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Lehigh's world-renowned nano-capabilities have received an exciting boost, thanks to the acquisition of critical new state-of-the-art instruments.   PhD student Issa Hakim has returned to his native Libya to join the resistance to its brutal regime. In April, he led a videoconference among rebel leaders, Lehigh students, and the media.
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  Lehigh's first Defense Dept-funded "MURI" grant is a 5-year, $7.5 million multi-institutional effort to gauge the impact of "interphase complexions" on a wide range of strategic engineering materials.

MORE STORIES: Student Success | Faculty & Programs | Alumni
In the News divider Dean's Note

Why Trap?Why trap a
nano-rainbow?

Find out, courtesy of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Forbes, R&D magazine, and the Lehigh Web.

According to Bloomberg Businessweek, a Lehigh engineering degree's $1.5 million, 30-year ROI places it in the top 15 nationally. Read more >

Popular Mechanics and Lehigh's Resolve magazine reported on work conducted by ATLSS researchers to fortify the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. Read more >

WFMZ-TV explored the NASA-inspired, patent-pending satellite Web device of PhD student Andrew Abraham. Read more >

Judy Marks '84 '13P is leading a newly-formed division of Siemens Corp.
Read more >

Stephen Tang '85G '88PhD has been named to the newly-created Innovation Advisory Board of the U.S. Department of Commerce. Read more>

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Wu Dear Lehigh Engineers,

You'll note a new look to our quarterly newsletter, prompted by feedback from readers seeking greater focus on notable news, events and progress in Lehigh engineering.

Read more >

S. David Wu
Dean & Iacocca Professor

divider

Resolve

View the online magazine >

Dean's Note

Dear Lehigh Engineers,

You'll note a new look to our quarterly newsletter, prompted by feedback from readers seeking greater focus on notable news, events and progress in Lehigh engineering. We hope this refreshed structure and content better capture the energy and talents of our community and its members. As always, explore our Web site for more information about student, faculty, and alumni achievement.

Throughout the newsletter, you may also note a thread of nanoscale engineering activities at Lehigh. Our roots in this field are deep, with a legacy in materials characterization, microelectronics, catalysis, and surface science that existed long before the term "nanotechnology" entered the public lexicon.

Today, Lehigh's capabilities in the field are an evolutionary leap ahead of competitive research institutions, rivaling that of some national labs, and as you can see the momentum continues to build. This leadership extends well beyond our preeminence in microscopy, into nanoscale analysis and fabrication -– the ability to sense molecular behaviors and construct devices to control and leverage them. For those with particular interest in our nano-research world, stay tuned for the Fall 2011 issue of Lehigh Engineering's Resolve magazine, which will delve more deeply into this topic.

Please drop me a line with questions or feedback, and thanks as always for your interest in Lehigh Engineering.

Regards,
dean's signature
S. David Wu, Dean and Iacocca Professor
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Student SuccessStudents

Colin Przybylowski '11 was crowned winner of the 2011 David and Lorraine Freed Undergraduate Research Symposium for his work with bioactive glass as a means for improving orthopedic replacement techniques. The Symposium, which underscores the breadth of research opportunities available to Lehigh Engineering undergraduates, was held March 15 in the STEPS building. Second and third place prizes went to Meghan Casey '11 and Anthony Ventura '11, respectively. Also, Andrew Woodward, Kyle Schreiner, Mary Nunley and Danny Cohen, all from the Class of 2011, earned the People's Choice Award for their work envisioning a "Greenway" for the city of Bethlehem. Three honorable mention prizes went to Alexander Bourque '12 and Jonathan Rosen '11; Jake Patterson '12; and the team of Katherine Glass-Hardenbergh '11 and Sushan Zheng '11. The event was judged by a panel of engineering alumni including Paul Bosco '80, Charles Entrekin '71, Philip Fleck '66, and Elizabeth King '79. Winners qualified to participate in the university-wide Academic Symposium later in the semester.

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Julie Molinari and Zheng Tian both received top honors at the Annual Meeting of the Catalysis Society of Metropolitan New York on March 16. Earning first place was Molinari's poster presentation, titled "Bridging the Gap between Heterogeneous and Enzyme Catalysis: In Situ Spectroscopic Study of Vanadium Haloperoxidase Enzyme Functional Mimics." Molinari was supervised by Professor Israel E. Wachs. Tian, supervised by Professor Mark A. Snyder, tied for third place with her poster "Hierachiel Engineering of Tunable Nanoparticulate and Templated Porous Films." Other Lehigh graduate student presenters were Kevin Doura, Charles Roberts, Peter Phivilay, Chris Keturakis, Shih-Chieh Kung, Qianying Guo, Weihao Weng, Lindsey Welch and Xiaofang Yang. All students and both professors represent the chemical engineering department, except Welch (materials science and engineering.)

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StudentsLehigh Engineering students organized two separate events on Friday, February 25, for school kids from all over the Lehigh Valley and beyond to get a taste of what a future in science may have in store for them. The annual CANstruction Competition and the Charting Horizons and Opportunities in Careers in Engineering and Science (CHOICES) program gave young students hands-on science and engineering experience to spark their interest in the sciences. CHOICES, a partnership between Lehigh Engineering and the campus chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, saw middle school girls programming robots and exploring the world of composite materials via the structural properties of chocolate and candy. The highlight of the day was the egg drop competition, where teams constructed devices to safely land an egg dropped from the 3rd floor of Iacocca Hall. That same day, another group of Lehigh Engineering students -- the Rossin Junior Fellows, the College's student-leadership organization -- worked with Broughal Middle School students to build bigger-than-life-sized structures out of various canned foods, for display in Broughal's lobby. After being displayed for two weeks, the cans were donated to New Bethany Ministries food bank in South Bethlehem.

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BordersA team from Lehigh's chapter of Engineers Without Borders traveled to Honduras over Spring Break to follow-up on the group's previous work in Pueblo Nuevo, a rural community struggling with a contaminated water supply. Lehigh EWB traveled to Honduras in 2006 and 2009 to create and implement a water storage system for the town, and the recent trip was spent making sure their water system was working as planned, as well as venturing to other towns to explore future projects. To follow the team's adventures, check out the Lehigh on Location Geoblog.




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Mechanical engineering PhD candidate Issa Hakim is on leave from his studies, and has returned to his native Libya to help the National Transitional Council in its resistance to the rule of dictator Moamar Gadhafi. In mid-April, Issa made a virtual return to campus, via Skype, hosted by the Office of International Affairs and produced by Lehigh Distance Education. Live from the Benghazi headquarters of the resistance, Issa and a translator helped give voice to more than a dozen fellow rebel leaders, from civilian professionals to defected military commanders, and took questions from the assembled audience. Some 60 Lehigh students and members of the regional and national media assembled live and via the Internet. Media coverage of the event included Chronicle of Higher Education, Fast Company, and WFMZ-TV. The complete hour-plus videoconference is available for download, as is a 4-minute overview via Lehigh's YouTube channel.

Earlier in the semester, another Libyan PhD candidate in mechanical engineering, Ali Elmozughi, led a discussion with the Lehigh community regarding his country's popular uprising. Elmozughi, who grew up in Libya and came to the U.S. three years ago, led the brown bag discussion by sharing his insight into the Libyan struggle.

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WFMZ-TV featured doctoral student Andrew Abraham's NASA-funded research during a news segment in early April. Abraham, a mechanical engineering student, has developed a patent-pending structure to be mounted on satellites that will enable more efficient and reliable satellite-based Internet service. Abraham has also participated in NASA's Glenn Academy Space Exploration program.

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On April 8, the Lehigh Engineering Formula SAE team unveiled its newly-designed race car that was manufactured using research conducted by mechanical engineering students in Lehigh's labs. The unveiling was followed by a MechE department open house at Packard Laboratory, with various labs available for tours and MechE student groups on hand to describe and present their work.

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Two teams of Lehigh students earned the title of finalist for the 2011 Imagine Cup USA competition, which encourages students to create real-world software services or design their own video games using Microsoft tools and technology. Team ăSudoSandShoe,ä made up of Greyson Parrelli, Michael Toth, and Yujia Huo, all from the Class of 2014, earned an honorable mention for their game ăSpecial Delivery,ä which was aimed at raising awareness of the need for assistance in developing countries. Wyatt Pierson and Jason Kim, both from the Class of 2012, formed Team "Not Enough Minerals," who also received recognition for their software designs. Team "SudoSandShoe" was advised by Hector Munoz-Avila, and "Not Enough Minerals" by Brian Davison, both professors of computer science and engineering.

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In conjunction with the Community Service Office, Dan Coviello '13, an environmental engineering major, coordinated several blood drives for the Miller-Keystone Blood Center during his first two years at Lehigh. The latest drive reached a record high of 210 blood donations, a testament to Coviello's hard work and dedication to the project. The Miller-Keystone Blood Center recognized Coviello's efforts for the dramatic increase in donations over previous years.

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A paper written by Virginia Nyikadzino '11 was one of two submissions selected by Library and Technology Services (LTS) and the Friends of the Libraries for its 2011 Libraries Student Research Prize. The annual award, given for the first time this year, recognizes excellence in undergraduate scholarship and the use of library and research resources. The winning effort, "Electrically Stimulated Recovery of Oil from Clay-Rich Formation," was selected from more than 60 papers submitted to the inaugural competition. Nyikadzino bested the pack on the strength of her writing, the originality of her thesis and argument, and the rigor of her research.

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Faculty & Programs

Lehigh placed in the top 15 colleges with the highest return on investment, according to a survey conducted by Bloomberg Businessweek. The annual rankings are based on several factors, including the likeliness that a student graduates and whether or not they receive financial aid. According to the report, Lehigh's 30-year net ROI is nearly $1.5 million, placing Lehigh at #13.

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ScienceFor the next five years, Martin Harmer, director of Lehigh's Center for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology (CAMN), will lead a team of scientists from Lehigh, Carnegie-Mellon, Clemson, Illinois and Kutztown Universities to determine how the atomic structure of grain-boundary interphases -- interphase complexions -- affect the mechanical, electrical and thermal properties of a wide range of strategic engineering materials. The Department of Defense Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grant worth $7.5 million was one of only 27 projects chosen for funding from 113 proposals submitted this year. Harmer, a professor of materials science and engineering, has also written an article on grain boundaries in the "Perspective" section of the April 8, 2011, issue of Science, the nation's leading science journal. Titled "The Phase Behavior of Interfaces," the article describes his work with bonded crystals in metals and ceramics that could lead to new developments in semiconductors, biomaterials and clean energy storage and conversion.


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The U.S. News & World Report has listed Lehigh Engineering among the top 50 graduate schools in the U.S. According to Dean S. David Wu, the ranking at 43 reflects improvement in 7 out of 11 criteria.

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Hidde Brongersma, a professor at Imperial College in London, England, visited campus to deliver the keynote address at the Surface Analysis Symposium held in late March. Dr. Brongersma is well-known for inventing a cutting-edge spectrometer, the ION-TOF Qtac 100 High Sensitivity-Low Energy Ion Scattering (HS -LEIS) device. Lehigh's recently installed Qtac 100 is the world's most sensitive instrument for identifying atoms on a material's surface, and is the only one of its kind in the U.S. Israel E. Wachs, the G. Whitney Snyder Professor of chemical engineering and director of the Operando Molecular Spectroscopy and Catalysis Research Lab, gave a presentation about applications of the new equipment, along with Lehigh researchers Al Miller and Andriy Kovalskiy. All Symposium materials, including video of the presentations, are available via the Symposium Web site.

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Lehigh is one of seven recipients of a five-year grant from the National Science Foundation's ADVANCE Institutional Transformation Program. The program is part of a national effort to increase the ranks of women in academic science and engineering careers. Lehigh's proposal, "Building Community Beyond Academic Departments," focuses on enhancing the recruitment, retention, and advancement of women faculty in STEM fields at Lehigh.

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MicroscopeLehigh's world-renowned Nanocharacterization Laboratory is set to install a one-of-a-kind, state-of-the-art scanning transmission electron microscope (STEM) that will extend its leadership in the field of academic nanoscale research. The instrument will replace an advanced aberration-corrected electron microscope installed in 2004. The instrument was acquired through a $1.2 million Major Research Instrument (MRI) Program grant awarded by the National Science Foundation in 2010, as the result of a group effort led by Masashi Watanabe, associate professor of materials science and engineering.





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Lehigh University President Alice P. Gast led a panel of scientists that reviewed scientific evidence related to the FBI's 2001 investigation of anthrax-tainted mail delivered to various media and government offices. Gast, who earned a Ph.D. in chemical engineering and is a member of the National Academy of Sciences' Committee on Science, Technology and Law, provided leadership to a panel made up of experts in the fields of microbiology, medicine, physical chemistry, biochemistry and forensic science. In early March, Gast, one of three science envoys chosen by the U.S. State Department last year, traveled to Azerbaijan to identify areas for cooperation on energy, information technology, public-private partnerships and education in meetings with senior government officials, ministers, and representatives from the scientific, education, nonprofit and business communities.

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A team of Lehigh students and professors revealed their version of the 12th century Chinese "Rainbow Bridge" during the QingMing Festival and Dedication of the Lehigh Chinese Bridge, a ceremony to recognize the diligent efforts of those who dedicated time, resources, energy, and expertise to the project as it has developed over the past two years. As part of Lehigh's Chinese Bridge Project, the building of the bridge metaphorically connects China to Lehigh, and serves as a reminder of the original Chinese students at Lehigh as well as a celebration of continued ties with the country. The bridge is located at the entrance of the Student Art Park on Upper Sayre Drive, and is supported by the Henry Luce Foundation and a Lehigh University Core Competencies Grant.

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Yujie Ding, professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been invited to present his research at the 2011 Conference on Lasers and Electro-Optics, one of the most prestigious conferences in the field. Ding's research uses "second order nonlinearity" to help light beams remain coherent as they pass through turbulent media, improving the quality of images for applications such as satellite mapping and astronomy.

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Making StuffRick Vinci, professor of materials science and engineering, played an important behind-the-scenes role for NOVA's production of "Making Stuff," which aired on PBS. Vinci was a consultant for script development and fact-checking for two of the four episodes in the series: "Making Stuff: Stronger" and "Making Stuff: Smaller." He was also featured in "NOVA: Secrets of the Samurai Sword" -- some of which was filmed in Lehigh's Whitaker Laboratory -- alongside Michael Notis, professor emeritus of materials science and engineering.




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Professor Rick Blum, the Robert W. Wieseman Chair and professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of Lehigh's Signal Processing and Communication Research Lab, was recently named a Distinguished Lecturer by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers' Signal Processing Society (SPS).

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BuildingRecognizing the contributions of those who made Lehigh's new STEPS building a reality, a dedication ceremony involving faculty, staff, students and engineering professionals was held on March 29. President Alice P. Gast, Sam Niedbala '84G '86G and Frank Pazzaglia, professor and chair of the earth and environmental sciences department, addressed the crowd, emphasizing the combined effort of the Lehigh and local community to educate the next generation of environmentally aware students.




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As part of Lehigh's ongoing Environmental Initiative, several faculty members recently met with leaders from Air Products and Chemicals Inc., PPL Corp. and the Wildlands Conservancy to discuss collaborative efforts in environmental research and awareness. The EI is an interdisciplinary program that promotes understanding and awareness of current environmental issues by allowing students and faculty to cross departmental boundaries to solve open-ended problems related to those issues.

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Sougata Roy, a senior research scientist at Lehigh's Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems (ATLSS) Center was prominently featured in an article published in Popular Mechanics about the reconstruction of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, one of the world's largest suspension bridges. According to the article, researchers in ATLSS have been researching and testing new technology that will repair a decade of wear and tear upon the bridge.

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Dr. Harun Bilirgen, a research scientist for Lehigh's Energy Research Center, along with students of the Integrated Business and Engineering program, will be collaborating with the Odyssey Land Development Group to develop a reactor to capture CO2 and use it to grow algae plants. The algae biomass will then be used in the production of biodiesel, a practice that is gaining popularity among environmental scientists today. Their work will be funded by a $45,000 investment from the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeastern Pennsylvania.

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Professor William L. Luyben of chemical engineering has been chosen to participate in the "Distillations Honors Session" at the Annual Meeting of the American Institute for Chemical Engineers, which will be held in Minneapolis in October 2011.

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Alumni

Irwin Young '50, who earned a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering, came to campus to be honored as the department's 2011 Distinguished Alumnus and lead a discussion as part of the 2011 Spencer C. Shantz Distinguished Lecture Series. Young is chairman of Du Art, a New York City film laboratory founded by his father. He discussed his 60 years of experience in the film industry, which culminated in 2000, when he received the Gordon E. Sawyer Oscar Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. At the department's award banquet, professor Mikell P. Groover was honored upon his retirement from the department for his unwavering devotion to Lehigh over more than five decades of service to the university.

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Judith (Judy) F. Marks '84 '13P has joined Siemens in May as head of its newly-created U.S. Federal business unit. Marks is responsible for growing this operation to provide a more comprehensive portfolio of solutions to the federal government from across Siemens' various sectors. Marks joined Siemens from Lockheed Martin, where she most recently served as Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for the company's Electronic Systems Business Area. Marks earned a B.S. in electrical engineering from Lehigh, and serves on the Engineering Advisory Council.

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Recent Lehigh Ph.D. Hongping Zhao '11 is joining the faculty at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, with hopes of inspiring and motivating younger students. Advised by Nelson Tansu, Class of 1961 Associate Professor of electrical and computer engineering, Zhao published more than 23 scholarly journal articles and 40 conference papers while at Lehigh.


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University City Science Center president and CEO Stephen Tang '85G '88 PhD has been named to the U.S. Department of Commerce's new Innovation Advisory Board, Commerce Secretary Gary Locke announced. The board, established under the America Competes Reauthorization Act of 2010, will advise the secretary and guide a study of U.S. economic competitiveness and innovation to help inform national policies on U.S. job creation and global competitiveness. Tang earned master's and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from Lehigh, and serves on the Lehigh Engineering Advisory Council.

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Dedicated alumnus Hans J. Baer '47, '97H died on March 21 at age 83. Known to the world as a successful banker, Baer was famous at Lehigh for his passionate commitment to furthering Lehigh's worldwide presence. An honorary trustee and generous alumnus, he was instrumental in launching Lehigh's Global Council, endowing scholarships for international undergraduate students to attend Lehigh and establishing a chair in international finance -- all in an attempt to raise Lehigh's profile internationally. Baer graduated from Lehigh with a bachelor's degree in industrial engineering, and earned an honorary doctor of laws degree in 1997.

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Qiaoqiang Gan '10 Ph.D., a recent addition to the engineering faculty at SUNY-Buffalo, and a team of Lehigh researchers were featured in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), one of the world's most prestigious science journals. The researchers have created a surface that has experimentally verified the "rainbow trapping effect," showing that plasmonic structures can slow down light waves over a broad range of wavelengths. According to Gan, the team's developments can lead to major improvements in the processing and transmission capacity of optical data, and also in data storage, solar cells, biosensors and other technologies. During his doctoral work, Gan was advised by Fil Bartoli, department chair and professor of electrical and computer engineering.

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PNASDaniel Lewis '95, '01 Ph.D., who earned three degrees in materials science and engineering from Lehigh, was recently named recipient of a prestigious Faculty Early Career Development Award (CAREER) from the National Science Foundation. Lewis, assistant professor of materials science and engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, will receive a projected $630,000 over five years to fund his research. The CAREER Award is granted to faculty researchers at the beginning of their careers, and is among the NSF's most prestigious awards. Lewis is head of Rensselaer's Physical Metallurgy and Computational Microstructure Lab, as well as its Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Research Lab, and is a member of the RPI Center for Future Energy Systems.





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In February, Lehigh Valley's PBS station WLVT -39 focused upon Lehigh's academic offerings in support of entrepreneurial studies. The program -- part of the station's Tempo! series -- prominently featured student start-up firm LifeServe Innovations. LifeServe, founded by Zach Bloom and Rick Arlow of Lehigh's Class of 2009, develops medical products that help open a patient's airway to deliver more oxygen in emergency situations. The television program also examined Lehigh's new Dexter F. Baker Institute of Entrepreneurship, Innovation, and Creativity and the university's award-winning Integrated Product Development program.

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From March 23 to 28, various Lehigh alumni hosted current students in their homes to share a meal and spend time getting to know each other. Several Lehigh Engineering alumni opened their homes to the students, including Michael Rinkunas '02 (industrial engineering) '08G and Maureen Rinkunas '02' 04G (chemical engineering), Steve Rittler '99 (computer engineering), and Brian Merritt '99 '07G (civil engineering).

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Dr. Maxwell Lay '64G recently published a book in Australia, titled Strange Ways. The book chronicles the weird, strange and puzzling events that have happened on roads throughout history. According to his biography on the book jacket, Lay, a civil engineer, has over 35 years of experience in Australia and around the world and is an expert of roads and transport. He was given membership status to the Order of Australia in 2005. Lay is also an Honorary Fellow of Engineers Australia and a Professional Fellow of Melbourne University.

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