Weekly Memo

Aug. 4, 2014

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

     Each morning last week, 15 visiting high school students listened to what chemical engineering is all about from Asst. Prof. Wyatt Tenhaeff, then went to the department's recently refurbished undergraduate lab for some hands-on experience.  Under the close supervision of Tenhaeff, Senior Technical Associate Rachel Monfredo, and rising junior Branden Cole, they used vegetable oil to synthesize biodiesel as a batch process, and used a variety of lab equipment to explore fluid dynamics, reaction engineering, polymers and solar cells.

    This was just one example of the participation of Hajim School faculty and students in this summer's Rochester Scholars program, offered through our Office of Admissions. The program brings high school students to our campus to experience college life, and explore career opportunities.

    For example, Kanika Vats, a Senior Lab Engineer in Biomedical Engineering, taught "Biomedical Technology: Engineer, Doctor or Both?" Talat Jabeen, a BME Ph.D. student, taught a course designed by Asst. Prof. Jong-Hoon Nam, incorporating lectures on inner ear biophysics, experiments on making and testing microphones, and tours of Prof. Nam's lab and the labs of BME Prof. Laurel Carney and Asst. Prof. Joseph Holt (Otolaryngology). Christopher Dawson, a rising junior in Mechanical Engineering, helped with the experiments.

    Ted Pawlicki, the Undergraduate Program Director in Computer Science, taught both the video game development class and a hands-on introduction to 3D modeling and animation with a big assist from Nathan Buckley, a computer science major, in getting the classes set up. For the fourth year, Alex Shestopalov, Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering, introduced students to careers in engineering with a combination of lectures, interactive labs and visits to URNano and other instrumentation facilities.

     These were taught during week-long sessions. A three-week, full-day Hajim Engineering Pre-College Program for rising 11th to 12th graders was also offered, allowing prospective students to immerse themselves, one week at a time, in biomedical engineering, optics and audio and music engineering. Ph.D. student Stephen Roessner taught the section on AME.  Scott Seidman, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, taught his students about biopotentials and sensors -- and showed each student how to built an ultrasound circuit that made a motor buzz harder as they approached objects. And Katelynn Sharma, a Ph.D. student in optics, taught the optics course, with the help of Marissa Adams '14; grad students Yang Zhao, Shaival Buch, Leva McIntire, Jordan Leidner, Anthony Yee, Eric Schiesser and Daniel Savage; Asst. Prof. Nick Vamivakas; Per Adamson, Director of the Teaching Labs, and Dan Smith, Undergraduate Program Manager.
    Thanks to each of you. Efforts like these ensure we will continue to attract some of the best and brightest students to the Hajim School.
    As always, keep me updated and have a great week.


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean