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 November 15, 2019

Diane Dalecki installed as Kevin J. Parker Distinguished Professor

A gold medal on a blue ribbon engraved with Professor Dalecki's credentials, distinguished title and the date of November 7, 2019.

Diane Dalecki was installed as the Kevin J. Parker Distinguished Professor in Biomedical Engineering in a ceremony that also honored the two mentors who most influenced her.

“(Edwin) Carstensen and (Kevin) Parker. Those names are simply giants in the field, and I have been so fortunate to have learned from and worked with them,” Dalecki said.

The chair of biomedical engineering was praised as an outstanding researcher, educator and leader during the ceremony, which was presided over by University President Sarah Mangelsdorf and Donald Hall, the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences & Engineering.

“As the department begins celebrating its 20th anniversary next year, we can have every confidence that Diane will continue to build the Department into a nationally prominent, internationally known BME program,” Hall said.

The ceremony was held as part of the Rochester Center for Biomedical Ultrasound Symposium Day. Carstensen, a pioneer in biomedical ultrasound, was founding director of the RCBU, followed by Parker and now Dalecki.

The endowed professorship is funded with royalties from blue noise mask, a novel half-tone imaging process that Parker co-invented with then PhD student Theophana Mitsa (’'91). The royalties also provided seed money for establishing the Department of Biomedical Engineering.

“It’s as if a number of threads are woven together today in this place, in a very wonderful way,” said Parker, the William F. May Professor of Engineering and dean emeritus of engineering and applied sciences,

“Holding a professorship that bears Kevin’s name is an outstanding honor, and thoroughly humbling,” Dalecki said.

‘Rochester through and through’

Dalecki, who earned a BS in chemical engineering and master’s and PhD degrees in electrical engineering from the University, is “Rochester through and through,” Hall said.

Even before Biomedical Engineering became a department, Dalecki wrote the curriculum for what was then a fledgling interdepartmental program for undergraduates. She was one of the department’s first faculty members, oversaw its first ABET accreditation visit, and created an introductory biomedical engineering course that served as a model for similar courses now offered by all Hajim School departments.

In addition to running her own research lab, which develops novel diagnostic ultrasound techniques and new applications of ultrasound for therapy and tissue engineering, Dalecki leads a robust group of nearly 100 researchers as director of the RCBU. The center includes visiting scientists from across the country and is dedicated to advancing the use of ultrasound in diagnosis and discovering new therapeutic applications of ultrasound in medicine and biology.

On July 1, 2016 she became the second chairperson of biomedical engineering, replacing Richard Waugh.

Hall praised Dalecki’s “very warm and welcoming leadership style. Her door is always open to faculty, staff and students.

“She is particularly passionate about promoting a mutually beneficial relationship with her department’s 1,000 alumni – nearly all of whom she personally taught during their first year.”

Dalecki described the department as “truly a home.  I simply could not imagine better faculty and staff colleagues. I am proud of what we have accomplished together, and I am excited by what we will achieve together in the future.”

Dalecki said she looks forward to ongoing research collaborations with her colleagues on new innovations in biomedical ultrasound, to advancing the RCBU as an international leader in ultrasound research, education, and innovation, to growing and further strengthening research and educational programs in the biomedical engineering department, and doing “whatever I can to make this university ever better.”

Pictured from left to right: Donald Hall, the Robert L. and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of Arts, Sciences & Engineering, Diane Dalecki, the Kevin J. Parker Professor in Biomedical Engineering, Kevin J. Parker, the William F. May Professor of Engineering, and Sarah Mangelsdorf, University President