Weekly Memo

Jan. 26, 2015

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

       Chunlei Guo, Professor of Optics, and Anatoliy Vorobyev, a Senior Scientist in Guo's group, continue to transform metals in incredible ways. Now they've used their extremely powerful, but ultra-short laser pulses to make metal surfaces extremely water repellent. Water droplets literally bounce off the surface. There could be any number of applications: rust-prevention, anti-icing, even latrines that are more sanitary. This is making headlines in such major media outlets as BBC online, USA Today, Huffington Post, Newsweek and the Daily Mail. You can read more here, and see a video as well. Congratulations, Chunlei and Anatoliy!

      Congratulations as well to Stephen McAleavey, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and his group for receiving a patent for an ultrasonic method for imaging mechanical properties of tissue. "The method uses acoustic radiation force to 'poke' the tissue at several known locations, with each poke generating a shear wave," Stephen explains. "We measure the arrival time of these waves at a single location to estimate the speed of the shear waves. Tracking at a single location eliminates error introduced by the speckle inherent in ultrasound images, enabling high-resolution imaging of shear modulus and other tissue properties. Applications of the method include non-invasive staging of liver fibrosis, which is presently assessed by biopsy."

     Jim Zavislan, our Associate Dean for Education and New Initiatives, and an Associate Professor of Optics, will present a Faculty Perspectives webinar on "Optical Biopsy: Bringing Real-Time Cellular Imaging to Clinical Care" at 1 p.m. Wednesday. He'll discuss how advances in optical systems and high-speed networks now allow clinicians to obtain non-invasive optical biopsies of superficial tissues with cellular resolution and expert interpretation during clinical visits. Register here for this free presentation.

    This semester, 23 outstanding engineering juniors and seniors have been invited to join Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society. Founded in 1885, Tau Beta Pi is the nation's oldest engineering honor society celebrating the scholastic achievements and exemplary character of engineering students. Congratulations to Michael Aman '15 of MechE, Jonathan Becker '15 of MechE, Joshua Berenson '15 of ECE and Physics, Brendan Coli '16 of ChemE, Chase Conklin '16 of ECE, Lucian Copeland '15 of ECE, Frank Dinoff '15 of ECE and CSC,  Yunxin Du '15 of ChemE, Gary Ge '16 of ECE and BME, Shurouq Hijazi '16 of ECE, Joshua Jachuck '16 of ChemE, Gregory Palis '16 of BME, Mingyi Pan '16 of MechE, Benjamin Smilen '16 of MechE, Thomas Smith '16 of MechE, Nathan Sowards '16 of BME, Andrew Stern '16 of ECE, Patrick Sullivan '15 of ChemE, Alexandra Taylor '16 of MechE, Isaac Trumper '15 of Optics, Thomas Varner '16 of BME, Frank White '16 of AME (audio and music engineering) and Music, and Zhou Xu '16 of BME.

      Tau Beta Pi members offer free tutoring sessions for one hour a week in engineering and some math/science classes. To connect with a tutor, email the Tau Beta Pi Tutoring Chair, Jared Fialkoff, at jfialko2@u.rochester.edu. Any graduate students who are members of Tau Beta Pi may also email Jared to become a tutor.

      One of our alumnae, Lydia Beall '02 of Chemical Engineering, who is the Design Challenges Program Manager at the Museum of Science in Boston, shares an important priority with the Hajim School: getting more women into engineering.  Research shows females gravitate toward careers where they feel they can help people, she notes in an online article. But engineers are often associated only with making cars and bridges, and computer scientists with programming video games. "If we can help to communicate to girls that engineers are making a real difference in peoples' lives with medicine or clean water, that would really help encourage more girls to go into science and engineering."

    Another of our priorities is encouraging more of our students to study abroad. Believe me, it 's a real plus to have a study abroad experience on your resume. So I encourage students to take advantage of two information sessions this week.

    A final interest meeting on the new summer course being offered in York, England, by the Department of Chemical Engineering will be held at noon, Wednesday, Jan. 28, in Gavett 208. The course will provide an overview of the properties, uses, economic and political factors, and environmental implications of nonrenewable and renewable energy sources. Click here for more information; all are welcome to attend the meeting.

    The annual UR Global Fair from 1 to 3 p.m. this Friday, Jan 30, in Wilson Commons will highlight University-affiliated study abroad programs. Students who have studied abroad will provide peer advising, and representatives from College departments will be available to advise students about how study abroad can fit into the overall University experience and enhance graduate school and career opportunities. Representatives from the City of Rochester will even be on site with U.S. passport applications, and a photographer will take passport photos for $15, cash or check.

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


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean