Weekly Memo

Nov. 5, 2012

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

    It's exciting to see the new Ronald Rettner Hall for Media Arts and Innovation taking shape. Steel girders have just gone up, so you can really get a feel for the size of the building, which will house state-of-the-art labs and studios for our new audio and music engineering and digital media studies programs. The Kodak Colonnade between Lattimore and Morey halls, and the elevated walkway from the side of Morey to Wilson Commons both offer good vantage points. You can also track the progress of construction at this web cam.

    Speaking of facilities, drop by some time and take a look at the newly renovated Chemical Engineering lab in the basement of Gavett Hall. It just goes to show that older buildings don't always have to be torn down; hopefully improvements like this will keep Gavett and some of our other storied structures with us for decades to come. By the way, I was VERY impressed with Mariachi Meliori, a student band that lent a festive air to the ribbon cutting ceremony I attended on Friday. Three of the band members, I'm proud to say, are ChemE students.
  
    With online registration for spring classes starting today, here's a new course that just might get some students interested in engineering. “Fun with Microelectronics”—ECE 120—offered by Thomas Hsiang, professor of electrical and computer engineering, will include deconstruction of smart phones, GPS devices, and other “widgets” to explore how they work, and then discuss how the devices have changed our lives. The course is open to students of all disciplines; no special engineering knowledge is required. Sounds like fun! Spread the word to your non-engineering classmates.

    Let's also spread the word about the multiple scholarship opportunities offered through the Rochester Engineering Society. These merit-based scholarships are awarded annually at a minimum of $1,000 each. In recent years, the number of RIT students receiving these awards has far exceeded the number of UR scholarship winners. We'd like to change that. If you know of an outstanding Hajim School junior or senior who might qualify for one of these scholarships, click here to nominate them. Deadline for nominations is Dec. 31.
   
     Cornell Cup update: Good news! Two teams of our students submitted applications to participate in the college-level embedded design competition and both made the list of 30 finalists. One team will be working on a “Braille e-book reader,” the other a “Disinfection Robot.” Congratulations! And heed faculty advisor Ted Pawlicki, who suggests, "Celebrate hard. We have a lot of work to do."

     More good news: Youssef Farhat, a graduate student in Biomedical Engineering, took first place in the Orthopaedic Research Society's "Video Outreach Competition" for his video, "Who Cares about Orthopaedic Research?" Youssef is invited to attend the 2013 ORS Awards Presentations and Gala at the group's annual meeting in San Antonio in January. Congratulations Youssef!

  And I'm sure there's even more good news out there from the Hajim community. So keep me posted—and have a great week!

Sincerely,

Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean