Weekly Memo

May 4, 2015

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

    The end of each academic year is celebrated with a multitude of awards for outstanding achievement. Please congratulate these worthy recipients from the Hajim School community who are being recognized this year:

      Jennifer Condit, Undergraduate Administrative Assistant and Study Abroad Coordinator in Chemical Engineering, is recipient of the Dottie Welch Award.
      Chris Muir, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, was chosen as Engineering Professor of the Year by the Student Association.
      Nick Vamivakas, Assistant Professor of Quantum Optics and Quantum Physics, is receiving the G. Graydon ’58 and Jane W. Curtis Award for Nontenured Faculty Teaching Excellence.
      Stephen D. Fantone ’79 (PhD Optics), President of Optikos Corp. and a member of our Dean's Advisory Committee, is receiving the Rochester Distinguished Scholar Award.
      Richard Rashid ’77 (MA), ’80 (PhD), a Computer Science alumnus who is Chief Technology Officer of Microsoft’s Applications and Services Division, is receiving an honorary doctor of science degree from the University.

    Congratulations as well to these students who have received scholarships from the Rochester Engineering Society: Alexander Anderson '16 of Optics, Tianyi (Linda) Liu '16 of Mechanical Engineering, and Gary Ge and Matthew Archibald, both '16, of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

    The Hajim School was well represented at the recent New York Business Plan Competition in Albany.

    Team Cataract Innovations --  Eryn Fennig, PhD candidate in Optics; Sarah Walters ’15 (MS in TEAM) and PhD candidate in Optics; and Brian Ayers ’16 (MBA) and MD candidate -- won  third place and $1,500 in the Social Entrepreneurship/Non-Profit category.

    Team Cλ --  Anthony Yee ’15 (MS in TEAM) and PhD candidate in Optics; Xiangzhi Yu, PhD candidate in Mechanical Engineering; Yang Zhao, PhD candidate in Optics; and Seth Reining ’15 (MS in TEAM) -- won the People's Choice Award and $500 in the Nanotechnology/Advanced Technology catetory.

   A team from SUNY Geneseo won first place and $10,000 using a Wireless Moisture Alarm Technology developed by Stephen McAleavey, Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, and Daniel Mruzek, Associate Professor of Pediatrics. Congratulations all around.

       Travis Block ’12 BME knows a thing or two about business plan competitions. He was a founding member of the MonoMano team, which tied for first in the Forbes Entrepreneurial Competition, took second in the Mark Ain Competition, won an Student International da Vinci Award -- and continues to operate as a company. Travis, now a PhD student in bioengineering and biomedical engineering at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio,  recently offered this advice during a video conference with some of Prof. Amy Lerner’s students.

    1. Value your Rochester education, because it is respected by other institutions -- and value your engineering education because it “teaches you how to think about solving problems.” 2. Don’t be afraid to be naive in your approach to a problem. If you think you are onto something, “go for it.” 3. Surround yourself with people who disagree with you because “people challenging you forces you to refine your thoughts and ideas – this applies to all aspects of life.” 4. Don’t be afraid to mess up.  “In the scheme of things, these were all just learning experiences.” 5. Know what you are worth, and don’t be afraid to ask for additional responsibility – and compensation. 6. Don’t worry about the availability of jobs. “I haven’t even really started looking . . . and I have industry offers in Texas, Arizona and Minnesota, and post-doc offers in Texas and Florida.” Thanks, Travis!

    For the third year in a row BME's senior design teams, along with teams from the Center for Medical Technology and Innovation, competed last week in an elevator pitch competition. Each team had 90 seconds to "sell" their project. The Sonodontist (Tek Gautum, Jacob Hyatt, Alexa Kuenstler, Jonathan Macoskey and Jenny Won), Bladder Cancer Surgery Simulator (Kevin Fogarty, Marlin Myers, and Nuley Seo), and BPR Breast Pump Redesign (Tucker Burgin, Maura O'Conor, Sameer Shamsie and Sarah Wayson) teams took first through third place, respectively, among the BME senior design teams; Diversion Vascular Occlusion (Nathan Couper and Deborah Cooper) and Retract-a-line (Laura Hobbs and Courtney Kodweis) tied for first among the CMTI teams.

    Our Visiting Committee members were quite impressed when  they dropped by our Design Day presentation at the Goergen Athletic Field House on Friday. My thanks to the 218 seniors and CMTI master's students for all the hard work they put into these projects, but also to the 41 faculty, staff members, PhD students and corporate representatives who mentored them. Nearly 20 outside corporations and institutions partnered with students on their projects.

    And check out this video by the MechE senior design team of Alexander Grau, Bruno Ham, Monica Roberts and Mark Rollfs for a spectacular visual reminder of what we're all about!

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


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean