Weekly Memo

September 29, 2014

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

      Congratulations to Ching Tang, Professor of Chemical Engineering, who has been named one of this year's 26 Citation Laureates by Thomson Reuters for his role in inventing the organic light-emitting diode (OLED). His seminal paper on the technology, published in 1987 in Applied Physics Letters while he was still employed at Eastman Kodak, has been cited by more scientists than any other paper in the history of that journal. You can read more here.

      The current Rochester Review magazine has several articles that will be of interest to the Hajim School family. The cover story describes the "most ubiquitous innovation you've never heard of" -- the invention of Blue Noise Mask by Kevin Parker, our Dean Emeritus and William F. May Professor of Engineering, and Theo Mitsa, '88 (MS) '91 (PhD), one of his former students. Did you know that this invention has generated some $30 million in royalties for our University, the second most of any invention in UR history? Both Kevin and Theo will be awarded  Eastman Medals for this achievement at 4 p.m. Wednesday in the Hawkins-Carlson Room of Rush Rhees Library.

     Another Review article describes how African Leadership Academy graduates attend the University of Rochester more than any other university in the world. Interestingly, about half of them come here to major in engineering or computer science.

    Engineering alumni are featured as well. Christine Bertsch '00 of BME won the women's national champion title at the 2014 U.S. National Hot Air Balloon Championship. Scott Peters '01, '02 (MS) of ChemE describes how he came up with a magnetic zipper, operable with one hand and minimal dexterity, that has caught the attention of a major sportswear manufacturer, and has advantages for all kinds of users, including people who are wearing bulky gloves or carrying items. And Dikran Kassabian '92, Senior Technology Director at the University of Pennsylvania -- who graduated with a master's in electrical and telecommunications engineering -- weighs in on the debate over "net neutrality" now before the Federal Communications Commission.

     Our new audio and music engineering major has been generating a lot of interest.  Check out the new website to learn more about this program at the intersection of science, engineering, and music. AME trains students to be sonic media engineers in such growing fields as on-line music, consumer audio products, the broadcast and entertainment industry, and the video game industry.

      Greg Gdowski, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering and Executive Director of the Center for Medical Technology & Innovation, was recently elected to the MedTech Board of Directors at its annual conference earlier this month. MedTech is an association of New York State pharmaceutical, biotech and medical technology companies, their suppliers and service providers, and research universities.  Partnership with MedTech gives CMTI students direct access to hundreds of companies across New York, which will open up new collaborative opportunities for the CMTI and industry. Congratulations, Greg!

   A team of investigators led by Minsoo Kim, Associate Professor of Microbiology & Immunology; Richard Waugh, Chair of Biomedical Engineering; and Jonathan Reichner, Professor of Surgery at Brown University,  in collaboration with James McGrath, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Anthony Pietropaoli, Associate Professor of Medicine, Pulmonary Diseases and Critical Care,  recently received a five-year NIH grant of just over $3.5 million for their research on the mechanisms of damage caused during sepsis to the endothelium (the thin layer of cells that lines the interior surface of blood vessels and lymphatic vessels). Sepsis -- whole-body inflammation in response to severe infection -- accounts for over 250,000 deaths in the United States each year. Damage to the vascular endothelium is a key step leading to impaired blood flow, organ failure, and death. Their research will help improve our understanding of the mechanisms leading to endothelial damage and enable development of more effective therapeutic strategies.

     If you are a faculty member, staff member or student who needs funding to get an innovative idea to market, please consider applying to our Technology Development Fund. Pre-proposals are due Oct. 15 for awards of up to $100,000. A submitted invention disclosure to UR Ventures is required for an application. Submit pre-proposals to Omar Bakht. Learn more at www.rochester.edu/tdf.

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


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean