Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for July 10-24

· 7 min read

Achievements | Honors, awards, publications for July 10-24

Members of the UNL community featured in award announcements this week include Frans von der Dunk, Don Adams, Galen Erickson, Samodha Fernando, Merlyn Nielsen, Karen Kunc, Jung Yul Lim, Xiwei Zheng and David Hage.

  • The United Arab Emirates has hired Frans von der Dunk as a senior adviser for that nation’s nascent space agency. Von der Dunk is the Harvey and Susan Perlman Alumni/Othmer Professor of Space Law with the Space, Cyber and Telecommunications Law Program at the University of Nebraska College of Law.The agency’s mission is to organize and guide the space sector; to develop space research, programs and strategic partnerships; and to prepare generations of highly skilled professionals to work in the space industry. Von der Dunk, who has his own consultancy firm, was hired to work with global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney in assisting the new agency as it develops space policies, strategies, laws and regulation. The new position will require von der Dunk to visit the UAE a few times a year; he will not relinquish his UNL position or his commitments with his consultancy firm. For more information on von der Dunk, click here.

  • Four UNL animal scientists – Don Adams, Galen Erickson, Samodha Fernando and Merlyn Nielsen – earned awards from the American Society of Animal Science, a professional organization that serves more than 5,000 animal scientists and producers around the world. Adams received the Animal Industry Service Award sponsored by Zoetis, which is presented annually to professionals who distinguish themselves in service to the animal industry. Erickson received the American Feed Industry Award in Ruminant Nutrition, given to an individual who stimulates research excellence in the nutrition of ruminant animals. Fernando received the Early Career Achievement Award for developing research teams to evaluate the gut microbial ecology of beef cattle, dairy cattle, swine and poultry. Nielsen was named a Fellow in the teaching category of the American Society of Animal Science, which is granted to society members who have rendered a very distinguished service to the animal industry and had continuous membership in the Society for a minimum of 25 years. For more information on the winners, click here.

  • Cather Professor of Art Karen Kunc’s work “Oscillation Shift” was selected as the Prix de Print and featured in an essay in the latest issue of Art in Print. The Prix de Print is a bimonthly competition, open to all subscribers of the magazine, in which a single work is selected by an outside juror to be the subject of a brief essay. This month’s juror was David Storey. “Oscillation Shift” is a color reduction woodcut print. Storey wrote, “The potential for renewal, continuity and generation is amply implied in the configuration of the image. Irregular, not quite matching horizontal stripes stretch across the whole ‘bleed’ image and interact with the constellation of circles, like plowed fields clumping up with a ripe round crop.” To view the article, click here.

  • Jung Yul Lim, associate professor of mechanical and materials engineering, recently received the AO Foundation’s Berton Rahn Research Fund Prize Award for his research into bone regeneration. The research has shown that some nanoscale biomaterial substrates in human mesenchymal stem cells have greater potential to improve bone growth. With improved control of the substrates, scientists can create environments that will improve the chances of bone regeneration. This may lead to the development of advanced orthopedic treatment procedures based on bone tissue engineering. The AO Foundation is a Swiss nonprofit organization dedicated to advancements in surgical treatment of trauma and degenerative disorders of the musculoskeletal system. The award is given annually to the best completed AO start-up grant project. For more on this award, click here.

  • Xiwei Zheng, a chemistry postdoctoral researcher, was named one of five finalists for the Young Investigator Award by the journal Bioanalysis. The award identifies and recognizes promising early-career researchers who study bioanalytical chemistry. Zheng’s research has focused on characterizing interactions between pharmaceutical drugs and blood-based proteins, which largely determine the absorption and metabolism of these drugs. She has helped refine a traditional bioanalytical technique to reduce the amount of time and sample volumes needed for examining these interactions. The new approach also measures several facets of drug-protein dynamics that previously required several separate techniques to analyze. David Hage, the James Hewett University Professor of chemistry, nominated Zheng for the award. Her fellow finalists include researchers from the University of California, Harvard Medical School, the Missouri University of Science and Technology, and the University of Washington. The winner will be selected by a committee from the European Bioanalytical Forum.

  • The College of Architecture recently announced results from the National Council of Architectural Registration Board’s “NCARB by the Numbers” report, which reflects numbers under NCARB‘s Nebraska jurisdiction. This year’s report explores the statistics of aspiring architects on the path to licensure. Major findings include success rate of the Architecture Registration Examination and the average number of years it took for them after the completion of the Intern Development Program, both of which are required exams to obtain architectural licensure. According to the report, Nebraska ranked second among 54 U.S. jurisdictions with an ARE success rate score of 79 percent. The national average is 65 percent. Nebraska also scored favorably for completion of the IDP with a score of 17 percent compared to the national average of 13 percent. As for years to complete the IDP and ARE, Nebraska fared well with an average 2.1 years for the ARE and 4.4 years for the IDP, both well below the national average. “Though the data is a reflection of the Nebraska jurisdiction, it is also an affirmation of the quality curriculum we provide our students,” said Jeffrey L. Day, director of the architecture program in the College of Architecture. “ The report results are a great indicator of the quality of our faculty, alumni and students.”
  • Bryce Dibbern, a senior animal science major from Riverdale, has been named student president of the National Intercollegiate Rodeo Association. Dibbern was voted into the role by the NIRA national board and assumed the position during the College National Finals Rodeo in June. Dibbern also is president of the UNL Rodeo Association. NIRA consists of 11 regions across the country, with more than 3,500 student members and 137 member schools. UNL is a member of the Great Plains Region. “I want college rodeo to be portrayed as one of the best college sports in the nation,” he said.

  • Ben Kreimer, a recent College of Journalism and Mass Communications graduate, has been named beta fellow at BuzzFeed’s Open Lab For Journalism, Technology and the Arts. The open source lab is the first of its kind; each year the lab will select four fellows to work on both software and hardware projects, along with one senior fellow every two years. Kreimer is the only fellow to be selected so far. As a beta fellow, his job is very much like beta-testing for new software. He plans to eventually continue work on his drone journalism and open source sensor hardware projects, but is currently focusing on getting the lab up and running. Kreimer’s work with professor Matthew Waite in the Drone Journalism Lab inspired him to use drones to tell a story. BuzzFeed took notice of his work and reached out to him about being a part of the lab. His expertise is using drones to capture photos and video of real sites and recreating them in a 3-D, video-game-like environment. For more on Kreimer, click here.

This column is a regular feature of UNL Today. Faculty, staff and students can submit their achievements to be considered for this column via email to For more information, call 402-472-8515.

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