Weekly Memo

May 19, 2014

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

     Yesterday's commencement was the culmination of another rewarding, productive academic year for the Hajim School. Congratulations and thanks to Jack Carmola, this year's recipient of our Distinguished Alumnus Award, for all he has done for our school and for his remarks to our bachelor's and master's students who crossed the stage. You can read more about Jack and our other distinguished alumnus award recipients here.  And click here to read about what our commencement speakers had to say.
      We have all kinds of statistical data to document our success, but it really comes down to helping young people develop their skills and talent to their utmost. And we have some great examples of that in the students who have been named this year's recipients of the following Hajim School awards:

     The Donald M. Barnard Prize is awarded to a junior or senior engineering student on the basis of personal qualification and achievement. This year we are able to award the prize to eight very talented and qualified students: Lucas Crandall, Electrical and Computer Engineering and Physics; Chantel Guadet, Chemical Engineering and Applied Math; Karen Meess, Biomedical Engineering; Dan Scarafoni, Computer Science; Jonathan Slotkin, Chemical Engineering: Benjamin Vespone, Biomedical Engineering; Ioannis Zampetakis, Biomedical Engineering: and Robert Wright, Optical Engineering.

     The Richard Eisenberg Engineering Award recognizes a hard-working undergraduate with an interest in metallurgy. This year's winner, Allison Bernstein, was not only a highly praised teachers assistant for the Chemical Engineering Department but also kept an extremely competitive GPA while being on the women's soccer team.

      The G. Harold Hook Prize is presented to a student who has demonstrated outstanding interest in engineering. Jacob VanderBurgh, this year's winner, completed degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Biological Sciences; Prof. Diane Dalecki, in a very enthusiastic nomination, said Jacob is one of the top students she has interacted with in the BME program.

      The Charles L. Newton Prize recognizes an engineering student who shows a special proficiency in an engineering subject and has conducted research, given a presentation or published a paper. Andrew Keene of Mechanical Engineering began doing research with Professor Jon Ellis just after his sophomore year. He has won an award for best poster; his work with Prof. Ellis includes one article soon to be published and one invention that has been provisionally patented. All of this work was done while participating on UR's varsity cross country and track teams.

      The Robert L. Wells Prize is given to a senior engineering student for demonstrated competence in both engineering and the humanities. The winner or winners are chosen based on the highest-ranking seniors in the Hajim School as of the fall of their senior year. This year's winners are Brandon Wilson (Chemical Engineering with minors in Chemistry, Materials Science and Biomedical Engineering), Gregory Dimock (Mechanical Engineering with minors in Business, Economics and Math) and Robert Wright, who has completed his degree in Optical Engineering in three years.

     The Tau Beta Pi Prize goes to a Tau Beta Pi senior who, through academic achievement, proven leadership and sterling character, has excelled and inspired fellow students. Winner Amanda Chen of Biomedical Engineering, who served as the Tau Beta Pi president this past year, started a number of initiatives to strengthen the honors society and increase its presence on campus.

      Several Hajim School students are among the winners of the eighth annual Mark Ain Business Model Competition:
     First place ($10,000 cash prize) went to the SmartDialysis team for a nanomembrane technology-based portable hemodialysis unit to improve the quality of life for end-stage renal disease patients and revolutionize the $8 billion hemodialysis equipment industry. Team members are Li (Adam) Deng ’14, MS in Technical Entrepreneurship and Management (TEAM); Steven Gillmer, PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering; Kenneth Goodfellow ’14, MS in TEAM and PhD candidate in Optics; Aizhong Zhang ’14, MS in TEAM and PhD candidate in Optics; and Bowei Zhang ’14, MS in TEAM.

    Second place ($2,500 cash prize) went to Ovlay's Joung Yoon “Felix” Kim ’14 Optical Engineering  for a corneal inlay of tiny lenses inserted into the cornea to improve near-sighted vision and reduce the need for reading glasses in older adults who have presbyopia.

    Third place ($1,000 cash prize) goes to ClarElast, which offers a technology for a painless and highly cost-effective tool for chronic liver disease diagnosis in its early stages, when the disease is still reversible. Team members are Yonghao (Max) Deng ’14, MS in TEAM; Jennifer Fadimba ’14, MS in TEAM; Ken Oyeka ’14, MS in Alternative Energy;  and Alexander Partin ’14, MS in TEAM and PhD candidate in Electrical and Computer Engineering.

     Three Hajim School students are among recipients of "The Rocky's," the awards given out each spring by the Office of the Dean of Students and the Rochester Center for Community Leadership to recognize undergraduate students and organizations that have made significant contributions to campus life. Julian Lunger ’14 Computer Science was awarded the Percy Dutton Prize, given to the male member of the graduating class who has excelled in “wholesome, unselfish and helpful influence” among his fellow students. Jon Macoskey ’15 Biomedical Engineering was awarded the Communal Principles Award, given annually to the student(s) or organization that best promote(s) the Communal Principals, as adopted by The College. This year's principle was honesty. And the Japanese Students’ Association, of which Koji Muto ’15 Mechanical Engineering is an active member, received the Outstanding Student Organization Award. You can read more about these awards at The Buzz.

     Well done, everyone. Enjoy the summer! And, as always, keep me updated and have a great week.


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean