Weekly Memo

Feb. 17, 2014

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

      There's nothing like good news to warm my heart during a cold, cold winter like this one! And we have plenty of good news to celebrate here at the Hajim School.

      Michele Weslander-Quaid '94 (M.S. Optics), a member of our Hajim School Visiting Committee, has been named one of the “7 most powerful women to watch in 2014” by Entrepreneur. Before becoming Google's Chief Technology Officer (Public Sector) and Innovation Evangelist, Michele spent nine years working for various national security agencies, including the directors for national intelligence and defense. “The U.S. government isn't exactly known for its efficiency or speed,” Entrepreneur notes, but Michele “acted like an entrepreneur. She shook things up by dropping archaic software and hardware and convincing teams to collaborate via web tools.” High praise indeed, and well earned!

     Congratulations to Michele -- and to several other members of the Hajim School family.

     Engin Ipek, Assistant Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and of Computer Science, and Eby Friedman, Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, are co-PIs on a just-awarded Intelligence Advanced Research Projects Activity (iARPA) grant to leverage superconducting electronics to design the next generation of high performance, energy efficient datacenters. Phase one includes $845,000 over 39 months to lead the architecture and large-scale circuit design efforts for a “Spin-Transfer, Energy-Efficient 64-bit Memory (STEM-64) as a new memory solution for a cryogenic heterogeneous system architecture.” iARPA invests in high-risk/high-payoff research programs that have the “potential to provide our nation with an overwhelming intelligence advantage over future adversaries.” This grant falls under the Cryogenic Computing Complexity program, which seeks alternatives to conventional computing systems, because those systems “appear to have no path to be able to increase energy efficiency fast enough to keep up with increasing demands for computation.”

    David Foster, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, is co-author of the just-published Fundamentals of Momentum, Heat and Mass Transfer, 6th Edition, which provides a unified treatment of momentum transfer (fluid mechanics), heat transfer and mass transfer. The text has been updated with modern examples, problems, and illustrations that have real world applications -- which should go a long way toward answering a perennial question from students: Why are we learning this? Well done, David.

     Our Department of Chemical Engineering has launched a new initiative to help its master's students pursue research projects. The first three recipients are Brian Shen (“Developing Hydrolytically Stable Artificial SEIs for Si Anodes in Lithium Ion Batteries”), Xunzhi Li (“Functionalizing and Nanopatterning Oxide-free Silicon to Manufacture Biological Probes”), and Puja Jain (“Analyzing Stochastic Network Models on Complex Networks”).  Each received a grant of $5,000. Kudos to all three students -- and to ChemE for taking the initiative on this!

    Koji Muto, a junior in Mechanical Engineering, has won the 11th annual Kelly Future Engineers Scholarship from Kelly Services. Koji was selected from among nearly 100 applicants across North America based upon his “scholastic performance, passion for the field of engineering, and outstanding essay on the utilization of ecological friendly hydrokinetic energy as an alternative source of energy.”  He receives $5,000. Click here to read more, including Koji's  very persuasive essay on harnessing energy from tides. And thanks, Koji, for being such a good ambassador for the Hajim School!

    Hajim School students have fared quite well in the annual Mark Ain Business Model Competition, offered through the Center for Entrepreneurship. “Developing a Business Plan,” the second of three workshops leading up to this year’s competition, will be held from 4-5:15 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 25, in Gleason 318/418. Click here to register. The first-place finishers in the competition receive a cash prize of $10,000.

      As always, keep me updated and have a great week.


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean