Weekly Memo

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

This week’s memo focuses on some of the great work we’ve been doing to get folks from outside our community as excited as we are about the Hajim School.

I’ll first share a story from John Lambropoulos, Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He spent time earlier this month with a dozen high-schoolers from Doane Academy in Burlington, N.J., offering them a tour of our ME lab and research facilities. The connection was made possible with help from Michael Russell, an ME alumnus who now teaches science and technology at the co-ed private school. The visit went well, Lambropoulos reports, with highlights including the wind tunnel, our new CNC manufacturing platforms, the Solar Splash boat on exhibit, and the Baja SAE machine shop. The students then headed to the Laboratory for Laser Energetics, where alumna and current graduate student Heather Howard served as host. “It was fascinating,” Lambropoulos added, “to see a continuity in engineering instruction from the high school, to the college, to the graduate school, to the faculty level.”

Lambropoulos then took his turn sitting in as a guest on the August 10 Bob Smith show, 1370 Connection, on WXXI. Substituting that day for Smith was David Cay Johnston, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist with an interest in the interplay between technology, law, economics, taxation, and society. The show was about “Mysteries of the Ancient Engineers” and covered, among other topics, the structural mechanics of the Roman Pantheon and domes; the methods for mixing and setting ancient and modern mortars and concrete; glass and glass making; the pyramids; the building of ancient harbors; failure by compression, tension, buckling and bending; and what the study of ancient engineering can tell us about the longevity of our modern structures and overall infrastructure. Lambropoulos fielded questions from callers to the hour-long live show – a nerve-racking task he performed with great poise and expertise.

In other media-relations news, I'd like to welcome Leonor Sierra, University Communications’ new science press officer. Leonor earned her Ph.D. in physics from the University of Cambridge and most recently worked at the London nonprofit “Sense About Science,” where she ran workshops to teach young scientists and engineers how to work with the media. She also worked with Members of Parliament and other policymakers to impress upon them the value of science in society. Leonor will be facilitating press coverage for most of the Hajim School, including The Institute of Optics, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical & Computer Engineering, and Computer Science. Many of you already know Communications’ other science press officer, Peter Iglinski, who'll be covering Biomedical Engineering and Chemical Engineering.

And finally, attention, student innovators! The University’s Center for Entrepreneurship has opened a space in High Tech Rochester's West Henrietta incubator, the Lennox Tech Enterprise Center, to give student-created businesses somewhere to grow. Students with start-ups will have access to all of the Center’s client amenities, as well as to HTR’s Director of New Ventures and Entrepreneurs-in-Residence, who can provide additional coaching, mentoring, and connections. Applications are accepted on a rolling basis. The incubator is on the bus loop. Learn more by visiting http://www.rochester.edu/entrepreneurship/incubator.html.

Enjoy the rest of your week.

Rob Clark
Professor and Dean