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Lehigh Engineering Update - October 2010

Students
  • On September 9, 35 Lehigh students presented their research and its value for host firms at the Enterprise Systems Center's "Industry Driven Research Model Demonstration." The student researchers worked with 15 different companies, from start-ups to Fortune 100 corporate entities, including Alpha Packaging, Ateeco, B Braun, Core-Mark, Kraft Foods, St. Lukes, Mallinckrodt-Baker, MetroTech, MHI, Micro-Clean, Nestle Waters, PB Transit & Rail Systems, Sharp Corp. and Tasty Bakery. The research projects ranged from increasing railroad productivity to improving health care provider/patient interaction to delving into solar energy case studies, commissioning new plant production lines, and designing an innovative circuit board test-bed.

  • Edward Stilson, a mechanical engineering major, along with Ben Harmer, Tom Lenehan, and Jo Constantino, all '11, and Lehigh graduate Matt Harmer,'07 competed in Red Bull's annual Flugtag event in Philadelphia over Labor Day weekend. The event requires the teams to build a flying machine from scratch that will be piloted off a 30-foot-high flight deck on the Camden waterfront. After a lengthy application process, which required a detailed sketch of their idea, the team was accepted in May to participate in the highly selective event, and NASA funded their project. The team used Lehigh's ATLSS Research Center building to construct their machine. Check out more in Lehigh's student newspaper, The Brown and White.
Alumni
  • Andy Edmonds '09 was one of 22 students to enroll in the first year of Lehigh's new master's of engineering in energy systems engineering. Despite the current economic recession, all the graduates have been offered jobs -- a testament to the power of the new program. The program, housed within Lehigh's Energy Systems Engineering Institute, is a partnership of Lehigh and the Electric Power Research Institute with support from energy firms across the U.S.

  • This year's recipient of the prestigious Midway American Patriot Award is Lee Iacocca, '45. He is the fourth recipient of the award, which has previously honored Bob Hope, the surviving Medal of Honor recipients from WWII, and the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo astronauts. According to the Midway Award Web site, the award "recognizes an individual or group of individuals for their cumulative lifetime achievement." Lee Iacocca, who they consider and American legend and icon, received the award based on his achievements of designing the Mustang sports car, reviving the Chrysler Corporation, restoring the Statue of Liberty, and dedicating his life to finding a cure for diabetes.

  • EcoTech Marine, a company founded by Tim Marks '04, '06G, Pat Clasen '04, '07G, and Justin Lawyer (an alumnus of the University of Oklahoma), was named to Inc. magazine's list of the country's fastest growing companies. The idea for the company stemmed from Lehigh's Integrated Product Development (IPD) program and has achieved a 995% growth rate in the three years since its establishment.

Faculty
  • Alice Gast, president of Lehigh University was recognized as a one of three science envoys to the Muslim world, a prestigious U.S. State Department position. The fairly new envoys program, which was created last fall by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, was inspired by a speech President Barack Obama gave in June that called for a "new beginning" in relations with the Muslim world. Other prominent science envoys are Bruce Alberts, former president of the National Academy of Sciences and editor-in-chief of Science and Nobel Prize winner Ahmed Zewail of the California Institute of Technology in Pasadena. In this role, she will seek to "deepen existing ties and foster new relationships with foreign counterparts and gain insights from other nations about potential areas of collaboration that will help address global challenges and realize shared goals," according to the State Department.

  • Professor Gregory L. Tonkay has been appointed as Lehigh Engineering's associate dean of undergraduate studies. He has most recent associate chair and associate professor of Lehigh's Industrial and Systems Engineering department. Over the course of his 24 years at Lehigh, he has earned many awards and recognitions for his contributions as a faculty advisor, associate chair, and expert on the ISE curriculum. He teaches courses in industrial control systems, automation and production systems, and databases and networking, and his research interests explore integration and control of manufacturing systems. Greg's appointment follows the announcement that Jerry Lennon, who held the office since 2005, was appointed to the position of deputy provost for academic affairs.

  • Professor Israel E. Wachs and graduate student Julie Molinari recently published a research paper in the prestigious Journal of American Chemical Society (JACS), the most cited journal in chemistry. The paper, titled "Presence of Surface Vanadium Peroxo-oxo Umbrella Structures in Supported Vanadium Oxide Catalysts: Fact or Fiction?," describes their procedures for discovering the support systems of certain catalysts.

  • A full-scale demonstration of coal drying technology is nearing completion at Lehigh's Energy Research Center (ERC), led by Great River Energy, a not-for-profit electric cooperative. A team of Lehigh professors are conducting the research, led by Nenad Sarunac, Other Lehigh team members are Edward Levy, a professor of mechanical engineering and director of the ERC; Zheng Yao, a research scientist; and Carlos Romero, a principal research scientist and associate director of the ERC. The project received funding in 2004 under the U.S. Department of Energy's Clean Coal Power Initiative. This technology has potential use in a range of high moisture coals, and it can be retrofitted in existing systems or units.
Programs
  • On September 13 and 14, Lehigh Engineering hosted a workshop on nanotechnology research that supports progress in the field of energy and the environment. This workshop brought together pre-eminent experts and researchers from Lehigh as well as other academic institutions, government agencies, and industrial concerns in the field. See www.lehigh.edu/nanoenergy for more information on the event.

  • On October 11 and 12, the Center for Optical Technologies will be holding its 9th annual open house in Rauch Business Center. The two-day open house will include tutorials and research workshops featuring emerging breakthrough technologies, as well as a poster reception and plenary speakers from Harvard and Princeton universities and UC Davis. For more information about the event, visit www.lehigh.edu/optics.

  • Lehigh University's Dexter F. Baker Institute for Entrepreneurship, Creativity and Innovation was recognized as one of the top 25 undergraduate programs for entrepreneurship by The Princeton Review. Lehigh was ranked 16th out of 2,000 colleges and universities across the country. The rankings are based on a survey that examines the entire landscape of entrepreneurship programs -- from externships and faculty credentials to business plan competitions, affiliated organizations and other critical components.

Posted on Friday, October 01, 2010

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