ENews Princeton Engineering

SPRING 2009

Photo of H. Vincent Poor and Dennis Keller
From left to right: Connie and Dennis Keller, Shirley Tilghman, Vince Poor

Dear Friends,

A few years ago our dream of building a center at Princeton dedicated to cutting-edge innovation in engineering education was just that – only a dream. So imagine the extraordinary gratification that many of us felt during the daylong dedication ceremony last month recognizing the many milestones already achieved by the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education.

As you will read below, the Keller Center – endowed by the unstinting generosity of Dennis and Connie Keller – is responding to the explosive growth and influence of technology by setting a new standard for engineering education. Princeton Engineering is taking leadership not just in engineering education but also in the mission-critical arenas laid out by Norm Augustine '57 *59 in his engaging and prescient keynote address at the Keller Center dedication. In this newsletter you will learn about some of our transformative research initiatives – especially those in the field of energy, as exemplified by the ambitious agenda for our new Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment.

No doubt we are living in difficult times. But within crisis lies opportunity. I see the coming years as a pivotal opportunity for Princeton Engineering to bring other big dreams – with the Keller Center as our inspiration – to fruition. As always, I look forward to seeing many of you at Reunions. Be sure to take in the new Art of Science exhibition in the atrium of the Friend Center (another symbol of Dennis Keller's generosity). Please keep in touch, letting us know of the many different ways that Princeton Engineering alums are changing the world for the better.

All the best,

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

Energy and the Environment

Chung Law will serve as director of a new $20 million energy research center for combustion science, as part of a U.S. Department of Energy initiative to spur innovations that will lead to clean replacements for fossil fuels. Emily Carter will assist in leading the center.

The new center will support research at the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, established last year through a $100 million gift from international business leader Gerhard R. Andlinger. The Andlinger Center this spring sponsored a series of lectures by world-class energy researchers which can be viewed online… Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects have been tapped to design the new Andlinger research facility...

In other energy and environment news, Rob Socolow’s comments at the National Academies summit on America's Climate Choices  caught the attention of New York Times columnist Andrew Revkin in his Dot Earth blog...

Simulated flames
Student at JobFair

Matching future leaders with industry leaders

One important mission of the Keller Center has been expanding the opportunities available to undergraduates for hands-on experience in industry. The center has just launched a brand-new website to make it easier to match the talents and experiences of BSE students with the hiring needs of those in industry.

Students have uploaded their resumes, indicated their class year and department, and expressed their industry and geographic preferences. If you know of internship or job opportunities that might be right for Princeton Engineering students, you can review resumes by logging into the Keller Center website. When you log in you will be asked for a name and password, which are princeton and hireanengineer, respectively.

Florence Hudson '80 of IBM and WildPackets chairman Mahboud Zabetian '88 are among the many Princeton Engineering alumni who have mentored undergraduates. You can read about their experiences here.

Art of Science exhibit opens; online voting begins

Chemical engineering Assistant Professor Celeste Nelson's image, baby squid, took the top prize in the 2009 Art of Science competition. Judges for the competition were President Shirley M. Tilghman, Dean of the Faculty David Dobkin, photographer Emmet Gowin and poet Paul Muldoon.

The show, sponsored by Princeton Engineering, can be viewed as an online gallery or as a slideshow. "We hope this exhibit will serve as a window through which the wider, non-technical audience can appreciate and understand the importance of scientific research,” said Adam Finkelstein, associate professor of computer science and one of the exhibit organizers.

While the distinguished panel of judges has named its top three prize winners, members of the public are invited to select their favorites at an online voting gallery. This voting gallery builds upon an existing project, Photocracy, which draws on ongoing research at the Center for Information Technology Policy combining sociology, systems engineering, and theoretical computer science.

The show will remain on display for a year in the Friend Center atrium, the location of another new exhibit curated by Michael Littman titled Elegant Engineering: Radio and Speaker Design from the 1930s and 1940.

Art of Science
Nick Frey works on bamboo bicycle

Student News

NewJersey.com featured a behind-the-scenes photo slide show of Nick Frey's bamboo bicycle business while Velo News reported on Frey's latest racing triumph... Microsoft Research presented a project at the Computer Human Interaction 2009 conference spearheaded by Rebecca Fiebrink, who interned at Microsoft last summer...

Princeton's Engineers Without Borders chapter was recently at the Princeton Public Library to collect books for the ambitious Ghana School Library Initiative. Another EWB group went on a work trip to Kumudo, Ethiopia; the Princeton Alumni Weekly reported on the trip with a story and photos...

An interdisciplinary team of researchers from Mid-Infrared Technolgies for Health and the Environment (MIRTHE) went to China to study changes in Beijing's air quality during the Olympics; Yan Zhang reported on the experience... Students taking "Theory of Games" enjoyed a seminar led by two legends in the field of game theory John Nash and Harold Kuhn.

Innovative research and faculty honors

The Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education has helped turn Princeton Engineering into a hotbed of entrepreneurship. In April the center co-sponsored its fourth annual Innovation Forum, featuring a dozen Princeton researchers pitching ready-for-primetime technologies to a packed house. Prize money totaled $40,000 for the top three awards. U.S. 1 and the Princeton Packet were particularly enamored with a new quantitative method for matching up Internet ads with potential consumers invented by Mung Chiang and Vince Poor. If you missed the event, you can watch all the pitches online or read coverage by the Daily Princetonian.

Pablo Debenedetti published a report in Physical Review Letters suggesting a novel way to control water... Jason Fleischer, Christopher Barsi, and Wenjie Wan's invention of a new way to produce sharper images was the cover story of Nature Photonics... One of the instruments on HIAPER jet's inaugural mission was invented by Mark Zondlo, who designed it to measure water vapor throughout the atmosphere...

Technology Review named HashCache, developed by a team led by Vivek Pai, one of this year's top ten revolutionary emerging technologies...Technology Review also bestowed this honor on another technology emerging from the labs of Stephen Chou and Robert Austin for single molecule DNA sequencing, licensed to startup BioNanomatrix... Larry Peterson and Ed Felten are playing key roles in the Measurement Lab, a Google-sponsored project for making the inner workings of the Internet more transparent... Stephen Lyon was part of an international team of scientists who performed "the ultimate miniaturization of computer memory by storing information at the nucleus of an atom," according to Scientific Computing...

Howard Stone, who in September will come to Princeton as the Donald R. Dixon '69 and Elizabeth W. Dixon Professor in Mechanical Aerospace Engineering, was elected into the National Academy of Engineering.

laser bench setup
Keller Button

Keller Center dedication

Dennis Keller, who graduated from Princeton in 1963 with a degree in economics, and his wife, Constance Templeton Keller, were honored during a dedication ceremony for endowing the Keller Center for Innovation in Engineering Education -- a cross-disciplinary initiative focused on preparing Princeton students to be leaders in an increasingly complex and technology-driven society.

President Shirley M. Tilghman, Dean H. Vincent Poor, and Keller Center Director Sharad Malik conducted the formal dedication ceremony. The day's events included a keynote address by Norman Augustine '57 *59 and a panel discussion of engineering deans on the subject of engineering and society. Princeton's Dean Poor *77 moderated the deans panel, which included Linda Abriola *79 *83 of Tufts, David Munson *78 *79 of the University of Michigan, James Plummer of Stanford, Subra Suresh of MIT, and T. Kyle Vanderlick of Yale.

Online videos of both Augustine's talk and the deans panel are available for viewing on Princeton's new Youtube Academic channel. A special video created in honor of the Keller Center dedication, featuring undergraduate engineering students, can be viewed here. To get a feeling for the full breadth of Keller Center's initiatives, download a copy of the center's new annual report.

Candela exhibit moves to the MIT Museum

An exhibit on Felix Candela’s sculptural buildings has moved to the MIT Museum after having opened at the Princeton Art Museum. A team of students built models for the exhibit under the supervision of Maria Moreyra Garlock and David Billington '50.

The exhibition coincides with the publication of a book on Candela by Garlock and Billington, which was named one of the top ten architecture books of 2008.

Click on the image, right, to view a video of Maria Moreyra Garlock describing the structural beauty and simplicity of Candela's mid-20th century thin-concrete shell structures. By the way, Princeton Engineering's newly designed website offers a library of short feature videos on current research and events.

Moreyra Garlock
Click to play video

MEMS Resistor

The latest news from Princeton Engineering alumni

The New York Times reports that Norm Augustine '57 *59 is heading up a panel for the Obama administration that will take a fresh look at space flight... Lisa Jackson *86, who recently spoke at Princeton, is the new administrator of the U.S Environmental Protection Agency... Eric Schmidt ’76 was named to President Obama’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology...

Technology Review and EETimes reported on "memristor" technology created by Qiangfei Xia *07 and other researchers at Hewlett Packard... Yi Ming *03, a research physical scientist at the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory, received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers...

Time Magazine named Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos '86 one of its top 100 people of 2009, quoting Bill Gates as saying that Amazon's introduction of Kindle puts Bezos "in the same ranks as Johannes Gutenberg"... Robert J. Moore '06 has launched a new data-mining company... TechFlash named Frances Perry *05 *08 one of Seattle's top women working in technology...

Jonathan Harris '03 showed two of his acclaimed digital pieces - We Feel Fine and Universe - in the Sundance New Frontiers festival... Jerry Chan '01 showed his ward-winning visual/musical film DJ:LA at Slamdance's Anarchy Online Film Competition festival... Starting in the fall, Taofik Kolade '08 will be pursuing an M.F.A. in film at New York University's Tisch School of the Arts Asia... The Los Angeles Times profiled Ge Wang *08, highlighting his role in founding SonicMule Inc...

In memorium: Norman Sollenberger, former chair of Princeton’s Department of Civil Engineering, has died at age 96... The Washington Post, the L.A. Times, the International Herald Tribune, Scientific American, and The New York Times noted the passing of Robert Furman '37. After overseeing the building of the Pentagon, Furman served as head of intelligence for the U.S. atomic bomb project, coordinating the kidnapping of German scientists suspected of developing an atomic bomb for the Nazis. Furman was 93.

Princeton shield

Images by Andrea Kane (Keller Center); Frank Wojciechowski (job fair and laser); Jacqueline Chen of Sandia National Laboratories (flame simulation); Bentley Drezner (Art of Science); Saed Hindash of Inside New Jersey Magazine (Nick Frey); Lance Herrington (Candela video still); Qiangei Xia of Hewlett Packard (memristor image).

Do you have suggestions, comments or story ideas? Please email them to triordan@princeton.edu.

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