Weekly Memo

Oct. 29, 2012

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

    One of our top goals at the Hajim School is to increase the percentage of our engineering students who study abroad to 25 percent. Why? Consider Maria Zapata's experiences during an internship at the Forschungszentrum Julich research center in Germany this past summer. Zapata, ’14, a chemical engineering major, says it was an invaluable experience, and not just for the exposure to a different culture. “Doing research in Germany was great,” she said. She had access to equipment and technical support that allowed her to accomplish a great deal in her field of study. You can read more about her experience in a Buzz article written by Jordan Duncan, ’14, an intern here at the Hajim School.

     Argentina is another country where I hope we can establish some student exchanges and study abroad opportunities in engineering. I spent the week before last in Buenos Aires and the surrounding province attending a conference of the Global Engineering Deans Council, visiting some outstanding schools, meeting some great teachers and connecting with some students very keen on attending the Hajim School for their graduate studies. I also got to sample the local cuisine, including the best strip steaks I’ve ever tasted!

    Speaking of study abroad, if you plan to do so next spring, be sure you've attended one of the mandatory pre-departure meetings. The last one for spring participants will be held from 2-3 p.m., Friday, Nov. 2, in Morey 321.

     Congratulations are in order to a couple of Hajim School faculty members. Alex Shestopalov, assistant professor of chemical engineering, has received a National Science Foundation grant of $799,980 to purchase a high resolution imaging X-ray photoelectron spectrometer. This highly sensitive tool measures elemental composition and chemical and electronic states of a wide range of materials, and will benefit not only researchers and students here, but help foster collaboration with surrounding schools and industries.

    And Qiang Lin, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, and assistant professor of optics, collaborated with researchers from the California Institute of Technology in developing a microscale, ultrasensitive accelerometer—a type of motion detector—that uses laser light instead of an electrical circuit to gauge movements. Click here for a fascinating example of how this could enhance our daily lives.
     A couple of calendar notes: Engineers Without Borders, along with Amnesty International, is hosting a talk by Carl Wilkens, the only American to stay in Rwanda during the genocide there, at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 1, at Hubbell Auditorium.

     And our SPIE chapter is sponsoring a talk by Kathleen Perkins, chair of the business advisory board at BIO5 Institute, University of Arizona, and former  CEO of Breault Research Organization (BRO), at 3:15 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, in Goergen 101. Recognized for her original thinking and leadership in the international optics community, Perkins will talk about the steps technical students should consider to start their careers more effectively.  Students and faculty are also welcome to join Perkins for a brown bag lunch at noon in Goergen 108 with the Women in Engineering group to talk about work/life balance and career paths, with a question and answer session. For more information, contact Cristina Canavesi at wieroc@gmail.com or visit http://blogs.rochester.edu/wie.
      Finally, a last call to do some creative “engineering” on a pumpkin and set it out for the trick or treaters who will be arriving at your doorstep on Wednesday evening.  Happy Halloween everyone!    


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean