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09 Inside: Chasing the Northern Lights The Good Doctor

Engineer Opening the door to the nanoworld

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Thinking Small |

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Boston University Alumni Weekend

October 23–25, 2009 College of Engineering Events Friday, October 23 3 p.m. College of Engineering Symposium on the Future of Engineering Featuring keynote speaker Dr. Yet-Ming Chiang, founder of A123 Systems and Kyocera, and Professor of Ceramics at MIT’s Department of Materials Science & Engineering GSU Metcalf Hall 775 Commonwealth Avenue 5 p.m. ENG Distinguished Alumni Awards Presentation and Reception Ingalls Resource Center 48 Cummington Street

44 Cummington Street Boston, MA 02215

Selim Ünlü, Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs

Kenneth R. Lutchen, Dean

Richard Lally, Assistant Dean for Administration

Solomon R. Eisenberg,

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs

Engineering Leadership Advisory Board John E. Abele Gregg Adkin ’86 Noubar B. Afeyan Roger A. Dorf  ’70 Ralf Faber Janie Fouke Ronald G. Garriques ’86 Norman E. Gaut Joseph Healey Jon K. Hirschtick Bill I. Huyett

Amit Jain ’85, ’88 Dean L. Kamen Nick Lippis ’84, ’89 John Maccarone ’66 Tom Magnanti Venkatesh Narayanamurti Richard Reidy John Tegan ’88 John Ullo David Wormley

To register and for more information, visit Fall 2009

Engineer Engineer Editor Michael Seele

Staff Writers Kate Fink, Jason L. London

Design and Production Boston University Creative Services Photography Boston University Photo Services, except where indicated The BU College of Engineering Magazine is produced for the alumni and friends of the Boston University College of Engineering. Please direct any questions or comments to Michael Seele, Boston University College of Engineering, 44 Cummington Street, Boston, MA 02215. Phone: 617-353-2800; fax: 617-353-5929; e-mail:; website: 1009 990720 Printed on 30% post-consumer recycled paper.

Please recycle




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4 Thinking Small ENG researchers take on the riddles of the nanoworld

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College Adds Concentrations, Minors to Give Students an Edge in Emerging Fields Chasing the Northern Lights The Good Doctor Finding Their Way: Young Alums Take a Variety of Career Paths

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From the Dean Eng News Faculty News Honor Roll: Thank You for a Record Year Alumni Events In Memoriam

You Really Came Through By Dean Kenneth R. Lutchen

When the economy went into a tailspin a year ago, I wrote you a letter expressing my concern for our students’ ability to weather the storm. I asked you to help them, and despite an economy that has affected ­philanthropy everywhere, you responded in extraordinary fashion. Donations to the College’s Annual Fund—which largely sponsors extracurricular student opportunities—set a new record in the fiscal year that ended in June. Alumni are the primary donors to the Fund, which we rely on to give students the kind of outside experiences that would not be possible otherwise. With your help, we created new jobs for engineering students in our teaching and research labs, and we were able to sustain funds for wonderful outside-theclassroom programs and organizations. Importantly, the number of Fund donors surpassed 1,000 for the first time in the College’s history. In recent years, the College has refined its educational philosophy. When we reorganized two years ago, we did not add departments; instead, we focused on education across disciplines within and outside of engineering, carefully choosing historically foundational programs for engineering degrees and giving students the chance to add minors and concentrations to them. We also placed more emphasis on internships, laboratory research, professional organizations, community service and other experiences that expose students to the many aspects of engineering and how the profession impacts society. We believe the totality of our students’ experience at Boston University is laying the foundation for their future success and grooming them to be leaders and innovators in a century where technology is already playing an enormous role. Many of our alumni offered invaluable advice as we planned these changes; the increasing alumni involvement in the life of the College has been tremendously gratifying. But no vote of confidence is greater than monetary support—people don’t give money to causes or organizations they don’t believe in. I am not the only one who has noticed. As we concluded the process of recruiting the Class of 2013 in the spring, we held a number of Open Houses for accepted students and their parents. They were impressed by many things about the College, not the least of which was the record alumni support the College is enjoying in these difficult times. It drove home the point that this is a community where everyone—faculty, staff, alumni and students—supports each other in our drive for excellence. As a result, we saw nearly a 15 percent increase in the number of engineering students who chose to attend Boston University. Rising enrollment, combined with our advance in the most recent engineering school rankings, signals the College has achieved a new level. Alumni support has been crucial to this advance and will be critical to our ability to maintain this new status and advance yet further. For those who haven’t yet joined the Annual Fund, I hope that you will consider doing so this year; BU shaped you and you can pass that on to the current generation of students. I guarantee you will feel a sense of pride that you are helping to create the kind of people who will make other people, and our world, better. To those of you who participated in the Annual Fund last year, no matter how much you gave, I want to thank you. You should take great pride and satisfaction in knowing that your gift had a direct impact on the student experience. You came through for us when we needed you most.



By Jason L. London

College Adds Concentrations and Minors to Give Students an Edge in Emerging Fields New concentrations and minors aimed at better positioning undergraduates for careers in engineering’s emerging signature fields debuted this semester with the launch of the interdisciplinary Nanotechnology, and Energy Technologies and Environmental Engineering concentrations, and the Materials Science and Engineering, and Systems Engineering minors. All are offered to engineering undergraduates regardless of their major degree program. “Our students are entering the engineering profession at an exciting time,” says Dean Kenneth R. Lutchen. “Breakthrough technologies will derive from virtually all engineering disciplines. They will reshape our society and engineers will create them. Biomedical, mechanical, electrical and computer engineering all have a hand in these technologies, and engineers from these disciplines will need to know how such technologies can safely impact our society. Students can use these concentrations and minors to add a valuable dimension to their core degrees.” The minors grew from the eponymous divisions the College established last year that focus on graduate education and research; each of the divisions consists of faculty researchers from all academic departments who are working on interdisciplinary projects and all teach undergraduates as well. Lutchen explains that it’s only natural that their work appear in undergraduate classrooms: “These outstanding faculty researchers provide a direct pipeline from their cuttingedge laboratories to the undergraduate classroom—indeed, many undergraduates have the opportunity to work in these labs alongside faculty and graduate students.” Minors—which are also available in Biomedical, Computer, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering—are satisfied by completing 20 credits from a menu of courses. Concentrations require 16 credits

and an approved experiential project such as a senior design project, laboratory research, industrial internship, or directed study. The concentrations are designed so that students can fulfill the requirements without additional coursework by carefully selecting their elective courses. In the Energy Technologies and Environmental Engineering concentration, students will explore a wide scope of environmental problems and engineering’s role in achieving solutions. Coursework will focus on the many ways to produce energy, how clean energy technologies work, energy storage, and renewable and nonrenewable sources. Students will also experience the policy and business aspects of engineering. “This new concentration covers a broad array of practices, policies and technologies,” said Professor Uday Pal (ME), a fuel cell researcher who will teach in the program. “Students will be able to take courses through-

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out the College of Engineering, as well as courses offered in other schools and departments at BU.” The Nanotechnology concentration will provide undergraduate students with foundational knowledge of the manipulation of matter on the molecular and atomic scale and position them for future careers in the nanotechnology field. Students will focus on the emergence of nanotechnology and its effects on biomedical, photonic, electronic and atomic systems. “The new Nanotechnology concentration is a reflection of the dedication and excitement of the faculty,” said Professor Selim Ünlü (ECE). “The College of Engineering has made a significant investment in faculty and resources in nanotechnology over the last several years and will draw strength from the low barriers between the engineering and science departments throughout Boston University and the Center for Nanoscience & Nanobiotechnology.”


By Kate Fink

Thinking Small |

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technology improvements in recent years have pried open the door to the nanoworld.


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Instrument and

ENG researchers take on the riddles of the nanoworld

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Nanotechnology researchers build bridges, tunnels and skyscrapers with flourishes like stained-glass windows and diving boards. They design structures that function in a world inhabited by single molecules, viruses, and cell components. Even before ‘nanotechnology’ became a buzzword, researchers were trying to see smaller and smaller objects and learn how to manipulate them. Instrument and technology improvements in recent years have pried open the door to the nanoworld, and tens of thousands of scientists and engineers around the country now work on building devices, controlling processes, and applying technologies on the scale of a billionth of a meter: 1,000 times smaller than a bacterium; 100,000 times narrower than a strand of human hair. The federal government budgeted $464 million for nanotechnology research in 2001 and has allotted $1.6 billion for 2010. Nearly 20 scholarly journals now focus exclusively on the nanoscale. Nanotechnology already impacts manufacturing, materials in commercial products, electrical devices and communications. Researchers who study the intersection of nanotechnology and biology are poised to deliver the next wave of technological applications from the nano-realm, transforming how we find, fight, and prevent disease. “For life sciences this has been revolutionary because there’s a huge difference between making materials at the micrometer scale and making materials at the 10- to 20-nanometer scale,” says Associate Professor Amit Meller (BME). “There are basic differences with the interactions with the body, with the cells. That has been a revolution by itself, but the next step will be to also understand the rules—that’s the part we have not even scratched the dust on the surface.” The rules can change in the nanoscale—the sands of classical physics shift beneath researchers’ feet. Materials do not behave as they do in bulk. Strange forces render inexplicable results. To move towards a useful technology or medical application, many researchers must think about fundamental science and engineering questions along the way.

A Hole in the Data Meller threads strands of DNA through nanopores—holes as small as 1.8 nanometers in diameter, drilled in silicon chips—and reads the sequence of bases as the strand emerges. His goal is rapid, affordable genome sequencing. The National Human Genome Research Institute, part of the National Institutes of Health, funds several projects, including Meller’s, with the intent of cutting the cost of sequencing any individual’s genome to under $1,000, bringing it into the realm of affordability. Meller’s research confronts many of the challenges characteristic of nanotechnology. The excitement of exploring a new field is coupled with trying to understand several mysteries—consistent fabrication, figuring out new physics and unexpected results, and, only then, achieving fast, inexpensive genome sequencing. “There is a whole new layer of fundamental science people have to think about,

especially when it comes to bionanosciences. At this intersection, there are some new physics,” says Meller. A couple of years ago, Meller and his lab group noticed a weak electrical field around their pores that helped funnel in DNA molecules. Considering known physics about electrical fields, this made sense, but they also found something counterintuitive: the longer the DNA strand, the more quickly the end found the tiny pore. “That’s really surprising,” says Meller. “You’d expect that if you have a larger ‘spaghetti,’ then finding the end would be much harder.” They found that the electric field attracted the longer DNA molecules more strongly, so they spent more time close to the pore, thus allowing more time for the ends to seek out the nearby nanopore. “We then did something that engineers usually do,” he explains. “It’s saying this: Since we now think we understand what controls this

capture rate, maybe we can think of a way to enhance this effect.” Senior Research Associate Meni Wanunu found that creating an imbalance in salt concentrations in the compartments on either side of the pore gathered a cloud of positive charge near the pore entrance. Since DNA is strongly negatively charged, Wanunu’s work increased the pores’ DNA capture rate thirtyfold. This discovery allowed Meller to run the system with greater sensitivity, using small DNA samples, instead of having to follow the standard procedure of amplifying samples— repeatedly copying DNA or multiplying viruses—which is expensive, time-consuming and prone to adding errors. By using nanoscale instruments, like Meller’s nanopores, researchers avoid amplification and increase their devices’ sensitivity, speed and accuracy. But, another challenge arises. “How many molecules do you need to start with?” asks Meller. “Let’s say in this room

Considering known physics about electrical fields, they found something counterintuitive: the longer the DNA strand, the more quickly the end found the tiny pore. “That’s really surprising,” says Meller. “You’d expect that if you have a larger ‘spaghetti,’ then finding the end

Photo: Fotolia

would be much harder.”

Image courtesy of Amit Meller

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Associate Professor Kamil Ekinci’s lab is developing diving-board-like cantilevers to detect trace amounts of pathogens in water. The textured surfaces are designed to overcome water’s inherent stickiness, which inhibits the devices’ sensitivity. (Images courtesy of Kamil Ekinci)

At right: Ben Hansen, a graduate student in Associate Professor Xin Zhang’s lab, fabricates nanowires that grow like shoots of grass from a copper oxide base. When a molecule or photon lands on a nanowire spanning electrodes on a grid, researchers can detect a change in current. (Images courtesy of Xin Zhang)

“When you open up something small, you tend to

see a new physics. If you understand that, you can make progress.”



there are only five molecules and you have a single molecule sensor. Can you really detect them or do you have to wait 15 years until, by chance, the molecule hits this area and you can detect it? It’s a practical question—how long can you wait?” Meller has begun addressing this issue by greatly enhancing DNA’s attraction and capture into nanopores, but other nanotechnology researchers face the same dilemma.

Wires Associate Professor Kamil Ekinci (ME) makes wires a few microns long and a couple of hundred nanometers wide, etched and carved from silicon wafers. Some are anchored on both ends and vibrate like guitar strings; others are diving board-like cantilevers. He also wonders about the waiting time before a molecule of interest will alight on a nanowire, but he, too, may have . a solution. Ekinci sets his nanowires vibrating and waits for molecules to land—a virus, environmental toxin, or a disease marker in the blood. The wire’s resonance frequency changes when a molecule sticks to it, a subtle difference Ekinci can detect by bouncing light or radio waves off the wires. “We’re now looking at multiple resonators,” he says. “If you take this single wire and multiply it by 10,000, you have 10,000 things vibrating around and you can see things more efficiently.” In addition to constructing many-wired arrays, Ekinci faces another puzzle. First, he got the wires working in a vacuum, then in air. Now, he’s trying to get them to work in water because for many potential applications, such as looking for a specific molecule in a blood sample, they’ll need to work when submerged in liquid. “The water molecules stick and slow it down, even before anything lands on the wire,” says Ekinci. To solve the problem, like Meller, Ekinci went back to the fundamental physics. He discovered a new physics universality that defines the action of vibrating objects in liquid [see story on p. 17]. This rule, based on his experimental work and theoretical calculations he did with Professor Victor Yakhot (ME), gives him hints on how to keep the nanowires vibrating under water. “If you shake the cantilever really, really

Assistant Professor Hatice Altug drills nanoholes in specific patterns through thin metal chips. Like a stained-glass window, light shines through the holes in specific visible wavelengths, an unexpected phenomenon at the nanoscale. (Images courtesy of Hatice Altug)

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fast, it helps. The fluid around it doesn’t have much time to react to what you’re doing. This is one clue,” Ekinci explains. “The second thing is to put something in the fluid that slows down its response time. Instead of making the cantilever fast, make the fluid slow.” “When you open up something small, you tend to see a new physics. If you understand that, you can make progress,” says Ekinci. “That’s the best way to do engineering: understand something, then you try to build something.” Associate Professor Xin Zhang (ME) thinks along the same lines in her research focusing on manufacturing nanomaterials. Ben Hansen, a graduate student in her lab, makes copper oxide wires grow like shoots of grass from a base of copper oxide, and he measures their electrical and chemical properties. Different semiconductor nanowire technologies—some built from the bottom up, like Hansen’s copper oxide wires, and some from the top down, like Ekinci’s silicon cantilevers— might each specialize in different applications for sensing particular molecules, photons or viruses. Hansen sprinkles his copper oxide nano­ wires onto a graph-paper-like grid of electrodes, where the lines are narrow chasms. A few of the wires fall so they span a chasm, forming a bridge from one electrode to another, allowing Hansen to run a constant voltage through the system and measure changes in the current when a molecule lands or a photon hits the wire. Fa l l 2 0 0 9 M A G A Z I N E

“These semiconducting devices, they’re used in every aspect of our lives—computers, cell phones, sensors in our homes and cars,” Hansen says. “There’s constant demand for them, and for improving them—getting faster and better and devices with new functionalities we haven’t had before.”

Chips Assistant Professor Hatice Altug (ECE) has exactly those criteria in mind—faster, better and new—in her lab-on-a-chip devices that use light to identify viruses. “There are no existing technologies that can look at a large number of potential viruses, in a single run at a very high sensitivity level, almost in real time, and inexpensively on a platform that can be carried around,” she says. Altug drills holes, each about 200 nanometers across, in specific patterns across thin metal chips. Her project needs to be nanoscale because she, too, is avoiding the costly step of amplification to reach the goal of detecting a single virus. Like an elaborate stained-glass window, the nano-pinhole patterns allow light to shine through the chip at specific visible wavelengths—an unexpected phenomenon at the nanoscale. “According to classical theory, the light is not supposed to transmit,” Altug says. “But six to eight years ago, researchers found that even these nanohole structures can transmit


Research Center Merges Nanotechnology Efforts from Across BU As nanotechnology and its applications quickly expanded into a burgeoning area of engineering research, a foundation was needed to connect the ideas and activities of Boston University’s nanotechnology researchers. As a result, the Center for Nanoscience & Nanobiotechnology (CNN) was born.

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Established in 2004 under the leadership of Bennett Goldberg, professor of Physics, Biomedical Engineering, and Electrical & Computer Engineering, CNN catalyzes interaction between nanoscience, nanotechnology and biomedical researchers throughout Boston University and encourages collaborative faculty research. “The idea is that if we can leverage our University-wide strengths in nanotechnology, we can shoot for larger ideas and ­research,” CNN Deputy Director Mario Cabodi explains. “It allows faculty to create exposure for their own research, while also learning about existing and future research of their peers.” The center connects University faculty through frequent member meetings, seminar series and symposiums. Two-thirds of CNN’s 30-plus members are College of

“Nanomedicine is at the brink of revolutionizing medicine,”

says Porter. “The scope of what we can do is phenomenal.”



E­ ngineering faculty, many of whom partner with faculty from the College of Arts & Sciences and the School of Medicine on nano-related research projects. “Engineering has a very prominent role in CNN, and it’s reflected in the quality of research,” Cabodi says. “As nanoscience has expanded into biomedicine, BME’s role has risen exponentially.” BME’s larger role in the center has coincided with increased nanomedical collaboration with the University’s School of Medicine, which will unveil its first nanomedicine course in the fall. CNN is a driving force behind an initiative that hopes to increase interaction and collaboration between the Charles River Campus and the Medical Campus, and has hosted Introduction to Nanomedicine lectures in various departments on the Medical Campus.

Mario Cabodi

“As nanotechnology expands, so too will CNN,” Cabodi says. “The number of collaborators has continued to grow from one to two faculty per proposal to four to five, and we hope to bring faculty together for large, center-like —Jason L. London proposals in the future.”

light very efficiently—almost 90 percent at very specific wavelengths. It’s not the effect you’d expect.” Altug covers a chip with several different patterns of nanoholes, each on a different section of the chip and each transmiting a different color light. When she adds antibodies to the chip to capture specific viruses, the resulting film of captured viruses coating the surface of the nanoholes shifts the color of light that shines through. A nanohole pattern that transmitted red light might switch to green when blanketed by viruses. “Hopefully we will get down to the single virus level, and once we set that sensitivity level, we need to develop platforms where we can look for multiple viruses at the same time,” Altug says.

Particles Like Altug, Associate Professor Joyce Wong (BME) looks for tiny signs of disease. Wong is searching for a noninvasive way for doctors to differentiate between dangerous arterial plaques that are prone to rupture and require

immediate surgery, and more stable ones that might be treated with medication. Today, there is no way to determine a patient’s type of plaque, so surgery is indicated in all cases. Instead of taking samples out of the body, though, Wong wants to put nanotechnology in. She makes iron oxide nanoparticles that show up clearly in magnetic resonance imaging. “We want to decorate the particles’ surface with a marker that will home in on a particular aspect of inflammation that we can say, ‘Okay, here’s a plaque that we think is vulnerable,’” says Wong. She partners with clinicians and Professor James Hamilton at the School of Medicine to identify the defining characteristics of vulnerable plaques—piles of lipids, cell debris and connective tissue clinging barnacle-like to arterial walls that are prone to rupture without warning and block an artery, causing heart attack or stroke. They are working to perfect the nanoparticles’ highly specialized targeting. Postdoctoral Associate Chris Sucato makes the

20-nanometer-­diameter particles and covers the abrasive core of iron oxide with a polymer that helps assuage the angry reaction of the immune system. He then customizes the particles with molecules intended to make them stick to only the most vulnerable plaques. Using an MRI machine, the researchers will see where particles alight. They have several ideas for how to make their particles accurately tag the most dangerous plaques. They may target a particular receptor expressed more on these plaques’ surface, or stick DNA on the particles’ surface because plaques—as inflammatory sites—produce large amounts of nucleic acids, distinguishing them from other nearby tissue. Assistant Professor Tyrone Porter (ME) also wants to get his nanoparticles into particular tissues: cancerous tumors. To do this, he deploys a different type of nanoparticle that delivers drugs in secure packets straight to tumor cells. Porter makes hollow particles, liquid droplets in lipid casings. These liposomes, each about 100 to 200 nanometers in diameter, sneak medicine past the immune system and passively target solid tumors. “You want a silent assassin,” he says with a smile, “like delivering a band of ninjas into the night.” Porter takes advantage of a natural feature of cancerous tumors to get these nanoparticles where he wants them to go. Tumor cells divide at breakneck pace, throwing together a slapdash cellular architecture that creates blood vessels riddled with holes just wide enough to get a nanoparticle through. Through this passive targeting scheme, the toxic effects of the drug can be localized to the tumor, reducing the side effects of systemic chemotherapy. But Porter still had to set the drug free once it was delivered to the correct address. “I began to think that if you have a temperature-sensitive drug carrier, how are you going to elevate the temperature clinically?” he says. To free the drug, he had to heat the particles to make the lipid casing dissolve. This is easy in a laboratory, where a sample is heated easily in a dish or tube, but heating a specific section of tissue becomes trickier in a living human. Porter has a background in acoustics and turned to a technology he knew well: ­ultrasound.

Associate Professor Joyce Wong makes iron oxide particles that show up in MRIs. By adding a marker to the particles, she hopes to develop a noninvasive method for differentiating between stable and unstable arterial plaques. (Image courtesy of Joyce Wong)

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Using this high frequency range of sound waves, tissue can be heated rapidly by tens of degrees in seconds. It can precisely target an area of a few square millimeters and doesn’t involve surgery or invasive procedures. “You can elevate the temperature with ultrasound because tissue will absorb it and some of that absorbed energy will be converted to heat. You can have control over the rate of heating as well as the peak temperature that’s achieved,” says Porter. “You can heat the tissue to a point where you’re just melting the liposome.” For Wong, Porter, and the entire nanoparticle field, the possibility of toxicity remains a nagging concern. How will the body flush out the particles and drugs once they’ve done their job? Both continue to study this biocompatibility question and remain optimistic that they can address the demands of nanoparticle research.

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“Nanomedicine is at the brink of revolutionizing medicine,” says Porter. “The scope of what we can do is phenomenal—being able to control, manipulate, influence, or affect cells— chemical pathways at the molecular and nano level—is just going to open doors to a whole new world of medicine. It may be years down the road, but the seeds have been planted.” Nanoscience enchants researchers with its dizzying promise and steep but intriguing challenges. The perseverance and creative nano-scale problem solving of these engineers and scientists are representative of that of many individuals, teams and interdisciplinary efforts reaching across labs, campuses and countries to delve into the nanoscale. They extract new information and build on that knowledge. Their tiny technologies may loom large in all of our lives in coming years.


By Kate Fink

Chasing the Northern Lights Professor Semeter makes high latitudes his laboratory

Photo by Craig Heinselman; courtesy of Josh Semeter

When Associate Professor Josh Semeter (ECE) heads to the laboratory, he wears a

winter coat, scarf, hat, mittens and boots. And he keeps an eye out for polar bears. For a couple of weeks each year, the cold nights of Alaska or Greenland become Semeter’s laboratory. He studies the aurora borealis, a manifestation of electrons hitting the Earth’s atmosphere 100 kilometers up. This high-energy collision of particles releases photons and creates the vibrant light display of the aurora. It is only visible on clear, cold nights at high latitudes near the Earth’s magnetic poles, and its appearance is unpredictable. 10


The aurora provides evidence of these highly charged, high-altitude interactions that can impede communications with satellites, cause power outages and even rust pipelines. Semeter’s work on understanding these interactions and how matter acts in this plasma state might help predict or mitigate these problems. “They do have polar bears on the north coast of Alaska,” said Semeter. “I was up there one time setting up some equipment in a rather remote area. Every time we had to go fix something—there were six of us there and the imaging system was outside—you had to bring everybody with you. So, you can imagine this

pathetic huddle of people moving out there together. There was one guy who wouldn’t go, and in a way he had a point. A polar bear could maul everybody. If they decide they’re hungry, you’re just a slow seal to them.” Semeter returned from that trip with no polar bear sightings. Many researchers travel in the course of their work, often to meet colleagues or attend meetings. Some don’t have to travel because their research subjects fit easily into a laboratory or computer. Even Semeter’s seemingly uncontainable subject, the aurora, can be studied from afar, but

he believes that something is lost by doing research remotely. “I’ve been grappling with whether this is a good or bad thing. The group that runs a facility can turn it on and design experiments and run them completely autonomously without being there, just by using the Internet,” he says. “So you never actually have to go up there in the cold. That’s enabling a lot of new science, but it’s making us couch-potato scientists because we can just sit here and let the data come in. Especially as a student, it’s somehow nice to have this visceral connection to the environment you’re studying.” Semeter keeps that connection alive for his students and himself with trips north. They can program radar experiments with the click of a mouse, but to study the optical features of the aurora, they need to get out in the cold. On a trip in March 2007, Semeter and graduate students Matt Zettergren and Marcos Diaz went to Poker Flat, Alaska—about an hour outside of Fairbanks and site of a large radar array facility—where they could also collect images of the aurora. The radar and optical data can be used to study different aspects of the aurora simultaneously. “It is so cold,” said Zettergren of the negative 30- to 40-degree temperatures at night. “I was just not prepared for that. Three sweaters, two coats; it doesn’t matter.” Looking closely at the aurora helps researchers understand plasma physics in the ionosphere 80 to 100 kilometers above the Earth’s surface. Plasma is a fourth state of matter in which the ion and electron components of molecules separate and can move more independently. This unusual loosening of molecular components that usually cling tightly together results from solar radiation, energetic collisions with other particles, or any other intense energy source. “Plasmas are almost alive. They’re very strange things because the whole material world, everything you can touch and knock your hand against, is held together by electrostatic forces, that huge force between electrons and ions,” Semeter explains. But that force doesn’t grip matter so tightly in the ionosphere, so “there’s lots of free energy in a plasma that wants to do something.” When the aurora occurs, Semeter says, it’s as though nature has set up an ideal outdoor laboratory, and he can learn about poorly understood plasma physics by analyzing the light emitted during the aurora: “Whenever there’s a collision, we get a photon out, so if I

At the Alaskan radar station where they conduct research are (from left): Associate Professor Josh Semeter; graduate students Matthew Zettergren and Marcos Diaz; and Stephen Mende of the University of California-Berkeley Space Sciences. (Photo courtesy of Matt Zettergren)

h ”There was one guy who wouldn’t go, and in a way he had a point. A polar bear could maul everybody. If they decide they’re hungry, you’re just a slow seal to them.”

look at the fine details in space and time in the structure of the aurora, then I can infer the physics that went on. It offers a really unique and interesting laboratory for studying fundamental plasma physics.” In Alaska, the three researchers set up their high-speed camera and waited. The camera sits indoors, peering out into the sky from a clear dome, so they only had to venture into the frigid Alaska nights to clear the dome of snow or other debris.

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“The most intense auroras are really unpredictable,” said Zettergren. “Josh had to leave after a week, and we had no good data at that point.” Semeter told his team to start packing up the camera on the last day but they disregarded that advice. “We stayed up all night and there’s nothing, nothing, nothing,” remembers Zettergren, “Then, at 3 a.m., we recorded an hour of absolutely amazing data. About 30 seconds of it was something unique that hadn’t been recorded before. We still don’t understand it, but we have it.” Semeter traveled to Greenland last summer to set up equipment to capture more aurora images this winter. “Once you’re there, it really does ratchet up your motivation,” he says. Zettergren, who received his doctoral degree last spring and will next teach physics in the considerably warmer climate of Florida, agrees with Semeter that his fieldwork experience held intangible value. “There are people who study the aurora and have never seen it before,” he said. “You do travel to these remote places, you have to be at very high latitudes—northern Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Norway—so yeah, there’s definitely something lost if you don’t go there. It was so exciting being out there every night not knowing if we were going to see something that no one had ever seen before.”


By Kate Fink

The Good Doctor George Savage does good, has fun and makes money, in that order. George Savage (BME’81) is not a perfectionist and he knows it. It’s what made him

realize he wanted to be a doctor, but not a surgeon, and what made him perfectly suited for the fast-paced, multitasking, roller-coaster ride of starting biotech companies. “I’m happier being minimally qualified at a lot of things. Once I get 85 percent good at something, I say, ‘Okay, what else can I do?’” he says. “I bore easily.” With his voracious appetite to learn more and try new things, Savage juggles an astonishing number of careers and hobbies. He co-founded one biotech company, Proteus Biomedical, and is a founding partner of a venture capital firm, Spring Ridge Ventures. He’s also a father, a pilot, a blogger, and a runner. And, in his spare time he puts his medical training to use as a health care volunteer in Ethiopia. His interest in a medical career began as

a child when he saw his mother experience a series of medical problems and wished he could do something to help. After graduating from BU, he earned a medical degree at Tufts University and practiced emergency and trauma medicine. He considered an orthopedic surgery residency, but decided against it. “I’d long wanted— this developed in college—to combine my interests in technology, engineering and medicine,” said Savage. “I wanted to push the state of the art forward, rather than practicing medicine.” Savage noticed his surgeon colleagues focusing on moving in tiny increments to that “perfect” procedure, and he realized his personality did not fit that mold. He usually sought new information before smoothing every rough edge on the old, and wanted to flit from one subject to the next and work across different disciplines. So he headed to the biotech mecca

of the San Francisco Bay area. “From a business standpoint, it makes sense to synthesize what I know about technology and medicine with entrepreneurship as the glue that holds it together to try to do something innovative with a group of people,” he says. One of the companies Savage and colleagues began incubating under their venture capital wing was Proteus Biomedical. “We rapidly drew to the realization that the company we were creating had much more potential than anything we’d done before. It had the potential to fundamentally reshape how health care is delivered for chronic diseases,” he said. Savage and his colleague of 20 years, Andy Thompson, now run Proteus, shepherding its technology to market. That technology, in products called ChipSkin™ and Raisin™, incor-

Photo courtesy of George Savage



porates microelectro-mechanical systems into medications and body tissues. These microchips can then communicate via the nearly ubiquitous wireless network around us to send information about medications and a patient’s status to computers and phones. The ChipSkin™, an implantable technology, is a specialized coating for chips to protect them from bodily fluids so that the electronic components can be put into tissues. Raisin™, now in clinical development, incorporates tiny, digestible sensors into medications—it might be put inside a pill treating high blood pressure, schizophrenia, heart failure or tuberculosis. Once the patient swallows the chip-containing pill, stomach acids activate the sensor, and it sends an ultra low-power signal to a receiver on a skin patch. This receiver records information such as the type of drug, when it was taken, and the body’s vital signs. The patient, doctor or family member could monitor the patient’s health and drug compliance, adjusting doses and regimens until they are just right. Eventually, says Savage, this technology could make medicine extremely personalized. “It’s a very big vision. It can redefine what a drug is. It can be the information around the molecule. Instead of a pharmaceutical company selling milligrams of a drug, they’re selling an outcome,” says Savage. While the medical community as a whole has a tendency to blame patients when they

h “The company we were creating had the potential to fundamentally reshape how health care is delivered for chronic diseases.”

h “I’m not getting any younger and it is really important to try to give back. You need to do what you can.”

don’t take medications with perfect compliance, Savage believes this is not an intentional or moral failing. “We’re ignoring elements of human behavior. If you’re on several medicines for years or life, there need to be tools and incentives to help patients and family ­members.” Savage imagines a future where this technology could positively affect global health issues, such as improving patients’ compliance with tuberculosis medicines; the current strategy requires direct observation of patients putting pills in their mouths. It could also help the average patient who has high blood pressure and an iPhone, incorporating lifestyle changes with regular pharmaceutical treatment. “We’d provide reminders. ‘You didn’t walk yesterday, and the forecast looks rainy for tomorrow. If you walk today, you could get bonus air miles for that trip to Hawaii you want,’” says Savage. “It’s not coercive. It’s just trying to create positive reinforcement and short-term fun, for a long-term problem.” When he moved west, Savage got started in the biotech start-up community by completing a business degree at Stanford University, where he met business partner Thompson. The two pounded the pavement around Menlo Park, eventually falling in with venture capitalist Mark Levin, the founding CEO of Millennium Pharmaceuticals. They learned the ropes with Levin, and then ventured out on their own, starting up several biotech companies together. “It’s very exciting to try to do new things. Researchers get to push the boundaries of science. My bent is to find things that are close enough to being able to use on a mass scale and figure out how to deliver that to people,” Savage says of his enthusiasm for the entrepreneurial process. “The engineering education is useful because it’s not about memorizing stuff; it’s about solving problems—start-ups are like that. You get to juggle—there are a thousand things you could do today, but you can only do 10. Which 10 do you pick?” Savage and Thompson have enjoyed several successes. They helped found gene therapy company Cell Genesis, then founded CardioRhythm, which developed a radio frequency catheter ablation system eventually sold to Medtronic. They next started FemRx, a company that developed several sets of specialized tools to improve procedures for women—such as hysterectomies—making them less invasive.

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Savage and Thompson recognized that hospitals often tout high-end procedures for conditions that affect mostly men, but most family health decisions are made by women. “It was a bit of a departure,” says Savage. “We’re in cardiology, why not stay there? That would make sense. But we were looking at unmet needs and strategic opportunities. It could become a strategic market for hospitals—if you don’t have differentiated superior women’s health care services, you won’t have your big heart care center either.” After an IPO in 1995, a branch of Johnson & Johnson bought FemRx. Savage and Thompson then founded Spring Ridge Ventures, which Savage says focuses on “spending time and not much money.” He stresses that some of the greatest ideas come from people who merely lack the business expertise to propel their ideas into a profitable product. “As an engineer, you see how business works, but quite often, if you’re a great researcher or a brilliant physician, you may be well away from any business ­considerations.” Though the duo seems to have a golden touch, it has come through perseverance and a healthy sense of perspective. “One of the things that amuses us is when we say to each other, ‘Money talks, I’ll not deny. I heard it once, it said goodbye,’” says Thompson. “You can’t get attached to things or money in the way you should be attached to people. Part of becoming an effective entrepreneur is understanding that. George is a very, very grounded human being.” During the past two years, Savage has added annual two-week medical-service trips to Ethiopia to his already packed schedule. Savage and his colleagues work with an organization that provides treatment and care to HIV/AIDS patients. In April, he traveled to Addis Ababa as part of a team that treated many HIV patients as well as those who came to the clinic with a variety of other ailments. “I thought, ‘I’m too busy,’” said Savage, “but I’m not getting any younger and it is really important to try to give back. You need to do what you can, and this is something I can do. The three things I tell everyone I hired over the past 20 years are, the goal in life is to do good, have fun and make money, in that order,” he says. “That’s the key—in that order.”


Photo by Jason L. London


Their Way

Young alums take a variety of career paths

In Engineer, we profile alumni who have

built accomplished careers years—often decades—after walking across the Commencement stage. While many challenges, and even false starts, are common on the way to success, opportunities and choices that eventually prove critical often present themselves in the years immediately following graduation. With that in mind, Engineer’s Jason L. London spoke with a handful of alumni representing each of five recent graduating classes (at press time, the Class of 2009 was but a few months out of cap and gown, so it’s not included here) and asked them about their professional journey. From winemaking to helicopter design, from Iceland to California, a fulfilling career means different things to different engineers. Here, young alumni describe in their own words the professional paths they are walking—at least for now.



Edy Tan ECE 2008

Julie Young BME 2007

Edy caught on with a start-up while still an undergraduate and, despite a trying 2008, has enjoyed being part of its growth.

For Julie, staying around Boston paid off— she combined her interests in health care and business, gaining valuable experience along the way.

“My first two years at ENG, I was heavily involved in engineering research. I liked the problemsolving, but I missed the human interaction. After sophomore year, I looked for internships outside of BU. With some help from Professors Attaway and de Winter, I connected with BU alumni Paul Karger (ENG’99) and Wes Karger (CAS’99). They were starting their own financial services firm, Twin Focus Capital Partners, LLC, and offered me an internship. Although it wasn’t an engineering firm, it turned into a golden opportunity and I’ve been there ever since. After my internship ended, they offered me part-time work during the school year and full-time work during the summer. Midway through my senior year, they offered me a full-time position after graduation. Working in the finance industry can be a 24/7 job, but I believe my engineering background gives me a competitive edge. As engineers, we’re trained to synthesize data and process information, and I’m able to do that quicker and with a different perspective than those with strictly financial backgrounds. Working for a start-up, I need to juggle many different responsibilities, and what I encountered day-to-day at ENG really prepared me for that. The last year was rough in the financial industry; people have told me it’s the worst they’ve ever seen. But I wouldn’t choose to graduate in any other year. It’s been a great learning experience that will definitely prepare me for success in the future.”

“I spent most of my senior year looking for a job. I was always interested in health care and I focused on getting into that industry. I was persistent; I looked everywhere and anywhere and finally landed a position at Observant one month before graduation. Since July 2007, I’ve worked as an analyst doing market research and strategic consulting for the biotechnology industry. My responsibilities include conducting research and analyzing the data we obtained from it. We analyze many therapeutic areas in the market—including HIV and Alzheimer’s disease—examine the impact of new products, and make strategic recommendations to clients. It’s the perfect mix of the business and health-care industries. I’ve been fortunate enough to gain more and more responsibility over the past two years. I’m in the process of beginning to manage larger sections of projects. My BU education has really helped me succeed in this position. I’m very comfortable with number-crunching on the business side, and my BME background in systems physiology gave me a better understanding of how these products work in the body. I was happy to stay in the Boston area after graduation—I love this city and everything it has to offer. There are plenty of BU alumni still in the area, and friends who moved away never get tired of coming back to visit.”

Photo courtesy of Banafsheh Hadizonooz

Photo courtesy of David Gottfried

Photo courtesy of Byran Hermannsson

Bryan Hermannsson BME 2006

David Gottfried ME (AME) 2005

Banafsheh Hadizonooz ECE 2004

Bryan bounced from Iceland to Australia before settling in California.

David’s career began before graduation and he’s been a hands-on engineer ever since. He advises ENG students to consider the same route.

Patience and curiosity have played key roles in Banafsheh’s career progression in industry and government.

“I didn’t have a job immediately, so I took an internship in Iceland to get in touch with my family—my dad’s Icelandic—for two months. I got to see the country, take language lessons and intern at deCODE genetics in Reykjavik, which uses Iceland’s 1,000-year-old medical records to track genetic diseases. I didn’t want to jump into a large company or career right away. I wanted do something biotech-related but not too conventional. I took a job at Enologix, a Sonoma, Calif. company that uses chemical reactions to allow wineries to improve wine quality. I picked grapes, pipetted and ran reactions—a fun twist on science. From there, I was chosen for the PBS show Road Trip Nation, a travel interview series about career paths. I traveled to Australia for a month, interviewing people about their lives. The interviews inspired me to do something I’m passionate about, and to think big. Today, I’m part of the radiology department at the University of California at San Francisco. I do micro CT scans to define bone geometry, bone density or bone volume. I’ve been involved in creating a structure phantom, a quality control piece of material that has human bone embedded into plastic. I always want to be doing something technical, and I’ve used my engineering degree to learn new things and surrounded myself with interesting, technical thinkers. I used to bounce around, but I really enjoy it here. I’ve gotten to the point where I’ve done a lot of hands-on work and am now ready for my next adventure—grad school.”

“I’ve been employed by Sikorsky Aircraft since graduation, but my real work with them began while I was still at the College of Engineering. I managed to get an internship between my junior and senior years, and they offered me a job after graduating. At Sikorsky, I work as an electrical design engineer. Our products are very cool. We build Blackhawk helicopters for the U.S. Army, and we’re constantly developing new prototypes. We also have programs where we custom build helicopters for other military branches, corporations, law enforcement and foreign ­governments. My favorite part of the job is that I’m working on a cool product and it’s really something different every day. So much of it is real, hands-on engineering. Some days I can go down to the shop, crawl around the helicopter and just troubleshoot problems. My experience at the College of Engineering really helped me in my position. Although I was a mechanical engineering major, I was able to take classes in electrical engineering, and that experience has really helped out so far. I’d recommend to anyone who can, get an internship. It was a relief to not have to look for a job during my senior year. Even in a down economy, businesses are always looking for interns, because they’ll work nearly for free and the company can test a candidate before making a permanent commitment. And once you have that foot in the door, it really increases your chances of landing a job.”

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“I got to where I am today partly because I never stopped looking for a job after graduation. During my senior year, I met representatives from Consolidated Edison, a major energy supplier in New York, at the ENG Career Fair and later interviewed with them at our Career Development Office. Six months later—out of the blue—they called me back for an interview in New York and offered me a position as a management associate in their leadership development program. That experience taught me to be patient and never lose hope. After a year, I moved to Washington, D.C., to work as a patent examiner for the Patent and Trademark Office, an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce. When I saw the position at a career fair, I knew nothing about the Patent and Trademark Office but was open to learning about it. My job is to read a patent application, try to understand the invention, figure out if it is an original idea, and write an explanation of our decision. I had no idea about all of the different inventions out there. I love reading about these new ideas and, using my engineering background, understanding what they’re talking about. Coming from an engineering school, I really developed a specific way of approaching problems and it has really helped me in my career. I also realized networking definitely plays a huge role, and when you meet with a company representative, you always need to follow up. The more enthusiastic you are, the better your chances of getting the position.”


ENGNews BU Bioengineers Teach Bacteria to Count Humans have long worked on teaching animals to count, and now Professor James J. Collins (BME) and his colleagues have taken that to the molecular level and made a major breakthrough in the emerging field of synthetic biology. His lab has wired a new sequence of genes into E. coli bacteria, allowing the microbes to count discrete events such as repeated exposures to a chemical or, potentially, periods of sunlight and darkness. “There were no synthetic counters out there,” says Collins. “It was probably the major application still to be addressed within synthetic biology: Can you count discrete events? And now we’ve come up with two different designs to do this.” Collins’s team designed two separate synthetic gene networks not found naturally in E. coli; each uses a different method to make the bacteria count events. This demonstration opens the door for researchers to explore myriad uses for this new bacterial skill. The young but burgeoning field of synthetic biology addresses biological research questions with an engineering approach. Researchers design and build networks of genes, splicing them into bacterial genomes—like biological computer software—to run specific tasks or produce desired molecules. Though the field is rapidly advancing, the gene-based tools available to synthetic biologists remain limited. Gene networks that give bacteria the ability to count could become powerful devices in the synthetic biology toolkit because they can be coupled to almost any other bacterial function or environmental event that bacteria can sense, such as the presence of a toxin or sunlight. In the future,



Gene networks that give bacteria the ability to count could become powerful devices in the synthetic biology toolkit.

bacteria might be set to self-destruct after a certain number of cell divisions, or to release a chemical after a specified time period has elapsed. “The fundamental application is as a safety mechanism,” Collins explains. “If you’ve engineered an organism to be released into the environment as a biosensor or you’ve engineered an organism to go into your body to deliver a therapeutic, in many cases you want to ensure after a certain period of time that the organism is no longer in the environment or your body.” One of the synthetic gene networks counts by starting and stopping transcription and translation of a series of genes every time an event occurs. The other network counts by lining up a series of genes and then sequentially flipping them over once they are transcribed and translated. Each stop-and-go, or flip, is induced by an event, such as the temporary presence of a chemical. The bacteria alert researchers when they’ve counted to three by lighting up a fluorescent protein at the end of the synthetic sequence. Researchers can move the genetic parts in these counters around to fit their needs. The network might be extended to count to higher numbers, or additional genes for fluorescing proteins might be added, for example, to glow red when the bacteria have counted to two, and green at three.

James Collins

“These are such basic tools that it’s really hard to say what thousand things they might be used for in the future,” says Ari Friedland, a graduate student in Collins’s lab. “Consider computing—what does one transistor do for you? Not that much, but if you pack a few thousand onto a chip, then you really have some power. These are fundamental biocomputing devices.” —Kate Fink


Mechanical Engineers Create New Physics Rule Their two independent questions intersected at a point that allowed the mechanical engineering professors to create a new rule of physics.

“In my preparation for my undergrad lectures, I wanted to teach the classical theory of oscillating flows, and then at some point, I said to myself, ‘What happens when the frequency is so high the classical formula doesn’t work?’” said Yakhot. A set of physics equations—the classical theory of oscillating flows—only works if the object oscillates slowly. Yakhot wanted to find a formula that fit more extreme situations, so he set about doing some theoretical number-crunching while a graduate student ran computer simulations. Once he had the equation, he need a proving ground and Ekinci provided it. The team found that the new equation was a universality—a rule in physics with

broad applicability for a certain set of phenomena. It works in all the situations the old equations did, and extends to extreme conditions. If researchers know only how quickly the object oscillates, regardless of its size and shape, the equation can then predict the object’s energy, what forces act on it from its surroundings, and how much energy it loses in the form of heat. Universalities are not commonly encountered, Ekinci says. Some govern heat conduction or electrical conduction, but none had described oscillating flows until now. The work was published in Physical Review Letters. “This universality puts us at a position where we understand the physics [of the nanowires] very nicely. We’re now in a position to design novel devices,” says Ekinci. “To be able to detect this vibrational frequency shift, you need to measure frequency very, very accurately. Now that we understand the physics, we can design a device that won’t dampen as much, and that will enable us to detect.” —Kate Fink

Photos by Kate Fink

Kamil Ekinci needed a better way to understand how his nanosensors worked, and Victor Yakhot wondered why an old physics formula didn’t always hold true. Their two independent questions intersected at a point that allowed the mechanical engineering professors to create a new rule of physics. Ekinci studies nanowires, each just a few microns long. These wires vibrate at a specific frequency that changes slightly when a tiny quantity of a toxin or biological marker lands on them. Detecting tiny changes in vibration is tricky in air, and even more so in liquid, where any biomedical application would take place. “The underlying physics you can’t escape is this stickiness of water or fluid that completely dampens the motion,” says Ekinci. “Once it’s dampened, it’s very hard to operate these things.” To improve their design and maximize their sensing ability, he needed a way to learn exactly how the surrounding liquid dampened the vibrating wires. Yakhot had been wondering about an idea that could help Ekinci figure it out.

Kamil Ekinci

Victor Yakhot

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Teich Explores Fractals, Point Events in Distinguished Lecture Using mathematics and engineering to understand complex and seemingly ­random systems such as the firing of nerve cells, stars in space, and identifying diseased hearts has made Professor Malvin Teich (ECE) a leader in several interdisciplinary fields. Last March 4, faculty, students and researchers filled a Photonics Center auditorium to hear Teich explain his research at the 2009 College of Engineering Distinguished Lecture. Teich gave an overview of his 35 years of research of fractal stoichastic processes in his talk, “Fractal Point Events in Physics, Biology and Communication Networks.” Teich has found many ways to tie together the concepts of fractals (geometric or statistical patterns that repeat on every scale, such as branching tree limbs) and point events (discrete, random events in time or space, such as cars going through a toll booth, galaxies in space, or action potentials firing in nerve cells). “Fractal behavior is ubiquitous in mathematics and sciences,” Teich said. “Many natural things have this kind of structure.” He pointed out that noise in electronic components, earthquake patterns, and computer network traffic all exhibit fractal behavior. With his driving curiosity and dedication to thorough investigation, Teich explained the ways he has manipulated these mathematical concepts into useful tools for applications ranging from space satellites to heart disease. In the early 1980s, Teich said he received a call from the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where scientists working on the Galileo spacecraft’s optical navigation system were having problems. The system, which was to steer the probe through space using particular stars as navigation aids, was having difficulty seeing those stars. Teich’s 18


Without Electricity, DNA Purifier Is Powerful Tool

Malvin Teich

work on point processes—photons of light are also discrete signals, like cars on the highway—helped them figure out the types of background light causing the problem, and he offered a new approach that helped minimize this background light. His design was incorporated into the final spacecraft, launched in 1989. Advances in identifying congestive heart failure patients have also come from Teich’s work. He analyzed the intervals between heartbeats, mathematically knitting together their fractal properties and information about point events. He found the gaps between the point events (peaks of heartbeats on an electrocardiogram) provided him with more information than the beats themselves. His work helps to distinguish between a congestive heart and a healthy one. His lecture also touched on the ways fractal point events can describe phenomena in many physical, communications and biological fields, including the cochlea of the ear, the retina of the eye and nerve synapses. Teich uses fractal-based point processes in his research to study the control of traffic jams on computer networks and to develop optical instrumentation that counts photons for eventual use in high-resolution medical imaging. —Kate Fink

Led by Assistant Professor Catherine Klapperich (ME) and Fraunhofer Gesellschaft researcher Paul Mirer, a group of Boston University researchers has designed a new powerless, handheld DNA extraction kit that may be a valuable tool in the battle against disease in rural communities. The thermos-sized device, named SNAP (System for Nucleic Acid Preparation), can extract genetic material such as DNA from blood and other bodily fluids without the need for electricity or refrigeration. “This would allow personnel to prepare blood samples at the point of care,” Klapperich says. “It also allows for a longer window of time to move preserved samples to a central lab without the degrading of the sample’s quality.” “I believe it will be a huge step for using molecular diagnostics in the developing world.” Using a standard bicycle pump as power, SNAP extracts genetic material from bodily fluids by pumping fluid through a polymer-lined straw designed specifically to trap DNA. After the fluid sample is injected into the straw, pressure from the pump releases a lysis buffer, which breaks open the cell in the fluid. A second pump of air releases ethanol, which washes out everything but the DNA. The straw, which was developed by a group led by Fraunhofer researchers Professor Andre Sharon (ME) and Alexis Sauer-Budge, is popped from the device, capped and stored as a dry sample that does not require refrigeration. The DNA, which remains stable at room temperature,


Dusting Off Solar Panels The “SNAP” DNA extraction kit (Image courtesy of Catherine Klapperich)

can then be mailed to a central lab for ­investigation. The SNAP device would be especially valuable in poorer, rural communities. To test for diseases such as HIV, blood samples from patients must be immediately refrigerated before transportation to a lab. In areas with scarce electricity, non-refrigerated blood can easily degrade and ruin the sample. With isolated DNA, the need for immediate, expensive refrigeration is eliminated. “Ultimately I believe it will have the biggest impact as a disease surveillance tool and be a huge step for using molecular diagnostics in the developing world. While it won’t be quite as simple as a pregnancy test, it will make it significantly easier for people collecting samples,” Klapperich says. While a prototype has been used to isolate DNA from nasal wash samples infected with influenza A, the next step for the SNAP device is RNA isolation, which is significantly more difficult that DNA isolation. More unpredictable than DNA, RNA can only be stabilized for a much shorter period of time using current technology. But Klapperich is optimistic. “More research is needed to completely stabilize RNA. We can stabilize it for a short period of time, but not long enough. All of our research is geared towards achieving stabilization. And when we do that, it will be a huge piece of information that will change the way people are treated.” —Jason L. London

Solar power has been getting a lot of press recently as a key part of the “green technology” solution to the nation’s energy problems, but less is said about a fundamental limitation of the technology that two BU engineering researchers are working to overcome: Glass-covered solar panels collect dust, which reduces the amount of light reaching the silicon cells underneath. ECE Professor Mark Horenstein and Research Professor Malay Mazumder aim to address this problem by developing a costeffective way to clean solar panels without using water. “When we think of solar energy today, we tend to envision one or two solar panels placed on someone’s garage here in New England,” Mazumder said. “But in reality, the long-term trend is toward the development of very large solar installations where sunlight is strong and plentiful, like the desert. “But the unavoidable buildup of dust on solar panels in desert installations decrease their energy-conversion efficiency, and the absence of water precludes washing the panels to clean them.” The research is a spin-off of a previous NASA-funded project pioneered by Mazumder that developed technology to clean dust from panels of exploration vehicles on Mars. “One factor that limited the lifetime of the recent Pathfinder missions to Mars was the slow reduction in available solar power caused by dust deposition on the panels,” Mazumder says. Existing cleaning methods for solar panels are akin to window washers, which are expensive and need water to operate. Horenstein and Mazumder will use lateral waves of electrostatic force to clear dust from the glass surfaces that cover solar

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Mark Horenstein

Malay Mazumder

“The long-term trend is toward the development of very large solar installations where sunlight is strong and plentiful, like the desert.” panels; a sensor embedded in the panel will detect reduction in solar output and initiate the clearing process to remove the dust. “The cleaning operation itself will only take about 10 seconds or so, and need be run only every few minutes or hours,” Horenstein says. While the technology to be adapted in Horenstein and Mazumder’s lab has been shown to work, one large obstacle remaining is the development of an inexpensive manufacturing process. While current economic limitations exist, Mazumder believes that going forward, the governmentmandated tax breaks and an infusion of research grants in green technology will make solar energy a huge part of the economy, and a clean energy solution. “Global demand for solar energy harvesting is huge,” he says. “The new government is gung ho on these projects, but the manufacturing process is still critical. We need to understand how we can get this done in a less expensive manner.” —Jason L. London



Engineers Without Borders Returns to Peru The trip is a continuation of a project that dates back to October of 2006, when EWB’s BU Chapter was founded. Alongside Chirimoto native Luis Chavez, a BU doctoral candidate in romance languages and founder of the Hummingbird House, EWB-BU worked throughCharlie Jahnke (BME’10) uses the total station to take measurements of the town plaza. (Photo courtesy of EWB-BU) out 2007 to meet fundraising goals for their two-week January 2008 trip to Seventeen months after their initial visit, Chirimoto, a rural town decimated by floodmembers of the Boston University chapter of ing in the early 1980s that has not fully Engineers Without Borders (EWB) returned to Chirimoto, Peru, over the summer, making recovered. BU chapter members hope to submit both engineering and financial progress in their first proposal to the national EWB repairing and installing working water filtragoverning board in September, which could tion systems there. lead to the financing of two new water filters Departing in late June, College for the town. of Engineering students Paolo Belfiore “Our goal is to go back in January over (BME’09), Richard Burriola (ME’10), Charles winter break,” Schein said. “We want to first Jahnke (BME’10), Elissa Mueller (ME’12) rebuild and revamp an old filter, and work and Jeremy Schein (ECE’10) traveled to side by side with the townspeople so they Chirimoto for six weeks. Working with the can get an idea of how it works and how it nonprofit group the Hummingbird House, can be fixed in the future.” the engineers analyzed data, studied terWhile making advances in the engirain, tested the water’s bacterial content and neering side of the project, group members chemical composition, and outlined a plan also made strides in funding and coordinatto replace the town’s outdated and ineffecing future visits that will allow them to see tive piping and filtration system. the project through to completion. The “We accomplished quite a bit,” said group signed a working agreement with Belfiore, the EWB-BU president who also the Regional Government of Amazonas, a made the trip in January of 2008. “We were governing body in the Chirimoto region able to interact with the community and that will assist in project funding for subsereally see what was needed to install a workquent trips. ing filter. It’s not until you’re on the ground “I think it was a great step in the right that you can get an actual sense of what’s direction, ” Belfiore said. “It wasn’t just about needed and what you’re working with.”



the water. It was getting the townspeople involved and organized. The initiatives and dialogues we’ve fostered with the Hummingbird House should eventually empower them to become independent.” Traveling to Chirimoto also gave the students outside-the-classroom experience that may prove valuable as they make the transition to engineering professionals following graduation. “It was a lot different than Boston— especially the civil engineering aspects,” Schein said. “When you need to use a machete to chop down branches just to get a clear line of sight, you know you’re getting prepared for any kind of engineering situation.” —Jason L. London

Energy Management the Topic at Two Events A former federal energy regulator and a gathering of industry, venture capital and academic leaders discussed the future of electric energy management at two separate events held on campus last spring. “Disrupting the Status Quo in Electric Energy Management: A Systems Approach to a Sustainable Energy Future,” brought 168 guests to campus in May to hear from leaders in energy management. Lecture topics included future energy systems, building infrastructure and new energy management strategies. Earlier in the semester, Joseph T. Kelliher, former chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), discussed the economics of energy at the inaugural Boston University Presidential Lecture on Energy and Environmental Sustainability. Transforming the electric power system into a smart grid that maximizes energy and monetary savings while increas-

Photo by Jason L. London


At FIRST, “Lunacy” Reigns While Agganis Arena traditionally hosts Boston University athletes and Division I competition with loyal Terrier fans filling the stands, it was the site of a different battle last March, between high school students—and robots. For the fourth consecutive year, Boston University and the College of Engineering hosted the regional Boston FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Robotics Competition, a “varsity sport of the mind” where teams of high school students design and build robots to compete alongside and against one another. Fifty-three teams from six states and one Canadian province competed, including

Boston University Academy, which works out of the College of Engineering. This year’s game, called “Lunacy,” pitted three-team alliances against each other on a 54-foot-by-27-foot rectangular track. Teams designed robots to operate both autonomously and by remote control, the goal being to fill opponents’ robots with large, bouncy balls. “The high school kids build the robots,” team advisor and BU Academy physics teacher Gary Garber says. “This was their creation. We were only there for guidance. The goal of this program is to get these kids to feel like they can really accomplish something, and they certainly did that.”

ing reliability was a topic at the “Disrupting the Status Quo” seminar. Professor Michael Caramanis, who works on combining windgenerated power with the use of electric cars, said the electric power system is the largest machine that humans have made, making it one of the most complex to ­overhaul. Those responsible for modernizing the U.S. energy grid must understand both the technical and policy aspects of the finely nuanced challenge, added William Hogan, professor of global energy policy at Harvard University. The smart grid must incorporate advanced sensors and automation as well as nuanced strategies for pricing electricity in real time. Two electric company executives described their companies’ efforts to manage electricity loads by paying large institutions and occasionally calling on them to quickly cut down electricity usage when demands are high. This type of “demand response” approach has not reached the level of individual U.S. houses, a market where the addition of some in-home automation and

customer awareness of fluctuating prices could make a meaningful impact on the country’s energy use, the speakers noted. College of Engineering professors Christos Cassandras and Tom Little spoke about energy innovations coming from their labs. Cassandras works on sensor networks, control systems and algorithms that could become powerful tools in developing smart ways to save energy. Little described his work as a member of a National Science Foundation Smart Lighting Engineering Research Center, investigating the use of energy-efficient LED lights as a communication network. College of Engineering Dean Kenneth R. Lutchen spoke about the role of engineering education in addressing the complex and highly interdisciplinary challenges in the energy field, citing flexibility and agility as the keys to training engineers for leadership roles. “The leaders of the future have to understand that the problem is not just about technologies, not just about policies and politics, not just about sustainability,” Lutchen said, “It’s about all of those.”

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BU Academy’s entry, “Overclocked,” won three matches before being eliminated in the quarterfinals. Despite not advancing to the national finals, the team said the satisfaction of creating and designing a working robot was well worth the time invested. “The competition and experience were incredible,” says BU Academy student Jake Magid, who competed in his fourth FIRST competition. “It was great to be able to pull this together, especially after four years. No one on our team sat around. Our design was solid, our robot worked, and everyone on the team played a role in building it.” —Jason L. London

At the Presidential Lecture in February, Kelliher discussed the economics of energy. “The financial industry has entered the energy business. Some of the country’s most prominent companies are the largest traders of physical electricity. Electricity and natural gas have similar characteristics of traditional commodities. The link between finance and energy will not disappear, it will only get stronger.” Kelliher espoused the benefits of energy products in financial markets, explaining that they can mitigate price fluctuation and risk, and can lead to pivotal financial growth and a more stable price relationship between physical energy ­products. “Treating energy as a commodity facilitates the development of financial energy products by leveraging off existing market architecture for newer commodities,” he said. “A whole system can develop around these products.” —Kate Fink and Jason L. London



Video Surveillance Technology Wins Engineering Design Competition The annual Entrepreneur Design Contest encourages entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering. reduce the duration of a long surveillance video by three to four times. If the viewer needs to see a specific event and the minutes surrounding it, one click of the mouse switches back to the fulllength video. “The really nice thing about the technology is that the way they built it, it’s a really simple system. It’s very intuitive, it’s easy to understand, and at the same time, it does a very good job,” Bangla says. Throughout the competition, the technical proposals and explanations came easily to engineers Bangla and Chao; the business side presented more of a challenge because they had never before done market research. “We didn’t even know where to search —we started with Google,” says Bangla. “A lot of things we learned that went toward

this business competition we picked up along the way, so it’s been a good learning experience.” “The [BU] Office of Technology Transfer was a big help,” adds Chao, who just finished a master’s degree in computer systems engineering. The OTT provided research reports and other market information the students could not access on their own. Winning the competition opens up opportunities for the team’s fledgling business idea. They will move to protect the technology by patenting it through BU, and may take it to a larger business competition or talk to venture capital firms to raise more money. “I think that with what we have here, there’s so many things you can do,” says Chao. “The technology is open-ended, in a way. It’s clear what it does, but the applications are so wide that I think we have many opportunities.” —Kate Fink

Photo by Kate Fink

Engineering students Ajay Bangla and Stephen Chao won the 2009 Entrepreneur Design Contest in April with their business idea based on a technology that greatly improves the efficiency of video ­surveillance. The annual Entrepreneur Design Contest encourages entrepreneurship in the College of Engineering by offering engineering students the opportunity to explore the conversion of technologies and ideas into business opportunities. The contest also facilitates collaboration between engineering and School of Management students. The winning team receives a $2,000 cash prize, expedited review by BU’s New Ventures Division at the Office of Technology Development, and 20 hours of free legal consulting from Foley and Lardner, LLP, one of the contest’s sponsors. Bangla and Chao’s project was selected from among four finalists by a panel of academic, industry and venture capital judges. “We were thinking of getting into a business contest because it would be a new experience for us, but since we’re engineers, we were looking for a cool idea,” says Bangla, a doctoral student studying optimization theory. Bangla and Chao based their business plan on technology developed by Assistant Professor Prakash Ishwar and Professor Janusz Konrad (both ECE). Today, video surveillance is typically done by watching tape in real-time—which is time consuming—or in fast-forward, in which the viewer could miss key details. Bangla and Chao’s start-up, VCon, uses Ishwar and Konrad’s video editing technology that seamlessly edits video of parking lots, shopping malls or highways to cut out time when nothing happens. This can

Stephen Chao and Ajay Bangla




ENG Lab Makes Metamaterial Advances Metamaterials, synthetic materials crafted in the laboratory and not available in nature, are providing the building blocks for future technologies, from detectors of dangerous chemicals to invisibility cloaks. With their expertise in complex, highly technical fabrication techniques, Associate Professor Xin Zhang (ME) and doctoral student Hu “Tiger” Tao are leading the way in creating metamaterials that can absorb, bend and detect electromagnetic radiation. “We are gaining capability in building these flexible multilayered metamaterials that have so many possible applications,” says Tao, whose recent advances in the field include a detector combining several different metamaterials to absorb multiple wavelengths of radiation simultaneously and creating a metamaterial that is plasticlike and flexible. The potential applications of any metamaterial depend on the properties researchers design metamaterials to have, including which wavelengths of radiation the metamaterial can slurp up or push around. Zhang and Tao, collaborating with Assistant Professor Richard Averitt (Physics), focus on inventing metamaterials that manipulate electromagnetic waves in the terahertz range. In a past publication, they created a specialized metamaterial that absorbs terahertz radiation, a previously hard-todetect range of wavelengths longer than visible light but shorter than microwaves. The group’s recent article in Optics Express builds on this work, constructing detectors of hexagonal metamaterial tiles rather than the usual square cells. Each hexagon is 30 microns wide with a pattern of twomicron-wide gold lines printed on it. The spacious interior of a hexagonal-shaped cell—­roomier than the square’s—gives

the researchers room to make variations of the gold pattern in the cells; each different pattern can detect a specific terahertz frequency. “Our metamaterial combines multiple designs into one sample—that has never been done before,” says Tao. “Here, we’ve matched the performance of the metamaterials to a target.” By putting together three differently patterned hexagonal cells, the team created an array that detects three terahertz wavelengths at once. The three designs can be tailored to match the signature set of wavelengths radiated by any specific molecule. This mosaic detection method minimizes the chances of a false positive reading because it matches not just one, but three characteristic wavelengths. “In the future, we can detect any biological molecule or other things such as dangerous chemicals, as long as we find their frequency spectrum features, then we can use metamaterials to match and search for those,” explains Tao. Tao, Zhang and Averitt continue to tinker with metamaterial fabrication techniques to make them flexible and better absorbers of incoming electromagnetic radiation. Tao changed the way he builds metamaterials to make them absorb nearly 100 percent of incoming light from all angles, not just light headed straight for the detector. This puts a metamaterial detector one step closer to commercial viability, since in real-world scenarios, radiation will likely hit the detector at many different angles. Tao also made a switch from using stiff wafers of gallium arsenide to polyimide, a flexible plastic-like material, so his metamaterials are flexible and can wrap around any surface—a nice feature for his terahertz

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Xin Zhang, Hu Tao, and Richard Averitt

detectors and absorbers and an essential property for invisibility cloaks. Building metamaterial devices in the terahertz range has its own applications, and helps bring the field closer to bending visible light around objects. This task—creating invisibility—continues to intrigue researchers and has been the subject of many theoretical papers, says Tao, but, as yet, there have been no real-world demonstrations with visible light waves. One research group built a device that shunts microwaves around an object. Microwaves are very long compared to light waves, however, and the job gets increasingly difficult the shorter the wavelengths involved. Metamaterials that can wrangle visible light like this don’t yet exist, but as researchers create metamaterials to work with shorter and shorter wavelengths, they step closer to manipulating visible light wavelengths, and possibly, someday achieving invisibility. “We can’t make an invisibility cloak yet, but this is a really big step. We’ve demonstrated the potential toward a functional invisibility cloak,” says Tao. “It’s kind of funny that on one hand, I am trying to build an invisibility cloak to hide objects, while, on the other hand, I am trying to build a terahertz detector to make any hidden object visible to terahertz frequencies.” —Kate Fink


FacultyNews Temple Smith Named ISCB Fellow The International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) has named Professor Temple Smith (BME) a fellow for his outstanding contributions to the fields of computational biology and bioinformatics. ISCB members who have distinguished themselves through exceptional involvement and contributions in bioinformatics and computational biology are honored as fellows. Smith’s career in bioinformatics spans parts of five decades. During that time, he has secured over $14 million in grant funding, published over 200 papers and helped organize the first international conferences in bioinformatics and molecular biology. “(The rank of fellow) means your colleagues have recognized your achievements as something noteworthy,” Smith says. “The

ISCB is one of the foremost organizations that help coordinate bioinformatics worldwide.” Smith is best known for his involvement in the “Smith-Waterman algorithm,” widely used to perform local sequence alignment. First proposed in 1981, the algorithm allows researchers to analyze and identify similar DNA, RNA and protein segments. Smith also organized “Genes and Machines” in 1986, a first-of-its-kind symposium that brought together biologists, mathematicians and computer scientists from around the globe. “Genes and Machines” was so successful that it was also held in 1988 and 1990. “At that time, there was no venue to bring together people with similar interests in molecular biology,” Smith explains.

Temple Smith

“There is still no substitute for face-to-face communication, and I believe ‘Genes and Machines’ set the stage for the bioinformatics conferences that followed.” Smith’s current research centers on the application of computer science and mathematical methods to comparative genetic sequence studies, the prediction and modeling of protein structure, and the evolution of the cellular information processing machinery. He is also developing database structures suitable for large-scale genome sequencing and analysis using internet web page interfaces. —Jason L. London

Collins Named One of Two Inaugural Warren Professors Boston University President Robert A. Brown has appointed Professor James J. Collins (BME) as one of two inaugural William Fairfield Warren Distinguished Professors. The professorships, named after the University’s first president, were established last year on the recommendation of an ad hoc committee of the Faculty Council. In a letter to the faculty last year, Brown said the award is intended to be the highest honor bestowed upon senior faculty members who will remain active in research, scholarship and teaching, and the University’s civic life. Collins is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator, a position he holds concurrently with his BU appointment. He is also co-founder and co-director of the University’s Center for BioDynamics. A Rhodes Scholar, he holds a PhD in medical engineering from Oxford and has been a member of the College of Engineering biomedical engineering faculty since 1990.



Collins has been recognized as the ENG Biomedical Engineering Teacher of the Year and the Professor of the Year, and in 2000, he won the University’s Metcalf Cup and Prize for Excellence in Teaching. He received a MacArthur Fellows Program award in 2003. “I am delighted and very appreciative to be selected as one of the first Warren Professors,” said Collins. “I would like to thank Bob Brown and the selection committee for this marvelous honor. My academic career has benefited tremendously from Boston University’s support and celebration of highrisk interdisciplinary work. I look forward to continuing such work and teaching BU students for many years to come.” In May, Collins received Drexel University’s inaugural Anthony J. Drexel Exceptional Achievement Award, which comes with a $100,000 prize and recognizes “a member of a U.S. institution whose work

transforms both research and the society it serves.” Collins has pioneered the application of nonlinear dynamics to biological systems and the developing field of synthetic biology. His research has led to the development of novel bioengineering devices and techniques, while making innovative contributions at multiple biological scales. He has 130 archival publications and has 10 issued patents and 15 pending patents. He has been named a fellow of the Institute of Physics, a fellow of the American Physical Society, and a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He won the NIH Director’s Pioneer Award, the Ellison Medical Foundation Senior Scholar Award, and the Scientific American 50 Award, given to 50 outstanding leaders in research, industry, and politics. —Art Jahnke


Baillieul Named Inaugural Fellow of SIAM Professor John Baillieul has been selected as a fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM). The organization instituted its fellowship program last year, and Baillieul is one of 183 fellows named to the first class from among the more than 12,000 individual SIAM members around the globe. SIAM promotes interaction among mathematicians and other scientific and technological communities that apply mathematics in their fields. It established the fellows program to recognize members who have made outstanding contributions to their disciplines and to support their advancement in academia and society. “The announcement of the first class of SIAM fellows is an important milestone for the applied mathematics and computational science community,” says SIAM President Douglas N. Arnold. “Reflecting the diversity of the SIAM membership, these men and women come from five continents and work in academia, industry and government laboratories. Advancing the frontiers

of research in branches of mathematics as distinct as number theory and partial differential equations, these professionals have applied their work to endeavors ranging from mining to medicine. Their contributions are truly outstanding.” Baillieul joined the College of Engineering faculty in 1985 and holds professorial appointments in the Mechanical and Electrical & Computer Engineering departments. His research focuses on robotics, control of mechanical systems and mathematical system theory. He is also an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) fellow and won the IEEE Third Millennium Medal for outstanding contributions to his field. In 2007, Dean Kenneth R. Lutchen named Baillieul the College of Engineering’s first Distinguished Lecturer; Baillieul delivered a talk on “The Evolving Applications of Control Theory to Devices, Networks and Life Itself.” Baillieul has served as editor-in-chief and on editorial boards of numerous industry journals, gaining extensive experience in

John Baillieul

editorial work and scholarly publishing. He began overseeing SIAM’s Journal on Control and Optimization in 2006 and through 2011 will continue to steer its transition to more online content and less print. Previously, he edited the leading journal in the same field, published by IEEE. “It would be unusual for someone to do what I did, to be editor-in-chief for two very similar journals, but I did it because I am interested in learning this other system,” Baillieul says. “I am just interested in all the changes going on in scholarly publishing with the web. The whole journal is available electronically. It’s been good what’s happened, but it’s one of the tougher transitions this journal, and all of them, will undergo.” In July, Baillieul attended the SIAM annual meeting in Denver, where he was recognized for his fellowship at an awards luncheon. —Kate Fink

AAAS and SPIE Name Cerrina Fellow ECE Professor and Department Chair Franco Cerrina was elected a fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of  Sciences (AAAS) and the Society of Photooptical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE), respectively, for his achievements in maskless lithography for DNA synthesis, x-ray optics, and EUV lithography. According to the SPIE, fellows are recognized for their significant scientific and technical contribu-

tions in the multidisciplinary fields of optics, photonics and imaging, and for their service to SPIE and the general optics community. Cerrina’s research includes all of these areas and is strongly interdisciplinary. According to the AAAS, Professor Cerrina, a leading scholar in optics, lithography, and nanotechnology, is being recognized “for distinguished contributions to the development of the Maskless Array Synthesizer for on-demand DNA microarray chips, a novel technology enabling high definition gene expression analysis.”

Cerrina is involved in nanolithography, using extreme ultraviolet radiation (EUV) to research the fabrication of nanometer-scale structures. The Maskless Array Synthesizer is an instrument used to create high-density arrays of short DNA polymers. By comparing the level of RNA expression in healthy and diseased cells, synthesizer-created “DNA Chips” are used as programmable sensors to measure the activity of genes. —Jason L. London

Franco Cerrina Fa l l 2 0 0 9 M A G A Z I N E


Photo by Kate Fink


Attaway Authors New MATLAB Textbook Assistant Professor Stormy Attaway (ME) has authored a new textbook on the computer programming language MATLAB. The book, MATLAB: A Practical Introduction to Programming and Problem Solving, takes a novel approach, teaching both MATLAB’s programming concepts and its efficient built-in functions. “There are two aspects to MATLAB. It has a bunch of built-in functions to do mathematics and graphics and so forth, but it’s also got programming constructs so you can write your own programs, just like you could in C++, Java or other languages,” Attaway explains. Existing MATLAB textbooks teach either the programming or the MATLAB functions, not both. Attaway’s textbook pioneers the side-by-side approach and can be used in college classes or as a reference for any scientist or engineer looking to learn both sides of MATLAB. The book may also encour-

age universities still teaching other computer languages to begin a MATLAB class now that they don’t have to choose between teaching only the programming component or the program’s built-in functions. Attaway’s inspiration for the book came three years ago when the College of Engineering decided to offer a MATLAB course for freshmen and a committee of professors deemed it important for students to learn both components of MATLAB. As Attaway taught the course she began to compile detailed class notes, creating a novel approach to teaching the software’s simple, efficient tricks while still imparting the underlying programming language. “We decided that our students, as freshmen, don’t really know when they graduate whether they would be better served learning the programming or learn-

Stormy Attaway

ing how to efficiently use the software package, so we decided to give them both,” she says. “MATLAB is everywhere—every technical field. You can do so much with it, it’s just becoming more and more ubiquitous out there. That’s one reason we decided to teach it in the freshman computation class—they’ll be seeing it.” It took about a year and a half for Attaway to complete the book, published by Elsevier and available from bookstores and online booksellers. Her students helped, too, by reviewing chapters, trying practice problems and even helping design the cover. With the book almost complete, Attaway’s editor asked her for a cover image; she had nothing at hand and turned to teaching assistant Kevin Ryan (ME’10) for help. In just a couple of days, Ryan had written a MATLAB script that generated an eye-catching image for the cover. —Kate Fink

Bifano Wins Bepi Colombo Prize Leaders from the European space science and astronomy community have awarded Professor Thomas Bifano (ME) the Bepi Colombo Prize for his research in microdeformable mirrors for astronomical telescopes. Bifano received the prize during a ceremony at the University of Padua in Italy last February. The prize is named for Giuseppe “Bepi” Colombo, an Italian scientist best known for his research on the planet Mercury and in whose honor the forthcoming space mission “BepiColombo,” a joint venture between the European Space Agency and Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, is named. “To receive a prize in honor of Bepi Colombo was very special,” Bifano says. “He really cared about the technology of astronomy, and made some important con-



tributions to our understanding of celestial mechanics, especially concerning the resonance in Mercury’s orbit.” Bifano was among five finalists selected from a group of worldwide researchers to travel to Padua to compete for the prize. According to RogerMaurice Bonnet, executive director of the International Space Science Institute, the criteria for the prize included achievements in research, education and technology transfer; innovative character; potential for new discoveries; impact on knowledge and education; quality of presentation; potential in medicine and defense; and match with the achievements of Bepi Colombo. “The competition was exciting,” Bifano said. “The event truly had an international feel, with finalists from Israel, the United

States and Sweden. All of the finalists are engaged in important, interesting work.” Thomas Bifano Bifano’s selection was the culmination of a daylong event during which Bifano and four other finalists presented their research and technology transfer activities to the panel of judges at the university’s Galileo Galilei Main Hall, named in honor of the famed astronomer and physicist who was chair of the university’s mathematics department from 1592 to 1610. The panel announced Bifano as the winner during a private philharmonic concert that evening. —Jason L. London


Joyce Wong Wins Hartwell Individual Biomedical Research Award The Hartwell Foundation has awarded Associate Professor Joyce Wong (BME) a 2008 Individual Biomedical Research Award. Given for exceptional work in applied biomedical research to advance children’s health, the award includes $100,000 of funding per year for three years. Since 2006, The Hartwell Foundation of Memphis, Tenn., has annually selected 12 researchers from 12 U.S. institutions to receive these awards. This year’s recipients include researchers working in molecular biology, diagnostics, imaging, infectious disease, tissue engineering and neurobiology. The Foundation supports innovative early-stage research that has the potential to benefit children in the U.S. Wong is working on developing tissue engineering solutions for pediatric vascular surgery repair. “We’re very excited about this because it’s enabling us to bring our research in a new direction, to develop solutions for children,” says Wong, who, with a niece and nephew both diagnosed with congenital heart

problems, has a personal connection to the work. “In our current research, we’re designing vascular grafts using tissue engineering for adults, but children have very different requirements.” Children with congenital heart or vascular defects may have to undergo a series of surgeries throughout childhood to repair faulty blood vessels. Blood vessel tissue engineered in the laboratory might help graft or patch these diseased vessels, but would also need to grow with the child. Wong and her colleagues plan to study how engineered tissue can accommodate these unique requirements in children, by figuring out what mechanical and chemical signals need to be present for a tissue graft to grow with the child. For example children’s cells produce elastin, a protein that gives skin and cells their resilience, but adult cells do not. Wong plans to build a bioreactor for this project, a laboratory device that simulates the environment of the human body

Joyce Wong

and assesses how engineered tissues react to fluids, pressure and other stimuli. “It’s very hard to do research for children because of the lack of models that are out there, but with bioengineering, with a bioreactor, you can start to answer these questions,” said Wong. Wong collaborates with Ram Emani, a cardiac surgeon at Children’s Hospital, Assistant Professor Darrell Kotton (MED), and several other researchers on the project. —Kate Fink

Lynch Wins Munk Award from Oceanography Society The Oceanography Society has awarded Adjunct Professor James Lynch (ME) its Walter Munk Award in recognition of his work related to the sound and the sea. The Walter Munk Award is granted jointly by The Oceanography Society, the Office of Naval Research and the Office of the Oceanographer of the Navy. Recipients are selected based on their significant original contributions to the understanding of physical ocean processes related to sound in the sea; their significant original contributions to the

application of acoustic methods to that understanding; and their outstanding service in fostering research in ocean science and instrumentation. Lynch was selected for his work in ocean acoustics and acoustical oceanography, physical oceanography, marine geology and marine biology. “As someone who has worked with and gone to sea with Walter Munk, this is a great honor,” Lynch said. “He is a wonderful scientist and colleague, and a real inspiration to the rest of us.”

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Lynch joined Boston University in 2007. In addition to his duties at the College of Engineering, he holds the position of senior scientist and chairman of the Applied Ocean Physics and Engineering Department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. His research has included shallow water acoustics, arctic acoustics, acoustic tomography and the study of high frequency backscatter from underwater particles. —Jason L. London



Thank You for a Record Year Dear Alumni and Friends: It is with great pleasure and continuing pride in your generosity that we report you made the 2008-09 Engineering Annual Fund (EAF) the most successful in our history—for the second year in a row. In a very difficult year for the U.S. economy, and one in which many annual funds across the country declined, the College’s alumni and friends stepped forward to partner with Dean Kenneth Lutchen in his vision for the future of engineering at BU ( For your continuing willingness to make the College one of your philanthropic priorities, you have the very heartfelt thanks of the dean, faculty, staff and especially the students, who are the primary beneficiaries of your gifts. In the year that closed June 30, 2009, the Engineering Annual Fund received: • A record $269,761 in contributions. This amount topped last year’s record by more than $84,358, a robust 45 percent increase. • Commitments from 1,014 individual alumni, friends and institutions—a record—an increase of more than 19 percent above last year and the first time we have surpassed 1,000 donors. • A record number of 82 leadership gifts ($1,000 or more), up 32 percent from last year. One of those gifts was for $50,000, a record amount for the EAF, and eight were between $5,000 and $24,999. • One hundred and sixty-two gifts from individuals who had never given to the ENG Annual Fund before in response to a creative challenge offered by long-time, renowned faculty member Professor Ted de Winter. These donors, matched dollar-for-dollar up to $100 by Professor de Winter, exhausted all of his $10,000 in matching funds. • More than 200 donors—almost 20 percent of you—have made gifts for five consecutive years, and your loyalty is very much appreciated and noted in the report. Three hundred and nineteen of you (almost a third of all donors) have given for three consecutive years. Your continuing support is gratifying. The Fund supports student extracurricular and pre-professional activities, and new curricular and faculty support initiatives such as: • The STARS and SURF undergraduate research support programs • The Society of Women Engineers • Student chapters of engineering professional societies • Engineers Without Borders and other student organizations • The Clean Energy and Environmental Sustainability Initiative [CEESI] • The Distinguished Faculty Fellows program, initiated this year to honor mid-career faculty who have ­demonstrated extraordinary contributions in research, teaching, and service The generosity of our 2008–09 contributors has positively impacted: • The quality of life for current engineering students • Helped us honor and retain our very top young faculty teacher-scholars • Created innovative new programs, like CEESI, that will enable the College to participate in the great engineering challenges of the future Jinara Reyes, Amanda Magee and I have enjoyed meeting you at our increasingly well-attended alumni events in Boston and other major alumni centers, and while travelling to visit more of you this year to learn about your experiences at BU and the College. We look forward to meeting more of you this coming year and renewing acquaintances with those of you who have generously shared your stories, your thoughts and ideas, and your suggestions on how we might better meet your expectations and needs. If you are in Boston, please stop by our offices at 44 Cummington Street. For those who made gifts this year, you have our sincerest thanks. For those who were not contributors in 2008–09, you have an opportunity to partner with the dean and join with your classmates and colleagues this year! With sincere appreciation and thanks,

Scott Muirhead, PhD, Director, Development & Alumni Relations Jinara Reyes, Development Officer Amanda Magee, Senior Staff Coordinator 28



Engineering Annual Fund Donors President’s Circle ($25,000 or more) Richard and Minda Reidy*° (SMG’82) President’s Associates ($10,000– $24,999) Professor Theo de Winter† Mr. Ralf T. Faber° Mr. David Kiersznowski (’85) Dean’s Circle ($5,000–$9,999) Mr. Roger A. Dorf ° (’70) Mr. Ronald Gene Garriques° (’86) Norman E. Gaut, PhD, & Gaut Charitable Foundation Trust° Mr. Nicholas J. Lippis III §° (’84, ’89) Raytheon Company* Leadership Circle ($2,500–$4,999) Mr. John Abele*§ Mr. Gregg E. Adkin§• (’86) Mr. John J. Tegan III° (’88) Mr. David E. Hollowell§‡ (’69, ’72, GSM’74) Ms. Kathleen A. Hollowell, EdD§ (GRS’71, SED’77) Mr. Dean L. Kamen° (Hon.’06) Ms. Margaret H. LaBrecque (’86) Dean Kenneth R. Lutchen† § Mr. Carl L. Myers Jr.§ (’65) Binoy K. Singh, MD§‡ (’89) Mr. John J. Ullo° Benefactor Circle ($1,000–$2,499) Accenture Foundation, Inc.§ Noubar B. Afeyan, PhD, & Afeyan Foundation*° Mr. Adel Bedry Al-Saleh (’87) Professor Stormy Attaway† (GRS’84, GRS’88) Barclays Bank Foundation* Mr. Charles E. Bascom§ (’64) Mr. Joseph M. Basile (’82) Mr. Christopher H. Brousseau (’91) Charles R. Cantor, PhD, & Cantor Trust† Mrs. Deborah H. Caplan§ (’90) Mr. Wayne Cheung (’99) Mr. Peter K. Cocolis§ (’64) Mr. Jason Paul Colacchio (’90) Mrs. Deborah Lorraine Dunklee† (’87, GSM’98) * First-Time Donor

Mr. Jason R. Dunklee (’05) Tahsin Mark Ergin, MD (’81) Ms. Kerry Corrigan Foley§ (’91) Mr. Patrick J. Foley (’91, ’94) GE Foundation§ Ms. Lisa W. Gill & Lisa Gill Trust* Dr. Jennifer Ruth Gruber§ (’99, ’99) Dr. Kenneth E. Hancock§ (’92, ’01) Mr. William T. Hathaway IV§ (’65) Mr. Jon K. Hirschtick° Mr. Brendon Howe*• (’84) Robert H. Howland, MD§ (’82) Mr. Kent W. Hughes§ (’79) Ms. Ruth A. Hunter‡ (’64, GSM’86) Mr. Bill I. Huyett* Intel Foundation Mr. Amit Jain*° (’85, ’88) Ms. Karen Elizabeth Kullas‡ (’77) Professor Min-Chang Lee*† Ms. Chia-Li Lin*(’08) Mr. Yu-Jen Lin M.E.A. Engineering Associates Inc. Mr. John A. Maccarone§° (’66) Daniel C. Maneval, PhD§ (’82) Ms. Mary Ann Milano-Picardi* (CFA’66) Mr. Alfred E. Muccini‡ (’62) Mr. Scott Muirhead† Kevin Kit Parker, PhD* (’89) Mr. James S. Paulsen§ (’69, ’72) Pfizer Foundation Mr. Osama Rahbiny* Mr. Brooks S. Read§ (’81) Professor Ronald A. Roy*† Mr. Gregory Nicholas Saccoccio (’94) Mr. George M. Savage*• (’81) Mr. Gregory D. Seiden• (’80) Mr. Edy Tan (’08) Mr. Francis A. Tiernan• (’70) Mr. Francis J. Troise§ (’87) Mr. Mark Andrew Tubinis (’81) United Technologies Corporation Professor Selim M. Ünlü*† Mr. Gordon R. Walsh§ (’67, ’68, GSM’71) Mr. and Mrs. Mendal Lane Yoho Ms. Janice K. Zika§ (’84) Donors $500–$999 Mrs. Colleen Barry Athans (’89) The Ayco Charitable Foundation C. R. Bard Foundation Inc. Boeing Corporation§ Mr. Stephen Michael Campbell§ (’97) Captain Ezra Betzalel Caplan (’04) Dr. Brant A. Cheikes§ (’84) Dr. Daniel J. Clancy§ (’91)

† Faculty/Staff

° Dean’s Engineering Leadership Advisory Board • West Coast Alumni Leadership Council

§ 5-Year Consecutive Donor

‡ ENG Alumni Board Member

William H. Colwill, PhD (’70) Mr. Salvatore J. De Amicis§ (’55) Mr. Ronald DeBoer* Dominion Foundation Mr. Howard C. Ehrlich§ (’60) FPL Group Foundation Inc. Richard A. Fuller, PhD§ (’88) Dr. Warren M. Grill (’89) Mr. and Mrs. Eric R. Jaeger Mr. David H. Johnson§‡ (’65, ’66) Mr. Ronald H. Johnson (’59) Mrs. Barbara A. Kowack-Murthy (’90) Mr. William C. Kurtz§ (’60) Mr. Thomas Peter Lisowski (’95) Lockheed Martin/The Scholarship Found.§ Mr. Walther Thomas Meier (’88, MET’04) Mr. Eric J. Meltzer* (’82) Mrs. Julie S. Melzak (’87) Professor Theodore D. Moustakas†§ George S. Ouellette, MD§ (’81) Dr. Luis A. Pagan-Carlo (’85) Raytheon Charitable Gift Fund§ Mrs. Jacqueline Marie Reed* (’88) Bryn J. H. Reina, MD* (’92) G. Anthony Reina, MD (’93) Ms. Sandra L. Rivas-Hall§ (’81) Mr. David C.V. Royce§ (’65) Dr. Eric J. Sheppard (’83) Mr. Bima Harbani Sumawijaya (’88) Mr. Frederic J. Syrjala§ (’58, ’60) Mr. Victor Kay Tan (’85) Ms. Ann L. Tedford§ (’78) Verizon Foundation§ Mr. Mark Wilkie Mrs. Alice J. Winston§ (SED’65) Mr. Berl P. Winston§ (’64) Robert P. Wotiz, PhD* (’99, ’05, ’06) Donors $250–$499 Mr. Marc Jason Albanese (’99, ’03) Mr. Vijay S. Anand§ (’71) Colleen B. Athans Trust§ Ms. Karen Tune Bain (’87) Dr. Carissa Lynn Bellardine Black* (’01, ’03, ’06) John E. Belmonte, PhD (CAS’77, GRS’85, GRS’85) Dr. Lauren Deems Black* (’03, ’06) Ms. Sarah Harpley Brukilacchio (’89) Mr. James Joseph Byrne§ (’93) Mr. Marc K. Cannon (’82) Mr. John S. Carney Jr. (’62) Ms. Tatiana Chapsky (’81) Mr. Howard T. Chun (’83) Mr. and Mrs. Richard A. Colby Mr. Frank Henry Daurio§ (’69) Mr. and Mrs. Allan J. Dolinski Mr. Robert A. Downey (’61)

Fa l l 2 0 0 9 M A G A Z I N E

Mr. Michael Duchnowski‡ (’91, ’93) Dr. Matthew Kent Emsley*† (’00, ’03) Ms. Rachel Lauren Emsley (’01) Mr. Stephen P. Flosdorf (’84) Dr. John F. French Jr. (’96) Michael & Teresa Gancarz Ralph G. Ganick, MD (CAS’67, MED’67) Mr. Timothy P. Ganley (’91) Mr. Reza K. Gharavi* (’87) Mr. Patrick Gillooly (’87) Ms. Mary Ann Givens (’92) Mr. Cameron M. Hall* (’07) Mr. Donald R. Johnson (’65) Mr. Hyun Jun Jung§ (’93) Mr. Michael N. Keefe‡ (’89) Mr. Manuel A. Landa (’66) Mr. Jean R. Malenfant§ (’60) Robert C. McKinstry, MD§ (’84) Mr. Joseph Mclellan Owen III* (’00) Mr. John Papadopoulos§ (’60) Mr. Ioannis Paschalidis Mr. Ajan Babu Patel* (’06) Mr. Sanjay Patel§ (’87) Philips Electronics North America Corporation§ Ms. Jinara D. Reyes† (CAS’88, GSM’99) Mr. Jeffrey Thomas Roy (’95) Mr. and Mrs. Don Rushing Mrs. Maria A. Scardera (’84) Ms. Julie Sperry* Mr. Dylan Patrick Steeg*• (’95) H. T. Than, Esq. (’85, LAW’93) Mr. Kenneth C. Tolides§ (’58) Ms. Michelle F. Tortolani (’82, ’89) Mr. Anton Edwin Tremp (’89) Mrs. Susanna K. Tzau (’85) Mr. Maxim Umnov (’01) United Way of Bergen County* Miss Vanessa Vega* (’89) Mr. Chi-Hua Philip Wu (’93) Mr. Jee Yuen Yu (’95, MET’00, MET’01) Mrs. Gracemarie F. Zambuto (’90) Donors $100–$249 Adobe Systems Incorporated* Commander William Thomas Alex, USN (’89) The Allstate Foundation* Mr. James Douglas Alman§ (’87) Mr. Anthony P. Amundson* (’76) Ms. Laura R. Appleton (GSM’81) Ms. Tara A. Arensdorf Mr. George J. Arouchon§ (’54) Mr. Charles S. Asmar Jr.§ (’55, ’58) Mr. Norman L. Bailis§ (’65) Bank of America Foundation Mr. Kenneth B. Benson (’63) Mr. Robert J. Berkovits§ (’77) Mr. Peter Bernard* (’88) Ms. Nidhi Bhatia (’00, GRS’01) 29



Mr. Graham Fleming Mr. Peter O. Foersterling* (’79) Mrs. Edith Greta Fortado§ (’85) Mr. John A. Frassica (’66) Mr. David William Freitag§ (’91) Dr. Timothy Stevens Gardner†• (’00) Ms. Mary A. Garrett§ (’80) Genentech Employee Giving Program* Mr. Douglas Robert George (’90) Mr. David Richard Gervais* (’01, ’04) Mr. and Mrs. Edward T. Gleason Mr. Ryan E. Gleason* (’08) Global Impact Dr. Robert Joseph Goitz* (’88) Mr. James J. Gonzalez (’84) Ms. Laura Gonzalez* Goodrich Foundation Partners In Giving Mr. Douglas W. Graham (’86) Mr. Gavin Layton Gray* (’05, ’05) Mr. Charles J. Green§ (’79) Mr. Antonio Gross§ (’69) Ms. Yvonne Grover* Mr. Gregory George Grozdits (’99, MET’09) Mr. George C. Guerra (’84) Daniel Stuart Hagg, MD (’95) Ms. Dale H. Hall (’86) Ms. Susan Hall Mr. Aslam Taher Handy§ (’90) Mr. Arthur R. Hathaway§ (’59) Mr. Richard A. Heath (’80) Mr. Richard L. Heilman (’72) Miss Dionne D. Henry* (’90) Mr. William Heres (’92, ’97) Mr. David I. Herman§ (’70) Dr. Alfred O. Hero III§ (CAS’76, ENG’77, ’80) Mr. Yue-shun E. Ho§ (’89) Mr. Hui Huang (’98) IBM Corporation§ Mr. and Mrs. Antonio T. Infante Innovations in Optics Inc.* Mr. Anastasios Ioannidis§ (’87) Mr. Shahram Irajpour* (’03, GSM’03) Mr. Koji Ishizawa* (’91) Mr. Nuhad M. Ismail Mr. Yogendra K. Jain (’81) Mr. Richard S. Jamieson§ (’62) Paul A. Janson, MD* (’69, MED’73) Dr. Martin D. Jendrisak Mr. Richard Elwyn Jenness§ (’63) Mr. Raymond Keffer Jr.* Rear Admiral Stephen T. Keith (’66) Mr. Robert E. Kelley§ (’58) Mr. Douglas J. Killian§ (’93) Mrs. Virginia C. Kohlmann (’79) Mr. Solidi S. Korompis* (’90) Mr. and Mrs. Roy A. Kraus§ Mr. Scott Riley Kreamer* (’01)


“You Never Know When You Have the Ability to Affect Someone’s Life.” Photo courtesy of Peter Dichiara

Mrs. Laura J. Bickmeier (’98) Mr. Gregory Ernest Blanchard§ (’96) Mr. Frederick N. Blount* (’66) Mr. Theodore A. Bogdanski Jr. (’86) Mr. Tony B. Bolton* (SMG’76, ENG’78) Mr. David E. Borchardt§ (CGS’80, ENG’83) Mr. Mark R. Bowler Mrs. Kathryn O. Boylan§ (’85) Mr. Steven K. Brodman (’78) Mr. Abe Bromberg* (’61) Mr. Darryl W. Brown (’78) Mr. James Lee Broyan Jr. (’88) Mr. Andrew R. Brughera†§ (’95) Mr. and Mrs. Tom Buchanan Mr. Kevin Henry Burek* (’08) Mr. Philip D. Cabral (’72) Dr. and Mrs. Howard Neil Caplan Mr. David A. Casavant* (’85, ’88) Dr. and Mrs. Steven M. Cassell Mr. Michael Cataldo* Mr. Jim Cavanaugh (’88) Mr. Wesley Robert Chedister§ (’00) Mr. and Mrs. Peter Kevin Cherry Mr. Edmond W. Chin§ (’74, GSM’75) Ms. Siu Fung Chin Ms. Jung Cho Mr. Peter Michael Cirak‡ (’01, ’07) Mr. Peter Wayne Ciriello (’94) Ms. Deborah A. Clark* Mr. Joshua M. Cochin (’90) Mr. Richard H. Coco (’62) Mr. Joseph E. Coffey Jr. (’72) Mr. Sean Akio Collignon* (’09) Mrs. Brenda C. Connor* (’86, ’91) Mr. Brian Joseph Cruise (’97) Mr. Daniel C. Cullinane Jr.§ (’63) Dr. Thomas P. Cullinane (’66) Mr. Anthony Cuomo Jr.§ (’93) Mr. Gregory T. Cuprak* (CGS’73, ENG’76) Mr. Richard D. Curtis (’58) Mr. Hemang D. Dave Ms. Ella De Bakker* David Dean, DMD§ (’73) Mr. and Mrs. Joseph J. Derrico Mr. Raymond Diaz§ (’84) Mr. Peter Dib* (’07, ’09) Peter M. Dichiara, Esq. (’85, LAW’93) Ms. Stephanie Ann Dines (’94) Mr. and Mrs. James Peter Dubowski Mr. James Arthur Duda (’84, ’09) Mr. Kenneth Joseph Dunn§ (’67) Mr. Charles R. Enriquez (’92) Ericsson Inc.* Mr. Jose Rolando Esquivel‡ (’88) Fidelity Charitable Gift Fund§ Mrs. Sharon Kaiser Fincher§ (’82) Mr. Earl Bernard Finney Jr.§ (’94) Mrs. Rosalind Finney (’93)

When Peter Dichiara (’85, LAW ‘93) arrived at the College of Engineering in the fall of 1981, he did not aspire to become an engineer. In fact, he wasn’t even sure he wanted to go to college. “I wanted to be a race car driver,” he said. “My father owned a repair shop, and I repaired cars all through high school. My Peter Dichiara guidance counselor told me some drivers had a background in mechanical engineering. I thought it would help me design better cars.” But during his time at BU—and a switch from mechanical to computer engineering—he changed his outlook. “Boston University was a transformative experience for me,” he says. “I’d never really been exposed to an academic environment before, and university life really opened my eyes. I fell in love with Boston and decided to pursue a career in engineering.” After graduating, Dichiara embarked on a career that has taken him to the laboratory at Digital Equipment Corporation; back to Boston University, as a School of Law student; to the courtroom, where he specialized in patent litigation; and, finally, to his current position as chair of the Nanotechnology Group at the Boston offices of WilmerHale. His practice focuses on obtaining and enforcing intellectual property rights. He has been consistently recognized as a “New England Super Lawyer” in Boston Magazine, and as among Boston’s leading IP lawyers by Chambers USA, a well-known legal guide published annually by Chambers and Partners. “The great thing about BU is there are two distinct aspects of your education,” he says. “On the engineering side, you gain analytical knowledge. The university side adds a twist, where you gain the people and communication skills that aren’t available at a smaller school. And it’s the combination of the two that really makes you successful.” While Dichiara’s professional journey started at ENG graduation, it almost never began. “Before my junior year, my father got hurt at work,” he explains. “I really thought I had maxed out everything I could possibly do. I just didn’t have the money to continue. But, after talking to a few different people, BU really stepped up to the plate and helped me continue my education.” He credits this experience as one of the main reasons behind his consistent contributions to the Engineering Annual Fund. “You never know when you have the ability to affect someone’s life,” Dichiara says. “Maybe you’ll help fund a program that could change someone’s whole outlook or career path. It’s a positive investment that goes towards making a real difference.” —Jason L. London


Mr. Michael Kreppein (’87) Ms. Jonida Kulla* (’07) Mr. Steven B. Kushnick§ (’80) Steven B. Kushnick, P.E., Inc.§ Richard T. La Brecque, EdD (SED’59, SED’71) Ms. Adene Lacy* Mr. Michael Leung Laiman§ (’86) Mr. Ronnie M. Lajoie (’84) Mr. Richard Lally† (MET’99) Mr. Stephen Peter Lalooses§‡ (’99) Mr. David J. Languedoc§ (’87) Mr. Jesadang Laohaprasit (’97) Miss Beverly Anne LeClerc (’86) Mr. Kihoon Lee Mr. Robert Christopher Levin (’87) Mr. Michael U. Liebsch* (’83) Mr. Norman S. Lindsay (’67) Mr. Robert W. Locke*‡ (’61) Mr. David W. Lowry (’54) Ms. Margaret Lundin§ (’73) Ms. Brenda D. Lynch Mr. Eric Jason Lynch (’00, ’05) Ms. Cynthia A. Lysek Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence Eugene Mabius§ Ms. Susan J. MacPherson* (’03) Henry A. Magnuson, DSc§ (’78) Miss Kimchi Mai (’93) Mr. Donald Allen Massett§ (’84) Mr. Angel Mata§ (’03) Ms. Harriet Hiroko Matsushima (’90, ’93) Mr. Ronald S. Maxwell§ (’78) Ms. Lindsey McCullough† Mr. Michael James McCullough§ (’03) Mrs. Alycia Anne McGoldrick (’86, ’94) Ms. Janine R. Mereb* (’84, GRS’84) Merrill Lynch & Company Foundation MFS Investment Management & Subsidiaries* Miss I-Hwa Miao (’93) Mr. Jakub M. Michna* (’03) Mr. James G. Miller* (’84) Mr. Jacob Isaac Miller (’08) Mr. John N. Mitropoulos§ (’56, ’59) Mrs. Beatriz Josefina Montero (’83, ’84) Mr. Jonathan Rene Mooty (’90) Dr. Ronald P. Morrissey (’92, ’01) Mr. Jason Moy (’05) John W. Mroszczyk, PhD* (’77) Mr. and Mrs. Lawrence J. Munini Ms. Mindy Joy Myers Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Nakama Lynne T. Nakama CPA LLC

* First-Time Donor

Mr. Bill E. Neifert§ (’90, ’92) Miss Tammra C. Nelson-Marsh* (’84) Mr. Bruce Ng§ (’84) Mr. Kenneth Khanh Nguyen§ (’89) Nice Employee* Mr. Walter Charles Nicolson§ (DGE’51, ENG’64) Northeast Consulting Engineers, Inc. NSTAR Foundation Ms. Pamela A. Oliver§ (’84) Mrs. Christine M. O’Toole (’91) Cristina M. Palumbo, MD (’95, MED’99) Mrs. Chrysanthea Kyprios Paul (’90) Mr. Han Thanh Phan (’90) Joseph Francis Piazza, MD (CAS’73) Mr. Joao A. Pina (’87, ’92) Mr. Victor Pizzo* Mr. Joseph J.M. Plante (’64) Mrs. Kathleen R. Plovnick* (CAS’68, ENG’89) Ms. Lisa Pope* Mr. John J. Post§ (’64) Mr. Peter I. Presel§ (’61) Mr. Andrew P. Quick (’92, ’95) Mr. William George Quirk§ (’62) Mr. Amit Raybardhan* (’05) Mr. Christopher John Reaney (’87) Mr. Alejandro Restrepo§ (’02) Ms. Sandra Dee Reulet (’86) Dr. Mirko Ristivojevic (’02, ’06) Mr. and Mrs. Paul C. Rohr§ Mr. Derek M. Russell (’88) Mr. and Mrs. James Ryan Brian Noel Sabowitz, MD* (’83) Ms. Melanie Sadofsky* Mr. Michael L. Salamone§ (’84) Frank Nicholas Salamone, MD§ (’94) William L. Salzer, MD (’72) Mr. Gerardo Arturo Sanabria* (’02) Mr. Jeffrey Santer (’00) Mr. John A. Scaramuzzo Jr. (’87) Ms. Lisa Robinson Schoeller§ (’82, GSM’98) Ms. Erika Schon* Mr. Brian L. Schulz (’82) Ms. Sabrina Anne Sequeira* (’97) Ms. Sandra D. Shanaberger§ (’82) Mr. Ananth Shenoy (’01) Mr. Gordon A. Shogren (’59) Mr. Philippe Sikias (’00) Mr. and Mrs. Alan Simoncini Mr. George Skandalakis* (’97) Ms. Monica Louise Slegar (’02, GSM’05) Ms. Barbara J. Snyder Ms. Pamela L. Sonnelitter§ (’81)

† Faculty/Staff

° Dean’s Engineering Leadership Advisory Board • West Coast Alumni Leadership Council

§ 5-Year Consecutive Donor

‡ ENG Alumni Board Member

Mrs. Jessica Ann Sonnenfeld (’04) Vadim Spektor, MD (’95, MED’00) Mr. Gregory Louis Sperounes (’89) Mr. Peter F. Staats* (GSM’76) Ms. Laura M. Stefanski* Mr. Paul H. Stenberg (’64) Jane D. Stepak, Esq. (’78, CAS’78) Mrs. Margaret Zamora Stevens (’87) Mr. and Mrs. Harold Stucker Mr. Eric R. Stutman§ (’93) Dr. Paul Andrew Sueno* (’02, MED’06) Mr. Patrick James Sweeney (’85) Mr. Chinh Tan (’86, ’88) Ms. Sally Martin Taylor* (’85) Ms. Rebecca Taylor* Nora Theresa Tgavalekos, PhD (’00, ’03, ’06) Mr. Alexander Westland Thomson§ (’85) Mr. Paul Philippe Toumayan (’87) Mrs. Heather Johnson Tracey (’91) Mr. Alexander Tsang* (’90) Mr. Edmund L. Tuthill Ms. Kerry Twibell§‡ (’00) Mr. Jason M. Ulberg§ (’98) Mr. and Mrs. Peter L. Uy Ms. Eleonora Zaprianova Vidolova* (’06) Mr. Anthony Vitullo Jr. (’81) Mr. Jui-Tai Wang (’85) Mr. Peter G. Warren§ (’73) Mr. Thomas W. Warzeka (’91) Mr. Jason Adam Weiner* (’52) Mr. William Walter Weiss§ (’83, ’97) Mr. John Edward Welch (’84) Mr. Thomas G. Westbrook (’91) Mr. Brian James Wherry* (’98) Whitney Place§ Mr. Albert Clay Williams* (’89) Mr. K. Wilson (’91) Mr. Lawrence P. Wirsing Mr. John David Wolff (’99) Mr. Peter W. Wolniansky (’84) Xerox Corporation§ Mr. Siavash Yazdanfar§ (’96) Michael Steven Young, MD (ENG’85, ’89, MED’91) Mr. Tony Hing Cheung Yu (’85) Mr. Alberto N. Zacarias* (’89, ’90) Miss Diane Frances Zanca (’85) Walid Waheeb Zeidan* Mr. and Mrs. Robert L. Zeisel Mr. and Mrs. David Zolnierz Donors up to $100 10th Street Consulting Group. Inc.* Carmela R. Abraham, PhD*† Mr. Dan J. Abraham (’95) Mr. Kurt Abrams* Alexander Adam, PhD (’92, ’95, ’03) Mr. Jason David Adams* (’06, ’08) Mr. David Charles Ahern* (’09) Fa l l 2 0 0 9 M A G A Z I N E

The Air Products Foundation Mr. Mohamed Jasem Al Sayegh* (’09) Mr. Fahrudin Alagic* (’01) Ms. Janet M. Allaire Mr. Barry S. Allen Mr. Carter Dean Alvord* (’90) Analog Devices Inc.§ Mr. Richard C. Anderson Jr.* Miss Susan J. Angell§ (’86) Mr. Lewis S. Applebaum§ (’56) Mr. and Mrs. Samuel S. Arcidy† Ms. Linda Armstrong* Mr. Gregory Terzian Arzoomanian* (’84) Mr. Pantases Athanasiou§ (’67, ’69) Mrs. Sunita Babbar* (’89, ’91) Mr. and Mrs. Stephen L. Babcock Mr. Stanley N. Baker Jr. (’69) Mr. Youssef G. Bakhos (’82) Mr. Jimmy Balder* Mr. Cris Banson* (’89) Mr. John R. Barclay (’63) Mr. Thomas S. Bartkiewicz (’82) BD Associate Giving Campaign* Mr. Keith Bechly Mr. Richard A. Begg (’62) Mr. Bryan H. Benesch (’78) Mr. Ronald A. Benius (’66) Mr. Stanislav Beran§ (’69) Mrs. Debra A. Berry* Dr. James Bethune*† (’64, GSM’74, SED’91) Mr. Steven Blaha* Ms. Robin Fischer Blatt (’84) Krista Blum* Mr. Daniel Lorenzo Blum (’95, GSM’95) Mr. Edward Blundell* Mr. John Douglas Bogle (’90) Mr. and Mrs. Viktor Bokhenik Ms. Melissa Nicole Bowler* (’09) Mr. Leonard W. Boyle (’61) Mr. Edward Boyle* Ms. Ronna L. Brady Ms. Karen Brandenburg* Mr. Kevin Brandenburg* Mr. Dennis Michael Breen IV* (’93) Mr. Scott Clarke Bressler* (CAS’94, ENG’07) Mr. Harry T. Breul§ (’55) Ms. Maura Brindley - Winnett* Mr. John C. Broderick* (’70, ’77) Ms. Angeline Brong* Mr. Charles A. Brown§ (’68) Ms. Dawn E. Brown* Ms. Kim E. Bryant (’87) Mr. Adam Bulakowski (’99) Mr. and Mrs. Howard Burg* Mr. Matthew E. Burg* (’05) Mr. Kevin Burke Ms. Elizabeth Byrne* Mr. Jian Cao 31


Mr. Justin F. Capuano* (CAS’97) Mr. Eric Michael Cardone (’85) Mr. Mark F. Cardono§ (’91) Mr. and Mrs. Francis J. Carey Mr. Matthew Francis Carey* (’09) Mr. Jaime Castano* Ms. Denise Laura Cervia* Mr. Edmund Chalupa* Mr. William L. Chan (’79, ’85) Ms. Yeong Shil Chang* (’95) Dr. Wenyuan Chen* (’04) Mr. Larry A. Chesal* (’85) Mr. and Mrs. Greg T. H. Chien* Mr. and Mrs. Robert C. Child IV Ms. Susan Y. Chin* (SED’75) Mr. Joongbae Cho* (’98) Dr. Wai-Shing Choi* (’87, ’88, ’95) Mr. Andrew S. Chow* (’07) Mr. Keith W. Chrisman (’83) Mr. Matthew Byer Christensen* (’05) Ms. Mary Christo* Kevin J. Chui* (’07) Mr. Daniel Soo Chun* (’95) Mr. Steven J. Cicoria (’65) Ms. Tricia Kay Clark (’99) Mr. Gregory C. Clausen Mr. Alexander Claudius Clausen* (’09) Mr. and Mrs. Steven L. Cockrell§ Mr. David C. Collins* (’05) Mr. Brian G. Colozzi§ (’77) Ms. Elizabeth Grace Condliffe (’04) Mr. Joseph Michael Coombs* (’06) Mr. Paul Couto (’94) Mr. Kevin Cowen (’84) Mr. and Mrs. Patrick Crawford Mrs. Kendra Castello Crosby (’86) Mr. Thomas R. Cross§ (’65) Mr. Robert E. Crotty (’68) Mr. Christopher J. Csencsits§ (’87) Dr. Hengdong Cui* (’06, ’07) Mr. Robert Dacus* Mr. Joseph D’Agostino* Mr. Kenneth Daigle* Mr. H. Alan Daniels§ (’59) Ms. Susan K. Daniels§ (’81) Mr. Dennis J. D’Antona§ (’73) Ms. Trindade DaSilva* Mr. Benjamin Crocker Davenny (’00) Mr. Stephen S. Davis* Mr. Paul L. C. DeBeasi (’79) Ms. Julia Louise Delogu* (’09) Mr. Robert J. D’Entremont§ (’62) Mr. Subhash Desai* Ms. Kelly Ann Detra (’92) Ms. Norma Diaz* Mr. George W. Dietel (’62) Ms. Rosemary Disimoni* Ms. Patricia DiTullio* Ms. Dianne Donahue§ Mr. Walter J. Donovan (’59)


Ms. Sheila J. Dooley§ (’91) Kamalesh Doshi* Ms. Patricia M. Dow Mr. and Mrs. Francis James Doyle Mr. Gary Robert Drew (’86) Mr. Daniel W. Drummey (’60) Ms. Shannon Duffy* Mr. Francis Durkin* Mr. Howard Edelman* (’83) Major Anita Marie Edmonds (’97) Mr. David S. Ehrhart§ (’92) Gerald Richard Eisler, PhD§ (’72) Mr. John Eldridge Mr. Gustavo Patricio Espinosa (’91) Mr. Dean R. Estabrook (’57) Ms. Debra Feldman* Mr. David Louis Feldman§ (’66) Ms. Weina Feng (’03) Mr. George A. Fenton III (’83) Mr. John T. Finney Jr.§ (’62) Mr. and Mrs. Justin E. Fischer Mr. and Mrs. Michael K. Fisher Mr. Robert J. Flaherty Jr.§ (’68) Ms. Marie Flaherty* Mr. Justin Flammia (’06) Dr. James Patrick Flanigon* (’09) Mrs. Gauri A. Fleming (’02) Mr. Stephen Lester Fogg (’87) Mr. Daniel Foley Mr. Harvey K. Ford (’64) Mr. Donald Allen Foster (’92) Mr. George Jay Fraley* (’08) Mr. Darryl O. Freeman (’87, ’88) Mr. Stephen P. Fricke* (’91) Dr. Roger Joseph Gagnon§ (’68) Mrs. Sharon I. Garde§ (’86) Dr. Thomas J. Gennosa (’89) Mr. George L. Getchell§ (’54) Mr. Symeon Giannakos* Mr. and Mrs. Henry Giller Mr. and Mrs. Rene Raoul Girard Mr. Frederick G. W. Gleitsmann§ (’61) Ms. Tara M. Golba (’00) Mr. Saul Goldfarb Mr. Steven J. Goldman§ (’91) Mr. Lester B. Goldman* (’67, ’68) Mrs. Jennifer L. Goode* (’90) Mr. and Mrs. Alexander G. Gorbach Mr. David Michael Gottfried* (’05) Mr. Richard Goodwin Gould (CGS’85, ENG’90) Mr. Ian Graham* (’87) Ms. Karen Grasso* Ms. Sandra Jean Grasso* Mrs. Katherine Jedzinak Greaney* (’00) Mr. Thomas A. Greeley§ (’87) Mr. Francis A. Greene Jr. (’83) Mr. Scott Greifenberger* Ms. Marilyn Gresham* Ms. Safaa S. Guirguis*


Mr. Naman Gupta* (’07) Mr. Boris Gurevich* Joseph E. Hale, PhD (’83) Ms. Linda Hall* Mr. Kenneth Hall* Mr. William T. Hamilton§ (’68, MET’75) Miss Susan Marie Hammel§ (’86) Ms. Jocelyn L. Hanlon* (’97) Ms. Clare Hanlon Ms. Pamela Gayle Harris Mr. Steven Hatem* Mr. Gerard Hathaway Ms. Heather Renae Herbig* (’97) Mr. Jose Hernandez* Ms. Andrea L. Heyda* (’95) Ms. April Heyman* Mr. James V. Hickey (’57) Mr. Paul J. Hijeck (’81) Dr. Todd Andrew Hinck (’94, ’00, ’03) Anne E. Hines, PhD (’87) Mr. Mark Frederick Hodge (’99, GSM’99) Mr. Howard Marc Hoffman (’99, MET’05) Ms. Denise Hogstrom* Mr. Jon G. Holmes* (’58) Mr. Thongchai Hongsmatip (’00) Mr. Thomas W. Hora* Ms. Paula Horowitz* Mr. Peter T. Houston§ (’58) Ms. Vanessa S. Hummel* (’83) Mr. and Mrs. Robert Hurtado Ms. Rany Huynh* (’00) Mr. Robert J. Iacovone (’69) Ms. Francene Iaizzo* Mr. Faryar Jabbari* Mr. William T. Jackson* (’57) Mr. Anuj Jain‡ (’01) Alan Jansujwicz, MD (’93) Mr. Arun Jayaram* Mr. and Mrs. Richard Jennings Mr. Jian Jiang (’97) Mr. Andrew John* Mr. Alfred S. Johnson§ (’64) Mr. Andrzej Jonca* Mr. Gary Kaftan§ (’60) Mr. Michael H. Kagan (’83) Mr. Theodore Kakavas§ (’95) Mr. Daniel Robert Kallman (’94) Mr. John D. Kariouk§ (’84) Ms. Mary Kay Karlicek* Ms. Elaine Kasparian* Mrs. Kelli L. Katch* (’01) Mr. David Katz* (’92) Mrs. Jenifer Kaufman* (’90) Ms. Heather G. Kauth* (’06) Mr. Raymond Albert Keffer III (’09) Ms. Geraldine Keiser* Ms. Julia Kelly* (’82) Mr. Robert Kelly* (’81)

Ms. Cheryl Kemmer* Ms. Monika Kempf* Ms. Evelyn Ketsoglou* Mrs. Angelina L. Khayami (’83) Dr. Duk Joong Kim* (’05, ’08) Mr. Shintec Douglas Kim* (’89, ’91) Mr. Charles H. Kimball (’66) Mr. and Mrs. C. J. Kimbaris Mrs. Kathleen S. King* Mr. Richard J. Kline Jr.* Ms. Judith Knoll Mr. Michael Koan* (’09) Mr. Masaru Kobayashi* (’96) Dr. Jeffrey Kocher* Mr. Mark Victor Kolvites* (’05) Mr. Boris Komm* (’07) Ms. Keti Kondili Ms. Heiley Kouskoulas* Miss Thea E. Kreinik (’87) Mr. Peter Thomas Kuchler§ (’92) Mr. and Mrs. Subi Kulla Mr. David Paul Kunze* (MET’72) Ms. Cathy Misa Kurata* (’06) Mr. and Mrs. Stanford Y. Kuroda§ Mr. and Mrs. Michael J. Kusz Mr. and Mrs. Paul I. Kuznekoff Mr. Boissevain Kwan§ (’83) Mr. Bo Kyu Kwon* (’96) Mr. Paul Labriola* Ms. Eleonora Labun* Mrs. Janicen Pu Lai* Mr. Herbert T. Lake (’67) Mrs. Kathleen A. Lally* Ms. Francine Lalooses§‡ (’02, ’03) Mr. Jerry Keng Lam* (’07) Mr. and Mrs. Richard Landt* Mr. Ryan Kin Wah Lau (’07) Mr. Seung Jae Lee* (’93, MET’00, MET’02) Mr. and Mrs. Benjamin Lee* Ms. Tzu-Ying Zin Lee* (’04) Ms. Margaret LeGendre Lehman Brothers Mr. Peter E. Lenk§ (’78) Ms. Elizabeth Ann Lennon* (’04) Ms. Maria Elena Leon Farrera* (’05) Mr. Daniel John Leonardis§ (’04) Mr. Robert J. Lesch (’86) Peter W. Levalley* Mr. Alexander Levit* Mr. Jeffrey Powell Li* (’09) Miss Mary Chong-Chin Liau (’88) Mr. Leonard P. Linardakis* (’92) Mr. David B. Lindquist (’82) Mr. Peter Gerard Lombardozzi Mr. Timothy James Loughran (’07) Mr. John F. Luchini* (’82) Mr. Daniel Lum§ Ms. Barbara F. Lynch§ (’82) Mr. Douglas Lynch*


Mr. Gregory Ma* Mr. Richard S. Maccabe (’58) Mrs. Patricia A. MacDougall* Mr. and Mrs. Athos Constantine Macris* Ms. Amanda Magee*† Mr. and Mrs. Aj Mahmud* Mr. Emanuel E. Malandrakis* Mrs. Susan Malaret* (’91) Mrs. Agnes D. Malaret-Collazo (’87) Mr. Daniel Joseph Malerbo Jr.* (’08) Dr. and Mrs. Gopal Malladi* Ms. Kay Malloy* Mr. Edward S. Mansfield§ (’64, ’68) Mr. Djikolngar Maouyo* Ms. Heidi Martin* Ms. Carol J. Martinelli* Mr. Gregory J. Mascoli (’88) Mrs. Michelle M. Master* (’98) Mr. Peter F. Masucci§ (’70) Mr. Robert H. Mathews§ (’65) Ms. Joy Tamiko Matsui (’05) Mr. Justin Royce Matthews* (’00) Mr. Vincent J. Mauro (’80) Dr. Robert E. McAulay Mr. Stephen A. McBride (’71, ’72, GSM’73) Mr. Lawrence N. McCarthy Jr. (’69) Mr. Francis P. McDermott§ (’62) Mr. John J. McLaughlin (’92) Ms. Marlene McLean* Mr. Neil P. McManus§ (’59) John A. McNeill, PhD§ (’94) Ms. Doris McQuaid (’84) Ms. Caryl Mecabe* The Medtronic Foundation Dr. Philip J. Melchiorre (’84) Merck Partnership for Giving* Mr. David Mitchell Merer (’86) Mr. and Mrs. Thomas P. Meyers* Microsoft Giving Campaign/Matching Prog. Mr. Eric Kenneally Millard* (’07) Ms. Deborah H. Miller* Mr. and Mrs. Wayne Miller Mr. James Miller Mr. Aladin Milutinovic (’06) Ms. Alice Minkoff* Ms. Linda Mitropoulos* Mr. Navroop Pal Singh Mitter* (’02, CAS’02) Mrs. Jennifer B. Modica (’84) Mr. Michael Monahan* Mr. Fred Morrison§ (’62) Mr. Timothy David Murray (’84)

* First-Time Donor

Mr. William J. Murray§ (’81) Dr. Lee A. Muskovitz* (’80) Ms. Hymavathi Nandakumar* (’05) Mr. Anthony Nardone Mr. Amos Nascimento* Mr. Jitendra Nathwani* Ms. Rocio Lily Navarro* (’04) Ms. Amy Nelson* Mr. and Mrs. Chun Kwong Ng Mr. Elio Nicolosi* (’04) Ms. Lisa Nocera* Mr. Sean Nolan* (’90) Northrop Corporation Foundation§ Ms. Leora Molly Nusblat* (’05) Mr. Paul G. Nyce (’89) Ms. Christine O’Connor Mr. David Ojalvo* (’86) Mr. Andrew H. Olney§ (’90) Mr. Craig Steven Olson (’90) Ms. Mary Lou Osborne* Mr. Oliver Douglas Ousterhout (’07) Mrs. Rebecca L. Pachura (’86) Mr. Robert W. Paglierani (’66) Mr. Anthony Michael Palazzolo Jr.* (’91) Ms. Victoria Palmer* Mr. Nicholas Peter Pappas* (’08) Mr. and Mrs. Peter Pappas* Mr. Michael D. Paquette (’84) Ms. Renata S. Parsons (’83) Ms. Judy Pastor* Mr. and Mrs. Girish K. Patel Mr. Yogen N. Patel (’92) Ms. Kirsten H. Paulson (’82) Miss Kimberly Ann Peck* (’92) Mr. Brian E. Pecon (’57, ’65) Mr. Julien Frederic Penders (’06) Mr. Christopher Joseph Penni* (CGS’96, MET’01) Ms. Jacqueline Pennisi* Ms. Debra C. Pereira* Mr. Robert C. Peterson§ (’57) Ms. Sandra M. Pierce* Mr. Errol Washington Pinkney* (’02, ’04) Mr. Anthony C. Pippo Jr. (’67) Dr. Anthony Nicholas Pirri (’64) Ms. Jean Pliakas* Edward A. Pohl, PhD* (’84) Mr. Alvin Manuel Polsky§ (’58) Mr. Bruce G. Pratt (’69) Ms. Nancy Prendergast* Mr. Michael Samuel Prospect (’85, GSM’86) Mr. Bohuslav Prudil* (’88) Mr. Michael J. Pulliam (’83)

† Faculty/Staff

° Dean’s Engineering Leadership Advisory Board • West Coast Alumni Leadership Council

§ 5-Year Consecutive Donor

‡ ENG Alumni Board Member

Mr. Michael Puma (’85) Mr. Dejan Radeka* (’87) Ms. Heather A. Rasich (’06) Mr. and Mrs. Paul J. Raspnate* Ms. Carmeta Rassoules* Mrs. Alvin A. Rath Mr. Jason Lawrence Raymond§ (’99, ’02) Dr. Roberto Reif* (’08) Mr. Paul Remick* Mr. Gilbert Reynolds* Mr. Kenneth Barry Rice* (’84, MET’96) Mr. and Mrs. Brian E. Rice* Annely Meris Richardson, MD (’02, MED’08) Mr. Adam S. Riley (’07) Mr. Robert S. Rizzotto (’60) Robersonville Physicians, PC Mrs. Beth P. Robert* (’89, ’04, GSM’04) Mr. Nestor Rodriguez* Ms. Jennifer E. Roosa† Ms. Susan Rozecki* Ms. Lisa Sama Ms. JoAnn Sanders Dr. Leonardo Pereira Santiago* (’04) Dr. Onur Savas* (’07, ’09) Mr. David Anthony Scaduto* (’09) Dr. and Mrs. Mark A. Schickler Mrs. Denise M. Schier§ (’81) Mr. Sydney E. Schmedes* (’60) Mr. Robert E. Schneider (’79) Mr. and Mrs. John Scholtz Ms. Stephanie Angelia Schreier* (’00) Mr. Stephen Sclafani* Mr. John Joseph Scott (’89) Mr. David Scott Seebauer (’90) Mr. Jung wook Seo* (’01) Ms. Rachel Lee Seraspe (’04) Mr. and Mrs. Steven Paul Shaeffer§ Mr. Nirmal Sharma* Mr. Neal K. Sharma* (’01) Mr. James F. Shea* (’61) Mr. John H. Sheffield (’91) Mrs. Carol Hackett Sheridan§ (’83) Mr. Jason P. Shimshi (’90) Ms. Maria Shivers* Mr. Steve Shubat* (’05) Mr. John F. Smith§ (’63) Ms. Cara Tatyana Smith§ (’04, CAS’04) Mr. Bailey G. Smith* (’93) Mr. Todd Andrew Snide (’91) Mr. and Mrs. Grant T. Southard* Mr. Tarik P. Soydan* (’82, ’85) Mr. Joshua Lyndon Spaulding* (’08) Mrs. Anastasia Spaziani* (’86) Miss Katherine Elizabeth Spignese (’85) Mr. Keith Stanton* Mr. Sean A. Stapulionis* (’90) Mr. Edward P. Steele (’89) Ms. Susan Steenbuck*

Fa l l 2 0 0 9 M A G A Z I N E

Peter & Susanne Steiger Tamara Stephen, Esq. (’92) Ms. Donna Sternberg Mr. William B. Stewart Jr.* (’64, GSM’68) Ms. Patricia Stiegman* Mr. Armand Stravato§ (CGS’57, ENG’58) David W. Streem, MD (’91) Mrs. Patricia Lynn Sukrachand§ (’83) Mr. Edward Arthur Sullivan* (’86) Major Rachel Dawn Voss Sullivan* (’98, ’00) Mr. John A. Svrjcek Mr. Charles Mark Sweet (’91) Ms. Amy Swoboda* Mr. Gary Szatkowski* Ms. Justina Tam* (’07) Mr. and Mrs. Changhuai Tan Mr. Donald Tangard* Dr. Min Tang-Schomer* (’06) Mr. Darrell J. Tanno§ (’80) Mr. Robert Peter Tassinari Jr.* (’88) Mr. David Tayeh* (’07) Mr. Raymond Stainbert Taylor (’08) Mr. Francis Mitchell Taylor§ (’57) Mr. Gabriel M. Terrenzio§ (’56, ’57) Mr. and Mrs. Robert Theer Ms. Sarah-Grace Horne Thomas† (’02, MET’05) Colonel Herbert D. Thompson Jr. (’66) Mr. Harry W. Thornton (’53) Ms. Kristin Thorp* Ms. Lisa Diane Tilley-Newman* (’98) Ms. Karen Tinger Dr. Orith Toledo-Ronen* (’97) Mr. Maximillian Yao Tong* (’09) Mr. Richard W. Tong (’06) Miss Van Thi Tran* (’94) Ms. Rosemarie Trigger* Mr. Simon Trussler* Ms. Susan Tvedten* Tyco Matching Gifts Program Mr. Daniel A. Tyszka (’94) Mr. Stephen R. Uriarte* (’88) Ms. Isioma Chiamaka Utomi (’07) Mr. Thomas E. Valeri* Mr. Guy Vandevoordt§ Mr. Richard A. Vanetzian (’60) Mr. Gennadiy I. Vaysma (’97) Libor Velisek* Mr. and Mrs. Glenn Veltman* Mr. Carlo F. Verdino* (’98) Mr. Tracy Steven Vonick (’89) Mr. and Mrs. Boris Vulikh* Dr. Gregory John Wagner§ (’96) Mr. Arthur M. Walker (’89) Mr. Edmund J. Walsh Jr.§ (’83, ’83) Ms. Wendy Wan (’89) Dr. Yaoyu Ethan Wang* (’07) Ms. Valerie Ward* Mr. Melvin I. Wartel* (’63)



Mr. and Mrs. John F. Waters§ Mrs. Valerie J. Webber* (’88) Ms. Patricia R. Weber* Mr. Joel Weinberg* Mr. Conrad E. Weledji (’84) Ms. Jeannette Locke Wellman (’87) Mr. Joel Fritz West* (’57) Mr. Andrew Ian Whiting (’02) Ms. Bethany Whittemore* Ms. Holly Widanka* Mr. Martin Warren Williams* (’07) Dr. Adrian Daniel Williams (’01, ’07) Mr. Stephen T. Witkowski Mr. and Mrs. Steven E. Woloschin* Ms. Emily Jean Woo* (’95) Trevor Howard Wood, PhD (’98, ’02) Mr. David M. Woodcock* Mr. Barry Quan Wu (’86, ’92) Mr. Robert Quin Yee (’85) Lt. Colonel Robert S. Zak, USMC (’81) Mr. Andrew M. Zaso (’90) Ms. Suzanne Zile Mr. Todd E. Zive (’98) Mr. William R. Zolla (’61) Mr. Steven Henry Zysman§ (’85)

Merrill Ebner Fund This fund supports student-based programs that foster creative design in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, with particular emphasis on supporting students interested in manufacturing engineering. This fund was started by Professor Merrill Ebner and continues in his honor.

BTU International Child Orthopaedic CombinatoRX Inc. CTP Hydrogen Corp. Intel Corporation Mr. Alan M. Leventhal (Hon.’09) SPINCRAFT Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Ging S. Lee Community Service Award Fund Annually awards one or more ENG seniors who have made outstanding contributions in the area of community service. This awards honors Ging S. Lee (’70).

$10,000–$24,999 American Heart Association Biokit S.A. Mr. Frederic A. Bourke Jr. The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc. Fraunhofer USA Inc. Mr. and Mrs. Philip Taymor Abel Womack,Inc.

Other ENG Funds

$1,000,000 or more: Anonymous Wallace H. Coulter Foundation

In addition to contributions for specific research projects (such as the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation Translational Research Partnership and the Henry Luce Foundation Professorship awards), the College also receives support from alumni, friends, and foundations for the following programs: Anita Cuadrado Memorial Fund Presents annual awards to one or more ENG students who best exemplify the late Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Program’s spirit, commitment to the College and University, and dedication to helping undergraduates. Adam Miller Senior Project Fund Supports the Biomedical Engineering Department’s Senior Project Program, including the annual Adam Miller Award for outstanding BME senior research project.

* First-Time Donor

ENG Dean’s Fund Supports special programs such as the annual Bourke Lecture and other academic activities at the Dean’s discretion. Other Donors

$250,000–$999,999 SEQUENOM, Inc. $100,000–$249,999 Dithera The Ellison Medical Foundation Mr. Ronald Gene Garriques (’86) Hartwell Foundation The Henry Luce Foundation Inc. Oxford Nanopore Technologies Limited Schlumberger Technology Corporation $50,000–$99,999 Deutsche Telecom Fraunhofer USA Inc. Kern Family Semiconductor Research Corporation $25,000–$49,999 Agilent Technologies Foundation Mr. Stephen D. Bechtel Jr. S. D. Bechtel Jr. Foundation

† Faculty/Staff

° Dean’s Engineering Leadership Advisory Board • West Coast Alumni Leadership Council

§ 5-Year Consecutive Donor

‡ ENG Alumni Board Member



$1,000–$9,999 Professor Thomas G. Bifano† Chevron Products Company Mr. Adam D. Crescenzi (’64) Professor Theo de Winter† Mr. Roger A. Dorf (’70) Internet Video & Imaging, Inc. Lightwave Power Mr. Geoffrey North Rowland (’05, ’05) San Diego State Research Foundation Starkey Laboratories Inc. Up to $1,000 Neil Aaronson Accenture Foundation, Inc. Anonymous Mr. David Baum Mr. Les Bernstein Barry Blesser Mr. Andrew R. Brughera (’95) Ms. Ana Bustin† Mr. Denis C. Bustin Mr. Matthew Thomas Corbo (’02) Mrs. Tina A. Corbo (’02) Mr. Wei Dai (’99) Mr. William R. D’Angelo (’92) Bertrand Delgutte Mr. Pierre Divengi Dr. Nat Durlach Mr. Don Eddington Mr. Monty Escabi Mr. and Mrs. Richard L. Freyman Ms. Mary S. Florentine Mr. Erick Gallun

Mr. John M. Garvey (’86) Oded Ghitza Mr. Gary Gibian Mr. Bob Gilkey Mr. Ray Goldsworthy Mr. Matt Goupell Mr. and Mrs. William M. Hartmann Mr. Klaus Hartung Ms. Karen Sue Helfer (SAR’82) Ms. Nan Iyer Sridihar Kalluri Ms. Rachel Keen Ms. Duck Kim Ying-Yee Kong Prof. Emeritus Shigeyuki Kuwada Adrian Lee Thomas D. C. Little, PhD† Mr. Robert H. Locke (’63) Jennifer C. Logan, MD (’79, ’80) Ms. Christine Mason Ms. Ruth Mason† Mr. David McAlpine Ms. Mary M. Mcginn Microsoft Giving Campaign/ Matching Program Mr. and Mrs. John C. Middlebrooks Prof. and Mrs. David C. Mountain† Mr. Victor A. Noel Mr. Doug Oliver Mr. Ajan Babu Patel (’06) Jay B. Penafiel, MD (’90) Mr. and Mrs. David A. Perreault† Mr. Bill Rabinowitz Mrs. Beth P. Robert (’89, ’04, GSM’04) Mr. David M. Schneeweis (’84) Mr. Dan Shub Mr. Brian Simpson Mr. and Mrs. Zachary M. Smith Mr. Timothy Michael Streeter (GRS’04, GRS’04)† Tino Trahiotis Mr. Marcel Ven Der Heijden Mr. Neal Viemeister Mrs. Josephine Wasserman Mr. William Yost Mr. Yi Zhou Pat Zurek

AlumniEvents The Thrill of Victory and the Bittersweet

Venkatesh Narayanamurti

Trepidation mixed with thrill as members of the College of Engineering Class of 2009 crossed the stage at the Track & Tennis Center last May 17, picking up diplomas along the way. At the fifty-sixth annual commencement ceremony, the College recognized three master of engineering, 108 master of science and 266 bachelor of science students who successfully completed the requirements for graduation. Forty-three doctor of philosophy graduates were recognized at a separate ceremony held the previous evening. “Bittersweet,” said Donna Lavallee, summing up her son Nathan Lavallee’s reaction to graduating from the College of Engineering. “It’s a tribute to BU; he’s sad to be leaving. He loved it.”

Akshay Navaladi

Although they will take their initial steps into an unsteady economy, the graduates, their student speaker and guest speaker expressed confidence that, as engineers, they will be the world-changers and innovators of the future. “It’s not really relief,” said Paolo Belfiore as he stood near the head of a long line of red-gowned classmates waiting to participate in graduation. “But it’s like the ticket to a new world; a new beginning.” Venkatesh Narayanamurti, the John A. and Elizabeth S. Armstrong Professor of Engineering and Applied Sciences and professor of physics at Harvard University, delivered the commencement address, dazzling graduates with the illustrious history of their chosen profession and the bright prospects for its future.

“Engineering has been a driver in the advance of civilization,” said Narayanamurti, the former dean of Harvard’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. “Throughout history, engineering has been an agent of change—and engineering will play an increasingly central role in the 21st century.” Their ability to solve complex problems will serve society well, Narayanamurti told the Class of 2009. They will address the grand challenges of sustainability, human health, terrorism, clean water, creating better medicines and securing cyberspace. As engineers, he said, the graduates will have a “life of adventure enabling the future,” and in closing quoted Alexander Graham Bell: “‘Leave the beaten path. Dive into the woods and you are certain to see something you have never seen before.’” Student speaker Akshay Navaladi recalled April 1, 2005, when, 8,000 miles away in New Delhi, India, he opened the acceptance letter to Boston University that changed his life. “As we slogged through engineering’s rigorous curriculum, it was easy to forget the real value of the College of Engineering,” he said. “We’ve learned the ability to make real change. When we enter the real world, I’m confident we will try to implement concrete, real change.” —Kate Fink

Sporting News Left: Dean Kenneth Lutchen (standing) chats with Andrew Mawn (’85) and his family at the ENG Alumni Barbeque at Fenway Park on May 23. Alums saw the Red Sox play the New York Mets. Right: Assistant Dean Richard Lally (left) with Karen Panetta (’85) and Jamie Heller at an ENG Alumni reception prior to a Boston Celtics game on April 1.

Fa l l 2 0 0 9 M A G A Z I N E


By Kate Fink

Long-time ECE Professor Tatyana Roziner Dies Associate Professor Tatyana Roziner, a dedicated teacher who called thousands of students her “kids,” died March 12 after suffering a cerebral ­hemorrhage at Caritas St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Boston. She was 72. Roziner was a member of the Electrical & Computer Engineering Department for 22 years when she retired in February of 2008. She worked on research in computer engineering and communications but is best remembered by the College of Engineering community for her tireless devotion to teaching. “She was one of the most respected and loved people in our department,” said Professor Lev Levitin (ECE). “She took very special, personal care of every one of her students, and they were very grateful to her. Teaching was her true vocation, and her contributions were exceptional.”  Roziner’s teaching schedule typically included three large undergraduate classes per semester. Despite the great number of students she taught, and covering many of the same subjects year after year, “her teaching never became routine and she always talked about her students—calling them her ‘kids’—and she spent a lot of hours with every one of them,” said Levitin. “I recall a letter a student who had come to BU from China wrote to her saying she was like a mother—and that was not a single episode, there were a number of letters like that, full of thanks and gratitude from the students.” Roziner was born in Moscow and attended Moscow State University, where she earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mathematics. She was awarded her doctorate from the USSR Academy of Sciences and then worked in the Soviet Union’s military and industry. In 1970, she married Felix Roziner, a writer, poet, playwright and musicologist. In 1978, they moved to Israel where she continued to work in the aircraft industry. The Roziners emigrated to the United States in 1985, settling in Newton, Mass. She began teaching at the College of Engineering in January 1986 and subsequently instructed thousands of undergraduates, guiding them through foundational principles in engineering, from circuit theory to communication systems. Roziner’s husband died in 1997. She is survived by a stepson, Ilan Roziner of Tel Aviv, Israel; two stepgrandchildren; her sister Anna Kudryavetseva of Moscow; a niece and a nephew. The family has requested that any memorial contributions be made to the Amherst Center for Russian Culture, PO Box 2268, Amherst College, Amherst, MA 01002. 

h What are you doing? We want to hear from you! Send your class notes submissions to or visit



When you think of your experience at the College of Engineering, what stands out?

BU was about so much more than just your time in the classroom.

It was about your first crack at hands-on research, or your experience working full time in the laboratory throughout the summer. It was about the volunteer opportunities, and the student organizations and clubs. It was the out-ofclassroom experiences that truly completed your education and helped you become the well-rounded professional you are today.

The Engineering Annual Fund makes these opportunities possible. Donations to the Engineering Annual Fund are directed by the dean toward essential out-of-class programs and activities that extend beyond what tuition and research funds can provide, such as: • The Summer Term Alumni Research Scholars (STARS) Program, which provides a summer housing allowance for students engaged in faculty research. • The Supplemental Undergraduate Research Funds (SURF) Program, a source of matching funds for undergraduate students working on facultysponsored research. • Engineers Without Borders (Boston University chapter), which sent participants to Peru in the summer of 2009 to assist the community and help develop a water filtration system. • Student organizations like the Society of Women Engineers, the Minority Engineering Society, and the Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers, whose members attend annual conferences and networking events. • Student groups such as the BU Mini Baja Team, which designed a four-wheel vehicle and competed in an event inspired by the annual Baja, CA, race, and the Rocket Club, which has designed, constructed and launched a rocket. • The Excellence in Engineering Book Awards, which provides stipends to deserving, in-need students to spend on textbooks and course materials.

To make your secure online donation, visit:

Fa l l 2 0 0 9 M A G A Z I N E



Mark Grinstaff PhD, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Associate Professor, Biomedical Engineering Associate Professor, Chemistry

“My group practices interdisciplinary research in biomedical engineering and macromolecular chemistry. Our goal is to expose the underlying principles of chemistry and engineering and add that insight to our creative and scientific efforts. “Our research includes developing a new polymer that acts as a biolubricant in the knee joint of individuals who suffer from osteoarthritis. The goal is to aid highly degraded joints by developing a lubricant that allows greater freedom of movement and reduced pain. Our group is also pursuing research that increases the efficacy of drug delivery for patients with lung cancer. We’re exploring ways of delivering drugs to the therapeutic site, while maximizing efficacy and minimizing the side effects of chemotherapy. “The common theme of our research is the development of new solutions through interdisciplinary clinical applications, and Boston University is an excellent place for this research. There are no barriers, and researchers can utilize the expertise and interests of faculty and departments from a multitude of standpoints.”

To learn more, visit

Engineer Fall 2009  

Boston University College of Engineering fall 2009 magazine.

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