Weekly Memo

May 13, 2013

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

     Another successful school year culminates this weekend when, at last count, 349 Hajim School students cross the stage at commencement. They include 201 undergraduates, 62 master's students and 86 Ph.D. students. I am pleased to see that the percentage of our undergraduates studying abroad increased to 17 percent this year. More than half of the bachelor's degrees will be awarded in Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering; interestingly, among the females receiving bachelor's degrees, nearly 70 percent majored in Chemical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering. Among the master's students, 17 are female and 40 are international; another 17 females and 45 international students are among those receiving doctorates. All told, a quarter of our graduates are female.

    This is an especially appropriate time to catch up on the student honors and accomplishments that are the true measure of what the Hajim School is all about.

     For example, these seniors are recipients of this year's Hajim School awards:
  • Samuel Steven, an Optical Engineering major, received the Donald M. Barnard Prize, awarded to a junior or senior who shows personal achievement and good personal qualities. 
  • Mikhail Gillespie, a Chemical Engineering major, was chosen to receive the Richard Eisenberg Engineering Award, which recognizes a hard-working undergraduate with an interest in metallurgy.
  • James Baker from Chemical Engineering is this year's winner of the G. Harold Hook Prize, awarded to a student who has an above average interest in engineering.
  • Congratulations to Sarah Walters, an Optical Engineering major, for being designated this year's Charles L. Newton Prize recipient. It is awarded to a Hajim School student (usually a senior) who shows special proficiency in some subject connected with engineering and who has conducted research, given a presentation, or published a paper.
  •  Ka Hei Fung, an Electrical and Computer Engineering major, and Peter Thayer, a CHE major, are co-winners of the Robert L. Wells Prize, awarded for demonstrated competence in both engineering and the humanities.
  • Ankit Medhekar, a BME major, and Steve Trambert, a Mechanical Engineering major, are co-winners of the Tau Beta Pi prize, awarded to a Tau Beta Pi senior who, in the opinion of the prize committee, through academic achievement, proven leadership and sterling character, has excelled and inspired fellow students.
   Each year, Arts, Sciences and Engineering faculty committees in the humanities, social sciences, the natural sciences and engineering choose an Outstanding Dissertation Award in each of those disciplines, and also cite those deserving commendation. This year's winner in engineering is Kelley A. Garvin, Biomedical Engineering, for “Ultrasound Technologies for the Spatial Patterning of Cells and Extracellular Matrix Proteins and the Vascularization of Engineered Tissue.” Kelley's advisors are Professor Diane Dalecki and Associate Professor Denise C. Hocking. Curtis Menton of Computer Science received a commendation for “Attacking and Defending Popular Election Systems.” Curtis' advisor is Prof. Lane A. Hemaspaandra.

    Congratulations to the URead Braille team that competed against 29 other college teams in the Intel Cornell Cup competition at Disney World recently. Undergrads Samantha Piccone, Ben Ouattara, and Douglas Miller of Computer Science, and Christina Kayastha, of Electrical and Computer Engineering, won honorable mention for their proposed refreshable braille display that acts as a computer screen for the blind.

   The annual Charles and Janet Forbes Entrepreneurial Competition encourages undergraduate engineering students to consider the commercial potential of their design projects or research. First place this year went to Ovitz (Joungyoon “Felix” Kim ’14). Tied for second place were TrakOR (Sonja Page ’13, Erin Schnellinger ’13, Ankit Medhekar ’13, W. Spencer Klubben ’13, Matt Plakosh ’13, and Michael Nolan ’13) and Formation 3D (Steven Trambert ’13, Alex Feiszli ’14, and Eric Frank ’13). Bio ReSolutions (Kyle Fedorchak ’14 and Wai Ling Ye ’13) was also a finalist.

    Jason Inzana, Ph.D. student in Prof. Hani Awad's lab in Biomedical Engineering, is recipient of an Alice L. Jee Award from the International Bone and Mineral Society to attend the 43rd International Sun Valley Workshop on Musculoskeletal Biology this coming August in Sun Valley, Idaho. He will be presenting a study he led on the effects of high fat diet on bone.

   And to our growing list of this year's Hajim School students and recent alumni who have received National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowships we can add: Daniel S. Reynolds '12, Biomedical Engineering; and Erin M. Sanehira '11, Electrical and Computer Engineering.

    Congratulations to all of these students. As always, keep me updated and have a great week. See you at commencement!


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean