Weekly Memo

June 2, 2014

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

     Our Baja SAE team competed against more than 100 other universities recently at Pittsburg State University in Kansas, and finished 11th in maneuverability. I give a lot of credit to the 18 team members who accompanied faculty adviser Sheryl Gracewski to the four-day event, and to other team members who could not make the trip but contributed to the design and construction of the team’s all-terrain vehicle over the course of the school year. This is a real team effort – from recruiting new members, to gaining corporate sponsors, to networking with alumni advisers. In other words, it helps build all the skills we would like our engineering students to acquire.

    Congratulations to one of those Baja team members, William Green, a rising junior in Mechanical Engineering, who has been awarded a $10,000 Astronaut Scholarship Foundation award. The award is for "outstanding students who exhibit motivation, imagination, and exceptional performance in the fields of engineering and natural or applied sciences."  Well done!

   Congratulations as well to David Wu, Professor of Chemical Engineering, for being awarded a pilot grant from the University’s Center for Integrative Bioinformatics and Experimental Mathematics. His project, "Modeling immune response in 3-D bioreactor cultures of human secondary immune organ cells," could provide a useful tool in helping researchers study our genome-level immune response to infection, paving the way to better vaccines.

      Rochester Review has profiled a couple of recent Electrical and Computer Engineering graduates. Tyler Kieft '09, '10 (T5) is an engineer for Instagram, the popular photo- and video-sharing application that allows more than 200 million iPhone, Android and online users to edit photos and videos and share them with followers. Tyler has been integral in the design of several Instagram features.

     Luis Soto '11, '12 (TEAM MS) is a new product development manager for GlobalData, a research and consulting company for the energy and health care industries.

     Both are highly complimentary of the opportunities they received here. Kieft, for example, says UR's open curriculum prepared him for the entrepreneurial mind-set of the tech industry. "At Rochester you get to craft your education and make your own decisions. That affects your confidence and your career." Soto is grateful for the help he received at the Kearns Center while navigating a tough junior year and deciding on a career. I wish them both all the best.

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


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean