Weekly Memo

April 7, 2014

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

     Congratulations to Robert L. McCrory, director of the Laboratory for Laser Energetics (LLE), who has been appointed a University Professor in recognition of his contributions to the physics and engineering community, the LLE and to the University in general. He is just one of eight people who are University Professors. His installation ceremony took place last Thursday April 3, and in the same ceremony Riccardo Betti, professor of mechanical engineering and of physics and astronomy and assistant director for academic affairs at the LLE, was named the inaugural Robert L. McCrory Professor. Congratulations as well to Riccardo! Read more about their appointments here and here.

     “You must work hard in order to achieve anything,” James C.M. Li, our Albert Arendt Hopeman Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Professor of Materials Science, has observed. Li, who will retire at the end of this semester, certainly epitomized that during an illustrious career marked by exciting discoveries, prestigious awards -- and the admiration and gratitude of colleagues and students. Li has definitely not been one to "leave his work at the office." He has described how a theoretical problem will be working itself out in his mind, even when he is doing something totally unrelated. “Amazingly, I have solved many problems while I was listening to music, washing dishes, vacuuming the floor or walking. When the motion is monotonous and does not require brain function, the subconscious mind can work for you, if you store some problems in there.” Click here to read more about a remarkable researcher and teacher who also is a truly humble, considerate human being.

     An X-Ray Photoelectron Spectrometer (XPS) funded with a National Science Foundation grant is now up and running in the Department of Chemical Engineering, adding to the "Full Spectrum" of opportunities available to Hajim School students and researchers. This device, which can analyze the chemical and electronic composition and states of materials within a single atomic layer of a surface, will further a wide range of University research efforts, including alternative solar cell technologies, more efficient production of quantum dots, development of new biomedical devices, and the preservation of aging daguerreotypes. It is available 24/7 to UR researchers and will also be incorporated into classes taken by Hajim School engineering students, as well as students in physics and Materials Science. For more information, contact Alex Shestopalov, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, who was the PI on the grant.

      Our NY Kappa chapter of Tau Beta Pi is hosting an "Engineering Futures" session on People Skills, which is a free, interactive learning model on communicating and resolving interpersonal, motivational, ability-related and emergent problems. The program, which will be held from 6-9 p.m. April 14 in Room 209 of the Computer Science Building, will be led by a certified facilitator from the Engineering Futures program. All UR students are welcome to attend. Complimentary snacks and refreshments will be available. Contact Chapter President Amanda Chen or visit the chapter Facebook page to learn more. The Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society is the second oldest Greek-letter honor society. Engineering students of junior standing status and higher are elected based on scholastic achievement and exemplary character. Thanks, Amanda, for working hard to give the chapter more visibility.

     If you haven't seen it already, be sure look through our Spring Full Spectrum newsletter, which has stories about the Technical Entrepreneurship and Management (TEAM) master's program, the WRT 273 class on professional networking, and a successful campaign to boost undergraduate enrollment at The Institute of Optics. Click here for an archive of all our Full Spectrum newsletters.

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


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean