As the academic year draws to a close, I am delighted to
share some wonderful achievements of our students and
faculty. I can highlight only a few in this brief message,
so I encourage you to scroll down and peruse all of the
exciting news items below.
Electrical and Computer Engineering graduate student Nicole Pfiester Latham
was awarded a National Science Foundation (NSF) Graduate
Research Fellowship to support her research on materials to
harness energy from low-temperature sources, such as body
heat or thermal radiation from cars. Chemical engineering
junior Andrew Rosen was honored with a
prestigious Goldwater Scholarship.
The TGI Entrepreneurial Leadership Program’s $100K New
Ventures Competition celebrated its 10th anniversary this
year. The number and quality of competition entries
continues to grow with representation from most of Tufts’
schools. Despite the stiff competition,
four out of the six finalist teams included Tufts engineers
and computer scientists.
In research news, I am proud to announce that two of our
professors have recently received highly competitive Multi-University Research Initiative (MURI) awards.
Professor Matthias Scheutz (CS) will lead a
team of university researchers to explore how to design a robot with the ability to
learn, reason with, act upon and communicate about the laws,
norms, and societal conventions that guide human behavior.
Professor Jeff Hopwood (ECE) will
collaborate with a research team in the development of high
bandwidth reconfigurable plasma-based systems for
controlling electromagnetic fields.
In faculty news, it is with bittersweet emotions that I
share the news that Professor Carla Brodley
(CS) will be leaving us to assume the deanship of
Northeastern University’s College of Computer and
Information Science. It has been my great pleasure to work
with Carla over these past ten years. She has been a
tremendous asset to the community, providing vision and
leadership, both as the chair of Computer Science and as an
interdisciplinary researcher. We wish her much success and
fulfillment in this next phase of her career.
I also must sadly note the passing of two of our faculty
colleagues. At the end of last year, the CEE department lost
Professor of the Practice Rachid Hankour
following his brief battle with cancer; and in April of this
year, CEE Professor Emeritus N. Bruce Hanes
fell victim to a sudden heart attack. Professor Hanes who
retired in 1992, was the individual credited with the
founding of Tufts Environmental Engineering and
Environmental Health Engineering Programs. Both individuals
made indelible marks on the department and the larger Tufts
community and will be sorely missed.
On a happier note, this week it will be my distinct
pleasure to honor CEE Professor Lewis Edgers
with the Seymour O. Simches Award for Distinguished Teaching
and Advising, the school’s highest honor, and to name him
Professor Emeritus in recognition of his many contributions
to Tufts, as a teacher, administrator, and scholar. At
Commencement, we will also be honoring CEE Senior Lecturer
Lee Minardi who is retiring this year after
a Tufts career that spanned almost 25 years. Director of the
Tufts Gordon Institute and ME Professor of the Practice
Robert Hannemann will also be retiring this
year after seven years of service to the school in which he
raised the profile of TGI, doubled enrollment, and
strengthened and expanded TGI’s academic offerings. We wish
them joy and fulfillment in this next stage of their lives
and hope that they will remain part of our community for
many years to come.
On Saturday, May 17, I will preside over our second
doctoral hooding ceremony on the lawn next to
Bromfield-Pearson. Later that day, I hope you will join me
in Anderson Hall for our ninth annual
Alumni Weekend Engineering Reception to meet the members
Tufts racing team who recently prepared to participate
in the Formula Hybrid Competition.
I look forward to seeing some of you on campus this
Commencement weekend and to sharing more news in the fall at
the start of another exciting and productive year for Tufts
Dean Linda M. Abriola
(Dean of Engineering)