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ENGINEERING Tr a n s f o r m i n g t h e F u t u r e . C h a n g i n g t h e W o r l d .



“Make a world of difference by making our world different through engineering!�- Diran Apelian

WPI is recognized as a top university for helping women succeed in STEM fields. p.17

Julie Bliss researches water treatment technologies under the auspices of an NSF Graduate Research fellowship. p.30 Diran Apelian leads advances in sustainable manufacturing. p.3 Student projects improve the health and safety of a community in Namibia, Africa. p.22

Ki Chon develops novel technology for the iPhone to save lives on the battlefield. p.7

Mike Dolan '75, Senior Vice President of Exxon Mobil Corporation, leads energy solutions. p.29


Engineering ConnectionS Symbolized by the beech tree in the center of campus, WPI Engineering has grown over the years, extending its reach to all corners of the earth. The people are the foundation for this growth, providing the strength and endurance for the branches of change to spread. Innovation is at the heart of this change, touching people’s lives, transforming the future, and changing the world.

TABLE OF CONTENTS Message from the Dean. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .



Innovation in MANUFACTURING AND SUSTAINABILITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 3 Innovation in HEALTHCARE . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 6 Innovation in SAFETY AND SECURITY . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 g lo b a l p e r s p e c t i v e . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13 W o m e n aT t h e f o r e f r o n t o f E n g i n e e r i n g . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .16 T r a n s f o r mi n g E n g i n e e r i n g Educ at i o n . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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w p i fa cult y, s t ud e n t s , a N D A LU M N I C h a n g i n g t h e W o r ld . . . . . . . . . 26 D e pa r t m e n t s

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Biomedical Engineering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . Chemical Engineering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .


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Civil and Environmental Engineering . . . . . . . . . . . . Electrical and Computer Engineering . . . . . .

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Fire Protection Engineering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Mechanical Engineering . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

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Robotics Engineering . . . . . . . . . . . .

W P I ’ S ENG I NEER I NG A D V I SOR Y CO U N C I L L EA D I NG THE C HANGE . . . . . . . 62

In the pages that follow, you’ll see QR codes like this one. Snap them with your smartphone to link directly to videos about WPI Engineering. You’ll need a QR code reader app for your phone. All of the videos are available at

The core of WPI’s mission since its inception, engineering education and research at WPI continue to produce graduates and technological advance of a uniquely productive character, focused on actualizing human potential to solve important problems and create new capabilities for the advance of society. I am thrilled to be associated with such high achieving faculty and students, and especially proud of the leadership brought by our distinguished Dean Selçuk Güçeri and his outstanding team of department heads, center directors, and faculty leaders. Dennis D. Berkey, President


A M E SSAGE FROM THE DEAN Engineers are the architects of civilization and create the environment in which we live. The last several decades have seen unprecedented developments in technology, changing the way we communicate, travel, shop, and manage our health. These changes affected not only individuals, but have also induced new dynamics in global economies and politics. For the United States, achieving global leadership depended on a strong manufacturing-based economy. During the last half-century, we’ve witnessed rapid growth in the world population, shifting demographics, and incredible impact from Internet-based communication that produced a major equalizing effect in technology and trade. These developments come coupled with increasing challenges in areas such as energy, water and food supply, depletion of valuable earth resources, and healthcare. We are moving into a new phase where our global leadership will depend on an innovation-based economy. Institutions of higher education contribute by producing professional talent and research leading to new discoveries. As the third-oldest technological university in the U.S., WPI has produced some of the best talent in engineering. Moving on the foundations laid a century ago by early innovators such as Robert Goddard and Atwater Kent, WPI Engineering is moving to capture leadership in a number of emerging technology areas. John Boynton and Ichabod Washburn had a vision for WPI when they founded the Institute in 1865: to provide an environment where students could immerse themselves in a technical education with a blend of academics and hands-on application. WPI stays true to the founding vision of Lehr und Kunst—theory and practice—by continuing to develop well-rounded engineering leaders and innovators with a deep appreciation of our complex, global society.

Our purpose-driven, project-based undergraduate curriculum instills leadership skills, technical competence, and innovative thinking. Our students gain valuable experience by participating in the freshman-level Great Problems Seminar (GPS) and junior-level Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP). These hallmark activities give unparalleled opportunities for our students to visit our 35 off-campus project centers spanning the globe to bring the social and human components to their professional vision and growth. We take great pride in doing one of the best jobs of helping women succeed in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, as noted by An undergraduate enrollment of 40 percent female engineering students—nearly twice the national average­—is a testament to our success. Innovation is the driver and a major identifier for our faculty. Research in robotics, biotechnology and materials engineering has already had major impact in a broad range of applications. New faculty joining WPI Engineering are expected to carry the innovative, use-inspired research to new levels of prominence. WPI Engineering is moving forward, and the next few years will witness an unprecedented growth of our research and innovation enterprise, building on our strong heritage as a premier technological university for engineering talent. Please enjoy learning more about WPI Engineering.

Selçuk Güçeri Bernard Gordon Dean of Engineering



INNOVATION I N MANUFACTUR I NG AND SUSTAINABILITY Manufacturing and sustainability are important components for a dynamic economy. WPI faculty are working on innovative solutions to achieve environmentally friendly manufacturing, reduce our carbon footprint, and clean our water, leading us to a sustainable future.

Diran Apelian Alcoa-Howmet Professor of Mechanical Engineering, member of the National Academy of Engineering, and director of the casting (ACRC), heat treating (CHTE), and recycling (CR3) collaboratives at WPI Diran Apelian is widely recognized for his innovative work in metal processing and for his leadership as a researcher and educator. His recent work in the development of technologies to recover and recycle materials is critically important for a sustainable future. As director, Apelian charts the course for a highly successful industryacademia collaboration dedicated to advancing the state of the art in metal processing and materials recovery and recycling industries. The three centers, under his leadership, ensure that the organization

touches on the fundamental issues of these industries: Advanced Casting Research Center (ACRC), Center for Heat Treating Excellence (CHTE), and Center for Resource Recovery & Recycling (CR3). Through these centers, WPI offers experiential educational programming to students and the workforce of member companies. For more information on Apelian and the three centers, visit;;

“If we just reduce the waste that we have presently in our buildings, our VIDEO EXTRA

cars, our plants, we will save immensely. We can’t just keep filling landfill

Apelian on recycling metals

after landfill when our mines are being depleted.” - Diran Apelian

The Center For Resource Recovery & Recycling (Cr3) Items like cell phones are a valuable mine of materials that too often head straight for our landfills. Recognizing this problem, Apelian founded the Center for Resource Recovery & Recycling I/UCRC (Industry and University Cooperative Research Center) in 2009 with funding from the NSF in partnership with two other universities—the Colorado School of Mines and Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (in Belgium). The CR3 is the nation’s first center focusing on this critical subject. The center’s goal is to develop technologies that can be transferred to industry, achieving materials sustainability through the entire life cycle of products to yield energy savings and profitability.



Yi Hua (Ed) Ma James H. Manning Professor of Chemical Engineering and director of the Center for Inorganic Membrane Studies (CIMS) Yi Hua (Ed) Ma, founder and director of the Center for Inorganic Membrane Studies, leads a team who pioneered the development of ultrathin palladium membranes for use in separating hydrogen from natural gas, coal gas, and renewable fuels. One of the WPI research team’s key innovations was developing ways to build the membranes on porous metal supports, rather than the more common ceramic supports. Their work has been funded by major awards from the Department of Energy, Shell International Exploration & Production, and Shell Hydrogen. The most recent award from the Department of Energy for $4M will enable Ma and his colleagues, professors Anthony Dixon and Nikolas Kazantzis, and research assistant professor Federico Guazzone to further their membrane research and demonstrate its applicability in hydrogen production in a pilot operation. “As the nation works to develop effective alternatives to fossil fuels, coal—which is now the source for half of all of our electricity—will remain an important fuel. This research could be an important step toward creating new technology that allows us to produce even more power from coal, but to do so in a way that is not harmful to the environment.” - Yi Hua (Ed) Ma

Jeanine Plummer Associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and director of the Environmental Engineering Program Jeanine Plummer develops statistical tools that can track the sources of potentially disease-causing microbes in watersheds, information that can help public officials take action to protect the water supply and residents who rely on it. Plummer’s tools can help sort through multiple possible sources of fecal pollution to pinpoint the probable culprits. For example, she applies a relatively new technique called fecal source tracking, which can help differentiate among a range of fecal sources, including sewage, manure, pets, and wildlife. Furnishing scientific evidence that helps point to the sources of fecal contamination can make it easier to build a case for the need for control mechanisms. “Safe drinking water is something everyone on the planet needs for quality of life.” - Jeanine Plummer

VIDEO EXTRA Plummer on creating tools to test water

Richard D. Sisson Jr., George F. Fuller Professor of Mechanical Engineering and dean of graduate studies, and Diran Apelian received $4M for a Department of the Army grant. Their team also includes senior investigators Jianyu Liang, associate professor of mechanical engineering, Makhlouf M. Makhlouf, professor of mechanical engineering, and Nikos Gatsonis, professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Aerospace Program. This project is a joint effort with Temple University and a continuation of the Cooperative Agreement between WPI and the Army Research Laboratory. The research will focus on the development, advancement and implementation of the state-of-the-art thermomechanical processing technologies to reduce the manufacturing in industries such as aircraft, automotive, and electronics.


Diana Lados Associate professor of mechanical engineering, and founder and director of the Integrative Materials Design Center (iMdc) Diana Lados’s work on increasing the use of lightweight metals in cars, trucks, airplanes, boats, and other vehicles represents a large step for economic and environmental benefits in transportation. Each 10 percent reduction in vehicle weight results in a five to eight percent increase in fuel economy along with a decrease in greenhouse gas emission. However, to increase the use of light metals requires closing a significant gap in the understanding of these metals and their susceptibility to developing fatigue cracks that can lead to their failure. With the support of a five-year $525,000 CAREER award from the National Science Foundation (NSF), Lados and her team are working on developing new methods and tools to allow designers to more accurately predict the lifespan of light metal components and metal producers to develop new alloys and processes in areas where light metals are not used extensively or to their highest potential. To accelerate verification and adoption of the developments, Lados will collaborate with the more than 20 members of WPI’s Integrative Materials Design Center, which she founded and directs. “The fundamental understanding and widespread use of light metals in transportation will reduce the weight of our vehicles, increase fuel efficiency and vehicle safety, help the environment, and allow materials producers and designers to develop and have confidence in their materials and components.” - Diana Lados Lados is joined by colleague Sonia Chernova, assistant professor of computer science and robotics engineering, in receiving the prestigious CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. Chernova received a $500,000 CAREER Award for research that will help pave the way for general purpose robots that can work effectively and productively alongside people in everyday settings.



INNOVATION IN HEALTHCARE State-of-the-art healthcare is vitally important to each of us. By working with living tissues, advanced imaging, instrumentation, and prosthetics, WPI faculty are resolving some of the most daunting problems in healthcare today. Their creativity is improving the health, comfort, and prosperity of our world.

Greg Fischer Assistant professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Automation and Interventional Medicine (AIM) Robotics Laboratory Despite numerous medical breakthroughs, doctors still have limited information available to them during a surgery. Due to the incompatibility of the MR imaging equipment with surgical equipment, physicians typically rely on preoperative data to complete a surgery, though the images are outdated when the operation occurs. Greg Fischer’s work is helping to change this. Fischer and his team have developed the robotics necessary for doctors to operate on a patient while they are in the MRI machine, providing them the real-time data they need to complete the procedure more accurately and efficiently, and to ensure the tools being used during surgery are hitting their mark.

Fischer’s work is supported by a $950,000 award as part of a National Institutes of Healthsponsored Bioengineering Research Partnership led by Brigham and Women’s Hospital for improving diagnosis and therapy of prostate cancer. The technologies developed are also being applied to neurosurgery, including improving Parkinson’s treatment and brain cancer therapy.

“MRI machines are not compatible with typical surgical equipment, so in performing a surgery, a doctor is often basing the procedure on MR images done days prior. I want to give surgeons access to real-time MR data intraoperatively, so we can have safer, more efficient procedures.” - Greg Fischer

VIDEO EXTRA Fischer on enabling technologies for MRI-guided surgical procedures

Raymond Page Assistant professor of biomedical engineering, and the Bioengineering Institute

“This research has the potential to help thousands who have suffered serious wounds, limb loss, or major medical trauma. It’s exciting to be part of a team whose work can benefit so many.” - Raymond Page

Raymond Page and a team of researchers from WPI and CellThera, a private company located in WPI’s Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center, are working to develop a new clinical therapy to treat people who suffer from major muscle trauma. Page and the team were able to regenerate functional muscle tissue in mice, taking an important step toward a vision of tissue regeneration for people. The study was part of a multi-year program funded, in part, by grants from the National Institutes of Health and DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency), to support the development of new technologies and therapies for people who suffer serious wounds and muscle tissue loss. Read more about this work in the article “Restoration of Skeletal Muscle Defects with Adult Human Cells Delivered on Fibrin Microthreads,” published in the journal Tissue Engineering Part A, November 2011, 17 (21-22): 2629-2640.



Ki Chon Professor and department head of biomedical engineering Ki Chon viewed an iPhone app that measures a user’s heart rate and saw the potential to transform the technology into something more. Chon and his team—including Yitzhak Mendelson, associate professor of biomedical engineering, and doctoral student Christopher Scully—have developed a smartphone application that can measure not only heart rate, but also heart rhythm, respiration rate, and blood oxygen saturation using the phone’s built-in video camera. The application analyzes video clips recorded while the patient’s fingertip is pressed against the lens of the phone’s camera. The new app yields vital signs as accurate as standard medical monitors now in clinical use. Chon is also applying this technology to save lives on the battlefield. U.S. combat experience has demonstrated approximately 50 percent of the deaths on the battlefield are caused by acute hemorrhage and subsequent shock. Chon and his team are focusing on developing novel physiological sensors and signal processing algorithms to provide early detection of hypovolemia and dehydration, with the hope of lowering death caused by these factors. In collaboration with colleagues at UMass Medical School, the work is being supported by a $1.9M Department of Army grant.

VIDEO EXTRA Chon on using smartphone technology to detect atrial fibrillation

“Imagine a technician in a nursing home who is able to go into a patient’s room, place the patient’s finger on the camera of a tablet, and in that one step capture all their vital signs.” - Ki Chon

WPI HEALTHCARE DELIVERY INSTITUTE See how WPI’s Healthcare Delivery Institute (HDI) is revolutionizing healthcare tools, technologies, and processes.


NSF IGERT Award Su ppo r t s WPI ’s Gra du a te Pro gra m i n Biofabrication WPI’s newly launched graduate program in biofabrication will combine interdisciplinary research, translational engineering, and industrial and international experiences—all with a focus on innovation—to prepare a new cadre of researchers who can apply use-inspired research to develop beneficial solutions for improved health and well-being. Biofabrication is a broad field that uses cells, proteins, and other biological materials as building blocks for therapies, to create scaffolds that help tissues heal, and even to regenerate tissues lost to disease or traumatic injury. The National Science Foundation will support the program through a $3M Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) grant, awarded to PI Terri Camesano and co-PIs Ki Chon, professor and department head of biomedical engineering; Kristen Billiar and Glenn Gaudette, associate professors of biomedical engineering; and Frank Hoy, Paul R. Beswick Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in the School of Business. “Using biological tools to investigate and alleviate disease is the new frontier.” - Terri Camesano

Facult y Spotlight Dirk Albrecht, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, researches in the area of microtechnology and neuroscience. After receiving his PhD at University of California-San Diego, Albrecht completed a postdoctoral fellowship at The Rockefeller University. His research included development of quantitative methods for simultaneous recording of stimulus-evoked behavior and neural responses of nematode C. elegans. Albrecht’s current research focuses on developing quantitative tools to study how neural signals govern behavior. His lab studies the molecular and genetic basis of neural circuit function and dynamics to develop bioinformatic tools to analyze high-content neural data, and to design rapid cellular and whole-organism screens for therapeutic drugs and genetic modulators affecting neural disease. Patrick Flaherty, assistant professor of biomedical engineering, researches in the area of bioinformatics, with a focus on the study of clinical genomics. After receiving his PhD at University of California-Berkeley, Flaherty completed a postdoctoral fellowship in the Biochemistry Department at Stanford University. He conducted research on detection of very rare single nucleotide variants using DNA sequencing technology. His current research includes the application of statistical machine learning methods to high-throughput genomics data in order to identify causes of human diseases and improve therapeutics.



INNOVATION IN SAF E TY AN D S EC U R I T Y Political unrest around the world, shifting economic demographics, and the ever-increasing role of the Internet in our daily lives—along with a rapid increase in the world population—threaten our personal and national security. WPI faculty are finding innovative solutions to cope with some of the biggest threats to our safety and security.

Berk Sunar Associate professor of electrical and computer engineering; director of the Cryptography and Information Security (CRIS) Laboratory

VIDEO EXTRA Sunar on securing hardware to protect from piracy

Years ago, Berk Sunar had the foresight to begin a project aimed at securing a new generation of handheld devices, for example, smartphones and other networked embedded devices, which are particularly vulnerable to attacks. In addition, the embedded device’s meager power supplies limited their ability to run the kinds of strong crypto systems that protect data in more robust computing environments. Sunar’s collaboration with WPI colleague William Martin, professor of mathematical sciences, yielded a way to make strong cryptographic primitives, the backbone of Internet security, run effectively on the kind of ultra-low power, computationally limited hardware found in sensor networks and radio frequency identification devices, used for everything from tracking inventory in warehouses to making purchases with smart credit cards. These wireless systems are already used by the military and may one day be employed in fields as diverse as environmental monitoring and healthcare. Over the past few years, Sunar has shifted his attention to newly emerging areas of concern—protecting stand-alone computing and storage devices. Media companies are often at high risk for piracy, and there is currently no good way to prevent counterfeiting.

To help address this, Sunar and a group of collaborators looked at the physical characteristics of the optical storage device and developed a technique for “fingerprinting” that creates a unique ID and cannot be easily cloned. Physical fingerprints allow the digital content to be cryptographically tied to the characteristics of the media on which it is stored, thereby providing a strong technique for copy protection. Fingerprinting-based microchip protection techniques are already deployed in high-value applications. Another critical application of fingerprinting proposed by Sunar, in collaboration with researchers from IBM Watson Research, is detection of hardware trojans in microchips manufactured overseas in trusted foundries. Most microchips, including the ones in military applications, are manufactured in foundries in Taiwan and China due to cost pressures. In recent years the U.S. Congress has become concerned with the possibility of manufacturers inserting hidden backdoors and kill switches into microchips. The work by Sunar and IBM Watson Research has introduced the first technique for trojan detection under this attack scenario. Sunar's work was recognized in 2007 with the IBM Research Pat Goldberg Best Paper award.

“As technologies advance our ability to transmit data anywhere at any time, we need to address the security issues that come with the technology to keep us, and our information, secure.” - Berk Sunar


The Precision Personnel Locator (PPL) Project: David Cyganski, professor, and James Duckworth, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering When a 1999 fire in a cold storage warehouse in Worcester claimed the lives of six firefighters, engineers at WPI decided there had to be a technological solution to the problem of firefighters becoming lost or trapped in buildings and other threats to life. Since then, with more than $7 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the National Institute of Justice, and other agencies, the Precision Personnel Locator (PPL) research team, led by David Cyganski ‘75, ‘77, ‘81 and James Duckworth, has developed a remarkable collection of groundbreaking technology that addresses hazards facing firefighters and other first responders as they perform their vital jobs. The first of these developments was a radio frequency–based system that can locate someone, in three dimensions, inside a building, where GPS is all but useless, and track their movements. Since heart attacks are the leading cause of death for firefighters, the researchers augmented the system with physiological monitoring technology, including a rugged, wireless, wearable pulse oximeter developed by Duckworth and Yitzhak Mendelson, associate professor of biomedical engineering. The location and vital signs data are displayed on a computer at the incident command station. Working in collaboration with Kathy Notarianni ‘86, ‘88, professor and head of WPI’s Department of Fire Protection Engineering, the PPL team developed a deployable sensor that can detect the imminent onset of flashover, a deadly condition in which an entire room bursts suddenly into flame. The sensor can provide adequate warning for firefighters to evacuate the space. The PPL researchers and Notarianni are now working on a sensor that can detect carbon monoxide and hydrogen cyanide, toxic gases found at fire scenes. Currently, there is no detector that will work in the extreme conditions found at the fireground for these gases, which can cause long-term health effects. Duckworth and Cyganski have also played a significant role in driving innovation and building awareness nationally for the need for firefighter technology. In 2006, they founded an annual meeting, the Precision Indoor Personnel Location & Tracking Annual International Technology Workshop, sponsored by the DHS Science and Technology Directorate. This workshop brings together researchers, government agencies, and first responders to discuss the needs for technology and track progress in research and development.



R E S E A R C H S P OT L I G H T Ali S. Rangwala Associate professor of fire protection engineering

VIDEO EXTRA Rangwala on creating tools for the fire protection field

Explosions from dust buildup have been causing countless deaths in mines, mills, factories, and storage facilities. Ali Rangwala is employing fundamental physics to understand this phenomenon, seeking to better understand and prevent cataclysms caused when dust ignites in commercial settings. Using novel small-scale experiments, and in some cases designing equipment just for his research, he is working to quantify critical parameters, such as particle size, cloud density, chemical makeup, heat release, and flame spread. This will help answer basic questions to determine the risk of explosion in different environments and establish industrial safety guidelines. In addition, Rangwala and Albert Simeoni, associate professor of fire protection engineering, are exploring methodologies to clean up oil fires in cold regions. The ice-choked seas and river crossings of the Arctic present serious technical challenges and dangers to offshore drilling, which is hard enough to do safely in warm climates. Oil spills, one of the most significant hazards associated with oil recovery, storage, and transportation, have always been analyzed and quantified based on oil spillage on water or land. The presence of ice, ice channels, and ice slurries will cause fascinating and never-before-explored changes in both the spread and burning behavior of oil. “We’re setting the safety standards to prevent industrial explosions and fires using fundamental research.” - Ali S. Rangwala

Michael Demetriou and Nikos Gatsonis, professors of aerospace engineering, received a $515,183 Air Force of Scientific Research grant. The project will use a Sensing Aerial Vehicle (SAV) to estimate the gas concentration released in the atmosphere from a moving or a stationary source. The team will develop algorithms that guide the autonomous SAV to the location of the chemical or biological source. The approach can be used for assessment of possible impact and containment, intrusion detection, and search and rescue missions in remote areas. This research will develop a new framework that integrates theoretical estimation and control with advanced computational fluid dynamics. Alex Wyglinski and Xinming Huang, associate professors of electrical and computer engineering, received $480,000 from MathWorks in support of their research efforts to advance the state of the art in software-defined radio and embedded systems. The award will support Wyglinski’s efforts with respect to the development of algorithms and architectures for exploiting “signals of opportunity” by wireless communication systems based on software-defined radio in order to support applications such as navigation and geo-location. The award will also support Huang’s research activities in the application of specialized microprocessors, such as field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs) in computationally intensive operations, such as video- and image processing, using the Simulink software package.


CARE E R Awa rd Re c i p i e n t s Join WPI Thomas Eisenbarth and Lifeng Lai Assistant professors of electrical and computer engineering Thomas Eisenbarth’s research is in the area of IT security, with a focus on the security of embedded systems and applied cryptology. Topics of special interest include embedded security design, physical security and side channel cryptanalysis, and efficient implementation of cryptographic algorithms. Colleague Lifeng Lai received his doctoral degree from The Ohio State University and joined Princeton University as a postdoctoral fellow. He started his academic career at the University of Arkansas Little Rock. His research is in the area of wireless network security, information theory, and statistical signal processing. Eisenbarth and Lai received the prestigious Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation for their cutting-edge research in their respective fields.

Nima Rahbar Assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering Nima Rahbar’s research is in the areas of applied and computational design of materials. After obtaining his PhD from Princeton University, Rahbar became an assistant professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth. His research focuses on the bioinspired design and interfacial failure of biomedical structures. During the past several years, he has been working on adhesion and interfacial fracture in multilayered structures, viscoelastic toughening mechanisms in ceramic, mechanics of biological and sustainable materials and natural fiber reinforced composites. Rahbar’s research has been presented in over 25 publications, such as the Journal of Applied Physics, Acta Biomaterialia, Journal of the Mechanical Behavior of Biomedical Materials, International Journal of Fatigue, and International Journal of Damage Mechanics. He received a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award from the National Science Foundation for his cutting-edge work.

Eisenbarth, Lai, and Rahbar are joined by colleagues John McNeill, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, Sonia Chernova, Diana Lados, and Ali Rangwala, as recipients of the prestigious CAREER Award. Read more about Chernova and Lados on page 5 and Rangwala on page 11.




GLOBAL PERSPECT IVE WPI understands some of the most important learning happens outside the boundaries of campus. You can’t be a true engineer if you don’t understand how your contribution fits into the local—and global—community.

T h e G l ob a l Pe r s p e c t ive Prog ram Sixty-five percent of last year’s graduating class completed at least one academic project off campus, and over half went overseas. Given the rigorous engineering curriculum that often ties students to their home institution for their entire academic career, this is no small feat. With project centers located across the world and regional partners in many of those areas, projects are the gateway for our students to become globally conscious engineers.

The Sur vey Say s . . . In a recent survey conducted by the UMass Donahue Institute, those WPI alumni who completed at least one off-campus project reported a stronger impact on their understanding of global issues and respect for cultures outside their own. In addition, these alumni were positively affected in their ability to function effectively on a team and manage a project. All alumni who experienced WPI’s project-focused learning—whether they completed the project on or off campus—reported that the project work enhanced their ability to take responsibility for their own learning; develop ideas; and identify, analyze, and solve problems creatively through sustained critical investigation.


Eng inee r s Without B orde r s Engineers Without Borders (EWB) is a national organization dedicated to improving the quality of life through environmentally and economically sustainable engineering solutions. In 2011, the WPI chapter of EWB completed their second trip to Guachthu’uq, in Alta Verapaz, Guatamala, where they continued their assessment of two problems: how to provide clean and accessible drinking water for the village, and how to develop a stove that will prevent smoke-induced respiratory health issues the villagers face.

Enginee ring Ambassadors The Engineering Ambassadors program is a leadership development program for underrepresented groups in the engineering profession, sponsored by United Technologies Corporation and run by WPI. In this program, WPI undergraduate engineering students complete a specially designed workshop, garnering key presentation and project management skills. The Ambassadors then put their skills to practice by participating in a number of outreach visits throughout the year, speaking to a variety of audiences on topics that excite and engage people in engineering. They cap off the year with a summer internship at United Technologies Corporation. The program is an exemplary model of student-driven academic and industry collaboration.



“The experience was amazing. Probably the most significant insight for me was that engineering doesn’t exist in a social vacuum. Any engineering solution to any problem must take into account the social, legal, and ethical dimensions of a problem, as opposed to just the technical challenges.” - Aaron Sakulich

Facult y Sp otlig ht Aaron Sakulich, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, has performed research worldwide on sustainable infrastructure materials, with a focus on alternative binders and novel composites. After receiving his PhD and spending a year as a postdoctoral researcher, Sakulich spent two years as a guest researcher at the National Institute of Standards and Technology under the National Research Council’s Research Associateship Program. His research focused on the characterization of alkali-activated slags, environmentally friendly alternative binders produced from mining waste. Part of this study was carried out at the Université Hassan II in Morocco under a Fulbright grant. During his time in Morocco, in addition to his research, Sakulich wrote and published a textbook for Moroccan Arabic grammar. Since Morocco is over 50 percent illiterate, there are very few grammar textbooks, and even fewer are in English. All proceeds from the book go to the library fund of a charity in the city of Tangier. Two editions have been published, and the book is now being translated into French. Sakulich’s research aims to develop novel composites for infrastructure applications, including cements impregnated with phase change materials, engineered cementitious composites (better known as “bendable concrete”), and systems containing lightweight aggregate. His work can be found in the ACI Materials Journal, Cement and Concrete Research, Construction and Building Materials, and others.




WOMEN AT THE FOREFRONT OF ENGINE ERING WPI does one of the best jobs in the nation of helping women succeed in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. placed WPI 9th in the nation for “The 10 Best Colleges for Females in STEM Fields,” citing WPI’s advocacy and development programs for female students, as well as programs to get girls interested in STEM fields from an early age.








M A S T E R ’ S



37% WPI’s undergraduate engineering class is 40 percent female students, nearly twice the national average of 21 percent female undergraduates pursuing an engineering degree. Including the master’s and PhD programs, female students make up 37 percent of WPI’s engineering programs.




Ter r i Camesan o, Me mb e r of E xecut ive Leade r ship in Acade mic Tec hnolog y and Eng inee r ing (ELATE) Prog ram The ELATE program is an innovative one-year, part-time fellowship designed to enhance the leadership and innovation capacity of senior women faculty in academic STEM and related fields. Institutions are invited once a year to nominate and support one to two fellows to attend this prestigious program. As part of the inaugural class for ELATE, Terri Camesano, professor of chemical engineering, attended three one-week workshops in Philadelphia, where fellows were taught sessions on personal and professional leadership effectiveness, strategic finance and resource management, organizational dynamics, and communities of leadership practice. In addition, each participant completed an Institutional Action Project—Camesano’s focused on building international collaborations at WPI.

“It was an intense and focused program that will truly help me grow as a faculty member and as a leader. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend, and meet so many inspiring women in the engineering field.” - Terri Camesano



Amy Peterson Assistant professor of chemical engineering With a focus on functional surfaces and interfaces for application in self-healing materials and materials for biomedical applications, Amy Peterson’s work has extended to modification of titanium surfaces and drug/morphogenetic factor release from these surfaces with the goal of improving osteoblast outcomes and increasing osseointegration of titanium implants used for joint

replacement. As a PhD student, she was the recipient of the prestigious NSF IGERT and NSF GRFP Fellowships. Peterson worked at the renowned Max Planck Institute in Germany as an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation research fellow prior to joining WPI.

Maria Chierichetti Assistant professor of mechanical engineering Maria Chierichetti’s work is in the field of aerospace structures, with expertise ranging from static to dynamic structural analysis and fluid-structure interaction. Her research focuses on using lattice/periodic structure in aircraft wings. Learning how to control this flexible material to bend the wing at appropriate points allows the aircraft to be more dynamic, powerful and fuel efficient. As a PhD student she worked

on integrating experimental data to increase the accuracy of a simulation. During her years as a student at Georgia Tech, she worked with students in a local middle school as part of a collaboration to bring robotics and problem-based inquiry into the 8th grade curriculum. She was a recipient of the Amelia Earhart International Fellowship.


TRANSFORMING ENGINEERING E DUCATION Whether on campus, at a global project center, or a corporate training site, WPI is transforming the way students learn. The 2,500 undergraduate and 1,000 graduate engineering students learn through innovative curriculum tailored to allow students to immediately apply their learning to a project, internship, or place of employment. WPI is creating students with technical expertise, creative mindsets, entrepreneurial spirits, and social awareness who are ready to lead.

New York Ti m e s Hi g h l i g h t s WPI ’s Su cc e s s i n Re t a i n i n g ST E M St ude nts Wi t h Proj e c t - B a s e d Le a r n i n g Project-based learning is the vehicle by which WPI ensures that theory is applied in practice. The New York Times recognized the importance of the innovative WPI project model in an article in the Education Life Section of the Sunday Times, “Why Science Majors Change Their Minds (It’s Just So Darn Hard).” Nationwide, about 40 percent of students who plan to major in engineering and science end up switching to another major, or fail to get a degree. Even students who excel in STEM courses in high school often wash out in college. So why do 74 percent of WPI undergraduates earn a bachelor’s degree in four years and 80 percent in six years? One professor described the “math-science death march” that occurs in large freshman lecture classes at other schools. WPI’s antidote was succinctly put: “Projects keep students engaged.”

WPI is educating the type of student who will look beyond the problem of how to produce more cars, and instead focus on how to produce a better car. The type of car that changes the way we think of automotive engineering. - Selçuk Güçeri, Dean of Engineering


WPI students are immersed in project-based learning from the moment they enter the door. Various projects completed throughout their academic careers help make engineering come alive for our students.

Gre a t Probl e m s S e m i n a r Students begin their project-based learning with the Great Problems Seminar (GPS). This two-course introduction to university-level research and project work focuses on themes of current global importance. Everything is tied to current events, societal problems, and human needs. Seminars include topics like Food Sustainability, Heal the World, The World’s Water, Power the World, and Educate the World. These immersive seminars get students focused on critical engineering problems and demonstrate that interdisciplinary thinking plays an important part in becoming an effective engineer. The course is capped off with a poster presentation to the community, industry, and other guests, pictured below.



Inte rac t ive Qu a l i f yi n g Proj e c t The Interactive Qualifying Project (IQP) challenges students to address a problem that lies at the intersection of science or technology with social issues and human needs. Done under the guidance of faculty advisors, with teams of two to four students drawn from all disciplines, this project enables WPI graduates to understand how their careers will affect the larger society of which they are part. Many IQP ideas come from external sponsors, while others are proposed by faculty members or students. See an example of an IQP below.

Projec t Spot l igh t Improving Water and Sanitation in Rural Namibian Communities MEET THE TEAM: Valerie Boutin, mechanical engineering Caitlin Butler, chemical engineering Samuel Kesseli, biomedical engineering Mary Clare McCorry, biomedical engineering Ingrid Shockey, advisor, assistant professor in the Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division Ulrike Brisson, advisor, assistant professor in Humanities & Arts

WHERE: Namibia, Africa

Sponsored by Desert Research Foundation of Namibia THE PROBLEM: The team’s goal was to analyze and improve water quality and sanitation on Odendaal farms in southern Namibia. They identified nitrate and coliform bacteria as the most threatening contaminants, attributed primarily to livestock near groundwater holes, and human sanitation practices such as pit latrines. THE SOLUTION: Under the guidance of professors Shockey and Brisson, the students oversaw the construction of a waterless toilet facility and a filtration system for drinking water for a Namibian family. They also educated farmers on the correlation between proper sanitation and a healthy drinking water supply. ENGAGING THE LOCAL COMMUNITY: Through interviews with farmers, meetings with local experts, and water tests, the team established a baseline with social and environmental components, organized a solution to improve water and sanitation, and piloted a dry sanitation system.



Maj or Q u a l i f y i n g Proj e c t The capstone to the WPI Engineering curriculum, the Major Qualifying Project (MQP) demonstrates application of the skills, methods and knowledge of the discipline to solve a problem engineers may encounter in their career. Some students choose to do their projects off campus—companies find MQPs a valuable sponsorship opportunity to support WPI students while gaining a fresh perspective and world-class problem-solving skills. See an example of an MQP below.

Proj ec t Sp ot l i g h t ORYX 2.0: A Planetary Exploration Mobility Platform MEET THE TEAM: Joseph Amato, robotics engineering Jon Anderson, mechanical and robotics engineering Thomas Carlone, robotics engineering Michael Fagan, liberal arts and engineering Taskin Padir, advisor, assistant professor in electrical and computer engineering Ken Stafford, advisor, director of the Robotics Resource Center

WHERE: WPI campus and NASA Johnson Space Center in Houston, Texas

“For the second year in a row, WPI has proved it is one of the premier universities in the nation when it comes to fielding a robust, reliable, innovative, and, might I say, beautiful tele-operated robot. WPI set the bar higher than any other competitor in the Robo-Ops competition.” - Pat Troutman, human exploration strategic

Sponsored by NASA’s Software Robotics and Simulation Division, JSC; National Institute of Aerospace; Maxon Precision Motors Inc.; Linemaster Switch Corporation; InterSense Inc.; MathWorks; Axis Communications; Barnstorm Cycles; Tesla Motors; and igus inc. THE PROBLEM: Space exploration requires specialized equipment capable of withstanding harsh conditions. Planetary research in particular has created high demand for surface rovers, which are costly to develop and test. As a result, space exploration remains largely the area of NASA and a few private companies. THE SOLUTION: Design, develop, and test a low-cost, ruggedized, and customizable rover to serve as a research platform for the development, testing, and validation of space exploration technology. PUTTING THEIR ROVER TO THE TEST: The team traveled to the NASA Johnson Space Center’s Rock Yard in Houston to compete in the Revolutionary Aerospace Systems Concepts Academic Linkage (RASC-AL) Exploration Robo-Ops Competition, sponsored by NASA and organized by the National Institute of Aerospace. The team took first place out of eight teams.

analysis lead at NASA Langley Research Center, Robo-Ops Steering Committee Member


Sh a pi n g Our Worl d Spot l i ghts WPI ’s Re vol u t i o n a r y Appro a c h “In the 1970s, WPI started down a path that many U.S. engineering schools are just now attempting,” writes Charles Vest, National Academy of Engineering president, in the foreword to Shaping Our World: Engineering Education for the 21st Century. Shaping Our World examines WPI’s pioneering project-based approach to engineering education. Edited by Diran Apelian, Howmet Professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Metal Processing Institute, and Grétar Tryggvason, former department head of Mechanical Engineering at WPI, the book addresses the considerable number of studies, reports, and books from the past twenty years that point to the shortcomings of engineering education. Many of these studies have focused on identifying the problem and articulating the general need, rather than outlining specific proposals on how to educate the engineer of the 21st Century. Shaping Our World seeks to change this by serving as a teaching tool or a user’s manual for engineering educators. Written by WPI faculty and alumni, and featuring a chapter by WPI president and CEO Dennis Berkey, the book describes the university’s innovative approach to technological teaching, which has been successfully teaching students and evolving over the past 40 years.

Humanit ies and Ar ts Require me nt WPI Engineering’s innovative curriculum is anchored in its Humanities and Arts requirement, completed by all WPI students and satisfied by a set of six courses of their choosing. These courses provide intellectual scope that complements the creative and humanistic demands of an engineering degree, requiring students to explore the human experience through performance, analysis, the creative process, or cultural exploration. The requirement develops students’ ability to think critically and independently about the world, and encourages them to reflect on their responsibility to others in the global community.

“Most Inte rest ing Col le ges” List Fiske Guide editor Edward Fiske, a former education editor for The New York Times, selected WPI to the 2012 list of 13 “Most Interesting Colleges,” stating, “Small, innovative, and undergraduateoriented, Worcester Polytechnic Institute is anything but a stodgy technical institute. The WPI Plan is hands-on and project-based and takes a humanistic view of engineering. Emphasizes teamwork instead of competition.”



Tran s fo rm i n g Co r p o ra te E du c a t i o n Learning is a continual process, and WPI’s Corporate and Professional Education group works hand-inhand with its corporate partners to ensure that their employees receive graduate education and skillspecific training that meets the company’s strategic needs. Because WPI takes the time to understand a company’s unique strengths and weaknesses, its customized programs empower adult learners to gain valuable knowledge that furthers their careers and helps the employer achieve business goals. Students are exposed to courses that are immediately applicable to their current jobs. The cycle of gaining information and experiencing the practicality of that learning creates an immediate positive reinforcement for both the student and the employer, thus creating more efficient engineers and more profitable corporate partners.


Spot li ght Power Systems Corporate Education The power systems industry is undergoing fundamental changes with customers seeking more reliable, safe, and environmentally friendly energy solutions. There are pressures to provide customers with these solutions while managing costs, risks, regulatory controls, and an aging engineering workforce. Many New England utilities have partnered with WPI to upgrade and enhance their staff’s engineering capabilities with the specific, advanced knowledge needed to address this challenging situation. Their executive teams and WPI’s Corporate and Professional Education group collaborated with WPI faculty to create customized curriculums that result in both graduate certificates and master of science degrees. Close to 300 engineers have already been through these programs, thus helping to enhance companies’ engineering foundations with advanced knowledge specific to the problems faced by the energy industry. These programs were delivered at multiple facilities across New England. Through these partnerships, students gained sophisticated knowledge that has helped and will continue to help them leverage their careers while delivering great value to their employers. The companies gained greater ability to deliver the goods and services required while enhancing the value of their workforce. In one specific example, a WPI student from a local New England utility company used his newly gained knowledge to work on a project that saved the utility’s customers $2 million.


WPI FACULTY, STUDE NTS , AND ALUMNI CHANGING THE WORLD Launching programs for underrepresented groups in engineering, advancing discovery in cardiovascular disease, and developing multi-touch technology are just a few of the accomplishments of WPI faculty, students, and alumni. Their outstanding leadership and amazing innovations are the pathway to change and impact in people’s lives.

Je f f re y W h i te , E l e c t r i c a l a n d Compute r Eng inee r ing Jeff White ‘84 has spent over 20 years as an investor and entrepreneur building successful businesses spanning a broad range of industries. He spent the first 16 years of his career with Hewlett-Packard in a variety of senior management positions in Enterprise Computing, the legendary Printer Group, as well as the Analytical Life Sciences business. The Life Sciences Business was eventually spun out to create Agilent Technologies—a Fortune 100 company—where White became the youngest vice president in the company: VP of software, professional services, and consumables. White eventually became a co-founder of FingerWorks, a touchpad input device provider. As chairman and CEO, White created strategic partnerships, which led to a merger with Apple. FingerWorks’ multi-touch platform became the foundation for the revolutionary iPhone, iPad, and iPod. White says, “WPI taught me to think on my feet, not to get overwhelmed just because I don’t have the answer, and more important, how to problem solve in a real-world environment. Confidence is everything in life. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one else will.”

“Fill your life with challenges and you will never feel your life is void.” - Jeffrey White


Now as president and board member for Ecospan, a bioplastics company, White works on biomaterials that can be used to make 100 percent petroleum-free bioplastics. Ecospan is blazing new trails in bringing bio-based plastics to market for durable goods such as containers, electronic casings, home goods, cosmetics, and other areas. Use of these materials means a fundamental change for the environment, and will have long-term positive impact on the planet’s ability to continually replenish itself. White is also a managing partner of Trestle Ventures, which he represents on the board of Talk Market; he also serves on the board of ET International.



Joh n Or r Re c e ive s D i s t i n g u i she d E du c a to r Awa rd


Professor of electrical and computer engineering and former WPI provost John Orr was recognized by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) with the ECE Distinguished Educator Award. Presented annually in recognition of significant contributions to ASEE and to the field of electrical and computer engineering education, the award honors excellence in the classroom, advising, and significant contributions to electrical and computer engineering education that go beyond one’s own institution. Orr has numerous accomplishments as an educator and innovator, earning recognition as a fellow of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) and ASEE. A member of the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, he is also vice president of Eta Kappa Nu (the electrical and computer engineering academic honor society), past chair of the IEEE Committee on Engineering Accreditation Activities, a past member of the IEEE’s Educational Activities Board, and past president of the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department Heads Association.


John Fav reau and Chr istophe r Scul ly Rec e ive Ame r ican Hear t Ass oc iat ion Fe l low ship Two biomedical engineering PhD students, (pictured, from left), John Favreau and Christopher Scully, were awarded the prestigious American Heart Association fellowships to pursue their research. The awards each total $44,000. Favreau’s project, “In Vivo Correlation of Intimal Hyperplasia with Circumferential Strain in the Vein Graft Wall Using a Murine Model,” studies blood vessels in the heart and periphery of the body. Using an image-based technique, he looks at strains on the walls of veins used in cardiac bypass surgery to determine if failures in those veins can be predicted. His work is the result of a collaboration between WPI and a worldrenowned vascular surgeon at Harvard Medical School/Brigham & Women’s Hospital. Scully is working on a research project, “Spatiotemporal Organization of Renal Autoregulation.” He is studying how different regions of the kidney work together to regulate blood pressure, and how the kidney protects itself from large fluctuations in blood pressure.


Camp Reac h Go es to Washington


Chrysanthe Demetry ’88, associate professor of mechanical engineering and director of WPI’s Morgan Teaching and Learning Center, traveled to Washington, DC, to receive the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics, and Engineering Mentoring on behalf of Camp Reach. The Presidential Award recognizes the crucial role that mentoring plays in the academic and personal development of students studying science and engineering, particularly those who belong to groups that are underrepresented in these fields. Camp Reach, one of several WPI K-12 programs aimed at math and science education for girls, was founded in 1997 by Demetry and the late Denise Nicoletti. Thirty girls from Massachusetts participate annually in the two-week residential program, which includes hands-on workshops, a design project for a community organization, field trips, recreational activities, and follow-up programs during the academic year.

“Through their commitment to education and innovation, these individuals and organizations are playing a crucial role in the development of our 21st century workforce. Our nation owes them a debt of gratitude for helping ensure that America remains the global leader in science and engineering for years to come.” - President Obama

Demetry also received the Professor of the Year for Massachusetts, given by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching and the Council for Advancement and Support of Education. She was one of 300 professors nominated for the Professor of the Year award program, which this year honors professors in 27 states along with four national professors of the year. This is the fifth award recognizing Demetry for her teaching skills.



Mi c h a e l D ol a n , C h e m i c a l Eng inee r ing Senior Vice President, Exxon Mobil Corporation Mike Dolan ‘75 joined Mobil Oil Corporation in 1980 at the Paulsboro, N.J., research laboratory. Over the next 20 years, he worked in a variety of engineering and managerial positions supporting Mobil’s worldwide refining and chemicals businesses. Following the Exxon and Mobil merger, Dolan became the Middle East and Africa regional director of ExxonMobil Chemical Company. More recently, he served as president of ExxonMobil Chemical Company until his appointment as senior vice president of the corporation in 2008. ExxonMobil is the world’s largest publicly traded international oil, gas, and petrochemical company. It is the world’s largest refiner and marketer of petroleum products, whose chemical company is one of the world’s largest. ExxonMobil is also a technology company, applying science and innovation to find better, safer, cleaner ways to deliver the energy the world needs. Dolan says, “WPI taught me how to work hard, to be productive and efficient with my time, and to think through problems on a system-wide level. Being well-grounded in theory, but with a practical orientation, is what makes an engineer successful in industry. Team-based work is also essential, as problems are usually multidisciplinary in the industrial environment.”

A L U M N U S Dolan is a member of the Board of the U.S.-Saudi Arabian Business Council and the U.S-China Business Council, and a former director of the American Petroleum Institute. He is on the Board of Trustees of WPI, and also served as director of the American Chemistry Council, the Society of Chemical Industry, and the Sam Houston Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

“Leadership drives culture, and culture drives behavior.” - Michael Dolan


Mar tha Cy r Leads the WPI STEM E ducat ion Ce nte r Launched in March 2012, the WPI STEM Education Center supports a national goal to address a critical shortage of educators qualified to teach math and science. Martha Cyr ’87, ‘97, professor of mechanical engineering and a nationally recognized expert on K-12 educational outreach, is the Center’s executive director. Cyr has worked to establish WPI’s K-12 STEM outreach program as one of the largest and most comprehensive in the nation since 2003. She is also part of the original development team of TeachEngineering, a widely used online resource for primary and secondary school teachers whose subject matter includes engineering.

Ju l i e B l i s s Re c e ive s Na t i o n a l Sc ie nc e Fou n d a t i o n Gra du a te Re s e a rc h Fe l low ship Julie Bliss received an award from the prestigious National Science Foundation Graduate Research Program (NSF GRFP), which supports outstanding graduate students in the STEM fields who are pursuing research-based master’s and doctoral degrees at accredited U.S. institutions. Bliss earned her BA in environmental and sustainability studies and her BS in environmental engineering and is pursuing her master’s degree in the same area. Under the


The STEM Education Center allows K-12 teachers and education leaders to learn more about opportunities for strengthening their own training so they can have a greater impact in teaching young learners the STEM disciplines. The Center focuses on three pillars, all of which are aimed at supporting and preparing the teachers in STEM fields: Licensure and Degrees, Professional Development, and Research on Teaching and Learning. For more information on the STEM Education Center, visit


guidance of John Bergendahl, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, Bliss is researching the physical and chemical characteristics of certain surfactants found in fire suppressants; determining the environmental recalcitrance of the chemical surfactants and performing treatment tests to remove the chemicals in water.



Ju d i t h Ni t sc h , P E , LE E D AP BD+C, Civil Eng inee r ing Judy Nitsch ‘75 is founding principal of Nitsch Engineering, Inc., an 80-person firm in Boston. Established in 1989, the firm has provided civil engineering, land surveying, transportation engineering, planning, sustainable site consulting, and GIS services on projects in 18 states and five countries. Nitsch says, “I look back on the non-technical classes I took at WPI—such as art appreciation at the Worcester Art Museum—and realize how they helped shape my ability to converse with nonengineers, an important strength for someone in business development. As an entrepreneur, one has to know everything from marketing and business development to finance and human resources to business planning—plus be the technical expert!” Nitsch’s work as a civil engineer has focused on the design, permitting, and management of site development and infrastructure-related projects. Much of her firm’s work includes consulting for and designing the sustainable sites aspects of green building projects. The firm’s sustainable site design for MIT’s Stata Center with Frank Gehry won a Grand Award from the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC); its University of Virginia Stormwater Master Plan won an ACEC National Engineering Excellence Honor Award and a SCUP Excellence in Landscape Architecture Award. Nitsch says of the WPI engineering graduates, “Nitsch Engineering has five WPI graduates among our civil and transportation engineering staff. They are smart, articulate, team-players, and willing to take on new challenges. I think


those are common traits among WPI grads because the projects require WPI students to venture out of their comfort zones—a place we often find ourselves when practicing our profession!” In her new role at Nitsch Engineering since stepping down as firm president in 2011, Nitsch focuses her time on special projects, client relations, and business development for the firm. In addition, she teaches educational sessions about sustainable site development. Nitsch has received many awards, including ASCE’s Parcel-Sverdrup Engineering Management Award and the Society of Women Engineers’ Entrepreneur Award. In 2011, she was named one of CE News Power List professionals for her work in the civil engineering discipline. She is a fellow of ASCE, ACEC, SWE, and SMPS, and an emerita trustee at WPI.

The Pr inc e ton Re v ie w Names WPI A Top Unive r sit y ; R anks Inst it ute 17th in the Nat ion for Caree r Se r v ic es WPI is one of the country’s best institutions for undergraduate education, according to The Princeton Review, which featured WPI in its annual edition of “The Best 376 Colleges.” WPI also placed 17th among national colleges and universities for career services.






of WPI's







engineering departments and programs ensure WPI is addressing research and education from a holistic perspective.



The Robotics Program, which was the first Robotics BS program in the country, contains faculty from the departments of mechanical engineering and electrical and











computer engineering, as well as computer science. The Architectural Engineering Program, the first in New England and one of only 17 programs nationwide, involves faculty from the departments of civil


and environmental engineering, electrical and computer engineering, fire protection engineering, humanities and arts, and mechanical engineering. All departments and programs excel in their field, solving challenging problems and educating the next generation of engineers.







Biomedical Engineering Chemical Engineering Architectural Engineering Civil Engineering Construction Project Management Environmental Engineering * Electrical and Computer Engineering Power Systems Engineering Power Systems Management * Systems Engineering Fire Protection Engineering


Aerospace Engineering

WPI is accredited as an institution by the New England Association of Schools

Manufacturing Engineering

and Colleges. In addition, the aerospace engineering, biomedical engineering,

Materials Process Engineering

chemical engineering, civil engineering, electrical and computer engineering, environmental engineering, mechanical engineering, and robotics engineering

Materials Science and Engineering

programs are accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET.

Mechanical Engineering


Robotics Engineering * Computer Science Engineering Physics Industrial Engineering Management Engineering *

interdisciplinary degrees or programs

Arts & Sciences

School of Business


BIOME DICA L E NG I NE E R I NG Biomedical engineering is continuously evolving and expanding, challenging us to educate our students in a rapidly changing environment. We educate our students through a comprehensive and interdisciplinary curriculum, which exposes them to the diverse fields within bioengineering while also focusing them on a core competency—particularly in the biological and engineering concepts underlying physiological processes. Based on principles at the intersection of engineering and biology, our curriculum begins with critical understanding of how organisms develop and respond to their environment at the cell, tissue, and organ levels, and builds toward biomedical research and development. As part of this, our students complete design projects that can be done in collaboration with other faculty at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester Medical Center, or Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts—or in the brand new WPI Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center at Gateway Park. In addition, we have active industry-sponsored projects during which students work on practical and commercially relevant design projects. Hence, our curriculum is designed to educate students through didactic learning in classrooms and applying engineering principles to solving commercial problems.

Ki Chon Department Head







Biomedical Engineering

Biomaterials/Tissue Engineering

Bioinstrumentation and Biosignal Processing

Biomedical Sensors and Bioinstrumentation

Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Biomechanics and Mechanobiology

Cardiovascular Regeneration Cardiovascular Tissue Engineering and Extracellular Matrix Biology Soft Tissue Biomechanics/Tissue Engineering



Unde r g ra du a te St u d e n t Sp ot l i g h t Jennifer Mann Biomedical engineering and mechanical engineering What have you gained from your time at WPI? The project-based curriculum at WPI has been extremely beneficial for me. I have gained a number of practical skills, such as teamwork, time management, communication/presentation skills, how to be an investigator, and how to solve real-world problems. These essential skills will follow me to graduate school and my future career. AWARDS/RECOGNITIONS


Goldwater Scholar

Violinist, String Ensemble

American Heart Association Fellowship

Tutor, Academic Resources Center

Outstanding Women Scholarship

Varsity Athlete, Cross Country and Track & Field

Two Towers Award – Honorable Mention

Peer Learning Assistant, Great Problems Seminar

Charles O. Thompson Scholar

Alpha Eta Mu Beta Biomedical Engineering Honor Society

Dean’s List

Pi Tau Sigma Mechanical Engineering Honor Society Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honor Society

“I like being around like-minded students and professors, passionate about science and engineering. Also, many of my professors genuinely care about their students—they are eager to help students thrive in their academic and career endeavors.” - Jennifer Mann


“Do not take the road everyone else takes, for it will only get you stuck in traffic.” - Harry Wotton

Al u m n i Sp ot l i g h t Harry Wotton BS, mechanical engineering with biomedical engineering; MS, biomedical engineering Harry Wotton ‘94, ‘96 knows what it means to think outside the proverbial box. “WPI taught me not to think traditionally. The solution isn’t always what you think it should be—most of my designs are based on thinking in a creative, limitless way. WPI showed me how to be a visionary!” After graduating from WPI, Wotton began his company SECUROS based on his Major Qualifying Project. He grew the company for 10 years, then sold it to a large publicly traded company. After serving on the board for five years, he left to pursue other opportunities. Now, as the chairman of Everost Inc., he offers consultation in orthopedic device design and business strategies. “Biomedical engineering is such an eye-opening field. It introduced me to many areas of biomedical expertise and helped me fine-tune my professional goals. I learned there are few professions that can put surgeons on their heels—biomedical engineering is one of them!”

In addition to his role at Everost, Wotton is president and CEO of VitaThreads, a start-up company formed to bring a new WPI technology for an innovative fibrin microthread device to market. "Being part of VitaThreads, I realize the enormous amount of knowledge that surrounds me. I am able to get answers and solutions to complex problems immediately, simply by walking through the halls."



“This project taught me that simple ideas can come together to solve more complex problems, and that interdisciplinary skills can create a unified design. Every student from this project had a unique major, and it was from this collective range of experiences—working through common engineering convention—that this design came together to make this project possible.” - Carlos Martinez Luna

Proj e c t Sp ot lig ht Rehabilitative Robotic Glove Major Qualifying Project ABOUT THE PROJECT: This project developed a working prototype of a rehabilitative robotic glove aimed at recovery of motor function and hand strength after a stroke. The design incorporates a motorized cable system, which actuates the fingers of the user via assistive tensile force for both extension and flexion. MEET THE TEAM: The team included students Michael A. Delph II, robotics engineering, Sarah A. Fischer, electrical and computer engineering, Philip W. Gauthier, mechanical engineering, and Carlos H. Martinez Luna, biomedical engineering.

cables glove Bowden system


guides servomotors

MEET THE ADVISORS: The project was advised by Greg Fischer, assistant professor of mechanical engineering, and Edward Clancy, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering.


CHEMICAL E NG I NE E RI NG These are exciting times for Chemical Engineering at WPI. We are experiencing unprecedented growth in our undergraduate program, manifested in record high enrollments. The nation needs chemical engineers who understand the challenges facing our global society and how society, culture, and technology are interconnected. More than 80 percent of our students have a global experience, and all of our students benefit from our awardwinning, project-based educational system. They learn how to deal with complex, open-ended, real-world problems while working with people from diverse backgrounds, and gain professional skills that go beyond a standard technical education. This unique training places our students in high demand. Graduates occupy high-level positions in diverse companies such as ExxonMobil, Estee Lauder, Air Products, Starbucks, and even the entertainment industry. Our faculty perform cutting-edge research in areas such as bioscience, energy, advanced materials, and computational analysis. Several are Fellows in AIChE and ASEE, have won AIChE Institute Awards, and have been honored externally for the quality of their work. We are moving forward on our ambitious plan to grow the research program, increase the faculty numbers by 50 percent, and double the size of the graduate student population in five years. We are building on a longstanding base of internationally recognized work and adding faculty who are the best in their field, while retaining our supportive community that provides a high degree of positive interaction among faculty and students at all levels. The Chemical Engineering Department is a group of people dedicated to providing the best education for our students and performing high-quality scholarship. Such a combination is unique in higher education. We invite you to check us out online, but better yet, visit the campus and meet us in person.

David DiBiasio Department Head




CENTERS AND LABORATORIES Adsorption and Diffusion Laboratory Bacterial Adhesion and Interaction Forces Laboratory

Center for Inorganic Membrane Studies (CIMS)

Bioengineering Institute Center for Biomaterials

Fuel Cell Center (FCC)

Bioengineering Institute Center for Water Research

Fuel Cell Laboratory

Biological Interaction Forces Laboratory

Heat and Mass Transfer Laboratory

Catalyst and Reaction Engineering Laboratory

Zeolite Crystallization Laboratory



Unde r g ra du a te St u d e n t Sp ot l i g h t Jennifer Moutinho Chemical engineering What’s the best project or activity you’ve been involved in at WPI? Engineers Without Borders has a mission to support sustainable engineering projects developing long-term relationships with international communities. Our project in Guatemala is working with a community to implement a rainwater harvesting systems to increase water quantity and quality. I enjoy being part of this project because I’m making a difference immediately, just as the WPI motto [Theory and Practice] encourages. INTERNATIONAL EXPERIENCE




University of Virginia

Engineers Without Borders


University of Colorado Boulder


WPI’s Global Perspective Program has offered me the opportunity to live in a culture drastically different from my own and to think in a new way. It’s important in this globalized world to consider options across different cultures and customs. Living in Thailand for two months was an experience I will never forget, and it will continue to benefit me as I interact with individuals from all different backgrounds. - Jennifer Moutinho

Fa c u l t y Sp ot l i g h t Michael Timko Assistant professor of chemical engineering Michael Timko has enjoyed a broad range of experience in green chemistry. His research has focused on the use of high-temperature water for conversion of biorenewables to fuels and chemicals; the use of biphasic systems containing water and liquid carbon dioxide for green chemistry applications; and user heated, pressurized water for crude oil upgrading and heteroatom removal. After receiving his PhD, Timko spent time working with Nobel Laureate Dudley Herschback’s chemical physics group at Harvard University, and held positions as principal chemical engineer at Aerodyne Research Inc., and as a research engineer at MIT Laboratory, where he was the executive director of the Fuels Desulfurization Laboratory.


Al u m n i Sp ot l i g ht Lise Jorgensen BS, chemical engineering Lise Jorgensen '87 (pictured, at left), vice president of Global Corporate Innovation for The Estée Lauder Companies, has drawn inspiration from all aspects of life—nature, medicine, folkloric—to launch and direct development of more than 200 new projects since joining Estée Lauder in 2001. Jorgensen’s ability to relate to the consumer, and her forward-thinking approach to the Skincare and Make-up categories, have led her to continually identify breakthrough scientific platforms. Many have the potential to fundamentally transform the skincare industry in the coming decades. “Teamwork and collaboration is important if you want to be successful. Nothing is ever accomplished alone, and the best solution is never just one person’s solution,” explains Jorgensen. It’s not surprising, then, that Jorgensen led the integration of open innovation in Estée Lauder. “What started out as a team-building opportunity quickly grew into a grassroots corporate initiative. This collaboration platform gives every employee the opportunity to have a ‘voice’ to help solve some of our corporation’s biggest strategic problems.” Prior to joining Estée Lauder, Jorgensen held esteemed product development and R&D positions at Bristol-Myers Squibb, Clairol, and Procter & Gamble. Jorgensen gives a share of credit for her success to WPI. “The chemical engineering program at WPI played a special role in helping to establish the foundation of the same skill sets I rely on every day. The program taught me how to see the big picture and to link technology to help solve real-world consumer and business problems.”

“Be inspired every day.” - Lise Jorgensen



“We’ve found that cranberry juice cocktail is also effective against other types of bacteria, besides just ones that cause urinary tract infections. This means there are going to be other types of conditions that can be prevented or treated with this therapy.” - Terri Camesano

Res earc h Sp ot l i g h t Terri Camesano Professor of chemical engineering about the research : Terri Camesano’s research tries to understand how we can use cranberry juice to fight urinary tract infection. Her lab explores the mechanisms that the virulent form of E. coli bacteria, the primary cause of most urinary tract infections (UTIs) in people, uses to form biofilms. This strain of E. coli is covered with small hair-like projections, known as fimbriae, that act like hooks and latch onto cells that line the urinary tract. When enough of the virulent bacteria adhere to cells, they form a biofilm and cause an infection. Previous work by Camesano’s lab has shown that exposure to cranberry juice causes the fimbriae on E. coli to curl up, reducing their ability to attach to urinary tract cells. In newer work, Camesano’s team incubated two different strains of E. coli in the presence of two different mixtures of commercially available cranberry juice cocktail. They also incubated the bacteria separately in the presence of proanthocyanidins, or PACs, but not juice. While the juice cultures completely prevented biofilm formation, the PACs showed only limited ability to reduce biofilm formation, and only after extended exposure to the E. coli. Camesano’s work is supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the National Science Foundation, the Cranberry Institute, and the Wisconsin Cranberry Board.

VIDEO EXTRA Camesano on fighting infection with cranberry juice


CIVIL AND ENVI R O N M E NTAL ENGI NEERING Civil, environmental, and architectural engineers do great things for our society. They are responsible for the infrastructure that transports goods and people; the buildings that we live, work, and recreate in; the technologies to deliver safe drinking water, manage waste, and remediate hazards; and the systems that protect us against natural disasters. Our faculty are involved in all this and more. In addition, our faculty are recognized for teaching and research excellence. At WPI, our students think critically, conduct independent research, work in a collaborative environment, and solve challenging problems. We offer vibrant programs—including a new degree in architectural engineering—a flexible, project-based curriculum, and global project opportunities. Our seniors complete a real-world design project, such as designing WPI’s new recreational building, using dispersants for managing crude oil spills, or building a net-zero solar-powered house as part of the International Solar Decathlon competition in China. After graduation, our students pursue professional careers in consulting and industry, graduate school, and more. We invite you to explore our offerings and visit us in person.

Tahar El-Korchi Department Head

DEGREES OFFERED Architectural Engineering Civil Engineering Construction Project Management Environmental Engineering












* (interdisciplinary degree)



Civil Engineering Construction Engineering and Project Management Environmental Engineering Structural and Geotechnical Engineering Transportation Engineering Urban and Environmental Planning

Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering Environmental Engineering Master of Engineering in Civil Engineering Environmental Engineering Master Builder



Unde r g ra du a te St u d e n t Sp ot l i g h t Lindsey Miller Civil engineering What’s the most important thing WPI has taught you? The most important thing would be the ability and skill to ask pertinent questions. With this skill I am able to work on any project, report, or design and see progress and results, no matter the level of difficulty. AWARDS/RECOGNITIONS Frank D. DeFalco Award (WPI) Stephen Phillips Memorial Scholarship Eastern Bank Dennis & Marion Mavrogenis Scholarship Trust (Engineering)

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES American Society of Civil Engineers (President and Captain of Concrete Canoe Team) Alpha Gamma Delta sorority (Membership Coordinator) Crimson Key Tour Guide Deutsch Klub

“As a member of WPI, the sense of community is incredible. The lasting friendships I’ve made will be with me always. It makes me proud to be a WPI student when someone asks where I go to school.” - Lindsey Miller

CENTERS AND LABORATORIES Fuller Environmental Laboratory Geo/Water Resources Laboratory Materials/Structural Laboratory Pavement Research Laboratory Structural Mechanics Impact Laboratory


Proj ec t Sp ot l i g h t Development of 32 Prescott Street at Gateway Park Major Qualifying Project MEET THE TEAM: The team included civil engineering students Michael O’Brien, Jodi-Lee Smith, and Ryan Worsman. The project was advised by Len Albano, associate professor of civil and environmental engineering, and Suzanne LePage, instructor of civil and environmental engineering. This project was sponsored by Worcester Business Development Corporation.

THE SOLUTION: The project team investigated, designed, and analyzed a proposed mixed-use development at Gateway Park. The project presented a functional layout and floor plans, a structural analysis, an evaluation of the impact on existing traffic and parking conditions, an overview of obtaining Gold LEED certification, and a cost estimate.

THE PROBLEM: Gateway Park is an extension of WPI’s main campus and acts as a mixed-use complex for the life sciences and biotechnology departments and companies, WPI’s School of Business, and Fire Protection Engineering, with plans to build an additional residence hall. The uses of this area are multipurpose, to say the least, and challenging, from a civil engineering perspective to accommodate them.

“The experience gained through this project was unparalleled and it diversified my understanding of group work. WPI’s project-based curriculum is something I have grown to love in my four years at WPI, and I wouldn’t trade the education I received for any other.” - Ryan Worsman



Al u m n i Sp ot l i g h t Edward M. D’Alba, PE BS, civil engineering MS, civil engineering/urban studies (University of Pennsylvania) “No matter how challenging the chore— like Chem 101—or important the race —like the City Championships on Lake Quinsigamond—set a realistic goal and go for it. Win or lose, knowing you gave it your all is the best outcome and sets you up to take on the next challenge, which always lies ahead," advises Ed D’Alba ‘73, president and chief executive officer of Urban Engineers. “WPI challenged us all, which built character and taught us tenacity, the backbone of every successful career.” And D’Alba has had an extremely successful career. Urban is composed of a growing group of related companies with major offices across the east coast and in Texas. The firm has more than 450 employees and offers an extensive scope of planning, engineering, construction management, and environmental services to a broad range of public and private clients. Under D’Alba’s leadership, Urban has grown and is consistently ranked by Engineering News-Record as one of the top 500 Engineering Firms for Design, and among the top 100 firms for Construction Management.

As president of Urban, D’Alba works extensively with political and governmental leaders and holds leadership positions in professional, business, and civic groups with a common goal of promoting controlled growth and meaningful investment in the built environment. He is called upon often to speak on issues of regional and national concern and is proactive in helping to shape public policy to maintain and enhance both public and private investments. D’Alba credits WPI with helping him take on this difficult role. “Nothing in life is just a calculation. The WPI education teaches that.”

“Stay healthy and informed—the most important people in your life depend on that.” - Edward M. D’Alba


ELECTRICAL AND COMPUTER E NG I NE E R I NG The Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE) Department is internationally recognized for excellence in education and scholarship. The department prides itself in graduating some of the most talented and well-prepared engineers and researchers in the world. Students enjoy an innovative inspiring curriculum that highly motivates them to challenge their limits of understanding and achievement. Our ECE alumni hold critical positions in industry, national laboratories, and faculty positions around the world. Highlighted by numerous awards for excellence in research and education, including six NSF CAREER Awards, one DARPA Young Faculty Award, and seven Board of Trustees’ Awards for outstanding teaching, the ECE faculty lead several vigorous research programs spanning a broad spectrum of research areas, such as microelectronics and embedded systems, signal processing, wireless and communication systems, data security, power systems, biotechnology, and nanotechnology. The research conducted in the ECE Department is highly interdisciplinary and seeks revolutionary approaches to solving many of the critical problems facing our society. Our department cordially invites you to visit us.

Yehia Massoud Department Head

DEGREES OFFERED Electrical and Computer Engineering Power Systems Engineering Power Systems Management Systems Engineering







Biomedical Signal Processing and Systems



Digital Systems and Design Electronic Design


Power Electronics and Systems


* (interdisciplinary degree)

Signals and Systems


Other focus areas are possible, but typical concentrations in electrical and computer engineering are listed here.



“I think a unique quality of WPI is how the curriculum focuses more on hands-on experience than just learning the theory behind these systems. Practicing what we learn gives us the hang of coming up with solutions if our circuits do not function the way they are intended to. Hence, it is the combination of theory and practice that makes me feel proud to be a member of the WPI ECE community.” - Umair Khan v

Gra du a te St ude nt Sp otlig ht Umair Khan PhD candidate, electrical and computer engineering WHAT DREW YOU TO WPI TO PURSUE YOUR PHD? When I was an undergrad student, I subscribed to a weekly newsletter that featured the most interesting publications in the field of wireless networks. I couldn’t help but notice that most of these papers were either from or cited the Center for Wireless Information Networks (CWINS) at WPI. I researched it, and found out that the director of CWINS, Professor Kaveh Pahlavan, was one of the founding fathers of the wireless LAN technology. It was then that I decided I would do my graduate research at WPI's CWINS. AWARDS/RECOGNITIONS IEEE Community Service Award for Graduate Students HKN Outstanding Teaching Assistant Award

EXTRACURRICULAR ACTIVITIES Guitarist; performed at various WPI events, including Diya (organized by the Indian Student Organization) and IEEE Spark Party (annual event organized by the WPI IEEE chapter and the ECE department)

CENTERS AND LABORATORIES Adaptive Signal Processing and Emerging Communication Technologies Laboratory

Center for Wireless Information Network Studies

RF-Electronics and Medical Imaging Laboratory

Cryptography and Information Security Laboratory

Robotics and Intelligent Vehicles Research Laboratory

Analog and Mixed Signal Microelectronics Laboratory

Embedded Computing Laboratory

Antenna Laboratory

Laboratory for Sensory and Physiologic Signal Processing

Signal Processing and Information Networking Laboratory

Center for Advanced, Integrated, Radio Navigation (CAIRN)

Precision Personnel Locator Project

Ultrasound Research Laboratory Wireless Innovation Laboratory


Res earc h Spotlig ht Reinhold Ludwig Professor of electrical and computer engineering and director of the Center for Imaging and Sensing Reinhold Ludwig designs radiofrequency (RF) coils and electronics instrumentation for Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), along with Gene Bogdanov, research assistant professor, and PhD student Sasidhar Tadanki. In MRI, a combination of a powerful magnetic fields produced by an arrangement of electromagnetic coils are exploited to obtain voltages from the stimulated hydrogen nuclei in the human body; these signal responses are processed to form highly detailed anatomical images. The coils designed by Ludwig and his team target the generation of high resolution localized images in order to enhance the capability of existing MRI instruments. With a particular emphasis on breast cancer, Ludwig developed and patented an anatomically shaped breast coil array configuration that receives the electromagnetic field just from the female breast and its surrounding tissues. When his two coils are interfaced into standard clinical MRI scanners, they can simultaneously create high-resolution images of both breasts, along with the underarm lymph nodes. These regions are not typically visible in standard mammogram images, but need to be checked for the possible spread of cancer.

“If you can diagnose the early onset of cancer, you can be more successful with the treatment. You get personally involved. It’s not enhancing a missile control system. It’s enhancing a person’s life.” - Reinhold Ludwig



Alumni Spot l i g h t Thomas Arseneault BS, MS, electrical and computer engineering, MBA (Boston University) Tom Arseneault ‘85, ‘87 is the executive vice president of the Product Sectors and chief technology officer for BAE Systems Inc., and a member of the Executive Committee of BAE Systems plc. Arseneault describes how that technical curiosity from childhood is still fulfilled to this day. “At BAE Systems, we’re applying technology from the depths of the ocean to the far reaches of space and at just about every altitude in between. Whether it’s sonar systems for submarines or the microprocessor brains of the Mars rover, there is no shortage of opportunity for curiosity, know-how, and practice.” As executive vice president, Arseneault oversees the performance of the Product Sectors, which employ approximately 23,200 people on a global basis and have major operations in the U.S., Israel, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden, Turkey, and the United Kingdom. Teamwork is no small part of Arseneault’s job. “I learned many things at WPI, but probably the most foundational was the importance of teamwork. The project-based nature of the WPI Plan demonstrated that people skills and the ability to collaborate can be just as critical as technical expertise when it comes to getting results.” And like most WPI engineers, Arseneault and his employer have a deep sense of social responsibility. “At this very moment there are men and women of our armed forces and those of our allies, who find themselves in harm’s way. The work they do defends the freedoms we often take for granted. At BAE Systems, the work we do brings engineering and technology to bear to make sure those men and women are able to get their jobs done and come home safely. So it comes as no surprise that our motto and mission is We Protect Those Who Protect UsTM.”

“As a kid, I’d always loved taking things apart to figure out how they worked. Of course, sometimes I couldn’t get them back together... It was that deep technical curiosity that led me to the field of engineering and ultimately to WPI.” - Thomas Arseneault


FIRE PROTECTION E NGI NE E R I NG We have been busy building the bridge to the future for WPI’s Fire Protection Engineering (FPE) Department. In the past five years we have seen much growth in our student body, educational offerings, PhD program, sponsored research and scholarship, and teaching of design practice. Our research and teaching horizons have expanded in both the built environment and the wild land fire area. One of only two fire protection engineering programs in the country and the only U.S. program that offers a PhD, the department has become a thriving, internationally vibrant melting pot of academic disciplines. Since the department focuses on a major challenge facing all of society rather than on a specific technical area, our team comprises degree candidates and faculty from diverse fields including mechanical, civil, chemical, electrical, environmental, and robotic engineering, along with backgrounds in physics, chemistry, math, computer science, architecture, the social sciences, and others. Our department offers graduate degrees earned on-campus, via synchronous learning, or in blended format, serving as a model for future graduate programs across the globe and across many cultures. Our multinational graduates, coming to WPI from more than 40 nations to date, assume high-level leadership positions in the development of fire-safety design, practice, codes and standards, and academia. After much planning, fundraising, and design, our facilities include a fundamentals and a performance engineering laboratory. With these facilities, the bridge to the future is complete and WPI fire protection engineering is poised to walk across to a greatly expanded program of research and to deeper and broader collaboration with industry.

Kathy Notarianni ‘86, ‘88 Department Head





Technologies for the Fire Service

Combustion Laboratory

Fire and Materials

Wildland Fires

Fire Engineering Laboratory

Computer Fire Modeling Industrial Fire Protection Risk and Building Regulatory Policy

Fire Science Laboratory Fundamental Laboratory



Gradua te St u d e n t Sp ot l i g h t Jeff Rosen MS student, fire protection engineering Tell us about your experience working for the NASA Glenn Research Center. I conducted preliminary research for Advanced Combustion via Microgravity Experiments (ACME) prior to International Space Station (ISS) testing and studied Electric-Field Effects of Laminar Diffusion (E-FIELD) on hydrocarbon flames. I actually created a program that recreated flame models from high-definition video from each test, allowing for visualization of the effect of different strength electric fields. What have you learned at WPI that you’ll carry into your career? WPI has taught me many things, but one of the most important is time management. Being able to get through a seven-week term and meet project deadlines requires you to sharpen your time management skills.



Second place from Chemical Engineering

WPI Varsity Track and Field Team

Department and honorable mention from

Vicechair for the American Society for

Mechanical Engineering Department for Fire Protection Major Qualifying Project Undergraduate Student Research Program Intern at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio

Mechanical Engineers

“My favorite thing about WPI is the professors. All of the professors at WPI have a passion for educating their students.” - Jeff Rosen


“At WPI you do not learn inside a vacuum, it is a dynamic environment where students are encouraged to connect what they learn with their surroundings.” - Kristin Jamison

Alumni Sp otlig ht Kristin Jamison BS, mechanical engineering, MS, fire protection engineering As an advanced research engineer within the Large-Scale Fires group in the Fire Hazards and Protection area of Research at FM Global, Kristin Jamison ‘04, ‘07 follows her motto “Live to Learn, Learn to Live” by continuing to advance and learn in her career. “After completing my bachelor’s at WPI, I started my career with FM Global working as a research technician and then an associate engineer at our Research Campus. The knowledge I gained while completing my master’s degree in Fire Protection Engineering qualified me for a position as an FM Global Research Engineer—it also gave me the confidence I had the skills to pursue it.” Jamison’s technical background includes fire protection research, fire dynamics, test instrumentation, and fire testing. She is a member of the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), among other professional societies, and has made presentations at multiple Fire Protection conferences. She explains, “WPI has a consistent history of successful alumni; they instill knowledge, ethics, and problem solving skills that help propel alumni into positions that enable them to make meaningful contributions to their communities and society in general.” Jamison is an avid motorcyclist. She is on the Board of the Rhode Island Motorcycle Association (RIMA) and a member of the Motorcycle Riders Foundation (MRF). In her spare time, she enjoys reading on a wide range of topics, from poetry to new scientific advancements.


Fi re Prote c t i o n La b o ra to r y Fac ilit ies At more than 3,500 square feet, the WPI Fire Protection Laboratory—including a Fundamentals Laboratory and an Engineering Laboratory—allows space for industrycentric projects and research. Sponsored by Honeywell, the core capabilities of the Fundamentals Lab include the Cone Calorimeter, the Fire Propagation Apparatus, differential scanning calorimeter, and thermogravimetric analysis. The Engineering Lab’s core capabilities are based on a 6m calorimeter hood that is rated for 3 MW fires. The space under the hood allows for a wide range of full-scale experiments to be conducted for the built and wild land environments. The Engineering Lab is sponsored by UL.



MECHA NI CAL E NGI NE E R I NG The Mechanical Engineering Department at WPI recognizes that the world is changing and our students need to be prepared to meet future global challenges. We strive to make our curriculum and research activities competitive to set us on a course to compete with the nation’s top programs. With a focus on scholarship and research, the ME department offers programs in mechanical, materials, aerospace, and manufacturing engineering. The collaborative environment allows students to work closely with faculty on projects and research. As they pursue their degrees, students are challenged academically and supported by their advisors, peers, and the entire WPI community. The ME student body has experienced tremendous growth in the last five years at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. One out of every four students who graduated from WPI last year received a degree from ME. Students’ solid foundation in the engineering sciences—along with practical, problem-solving skills—gives them an edge in their careers and in developing solutions for real-world issues.

Jamal S. Yagoobi George I. Alden Professor and Department Head

DEGREES OFFERED Aerospace Engineering Manufacturing Engineering Materials Process Engineering Materials Science and Engineering Mechanical Engineering











Mechanical Engineering Aeronautics Astronautics Biomechanical Engineering Mechanics Manufacturing Materials Science and Engineering

Mechanical Design Robotics Thermal-Fluid Engineering



Unde r g ra du a te St u d e n t Sp ot l i g h t Hannah McCallum Aerospace and mechanical engineering with a concentration in thermo-fluids WHAT’S THE BEST PROJECT OR ACTIVITY YOU’VE BEEN INVOLVED IN AT WPI? I joined a program called Engineering Ambassadors that gives me the opportunity to go out in the Worcester community and present engineering-related topics to middle school students. I first got into engineering because college students visited my high school and helped us with engineering projects. Through Engineering Ambassadors, I now have the opportunity to express my passion for engineering and show students how amazing it is. AWARDS/RECOGNITIONS:


Charles O. Thompson Scholar

Engineering Ambassadors Cross Country Track Tau Beta Pi Honor Society

“The most important thing WPI taught me is how to ask questions–not just asking “how” or “why” but to be specific. I now ask about what I don’t understand until I can narrow the topic down to one or two key points, which usually helps me solve the problem.” - Hannah McCallum

CENTERS AND LABORATORIES Advanced Casting Research Center

Computational Fluid & Plasma Dynamics Laboratory

Manufacturing Laboratory

Advanced Heat Transfer Laboratory

Computer-Aided Manufacturing Laboratory (CAMLAB)

Materials Science and Engineering Laboratories

Aerodynamics Test Facility

CubeSat Ground Operations Room

Metal Processing Institute (MPI)

Aerospace MQP Laboratory

Electrochemical Energy Laboratory

Nanofabrication and Nanomanufacturing Laboratory

Assistive Technology Resource Center

Fluid & Plasma Dynamics Laboratory

Robotics Laboratory

Automation and Interventional Medicine Robotics Laboratory

Fluid Dynamics Laboratory

Scanning Electron Microscope Laboratory (SEM)

Gas Turbine Laboratory

Structural Vibrations Laboratory

Center for Advanced Abrasive Processes

Haas Technical Center

Surface Metrology Laboratory

Center for Comparative Neuroimaging (CCNI)

Healthcare Delivery Institute (HDI)

Transmission Electron Microscope Laboratory (TEM)

Center for Heat Treating Excellence

Integrative Materials Design Center

Vacuum Test Facility

Center for Holographic Studies and Micro Mechatronics

Intelligent Systems Laboratory

X-Ray Diffraction Laboratory

Center for Resource Recover and Recycling

Manufacturing Control and Dynamics Laboratory


Proj e c t Sp ot l i g h t Design of a Micro Class Aircraft for the SAE Aero Design East Competition Major Qualifying Project

MEET THE TEAM: Team members Ethan Connors, Paul Crosby, Keegan Mehrtens, Carlos Sarria-Pardo, aerospace engineering, James Blair and David Irwin, mechanical engineering, were advised by David J. Olinger, associate professor of mechanical engineering, and Simon Evans, assistant professor of mechanical engineering. The team was supported by AIAA New England Chapter and the Massachusetts Space Grant Consortium. THE PROBLEM: The WPI team “Goat Works” competed in the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) Aero Design® East, where they were challenged to build and successfully fly a small micro-aircraft designed to lift the most payload weight with the lightest aircraft. This is an international competition, where countries and world-class organizations, such as Lockheed Martin, SAE International, Autodesk, and FAI Materials, are represented and compete. THE SOLUTION: The team traveled to Ball Ground, Ga., to compete in the Mico-Aircraft Class and successfully completed the challenge, finishing sixth out of 26 teams.

“We were able to learn and execute every step of the aircraft design process, from conception to construction to flight. It was exactly what we came to WPI to learn.” - Keegan Mehrtens



Alumni Sp ot l i g h t Scott Harris BS, mechanical engineering Scott Harris ‘82 has worked in engineering and design automation software development since the early 1980s. As a co-founder of SolidWorks Corporation and previous vice president of the New Product Concepts Group, Harris led the team developing products and prototypes that pushed the boundaries of user-interface, surface representations and modeling metaphors. Early on at SolidWorks, Harris was responsible for ensuring that the software product met the needs of the users, resulting in one of the most innovative and successful CAD products ever created. Harris comments, “It is not enough to learn the technical aspect of engineering. Today’s engineers must see and appreciate the whole system in order to make better design or technical solutions.” To this end, Harris has helped to drive engineering education forward. After retiring from Solidworks in 2008, he turned his focus to community service, promoting education, engineering, and entrepreneurism in New England and the developing country of Rwanda. Harris now spends much of his time mentoring engineering and design students at the Olin College of Engineering. He is also an active board member of CMSART, a search & rescue team working throughout New England. Harris also helped establish a small company in Rwanda called Gasabo 3D, which specializes in translating 2D blue prints to 3D CAD models. The company provides a career pathway for students from the ETO trade school system and the Kigali Institute for Science and Technology.

“Anything worth doing is worth overdoing. Life is too short not to pursue your interests and passions.” - Scott Harris


ROBOTI CS E NG I NEE R I NG WPI is renowned for being first in the nation to offer a BS program in robotics engineering, first to offer BS, MS, and PhD programs at the same time, and first (and only) with a five-year combined BS/MS. WPI is setting the bar in the robotics field, with an innovative curriculum, awardwinning undergraduate projects, and research funded by NASA, NSF, NIH, DARPA, and industry. In the span of six years, our program has grown from one lab, one course, and no majors to 11 labs and 17 courses. Our program boasts over 50 graduate students and over 200 undergraduates. The result of this dedication is graduates—armed with a practical, well-rounded education—ready to take on real-world challenges to make the world healthier, safer, and happier. Our students have internships and hold positions with companies such as iRobot, Willow Garage, MITRE Corp, Bose, General Dynamics, Lincoln Lab, Bluefin Robotics, Kiva Systems, and Symbotic, and pursue graduate schools including CMU, Cornell, MIT, and, of course, WPI!

Michael Gennert Program Head




CENTERS AND LABORATORIES Automation and Interventional Medicine (AIM) Lab

Robot Autonomy and Interactive Learning (RAIL) Lab

Autonomous Robotic Collaboration (ARC) Lab

Robotics and Intelligent Vehicle Research (RIVeR) Lab

Center for Advanced Integrated Radio Navigation (CAIRN) Lab

Robotics Engineering Teaching Lab

Haas Technical Education Center

Sensitive Robotics Lab

Interaction Lab

Stinger Lab

Robotics Resources Center



Unde r g ra du a te St u d e n t Sp ot l i g h t Jonathan Dorich Robotics engineering and electrical and computer engineering How have the faculty positively impacted your success as a student? The best experience I have had with a faculty member was in Professor Sergey Makarov’s classroom. During lecture, it was impossible to not stay focused because he was so enthusiastic about the material. He was extremely helpful by showing up at every three-hour lab and holding a help session before every test. And during lab, he would make sure every student understood how to do the lab. AWARDS/RECOGNITIONS:


Charles O. Thompson Scholar

Recording Club IEEE Concert Band Robo-Ops (Team Oryx) Engineers Without Borders Dorich was a Boy Scout and an Eagle Scout. Dorich is pictured above on a Boy Scout winter hiking trip in New Hampshire.

“The best part of WPI is the many opportunities for success and growth that are available to each student. From the programs the Career Development Center offers, to the IGSD international projects, to all the clubs and groups that students can thrive in, there is something for every student.” - Jonathan Dorich

Fa c u l t y Sp ot l i g h t Çagdaş Denizel Önal Assistant professor of mechanical engineering Çagnaş Denizel Önal’s research interest is in the area of building unconventional systems and components to push the envelope in robotics research. His plan is to proceed with his research in four main tracks: soft robotics, printable robotics, control theory and micro/nano-science, and technology. After receiving his PhD from Carnegie Mellon, he accepted a postdoctoral fellowship at MIT in the Distributed Robotics Lab in CSAIL. He worked on unconventional approaches to robotics, including fluidic and shape memory actuation of soft materials or mechanisms. This includes the area of micro-nano-robotics and manipulation. Önal’s publications have appeared in IEEE journals, such as IEEE/ASME Transactions on Mechatronics, IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology, and the International Journal of Robotics Research. He is a member of IEEE.


Proj ec t Sp ot l i g h t Robotic Kayak: Multiple Autonomous Surface Vehicle Project Major Qualifying Project MEET THE TEAM: The team included students Clark Bakstran, electrical and computer engineering, Scott Brooks, mechanical engineering, Angelos Platanias, robotics engineering, Gregory Sletterink, electrical and computer engineering, Nicholas Solarz, robotics engineering, and Thomas Wormersley, robotics engineering. The project was advised by Mike Gennert, program head for Robotics Engineering, and Taskin Padir, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering. The project was sponsored by Santa Clara University. THE PROBLEM: Santa Clara University needed a partner in designing and manufacturing an Autonomous Surface Vehicle (ASV) that would integrate with their existing ASV fleet. THE SOLUTION: The WPI team was responsible for designing a universal chassis that enabled it to attach to several different kayak hulls, and upgrading the electronics to modern microcontroller architecture. The vessel is propelled by two motors and controlled by a microcontroller located onboard. The microcontroller receives commands from an off-board base station, which facilitates communication between other ASVs to perform group maneuvers. The chassis and electronics were successfully designed and implemented on the kayak, demonstrating the overall integration of the team’s design to the existing fleet.



Alu m n i Spot l i ght David Kelly BS, electrical engineering, MS, computer science (University of Texas – Dallas), MBA (Southern Methodist University) David Kelly ‘82 is president and CEO of Bluefin Robotics—a wholly owned subsidiary of Battelle. Bluefin is a full life-cycle provider of Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUVs) and related technology, serving government, commercial, and academic clients worldwide. He oversees the strategic direction and operational execution of the business. Prior to Bluefin, Kelly was vice president and product line manager of Battelle’s Information Technology Solutions (ITS) Product Line. He was responsible for developing and executing the product line’s strategy,

delivering its programs, defining and implementing delivery processes, and recruiting and developing product line staff. The ITS product line provides IT services to both government and commercial clients. Kelly has carried some lessons from WPI into his career. He says, “I learned to be diligent in performing the fundamental analysis and data gathering to support my decisions.” Kelly is a senior member of the IEEE, a member of ACM, and a registered professional engineer in the state of Texas.

“Do what is right.” - David Kelly


WPI’S ENGI NEE R I NG ADVISORY COUNCIL LEADING THE CHANGE The WPI Engineering Advisory Council was established with the arrival of Dean Selçuk Güçeri in 2011. The council comes together on campus twice a year and communicates year round to help chart the course for Engineering at WPI.

Jeffrey Smith, Civil Engineering Senior vice president, Defense National Security, and IT services for Data Computer Corporation of America Inc. Jeffrey Smith ‘81 is a professionally recognized expert in mission effectiveness, cost reduction, information technology, privatepublic partnerships, cyber defense and electronic warfare, and solving highly complex business, technology and transformation challenges for the U.S. Federal Government, the U.S. Military, and many of the world’s largest enterprises. He has worked with and advised The Boeing Company, Department of Defense (Air Force, Army, Defense Information Systems Agency, Intel Agencies, Joint Forces Command, Navy, Marine Corp, Office of the Secretary of Defense), Department of Homeland Security, Department of Justice, General Electric, General Motors, IBM, Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Serco, Veterans Affairs, 38 of the Fortune 50, and sits on the boards of directors and advisors for several government and commercial entities, including Armed Forces Communications and Electronics Association’s International Technical Committee. Additionally, Smith holds several patents in the areas of cyber security, cyber defense, logistics, supply chain network optimization, neural networks, non-linear simulation, and financial investment analytics. Currently, Smith works for Data Computer Corporation of America (DCCA) Inc., a 30-year-old VOSB government advanced IT services firm based in Columbia, Md. DCCA has over 140 professionals, with the majority holding government clearances. Its primary customers are the Department of Defense and Health and Human Services.

The WPI Engineering Advisory Council consists of well-recognized and established science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) leaders; many of whom are WPI graduates. Our challenge is to advise how the next evolution of WPI education should improve WPI’s future value and recognition as a premier global research institution and educator of highly skilled, capable, and relevant engineers and leaders, for their entire careers, while more closely linking WPI to the business, government, and scientific industries. Jeffrey Smith Chairman



Eng inee r i n g Adv i s o r y Cou n c i l Me m b e r Li s t Richard K. Allen, Esq. '76 Senior Vice President & Chief Operating Officer Stantec Inc. Thomas A. Arseneault '85, '87 Executive Vice President & Chief Technology Officer Product Sectors, BAE Systems Michael E. Aspinwall '75 Managing Partner CCP Equity Partners Allan Brockett Vice President, Engineering - Module Centers Pratt & Whitney Curtis R. Carlson '67, PhD President & CEO SRI International Yet-Ming Chiang, PhD Professor, Materials Science & Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology Michael J. Cima, PhD Sumitomo Electric Industries Professor of Engineering, Department of Materials Science & Engineering Massachusetts Institute of Technology Arthur J. Coury, PhD Principal Coury Consulting Services Edward M. D'Alba '73, PE President, CEO & Principal Owner Urban Engineers Inc. Thomas J. Daly '04 Chief Scientist & Co-Founder Dyn

Carlos M. del Sol Retired Vice President, Global Engineering Campbell Soup Company

David P. Kelly '82 President & CEO Bluefin Robotics Corporation

Robert I. Desourdis Jr. '77, '79 Vice President for Technology & Senior Systems Architect SAIC

Robert M. Koerner, PhD President & Director The Geosynthetic Institute

TomĂĄs Diaz de la Rubia, PhD Consultant YDS International Consulting Christopher J. Ferguson (USN Ret) Crew & Mission Operations Director, Space Exploration Boeing Company Christopher Fey Chairman & CEO U.S. Preventive Medicine Inc. William A. Fitzgerald, III '83 Vice President & General Manager, Commercial Engines Operations GE Aviation

Peter C. Lando, Esq. Partner Lando & Anastasi, LLC Cato T. Laurencin, MD, PhD University Professor, Albert and Wilda Van Dusen Distinguished Professor of Orthopaedic Surgery; Professor of Chemical, Materials, & Biomolecular Engineering; CEO, Connecticut Institute for Clinical and Translational Science; Director, Institute for Regenerative Engineering University of Connecticut Health Center William F. Mitchell President & CEO ETC Corporate Headquarters

Alfred Grasso '93 President & CEO MITRE Corporation

Michael A. Nallen '82 President Thermatool Corporation

Michael E. Grilli '66 Founder, Chairman & CEO Beta Group Inc.

Can Ozdemir President Dizel Turbo, Ltd.

Louis Gritzo, PhD Vice President & Manager of Research FM Global Technologies, LLC

Martin H. Reiss, PE, FSFPE President & CEO Rolf Jensen & Associates Inc.

Roger J. Hajjar, PhD Director of the Cardiovascular Research Center Mount Sinai School of Medicine

Rodney Riek, PhD Principal Engineer, Harley-Davidson Motor Company, Product Development Center Harley-Davidson USA

Nafiz Karabudak Manager, Corporate Technology Initiatives Lockheed Martin Corporation

Carl O. Rosendahl Co-Director, Entertainment Technology Center Carnegie Mellon University, Silicon Valley Campus Tariq Samad, PhD Corporate Fellow Automation & Control Solutions Honeywell Jeffrey E. Smith '81 Senior Vice President DCCA Pearson M. Spaght President Fletcher Spaght David B. Spencer, PhD Founder, CEO & Chief Technology Officer wTe Corporation Giancarlo Spinelli, PhD Rector’s Delegate for International Relations Politecnico Di Milano Vanessa Vardon Vice President, Business Development and Marketing Simit + Smith Jeffrey D. White '84 Owner/Board Member Ecospan, LLC Richard D. Willett '91 CEO Ascend Learning, LLC Paul M. Wyman '85 General Manager, Smart Grid Solutions Lockheed Martin Information Systems & Global Solutions



WPI PROJEC T S I T E S Bangkok, Thailand

MITRE, Bedford, Massachusetts, USA

Bar Harbor, Maine, USA

Nancy, France

Beijing, Nanjing, Shanghai, and Wuhan, China

Nantucket, Massachusetts, USA

Boston, Massachusetts, USA

Osaka, Japan

Budapest, Hungary

Panama City, Panama

Cape Town, South Africa

San JosĂŠ, Costa Rica

Copenhagen, Denmark

San Juan, Puerto Rico

Gallo, Modesto, California, USA

Santa Fe, New Mexico, USA

Hong Kong, China

Silicon Valley, California, USA

Ifrane, Morocco

Venice, Italy

London, England

Washington, DC, USA

New York, New York, USA

Wellington, New Zealand

Melbourne, Australia

Windhoek, Namibia

Microsoft, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Worcester, Massachusetts, USA

MIT-Lincoln Laboratory, Lexington, Massachusetts, USA


Tr a n s f o r m i n g t h e F u t u r e . C h a n g i n g t h e W o r l d .

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