Weekly Memo

Oct. 6, 2014

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

         Many of you are probably aware that Kevin Parker, our Dean Emeritus and William F. May Professor of Engineering, and Theophano Mitsa '91, a PhD student working with Parker, invented the Blue Noise Mask, which dramatically improved the quality of images produced by printers, faxes and other devices, and the speed at which they are produced. But you may not realize what this has meant to the Hajim School. Royalties generated by their invention provided $4 million to endow two chairs in biomedical engineering -- which was instrumental in securing $6 million from the Whitaker Foundation for what was then a  fledgling biomedical engineering department. The funding included a challenge grant that helped construct Goergen Hall -- and helped BME become the powerhouse department it is today.

       Royalties from Blue Noise Mask also endowed three professorships in Electrical and Computer Engineering, and were used to establish the Theophano Mitsa and Kevin J. Parker Scholarship Fund.

      This is a great example of what can happen when great ideas of our researchers are translated into products and services. It sets in motion what Kevin refers to as a "virtuous cycle," in which royalties can be plowed back into faculty positions and research labs, sparking more innovative ideas, some of which can in turn be commercialized, creating a continuous cycle. The Eastman Medals that Kevin and Theo received last week are richly deserved -- not only for what the two of them accomplished, but for the superb example they have set for all of us.

       Here's an example of some of the great work being done in biomedical engineering. Diane Dalecki, Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Denise Hocking, Associate Professor of Pharmacology & Physiology, have received a $2 million grant from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) for their 4-year project “Ultrasound standing wave fields for vascular engineering.” It will advance a novel ultrasound technology to fabricate complex, functional microvascular networks within three-dimensional engineered constructs. Collaborators are Maria Helguera, Associate Professor of Imaging Sciences at RIT, and Ingrid Sarelius, Professor, and Angela Glading, Assistant Professor, in Pharmacology and Physiology. The successful completion of this project will provide new tools for tissue engineering and for a variety of clinical reconstructive and vascular surgery applications. Click here to see a very informative video about this fascinating project.

        Joseph Choi, an Optics PhD student, and his advisor, John Howell, Professor of Physics -- with a big assist from University Communications -- have been generating a lot of positive publicity for the University with their "Rochester Cloak," an inexpensive, do-it-yourself device that literally hides objects from view.  “Who needs magic when you have science?” was Allie Healy's reaction at the Syracuse Post-Standard. Click here to learn more -- and to see that truly "eye-catching" photo of Joseph demonstrating the device.

      Hajim students will have an opportunity to meet potential employers during the Career and Internship Day from 1-4 p.m. Wednesday in the May Room at Wilson Commons. Employers of interest to Hajim students will  include: 1010data, Actuant Corporation (which will hold interviews on campus the following day), Air Force Research Laboratory, Binoptics, Corning Inc., Delphi, Exelis Geospatial Systems, Factset Research Systems, Iberdrola USA, IBM, KLA-Tencor, Praxair, SRC, US Navy Nuclear Propulsion Program, and Xerox. The full list of employers attending can be found here. Hajim students can also apply for travel grants to attend the Columbia Engineering Consortium Career Fair on Oct. 17 at Columbia University, and the Engineering & Technical Career and Internship Connections events on Oct. 24 in New York City and Oct. 27 in Boston.

        Three Institute of Optics alumni will bring their expertise and experiences to campus next week. Take advantage! Kevin Mille '04, a Senior Product Support Manager at KLA-Tencor, and Ankur Pansari '04, CEO and co-founder of the Artillery video game and technology company, will share their Silicon Valley experiences and talk about the opportunities and demands in the high-tech and start-up sectors at 4:45 p.m., Oct. 16 in Gleason 119 as part of the Center for Entrepreneurship Lecture Series: “From Yellowjackets to Tech Leaders.” Register online in advance or call (585) 276-3500 to attend this event, which is free and open to the public.

         And Michael Wohl '89, managing partner of ClimateHedge Investments and Greenspace Capital and a serial entrepreneur, will hold office hours on Tuesday, October 14 from 12:30 to 4 p.m.; Wednesday, October 15 from 10 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.; and Thursday, October 16 from 12:30 to 4 p.m. as part of the Center's new Entrepreneurs-in-Residence (EIRs) program, which helps students, faculty and staff interested  in launching an enterprise. (Gregg Steinberg, managing director of Charlemagne Global Advisory and serial entrepreneur, will hold office hours at the same time.) Appointments are required and are open to the University community by calling 585-276-3500 or emailing cfe@rochester.edu.

        Recent BME grad Kyle Fedorchak '14 spent two months this summer at a hospital in Rwanda as part of the Engineering World Health’s summer institute program, performing preventative maintenance, taking inventory, and teaching doctors and nurses how to properly use and maintain equipment. Kyle says the experience gave him some good hands-on experience -- and taught him some valuable lessons about being a biomedical engineer.  You can read more at the BME web site.

       Congratulations to Roger Gans, Emeritus Professor in Mechanical Engineering, on the publication of his latest book, Mechanical Systems. A Unified Approach to Vibrations and Controls, by Springer. This 437-page textbook covers analysis and control of engineering mechanisms, which include almost any apparatus with moving parts used in daily life, from musical instruments to robots.
     As always, keep me updated and have a great week.


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean