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In This Section:

Volume 11, Issue 21
June 17, 2009

In this issue:

Congratulations and thanks to staff retirees

As a result of the university's Staff Retirement Incentive, a number of our colleagues are retiring at the end of this fiscal year. We would like to take this opportunity to express our appreciation for their years of service and dedication and to wish them the best as they start the next chapter in their lives.

In addition to those announced in the previous issue of Information Update, please congratulate Yvonne (Bonnie) Sisco, assistant to the director of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Bonnie has been with the university–and in the College of Engineering–for 38 years. She was a member of the Chemical Engineering community until the formation of the Department of Biomedical Engineering in 2004. Bonnie has an infectious sense of humor and will be missed.

Awards and honors in the Engineering Community

Asst Prof. Susan Daniel, CBE, won an Affinito-Stewart grant for 2009 from the President's Council of Cornell Women for her project on the "investigation of the effect of cell membrane curvature on virus fusion." The goal of this program is to increase the long-term retention of women at Cornell by supporting the completion of research important to the tenure process.

Prof. Zygmunt J. Haas, ECE, recently delivered a series of lectures in the Scandinavian countries as part of the IEEE ComSoc Distinguish Lecturers Tour program. In this tour, Haas presented the work conducted in his Wireless Networks Lab ( at seven academic and industrial institutions in Sweden, Finland, and Denmark.

Prof. Tony Ingraffea, CEE, will be admitted to the Class of 2009 The International Congress on Fracture (ICF) Fellows on July 17. He is being recognized for “his pioneering contributions to the advanced computational simulation of fatigue and fracture processes leading to improved understanding for practical applications to integrity assessment of engineering structures.”

Assoc. Prof. Thorsten Joachims, CS, won Best 10-Year paper at International Conference on Machine Learning 2009, which is given to a paper published in ICML 1999 the committee feels has had the most significant and lasting impact. Joachims' 1991 paper is titled "Transductive inference for text classification using support vector machines."

Assoc. Prof. Michal Lipson, ECE, was honored with a 2009 Provost Award's for Distinguished Scholarship. The awards recognize outstanding tenured faculty early in their careers for distinguished research and scholarly achievements, combined with their continuing commitment to Cornell.

Assoc. Prof. Rajit Manohar received the Ruth and Joel Spira Outstanding Teaching Award in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering for 2009. This award is presented annually to an ECE faculty member who has made extraordinary efforts in teaching. Manohar's student evaluations often focus on his excellent lecture style, his preparedness, and his willingness to connect with the students and make sure they understand the topic before moving on.

Asst Prof. Jeff Varner, CBE, has received a 2009 NSF CAREER award. His project centers on understanding the molecular basis of adult stem cell proliferation and differentiation. He will use experimental and computational approaches to unravel the response of HL-60 (human myeloblastic leukemia) cells to agents such as Vitamin A, as a model for the study of proliferation and differentiation. This work could result in advanced stem cell therapies for the treatment of a spectrum of human cancers, spinal cord injuries, and neurodegenerative disorders.

Huttenlocher named dean of CIS

Daniel Huttenlocher, Cornell's John P. and Rilla Neafsey Professor of Computing, Information Science and Business, has been named the university's dean of the Faculty of Computing and Information Science (CIS). He succeeds Robert L. Constable, who is stepping down June 30, when his second five-year term concludes. In 1998-99, Huttenlocher chaired the Cornell Task Force on Computing and Information Science, which led to the creation of CIS.

Memorial service for Caroline Coffey set for June 27

A campus memorial service for Caroline Coffey will be held Saturday, June 27, at 10:30 a.m. in Sage Chapel. The service is open to friends, colleagues, and members of the Cornell community. It is not open to the media. Coffey, a postdoctoral associate in BME, died June 2.

Recent actions by Cornell Board of Trustees

The Cornell Board of Trustees has approved the follow tenure actions and emeritus elections:

Elected to associate professor with indefinite tenure:

  • Wilkins Aquino, CEE
  • Kavita Bala, CS
  • Matthew P. DeLisa, CBE
  • Doug L. James, CS
  • Farhan Rana, ECE

Elected to endowed chair:

  • Prof. Marjolein van der Meulen, MAE, Swanson Professor of Biomedical Engineering.

Approved for emeritus status:

  • Prof. Vaclav Kostroun, AEP
  • Prof. Fred Kulhawy, CEE
  • John Silcox, AEP, David E. Burr Professor of Engineering Emeritus

Engineering faculty elected to university committees

The following College of Engineering faculty were elected to university committees:

Academic Integrity Hearing Board
Term July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2012

  • Prof. William Olbricht, CBE
  • Assoc. Prof. Lois Pollack, AEP
  • Prof. William White, EAS

College Grievance Committee
Term July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2012

  • Assoc. Prof. James Bisogni, CEE
  • Prof. Leigh Phoenix, MAE

Term July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2011

  • Prof. Paul Dawson, MAE

University Appeals Panel
Term July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2014

  • Assoc. Prof. Lawrence Bonassar, MAE/BME
  • Prof. Suzanne Kay, EAS

Work Life Wednesday scheduled for June 24

Dear Engineering Staff:

The College of Engineering Work Life Committee would like to extend an invitation to join us for lunch and sunshine (we hope!) on the Engineering Quad at our first Work Life Wednesday event on June 24 from noon to 1 p.m. Bring a brown bag lunch, a frisbee, sidewalk chalk—or just yourself. Take some time to get out of the office and connect with your colleagues! There are tables and chairs next to Carpenter Hall so we can congregate there.

We have also established a College of Engineering Staff page at This provides a great venue to share information and updates as well as providing networking opportunities for staff across disciplines and departments. We hope you take the opportunity to visit, set up a professional profile, and join the group!


Work Life Committee
(Julie Delay, Hayley Harris, DiOnetta Jones, Shawna Fulkerson, Tim Brock, Gabriel Terrizzi, Andy Vail, Linda Tompkins, Michelle Dean and Yoanna Ferrara)

Co-op program announces 2008 award winners

Engineering Cooperative Education and Career Services has recently released the names of 2008 co-op award winners. The Co-op Student of the Year Award is given to one student each year who demonstrates leadership, initiative, and innovation in the co-op position. Students are nominated by their supervisors. Students also nominate supervisors and mentors who have helped them to grow in a professional capacity during their co-op position.

Co-op Student of the Year:

  • Caroline Greenwood, EP, Space Systems/Loral

Co-op Supervisor of the Year:

  • Jeffrey D. Hallen, Momentive Performance Materials

Co-op Mentor of the Year:

  • Kerri Cahoy '00 EE, Space Systems/Loral

Distinguished Honor (Students):

  • Molly Glauberman, ME, Consumers Union of the U.S. Inc.
  • Jessica Granoff, ME, Premier Rides
  • Andrew Hurrell, CS, RiskMetrics Group
  • Pawan Kodandapani, ChE, Momentive Performance Materials
  • Aaron Nelson, ChE, Johnson & Johnson
  • Michael Shearer, CE, Ove Arup & Partners

Exemplary Student Ambassadors:

  • Philip Chow, CE, National Grid Engineering & Survey
  • Joseph Dao, CS, Riskmetrics Group
  • Paul Davidson, ME, GE Energy
  • Jenna Halpern, CE, Stantec Consulting Services
  • Joseph Kasnicki, ECE, Advanced Micro Devices
  • Antoinette Kretsch, ME, Sikorsky Aircraft
  • Emily Majusiak, ChE, Merck & Co.
  • David Polley, ChE, Air Products & Chemicals
  • Kirsten Stoner, ME, Space Systems/Loral
  • Charles Xeller, CS, RiskMetrics Group
  • Sujith Vidanapathirana, CS, RiskMetrics Group
  • Linlin Yang, ChE, Symyx Technologies
  • Peter Yu, CS, Bank of America

CCSF funds second round of Academic Venture Grants

The Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future awarded over $500,000 on May 19 in its Academic Venture Fund competition. Five projects were selected for their ability to foster interdisciplinary sustainability innovation at Cornell and their potential to involve external partners in industry, government, foundations and nongovernmental organizations. Four of the five projects involve Engineering faculty members:

  • Sustainability of Food Systems, Asst Prof. Huaizhu (Oliver) Gao, CEE
  • Assessing Carbon Sequestration in Complex Agricultural Landscapes, Asst Prof. Todd Walter, BEE
  • Micropowdered Biomass Combustion, Assoc. Prof. Elizabeth Fisher, Prof. Frederick Gouldin, and Asst Prof. Max Zhang, MAE
  • A Solar Cell Using Inorganic "Grass," Prof. Sandip Tiwari. ECE, and Prof. Christopher Ober, MSE

JumpStart Program assists NY State small business

The CCMR JumpStart Program is designed to help small businesses in New York state solve problems related to materials through collaborations with university research centers. The program provides:

  • a one-semester project utilizing university expertise
  • an opportunity to build a long-term relationship with university faculty and facilities
  • up to $5,000 in matching NYStar funding

The deadline for businesses to apply is June 21 at 5 p.m. For more information, please see the JumpStart Web site.

Engineering Gear now available online

Engineering Communications and Media Relations has launched an online storefront of Cornell Engineering apparel and gifts, featuring high-quality products at reasonable prices. For personal purchases, go right to the storefront: For office purchases on a department account or p-card, contact Bob Emro for discount pricing.

Proceeds support the College of Engineering.

Information Update summer schedule

Information Update is published once a month in June and July and will resume a biweekly publishing schedule in mid-August.

Submitting announcements to Information Update

Please send your news notes to Announcements will be published no more than twice and should be limited to about a hundred words or less. The next issue of Information Update, published biweekly during the academic year and monthly in the summer, will be July 10, 2013. The deadline for submissions to this next issue is Friday, July 5, 2013 at 5 p.m. Information received after the deadline will be published in a future issue if appropriate.