Pratt People

Earl Dowell, William Holland Hall Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, has won the prestigious American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics 2007 Walter J. and Angeline H. Crichlow Trust Prize. This prize, sometimes called the “Nobel of aerospace,” is presented by the AIAA every four years. Dowell was cited for “pioneering contributions to aeroelasticity, structural dynamics and unsteady aerodynamics, which had an enormous influence on aerospace technology, and for contributions to education and public service in aerospace engineering.” The award, to be presented at an AIAA meeting in Honolulu on April 25, consists of a medal, a certificate of citation, and an honorarium of $100,000.

Nine students were elected to the 2007-2008 Engineering Student Government Executive Board. Junior Neha Krishnamohan was elected executive president and junior Leslie Voorhees was elected executive vice president. Maggie Abernathy, also a junior, was elected secretary, and junior Allen Keel was elected treasurer. Publicity chair will be Karli Spetzer and Mary Ellen Koran was elected Community Service Chair. Lee Pearson was elected 2008 Class President, Alex Gorham was elected 2009 Class President and Patrick Ye was elected 2010 Class President.

Pratt senior ECE major Everett Wetchler is a member of the three-person Duke programming team selected to compete in the 31st annual World Finals of the Association for Computing Machinery International Collegiate Programming Contest March 12-16 in Tokyo. More than 6,000 teams, representing 1,756 universities from around the globe, participated in the regional competitions last fall, and Duke was among 20 universities in the United States to qualify for the finals. The other two members of the team are junior Kshipra Bhawalkar, a math and computer science major, and freshman computer science major Peng Shi.

Robert Clark, Thomas Lord Professor of Engineering, will succeed Professor Kenneth Hall as chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science effective July 1. Clark will take a leave of absence from his position as Senior Associate Dean.

Dean of the Chapel Samuel Wells and Pratt Dean Kristina Johnson engaged in a dialogue on how engineering advances social good on Feb. 15.

The work of BME Professor Steve Smith and his colleagues on 3D ultrasound catheters is featured on the March cover of IEEE Transactions on Ultrasonics. Congratulations to all involved for this fine work.

Mechanical engineering Professor Devendra Garg was honored in New Delhi last month with the Hind Rattan (Jewel of India) Award by the Non-Resident Indians (NRI) Welfare Society of India. The society each year selects a few non-resident Indians who had made excellent contributions in their own areas of expertise. Garg's award cited him for his outstanding service, achievements and contributions to engineering.

Andrew Longenecker has been selected to the USA Today All-USA College Academic Team second team. The newspaper announced that Longenecker was one of 20 college students who made the second team.

Assistant ECE Professor Rebecca Willett has been selected to receive a prestigious National Science Foundation CAREER award for faculty early development. The NSF says the awards “support the early career-development activities of those teacher-scholars who most effectively integrate research and education within the context of the mission of their organization.” Willett completed her Ph.D. in ECE at Rice in 2005. Her teaching and research at Duke are focused on information processing and its many applications.

Ph.D. student Jingbo Li, in Professor Steve Cummer's lab, won an Outstanding Student Presentation award at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting in December. The AGU said his presentation on lightning processes in long delayed sprites was recognized as among the best of a strong group of student presenters.

Quincy Brown, a postdoctoral fellow in Professor Nimmi Ramanujam's laboratory, was chosen recently as a recipient of a 2007 Duke Cancer Center Young Investigator Award. As part of the award, Brown has been selected to present his work on assessment of breast physiology with optical biopsy at the Duke Cancer Center annual meeting.

Members of the Duke Symphony Orchestra who are Pratt students include Yatyng Chang, violin; Andre Cheng, violin; Andrew Cook, french horn; Patrick Eibl, violin; Meredith Estren, viola; Michael Feng, cello; Cameron Harrison, viola; Alexander Ho, violin; Enping Hong, trombone; Jeff Hu, violin; Alexander Huang, clarinet; Fred Hwang, cello; Andrew Kim, violin; Faith Kung, violin; Kevin Nathan, bass; Sushma Reddy, violin; Brianna Vey, french horn; Kevin Wu, trumpet; and Timothy D. Zepp, trombone. Their next performance is April 11.

ECE Professors David R. Smith and Steve Cummer and research associate David Schurig and their invisibility cloak team along with visualization technology director Rachael Brady were featured on the History Channel's Star Trek Tech show. The program compared the gadgets of Star Trek to real world technology.

Associate Professor Leslie M. Collins has agreed to serve as chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering effective July 1. Collins will succeed Hisham Massoud, who has led the outstanding department for the past year. Collins joined Duke in 1995 as an assistant professor and was promoted to associate professor in 2002. Her research interests include physics-based statistical signal processing, subsurface sensing, auditory prostheses and pattern recognition.

Henry Petroski, Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering, was the keynote speaker at the Awards Luncheon kicking off National Engineers Week in Boston on Feb. 16. He spoke on engineering as a great profession.

ECE Professor Nan Jokerst will speak at the annual meeting in April of the International Society for Heart and Lung Transplantation in San Francisco. Jokerst will talk about the potential applications of nanotechnology in medicine and potentially transplantation at the plenary session April 25.

CEE Professor Miguel Medina talked about global water resources management at a 45-minute presentation Feb. 9 to the eighth grade class at Hawfields Middle School in Mebane. Medina is now in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on a science mission for UNESCO.

Kirsten Nicholas has joined the Master of Engineering Management Program as career adviser to coordinate and administer employer recruiting and provide career advising to students of the program. She comes to Duke from DeVry University in Arlington, Va., where she was director of career services.

Men's lacrosse co-captain and Pratt 2006 graduate Ed Douglas notched an assist in sixth-ranked Duke's 17-11 season-opening win Feb. 24 against Dartmouth at Koskinen Stadium. The Blue Devils also won Feb. 25, 13-9, over 12th ranked Denver. In men’s swimming, Pratt junior Matt Rinehart set a Duke season-best in the 200 freestyle preliminaries Feb. 23 in the ACC Championships in Chapel Hill. Two other Pratt swimmers, sophomore Jordan Charles and freshman David Carlson competed in the 100 breast bonus finals. Carlson also was on the Duke 400 medley relay team that placed eighth Feb. 23. Rinehart and Carlson were on the Duke 400 freestyle relay team that took ninth place Feb. 24. Duke finished in ninth place overall.

Associate Professor of CEE Karl G. Linden was selected as a keynote speaker at the U.S. Frontiers of Engineering Symposium, to be held Sept. 24-26, 2007, on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Wash. Convened annually by the National Academy of Engineering (NAE), the invitation-only symposium was initiated to provide an opportunity for top-notch engineers, early in their careers, to learn about cutting-edge developments in fields other than their own, thereby facilitating collaborative work and the transfer of new approaches and techniques across disciplines. Linden will speak in the "Safe Water Technologies" session on ultraviolet irradiation for oxidation and disinfection.