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S P R I N G 2 0 1 2 Vol. 12, No. 1






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The University of Maryland WaterShed Team Wins the 2011 Solar Decathlon


S P R I N G 2 0 1 2 | TA B L E O F C O N T E N T S



Message from the Dean

20 News of Note Partnering with FDA, Pharmacy, Medicine to Accelerate Healthcare Advances Explore Solar Energy at Engineering Sustainability Workshop Whiting-Turner Lecture: Solar Gen 2 CEO Stephen Zaminski Shares Realities of Solar Energy Clark School Climbs to Number 11 in 2011 Academic Ranking of World Universities 23 Philanthropy @ Work Clark School Staff, Board Members Keep the Dream Alive for Aspiring Women and Minority Engineers New Scholarship Honors James Newton’s Work with Minority Students Board Members Rally in Support for Women in Engineering


2 Energy to Spare, Energy to Share The University of Maryland Wins the 2011 Solar Decathlon “A World of Solvable Problems” Engineering’s Ambassadors

24 Entrepreneurship Clark School Researchers Develop Enabling Technology for Low-Cost Portable Bacteria Sensor Hybrid Vehicle Innovator Supports Mtech White House Names Barbe a Champion of Change Entrepreneur Introduces Technology to Middle School Girls Hillman Entrepreneurs Program Gains National Recognition

Leading By Example

22 Measuring the World’s Fresh Water from Space First Goodings Professor Pursues Sustainability Mission Set by Chuck Waggner, ’54

26 Students + Alumni The New Clark School Alumni Cup Challenge: Which Department Takes the Prize? Unraveling the Mysteries of the Deep Blue Sea Young Alumni Learn the Power of Mentoring Alumni Highlights 28 Faculty News NSF Career Award Winners Internal Awards Fellows Faculty Highlights

Dear Friends of the Clark School,


We learn to be engineers in several ways.


First, there’s the classic, classroom approach through which young engineers learn the sciences and key engineering concepts like circuits and fluid dynamics. It’s difficult, and crucial. Second, there’s the hands-on approach. At the Clark School we enhance our rigorous

A. James Clark School of Engineering

classroom experience with direct hands-on work that shows students how to apply the

Darryll Pines Dean

include the freshman autonomous hovercraft project, capstone courses in junior and senior

James F. McMenamin Assistant Dean for Communications

the Solar Decathlon. Students also get their hands dirty doing research in departmental

Missy Corley Communications Coordinator EDITORIAL AND DESIGN STAFF

key concepts, lets them build and test a working model and teaches team dynamics. These years, entrepreneurship programs and—as we feature on our cover—competitions such as labs and working as interns at nearby federal tech agencies and companies. But there’s another important way we help our students work outside the classroom: “service learning.” Our students (and often faculty members and alumni) give of their time and

Nancy Grund Editor

energy, and sometimes their own money, in

Beth Panitz Contributing Writer

here and overseas, and in outreach programs

Laura Figlewski Art Director Engineering @ Maryland is published twice a year for alumni and friends of the A. James Clark School of Engineering and the Glenn L. Martin Institute of Technology at the University of Maryland. Letters to the editor and alumni notes are welcome. Please send them to Engineering @ Maryland Editor, 3214 Kim Engineering Building, University of Maryland, College Park, MD 20742-2831. Information can be sent by fax to 301.314.6868 or by e-mail to Please note that Engineering @ Maryland refers to the A. James Clark School of Engineering by that name in all cases, including stories that describe alumni who graduated before the name was established, in 1994, to honor Mr. Clark’s outstanding philanthropy. COVER PHOTO BY Alan P. Santos

projects that solve problems for the less fortunate,

Service to the community…is one of our core values.

that introduce young people to engineering or help current students stay with it. Among the many examples included in this issue are the Engineers Without Borders and Clark School Ambassadors programs. This third approach has really taken hold at the Clark School. Jane Fines, director of our international and leadership programs, notes that, “Service to the community, the university, the school and their peers is woven into the psyche of our students. It is one of our core values.” Recently I participated in an Engineering Deans Council meeting, attended by President Barack Obama, to launch a partnership to promote engineering education. In speaking with the deans, President Obama described the need to figure out “how to help you do more good work all across the country.” It’s a worthy mission. To help, please contact the people and organizations listed in this issue. You’ll find that service is difficult and crucial work, and very satisfying.

Darryll Pines Dean and Farvardin Professor of Engineering

The University of Maryland WaterShed Team Wins the 2011 Solar Decathlon It takes a lot of energy to work on a large-scale construction project for two years, then put it to the test–10 tests in 10 days– in an international competition open to the public. That’s exactly what the Department of Energy’s Solar Decathlon demands: design and build an 800-square foot, fully functioning home powered only by the sun, and operate it at high efficiency on the National Mall. Last fall, the University of Maryland’s WaterShed team proved they had all the energy they needed, and some to spare.





Our team bested peers from top schools such as Purdue, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Ohio State and CalTech, and national teams from New Zealand, China and other countries. They did so while setting themselves a double challenge with their WaterShed design: not only to build a house that was net-zero off the grid, but also to incorporate waterconservation technologies vital to the Chesapeake Bay (and the world). What kept them going? Students and faculty mentors were driven to share an important message with the tens of thousands

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square feet of drought-resistant plants on the green roof reduce storm runoff, filter pollutants and decrease roof temperatures.


sensors monitor air and water temperatures, humidity and flow rates to help regulate energy usage.


solar thermal collector tubes heat the air and water.

ORDER YOUR COPY OF WATERSHED BOOK WHILE SUPPLIES LAST “Inspired Innovation: WaterShed at the University of Maryland” tells the story of the making of the Solar Decathlon-winning design. Order your copy at Engineering @ Maryland


Spring 2012

of visitors who toured WaterShed personally and via the Internet: Today, solar is a viable energy alternative. “It’s up to engineers to develop the technologies to run the Green Revolution,” says project engineer Jay Chmilewski, B.S. ’12, civil and environmental engineering. “We are helping to change the thinking of so many people.” “Sustainable technology is here to stay, and we must begin to approach engineering and other fields with that mindset,” says David Daily, B.S. ’12, electrical and computer engineering, who served as engineering project manager. Lead Faculty Advisor Amy Gardner, associate professor of architecture, adds,

“WaterShed shows that interdisciplinary problem-solving is the way forward toward a more sustainable future.” “Our students are idealists,” says Clark School Faculty Advisor Keith Herold, assistant professor in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering. “They’re always looking for the design choice that will have the greatest benefit to the world.”

Pepco Continues the Mission Thanks to Pepco, WaterShed will continue to serve as a “living classroom” to educate the public about smart, clean energy options. The company, which delivers electric service to more than 789,000 customers in Maryland and the District of Columbia, purchased the building and will relocate it to Montgomery County, Md. “Pepco plans to continue celebrating the University of Maryland’s architectural and engineering achievements by opening WaterShed to the public. We expect the public to be inspired by the possibilities the house represents in working toward a sustainable home and community,” says Karen Lefkowitz, vice president of business transformation.


solar panels harvest the sun’s energy (9kW peak).


THE WATERSHED TEAM • 200 STUDENTS, FACULTY MEMBERS AND STAFF MEMBERS from all over campus—architecture; engineering; agriculture and natural resources; computer, mathematical and natural sciences; libraries and other units. • 43 MENTORS representing architecture, construction, interior design, electrical power, media

and communications, HVAC, controls and other disciplines.


liquid desiccant waterfalls (patent pending) dehumidify the air, reducing the need for air conditioning.





• 117 EXTERNAL SPONSORS including Constellation Energy, Whiting-Turner Contracting Company, Clark Construction, Pepco and Maryland Custom Builders, Inc. (See

“A World

Solvable Problems”



On a dusty dirt road in the impoverished west African country of Burkina Faso stands the Dispensaire de Done, a rustic clinic where Matthew Conway, B.S. ’12, chemical engineering, first learned how engineers can make the world a better place. The clinic serves the needs of more than 8,000 residents in the village of Done and surrounding areas, providing general medical care and delivering 250 babies annually. On Conway’s initial visit in 2010 with the University of Maryland chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB), the facility operated without electricity or running water. Maternity nurses dashed between the clinic’s two buildings, retrieving water from a rusty storage tank to clean tiny newborns. At night, nurses worked by candlelight and flashlight. At the Dispensaire de Done, Engineers Without Borders student team members Matthew Conway (upper left) and Steve Emling (upper right), and their faculty mentor Professor Charles Schwartz, civil and environmental engineering (on ground), raise the platform for their water system’s main tank to the clinic’s roof. PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND CHAPTER OF ENGINEERS WITHOUT BORDERS.

Engineering @ Maryland


Spring 2012

150 students work on EWB projects annually. students travel abroad each year, with the 50-60 remaining students providing support from campus. 4-6 projects are managed through EWB at any one time. projects have been completed since the chapter 15 formed in 2004. have been traveled by EWB students 474,036 inmiles the last year alone. $50,000 is the typical project cost.

Standing, left to right: The “well guardian” (name unknown), Mian Khalid, George Kinchen IV, Anne Lederer, Landu Gisele (clinic’s maternity nurse), Prof. Charles Schwartz. Kneeling, left to right: Matt Conway, Bilabega Razo (head nurse at the clinic), Ouattara Keltigui (clinic nurse), Steve Emling.

On that visit, the EWB team installed solar-powered lights in the maternity wards at Done and three other clinics in the area of Dissin, a larger town about five miles away. A major improvement– still, Conway felt compelled to do more. “We saw a world of solvable problems,” says Conway, “and we knew we could make a difference.” The team returned to the Clark School to research techniques for delivering clean water to the clinic. “With each technique, we asked: Can we find the materials locally? Can the system be maintained by residents?” explains Conway. Finally, the team chose a submersible, solarpowered mechanical well pump that would send water through three tanks–a continuous slow sand filter to purify the water. A second pump would send the clean water to a rooftop storage tank from which it would flow to one sink in the operating room and another in the maternity ward. “...good job...good job...thank you...” The team returned to Done in January 2012 and assembled the pump, helped by the residents. “As soon as we lifted a shovel or swung a hammer, the local people rushed in to take the tools out of our hands and do the heavy lifting,” says Conway. “A highlight was when we finally placed the pump–which we had spent two years designing–into the well,” he says. “The eight-member EWB team and six Africans grabbed the pump together and gently maneuvered it into place. That moment was inspiring for everyone.” Then the unthinkable happened: the pump failed to start. After hours of troubleshooting, the team discovered a more powerful inverter was needed. Thanks to a local electrician, a new inverter arrived the next day by bus from the capital city, Ouagadougou. Later, when the water started flowing, “The residents cheered and thanked the team profusely,”says Conway. “They couldn’t stop smiling.” Using French as a common language, with gestures and drawings to fill the gaps, the team taught the villagers how to operate and maintain the clean water system. Weeks after their return to the Clark School, the team received a surprise phone call. “Good job...good job...good job...thank you...thank you,” shared a local nurse, who voiced the sentiments of the entire town. Today, Conway remains “on a high” from the experience. “This project taught me so much: how engineering gets done, how different life is in other countries, how it feels to help people by using my engineering education–it feels really good.” A. JAMES CLARK SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING


One of the Nation’s Most Active EWB Chapters Maryland’s EWB chapter, established in 2004, attracts some 150 students annually, a majority of whom come from the Clark School. Each year the chapter manages four to six missions to improve people’s quality of life in disadvantaged communities in Asia, Africa and South America. (EWB-USA does not sponsor projects in the U.S.) Despite limited resources and tight timelines and budgets, the teams devise innovative solutions to critical engineering challenges, such as clean water, sanitation and transportation. (See map, pages 8-9 for EWB and other service projects.) “Maryland is one of our largest and most active chapters,” reports Tiffany Martindale, project manager for EWB-USA. “It is uncommon for a student chapter to have the breadth of interest within their membership to successfully pursue so many different programs at one time. The success of their programs speaks to their dedication.” EWB Chapter Advisor David Lovell, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, notes, “Our students are very aware of the global disparity in good fortune. They look at these projects as ways they can put classroom learning to work.” Lovell also advises the Maryland Sustainability Engineering program, another student organization dedicated to sustainable development locally and abroad. From the onset, the Clark School encourages students to make meaningful contributions to society. “The school does a great job of reminding us that we live in a bigger world,” says Conway. “We’re challenged to solve the world’s problems, and that’s repeated in every class and at every event.” Key to the chapter’s success is mentoring by practicing engineers and Clark School faculty members. For a typical project, says Lovell, “Students consult five or six faculty members who are experts in various aspects of our projects, from bridge design to wastewater treatment to mapping.” A faculty member accompanies each student team, notes Lovell, who has made nine international trips with EWB. Sean Connor, B.S. ’13, civil and environmental engineering, who recently returned from Ethiopia, adds, “Faculty mentors become an invaluable source of engineering advice, project guidance and practical knowledge. We get to know them on a personal level, which adds value to our education when we return to the Clark School.”



Sheila Xiah Kragie helped bring clean water to rural communities in Honduras during her 2009-11 Peace Corps mission.


After EWB, Clark School Students Continue Global Service EWB has opened many students’ eyes to sustainable development career and education options and additional volunteer opportunities. Based on his EWB experience, Kevin Fries, B.S. ’12, civil and environmental engineering, plans to work in the Peace Corps followed by graduate study in sustainable development. “I want to take a leading role in international development and promote positive change at both the engineering level and the public policy level,” explains Fries. He cites a Clark Scholarship as key to his ability to give time to EWB. A founding member of the university’s EWB chapter, Sheila Xiah Kragie, B.S. ’06, civil and environmental engineering and B.A. ’06, economics, spent two years in the Peace Corps as a water

cleared the way for me to pursue the Peace Corps,” explains Tellers. “Through my work, I hope to broaden opportunities for others.” EWB alumni Chris Mattingly and Ryan Payne, both B.S. ’08, civil and environmental engineering, have continued their volunteer service activities with support from their employers and connections with Georgetown University’s Project Honduras. They have traveled twice to that country to bring clean water to the small community of La Colonia Balfate on Roatán Island. “The Clark School provided the engineering foundation and fundamentals we needed to make an infrastructure assessment and offer sound recommendations,” says Payne. Payne works for GEI Consultants, Inc., a geotechnical, environmental and engineering consulting firm, and Mattingly for Environmental Resources Management (ERM), a global sustainability consultancy. The companies allowed the two engineers to use their resources for design and planning, and the ERM Foundation awarded a grant to Project Honduras to improve access to clean water. Forget the Beach, There’s Work to Do Fort Lauderdale and college students. If you’re thinking young people on the beach sleeping off last night’s party, think again. Last year, through the Clark School’s Alternative Spring Break Program and Habitat for Humanity, a team of Clark School students traveled to the famous resort town not to relax in the sun, but to build houses for disadvantaged families. “I began to understand firsthand the engineering principles taught in my statics and mechanics classes

“The scholarship assistance I received through the university allowed me to graduate without debt, which cleared the way for me to pursue the Peace Corps.” and sanitation engineer in Honduras, where she designed four gravity-fed water systems in small rural communities. “Thanks to the rigorous technical background the Clark School provided, I knew all the basics and could jump right in, even though I never faced these particular engineering problems,” says Kragie. She is now exploring environmental contamination issues as a doctoral student at Columbia University. EWB alumna Mary Tellers, B.S. ’11, mechanical engineering, volunteers as a high school physics teacher with the Peace Corps in Guinea, West Africa. “The scholarship assistance I received through the university allowed me to graduate without debt, which

George Jin, far right, works with other Clark School students to construct a roof on a new Habitat for Humanity house in Fort Lauderdale.

when we were erecting trusses to support the roofs,” says George Jin, B.S. ’11, mechanical engineering. “And it was amazing to see people take the keys to their first homes, homes we built.” Through the program, states Jane Fines, Clark School’s director of International and Leadership Programs, “Students learn more about themselves, develop leadership skills and gain awareness of social and civic issues that affect the communities in which they volunteer.” Engineering @ Maryland


Spring 2012

With her Clark Scholarship covering a good portion of tuition costs, Halliday says she is able to use more of her savings on service trips. Megan Halliday, left, takes a break from laying bricks for a new educational facility for farmers in Nicaragua.

Through an Alternative Break program sponsored by Maryland Hillel, the center for Jewish life at the university, Megan Halliday, B.S. ’13, bioengineering, traveled to New Orleans to rehabilitate a hurricanedamaged house and to Nicaragua to build an educational facility for farmers. With her Clark Scholarship covering a good portion of tuition costs, Halliday says she is able to use more of her savings on service trips. She also credits the Clark School with honing her ability to lead a group. “In Nicaragua, with no technology and little running water, you need to have each other’s back. The Clark School’s emphasis on teamwork, starting with the hovercraft we built in our very first class, prepared me well.”

Six years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast, Meenu Singh, B.S. ’14, civil and environmental engineering, traveled to New Orleans with the University of Maryland Alternative Breaks program, planting trees in coastal marshes and swamps to hold back future storm surges. “When you see the damage caused by a natural disaster, you more fully understand what the Clark School aims to instill in its students–the importance of developing sustainable, cutting-edge designs that will help the world,” relates Singh, a Banneker/Key Scholar who was named the 2011 Leading Women Award scholarship winner by the Maryland Daily Record for her academic and service achievements.

FIRE PROTECTION STUDENTS SAVE LIVES, BUILD EXPERIENCE Any fire protection engineering student will

a job as a firefighter, and my father, a former

tell you: we study fire and build technologies to

firefighter, is now a full-time fire investigator for

fight it. At the same time, many have a strong

the St. Paul, Minn., Fire Department,” explains

desire to serve their communities—and sometimes

Novak. He believes you cannot truly grasp fire

to honor a family heritage—as traditional

behavior unless you see it firsthand, which led

firefighters. Thanks to the College Park

to his stint with the CPVFD. He also believes in

Volunteer Fire Department (CPVFD), right

community education. Following a deadly fire

across Route 1 from campus, they can serve as

in the College Park area, Novak was among a

volunteers and get free room and board in

group of local firefighters who traveled door-


to-door to ensure home smoke detectors were

Scott Beverly, B.S. ’11, FPE, was a member


close to 20 students while pursuing his degree.

Investment Corporation, an engineering and

Like his firefighting grandfather, Beverly saw



fire investigation firm in Colorado. Chris Harris, B.S. ‘12, FPE, lived at the CPVFD

fire in Berwyn, Md., when the room “flashed

for more than two years while completing his

over.” He explains, “The room ignited as fire

bachelor’s degree. “My father is a career officer

spread across the rug, up one wall, over my

in the U.S. Navy, so I grew up learning to put

head, and down another wall. The water supply

others before myself in service to my community

arrived just in time.” As Beverly begins his

and my country,” describes Harris, whose father

career at Robson Woese Consulting Engineers

was stationed at the Pentagon on September

in upstate New York, he notes, “When I think

11, 2001. “Even as an 11-year-old boy watching

about all of the skills I have acquired through

the events of that day, I wanted to make my

my volunteer experience, I feel privileged to

life about something more than me.” His call to service has taken Harris to Haiti twice to assist in disaster relief following the

For Cameron Novak, M.S. ‘13, FPE, fire fighting

2010 earthquake. “My skills as an emergency

is the family business. “My brother just accepted

medical technician were put to good use



health care issues,” he explains. “For a building that served as school, town hall and church, I was able to offer input on its structrual integrity and offer recommendations to increase its structural stability.” With his father in mind, Harris is researching methods and technologies to defeat improvised explosive devices (IEDs). “Roadside bombs have produced the highest number of casualties among U.S. and coalition troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. We need to develop the technology to disable IEDs and better protect our troops.”


his share of action. He was fighting a house

community at the same time.”

treating broken bones, infections and basic

operating properly. He recently accepted a

of the CPVFD and lived at the firehouse with

have learned so much and contributed to my

In New Orleans, Priscilla Tang, electrical engineering, and Meenu Singh, right, plant trees in coastal marshes.


Members of the College Park Volunteer Fire Department, including fire protection engineering students, serve the university and surrounding community.


Sharing Our Energy D.C. CENTRAL KITCHEN Clark School students and Lockheed Martin employees prepare food for the homeless.

COLLEGE PARK VFD: Students earn room and board serving as firefighters.

CLARK SCHOOL MDSE: EDMONTON, MD. Teams developed a bioretention system to alleviate flooding of the Anacostia River and storm water runoff.



Teams constructed a runoff catchment system and cistern to resolve flooding and created a bioretention pond to filter polluted runoff from parking lots.

Clark School students were among those who rehabilitated a hurricane-damaged house.

UM AB: NEW ORLEANS, LA. Clark School students were among those who planted trees in coastal marshes to hold back future storm surges.

CLARK SCHOOL ASB: FT. LAUDERDALE, FL. Clark School students built houses with Habitat for Humanity.



Clark School alumnus’s nonprofit teaches earthquake-resistant construction.

EWB ALUMS: HONDURAS Clark School alumni work with the Peace Corps and with Project Honduras.



Clark School students were among those who built an educational facility for farmers.

Clark School alumna works as a high school physics teacher with the Peace Corps.

AGUAYUDA: COLOMBIA Alumnus’s nonprofit addresses water supply problems on Colombia’s northern coast.

MDSE: SIERRA LEONE Team is designing a solar lighting system for a village school, with support from the Madieu Williams (’03 family science) Foundation.

EWB: ECUADOR EWB: ECUADOR Team constructed a latrine system in Conseco.

Team constructed a water treatment system for the community center and downtown area in Patatel.

EWB: COMPONE, PERU Team constructed cementstabilized irrigation channels to replace ineffective soil channels that absorbed water.

EWB: BRAZIL Team created an anaerobic biodigester wastewater system for a school in the town of Bebedouro.


This map presents some of the many service activities in which Clark School students, alumni and faculty members participate. Locations are approximate. For more information about the Engineers Without Borders projects, see

Team built a rainwater catchment system, including an ultraviolet disinfection system, to deliver purified water to the town of Ilha Das Pecas.

Engineering @ Maryland


Spring 2012

Around the World EWB/MDSE President Erin Hylton is Udall Scholar

For her substantial accomplishments in environmental studies and actions, the Udall Foundation has named Erin Hylton, a junior civil and environmental engineering major and president of Engineers Without Borders and Maryland Sustainability Engineering, as a 2012 Udall Scholar.

EWB Director David Lovell Wins 2012 Bosscher Award

Engineers Without Borders USA has named David Lovell, Clark School professor of civil and environmental engineering, the winner of the 2012 Peter J. Bosscher Faculty Advisor Award for Outstanding Leadership. Lovell has led the Maryland program since 2004.

EWB: THAILAND Team created a drinking and irrigation water distribution and treatment system for the orphanage and village of Baan Bo Mai.


EWB: BURKINA FASO Team installed a solar-powered water pumping and disinfection system at a medical clinic.

Maryland, Columbia and UCLA EWB teams built a health clinic for the hill tribes in Samli.

EWB: ETHIOPIA Team built a pedestrian bridge to allow people and livestock to cross a stream that floods in the rainy season.

EWB: Engineers Without Borders MDSE: Maryland Sustainability Engineering SALP: SOUTH AFRICA Student’s sports-focused nonprofit helps young people in Waterberg region.

CLARK SCHOOL ASB: Clark School Alternative Spring Break


UM AB: University of Maryland Alternative Breaks UM HILLEL AB: University of Maryland Hillel Alternative Break COLLEGE PARK VFD: College Park Volunteer Fire Department SALP: South African Lacrosse Project





SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURS CREATE THEIR OWN SERVICE ORGANIZATIONS In true Clark School style, students and alumni launch their own service programs when no alternatives exist. PHOTO COURTESY OF AGUAYUDA

AGUAYUDA: PROVIDING CLEAN WATER IN COLOMBIA Born in Colombia, South America, and raised in Columbia, Md., Simón Zimmer, B.S. ’99, electrical engineering and B.A. ’99, German, returned to his roots in 2006 to launch Aguayuda, a nonprofit dedicated to addressing water supply problems on Colombia’s Northern Coast. “Only 16 percent of the residents in that area have access to clean water,” says Zimmer. Using problem-solving and engineering skills honed at the Clark School, Zimmer and his team assess the needs of each community on site and develop solutions, such as installing water-distribution systems, water tanks and windmills to pump well water. Aguayuda raises funds, implements the projects together with the community and local subcontractors, as well as monitors and evaluates the projects. To date, the nonprofit has assisted 13 communities, providing clean water to 4,200 people.


SOUTH AFRICAN LACROSSE PROJECT SHOOTS FOR GREATER GOALS In 2007, Kenneth “Kip” Hart, B.S. ’12, aerospace engineering, and his brother founded the nonprofit South African Lacrosse Project. Their goal: to foster a sense of accomplishment among orphans and at-risk youth in South Africa’s Waterberg region, where the Harts’ former au pair resided. The organization’s weeklong summer lacrosse camp brings 18 coaches to South Africa to teach 160 kids. Today, the Harts are taking the nonprofit to the next level—improving education by providing high school scholarships, creating a computer classroom and sending a teacher/ lacrosse coach to work with the community year-round. Says Hart: “My engineering courses helped me develop the skills needed to make a difference, including teamwork, leadership and communications.”



After a 7.0 earthquake ravaged Haiti in 2010, Desta Anyiwo, B.S. ’10, mechanical engineering and African American studies, headed there with a team of 25 volunteers to instruct locals on building earthquake-resistant sandbag structures. A series of logistical challenges, including a lack of supplies, prevented them from conducting the training. “It would have been a better use of our resources to film and forward a ‘how-to’ video,” says Anyiwo. Lesson learned, Anyiwo helped launch The GAIA (Grassroots Action, International Alliances) Group to produce education technology to help teach people in developing countries to improve their living conditions. GAIA’s first video CD, scheduled for release this year, focuses on how to build earthquake-resistant infrastructures using natural resources, as well as how to make zero-energy refrigerators, plasticbottle light bulbs and more.

You Can Help Our Students Serve the World Through their volunteer efforts, Clark School students are making a difference in the lives of thousands of individuals and communities throughout the world. Your support can help them continue and broaden their good work. Consider making a gift to the following: ENGINEERS WITHOUT BORDERS

contact Faculty Advisor Dave Lovell at MARYLAND SUSTAINABILITY ENGINEERING

contact Faculty Advisor Dave Lovell at STUDENT FIRE SERVICE ACTIVITY

The Dr. Harry E. Hickey Scholarship Fund, contact Jim Milke, chair of the Department of Fire Protection Engineering,




contact Engineering @ Maryland


Spring 2012



Ambassadors Erin Rhode remembers how her interest in engineering was sparked. “Like any high school student, I attended events designed to help you think about the future. I had a lot of interests, but the more I listened to these students called ‘Clark School Ambassadors,’ the more excited I became about engineering,” says Rhode, B.S., ’13,



civil and environmental engineering. “High school students are surprised to hear about the incredible work that engineers do to make the world a better place, and that they can be part of it immediately— doing research on campus and internships at nearby federal labs and tech companies. When you hear it from someone just a little older than you, it seems more real.”


Clark School Ambassador Erin Rhode, top left, visits the class of engineering teacher Brendan Lees, top right, at Sherwood High School in Sandy Spring, Md. Lees describes the Ambassadors as a “valuable complement to standard instruction, giving students a living example of a young engineer succeeding at a great school.” PHOTO BY LUISA DIPIETRO, ESSENTIAL EYE PHOTOGRAPHY.

Rhode came to the Clark School and joined the Ambassadors, led by Bruk Berhane, coordinator, undergraduate recruitment and special programs. She takes time from her studies to travel to high schools, answer questions online and meet students and parents at open houses. “I want to be like the students who helped me,” she explains. Rhode also participates in a mentoring program through Alpha Omega Epsilon, the female engineering sorority, and counsels a group of six freshmen through the school’s Successful Engineering Education and Development Support (SEEDS) program, funded by the National Science Foundation. She is not alone. In a time when engineering innovation is increasingly recognized as crucial to economic competitiveness, students in the Clark School Ambassadors, living-learning communities and student societies help to inform and attract more young people to the field–including women and minorities– and help them survive the challenges of a Clark School education and go on to successful careers. For industries with security clearance

requirements, replenishing the supply of U.S.-born engineers is especially vital. With graduate school just around the corner, Michelle Rosen, B.S. ’12, mechanical engineering, is pursuing her dream of developing microrobots for medical applications. She has come a long way from the quiet third-grader who became hooked on engineering through a nonprofit’s network of creative problem-solving competitions. As an Ambassador, Rosen wows high school students with stories of the exciting things they can do at the Clark School, from building autonomous hovercrafts to creating

Michelle Rosen, second from the left, with high school students and their newly constructed truss bridge.


40-50 human-powered helicopters. She also shows them the career opportunities available to them, citing her internship at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility designing solar panels for a small satellite. George Jin, B.S. ’11, mechanical engineering, joined the Ambassadors to help inspire younger students, but reaped personal benefits as well. “My Ambassador experience helped me become more articulate and peoplefriendly and added balance to the Clark School’s highly technical coursework,” adds Jin, who is now an engineer with a Californiabased engineering and construction company.



Last spring, University Trustee Gordon England, B.S. ’61, electrical

chosen the military path, serving on

engineering, former U.S. deputy secretary, former secretary of the U.S.

the battlefield and stateside prior to or

Navy, and recent inductee into the National Academy of Engineering,

while attending classes. Marine Corps

demonstrated his support for veterans on campus through a generous

Veteran Matthew Marsh, B.S. ’11,

gift to fund a Veterans Center in the university’s Cole Student Activities

mechanical engineering, is helping to

Center. “It’s a great place for veterans to connect with one another and

ease the transition for the increasing

relax. The room includes a small kitchen area, a flat-screen television

number of veterans returning to campus

and computers that are specially equipped to access military e-mails

to continue their education.

and orders,” describes Marsh, who completed his degree and military

Based in Camp Pendleton, Calif., from 2003 to 2007, Marsh held a number of

service last year and is working as a civilian engineering analyst with the U.S. Navy.

posts in Iraq, including sergeant in a

Michael Breckon, Ph.D. ’14, reliability engineering, also is committed

security platoon and convoy commander.

to supporting returning troops. As the division director of the Total

He entered the Inactive Ready Reserves

Asset Visibility Division of the Logistics Competency of the Naval Air

in 2007 and returned to his home state

Systems Command in Patuxtent, Md., Breckon attests, “We have been

of Michigan to pursue his education at

very proactive in our work to support wounded warriors, both nationally

a local community college while his

and locally. We hire returning veterans when possible, collect materials to

wife finished a graduate engineering program at the University of

send deployed soldiers and help enlisted families in the communities.”

A veteran of the war in Iraq, Matthew Marsh helps other veterans to adjust to college life through Terp Vets.

Michigan. When she was offered a job in Maryland, Marsh transferred to the

Born in Okinawa, Breckon’s family moved from base to base to follow

Clark School and quickly became involved with Terp Vets, the student

his father’s career as a Naval aviator. “Service members make the greatest

organization created to recognize and support the community of veterans

sacrifice every day, and they do it willingly and knowingly,” says

on and off campus. “We try to help veterans readjust to the civilian and

Breckon. “We need to treat our veterans with respect and recognize the

academic culture,” says Marsh, a former Terp Vets vice president.

hardship that goes with service.”

“From the military to the University of Maryland is a very big leap.”

Breckon is pursuing his doctoral degree through a combination of

Engineering @ Maryland


Spring 2012

their engineering activities.” Rosalie Wills, B.S. ’13, fire protection engineering, graduated from Urbana High School in 2009 and has made several trips to her alma mater as a Clark School Ambassador. “It is particularly meaningful for students to see Rosalie as a successful Clark School student,” relates Walker. “If Rosalie is becoming an engineer, then maybe a Clark School degree is within reach for them.” Why Diversity Matters A broader talent pool, a new set of perspectives and new energy–these are the advantages of increasing the participation of under-represented groups, including women, in engineering schools and in the field. However, diversity is not easy to achieve; it is necessary to start early and change people’s long-held assumptions. Clark School students, supported by the school’s Center for Minorities in Science and Engineering (CMSE) and Women in Engineering program (WIE), are already on the job.


Benefits for High School Teachers Deb Shannon, a math teacher at River Hill High School in Clarksville, Md., attests to the positive influence Clark School Ambassadors exerted on her advanced calculus students last fall. “Hearing about all the cool things that engineers do definitely inspired students to give the field greater consideration.” One of the greatest benefits, Shannon cites, “is learning about this tremendous opportunity in their own backyards. They don’t have to travel far to find an outstanding school of engineering.” Ambassadors also share the latest information in the field, helping high schoolers feel more in touch with developments in the different majors, according to Jerry Walker, a certified mathematics and physics teacher at Urbana High School and faculty sponsor for the school’s Engineering Club. “I can talk to students all day long about engineering, but it is much more effective for them to hear about it from their peers. The Ambassadors personalize the whole university experience by sharing photos and telling stories about

Micaela Larson, right, pictured at the Bisnow Maryland State of the Tech and Life Sciences event, is launching a mentoring program for young Latinos.

As the first in her family born in America, Micaela Larson, B.S. ’14, mechanical engineering, has long served as a role model for her younger sister and other Latina girls. Now the past president of the university’s Latino Honors Society is teaming up with the society’s vice president, Danny Catacora, B.S. ’15, electrical engineering, to launch a mentoring program to empower other Latinos to serve as role models to pre-college students. Prior to entering the Clark School, both Larson and Catacora attended the five-week Bridge Program for Scientists and Engineers sponsored by CMSE and credit the program with easing their transition to college and giving them the support they needed as under-represented minorities in the field.

13 online and College Park-based coursework, which allows him to maintain

astronautical engineering from Northrop Institute of Technology in

his position. “As a project engineer leading the development of controls

1963. After a nearly 40-year break from higher education, Brazelton

and displays on major weapons, a reliability engineering degree is

returned to the classroom, initially pursuing a Master of Professional

important,” explains Breckon, whose career with the Navy spans 30 years.

Engineering at the Clark School beginning in 2007. “I always loved science

Michael L. Brazelton, M.S. ’12, aerospace engineering (AE), was shot

and math, and my work as a pilot kept me in the loop,” says Brazelton.

down at Thai Nguyen in August 1966 on his 111th combat mission. He spent the next six and a half years as a prisoner of war in North



Vietnam. “I always knew we would return to the U.S.,” says Brazelton. “I never lost faith.” The

Members of the engineering sorority Alpha Omega Epsilon adopted a

recipient of more than 35

platoon of 20 U.S. Marines stationed in Afghanistan through the Adopt a

military awards, including

Platoon Soldier Support Effort. The students assembled and shipped care

four Silver Stars, two Bronze

packages containing food, personal care items and morale boosters such

Stars, the Distinguished Flying

as games and sports equipment. The students also sent holiday stockings

Cross, eight Air Medals and

to the troops. The platoon is slated to return to the U.S. in the coming year.

two Purple Heart Medals, Brazelton retired as a colonel in

Members of Terp Vets participate in a mini boot camp to raise funds for homeless veterans.



1987 and worked for American

After achieving a 3.7 GPA in his initial courses, he transferred in 2011

Airlines as a pilot, first officer

into the Clark School’s AE master’s program and anticipates graduating

and captain, until he retired

in December 2012.

again at age 60 in 2002. That

Brazelton occasionally gives presentations on his experiences as a

is when he began thinking of

prisoner of war and has spoken to Air Force ROTC cadets at the university.

continuing his education.

He highly recommends military service to engineering graduates. “You

“I realized I always wanted

will be given more responsibility in a shorter period of time than in most

to be a rocket scientist,” recalls

other organizations, and you will have access to the most sophisticated

Brazelton, who received his

satellite, computer and communications equipment in the world,” he

B.S. in aeronautical and

says. “The military is hungry for engineering graduates.”


MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS GET A TASTE OF ENGINEERING Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, recently sponsored a trip to the Clark School for students from Drew-Freeman Middle School in Suitland, Md. The students participated in interactive projects as part of STEM Achievement Gap Awareness Week activities. “Our community service efforts put our society’s founding principles into action,” explains Ricky Burcat, B.S. ’12, aerospace engineering, and community service chairperson for Tau Beta Pi. “These types of volunteer activities give us an opportunity to become teachers of our trade. By explaining a complicated idea or teaching an engineering concept, we can further our own understanding of issues and, at the same time, develop our communication skills.”


Clark School Scholarship winner Stephanie Ihejirika, B.S. ’14, bioengineering, served as a Bridge Program mentor last summer, a 24/7 job that included late-night math tutoring sessions. Ihejirika also mentors freshmen through the Black Engineers Society. “Engineering requires people with varied perspectives who can look at problems in different ways,” says Ihejirika, whose parents immigrated from Nigeria. “I tell students that no matter what your background or what you’ve been told, you should consider engineering.” One of the greatest motivators for young girls is witnessing the success of female engineering students like Ihejirika, who also served as a co-instructor last summer for a weeklong camp for high school girls sponsored by CMSE and WIE. The Students with Potential and Interest Considering Engineering program immerses girls in the world of engineering with a host of challenges, one of which Ihejirika helped develop: Design a device from everyday materials, such as foil and toothpicks, to unplug a clogged heart valve–simulated with Play-Doh-stuffed tubing. “Students get excited about the awesome things you can do in engineering,” says Ihejirika. “It is a privilege for me to serve as an inspiration for some of these bright young girls to become engineers.” Living-learning Programs Make Service Part of Their Mission Freshmen and sophomore women in one of the Clark School’s newest living-learning programs, FLEXUS, enjoy the camaraderie and support of their sisters but also the satisfaction of “paying it forward” by reaching out to pre-college students. Catherine Ashley, B.S. ’14, chemical engineering, hopes to generate interest in engineering among middle-school girls through hands-on activities with WIE’s KEYS to Empowering Youth program. She also volunteers with WIE’s Girl Scout Engineering Saturday program, for students in grades 6-12, which showcases exciting careers in engineering. “I tell students that engineering offers such a multitude of options, all of which aim to benefit and better society, that you are bound to find your passion,” says Ashley. FLEXUS students also serve as panelists for a day-long forum for high school students to learn about engineering opportunities. Imani Sanders, B.S. ’14, bioengineering, relishes the opportunity

to put a face on the field of engineering, dispelling myths and stereotypes that many girls hold about engineering. “The key to getting students excited about engineering is to highlight how they can be part of future innovations and new discoveries.” (VIRTUS, the complementary living-learning program for male students, was started this year.) College Park Scholars, a university-wide offering that includes 11 interdisciplinary living-learning programs, takes a three-pronged approach to education: academics, community and service. With engineering students comprising more than half of its participants, the Science, Technology and Society program (STS) supports a number of STEM initiatives for high school and middle school students, including FIRST, a national nonprofit internationally recognized for inspiring young people’s interest and participation in science and technology. In January, some 100 high school students visited campus to build their FIRST Robotics Competition robots, with 14 teams looking to advance to a regional competition. College Park Scholar Vikas Bhatia, B.S. ’13, chemical engineering, on hand to offer guidance to the teams, was surprised by the complexity of the robots. “These kids were so independent in approaching their work, and they were all so highly motivated,” he noted. “Whether university students serve as mentors, judges or science demonstrators, they walk away from their service proud of themselves and impressed by the young people they encouraged,” says Betsy Mendelsohn, STS program director and lecturer, who regularly shuttles student volunteers to regional science, robotics and engineering competitions, including the annual U.S.A. Science and Engineering Festival in nearby Washington, D.C. At the suggestion of Dean Darryll Pines, Mendelsohn developed a service course that focuses STS students on one off-campus initiative. Students meet weekly with the Robotics Club at Northwestern High School in Adelphi, Md., which is part of Project Lead the Way, a national effort to engage students in STEM fields. “Students return from these experiences as changed individuals. They are inspired to make science and technology education attainable for all young people, and they understand how their work can change lives and draw more students into STEM.”

Vikas Bhatia, a junior in chemical and biomolecular engineering, helps a high school student at the FIRST event.

Engineering @ Maryland


Spring 2012

The harrowing images are forever etched in our minds—the two commercial airliners deliberately crashing into the North and South Towers of the World Trade Center, the fire-engulfed towers collapsing to the ground, the massive debris clouds spreading outward through the streets of lower Manhattan on September 11, 2001. As he watched the tragedy unfold that day, Jim Milke, professor and chair of the Department of Fire Protection Engineering, waited for the call, knowing that he could help address the hundreds of difficult questions to come about the fire and the buildings’ destruction.

Debris clouds spread outward from Ground Zero. Professor Jim Milke’s students used computer simulations to demonstrate the clouds’ movement. PHOTO COURTESY OF AP PHOTO/NYPD, DET. GREG SEMENDINGER

Leading BY






Secretary Clinton’s Water Resources Expert

sifting through the rubble, analyzing photos and videos of the disaster and speaking with eyewitnesses as part of a select group of engineers deployed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Structural Engineering Institute of the American Society of Civil Engineers and other federal agencies and professional associations. Over the next seven months, Milke and fellow members of the Building Performance Study visited the site and steel salvage yards, reviewed documents and design plans and met with additional emergency personnel and Jim Milke eyewitnesses. “Our goal was to provide clues on how the Twin Towers responded to collision and fire,” explains Milke. Issued in May 2002 as one of the first official reports on the World Trade Center disaster, the study assessed the causes and damages and recommended further engineering studies to guide building design and performance improvements. A key finding from the fire protection engineers on the committee: The jet fuel released at impact primarily caused the office furnishings in the buildings to ignite,

but which will also help us fight climate change.” She then identified

In her remarks of April 15, 2010, to the Inter-American Development Bank concerning the formation of the Energy and Climate Partnership of the Americas (ECPA), Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton described the goal of the partnership: “…to create not only progress on energy innovation

“three of our top scientists to serve as ECPA fellows.” Among these was Gerry Galloway, research professor of civil and environmental engineering (CEE) at the Clark School, “whose focus is on the management of water resources and the impact of climate change on water systems.”

Hillary Clinton, keynote speaker at the Energy Summit of the Americas.

but otherwise burned out very quickly. (The final report from the study, known as FEMA 403, is available at www.fema. gov/library/ The Value of Faculty Service When opportunities to participate in international, national, state or local service initiatives arise, many faculty members, like Jim Milke, believe they have a responsibility to share their expertise. Clark School professors cite reasons such as: their ability to provide specialized knowledge and a more objective viewpoint; the desire to support government and private organizations that may be under heavy stress from the demands of a natural or man-made disaster; the opportunity to test their thinking in a real-

Hurricane Damage Risk Reduction In the aftermath of the nation’s most devastating hurricane, Clark School faculty members provided expertise for reconstruction and risk reduction efforts. Ed Link, senior research engineer and senior fellow, CEE, was selected to lead the Interagency Performance Evaluation Task Force, a team of more than 150 experts who conducted a forensic analysis of Hurricane Katrina and its impact on New Orleans. The pioneering risk assessment informed the design and construction of the recently completed $15 billion Hurricane Storm Damage Risk Reduction System. Fellow CEE professors Gregory Baecher and Bilal Ayyub, director of the Clark School’s Center for Technology and Systems Management, participated in the nationally recognized effort.

Seabrook Floodgate will reduce impacts to New Orleans from a storm surge event.

world application and confront new questions and challenges; the ability to share what they learn with fellow faculty members; and the chance to lead by example–to inspire students to explore new questions and catch the volunteer spirit. When he returned to the Clark School, Milke’s participation on the Building Performance Study led students in his structural fire protection course to undertake their own research on the events of 9/11. “One team of students conducted heat transfer studies using floor-by-floor models of the WTC to understand why the buildings collapsed,” recalls Milke. “Others explored the movement of the giant debris cloud surrounding Ground Zero, using computer simulations to demonstrate the cloud movement, the channeling effects of the standing buildings and the effects on individuals fleeing the scene.” Outside of major events like 9/11, notes Milke, “Working on national initiatives and professional organization committees lets faculty members return to campus with the latest thinking on how research is applied to practice. It’s fine to receive new industry standards, but it is much better to be involved in the development of those standards so that you can explain the rationale to students and colleagues.” In the following sections we will introduce only a few of the ways our faculty members contribute their expertise and resources to help solve problems, develop new programs and policies and try to make the world a better place. Engineering @ Maryland


Spring 2012


that will save people money, that will use indigenous sources of energy,



Within weeks, Milke was on site at Ground Zero

Advising the Government on Risk and Reliability When government agencies need expert consultation on issues related to risk and reliability, they frequently turn to George E. Dieter Professor of Mechanical Engineering Michael Pecht, 2011 Clark School Innovation Hall of Fame inductee and director of the Clark School’s Center for Advanced Life Cycle Engineering. Pecht has provided expert assessments to the U.S. Congress on the question of sudden acceleration of Toyota vehicles and served on National Academy of Sciences committees charged with investigating printed circuit board manufacturing in the United States, examining research needs in materials engineering and assessing how the military can better design and test for electronic systems reliability. Michael Pecht As an instructor and reliability and safety consultant at the Food and Drug Administration, Pecht has opened the door for a threemember student team to investigate the reliability of cochlear implants as part of his Failure Mechanisms and Reliability course. “We are reviewing reliability assessment practices and existing implant reliability standards for ways to improve the reliability of cochlear implants through enhanced design and testing,” explains Bhanu Sood, Ph.D. ’14, mechanical engineering. “Existing reliability reporting guidelines cause improper categorization of implant failures, and data from these reports do not allow potential users to make informed choices of a suitable implant.”

FACULTY CONNECTIONS LEAD TO WHITE HOUSE INTERNSHIP Layla Shahamat, M.S. ’10, Ph.D. ’14, nuclear engineering (B.S. ’03, M.S. ’06 computer science) is bringing her technical expertise to bear in the public policy world through an internship in the White House Office of Science and Technology. “Government policies have a tremendous effect on nuclear energy, including the construction of nuclear power plants and fuel reprocessing,” she explains. “If scientists who understand the issues are not involved in policy-making, we cannot conduct the research to address critical issues.” Shahamat’s pursuit of the White House internship was facilitated by Clark School faculty connections. “At a Small Modular Reactor symposium on campus,

Assessing Challenges to American Competitiveness Former University President C.D. (Dan) Mote, Jr., Regents Professor and Glenn L. Martin Institute Professor of Engineering, mechanical engineering, is serving on a National Academies Committee appointed at the request of the Senate Energy Subcommittee of the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to identify challenges to U.S. leadership in key areas of science and technology.

Layla co-authored a presentation on our nuclear research projects,” explains Mohamad Al-Sheikhly, professor and director of the Clark School’s Radiation Facilities and Nuclear Reactor Laboratory for Radiation and Polymer Science. A White House representative attending the symposium was so impressed by Shahamat’s presentation that Al-Sheikhly and Professor Mohammad Modarres, mechanical engineering, immediately arranged introductions that led to her position.

Mote is a member of the Leadership Council of the

During her internship, Shahamat has worked on

National Innovation Initiative (an activity of the

reports concerning future research to support the

Council on Competitiveness) and has served as vice

nation’s nuclear nonproliferation plans, risk analyses

chair of the U.S. Department of Defense

for nuclear accidents and implementation of the

Basic Research Committee. He testified

Advanced Manufacturing Partnership—an Obama

before the House Committee on Science

administration initiative to create high-quality

and Technology in 2010 concerning

manufacturing jobs in the U.S.

“Rising Above the Gathering Storm, Revisited.”

“This has been a great opportunity to work side by side with senior White House science and technology advisors to confront the challenges that science faces globally,” says Shahamat, who believes the experience could shape her future career path. “I recognize the need for professionals with strong technical backgrounds who have a passion for public policy. These activities can make a big difference to the future of the nation and the world.”





Recommending State Highway Research Initiatives Ali Haghani, professor and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is a member of the Maryland State Highway Administration (SHA) Research Advisory Board, which helps define the annual research agenda of the SHA’s Office of Policy and Research. This office supports research covering a variety of topics annually, including traffic management and control, safety, intelligent transportation systems, infrastructure maintenance and rehabilitation.

Traffic management sensor for Maryland highways


Direct Participation in Federal Agencies Through the Intergovernmental Personnel Act, federal agencies and universities can establish formal, temporary positions that permit faculty members to advise and manage government research programs and gain deep insight into their needs and operations; likewise, agency personnel can work at universities to pursue specific areas of research and strengthen ties with faculty members. Brendan Godfrey, senior research scientist in aerospace engineering, is in his second year as senior advisor to the director of research in the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where he helps to set the Department of Defense (DoD) basic research and STEM education agendas. Godfrey also has led DoD efforts to develop policies in response to a presidential mandate. “Two years ago, President Obama issued a directive to develop scientific integrity policies for each federal Brendan Godfrey department and agency, such as guidelines for making scientific data available to the public and promoting better communication between federal scientists and the media,” says Godfrey. “In addition to helping develop policies, a major component of my position is meeting with colleagues in the Army, Navy and Air Force to build consensus throughout DoD for these policies.” James Short, professor of mechanical engineering and deputy director of the school’s Center for Energetic Concepts Development, works in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Operational Energy Plans and Programs. He oversees a $20 million annual Innovation Fund and implements policies to reduce energy demand and improve energy efficiency in the military. In addition, two National Science Foundation (NSF) employees currently work in the Clark School. Maria Burka, who directs the James Short process and reaction engineering program of the Division of Chemical, Bioengineering, Environmental and Transport Systems in the Directorate for Engineering at the NSF, works on chemical process design and control in the Clark School’s chemical and biomolecular

engineering department. Maija Kukla, currently on sabbatical from the NSF Office of International Science and Engineering, works as an adjunct professor in the school’s materials science and engineering department, developing multi-scale models of advanced materials for energy, safety and security applications. Advocating for Clean Energy at the State Level Eric Wachsman, William L. Crentz Centennial Chair in Energy Research in the Clark School’s Department of Materials Science and Engineering and director of the University of Maryland Energy Research Center, works actively to spark job creation and business growth in the state’s energy economy as a board member for the Maryland Clean Energy Center (MCEC). “Eric has experience in innovation advancement and knowledge about commercializing technology, taking start-ups from the bench to the bank and Eric Wachsman creating jobs,” says Kathy Magruder, the center’s executive director.

Developing New Research Themes and Priorities for Basic Energy Sciences Gary Rubloff, Minta Martin Professor of Engineering in materials science and engineering and the Institute for Systems Research, and director of the Maryland NanoCenter, is helping to guide the Department of Energy (DOE) in defining a major next frontier for research at the mesoscale—“where classical, microscale and nanoscale science meet.” On a DOE Basic Energy Sciences subcommittee tasked with creating a major workshop report, Rubloff helps to develop mesoscale science ideas, solicit input from the research community and define the most vital research opportunities. Categories include new mesoscale materials, phenomena and functionality, and required facilities, instruments and tools.

Packing nanostructures at the high densities required for new electrical energy storage devices creates new challenges in chemistry and physics.

Among other initiatives, the center sponsors the annual Maryland Clean Energy Summit, which brings together government, industry and academic leaders to debate and discuss technologies, markets and workforce training. Wachsman encourages students to participate, so they may learn from business professionals, state policymakers and entrepreneurs and build their career networks. At the 2011 Energy Summit, Jackson Yang, B.S. ’58, mechanical engineering, M.A. ’62 and Ph.D. ’64, mathematics, a former Clark School Engineering @ Maryland


Spring 2012

professor and founder and CEO of Columbia-based Advanced Technology and Research Corporation, was named Maryland’s Clean Energy Entrepreneur of the Year for the company’s solar tracking technology. Team members for WaterShed, which MCEC helped sponsor, also were honored at the summit for their 2011 Solar Decathlon win. (See related story, p. 2).

Protecting Maryland from Attack and Natural Disaster As







Management Advisory Council for the state of Maryland, Bilal Ayyub, professor of CEE and director of the Clark School’s Center for Technology and Systems Management, helps the state prevent and respond to military or terrorist attacks and natural disasters. The council includes representatives from state homeland security and emergency management offices, business, academia, law, public utilities and volunteer organizations such as firefighters and rescue squads. Topics for consideration include initiatives related to intelligence and information sharing, bio-surveillance, PHOTO BY MAJ. RICK BREITENFELDT

vulnerability assessment, emergency training and preparedness exercises, back-up power and communications and transportation security.

Providing Guidance for Ambitious Students When Laith Abu-Taleb, B.S. ’12, bioengineering, was unsure how to pursue an internship in public health, his Clark School network helped show him the way. Robert E. Fischell Distinguished Professor of Bioengineering William Bentley currently serves as vice president at large for the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE), with a mission to broaden the diversity of the group’s 50,000-plus members and enlarge its annual slate of events. In addition, Bentley notes, “I am helping AIMBE take advantage of Clark School resources, particularly the pool of talented undergraduates, many of whom want to serve the public in a special way.” Bentley and AIMBE Fellow Arthur Johnson, William Bentley bioengineering professor emeritus, learned that Abu-Taleb was eager to work in the public health arena and guided him accordingly. “They gave me background information on the organization from an insider’s point of view, which was a great help in the application process,” says Abu-Taleb. Today, his resume-building experiences as an AIMBE intern include organizing and attending Capitol Hill hearings and briefings, writing position papers, organizing events for academic and industry leaders and even co-authoring a paper on technology transfer published in Science. Notes Abu-Taleb, “My experience at AIMBE, coupled with my understanding of technology, have helped me communicate effectively with industry leaders on issues that require public advocacy.” He plans to attend law school and pursue a career as counsel to a national or international biomedical engineering firm. n

Maryland National Guard soldiers jump out of CH-47 Maryland Chinook helicopters during their annual training.

Entrepreneurship: From Campus to Community Craig Dye, director of Mtech’s VentureAccelerator program, is passionate about creating new businesses, both on campus and in nearby Washington, D.C. Dye contributes his expertise as a board member of BUILD Metro DC, an organization that uses “entrepreneurship to excite and propel disengaged, low-income students through high school to college success.” Launched in three Washington, D.C., schools last year, the program offers a youth business incubator, business coaching and academic support and is already decreasing drop-out rates and increasing the numbers of students pursuing college. “I rarely have a discussion at a community event that doesn’t relate back to the university as the ultimate goal,” says Dye, who has arranged for high schoolers to attend Clark School robotics competitions and campus tours. “We want to raise these students’ awareness of everything the university has to offer so close to home–especially the Clark School’s entrepreneurship programs for undergraduates.” Craig Dye




Protecting Animal and Human Health Gregory Baecher, professor of CEE, is chairing a National Research Council committee of experts to review a congressionally mandated risk assessment conducted by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for a planned National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF) in Manhattan, Kan. A partnership of DHS and USDA, the facility will be a state-of-the-art biocontainment facility to study foreign animal, emerging and zoonotic diseases that threaten animal agriculture and public health. NBAF will provide and strengthen the nation with critical capabilities to conduct research, develop vaccines and other countermeasures and train veterinarians in preparedness and response against these diseases.



Partnering with FDA, Pharmacy, Medicine to Accelerate Healthcare Advances TRANSFORMING DRUG AND MEDICAL DEVICE DEVELOPMENT A new Center of Excellence in Regulatory Science and Innovation (CERSI) brings Clark School and University of Maryland School of Pharmacy (Baltimore) researchers together with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in a collaborative partnership to develop new ways to review and evaluate drugs and medical devices. “This innovative center will improve the lives of Americans,” says Patrick O’Shea, the university’s vice president for research. “University of Maryland researchers will help the FDA transform the way that drugs and devices are evaluated and will influence how they are designed, developed, manufactured and brought to market.” Funded by a $1 million FDA grant, CERSI pairs academic experts with FDA scientists to develop


new tools, standards and approaches to address three key FDA priorities: improve preclinical assessments of the safety and efficacy of new

well as in advancing laboratory, population,

Medicine is building the infrastructure to accel-

drugs and devices; ensure readiness to evaluate

behavioral and manufacturing sciences. “These

erate future research in the field.

innovative and emerging technologies; and

partnerships represent a critical, necessary and

The initiative is funded through a one-year,

harness diverse data through information

creative investment—one that will benefit not

$2.5 million budget appropriation initiated by

sciences to improve health outcomes. In addition,

just the FDA and academia, but also American

Rep. Donna Edwards (D-Md.) through the Office

the center will sponsor seminars, workshops and

consumers and industry,” says FDA Chief

of Naval Research U.S. Special Operations

an open forum for industry and academic experts

Scientist Jesse L. Goodman.

Command. The initiative will lay the ground-

to promote regulatory science exchange. “The University of Maryland CERSI will draw on expertise at both the College Park and Baltimore campuses to create new mechanisms

work for discoveries that can lead to improved


health, decreased morbidity and mortality, and improved quality of life. The military is particularly interested in applications that can help determine

for scientific exchange, education and training,

Feeling under the weather? Imagine meeting

traits best suited for certain military activities

and regulatory science research,” says Robert

with your physician to create an individualized

and to make more informed decisions about

E. Fischell Distinguished Professor of Engineering

medical therapy—unique to your genetic and

military deployment.

William Bentley, who is founding chair of the Clark

genomic background—that can more effectively

Led by College Park campus co-principal

School’s Fischell Department of Bioengineering.

treat your disease and reduce your healthcare

investigators William Bentley and Mihai Pop,

Bentley serves as co-principal investigator with

costs. In the not-so-distant future, our genomes

associate professor in the university’s Institute

James Polli, the Shangraw/Noxell Endowed Chair

will be sequenced in days, providing information

for Advanced Computer Studies and Center for

in Pharmaceutical Sciences at the university’s

to guide critical diet, medical or lifestyle rec-

Bioinformatics and Computational Biology

School of Pharmacy. A second CERSI at

ommendations. The rapidly emerging field of

(CBCB), the initiative will create a large-scale

Georgetown University will serve as a sister

personalized medicine promises to revolutionize

data center in the CBCB to store and analyze

regulatory and science innovation center.

healthcare, and a multidisciplinary Personalized

next-generation DNA sequence data. As part

CERSI researchers will assist the FDA in driving

Medicine Initiative between researchers in College

of its biofabrication lab, the initiative will utilize

innovation in medical product development, as

Park and the University of Maryland School of

a highly precise, 3D confocal microscope and

Engineering @ Maryland


Spring 2012








installed at the Institute for Biology and Biomedical Research (IBBR), another joint

at Engineering Sustainability Workshop

effort between the College Park and Baltimore campuses, according to Bentley.

Clark School faculty members and students, guest speakers from government and

Alan Shuldiner, M.D., co-principal investigator

industry, and other members of the university community will share their ideas about

and head of the Division of Endocrinology,

solar technologies, policy issues and business opportunities at the 2012 Clark School

Diabetes and Nutrition at the University of

Engineering Sustainability Workshop on Thursday, April 26. Discussions throughout

Maryland School of Medicine, will lead a team

the day will focus on research and applications involving solar photovoltaic and/or

of genetic researchers in developing a DNA

thermal energy, and include a presentation by the University of Maryland’s winning 2011

biobank to permit the extensive collection of

Solar Decathlon team and a keynote address by Ramamoorthy Ramesh, director of the

DNA data and to support protocols for accessing

Department of Energy’s SunShot program and former Clark School professor. The

DNA samples. A federally approved Translational

workshop is sponsored by the University of Maryland Energy Research Center and the

Genomics Research Laboratory also will be estab-

university’s Office of Sustainability. For more information about the workshop, visit

lished to support clinical trials in personalized n

medicine. Shuldiner is currently developing an Amish DNA biobank that consists of more than 5,000 samples from the genetically homogenous Amish


population. His work has already contributed to a number of discoveries related to personalized

Solar Gen 2 CEO Stephen Zaminski Shares Realities of Solar Energy

medicine. “Bringing personalized medicine to fruition will require a large, multidisciplinary and bioengineering,” explains Shuldiner. His work with the Amish has identified susceptibility variations for risk of type 2 diabetes and variations in a gene (CYP2C19) carried by one-third of the U.S. population that can limit responsiveness to

Learn about the technical, business and political challenges of


team effort of scientists from biology, medicine

implementing solar power from entrepreneur Stephen Zaminski, B.S. ’86, mechanical engineering, and chief executive officer of Solar Gen 2, on Thursday, April 26, following the Engineering Sustainability Workshop. In his presentation on “Making Solar Power a Reality in

the drug Plavix, used to treat heart conditions.

California,” Zaminski will share how he successfully navigated

“One day every newborn’s genome will be

among federal, state, and local politicians, utility companies and

sequenced and that information will be embedded

local communities to implement a major solar project in California’s Imperial Valley. A

in the baby’s electronic medical records. As the

member of the Clark School Board of Visitors who received his M.B.A. with honors from

individual’s medical history unfolds, his or her

the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, Zaminski founded Solar Gen 2 in

genome will inform medical decisions and help

the summer of 2010. He has more than 20 years of power industry experience.

identify at-risk diseases,” says Shuldiner. n

Zaminski’s talk, part of the Whiting-Turner Lecture Series, begins at 5 p.m. in the Kim Engineering Building, room 1101-1111. n

Clark School Climbs to Number 11 in 2011 Academic Ranking of World Universities The Clark School rose two spots, from 13th to 11th, in the 2011 Academic Ranking of World Universities for engineering/technology and computer science schools. Among all public university programs, the Clark School was ranked eighth. The rankings are based on the number of highly cited researchers, number of papers indexed by Science Citation Index-Expanded, percentage of papers published in top journals, and engineering-related research expenditures. For academic year 2011, Clark School expenditures were $144 million, the highest in the school’s history. n






FIRST GOODINGS PROFESSOR PURSUES SUSTAINABILITY MISSION SET BY CHUCK WAGGNER, ’54 Today, one in six people lacks access to safe, fresh water—a statistic that Barton Forman is determined to change.

Twin NASA Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE) satellites measure anomalies in the Earth’s gravitational field. Research at the Clark School and NASA merges GRACE measurements with an advanced land surface model to improve knowledge about the location, timing and amount of snow in the northern hemisphere, where snow melt is the main source of freshwater for more than one billion people.

coupled with a desire to work on more challenging technical projects, led Forman to pursue a doctorate in water resources engineering from the

“Water is one of our most vital resources, yet we don’t understand the

University of California at Los Angeles, where he explored topics related

exact amount of fresh water available to us in the form of lakes, rivers,

to land surface processes, satellite-based remote sensing applications

snow, ice or groundwater, nor the precise timing of its movement,”

and data assimilation. While at UCLA, he received a NASA Earth and

explains Forman, who joined the Clark School’s Department of Civil and

Space Science Graduate Fellowship for his research using satellite-based

Environmental Engineering in January as the first Deborah J. Goodings

measurements to estimate the amount of radiation reaching the earth’s

Professor in Engineering for Global Sustainability. “So, my group combines

surface. His graduate work earned three individual Outstanding Student

measurements from satellites, airborne-sensors and ground-based

Paper awards from the American Geophysical Union as well as the

instrumentation with advanced computer models to improve our under-

Edward K. Rice UCLA Engineering Ph.D. Student of the Year award.

standing and management of this critical asset.”

During his doctoral studies, Forman was a project founder and mentor

Prior to joining the Clark School, Forman was a postdoctoral fellow at

for the UCLA chapter of EWB, working with poor, rural farmers to improve

nearby NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, where he used satellite-derived

the drinking water supply in their Guatemalan village. “We constructed

measurements of the Earth’s gravitational field to better characterize

10 cement cisterns to capture rainwater and built the systems to help

freshwater resources. In addition, he utilized

many families gain access to clean drinking water,” explains Forman, who

passive microwave measurements collected in

looks forward to working with the university’s EWB chapter. He also

space to estimate the amount of snow found in

plans to take advantage of the Clark School’s proximity to federal labs.

North America. He believes that, “If we can

“There are amazing intellectual resources in this region—at Goddard, the

identify all of our water resources, then we can

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and numerous other

more sustainably manage and preserve the

federal agencies. This campus is a great place for me to work with students

world’s water supply and help all of us obtain

and to collaborate with other earth science researchers, and I am ready

the water we need.”

to jump in.” n

Forman’s work is perfectly aligned with PHOTO COURTESY OF BARTON FORMAN



Measuring the World’s Fresh Water from Space

the goals of Charles E. “Chuck” Waggner, B.S. Barton Forman

’54, chemical engineering, who created the

Goodings Professorship to honor former Clark School Professor of Civil Engineering Deborah J. Goodings, the initial faculty advisor for the University of Maryland Chapter of Engineers Without Borders (EWB). (See related story, p. 4.) “I am very pleased that Professor Forman is on board,” says Waggner. “He brings excellent qualifications, and his research interests address one of the world’s most important issues—clean water. The Goodings Professorship ensures that the Clark School has the financial means to address these kinds of sustainability challenges.” Forman received a B.S. in civil engineering from the University of Virginia and worked as an engineering consultant for United Research Services (URS) Corporation on projects for the U.S. Department of Defense and the U.S. Department of Energy. An interest in teaching,

Barton Forman, back row center, is pictured behind a cistern with UCLA volunteers and a Guatemalan family that has access to clean drinking water thanks to the efforts of the UCLA chapter of EWB, founded by Forman. Engineering @ Maryland


Spring 2012


New Scholarship Honors James Newton’s Work with Minority Students for Minorities in Science and Engineering

operations for Pepco Energy Services, Inc.

(CMSE) after it relocated to the Clark School

“Scholarships like this one dedicated to my

from the vice chancellor’s office, Newton

father will help students who often have to

inspired students and staff alike.

pool every available resource to realize

“Under his leadership, we began recruiting

their dreams of a college degree.”

and retaining highly qualified students who

The fund, which now totals more than

were committed to completing their degrees,”

$60,000 in pledges, will be used to increase

relates Rosemary Parker, current CMSE

the participation of students of color in

director. In celebration of the 30th anniversary

engineering. “With science and technology

of CMSE, Parker and CMSE Associate Director

driving major advancements in our society,

LaWanda Kamalidiin have made lead gifts

it is important to ensure that all groups are

In the 1980s, when few minority students

to establish the James N. Newton Scholarship

represented in these fields,” Newton adds.

were earning engineering degrees, James

in honor of the man they say “contributed

N. Newton made sure that students of color

to the success of so many students.”

Did you benefit from the services of the CMSE during your Clark School years? Help us honor the center’s first director by contributing to the James N. Newton Scholarship. Contact Leslie Borak at for more information. n

James Newton, front left, celebrates the 30th anniversary of the CMSE with family and center staff members.

who entered the Clark School received the

“It is vitally important that all professions

encouragement and support they needed to

reflect the diversity of our nation,” says

complete their degrees successfully. From

James E. Newton, B.S. ’93, mechanical engi-

1981 to 1987, as the first director of the Center

neering, and vice president of commercial


Board Members Rally in Support for Women in Engineering Jenny Regan remembers the challenges

“Scholarship availability can make the

education and careers in the field for women.”

she faced as a young female engineer entering

difference between attending the Clark

Regan’s own company employs 25 full-time

the profession. “Twenty-five years ago,

School or choosing another institution,”

engineers and designers, many of whom

women engineers faced a certain amount of

explains Regan. “We don’t want to lose

graduated from the Clark School. “For young

stigma in the workplace,” says Regan, CEO

these talented, motivated women.” The newly

women, there is no substitute for having

of Key Tech, a technology development firm

created WIE Opportunity Scholarship will

access to female engineering professionals,”

based in Baltimore that she co-founded.

help attract high-performing students as well

adds Regan. ”It is reassuring for them to know

as provide support in financial emergencies.

that women like us are looking out for them.”

In addition to Regan, lead donors include

You can help keep talented female engineering students in the pipeline. Support the WIE Opportunity Scholarship. Contact Leslie Borak at for more information. n

Cynthia Edgerton, president of Baltimorebased Edge Space Systems; former Clark School Associate Dean Marilyn Berman Pollans; and WIE Director Paige Smith. Additional members of the WIE board also



have contributed to the scholarship. “Today, it is generally understood that you

“The Opportunity Fund is an important

need a diverse engineering workforce to

addition to the WIE program, particularly in

succeed in an increasingly global workplace.”

this economic environment,” says Smith.

Since 2007, when Regan joined the

“We are so appreciative to the board for

Women in Engineering (WIE) Advisory

taking the lead in creating this flexible

Board, she has watched the number of

funding mechanism that we can use for

women pursuing degrees in the Clark

everything from hardship assistance to

School steadily increase. Regan and fellow

recruitment and retention of students.”

WIE board members are making a major

Regan recounts the shared commitment of

investment in the program to ensure that

WIE board members: “We are all active in

trend continues.

engineering and want to promote engineering




Jenny Regan

ENTREPRENEURSHIP Clark School Researchers Develop Enabling Technology for Low-Cost, Portable Bacteria Sensor SEEK MANUFACTURER FOR PATHOGEN-DETECTING CHIP TO REDUCE ILLNESS, DEATH


Deadly bacteria, beware.

laboratory. “BioDot is a low-cost, high-sensitivity

Ibis Microtechnologies, an entrepreneurial

optical detection alternative to current photo-

venture by a trio of Clark School researchers, is

multiplier tube (PMT) detectors. PMTs are

accelerating the detection of hazardous pathogens

expensive, fragile and difficult to miniaturize,”

in food and water using a cost-effective diagnostic

explains Abshire.

device to perform laboratory-level analyses on

The Clark School team is now looking for

site, in record time. The patent-pending BioDotTM

potential partners to manufacture the sensor.

sensor chip identifies life-threatening bacteria

“BioDot is an inherently portable, low-power

in the field and enables quick response to help

component that can be incorporated into

avoid serious illness and death. Applications

hand-held devices as well as benchtop laboratory

include medicine, food processing and quality

instrumentation,” says Dandin, who cites crucial

control, homeland security and defense.

support from the Clark School’s Maryland

For their company’s business plan, bioengi-



Technology Enterprise Institute (Mtech). “Mtech provides a sophisticated suite of tools from open office hours for entrepreneurs to the business plan competition,” he notes. “There is




a continuing effort to foster an entrepreneurial culture and help us translate research into products for the marketplace.” Key to that effort is the support of internationally recognized entrepreneur Robert Fischell, who established the Fischell Department of Bioengineering, Robert E. Fischell Institute for BioDot Sensor

Biomedical Devices and the fellowship Dandin



holds. Fischell was inducted into the Clark neering doctoral student and Robert E. Fischell

School Innovation Hall of Fame in 2002 for

Fellow Marc Dandin, B.S. ’04 and M.S. ’07, electrical

innovations in biomedical devices, including

and computer engineering (ECE), his co-advisor

the first implantable insulin pump, rechargeable

ECE Assistant Professor Pamela Abshire, and

pacemaker and flexible coronary artery stents.

David Sander, M.S. ’08 and Ph.D. ’11, ECE, who

“I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity

also was advised by Abshire, recently received

to speak with Dr. Fischell a few times. His advice

the Clark School’s Jimmy H.C. Lin Award for

has been simple but profound: Stay on course,”

Entrepreneurship. In addition, the company was

says Dandin.

a finalist in the 2011 University of Maryland $75K Business Plan Competition.

The research team is confident of the technological advantages of portable biodetectors.

The sensor builds on the team’s ongoing

“It is a growing field, and we are well positioned

research in cell-based sensing technologies and

to take the lead,” says Abshire. “Ultimately,

instrumentation that enable users to measure

these devices could be included in cell phones

and integrate cells outside the confines of the

for home-based analyses.”

Handheld pathogen detection using BioDot Sensor

The Jimmy Lin Fund for Innovation and Invention was endowed by longtime ECE professor Jimmy Lin to promote innovation among Clark School students, staff and faculty by stimulating, encouraging and rewarding the invention and patenting process. When Lin died in 2009, his wife, Mrs. Anchen Lin, expanded upon the original gift, endowing the Jimmy H.C. Lin Award for Entrepreneurship to provide an annual award to students, faculty and staff who transform their ideas into innovations through invention and technology commercialization. n

Engineering @ Maryland


Spring 2012


Hybrid Vehicle Innovator Supports Mtech Alex J. Severinsky, inducted into the Clark School’s Innovation Hall of Fame in 2008 for developing the Hyperdrive power-amplified internal combustion engine (PAICE) power train for hybrid vehicles,


White House Names Barbe a Champion of Change David Barbe, Mtech director and professor of electrical engineering, has been named a Champion of Change in America by the White House. This initiative profiles Americans from all walks of life who are helping the country

has made a generous gift to support Mtech programs and services. His gift has been matched by

“out-innovate, out-educate and out-build the

the Abell Foundation, whose venture fund was one of the early investors in PAICE. Both Severinsky

rest of the world,” and “create high-quality jobs

and the foundation have also supported Clark School undergraduate scholarships.

in the United States.” In receiving the award,

“As state funding decreases, Mtech must increasingly depend on private gifts, such as those from

Barbe cited the critical role entrepreneurship plays

Alex Severinsky and the Abell Foundation, to make enhancements to our laboratories and equipment,”

in creating new jobs, as well as the resources

explains Mtech Director David Barbe. “Constant upgrading and modernization of our facilities are

U.S. universities possess to help companies

critical if we are to help fledgling companies reach the market." n

create new products, which lead to new jobs. n


ENTREPRENEUR INTRODUCES TECHNOLOGY TO MIDDLE SCHOOL GIRLS Kimberly Brown, M.S. ’98 and Ph.D. ’05, chemical engineering, is committed to raising female student interest in science and technology. (See related story, p. 27.) Her company, Amethyst Technologies, LLC, specializes in quality program development for clinical trials, vaccine Writing in The Washington Post in February, Brown noted, “It is most critical to create all types of innovative ways to encourage more females to pursue science, technology, engineering and math—and to retain their interest in those fields.” Brown has turned her entrepreneurial talents to creating those types of opportunities through her nonprofit organization, Global Outcomes, Inc., which engages in a range of activities to promote quality healthcare, enhance education opportunities and empower local communities. One of the organization’s most successful efforts is an annual Computer Mania Day that gives female middle school students in the Baltimore-Washington region hands-on experience with technology. “Teachers, parents and community groups all have a role to play in shaping girls’ perceptions of STEM careers and encouraging math and science enrichment activities,” says Brown. Follow-up surveys reveal that Computer Mania Day effectively

Middle school students are greeted by two Computer Mania Day characters.

improves girls’ attitudes about technology and heightens their confidence about their technological abilities, according to Brown, whose long-term goal is to expand the program to students in 150 countries. Later this year, Global Outcomes will introduce Computer Mania Day in Ghana. n

HILLMAN ENTREPRENEURS PROGRAM GAINS NATIONAL RECOGNITION The Hillman Entrepreneurs Program, an innovative initiative that helps entrepreneurially-minded Prince George’s Community College students complete their bachelor’s degrees at the University of Maryland and become future leaders for their communities, was a national finalist for the United States Association for Small Business and Entrepreneurship Excellence in Entrepreneurship Education Awards in the Outstanding Specialty Entrepreneurship Program category. “In launching the Hillman Entrepreneurs Program just over five years ago, we were looking to support people who can change our world, have roots in this area and who, after getting this great education, will go back to Prince George’s County and shake things up,” says David Hillman, who funded the program with a $3.4 million gift from the David H. and Suzanne D. Hillman Family Foundation. The program offers entrepreneurship and leadership courses, intense mentoring, networking opportunities and community building to each of the students in the program. n A. JAMES CLARK SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING




development, manufacturing, sustainable laboratories and healthcare in the United States.


The New Clark School Alumni Cup Challenge: WHICH DEPARTMENT TAKES THE PRIZE? Is it Mechanical? Bio? Electrical and Computer?

challenge? Design and build a machine that

Fire Protection?

Members of the winning aerospace team demonstrate their project.

Kevin Schoonover and Elisabeth Goldwasser, co-chairs of the Student Outreach Committee.


assignment and a small stipend. This year’s

Kevin Schoonover, B.S. ’06, aerospace engi-

inflates and pops a balloon, using a minimum

neering, and co-chair of the Student Outreach

of 20 energy-transfer steps, and do so in a way

Committee for the Clark School Chapter of the

that demonstrates important concepts and

University of Maryland Alumni Association,

characteristics of your department’s discipline,

recalls the continuing debate among students

plus project management, collaboration and

during his undergraduate days. “There was a

organizational skills. One more thing—it should

constant discussion about which was the best

be fun to watch. “We want students to have a

department in the school. I had no doubt

good time making their machines and seeing

about the answer.” The committee, chaired by

them in action,” says Schoonover, who directs

Schoonover and Elisabeth Goldwasser, B.S. ’03,

product development at ATK, a Fortune 500

mechanical engineering, recently capitalized

aerospace, defense and security company.

on this competitive streak with a new annual

Adds Goldwasser, “We also want students to

competition—the Alumni Cup Challenge—that

see the value of getting involved in alumni-

pits student teams from each department against

sponsored activities and how we can provide a

one another in a high-speed engineering com-

built-in network for them.”

petition, judged by a panel of faculty members

And the winner of the inaugural Clark School

and alumni, that is lighthearted, educational

Alumni Cup is: The Department of Aerospace

and inspiring.

Engineering. You can see the cup, inscribed

Materials? Chemical? Aerospace? Civil?

with the winning department’s name, in the

At the start of Engineering Week, student

lobby of Martin Hall. And if your team didn’t win

teams from each department are given their

in 2012, well, there’s always next year.


UNRAVELING THE MYSTERIES OF THE DEEP BLUE SEA Arcano Leads NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration and Research The ocean covers 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, yet far more is

technical director and ship design manager for the Virginia Class Submarine

known about the moon than the deep blue sea. If Joseph Timothy “Tim”

Program. As the Corbin A. McNeill Endowed Chair in Naval Engineering at

Arcano, Jr., Ph.D. ’02, civil and environmental engineering, has his way, a

the Naval Academy, Arcano shared his passion for underwater exploration

vibrant national ocean exploration program will help unlock clues to the

with students and created a course on the engineering of submersible

95 percent of the world’s oceans that remain unexplored. As the new

systems. “Teaching challenged me to think about the front end of engi-

director of the Office of Ocean Exploration and Research at the National

neering and how I could transfer my knowledge to students so they could

Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Arcano is leading NOAA’s

learn from my experiences.”

efforts in ocean exploration, research and advanced technology development.

That transfer of knowledge was important to Arcano when he began his

“I would like to catalyze the development of a compelling

doctoral program at the Clark School. Intent on pursuing research that

national vision and long-range plan for ocean exploration,

could be applied in his field, Arcano’s dissertation focused on how to inhibit

involving public and private partners, that will support the

the growth of marine microbes on ship and submarine heat exchangers.

country’s science, ocean resource management, ocean

“Microbes can attach to heat exchanger pipes and create an environment

literacy and strategic security goals,” explains Arcano,

for the growth of barnacles and mussels that can impede heat transfer. I

whose love of the sea has guided his professional career.

looked at mechanisms that would limit their growth, from higher rates of

While attending the U.S. Naval Academy, Arcano

fluid flow in pipes to pipe vibrations that disrupt attachment.”

discovered the field of ocean engineering, and during his

Throughout his career, Arcano has embraced his role as a public servant

30 years of service with the Navy he helped to identify

and traces his commitment to service to both his mother and his father.

promising ocean technologies and implement them to meet Navy needs.

“For example, my father was a doctor and he lived by the Hippocratic Oath,

“I was fortunate to work with teams of dedicated professionals, including

which calls for physicians to treat patients ethically and to the best of their

engineers, scientists, project managers and operational personnel, to

abilities,” recalls Arcano. A copy of the U.S. Constitution, which Arcano

design and build complex, high-tech Navy ships, including the USS

describes as “my Hippocratic oath,’” sits on his desk and is a constant

Seawolf and USS Virginia nuclear submarines,” says Arcano, who was

reminder of his civic duties. A fellow of the American Society of Mechanical

Tim Arcano

Engineering @ Maryland


Spring 2012

OUTREACH IS FUN— AND YOU CAN HELP It’s easy to get involved with the Clark School Alumni Cup, student organizations, the Order of the Engineer ceremony or events like the annual Dodgeball Tournament. “We can help you select an activity that is just right for you,” says Goldwasser, citing how alumni can help students develop their professional networks, perform valuable service activities, understand professional ethics and connect more closely with the Clark School. “If we give back to students now, they will want to be involved in the chapter when they receive their degrees,” explains

Young Alumni Learn the Power of Mentoring The Clark School Alumni Chapter is spearheading an initiative to help young alumni advance in their career paths with the advice and counsel of more experienced Clark School graduates. The Young Alumni Mentoring Program, set to launch in September, will pair alumni who are seasoned engineering professionals with Clark School graduates with less than 10 years experience in the workplace. “When I graduated from the Clark School and entered the workforce, my company did not have a mentoring program,” explains Dilibe A. Aneke, B.S. ’01, mechanical engineering, and M.S. ’06 and M.B.A. ’07, information systems management, who is co-chairing the mentoring program. Today, he is a senior information technology architect with IBM, which offers a formal mentoring program. “My experience at IBM has triggered my interest to give back to people. I’ve been on both sides of the fence, and I can personally speak about the importance of having a good mentor.” The Mentoring Program is designed to allay the uncertainties that recent graduates may be experiencing in the workplace or the anxiety they feel about finding a new job, notes Kimberly Brown, M.S. ’98 and Ph.D. ’05, chemical engineering, founder and CEO of Amethyst Technologies, LLC. (See related story, p. 25.) “My mentors through the Clark School have been instrumental in

Schoonover. “As a practical matter, you’ll meet incredibly bright young men and women who can help you and your organization,” notes Goldwasser, who credits the professional network she created through the Clark School with advancing her career with companies conducting cutting-edge work in robotics, manufacturing and battery technology. “Best of all, it’s always fulfilling to

my success,” says Brown. “If not for my education at the Clark School and my mentors, I would not be a small business owner.” Through the program, mentors commit at least three hours each month to work with their protégés, offering advice, sharing personal experiences and acting as sounding boards. Both mentors and protégés sign an agreement that outlines the specifics of the relationship, expectations, logistics and individual roles and responsibilities. “We want to provide the tools and advice our students and young alumni need to succeed in their careers. This is an open platform for them to ask questions and receive honest answers,” says Brown. Brown stresses a core benefit of participating as a mentor in the program: The satisfaction of


If you are interested in joining the Student Outreach Committee, supporting the Alumni Cup Challenge or any of the committee’s activities, contact Josey Simpson, B.S. ’84, Clark School director of alumni relations, n

NOAA Ship Okeanos Explorer controls Little Hercules Remotely Operated Vehicle near Hawaii.

Engineers and a member of the Society of Naval Architects and Marine Engineers and the Marine Technology Society, he has also served as deputy chief of nuclear safety in the Office of the Under

knowing you are helping others advance in their careers. “My schedule is very hectic, but the one thing I haven’t cut back is my work with the Clark School,” says Brown. If you are interested in becoming a mentor or protégé in the Young Alumni Mentoring program, contact or Josey Simpson, B.S. ’84, Clark School director of alumni relations, n


help another Terp.”

DAVID A. BADER, Ph.D. ’96, electrical

PRADEEP SHARMA, M.S. and Ph.D. ’00,

engineering (EE), helped to found the


new School of Computational Science

named Bill D. Cook Chair of Mechanical

and Engineering within the College of

Engineering at the University of Houston.

Computing at the Georgia Institute of

He has received a variety of honors


for his work, including the Young

LAWRENCE CARIN, B.S. ’85, M.S. ’86 and Ph.D. ’89, EE, was recently named chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering. MIHAI DIMIAN, Ph.D. ’05, EE, was appointed to the position of Full Professor of Engineering at Stefan cel Mare University in Romania by the

Secretary of Energy. Arcano urges young engineers to be bold and tackle even the most difficult projects early in their careers. “There are so many technically challenging projects in which engineers can make a big difference in the world,” he says. “Never forget that engineers have a responsibility to use

Romanian Minister of Education.




Investigators Award from the Office of Naval Research, the Thomas J.R. Hughes Young Investigator Award from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the Texas Space Grants Consortium New Investigators Program Award. PHIL WISER, B.S. ’90, EE, has been named chief technology officer of Hearst Corporation, one of the nation’s largest diversified media and information companies. Previously, Wiser co-founded


Sezmi Corporation with fellow Clark

been inducted into the National Academy

School graduate Buno Pati, B.S. ’86,

of Engineering, one of the highest honors

M.S. ’88 and Ph.D. ’92, EE.

for an engineer. England is a former U.S. deputy secretary of defense.

our talents to make the world a better place.” n A. JAMES CLARK SCHOOL OF ENGINEERING






FELLOWS PROFESSOR RAY ADOMAITIS, chemical and biomolecular engineering and Institute for Systems Research (ISR), has been elected a fellow in the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

NSF Career Award Winners

PROFESSOR THOMAS ANTONSEN, electrical and computer engineering (ECE), physics, and Institute for Research in Engineering and Applied Physics, and PROFESSOR BEN SHNEIDERMAN, computer science, ISR and University of Maryland Institute for Advanced Computer Studies, have been elected fellows of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers. PROFESSOR RAMA CHELLAPPA, interim chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been selected as a 2011 American Association for the Advancement of Science fellow. AS S OCI AT E PROF ES S OR JO H N FISHER, BioE, has been elected to the American Institute for Medical and Biomedical Engineering as a fellow.

Ian White


Oded Rabin

Lei Zhang


ASSISTANT PROFESSOR IAN WHITE, bioengineering (BioE), has received a five-year

ANYA JONES, assistant professor of

$400,000 National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER)

aerospace engineering, received the

Award. His research focuses on developing a technique to create sensitive, portable and

2011 NATO Research and Technology

inexpensive biosensors for medical diagnoses and detection of hazardous substances

Organization’s Scientific Achievement

using ordinary inkjet printers.

Award in recognition of her work in unsteady flows of micro air vehicles, including significant

For his proposal on enhancing spectroscopy to identify chiral molecules in low concentrations,

contributions to the mission of NATO’s RTO

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR ODED RABIN, materials science and engineering, has received a

task group.

five-year $540,000 NSF CAREER Award. His work may provide drug manufacturers and medical researchers new ways to ensure the efficacy and safety of compounds and

NORMAN WERELEY, Techno-Sciences

understand complex diseases.

Professor and newly named chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering,

ASSISTANT PROFESSOR LEI ZHANG, civil engineering, received a CAREER Award for

has been honored with the American

research to investigate how individual travel behavior, such as route and transportation

Society of Mechanical Engineers Adaptive

mode choice, and transportation-related organizational decision-making, such as pricing,

Structures and Material Systems Prize for his

impact travel reliability. n

contributions to the field, including applications to protect military forces and to advance robotics and actuation systems.


INTERNAL AWARDS PAM ABSHIRE, assistant professor of ECE/ISR,

functionalities, and learning the synthesis of


received the 2011 E. Robert Kent Teaching

lithiated silicon nanostructures for advanced

mechanical engineering, has received the 2012

Award for Junior Faculty. She was recognized


Regents Faculty Award for Teaching from the

for teaching senior courses in microelectronics, including a circuits course that she created.


University System of Maryland Board of Regents.

ISR, and ROBERT BRIBER, MSE, have been



selected as 2012-13 Distinguished Scholar-

engineering and chemistry, received the Clark

materials science and engineering (MSE),

Teachers by the university. The award recog-

School’s 2011 Senior Faculty Outstanding

received the Clark School’s 2011 Junior Faculty

nizes faculty members who have demonstrated

Research Award for developing new character-

Outstanding Research Award for a novel in-

outstanding scholarly achievement along with

ization tools for studying nanoparticles and

situ thermal imaging technique, the design of


furthering our understanding of the properties

multiferroic device structures with unique





of nanoparticles. n Engineering @ Maryland


Spring 2012

The Rewards of

PLANNED GIVING C h arit a ble Bequest Benef i t s Fu t u re Clark S ch o o l S t u d e n t s Like many A. James Clark School of Engineering graduates, Saul Seltzer, B.S. ’52, civil engineering, spent the decades following graduation building a career and raising a family. Then, eight years ago, at the urging of good friend and classmate Whiting-Turner Senior Executive Vice President Charles “Chuck” Irish, B.S. ’52, civil engineering, Seltzer reconnected with the Clark School. He couldn’t be happier with that decision.

“The school is off the charts compared to the programs that were offered in our day,” says Seltzer,

president of S. Seltzer Construction, based in Kenilworth, N.J. “The Clark School is held in such high regard; it is something that every graduate should be proud of.” Seltzer soon became a member of the Clark School Board of Visitors, and his wife, Sylvia, has enjoyed the camaraderie of board members and their spouses. “Our recent involvement with the Clark School has truly enriched our lives,” Seltzer states.

Seltzer is quick to acknowledge, “The Clark School is

responsible for a great deal of my success.” In gratitude, he has contributed to the Board of Visitors Scholarship Fund and taken steps to ensure future financial assistance for students through a charitable bequest to the school.

“At the time I included the Clark School in my will,

I was not in a position to make a substantial gift,” explains Seltzer. The bequest allows the Seltzers to plan for a large gift to the Clark School in future years without affecting day-to-day finances during their lifetime. “I recommend that Clark School alums take a close look at bequests as a way to give back. My gift is the least I can do to pay the Clark School back for all that it has given us.”

To learn how you can make a charitable bequest today and make a significant difference in the future of the Clark School, or to explore other planned giving options, contact Leslie Borak, assistant dean for external relations, Clark School of Engineering. E-mail: | Phone: 301.405.0317

Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID

Permit No. 10 College Park, MD

3214 Kim Engineering Building University of Maryland College Park, Maryland 20742-2831

Clark School Activities Cross the Country It’s Time to Reconnect with the Clark School Build Your Clark School Network Take a break from your weekday routine, and spend a relaxing evening reconnecting with the Clark School. Catch up with former classmates and meet Clark School Dean Darryll Pines and other Clark School representatives. SAN DIEGO NETWORK EVENT Monday, April 23, 6-8 p.m. La Valencia Hotel, La Jolla, California SAN FRANCISCO BAY AREA EVENT Tuesday, April 24, 6-8 p.m. Stanford Park Hotel, Menlo Park, California BALTIMORE AREA EVENT Thursday, May 10, 6-8 p.m. The Engineers Club, Downtown Baltimore NEW YORK AREA EVENT Thursday, May 17, 6-8 p.m. Sirus XM Radio, New York City Explore Our World: Maryland Day Saturday, April 28 Take a stroll down memory lane, and enjoy the menu of programs and services the university and the Clark School have to offer. Visit Science and Technology Way and see engineering at work. Enjoy the entertaining student design projects on display in the Kim Building Plaza. For a complete list of Clark School activities, visit

Clark School Commencement Reception and Golden Terps Reunion Monday, May 21, 1-2:30 p.m. Kim Engineering Building If you are celebrating your 50th, 55th, 60th, 65th or greater reunion year, join the commencement ceremony as a Golden Terp! Lead the Clark School procession and be introduced by name at the ceremony. Clark School Commencement Ceremony Monday, May 21, 4 p.m. Comcast Center

9th Annual Engineering Alumni Chapter Golf Tournament Thursday, September 20, 1:30 p.m. University of Maryland Golf Course Pull the golf clubs out of the closet, and get ready to join fellow graduates at the refurbished campus golf course this fall.

For more information on any of the events, contact Josey Simpson, B.S. ’84, at 301-405-2150 or

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E@M Magazine, Spring 2012  

"Energy to Spare, Energy to Share," Vol. 12, No. 1.

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