against Georgia, playing at home. ESPN’s “College GameDay” held its broadcast from Bowman Field early that morning, and by 8 p.m., the sun was setting in Death Valley. Hordes of Clemson fans packed into the stadium, and at the center of the field amid a sea of orange were Mindy and Megan, clad in their uniforms and ready to play “Tiger Rag.”

“It was so loud. You’re used to practicing at band camp when it’s quiet and just us, and then we got to the pregame, and I couldn’t hear anything but the crowd screaming,” said Mindy. “It was surreal. I remember thinking, ‘This is not high school band. This is going to be a fun four years.’”

That game set the tone for the rest of their playing careers. “It’s a really cool feeling,” said Megan. “Every pregame is fun. That one just doesn’t get old.”

Music has always played a large role in the Earnests’ lives. But both sisters agree the best part about Tiger Band isn’t musical, but rather social. “There are so many people in band that I don’t even see Mindy during practice,” said Megan. “It actually works out well because you get to expand your friend groups. She found hers, I found mine, and then we combined them,” Mindy said.

Lean on me

From the big decisions to the smaller ones, the sisters (who are also roomates) seem to be constantly in sync, even unintentionally choosing the same outfit from time to time. According to Mindy, “Whoever comes out first gets dibs.” Agreeing on everything from their favorite spot on campus (the amphitheater) to their favorite Clemson restaurant (Yolk Asian Kitchen), Mindy and Megan are proof that being able to manage heavy engineering course loads, maintain high GPAs in the Honors College and participate in a demanding extracurricular activity is more possible with a good support system in place.

Just be careful — if you run into one sister and mistake her for the other, she probably won’t correct you. “I’ll be walking on campus and hear Megan’s name and think to myself, ‘I should probably just answer,’” says Mindy.

Megan agrees. “Sometimes one of Mindy’s professors will think I’m her, and I’ll just listen. Then when I get home I’m like, ‘Hey Mindy, here’s what they said. You might want to talk to them.’” Now that’s love.

— Courtney Meola ’17

Travelers Spring 2017

Cole Swartwood ‘16 and Sammie Flynn ‘17: After traveling to see Clemson shut out Ohio State in the Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Eve we decided to travel north to Page, Arizona. Page is home to one of the most popular sites to see nature has to offer, the Horseshoe Bend. We took our Tiger Rag within a few feet of the edge to get this awesome picture.

Whether you were in Tampa or elsewhere, we heard you celebrating the Clemson championship for weeks! Below are fan photos submitted to us.

Have your own photo you want to share? Email jdselle@clemson.edu and we’ll add it to the gallery.

 

Clemson architecture team develops a new way to build

A team of Clemson architecture students assemble Indigo Pine East, the first structure built using the sim[PLY] construction method. Off-the-shelf plywood is cut by CNC routers into interlocking tab-and-slot pieces that fit together to form a solid, tight frame. With the sim[PLY] method, digital cut files can be emailed to a CNC fabricator, then shipped flat-packed to the construction site, ready to be assembled by hand by unskilled laborers.

Clemson University’s School of Architecture is developing an innovative new construction method that is gaining worldwide attention for its potential market impact in rapid, low-tech sustainable housing.

Using the sim[PLY] Framing System, “With a click of the button, someone could order a custom-cut, flat-packed home online and construct it by hand with the help of their friends and neighbors in a matter of days,” said Kate Schwennsen, professor and director of the School of Architecture.

One of the sim[PLY] Framing System’s innovative advantages is its revolutionary interlocking tab-and-slot connection system (patent pending). Assembly is intuitive and easy; so buildings come together much like a 3D puzzle, using no nails, just steel zip ties and some screws. This means buildings can be disassembled just as easily, without causing structural damage.

“sim[PLY] is faster, safer, easier and more energy-efficient than traditional construction with power tools,” Schwennsen said.

sim[PLY] offers a rapid, low-tech construction solution with a profound reduction in a building’s total carbon footprint. Here’s how:

  • sim[PLY] uses locally sourced plywood and computer numeric control (CNC) fabrication.
  • Construction plans are digital and can be emailed anywhere there is a CNC controller.
  • Components can be pre-cut using off-the-shelf materials, pre-measured and flat-packed, requiring less transport space and smaller vehicles versus other forms of prefabricated structures.
  • Cut pieces lock into place on site with no power-operated tools or heavy equipment required.

sim[PLY]’s evolving impact:

  • A national Department of Defense (DOD) building contractor has looked at sim[PLY] for Rapidly Deployable Housing applications, such as for use in temporary military housing. sim[PLY] is being considered as a potentially cost-saving opportunity to build better structures faster, safer and using less energy on the jobsite.
  • sim[PLY]­ ’s built-in ease of construction makes it an ideal framing model for various types of do-it-yourself housing. Think: tiny homes. To explore this popular housing trend, Clemson’s architectural students have designed an energy efficient sim[PLY] tiny home prototype that could be structurally framed in just one day’s time.
  • Timber is one of South Carolina’s most important cash crops, with an economic impact of $20 billion, according to the Forestry Association of South Carolina. sim[PLY]’s use of plywood would create both a positive economic and environmental impact here at home. Beyond causing a greater demand for timber, wide acceptance of the sim[PLY] process would mean a more diverse and robust use of forest resources; plywood manufacturing, unlike that of lumber, makes use of older, more mature trees.
  • Architectural communities in Italy, Austria and Germany – countries considered to be worldwide leaders in wood construction and sustainable building – have expressed interest in sim[PLY]. Overseas and in the U.S., sim[PLY]’s sustainable performance benefits are compelling.

The sim[PLY] rafter assembly for a CropStop community kitchen.
Image Credit: Clemson University School of Architecture

An example of a sim[PLY] structure in use is the CropStop community kitchen on Lois Avenue in Greenville. The building makes it possible for crop owners to better process their harvests to meet local demand for fresh farm-to-table foods. A new universal CropStop prototype was designed in the fall and could impact global agrarian economies where there is interest in this concept for sustaining local growers and evolving farm communities.

sim[PLY] was first developed by Clemson architectural faculty and students as part of their entry in the 2015 Department of Energy Solar Decathlon competition. While their end result was a solar-powered, energy-efficient home, it was just the beginning for the innovative framing system that is proving it has a marketable life of its own.

Architecture student Paul Mosher examines sim[PLY] pieces cut by a Computer Numeric Control device. Sim[PLY]’s interlocking connection technology is patent-pending.

“sim[PLY] is an ongoing, evolving project,” Schwennsen said. “New teams of students are being challenged to optimize the design and create newer, smarter versions to meet the needs of a variety of commercial, government and end-user market applications.”

The School of Architecture and its faculty continue to be leaders in integrating critical and creative research into its nationally ranked accredited graduate program.

The sim[PLY] team includes faculty inventors Dan Harding, Dustin Albright, Dave Pastre, Ulrike Heine, Vincent Blouin and Ufuk Ursoy; and contributing student inventors Anthony Wohlers, Michael Stoner, Eric Balogh, Tyler Silvers, Clair Dias, Alison Martin, Jon Pennington, Jeff Hammer, Will Hinkley, Justin Hamrick, Alexandra Latham, Neely Leslie, Daniel Taylor, David Herrero, Rebecca Mercer, Russell Buchanan, Amelia Brackmann, Paul Mosher, Allyson Beck and Alex Libengood.