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The Rochester Engineering Society has named Harvey Palmer, dean of the Kate Gleason College of Engineering, the 2007 Leo H. East Engineer of the Year. The award goes annually to an individual who has advanced the profession of engineering and enhanced the understanding of engineering principles in society. Palmer, one of four finalists for the award, was recognized at the society’s 106th annual gala April 5.
“I am deeply honored to receive this important award from my peers in the engineering community,” says Palmer. “Throughout my career, I have sought to promote engineering both as a profession and as a tool to address the challenges facing society. The knowledge that my efforts have had some impact is extremely gratifying.”
During Palmer’s tenure, RIT’s College of Engineering has developed the world’s first doctoral program in microsystems engineering and leading master’s programs in sustainability engineering and mechanical engineering/public policy. In addition, Palmer has worked to enhance the participation of women and minorities in engineering, including creating the Kate Gleason Chair to direct recruitment and outreach efforts. He has also played a major role in the expansion of RIT’s international collaborations, such as the creation of RIT Dubai, a new academic unit that will be run jointly by RIT and the emirate of Dubai on the Arabian Peninsula.
“Harvey Palmer is a true innovator in engineering education and we are very lucky to have him here at RIT,” notes Stanley McKenzie, RIT provost and chief academic officer. “His expertise and care for students is a true asset to the entire community. I personally appreciate his ability to maintain a good sense of humor at all times, even in highly tense situations.”
Prior to joining RIT in 2000, Palmer served as chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering at the University of Rochester. He also worked for many years in private industry as both a staff engineer and consultant and holds seven patents.
Along with Palmer, Santosh Kurinec, head of RIT’s Department of Microelectronic Engineering, and RIT alumnus Robert Loce, a principal scientist with Xerox Corp., were among the four nominees up for the East award. Loce holds a B.S. in photographic science and was the first graduate of RIT’s doctoral program in imaging science.
In addition, Gregory Kacprzynski, who earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in mechanical engineering at RIT, was a finalist for the inaugural Kate Gleason Young Engineer of the Year award. Kacprzynski is manager of the advanced programs division at Impact Technologies LLC.