News Briefs

Military students miss class

Dean Schultz is asking teachers to excuse absences Oct. 30 through Nov. 9, because Elmendorf Air Force will be undergoing an exercise. It may affect military students’ ability to attend classes. Students are asked to contact their instructors if they are unable to attend classes. Faculty members are asked to be aware of this issue and work with students.

Forty ‘degrees’ for sale

The UAA Alumni Association has sold nearly all of their degrees on the Foucault Pendulum located in the Consortium Library. Fewer than 40 degrees remain out of the pendulum’s original 360. When they’re gone, they’re gone, the association says.

Trimester system starts at Education College

The College of Education is implementing a new trimester system beginning Spring 2008. Instruction begins the week of January 7, 2008, which is one week earlier than full semester-length courses at UAA. Final exams for College of Education courses will be the week of April 14, 2008.

Chancellor Ulmer looking for sports arena ideas

Chancellor Fran Ulmer’s planning team is gathering input for the proposed new multiuse sports arena on UAA’s campus, including its location, design, funding, construction, operation, traffic and parking. Preliminary discussions within the UAA athletic community have occurred over the past several years, resulting in a preliminary concept. Share comments and find images representing this concept at

Professor publishes book

Nicolae Lobontiu, an associate professor of mechanical engineering with the School of Engineering at UAA, is the author of a recently published follow-up book titled “Dynamics of Microelectromechanical Systems.” The book is designed for researchers and academics involved with micro/nano system research and design and comes with solved examples and end-of-chapter problems.

Micro/nano electomechanical systems are small-scale devices with dimensions in the micrometer and nanometer ranges, which include integrating mechanical, electronic and control functions largely used in automotive, medical, telecommunication and defense applications.

Lobontiu came to the U.S. from Romania in 1998 as a postdoctoral associate in the mechanical engineering department of Vanderbilt University. In 2006, he made the move to Alaska and his current position at UAA. He has authored four books and 20 peer-reviewed journal papers on the aforementioned research topics. Lobontiu said he intends to use sections of his new book in some of the courses he teaches such as dynamics of systems and controls. He is currently trying to mentor some undergraduate research in the areas of compliant mechanisms and micro/nano electromechanical systems.

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Economics chair gets extra three years of service

UAA’s College of Business and Public Policy announced a three-year extension of James Murphy’s term as the Rasmuson Chair in Economics. The extension will bring the total years of service as Rasmuson Chair to five.

Murphy is a researcher in areas of natural resources and environmental economics, and in experimental economics. The university used the endowed chair to pollinate experimental economics within the department itself. To extend his time at UAA, Murphy resigned from the University of Massachusetts.