Lehigh University
Lehigh University


Lehigh Engineering Update - May 2011


  • Mechanical engieering PhD candidate Issa Hakim is on leave from his studies, and has returned to his native Libya to help the National Transitional Council in its resistance to the rule of dictator Moamar Gadhafi. In mid-April, Issa made a virtual return to campus, via Skype, hosted by the Office of International Affairs and produced by Lehigh Distance Education. Live from the Benghazi headquarters of the resistance, Issa and a translator helped give voice to more than a dozen fellow rebel leaders, from civilian professionals to defected military commanders, and took questions from the assembled audience. The group spoke about the civil war and the effort to oust Gadhafi to some 60 Lehigh students and members of the regional and national media assembled live and via the Skypecast. The Council members emphasized that that the current struggle is a fight for Libyan freedom and dignity, a peaceful demonstration forced into bloody conflict due to the violent response of the regime. "We are fighting against a tyrant who has held power for 42 years," said Issa. "We are very proud of what we're doing." The hour-plus video capture of the Skype transmission is available for download, as well.
  • WMFZ-TV featured doctoral student Andrew Abraham's NASA-funded research during a news segment in early April. According to the story, Abraham, a mechanical engineering student, has developed a patent-pending structure to be mounted on satellites that will enable people to access more efficient and reliable satellite-based Internet services. Abraham participated in NASA's Glenn Academy Space Exploration program.
  • Two teams of Lehigh students earned the title of finalist for the 2011 Imagine Cup USA competition, which encourages students to create real-world software services or design their own video games using Microsoft tools and technology. Team "SudoSandShoe," made up of Greyson Parrelli, Michael Toth, and Yujia Huo, all from the Class of 2014, earned an honorable mention for their game "Special Delivery," which was aimed at raising awareness of the need for assistance in developing countries. Wyatt Pierson and Jason Kim, both from the Class of 2012, formed Team "Not Enough Monerals," who also received recognition for their software designs. Team "SudoSandShoe" was advised by Hector Munoz-Avila, and "Not Enough Minerals" was encouraged by Brian Davidson. Both are professors of the computer science and engineering department.
  • In conjunction with the Community Service Office, Dan Coviello '13, an environmental engineering major, coordinated several blood drives for the Miller-Keystone Blood Center during his first two years at Lehigh. The latest drive reached a record high of 210 blood donations, a testament to Coviello's hard work and dedication to serving others. The Miller-Keystone Blood Center awarded Coviello for the dramatic increase in donors compared to previous drives.
  • Sougata Roy, a senior research scientist at Lehigh's Advanced Technology for Large Structural Systems (ATLSS) Center was prominently featured in an article published in Popular Mechanics about the reconstruction of the Verrazano-Narrows Bridge, one of the world's largest suspension bridges. According to the article, researchers in ATLSS have been researching and testing new technology that will repair a decade of wear and tear the bridge.
  • For the next five years, Martin Harmer, director of Lehigh's Center for Advanced Materials and Nanotechnology (CAMN), will lead a team of scientists from Lehigh, Carnegie-Mellon, Clemson, Illinois and Kutztown Universities to determine how the atomic structure of grain-boundary interphases -- interphase complexions -- affect the mechanical, electrical and thermal properties of a wide range of strategic engineering materials. The Department of Defence Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grant worth $7.5 million was one of only 27 projects chosen for funding from 113 proposals submitted this year. Harmer has also written an article on grain boundaries in the "Perspective" section of the April 8, 2011, issue of Science, the nation's leading science journal. Titled "The Phase Behavior of Interfaces," the article describes his work with bonded crystals in metals and ceramics that could lead to new developments in semiconductors, biomaterials and clean energy storage and conversion.
  • Recent Lehigh PhD Hongping Zhao '11 Ph.D. will join the faulty at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio, with hopes of inspiring and motivating young students to achieve academic greatness. Advised by Nelson Tansu, Class of 1961 Associate Professor of electrical and computer engineering, Zhao published more than 23 scholarly journal articles and 40 conference papers during her time as a student at Lehigh, which helped elevate her to a faculty position directly after earning her doctorate.
  • Qiaoqiang Gan '10 Ph.D. and a team of Lehigh electrical engineers and chemists were published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), one of the world's most frequently cited multidisciplinary science journals.The researchers have created a surface that has experimentally verified the "rainbow" trapping effect, showing that plasmonic structures can slow down light waves over a broad range of wavelengths. According to Gan, the team's developments can lead to major improvements in the processing and transmission capacity of optical data, and also in data storage, solar cells, biosensors and other technologies. During his doctoral work, Gan was advised by , Fil Bartoli, department chair and professor of electrical and computer engineering.
  • Lehigh earned a place on the top 15 colleges with the highest return on investment, according to on Bloomberg Businessweek. The rankings are based on several factors, including the likeliness that a student graduates and whether or not they receive financial aid. According to the report, Lehigh's 30-year net ROI is about $1.5 million, placing Lehigh at #13, among the likes of graduates of Princeton and Harvard universities, Dartmouth College and California Institute of Technology.
  • Hidde Brongersma, a professor at Imperial College in London, England, visited campus to deliver the keynote address at the Surface Analysis Symposium held in late March. Dr. Brongersma is well-known for inventing a cutting-edge spectrometer, the ION-TOF Qtac 100 High Sensitivity-Low Energy Ion Scattering (HS-LEIS) device. Lehigh's recently installed Qtac 100 is the world's most sensitive instrument for identifying atoms on a material's surface, and is the only one of its kind in the U.S. Professor Israel E. Wachs, the G. Whitney Snyder Professor of chemical engineering department and director of the Operando Molecular Spectroscopy and Catalysis Research Lab, gave a presentation about potential applications of the new equipment, along with Lehigh researchers Al Miller and Andriy Kovalskiy. Please note that all Symposium materials, including video of the presentations, are available via http://www.lehigh.edu/operando/symposium.html.
  • A team of Lehigh students and professors revealed their version of the 12th century Chinese "Rainbow Bridge" during a ceremony, titled "QingMing Festival and Dedication of the Lehigh Chinese Bridge," to commemorate the diligent efforts of those who dedicated their time to constructing the bridge over the past two years. As part of Lehigh's Chinese Bridge Project, the building of the bridge metaphorically connects China to Lehigh, a memorial of the original Chinese students at Lehigh and a celebration of continued ties with the country. The bridge is located at the entrance of the Student Art Park off Upper Sayre Drive. The project is supported by the Henry Luce Foundation and funded by a Lehigh University Core Competencies Grant.


Posted on Tuesday, May 03, 2011

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