Lehigh Engineers
Top Stories
Top Story Image   Top Story Image   Top Story Image

Serious recognition

Chemical engineering professors Tony McHugh (top), Mayuresh Kothare, and Bill Luyben honored by prominent scientific research societies.

 

Carving a downhill path

Brian Kaplun 06 hits the slopes on a mono-ski designed by professor Joachim Grenestedt.
See the YouTube video. >

 

Expanding horizons

Dan Coviello ’13 addresses the UN on youth volunteerism and effecting global change.

Workshop on interdisciplinary smart grid research underscores Lehigh’s emerging research clusters.
See the photo album. >

Grad students shine in catalysis competition Andrew Abraham seeks the Google LunarX Prize.
See the YouTube video. >

Professor Wojciech Misiolek on shaping the future of metal processing … Fullbright award winner Arup SenGupta pumps up groundwater decontamination efforts.

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

News Image

Venture’s Capital:
LehighSiliconValley

In January, students from across Lehigh met with CEOs, entrepreneurs, design engineers, investors and lawyers in a week-long immersion into new-venture creation. Check out the news coverage as well as first-hand perspective from the students’ LSV blog.

The Fall 2011 issue of American Ceramic Society Bulletin highlights global research exchange within Lehigh's NSF-backed International Materials Institute for New Functionalities in Glass.

Shamim Pakzad and students deploy wireless sensors to provide ‘health screening’ for the Easton-Phillipsburg Free Bridge…Lehigh Nanotech Network to host March 5 Open House with engineering faculty researchers.

The Brown and White explores Lehigh Engineering’s innovative Facebook page connecting current first-year students with next year’s incoming class. See the video featuring Paarth Thapar ’12.

Bill Hecht ’64 ’70G named board chairman of the Lehigh Valley Health Network…Robert Burns ’74 and Stuart Ryan ’81 join the Engineering Advisory Council.


Logo

Lehigh Engineering News Archive | Subscribe to RSS Feed

Dear Lehigh Engineers,

S. David Wu
S. David Wu
Dean and
Iacocca Professor

Greetings from South Mountain!

I am pleased to extend to you an open invitation to the 2012 David and Lorraine Freed Undergraduate Research Symposium. To be held on April 11 in the STEPS Building lobby, student-competitors from Lehigh Engineering and their peers from Lafayette will showcase research projects they have completed alongside faculty and graduate students …

Read more >

divider

Resolve

View the online magazine >

Dean's Note

Dear Lehigh Engineers,

Greetings from South Mountain!

WuI am pleased to extend to you an open invitation to the 2012 David and Lorraine Freed Undergraduate Research Symposium. To be held on April 11 in the STEPS Building lobby, student-competitors from Lehigh Engineering and their peers from Lafayette will showcase research projects they have completed alongside faculty and graduate students. Winners of the competition will be awarded travel scholarships to professional conferences with top researchers in their field. This annual event is supported through a generous endowment from Andrew Freed ’83 in honor of his parents. Check our Web site soon for further details.

The spring semester got off to an earlier start than usual with the LehighSiliconValley program held during the winter break. The program convened some 56 Lehigh students plus faculty and alumni in the Bay Area -- a weeklong immersion in the new venture creation process that is nearly synonymous with the region. Leaders from venture capitalist firms, engineers, and tech start-up founders were on hand to provide perspective and insight on the science, practice, and art of launching a new business. And our momentum in entrepreneurship continues to build, as Lehigh Engineering launches a new technical entrepreneurship master’s degree program in Summer 2012.

On the research front, we have reached an important milestone since the formation of a research cluster in Integrated Networks for Electricity. The recent workshop Toward the Smart Grid drew more than 200 attendees, engaging top business leaders and technical experts from industry, along with Lehigh faculty and students. The workshop explored opportunities created by the layering of a sophisticated information infrastructure atop the power infrastructure. The “smart” in smart grid enables a better integration of renewable resources and storage technologies, real-time monitoring and control, and proactive balancing of supply and demand. The workshop marks an important step in the development of active industry collaboration with Lehigh in this important area.

The next issue of our research magazine, Resolve, will be released soon; within, we will take a closer look at Lehigh efforts in the area of healthcare systems, among other stories. If you’d like to be added to the mailing list, please send an email to lehigh.engineers@lehigh.edu with the words “Resolve mailing request” in the subject heading.

Please drop me a line with your feedback and, as always, thank you for your support of Lehigh Engineering.

Best regards,
dean's signature
S. David Wu, Dean and Iacocca Professor
back to top

Student Success

Dan Coviello ’13 recently spoke at a United Nations symposium on volunteerism and the role of young people in effecting global change. This opportunity came about through Lehigh’s United Nations Partnership, which provides students, faculty and staff with a link to the UN. Lehigh is one of the few universities recognized by the UN as a nongovernmental organization (NGO). This status enables Lehigh to send students to UN conferences and private briefings, offer UN internships at NGO offices worldwide, and host ambassadors and other UN delegates on campus. Coviello, an engineering student, became involved with the UN Partnership through an international service trip to Antigua arranged by Lehigh’s Community Service Office and Global Union. “We were able to set up a meeting with the sole environmental NGO in Antigua,” he says. “We’re helping them become accredited with the UN so they can access more resources.”

back to top

A dozen first-year Lehigh Engineers have created an innovative Facebook page to help next year’s students learn more about life at Lehigh. Throughout the year, the students are blogging about what it's really like in Lehigh classes, labs, and the many activities and clubs that exist around campus. The team also answers questions from high-schoolers and others who are interested in life at Lehigh. ‘Like’ them on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/lehigh.engineers, and check out their story and video in The Brown and White.

back to top

BakerThe Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation has expanded Lehigh’s student incubator space, adding two new locations for aspiring and award-winning entrepreneurs. This move accommodates Lehigh’s growing entrepreneurial infrastructure, says Todd Watkins, director of the Baker Institute. More students participate in the Eureka! Venture Series Competition than ever before, and their interest in Lehigh’s burgeoning entrepreneurship minor is at an all-time high. In addition to a location for their new business, students who are awarded incubator space also obtain access to faculty expertise, computer and other resources, and, in some instances, funding. Lehigh students -- both graduate and undergraduate -- now have access to offices in Chandler-Ullmann that abut a conversational area called the “Collaboration Lounge.” The new arrangement, says Watkins, will create a creative atmosphere where ideas can be exchanged between design arts and entrepreneurial-minded students.

back to top

Neal Melchionni ’12, an environmental engineering major, is applying what he learns in the classroom to the real-world problem of urban trash disposal. As an intern with Greeley and Hansen, a national engineering consulting firm, Melchionni recently tackled complex wastewater and infrastructure challenges in New York City. In a three-month project that began last summer, he helped design a wastewater treatment plant and a marine transfer station for New York City. Melchionni was paired with an environmental engineering mentor from Greeley and Hansen who helped him assimilate into the program. “It worked well because my mentor bridged the gap between me and the other engineers, who had been working on these projects for a long time,” he says.

back to top

Andrew AbrahamAndrew Abraham ’09G has dreamed for years of working in the space program. Now, as a Ph.D. candidate in mechanical engineering, he is making his dream a reality as one of a team of engineers developing a spacecraft that could change lunar flight and research. The project is part of a collaboration by Lehigh and Penn State University to compete in the Google Lunar X Prize – a $30-million open challenge to land a robot on the moon by the end of 2015. Abraham is focusing on guidance, navigation and control that will allow the team’s so-called “Lunar Lion” to visit as many landing sites as possible while minimizing fuel consumption.

back to top

Mechanical engineering major and Lehigh wrestler Kadeem Samuels ’12 was profiled in The Morning Call in late January for his impressive performances against Bucknell and Navy. Although he isn’t sure, the Lehigh University senior believes he is the only current Division I wrestler who was born in the Bronx.

back to top

poster competition

Graduate students in chemistry and in chemical engineering won three prizes recently at one of the premier conferences in the northeastern U.S. that is devoted to catalysis research. Yadan Tang (chemistry), Charles A. Roberts, Julie E. Molinari and Christopher J. Keturakis (chemical engineering) took top honors at the 2011 student poster competition held by the Catalysis Club of Philadelphia. A total of 28 students, from the University of Pennsylvania, University of Delaware, Princeton University, Villanova University and Lehigh, took part in the competition. The event was attended by university professors and by professionals from the chemical, petroleum and pharmaceutical industries.

back to top

In early January, the innovative LehighSiliconValley program brought Lehigh undergraduate and graduate students together with alumni and other Silicon Valley leaders for a weeklong immersion into new venture creation. Hosted by Lehigh’s Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation, the students focused on real companies, real players, and real situations in real time. “What does it take to be an entrepreneur? Perseverance, drive, a willingness to make a difference and some fundamental grounding in something you do well,” J. Stuart Ryan ’81 told the group as he and fellow members of the Lehigh Board of Trustees Dennis E. Singleton III ’66 and John Glanville ’77 provided a warm California welcome during the opening festivities. For a recap of the week’s events, check out the Lehigh: On Location blog as created by the students who participated in LehighSiliconValley.

back to top

Michael BladesMichael Blades ’12, a senior electrical engineering and physics double-major, says that carbon nanotubes (CNTs) have many unique optical, electrical and mechanical properties. CNTs are useful in biological, environmental and other applications, but their size makes them difficult to detect, examine and manipulate. He worked on this problem last year in a research internship with Lehigh’s Environmental Initiative, and is continuing his study of CNTs this fall with Slava Rotkin, associate professor of physics. “Carbon nanotubes need to be precisely positioned to function properly,” says Blades. “The problem is, not only are nanotubes very small, they are also very uncooperative.”

back to top

Faculty & Programs

Toward the Smart GridExperts from companies seeking to streamline the generation and transmission of electric power gathered at Lehigh in mid-January to help the university sharpen its focus on a critical new research endeavor. “Toward the Smart Grid,” a workshop held January 20, drew more than 200 people, including leaders of utilities, businesses and engineering firms, and faculty and students. The goal was to help Lehigh shape its new research cluster in Integrated Networks for Electricity (INE), which has chosen its theme as “Integrated Networks for Electrical, Information, and Financial Flows.” Learn more about the cluster and its efforts by visiting http://www.lehigh.edu/grid.


back to top

Several senior faculty members in chemical engineering have recently been named to the highest honors bestowed by their respective fields' most prestigious professional societies. Professor Mayuresh Kothare was elevated to rank of Fellow by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the world’s largest professional association devoted to advancing technological innovation. Kothare, cited by IEEE for “contributions to multivariable constrained control systems and model predictive control,” is also one of just two new IEEE fellows who are chemical engineers. Professor Tony McHugh was notified of his election as Fellow in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), the highest grade of membership granted by the organization. According to the official AIChE notification, the Grade of Fellow is a special category of membership, reserved for senior Institute members who have displayed significant service to the organization and the profession, and who have achieved significant accomplishments in the field. Professor William Luyben was also honored by AIChE, for outstanding contributions in the field of distillation, at its 2011 conference in Minneapolis. Earlier in 2011, Professor Israel Wachs was named as Fellow of the American Chemical Society for achievements in hydrocarbon and petroleum chemistry.

back to top

Lehigh-Libya SkypecastLehigh was recently lauded by Libyan freedom fighters and higher-ed communications leaders alike for its innovative Spring 2011 use of social media to connect members of the National Transitional Council to Lehigh students and members of the national and international press. The April 14 Lehigh-Libya Skypecast, coordinated by Lehigh’s Office of International Affairs and engineering student Issa Hakim, was carried by a host of media outlets and shared throughout the Arab world. In late December, the Media Center of the February 17th Revolution hosted an event to recognize individuals and groups that helped in communicating the realities of life under the Gadafi regime, including Issa and Lehigh. (Check out the plaque with English translation.) In late January, the Council for the Advancement and Support of Education bestowed a gold medal upon Lehigh in the District II social media category for its role in bringing the voice of “the Libyan front lines” to Lehigh students and the world. For more, see the YouTube video.

back to top

Dan Lopresti, professor and chair of computer science and engineering, helped reporter Patrick Marley of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel dissect handwriting-recognition software involved in the reviewing of petitions in the electorate initiative currently underway in Wisconsin that seeks to enact a gubernatorial recall. According to Lopresti in the article, “software similar to what the state is using has an accuracy rate of 90 percent to 95 percent per character. When that rate is extended across all the letters of a name, there is a good chance for error.”

back to top

Shamim Pakzad and studentsAssistant professor Shamim Pakzad and his students in the department of civil and environmental engineering are using wireless sensors to study the Easton-Phillipsburg free bridge, a portion of which was rebuilt and reopened in 1957 after severe damage from the 1955 flood. According to Pakzad, these sensors are “the equivalent of iPhones in communication. Ten years ago, there was no such thing.” Working with Pakzad are undergraduate students Carley Miller ’12, Kelsey Sheridan ’12, and Ph.D. student Siavash Dorvash. Their work was recently covered in an article by the Easton Express-Times.

back to top

Lehigh’s International Materials Institute for New Functionality in Glass (IMI-NFG) was established in 2004 through an initiative of the National Science Foundation for enhancing research collaborations between U.S. researchers and educators and their counterparts worldwide. Its success in this endeavor was covered in-depth by the American Ceramic Society Bulletin, which highlighted some of the more than 115 collaborations in 25 countries that have been supported by the IMI-NFG. According to IMI-NFG director and materials science and engineering professor Himanshu Jain, the research exchange program allows participants “to extend their research with facilities they may not have at home, they get new ideas working with a complementary group. They also learn what it is to do international research, to get a sense of an international environment and the local culture, to prepare them to be a world-class scientist.” Also profiled in the article is materials science Ph.D. student Adam Stone, who is working on a project to create optically active single-crystal architectures in glass using femtosecond lasers. Through the IMI-NFG exchange program, Adam used Kyoto University’s femtosecond laser facility and worked in the lab of Kazuyuki Hirao, professor of material chemistry.

back to top

Mitigating Fluoride and Arsenic CrisisArup K. SenGupta, P.C.Rossin Professor in the department of civil and environmental engineering and the department of chemical engineering, is the recipient of a Fulbright Environmental Leadership Award and is spending six months in the Center for Sustainable Technologies at the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, India, starting in January 2012. SenGupta’s project, “Mitigating Fluoride and Arsenic Crisis,” won the Fulbright-Nehru Grant named for Jawharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of independent India. SenGupta and Surapol Padungthon, a Ph.D. candidate in environmental engineering, have developed a reusable adsorbent that is capable of removing both arsenic and fluoride from water. The grant will enable SenGupta to collaborate with scientists and engineers in India to streamline the development of the adsorbent through laboratory and field work.

back to top

President Alice P. Gast joined an influential group of leaders in New York City in December to advance the role and participation of women in the sciences. On Decenber 10, the same evening as the awarding of the 2011 Nobel Prizes, the New York Academy of Sciences (NYAS) hosted “Celebrating Women in Science” to derive meaningful outcomes from the centennial of one of the greatest achievements in science. DuPont Chair of the Board and CEO Ellen Kullman, who delivered the 2011 Lehigh commencement address in May, provided the keynote to the NYAS event. Earlier in December, President Gast participated in the 25th anniversary of the Council on Competitiveness as a panelist and member of the U.S. Manufacturing Competitiveness Initiative Steering Committee. In particular, she lent her experiences at Lehigh and as a lifelong engineer to the panel discussion on “Harnessing the Power and Potential of American Talent.” Her discussions focused on the best ways for employers to cultivate talent, redesign the college experience to better connect students to the world of work, and increase educational and professional interest in the sciences.

back to top

Wojciech MisiolekA fellowship from Germany’s largest research funding organization is helping Lehigh engineering professor Wojciech Misiolek push for improvements to the processes by which metals are shaped and formed into products. Misiolek, the Loewy Chair in Materials Forming and Processing in the department of materials science and engineering, spent the fall semester as a Mercator Visiting Professor at the Institute for Metal Forming and Light Construction at the Technical University of Dortmund in Germany. In his research, Misiolek is particularly interested in the processing of magnesium and its alloys, which could potentially make cars more environmentally friendly.

back to top

Alumni

Brian KaplunSeveral years ago, mechanical engineering student Brian Kaplun ’06 was paralyzed from the waist down after a mountain-biking accident. In the ensuing years, Professor Joachim Grenestedt suggested that Brian begin skiing on a monoski, a bucket seat perched in a metal frame above a single ski. Grenestedt, along with technician Bill Maroun, designed a new type of monoski, and, according to Kaplun, it is a major improvement over other models on the market. Judging from the new online video of Brian carving it up in Colorado, he’s right. The video is provided by DynAccess Ltd., a Bethlehem-based start-up firm specializing in advanced outdoor equipment for physically disabled individuals and athletes.

back to top

J. Stuart Ryan ’81 and Robert E. Burns ’74 have recently joined the Engineering Advisory Council (EAC) of Lehigh’s P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science. The EAC is an external consultative group supporting the College, and it serves a vital role in linking strategic objectives and activities with the interests of external constituents and industry groups beyond our campus boundaries. Ryan is currently the Chairman of the Board of Directors of Calpine Corporation and the Chief Executive Officer of Aggregates USA, and is a member of Lehigh’s Board of Trustees. Burns retired in 2009 after a 35 year career with Hewlett-Packard and Agilent Technologies, serving for 8 years as Vice President and General Manager of Agilent’s Nano Technology Measurements Division.

back to top

Russell GackenbachRussell Gackenbach ’50, a metallurgical engineer by training, navigated the camera plane that accompanied the Enola Gay on its mission of August 6, 1945. Mining engineer Donald Walp ’38 helped erect a bridge while under fire, playing a significant role in the 82-day Battle of Okinawa. Fred Butler ’41 withstood a kamikaze attack aboard the USS Hazelwood, a far cry from his days learning industrial engineering. After surviving the Battle of the Bulge and two other major WWII campaigns, Eugene Chovanes ’50 came to Lehigh to earn a mechanical engineering degree, and then promptly returned to serving his country in Korea. Each of these heroic engineering alumni, along with Bill Gordon ’43 and Charles Slater ’49, were profiled in the Fall 2012 Alumni Bulletin article “Lehigh’s Greatest Generation: Extraordinary Tales from Ordinary Heroes.”

back to top

University City Science Center CEO and President Dr. Stephen Tang ’85G ’88 Ph.D. partnered with Lehigh’s Alumni Association and the Lehigh Club of Philadelphia to host a late November career networking event focused on entrepreneurship. Steven Rittler ’99, founder and CEO of CounterMarch Systems, was also on hand to provide his perspective on the topic of entrepreneurship.

back to top

William HechtWilliam Hecht ’64 ’70G has been elected as chairman of the board of the Lehigh Valley Health Network. Hecht served as CEO at PPL from 1993 to 2006. He is a former chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia, where he served as a director from 2004 to 2009. A resident of Allentown, PA, Hecht holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical engineering from Lehigh University. Hecht is actively involved at Lehigh, serving in various capacities wihtin the Alumni Association, Lehigh Fund, and reunion planning committees. He has served as vice chairman on the board of trustees and is now a trustee emeritus.

back to top

© 2013 Lehigh University. All Rights Reserved Produced by P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science