ENews Princeton Engineering

MAY 2008

Photo of H. Vincent Poor and Dennis KellerDear Friends,

You may have heard already about the extraordinary gift that Dennis Keller '63 and Constance Templeton Keller recently made to our Center for Innovation in Engineering Education.

As the Chronicle of Higher Education noted in its coverage of the Keller gift, Princeton has always been a leader in integrating engineering into the liberal arts. The Keller gift will go a long way toward furthering that tradition. I encourage you to read about the Keller Center's wide-ranging efforts in this freshly minted report.

With the new campaign under way, we are focused on the future -- a future that builds on our current, tremendous strengths. I am constantly amazed by our excellence in research and teaching, our entrepreneurial spirit, and our engagement with society at large. In this newsletter, I am pleased to share a small fraction of the world-changing contributions currently being made by our students, our faculty and, of course, our impressive alumni.

As always, I look forward to seeing many of you at Reunions.

All the best,

-- H. Vincent Poor *77
Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Science
Michael Henry Strater University Professor of Electrical Engineering

(Photo: Vince Poor, left, with Dennis Keller.)

Paul Maeder and Gwill York establish fund for innovative research

Paul Maeder '75 and Gwill York have just given $1 million to Princeton Engineering to provide seed money for discretionary, innovative projects in the fields of energy and the environment.

In March, the School of Engineering hosted a symposium on energy, climate, and the environment as part of a National Academy of Engineering Regional Meeting. The symposium can be viewed on the UChannel.

Solar panels
River networks graphic

A new paper in Nature: what river networks and rainfall can tell us about biodiversity

Princeton researchers have a new paper in the May 8 issue of the journal Nature which shows that water dynamics play a pivotal role in the biodiversity of river networks. The team, led by Ignacio Rodriguez-Iturbe, has created a computer simulation that allows them to predict -- based on rainfall measurements and on how rivers connect to one another -- how many species of fish will occupy any given region.

New Scientist blogged the cholera angle of the research, Reuters focused on river basin hotspots, and NJN News interviewed lead author Rachata Muneepeerakul *07.

Faculty members in the news

Robert Socolow recently gave Newsday readers some tips on how to be green ... Margaret Martonosi's Zebranet was recently featured on CNN ... The Wall Street Journal interviewed Vince Poor on employment in the finance industry ... Mung Chiang spoke recently to Technology Review about Net neutrality ...

Rocketboom featured an interview with Ed Felten ... Center for Information Technology Policy associate director David Robinson wrote a book-review essay on the digital generation for The Wall Street Journal ... The New York Times covered the Princeton Laptop Orchestra's Carnegie Hall debut ...

Dan Nosenchuk's entrepreneurial engineering class was featured in the San Jose Mercury News ... Michael Celia was interviewed for SigmaXi's podcast on science, policy, and ethics ... In his Daily Princetonian column, Brian Kernighan described putting his entire CD collection on his iPod.

Socolow at Harvard

Letting nature do the work: melting away microchip defects

Technology Review recently covered a new technique developed by Stephen Chou and Qiangfei Xia *07 for improving microchip quality without increasing costs. The idea is to liquefy microchip components and then let surface tension naturally "melt away" defects, producing in the end structures with precisely defined edges -- important for chip performance. The researchers report on their work in the May 4 online issue of Nature Nanotechnology.

The work inspired much conversation on slashdot and was covered by nanodot. Learn more here.

Engineers elected to leading academies

Princeton Engineering professors Emily Carter, Pablo Debenedetti and Marlan Scully have been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Other 2008 fellows include film director Pedro Almodovar, blues guitarist B.B. King, Dell computer founder Michael Dell, and former U. S. Secretary of State (and Princeton alumnus) James Baker III.

Carter also was just elected to the National Academy of Sciences. Debenedetti was just named vice dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science. Scully, a k a the "quantum cowboy," recently delivered the Loeb Lecture at Harvard. Find more faculty honors here.

American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Rochelle Murray

Princeton Engineering undergraduates: scholarship, innovation, and service

Rochelle Murray wrote her senior thesis on research in the hot area of transmuting waste material into clean-burning fuel ... Landis Stankievech is both a Rhodes Scholar and hockey standout ... Tom Yersak and Brian Geistwhite lived and worked in the Navajo Nation ... Michael Konialian was recently named a 2008 Scholar in the Nation's Service. Mateusz Plucinski has won a Gates Cambridge Scholarship ...

Future members of the class of 2012 toured the EQuad during April hosting.

The latest news from Princeton Engineering alumni

Wesley L. Harris *68and Jackie Ying *91 were among 18 leading thinkers who served on the National Academy of Engineering panel that identified the greatest technological challenges of this century, reported on by the Financial Times, which quotes Rob Socolow, also a member of the panel ... Robert Kahn *64 has been awarded the 2008 Japan Prize for Information Communication Theory and Technology ...

Tseng Hsing-Huang *83has been named an IEEE fellow ... Leigh McCue '00 has received a CAREER grant and a Young Investigator grant ... Beatriz Infante '76 P11, was quoted in a recent Infoworld article on " How to succeed in the high-tech boys' club" ... Leonard Liu *68 received the Asia Impact Award ... Cato Laurencin '80 is leaving University of Virginia to become vice president for health affairs and dean of the School of Medicine at the University of Connecticut ...

NJN News reported on nanojet technology licensed by Vorbeck Materials Corp, whose president is John Lettow '95. The technology was invented at Princeton by Sibel Korkut *08, Ilhan Aksay, and Dudley Saville ... The Princeton Alumni Weekly highlighted the entrepreneurial daring of engineering grads Robert J. Moore '06, Christopher Loose '02, Gerry Wilson '00, Hagos Mehreteab '99, Darren Hammell '01, Mark Holveck '01, John Lerch '01, and Erik Limpaecher '01 ... Several dozen Princeton Engineering alums attended the April Graduate Student-Alumni Reception ....

The Washington Post featured Princeton's most recent Art of Science competition, which includes work from many Princeton Engineering researchers, including George Scherer and his former students Elizabeth Allaway '07, Ryan Rimmele '07, Richard Li '07, Nate Beck '06 ... More alumni news here.

Scherer image
Princeton shield

Images by Frank Wojciechowski, Enrico Bertuzzo/Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne, Stephanie Mitchell/Harvard News Office, Stephen Chou, Kat Ran Press, Denise Applewhite, and George Scherer.

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