2021-2022 Engineering Stories

Professor David Brock stands in the bridge over Spirit Drive.

Faculty Spotlight: David Brock

April 22, 2022

In the midst of a career that didn’t work right for his needs, David got married, finding changes not only in his personal life but also his career potential. Jennie Brock, his wife, landed a job up in Alaska as a Mechanical Engineering professor. For David, moving to Alaska was an easy transition.

Studeng, Borogchingua Zorigtbaatar, poses in the spine connected to the student union.

Student Spotlight: Borogchingua Zorigtbaatar

April 22, 2022

After completing her first year of college, a friend messaged Boro when she discovered that Erdenet, her hometown in Mongolia, was part of a sister city program at UAA that enabled international students to pay the in-state tuition rate. “As a student, every dollar matters,” Boro said. “So I got on a plane to Alaska.”

Geomatics student surveys the snowy ECB parkinglot.

UAA partners with Bellingham Technical College on geomatics program

March 7, 2022

The University of Alaska Anchorage is excited to announce a new partnership with the Bellingham Technical College (BTC) to further educational opportunities for students and meet the high-demand needs for today’s Geomatics workforce. The new partnership offers a pathway for students in BTC’s associate degree in Engineering Technology - Geomatics to continue their education and finish with a Bachelor of Science in Geomatics at UAA.


Students examine a cut piece of ice for structural imperfections.

Ice research may add up to big savings for a growing industry

February 17, 2022

Anchorage’s Ted Stevens International Airport is one of the top five busiest cargo airports in the world.
Anticipating this increase in northern shipping, UAA professor of structural engineering Scott Hamel, P.E., Ph.D., began researching the determination of ice crushing forces on vertical piles with tidal-accreted ice, which was one of seven UAA research projects selected for the 2020 ConocoPhillips Arctic Science and Engineering Endowment Awards.

Jan van den Top in the newly renamed Jan van den Top Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning Lab in the EIB.

Just warming up: Engineering alum reinvests in UAA's future

February 9, 2022

At a small, masked ceremony on the third floor of the Engineering and Industry Building in December 2021, UAA’s chancellor, the College of Engineering’s (CoEng) dean and others gathered to rename the Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) Lab in honor of Jan van den Top, a 1973 Master of Science in engineering alumnus, whose generous endowment will enable UAA’s mechanical engineering program to remain on the cutting edge of teaching and research. In fact, this endowment is the latest in a long line of investments he has made in UAA, and is an example of a philosophy that has been one of van den Top’s guiding principles.


Student speaker for the fall 2021 graduate degree hooding ceremony Cody Kapotak, B.S. Civil Engineering '20, M.S. Project Management '21

Mindful and ready

December 6, 2021

Student speaker for the fall 2021 graduate degree hooding ceremony Cody Kapotak, B.S. Civil Engineering '20, M.S. Project Management '21 discusses his journey to engineering.

With his Bachelor of Science in civil engineering and Master of Science in project management, Kapotak now has his sights set on his Ph.D. in geotechnical engineering, which he will begin in fall 2022 at UAF after some much-deserved downtime.


Professor Mohammad Heidari stands in front of frosted trees on Anchorage's Hillside, a potential wildfire hazard.

Building a FIREWALL: A more holistic solution to wildfires

November 8, 2021

In 2021, wildfires will have impacted at least 250,000 acres of land in Alaska. To put this number in perspective, that’s 189,000 football fields, 160 Kincaid Parks or the entire Chugach State Park plus another 50,000 acres. And this has been a relatively calm year. Over two million acres burned in 2019. In 2004, the worst year on record, it was a whopping 6.6 million. To say that Alaska has a wildfire problem would be putting it mildly.

Student researcher, Tyler Chushman, stands next to his project

Alaska Space Grant awarded to engineering alumnus to study Arctic corrosion

September 20, 2021

Tyler Cushman’s graduate research will study a process known as atmospheric corrosion in cold climates through a collaboration with NASA and is expected to have wider benefits for Alaska’s infrastructure. The award will fund his graduate fellowship to work on Measuring Aerosol Chlorides for Atmospheric Corrosion Studies in Cold Arctic Climate, one of seven projects awarded the ConocoPhillips Arctic Science and Engineering Endowment Award in 2020.

Dr. Kenrick Mock poses by a window with the Health Sciences Building and EIB bridge in the background.

CoEng Dean Kenrick Mock is excited to create new opportunities for students

August 4, 2021

It’s been a busy two years for Kenrick Mock, professor of computer science in the College of Engineering (CoEng), who stepped into the role of dean in fall 2018. Mock joined UAA in 2000 as a professor of computer science and recently accepted the position of dean with the college and is excited to continue the college's work, goals and mission.

Summer Engineering Camp Lego Robot & Student looks over a monitor with a lego robot in the foreground.

The virtual advantage: Summer Engineering Academies expand access and programming

June 29, 2021

Each summer, hundreds of students from Anchorage and Mat-Su sign up for a week-long summer camp with UAA’s College of Engineering (CoEng) Summer Engineering Academies. The week-long camps are geared toward students from third to 12th grade, provide hands-on instruction in STEM, and are designed to encourage local youth to explore the field of engineering.

ConocoPhillips Integrated Science Building sign on a spring day.

ConocoPhillips donation advances high performance computing at UAA

June 21, 2021

This summer, a large high-performance computing (HPC) cluster donation from ConocoPhillips to the UAA College of Engineering (CoEng) goes live, concluding a high-tech collaboration years in the making. This upgrade is especially beneficial for running artificial intelligence and data science programs, both of which require massive computing power that can strain smaller systems.