2011 News Archive


Christmas comes early to Bethlehem family

Thomas Ruley ’13 and Lehigh University student-athletes deliver gifts to less fortunate families.

By the time he was 10, Brian Serrano had grown accustomed to the fights, stolen cars and drug dealing in his Newark, N.J., neighborhood.

His parents' move to the Lehigh Valley four years ago erased those scenes from his life. But it did not change his family's financial picture. They've been just as poor in Pennsylvania as they were in New Jersey.

This Christmas season, the pain of not having money hit harder, crushing the heart of his mother, Yolanda Torro, 45. She knew she and her disabled husband could not afford gifts for her 11 children, ages 28 to 11, and five grandchildren.

"This was going to be our worst Christmas ever," Torro said.

Until Thursday afternoon.

While Brian and his two brothers were in class at Nitschmann Middle School, members of Lehigh University's softball and football teams arrived at their west Bethlehem home. They bore clothing, sneakers, blankets, household essentials, diapers, toys and a $500 supermarket gift card.

As her bare wooden table vanished under piles of wrapped presents, each labeled with a child's or grandchild's name, tears dripped down Torro's cheeks.

"I see how God works," she said. "When people try to make you fall apart, God loves you and shows you his blessing."

For 13 years, Lehigh student-athletes have been delivering these blessings to needy families in the Bethlehem Area School District. The program is known as COACH, Community Outreach by Athletes Who Care About Helping.

The outreach began in a Wawa in south Bethlehem in 1998. Lehigh softball coach Fran Troyan overheard a cashier ask a woman in front of him what her children would be getting for Christmas.

Nothing, the woman replied. She had no money.

Troyan relayed that scene to Roseann Corsi, public relations coordinator in the university's athletic department.

"We had to do something about that," Corsi said.

They couldn't find that woman so they found others just like her. All 22 of Lehigh's intercollegiate athletic teams adopted a needy family whom they showered with gifts. COACH has grown every year and now includes Lehigh fraternities, sororities and education departments, Corsi said. Throughout the year students serve as mentors and volunteers in local schools.

But it's the Christmas event that means the most to students and families, Corsi said.

This year, COACH will help 54 families. With the exception of Torro's family, all reside in homes along the narrow streets of south Bethlehem, in the shadow of Lehigh's campus. Those families received their gifts Thursday night at a ceremony at Donegan Elementary School.

Softball shortstop and biochemistry major Jen Colquhoun said Lehigh asks local principals to recommend families who need help. The schools then have students and their families submit wish lists that students fulfill with fundraisers and trips to stores.

"When you come from suburban California, it really is different being here," said Colquhoun, a 21-year-old senior from Oak Park, Calif., who serves as COACH co-chairwoman. "Then when you give back to the kids and see the smiles it makes you feel good on the inside."

Thomas Ruley, IE student and Colquhoun's co-chairman and offensive guard on the football team, said he knows what it's like growing up with next to nothing. He said his mom was a single parent struggling to raise him in a house just outside Baltimore.

When he was 9 or 10 years old, Ruley said, a local church came knocking on his door around Christmastime bearing presents and food. A day before his squad hopped on a plane for a NCAA Football Championship Subdivision quarterfinal matchup at North Dakota State University, Ruley stood on Second Street ready to make sure other children had a merry Christmas — for at least one year.

"I used to be in the same situation," he said.

The Nitschmann staff has been monitoring the situation of Brian and his two younger brothers, Kevin and Hector, since they moved from Allentown and enrolled last school year.

"They are just very, very humble, respectful children," Principal Jackie Santanasto said. "Kevin made honor roll."

So when she heard about Lehigh's program, Santanasto called the boys' mother to ask if she needed help. The answer was a tearful yes. Santanasto asked her secretary Janeth Santano, who often doubles as a liaison to parents, to help the family write wish lists.

A remote control, clothing, size 7 shoes and Green Bay Packers jersey for Brian. Nike sneakers, Eagles pajamas and Sorry board game for Kevin. Hector had a slightly bigger list: Monopoly, remote control car, clothes, size 5.5 shoes, Giants jersey, jeans, Xbox 360 and money. Torro's grandchildren had similar lists.

While the children will not know what they got until Christmas morning when the gifts will be opened, Brian had a message for the Mountain Hawks.

"Thank you," he said. "They care for people who can't afford everything."


Article by Steve Easack.

To read the full article, please visit the Morning Call's Web site.

Posted Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Gast joins public, private leaders in bold plan to spur manufacturing

President Alice P. Gast joined other national leaders in Washington, D.C. Thursday for the 25th anniversary of the Council on Competitiveness, a day marked by the public release of the council’s long-awaited strategy to improve American competitiveness and spur economic recovery through increased manufacturing.

The report, "Make: An American Manufacturing Movement," available for free download as a PDF at the Council on Competitiveness website, was presented to private sector leaders, the Obama administration, Congress, and U.S. governors. It outlines bold steps the council believes the nation should take to re-establish the America that President Barack Obama referenced when he recently said, “We should be known for creating and selling products all over the world that are stamped with three proud words: Made in America.”

To read the full article, please visit the Lehigh News Web site.

Posted Monday, December 12, 2011


Integrated Networks for Electricity

Exploring the flow of electricity, information, and money in advanced power networks

One of the most pressing concerns for our society is to find ways to meet our skyrocketing energy demands. The answers we seek must not only be efficient -- both technically and economically -- but also limit our impact on the environment. The development of advanced electricity systems, sometimes known as "Smart Grids," will necessarily be a key part of this solution. The defining element of a Smart Grid is the overlaying of a sophisticated information infrastructure atop the power infrastructure. This dual-purpose network will enable a host of new functions within the electricity grid, including improved integration of renewable generation resources; real-time monitoring, diagnosis and correction of disturbances and faults; demand-response programs that help balance supply and demand; and novel pricing mechanisms used at both wholesale and retail levels.

Tomorrow's electricity systems, then, will facilitate flows of both electrical power and information. A third flow in Smart Grids is money. As electricity markets become increasingly deregulated, the number of players in the electricity industry will continue to increase. A given kilowatt-hour of energy may be bought and sold multiple times among these players between its generation and usage. Understanding the flow of money throughout a Smart Grid will be as critical as understanding the flows of electricity and information.


The Lehigh University cluster on Integrated Networks for Electricity (INE) is a multidisciplinary team of engineers, mathematicians, and economists. We believe that such teams will play a central role in developing tomorrow's advanced electricity systems. The INE cluster was formed in 2011 with support from the Provost and the Deans of Engineering, Business and Economics, and Arts and Sciences. The cluster has positioned its research on the theme of "Integrated Networks for Electrical, Information, and Financial Flows."

ISE associate professor, Larry Snyder is co-chairing this committee.

Workshop Toward the Smart Grid: Friday, January 20, 2012

Over the coming decades, the development of systems that predict and intelligently respond to the electricity needs of individuals, industries, and entire societies will reshape the energy landscape. The success of this so-called "smart grid" relies upon a seamless and secure confluence of three interrelated flows among suppliers, distributors, and consumers of electrical power:

• electricity itself;
• information related to pricing, availability, and real-time network conditions; and,
• associated financial and transactional data.

This workshop will bring together experts to discuss the future of electricity networks from each of these perspectives, and the research needed to light the way. It is open to all members of the community interested in learning about the smart grid's significance to our global future and Lehigh's emerging focus in Integrated Networks for Electrical, Information and Financial Flows.

Please visit the INE Web site to register and learn more about the workshop.

Posted Thursday, December 1, 2011


Supply chain students meet game changers

The Center for Value Chain Research hosted its semi-annual symposium about the various game changers that have occurred in the supply chain industry on Nov. 3.

The night before the symposium, CVCR hosted a networking session between students, faculty and industry representatives at the Historic Hotel Bethlehem. Around 100 students and faculty from Lehigh attended this event, as well as 70 industry representatives. The majority of students who attended were supply chain and industrial engineering majors, and they were able to interact with leading executives of companies, such as Pfizer, Robinson and Bosch Rexroth Corp. Students, faculty and industry representatives mingle during the networking reception.

“The networking session is great for [students] because there is only so much [students] can learn in a classroom; meeting people who actually work for the industry helps [students] prepare for the future,” said Zheng Han, a graduate student studying industrial engineering at Lehigh.

Some of the topics that were discussed during these dialogues included transportation efficiency, intellectual property and how businesses have adapted to the integration of supply chain management into their business plans.

Keith Gardiner, professor of industrial and systems engineering, said he was very impressed by the turnout and appreciated the commitment of both students and industry representatives because “it is very important for them to get out and experience a world out of academia and business.”

CVCR Symposium

Because of the fact that supply chain is a relatively new aspect of business, it is especially important for students to be exposed to leading executives in the field. Dirk Schmidt, a representative from Bosch Rexroth Corp., called supply chain a “mystical world that only came into existence recently, which is why businesses need to adopt a completely new mentality.”

As a motivation for students to meet industry representatives, students had business cards, which they were able to give to the representatives they interacted with. At the end of the networking session, industry representatives put the business cards they received in a box for a raffle prize.

The day after the networking session, CVCR presented a supply chain game changers symposium, in which leading executives presented the innovations that have occurred since integrating supply chain into their business plans. Top executives gave their insights on the innovations of supply chain management that allowed them to be a part of the successful company that they have today.

“These industry representatives changed the status quo of supply chain in modern day business practices,” said Lawrence Snyder, the CVCR co-director and an associate professor in the department of industrial and systems engineering.

Deverl Maserang, vice president of North American Product Supply and Global GM at Chiquita, discussed the game-changing sustainability project at Chiquita. He presented the “Waste 2 Energy” initiative, which uses banana peels to produce energy. This integration of sustainability into their supply chain is revolutionary, and they plan to become “one of the first plants in the world to be 100 percent energy independent while selling back to the grid.”

The final speaker was Pete Ruggiero, executive vice president of global operations at Crayola, discussed how the company was able to differentiate itself from other companies through its operational excellence. As part of the consumer product sector, the company had to be very innovative in terms of their company’s overall strategy and supply chain. They implemented a supply chain leadership initiative, which uses innovation, cost, resilience, quality and ethical responsibility, responsiveness, and sustainability to cater to the high expectations of consumers and business stakeholders.

The CVCR presented students, faculty and industry representatives with a unique opportunity to interact, learn and exchange ideas on supply chain game changers.

Article by Ko Yazaki ’14.

Posted Friday, November 11, 2011


Lee Iacocca ’45, ‘a great son of Lehigh,’ comes home

Early Friday morning there was an excitement running through South Mountain. One of Lehigh’s most esteemed alumni, Lee Iacocca ’45, was on campus to introduce a gift that will afford students the opportunity to develop leadership skills, embrace new cultures and perspectives, and put their theories into practice—all skills that helped Iacocca become one of the world’s top business leaders.

The new Lee Iacocca International Internships Program will help Lehigh students follow in the footsteps of a leader who has done so much for his alma mater, and so much for the world around him.

“This week there’s been a really special buzz in the air, an unsurpassed spirit in the air,” said President Alice P. Gast at a breakfast to officially launch the Lee Iacocca International Scholarship Challenge. “A great son of Lehigh is with us here today. Lee Iacocca has come home.”

Iacocca—a legendary business leader known as much for his philanthropic work as he is for being “the father of the Mustang” at Ford and then engineering a revival at Chrysler—will provide up to $5 million in endowment to support a group of international interns each academic year.

As a challenge grant, the gift will match funds raised from other alumni and donors for a potential total funding of $10 million. Iacocca said that amount would allow 150 students to intern overseas each year.

Iacocca encouraged the standing-room-only crowd of faculty, staff, students, alumni and community leaders in the Wood Dining Room at Iacocca Hall to join him in supporting the new program.

“I discovered a few truths,” Iacocca, now 86 years old, said. “The secret is to live long and enjoy life. Part of enjoying life is giving back. And take it from me, giving back really does make you happy.”

‘Taking it up a notch’

The event recognized Iacocca for the most recent of his many contributions to Lehigh. This year, Lehigh’s Iacocca Institute celebrates the 15th anniversary of the Global Village for Future Leaders of Business and Industry, a program that has brought 1,400 young interns to Lehigh from more than 125 countries.

“I’m very proud to play a part in what all of you have accomplished in the last 15 years since the start of Global Village,” said Iacocca. “Now we’re taking it up a notch to introduce the Lehigh International Internships program.”

Currently, 3.3 million students are studying in a country outside their home country, and more than 700,000 of those students are studying in the United States, Gast said. “The United States is sending about 300,000 students to study internationally each year, and we intend to add more,” she said.

Two Lehigh students who had the opportunity to go overseas as part of the internship’s summer pilot program attended the event to thank Iacocca. Michael Arak ’12 and Meghan Dano ’13 talked about how much their experiences broadened their outlook and instilled confidence.

“We know that these international internships will mean something to the Lehigh students now and in the future,” said Richard Brandt, Director of Global Lehigh and Director of the Iacocca Institute.

“This will give Lehigh students a serious competitive edge in the job market,” added Iacocca.

Changing lives

Arak, a student in the Integrated Business and Engineering (IBE) program, with a concentration in finance and industrial engineering, spent this past summer working in the logistics department in the IKEA Turkey Service Department in Istanbul.

“I gained life experiences that couldn’t have been replicated anywhere else,” said Arak, who was a Global Village intern in 2010. “I now have clearer goals for the future, and that includes traveling abroad.”

Dano, also an IBE student with a concentration in chemical engineering, had a similar experience while working for CFC Consulting in Kiev, Ukraine. Despite traveling abroad on her own for the first time, and being unable to speak the Ukrainian language, Dano navigated the culture and was able to work on significant projects to help promote a positive image of Ukraine abroad.

“I learned a great deal about how business works in other countries,” Dano said. “This opened my eyes to so many more possibilities than I ever imagined. This is one of the greatest opportunities Lehigh has to offer. It has truly changed the way I have come to look at the world and how I plan to use the last two years of my time at Lehigh.”

Mohamed El-Aasser, Vice President for International Affairs, said that the Iacocca internships “will ensure that we are now taking Lehigh to the world and bringing the world back to Lehigh.”

“The true hallmark of the 21st century educated student is the inclusion of an international experience,” said El-Aasser, whose office aims to further globalize Lehigh’s mission.

Gast said that the opportunities provided by the Iacocca internships will help Lehigh in its mission to graduate “globally competent, educated citizens—citizens of the world.”

Iacocca earned a degree from the department in 1945, and later studied politics and plastics at Princeton University. In 1985, he led the fundraising effort to obtain what would become the 742-acre Mountaintop Campus from Bethlehem Steel. He is an honorary member of Lehigh’s Board of Trustees and, in 2010, was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award by Lehigh's Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering.

For more information, please visit the Lehigh News web site.

Photos by Douglas Benedict.

Article by Tricia Long.

Posted Monday, September 19, 2011


Alumnae give students advice on mentoring

Five engineering alumnae came back to Lehigh last week to tell current engineering students about the importance of having a mentor and to give them tips on how to find and work with one.

The returning former students joined two engineering professors in a panel discussion that kicked off the 2011-12 campuswide celebration commemorating the 40th anniversary of the admission of undergraduate women to Lehigh.

Titled “Engineering Success: The Importance of Mentoring,” the discussion was sponsored by the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science and moderated by Mary Fernandez, chair of the board of directors of MentorNet.

Autum Bayles ’92 and ISE professor Aurélie Thiele will be on the panel representing the ISE department.

To read the full story, please visit the Lehigh News web site.

Posted Wednesday, September 14, 2011


Engineering Success - Women Helping Women

Lehigh Women Engineers Panel Discussion to take place on September 9, 2011

In celebration of 40 years of undergraduate women at Lehigh, the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and the Lehigh student chapter of the Society of Women Engineers invites you to a panel discussion entitled Engineering Success: Women Helping Women.

Our distinguished panelists represent a variety of engineering disciplines and both traditional and non-traditional engineering career paths. Each panelist will provide her perspectives about the role of mentoring relationships and networking in shaping career paths within engineering. The panelists will also respond to questions from the audience.

The interactive discussion will be moderated by Mary Fernandez, chair of MentorNet's board of directors. MentorNet is an award-winning e-mentoring program whose mission is to increase the representation of women and under-represented minorities in STEM professions. and networking in shaping career paths within engineering.

Autum Bayles ’92 and ISE professor Aurélie Thiele will be on the panel representing the ISE department.

To register for this event, please visit the Mylehigh web site.

Posted Friday, August 5, 2011


Sustainably driven supply chains

Prof. Emory W. Zimmers, Ayse Bayat ’11, Sekar Sundararajan ’89, H. Robert Gustafson Jr.’73 research make front cover of August 2011 IE Magazine

IE

The drive to go “green” hit supply chains like a thunderclap in July 2009. That’s when Wal-Mart announced that its suppliers would have to improve sustainability in their supply chains. One corporation, which we’ll call the ABC Company, had Wal-Mart as a key customer when the announcement was made. A study of this large, multinational consumer goods company demonstrates how to create a more cost-effective supply chain by being more sustainable.

To read more about the IE Magazine, please visit their web site.

Posted Wednesday, August 3, 2011


Lee Iacocca ’45 creates international internship program

Lee Iacocca, whom CNN named one of the five most influential business people of the past quarter of a century, is ensuring that his influence will be felt at his alma mater for decades to come with the formation of the Lee Iacocca International Internships program.

Lee Iacocca

Iacocca noted that “the idea for the Iacocca International Internships emerged from the questions: How do you go about building global leadership? How do you demonstrate to people from different worlds that their commonalities are greater than their differences? By putting together cross-cultural teams, students are under pressure to perform by working through their cultural differences. They say yes to globalization, yes to cooperation. The students’ enthusiasm is infectious and I would like to think it will infect the world.”

Noting that global leadership is a hallmark of a Lehigh education, President Alice P. Gast said that the new Iacocca international internships will combine global education with practical real-world internships.

“Through Lee’s vision and generosity, this gift will provide opportunities for our students to gain a deeper understanding of the unique challenges that exist in an interdependent and highly connected global society,” she said. “Having practical research, work or service experiences in an area related to your discipline while living in an international environment is a pivotal and life-changing opportunity.”

Learning 'the way the world works'

The new internship program will provide an array of international work experiences for Lehigh students that will include international co-ops, research experiences, and internships or cohort internships, which are internships led by a Lehigh faculty member that matches Lehigh students with their peers from another country to work as a team on a common problem within a multinational corporation.

Iacocca, a legendary business leader known for engineering a revival at Chrysler, will provide up to $5 million in endowment to support a group of international interns each academic year. As a challenge grant, the gift will match funds raised through other alumni and donors for a potential total funding of $10 million.

To read the full article, please visit the Lehigh News web page.

Article by Jennifer Tucker.

Posted Wednesday, July 6, 2011


Glemser Technologies unveils its renovations to the former Steel social club

Ray Glemser ’83 celebrates new home of Glemser Technologies on Broad Street

The entryway of the former Bethlehem Club tells the story.

To the right, a painting of the Bethlehem Steel plant, the blast furnaces prominent, looms above a tiled fireplace — a reminder of the days when the 102-year-old building served as a social club for Steel's elite.

To the left is a sleek conference room trimmed with a flat-screen television and the latest computer hookups concealed behind the freshly painted walls.

The rooms are part of Glemser Technologies' $2.3 million investment to turn the vacant club at 520 N. New St. into new headquarters.

"This building has a proud history, and because of Glemser, it will have a proud future," Mayor John Callahan said at the ceremonial ribbon-cutting Tuesday.

Officials say the project, which included a $60,000 façade loan from the city, shows how the city once dominated by Steel is reinventing itself and diversifying its tax base with its push to attract technology companies.

A incubator company that was born on Lehigh University's Mountaintop Campus 24 years ago, Glemser helps life science businesses, such as Pfizer Inc., with information management needs like software and other services. Company officials declined to disclose how many employees it has, but said the new building has room for 50.

The grand opening drew a couple dozen people, including former Steel Chairman and CEO Hank Barnette, who was a Bethlehem Club member for 25 years. Barnette, whose law offices are a few doors down, marveled Tuesday about how much work had been done to the club.

"It's absolutely amazing," he said.

In its heyday, the club was a place where Steel's executives socialized and brought new hires. It included 12 dorm-style rooms and bowling lanes.

Glemser renovated the dining room into office space and the dorms into two luxury apartments complete with hardwood floors, stainless steel appliances and granite countertops. The company kept the bowling lanes.

President and CEO Ray Glemser ’83 and Vice President Andy Glemser gave the hourlong tour of their new building to city officials, family, employees and community leaders.

Andy Glemser said the renovation was challenging. The redesign team had trouble identifying load-bearing walls and beams.

"Every time you tear down an old wall, you find something unexpected," he said.

Glemser took interest in the building more than 1 1/2 years ago, after the club was liquidated.

The club began as a private club for Steel in 1909 but opened membership to the public by the 1970s, Barnette said. Club membership began to decline in the 1990s. Leaders had tried to revive the club in 2007 by promoting new, less expensive social memberships and adding a cigar lounge with humidor lockers, an air filtration system, a large flat-screen television and plush leather couches.

Those changes increased activities but not enough to make the 90 members believe the club could continue.

Glemser moved from 60 W. Broad St.

To see photos from the Glemser ribbon cutting, please visit the Morning Call web page.

Article by Nicole Radzievich of the Morning Call.

Posted Thursday, June 9, 2011


Whitney Chen ’05, will compete for the title of 'Food Network Star'

Whitney Chen

Whitney Chen may have a degree in engineering, but the 2005 Lehigh University graduate is trading it in for a shot at food glory.

She will be among the 15 contestants competing on Food Network’s reality cooking show competition, “Food Network Star.” The show premieres 9 p.m. Sunday.

“It will be weird to watch myself,” Chen says in a phone interview. “And it’s wild to walk in New York City and see cabs driving through with our pictures on them.”

Chen earned a bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering.

“Lehigh is such a special place to me, and I’m sure I’ll be back,” Chen says.

Foodnetwork.com lists Chen, 28, as a resident of New York, N.Y., who trained at L’Academie de Cuisine in Bethesda, Md., before moving on to the restaurant world. In October 2010, she went to an open audition for the show. After a few rounds of interviews, camera demos and cooking displays, Chen got the good news that she was a finalist.

“I couldn’t tell anybody. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Chen says, admitting she even kept her brother and sister in the dark about her time away from home.

“It was really fun. It made me realize this is definitely something I want to do,” Chen says of the experience, which at times was challenging. “You still have tough days, but it’s easy to have tough days when you’re doing something you love.”

Bobby Flay, Bob Tuschman, Susie Fogelson and Giada De Laurentiis will judge the seventh season of “Food Network Star.”

Chen says her parents have planned a watching party back home in Clarendon Hills, Ill. Chen says she gets inspiration from Ina Garten, aka Barefoot Contessa.

“I was a huge Food Network junkie,” Garten says. “I think I cook like her and think like her in a lot of ways.”

Garten will appear during the season, according to a news release. Tyler Florence, Guy Fieri, Wolfgang Puck, Robert Irvine and other Food Network chefs, as well as actress Courteney Cox and show creator Bill Lawrence, will also make appearances.

The two-hour season premiere sends contestants to Los Angeles’ Grauman’s Chinese Theater and the city’s Original Farmer’s Market, where chef Alton Brown will teach them the tricks of the trade.

“Everyone can cook with four-star flair” — that’s how Chen describes her culinary point of view.

“Take everyday dishes and incorporate an advanced technique or ingredient,” Chen says of the model she’d use if she wins the competition and gets her own Food Network show. Chen can’t reveal her fate on the reality show, but says she learned a lot about herself through filming.

“… I learned how resilient I am,” she says. “It was a fierce competition the entire time. I know what I want and I won’t stop until I get it.”

"The Next Food Network Star" airs Sunday nights at 9 p.m. on the Food Network. The show’s finale is scheduled for Aug. 14.

Click here to check out Chen's bio and the competition she's up against.

Article by Kelly Huth of the Express Times.

Posted Monday, June 6, 2011


Nabaa named Healthcare Systems Program Director

Hisham Abu-Nabaa

Mr. Hisham Nabaa joined the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science as Professor of Practice and Director of the Healthcare Systems Engineering (HSE) program on May 1, 2011. As director, Hisham will be responsible for developing and launching the M.Eng. Healthcare Systems Engineering program. He will work with Lehigh faculty to coordinate research projects between the healthcare delivery organizations and HSE, teaching new healthcare systems courses, organizing and supervising student projects in the program’s capstone course, establishing relationships with industry and government agencies, establishing and working with an industry advisory board and providing direction for the program.

Mr. Nabaa earned a Master’s of Science degree in Electrical and Computer Engineering from Wilkes University in 1996, focusing on digital image processing and robotics. He has served as manager of design/test engineering at PRIMUS Technologies, and as director of MIS for Mercy Health Partners Wilkes-Barre. More recently, he has served as Director of Engineering Operations and Strategy for Wilkes University’s division of Engineering & Physics. His skills and experience include systems consulting, client relations, healthcare IT, streamline programs, reducing processing time, and producing creative management reporting tools.

For more information about the HSE program, please visit the HSE web page.

Posted Friday, May 20, 2011


Rossin Fellows: Carrying on a formidable legacy

In mid-April, some of the engineering college's most promising students and young professors were joined by the family of Peter C. Rossin ’48 (1923-2003) to celebrate the 2011 induction of the college's elite Rossin Professors and Fellows.

The namesake of the event and the engineering college, Peter C. Rossin ’48, was among Lehigh's most accomplished alumni. He graduated with a B.S. in metallurgy (now part of the department of materials science and engineering), although his studies were interrupted through his service as a U.S. Air Force Pilot during World War II. Rossin went on to found Dynamet Inc., a leading manufacturer of titanium and nickel-based alloy products for a variety of applications including industrial products, aerospace development, and biomedical devices.

A successful entrepreneur by any measure, Rossin also used to say that every person owes a debt to society and the institutions instrumental to their success. In 1998, he and his wife, Ada, established a $25-million endowment for Lehigh's engineering college, the largest ever presented to Lehigh. Part of this was used to establish the Rossin Fellows program, a thriving campus leadership organization which today contains an active membership of 83 undergraduates, 42 doctoral candidates, and six junior faculty.

Each engineering department acknowledged their respective undergraduates selected to join the Rossin Junior Fellows. 34 undergraduates were selected for the program, joining forces with 19 returning members. 32 Junior Fellows were congratulated for completing their service this Spring.

According to their organizational mission, the Rossin Junior Fellows (RJF) focus on recruitment, education and service. The group has created and maintains specialized tours to help attract future Lehigh engineers, peer tutoring and mentoring programs to support current Lehigh engineers, and a variety of service events to support the local community. One such event is CANstruction, where RJF works with Broughal Middle School students to design artistic structures out of food cans that are eventually donated to New Bethany Ministries food bank in Bethlehem.

Perhaps the Fellows' best example of carrying on in the tradition of their namesake were those honored for being especially involved in service activities. As such, Dean Wu recognized Eric Holland and ISE Department student, Katherine Glass-Hardenbergh of the Class of 2011 for their commitment and work ethic.

The new ISE Department Doctoral Fellows are:
Elcin Cetinkaya, Anahita Hassanzadeh, and Murat Mut

The current ISE Department Doctoral Fellows are:
Ruken Duzgun, Julio Goez Gutierrez, Dan Li, Tolga Seyhan, and Alper Uygur

The new ISE Department Rossin Junior Fellows (RJF) are:
Harry Caruso, Mason Jacobs, Gregory Mustillo, and Matthew Raborn

The current ISE Department RJF is:
Lorand Dragu

Thank you to the following ISE Department students who are completing their services as a RJFs:
Ramiro Alfaro, Taylor Foxworth, Katherine Glass-Hardenbergh, Andrew McGlincy, Thomas Randazza, and Robert Rappa

To read the full article, please visit the Lehigh RCEAS News Web site.

Article by Katie Karabasz.

Posted Monday, May 9, 2011


Celebrating a Lifetime at Lehigh

The department honors Irwin Young ’50 and Mikell Groover ’61, ’66G, ’69Ph.D.

Mikell P. Groover was honored by his colleagues in the Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) recently for more than half a century of dedication and service to Lehigh.

Mikell Groover and cake

Groover, who earned four degrees from Lehigh, is retiring as professor of industrial and systems engineering after 45 years on Lehigh’s faculty. The author of seven books on manufacturing, Groover is a man who has had a singular impact on Lehigh.

As part of the annual ISE banquet in Iacocca Hall last week, Tamás Terlaky, the George N. and Soteria Kledaras ’87 Endowed Professor and Chair of ISE, referred to Groover as “the soul of the department” and the person he turned to “when I needed to learn about the department's great traditions, alumni, and colleagues in the IE community.”

Groover shared the spotlight at the banquet with Irwin Young ’50, who was awarded the 2011 Distinguished Alumni Award. As the current chairman of the board of Du Art Film Laboratories and Du Art Video, Young has made his mark as a pillar of the New York film community through his technical achievements and his active membership in numerous organizations supporting innovations in technology and programming in television and film.

Irwin Young and Tamas Terlaky

Young won an Oscar in 2000 for the prestigious Gordon E. Sawyer Award, given each year by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to someone whose technological contributions have brought credit to the film industry. (For more on Young, read: An engineer-filmmaker returns to his alma mater.)

Also as part of the annual ISE celebration, Leon McGinnis, the Eugene C. Gwaltney Chair in Manufacturing Systems and Professor at Georgia Institute of Technology, spoke earlier in the day as the Spencer C. Schantz Guest Lecturer.

Groover earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering, a B.A. in arts and sciences, an M.S. in industrial engineering and, in 1969, the first Ph.D. granted by what was then known as the department of industrial engineering. He served as president of Chi Phi fraternity. Except for a two-year stint with Eastman Kodak, he has spent all of his life at Lehigh since 1957.

In preparation for the banquet, more than 100 of Groover’s former students wrote testimonials about his teaching, research, and passion for his field, praising his ability to synthesize complicated ideas and his compassion in the classroom.

Mikell Groover

“To this day,” shared Vincent Armenti ’02, “when I find myself in a challenging situation I still remind myself that Professor Groover believed in me. It puts a smile on my face."

Groover is remembered for his commitment to the adaptation of his field. His life as a faculty member, he says, became an exercise in continuous learning.

"Teaching students, doing research, writing textbooks—these activities reinforce each other."

To see pictures from the event, please visit our photo album.

Photos by Chris Elston.

Article by Kurt Pfitzer.

Posted Monday, May 9, 2011


Student Life Awards honor contributions of stellar students

The Lehigh community came together at the end of the academic year to honor the dedication and accomplishments of many students who are positively impacting the culture of the university.

ISE Department students who were honored were Michael Arak ’12, Katherine Glass-Hardenbergh ’11, Gena Levengood ’13 and Jonathan Pribis ’12.

To read the full article, please visit the Lehigh News Web site.

Posted Thursday, May 5, 2011


Streamlining the scheduling of OR procedures

Operating rooms account for 40 percent of a hospital’s total revenue but run at only 69 percent of capacity, according to the Health Care Financial Management Association.

Most hospitals book a fixed amount of time for an operation, determine the number that can be performed in a day and assign each a starting time. If an operation runs late, it delays the starting time for each subsequent surgery.

Camilo Mancilla, a Ph.D. student, hopes to improve OR utilization with algorithms that account for the unpredictable durations of operations. He creates a sample of random times (or scenarios) for each procedure. By running a huge number of possible scenarios, the program eventually finds an optimal solution that accounts for randomness.

Improving OR utilization also requires determining the optimal order for surgeries. Common sense, says Professor Robert Storer, dictates scheduling a surgery of known duration before one whose length is harder to predict. But the problem becomes more complicated when determining the best sequence for 10 operations rather than two.

To read the full article, please visit the Lehigh Resolve Web site.

Posted Thursday, May 5, 2011


Hard work pays off for undergraduate engineering researchers

The 2011 David and Lorraine Freed Undergraduate Research Symposium

ISE Department students Katherine Glass-Hardenbergh ’11, and Sushan Zheng ’11 won honorable mentions at the annual research symposium.

To read the full article, please visit the Lehigh News Web site.

Posted Thursday, May 5, 2011


Embracing the engineering heritage; Inventing the engineering future

Leon McGinnis gives April Spencer Schantz Lecture and honors Mikell Groover

The department’s Spencer Schantz Lecturer, Leon McGinnis has two distinct loves. One for teaching and another for making systems run faster, better, and more efficiently.

Leon McGinnis

“Modern society depends on it,” said McGinnis. “The research that I’ve been conducting gives logistic systems, such as warehouses, factories, and global supply networks, a better way to describe a problem and provide them with the best solution. The goal is to give long term, coherent and constructive decisions.”

His work always involves the integration of computational tools for description and analysis, and the creation of formal models of system structure and behavior. McGinnis helped to establish the Material Handling Research Center in 1982. He also helped to establish the Computer Integrated Manufacturing Systems (CIMS) Program, which received a LEAD Award from ASME for excellence in graduate-level interdisciplinary manufacturing education. He served as CIMS Director from 1988 to 1998. Dr. McGinnis is the founding Director of the Keck Virtual Factory Lab, serves as Associate Director of the Manufacturing Research Center (MRC), and was instrumental in the establishment of the Rapid Prototyping and Manufacturing Institute within the MRC.

McGinnis received the BSIE from Auburn University, and the MSIE and Ph.D. from North Carolina State University. He currently holds the Eugene C. Gwaltney Chair in Manufacturing Systems at Georgia Tech, where he has been since 1975.

Spencer Schantz Lecture Audience

“What I enjoy most about teaching is working with the Ph.D. students,” said McGinnis. “It’s great to see that you can work with these students in a number of different fields in a small group setting.”

“Teaching is almost like a systems problem, how do you teach students effectively? I find it rewarding to help shape their careers and when you finally realize when you get through to them about a complicated topic.”

During McGinnis’s Technical Talk “Model Based Industrial Engineering” on April 27, he described to the department’s students the opportunities that he thought we are missing, how we might capture that opportunity, and what doing so might mean for our profession.

“I discussed with the students the great opportunities that are advancing in the field, and explained what other people are doing. I wanted to try and expand their horizons as much as possible.”

Leon McGinnis

This Spencer Schantz Public Lecture on April 28, titled “Industrial Engineering—Quo Vadis? One Man’s Idiosyncratic View of His Profession” he gave a brief history lesson about Industrial Engineering and where it was heading in the next few years.

“A successful and sustainable profession must have a clear and shared answer to that question,” said McGinnis. “I hope the audience embraces the engineering heritage in hopes of inventing the engineering future.”

As part of this Spencer Schantz Lecture, it was part of a full day celebration for the annual ISE Banquet and honoring Dr. Mikell Groover, who formally retired in December 2010 after 44 years of teaching.

“Mikell Groover is an anchor point for the discipline of Industrial Engineering,” said McGinnis. “His text books are used all over the world, and faculty members don’t write books like they used to. Mike’s making a huge impact in the field on just his text books alone.”

Photos by Chris Elston.

Posted Wednesday, May 4, 2011


An engineer-filmmaker returns to his alma mater

Irwin Young ’50, chairman of Du Art, a New York City film laboratory founded by his father, returned to campus recently to give the 2011 Spencer C. Schantz Distinguished Lecture.

Irwin Young

Young, who earned a B.S. in industrial engineering from Lehigh, discussed his 60 years in the film industry, a career that culminated in 2000, when he received the Gordon E. Sawyer Oscar Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

The Sawyer Award is awarded to “an individual in the motion picture industry whose technological contributions have brought credit to the industry.”

In 1979, the Academy gave Young and two colleagues at Du Art a Technical Achievement Award for developing a computer-controlled paper tape programming system and applying it to the motion picture lab.

Young helped bring numerous independent films to the screen through Du Art. As a producer, he was responsible for several award-winning films, including Alambrista, which won the Camera d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1978, and Nothing But a Man, which won two prizes at the Venice Film Festival in 1964 and was selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress.

Article by Kurt Pfitzer.

Posted Monday, March 28, 2011


Remembering Hans J. Baer '47, '97H

Hans J. Baer, one of Switzerland’s most successful bankers and an alumnus who exerted a major influence on Lehigh’s drive to become a more international university, died on March 21. He was 83.

Hans J. Baer

Baer devoted his professional life to the family-owned Julius Baer Company, serving as partner beginning in 1960, as president of the executive board from 1975 until 1993, and as chairman of the board in the three years before his retirement.

The company, engaged in domestic and international banking and global asset management, is based in Zurich with offices in New York and London.

Baer played a leading role as a member of the Volcker Commission investigating Holocaust assets, serving, in his words, “as a connecting bridge” between the World Jewish Congress and the Swiss Bankers Association.

Known to the world as a successful banker, Baer was famous at his alma mater 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, he endowed scholarships for international undergraduate students to attend Lehigh, and he established a chair in international finance—all in an attempt to raise Lehigh’s profile internationally.

Baer graduated from Lehigh in 1947 with a B.S. in industrial engineering. In 1950, he received his M.A. in economics from New York University. He was a Christ Church Visiting Fellow at Oxford University and a Visiting Fellow for the Weatherhead Center for International Affairs at Harvard.

To read the full article, please visit the Lehigh News Web site.

Black and white photography by Theo Anderson.

Posted Friday, March 25, 2011


ISE Department students honored at 32nd Honors Convocation

Nearly 400 students were recognized at the 32nd Honors Convocation in mid-March in Baker Hall. The annual ceremony honors juniors and seniors who have achieved at least a 3.6 GPA or received academic prizes.

ISE department students Michael Colucci ’12, Andrew Stewart ’11 and David Gritz ’11 were all honored.

To read the full article, please visit the Lehigh News Web site.

Posted Friday, March 25, 2011


Getting the business with Six Sigma

Only one company in the Lehigh Valley has a conference center with multicolored doors, paints its warehouse with rainbow stripes and hands out crayons at the beginning of a presentation.

That company is, of course, Crayola, which teamed with Lehigh’s MBA program and the Center for Value Chain Research for "Six Sigma Implementation Case Study," a joint course on using Lean Six Sigma to streamline processes.

To read the full article, please visit the Lehigh News Web site.

Posted Monday, February 14, 2011


They're Young, and They're Restless: Collegiate Inventors Face Off

IBE Students Greg Capece ’10, Mike Harm ’10 and Nick Rocha ’10 are featured in Scientific American Magazine. To read the article, please visit their Web site.

Posted Monday, January 3, 2011