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Tufts University


Dear Alumni,

Another exciting year has begun at the School of Engineering. Your continued support and commitment are helping us sustain our remarkable growth and impressive achievements. For the seventh consecutive year, we had a record number of applicants and with an acceptance rate of only 14 percent, it was our most selective undergraduate admissions cycle by far, with women making up a third of the incoming class. At the graduate level, applications increased by 22 percent, and we awarded a record number of Ph.D. degrees.

As a consequence of several successful faculty searches, we welcomed a number of new faculty members to campus this fall. Among these, Professor Daniel Kuchma joined the CEE from his position at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. A former National Science Foundation CAREER awardee, Dan’s research interests include the design and behavior of concrete structures subjected to complex states of stress such as gravity, wind, and earthquakes. Associate Professor Emmanuel “Manolis” Tzanakakis, whose work focuses on scalable expansion and differentiation of pluripotent stem cells to improve applications in regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, joined ChBE from his position at SUNY Buffalo. Assistant Professor Fahad Dogar joined the CS from a post doc position at Microsoft Research. Fahad’s research interests include cloud computing, internet architecture, and mobile computing.

Tufts Gordon Institute (TGI) also welcomed new leadership. Successful business leader and entrepreneur, Mark Ranalli (BSEE, Stanford; MBA, Dartmouth), joined us as Associate Dean and Executive Director of TGI from his position as Managing Director of RR Donnelly’s Digital Solutions Group. Senior Lecturer Inge Milde, A95, was named interim director of TGI’s Entrepreneurial Leadership Studies program.

In other faculty news, Babak Moaveni (CEE) and Tom Vandervelde (ECE) were promoted to tenured associate professor; Marc Hodes (ME) was awarded tenure; and David Gute (CEE) and Kyongbum Lee (chair, ChBE) were promoted to full professor. Pratap Misra (ME) and Brian Tracey (ECE) were named Professors of the Practice.

On the research front, there is much to report. Highlights include a National Science Foundation Major Research Instrumentation (MRI) grant award to Igor Sokolov (ME) —Tufts’ third MRI grant in the past year—for equipment to nondestructively test nano-bio materials in real time. You may have seen reference to David Kaplan (BME) and his colleague’s groundbreaking research, recently published in PNAS, creating a synthetic model of silk and collagen gel which closely imitates brain function, the first time this has been successfully accomplished in the laboratory. Rob Jacob (CS) and Sergio Fantini’s (BME) work to develop a device to identify mental fatigue by monitoring blood oxygenation in the brain was highlighted in Tufts Now and served as the basis of the winning student project for the 2014 Stephen and Geraldine Ricci Prize. If you are in the area, please join us on October 28 when this student team and their advisors Sergio Fantini and Valencia Koomson (ECE) will give the annual Ricci Lecture. Check out the The Colbert Report for a humorous look at the exciting robot research being conducted by Matthias Scheutz (CS) and collaborators, through a prestigious Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI) grant from the Office of Naval Research.

I am also delighted to report that infrastructure preparation has begun for the construction of the new Science and Engineering Complex, which, by linking to Anderson and Robinson Halls, will create a 175,000-square-foot complex of state-of-the-art science and engineering laboratories, classrooms, and offices. This high-end facility will become the cornerstone of innovative interdisciplinary research on the Medford/Somerville campus and was designed to encourage collaboration among the STEM disciplines. In addition, the Collaborative Learning and Innovation Complex at 574 Boston Avenue is nearly complete. This renovated space will provide a new home for Human Factors engineering and collaborating faculty working in our strategic area of Engineering the Human-Technology Interface.

Last fall, I mentioned that we would move forward with our school’s strategic planning effort. Based upon the ideas generated at several school leadership retreats, a 10-year Strategic Planning Framework document was drafted in parallel with the finalization of the university’s T10 Strategic Plan. In consultation with our various constituents, including faculty, staff, students, and alumni, this draft was discussed and refined to produce a final framework document that I’m pleased to share with you at http://engineering.tufts.edu/framework. In the coming academic year, we will continue to build upon this strategic planning framework to identify opportunities, resources, and next steps associated with the pursuit of our mission over the next 10 years.

I urge you to peruse the remarkable achievements and interesting events happening at the School of Engineering detailed in the fall newsletter below.

Best regards,

Dean Linda M. Abriola
(Dean of Engineering)

Alumni Profile

Andrew Siegle, E85, EG89, EG04
Hidden Treasures
Siegel dreams up new engineering solutions at Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Lincoln Laboratory.

Travel with Tufts

Insider's Japan

Dates: October 14 -
October 26, 2015

Insider's Japan

Our Asia journey features the highlights of Tokyo and Kyoto, engages us in local life, and takes us to the historic cities of Takayama and Kanazawa. We will tour the Shinto Meiji Shrine, historic Imperial Palace, explore Mt. Fuji-Hakone-Izu National Park and view the imposing Mt. Fuji.

Learn more about this journey with Tufts' Travel-Learn Program.