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Morphing pollution
into power

Can biofuel be derived from power-plant waste gas? ERC researchers are on the case.


next wave

$70-million initiative supports federal and regional efforts in manufacturing tech and education.


engineering cool

They came. They saw. They engineered. Check out the campers in action on Facebook or YouTube.

ATLSS Engineering Research Center partners with CMU on two initiatives to stimulate PA's tech sector - PITA and RAMP.

John Chen recognized for pioneering research in the study of heat transfer ... Israel Wachs earns top international research awards from the Humboldt Foundation and the 8th annual Vanadium Symposium ... Dan Frangopol recognized for contributions in life-cycle engineering.

Ph.D. candidates Guangyu Liu and Jing Zhang receive the 2012 Scholarship in Optics and Photonics from the International Society for Optics and Photonics.

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

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The Nuking of Telstar I

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the modern communications era and the launch of Telstar I, NAE member and MatSci professor Walter Brown tells Scientific American about his role in keeping it operational after an accidental nuclear 'attack.'

Mark Sarkisian '85G describes the ties between Lehigh and the Golden Gate Bridge at the Golden Gate Bridge's 75th anniversary.

John Kulicki '67G, '73 Ph.D. is among the speakers for the 2013 FRK Distinguished Lecture Series, which will explore skyscraper and bridge design, risk mitigation, and more.

Scott R. Hummel '98 Ph.D. bridges "The Rivalry" to become director of Lafayette College's Engineering Division.

After a successful career in R&D at Bell Labs and AT&T and in academia, Richard T. Roca '66 is now director emeritus of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory.


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Dear Friends,

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

The start of the Fall semester brought to campus yet another record-setting class of first year Lehigh Engineers. In each of the past three years, undergraduate engineering enrollment has reached a 30-year peak.

At the same time, quality indicators such as SAT scores and high-school rankings of our incoming students continue to increase, as well.

Read more >



View the online magazine >

Dean's Note

WuDear Friends,

The start of the Fall semester brought to campus yet another record-setting class of first year Lehigh Engineers. In each of the past three years, undergraduate engineering enrollment has reached a 30-year peak. At the same time, quality indicators such as SAT scores and high-school rankings of our incoming students continue to increase, as well.

Across our graduate studies, total enrollment has increased for each of the past five years. A significant portion of this growth can be attributed to our innovative Professional Master’s programs. These programs allow us to partner with industry leaders to focus rigorous studies and hands-on, highly-relevant projects around key areas of innovation such as healthcare, energy, and infrastructure. Recently, we’ve launched the Technical Entrepreneurship program, a one-year, 30-credit endeavor that helps student entrepreneurs create, refine, and commercialize intellectual property through the licensing or launching of a new business.

Along with this steady growth in our academic offerings, I’m pleased to share a major development on the research front: Lehigh is partnering with a national network of manufacturers along with eight other research universities and five community colleges from across Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia in a $70-million federal-, state- and privately-funded effort focused on revitalizing American manufacturing.

The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) – the first of 15 proposed technical hubs of this nature around the nation – will link research and teaching institutions with manufacturing firms to advance research while educating workers in the latest techniques. A diverse team of Lehigh researchers, initially from materials science and from civil, environmental, industrial and mechanical engineering will contribute their expertise, along with their peers from CMU, Case Western, Penn State, Pitt, and Youngstown State, among others.

As always, thanks for your interest and support of Lehigh Engineering, and please drop me a line with questions or feedback.

Best regards,
dean's signature
S. David Wu, Dean and Iacocca Professor
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Student Success

Liu & ZhangTwo students whose research aims to improve lighting technologies and reduce energy consumption have won a top international prize. Guangyu Liu and Jing Zhang, Ph.D. candidates in electrical engineering at Lehigh, will receive the 2012 Scholarship in Optics and Photonics from the International Society for Optics and Photonics (SPIE). Together with 138 other students from around the world, they will accept their awards next February in San Francisco at Photonics West 2013, SPIE's annual conference. Liu and Zhang both earned bachelor's degrees from Huazhong University of Science and Technology in Wuhan, China. Since enrolling at Lehigh, each has published more than 40 articles in journals and conference proceedings. Both are advised by Nelson Tansu, the Class of 1961 Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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Stephanie Gordon '14 interned this summer with Sikorsky Global Helicopters, and was part of the intern team that took 1st prize in the firm's annual Research & Engineering Intern/Co-Op Summer Competition. Ten teams from Sikorsky locations all over the U.S. were challenged to develop a "mission package" that added value to an existing helicopter design. Stephanie's team developed a system to rapidly alter the interior of an aircraft to meet the needs of the mission at hand. The concept involved creating a series of pods that could be quickly loaded or removed from the interior. The so-called READI (Rapid-Extract Adaptable-Design Interiors) system allows a pilot to customize the interior of a helicopter in less than 10 minutes.

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Sofia Kehyaian Pereira ’13 is working with South Whitehall Township outside of Bethlehem to map the municipality’s service areas, including street signs, traffic lights, water and sewer lines, and fire hydrants. According to the South Whitehall Patch, the system will allow the township to capture and manage the information -- and better respond to resident needs. A senior in the Integrated Business and Engineering (IBE) program concentrating in mechanical engineering, Pereira is part of a years-long project to build a database of the township's infrastructure, and create maps, by using a geographic information system (GIS).

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CHOICESTwo dozen middle school girls and mentors from the Society of Women Engineers
took over Packard Lab July 9-13 for CHOICES. Lehigh’s popular CHOICES summer camp is designed to provide girls with the opportunity to participate in a variety of fun engineering and science experiments led by women engineers. Highlights of the week were captured on the CHOICES Facebook page, with photos and videos submitted by the campers and project mentors as the week progressed (thanks to an innovative iPad initiative led by Robin Deily and Carly Klimash of Lehigh’s Library and Technology Services.)

The CHOICES program is designed to foster an interest among middle-school girls in the future pursuit of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). The event is sponsored by Lehigh's P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science and our chapter of the Society of Women Engineers, with support from partner organizations such as NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, Air Products and Chemicals, ExxonMobil, and Rodale, Inc., among others.

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Faculty & Programs

Lehigh is partnering with a national network of manufacturers along with eight other research universities and five community colleges from across Ohio, Pennsylvania and West Virginia in a $70-million federal-, state- and privately-funded effort focused on revitalizing American manufacturing. The National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII) – the first of 15 proposed technical hubs of this nature around the nation – will link research and teaching institutions with manufacturing firms to advance research while educating workers in the latest techniques. A diverse team of Lehigh researchers, initially from materials science and from civil, environmental, industrial and mechanical engineering will contribute their expertise, along with their peers from CMU, Case Western, Penn State, Pitt, and Youngstown State, among others.

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ZhouChao Zhou believes his work with combining imaging technologies has the potential to improve surgeries that remove malignant breast tumors. “As many as 40 percent of breast cancer patients now have to undergo a second surgery, because part of the tumor is left behind during the first,” says Zhou, an assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. By combining two technologies -- optical coherence tomography (OCT) and confocal microscopy -- Zhou says doctors can more precisely pinpoint a tumor’s location and remove it entirely on the first try.

Before joining the faculty in June, Zhou was a senior postdoctoral associate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he pioneered the use of OCT in cancer detection. He received a Pathway to Independence research award in 2011 from the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering in the National Institutes of Health.

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Dan M. Frangopol, the Fazlur R. Khan Endowed Chair of Structural Engineering and Architecture, recently received two significant international academic honors. At the Sixth International Conference on Bridge Maintenance, Safety and Management hosted by the International Association for Bridge Maintenance and Safety, Frangopol accepted one of the two Senior Research Prizes awarded this year -- an acknowledgement of his research contributions to his field. Frangopol was also recently named as an honorary professor at the Hong Kong Polytechnic University (PolyU) -- a distinction considered to be among an institution's highest academic honors.

An internationally-recognized leader in the emerging field of life-cycle engineering, Frangopol's research interests include the application of probabilistic concepts and methods to civil and marine engineering including structural reliability, probability-based design and optimization of buildings, bridges and naval ships, structural health monitoring, life-cycle performance maintenance and management of structures and infrastructures under uncertainty, risk-based assessment and decision making, infrastructure resilience to disasters, and stochastic mechanics. He is a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, an honorary member of the Romanian Academy of Technical Sciences, and has received two honorary doctorates and numerous awards, including the prestigious Nathan M. Newmark and T. Y. Lin medals, and some of the field's highest honors from ASCE, IABSE and IASSAR, among others.

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Robot DayIn early June, a team from Lehigh’s department of computer science and engineering, led by assistant professor Michael Spear, held “Robot Day” for 23 kindergarteners at Spring Garden elementary school in Bethlehem. Spear led the class through five fun, robotics-themed projects based upon software he developed to control robots via Android smartphones. The children learned how robots were built, and how software and hardware interact to perform various tasks, but most of all they had a fun and positive experience in science and engineering. What’s more, the software that made it possible was based upon software designed by Lehigh students Greg Besack and Dan Phillips, Class of 2012. For more, including specifics on the projects and the underlying hardware and software, see the “Robot Day” Web site.

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Professor Emeritus John C. Chen of chemical engineering was awarded the first ever World Scientific Award from the International Conference on Boiling and Heat Transfer. The 8th International Conference, held June 3-7 2012 at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland, presented the inaugural award to Chen for his seminal contributions to its field. Chen, who has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in chemical engineering and mechanical engineering over some four decades at Lehigh, is widely recognized as a pioneer and world leader on boiling heat transfer and associated areas. An internationally respected scholar, he has published more than 200 technical articles and won 16 major national or international research awards, and has served as dean of the College of Engineering (1999-2001) and chair of chemical engineering (1983-1989). He is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, a member of the American Chemical Society, a member of the American Association for Advancement of Science, and a fellow and past president of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

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NetiProfessor Sudhakar Neti of mechanical engineering is co-chair of a 2013 conference titled “Massive Energy Storage for the Broader Use of Renewable Energy Sources,” June 23-26, 2013, at the Fairmont Newport Beach in Newport Beach, CA. The conference will focus upon the technical research required to make possible energy storage in massive quantities that will broaden the use of renewable energy sources. For more information on the program or attendance, contact Dr. Neti at sn01@lehigh.edu.


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Over the summer, Mayuresh V. Kothare, R. L. McCann Professor and Chair of chemical engineering, traveled throughout Asia delivering seminars and special lectures in his field of control systems. Kothare spent part of June at the East China University of Science and Technology (ECUST) in Shanghai on a visiting professorship. He delivered lectures on advanced multivariable control to seniors in the ECUST Automation Department, and a seminar entitled "Control of constrained multivariable systems using Linear Matrix Inequalities" to faculty and doctoral students of the same department. His trip to ECUST was facilitated by an ongoing partnership between Lehigh and ECUST.

In July, Kothare traveled to Singapore to deliver a keynote lecture entitled "Dynamics and Control of Integrated Microchemical Systems" at the International Symposium on Advanced Control of Chemical Processes (ADCHEM). ADCHEM is the triennial meeting of the International Federation of Automatic Control (IFAC) that brings together researchers and practitioners to discuss recent developments in the control of chemical, biochemical, and related process systems.

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Researchers from Lehigh’s Energy Research Center (ERC) and the earth and environmental sciences department (EES) aim to use CO2 from power plants and wastewater from water-treatment plants to grow Nannochloropsis, a green microalgae that produces oil. They have built a prototype photobioreactor (PBR) to test the optimal conditions for growing and harvesting the microalgae. If successful, they could enable cost-effective production of biodiesel fuel from waste CO2, which now must be captured and stored through chemical and physical methods, and removal of excess nutrients from treated wastewater before it is discharged into rivers and streams. The group includes Harun Bilirgen, principal investigator and ERC principal research scientist, Bruce Hargreaves and Donald P. Morris, associate professors of EES, and Ebru Akkaya, ERC visiting research scholar and associate professor of environmental engineering at Yildiz Technical University in Turkey. The project, which began in early 2011, is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy through the Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Northeast Pennsylvania. The effort include the Lehigh County Authority as well as Odyssey Green and Renewable Energy Company, which helped to establish the partnership.

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Assistant professor Gang Tan of computer science is collaborating with scientists from Harvard University to develop a new tool that could lead to increased security and enhanced performance for commonly used web and mobile applications. The so-called RockSalt verifies that native computer programming languages comply with required security policies. Their work was presented at the June ACM Conference on Programming Language Design and Implementation in Beijing.

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ATLSSLehigh University’s Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems (ATLSS) Engineering Research Center has redesigned its Web site to provide easier access to information about its people, programs, facilities, and educational opportunities. ATLSS is a national center for research and education on structures and materials of the infrastructure, addressing research goals of the NSF, the United States Department of Transportation, the United States Department of Defense, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and numerous additional national, state, and local industry and government organizations and agencies.


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Israel E. Wachs, a world-renowned expert in catalysis, will be the first engineer and non-chemist to receive the 2012 Vanadis Award at the 8th annual International Vanadium Symposium in mid-August. The award is presented to researchers who have displayed innovative research in vanadium chemistry, as well as documented impact on the field. Wachs, the G. Whitney Snyder professor of chemical engineering, has also recently received Germany’s Humboldt Research Award for senior scientists. According to the Humboldt citation, “Professor Wachs is an international authority on catalysis science. During his dual career in industry and academia he has continuously worked on the conceptual challenges of catalysis. In this capacity he pioneered the use of Raman spectroscopy as an in-situ tool investigating working catalysts.”

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The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has awarded 2012 funding for the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance (PITA) to collaborators Lehigh and Carnegie Mellon University, to support active and ongoing research projects by researchers and partners of both institutions. PITA is supported through the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED), and is coordinated by Lehigh's Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems (ATLSS) Engineering Research Center and the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems (ICES) at CMU. It is designed to provide economic benefit to Pennsylvania through knowledge transfer, the discovery of new technologies and the retention of highly educated students.

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National Academy of Engineering (NAE) member and adjunct professor of materials science and engineering Walter Brown, was part of the Bell Labs ceremony in July that marked the 50th anniversary of the Telstar I satellite. In 1962, it was his job to “examine how radiation in space affects solar cells and semiconductors,” and he got rather more than he bargained for. The day before launch, the U.S. had set off a nuclear explosion at an altitude of 400 kilometers just southwest of Johnston Island in the Pacific Ocean. "The people who set off the nuclear explosion were totally surprised by the huge number of high energy electrons that were released," Brown says. The satellite unwittingly became an experiment to analyze the aftermath of a nuclear blast on electronic equipment. Initially, Telstar 1 couldn't be turned on, but the engineers figured a way to get it back into operation. For more, see “How the U.S. Accidentally Nuked Its Own Communications Satellite” in the July 11 issue of Scientific American.

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F R Kahn SeriesThe speakers for the 2013 Fazlur R. Khan Distinguished Lecture Series have been
announced, with an eclectic range of topics that will include the history of the skyscraper, bridge design standard for structural safety, and a “reliability-based approach” to managing uncertainty in infrastructural design systems. On Friday, February 15, R. Shankar Nair, Senior Vice President of exp US Services, will give a talk entitled “The Evolution of the Skyscraper.” On Friday, March 22, John Kulicki, President and CEO of Modjeski and Masters, will provide “Observations on AASHTO Bridge Design.” And finally, on Friday, April 19, Dr. Alfredo H-S. Ang from University of California-Irvine will discuss “Minimizing the Effects of Uncertainties in Developing Reliability-Based Design Criteria.” All lectures begin at 4:10p.m. in Lehigh’s Sinclair Lab Auditorium. For more details, see the FRK Lecture Series’ recently-redesigned Web site at http://www.lehigh.edu/frkseries.

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Lehigh and Carnegie Mellon University have recently announced a new collaboration in university-industry economic development, supported by the Pennsylvania Department of Community and Economic Development (DCED). The new Research for Advanced Manufacturing in Pennsylvania (RAMP) program will provide incentive grants of approximately $25,000 to $75,000 to researchers at Pennsylvania universities engaged in specific, short-term (1-1.5 year) innovation projects in partnership with Pennsylvania manufacturing companies. Administered jointly by Lehigh's Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems (ATLSS) Engineering Research Center and CMU’s Institute for Complex Engineering Systems, RAMP's goal is to support rapid development and transfer of innovative technologies that will in turn promote the success of Pennsylvania-based manufacturing in the global marketplace.

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ParvParv Venkitasubramaniam, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, studies network security in hopes of protecting the identities of communicating parties and the paths along which data flow. He recently received a five-year CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation to support research into understanding the tradeoffs between utility and privacy. Venkitasubramaniam is particularly interested in protecting network users against adversaries who gain valuable information about users or networks based on the timing of data transmission.

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Lehigh invited leaders from academia, business and government to a recent conference titled “Nano for Business 2012: Building Toward a Sustainable Future.” The event was sponsored for the fourth consecutive year by Lehigh’s Center for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology (CAMN) and also by Drexel University’s Nanotechnology Institute. The goal of the annual event is to promote the commercialization of new ideas through partnerships between academia and industry.

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Richard T. Roca '66 has transitioned to director emeritus status after a successful 12-year role leading the prestigious Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. Roca enrolled at Lehigh University on an Alfred P. Sloan scholarship and earned a B.S in mechanical engineering, and moved on to MIT to earn a master's and an ScD in the same field. He joined Bell Labs right after graduation, to design communications networks and equipment and over the next three decades rose to major corporate leadership roles within Bell Labs. Roca was named to the post of APL director in 2000, where he guided initiatives on behalf of partners such as the Department of Defense and NASA.

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ParvPeter Lambrakis ’94 has joined Citi as Managing Director, Head of Equity Derivatives Trading, based in New York City. Lambrakis comes to Citi from Deutsche Bank, where he was Head of Equity Correlation Trading. He started his career as a quant developer at O'Connor and Associates, before moving to Susquehanna as a derivatives trader. Lambrakis earned an M.S. in Computational Finance from Carnegie Mellon University and a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from Lehigh University.

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Current and incoming students recently joined alumni from various decades to celebrate the Golden Gate Bridge’s 75th anniversary. Much of the steel for the world-famous span came from Bethlehem, and the four-year construction project was carried out by McClintic-Marshall Construction Co., a subsidiary of Bethlehem Steel Corporation that was founded by Howard H. McClintic and Charles D. Marshall – both Lehigh Class of 1888. The anniversary celebration was hosted by the Lehigh Club of San Francisco, featuring a presentation by Mark Sarkisian ‘85G on the impact of the Golden Gate Bridge on innovative design and construction, as well as its connection to Lehigh and Bethlehem. Mark is structural engineering partner at the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP (SOM).

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TamaroCivil engineering alumnus Mark J. Tamaro ’90 ‘92G has been promoted to senior principal in the Washington, D.C. office of the international engineering firm Thornton Tomasetti. Tamaro has nearly 20 years of experience in structural design and the investigation and renovation of existing structures, including historic buildings and monuments. He specializes in large-scale, federal projects and is well-versed in design-bid-build, fast-track and design-build delivery methods. His portfolio includes a variety of steel, concrete, masonry and timber-framed building projects for both private and government clients. Mr. Tamaro is a licensed Professional Engineer in Washington, D.C., Massachusetts, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania and Virginia, and is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and American Institute of Steel Construction.

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David Roberts ’98 has been named CEO of EnerDel, Inc., a provider of advanced lithium-ion battery storage systems for grid energy, transportation and industrial applications. Roberts joined EnerDel in January 2011 as deputy general counsel and chief IP counsel. Prior to joining the company, he held several positions at Caterpillar, Inc., where he started with a focus on patent and licensing matters for various technologies and ultimately assumed the role of corporate counsel in the company’s commercial law department. Dave began his legal career with an emphasis on patent counseling and acquisition at intellectual property firm Senniger Powers. Roberts was also an engineer at Lockheed Martin Control Systems (now BAE) before attending law school. He earned his Juris Doctor degree, with honors, from Indiana University School of Law, and a B.S. in materials science and engineering from Lehigh.

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Ralph Kettell ’80 ‘82G has joined the board of directors of Valdor Technology International Inc., a fiber optic components company specializing in the design and manufacture of fiber optic connectors, laser pigtails, and other optical and optoelectronic components. Mr. Kettell has worked as a Consulting Electrical Engineer for several high profile aerospace and industrial engineering companies, principally as a microwave and radio frequency (RF) circuit and systems design engineer on military, space and commercial programs. He served as lead RF Engineer at Litton Space Systems on the Space-to-Space Communications System used in the construction of the International Space Station. He has consulted for many of the largest aerospace firms in the U.S., including 14 years with Northrop Grumman and three years with Lockheed Martin.

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EbyParsons Brinckerhoff, a global infrastructure strategic consulting, engineering and program/construction management organization, has named Clifford Eby ‘73 as president of the firm’s Americas Transportation company. Mr. Eby previously served as senior vice president in charge of the company’s Technical Excellence Centers and also supported its efforts in rail and infrastructure markets, particularly high-speed rail. He has nearly 40 years of experience in the industry, with specific expertise in rail safety, finance and economic regulatory practices, transportation policy, and rail infrastructure program design. Prior to joining Parsons Brinckerhoff, he served as Acting Administrator of the Federal Railroad Administration from 2008 to 2009 and as Deputy Administrator from 2005 to 2008. He holds an MBA from George Washington University and a B.S. in civil engineering from Lehigh, as well as professional engineering licenses in multiple states.

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Ryder System, Inc., has elected Michael F. Hilton ’76, ‘81G, ‘01P to its board of directors, effective July 1, 2012. Hilton currently serves as president and CEO of Nordson Corporation, a $1.3 billion company that engineers, manufactures and markets products and systems used for dispensing adhesives, coatings, sealants, biomaterials and other materials in a wide variety of end markets. Prior to joining Nordson in 2010, Hilton was senior vice president and general manager of Air Products & Chemicals, Inc., leading the company's global Electronics and Performance Materials segment. He spent 33 years at Air Products, where he held roles of increasing responsibility in a variety of staff, management and operations positions. Mr. Hilton received a master's degree in business administration and a bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from Lehigh University. He is the past co-chair of the SEMI Industry Strategy Symposium committee and a past member of the association's North American Advisory Board. He also is a member of the Manufacturers Alliance/MAPI GM Council, American Institute of Chemical Engineers and National Investor Relations Institute.

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Scott R. Hummel ’98 PhD is a professor of mechanical engineering at Lafayette College, and has been named director of the school’s Engineering Division, effective July 9. Along with his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Lehigh, Hummel holds an M.S. from Stevens Institute of Technology, and a B.S. from the University of Hartford. A member of the Lafayette faculty since 1998, he teaches courses ranging from introductory engineering to senior project seminars, and has served as head of mechanical engineering since 2006. His research interests are in the area of wear of materials, and he has published extensively in this area as a recognized leader in adhesive wear testing. Since 2008 he has served as the elected chair of the ASTM Technical Committee on Wear and Erosion, which develops internationally accepted standard test methods for determining the wear properties of materials.

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ATLSSMark Long ’87 was named 2012 CTO of the Year at a company of 100-500 employees by the LA Business Journal. Long serves as CTO of Zynx Health, a provider of evidence-based and experience-based clinical decision support solutions that improve the quality, safety, and efficiency of patient care. The annual award honors those in top information technology positions whose decisions impact all aspects of their business, including growth, profitability, functionality, and competitiveness in the marketplace. Long holds a PhD in engineering from Caltech, an M.S. from Stanford, and a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Lehigh.

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