June 2009 Spotlights

ECE Professor David Smith led a successful proposal team to secure $6.25 million for a five year MURI (Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative) titled “Transformational Optical Metamaterials”that aims to design optical media that can achieve functionality not obtainable by conventional optics. Smith plans to explore applications such as electromagnetic cloaking, sub-diffraction limited imaging and improved solar cell efficiency through omni-directional light concentrators. Collaborators include Duke’s Steve Cummer and Nan Jokerst, as well as team members from Imperial College, Purdue University and North Carolina State University.

In addition, ECE assistant professor Jungsang Kim is co-PI on a MURI team working on integrated quantum circuits. The group plans to explore exchange of quantum information between dissimilar quantum memories like trapped ions and quantum dots using photons as the mediators. The team includes collaborators from the University of Maryland, University of Michigan; University of California at San Diego, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the Naval Research Laboratory.

Joseph Izatt, professor of biomedical engineering, has been elected Fellow of the Optical Society of America. He was honored for his pioneering contributions to the field of biomedical optics, particularly the development of technology and applications of optical coherence tomography and microscopy.

Henry Petroski, Aleksandar S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering, has received the 2009 Norm Augustine Award for Outstanding Achievement in Engineering Communications from the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES). The award was given to Petroski for “communicating the excitement and wonder of engineering to a broad and diverse cross-section of the public through national and international media appearances, and for widespread readership of his many books, securing his place as the poet laureate of technology.”

Marianne Hassan, associate dean for new initiatives, has won the University's highest honor for staff, the President’s Award for executive leadership. In the nomination package, Marianne was recognized for her incredible dedication and success in enabling the creation of new research centers, overseeing the support of and nurturing the lives of graduate students and building new international programs, such the partnership with Effat College in Saudi Arabia.

Winners of Pratt awards this year include: Craig Henriquez, professor of biomedical engineering, received the Klein Family Distinguished Teaching Award. Mechanical Engineering Assistant Professor Brian Mann won the Lois and John L. Imhoff Distinguished Teaching Award. Electrical Engineering Associate Professor Steve Cummer won the Capers and Marion McDonald for Excellence in Teaching and Research. Mechanical engineering Associate Professor Pei Zhong was awarded the Capers and Marion McDonald Award for Excellence in Mentoring and Advising.

Duke’s Engineering Alumni Association honored three individuals: Robert W. Anderson, E’59, received the Engineering Distinguished Alumnus Award. Anderson is a biomedical engineer who specialized in cardiovascular devices and health care technology economics. The Engineering Distinguished Young Alumnus Award went to Ananth Natarajan, E’90. He is a physician-entrepreneur who specializes in applying advanced technology to solve pressing clinical problems. The Engineering Distinguished Service Award was presented to James H. McElhaney for his extensive service and substantial contribution to Duke University, the biomechanics research community, and the engineering profession. In his more than 50 years of teaching, McElhaney has introduced thousands of students to the subtleties of human functional anatomy, motion, injury mechanics, and prevention. He has mentored more than 50 graduate students.

Duke’s chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers placed in four categories at the 2009 Carolina’s Conference (http://www.coe.uncc.edu/~ascesb/#cc). The 10 schools making up the Carolina’s Conference met at UNC Charlotte in early April to put their civil engineering skills to the test. Twenty-two Duke students attended. CEE sophomore Lyndsey Morgan took second place in the technical paper competition. CEE junior Brianne Connolly placed second for T-shirt design. CEE sophomores Philip Danser and Trisha Lowe, and freshman Greer Mackebee placed third in the transportation competition. And freshmen Jon Bedell, Liz Cobb, Maria Gibb and Greer Mackabee teamed up to win the balsawood bridge competition

The national civil engineering honor society, Chi Epsilon, selected CEE senior Scott Harvey to receive the $1,500 Cumberland District Scholarship. He was cited for his outstanding academic work, along with his significant, enthusiastic, and excellent involvement in extracurricular activities.

BME alumnus David Erdman, ’71, established the Pratt School of Engineering High School Award of Excellence. Four North Carolina students will receive $1,000 they can use for tuition at the college or university they plan to attend. The competitive awards recognize achievements in the field of engineering.

Assistant Professor Chuan-Hua Chen has been selected for an Oak Ridge Associated Universities Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award. The award will provide financial support for his research on physicochemical hydrodynamics at the micro and nanoscale where transport and interfacial phenomena closely interact with each other.

Mechanical Engineering professor Adrian Bejan will receive his 16th honorary doctorate degree from the University of Rome I, "La Sapienza." This is in recognition of his global influence as a researcher, in particular his contributions through his constructal theory.

Civil engineering professor Tomasz Hueckel has been appointed to a three-person Commission of Evaluation of the research of all French laboratories involved in activities related to geomechanics of nuclear waste disposal. He was selected by ANDRA, the French National Agency for Management of Radioactive Waste.