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Change the World

If you clicked here, it must mean you want change the world! It must mean you are creative! It must mean you are a problem solver!


If you clicked here, it must mean you want change the world! It must mean you are creative! It must mean you are a problem solver!

Engineers are creative problem solvers and they tackle some of the biggest ones we will face in the future.  They can critically analyze anything.  Therefore, people with engineering degrees can contribute to society in unlimited and indeterminate ways.  And yes, engineers also create new products, jobs and industries that truly grow the economy in a global fashion. Engineers create jobs through new product development, and the most innovative engineers create those products that are both unanticipated and transformational.

Some of the challenges we face include the deteriorating physical infrastructure of our nation, particularly in urban settings; the need for alternative sources of energy, renewable and clean; the ever-increasing stress on the environment due to population growth and the non-uniform distribution of key resources around the globe; providing a high quality of life for an aging population; and the need to develop technologies that are sustainable, minimizing their environmental footprint.  Understanding the social framework for technological innovation will be a key asset of engineering leaders in the future.  To build a sustainable world, society needs engineers who not only are innovative integrators of technological advances, and who understand the social context of their work, and are willing to embrace a leadership role to shape public opinion in favor of technically sound, socially responsible decisions for the greater good. 

What will be the next hot product?  Who knows?  The one thing of which we can be absolutely certain is that there will be countless such products in our future, with each requiring expert engineering expertise to develop, design, and manufacture. Did we even know we needed cell phones until they were invented? Of course not.

When we contemplate the future of our society, we look to and depend upon a continuing series of technological innovations to resolve society’s most challenging issues such as global warming, the rapidly growing demand for energy in the face of finite petrochemical resources, and the threat of pandemics.  And when we want to escape from these challenges and be entertained, we turn to technological innovations such as our MP3 players, HD TVs, and the extraordinary media productions that are created for our enjoyment and are accessed with these devices.  Below are a few stories about how engineering dramatically changed a few fields. We could tell many stories here – how communication changed from over time from smoke signals to satellite and cell communications, how medical imaging is taking dramatic leaps right before our eyes right now, the list is truly endless. These stories will need to be rewritten periodically as people like you continue to innovate and build upon what has been done by others.


The competitive nature of the Games, and the high importance placed on winning, provide the motivation for talented people of all nations to hone their skills in pursuit of the ultimate performance in their particular event.  In pursuit of that outcome, high technology has played, and will continue to play, a pivotal role.  My first realization of this fact occurred quite a long time ago (in the winter of 1959).  My Dad loved track and field competitions and each year would take me to a few indoor track meets at the old Madison Square Garden.  There I saw Don Bragg set the world record in the pole vault of 15ft 9.5in, a record that still stands today for vaulters using a metal pole.   This feat was considered the ultimate, and for several years leading up to that moment I had a full appreciation for just how difficult it was to achieve such a standard.  Yet, in 1959, it all changed with the widespread introduction of the fiberglass pole.  The dynamics of the fiberglass pole was so different from the metal pole that it required significant adaptation by the athlete to exploit its features and benefits.  But once mastered, the results were spectacular.  From 1942 to 1959 the world record in the pole vault increased by only 1.7 inches.  With the advent of the fiberglass pole, the world record increased by 12 inches within just four years.  Now pole vaulters use carbon composite poles and the record stands at 6.14 meters (that’s 20ft 1.7in), the record set by Sergey Bubka in 1994. 


Consider for the transformation that took place over the last century in home entertainment.  For thousands of years, dating back to before the Roman Empire, personal entertainment was defined by traveling bands of performers with special skills.  Actors, gymnasts, singers, comedians all would travel from town to town, often as bands of minstrels or gypsies, to perform shows to entertain communities scattered across large geographic regions.  The ultimate manifestation of this concept was the traveling circus, and it served as the exclusive entertainment enterprise right up until the end of the 19th century. 

And then, in 1897, Marconi invented the radio. From that point onward, the paradigm for home entertainment shifted dramatically.  From the moment that Marconi demonstrated “proof of concept” and the commercial relevance of this new technology was realized, a process of continuous improvement was applied by scientists and engineers, steadily advancing and perfecting the technology to the point where, by 1920, the people in the U.S. experienced their first commercial radio broadcast.  Consider the remarkable transformation that took place over this relatively short period of 23 years.  Before Marconi in 1897, family entertainment consisted exclusively of traveling shows of performers for as far back as anyone could remember.  But less than 30 years later, family members would sit in the comfort of their home and listen to singers, comedians and news commentators on the radio.

As this technology improved, its penetration into the global marketplace increased.  By 1950, an estimated 94% of American homes had a radio.  Meanwhile, thanks in part to the profits generated by the sale of these radios, research intensified with respect to the use of electromagnetic wave transmission as a means to broadcast information over large distances.  The electronic equipment needed for transmission, reception and presentation of such information continued to be perfected by the natural process of continuous improvement, both in terms of the sophistication of the technology and the quality and efficiency of the manufacturing processes for the products needed to enable the technology.  As a result, radio technology became ever more reliable and cheaper to access.

At the same time, scientists and engineers not only mastered the radio technology but also expanded it to include the broadcast of video along with audio information.  Remarkably, it was only 15 years after the first commercial radio broadcast that the first television broadcasting service was established in Germany (in 1935).  By 1950, 21% of American families owned a black-and-white TV, and by 1953 the first color TV network broadcast took place in the United States.  And how advanced is this technology today?  The paradigm shift in home entertainment today is enabled by the advent of digital signal processing, which brings high definition television broadcasts into our living room and flawless satellite radio for our automobiles when we are “on the go.”

In summary, following the discovery and elucidation of the principles of electromagnetism in the mid 1800s, the concept of audio (and then video) broadcasting over the airwaves was demonstrated and then perfected into a commercially viable technology, quickly creating a paradigm shift in the entertainment world.  Subsequently, through a deliberate process of continuous improvement that continues to this day, engineers incrementally advance this technology, devising products of remarkable quality and capability, while making them ever more affordable to almost everyone in the developing world.

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About Kate Gleason

Kate Gleason was a business leader, inventor, and the first woman member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.


Kate Gleason was a business leader, inventor, and the first woman member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Catherine Anselm Gleason was born in Rochester during 1865 and has been heralded as the first lady of gearing and the ideal business woman.

Kate's career began at age eleven when she started helping her father, William, in his machine shop after her older half-brother died from typhoid. By fourteen, Kate was the company bookkeeper and in 1884 she became the first woman to enroll in the Mechanical Arts program at Cornell University.

When Kate left for Cornell, her father hired someone to replace her in the business, but the firm began struggling financially. Her father couldn't afford to pay the salary of the man he had hired to replace Kate, and she was called home to help at Gleason Works.

By 1890, Kate was the Secretary-Treasurer and soon led sales and finance within the business. In 1893, the tool business dried up in the US and Kate decided to expand her sales region to include the European market. After a two month voyage, she arrived in Europe where she secured orders from England, Scotland, France, and Germany. This trip was among the first attempts by any American manufacturer to globalize their business.

Kate resigned from Gleason Works in 1913, and the next year was the first woman in New York to be named Receiver in Bankruptcy, serving as such for the Ingle Machine Company in East Rochester. Also in 1914, Kate was unanimously elected to membership in the American Society of Mechanical Engineers as its first woman member. In 1917, Kate became the President of the First National Bank of East Rochester, another first for an American woman.

Years later, Kate left Rochester for business ventures in California and South Carolina, travelling extensively and eventually purchased an estate in France.

Kate Gleason serves as an inspirational role model for the engineering students studying within the RIT College named in her honor. The Kate Gleason College of Engineering (KGCOE) is committed to producing engineering graduates who provide innovation in product development, becoming leaders in the global engineering community.

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National Engineers Week

National Engineers Week

February 23-27, 2015

Monday, Feb. 23

Monday is Hawaiian Shirt Day. KGCOE Students – pick up your raffle ticket and orange ribbons in your Department Office, KGCOE Office of Student Services or KGCOE Dean’s Office, or WE@RIT.

Tuesday, Feb. 24

Tuesday is Student Club Day in Erdle Commons from 1-4 PM. Wear your Club Shirt. Enjoy some popcorn!

Wednesday, Feb. 25

Wednesday is a Taste of Engineering in Fireside from 11 AM – 2 PM. Co-op partners and alums working in the food and beverage industry will be on hand to talk about how engineering work in this field. Don’t forget to wear your Ugly Sweater!

Thursday, Feb. 26

Thursday is Co-op Day in Erdle Commons from 11 AM  – 2 PM. Wear your favorite co-op employer shirt or design your dream co-op employer shirt to wear! Coffee Hour from 3 – 5 PM too!

Get a sticker on your raffle ticket for each day you wear the designated attire in Department Office, KGCOE Office of Student Services or KGCOE Dean’s Office, or WE@RIT. Fill in all four days, Monday – Thursday, and drop your raffle ticket off for a chance to win one of 50 tickets to be raffled off the Men’s Hockey Game – Friday, Feb. 27. Ticket must be dropped off by 4:30 PM in any of the offices mentioned.

Friday, Feb. 27

KGCOE Night at the Men's Hockey Game!

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Vision and Mission

KGCOE will lead in preparing students to meet the immediate and future needs of industry, applying research to address significant engineering challenges, and accelerating economic growth.


Strategic Priorities for the Kate Gleason College of Engineering

Vision:  KGCOE will lead in preparing students to meet the immediate and future needs of industry, applying research to address significant engineering challenges, and accelerating economic growth.

Mission:  The mission of the Kate Gleason College of Engineering is to

  • educate students to meet the immediate and future needs of industry and to support the intellectual development and growth of its graduates throughout their careers;
  • perform  research that is focused on providing viable solutions to the real-world problems facing our global society; and
  • partner with industry to accelerate economic growth both regionally and nationally.
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Industry Partners

In addition to our co-op partners, the College engages industry in a variety of ways.

Each degree program has an advisory board with whom they meet regularly to ensure that our academic programs are providing a curriculum that is current with industry needs and standards. These boards also help the college identify external funding opportunities and support.


In addition to our co-op partners, the College engages industry in a variety of ways.

Each degree program has an advisory board with whom they meet regularly to ensure that our academic programs are providing a curriculum that is current with industry needs and standards. These boards also help the college identify external funding opportunities and support. Board members come from a wide variety of industries and some are alums of the program boards on which they serve.

The Dean’s Advisory Council serves to advise the Dean on overall direction and strategic planning for the College. All members are engineers by education and many are entrepreneurial in spirit and action.

Senior Design, a two term sequence course that all KGCOE seniors take provides another avenue for us to involve industry. This course sequence prepares students for modern engineering practices. Students work in teams, often multidisciplinary, with corporate sponsors on real-world engineering problems. They define and analyze the problem, then design solutions within customer requirements and constraints. Students have worked on a wide variety of projects over the years – here a just a few titles that provide a sense of the depth and breadth of senior design:

  • Navigation Aid for the Blind
  • Wireless Power Transmission Through the Skin
  • Moog Flight Simulator
  • Wind Energy Collection to Energy Bank
  • Photovoltaic Energy Housing
  • Near Space Solar Power Conditioning
  • Next Generation Charcoal Stove for Haiti
  • Green Sauna
  • Wegman’s Freezer Inventory Management
  • Intra-building Navigation Device
  • Dresser Rand Wellsville Ventilator Factory
  • Cheesecake Water Dosing
  • Monitoring Device for Human Smoking Behavior

Also see: Corporate Gateway

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News Update

Updates on KGCOE

students and faculty

June 2015

Electrical engineering professor Edward Brown was recently awarded a $25,000 grant from the Heinz Endowments for The Brashear Project, an initiative aimed at increasing participation of African-American males in STEM fields—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—by exposing them to engineering through design projects related to rehabilitation and assistive robotics.

“The No. 1 cause of spinal cord injuries for African-American males, particularly between the ages of 15 and 30, is gun violence,” said Brown, associate professor of electrical and microelectronic engineering in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. “For every individual who dies due to a gun assault, there are between three and six others who are wounded. Many of those wounds result in the individual being paralyzed and permanently wheelchair-bound. These are the invisible men of inner city America, and there are large populations of these men in every major city.” Read more here.

David Borkholder and his company, BlackBox Biometrics Inc., received a $9.4 million contract from the U.S. Department of Defense to help manufacture the next-generation of the Blast Gauge System.

Borkholder, the Bausch and Lomb Professor of Microsystems Engineering in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering, is the founder and chief technology officer of the Rochester-based company. His team developed the Blast Gauge wearable sensor technology for detecting concussive forces that can lead to head trauma for active-duty service members several years ago at the university. It has been deployed on Brigade Combat Teams serving in Afghanistan and used by U.S. Special Forces units as well as law enforcement organizations across the nation. Read more here.

RIT Formula Racing sped into a top-20 placement in its first competition this past May at Michigan International Speedway. It was the first event of the season for the team in its annual Formula SAE collegiate design and race competition season, and one of its best starts in several years. RIT was 14th overall among 110 international teams competing at the event, including universities representing Venezuela, Canada, Austria, Poland and Brazil as well as those from the U.S.

Taking high placements in skidpad, acceleration and autocross events, and running 16th in the demanding endurance race, RIT Racing also received the Continental Brake Award, given to a team with the best-in-class brake system for its vehicle. Read more here. Photo by Hyungsuk Kang.

RIT Baja Racing placed third overall in its final event of the season in Oregon, May 27-29. The top placement caps an outstanding season that saw the team recognized for both its sportsmanship on the field throughout the year and for its ability to overcome its car being impounded in Brazil. In the latter competition, they were able to build another car with spare parts from other teams in a matter of days. That first competition set the tone for the remainder of the season. At each of the three remaining events, the team never placed lower than fifth in the dynamic categories acceleration, maneuverability and hill/rock climb challenges. Read more here. Photo provided by RIT RIOT Racing.

Electrical Engineering professor, PR Mukund, is leading a team in India to come up with strategic action plan for developing a unique engineering institution. Sri Vishwavallabha Thirtha Swamiji of Sri Sode Vadiraja Mutt, Udupi; R Srinivasa Tantry and Ratnakumar, members of governing Council of SMVITM were present. Read more here.



At the 2015 Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference held in Nashville Tennessee, KGCOE PhD student Chaitanya Mahajan received the Manufacturing & Design Division’s Best Paper Award for his paper entitled, “3D Printing of Carbon Fiber Composites With Preferentially Aligned Fibers”. His PhD advisor is Professor Denis Cormier.


Clayton Turner started his NASA career at Langley in 1990 where he was a Lidar In-Space Technology Experiment (LITE) engineer. Since then Turner has served in various roles with progressively increasing responsibility including assistant branch head, branch head, directorate chief engineer, director of the Engineering Directorate, and center chief engineer.

Prior to joining NASA Turner was the Chief Engineer for Dynamic Recording Studio in Rochester, New York. He was responsible for the technical and artistic recording quality of a wide range of audio and video content spanning multiple styles and formats.

Turner is the recipient of two Paul F. Holloway Non-Aerospace Technology Transfer Awards, the NASA Exceptional Achievement Medal, the NASA Outstanding Leadership Medal, and the NASA Silver Snoopy Award. He has a bachelor of science in electrical engineering from Rochester Institute of Technology. Turner lives in Hampton, Virginia, with his wife, April, and youngest of two sons.  Read more here.



May 2015

Guests at Imagine RIT got a preview of the XYZ Camera Rig, which will be moving to its new home at the Metropolitan Museum in New York City later this month.

"We took over where last year’s design team left off with the first model of the rig,” said Fabrice Bazile, a fifth-year electrical engineering student in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. “This one has a few more safety features and the ability to use the camera remotely, things that will really benefit the museum staff and their work.”  Read more here, see the video here. Photo by A. Sue Weisler.

As e-cigarettes become more popular, new research into their use and effects is taking place in Professor Risa Robinson’s Respiratory Technologies Laboratory in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering. Data from her testing about behaviors, exposure and effects will be used to provide information to the Federal Drug Administration. Some of the equipment being used for this testing is the first of its kind and was designed and built by Robinson and her students as part of the college’s senior design projects. Photo by A. Sue Wesler.

Four undergraduate students at Rochester Institute of Technology have won awards from the Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship and Excellence in Education Program. The Goldwater Scholarship is based on academic merit and regarded as one of the most prestigious undergraduate honors. It is awarded to students committed to pursuing careers in mathematics, the natural sciences or engineering.

Emily Holz, a resident of Cottage Grove, Minn., is a fourth-year student in the biomedical engineering program in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. She has enjoyed a variety of undergraduate research experiences through RIT’s co-op program. She worked with Kara Maki, assistant professor in RIT’s School of Mathematical Sciences, modeling the settling dynamics of a contact lens on the eye, a topic of interest to Bausch & Lomb. Read more herePhoto by A. Sue Weisler.

Third year biomedical engineering student, Melissa Mendoza, published “It’s a non-dialysis day – Do you know how your patient is doing? A case for research into inter-dialytic activity” in the international journal, Blood Purification.

Five engineering students are leaving something behind as they graduate from Rochester Institute of Technology—a handmade tabletop letterpress to join the esteemed collection of historic 19th century printing presses at RIT’s Cary Graphic Arts Collection. The aluminum hand-operated letterpress, weighing in at 25 pounds and assembled with two Allen wrenches, can produce high quality and repeatable prints—the same as their cast-iron counterparts in the Cary Collection. “The students designed a platen press and we have several platen presses in the technology collection which are all very heavy,” said Associate Curator of the Cary Collection Amelia Hugill-Fontanel. “One is a freestanding model that is 500-plus pounds and others are small enough to fit on a table top, but still weigh in at 80-plus pounds. So part of this project was to design a lightweight model that we could easily carry, and at a fraction of the price—$750 as compared to a few thousand.” Read more here.

KGCOE presented the second Kate Gleason Medal for Leadership in Engineering Eduction to Texas A&M University System vice chancellor and dean of engineering M. Katherine Banks on May 7. Following the awards ceremony, Banks presented a lecture to students, faculty and staff on “Growth with excellence: engineering education transforms Texas A&M,” highlighting the university’s “25 by 25” initiative, a program to increase access for students to pursue engineering education at Texas A&M University to an enrollment of 25,000 engineering students by 2025. She talked about the need to increase quality and not sacrifice it during a time of growth. This initiative was prompted as a response to the growing demand in Texas and the U.S. for more engineers. The Texas Workforce Commission is projecting a 19 percent growth in engineering jobs in the next 12 years, equating to more than 43,000 jobs. This projection mirrors a recent call by the President’s Council of Advisors on STEM—science, technology, engineering and mathematics—for the nation to increase the number of STEM graduates to 1 million in the next 10 years. Read more here.


At the stroke of midnight, Chin and Amy Kim’s, MicroE-’08,  baking crew arrives and begins preparing dough for a 4 a.m. opening. “We’ll go through 500 pounds of dough on a busy day — Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays,” Chin said. Once the dough is fried until puffy and golden, the decorating team takes over. At Amy’s Donuts, the usual suspects are all accounted for — glazed, chocolate, jelly. But the traditional fare is often trumped by the Kims’ out-of-the-box creations. Those creations have become so popular that, since opening on the city’s south side in December 2013, the Kims added a second location in Pueblo a year later. Chin says his gourmet donut shop is a must-see for many tourists when in Colorado Springs. “There’s Cave of the Winds, Garden of the Gods and Amy’s,” he said. Read more here.

Behnaz Ghoraani, engineering faculty at Rochester Institute of Technology, was recently awarded a $456,000 grant from the National Institutes for Health for the project “Catheter guidance algorithm for identification of atrial fibrillation ablation.”

According to the American Heart Association, atrial fibrillation, a heart rhythm disorder, affects more than 2 million Americans. These fluctuations in the heart can cause increased risk of stroke and heart failure. Electrical signals within the body drive the mechanical movement of the heart. Atrial fibrillation is an irregularity of the heart rate, specifically within the atria, the two upper chambers of the heart, due to a disturbance in the electrical activity.

Ghoraani and her research team are developing a novel low-risk, low-cost algorithm allowing improved and patient-specific localization of electrical disturbance sites to improve clinical intervention for atrial fibrillation. Read more here.

RIT’s Multicultural Center for Academic Success celebrated student graduates and club leaders at its annual STAR Awards gala. They named chemical engineering faculty, Reginald Rogers, Partner of the Year for the extraordinary support he gives to the Center’s programs and students. The awards program and dinner was highlighted by an evening of music, awards and inspiration from guest speaker Peter Otero, former executive dean of Monroe Community College’s Damon City Campus, and RIT Minett Professor (2013).Read more here.


Stealth bombers, the Fighting Falcon and Strike Eagle aircraft are all formidable planes. But if anyone can handle the demands of piloting one of these aircraft, it will be Casey Bauman. The mechanical engineering student in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering will graduate this May with a bachelor’s degree and as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Air Force as she completes her ROTC program at the university. Bauman was one of nine cadets recognized at the Air Force ROTC Military Ball on April 17 at the RIT Inn & Conference Center. She and her classmates will begin active duty at Air Force bases around the country, with Bauman starting flight training at Laughlin Air Force Base in Texas within the next year. “I knew I wanted to be an engineer, and be in the military. I knew I liked planes and wanted to fly. RIT and ROTC all seemed like the best fit,” said Bauman, who is originally from Edison, N.J. “And the military, a no nonsense, straight-forward environment, I knew it was for me. I don’t know yet what type of pilot I will be but I’d prefer to be a bomber pilot or a test pilot.” Read more here. Photo by Michelle Cometa.

The device was specially designed by engineering students in the senior design program at RIT.  The Arc has had a long standing relationship with RIT and this project help bring smiles to a lot of faces. "People with developmental disabilities like to try new things. They really enjoy seeing the world in different ways and indeed, today allowed them to be able to swing, it allowed them to do something you and I do just naturally so for them to be able to have that, it's just an awesome thing," said Barbara Wale, Arc President and CEO. The idea for the swing came from the Arc of Monroe. It was then given to four students, who turned that idea into something special.  "It kind of made everything come full circle.  It makes me very happy that I chose the career that I chose and it reaffirms that I can do something good with my degree," said Maggie Bates, RIT Engineering Student. "If we all work together and keep our passion alive, we can do a lot of great things." See the video here.

Using beet juice as an alternative in products to de-ice roads, exploring the environmental impact of food packaging materials, or building an Arborloo are only a few of the ways Brian Thorn encourages his students to think about how sustainability can be applied to solving engineering challenges.

It is this type of encouragement that has made Thorn and his students successful, and he will be presented the Sustainable Development Excellence in Teaching Sustainability Award by the Institute of Industrial Engineers for these efforts both in and out of the classroom at its upcoming annual meeting and conference in Nashville this June.

Dr. Surendra Gupta, Professor in mechanical engineering, won (American Society for Engineering Education )ASEE’s Spread the Word / Campus Representative award for the highest number and percentage of faculty recruited in the St. Lawrence Section. (first photo)

Dr. Andreas Savakis, Computer Engineering, is this year's recipient of the the prestigious Trustees Scholarship Award.  Dr. Mario Gomes, Mechanical Engineering, recieved RIT's Innovative Teaching with Technology Award. (second photo)

Dr. Risa Robinson, Department Head for Mechanical Engineering and the entire faculty and staff in the ME department recieved RIT's first annual award for Excellence in Student Learning Outcomes. (third photo)

Dr. Mario Gomes, Mechanical Engineering recieved RIt's Innovative Teaching with Technology Award. (fourth photo)

Several student teams won recognition at this year's Imagine RIT Festival where KGCOE had more than 80 exhibits. Xerox Award: Multi Agents Bio Robotics Laboratory: Shitij Kumar, Matthew Haywood ,Celal SavurR, Sulabh Kumra. Democrat & Chronical Award: CRIme Scene Imaging System: Benjamin Mihevc, Ryan Ford, Mandy Nevins, Kushal Kafle, Mckay Williams, Golnaz Jalalahmadi, Jack Horowitz, Shagan Sah, Xuewen Zhang, Tim Gibbs, Emily Myers, Kamal Jnawali, Anton Travinsky, Jared-a-saurus Van Cor, Jacob Wirth, Greg Badura , Michal Kucer, Roger Dube. Paychex Award: The Danger Ranger: Benjamin Mihevc, Mohsin Farooq, J Nicolas Schrading, Jonathan Lunt. Photos in the order listed above.




April 2015

A science, engineering and technology design contest by area middle-school students takes place at the annual Engineering, Experimentation, Exploration Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursday, April 9, in Clark Gymnasium at Rochester Institute of Technology. More than 500 students from Monroe County schools are expected to participate in one of the largest engineering and science competitions. It is free and open to public. The Engineering, Experimentation, Exploration Fair, known as the E-Cubed Fair, began in 1991 for middle-school students to learn more about the field of engineering. This year marks its 25th anniversary of student design, robotics and science displays and competitions. There are usually 50 displays of student experiments and 30 displays from RIT student design classes, campus chapters of the national engineering societies and clubs. Photo by A. Sue Weisler.

Jacqueline Mozrall has been appointed dean of Saunders College of Business at Rochester Institute of Technology. She has been serving as interim dean of the business school since last July and will assume her new post immediately. Mozrall is a highly respected academic who has held several key leadership roles at RIT, most recently as senior associate dean of RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

“As an RIT alumna who has been an integral part of our faculty for the past two decades, Jacquie is a committed educator, an able administrator and an innovative leader who will advance Saunders College’s core commitment to providing its students with an outstanding business education,” said RIT President Bill Destler. “She has the global perspective and experience to strategically balance our local campus interests with national quality imperatives.” Read more here. Photo by A. Sue Weisler.

Ryan Chojnacki, an electrical engineering major, and Peter Lam, a management information systems major, participate in Fusion Fest ’15, hosted by RIT’s Electronic Gaming Society. The video game LAN party raised awareness for video games as a diversionary activity for people with cancer and raised money for cancer organizations. Proceeds and donations benefited Cancer Wellness Connections in Rochester, Colleges Against Cancer and helped support a paid cooperative education position for students to work at Cancer Wellness Connections. Photo by Kyle Hofsass.


RIT and Gleason Corp. announced details of a new research partnership to further advance manufacturing, materials science and product development, and dedicated new equipment donated by the company for RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. Participating at the event was (from left) Ryne Raffaelle, vice president for Research at RIT, Michael Walker, mechanical engineering manager, Gleason Works, Brian Perry, vice president of operations, Gleason Corp., John Perrotti ’82 (business administration, accounting), president and CEO, Gleason Corp., Edward Hensel, associate dean for research and graduate studies in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering and Thomas Courtney, director, New Product Development, Gleason Corp. The new 400H Gear Hobbing equipment, was moved into the college’s Machine Tool Lab recently. The gear hobbing machine is designed to cut shaft and wheel-type work pieces, tooling processes necessary for the gears found in automobiles, airplanes, turbines and other commercial equipment.The event will include remarks from Edward Hensel, associate dean for research and graduate studies in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering; Ryne Raffaelle, vice president for research at RIT; and John Perrotti, president of Gleason Corp. It will also feature the dedication of new 400H Gear Hobbing equipment, donated by Gleason Corp., in the college’s machine laboratory. Read more here. Photo by A. Sue Weisler.

Five teams of student entrepreneurs pitched their business ideas and won a total of $4,750 in cash prizes at Tiger Tank at Rochester Institute of Technology. The top three winning teams also earned scholarships to attend graduate studies at Saunders College of Business. Modeled after ABC-TV’s Shark Tank, the Tiger Tank competition was hosted by the Albert J. Simone Center for Student Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Team LiftForce’s proposal, which is a motion-capture device and software that analyzes the movements of weightlifters and provides direct, real-time feedback on performance, earned first place and $2,000, and a full scholarship to pursue graduate studies at Saunders College. Team members from RIT are Evan Oslakovich, third-year mechanical engineering student from Lockport, Ill.; Jared Simonelli, third-year game design and development student from Avon, Conn.; Anthony Vullo, a second-year mechanical engineering technology major from North Chili, N.Y.; and Ian Young, a finance and economics alumnus from Henderson, N.Y.

Taking second place was Breezyon, produced by Easylife Product LLC, a face protective device and a scarf accessory using the same concept of technology in surgical masks worn by doctors. Team member Anthony Garcia, a freshman in biomedical engineering from Riverside, Calif., earned $1,250 to further his product. Third place was SmartTubes, a sustainable energy/recycling product/service to use in sound systems and high-power radio base stations. Team member Steven Wardell, an RIT graduate student in computer science from Spencerport, N.Y., earned $750 to continue his product development. Read more here.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand announced new legislation at RIT on Friday to bolster manufacturing education at universities and train the workforce to meet the growing demands of the 21st century manufacturing sector. Gillibrand introduced “The Manufacturing Universities Act of 2015,” a bipartisan bill that would designate 25 universities “Manufacturing Universities” and provide schools with incentives to better align their educational offerings with the needs of modern manufacturers. The legislation will provide qualifying universities grants of $5 million per year, for a four-year period, that will help universities enhance their engineering programs to emphasize manufacturing skills, incentivize partnerships with local manufacturers, increase internship and cooperative education opportunities for students, and help more recent graduates launch new manufacturing businesses. Photo by A. Sue Weisler.

Engineers advance new technologies that make innovative products possible. And in doing so, engineers are shaping the future of society. In recognition of the influential role that the academic leaders of engineering colleges play in creating the engineers of tomorrow, the Kate Gleason College of Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology has established the Kate Gleason Medal for Leadership in Engineering Education. 

The college bestowed its first award on Purdue University dean of engineering Leah Jamieson. She was honored in a ceremony at 12:30 p.m. Thursday, April 23, in the Xerox Auditorium in RIT’s James E. Gleason Hall. Following the awards ceremony, Jamieson presented a public lecture to students and faculty on her vision for the future of engineering education. Read more here. Photo curtesy Purdue University College of Engineering.

Sarah Brownell ’98 (mechanical engineering), a lecturer in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering, will receive the 2015 Four Presidents Distinguished Public Service Award. Sagar will become the 2015 Bruce James Distinguished Public Service Award recipient. He is a graduate student in the manufacturing and mechanical systems integration program in RIT’s College of Applied Science and Technology.

Soon after graduating from RIT in 1998, Brownell began what was to become a major part of her volunteer commitment to Haiti. She began work with the organization Haiti Outreach: Pwoje Espwa (HOPE) on installing solar power for a clinic and water disinfection systems for a local community, and she has, over the past several years, participated on similar projects with several other organizations including Friends of Borgne and SOIL—Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods. The latter organization, founded by Brownell and Sasha Kramer, started in 2006 as an ecological sanitation social enterprise nonprofit in Haiti. Read more here.

Student-designed “intelligent” cars will be featured in the Freescale Cup East Coast regional and USA final challenges at the upcoming Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival. This marks the second time RIT has hosted the Freescale Cup East Coast Challenge, and the first time the challenge is part of the Imagine RIT festival. There will be 28 collegiate teams participating, including RIT, the University of Rhode Island, Penn State University and Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Students from RIT’s computer engineering department will field 14 race teams. Read more here. Photo by Michelle Cometa.

Michelangelo was 33 when he began painting scenes from Genesis and the familiar hands of God and Adam on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel—masterpieces considered the work of a lifetime. Jackie Russo Anderson ’07 (mechanical engineering) was just 30 when she was involved as part of an international engineering team that designed an ultramodern air management system to preserve the chapel’s historic artwork, without changing any part of the building’s original structure. “I would never have thought during my time at RIT, that at 30 years old, I’d be working on a project at the Sistine Chapel. That’s something that normally happens down the road, in your life, in your career,” said Anderson, who is a senior engineer in air management systems technology at Carrier, a division of UTC Building & Industrial Systems, the company that led the project. Read more here.

For decades, players in the National Football League have met with such a force that some spent periods of time unsure of who was president or how many fingers the team doctor was holding up. Now, there is finally a more accurate way of determining if a player has been hurt. Having already developed a concussion-sensing technology for the military, Dr. Dave Borkholder created a Linx Impact Assessment System (IAS) as a way to measure the impact of sports injury. “Being in the space of measuring the unseen impact of concussive injuries, we saw the need for the Linx Impact Assessment System in the athletic marketplace,” Borkholder said. “In developing Linx IAS, we adapted our battlefield solution for the playing field so that athletes everywhere can benefit from our sensor technology.” Read more here.

John Bonzo, ISE Department was "looking for something interesting" to do with his six acres of farmland in Mendon. Having dabbled in homebrewing and inspired by The Farm Brewery Act, which requires New York State brewers to purchase the majority of their beer's ingredients from local farmers, he decided to grow hops in 2009. But after the hops matured, he ran into some difficulty.

"The plants can grow to 20 feet tall, and harvesting turned out to be quite a challenge. It takes about one hour per plant to pick by hand. You can imagine, with 1,000 plants per acre, that it would take a long time," said Bonzo, Director of the Brinkman Lab at the Rochester Institute of Technology and owner of Mendon Precision, a manufacturing company. Read more here .

More than two dozen Rochester Institute of Technology students with hometowns as close as Rochester and as far as India gathered Wednesday in RIT’s Ingle Auditorium where they were honored at the 2015 RIT Leadership Awards Scholarship Ceremony.

The traits they have in common were celebrated: they are students who get involved, take charge, solve problems and inspire their fellow students. From KGCOE:  Laura Alderfer, a biomedical engineering major from Sellersville, Pa.; Maura Chmielowiec, a mechanical engineering major from Batavia, N.Y.; and Kaleigh Sweeney, an industrial and systems engineering major from Syracuse, N.Y received Alfred L. and Ruby C. Davis Leadership Award Scholarships. Srikripa Kartik, a sustainable engineering major from India received the Isaac L. Jordan Sr. Endowed Scholarship.

The next phase of 3-D printing is hybrid printing or printing multiple material projects, such as running sneakers, predicts Rochester Institute of Technology’s Earl W. Brinkman Professor Denis Cormier. He believes combining multiple layers and textures to create a cohesive product is not far off. “I’m pretty certain that the crystal ball says … the next big evolution of 3-D printing is a sort of hybrid 3-D printing,” he said. “There are no other processes able to do that.” Embedding electronics into printed items is another objective for future uses, officials said. “There’s interest in embedding electronics within a 3-D printed part, for instance embedded sensors that detect temperature, or (detects) how much something is stretching or when a crack starts to form,” Cormier said. Read more here. Photo by Kimberly McKinzie.



March 2015

A grant from the NIH’s National Institute of Deafness and other Communication Disorders division will address research into alleviating hearing loss by using implantable micro-devices to deliver needed drugs, gene therapies and other biomedical options.

This new research will lead to key advancements in controlled, quantitative inner ear drug delivery, said David Borkholder, RIT’s Bausch and Lomb Associate Professor of Microsystems Engineering and principal investigator of the project, which is a collaboration with the University of South Florida. Read more here.

Engineering students from RIT Dubai won the Official Judges’ Award at the Future Generation Competition, one of the largest power events in the world that highlights the potential and innovation of undergraduate engineering students in the United Arab Emirates.

Anishta Lakhani, Bilal Sharqi, Mohamed Amin and Sami Jouaneh entered “Solar Powered Car and Desert Cooler,” which involved a prototype that harnesses the sun’s energy to cool a car without using the car’s engine or existing cooling system. By placing a solar panel on the roof of a car, electricity can be generated and stored in a battery. This power will be supplied to a system of thermoelectric coolers that provide a cooling effect when the car is parked and the engine turned off.  Read more here.

Teknic Inc. and Rochester Institute of Technology’s electrical engineering department announced their university-corporate partnership at the end of the fall semester to develop advanced humanoid autonomous robotics technology. Engineering staff from Teknic, a Rochester-based manufacturer of motion control components, are working with students and faculty from MABL—the Multi-Agent BioRobotics Laboratory—in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering on the TigerBot, a humanoid, autonomous robot designed and built by student-engineers in the college.

A multi-year project, the focus of the TigerBot development series is to build a near-human scale robot using advanced sensor and motor technologies, and to demonstrate the technology using the TigerBot as a robotic tour guide during RIT open houses for prospective students. The latter emphasis could show K-12 student-visitors various aspects of engineering through demonstration, said Ferat Sahin, director of the laboratory and faculty adviser to the project teams. Read more here. Photo by A. Sue Weisler

Kate Gleason's influence on the early development of East Rochester is immeasurable. The pioneering female engineer not only boosted the village's financial growth by investing in several of its major industries and serving as the erstwhile president of its First National Bank, she also made an indelible mark on the village's physical landscape.

Gleason began her career keeping the books for her father's company, Gleason Works, but as she said in a 1919 interview, "the greatest fun I have in life is building-up, trying to create." Read more here.

The RIT Baja Racing Team didn’t let the unexpected news of their car being impounded by Brazilian Customs officials at the port of Itapoá stop them from competing at SAE Baja Brazil this past week. Bureaucratic red tape and errors in critical shipping documentation left the team stranded and without its car.

But with parts, gears and equipment from at least five other Brazilian teams, RIT crossed the finish line in its first Baja off-road competition of the season that took place March 5–8, in the town of Piracicaba, about two hours northwest of Sáo Paulo.

Team members traveling to Brazil included Taylor Clow, second-year industrial design student; Doug Botto, second-year mechanical engineering technology (MET) student and team manager for the international trip; Dan Aliberti, fourth-year MET; CJ Winegar, fifth-year MET; Dan Palmiter, fourth-year mechanical engineering (ME); CJ Barbera, third-year ME; and Adam Cohen, second-year MET and Maria Victoria Savka, a fourth-year fine arts major, who acted as team interpreter.  Read more here.  Read about the results here.

RIT is a leader in drone research. The Federal Aviation Administration is charged with figuring out how to integrate drones into the national grid safely. To that end six sites were identified nationally as test centers and RIT is one of those sites. Mechanical engineering Professor Ag Crassidis is the academic director of one of the lead test centers for NUAIR. “The variety of potential applications for these unmanned systems is amazing, but we have to be able to do the testing to figure out how we can do those things safely.”  "Those systems are large and they're expensive. You're not going to put an $80,000 inertial navigation system on a small unmanned aircraft," Crassidis said. "We're trying to develop sensors that are just as accurate but much cheaper, weigh less, use less power, and obviously are a lot smaller."  Read more here.

Bruce Smith, director of the microsystems engineering doctoral program at Rochester Institute of Technology, was recently presented an IEEE Region 1 Technical Innovation Award. Smith, a senior member of the local and national IEEE society, was recognized for his influential work in advancing the field of nanolithography for semiconductor devices.

The award, presented this past December, is both a reflection of his professional and research endeavors as well as his influence educating and mentoring engineering students in the fields of micro- and nano-technology. Read more here.




February 2015

Santosh Kurinec, Professor in the Electrical and Micoelectronic Engineering Department, gave an IEEE Distinguished Lecture at IEEE Oregon Section in Portland, Oregon on Feb 5th and a Graduate seminar at Portland State University on Feb 6th.  She visited Intel in Hillsboro and met with several RIT MicroE  alumni. Pictured from left to right are MicroE alums with Dr. Kurinec: Stephen Sudrigo, Dr. Kurinec, Keith Zawadzki, and David Pawlik. Stephen Sudrigo and David Pawlik are also a graduates of the microsystems PhD program here. Kurinec was named an IEEE Fellow by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Board of Directors in 2010 and recieved the IEEE Undergraduate Teaching Award in 2012.

The Rochester Chapter of IEEE and KGCOE’s Computer and Electrical & Microelectronic Engineering Departments hosted GlobalFoundrie’s Semiconductor Research Leader Director, Mi-hwa Chi. From one integrated circuit generation to another, electronic device core processors have added more transistors, even while decreasing in size. Continual advances to the structure, storage and overall capabilities of integrated circuits might even improve upon these dimensions. Min-hwa Chi, senior fellow and director of advanced programs with GlobalFoundries, discussd these advances, particularly 14-nanometer CMOS finFET technology. The latter is the underlying, three-dimensional approach being taken by semiconductor companies to produce higher capacity microprocessors used in electronic devices. Read more here.

Risa Robinson is putting solid data behind e-cigarette puffs of smoke. As e-cigarettes become more popular, her research into their use and nicotine effects will be used by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to regulate e-cigarette products touted as a means for smoking cessation, as less toxic and less addicting than traditional cigarettes. “What the FDA doesn’t understand yet is whether e-cigarettes are actually more or less harmful,” said Robinson, department head of mechanical engineering in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. “That may seem like a black-and-white question, but there so many areas of risk that you can look at.” Read more here, here, and here. Photo by A. Sue Weisler.

When Dr. Khurshid Guru sought a better way to perform surgery on cancer patients, one that preserves more of their kidney function, he didn’t turn to a veteran oncologist or medical researcher to flesh out his idea. Instead, the director of robotic surgery at Roswell Park Cancer Institute asked a 20-year-old intern, RIT biomedical engineering student, Lauren Samar, to help solve the problem. After a few months of sketching out possible fixes, and building models out of duct tape, they came up with a device that clamps off blood flow only to the cancerous part of the kidney, leaving the healthy portion intact. Impressed Roswell Park officials have applied for a provisional patent on the idea. “What’s remarkable about her project is within a very short period of time, with very little experience, she went from an idea that he just said, ‘This is what I think could work,’ to a full concept and a patent,” said Erinn Field, the coordinator for Samar’s program. Read more here. Photo by Marc Mulville/Buffalo News.

In looking for new uses for waste, Jeffrey Lodge, Associate Professor of biological sciences, has often teamed up with mechanical engineering professor Ali Ogut, who is founder and president of a startup company, Environmental Energy Technologies Inc. Lodge is an adviser to the company. Read more here.


Ray Ptucha, assistant professor of computer engineering in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering and an RIT alumnus, demonstrates his autonomous wheelchair driven by a skeleton at the seventh annual Graduate Education Week and Symposium on Feb. 27. Ptucha performs research on autonomous systems and human-computer interaction. The event’s keynote speaker, Ptucha specializes in machine learning, computer vision, robotics and embedded control. Photo by A. Sue Weisler.




January 2015

Besides having two parents as engineers, KGCOE Alum, Jennifer Indovina credits Star Trek with planting in her a lifelong desire to enter the engineering profession.

“The engineering department in that show always seemed to be able to solve whatever problems they were thrown,” said the electrical engineer, CEO and founder of Tenrehte Technologies, which designs and manufactures products that conserve energy and promote energy efficiency in everyday electronic devices. She became fascinated by the idea “that we can build with our hands these tools that enable us to improve our lives, explore the universe, and find out more about who we are, why we’re here, what we’re meant to do.” Read more. Photo by Mike Bradley


It’s estimated that as many as 3.8 million Americans experience concussive events as a result of athletic or recreational activities every year. But as many as 50 percent of these injuries go unreported or undiagnosed, and the results can be life-threatening: athletes who have suffered one concussion are more susceptible to future concussions, and secondary blows before the brain has had time to recover can have devastating and permanent effects. Repeated blows can bring on chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a disease marked by cognitive dysfunction, dementia, depression, and suicidal tendencies. Difficult to measure and diagnose, concussive injuries have plagued players and coaches for decades. But a tiny head-mounted sensor called the Linx Impact Assessment System could change all that. Read more.


David Borkholder's Head-mounted sensor mentioned in the story above also recieved a lot of attention at this year's Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas where it won three awards.

It's called the Linx Impact Assessment System, developed by BlackBox Biometrics, a company that evolved from an incubator at RIT.

Read about it here. Watch the video here.


RIT’s annual ARM Developer Day took place on Friday, Jan. 30, at the university. The event keynote address by Khaled Benkrid, ARM's Worldwide University Programme Manager was titled, “Connected Intelligence in the Internet of Things Era.”  A full day of demonstrations and hands-on workshops for students and faculty, presented by ARM and its technology partners, feature a variety of ARM-based development platforms, environments and tools. Read more. Photo by A. Sue Weisler


Linda Burns, who works as an engineering supervisor, knows that the brakes of a truck can involve much more than simply stepping on a pedal. The brake system for many vehicles has become a complexity of sensors and computers that can automatically slow down a vehicle when its mechanisms detect that the wheels are sliding on the pavement. Burns is one of a dozen employees from Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, based in Elyria, Ohio, who have spent this week at Rochester Institute of Technology’s new laboratory. Read more. Photo by A. Sue Weisler



December 2014 News Update

The students in Robin Borkholder’s project management class worked this fall with area nonprofit agencies to raise more than $9,000 through a variety of festive events such as the zumbathon pictured here. Read more. Photo by Michael Owens


It is uncommon for undergraduates to be the first authors of a research paper accepted and published in a recognized, peer-reviewed journal. Alexandra LaLonde (on the right) has had two - just this year!  The fourth-year biomedical engineering major co-authored two other articles since she started working in Professor Blanca Lapizco-Encinas' (on the left) Microscale Bio-Separations Lab in 2013. Read more. Photo by A. Sue Weisler


Kyle Crompton is putting in long hours – as many as 70 hours a week to develop a better lithium ion battery. His work has earned him a scholarship from the U.S. Department of Defense and summer internships at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Indiana. Read more. Photo by Andrew Bucossi

Ever since his father gave him his first model rocket when he was a child, Joseph Pawelski ’06, ’07 (mechanical engineering, thermal fluids engineering) knew he wanted to be an engineer. But he could never have predicted that he would become a leading producer of an alcoholic drink that was once banned in the U.S. and many other countries worldwide. Read more.  Photo by Amanda Pawelski


Biomedical engineering students from Rochester Institute of Technology will ring in the New Year in Guatemala working with the international nonprofit organization Engineering World Health. They will work in three of Guatemala’s largest hospitals repairing much-needed medical equipment during this winter’s intersession break from Dec. 28 through Jan. 18. Read more. Photo by Iris Asllani


The faculty and staff in mechanical engineering (and some Dean’s office staff) brought back packs filled with toys and other goodies to Rochester City School #3 kindergarten and first graders in December. Professor Ag Crassidis demonstrated an autonomous airplane for the kids.




November 2014 News Update

Peter Bajorski, Professor in Applied Statistic and Marcin Lukowiak, Associate Professor in Computer Engineering were part of interdisciplinary team awarded a U.S. patent for a method of electronic key management using public key infrastructure (PKI) to support group key establishment in the tactical environment. Harris Corp. sponsored the work.



RIT Baja Racing begins preparation and fundraising to open season in Brazil in March

Photo by Michael Owens

They will have missed Rio’s famous Carnival by only a few days, but the RIT Baja Racing Team will be planning its own excitement as it travels to Brazil to open its new season of SAE Baja racing competitions. Even though the competition takes place March 5–8, 2015, in the town of Piracicaba, just west of Rio de Janeiro, the majority of preparation is taking place well before the team sets off from Rochester.  Read more


Dan Phillips, Department Head for Biomedical Engineering, talked to The Rochester Business Journal about Assistive Technology and Undergraduate Research

Involving a community agency in the project has paid off in spades, says Dan Phillips, associate professor of biomedical engineering and department head at RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering, who also is a liaison between ABVI and RIT.  “And then you have these smart, capable people at RIT who can work with (ABVI) to develop something that sort of addresses the needs of the (service) provider and the person that’s being provided for,” he says. RIT students in various fields of study have participated in the project. The university excels at “getting significant research done with—and integrating in a meaningful way—undergraduate students,” Phillips says.  Read more


Tom Gaborski Named 2014 Young Innovator by International Biomedical Engineering Society

Thomas Gaborski’s research may be in ultra-thin nano-membranes, but it’s going to be titanic in advancing tissue engineering. Gaborski, assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology, and his research team are developing ways to use ultra-thin nano-membranes and adipose stem cells to create the vascular network necessary in engineering tissue, skin and organs. Read more Watch video

Engineering a New PhD Program

Photo by A. Sue Weisler

Mariela Rodriguez Adames is improving electrophotography, a core technology for 3D printing, paving the way for better systems to produce wearable sensors or even human tissue engineering.  Read more

Photo by A. Sue Weisler

Members of the Women in Engineering program had a birthday bash with colorful cupcakes to celebrate Kate Gleason’s birthday. The college’s namesake, born on November 25, 1865, was a Rochester business leader, entrepreneur, engineer and the first female member of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. In 1998, RIT’s engineering college was named after her, and in 2010, RIT Press published her biography, The Life and Letters of Kate Gleason, sharing her inspiring story of success. Melissa Miller, a fourth-year industrial engineering student from Belvidere, NJ, arranged some of the 500 cupcakes to honor Gleason.



September 2014 News Update

The last several months have been extraordinarily busy, with lots of changes within the college to address and manage.  It is primarily for this reason that I failed to deliver on my promise back in late April to arrange for a teleconference in May, or at the very least a series of emails to update you on college activities.

Presented below is a synopsis of the highlights of what has transpired since April.  It also will give you some idea regarding what I’ve been doing in the College all summer (with the exception of some business travel to companies and personal travel to Italy and to visit my grand-children).  I look forward to providing further details, especially with respect to ongoing challenges, when we meet in mid-October.



Jacquie Mozrall becomes Interim Dean of the Saunders College of Business

The excitement began shortly after I sent you my email in April, with the appointment of Jacquie Mozrall to the position of Interim Dean of the Saunders College of Business, a position that she assumed beginning July 1.  This is a very exciting opportunity for Jacquie and speaks volumes about her exceptional leadership capabilities, as well as the strong reputation that she has forged at all levels of the Institute over the past decade.  Needless to say, this quickly created a significant void in my leadership team, given the strong role that she has been playing as the only Associate Dean in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering.  She is an extraordinary person, and I had just arranged for a promotion in her title, to Senior Associate Dean, to recognize the vital role that she serves in the College, when the announcement of her appointment to the Interim Dean position was made.


Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs

The current expectation is that Jacquie will serve as the Interim Dean in the Saunders College of Business for the full academic year.  Thus, someone needed to be identified quickly to fill in as the Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs for the year.  Fortunately, I convinced Dr. Matthew Marshall, Associate Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, to serve in this capacity.  Matt’s breadth of experience in dealing with undergraduate curricular matters, combined with his student-centeredness, make him an excellent individual to assume this role.  Matt has been fully engaged in a broad range of activities at the department, college and institute level relating to undergraduate education for many years.  In addition to playing a key role in guiding the curricular conversion process for the change to semesters, Matt has served for several years on both the KGCOE Assessment & Accreditation Committee and the KGCOE Undergraduate Curriculum & Student Awards Committee.  He also was one of the lead advocates and instructors for the KGCOE Honors Program for many years.  At the institute level, Matt has served on the Institute Writing Committee, and he currently represents the College on the institute’s General Education Committee.  Needless to say, he brings to the position substantial prior knowledge that will be extremely helpful to his success in the position.   

Approval of the PhD in Engineering

At about the same time (actually mid-March), the College received word from New York State Education Dept. that it had approved our proposal to offer the Ph.D. degree in Engineering.  This is a very big deal for us, as it gives every faculty member in the College the opportunity to grow their research programs through the advising of Ph.D. students.  To address issues relating to the growth and management of the program, I created the new position of Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies.

Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies

After a thorough internal search and selection process, Dr. Edward Hensel, Professor and Department Head of Mechanical Engineering, was selected for this position. In this position, he will serve as the administrative director of the PhD in Engineering program, will provide guidance and leadership for growing research within the College, and will provide coordination and administrative oversight for the broad range of Masters programs that exist in KGCOE.  I believe that Ed is the best person for this position at this time, based in part upon his many years of experience as a member of the leadership team, his effectiveness as the Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department, and the leadership that he has already provided as a key architect of the proposal for the PhD in Engineering program.  Ed served Mechanical Engineering and the College exceedingly well during his 13 years as its Department Head.  Fortunately, as the Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies, he will continue to play a vital role on the College’s leadership team.

Domain Leads for the PhD Focus Areas

A novel element of the PhD in Engineering program is the way in which we intend to link the research activities within the college to big picture technological challenges within our society.  Indeed, we have chosen four key application domains to focus on:  Transportation, Energy, Communications and Healthcare (TECH).  With the launch of the PhD program, I needed to identify a faculty member who would lead each of these application domains.  In July, I announced that the following individuals would be assuming these leadership roles:

  • Dr. Agamemnon Crassidis, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, as the application leader for the Transportation domain.
  • Dr. Brian Landi, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, as the application leader for the Energy domain.
  • Dr. Andres Kwasinski, Associate Professor of Computer Engineering, as the application leader for the Communications domain.
  • Dr. Iris Asllani, Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering, as the application leader for the Healthcare domain.

Restructuring of the Center for Quality and Applied Statistics

One of the unique features of the College is its Center for Quality and Applied Statistics.  Within the auspices of the Center, the college offers an MS degree program in Applied Statistics and a variety of professional education and training programs in quality and applied statistics to enhance the success of businesses across all industry sectors.  In May, Don Baker, Director of CQAS for the past 18 years, announced his intention to begin a brief retirement transition program that involves him working half-time from July 1 until the end of December, with most of this time being spent on teaching courses and delivering training to customers under the auspices of the Center.  The challenge for us is to successfully execute a transition in the leadership of the Center that will assure its future success, building upon its recognized strengths in quality management and applied statistics as well as the solid foundation that has been built since the Center was created in 1983.

As a consequence, I have appointed Mark Smith to the position of Director of CQAS.  This became effective in mid-August.  For many years, Mark has been the Director of Multidisciplinary Programs in the Kate Gleason College, growing and managing a number of signature programs in the college, including the MS in Product Development, the MS in Manufacturing Leadership, and the College’s Multidisciplinary Senior Design Program.  In his role as the Director of Multidisciplinary Programs, Mark has demonstrated exceptional abilities in connecting the intellectual assets within the College to the needs of the world of business, particularly within the context of product development, manufacturing leadership, and multidisciplinary design.  Thus I feel that he is a perfect fit for this new position.

As part of the restructuring of CQAS, I also made the decision to integrate the six faculty members that comprise CQAS with the faculty of the Industrial & Systems Engineering department.  I made this decision for two reasons:  First, the set of programs and the areas of faculty expertise represented in the Center are extraordinarily well aligned with the intellectual threads that are commonly associated with the discipline of Industrial Engineering.  Secondly, my goal is to expand the set of offerings that is provided through the Center, and the best way to achieve this, in my opinion, is to expand the number and intellectual range of the faculty who can imagine themselves to be contributors to the Center.  In a certain sense, what I wanted to achieve was a shift in perception of the Center from being a closed shop to an open shop.


New Director for Multi-Disciplinary Senior Design

With Mark Smith assuming the role of Director of CQAS, I needed to find someone to lead the College’s Multidisciplinary Senior Design initiative.  I am pleased to say that Dr. Elizabeth DeBartolo, Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, just last week (and just in time for the start of school!) agreed to accept my offer to become the College’s first Director of Multidisciplinary Design in the Kate Gleason College.  Dr. DeBartolo joined the faculty of the Mechanical Engineering Department at RIT in 2000, after having completed her PhD in ME at Purdue University.  Her primary focus area is the development of rehabilitation aids and assistive devices through her work with senior design teams and graduate student research.  She also does work on characterizing the mechanical behavior of novel materials, and has worked on a variety of materials from diffusion-bonded high-temperature alloys to polymers used in human tissue simulations.  Her long-standing focus on, and commitment to, the integration of design into the curriculum makes her a perfect choice for this leadership position. 


Appointment of a new Department Head for Mechanical Engineering

Finding a successor to Ed Hensel as department head of mechanical engineering was by far the most time consuming part of my summer.  Choosing the next leader for this department required a process that engaged all of the internal stakeholders in a very significant fashion.  To achieve this, I had countless meetings with the ME faculty and staff, as well as my leadership team, first to identify finalists for the position and then to make the final choice.  Mechanical Engineering alone attracts almost 14% of all the undergraduate applications to the entire Institute.  Thus, it is an extremely important department, not only for the College but for RIT as a whole.  Finding someone that would continue to foster unity within the department, keep its programs strong, and grow key initiatives was my top priority.

I am extremely pleased to say that the process ended in an exceptional outcome:  Dr. Risa Robinson, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has been appointed to the leadership position of Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department.

Dr. Robinson is an RIT alumna, having graduated with her BS degree in Mechanical Engineering and an MS in Imaging Science.  She earned her PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Buffalo in 1999, joined the tenure-track faculty in the Kate Gleason College in 2000 as an Assistant Professor, and was promoted to full Professor in 2012.  Dr. Robinson has held several leadership positions in recent years, including a three-year appointment as Associate Department Head of the Mechanical Engineering Department and Chair of the department’s Curriculum and Assessment Committee.  She recently served as co-Chair of the Institutional Academic Portfolio Blueprint Task Force.  She is currently involved in innovative curricular development for first-year students, and was previously sponsored by the National Science Foundation to incorporate industry standard data acquisition techniques into the freshmen year.  Through these educational and leadership activities, Dr. Robinson has played an integral role in cultivating and disseminating new models for curriculum development and assessment strategies within her department and the college, and in defining a strategic map for future academic programming for the university. 

Dr. Robinson’s research interests, generally speaking, are centered on the dynamic behavior of inhaled particles as a means to study the toxicological effects of various tobacco products and nicotine delivery devices.  Her expertise is in aerosol mechanics, fluid dynamics and particle transport and deposition in systems, including the respiratory tract.  Dr. Robinson established and directs the Respiratory Technologies Laboratory (RTL) in the college which is engaged in a variety of fundamental and applied projects relating to smoking and particle inhalation.  In particular, the Lab develops systems to evaluate new tobacco products against manufacturer’s claims for reduced emissions and addictive potential.  It develops novel surveillance systems to monitor user’s smoking behavior in natural environments, to evaluate the user’s exposure to harmful constituents upon switching to new purportedly safer products.  Additional activities include the design of replica lung models for healthy and diseased lungs and their analysis, with both computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and particle image velocimetry, to map two-phase flow in these models to assess dosimetry of toxic constituents.  This research will inform regulatory policy regarding improved standards for testing new tobacco products, and will ultimately have a positive impact on public health.  Dr. Robinson’s work has been sponsored by the American Cancer Society, the Phillip Morris External Research Foundation, and the National Science Foundation.  Her work currently is sponsored by the Department of Defense, the National Institutes of Health, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The major thrust of these current efforts involves the evaluation of electronic cigarettes, a product whose market is rapidly expanding to now include teenagers.  Her work will aid the FDA in regulating these new and widely untested products.






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Fast Facts

The Kate Gleason College of Engineering at RIT is the nation’s premier career-oriented college of engineering. Students are well prepared for to be immediately valuable contributors to their employers or to go on to graduate school.

The Kate Gleason College of Engineering at RIT is the nation’s premier career-oriented college of engineering. Students are well prepared for to be immediately valuable contributors to their employers or to go on to graduate school.

Annual program enrollment and degrees awarded information can be found at: The link is on the left-hand side navigation panel under “ABET Accreditation” (opens as a PDF).

Fall 2014 Enrollment (excludes international campuses)

Total headcount is 3,456 up from 3,229 in 2013

Undergraduate Students          2,742 (608 female)

Graduate Students                   714 (151 female)

  • 5.4% Hispanic, 6.9% Asian, 3.1% African-American, 1.8% mixed race, 24% unknown, .2% American Indian
  • 29 Deaf/Hard-of-Hearing students

Freshman class:

  • 44.3% were in top 10% of high school class, mean GPA of 92.5%, average SAT 1884 (616 CR/667 M/601 W)
  • 24 International Students

Students (excludes international programs such as Dubai)

  • Energizing, innovative students who collectively create a vibrant campus community-learn more at Engineering Student Organizations
  • Average class size is 36
  • Study abroad opportunities while maintaining progress towards degree
  • An honors program that offers selected students in depth learning about product innovations for a global society
  • A first to second year retention rate over 95%
  • An award winning Formula SAE Team.

Faculty & Staff

  • KGCOE faculty are passionate about engineering and focused on student success. Faculty are approachable and engaged in teaching.
  •  Over 90% hold a doctorate degree and many hold one or more patents.
  • RIT's cooperative education program is the 4th oldest and 5th largest in the world; with over 2000 co-op placements for engineering students at 500 different companies each year. Our Co-op Education and Career Services Office maintains solid relationships with our industry partners and provides our students with superior advice and mentoring on obtaining co-ops and permanent positions after graduation.
  • Our Student Services office provides academic advising for engineering exploration students and counseling for all engineering students who seek it. They help students find the resources they need to be successful.
  • Extraordinary "Women in Engineering" program that is nationally recognized for its success in attracting and retaining women students-learn more at WE@RIT


  • Outstanding, high tech facilities, expanded labs for true hands-on experiences
  • The largest and most well equipped micro-fab clean room facility in the nation for undergraduate education
  • Industry-standard CAD and CAM software tools for design and analysis
  • State-of-the-art classroom technology and an Engineering Learning Center, staffed with tutors, to help students achieve their very best
  • Wifi throughout the engineering complex


KGCOE faculty are actively engaged in a variety of research domains. Click on each graphic to learn more about each of these areas of research.


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Engineers design the future and it is imperative that they recognize the great impact they have on society. Kate Gleason College of Engineering faculty, students, and staff are truthful and honorable, and do not tolerate lying, cheating, stealing, or plagiarism.


Engineers design the future and it is imperative that they recognize the great impact they have on society.

Kate Gleason College of Engineering faculty, students, and staff are truthful and honorable, and do not tolerate lying, cheating, stealing, or plagiarism

Joining the RIT engineering community means embracing this philosophy and upholding the highest standards of ethical behavior. Adhering to these principles reinforces a pattern of behavior that remains throughout professional life.

The ethical learning objectives outlined below is woven into the general curriculum throughout the all of the undergraduate engineering programs.

Year 1 Learning Objectives

  1. Understand the elements and objectives of the overall KGCOE Ethics Program as it relates to the profession of engineering.
  2. Comprehend university and college academic honesty policies.
  3. Develop an appreciation of ethics as it relates to your college experience and academic pursuit in the context of engineering.
  4. Develop an awareness of acceptable practices within academic settings pertaining to course assignments and exams.
  5. Apply basic criteria for ethical decision making.

Year 2 Learning Objectives

  1. Demonstrate an appreciation of ethics as it relates to the college experience and academic pursuit in the context of engineering.
  2. Explain basic criteria for ethical decision making.
  3. Understand ethical behavior in a team environment.
  4. Describe how to build and maintain a professional reputation.

Year 3 Learning Objectives

  1. Explain ethics as it relates to the engineering profession.
  2. Integrate basic criteria for ethical decision making within the engineering profession.
  3. Demonstrate ethical behavior in a team environment.
  4. Discover how to build and maintain a professional reputation.
  5. Illustrate the broader impact of engineering decisions.

Year 4 Learning Objectives

  1. Explain criteria for ethical decision making within the engineering profession.
  2. Demonstrate ethical behavior in a professional work environment.
  3. Create a professional reputation.
  4. Explain the broader impact of engineering decisions.

Year 5 Learning Objectives

  1. Explain ethical behavior in a team environment.
  2. Summarize how to build and maintain a professional reputation.
  3. Recognize the complex relationships that exist between engineering decisions and their broader impact.

Graduate Student Learning Objectives

  1. Demonstrate an appreciation of ethics as it relates to the responsible conduct of research.
  2. Demonstrate an appreciation of ethical responsibility in the context of the engineering or statistics professions.
  3. Demonstrate an understanding of ethics as it relates to authorship and plagiarism.
  4. Explain basic criteria for ethical decision making.
  5. Identify professional standards and code of ethics relevant to their discipline
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Discover Engineering

Engineers really do change the world every day. Have you wondered about engineering – what is it that they do? Is it creative? Would you like to explore a little? Below are some sites and apps that will allow you to do just that. So jump in – take a test drive.  All of these sites are free too!

Learn about science, technology, engineering and math:

Interesting websites for engineering info and play:

Good websites for makers and tinkerers:

Career Guides and Information on the Computer Science Field

How to Become a Computer Engineer

How to Become a Computer Programmer

Guides on Programs and Careers in Computer Science

For younger students and engineering novices, at the Google Play Store:

Engineer Cars

Bridge Architect Lite

Amazing Alex

Engineering School

Engineer’s Ping Pong

iPad App:


For ideas that will generate fun and may help spark a girl’s interest in engineering:

For high school students entering their senior year and wishing to explore a variety of disciplines, RIT offers College and Careers over two summer weekends.


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Contact Us

We want to hear from you!


The office of the Dean of the Kate Gleason College of Engineering is located in Gleason Hall, Suite 3203.  From Parking Lot J or F: Walk towards the campus buildings.  Gleason Hall (GLE) is left and straight.  (Walk past the parking circle and see Main Entrance on left side of Bldg.)

Mailing Address:

Kate Gleason College of Engineering-Office of the Dean
Rochester Institute of Technology
James E. Gleason Building
77 Lomb Memorial Drive
Rochester, NY 14623-5604

  • Phone:  585-475-2146
  • Fax:  585-475-6879

Additional Contacts

If you would like to schedule an appointment with Dean Harvey Palmer or Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs, Dr. Matthew Marshall, please contact Kim Sanford at or 585-475-2146 to schedule an appointment.

The Office of Student Services, Sharon Milici can be contacted at or 585-475-7994.

Click on the links below for questions about specific programs:

Biomedical Engineering

Chemical Engineering

Computer Engineering

Electrical Engineering

Industrial & Systems Engineering, Engineering Management, Sustainable Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Microelectronic Engineering

Microsystems Engineering

Manufacturing Leadership and Product Development

PhD Engineering

We look forward to hearing from you!

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  Rochester Institute of Technology
One Lomb Memorial Drive,
Rochester, NY 14623-5603
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