Weekly Memo

Nov. 9, 2015

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

   A recent Sunday Democrat and Chronicle story looks in-depth at how the Center for Emerging and Innovative Sciences is matching University researchers with local companies to bring cutting edge projects to fruition — from cameras that could transform airport security to noninvasive laser treatments for vision problems. Projects with local companies involving Wayne Knox, Professor of Optics; Zeljko  Ignjatovic, Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Jonathan Ellis, Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering,  are described. The story also details how CEIS helped pave the way for Rochester's designation as headquarters for the AIM Photonics initiativeMark Bocko, Paul Ballentine and the rest of the CEIS staff deserve this recognition for a job well done.  Read more . . .

   Congratulations to Xiangzhi Yu, Mechanical Engineering PhD student in the Precision Instrumentation Group, who has been part of the winning team at the ASPE Student Competition for the second time in a row. Xianghi, along with teammates Andrew Duenner, Ian Ladner, Nilabh Kumar Roy, and Tsung-Fu Yao from the University of Texas at Austin won the ASPE Student Competition at the annual meeting of the American Society for Precision Engineering. The students were tasked with building a closed loop controlled X-Y scanning system to image an area the size of a penny using MechBlocks, voice coils, capacitance sensors, and motion controllers in about 9 hours. Each winning student was awarded a $1,000 prize and a stainless steel MechBlock kit from MOTUS Mechanical.

   The Hajim School was well represented at SPIE Optifab, the largest optical fabrication event in North America, held recently in Rochester and co-chaired by Julie Bentley, Associate Professor of Optics. Sam Butler and Mike Ricci, masters students in Mechanical Engineering; Chen Wang, Phd student in Electrical and Computer Engineering; and Visiting Scientist Qun Wei were awarded first prize in the APOMA Outstanding Student Poster Competition, sponsored by the American Precision Optics Manufacturers Association. Their project was entitled "Homodyne displacement measuring interferometer probe for optical coordinate measuring machine with tip and tilt sensitivity."  Kameron Tinkham '18 of Optical Engineering took second prize for "Cerium oxide polishing slurry reclamation project: characterization techniques and results."

     At the same conference, Eric Schiesser, a third-year PhD student working in the lab of Prof. Jannick Rolland at The Institute of Optics,  received the 2015 Michael Kidger Memorial Scholarship. Eric's work is in packaging optics within the boundaries of a next-generation high-power laser in laser fusion energy experiments.

    Jiebo Luo, Professor of Computer Science,  and his colleagues have a paper out showing how data mining can be applied to images and text on Instagram to help monitor the drinking habits of underage drinkers. His team was able to select users that fit the profile they were looking for by applying computer vision techniques that Luo and his colleagues have pioneered  to teach computers to extract information from images on the Internet. This is the latest in a string of interesting papers from Luo and his group, who are a great example of this University's strengths in data science. You can read more about the paper here.

   Eight members of our Society of Women Engineers chapter are back after attending a national SWE conference in Nashville where they were able to network with women professional engineers, pick up resume and interview skills at workshops, and broaden their horizons regarding career paths. "Especially since women are a minority in engineering, I believe the SWE conference is one of the best ways to expose our undergraduate population to some incredibly successful female engineers in the industry," said SWE chapter president Natalie Tjota ‘16.  "Through lightning talks on leadership, professional workshops, and of course the career fair (with representation from 200+ large companies), I believe everyone was able to walk away with something valuable that will help them in their future careers." Click here to read more about our SWE chapter and comments from the other students who were fortunate enough to attend what appears to have been a very productive conference.

    Need advice on launching a new venture? You can schedule an appointment with the Ain Center's Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Scott Catlin,  our Associate Vice President for Technology Ventures at UR Ventures,  from 1 to 3 p.m. tomorrow in 1.213 CTSI Director’s Suite in the Saunders Research Building, through this online booking system or by calling 585-276-3500.

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


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean