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Letter from the dean

Poised for a wider impact

Welcome to the 19th issue of Resolve, a magazine dedicated to research and educational innovation in the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science at Lehigh University.

As I think about the future of Lehigh engineering, I am grateful for the recent establishment of the Charles ’57 (industrial engineering) ’15GP ’19GP and Nan Strauch Endowed Deanship for our College.

Charles and Nan Strauch have given generously to education throughout their lives, supporting innovative programs at Lehigh, at other institutions of higher education, and at K-12 charter schools. Their latest gift of $5.5 million will help support initiatives across the College. We greatly appreciate their vote of confidence in our mission.

The feature story in this issue of Resolve explores cutting-edge research into resilient infrastructure. In addition to buildings, bridges and other structures, the term infrastructure today includes systems such as energy generation and distribution, communications and networking, transportation and water treatment.

Natural and manmade catastrophes in the past few years have shown that it is no longer sufficient for these structures and systems merely to withstand disasters and protect people’s lives. Resilient infrastructure must also resume operating quickly following a disaster.

In our Q and A, Clifford C. Eby ’73 explores resiliency in transportation systems and related issues. Cliff recently retired as president of the U.S. Transportation sector of WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff, a global engineering and professional services giant.

In the article “A Win-Win-Win Situation,” we delve into a handful of projects supported by the National Science Foundation’s I-Corps program. I-Corps fosters entrepreneurship in faculty research groups by guiding the commercialization of technology that was developed as a result of other NSF-funded projects. As a graduate of the I-Corps program, I can assure you that it enhances our effectiveness as educators in the classroom and as scholars leading use inspired research endeavors. “A Heart-Healthy Laser” focuses on fascinating research by Chao Zhou and his students as they seek to create a light-based pacemaker. By integrating genetics and optics, the team has found that it can shine a light that noninvasively controls the heart rate of a living fruit fly.

The final feature is devoted to another NSF-backed endeavor, the International Materials Institute for New Functionalities in Glass. In 2006, the IMI-NFG was featured in the very first cover story of Resolve. Now, one decade later, as our glass science researchers embark on new endeavors, we review the global impact of the IMI-NFG team’s thoughtful balance of research, outreach and education.

I hope you enjoy this issue of Resolve. Please drop me a line with your thoughts and comments.

John Coulter
Interim Dean
P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science
john.coulter@lehigh.edu