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Carrying on a formidable legacy

The P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science paid homage to its benefactor last week with a ceremony that highlighted the diverse accomplishments and creative energies of its students and faculty.

The 2015 Celebration of Rossin Professors and Fellows honored the late Peter C. Rossin ’48, an entrepreneur in the titanium alloy industry who, with his wife, Ada, established a $25 million endowment for the college in 1998.

The event was devoted to the Rossin Fellowship Program, one part of the Rossin's legacy, which recognizes assistant professors, Ph.D. candidates and undergraduate students for their scholarship and academic excellence and for their contributions to Lehigh and the community.

Rossin Professorships honor young faculty members who show significant career potential and a proven ability to reach out to other disciplines. Rossin Doctoral Fellows receive special preparation for careers in academia and research. Rossin Junior Fellows are undergraduate students who serve as mentors and tutors to other students, conduct outreach activities and give campus tours to incoming students.

At the event, Daniel P. Lopresti, interim dean of the college, introduced the three new Rossin Professors. Angela Brown, who joined the department of chemical and biomolecular engineering in 2013, studies the lipid-protein interactions involved in bacterial diseases with an emphasis on the penetration of cell membranes by foreign objects.

Martin Takac, who joined the department of industrial and systems engineering in 2014, is a specialist in high performance computing who develops theoretical methods to utilize “Big Data.”

Chao Zhou, who joined the department of electrical and computer engineering in 2012, develops OCT (optical coherence tomography) and OCM (optical coherence microscopy) technologies with ultrahigh speed and resolution to obtain images of cancers and brain functions.

John Coulter, the college’s associate dean for graduate studies, introduced the 19 new Rossin Doctoral Fellows and gave a brief description of their activities, inside and outside the classroom and lab.

The college’s department chairs and program directors introduced the 32 new Rossin Junior Fellows in similar fashion, and the list of outside interests lengthened.

“I’m astounded at how well-rounded the Rossin Junior Fellows are,” said David C. Angstadt, professor of practice and associate chair of the mechanical engineering and mechanics department. “How do they find the time in the day to do all these things?

“Maybe we need to give more homework.”

Read more and see a full list of this year's recipients at the Lehigh University News Center.

-Kurt Pfitzer is a writer with Lehigh University Media Relations.

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