FOE Alumni News

  • Robert Braun
    Robert Braun (2000 USFOE)
    Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia said:
    2 weeks and 2 days ago
    Bobby Braun was named Vice Chair of the NRC Space Studies Board in November 2014.
  • Robert Braun
    Robert Braun (2000 USFOE)
    Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia said:
    2 weeks and 2 days ago
    Bobby Braun was presented with the inaugural Space Technology Award by the American Astronautical Society for extraordinary contributions in technology to enable the landing of vehicles on other planets and for creating NASA technology development programs designed to build our nation’s future space capabilities and solve grand societal challenges on Earth.
  • Eric Ruggiero, PhD
    Eric Ruggiero, PhD (NAE FOE 2013)
    Engineering Manager, Sustaining Commercial Thermal Systems Design at GE Aviation, West Chester, Ohio said:
    2 weeks and 2 days ago
    Dr. Eric Ruggiero was promoted to Associate Fellow rank in the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics in January 2015.
  • Tyrone Grandison
    Tyrone Grandison
    CEO at Proficiency Labs, Washington, District of Columbia said:
    2 weeks and 6 days ago
    New Job
    White House Presidential Innovation Fellow
  • James Walker
    James Walker (FOE 2009 and US-Japan FOE 2011)
    Institute Scientist at Southwest Research Institute, San Antonio, Texas said:
    3 weeks ago
    Walker elected Fellow of AIAA and ASME
    This past year, Dr. James D. Walker was elected Fellow of two engineering societies, the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The attached file is the related article in Southwest Research Institute's employee magazine.
  • Andreas Malikopoulos
    Andreas Malikopoulos (2010 GAFOE)
    Deputy Director, Urban Dynamics Institute at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tennessee said:
    3 weeks ago
    Connecting Vehicles
    Oak Ridge National Laboratory ( develops a computational framework for optimizing traffic flow that could be the beginning of a road revolution.
  • David Boyd
    David Boyd (2010, Sept. 23-25 at the IBM Learning Center in Armonk, N.)
    Research Scientist at California Institute of Technoolgy, Pasadena, California said:
    3 weeks and 1 day ago
    Cool Method for Graphene Production
    We developed a method to produce electronic-grade graphene at low temperatures and in a single step. Please see the link to a nice write-up in Popular Mechanics.
  • Ronel Kappes
    Ronel Kappes (2014 US FOE)
    Director, Metallurgical Services at Newmont Mining Corporation, Englewood, Colorado said:
    3 weeks and 2 days ago
    Ronel Kappes was recently promoted to Director, Metallurgical Services for Newmont Mining Corporation. As such she is responsible for managing the process development laboratory and directing process development activities. She is also responsible for providing leadership in extractive metallurgy and mineral processing research efforts both internally and externally to the company.
  • Bryan Payne
    Bryan Payne (2015 US FOE)
    Engineering Manager at Netflix, Mountain View, California said:
    3 weeks and 4 days ago
    I have recently started a new job with Netflix, leading their platform security team.
  • Milind  Rajadhyaksha
    Milind Rajadhyaksha (Fourth Annual Symposium on Frontiers of Engineering (Irvine, CA, 1998))
    Associate Member at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, New York said:
    3 weeks and 4 days ago
    At NAE’s Fourth Annual Symposium on Frontiers of Engineering (Irvine, CA, 1998), I’d presented my early work on confocal microscopy for noninvasive imaging of skin. Subsequently (1998-2002), two of my microscopes were commercialized: one for imaging skin cancers in vivo in reflectance contrast, and the other for rapid detection of residual skin cancers in freshly excised tissue ex vivo in fluorescence contrast. Then followed a decade (2002-2012) of translational studies and clinical trials which proved reflectance confocal microscopy (RCM) to be capable of detecting melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers in vivo, with sensitivity of 90-95% and specificity of 70-85%, and fluorescence confocal microscopy (FCM) for detecting residual basal cell carcinomas in fresh Mohs surgically excised tissue, with sensitivity of 95-98% and specificity of 85-95%. The last two years (2013-2014) have been particularly exciting, during which we witnessed both RCM and FCM imaging advancing to being implemented in clinics to guide diagnosis and treatment. RCM imaging is being implemented to guide noninvasive diagnosis of melanocytic lesions, to guide choice and monitoring of treatment (surgical, topical or radiation) for lentigo maligna melanomas, and to guide minimally invasive treatment (laser ablation) of basal cell carcinomas, with demonstrated early impact on patient care. Thus far, ~600 patients have been saved from biopsies (~6 papers published worldwide). FCM imaging is being implemented for detection of residual cancers in freshly excised tissue (i. e., rapid pathology at the bedside), to guide Mohs surgery. Thus far, ~300 patients have benefitted from a faster and more efficient procedure (~5 papers worldwide).
  • C. Michael Lindsay
    C. Michael Lindsay (2013 US FOE)
    Technical Advisor at Air Force Research Laboratory, Eglin AFB, Florida said:
    3 weeks and 4 days ago
    Ground Breaking Research Collaboration Emerges from FOE Meeting
    FOE Scholars Dr. Alexander Orlov (Assoc. Professor, Stonybrook University) and Dr. C. Michael Lindsay (Technical Advisor, U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory, Eglin AFB) have been successfully developing a productive collaboration into the fabrication of nanoclusters using a novel method and characterizing them with cutting edge microscopy and catalysis activity tools. Gold nanoclusters of sizes controllable between 0.5 nm and 10 nm are produced using superfluid helium droplets and deposited onto various substrates. The method produces unprecedentedly clean and dense deposits owing to the gentle soft-landing of the technique and lack of the use of a capping agent to produce the particles. In collaboration with researchers at Brookhaven National Laboratory, the size distribution, morphology, mobility, and agglomerate growth mechanisms are being investigated using atomic resolution environmental transmission electron microscopy. Also being investigated is the catalytic activity of these materials. Below is an HAADR STEM image of gold nanoparticles deposited onto a copper grid. This collaboration was the direct results of the interactions initiated at the Sep 2013 Frontiers of Engineering Meeting and has grown to include student and postdoc exchanges between their groups.


    TEM images.png

    TEM images.png 68KB, PNG

  • Shira Broschat
    Shira Broschat (1995 USFOE, 1996 USFOE)
    Professor at Washington State University, Pullman, Washington said:
    3 weeks and 5 days ago
    I've more or less completed my morphogenesis from electrical engineer to computer scientist (although I still love teaching EM fields and waves, but I also love teaching Python). My research uses data analysis, machine learning, bioinformatics, and mathematical modeling to further understanding in microbiology, and I'm particularly interested in antimicrobial resistance, infectious diseases, and pathogens. We desperately need to generate more computer scientists in the state of Washington (we hired 3000 SDEs here last year) and especially women! We're trying to do something about it by offering workshops to middle school girls this summer through our Cougar Quest program. It will be taught by two female graduate students who are just awesome. They won a seed grant proposal from NCWIT for some fun things to add to the workshops. Please help us advertise. Thanks!
  • Philip LeDuc
    Philip LeDuc (2006 USFOE)
    William J. Brown Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, , said:
    3 weeks and 6 days ago
    We were honored to publish a Commentary in Science Translational Medicine on how Biomedical Engineers can contribute to Global Health
  • Paul Nielan
    Paul Nielan (1996 USFOE, 1997 USFOE (discussant), 2000 GAFOE)
    Manager: Systems Analysis and Research Department at Sandia National Laboratories, Livermore, California said:
    4 weeks ago
    Moved from Systems Modeling to Systems Analysis and Research Department. The department specializes in systems analysis on national security problems. Systems analysis include decision science/support, risk analysis, operations research, enterprise modeling, and requirements analysis. Department staff have advanced degrees in the engineering, physical sciences, mathematics and public policy disciplines.
  • Miroslaw Skibniewski
    Miroslaw Skibniewski (2000 JAFOE, 2001 GAFOE)
    Professor at University of Maryland, College Park, Maryland said:
    4 weeks and 1 day ago
    Annual Creative Construction Conferences
    This year's Creative Construction Conference is heading for Krakow, Poland. The dates are June 21-24, 2015. Please join us.
  • Philip Feng
    Philip Feng (2013 US FOE)
    Assistant Professor at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, Ohio said:
    4 weeks and 1 day ago
    Prof. Philip Feng in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, at Case Western Reserve University, is listed in the National Science Foundation (NSF) Directorate of Engineering’s 2015 year book for the "Class of 2015 Early Career Engineers to Watch". He has recently won a $500,000 NSF Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for his five-year project, “Dynamically Tuning 2D Semiconducting Crystals and Heterostructures for Atomically-Thin Signal Processing Devices and Systems.”

    The CAREER program is NSF's most prestigious awards for junior faculty members. The level and 5-year duration of the awards are designed to enable awardees to develop careers as outstanding teacher-scholars. Awardees are chosen because they exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

    Earlier, Prof. Feng was a 2013 USFOE alumni and was selected to receive the NAE Grainger Foundation Frontiers of Engineering (FOE) Award (2014) to initiate multidisciplinary research in the rapidly emerging frontiers of 2D materials and devices. This prestigious seedling grant has facilitated Feng group's exploratory research in 2D semiconductors and nanodevices, and has led to a number of exciting results documented by the team's recent publications.
  • Srinivas Veeramasuneni
    Srinivas Veeramasuneni
    Vice President at USG Corporation, Chicago, Illinois said:
    4 weeks and 1 day ago
    USG Corporation announces the promotion of Srinivas Veeramasuneni to Vice President, Corporate Innovation Center

    Srinivas Veeramasuneni, previously senior director, Corporate Innovation Center (CIC), is appointed Vice President, Corporate Innovation Center at USG Corporation. Dr. Veeramasuneni will have oversight for the CIC organization and will promote collaborative research priorities to enhance USG's competitive position and profitability by continuously developing effective research programs.

    Srinivas has held various research and management positions at USG during his 16 year career, most recently serving as Senior Director at the USG Corporate Innovation Center. Throughout his career, he has been involved in innovation strategy, talent management, change management, technology roadmapping, and process improvements. He received his Ph.D. in Metallurgical Engineering from the University of Utah.

  • jay sayre
    jay sayre (2013 US FOE, 2014 EU-US FOE)
    Director, Advanced Materials and Internal R&D at battelle, columbus, Ohio said:
    4 weeks and 1 day ago
    Now Director, Advanced Materials and Internal R&D
  • Luis Fanor Vega
    Luis Fanor Vega
    Growth and Innovation Manager at Alcoa Inc., Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said:
    4 weeks and 1 day ago
    New Role at Alcoa Technical Center
    Luis will lead the development of Alcoa's innovation strategy, manage our innovation project portfolio, drive the identification of team-based breakthrough innovations, and build a strong commercialization culture. In addition to leveraging Alcoa’s technical expertise, Luis and his team will also network with external partners where their solutions make business sense.
  • Shirley Meng
    Shirley Meng (2014 US FOE)
    Associate Professor at University of California San Diego, La Jolla, California said:
    1 month ago
    Shirley Meng leads the newly established Sustainable Power and Energy Center (SPEC) for UC San Diego
  • Wing Kam Liu
    Wing Kam Liu
    Walter P. Murphy Professor at Northwestern University, Department of Mechanical Engineering, Evanston, Illinois said:
    1 month ago
    2014-07-00 | President of the International Association for Computational Mechanics, International Association for Computational Mechanics

    2014-07-00 | 2014 highly cited researcher in the field of Computer Science and listed as a member of the World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds, Thompson Reuters

    2014-06-00 | Grand Prize in recognition of your outstanding contributions in the field of computational mechanics, Japan Society for Computational Engineering and Science

    2014-05-00 | Chair Elect of the US National Committee on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics within the National Academies, National Academics

    2014-03-00 | Honorary Professorship, Dalian University of Technology
  • Baratunde Cola
    Baratunde Cola (2013 US FOE)
    Associate Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia said:
    1 month ago
    Tenure, wilderness adventure, birthday
    I was promoted to associate professor with tenure on March 13, 2015. On March 15th, I entered the wilderness near Blue Ridge Georgia to backpack and camp for 2 days and 2 nights with a friend. I had not backpacked in nearly 20 years. Hiking the penitentiary loop of the Jacks River Trail was the plan. Things did not go as planned. Ended up over 20 miles from our planned destination, which was to loop back to our car. Exhausted after fording the river over 20 times - in chest deep water at times - as we walked in the wrong direction, decided to exit the trail. The nearest city was 10 miles away, near the Tennessee boarder with Georgia. This was near the end of day two in the wilderness. Stranded at 9 pm, in a black darkness, we find luck hitchhiking with locals. Our rescue was complete when a friend drove from Chattanooga, TN to get us from Cisco, GA and drop us at a hotel in a larger city. The next day we drove 3 hours round trip in a rental car to retrieve our car from the other side of the wilderness. It was my birthday - St. Patrick's Day - and I made it home by 3 pm to celebrate with my wife and two daughters.
  • Mona Jarrahi
    Mona Jarrahi (NAE Frontiers of Engineering 2012)
    Associate Professor of Electrical Engineering at University of California Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California said:
    1 month ago
    Terahertz Technology
    Mona Jarrahi has been named a 2014 Kavli Fellow by the National Academy of Sciences.

    Mona Jarrahi has been selected as a Distinguished Lecturer of IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society for year 2015-2017.

    Mona Jarrahi's work on high power plasmonic photomixers has been highlighted in the Laser Focus World Magazine.
  • Joy Rempe
    Joy Rempe
    Principal at Rempe and Associates, LLC, Idaho Falls, Idaho said:
    1 month ago
    In the first six months of its existence, Joy Rempe, Principal, Rempe and Associates, LLC, has been busy leading an effort funded by the Department of Energy's Reactor Safety Technology Pathway to obtain consensus US input for a prioritized time-sequence set of post-accident examination tasks at the affected units at the Fukushima Daiichi plant. Check out its recently launched website: to learn about this and other exciting research being performed by Rempe and Associates LLC.


    Posted on: Alumni News


    Posted on: Alumni News

  • Daniel Deng
    Daniel Deng (2012 US FOE, 2014 US-Brazil FOE/FOS)
    Chief Scientist at Hydrology Group, Energy and Environment Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington said:
    1 month ago
    Sensor Fish
    Synthetic fish measures wild ride through dams
  • Daniel Deng
    Daniel Deng (2012 US FOE, 2014 US-Brazil FOE/FOS)
    Chief Scientist at Hydrology Group, Energy and Environment Directorate, Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington said:
    1 month ago
    Injectable acoustic transmitter
    Tracking fish easier, quicker, safer with new injectable device
  • Rob Crane
    Rob Crane (2005 USFOE)
    Global Chemical Research Manager at ExxonMobil, Baytown, Texas said:
    1 month ago
    Rob Crane was presented the "Outstanding Chemical Engineer" award from Purdue University and has recently taken a new position within ExxonMobil as Global Chemical Research Manager. In his spare time, he is currently training for Ironman Texas.
  • Sibendu Som
    Sibendu Som (2014 US FOE)
    Principal Mechanical Engineer at Argonne National Laboratory, Argonne, Illinois said:
    1 month ago
    The Federal Laboratory Consortium for Technology Transfer has honored a group of researchers at the Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory for working with industry to use supercomputers to conduct engine simulations. The research was led by Sibendu Som, principal mechanical engineer, and Raymond Bair, senior computational scientist. Terry Maynard, technology manager, facilitated the transfer of the technology to industry.

    The Award for Excellence in Technology Transfer singled out a group of researchers who transferred to private industry a two-part technology for simulating the complex inner workings of internal combustion engines. One part of the technology consisted of a fuel spray model that analyzes the behavior of fuels within an engine. The second part involved load-balancing algorithm software that helps manage the high-performance computing resources necessary for the work.

    This type of modeling and simulation forms the core of Argonne’s Virtual Engine Research Institute and Fuels Initiative (VERIFI), which continues to cooperate with industry to create tools that will enable cleaner, more efficient engines. This work also helped build the bridge between the use of cluster computing in the Laboratory Computing Resource Center and the massively parallel computing resources at the Argonne Leadership Computing Facility.
  • Frances Arnold
    Frances Arnold (the first one!)
    Dickinson Professor at Caltech, Pasadena, California said:
    1 month ago
    I served as a judge for the Queen Elizabeth Prize in Engineering for 2013 and 2015, which included a trip to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen. I am now Chairing the Advisory Panel that recommends the next Packard Fellows in Science and Engineering, a job that Lynn Orr did so well for 26 years, before he decided to serve our country as under secretary for science and energy.
  • James Weiland
    James Weiland (FOE 2011)
    Professor at University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California said:
    1 month ago
    James Weiland was induction to the 2015 Class of AIMBE Fellows. AIMBE, or the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering,is a non-profit advocacy organization dedicated to improving lives through medical and biological engineering. The AIMBE College of Fellows consists of a distinguished group of around 1,500 other fellows from academia, industry and government who have made contributions to bioengineering research, industrial practice and education that have transformed the world.
  • Seth Taylor
    Seth Taylor (2010 USFOE, 2009 JAFOE)
    R&D Team Leader at Chevron Energy Technology Company, Richmond, California said:
    1 month ago
    In August 2014 I became Technical Team Leader of a Materials R&D group at Chevron, and in January 2015 I assumed Program Management responsibilities for a Strategic Research activity named Smart Facilities. The goal of the project is to improve asset integrity management across the corporation by enabling near-real-time access to equipment health, and developing predictive systems that anticipate future integrity issues. I would love to hear from other FOE participants who may be active in this space. Regards, Seth
  • Eric Furst
    Eric Furst
    Professor at University of Delaware, Newark, Delaware said:
    1 month ago
    I was honored to receive the NASA Exceptional Scientific Merit Award in 2014 for our studies of colloidal self-assembly on the International Space Station. The attached link describes some recent results of this work and ground-based applications in nanotechnology.
  • Kumar Muthuraman
    Kumar Muthuraman (2006 USFOE)
    Associate Professor at McCombs School of Business, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas said:
    1 month ago
    Promoted to H. Timothy (Tim) Harkins Centennial Professorship in Business
  • Marcus Quigley
    Marcus Quigley (2007 USFOE)
    Chief Executive Officer at OptiRTC, Inc., Boston, Massachusetts said:
    1 month ago
    Marcus Quigley became Founder and CEO of OptiRTC, Inc. (Opti) in December as part of a impact investment backed spin-out of the company from parent Geosytnec Consultants. Opti's mission is to protect clean water by actively managing stormwater infrastructure.

    Opti, headquartered in Boston, MA, delivers intelligent control and decision support solutions through its cloud-based platform to U.S. municipalities and Fortune 500 companies.

    For these infrastructure owners, Opti reduces operating and capital costs, enables environmental compliance, and reduces risk from volatile environmental conditions.


    Posted on: Alumni News

  • Paul Clem
    Paul Clem (2007 GAFOE)
    Manager, Electronic, Optical and Nanomaterials Department at Sandia National Laboratories, Albuquerque, New Mexico said:
    1 month ago
    Sandia and University of Virginia groups demonstrate voltage-tunable thermal conductivity at room temperature
    Paul Clem (Sandia National Labs), alumnus of the GAFOE program in Smart Materials, has teamed with Jon Ihlefeld (Sandia) and Patrick Hopkins (University of Virginia) to engineer nanoscale oxide thermal conductivity, including room temperature demonstration of voltage-tunable thermal conductivity (, and development of glass-like thermal conductivity in superlattice-type structures ( Active thermal management control and thermotronic devices are being developed from these newly engineered materials.
  • Mark Swihart
    Mark Swihart (2008 USFOE, 2011 JAFOE)
    UB Distinguished Professor at University at Buffalo (SUNY), Buffalo, said:
    1 month ago
    Exciting times in Buffalo
    In summer 2014, I was named a UB Distinguished Professor, and earlier in 2015 I was appointed as Executive Director of the New York State Center of Excellence in Materials Informatics (CMI, Meanwhile, Buffalo is enjoying a resurgence driven by technology-based economic development and advanced manufacturing. In this context, CMI is participating in exciting initiatives like Buffalo Manufacturing Works ( and the 43 North Business Competition (


    Posted on: Alumni News


    Posted on: Alumni News


    Posted on: Alumni News

  • Kara Kockelman
    Kara Kockelman
    EP Scoch Professor of Engineering at University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas said:
    1 month ago
    Recipient of ASCE’s James Laurie Prize in Transportation Engineering, 2014
    Recipient of Google Research Award (for research on self-driving vehicles), 2014
  • Parthasarathy Ranganathan
    Parthasarathy Ranganathan
    Principal engineer at Google, Mountain View, California said:
    1 month ago
    FOE alumni recognition
  • Brigette Rosendall
    Brigette Rosendall (National Academy of Engineering Workshop on Pathways for Engineering Talent)
    Principal Engineer and Bechtel Distinguished Scientist at Bechtel National, Inc., San Diego, California said:
    1 month ago
    Brigette obtained her P.E. License in Chemical Engineering from the State of Wyoming as part of a extensive training process to become a Bechtel Certified Principal Engineer. These training courses covered many Six-Sigma topics and Engineering Ethical issues.

    She continues to work with academia as an member of the Advisory Board at UC Riverside and has presented at two conferences in the past year: The North American Mixing Forum XXIV Conference and The STAR Global Conference. She presented how to improve Euler-Granular models in multiphase mixing for poly-dispersed flows at NAMF and the evaluation of RANS modeling of non-Newtonian Bingham fluids in the turbulence regime at the STAR Global conference. Both presentations are currently in progress of submission to peer-reviewed journals.
  • Cameron Abrams
    Cameron Abrams
    Professor at Drexel University, PHILADELPHIA, Pennsylvania said:
    1 month ago
    Cameron F. Abrams was inducted as a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) at the organization's annual meeting on March 15-17, 2015, in Washington, D. C.
  • Davion Hill
    Davion Hill (NAE US FOE 2013, NAE US/EU FOE 2014)
    Group Leader at DNV GL, Dublin, Ohio said:
    1 month ago
    DNV GL wins ARPA-e CHARGES Program
    DNV GL will support the US government agency ARPA-E (Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy) to validate the performance of ARPA-E funded grid-storage and distributed energy (micro-grid) technologies over the next four years.
  • Haiyan Wang
    Haiyan Wang (2011 USFOE)
    Professor at Electrical and Computer Engineering TAMU, College Station, Texas said:
    1 month ago
    Wang named recipient of O'Donnell Award
    Dr. Haiyan Wang, professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Texas A&M University, has been named one of four recipients of the 2015 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Award.

    The award, which is presented by The Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas (TAMEST), recognizes rising Texas researchers who are addressing the essential role that science and technology play in society, and whose work meets the highest standards of exemplary professional performance, creativity, and resourcefulness.

    The recipients will be honored during a banquet on Jan. 22, 2015, in conjunction with TAMEST’s 12th Annual Conference at the Omni Houston Hotel in Houston.

    The other recipients include: Thomas Westbrook from Baylor College of Medicine (medicine); Yuh Min Chook from The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (science); and Charles Collins from Luminex Corporation (technology innovation).

    “The recipients of the 2015 O’Donnell Awards exemplify the innovative, life-changing research occurring in Texas,” said Dr. Bettie Sue Masters, TAMEST’s 2014 president. “With a focus on cancer genetics, nanostructured materials and devices, protein transport in and out of the cell nucleus, and 2 instrumentation engineering and optical systems, these noteworthy Texans have made discoveries or developed technologies that will significantly impact our society today and for years to come.

    Wang was honored in the engineering category and is recognized for her innovative research at the frontier of nanostructured materials in the areas of high temperature superconductors, microelectronic and optoelectronic devices, solid oxide fuel cells, nuclear materials, in situ TEM characterizations, and for her exceptional potential in inspired education and future leadership.

    Wang, who also holds a joint position in the Materials Science and Engineering Program at Texas A&M, works part-time at the U.S. National Science Foundation as a program manager in the Division of Materials Research.

    From December 2002 to January 2006, Wang was on the staff of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, first as a director-funded post-doctoral fellow and then as a permanent technical staff member. In 2006, she joined the faculty at Texas A&M as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor and full professor in 2010 and 2014, respectively. She received her Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from North Carolina State University in 2002.

    Wang has made significant contributions to a wide range of nanostructured ceramic thin films for various applications, including nitride-based heterogeneous structures for high efficiency diffusion barriers and light emitting diodes, high temperature superconductor coated conductors with significantly enhanced superconducting properties, ferromagnetic and ferroelectric oxide thin films, perovskite oxides for thin film solid oxide fuel cells, in situ TEM work and others.

    Her unique skill combination of both thin film processing and atomic scale characterization using transmission electron microscopy has enabled her to nanoengineer the thin film structure and exam the defects in nanoscale.

    She has published more than 300 journal articles in Nature Materials, Nature Communications, Nature’s Scientific Report, Advanced Materials, Advanced Functional Materials, and NanoLetters, and presented 150 invited and contributed talks at various international conferences.

    Wang holds eight patents in the areas of thin film processing and architectures. Her work has received a total citation over 6400 times with an H-index of 39. She has organized eight symposiums at international conferences and is an active committee member in the American Society of Metals (ASM), American Ceramic Society (ACerS) and Metals, Minerals and Materials Society (TMS).

    Wang is a fellow of the ASM International (Class of 2014). Her major awards include the TEES Senior Fellow 2014, TEES Fellow 2013, ASM Silver Medal Award for Outstanding Mid-Career Materials Scientist in 2011, a College Faculty Fellow Award in 2011, a TEES Young Fellow Award in 2010, an NSF Career Award in 2009, The Presidential Early Career Award (PECASE) in 2008, an Office of Naval Research-Young Investigator Award in 2008 and an Air Force of Scientific Research-Young Investigator Award in 2007. The total project funding she managed over the past five years exceeds $6 million from five different federal funding agencies.

    The O’Donnell Awards were first presented in 2006, and a total of $925,000 has been awarded to 40 recipients since the inception of the program. The awards are named in honor of Edith and Peter O’Donnell who are among Texas’ staunchest advocates for excellence in scientific advancement and STEM education.

    View the 2015 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards video trailer online at

    Read more about the 2015 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards recipients at

    For further information about the TAMEST 2015 Annual Conference, please visit

    About TAMEST: TAMEST is what comes before the change you see in our state. A nonprofit and a brain trust for Texas, TAMEST convenes influential experts to promote cross-industry and cross-disciplinary knowledge sharing. Through TAMEST, research collides with industry. Our members make new discoveries, lay the groundwork for tackling critical issues, and change the course of funding, legislation, and society. With 270+ members, TAMEST is composed of the Texas-based members of the three National Academies (Institute of Medicine, National Academy of Engineering, and National Academy of Sciences) and the state’s 10 Nobel Laureates. TAMEST brings the state’s top scientific, academic, and corporate minds together to further position Texas as a national research leader. TAMEST also fosters the next generation of scientists and facilitates awareness and communication among the state’s best and brightest about research priorities for the future. More information is available at
  • Alex Slocum
    Alex Slocum (NAKFI Nuclear power engineering conference)
    Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts said:
    1 month ago
    Ocean harvesting of uranium and Symbiotic Engineering
    I have been working on renewable and low carbon energy systems, particularly from a multiple birds with one stone approach: symbiotic engineering looks to be a key to reducing costs of renewables.
  • Aydogan Ozcan
    Aydogan Ozcan (NAE-US, NAE-Japan)
    Chancellor's Professor at UCLA, Los Angeles, California said:
    3 months, 2 weeks and 5 days ago
    UCLA engineers first to detect and measure individual DNA molecules using smartphone microscope
    Our lab demonstrated, for the first time, imaging and sizing of single DNA molecules using a mobile phone based fluorescence microscope.
  • Aydogan Ozcan
    Aydogan Ozcan (NAE US, NAE-Japan)
    Chancellor's Professor at UCLA, Los Angeles, California said:
    3 months, 2 weeks and 5 days ago
    Lens-free microscope can detect cancer at the cellular level
    Our recent work on lensfree on-chip imaging of pathology samples has been the cover article of Science Translational Medicine, published by AAAS.
  • Peter Dinda
    Peter Dinda (2007 USFOE, 2010 EU-US FOE)
    Professor at Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois said:
    4 months, 2 weeks and 3 days ago
    Named Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), effective January, 2015.
  • Kristi Morgansen
    Kristi Morgansen (NAE Frontiers 2011)
    Associate Professor at University of Washington, Seattle, Washington said:
    5 months ago
    Kristi Morgansen participated in the most recent TEDxRainier event discussing her work in bioinspired robotics.


    Posted on: Alumni News

  • Elza Erkip
    Elza Erkip (1997 USFOE)
    Professor at NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering, Brooklyn, New York said:
    5 months, 1 week and 4 days ago
    I have been listed among the 2014 Thomson Reuters “The World’s Most Influential Scientific Minds.” I earned the distinction by being one of the 117 Highly Cited Researchers in Computer Science between 2002 and 2012.
  • Christopher Wilcox
    Christopher Wilcox (2014 US FOE)
    Electrical Engineer at U.S. Naval Research Laboratory, Albuquerque, New Mexico said:
    5 months, 1 week and 6 days ago
    Hello. I have been keeping busy since the 2014 USFOE meeting.

    I am a conference chair for SPIE and I have completed setting up a session titled "Novel Beam Control Applications and Techniques". I have a very exciting session of speakers lined up and it will be held at the SPIE Defense, Security, & Sensing conference in April 2015.

    I'm also planning to present a paper at SPIE Photonics West in February 2015 on recent work I've been doing at the US Naval Postgraduate school with the Segmented Mirror Telescope system that we have set up. It is a satellite-based telescope with 6 hexagonal segments that have 196 actuators each under a SiC facesheet surface for fine corrections to that surface.

    Just last month, I co-presented a proposal at the US Naval Research Laboratory on a project that is to design and build a hyperspectral imaging sensor on a UAV with a smartphone that will be used for the processing, sensor measurements, and remote transmission of data.

    Also, during the last several months, I have been building mathematical models for simulating atmospheric turbulence along a horizontal path and have been collecting scintillation measurements to build the foundation of these models. I'm planning to use this data to predict the turbulent effects on a laser beam at different distances and determine the performance capabilities of a system through the use of adaptive optics. I hope to publish this material in the near future.

    I just recently took a short course from Mathworks, the creators of MATLAB, on parallel processing techniques. I have already used what I've learned there to speed up my data reduction algorithms and I'm very excited about what I have just learned and implemented.

    In addition to my duties with the US Naval Research Laboratory, several years ago I started a small consulting business primarily to develop apps for smartphones such as Android and iOS devices and recently, things have really taken off. My apps can be found at I have a few clients for which I'm building several custom apps. I really enjoy building apps and writing software and it is a wonderful creative outlet.

    Thank you and I hope to attend another NAE conference in the near future!


    Posted on: Alumni News

  • Virginia Davis
    Virginia Davis (2011 US FOE)
    Alumni Professor at Auburn University, Auburn University, Alabama said:
    5 months and 2 weeks ago
    Virginia Davis has been promoted to Full Professor. She also received one of Auburn University's five new Alumni Professorships.


    Posted on: Alumni News

    Senior Associate at Mueser Rutledge Consulting Engineers, New York, New York said:
    5 months and 2 weeks ago
    Cephalonia, Greece Earthquakes of 2014
    Sissy Nikolaou led and coordinated the reconnaissance efforts for two major earthquakes with magnitudes 6.0 and 6.1 that hit the Cephalonia Island of Greece in January and February of this year. The mission was supported by the Geotechnical Extreme Events Reconnaissance (GEER; funded by NSF), the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute (EERI)and ATC (Applied Technology Council).

    The mission itself was unique in two ways. First, it brought together the local highly qualified Greek earthquake engineering community, with a US collaborative group that formed a 70-people multidisciplinary team. Second, the resiliency of building stock, geostructures, and communities to one of the strongest sequence of ground motions ever recorded in Europe provided the opportunity to focus on collecting data of successful performance in addition to failures: a new generation of reconnaissance.
  • Jennifer Sinclair Curtis
    Jennifer Sinclair Curtis (2003 USFOE)
    Distinguished Professor and Associate Dean of Research at University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida said:
    5 months, 2 weeks and 1 day ago
    Received the AIChE Thomas Baron Award in Fluid-Particle Systems "For outstanding contributions in both CFD and DEM modeling of dilute and dense fluid-particle flows, with application to a wide variety of fluidized processes"
  • Zoltan Toroczkai
    Zoltan Toroczkai
    Professor at University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, Indiana said:
    5 months, 2 weeks and 1 day ago
    A more accurate method to predict commuter flows in transportation networks
    Researchers at the University of Notre Dame and elsewhere have designed a simple, yet highly accurate traffic prediction model for roadway transportation networks. The work was recently published in the journal Nature Communications.
  • Joy Rempe
    Joy Rempe (2000 USFOE, 2002 JAFOE)
    Principal at Rempe and Associates, LLC, Idaho Falls, Idaho said:
    5 months, 2 weeks and 2 days ago
    After 25 years at the Idaho National Laboratory, where she was a Laboratory Fellow and Group Leader of Instrumentation Development and Deployment for the Advanced Test Reactor National Scientific User Facility, Joy Rempe retired and started her own consulting company, Rempe and Associates, LLC. During her tenure at INL, she established an instrumentation development and deployment laboratory and led numerous severe accident research efforts for the NRC, DOE, and international organizations, including post-accident inspection and analysis efforts to support the Three Mile Island Unit 2 Vessel Investigation Program and efforts to investigate in-vessel retention in advanced light water reactors. As Principal of Rempe and Associates, LLC, Idaho Falls, Idaho, Dr. Rempe provides consulting assistance to a US and international organizations on reactor safety and instrumentation issues.
  • Ali Butt
    Ali Butt (2009 USFOE, 2010 USFOE, 2012 JAFOE)
    Associate Professor at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia said:
    5 months, 2 weeks and 3 days ago
    Ali Butt, associate professor of computer science at Virginia Tech, and his colleague, Chao Wang, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, are now in the process of trying to develop innovative resource management tools for big data processing systems. They are using a $750,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to improve the technology.

    Big data processing systems provide the computing substrate for a wide range of applications in such fields as high-speed physics, economics, genomics, astronomy, and meteorology.

    The overall goal is to develop what the two researchers are calling Pythia, an online application-aware oracle framework for fine-tuning big data systems on emerging heterogeneous resources. In Greek literature, Pythia was the name of any priestess, throughout the history of the Temple of Apollo, credited for her prophecies.

    "Imagine if you can see into the future and know how an application would behave, you can have a strategy for scheduling resources to maximize the system performance. This is the vision behind Pythia," Butt said.

    Butt leads the Distributed Systems and Storage Laboratory at Virginia Tech, which focuses on innovations in computer systems ranging from cloud computing to specialized operating-system-level optimizations for emerging hardware technologies.
  • Rob Crane
    Rob Crane (2005 USFOE)
    Planning Executive at ExxonMobil Research & Engineering, Fairfax, Virginia said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 1 day ago
    Received "Outstanding Chemical Engineer" award from Purdue University.
  • Nirmal Keshava
    Nirmal Keshava (2011 US FOE, 2014 IAFOE)
    Senior Principal Informatics Scientist at AstraZeneca, Waltham, Massachusetts said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 1 day ago
    Nirmal Keshava is working in R&D Information on introducing large-scale informatics and analytics to pharmaceutical drug development. He recently completed a summer fellowship at the Harvard Department of Clinical Informatics and supervised 2 summer doctoral candidates on mathematical algorithms for genomic analysis and graph-based modeling of medical data. He is actively involved in facilitating the use of large-scale analytics on electronic medical records (EMR) data at AstraZeneca, and he will be attending the annual Americal Medical Informatics Association Symposium in Washington, DC, in mid-November.
  • Mona Jarrahi
    Mona Jarrahi (2012 US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium)
    Associate Professor at UCLA Electrical Engineering, Los Angeles, California said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 4 days ago
    Mona Jarrahi has been awarded a Booker Fellowship from the United States National Committee of the International Union of Radio Science (USNC/URSI)

    Mona Jarrahi has been selected as an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer (the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society)

    Mona Jarrahi has been invited to attend 2014 Japanese-American Frontiers of Science Symposium

    Our group has developed integrated terahertz modulators with record-high power and bandwidth compared to other existing technologies. This work has been published in Nature Scientific Reports and has been highlighted by many scientific news outlets including:
  • Marina Despotopoulou
    Marina Despotopoulou (US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, September 2005)
    R&D Director, Functional Additives at US FOE Attendee, , Pennsylvania said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 4 days ago
    Marina Despotopoulou has been promoted to R&D Director of the Functional Additives business of Arkema Inc. Functional Additives encompasses the organic peroxides, glass coatings, polymer additives and epoxides businesses of Arkema.
  • Philip LeDuc
    Philip LeDuc (FOE, FOE-India, FOE-Germany)
    William J. Brown Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 4 days ago
    Made Endowed PRofessor-William J. Brown
    Published article in PNAS (111(40): 14366-14371, 2014)
  • Kevin Krizek
    Kevin Krizek (2008 USFOE)
    Professor at University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, Colorado said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 4 days ago
    The Board of the Nijmegen School of Management at Radboud University recently approved the appointment of Kevin J. Krizek as the chaired professor of "Cycling in Changing Urban Regions" --a visiting position within the Spatial Planning unit in the Department of Geography, Planning and Environment. In this capacity--and in cooperation with the Stadsregio Arnhem-Nijmegen region--Professor Krizek will be responsible for strengthening research programs and teaching in the broad domain of cycling and space.


    Posted on: Alumni News

  • Leigh McCue
    Leigh McCue (2010 USFOE)
    Associate Professor at Virginia Tech, Hampton, Virginia said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 4 days ago
    NIAC video
    A NASA NIAC funded project of mine, with collaborators Craig Woolsey, Mike Philen, and William Moore, on exploration of Europa is featured about 2:25 in to the NIAC video linked below.
  • Hamid Jafarkhani
    Hamid Jafarkhani
    Chancellor's Professor at University of California, Irvine, Irvine, California said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 5 days ago
    I am a co-recipient of the 2014 IEEE Communications Society Award for Advances in Communication
  • Richard Braatz
    Richard Braatz (2007 GAFOE, 2008 IAFOE)
    Edwin R. Gilliland Professor of Chemical Engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 5 days ago
    Richard D. Braatz receives AIChE Computing in Chemical Engineering Award
    Richard D. Braatz receives the 2014 CAST Computing in Chemical Engineering Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
  • Arnon Amir
    Arnon Amir
    Research Staff Member at IBM Almaden Research Center, San Jose, California said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 5 days ago
    A Million Spiking-Neuron Integrated Circuit
    Three years ago I joined the SyNAPSE project at IBM Almaden Research Center. In this projects we develop new, brain-inspired computing architecture. Recently, the results has been featured as the cover article of the AAAS Journal of Science, August 8, 2014. A new, fully programmable neurosynaptic chip is demonstrated. The chip contains 1 million neurons and 256 million synapses, organized in 4096 neurosynaptic cores. With about 5.7 billion transistors, this chip is one of the largest ever made, and yet it consumes only 65 milliwatt - thanks to its unique ground-up design for high scalability and low power. A 16-chip board was demonstrated, utilizing the chip's native tiling for high scalability. One of the main applications shown so far is real-time video analysis for the NeoVision task, including detection and classification of objects such as pedestrians, cyclists, cars and busses. This non-von Neumann architecture is highly parallel. To program it we develop the Corelet Programming Language - a new compositional programming language that allows construction and hierarchical composition of large, complex networks. This research is sponsored by DARPA under contract no. HR0011-09-C-0002.


    Posted on: Alumni News

  • Chris Paredis
    Chris Paredis (2006 GAFOE)
    Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 5 days ago
    I would like to report that at the end of February 2014, I took a leave from Georgia Tech to become program director at the National Science Foundation. I am responsible for the Engineering and Systems Design program (ESD) and the Systems Science program (SYS) both in the Civil, Mechanical and Manufacturing Innovation Division (CMMI) in the Engineering Directorate. The position is a 2-year rotation, extensible up to four years.
  • Dilma Da Silva
    Dilma Da Silva (2010 US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium)
    Professor and Department Head at Texas A&M University, College Station, Texas said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 5 days ago
    Moving from industry to academia
    After 14 years in industry research (12 years at IBM Research in New York and 2 years at Qualcomm Research in Silicon Valley), I have moved back to academia. I am now the Department Head for Computer Science and Engineering at Texas A&M University.
  • Alan Rudolph
    Alan Rudolph
    Vice President of Research at Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 5 days ago
    New adventures
    I recently joined academia for the first time in my career as Vice President of Research. Over my first year, we have engaged in impactful discoveries and translational efforts. We have a FDA approved GMP manufacturing facility that is developing an Ebola vaccine. I also had the priveledge of managing the international walk again project where at the opening ceremony of the world cup we demonstrated a new exoskeleton under brain control with paralzyed volunteers. Colorado State used 3d printing to aid in sensor integration for this exciting project.
  • Andrea Armani
    Andrea Armani (2012 US FOE)
    Fluor Early Career Chair and Associate Professor at University of Southern California, Los Angeles, California said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 5 days ago
    Prof. Armani was one of thirty Young Scientists from around the world recognized by the World Economic Forum in September. Additionally, she was promoted to Associate Professor with tenure in April.
  • Eric Ruggiero
    Eric Ruggiero (NAE FOE 2012)
    Manager, Sustaining Commercial Thermal Systems Design at GE Aviation, West Chester, Ohio said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 5 days ago
    Dr. Eric J. Ruggiero was recently promoted to Manager of Sustaining Commercial Thermal Systems Design at GE Aviation near Cincinnati, OH. In his new role, Eric leads a global team of engineers in the cooling design of GE's fielded commercial aviation fleet, delivering on aircraft engine performance and durability.
  • Daniel Kammen
    Daniel Kammen (United Nations Climate Summit (9/23/2014))
    Distinguished Professor of Energy at University of California, Berkeley, California said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    Big Data Climate Challenge
    United Nations Department of Public Information
    Tel: +1 212-963-9495

    UN Big Data Climate Challenge winners show how big data can drive climate action

    2 September 2014 (NEW YORK) – The United Nations today announced the winners of the “Big Data Climate Challenge” as part of the buildup to the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit on 23 September at UN Headquarters in New York.

    The winners include a monitoring system that provides real-time information on forests, and a tool for farmers in Colombia that promotes climate-smart agriculture. The winners will be invited to attend the Climate Summit.

    The Big Data Climate Challenge is a global competition hosted by United Nations Global Pulse, an initiative of the Secretary-General on big data. The Challenge was launched in May 2014 to unearth fresh evidence of the economic dimensions of climate change around the world using data and analytics. Submissions were received from 40 countries, representing more than 20 topics from forestry, biodiversity and transportation to renewable energy and green data centers.

    “Projects to Watch”:
    ● Data and Computational Tools to Build Low-Carbon, Sustainable Energy Systems” by Professor Daniel Kammen's research team at Renewable and Appropriate Energy Lab at University of California Berkeley with projects implemented in United States, South America and Asia. (

    “Big data helps us more deeply understand how climate change can affect our economies, land, health and issues of inequality—with the ultimate aim of delivering solutions, it can empower individuals, communities and policy-makers to make more informed decisions,” said Tracy Raczek, Senior Policy Advisor on Climate in the Executive Office of the Secretary-General. “In the case of the Big Data Climate Challenge Winner on climate-smart agriculture, big data gives farmers valuable information on planting times which can lead to more productive growing seasons; and to the other winner, Global Forest Watch, provides multiple end-users timely data on deforestation. This can inform actions that affect short term deforestation, local economies, and long term changes to our climate.”

    The Big Data Climate Challenge was inspired by the UN Climate Summit, which will convene leaders from Governments as well as public and private sectors to catalyze climate action. A new wave of climate action powered by big data and analytics is emerging. The Big Data Climate Challenge brings together these fields of big data and climate change in preparation for the Climate Summit.

    The Big Data Climate Challenge Winners and “Projects to Watch” demonstrate that scalable, data-driven climate solutions exist globally, and such solutions can inspire leaders from all sectors and all parts of the world to galvanize toward a safer, healthier, more equitable and resilient future.

    For more information on the UN Climate Summit, visit

    To learn about the Big Data Climate Challenge and UN Global Pulse, visit

    About UN Global Pulse
    Global Pulse is an innovation initiative of United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, exploring how new data sources and real-time analytics can help policymakers gain new insights into emerging vulnerabilities and changes in human well-being. Global Pulse is playing a leading role in helping the UN and other development partners adapt the new opportunities created by Big Data to meet the challenges of driving sustainable development. Through public-private partnerships, innovative analysis and open-source technology development, Global Pulse is strengthening public sector capacity to leverage digital big data for development and resilience. With innovation centers known as Pulse Labs, in New York, Jakarta and Kampala, Global Pulse leverages big data to address topics such as: public health, economic well-being, agriculture & food security, urban resilience and humanitarian action. For more information about Global Pulse, visit

    About UN Climate Summit
    UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon is hosting the Climate Summit on 23 September 2014 at United Nations Headquarters in New York. The Summit will mark the first time in five years that world leaders will get together to chart a bold, new course of action on climate change. Heads of state and government will join leaders from business and civil society to announce new commitments and practical actions to address climate change. The Summit will consist of an opening ceremony, announcements by heads of state and governments, announcements by the private sector, the launch of new initiatives that address key action areas by coalitions of governments, businesses and civil society organizations. There will also be sessions that focus on critical aspects of climate change, including science, people living on the frontlines of climate change, the societal benefits of action, and the economic case for action on climate change. The Secretary-General will summarize the outcome of the day at the closing ceremony. For more information about the Secretary-General’s 2014 Climate Summit, please visit

    For the full list of Big Data Climate Challenge Advisory Board and Technical Committee members, visit
  • Aydogan Ozcan
    Aydogan Ozcan
    Chancellor's Professor at UCLA, Los Angeles, California said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    New imaging method to detect nano-objects
    We have devised a new technique to create nano-lenses so that deeply sub-wavelength objects, including viruses, can be detected over very large sample areas even in field settings.
  • Shu Yang
    Shu Yang
    Professor at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    Giant clams inspire Penn duo’s alternative energy research

    Giant clams inspire Penn duo’s alternative energy research
    By Evan Lerner

    Natural selection in an extreme environment has gradually sculpted the giant clam into an exceedingly efficient farmer; it turns the fierce sunlight in its equatorial ocean home into algae, and those single-celled plants into food.

    Two Penn researchers are teaming up to unlock the secrets of this living greenhouse and use it as a blueprint for new materials that harvest solar energy or convert it to biofuel.

    Alison Sweeney, an assistant professor in the Department of Physics & Astronomy in the School of Arts & Sciences, and Shu Yang, a professor in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, are the recipients of a National Science Foundation INSPIRE grant. Designed to fund bold, creative, and highly interdisciplinary research, the grant will provide the team with $3 million over the next five years.
    Giant Clam

    Alison Sweeney

    Penn physicist Alison Sweeney and materials science professor Shu Yang are teaming up to unlock the secrets of the giant clam and use it as a blueprint for new materials that harvest solar energy or convert it to biofuel.

    Sweeney and Yang will use the funds to study the microscopic structures in the clam’s body that direct sunlight to its internal algae farms, and to develop new synthetic materials based on what they find.

    “Sunlight at the equator is so intense that most plants can’t make use of it without being destroyed,” Sweeney says, “But giant clams have structures called iridocytes that scatter the light such that it hits the sides of pillars of algae they grow inside their bodies. And evolution has made it so that the iridocytes and pillars are perfectly matched for maximizing the efficiency of the light they receive.”

    While Sweeney works to understand the underlying physics that enable this phenomenon in clams, Yang will attempt to replicate it in the lab.

    Unlike attempts to maximize solar efficiency in synthetic materials, which rely upon precisely manipulating their structure on the atomic scale, the giant clam’s approach is more disordered—an intriguing prospect for an engineer.

    “If the algae pillars in the clam were perfectly ordered like a crystal, they’d block each other’s light, and if the iridocytes were perfectly structured, they wouldn’t scatter as wide a range of wavelengths to be absorbed,” Yang says. “This means being less precise is actually an advantage in this case. We can work on the micro scale, which is much easier and less expensive than working on the nano scale.”

    Beyond the research aims, the NSF grant will support the team’s educational outreach efforts, both in Philadelphia and in Palau, an island country in the south Pacific Ocean where local aquaculture provides a sustainable source of the endangered clams. The grant will support a Palauan graduate student, who will travel to Penn to work with Sweeney and Yang, as well as several local interns.

    “You’d be hard-pressed to find two more different places on the planet than Philadelphia and Palau, but students in both places face similar challenges in being very talented but lacking access to scientific infrastructure,” Sweeney says. “Palau also has some of the last best coral reefs on earth. If we want to preserve coral reefs for the next generation, we need to invest in that infrastructure and in the students there.”

    Originally published on September 11, 2014
  • Nicholas Roy
    Nicholas Roy
    Associate Professor at MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    Nick Roy, an FOE alumnus, launched Project Wing out of Google [x]. The project is addressing a number of the technical challenges in operating UAVs in the urban environment.
  • Nelson Tansu
    Nelson Tansu (2008 USFOE, 2009 USFOE, 2012 GAFOE, 2014 JAFOE)
    Daniel E. '39 and Patricia M. Smith Endowed Chair Professor in Photonics and Nanoelectronics at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    Appointment as Director for Center for Photonics and Nanoelectronics at Lehigh University
    Dr. Nelson Tansu was appointed as the Smith Family Endowed Director for Center for Photonics and Nanoelectronics at Lehigh University starting on July 2014, and he is also the Daniel E. ’39 and Patricia M. Smith Endowed Chair Professor in Photonics and Nanoelectronics (since July 2014-present). Previously, Dr. Tansu held the New Century Endowed Chair Professorship in Engineering and Applied Sciences at Lehigh, where he has been a faculty member in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) and Center for Photonics and Nanoelectronics (CPN) since 2003.

  • Ju Li
    Ju Li (2007 USFOE)
    professor at MIT, Cambridge, Massachusetts said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    Thomson Reuters included me in its Highly Cited Researchers list in 2014, among 147 scientists world-wide in Materials Science category based on papers published between 2002-2012.
  • Todd McDevitt
    Todd McDevitt (2011 CAFOE)
    Senior Investigator at Gladstone Institutes, San Francisco, California said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    Moving to Gladstone Institutes
    After 10 years at Georgia Tech, Dr. Todd C. McDevitt is moving to the Gladstone Institutes in San Francisco after receiving a CIRM Research Leadership Award. McDevitt was the Carol Ann and David D. Flanagan Professor in Biomedical Engineering, a Petit Faculty Fellow in the Parker H. Petit Institute for Bioengineering and Biosciences, and founding Director of the Stem Cell Engineering Center at Georgia Tech. His laboratory will continue to focus on the development of engineered tissues from stem cell sources and regenerative molecular therapeutics.
  • Anouck Girard
    Anouck Girard (2006 USFOE)
    Associate Professor, Aerospace Engineering at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    New book out
    I am pleased to announce the publication of my new textbook: Kabamba and Girard, Fundamentals of Aerospace Navigation and Guidance (see link).

    Thanks, Anouck
  • Gary Fogel
    Gary Fogel (2005 USFOE)
    CEO at Natural Selection, Inc., San Diego, California said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    Recently I've published several articles helping to model gene and developmental regulation, as well as HIV neuropathogenesis:

    Ruz, Gonzalo A., Eric Goles, Marco Montalva, and Gary B. Fogel. "Dynamical and topological robustness of the mammalian cell cycle network: A reverse engineering approach." Biosystems 115 (2014): 23-32. PMID: 24212100.

    Lamers, Susanna L., Gary B. Fogel, David J. Nolan, Michael S. McGrath, Marco Salemi. “HIV-Associated Neuropathogenesis: A Systems Biology Perspective for Modeling and Therapy,” BioSystems. 119 (2014): 53-61. Apr 11. pii: S0303-2647(14)00043-4. doi: 10.1016/j.biosystems.2014.04.002. [Epub ahead of print] Review. PMID:24732754

    Hunter S, Hinton A, Afrikanova I, Fogel GB, Hayek A, King CC (2014) “sRNA-seq Analysis of Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Definitive Endoderm Reveal Differentially Expressed MicroRNAs and Novel isomiRs with Distinct Targets,” Stem Cells, May 8. doi:10.1002/stem.1739. [Epub ahead of print].

    Fogel GB, Lamers SL, Levine AJ, Valdes-Sueiras M, McGrath MS, Shapshak P, Singer EJ (2014) “Factors Related to HIV-Associated Neurocognitive Impairment Differ with Age,” J. Neurovirology, accepted.

    I was also pleased to receive the San Diego Sigma Xi Chapter Medal for Significant Achievement in 2012 (awarded in late 2013).

    As a side interest I continue a passion for aviation history and have also published the following books:

    Harwood CS and Fogel GB (2012) Quest for Flight: John J. Montgomery and the Dawn of Aviation in the West, University of Oklahoma Press, released Oct 26.

    Fogel GB (2014) The Torrey Pines Gliderport, Arcadia Publications, released April 7.

    These efforts have also merited several awards including:

    AIAA San Diego Section Outstanding Enhancement of the Image of the Aerospace Profession Award, 2014.

    Save Our Heritage Organisation, People in Preservation Award, 2014.

  • Miroslaw Skibniewski
    Miroslaw Skibniewski (2000 JAFOE, 2001 GAFOE)
    Professor at University of Maryland, College Park , Maryland said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    Annual Creative Construction Conferences
    Prof. Miroslaw Skibniewski serves as Chairman of the International Advisory Committee for the annual series of Creative Construction Conferences held in June each in various Central European cities. 2012 and 2013 editions of the Conference were held in Budapest, Hungary. This year's Conference took place in Prague, Czech Republic. The 2015 Conference will be held in Krakow, Poland.
    Prof. Skibniewski continues to serve as Editor-in-Chief of Automation in Construction, an international research journal published by Elsevier.
  • George Pappas
    George Pappas (2007 GAFOE)
    Joseph Moore Professor at University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    two separate news items
    George J. Pappas received the Best Paper Award for the 5th International Conference on Cyber-Physical Systems (ICCPS 2014) for the paper entitled “Robustness of Attack-resilient State Estimators” by Miroslav Pajic, James Weimer, Nicola Bezzo, Paulo Tabuada, Oleg Sokolsky, Insup Lee, George Pappas. The goal of the paper is to protect cyber-attacks to cars loaded with car tech.

    George J. Pappas received the 2014 O. Hugo Schuck Best Paper Award which is given to recognize the best two papers presented at the previous American Control Conference.
  • Bin Li
    Bin Li (2014 EU-US FOE)
    Assistant Professor at Department of Mechanical Engineering, Wichita State University, Wichita , Kansas said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
  • Matt Gevaert
    Matt Gevaert (2012 US FOE, 2014 JAFOE)
    CEO at KIYATEC, Greenville, South Carolina said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago

    GREENVILLE, SC | September 18, 2014 - KIYATEC announced today that it has been awarded a $1.975 million, Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) Phase II Contract from the National Cancer Institute (NCI), one of the 27 institutes and centers that comprise the National Institutes of Health (NIH). Over the course of the two year award, KIYATEC will expand its 3D breast cancer model to address two issues at the forefront of cancer therapy strategies: 1) cancer's interaction with the patient's immune system (immuno-oncology) and 2) cancer's interaction with the patient's blood supply (angiogenesis). The award will also allow KIYATEC to broaden its technology platform beyond its current use in primary ovarian cancer and breast cancer testing and into glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a type of brain cancer with a five year survival rate that is less than 10 percent. The funded contract has the potential to radically change the future of cancer patient care.
  • Brad Bebee
    Brad Bebee (2006 US Frontiers of Engineering Symposium)
    Managing Partner, Director of Mission Analytics at SYSTAP, LLC, Washington, District of Columbia said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    Parallel Breadth-First Search on GPU Clusters Presented at IEEE Bigdata 2014
    NAE Alumni Brad Bebee's collaborative research is presented at IEEE Bigdata 2014.

    SYSTAP Chief Scientist Bryan Thompson, Director of Mission Analytics, Brad Bebee, and Cuda Researcher Zhisong Fu will be presenting "Parallel Breadth First Search on GPU Clusters" in the distributed systems track of this year's IEEE Bigdata conference. This research, in conjunction with the University of Utah SCI institute, presents results for MapGraph(tm) running on NVIDIA's Research Cluster with 64 K40 GPUs. It achieves performance of 32,000,000,000 traversed edges per second of a graph with 4,300,000,000 directed edges (32 GTEPS)!

    "Parallel Breadth First Search on GPU Clusters", Zhisong Fu, Harish Dasari, Martin Berzins, Brad Bebee, and Bryan Thompson


    Posted on: Alumni News

  • Kara Kockelman
    Kara Kockelman
    E.P. Schoch Professor of Engineering at University of Texas at Austin, Austin, Texas said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    Kara Kockelman received a Google Research Award in the category of Robotics for her work on Anticipating & Mitigating the Latent Demand Effects of Self-Driving Vehicles: A Role for Data-Driven Modeling & Credit-Based Congestion Pricing. Several teams of Google engineers and researchers were involved in selecting Kara’s proposal. Her research to date in this topic area can be found at
  • F. Levent Degertekin
    F. Levent Degertekin (2008 USFOE)
    George W. Woodruff Chair in Mechanical Systems and Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    Prof. Degertekin received the inaugural 2014 Carl Hellmuth Hertz Ultrasonic Achievement Award during the 2014 IEEE International Ultrasonics Symposium.
  • Manos Mavrikakis
    Manos Mavrikakis
    Paul A. Elfers Professor at University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, Wisconsin said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    Wilhelm Award
    Manos Mavrikakis has been named the recipient of the 2014 R.H. Wilhelm Award in Chemical Reaction Engineering from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. The award recognizes a researcher who has demonstrated overall excellence in the field of reaction engineering and catalysis, is one of the highest honors a researcher can receive in that area, and is sponsored by ExxonMobil Research and Engineering.
  • Chris Frey
    Chris Frey (1999 USFOE, 2006 GAFOE)
    Distinguished University Professor at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    International Advancement of Quantifying Human Exposure to Air Pollution
    Chris Frey completed a sabbatical during January 2014 to June 2014 at the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, during which he collaborated with local faculty and students on methods for measurement and modeling of human exposure to air pollution. A portion of his work in Hong Kong included a field study to measure exposure concentrations associated with personal transport, including pedestrian, transit bus, subway, and tram, along with indoor environments.
  • Jeff Sakamoto
    Jeff Sakamoto (US FOE 2012 and 2014)
    Associate Professor at University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    Moving to the University of Michigan
    I am moving to the University of Michigan, Mechanical Engineering Department, effective January 1, 2015. I am excited to be a part of the advanced vehicle (EVs included) and biomedical research at UM.
  • Michael Washington
    Michael Washington (United States\India Frontier of Engineering 2008, Frontier of Engineering 2006)
    Industrial Engineer at Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    Responding to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa
    From 26 Sept 2014 to 29 Oct 2014, our EbolaResponse model webpage ( has been viewed 68,336 times and the model downloaded 23,436 times. It is an Excel file and free to download. It is designed to estimate the number of Ebola cases and beds needed during an outbreak. Meltzer MI, Atkins CY, Santibanez S, Knust B, Petersen BW, Ervin ED, Nichol ST, Damon IK, Washington ML. Estimating the Future Number of Cases in the Ebola Epidemic — Liberia and Sierra Leone, 2014–2015. MMWR 2014;63(3): 1-14 (also available in French).

    Annual CDC/ATSDR Honors Awards, CDC, 2014
    1. Excellent in Quantitative Science Award, Health Economics and Modeling Unit
    2. Excellent in Communication Award, Antibiotic Resistance Threat Report Team
  • Shriram Ramanathan
    Shriram Ramanathan (NAE Frontiers)
    Associate Professor at Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    New complex oxide switch
    We have recently discovered a colossal resistance switch in an ionic semiconductor that could be of interest to scientists and engineers exploring new semiconductors or chromic materials for energy efficient switches, reconfigurable photonics and adaptive coatings.
  • Jordan Green
    Jordan Green (2012 US FOE)
    Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    Dr. Jordan Green was promoted to Associate Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Ophthalmology, Neurosurgery, and Materials Science and Engineering at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. He was also honored as one of the 2014 “Brilliant Ten.” This recognition was sponsored by Popular Science Magazine to “identify the most inspired young scientists and engineers—researchers whose ideas will transform the future.”
  • Rhonda Franklin
    Rhonda Franklin (2002 USFOE, 2003 GAFOE, 2006 GAFOE)
    Professor at University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, Minnesota said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    Award Notification
    Prof. Rhonda Franklin received the Sara Evans Faculty Woman Scholar/Leader in Science and Engineering Award on Friday, Oct. 17, 2014 for her success in developing hardware solutions for wireless communication, contributions to the advancement of integration techniques for ultra broadband operation, her commitment to teaching, learning and student/faculty development, as well as participation in a number of campus leadership activities at the University of Minnesota and in the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques (MTT) Society.
  • Kelvin Gregory
    Kelvin Gregory (2014 US FOE)
    Associate Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    1) We just published the first metagenomes from oil and gas produced water (wastewater from hydraulic fracturing). We reveal how the functional capabilities of the bacterial community in this extreme environment change over time. The data suggest that recycling of flowback water may inadvertently select for bacterial populations that are recalcitrant to biocides and lead to carry-over of tough and deleterious bacteria into the subsequent frack. The metagenome reveals not only which populations persist in the community, but which genes in the community may enable persisting in these harsh environments. It is excellent example of how interdisciplinary and collaborative research leads to products that are greater than the sum of the parts.

    2) I have been selected to be a presenter at the 2014 Arab-American Frontiers of Science, Engineering, and Medicine Program in Muscat, Oman in December.
  • Phaedra Boinodiris
    Phaedra Boinodiris
    Global Lead Serious Games and Gamification at IBM, Cary, North Carolina said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
  • Paul Drumheller
    Paul Drumheller (1996 USFOE)
    Drug Delivery & Biomaterials Technologies Leader at WL Gore & Associates, Flagstaff, Arizona said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    USFOE attendee inducted into the College of Fellows, AIMBE
    Paul Drumheller, PhD, was recently inducted as a Fellow to the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. AIMBE is a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., consisting of 1500 influential innovators that represent the top 2% of the medical and biological engineering community across the globe.

    Dr. Drumheller was elected to the College of Fellows for his outstanding contributions to the discovery and development of technologies, that enable state-of-the-art surgical and interventional cardiovascular therapies.

    Dr. Drumheller is the third individual from WL Gore & Associates, Inc., to be awarded this honor.
  • Jeff Fullerton
    Jeff Fullerton (JAFOE 2014)
    Principal at Acentech, Cambridge, Massachusetts said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    Talking about noise in green buildings
    I am honored to be serving as the chairman of a session to discussion acoustics in green buildings at the InterNoise 2014 conference in Melbourne Australia November 16-19. I will be presenting a paper on the noise associated with residential geothermal systems.

    In addition to that exciting event, my fiance and I were married in Kennebunkport, ME this past September. We are thrilled to be sharing our lives together.

    All the best to those who attended JAFOE 2014!
  • James Blanchard
    James Blanchard
    Executive Associate Dean of College of Engineering at University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, Wisconsin said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    new responsibilities
    I have just been named the Executive Associate Dean of the College of Engineering.
  • Francis de los Reyes
    Francis de los Reyes (2010 USFOE)
    Professor, University Faculty Scholar at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, North Carolina said:
    5 months, 3 weeks and 6 days ago
    TED talk
    My TED talk on sanitation was released online on It currently has over 420,000 views.