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News Update

November-December 2017

RIT and Colombia’s Universidad Autonoma de Occcidente sign Memorandum of Understanding

Rochester Institute of Technology and the Universidad Autónoma de Occidente recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding, an agreement between the two universities that would include student and faculty project and research exchanges focused on international product design theory and commercialization for developing economies. Both universities emphasize innovation and entrepreneurship to broaden regional economies, and having students prepared to lead global commercialization initiatives is an expected outcome of the new international collaboration.

Universidad Autónoma de Occidente (UAO) is located in Cali, Colombia, and is made up of five schools: engineering, economics and business management, communication, basic sciences and humanities. Its key research areas include economic development, environmental management and sustainability, manufacturing, organizational communication and industrial applications. Read more

Society recognizes Bruce Smith for leadership in engineering innovations and for enhancing student careers

Bruce Smith, professor and director of microsystems engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology, was recently honored with the Excellence in Leadership Award from the American Vacuum Society for his contributions to the field of nanolithography and influence on the careers of student-graduates in the fields of engineering and science.

The award is given annually to individuals who have made an impact in science and engineering, but also through mentoring, enhancing the careers of future generations who might not otherwise have considered or had access to opportunities in these fields. Smith, an active member of the society for 18 years, received the prestigious award at the recent AVS International Symposium and Exhibition that took place Oct. 29-Nov. 3 in Tampa, Fla.  Read more.

The Microelectronic Manufacturing Engineering ME degree program is ranked #27 in the country. Read more.

Poornima Padmanabhan, Assitant Professor in Chemical Engineering, had a paper published: Soft Matter titled “Molecular dynamics simulation of thermotropic bolaamphiphiles with a swallow-tail lateral chain: formation of cubic network phases”. Sun, Padmanabhan, Misra, and Excobedo, Soft Matter. 

In this computational study, a new class of molecules (bolaamphiphiles) combines a liquid crystal (short and rigid) and a polymer (long and flexible) is shown to adopt novel and complex network structures. By combining the molecular properties (electron carriers) to their aggregated structural properties (ordered networks with high porosity with superior transport), these materials are envisioned to have applications in photovoltaic devices.

Rui Liu recieved a Faculty Mentoring Grant sponsored by the Provost’s office and Faculty Career Development.  The committee liked the proposal for faculty and graduate students working together on newer research in this area.  Title: Enhancing communication & collaboration in gear research and developing the Gleason doctoral fellowship program. Funding will be to support several guest speakers.

On November 4, 2017, WE@RIT played host to 536 visitors exploring K-12 outreach activities in all of our engineering majors.  Over 100 KGCOE women contributed to this success.  WE@RIT would like to extend a thanks to all who played a role in this event, which has become a widely anticipated one in our community.  See our picture album from the Open House HERE.
Speed Networking with KGCOE Alumnae at Lovin' Cup.

WE@RIT hosted its inaugural speed networking event with alumnae to rave reviews on November 14, 2017.  Nearly twenty 4th/5th year students and 8 alumnae came together to reap the benefits of networking with one another.  WE@RIT looks forward to bringing more such opportunities to KGCOE.  See our picture album from Speed Networking, complete with a list of participating alumnae, HERE.
Celebrating Kate Gleason.

On Friday 11/17/17, WE@RIT gave out cupcakes to the KGCOE community in celebration of our college's namesake, Kate Gleason. Kate Gleason, born on November 25, 1865, was both a savvy engineer and business woman. WE@RIT honors Kate's memory and legacy each year with this event.  


October 2017

By combining traditional and newer microfluidics techniques, lab-on-chip technology can be used to analyze diseases faster and more cost-effectively

Research being done at Rochester Institute of Technology to refine lab-on-chip devices—highly sophisticated laboratories on microchips—will provide more detailed and timely information to detect diseases such as cancer.
Blanca Lapizco-Encinas, a faculty-researcher in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering, is improving the process of separating biological cells and biomolecules using chromatography principles, a well-established technique for separating proteins, combined with a newer technique called dielectrophoresis, a process that uses electrical current to separate biomolecules.
Read more.

WE@RIT Celebrates 15 Years at BCH

WE@RIT, a program dedicated to expanding the representation of female engineers, will celebrate 15 years on campus from noon to 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, at the Gordon Atrium in Gleason Hall. The event, “WE@RIT: Solving the Gender Gap in Engineering since 2002,” is a part of Brick City Homecoming & Family Weekend and is open to alumni, current students, parents, faculty and staff. There will be light finger foods, conversation and a photo timeline that highlights the success of women from Kate Gleason College of Engineering. Members of the RIT engineering community are invited to mingle and meet other people interested in the goals of WE@RIT. Kathy Ehrlich-Scheffer, director of WE@RIT, said that the work the program does for the college is important because it cultivates a welcoming community for the women in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering. The program celebrates the strength of women in the college and affirms that engineers don’t all have to look or act a certain way. Read more.

RIT Formula Racing alumnus helps pros take checkered flag in national and international races

Even before racecar drivers head onto the track, they have lapped significant miles through simulation programs to prepare for every demanding curve and straight-away. Building those program systems is RIT alumnus Ryan Baldi. He has taken his experiences in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering and as part of the RIT Formula Racing team and turned them into a winning career in the competitive world of auto racing. Today, engineers are as important to race teams as drivers and well-coordinated pit crews. Baldi ’10 (mechanical engineering) is an IndyCar simulation and modeling engineer at Pratt & Miller Engineering and Fabrication. He develops the vehicle dynamic simulation tools used by Chevrolet teams, many of which have consistently won IndyCar Manufacturer’s and Driver’s championships. Read more.

AIM-ing up: Student-researchers help build the photonics ecosystem

Rochester is making an impact in photonics manufacturing, and RIT is playing a central role as a key partner in AIM Photonics, a national manufacturing initiative expected to stimulate economic development and global competitiveness. Photonics is an intricate science about harnessing the power of light. RIT’s numerous experts are contributing to photonic device manufacturing, industry assessment to improve workforce training and education, and device packaging and assembly solutions—all critical areas necessary for the growing photonics ecosystem. RIT students are a big part of that system, creating photonics devices and solutions in classes and through research projects that will also become foundational materials to help train others for an industry expected to transform manufacturing. Read more.

RIT student-run company named to Top 500 list at Hello Tomorrow global summit

Two Rochester Institute of Technology students have taken their revolutionary hair care product all the way to Europe for the unique opportunity to engage and brainstorm with investors, innovators and industry experts. Kailey Bradt, a student in RIT’s Master of Science in product development program, and Lindsay Reardon, an MBA student in RIT’s Saunders College of Business, are at the Hello Tomorrow Global Summit Oct. 26–27 in Paris. Their student-run company, OWA Haircare, has been named to the Top 500 deep-tech startups worldwide, giving them the chance to receive feedback from industry experts and potential investors assembled from across the globe. According to Bradt, shampoo is comprised of 70 to 80 percent water on average. OWA is zero percent water. Read more.

KGCOE Staff Receives the Isaac l. jordan sr. staff pluralism award

The Isaac L. Jordan Sr. Staff Pluralism Award recognizes a staff member who demonstrates passion and commitment to spreading the goals of diversity and pluralism across our campus and into the greater community. This year’s recipient is Venessa Mitchell, director of engineering diversity, Office of the Dean, Kate Gleason College of Engineering. Mitchell helped form the Engineers of Color Creating Opportunity Center. She took on the role of director as an add-on to her role as the administrative and financial services coordinator for the mechanical engineering department. One nominator said, “In the past two years, she has established a series of signature events to recruit and retain AALANA students in RIT’s engineering programs. One event—an overnight program for accepted high school students— nearly doubled in size from 2016 to 2017.” Another of Mitchell’s nominators said, “Venessa is a creative spirit who is always finding ways to make a difference in the lives of students.”

KGCOE faculty recieves 2017 excellence in leadership award from american vacuum society

Founded in 1953, the AVS is an interdisciplinary, professional society that supports networking among academic, industrial, government, and consulting professionals involved in a variety of disciplines - chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, and engineering disciplines through common interests related to the basic science, technology development, and commercialization of  materials, interfaces, and processing area. AVS is organized into technical divisions and technical groups that encompass a range of established as well as emerging science and technology areas. AVS is a member society of the American Institute of Physics (AIP). Bruce Smith, director of the Microsystems PhD Program, has been an active member of the AVS for 18 years and was recognized for “work in science and engineering and mentorship which has enhanced the careers of future generations who might otherwise have considered or had access to opportunities in science, engineering, and technology. His leadership in the effort to develop fully the world’s human resources is critical to the best scientific and engineering progress.”

RIT MS Thesis Award Recipient: Mr. James Mnatzaganian (KGCOE), Advisor: Dr. Dhireesha Kudithipudi, Thesis title: Mathematical formalization of Hierarchical Temporal Memory's Spatial Pooler for use in Machine Learning.




September 2017

New ‘proactive health care’ application being built to capture videotaped sensory images of heart activity and blood flow while patients use tablets or smartphones

Researchers are developing a health app to incorporate into familiar technology such as a tablet or smartphone that will act as a clinical tool to assess atrial fibrillation, a growing heart ailment.
A team of engineers and clinicians at Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Rochester Medical Center (URMC) received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop a non-contact, video recording technology to detect the presence of atrial fibrillation—a heart rhythm disorder that affects more than 2 million Americans yearly.
The URMC received $2 million in funding for the project, and RIT will be granted nearly $800,000 from that funding for its portion of the collaborative project to develop the video algorithm. Co-project leaders are Gill Tsouri, associate professor of electrical engineering in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering, who is developing the video system algorithm and app, and Jean Philippe Couderc, a biomedical engineer and assistant director of UR’s Heart Research Follow-up Program Lab, who will lead the clinical trials. Read more.

RIT seeks to further expand its academic and research collaborations with top universities, companies and research organizations in Taiwan

Participating at the agreement signing are, from left, Matthew Wright, director of RIT’s Center for Cybersecurity; Andres Kwasinski, associate professor of computer engineering; Shanchieh Jay Yang, department head of computer engineering; Bohr-Ran Huang, dean of the College of Electronical Engineering and Computer Science, Taiwan Tech; and Jenq-Shiou Leu, department chair, Computer and Electronic Engineering, Taiwan Tech. Rochester Institute of Technology entered into a partnership with the National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, also called Taiwan Tech, to offer a dual Master of Science degree program. Students would receive a graduate degree in computer and electronics engineering from Taiwan Tech and a dual degree in computer engineering from RIT. This newest initiative expands the growing relationship with Taiwan and several of the country’s top universities. The dual degree program aims to broaden students’ international research experience through joint thesis advising. Research topics and coursework will center around the Internet of Things, cyber-security, data analytics, high performance computing and machine intelligence, said Shanchieh Jay Yang, professor and department head of computer engineering in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. Read more.

Panos Markopoulos, assistant professor-electrical engineering, has been invited to join the editorial board of IEEE Wireless Communication Letters due to his experience and expertise.

Ag Crassidis, professor in Mechanical Engineering, received Best Paper Award at the 4th International Conference of Control, Dynamic Systems, and Robotics (CDSR’17) in Toronto, Canada in August.

A patent entitled “Artificial Hip Joint Replacement System” (patent 9,642,709) was awarded in May 2017 to Stephen Boedo  (professor in mechanical engineering) and John F. Booker of Cornell University, and jointly assigned to RIT and Cornell.  The patent describes a novel method of enhancing lubrication in the artificial hip joint through specialized geometry and squeeze-film action.

Reginald Rogers recognized for research, academic support for students and commitment to STEM initiatives

Reginald Rogers, an assistant professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, received the Henry C. McBay Outstanding Teacher Award from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers. He will receive the award at the organization’s annual reception on Nov. 2 in Minneapolis. Rogers teaches in the chemical engineering program in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

The McBay Award is given to faculty members who have shown dedication to the profession through extensive research, commitment to the educational development of students and STEM initiatives. This is Rogers’ second recognition from the organization. In 2015, he was presented the Joseph N. Cannon Award in Chemical Engineering, given to distinguish the achievements of individuals in science, engineering and technology as well as to highlight role models of color in the STEM disciplines. Read more. Photo: A. Sue Weisler


Michael Schertzer, assistant professor in mechanical engineering, is leading a team developing digital microfluidic devices that can be used to assess biological fluids by introducing electricity. The devices are, in effect, small, portable laboratories for diagnosing diseases, and the hope is that the credit card-size devices will eventually replace all of the equipment of a traditional laboratory. The potential benefits are faster results and lower cost, making them especially valuable in remote or impoverished areas where no traditional laboratories are located.

“When most people think of microfluidic devices, they think of a pipe and making it small,” Schertzer explains. “You have a channel and you push fluid through it. What’s different about what we do is that we don’t have a channel. We have two plates, a top and bottom, and a checkerboard of electrodes. By applying electric fields, we can make small droplets of fluid and move them around the checkerboard of electrodes.” Read more.



Summer 2017

Celebrating 25 years of formula racing

When Lynn Bishop and William Robinson proposed building RIT’s first Formula racecar in 1992, they had practical goals—design a sleek, uncomplicated car that could compete against the top collegiate race teams in the co ntry. RIT Formula Racing would exceed expectations and be in the top 10 in each of its first five seasons—a feat only a handful of established teams would match. The team this year is celebrating its 25th anniversary of racing and providing hundreds of students over those years with automotive engineering skills, championship seasons, a pathway to careers and alumni network connections as intricate as a racecar engine. When Lynn Bishop and William Robinson proposed building RIT’s first Formula racecar in 1992, they had practical goals—design a sleek, uncomplicated car that could compete against the top collegiate race teams in the country. RIT Formula Racing would exceed expectations and be in the top 10 in each of its first five seasons—a feat only a handful of established teams would match. The team this year is celebrating its 25th anniversary of racing and providing hundreds of students over those years with automotive engineering skills, championship seasons, a pathway to careers and alumni network connections as intricate as a racecar engine.

The team experenced elation and disappointment this past weekend at Formula North, its second event of the 2017 season. The team was ranked seventh overall in points for both the static and dynamic events during the competition. Taking the checkered flag as overall champion was a possibility until the final three laps of the endurance run. Read more. Photo: A. Sue Weisler.

Increeasing Access to grow rochester health and developmental screesing could help improve early childhood learning

Rochester Institute of Technology and GROW Rochester have teamed up on a citywide project to help increase the number of 3-year-olds in the city receiving timely and necessary health and preventive services. Early screening to assess health issues and providing suitable interventions could increase the likelihood of children being well-prepared for, and doing well, in school.

Identifying 3-year-olds in the city for health assessment screenings has been a challenge, with only about a third of the children readily accessible in early preschool programs or other formal and easily identified organizations. For the remaining children, GROW Rochester is intent on finding multiple ways to increase parental and community awareness of and access to screening, assessment and follow up services.

“The partnership between the GROW Rochester and RIT will benefit Rochester’s children today and in the future,” said Ziebarth. She and Margi Ochs, director of Business Development and Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt, are leading the RIT portion of the project. “If we can catch health challenges when children are young, evidence shows that they are more likely to stay in school and excel. We are proud to be partners with GROW Rochester and the Children’s Institute in this important project.” Read more.

Additive Manufacturing Design Tips for Aerospace

According to the consultancy MarketsandMarkets, aerospace firms will be using additive manufacturing (AM) to make more than $3 billion in parts by 2022, up from a bit over $700 million in 2017. Aerospace and AM have a mutually beneficial relationship. Aerospace firms often have the rigorous requirements in weight and performance and make the small volumes that AM is best suited for, so encourage AM development. AM in turn helps OEMs make much better products, boosting the sector’s growth.

But AM, also called 3D printing, is still young, and engineers have a lot to learn about the new process. In a webinar presented by the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Denis Cormier, professor of industrial and systems engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology, explained some basics. Read morePhoto: Flugzeugteil

AMprint center receives first vader systems liquid metal 3d printer

RIT installed the first Mk1 liquid metal 3D printer from Vader Systems in the AMPrint Center in early June. The university-corporate partnership is integral to the growing 3D printing/additive manufacturing initiatives taking place in New York state, and research into further enhancements to an already innovative system is underway, specifically in the area of new materials processing and system design.

Working with AMPrint Center researchers, the company expects to further enhance this notable manufacturing technology, said Denis Cormier, director of AMPrint—the New York State Additive Manufacturing and Multifunctional Printing Center. “It is our job to try to help companies like Vader be successful, and I think they’ve got a phenomenal new technology that’s completely different than any other process out there,” said Cormier. Read more. Photo: Vader Systems, LLC.

Wire revolution: rit wins department of energy award to improve wiring for advanced electric equipment

Researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology are working with corporate and government partners to develop more efficient, durable and cost-effective carbon nanotube technology in electronic components and systems that now use copper wiring.

“Depending on how bold a perspective you want to give, what we are embracing is a wire revolution,” said Brian Landi, associate professor of chemical engineering in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. “That’s the big picture view—if we could create affordable carbon wiring that has the electrical properties competitive with metal wiring, we would have a completely disruptive technology that would supplant metal wiring in select portable applications.”

RIT researchers won an award of $1 million from the Department of Energy’s (DOE) advanced manufacturing office for “Nanometal-interconnected carbon conductors for advanced electric machines.” Landi is the principal investigator on the project, working with government partners at the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory and industry leaders Nanocomp Technologies and Minnesota Wire. With the implementation of numerous advanced manufacturing initiatives across the U.S., and RIT’s involvement in seven of 14 of them, this DOE project is a parallel effort at the research stage to advance technologies that could be commercialized by the research team’s corporate partners. Read more. Photo: A. Sue Wesler.

seeing the light: researchers see to improve solar cell technology using new materials and nanowires

Researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology are expanding solar cell technology using nanowires to capture more of the sun’s energy and transform it into usable electricity. Comparable to ultra-thin blades of grass, nanowires added to today’s conventional materials are capable of capturing more light and can be cost-effective solutions for adopting solar energy into the broader consumer market.

One of the larger global challenges today is meeting energy demands, and alternative energy solutions such as solar power are being sought. Using nanowires for solar cells has been an active field for nearly 10 years. Until now, few researchers have conclusively demonstrated how different materials beyond silicon and nanowire arrays can be used to achieve increased solar energy. An RIT research team is exploring an unconventional process to improve solar power conversion efficiencies to convert sunlight into useful electrical energy. Their work focuses on maximizing how much of the solar spectrum can be taken in using tandem junction solar cells based on III-V compounds—metallic and non-metallic elements on the Periodic Table to supplement silicon, said Parsian Mohseni, assistant professor of microsystems engineering in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. Read more.

carbon nanotubes enable gene transer

Michael Schrlau was a “dyed-in-the-wool” mechanical engineer throughout most of his formal education, which was not surprising given his love of anything automotive.

If you had asked him 15 years ago whether he would be working in the field of bioengineering, “I would have looked at you cross-eyed,” he says. But as he studied for his doctorate, he began to think about what kind of use there might be for the “cool” nanotube-based probes he enjoyed making.

Fast-forward to today, and Schrlau, assistant professor of mechanical engineering in Rochester Institute of Technology’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering and founding director of the university’s Nano-Bio Interface Laboratory, is working to integrate biological and artificial systems at the micro/nanoscale level in areas, such as nanomanufacturing, nanomanipulation, technology-biology interactions, and biomedical applications. Read more.



May 2017

Accepted students welcomed by Engineers of Color Creating Opportunities program team

More than 75 accepted students and family members participated in the second ECCO Retreat taking place in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. Organized by the ECCO Center team—Engineers of Color Creating Opportunities—the full-day retreat included presentations by current engineering students, information about college and campus academic and social resources, and activities to give the accepted students an idea of what they can expect as they enroll in the engineering college this fall.

ECCO Center provides diversity programming focused on increasing the number of under-represented AALANA—African American, Latino American and Native American—student engineers in the engineering college. Over the course of the day, accepted students toured the college and met current students and faculty in several of the labs to:

Engineering students showcase assistive technology projects at New York State Legislature

Two teams of RIT engineering students have found “endless possibilities” for second-hand clothing—from insulation and wall dividers to chairs and desks—through two upcycling projects in their senior design classes.

Both teams are finalists in a student design competition that will be featured during the Create Symposium taking place April 26 at the New York State Legislature in Albany. Create—Cultivating Resources for Employment with Assistive Technology—is sponsored by New York State Industries for the Disabled, a consortium of rehabilitation agencies across the state. The same teams will also display their creations at the 2017 Imagine RITInnovation and Creativity Festival on May 6. Read more

Indiana Drones: Unmanned aerial vehicle gives archeologist a cool tool

Technology students will be on exhibit at the 10th annual Imagine RIT: Innovation and Creativity Festival on May 6.

The Multispectral Imaging Drone will be located all day in The Think Tank zone in the Mobius Quad on the RIT campus. Members of the senior design team from the Kate Gleason College of Engineering and the College of Science developed the drone as an archeological survey tool to locate potential artifacts prior to a dig. Data taken off the drone could be used to locate objects on the ground or buried a few meters below the surface.

The idea began with project manager Leah Bartnik, a senior in RIT’s Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science, who grew up in West Seneca, N.Y., near the Penn-Dixie Fossil Park and Nature Reserve. While in high school, Bartnik worked at Penn-Dixie during the summers and fell in love with paleontology.  Read more.


RIT hosts the 2017 Effective Access Technology Conference April 21

Dr. Geoffrey Ling, former assistant director for medical innovation for the Obama administration and an expert in researching and developing technology for war-wounded veterans, is the keynote speaker for Rochester Institute of Technology’s Effective Access Technology Conference on April 21. Ling, a neurology professor at Johns Hopkins University and the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, will share his unique expertise during his noontime presentation “Technology for the War Wounded.”

According to Dan Phillips, faculty associate for the Partnership for Effective Access Technology Research & Development at RIT, the conference is a “unique and inclusive forum for the exchange of ideas, needs and realities of developing and utilizing devices, systems and processes that can provide enhanced access. That dialogue is ideally carried out when developers and the individuals, service providers and organizations who would benefit from such advances are all at the table." Read morePhoto: RIT Photo Services

Students connect engineering and biology to impact health care

Thomas Gaborski’s NanoBio Device Lab is where engineering and biology intersect.The assistant professor of biomedical engineering is developing new nano-membranes, flexible structures made of porous materials for more precise cell filtration and analysis to detect diseases.

In his lab are undergraduate, co-op, master’s and doctoral-level student-researchers helping to improve applications. And the division of labor is led by two post-doctoral researchers, Marcela Mireles and Henry Chung, skilled in microfabrication and materials science as well as cell biology and microfluidic devices, respectively. They combine the skills necessary for biomedical engineers today and are an example of how RIT’s students are being prepared for the field that is expected to transform health care in the United States. ; Photo: Chris Coe


RIT’s all-female Formula SAE electric race team wins in New Hampshire

The all-female RIT Hot Wheelz Formula SAE Electric vehicle team took home first place in the Electric-only category at the 2017 SAE Formula Hybrid competition May 5 in New Hampshire Motor Speedway, along with other trophies and recognition. The team also received the IEEE Excellence in Electric Vehicle Engineering trophy, a top award given in recognition of a team’s overall engineering process—from its design and build procedure to assessment of team performance, dynamics, attention to detail and the team’s ability to establish or continue a legacy.

Ford Motor Co. also recognized the Hot Wheelz team for their outstanding teamwork, spirit and success at the competition with an autographed bumper from NASCAR driver Greg Biffle.Read more. And here. Photo: Karen Endicott, Thayer Scholl of Engineering at Darmouth College



RIT student entrepreneur wins first place at New York State Business Plan Competition

Kailey Bradt, a student in RIT’s Master of Science in product development program from Corning, N.Y., won first place and $10,000 in the “Products” category at the eighth annual New York Business Plan Competition, sponsored by SUNY Polytechnic Institute and the University at Albany. The competition was held in April at SUNY Poly’s Albany NanoTech Complex and featured 103 teams that were selected to compete after making it through regional semifinal rounds that were held across the state.

Kailey Bradt, a student in RIT’s Master of Science in product development program from Corning, N.Y., won first place and $10,000 in the “Products” category at the eighth annual New York Business Plan Competition, sponsored by SUNY Polytechnic Institute and the University at Albany. The competition was held in April at SUNY Poly’s Albany NanoTech Complex and featured 103 teams that were selected to compete after making it through regional semifinal rounds that were held across the state.

According to Bradt, her entry—OWA Haircare— is a waterless shampoo that saves water, plastic and energy. All ingredients have a safety rating of 1, the safest rating that can be achieved on the Environmental Working Group’s Skin Deep database. The ingredients are naturally derived, not sourced from animals, making the product completely vegan. Read more.

RIT Formula Team Celebrates 25 Years of Competition

RIT Racing, the Formula SAE race team at the Rochester Institute of Technology, sped to a ninth-place overall finish in Formula Student Michigan at Michigan International Speedway this past weekend. Formula Student Michigan is the largest and most prestigious national collegiate design competition in North America, and RIT Racing was among 125 international teams from universities in the U.S. as well as Canada, Austria, South Korea, Singapore, Germany, Mexico, Venezuela and Brazil. The team also took top-20 placements in the autocross and endurance events and received a team design award for one of its engine systems.

RIT Racing placed seventh in the endurance race event, with a best lap time of 58.586 seconds—just off the best overall time recorded by eventual winner, the University of Stuttgart at 52.794 seconds. Read more.  Photo: A. Sue Wesler



March 2017

Reusable carbon nanotubes could be the water filter of the future, says RIT study

A new class of carbon nanotubes could be the next-generation clean-up crew for toxic sludge and contaminated water, say researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology.

Enhanced single-walled carbon nanotubes offer a more effective and sustainable approach to water treatment and remediation than the standard industry materials—silicon gels and activated carbon—according to a paper published in the March issue of Environmental Science Water: Research and Technology.

RIT researchers John-David Rocha and Reginald Rogers, authors of the study, demonstrate the potential of this emerging technology to clean polluted water. Their work applies carbon nanotubes to environmental problems in a specific new way that builds on a nearly two decades of nanomaterial research. Nanotubes are more commonly associated with fuel-cell research. Photo by John-David Rocha and Reginald Rogers

Read more

Declining Bee Population and Drone Solution

The declining honey bee population could have some significant impacts on local fruit farmers and beekeepers that sell honey. Luckily for beekeeper and operator of Brighton Honey Ward Graham, his bees are doing just fine this season but he says it is a struggle trying to keep them alive.

Engineers at the Rochester Institute of Technology say it's possible. They've already found uses for drones in the agricultural world, using them to help farmers tend to specific plants without having to treat an entire field.

"We can literally look at the plant level and tell if a plant is thirsty, if a plant needs nutrients or if a plant is sick,” said Jan Van Aardt, Imaging Science Professor at RIT. "These types of drone systems we're talking about, like the ones here, are very large in size, so for that bee application obviously you'd want it to be much, much smaller,” says RIT Mechanical Engineering Professor Agamemnon Crassidis. "Possibly within five to ten years, I can see that happening but as of today, we're not quite there.”

Engineers also say developing and using pollinating drones is still a ways off. Read more

RIT Launches Series on Artificial Intelligence

RIT is kicking off a new seminar series focused on connecting the campus’s growing artificial intelligence (AI) community.

The series has evolved out of a long tradition of AI research at the institution. There are 43 AI-focused courses and approximately 40 faculty-researchers in 27 lab groups across RIT involved in using AI and related areas. This past February, RIT hosted the  Move78 retreat, which brought together individuals from the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, Saunders College of Business, the College of Science and the College of Liberal Art. More than 200 faculty, students and staff members teaching or researching AI had a chance to learn more about the field, as well as the direction that RIT might take to expand its capabilities. Read more

The Outstanding Chapter Advisor Award is given by Fraternity and Sorority Life

This award recognizes one faculty/staff or chapter/alumni adviser who most exemplifies the values of the organization. Dr. Reginald Rogers was nominated on behalf of their chapter and provides leadership and guidance to the organization by going above and beyond their everyday responsibilities.

This year’s award recipient stands as moral motivation to all members, asking about fraternal life but also personal life, has advised ways to improve current policies, and will be attending the regional leadership conference to represent the organization. This advisor helps brothers to gain a balance of academics and fraternity & sorority life, reminding each of maintaining grades while enjoying their time at college. He has helped brothers to see the potential in themselves, especially when they’ve needed it the most.

Project helps teen with day-to-day tasks and becomes a foundation for business opportunities in region

When Eric first saw the prosthetic arm that two RIT engineering students designed, he was nervous about touching it, let alone wearing it. Family and friends from his village in Rwamagana, in eastern Rwanda, gathered to be there as he received the new hand, and they encouraged him to try it himself.

Once he did, it seemed to change everything, said Laura Alderfer. She and Ken Postel, both undergraduate students in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering, traveled to Rwanda to deliver the arm after spending the fall semester designing, printing and testing it for the 19-year-old boy. The two students had experience with international travel after previous work as part of Engineering World Health. The campus student organization had undertaken several international trips to Haiti, Guatemala and Rwanda to work in hospitals and other community organizations repairing and upgrading medical equipmentRead more.

ME Alum’s pioneering exoskeleton technology could allow paralyzed people to move again

One of her dearest friends from undergrad got into a dirt-bike accident. Sam and Taylor Hattori had been close since freshman year when they met in the Machine Shop at RIT, a kind of on-campus mecca of drills, saws, and other heavy-duty equipment. It was for the kids, Sam says, who were “more comfortable with machines than with other people.”

Taylor’s accident left him paralyzed from the chest down. They had become the type of friends who could show up on each other’s doorsteps in the middle of the night and expect a place to crash indefinitely, no questions asked. And this was going to be no different. With the conviction to help her friend walk again, Sam quit her high-flying job at Tesla and turned her mechanical mind toward fixing a much more personal problem. Sam couldn’t build Taylor a spine, so she decided to build him the next best thing: a robotic suit. Read more.

  • Steve Boedo appointed Associate Editor of the ASME Journal of Tribology.
  • Luis Herrera was awarded the Air Force Summer Faculty Fellowship for this summer. 
  • Dr. Lynn Fuller Received Eisenhart Award for Outstanding Teaching
  • Dr. Risa Robinson Received Trustees Scholarship Award
  • Dr. Ray Ptucha, Dr. Jennifer Bailey, Sarilyn Ivancic were awarded a Provost’s Learning Innovation Focus Grant

Members of WE@RIT hosted nearly 125 accepted female students to the Kate Gleason College of Engineering at the annual WE Retreat on March 31. The accepted students toured campus, participated in lab activities and stayed overnight with current female engineering students. It was a chance to learn more about the college and the programs they would be involved in as undergraduates. It was also part of the lead-in to Admissions’ Accepted Student Open House on April 1. Photo by Valaria Villa



February 2017

STEM Fair held to Encourage Young Girls to Pursue Science, Technology and Engineering Careers

Some area middle school and high school girls spent their Saturday learning about science, technology, engineering and math. The "Girls Soaring in STEM Fair" at the Rochester Institute of Technology aimed to encourage young women to pursue careers in a variety of STEM fields, which are typically dominated by men. Read more.



Smart Skins Sensors are Ready to Takeoff

A new technology that uses 3D printing to embed flight sensors on an aircraft wing could allow for manufacturing stronger, safer planes.Currently, sensors used to detect such things as airflow over the wings and pressure, are manufactured then adhered atop the aircraft wing. But this new technology allows for embedding sensors within the wing itself, enabling more precise measurements of stress or pressure that could disable an airplane or unmanned aircraft.  “This enables us to integrate sensors in a way that has not been done before, because you can put these sensors directly on a wing surface,” said David Borkholder, the Bausch & Lomb Professor in the microsystems engineering department in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. Read more.

NIST award to develop secure applications for deeply-e  mbedded systems: Improvements could enable better security for wearable and implantable medical devices

Mehran Mozaffari Kermani, a faculty member at Rochester Institute of Technology, recently received a grant to design security measures for computing systems that will protect wearable and implanted medical devices such as pacemakers from cyberattacks. It is work that could improve both patient safety and data integrity of deeply-embedded systems.

Mozaffari Kermani, an assistant professor of electrical engineering in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering, received $343,406 in funding from the National Institute of Standards and Technology—Measurement Science & Engineering Research Grant Program. He will develop cryptographic systems and technology that will further secure deeply-embedded computing systems—organizational networks connected to the internet. Read more  Photo: Julia Freeman-Woolpert

RIT designated newest National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenge Scholars Program

RIT has become the newest university designated as part of the Grand Challenge Scholars Program, a national initiative to train future engineering and non-engineering professionals to play a significant role in solving the major challenges of the 21st century.

The National Academy of Engineering detailed 14 challenges that if solved through collaborations between individuals in science, engineering and the liberal arts could positively impact complex societal issues such as improving urban infrastructure, making solar energy economical, securing cyberspace, providing access to clean water and engineering better medicines.

As part of the GCSP, RIT will take advantage of several established and successful components of its educational curriculum, particularly its co-operative education program and its international campuses. Students who participate in the GCSP would work with mentors and academic advisers to ensure that their learning experience integrates technical skills with critical thinking, communication and awareness of, and respect for, diversity, said Doreen Edwards, dean KGCOE. Read more.

KGCEO and RIT Celebrate National Engineers Week

One of the highlights of this year’s National Engineers Week celebration was Family Day. Twelve middle school students came to RIT with their parents or other family members to learn about engineering. They all enjoyed learning about what engineers do with hands on activities in three different labs including The Toyota Lab, The AMPrint Center and . Some parents also attend a panel discussion by engineering alums about the Future of Engineering.  The week’s activities were planned by a committee of faculty, staff and students from KGCOE, CAST, and GCCIS. SG Senators, Tonty Mendoza (CAST) and Enri Marini (KGCOE) were instrumental in the success of the week!

Photo: Bruce Kahn, Business Director, AMPRint Center-Family Day participants watching laser cutter.

Other highlights of the week were

  • KGCOE Hockey Night
  • Student Club Day
  • Food Truck Day
  • Innovators & Entrepreneurs: Managing Success & Growth
  • Alumni Panel on the Future of Engineering: Rick Langkamp, ’83, ’03-Mechanical Engineering, New Product Development; Chris Lojek, ’08 Computer Engineering Technology; Stephen DeVay, ’10 Software Engineering
  • All About Drones with a presentation by Dr. Ag Crassidis on the commercial applications of drones
  • Career Fair Prep and Resume Reviews

Six students from RIT’s Delta Pi Chapter of Pi Tau Sigma traveled to Philadelphia

Students attended the society’s national convention along with Mechanical Engineering faculty, Michael Schrlau.  Pi Tau Sigma is an international mechanical engineering honor society centered around scholarship, leadership, and service, and is a collection of some of the top ME students in the country.  While at the convention, the students interacted and networked with students from other universities, attended guest lectures on topics involving Peace Engineering and diversity, and developed their professional skills through a career fair and resume review.  One of the students, Tim Frey, was a part of a design team that won the AutoDesk Fusion 360 Design Swarm challenge.  The challenge forced teams to come up with a disruptive design solution to rainwater harvesting in California, and then create a CAD design all within 75 minutes.  The convention also included a celebration of women in engineering, and Dr. Risa Robinson was honored, along with other women engineers. On campus, RIT’s chapter of PTS is actively involved within the ME department, hosting events such as tutoring sessions, the senior big roast, and the KGCOE dodgeball tournament.



RIT Student Chapter of SWE, Society of Women Engineers, awarded second place for Region E Outstanding Collegiate Section at conference in February in Syracuse, New York.



Steven Boedo, Mehcanical Engineering Professor was recently appointed as Associate Editor of the ASME Journal of Tribology.



December 2016-January 2017

rit expands agreement with university in china

Tianjin University of Technology of China, a nationally recognized leader for its programs in engineering, technology and the arts, and the first technological university providing education for the deaf in China, is partnering with RIT. We have entered into new partnership agreements to enroll students in one- and two-year programs at RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering and the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID).  

Tianjin University has been a longtime partner of NTID, and representatives visited RIT as an opportunity to review and confirm details related to these new agreements. A formal signing ceremony took place Friday, Dec. 9. Read more.


KGCOE engineer researches the impact of shear stress on cell circulation and the spread of disease

How do cells and protein molecules respond to stress as they travel through blood vessels? Could resulting changes to these biological components impact how diseases are spread?

Researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology are answering those questions using fluid dynamics and mechano-biology strategies to better understand blood flow and how cells moving through blood vessels are affected by shear stress—pressure and friction on objects. Understanding the biomechanics of blood flow and the role shear stress plays on cell and protein behavior could help lessen the incidence of cancer metastasis and heart failure, or improve the process of engineering replacement tissues and organs, said Jiandi Wan, an assistant professor of microsystems engineering in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering, who recently received a $476,505 award from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation for this work. Read more.


jay yang discusses cyber situational awareness at australasian simulation congress

Shanchieh (Jay) Yang, department head of computer engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology and a leading researcher in cybersecurity trends and situational awareness, participated at the Australasian Simulation Congress and annual conference this fall. He was both a plenary speaker and presented a master class to colleagues on “Network attack simulation: An enabler for cyber situational awareness analytics and training.”

The Australasian Simulation Congress is one of the largest international conferences to advance the research, development, and use of simulation technologies and practices in Australian industry, academia, and government. Yang discussed current work and results of research in network attack simulation and modeling. His work has universal applications for those in the field of preventing network attacks that continue to evolve and become more sophisticated. Automating the process of recognizing attack strategies, at their earliest stages, can be used to successfully mitigate attacks through modeling, simulation and prediction, he said. Read more. Photo provided by ASC

Theme Park enthusiasts garner national awards

Rollercoaster lovers are probably used to ups and downs, but six members of Rochester Institute of Technology’s Theme Park Enthusiasts made a clean sweep in Orlando, Fla., by winning every award in a national competition to design amusement park rides.

The Ryerson Invitational Thrill Design Competition, hosted by Universal Creative, invited teams from four colleges to create theme park rides or make modifications to existing rides.

“We’ve all been dreaming of jobs and internships in the field. I think we’re all in shock of how well the trip went,” said Robert Cybulski, the club’s president and a fourth-year mechanical engineering major from Lancaster, Pa.

Other members of the team are:

  • Chris Brucker, an architecture graduate student from Schenectady, N.Y.
  • Caroline Kruse, a fourth-year mechanical engineering major from Washington Crossing, Pa.
  • Emily O’Connor, a fourth-year applied statistics and economics major from Barre, VT.
  • David Swerzenski, a fifth-year mechanical engineering major from Oak Ridge, N.J.
  • Mike Troise, a fourth-year mechanical engineering major from White Plains, N.Y.

Read more.

brainwaves could act as your password - but not if you're drunk

Getting drunk could make it harder to enter your password – even if your brainwaves are your login.

Brainwave authentication is one of many biometric measures touted as an alternative to passwords. The idea is for a person to authenticate their identity with electroencephalogram (EEG) readings. For example, instead of demanding a passcode, a computer could display a series of words on a screen and measure the user’s response via an EEG headset. EEG signatures are unique and are more complex than a standard password, making them difficult to hack.

But while research suggests that EEG readings can authenticate someone’s identity with accuracy rates around 94 per cent, there could be confounding factors – including whether you’ve had a few too many drinks.

Tommy Chin, a security researcher at cybersecurity consultancy firm Grimm, and Peter Muller, a graduate student in computer engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology, decided to test this theory experimentally, by analyzing people’s brainwaves before and after drinking shots of Fireball, a cinnamon-flavored whisky. Read more.

texas instruments r and d innovator led rit arm developer day

Xiaolin Lu, an expert in the Internet of Things, was the keynote speaker for the 2017 RIT ARM Developer Day conference. The Texas Instruments R&D manager is recognized for her breakthrough work on embedded systems for the industrial internet, smart grids and ultra-low-power communications systems. As a Texas Instruments Fellow and research and development manager, she leads the company’s Kilby Innovation Technology Center in Dallas. She was recently named Asian American Engineer of the Year by the national Discover Engineering organization.

RIT ARM Developer Day is open to engineering, engineering technology, computing and science students from RIT and regional colleges and universities. Programming consists of demonstrations, exhibits and hands-on workshops for students and faculty by companies that manufacture, distribute and support ARM-based products, covering a variety of development platforms, environments and tools. ARM Ltd. designs and licenses ARM (advanced RISC machines) microprocessor architectures. Photo by A. Sue Weisler

risa robinson is lighting up the statistics

E-cigarettes have become an item some turn to when they want to stop smoking traditional cigarettes, while some even take them up instead of the traditional cigarette from the very beginning. As its users have grown worldwide, a team that includes the Rochester Institute of Technology is testing the effects of e-cigarettes, with particular attention given to the flavoring.

Prof. Risa Robinson, head of the mechanical engineering program at the school and director of the Respiratory Technologies Laboratory, has been studying e-cigarettes for years, with her initial research including article deposition in the respiratory tract. “There are a decent amount of potential factors with e-cigarettes, but two that aren’t considered enough are the coiling and that the flavoring might make people use e-cigarettes more often. An e-cigarette works through a heating coil and in a liquid format there is the nicotine. They take a puff and bring liquid into an atomization chamber and a chamber has a heating coil and that process ‘aerosolizes’ the liquid into a small droplet. The droplet is suspended in air. And that’s what is inhaled.”



November 2016

Rochester Institute of Technology recently named former Kodak scientist Bruce Kahn as the new director of business development for the New York State Center for Advanced Technology for Additive Manufacturing and Multifunctional Printing, also referred to as the AMPrint Center. He started at the university this fall.

Kahn has more than 15 years of experience in the area of printed electronics, chemistry and materials science, and will help advance economic development opportunities in the growing field of multifunctional printing through university, corporate and government collaborations based at the AMPrint Center. Among the first research centers in the world to specifically focus on multifunctional 3D printing, the AMPrint Center brings together researchers to advance two industries the region is noted for—printing and imaging—to enhance the global and national competitiveness of New York state manufacturing. Read more.

Predictive analytics is in high demand because it has so many applications. In addition to homeland security, Industrial & Systems Engineering Professor Katie McConky says it can be used in healthcare, energy, and more. “As computing systems and data become more abundant, predictive analytics is a natural progression from just analyzing what the data means to what one can anticipate or project into the future,” McConky says.

Predicting the future in any shape, form, or fashion is invaluable to companies. Shanchieh (Jay) Yang, professor and the department head of the computer engineering department at Rochester Institute of Technology, tells GoodCall, “If we can predict consumer behaviors, we can anticipate future product demands, providing inventory at just the right levels.” Read more.

One mom walked down the hall in the college of engineering shaking her head, stating “I can’t believe they had all of this here. I didn’t expect this much to be going on…”

But a lot was going on, in just about every hallway in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, and this mom was one of many that came to RIT with a future engineer or scientist to the Women in Engineering@RIT Open House on Saturday, Nov. 5. This is the second year the WE@RIT team opened their house to 5th – 9th grade girls, their parents and teachers. More than 500 regional middle, high school and charter school students descended on the engineering college. Read more.

Members of the Silicon Europe Alliance, Europe’s leading micro- and nano-electronic business clusters, traveled to New York state to meet with representatives of economic development organizations, high tech companies and universities to discuss future collaborations in advanced nanoelectronic technologies. The group’s final stop, on a trip that began in Albany in mid-November, was RIT, and hosted by the microelectronic engineering and microsystems engineering departments in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

“This was a fact-finding mission, and for us, it’s all about connecting to global semiconductor ecosystems,” said Veronique Pequignat, director, international actions and key technologies for France AEPI. “Our Alliance has done similar travels before in key areas targeting the United States and Taiwan. And after information gathering we’ll determine an action plan for these priority markets.” Read more. Photo by Michelle Cometa.

High-tech equipment launched by NASA is exploring the origins of the universe in the farthest, most remote reaches of space. Archana Devasia’s work building some of the complex detector systems on that equipment ensures that data is being successfully transmitted back to Earth.

The microsystems engineering Ph.D. graduate is a research associate with NASA’s Center for Research in Space Science and Technology (CREST) and is part of the team developing custom detectors that span the entire electromagnetic spectrum for astrophysics applications. “One of the projects I’m working on is about taking measurements of the Cosmic Microwave Background, the radiation which was emitted thousands of years after the Big Bang,” said Devasia ’05, ’11 (electrical engineering, microsystems engineering). Read more.



September-October 2016

A National Science Foundation grant of $99,620 is supporting the two-year project and the multidisciplinary team that represents the strategic collaboration of the RIT & Rochester Regional Health Alliance. Satish Kandlikar, the Gleason Professor of Mechanical Engineering in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering, is leading the NSF-funded study to establish modern thermal, or infrared, imaging as a viable alternative to other technologies, such as ultrasound and MRI, used in addition to conventional mammograms.

“Modern infrared imaging has the potential to significantly increase the accuracy of screening for breast cancer and could have broad implications for preventive medicine,” Kandlikar said. Read more.

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT Dubai) has received accreditation for its Electrical and Mechanical Bachelor engineering programs from the world-renowned ABET, after success in passing international standards and procedures implemented by the commission to ensure high-quality education, curricula, learning outcomes and a high caliber of graduates. RIT Dubai is the only international university (branch campus) in the UAE to receive ABET accreditation.

Dr. Jeremy Haefner, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Provost at RIT in New York: “It shows the commitment that RIT Dubai has set in constantly improving content and outcomes for our students.  ABET has established 84 years ago and involves 32 professional engineering societies on its board.   As such, ABET accreditation not only ensures the academic merit of the program but also that it fulfills the needs of industry, meaning that graduates of RIT Dubai are even more well regarded and welcomed by the engineering sector.” Read more.

Jing Zhang, engineering faculty member at Rochester Institute of Technology, received a $305,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to acquire a new etching system for photonic, electronic and bio-device fabrication. The system strengthens RIT’s fabrication capability in its Semiconductor & Microsystems Fabrication Laboratory to support new and existing multidisciplinary research in science and engineering, to enable educational curriculum development, and be used for workforce development and training activities led by RIT’s engineering college.

The ICP-RIE system—an inductively coupled plasma reactive ion etching system—is equipment used to create specific structural patterns, or to expose different conductive layers, on the integrated circuits found in electronic devices, said Zhang. Read more.

Rochester Institute of Technology received a five-year grant of nearly $1 million from the National Science Foundation to provide scholarship support to transfer students in undergraduate engineering and engineering technology degree programs. The award, part of NSF’s Scholarships in Science, Technology and Mathematics Program, will support 78 high-achieving, low-income transfer students from two-year colleges. The project will focus on alleviating challenges often encountered by vertical transfer students—defined as those transferring from two-year college programs into four-year bachelor’s degree programs— by adding extended orientation for the scholars and by customizing individual interventions and support including mentoring and academic advising.

“This is an extremely attractive pool of students to draw upon because these students are interested in STEM fields, have shown that they can handle the demanding work in these disciplines and they are ready to do more,” said Vinnie Gupta, professor of mechanical engineering in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering, who will administer the scholarship program. Read more.

Rochester Institute of Technology received a three-year, $374,949 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation for faculty-researcher Rubén Proaño to study and help design a coordinated decision-support system for the global procurement of vaccines.

Vaccines are considered one of the most cost-effective interventions to raise health standards of children across the globe, said Proaño, associate professor of industrial and systems engineering in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. He has proposed an optimization-based approach to model a coordinated vaccine procurement system in an effort to understand how the neediest populations receive necessary and affordable vaccines, but also taking into account how producers and distributers of those vaccines can still profit to ensure sustainability. Read more.

Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul joined state representatives, corporate partners and Rochester Institute of Technology leaders today in launching the Additive Manufacturing and Multifunctional Printing (AMPrint) Center, one of New York state’s newest Centers for Advanced Technology.

The 3,200-square foot AMPrint Center, housed in RIT’s Institute Hall, will be under the direction of Denis Cormier, RIT’s Earl W. Brinkman Professor and a national expert on additive manufacturing and the rapidly growing field of multi-functional 3D printing. Cormier said the AMPrint Center will support the growth and development of the Finger Lakes region’s multi-functional printing “ecosystem,” building on its existing depth and breadth of expertise in print materials, print process systems design, high volume sales and distribution channels and flexible electronics. Read more.

Rochester Institute of Technology will acquire the first liquid metal 3D-printing system from Vader Systems, a Buffalo-based company. It will be part of an array of high-tech equipment being used for research and product development through the New York state’s Additive Manufacturing and Multifunctional Printing (AMPrint) Center located at RIT.

“We are very proud and honored to have the first Magnetojet printer as part of the AMPrint Center,” said Denis Cormier, AMPrint Center director and RIT’s Earl W. Brinkman Professor. “It promises to be an indispensable tool for the fabrication of metal parts and will greatly further our capabilities and help our industrial partners. Additive manufacturing and multifunctional printing offer incredible opportunities for start-up companies, such as Vader Systems, and the AMPrint Center is ideally suited to serve as a site for testing and promoting new products and equipment, allowing us to create a regional ecosystem for this new manufacturing industry.” Read more.

Thomas Gaborski, assistant professor for biomedical engineering, was awarded a five-year, $1.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to develop “Transparent ultrathin nano-membranes for barrier cell models and novel co-cultures systems.” This is a new investigator award given to early-career faculty-researchers who propose innovative approaches to high-impact projects. His work is in developing nano-membranes, including new, ultrathin, transparent glass membranes, and performing collaborative work with other researchers in the fields of physiological barrier models and stem cell differentiation. “We are building membranes that will not only solve the needs of researchers studying the basic biology of barriers, but also scientists and engineers investigating drug discovery and stem cell differentiation,” said Thomas Gaborski, assistant professor of biomedical engineering in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. “Half of this work is about the development of membrane technology, and the other half is about developing better in vitro barrier model systems.”  Read more.



Summer 2016

3-D printing has become part of the high-tech vocabulary.  And for good reason. The technology is increasingly finding its place in manufacturing — with the shape of the product left to the imagination of the designer.  Rochester Institute of Technology engineering professor Denis Cormier hopes that the recently established AMPrint Center that he directs at RIT will help put Rochester on the map as a leader in 3-D innovation. A state grant — $921,000 a year for up to a decade — provides funding for the center's operating budget, which will include a staff of four working under Cormier. Companies collaborating with the center are also expected to contribute, though there's no fixed formula for their contribution.  See the video here. Read more here.

Rochester Institute of Technology and the National Taiwan University entered into an academic agreement, the International Graduate Study Partnership Program. The agreement is to provide qualified students the opportunity for early and expedited admission into graduate programs in NTU’s College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science and RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. Students from one institute would apply for admission in the fall of their last year of study and receive priority consideration for admission to the other institute’s Master of Engineering, Master of Science or doctoral degree programs. RIT is prepared to enroll up to 10 students from NTU’s College of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.  “RIT’s career-oriented education and student-centered research that tackles pioneering and impactful problems will bring a global view to students in Taiwan,” said Shanchieh Jay Yang, department head of RIT’s computer engineering program. He was instrumental in helping to establish the relationship with National Taiwan University and continues in an academic advising capacity to communicate scope and benefits of the partnership program to students from both universities.

Last July, the U.S. unveiled a national institute for integrated photonics backed by $600 million in federal, state and private funding. The Rochester, N.Y.-based American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics, better known as AIM Photonics, brings together academia, federal research institutions and companies in an effort to emulate the successes of the electronics industry over the past 40 years.

“In the ’70s, there were only thousands of transistors in computer chips, but because of improvements in integrated circuit manufacturing, it is now possible to have billions of transistors in the same footprint,”  Stefan Preble, Microsystems Engineering, said. “It’s well-known that the density of these circuits has traditionally followed Moore’s law, where the number of transistors on a given wafer doubles every two years.” Read more here.

Margaret Bailey, professor, mechanical engineering, and senior faculty associate to the RIT Provost for AdvanceRIT, was the commencement speaker for the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Math in Hartsville, S.C., in May.

Kellie Grasman, adjunct, industrial and systems engineering, received the Best Paper Award and the Engineering Economy Division Teaching Award, and John Kaemmerlen, senior lecturer, received the Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award/Northeast region at the 2016 IIE Annual Conference and Expo in California in May.




The Harvey Palmer Professorship has been established at Rochester Institute of Technology through an endowment made by the Gleason Family Foundation.

Palmer, who retired this month after 16 years as dean, is being honored through the professorship for his leadership in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering, recognized nationally as one of the top engineering colleges in the country.

The endowment will support the chemical and biomedical engineering programs, two degree programs Palmer established at RIT, and will provide resources to support faculty professional growth, research initiatives, student stipend support and student-engagement opportunities. Read more here.

Two NXP Cup teams from the RIT Department of Computer Engineering placed third and fourth in the NXP Cup 2016 US Finals held June 8 at the 53rd Design Automation Conference (DAC 2016) in Austin, Texas.  The NXP Cup is a competition where student teams build, program, and race a 1/18-scale model car around a track for speed.  The car must navigate the track autonomously using a camera, and the winning car is the fastest to complete the track without derailing.  Cody Tinker and Chris Valerino as Team “All the Way” received third-place trophies and cash prizes, and David Lor and Kaiwen Zheng as Team “Mad Max” placed fourth.  The difference between the finish times of the two RIT teams was only one-tenth of one second (0.1 s).

For the US Finals, NXP invited the first- and second-place teams from each of the three NXP Cup 2016 US regional competitions to participate in the finals.  The US East Coast Regional Competition was held May 7 at Imagine RIT, where Chris and Cody won first place and David and Kaiwen won second place.  Both teams began work on their NXP Cup entries as part of class projects for Dr. Ray Ptucha in the Department of Computer Engineering.  RIT’s NXP Cup organizer is Dr. Roy Melton in the Department of Computer Engineering, and he accompanied the two RIT teams to the US Finals.  Gary Valerino, father of contestant Chris Valerino, also attended the US Finals.

The NXP Cup Challenge is a collaborative, competitive, and hands-on way to learn about embedded systems and control.  The NXP Cup began in 2003 in Korea at Hanyang University hosting 80 teams of students.  Since that time the NXP Cup has spread to China, India, Malaysia, Latin America, North America, and Europe, involving more than 500 schools and 15,000 students a year.  RIT has hosted the US East Coast Regional Competition for the last three years.  See more here.

RIT’s Baja race season could have ended with only 20 minutes left in the four-hour endurance race. Spectators watched uneasily as the No. 8 car was towed off the field with some front-end damage. But, RIT Baja would return to the race in under 10 minutes after repairs, catch up to the leaders and close the 2016 Baja SAE Rochester event with an exciting fourth-place finish.

The competition took place June 9-12 with several events at RIT’s Gordon Field House and Activities Center and at Hogback Hill Motocross Racetrack in Palmyra, N.Y. RIT was second overall in the four-day competition among 100 collegiate race teams. The University of Michigan-Ann Arbor came in first overall, and topped the field with several individual awards including the coveted Mike Schmidt Iron Team Award for the best overall scores for the season. Read more here.

In a tiny laboratory deep within Rochester Institute of Technology's campus, professors pair with graduate students and devise ways to make better semiconductors. Semiconductors are the special chips found inside your computer devices. They power the brain of your phone, tablet, laptop or desktop computer. Large corporations like IBM, Apple and Intel use semiconductors today, but they're always looking for a new or more efficient model.

And that's where research universities like RIT and its semiconductor lab steps in. Microelectronics professor Karl Hirschman said there are several lengthy steps (called photolithography) involved in making a perfect and usable semiconductor. But RIT recently purchased a new laser that shortcuts a few of those steps. "It's very nice for research and development," said Christopher O'Connell, a RIT graduate student in microelectronics. "It works in an hour as opposed to eight." Read more herePhoto: Tina MacIntyre-Yee, D&C

David Borkholder, the Bausch and Lomb Professor of Microsystems Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology, was named “Distinguished Inventor of the Year” by the Rochester Intellectual Property Law Association. The award ceremony was held June 15 at Monroe Golf Club.

Borkholder was honored for his work on the Blast Gauge® sensor system, which coupled with proprietary algorithms, captures and interprets complex data associated with concussive events. This data helps caregivers administer faster and more accurate treatment, and allows for better research for advancing the study of traumatic brain injuries. The Blast Gauge® System has been outfitted on U.S. Special Forces, the U.S. Army, SWAT teams, and law enforcement agencies around the world. This proven battlefield technology has been translated to the playing field with the Linx Impact Assessment System to address sports related concussions. Read more here.

Dr. Surendra Gupta, Professor in Mechanical Engineering and ASEE Campus representative, was recognized by the American Society for Engineering Educaiton (ASEE) for outstanding recruitment of the most new professional members to the St. Lauwence Section during the 2015-2016 membership campaign. Dr. Gupta has won several awards in the past for his contritions to ASEE.


A game developed by three Rochester Institute of Technology students has been named one of the most well-designed apps of 2016, according to Apple. The game app, called Dividr, took home an Apple Design Award at the tech giant’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) June 13 in San Francisco. Apple gives out 12 Apple Design Awards each year—10 to professionally developed apps and two to student apps. The annual awards are meant to recognize independently developed apps that raise the bar in design, technology and innovation.

Dividr was created by Josh Deichmann, a third-year computer engineering major from Belmont, N.Y.; Patrick Pistor, a third-year web and mobile computing major from Otego, N.Y.; and Erik Lydick, a third-year mechanical engineering major from Blue Bell, Pa. Their app was selected out of 350 entries for the student award. Read more here.



May 2016

Hot Wheelz, the all-female race team from Rochester Institute of Technology, finished third in the electric category in its first national event, the Formula Hybrid competition that took place May 2-5 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway in Loudon, N.H.

The team’s on and off track performance was also recognized with two additional trophies, the GM Spirit of Formula Hybrid and the Fiat Chrysler Automobile’s Gracious Professionalism awards.

Hot Wheelz held its own among a strong field of 30 racecars from universities in the U.S., Canada, India and Turkey. After spending much of Wednesday evening fixing a suspension problem, the team passed the safety inspection to qualify for the endurance race the next morning. Hot Wheelz completed more than half of the required laps; only one team, the University of Vermont, completed all 44. Read more here. And here. Photo: Adam DeTour, '06

At the Rochester Institute of Technology, researchers have been studying tobacco products and user behavior of those products. While RIT Mechanical Engineering department head Risa Robinson believes the regulations are a move in the right direction, she is curious to see what testing protocols the FDA will require of manufacturers. 

She points to the low-tar, low-yield cigarettes of the 70s. Many expected cancer incidents to decrease. However, she said cigarette usage and cancer incidents both went up. Read more here.

Karl Hirschman was instrumental in obtaining a grant for the Rochester Institute of Technology where a high tech laser lithography system in the university’s Semiconductor and Microsystems Fabrication Lab was installed. The system, a DWL66+ from Heidelberg Instruments, is capable of photo-mask fabrication and direct-write lithography applications—the complex process of imaging silicon wafers with microelectronic design patterns for integrated circuits. Installed in RIT’s Semiconductor and Microsystems Fabrication Lab (SMFL), the new equipment will be used as part of several key research initiatives at the university in the areas of solar and fuel cell technology, nano-photonics and novel nanomaterials, as well support students in undergraduate and graduate programs in microelectronic engineering, and a doctoral program in microsystems engineering. Reads more here.

What’s an easy way to get siblings interested in learning? Make it a competition.

That’s how Dhireesha Kudithipudi was introduced to computing, and today she holds a doctorate in electrical and computer engineering as a result of an early introduction and passion for computer technologies. “I grew up in a small town in Nizamabad, India,” says Kudithipudi, Ph.D., an associate professor, graduate program chair, and director of NanoComputing Research Lab at Rochester Institute of Technology’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering.  Read more here.

Santosh Kurinec, professor of electrical and microelectronic engineering at RIT, was the keynote speaker at the National Science Foundation-King Abdullah University of Science and Technology annual conference on Electronic Materials, Devices and Systems for a Sustainable Future. More than 200 scientists, researchers, university faculty and graduate students attended the conference that took place in Thuwal, Saudi Arabia, in late March. Her talk focused on how universities and companies are driving new product development, incorporating sustainability efforts as well as advanced memory technologies for “big data” and the Internet of Things. She also was on a panel of female scientists to discuss careers in STEM fields, work-life balance and mentoring future professionals. Read more here.

There’s a new tiger in RIT’s Brinkman Lab.

RIT received a new forklift truck donated by the The Raymond Corp. and custom-designed with the orange and brown stripes of RIT Tigers. The 4250 model is a stand-up, compact high tech forklift used in laboratories and industry warehouse facilities to move large pallets and equipment. In addition to the forklift, a battery and charger were donated by Enersys Battery and Applied Energy Solutions, respectively. Read more here. Photo: Herb Vasquez, The Raymond Corp.

Ferat Sahin, Professor in Electrical and Microelectronic Engineering, has been elected to the Board of Governors of IEEE Systems, Man, and Cybernetics Society. In addition, he will serve as VP of Finance and he received the Outstanding Contribution Award for his work in 2015 that was featured in the IEEE SME Society Magazine.



April 2016

Accepted students and their families participated in the Engineering Diversity Retreat on April 1 at the university. The future RIT Tigers met with campus representatives from Co-op and Placement, the McNair Scholars program, Alumni and the Office for Diversity and Inclusion prior to spending the afternoon touring the Kate Gleason College of Engineering and talking to faculty about degree programs. As part of the retreat, the accepted students were also hosted overnight in campus dorms by student-leaders of the Society of Professional Hispanic Engineers, the National Society of Black Engineers and the Society of Asian Scientists and Engineers. Photo by A. Sue Weisler.

This graphic illustrates the device fabrication process and the edges of the bundled carbon nanotubes used to introduce bio-molecules into cells. Researchers at UR and RIT have developed a new and highly efficient method for gene transfer.  The technique, which involves culturing and transfecting cells with genetic material on an array of carbon nanotubes, appears to overcome the limitations of other gene editing technologies. “This represents a very simple, inexpensive, and efficient process that is well-tolerated by cells and can successfully deliver DNA into tens of thousands of cells simultaneously,” said Michael Schrlau, Ph.D., an assistant professor in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering at RIT and co-author of the paper. Read more here.

Reginald Rogers, Assistant Professor in Chemical Engineering, is the recipient of the Richard and Virginia Eisenhart Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching. This award supports undergraduate education at RIT by recognizing the fundamental importance of the quality of teaching to the value of the education process; supporting faculty who have taught three years or less in their pursuit of excellence in teaching and leadership in the campus community; assisting the Institute in nurturing the academic climate that fosters teaching at its best; and enhancing teaching as a profession.


The Center for Advanced Ceramic Technology (CACT) at Alfred University has named six new members to its industry advisory board. One of the new members is Dr. Denis Cormier, the Earl W. Brinkman Professor of industrial and systems engineering at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and the director of the Additive Manufacturing and Multifunctional Printing (AMPrint) Center at RIT. Cormier has worked in the area of additive manufacturing for 20 years with a specific focus on aerospace materials and applications of metal additive manufacturing. Most recently, his research has focused on multi-material functional printing processes and materials. Read more here. Dr. Cormier is also the recipient of the Trustees Scholarship Award this year.

Webinar on Engineering Leadership programs at RIT. This webinar is for engineers, technical managers, and other professionals with career paths leading to mid and senior-level management. Learn about part-time programs in product development, manufacturing and operations, systems engineering, supply chain management, and project management. All programs are fully online. See the webinar here.

Amlan Ganguly, a faculty member at Rochester Institute of Technology, recently received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award expected to total $596,512 over five years for “Energy-efficient data center with wireless interconnection networks.” The five-year grant award is being used toward further exploring the design of energy efficient data centers utilizing a communication infrastructure with wireless interconnections. Read more here.

John Wellin, senior lecturer in mechanical engineering, received RIT’s Innovative Learning Institute for excellence in the use of on-line media for instruction.  He received the award for Best Demonstration / Tutorial for one of his instructional modules for Engineering Mechanics Lab.  You can access his six-minute long video here.

In its first event of the season, Rochester Institute of Technology’s Baja Race team topped the field. The team placed first overall at the SAE Baja Tennessee event, April 14-17, competing against 100 international collegiate racing teams.

With placements in the top five in several key events, including second place in acceleration and first in suspension, the team closed the competition with second place in the endurance race, and with top points overall to win. The teams consists of student from across campus. Read more here. Photo by Marty Gordon.

Photo: Undergraduate and graduate students on Dhireesha Kudithipudi’s (center) NanoComputing Research Lab team include (left to right) Swathika Ramakrishnan, Amanda Hartung, James Thesing, James Mnatzaganian, Nicholas Soures, Qutaiba Saleh.

Researchers developing next-generation computer systems at Rochester Institute of Technology are designing brain-inspired computer architectures using memristors that will have increased processing capabilities, robustness and be more energy efficient.

Dhireesha Kudithipudi, a faculty-researcher in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering, received a grant award from the Department of the Air Force Research Laboratory, expected to total $605,639 over four years, to further develop the computer architecture for the project, “Reservoir computing and benchmarking of neuromorphic systems for size/weight/power constrained environments.”

Kudithipudi’s research would be twofold: to develop architectural capabilities that accelerate processing of natural tasks, and to benchmark the capacity needed for various brain-inspired systems based on the researcher’s assessment of energy, size and weight of computing environments. Read more here.




Dan Phillips, an engineering professor at RIT, spearheads the senior design projects focused on access technology. He says after the partnership with the Al Sigl centers was created, the next move was to try and pinpoint untapped areas of need for people with disabilities. Last spring, two students began the effective access technology co-op program.

“They spent a semester visiting the different organizations, talking to people, and came back over a spring and a summer with over 30 projects,” says Phillips. Read more here.

The Niagara Parks Commission played host to a group of students from the Rochester Institute of Technology's Mechanical Engineering Department on Saturday. The group is looking to study, design and replicate the operations of a centuries-old wooden printing press, modeled after the historic Louis Roy wooden press, currently on display at the Mackenzie Printery in Queenston. The NPC and its volunteer printery committee helped facilitate the request from RIT, which is considered part of the students' senior-design project.

“We are fifth-year seniors at RIT and when you're a senior at RIT you have a senior-design project, so our project is for the Cary Graphic Arts Collection in the Wallace Library of RIT,” said Veronica Hebbard, one of four students working collaboratively on the assignment.

“We got here at about 9:30 (a.m.), did a quick tour and then went right into measuring our press.” Read more here.

Doreen Edwards has been named dean of the Kate Gleason College of Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology. Edwards, who is currently dean of the Kazuo Inamori School of Engineering at Alfred University and acting vice president of Statutory Affairs for the university, will join RIT on July 1. She will be the first female dean of the university’s engineering college, which is the only one in the United States that is named after a woman.

“We looked at many impressive candidates during our national search for a new dean for our engineering college, and Dr. Edwards was just a standout,” said RIT Provost and Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs Jeremy Haefner. “She brings to RIT a wide array of academic, research and personal experiences that will help her lead our nationally recognized college to even greater prominence.” Read more here.

Thanks to a nomination from RIT, I'm so excited to announce that have been awarded the AIAA (American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics) sponsored Aviation Week '20 Twenties' Award!

Upon submission from RIT and a review of her contributions to the greater engineering community, Kursetn H'Neill , mehcanical engineering alum, was selected as one of the top twenty leaders in their twenties in the aviation industry nationwide! This is a distinct honor,  to be recognized along side so many other rockstar engineers and scientists.

Kursten had this to say, "Thank you to all of my friends, family, professors and teachers who have supported me over the years - I wouldn't be where I am today if you weren't cheering me on and continually pushing me to reach my potential."

Congratulations to Margaret Bailey, Senior Faculty Associate to the Provost for ADVANCE and Professor in mechanical engineering, on her nomination for Digital Rochester’s Tech Woman of the Year. The award recognizes and celebrates achievements of women in high tech fields.


February 2016

A team of RIT undergraduates won the Special Innovation Award in the Other Subsystem category at the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Design Competition at Texas A&M University on Jan. 29-31. They are, from left to right in the front row, Kristina Carucci, second-year imaging science; Emily Faw, second-year motion picture science; Zachary Assenmacher, second-year physics; in the back row, Nate Dileas, second-year imaging science; Ryan Hartzell, second-year imaging science; Jeff Maggio, second-year imaging science; Solomiya Vysochanska, second-year mechanical engineering; and Tyler Kuhns, second-year imaging science. Faculty advisers are Harvey Rhody and Joe Pow in RIT’s Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science. Read more here.

Rochester Institute of Technology has received a $500,000 grant from the state’s Higher Education Capital Matching Grant Program that will be used to support the university’s AMPrint Center for Advanced Technology. The grant was among 29 grants totaling $35.3 million statewide announced yesterday by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo. The program, administered by the Dormitory Authority, funds renovation or construction of critical academic facilities and high tech projects at universities across the state. Denis Cormier, an expert in 3D print technologies, is director of RIT’s AMPrint Center and the Earl W. Brinkman Professor in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. A professor of industrial engineering, his research focus is in printed electronics, specifically the synthesis of printable nano-inks, the development or enhancement of printing processes, and the design of novel printed electronic devices. Read more here.

Sohail Dianat, Department Head for Electrical and Microelectronic Engineering, has joined the Editorial Board Member (EBM) for the “Electronic Imaging and Signal Processing” topical area for the SPIE Spotlight book series. You have come highly recommended to us and your experience is a great match. In this capacity he will be soliciting tutorials as well as finding other reviewers who can provide feedback for the proposals and manuscripts in this topical area. SPIE Spotlights are new eBooks featuring concise, digital-only publications that either summarize a broad topic or highlight a specific niche. Written for a wide audience, these peer-reviewed eBooks get straight to the point, highlighting the most important aspects of the given subject.

Rochester Institute of Technology is partnering with Pictometry to build an Outdoor Netted Enclosure Lab for research and academic coursework related to unmanned aircraft systems, also referred to as drones. The enclosure, one of the first installed at a Northeast university, is part of an expanded research partnership between the university and the Rochester-based imaging company to advance development and testing of unmanned aircraft system technologies.

“You can fly the drones indoors, but much of the research relies on how the global positioning system is used on board, and you don’t get the weather elements. Both can be very useful in regard to designs for specific applications,” said Agamemnon Crassidis, associate professor of mechanical engineering in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. He will manage the structure and much of the research and testing expected to take place at the outdoor facility. “With this type of enclosure, it’s like flying indoors, so you won’t need any special certifications from the FAA.” Read more here.

To advance its focus on conducting internationally distinguished research, Rochester Institute of Technology has chosen four initiatives to receive strategic investments.

One of the proposals is Cybersecurity: This team, consisting of 25 faculty members from five colleges (B. Thomas Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, Kate Gleason College of Engineering, Saunders College of Business and the colleges of Science and Liberal Arts), will research sociotechnical approaches to cybersecurity. Their goal is to look at cybersecurity from a more proactive position by studying how such elements as human behavior, economic incentives and social influences on design of systems and software interact with technology and can be incorporated to develop better protections. Read more here. Photo: A. Sue Weisler

Elizabeth Robertson, NASA’s deputy chief engineer for propulsion systems engineering and integration, will anchor a week of events during the 2016 Engineers Week at Rochester Institute of Technology from Feb. 21-27. Her presentation takes place at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 25, in Ingle Auditorium in RIT’s Student Alumni Union. A reception for her is scheduled for 1:30 p.m. in the Gordon Atrium in James Gleason Hall.

Robertson, the project manager for NASA’s prototype of a 3D-printed rocket engine, will discuss how additive manufacturing could support the organization’s deep space missions and the role engineers play in advancing the high tech option for building complex engine parts. Read more here.

Gleason Corp. of Rochester recently donated $300,000 to establish the Gleason Doctoral Fellowships at Rochester Institute of Technology. The fellowships will be incorporated into the university’s Ph.D. in engineering program and used to further collaborations between RIT and Gleason Corp. related to gear design and manufacturing research.

“Gleason and RIT have enjoyed a mutually beneficial and highly valued relationship for more than 100 years. As Gleason celebrated its 150th anniversary in 2015, we felt it important to build on our success with RIT and establish these doctoral fellowships,” said Brian Perry, vice president of Rochester Operations at The Gleason Works. Read more here.

The Raymond Corporation recently hosted several engineering students from the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Kate Gleason College of Engineering, putting their Toyota Production System (TPS) lab and classroom education into practical application at Raymond’s headquarters and manufacturing facility in Greene, N.Y.

RIT students and John Kaemmerlen, their professor and the director of the TPS lab at RIT, spent Jan. 11 to 13, 2016, participating in two training sessions on key TPS manufacturing methodology. Read more here.

RIT has been proving its increasing dedication to sustainability for some time now. With initiatives like the RIT Community Garden, one of the largest solar arrays on any college campus in New York and its steps to reduce waste by implementing Ozzy containers and providing water bottle filling stations across campus, our campus is taking steps in the right direction. These efforts are bolstered by RIT's student population, such as those part of the RIT chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World (ESW). The mission of RIT's chapter of Engineers for a Sustainable World is to "involve students in hands-on experience and projects that will ultimately improve sustainability worldwide," according to their mission statement. This mission is fulfilled through participating in engineering competitions like the second Cradle to Cradle Product Design Challenge. The challenge attracts participants from 18 different countries with over 80 qualified submissions. It encourages innovation and development of engineering skills in all aspects of the submissions. Read more here.

See the video on RIT's All-Female Electric Car Team, Hot Wheelz.


January 2016

Best Use of Autodesk Fusion 360: The Engineers for a Sustainable World Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) Chapter developed a recyclable broom with a bristle head made of highly biodegradable material that can be replaced independently of the broom’s other components. With the functionality of three brooms, but with the material and monetary costs of one, the broom they named “Sweeping the Nation with Change” provides significant environmental and economic benefits. The entire model was assembled using Fusion 360 and allowed the team to compare and conserve materials through the animation feature, promoting a Cradle to Cradle approach to design.  Read more here.

Three students from Rochester Institute of Technology were recognized for their research findings about improvements to bio-separation techniques for lab-on-a-chip medical devices. They were awarded top honors in several categories in the undergraduate and graduate research competitions at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers annual meeting and conference in November in Salt Lake City, Utah.  Read more here. Photo by Michelle Cometa: standing left to right) Alexandra LaLonde (BME 5th year), Maria Romero-Creel (BME 5th year) and Mario Saucedo-Espinosa (Microsystems PhD program)  won top placements at the American Institute of Chemical Engineers annual conference for their work with Professor Blanca Lapizco-Encinas (sitting) on biomedical separations and lab-on-a-chip devices. All are part of the Microscale BioSeparations Laboratory in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering.

Faculty and student researchers at Rochester Institute of Technology's National Technical Institute for the Deaf (RIT/NTID) are developing methods to better analyze the effects of flavorings used in electronic cigarettes (e-cigs). In partnership with RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering and the University of Rochester Medical Center, RIT/NTID, the world's first and largest technological college for deaf and hard-of-hearing students, is part of the team that has received a $329,000 grant from the National Institutes of Health to study the safety of e-cigs with flavorings. Read more here. Photo by Jorge Samper/NTID: Cody Cummings, a laboratory science technology major from Austin, Texas, is working with Todd Pagano, associate professor and associate dean for Teaching and Scholarship Excellence at RIT/NTID, to develop methods to better analyze the effects of flavorings used in electronic cigarettes.

Jan. 29. Students met industry professionals from more than a dozen companies, including ARM, Analog Devices, Cypress Semiconductor, ST Microelectronics, NXP Semiconductors and MathWorks. The day featured a keynote speaker, demonstrations, exhibits and workshops. ARM’s University Program and the departments of Computer Engineering and Electrical Engineering in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering sponsored the event. Photo by A. Sue Weisler: Chris Yorkey ’95 (CAST) from Texas Instruments, left, assisted fourth-year electrical engineering students Matt Zachary and Adam Steenkamer during the sixth ARM Developer Day.

Rochester Institute of Technology’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering, known for its focus on cooperative education, has now embarked on what it calls a “reverse cooperative experience” offering practicing mechanical and electrical engineers an opportunity to earn a certificate in mechatronics engineering.

A key element of the program is the Knorr-Bremse North America Mechatronics Laboratory, a new facility at RIT that gives students hands-on experience at fully functional work stations covering key aspects of a mechatronics curriculum. The week-long lab component is the capstone of the 12-credit mechatronics program, otherwise held online, which typically takes about two years to complete. The program is modular and designed so that engineers complete the course work at their own pace while working full-time. Read more here. Photo by A. Sue Weisler: Matt Schwartz (foreground) an engineering supervisor with Bendix, demonstrates one of the brake system instruments in the new Knorr-Bremse North America Mechatronics Laboratory.


December 2015

Graduate electrical engineering student, Anthony Salmin, was recently presented the Gordon K. Moe Young Investigator Award for his work in furthering the development of a solution to improve atrial fibrillation therapy. He was presented the award and $1,000 stipend earlier this month at the annual Upstate New York Cardiac Electrophysiology Society annual meeting and conference in Rochester, N.Y.

The award is given for the top research presentation given by medical, graduate and undergraduate students, post-doctoral trainees and fellows and junior faculty at the conference. Salmin’s work focused on analyzing data and characteristics from electrocardiograms inside of the left atrium to better detect the source of atrial fibrillation, also referred to as an irregular heartbeat. This fluctuation of the heart’s normal beat and rhythm can cause poor blood flow, stroke and complications from blood clots. The ability to better detect the source of the anomaly could lead toward prevention.

Two teams of undergraduates from Rochester Institute of Technology beat out universities, companies and individuals from around the world and had their preliminary designs accepted for the SpaceX Hyperloop Pod Competition Design Weekend. Of the 1,200 designs submitted, only 318 teams from 162 universities in 16 countries are advancing to the first phase of the design process and presenting their unique designs Jan. 29-30 at Texas A & M University.

The Hyperloop is a futuristic high-speed rail system with multi-passenger, solar-powered “pods,” or capsules, speeding through a series of depressurized tubes. Elon Musk first proposed the Hyperloop idea in 2013, and his company, SpaceX, is one of several seeking to accelerate the development of a system prototype. He proposed a national challenge—to build a scaled-down pod model and necessary sub-systems. After several competition phases, Musk intends to hold a final contest in June at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, Calif., where a Hyperloop test track is being built. Read more here. Photo: Michelle Cometa

Bruce Smith, professor and director of microsystems engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology, has been named a Fellow of the IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) by the organization’s Board of Directors for his significant contributions to semiconductor lithography through research, engineering education, and technology innovation.

IEEE Fellow is the highest grade of membership and is recognized by the technical community as a prestigious honor and an important career achievement. Smith’s pioneering accomplishments in nanolithography, patterning materials, and process innovation have played a significant role in the enablement of integrated circuit technology at the nanometer scale. His interdisciplinary approach to research and education has also led to unique opportunities for students, impacting the semiconductor community for nearly three decades. Read more here.


November 2015

RIT Computing Security experts Jay Yang, Department Head for Computer Engineering and Professor, and Bill Slackpole, Associate Professor in Computing Security-Golisano College of Computing and Information Sciences, talked to WHEC about what RIT is doing to try and teach the next generation of cyber-security analysts. In a world increasingly dependent on computing and connectivity there are more aspects of life that are vulnerable to hackers with harmful intent. Trying to get out ahead of them is no easy task. See the video here.


Associate Professor Seth Hubbard (Physics, Microsystems Engineering, and Golisano Institute for Sustainability) was named director of the university’s NanoPower Research Laboratories.  Hubbard is an associate professor with a joint appointment in the College of Science School of Physics and Astronomy and the Kate E. Gleason College of Engineering Department of Microsystems Engineering. He joined RIT in 2006.

Hubbard, who replaces NPRL interim director Paul Stiebitz, will continue to lead the Photovoltaics and Nanomaterial Technologies Group at the NPRL Labs. This group develops high-efficiency multijunction photovoltaics that use quantum dots and cells optimized for high levels of light concentration. Read more here.

Women in Engineering and Women in Computing held open houses on Nov. 7. Fifth and sixth grade girls explored interactive exhibits and had their questions answered by RIT female engineering and computing students. Genevieve Onderdonk, 11, from Rochester, N.Y., took part in the event. Photo by Brittany Newman. See more photos on the WE@RIT Facebook pages here.

RIT hosted a photonics conference for researchers, developers and students on campus on Friday. Time Warner Cable News reports on the event and the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics coming to Rochester. watch video »

Kate Gleason’s name is so familiar in Rochester and at Rochester Institute of Technology – where the College of Engineering is named for her – that it can obscure her many and varied accomplishments. She built more than 100 homes in East Rochester, became a bank president and held numerous positions at Gleason Works, a business started by her father, William. An exhibit commemorating the 150th birthday of Gleason opened at RIT’s Wallace Center on Nov. 19, displaying photos, gears and other items from the engineering pioneer. Read more here.

James Langa, Hardinge's senior vice president of machine solutions, commented, “Manufacturers are constantly in search of new processes that are flexible, improve part quality, and reduce overall cost. We believe that the combination of additive and subtractive technology coupled with precise five-axis machine tool capability has strong potential for real-world industrial applications. Adopting, adapting, and advancing cutting edge technologies for the benefit of our customers is vital to our growth strategy.” Hardinge will be providing field service, design, and applications engineering for the program.

Ronald Aman, project lead and assistant professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering in RIT's Kate Gleason College of Engineering, noted, “Today there is no commercial software that can reliably generate the tool paths that are necessary to control both additive and subtractive processes in 5-axis equipment. This presents a challenge for mainstream adoption. We will be addressing this challenge by focusing on improving process planning and tool path generation, developing new materials, advancing overall process development, and identifying new applications, as well as fundamental research aimed at radically changing the way we think of materials in a part.” Read more here.

Andrea Mazzocchi, an engineering student at Rochester Institute of Technology, was awarded the 2015 Undergraduate Extended Abstract Design and Research Award for her work as part of a campus research team on a new biomedical membrane that could become the basis for improvements in tissue engineering. She was presented the award during the Biomedical Engineering Society’s annual meeting and conference, Oct 7-10 in Tampa, Fla.

Mazzocchi was recognized with the society’s top student award for the abstract titled, “Fabrication and characterization of ultrathin transparent glass membranes for cell culture.” Read more here.

David Borkholder , Bausch and Lomb Professor of Microsystems Engineering, and his company, Black Box Biometrics, featured in EE Times article about wearable technology in the military. Read more here.



The AdvanceRIT program is now in its third year. RIT was awarded $3.5 million in 2012 from the National Science Foundation for its Advance institutional transformation grant, “Connect: Increasing the Representation and Advancement of Women Faculty at RIT.” Advance RIT is intended to drive long-term changes that will transform RIT’s culture. This year, grants were awarded to the following KGCOE faculty:

Empower Leadership of Women in Electrical Engineering
Jing Zhang, assistant professor, and Santosh Kurinec, professor, Electrical & Microelectronic Engineering

Establishing Competitive Collaborations between Nanotechnology and Glaucoma through Mentorship
Kathleen Lamkin-Kennard, associate professor, and Michael Schrlau, assistant professor, Mechanical Engineering

From WISE to WISE: Networking for Women in Science and Engineering
Sonia Lopez Alarcon, assistant professor and Dhireesha Kudithipudi, associate professor, Computer Engineering

Support Successful Research Proposal Development
Behnaz Ghoranni, assistant professor, Biomedical Engineering and, Raymond Ptucha, assistant professor, Computer Engineering

Read more here.

RIT Dubai tigers won the 1st prize in the Drones for Good University Challenge: providing temporary Wi-Fi in Al Badayer Desert held by the Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Center. The competition took Place at the Mission Space Exhibition in the Burj Park. The aim of the project was to design a UAV that would provide temporary Wi-Fi for winter campers in Al Badayer Desert for the duration of their stay without causing any disturbance. The RIT Dubai team, Badayer Connect,  proposed solution was to design a fuel powered UAV that could carry an antenna to provide satellite internet for the users. The students designed a system in which the user’s location would be read directly by the GPS module and sent to the UAV’s autopilot. They also developed a drone rotation system that would ensure Wi-Fi availability as long as required.

The students involved in this competition were Usama Shah (ME), Varsha Behrunani (EE), Hazel Gamboa (EE), Sadiya Siddique (EE) and Elham Bepary (EE). They were supervised by Dr. Muhieddin Amer, Dr. Boutheina Tlili, Dr. Gurdal Ertek and Mr. Khalil Darwish.


October 2015

A research team at Rochester Institute of Technology has been awarded patents for discoveries that will improve and extend the life of lithium-ion batteries, which are used in a variety of technological applications.

Lead faculty-researchers Ryne Raffaelle and Brian Landi, and Ph. D. graduate Cory Cress, received the patents for two related discoveries “Methods of making nano-composite structures” and “Methods of making, and devices containing, freestanding carbon nanotube paper.”

The research, conducted in RIT’s NanoPower Laboratories, addresses the increasing demand for better materials and more robust battery structures for electronic devices by introducing new nano-composite materials that will extend both battery life and gravimetric energy density—the energy-to-weight ratio of a battery storage system. Read more here.

Sometimes hackers have an advantage on the network ‘playing field’ but that edge may soon be tipped toward those protecting enterprise network systems.

Shanchieh Yang, a faculty-researcher at Rochester Institute of Technology, was recently awarded grant funding from the National Science Foundation and National Security Agency for two cyber security projects. They are intended to get ahead of attackers by understanding early warnings to prevent high-impact actions from happening, and by extracting important characteristics of these warnings and transforming them into a preemptive, tactical system. Read more here, and here.

Recently retired, Dr. Ken Hsu, is now Professor Emeritus. He gave dedicated service to RIT and Computer Engineering department for 35 years. Ken has jointly developed the VLSI curriculum, founded the VLSI Design Laboratory, co-founded IEEE ASIC/SOCC Conference (established 1988), started RIT System-on-Chip Center via support from Synopsys, Inc., founded the Motorola Foundation Mentoring Laboratory, and helped built and maintained a strong and lasting relationship with Freescale, including the Freescale Embedded Systems Laboratory and two annual events Freescale has been hosting at or around RIT campus. Most recently in fall 2014, Ken visited 11 universities, 3 high schools, and 8 companies in Taiwan as KGCOE Asian Pacific Partnership Director. His visits has led to a broader recognition of RIT brand in Taiwan, and facilitated my follow-up visit to RIT alumni in Taiwan as well as the establishment of an agreement between RIT and National Taiwan University.

Ken has been a great mentor for students and a loyal believer of RIT education. His passion for student success and experiential learning has translated to the various industry partnerships he has established. It is not an overstatement that Ken set the tone for younger faculty, including myself when I first joined RIT, the importance of industry partnership and how such partnerships are essential for state-of-the-art equipment and software tools to educate our students. His enthusiasm and sincere care of students is contagious, to faculty and to our industry partners. His most recent endeavor has helped open up opportunities for university partnerships in Taiwan. These new partnerships are the beginnings of a new chapter for the Computer Engineering Department, from which we will elevate our brand and reputation to a broader international audience.

Dan Phillips had a vision for creating products that would improve access for people with disabilities.

Phillips, head of RIT’s biomedical engineering program, working with colleague, Beth DeBartolo, director of the Kate Gleason College of Engineering multidisciplinary design program, envisioned embedding students where individuals and service providers interact. That way, they reasoned, they would better understand what was needed and apply that knowledge to their creations.

Over a number of years, a full-scale access technology design and development program that engages students and faculty in colleges across the university has emerged. It’s become such a focus that RIT now holds an annual conference to showcase research and development related to access technology and provide a forum for sharing ideas and solutions. Read more here.

Mr. Anthony Hennig, a senior majoring in Mechanical Engineering (with aerospace option) and minoring in Physics at the Rochester Institute of Technology, has been selected to receive the John R. Sevier Memorial Scholarship Award, which honors Dr. Sevier's contributions to aerospace science. With his passion for engineering, Hennig founded a student research group at RIT, raised funds, and is working toward developing a 3U cubesat bus. During his internships at NASA's Langley Research Center he developed tools to generate better space system and architecture concepts. Hennig volunteers for FIRST Robotics-Finger Lakes Region. He is also pursuing a master's degree in technology policy, focusing on the impacts of extraterrestrial mining on commodities markets. Image: Left to Right: Risa Robinson (Professor, Mechanical Engineering, RIT); Anthony Hennig (Student, Mechanical Engineering); Zoran Ninkov (Professor, Center for Imaging Science, COI Representative, Rochester Institute of Technology); Elizabeth Bondi (Student, Center for Imaging Science); Mihail Barbosu (Professor, Mathematics).

Rochester businessman Robert Brinkman was inducted into the Industrial and Systems Engineering Academy at Rochester Institute of Technology on Sept. 29 and recognized for his contributions to RIT’s engineering college and his leadership in support of excellence in industrial and systems engineering education.

Brinkman, retired chairman and chief executive officer of the Brinkman International Group, said in his acceptance speech to a group of faculty, staff and administrators from RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering that he modeled his successful career after his father’s business acumen and principles. Read more here. Photo by Michelle Cometa

For mechanical engineer Aleef Mahmud, who several years ago demonstrated an adjustable seat he developed for a disabled sailor so that he could captain a sailboat in a competition for the first time in 31 years, the festival has meant moving ahead much faster in his career than he expected.

Kayla Wheeler, who graduated in May with a bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering and plans to go to graduate school in business, may as her first full-time job head up a company licensing rights for the custom protective padding for helmets she and a team designed and showcased at Imagine RIT this past May. Read more here. Photo by A. Sue Weisler


Ray Ptucha, director of the Machine Intelligence Lab at the Rochester Institute of Technology, thinks there will be a point when computers become smarter than humans. Futurists predict this will happen in anywhere from 10 to 100 years.

But machines can only evolve in this direction with a deeper understanding of the human mind. “Machine learning techniques that are inspired by the neurons of the human brain are key to making these technological advances possible,” Ptucha said. Read more here.

Patrick Cody, Customer Support Engineering, hosted the RIT Hot Wheelz Formula SAE Electric Team at the Mount Kisco facility for a day of training of VCL and a range of EV basics. The all-female Formula SAE Electric race team of undergraduate engineering students at KGCOE learned CAN communications, and much more to help them integrate donated Curtis products into their EV racing project. Coming from all different backgrounds, experience, majors, and interests, they came together to form a team of innovative and creative race enthusiasts. In May 2016 they will compete in the Formula Hybrid (Electric Only Category) event in Loudon, New Hampshire. Curtis has provided over $6K in in-kind contributions in addition to the controller programming training. With this generous support, the Hot Wheelz Team expects to do very well!

Marca Lam, Senior Lecturer in Mechanical Engineering, received the SWE Outstanding Faculty Advisor Award at the SWE National Conference in Nashville – the world’s largest conference for women engineers. Marca serves as a wonderful role model for KGCOE women engineering students, providing outstanding leadership both inside and outside the classroom. The RIT SWE Student Chapter is very active in a variety of college, RIT, regional and national activities ranging from student/alumni networking events, community outreach, the SWE Overnight program for female high school juniors, fundraising for charities, and much more. Marca is involved with everything the students do ensuring success!


Sohail Dianat, Department Head for Electrical and Microelectronic Engineering, was invited to be an editorial board member for SPIE Spotlight book series. In this capacity he will help solicit tutorials and find referees to join him in reviewing proposals and manuscripts on the subject of “Electronic Imaging and Signal Processing.” SPIE Spotlights are new eBooks featuring concise, digital-only publications that either summarize a broad topic or highlight a specific niche. Written for a wide audience, these peer-reviewed eBooks get straight to the point, highlighting the most important aspects of a given topic. SPIE is the highly regarded international society for optics and photonics professionals.


September 2015

Reginald Rogers, an assistant professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, received the Joseph N. Cannon Award in Chemical Engineering from the National Organization for the Professional Advancement of Black Chemists and Chemical Engineers.

Rogers, who was presented the coveted award at the society’s annual meeting on Sept. 25 in Orlando, Fla., teaches in the chemical engineering program in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. He is being recognized as an outstanding faculty-scholar, for his mentoring activities with students and his involvement in campus organizations. Read more here.



Rochester Institute of Technology is part of a consortium recently awarded a federal grant to establish a research center for employing flexible electronics in manufacturing.

The National Network for Manufacturing Innovation grant was awarded to FlexTech Alliance, a consortium of 162 companies, universities and nonprofits, for the purpose of creating the Manufacturing Innovation Institute for Flexible Hybrid Electronics. The institute will be managed by the U.S. Air Force Research Laboratory. RIT’s anticipated role will be to contribute expertise in high performance print systems and functionality, engineering processes and materials development.

RIT’s contributions will be led by Denis Cormier, the Earl W. Brinkman Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering, part of the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, and Shu Chang, the Melbert B. Cary Jr. Distinguished Professorship in RIT’s College of Imaging Arts and Sciences. Read more here.

Stephanie Chu, left, a second-year mechanical engineering student from New York City, talks with Ghansham Dutt, a mechanical engineer at NASA Glenn Research Center in Cleveland. Raymond Castro, right, a fifth-year mechanical engineering student from Brooklyn, meets with Rachel Cadesky, a human resources specialist at Glenn. Dutt and Cadesky visited RIT Sept. 10 to recruit for 11 positions in the Pathways Internship Employment Program. Photo by A. Sue Weisler


Clayton Turner, EE ‘90, NASA’s deputy director of Langley Research Center, will open the 2015 Dean’s Alumni Speaker Series at 12:30 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 24 in the Xerox Auditorium, located in the Kate Gleason College of Engineering at Rochester Institute of Technology.

The RIT electrical engineering alumnus will discuss his college and career experiences leading up to his current role directing NASA’s flight and ground systems projects at Langley Research Center, Va. Turner began his career with the center in 1990 and has held many leadership positions in NASA from technical leads on a variety of projects and as the systems Engineering Directorate Chief Engineer. In the latter capacity, he was responsible for engineering leadership and technical oversight for the planning and execution of complex flight and ground system projects; and for the design, development, and application of sound engineering practices across directorate-supported projects.

Zach Miller, ’12 (mechanical engineering) learned how to maintain a consistent workout while traveling. The 26-year-old Pennsylvanian, who last weekend won the difficult alpine ultramarathon known as the              Courmayeur-Champex-Chamonix (part of the UTMB series weekend), spent more than a year living and training on a cruise ship. Read more here. Photo: Courtesy of Nike.

Rochester Institute of Technology is among the “Most Innovative Schools” in a new survey of college leaders in the 2016 edition of U.S. News & World Report Best Colleges.

For the first time in the 33-year history of U.S. News rankings, college presidents, provosts and admissions deans were asked to nominate up to 10 colleges or universities in their ranking category that are making the most innovative improvements in terms of curriculum, faculty, students, campus life, technology or facilities. RIT ranked No. 2 for the most innovative school among regional universities in the north. Read more here.


July/August 2015

Early failure detection and analysis on today’s complex machine systems could mean cost savings in the long run for companies.

Rochester Institute of Technology engineering students built a dynamic journal bearing test rig to investigate machine failure detection with support and funding from Dresser-Rand Corp., a Siemens Business, and Moog Inc. Their test rig is a prototype of an industrial reciprocal compressor system used to assess the performance of journal bearings—complex, rotating shafts found in machinery. The students fabricated the rig as part of their senior design program to simulate Dresser-Rand’s ESH-1 reciprocating compressor.  Read more here.

Mechanical engineering student Jeff Botticello said the RITEV1—an electric motorcycle he and his teammates built—rides with a whisper, but is 450 pounds of power and speed.

The e-vehicle team participated in the 2015 eMotoRacing Varsity Challenge at the New Jersey Motorsports Park on July 10-12. RIT was one of 10 university teams invited to the national event and the only one to complete the competition races. For their first outing and impressive showing, the team was awarded a $1,000 scholarship from one of the event sponsors, Woodcraft Technologies. Read more here Photo, George Slack

When Navy SEALs go out on a mission, they wear blast gauges, devices on their helmets and armor that provide information on the effect explosions could have on their bodies. Athletes are using a similar technology that gives real-time data about possible concussions after sports-related head injuries.

David Borkholder ’92 (microelectronic engineering) developed these wearable technologies that are being used by individuals in places as close as Rochester and as far away as Afghanistan. Read more here. Photo, A. Sue Weisler

Rochester Institute of Technology engineering professor Juan Cockburn was recently awarded a New Directions Professorship at the Institute for Mathematics and its Applications, based at the University of Minnesota. He will participate in its one-year, immersive research and development program in control theory and applications as part of his sabbatical year starting fall 2015.

“This is a chance to talk and interact with top researchers who are exploring the boundaries of control theory to learn more about new areas of research they have explored and what promising things are ahead,” said Cockburn, an associate professor of computer engineering in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. “It will be a very intense interaction. It is my experience that in these situations, things happen, and so I am putting myself outside of my comfort zone because that’s how you move forward.”

A New York-based consortium, led by SUNY Polytechnic, Rochester Institute of Technology and the University of Rochester, has been awarded a multimillion-dollar federal investment to create a national photonics center.

The award, issued under the federal government’s National Network for Manufacturing Innovation (NNMI), was announced today by Vice President Joe Biden and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at a news conference at a SUNY Polytechnic facility at Canal Ponds in Greece, a suburb of Rochester. The new institute will be called AIM, short for American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics. Read more here.

Mike Jackson, professor in our Microelectronic Engineering program interviewed regarding careers in Photonics. Here it here.

Eight-year-old Kendall Smith of Pittsford, N.Y., left, and 9-year-old Eve Miller of Utica, N.Y., work on programming their robot at RoboCamp @ RIT. The weeklong day camp lets students design, build and program robots. This camp is enriched with mini-projects and goals that promote teamwork and creativity. Along with the mini-projects, instructors teach the students some of the fundamental aspects of robotics and programming. EAch week is designed for a different age/grade level and level of experience from beginning to advanced.


Team Hz Innovations is one of eight teams of entrepreneurs in the Saunders Summer Startup Program that culminates with Investor Night on Aug. 12 at RIT’s Student Innovation Hall. They are, from left: Divesh Soni (second-year computer science); Keith Delk (fourth-year new media design), Justin Plants (Monroe Community College), Greyson Watkins (fourth-year computer security), Chrystal Schlenker (second-year ASL-English interpretation), Zachary Baltzer (second-year microelectronic engineering) and Nicholas Lamb (third-year electrical engineering). Hz Innovations is  a sound recognition system to aid those with hearing loss that notifies the owner of a sound (doorbell, a child’s cry, alarm) through their software application on their smartphone, wearable device or laptop. Read more here. Photo, Keith Delk

Vaibhav Kothari, Industrial Engineering, 08. Differently abled since birth. A qualified Systems Engineer. A degree in Entrepreneurship from a top notch US College at Boston. However, he returned to India in a bid to do something different, unique and un-chartered as far as the annals of his own pursuit or that of his family’s background were concerned. He is a rare combination of hard work, determination and a certain relentless will that sees him undertake some of the most challenging infrastructure projects in his family’s robust and growing Om Metal business group. He painstakingly follows a well conceived weekly work schedule to which he swears at all conditions. What others call a holiday, he regards it as an incessant opportunity to indulge in his favorite activity – reading. Read more here.

Vertus students worked with a number of partners on this project. Financial backing came from the city of Rochester and RIT helped out with the technical expertise. Liz Jackson is a mechanical engineering major at RIT and worked closely with the students at Vertus. The prosthetics are custom made to fit the patient and are adjustable. Plus they can be produced in a variety of colors.

"They're also really cheap to print. They cost like $20 in material compared to hundreds of thousands of dollars for a professional prosthetic. So we can give these to kids for free and we can give them new ones when they outgrow them in six months or so too," said Liz Jackson, RIT student. Doug's hand is blue, his favorite color. He now plans on giving golf a try and perhaps even baseball. "I want to tell the boys thank you for all the help and work," said Doug. Read more here.

Harvey Palmer, dean of the engineering college at Rochester Institute of Technology, today announced his retirement from the college he has led for the past 15 years. Palmer, who shaped RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering into one of the top undergraduate and graduate engineering programs in the country, recognized for programs in nanotechnology, 3D printing and sustainable engineering, will step down June 30, 2016.

“It’s time,” said Palmer, adding that he is looking forward to spending more time with family and traveling. “We’ve accomplished extraordinary things in the college through our exceptional faculty and staff leaders. They’ve been so committed to our students and the success of the college.” Read more here. Photo, A. Sue Weisler

Marca Lam, a faculty member in mechanical engineering, was named the 2015 Outstanding Faculty Advisor by the Society of Women Engineers. Lam was recognized for her role in helping to build the membership in RIT’s student section of the organization and increase participation in student-run professional and social programming, as well as being an engineering role model for the young women in the program. She will be presented the award at the society’s annual conference this October in Nashville, Tenn.

“I’m honored to have my work with SWE recognized especially with this being an international award. Wow,” said Lam, a senior lecturer of mechanical engineering in RIT’s Kate Gleason College of Engineering. Read more here.

A consortium of universities and corporations led by Rochester Institute of Technology has been chosen to receive a state grant to establish a New York State Center for Advanced Technology in Additive Manufacturing and Functional Printing. Denis Cormier, RIT’s Earl W. Brinkman Professor and a national expert on 3D printing and additive manufacturing, will lead the AMPrint Center. The consortium’s university partners include RIT, Clarkson University and SUNY New Paltz and corporate partners Xerox Corp., GE Research, Corning Inc., Eastman Kodak Co. and MakerBot. Smaller, regional companies will also collaborate with the center.

The award, $921,000 a year renewal for up to 10 years (subject to annual performance evaluations) was announced by Empire State Development, New York state’s economic development agency. The state said the RIT consortium was chosen from a highly competitive pool of applicants. Read more here.

Kudos to KGCOE Students

Quintina Frink, a fourth-year chemical engineering student, won the 2015 Susan L. Costa Memorial Scholarship, given to students for academic achievements and campus leadership. Frink is parliamentarian for NTID’s Student Assembly, serves in the Hands of Fire ministry and as RA at the university. She is from Arlington, Ohio.

Thomas Close, undergraduate student, chemical engineering, Gaurav Tulsyan, graduate student, materials science, and Christiaan Richter, assistant professor, chemical engineering, co-authored “Reversible oxygen scavenging at room temperature using electrochemically-reduced titanium oxide nanotubes” in Nature Nanotechnology.

Chaitanya Mahajan, engineering doctoral student, received the Industrial and Systems Engineering Research Conference/Manufacturing & Design Div. 2015 Student Best Paper Award for “3D printing of carbon fiber composites with preferentially aligned fibers.”

Alvaro Rojas, industrial engineering and imaging science doctoral student, won the 2015 Imaging Science & Technology association’s Itek Award for his paper, “Exploring surface defects on EP-based 3D-printed structures.” It will be published in the Journal of Imaging Science & Technology.

Derek Kreider and Jacob Klaus, industrial and systems engineering students, placed second in the Simio Student Simulation Competition 2015, hosted by the IIE Annual Conference in June. Their entry on shipping container order, delivery and management was among 70 collegiate design entries.

Engineering students Geni Giannotti, Megan Ehrhart, Noah Schadt, Tyler Leichtenberger, Jared Green and Adam Podolec won second place for their project, Soft Ankle-Foot Orthotic, in the undergraduate design competition at the Summer Biomechanics, Bioengineering and Bio-transport Conference in June.

Chantel Charlebois, a third-year biomedical engineering student, won the Rochester Engineering Society's Keith W. Amish Memorial Scholarship, for $1,000, given to recognize academic excellence in a developing technology or energy-efficiency related fields and campus leadership. She is from Jericho, Vt.

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

Joey Bingham, a business major from Franklinville, N.J., and Tyler DeVore, a biomedical engineering major from Boonton Township, N.J., were members of the ice hockey team that participated in the 18th Winter Deaflympics in Russia, March 28–April 5.


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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