Dartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of EngineeringDartmouth Engineer - The Magazine of Thayer School of Engineering

Kudos

Professor Reza Olfati-Saber, an expert on self-organizing complex systems, has been awarded a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, the government’s highest such honor. The award will support his research on the next generation of smart cars.

Professor Olfati-Saber, second from left in second to last row, with President  Obama and fellow award winners.
Professor Olfati-Saber, second from left in second to last row, with President Obama and fellow award winners. Official White House photograph by Chuck Kennedy.

Professor Solomon Diamond ’97 Th’98 was one of 53 early-career engineering educators chosen to participate in the National Academy of Engineering’s Frontiers of Engineering Education symposium in December in Irvine, Calif. The program focused on ways to ensure that students learn skills necessary to be effective engineers or researchers.

ICECODE LLC founded by Professor Victor Petrenko, is one of five innovation award-winners in the 2010 GE Ecomagination Challenge. ICECODE was cited for a technology — using high-power pulses to apply heat from the inside — “that instantly de-ices wind turbine blades so they never slow or shut down.”

Ecomagination: How do you change the world? You challenge its smartest minds. The GE Ecomagination Challenge named SustainX Inc., founded in 2007 by Dax Kepshire Th’07 ’09, Ben Bollinger ’04 Th’04 ’08, and Troy McBride Th’01 with the help of former Thayer Dean Charles Hutchinson, as one of 12 new partners selected for investment by GE “to develop and commercialize technologies vital to helping build the next-generation power grid.”

Biomedical product development firm Simbex, led by founder and adjunct professor Rick Greenwald Th’88, will partner with Thayer School and the Dartmouth Institute for Health Policy & Clinical Practice to create the Center for Translation of Rehabilitation Engineering Advances and Technology (TREAT). With a $3.4-million, five-year award from the National Institutes of Health, TREAT will offer technology assessment, intellectual property evaluation, concept prototyping and testing, market evaluation, and clinical trials development for rehabilitation technologies.

Recent B.E. students Devon Anderson Th’10, Jonathan Guerrette Th’10, and Nathan Niparko ’09 Th’10 earned the second-place, $5,000 prize in the undergraduate category of the 2010 Collegiate Inventors Competition for the bioresorbable surgical sponge they created as a project for Thayer’s design methodology course ENGS 190/290 (now known as ENGS 89/90). The team used a novel combination of materials, including cellulose and alginate, and a novel fabrication method involving electrospinning to create a sponge that, if accidentally left in a patient’s body during surgery, breaks down into harmless substances that can be absorbed by the body. Anderson, now a visiting research assistant at Thayer, and Guerrette, a master’s candidate, are continuing research on the sponge.

Master’s candidate Lucas Ellis co-chairs the Next Generation Scientists for Biodiesel initiative, formed to increase support for biodiesel among tomorrow’s scientific leaders. Chosen for the position by the National Biodiesel Board, Ellis will help create a forum where students can collaborate and share ideas, including through virtual conferences and Facebook exchanges.

A team of Dartmouth students was recently selected to participate in NASA’s 2011 Microgravity University, a program that allows university students to perform research in a zero-g environment similar to that experienced by astronauts.

The team will fly aboard an aircraft that performs a series of parabolic arcs to simulate spaceflight. Four team members, B.E. candidates Sean Currey ’11, Broghan Cully ’11, Maxwell Fagin, and Michael Kellar, will test their ENGS 89/90 (formerly 190/290) project, which is sponsored by NASA’s Glenn Research Center. The project is a condensing heat exchanger that uses porous graphite to extract moisture from spacecraft cabins. Julianna Scheiman ’11 and William Voigt, a dual-degree student, will also be aboard. NASA has also featured Currey’s summer internship work on alternative fuels.

Sean Currey ’11 during his summer internship at NASA
Sean Currey ’11 during his summer internship at NASA. Photograph courtesy of Sean Currey.

A Dartmouth Outing Club crew led by Greg Sokol ’10 Th’11 spent last summer rebuilding Titcomb Cabin, located on the Connecticut River’s Gilman Island about a mile downriver from campus. The original cabin, which was built in 1952, burned down in a May 2009 fire. The crew floated nearly all the construction materials — including almost 100 logs harvested from a College-owned lot — to the island via canoes and boats.

Left to right, Lucas Schulz ’08 Th’09, engineering major Jordan Nesmith ’11, Greg Sokol ’10 Th’11, Max Friedman ’10, Claire Frazer ’10, Charlie Grant ’11, and engineering major Kodiak Burke ’11
CABIN CREW: Left to right, Lucas Schulz ’08 Th’09, engineering major Jordan Nesmith ’11, Greg Sokol ’10 Th’11, Max Friedman ’10, Claire Frazer ’10, Charlie Grant ’11, and engineering major Kodiak Burke ’11. Photograph by Steve Smith.

This spring the crew plans to finish the loft and install windows, a door, and a woodstove. “Working with fellow engineers was great — the project is what it is only because of their abilities and their willingness to learn and pick up new skills,” Sokol says. “The trickiest part of the cabin was probably putting the last log on. The roof is supported by five logs called purlins which run the length of the roof. The one that supports the peak of the roof, the ridge pole, is the largest log we had, with a 21-inch diameter at the butt. It needed to be raised up carefully with a chain hoist and positioned perfectly onto four supporting posts. I think we had 15 to 20 volunteers that day helping steady the log as it was lowered into place.” Read the crew’s blog at rebuildingtitcomb.blogspot.com.

A Formula Hybrid exhibition competition will be held at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway May 7 as part of the 100th Anniversary Indy 500 Emerging Tech Day. The exhibition follows the fourth annual Thayer-organized Formula Hybrid International Competition, which takes place May 1–4 at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H. Meanwhile, you can follow the progress of this year’s Formula Hybrid teams in a new blog written by veteran racing writer Gordon Kirby.

Three groups from Thayer participated in the USA Science and Engineering Festival, held on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. on October 23 and 24. Professor Mary Albert, Ice Drilling Program Office educational outreach coordinator Linda Morris, Thayer Ph.D. candidate Kaitlin Keegan, B.E. candidate Casey Stelmach ’10, and three Dartmouth earth sciences grad students presented Polar Detectives, an interactive exhibit about ice core research and climate change.

Ph.D. candidate Kaitlin Keegan shows an ice core to visitors to Thayer’s Polar Detectives booth at the USA Science and Engineering Festival
Ph.D. candidate Kaitlin Keegan shows an ice core to visitors to Thayer’s Polar Detectives booth at the USA Science and Engineering Festival. Photograph courtesy of Nancy Serrell.

Professor Solomon Diamond ’97 Th’98 and Ph.D. candidates Broc Burke, Mohammed Talukdar, and Katherine Perdue presented Biosignals! Synchronizing Rhythms in the Human Body, about what scientists are discovering about the brain’s function in synchronizing our biological rhythms.

Professor Solomon Diamond ’97 Th’98, and Ph.D. candidates Broc Burke, Mohammed Talukdar, and Katherine Perdue in their booth at the USA Science and Engineering Festival
Professor Solomon Diamond ’97 Th’98, and Ph.D. candidates Broc Burke, Mohammed Talukdar, and Katherine Perdue in their booth at the USA Science and Engineering Festival. Photograph courtesy of Nancy Serrell.

B.E. candidate Elizabeth Dain-Owens ’10 was among the crew of the Big Green Bus discussing energy efficiency and alternative fuels.

Categories: The Great Hall, Kudos

Tags: alumni, award, complex systems, energy, engineering in medicine, entrepreneurship, faculty, formula hybrid, projects, race cars, research, students

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