Weekly Memo

Nov. 23, 2015

Dear members of the Hajim School community:

    Please join me in expressing condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Kevin Rolland-Thompson, a Visiting Scientist at The Institute of Optics, who passed away Friday. As Institute Director Xi-Cheng Zhang notes, "We are fortunate to have had Kevin in Rochester, and will always be grateful for his contributions in optics as a world-leading optical designer. Kevin was an inspirational colleague, and a wonderful friend."

    Our Engineers Without Borders student chapter recently visited Hemlock Lake and the Rochester Water Bureau filtration plant there to help prepare for the next phase of their project to  provide a sustainable, on-site supply of drinking water for an elementary school in the Dominican Republic. The students connected with David Rowley, chief of water quality operations, and John Maier, laboratory director and water quality chemist, who have helped arrange rental of water testing equipment for the chapter's second trip to Don Juan this spring, will train the students in how to use it, and will help analyze the results they bring back and help factor that into the eventual water system design, explained Grace Caza ’17 of Mechanical Engineering, the EWB co-program coordinator. This is an outstanding project -- and an opportunity for students to not only apply the engineering skills they've been learning, but do so in an overseas setting. The chapter always welcomes new members from all disciplines. Interested students can join UR EWB on CCC and email urengineerswithoutborders@gmail.com or visit EWB’s facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/UREWB/ for more information. You can also read more about the chapter and its project here.

        It's great to see our students presenting and being honored at engineering conferences.

        Steven R. Gillmer, Mechanical Engineering PhD student in the Precision Instrumentation Group of Asst. Prof. Jonathan Ellis, was awarded the 2015 Carl Zeiss Student Scholarship at the recent American Society for Precision Engineering Annual Meeting. This award includes the ASPE Annual Meeting registration fee, four tutorial fees, travel expenses, and lodging to the Annual Meeting. In addition, the scholarship provides for travel and lodging to Maple Grove, Minnesota to visit Carl Zeiss Industrial Metrology. Steve is the third recipient of the Carl Zeiss Student Scholarship awarded through ASPE.

       Janson Ho '18 of Chemical Engineering picked up two awards at the AIChE 2015 Annual Student Conference earlier this month in Salt Lake City, Utah -- a Freshman Recognition Award, as well as second place in Materials Engineering and Sciences for his poster presentation on "Investigating the Coassembly of Enantiomeric Amyloid Peptides."

       Four PhD students presented at the recent NY-BEST Energy Storage Technology Conference, attended by more than 150 researchers, entrepreneurs, corporate technology experts, academics, government officials and representatives of the financial community. They are Rakan F. Ashour ( Asst. Prof. Douglas Kelley's lab in MechE), "Understanding and Controlling Transport in Liquid Metal Batteries"; Yuan Xue (Prof. David Quesnel's lab in MechE), "Electrochemical Study of Gel Polymer Electrolyte Based on Cross-Linked PMMA";  Marina Maria Ioanniti (Asst. Prof. Wyatt Tenhaeff's lab in ChemE), "Probing the Stability of Solid Lithium Ion Conductors in Aqueous Electrolytes"; and Tyler DuBeshter (Prof. Jacob Jorne's lab in ChemE), "Constructing a Polarization Curve for a Li-Ion Battery."

       Our University's field hockey team made it to the quarterfinals of the NCAA's for the second time in school history, thanks to some stellar performances by Hajim School student athletes. Michelle Relin '16 of Optics, the team's career scoring leader, scored two goals  in the final 11 minutes in a 2-1, come-from-behind victory over  Misericordia University in the first round.  Then Sayaka Abe '17 of Chemical Engineering made a deft cross pass with just 7.8 seconds left in the second round game to set up the winning goal against Salisbury. Both were named to the first team All-Liberty League.

       Thanks to Carlos Stroud, Professor of Optics, for a heads up reminding us that this past week (Nov. 18) marked the 100th anniversary of a meeting of nine Rochester scientists at the University of Rochester to form an optical society, which led three months later to the decision to form the Optical Society of America (OSA). Plans for founding an "Institute of Optics," also underway at that time, took longer to realize; nonetheless the history of OSA and The Institute have been closely intertwined. To learn more, read A Jewel in the Crown, the definitive history of The Institute, edited by Carlos for its 75th anniversary.

       WiSTEE (Women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Entrepreneurship) Connect will discuss "Managing and Reducing Stress and Leading a Balanced Life" from 3-5 p.m. Dec. 2 at  2210/2220 Louise Slaughter Building at RIT. RSVP by Nov. 25; click here to learn more about the group.

      The O’Brien & Gere SPARK Competition, a special think-tank style event from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Dec. 4 in Gleason 120 will give students at all levels of study in STEM- and business-related disciplines the chance to solve a real problem with real-world industry engineers and scientists. Hosted by the Technical Entrepreneurship and Management (TEAM) master's degree program and engineering solutions provider O’Brien & Gere, students will be asked to solve a problem and present solutions to meet industry needs. There will be prize money of $1,000 to the winning team and $500 to the runner-up with additional prizes and giveaways for all participants. This event is an opportunity to enhance your resume and network with industry professionals. For more information and to sign up, contact Andrea Galati.

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


Robert L. Clark
Professor and Dean