Pratt People

Mechanical engineering associate professor Pei Zhong was awarded $1,278,346 for 48 months on a competing renewal grant entitled "Innovations in shock wave lithotripsy technology." With this award, Zhong's project becomes the longest NIH-sponsored single research project grant on shock wave lithotripsy research.

Radiology Professor Carey Everett Floyd Jr., who held a secondary appointment in BME, died Aug. 28 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was 52. He was an eminent scientist, well known for significant research in digital radiography, and he was a fine educator, mentoring numerous Ph.D. students in biomedical engineering, many of whom now have influential careers of their own.

Henry Petroski delivered the Design History Society Keynote Lecture on Aug. 31 to open the Annual Conference of the Design History Society, which was held at the Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. The theme of this year’s conference was “design and evolution,” and the topic of his lecture was the evolution of useful things.

Connie Simmons has been promoted to associate dean for undergraduate affairs. Dean Kristina Johnson said the promotion reflects Simmons' "truly outstanding service to both faculty and students, her effective representation of Pratt in several key advising and undergraduate planning groups across the university, and the leadership role she has assumed in student advising."

Linda Franzoni’s position has been broadened to reflect her key role not only in student affairs issues (both undergraduate and graduate), but also in academic affairs in Pratt, particularly issues associated with academic advising and ABET accreditation. She is now associate dean for student programs.

Two BME graduate students recently received pre-doctoral training grants totaling $90,000 over a three-year period. Spencer J. Cutler received his grant for “Automation and Preclinical Evaluation of a Dedicated Emission Mammotomography System for Fully 3-D Molecular Breast Imaging." Priti Madhav received a grant for "Development and Optimization of a Dedicated, Hybrid Dual-Modality SPECT-CmT System for Improved Breast Lesion Diagnosis." Both are students of Martin Tornai, associate professor of radiology and BME.

MEMS Professor David Needham was a member of the program and organizing committee for the annual meeting over the weekend of the American Academy of Nanomedicine in Washington. He also spoke at the Pharmacological Nanomedicine session, discussing “Mapping Engineering onto Biology at the Nanoscale: Nature’s Encapsulation Technologies as Bioinspiration for Nano-Scale Anti-Tumor Drug Delivery.” Needham is a new member of the board of directors of the academy, and an associate editor for the journal, Nanomedcine.

Dean Kristina Johnson served on a Sept. 18 panel discussing “Creativity in the University.” The panel, sponsored by the Duke chapter of Phi Beta Kappa, also included art historian Richard Powell, Duke President Richard Brodhead, mathematics professor Robert Bryant and several graduate and undergraduate students.

Lori Setton, associate professor in BME and surgery, has been awarded a two-year, $375,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a new system for providing sustained release of drugs to the joint space for the treatment of osteoarthritis. The award, "Thermally-Induced Intra-Articular Drug Delivery System," is a collaboration between Setton and professors Ashutosh Chilkoti (BME), Virginia Kraus (Medicine) and Michael Zalutsky (Radiation Medicine) to explore the utility of thermally-responsive biopolymers for delivering therapeutics to the knee joint space.

Pat O’Connor, former director of the Office of Placement Services and long a friend of Pratt and its students, died at Duke Hospital. O'Connor, who was 78, came to Duke in 1968 as the director of the Office of Placement Services. She retired six years ago, but as Gerald Wilson, senior associate dean in Trinity College of Arts and Sciences, put it, “Retirement for her meant simply a change of venue, not a slowing down.” He said she derived great pleasure from her service as an adviser in the Academic Advising Center at Duke.

Six Pratt faculty members were honored at Founder’s Day Convocation in Duke Chapel. John Board, Anne T. and Robert M. Bass Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, received the Lois and John L. Imhoff Distinguished Teaching Award. Linda Franzoni, professor of the practice in MEMS and associate dean for student programs; and David Schaad, adjunct assistant professor and assistant CEE chair, were selected for the Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising. Henri Gavin, W.H. Gardner Jr. associate professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and CEE director of undergraduate studies, received the Klein Family Distinguished Teaching Award. David R. Smith, Augustine Scholar and associate ECE professor, received the Stansell Family Distinguished Research Award. And Adam Wax, assistant BME professor, received the Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Teaching and Research.

The 2006 Engineering Student Phonathon was a big success. More than 80 students participated and raised more than $127,000 from 938 donors. Committee members included Willie Du, Joe Goo, Tzuo Law, James Montupet, Lee Pearson, Ben Shelton, Ivan Wang, Becca Wilusz and Wendy Young.

Adrian Bejan, J.A. Jones Professor of Mechanical Engineering, delivered a keynote lecture at the 11th Latin American Congress of Heat and Mass Transfer in Mexico City. The title was “Constructal Theory of Generation of Flow Configuration in Nature and Engineering.”

Pratt sophomore Marian Dickinson continues to shine on the playing field. She was honored Sept. 18 as Atlantic Coast Conference Field Hockey Player of the Week. The BME major recorded two hat tricks in two games Sept. 16-17, totaling six goals and an assist against Appalachian State and Old Dominion.

Kenneth Hall delivered a keynote address at the 7th International Conference on Rotor Dynamics sponsored by the International Federation for the Promotion of Mechanism and Machine Science in Vienna, Austria. The talk was entitled "Computational Methods for Nonlinear Unsteady Aerodynamics in Turbomachinery."