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Hajim memo 0501

May 1, 2017

Dear members of the Hajim School community,

Eighty-seven teams of Hajim School seniors and Center for Medical Technology and Innovation masters students will have posters and prototypes on display at our annual Design Day this Friday, May 5, from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Goergen Athletic Center. This is a wonderful opportunity for students to showcase their efforts to translate their engineering knowledge into practice. And it is always exciting to see the wide range of projects and to speak with the students to understand the thought process — and hard work — that went into the final designs. So please be sure to drop by to look at their projects. We’ll also be announcing this year’s Dottie Welch Award recipient during this event.

Talk about translating engineering knowledge into practice: be sure to read Lindsey Valich’s story about the superb job our Engineers Without Borders chapter is doing to provide a water filtration system for the Escuela Taller Santa Maria Josefa Rossello primary school in the Dominican Republic. During their winter break this past January, six members of the chapter—mechanical engineering majors Grace Caza ’17, Burak Tuncer ’17, and Fernando Suarez ’18, biomedical engineering majors Eva Hansen ’18 and Dilshawn Gamage ’19, and Ab Salazar ’19, a dual major in computer science and economics—along with their professional mentor Dwight Harrienger, a Rochester-based civil engineer at the consulting firm Stantec, traveled to the rural community of Don Juan to implement the filtration system. This is the third year of a five year project that has involved dozens of students. This a great example of how dedicated students in a well organized chapter can make a huge contribution to better the lives of others.

Congratulations to Douglas Kelley, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, who has been named recipient of the University’s G. Graydon Curtis ’58 and Jane W. Curtis Award for Nontenured Faculty Teaching. Since joining our faculty in 2013, Doug has done an outstanding job of teaching challenging undergraduate and graduate courses on dynamics, continuum mechanics, incompressible flow, and advanced mechanical design. He also volunteers for precollege programs to engage young people in science and engineering and has worked closely on University-wide projects designed to increase the number of underrepresented minorities in STEM fields. Well done, Doug!

Two of the 102 start-up companies singled out in a new report from the Science Coalition were founded by faculty members and an alumnus with ties to the Hajim School. The report, “American-Made Innovation Sparking Economic Growth,” identifies companies that trace their roots to federally-funded university research. Clerio Vision, founded in 2014 by Wayne Knox, professor of optics and physics; Jonathan Ellis, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and optics; and Krystel Huxlin, professor of ophthalmology, is developing a new technology that corrects vision by “writing” a prescription on the cornea using small pulses from a laser and can be repeated as needed over a person’s lifetime.   Adarza Biosystems, founded in 2008 by Ben Miller, professor of dermatology (primary) and biomedical engineering and optics, and Christopher Striemer, PhD ’04 electrical and computer engineering, is developing a microchip device to detect proteins in biological samples such as blood to improve cancer diagnostics and allergy testing, drug and vaccine development, and research on infectious diseases. In both cases, the technology was developed with funding support from the National Institutes of Health. Read more here.

The Institute of Optics has announced a new graduate scholarship in honor of the late Paul Forman, who graduated from the Institute in 1956. Paul co-founded Zygo Corporation, a maker of high-end optical systems and components for metrology and end-user applications; his many awards included NASA’s Apollo Achievement Award, the Edwin H. Land Medal and our own Distinguished Alumnus Award. The Paul F. Forman Graduate Fellowship in Optics and Entrepreneurship will support up to two fellows a year starting in 2018. We are deeply grateful to Barbara Marks for her generosity in endowing this award, along with friends of Paul’s, in her husband’s memory.

A 2006 paper by Gary Wicks, professor of optics, and Shimon Maimon, then a member of his group, receives this compliment from scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in a current Optical Engineering paper. “According to the Web of Science, as of October 2016, the nBn paper by Maimon and Wicks has been cited over 200 times, making it arguably the most influential paper on infrared detectors in the decade since its publication in 2006.” The paper, “nBn detector, an infrared detector with reduced dark current and higher operating temperature” appeared in Applied Physics Letters.

Ehsan Hoque, assistant professor of computer science, was recognized recently with an Alumni Achievement Award by Penn State University, his undergraduate alma mater. The honor recognizes outstanding career accomplishments among alumni 35 and younger. I encourage you to listen to Ehsan’s acceptance speech, in which he provides great anecdotes about some of his academic misadventures — like not being able to sign up for computer science! — and what this taught him about resilience — “your ability to go from one failure to another without losing your motivation.”

A current Full Spectrum newsletter article describes the increase in female students taking computer science, many of whom are double majors. Mamiko Nagasaka ‘17, who is also majoring in studio arts, is a an example. You can read here about her senior studio art thesis exhibition, which is on display through May 7 in the Anderson Arts Building in the Neighborhood of the Arts.

Have a great week!

Your dean,
Wendi Heinzelman