Lehigh University
Lehigh University


Peter C. Rossin’s living legacy

On the job, they write software that improves the analysis of medical imaging scans. They install wireless sensors on bridges and they experiment with nanoparticles to reduce the amount of energy consumed in separations processes.

In their spare time, they perform in music ensembles and travel to foreign countries to work on water projects. They tutor their peers in math and physics, and they play football, lacrosse and a host of other sports.

The variety of careers open to engineers, and the variety of pastimes cultivated by Lehigh’s engineers, were in great evidence April 20 at the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science’s (RCEAS) 2009 Celebration of Rossin Professors and Fellows.

Both the college and the event take their name from the late Peter C. Rossin, who in 1998 with his wife, Ada, established a $25-million endowment for Lehigh’s engineering college. The gift was the largest ever made to Lehigh.

Rossin, a pilot with the U.S. Air Force in World War II, earned a B.S in metallurgy from Lehigh in 1948 and went on to found Dynamet Inc., which became one of the nation’s most successful titanium-alloy companies.

Each year, the RCEAS remembers Rossin by honoring some of the faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students who are carrying on his legacy.

At this year’s celebration, the college initiated eight Rossin Doctoral Fellows, named 29 undergraduates as new Rossin Junior Fellows and thanked 26 other undergraduates for completing their service as Rossin Junior Fellows.

The college also endowed three assistant professors—Xiaolei Huang of computer science and engineering, Shamim N. Pakzad of civil and environmental engineering, and Mark Snyder of chemical engineering—as P.C. Rossin Assistant Professors.

“The Rossin Celebration is a very special event that recognizes Pete Rossin, his generosity and his lifelong devotion to engineering,” said S. David Wu, RCEAS dean and Iacocca Professor.

Rossin Assistant Professorships, said Wu, are given to faculty members who have “demonstrated significant career potential and have also devoted time and energy in reaching out to other disciplines.”

Rossin Doctoral Fellowships are given to Ph.D. candidates who are considering academic careers. In addition to writing papers and attending conferences, Doctoral Fellows take special classes to improve their teaching skills.

“Willingness to serve and inspire others”

Rossin Junior Fellows are undergraduate engineering majors who have demonstrated scholarship and leadership, as well as a “dynamic personality and the willingness to serve and inspire others.”

Since the first group of fellows was named in 2005, the students have formed three subgroups that are dedicated to social and service activities, to peer mentoring, and to the recruitment of undergraduate students to Lehigh.

Each of the three new Rossin Assistant Professors conducts research that bridges two or more disciplines, said Wu.

Xiaolei Huang

Huang, the director of Lehigh’s Image Data Emulation and Analysis Lab, joined the faculty in 2006. She has expertise in biomedical imaging analysis, computer vision and computer graphics. Her software programs reveal the stress and strain imposed on the human heart as it pumps blood. They enable cardiologists to distinguish between natural and unnatural deformation of the heart as it contracts, while classifying the various types of unnatural deformation. Huang also creates banks of medical images that can be easily accessed by medical specialists.

Shamim N. Pakzad

Pakzad, an expert in structural health monitoring, joined the faculty in 2008. He installs wireless sensor networks to monitor and detect damage in bridges and other large structures. Pakzad is also interested in system identification and signal processing, probabilistic methods in civil engineering and structural reliability, and random vibrations and structural dynamics.

Mark Snyder

Snyder earned a B.S. in chemical engineering from Lehigh in 2000 and joined the faculty in 2008. In his research, he designs new inorganic nanomaterials for efficient separation and reaction technologies. The applications of his work include alternative energy, sensing and imaging.

The new Rossin Doctoral Fellows and their major departments are Peiyu Tan (electrical and computer engineering), Yaoyao Zhu (computer science and engineering), Ban Kawas (industrial and systems engineering), Julio Goez Gutierrez (industrial and systems engineering), Ying-Cheng Lin (civil and environmental engineering), Sunyong Kim (civil and environmental engineering), Phisan Kaewprapha (electrical and computer engineering), and Ruirui Ren (civil and environmental engineering).

The new Rossin Junior Fellows and their major departments or programs are Joseph Baker (electrical and computer engineering), Timothy Brauning (civil and environmental engineering), Joseph Dow (civil and environmental engineering), Trevor Drummond (electrical and computer engineering), Katherine Glass-Hardenbergh (integrated business and engineering), Allison Graf (chemical engineering), Daniel Grande (materials science and engineering), Nicholas Greybush (materials science and engineering), Eric Holland (computer engineering), Nicole King (electrical and computer engineering), Evans Kosgei (integrated business and engineering), Trevor Kuhlengel (bioengineering), Zhili Liang (bioengineering), Eric Leckrone (mechanical engineering), Rosanne Leith (civil and environmental engineering/IBE), Kristin Macleod (chemical engineering), Daniel Manbeck (computer science and business), Justin Mendelson (bioengineering), Kimberly Molnar (civil and environmental engineering), Patrick Mulligan (mechanical engineering/IBE), Thomas Randazza (information and systems engineering), Robert Rappa (information and systems engineering), Jeremy Schieferstein (chemical engineering), Stephen Scoza (computer science and business), Elizabeth Spengel (mechanical engineering), Jonathan Stumpf (electrical and computer engineering), Ukrit Thamma (materials science and engineering), and Erin Tormey (civil and environmental engineering).

The 26 graduating seniors recognized for completing their service as Rossin Junior Fellows are Valentina Baio, Justin Barton, Evangelos Brisimitzakis, David Browne, Brian Buchholz, Josh Goldman, Steven Henry, Ahmed Issa, Berc Kalanyan, Sean Kennedy, Alice Kodama, Corey Luthringer, David Marchand, Happiness Munedzimwe, Kevin Myers, Sue Nee Tan, Antonis Panayotatos, Kelsey Preston, Eric Putnam, Ziad Rawas, Laura Ricles, Sara Sadek, Alison Sanchez, Tyler Savage, Ivan Stoev and Emily Szabo.

Seventeen members of this group were given Rossin Junior Fellow Service Awards, including Barton, Browne, Henry, Kennedy, Kodama, Luthringer, Ricles, Sadek, Stoev and Szabo, along with Ana Alexandrescu, Sai Lu Mon Aung, Michael Hodsdon, Ashley Kamauf, Sam Kirkpatrick, Ben Mumma, and Joseph Predham.

Story by Kurt Pfitzer

Posted on Thursday, April 23, 2009

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