Spring 2008 Inventing Tomorrow s

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1 ENVIRONMENTAL IMPAC T Institute of Technology faculty research eco-friendly solutions>> 2008 | spring/summer ALSO I NSIDE: Millennial Generation grads making their mark in the workforce >> Student solar competitions begin to heat up >> a magazine for alumni and friends of the institute of technology

2 Invent Ing tomorrow Spring /Summer 2008 Vol. 32, No. 2 Ation Administr dean Steven L. Crouch dean, Associate research and Planning Mostafa Kaveh Associate dean, Undergraduate Programs Paul Strykowski interim Associate dean, Academic Affairs Wayne Gladfelter EditoriAl stAff Communications director & managing Editor Rhonda Zurn senior Editor Silva Young Contributors Richard Broderick Jonathan Chapman Jayme Halbritter Kermit Pattison Brad Stauffer Judy Woodward design Julie Streitz, Printing Services Printing University Printing Services © 2008 Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved. is published Inventing Tomorrow by the Institute of Technology communications team twice a year for alumni and friends of the college. This publication is available in alternate formats for those with visual impairments by calling 612-626-7959. 24 At yo Us wh ll tE U think Inventing Tomorrow welcomes readers’ comments and story ideas ?? for future issues. E-mail [email protected] s. m ail U. Inventing Tomorrow 8 16 Institute of Technology 32 32 105 Walter Library 117 Pleasant Street SE Minneapolis, MN 55455 Phone: 612-626-7959 fax: 612-624 -2841 www.it.umn.edu web: moving? Send us your new address to keep receiving Inventing Tomorrow . Printed on recycled paper E ?? The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer.

3 departments spring/summer 2008 From the Dean Invent Ing tomorrow Maroon and gold are going ‘green’ 2 • Letters Alumnus remembers solar and automotive research 3 in the 1950s • 8 Millennials Making their Mark • Four young alumni are putting their Tech Digest Institute of Technology degrees to work IT plays role in lab heart, researchers target earlier oral By kE rmit P Attison cancer detection, U physicists discover powerful radio waves, and more 4 • • 16 Environmental Impact Alumni Report Passion is doing what you love to Institute of Technology faculty are working do, TechFest draws 1,000 visitors, to solve today’s environmental challenges UMAA event set for May, Young By r Ck Eri iChArd Brod Professionals Series features timely topics, and more 28 • Investing in Tomorrow Your support is more critical • 24 Empowered by the Sun than ever, IT receives gift Institute of Technology students’ teamwork to establish environmental and technical skills shine brightly in two engineering chair, new “March Madness” comes to campus, and solar projects more 30 • Udy w oodw Ard By J A Gathering Place for Great Minds • 32 on the Cover After 20 years, the Fine Theoretical Physics Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, professor of civil engineering, is one of Institute continues to lay the groundwork several Institute of Technology for advances in our daily lives faculty who are working to A y ilv By s oUng meet the environmental challenge. She began her work in environmental forecasting 25 years ago. 16 • thAn ChAP Photo By JonA mAn

4 From the dean steven L. Crouch Maroon and gold ‘green’ are going r , d F AN IS hErMAN ENE S AN Av Id G Ard nature has always been an important part of my life. Every year I look forward to spring and A - summer so I can venture outdoors to do some back yard gardening or enjoy the beauty of a secluded trout stream. Protecting our natural resources is no easy task in today’s world, but at the University of Minnesota, we’ve made it a priority. The University has a long history of environmental research that dates back several decades. We can all be proud that the University of Minnesota was ‘green’ long before it became fashionable. In more recent years, the environmental engineering research and education. University has taken some bold steps into the environ - Today, concerns about our natural world influence mental arena. every aspect of our lives. This is clearly evident in our cover story “Environmental Impact.” The story high In 2004, the University was among the first members - We can all be lights the research of four Institute of Technology - of the Chicago Climate Exchange, and remains the larg faculty who are finding innovative ways to restore est public research university to join. Members agreed proud that the river deltas, ensure a clean water supply, predict the to reduce emissions by 1 percent per year by 2006; the University of effects of precipitation, and develop environment- University of Minnesota achieved a 38.6 percent reduc - Minnesota was friendly plastics. At the U, scientists and engineers tion during that timeframe. In addition, the University operates an award-winning fleet of more than 100 flex- work side-by-side to develop solutions to some of our ‘green’ long fuel, biofuel, and hybrid vehicles. It is one of the largest world’s greatest environmental problems. before it became - Students also have unique opportunities to get in users of E85 in the state, and the U’s central steam plant volved in ground-breaking environmental research. burns biomass and oat hulls. fashionable. In the story “Empowered by the Sun,” we showcase We are also among the nation’s leaders in alterna - two U of M student groups—one building a solar- tive energy research. The University’s Initiative for re - powered car and another building a solar-powered newable Energy and the Environment has a $20 million house. portfolio that gathers experienced world-class scholars That spirit of innovation is also evident in other to develop innovative energy solutions. stories in this issue. The story “Millennials Making In fall 2006, the University created the Institute on their Mark” shines the spotlight on four young alum - the Environment to coordinate the breadth and depth ni who are putting what they learned at the Univer - of environmental resources at the University. The goal sity to work in the professional world. is to make it easier for researchers to share knowledge In the story “A Gathering Place for Great Minds,” with each other and the public. The Institute represents we take a look back at 20 years of theoretical physics an innovative model for problem-driven environmental at the University. The work of theoretical physicists - research, stakeholder engagement, and real-world solu has laid the groundwork for many of the technologi- tions. Three Institute of Technology faculty members cal advances in our everyday lives. are among the founding fellows. What all these stories have in common is a pas - Earlier this year, the Institute of Technology es - tablished an endowed faculty chair in Environmental sion by Institute of Technology faculty, students, and Engineering thanks to a generous gift from the Ling - alumni to solve problems and make our world a bet ter place. The next step is up to all of us. We need to family. This endowment will support outstanding make living ‘green’ the new global gold standard. n faculty within the Institute of Technology involved in I nvent spring/summer 2008 Ing tomorrow 2

5 , type “Letters” in the subject line of To submit letters to Inventing Tomorrow Inventing Tomorrow , your message and e-mail to [email protected] or write to Letters > 105 Walter Library, 117 Pleasant St. SE, Minneapolis, MN 55455. Include your name and daytime phone number. Please limit letters to 275 words. In the picture of the car suspended on the as Akerman Hall). For two years, I spent at least tall crane, Professor Ryan is the man in the part of every day that was not cloud-covered white shirt, hand in his pockets, standing near running the collectors on the roof. the fence. During the summer months of 1956, 1957 I was a student of Professor Ryan and was and 1958, mechanical engineering Professor also active with him in the American Society of James “Crash” Ryan conducted many of his Mechanical Engineers (ASME) before and after now-famous automobile crash tests in parking graduation from the University. He was a won - lots around the Aeronautical Engineering and derful individual who died much too soon after Mechanical Engineering buildings. These tests retirement. led to his invention of the retractable seat belt Thank you for your publication. I very much and improvements in the shock-absorbing enjoy reading Inventing Tomorrow and the bumper. e-newsletter even though I’ve been gone ITems I was able to observe most of these tests for 50 years. from the roof of the two nearby buildings. Some Harrison Benjamin of Professor Ryan’s tests involved driving the (ME ’56, Grad School ’56-58) - car. One experiment that tested a shock-ab sorbing hydraulic bumper involved hoisting a car and dropping it on the Ryan-designed hy - draulic bumper at 40 mph. Because of my roof-top experiments, I was Inventing Tomorrow, Dear in a good position to take pictures and wanted In the last issue of Inventing Tomorrow, to share two of them. I thought alumni and oth - you featured a photo of a grad student at the Inventing Tomorrow would enjoy er readers of University of Minnesota involved in an interac - seeing these unique photos. tive workshop for middle school students on alternative energy, and it reminded me of my own experience back in the 1950s. In 1956, I entered graduate school in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. I worked on a solar energy project under the direction of Professor James L. Threlkeld and Professor Richard. C. Jordan, head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. The solar energy project was funded by the National Science Foundation. - Back then, I was doing solar energy re search trying to determine the solar constant (energy available above the earth’s air mass) and energy loss from varying air mass condi - tions. Measurements above the earth’s air Inventing Tomorrow If you read , mass were not available as they are now. Also, not too long after my research project, interest ITems you’ll also love in solar energy waned because of other cheap energy sources like oil. My, how times have ITems echnology’s monthly e-newsletter. nstitute of t is the i changed since then! I changed objectives and the newsletter includes recent news and event notifications. retired as a senior vice president of Control Data /Ceridian. ITems . visit www.it.umn.edu/items to view previous issues of One interesting part of my research at the University involved overseeing the solar to sign up to receive it ems, send an e-mail to [email protected] collection panels located on the roof of the with o Pt in in the subject heading. Aeronautical Engineering building (now known 3 Ing tomorrow Invent spr Ing/summer 2008

6 tech digest > history of solar system IT plays role in creation of lab heart studied in comet dust using decellularized material to create vessels DEPARTMENTS WITHIN THE INSTITUTE T W O for vascular grafting. OF TECHNOLOGY played a role in the creation “Medical researchers asked us to build - of a beating heart in the laboratory by scien something that would help them provide an tists in the University of Minnesota Center for - even coating of new cell mixture to the de Cardiovascular Repair. The research recently - cellularized material in a sustained environ gained international media attention. ment,” said Dave Hultman, managing research engineer in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. “It was necessary to create something that rotated so the cells wouldn’t pool on the bottom.” A rotating bioreactor chamber was de - signed where the new cells could adhere to the matrix and grow. A rat aorta, approximately Professor Bob Pepin holds a piece of aerogel ’L E ARY two millimeters in diameter and six millimeters stardust probe. containing comet dust from the in length, looking similar to a piece of porous PATRICK O - pasta, was used in the chamber. New cell mix THOMA S MAT THIESEN FOR THE LAST FOUR YEARS University physics tures were injected into the matrix—one type the rat heart is shown in its three stages of professor Bob Pepin and his colleagues have stud - for the inside of the aorta and a tougher, more decellularization through a process developed by ied dust particles collected from Comet Wild-2 in elastic mixture for the outside. The aorta then aylor and her team. oris t University professor d an effort to trace the history of our solar system. rotated in the chamber where cells could feed The results of that research were published in a and grow. - Biomedical engineering assistant profes . Science recent issue of - Researchers hope that the decellulariza sor Theoden Netoff and postdoctoral fellow By studying gases trapped in the dust, Pepin tion process could be used to make new donor Lauren Black both contributed to the research and his colleagues found evidence that after be - or gans. B ec aus e a ne w hear t c ould be filled w i th led by Doris Taylor, Ph.D., director of the Center ing generated near—but not in—the infant sun, the recipient’s cells, researchers hypothesize for Cardiovascular Repair. Netoff analyzed data the gases blasted their way into nearby dust it’s much less likely to be rejected by the body. that measured the movement of the beating particles. Previous work by other researchers And once placed in the recipient, in theory the heart. Black was involved directly with the suggests that the dust was later flung out past heart would be nourished, regulated, and re - team that created the heart by conducting Neptune, where it helped form comets. generated similar to the heart that it replaced. experiments on the mechanical properties Planetary scientists regard comets as the of native and decellularized tissue, as well as most pristine remnants of the ancient cloud of experiments related to the contraction force gas and dust that condensed into the sun and the of the heart. His data appears in the research myriad bodies that orbit it. report that was published in the January issue “We want to establish what the solar system of . Nature Medicine looked like in the very early stages,” Pepin said. “If - To create the heart, scientists used a pro we establish the starting conditions, we can tell cess called decellularization to remove all of what happened in between then and now.” One the cells from a dead rat heart, leaving only early event was the birth of Earth’s moon, about - the extracellular matrix or the framework be 50 million years after the solar system formed, tween the cells, intact. New cells from young he said. EESLIN rat hearts were injected into the framework The comet dust was collected on NASA’s AT T G M and stimulated electrically. Within two weeks, Stardust mission in January 2004, when the the rotating bioreactor chamber, which was de - the cells formed a new beating heart that con - spacecraft visited the comet, veering as close signed by the Electrical and Computer Engineering ducted electrical impulses and pumped a small as 149 miles from its nucleus and flying through - department’s machine shop, provides an environ amount of blood. the stream of particles blowing off it. During the ment where new cells can adhere to decellularized In a related project, the Department of encounter, the spacecraft sponged up some of he chamber rotates to prevent tissue and grow. t Electrical and Computer Engineering Machine the dust with an ultralight glass-fiber material cells from building up on the bottom. Shop had been working with Dr. Taylor’s lab on called aerogel, held in a supporting framework. Ing tomorrow I nvent spring/summer 2008 4

7 U of m teams up with Xcel Energy in Research team aims to detect pioneering wind-to-battery project oral cancer earlier RESEARCHERS are working with UNIVERSITY Xcel Energy, the National Renewable Energy A TEAM OF RESEARCHERS at the Uni - - Laboratory, and the Great Plains Institute to be versity of Minnesota is combining medical gin testing emerging technology to store wind research and computer science to fight energy in batteries. oral cancer, one of the more deadly can - Integrating variable wind and solar power cers, and the sixth most common cancer production with the needs of the power grid is worldwide. The team’s work was recently an ongoing issue for the utility industry. The re - Molecular & Cel - published in the journal, - search partners will begin testing a one-mega lular Proteomics. - watt battery-storage technology to demon The research group, which includes strate its ability to store wind energy and move computer science and engineering pro - it to the electricity grid when needed. Fully fessor John Carlis and doctoral student charged, the battery could power 500 homes Getiria Onsongo, is analyzing saliva and for more than six hours. using it to help identify proteins for the “This project is important in determining the early detection of oral cancer. The goal is feasibility of using chemical batteries to store ANSEN to identify the proteins that lead to oral - electricity,” said Ned Mohan, professor of electri cancer and to create a method to diagnose DAVID H cal and computer engineering and research col - the disease earlier. laborator. Mohan’s group is conducting related - discharge one megawatt of power—will supple Carlis and Onsongo are using databases research on storing energy in flywheels. ment the flow of electricity. and modeling techniques to analyze the The 50-kilowatt battery modules, about the Xcel plans to put 20 50-kilowatt batteries medical data. They work to find effective - size of two semitrailers and weighing approxi in Luverne, Minn., about 30 miles east of Sioux ways to pull out and visualize desired infor - mately 60 tons, will be able to store about 6.5 Falls, S.D., this spring and connect them to an mation from a seemingly insurmountable megawatt-hours of electricity. When the wind 11-megawatt wind farm owned by Minwind volume of information. blows, the batteries will charge, and when Energy. The batteries are expected to go online Baolin Wu, an assistant professor in the wind diminishes, the batteries—which can in October. the University’s School of Public Health, is responsible for the study design. Using complex statistical models, Wu will de - - termine how many proteins—of the thou Student builds bridge to understanding sands found in human saliva—to pinpoint for s tudy. He also analyzes data on how the - proteins interact with each other to poten tially lead to cancerous cells. Studies have shown when oral cancer is diagnosed in early s tages, the sur vival rate jumps to 80 percent. “Survival depends on early diagnoses,” Wu said. “Our s tudy takes a novel approach to improving survival rates that haven’t changed for 30 years.” The National Institutes of Health is funding the four-year study. ’L E ARY PATRICK O i-35w University civil engineering junior rachel gaulke displayed the 1:200-scale model of the former bridge she built for the national transportation safety Board (ntsB). Parts on the five-foot-long model the project took gaulke—who considers were hand painted according to their roles in bearing weight. NDERSON Computer scientists analyze cell data to aid in d.C. in washington the model was shipped to herself a perfectionist—more than 100 hours to complete. the early detection of diseases, and to assist in ntsB is using it for various presentations to help explain information related to the february, where the other kinds of biological research. bridge collapse. RICHARD G. A 5 Ing tomorrow Invent spr Ing/summer 2008

8 tech digest Fa CuLty honors Assistant professors Taner Akkin (biomedical engi - Professor Vladimir Cherkassky (electrical and - (astronomy) and associ Terry Jones Professor - (chemistry) re Kristopher McNeill ate professor neering), Alptekin Aksan (mechanical engineering), computer engineering) has been elected a Fellow of ceived a Morse-Alumni Undergraduate Teaching Nicholas Hopper (computer science and engineer - the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers Award for their outstanding contributions to un - (electrical and computer ing), Chris Hyung-il Kim (IEEE) for contributions to and leadership in statisti - dergraduate education. engineering), and Katsumi Matsumoto (geology cal learning and neural networks. and geophysics) are among 13 recipients of the Professor Daniel Joseph (aerospace engineer - Institute of Technology adjunct faculty member 2008–10 McKnight Land-Grant Professorship. ing and mechanics) has published his latest book (civil engineering) has been elected Peter A. Cundall “Potential Flows of Viscous and Viscoelastic Fluids,” Professor Massoud Amin (electrical and computer - to the National Academy of Engineering, for advanc with co-authors Toshio Funada and Jing Wang through engineering) received a Graduate-Professional ing the understanding of rock-deformation and fail- Cambridge Press. Teaching Award for outstanding contributions to post ure processes, and the development of innovative baccalaureate, graduate, and professional education. computational procedures in rock mechanics. Professor emeritus Jack Judy (electrical and com - puter engineering) has received the IEEE Magnetics Professor (mathematics) has been Doug Arnold Jeffrey Derby (chemical engineering and materials Society 2008 Achievement Award for contributions elected President of the Society for Industrial and Sachin Sapatnekar (electrical and com science), - to the understanding and improvement of thin films - Applied Mathematics (SIAM) for a two-year term be (chemistry) puter engineering), and Andreas Stein for magnetic recording. ginning Jan. 1, 2009. were named Distinguished McKnight University Professors for 2008, which recognizes the Professors and Sang-Hyun Oh won the Chris Kim Several IT faculty were named 2007–08 Professors University’s most outstanding mid-career faculty. 3M Non-Tenured Faculty Grant award to support their of the Year for their department by the Institute research on bio/nano sensors and low power tech - Eray Aydil of Technology Student Board. They are: Assistant professor (chemical en Kevin Dorfman - niques for wireless sensor applications. materials science), (chemical engineering and gineering and materials science) was named one Chris Dovolis (computer science and engineering), of 20 new promising scientific researchers by the Sally Kohlstedt Professor (geology and geophysics) Paul Imbertson (electrical and computer engineer - David and Lucile Packard Foundation. received a Fulbright Scholar Grant for 2007–2008. ing), Ann Johnson Markus Keel (civil engineering), - (aerospace engi Assistant professor Ryan Elliott (aerospace (mathematics), Yohannes Ketema (computer science and Joseph Konstan Professor neering and mechanics) has been awarded a five- (geol - Kent Kirkby engineering and mechanics), engineering) was nominated Vice President of the year National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty ogy and geophysics), (mechanical Susan Mantell Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) group. - Early Career Development (CAREER) grant to de R. Lee (physics), Marvin Marshak engineering), velop new tools for the identification of “active mate - Jonathan Sachs (chemistry), and Penn (biomedi - Professors Jim Leger (electrical and computer rials” that could be incorporated into a new genera - cal engineering). Teaching assistant winners are (civil engineer engineering) and Carol Shield - tion of sensors and actuators. (mathematics), - (c h em Matt Grandbois Alex Miller ing) are co-winners of the 2008 George W. Taylor istry), and Stephen McIntyre (mathematics). Award for Distinguished Service. Professor Efi Foufoula-Georgiou (civil engineer - ing) received the “2007 Hydrologic Sciences Professor (civil engineering) re - Randal Barnes The American Association for the Advancement Award” of the American Geophysical Union for her ceived the 2008 John Tate Award for Excellence in of Science (A A AS) has awarded the distinction contributions to space-time rainfall modeling and Undergraduate Advising, which recognizes and cel - of Fellow to: professor (electrical and David Lilja scaling analysis in hydrology. ebrates the role that academic advising plays in the computer engineering) for statistical method - University’s educational mission. ologies for the performance assessment, design, Assistant professors Demoz Gebre-Egziabher and verification of high-performance and parallel R. (aerospace engineering and mechanics) and Professor David Blank (chemistry) has been award - Jeffrey Roberts computing systems; professor (chemistry) have received the George W. Lee Penn ed the collegiate 2008 Charles E. Bowers Faculty (chemistry) for surface chemistry as they re - Taylor Award for Career Development. Teaching Award. late to complex chemical transformations on atmospheric cloud particles and on nanoparticle Maria Gini Professor (computer science and engineer - Steve Campbell Professor (electrical and computer Lanny Schmidt aerosols; and Regents professor ing) was selected as the Ada Comstock Distinguished engineering) was elected a Fellow of the Institute of (chemical engineering and materials science) for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for contri- Women Scholar Lecturer for spring 2008. - applying basic concepts of surface science to butions to deeply scaled complementary metal oxide - ward the development and improvement of cata Nihar Jindal (electrical and computer en - Professor semiconductor (CMOS) devices. lysts for the partial oxidation of fuels, particularly gineering) received the National Science Foundation biofuels. Graham Candler (aerospace engineering Professor Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award and mechanics) was elected a fellow in the American for “Exploring the Design and Fundamental Limits Professor Chris Macosko (chemical engineering and Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). materials science) has been named Fellow in the of Wireless Spatial Networks.” I nvent spr Ing/summer 2008 Ing tomorrow 6

9 University physicists discover powerful radio waves that may lead to spacecraft damage American Physical Society for pioneering work on the rheology, compatibilization, processing, and LED BY PHYSICS PROFESSOR Cynthia properties of polymer blends. recently Cattell, University researchers used University-designed instruments to Susan Mantell (mechanical engineer - Professor unlock one of the biggest mysteries of the ing) has received the 2008 George W. Taylor/ Van Allen Belts, named for their discoverer, IT Alumni Society Award for Distinguished James Van Allen. They pinpointed the likely Teaching. physical process that creates some of the most destructive radiation in the Belts, a ’L E ARY Katsumi Matsumoto (geol - Assistant professor - necessary step toward NASA’s goal of pre ogy and geophysics) was the only Minnesotan dicting and circumventing damage to space - PATRICK O contributing author to the most recent IPCC Report craft and space travelers. Physics professor Cynthia Cattell with a model of on climate change. IPCC was recently named co- A likely culprit is the most powerful ra - stErE the o space probe. winner of the Nobel Peace Prize with Al Gore. dio waves of their kind ever detected in the orbiting ahead of Earth and the other orbiting Belts. The researchers not only discovered (biomedical Associate professor David Odde behind. The idea is to use the widely separated the waves but showed that they are capable engineering) has been elected to the College spacecraft to study the sun in 3-D. STEREO was of accelerating electrons to near the speed of of Fellows of the American Institute for Medical launched in October 2006. light—which gives them enough energy to and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). Goetz’s instrument—called TDS, for time- knock out computers, pierce spacesuits, and domain sampler—focuses on waves in the so - damage the body tissues of astronauts—and (Center for the Development of Dennis Polla lar wind, a stream of charged particles flowing they can do it astonishingly fast. Their discov - Technological Leadership) received a DARPA from the sun. The TDS was the first instrument ery of these “celestial tsunamis” appears in Award for “Outstanding Portfolio of Programs.” to detect such large waves, and it was no ac - the journal Geophysical Research Letters. cident. It was programmed to measure more The key to the discovery lay in identical Professor Guillermo Sapiro (electrical and com- powerful radio waves over shorter time inter - instruments designed by Keith Goetz, a Uni - puter engineering) has been named Editor-in- vals than instruments on previous missions versity physicist, which are aboard the twin new Society for Industrial and Chief of the - and to regularly discard data on all but the big - spacecraft of NASA’s STEREO (Solar TErres Applied Mathematics (SIAM) Journal on Imaging gest whistler waves it detected. trial RElations Observatory) mission, one Sciences. Mikhail Shifman (physics) has been Professor appointed a Blaise Pascal Chair by the French Collaboration leads to immune system cells discovery government. Shifman will conduct research in - A COLL ABORATIVE EFFORT between re Supercomputing Institute then analyzed the Paris on theoretical high-energy physics. searchers in the Institute of Technology data by using complex computer programs to - and the Academic Health Center has result identify a sequence present in mRNA that was Jerry Sobelman (electrical Associate professor ed in a new way to turn genes off in human destroyed rapidly in the cell. and computer engineering) was selected to serve T cells, a type of white blood cell that helps Paul Bohjanen, M.D., Ph.D., co-director of as an IEEE Distinguished Lecturer for 2008–09 by the immune system fight infections. the CIDMTR and principal investigator of the the IEEE Circuits and Systems Society. George Karypis, associate professor study and his colleagues, performed mo - of computer science and engineering, lecular biology experiments to confirm that (computer science Professor Anand Tripathi was part of the team, including research - this sequence targets mRNA for destruc tion and engineering) has been elected Fellow of ers at the Center for Infectious Diseases and was responsible for turning off genes in - the IEEE for his contributions to distributed sys and Microbiology Translational Research activated T cells. tem software architectures and programming (CIDMTR), Department of Microbiology, To date, understanding the mechanisms that frameworks. Department of Medicine, and Division of turn off cells has not been well understood. Biostatistics, that used a novel approach Turning off genes, through a process known as Professor Michael Tsapatsis (chemical engi - - to combine molecular biology and compu mRNA decay, is important to regulate the body’s neering and materials science) has received the tational analysis to identify the mRNA se - immune response after fighting infection. 2008 George W. Taylor Award for Distinguished quence responsible for turning off T cells. The discovery offers hope of finding treat - Research. Researchers measured the rate of ments for autoimmune diseases such as lupus (astronomy) has Charles Woodward Professor mRNA decay for each of the approximate - and rheumatoid arthritis and for improving been elected to a three-year term as councilor - ly 6,000 genes in human T cells.Kary transplant safety. It also has implications in of the American Astronomical Society (A AS). pis and his colleagues at the Minnesota the fight against cancer. 7 Ing tomorrow Invent spr Ing/summer 2008

10 making their mark mill Enni Als forster (ChemE ’07), who received the Bobbie michelle huston-Cronquist scholarship general minneapolis as an intern after her junior mills in award, started her career at - operations management Associate, and re year. she was hired on permanently as an TAUFFER cently relocated to lodi, Calif. for the next 18 months, she will serve three rotations in project engineering, maintenance, and quality and regulatory operations. BR AD S I nvent spring/summer 2008 Ing tomorrow 8

11 making their mark Great jobs are plentiful for Institute of Technology Enni mill Als graduates in today’s employment market W RITTEN BY KERMIT PATTISON Michelle Forster spends her days at a General Mills Ms such as how to design a system to reduce flour plant solvinG proble - dust in the factory or how to install a refrigerator door that’s both big enough for a fork lift and uses an air curtain to keep cool air inside. Such tasks weren’t on the syllabus of any course she took as a chemical engineer - ing major at the Institute of Technolog y. No matter: all those classes and labs gave her a formula for success—the ability to me - thodically solve technical problems. From my first visit to the U until “It’s not the typical chemical engi- “ graduation, i felt the professors were neering job,” Forster said. “I do all sorts truly interested in the academic of things that my degree prepared me for, but not necessar ily because I can go to my growth and personal progression book and look up the formula.” and maturity of each student. - Forster is one of many young IT grad ichelle F ors ter —M ” uates from the “Millennial Generation” - now entering the workforce. This genera tion, born between 1980 and 1995, are digital natives who have grown up in a world saturated by technology. They often want to apply their expertise outside their tech- nical fields. - “Students are much more interested in business, not necessarily just hard-core en gineering,” said Mark Sorenson-Wagner, director of the University of Minnesota’s Ca- reer Center for Science and Engineering. “They come in much more business-minded and not just focused on the technical aspects.” The millennials enter a strong job market: hir ing of college g raduates has increased - by double digits for five consecutive years and new graduates often enjoy signing bo nuses. According to the National Association of Colleges and Employers, the bachelor’s - degrees most in demand are accounting, mechanical engineering, electrical engineer ing, and computer science. here are the stories of four recent Institute of Technology graduates who are putting their degrees to work. 9 Ing tomorrow Invent spr Ing/summer 2008 9 Ing tomorrow Invent spr Ing/summer 2008

12 - designing a new package for microwavable vegeta MICHELLE F ORSTER : bles that could be opened more easily. good Chemistry General Mills offered her a permanent job as an Operations Management Associate, an 18-month Michelle Forster began solving problems at an training position in which she serves three rotations early age while growing up on a North d akota llama in project eng ineer ing, maintenance, and quality and farm. If the family needed a new fence, they spent regulatory operations. the summer doing it themselves. If the tractor broke, - In Febr uar y, she and her husband (who also g radu they fixed it. ated from the Institute of Technology and works for during high school, she set her sights on a career General Mills) transferred to another plant in Lodi, - in chemical engineering. She was drawn to the Uni Calif. - versity of Minnesota by the strength of its under - Such training programs have become more com graduate chemical engineering program, ranked as mon over the last five years, said Sorenson-Wagner. one of the top in the nation. She said the department rand are Companies like General Mills and Ingersoll - always felt intimate despite being part of a large re using development programs to recruit and groom search university. future leaders. “From my first visit to the U until graduation, I felt “That seems to be something related to this gener - - the professors were truly interested in the academ at ion,” he said. “There’s a g roup of students who want ic growth and personal progression and maturity of to be leaders. This is an opportunity for them to see each student,” she recalls. “Many knew my name and the light at the end of that tunnel.” would engage in casual conversation.” K ATIE G ERBENSKY SERRANO : the most important skill i learned at the global Perspectives “ echnology, was how to problem institute of t Katie Gerbensky Serrano has a window into the future of biomedical technology. solve, how to be curious about things and ask Serrano, a 2005 graduate in biomedical engineer - ing, serves as a biomedical engineer at the National the right questions and take a problem apart, Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering, part of the National Institutes of health in Bethesda, and tackle the pieces so the whole problem is Md. h er division funds biomedical research and uses government incentives to help address future tech- hey give you so many tools to do that. solved. t nology needs. ” “We’re setting policy on the future of health care G at ie —K err a no s K y erbens - by funding grants that will feed the technology pipe line,” Serrano said. Forster racked up honors such as the Thomas d u - her education positioned her to do just that by research Award, an IT mer arming her with problem-solving skills, a global per Bruil Undergraduate - - spective, and ethic of service. Biomedical engineering houston-Cronquist it scholarship, and the Bobbie Scholarship. She credits several professors as major victor Barocas stimulated associate professors like raul Caretta and Prodromos influences, including her interest in bioengineering. She also gained valu - able research experience by working in the Biomedi - daoutidis, both of the chemical engineering depart - cal Engineering Laboratory, under associate profes - ment. In her unit operations class, she learned to work avid Odde in a project involving stem cells. sor d in a team and rotated through three roles as planner, her education also prepared her for the world - experimenter, and analyzer—an exercise in team - outside the lab. Serrano did a double major in Span work that prepared her for the professional world. ish and volunteered to teach computer skills to La - - “They teach you to use your skills to find the infor tino immigrants. After graduating, she went to Ecua - mation you need and how to learn in a logical way,” dor under a scholarship from the Katherine Sullivan - she said. “They prepared me to look at the entire sit Foundation and worked in the Ecuadoran ministry uation and methodically solve the issue.” of health designing an dS prevention system. hIv/AI After her junior year, Forster won an internship - Even in this job, which required her to master unfa - with General Mills as a packaging research and de miliar problems such as computer software, she drew velopment engineer. She spent part of the summer on the skills honed by her engineering education. I nvent spring/summer 2008 Ing tomorrow 10

13 katie gerbensky serrano (B mE ’05) worked as an engineering intern at Boston scien - minn., after her junior year. tific in Plymouth, in december 2006, she moved to the national institute of Biomedical md., and imaging and Bioengineering in Bethesda, now works as a biomedical engineer. she is the recipient of the katherine E. sullivan scholarship, which funded a year-long study abroad program in Ecuador. she plans to earn a graduate degree in public health, particularly related to technology. , NIBIB, NIH USTAFSON JUDE G 11 Ing tomorrow Invent spr Ing/summer 2008

14 Joshua Johnson (Csci ’07) used internships to gain a toehold into the professional world spending two semesters as a production intern at symantec in Cupertino, Calif. E WINSOHN redmond, - win Before joining microsoft Corp. in wash., he worked as an intern on the dows live Experience team, the same team he now works with full-time. PE TER L I nvent spring/summer 2008 Ing tomorrow 12

15 - “The most important skill I learned at the Insti Microsoft on the Windows Live Experience team. tute of Technology was how to problem solve, how “E ver y day t her e’s s omet h i ng new,” he sa id . “ We’r e to be curious about things and ask the right ques - really pushing that edge of innovation. It’s quite a bit tions and take a problem apart, and tackle the pieces of fun.” so the whole problem is solved,” she said. “They give Johnson’s team supports about 25 online services. you so many tools to do that.” They help create system architectures that enable - These skills have served her well in the work services to scale up globally with georedundancy. In - place. A f ter her jun ior year, Ser rano worked as an en other words, as he translates half in jest, “We cre - gineering intern with Boston Scientific. She helped ate systems that ensure if one of the coasts breaks troubleshoot problems with the Maverick balloon off and falls into the ocean, taking out multiple data angioplasty catheter, helped devise ways to improve centers, the end user does not notice a change.” efficiency of the manufacturing line, and designed Johnson is not alone in seeking work outside the and ran experiments to analyze the performance of - region. According to Sorenson-Wagner, more Insti the Maverick laser welds. She describes the intern - tute of Technology grads are finding jobs in other ship as “the single most important thing I did as an regions or abroad. In 2005, 82 percent of graduates undergraduate.” took a job in Minnesota; two years later that number Internships have become particularly important dropped to 67 percent. among millennials. Sorenson-Wagner said intern- ships are no longer seen as educational programs or sources of cheap labor; now they have evolved into every day there’s something new. feeder programs for recruiting young talent. More “ than 50 percent of interns are offered jobs, he said. We’re really pushing that edge of - “More students are figuring out how to get connect ed to these industries while they’re in school,” said So- innovation. i t’s quite a bit of fun. renson-Wagner. “Internships have become more im - ” portant. Now you’re starting to see people with two or osh Ua J ohnson —J three internship opportunities.” Indeed, Serrano’s internship led to a job. Boston Johnson didn’t catch the computer bug until col - Scientific hired her as a regulatory affairs specialist lege. he grew up on a sheep farm in Wisconsin and immediately after she returned from Ecuador. She would routinely wake up at 6 a.m.—4 a.m. in the worked in the vascular surgery division preparing spring—to do chores before school. “Growing up, my - regulatory submissions for products such as artifi technical electronics was mostly fixing various farm cial veins and patches. equipment,” he recalls. “I always liked to take apart In december 2006, she began working for the Na - broken electronics to see how they worked, but I was tional Institutes of health. She hopes to eventually terrible at putting them back together.” earn a graduate degree in public health, particularly he planned to become an electrical engineer un - related to technolog y, and perhaps work abroad. ( her til he took his first college computer science class. husband, Mario Serrano, a Bolivian whom she met “I had a lot of fun and thought, ‘Wait, people can do during her time abroad, works as a lawyer for the Or - this for a living?’” he recalls. “So I switched majors ganization for American States.) and decided to start programming.” Serrano is hardly alone in her desire for service. he transferred to the University of Minnesota Sorenson-Wagner said that today’s students show a from the University of Wisconsin at Milwaukee and strong impulse to give back. he cites the emergence his favorite classes in buckled down in his studies. - of student groups like Engineers without Borders. cluded artificial intelligence with professor Nikolaos “We’re seeing this generation asking, how can I use - Papanikolopoulos and operating systems with asso engineering and sciences to make a difference in the ciate professor Jon Weissman, both of the computer world?” he said. science and engineering department. - Johnson’s classes exposed him to many technol ogies and systems—including languages such as C, JOSHUA J OHNSON : C++, P - TML, Lisp and Python, Javascr ipt, Action hP, h hardcore software Script, and CGI—and this technological multilin - gualism has served him well at Microsoft. Like many millennials, he used internships to gain Joshua Johnson’s computer science degree took a toehold in the professional world. - he spent two se him to the largest computer software company in mesters working as a production intern at Symantec. the world. Johnson works as a systems engineer at 13 Ing tomorrow Invent spr Ing/summer 2008

16 Azeem khan (EE, CE ’07) had an interest in software at an early age. - he began work two intern - ing part-time as a programmer while still attending high school in Pakistan. ships helped him land his current position as a software engineer at rockwell Collins in des moines, iowa. he spent one year as a software and electrical engineering intern ALBRIT TER goodrich in Bloomington, with the following summer he won a nA sA internship minn. with the department of Johns hopkins Applied Physics laboratory. space JAYME H

17 his second internship at Microsoft had an unlikely henne - ing at Normandale Community College and start. pin Technical College, he transferred to the Univer - “Somehow my resume got misfiled and I ended up sity of Minnesota. interviewing for an accounting position,” he recalls. “I wanted to follow the electrical engineering and “I’m like most kids these days—I never balance my - computer engineering track and I think the Univer checkbook, and I rely on online payments. I was real - sity of Minnesota provides the best education there,” ly up front with them and said I know nothing about he said. “I didn’t apply anywhere else. In my mind, it - accounting. We ended up chatting for the entire in was the only option.” terview.” his education exposed him to a diverse array Apparently he made a good impression. Microsoft of specialties. In systems and signals class, James invited him to Seattle for a summer internship as a Leger, electrical and computer engineering profes - systems engineer for Windows Live Operations. he sor, engaged Khan with his teaching style. In micro - - later was offered a job with the same team. his col electronics, Charles rennolet, electrical and comput - leagues include some of the brightest minds in the er engineering professor, provided insight from his nation. own experience in industry. Emad Ebbini, associate “I felt like I was definitely on par with those kids,” - professor in electr ical and computer eng ineer ing, ad said Johnson, who talk s of one day launch ing h is ow n vised him on a senior design project. startup in artificial intelligence or human-computer interaction. “If you take your education seriously, i wanted to follow the electrical engineering there’s really no limit.” and computer engineering track and i think the A zEEM K HAN: - University of Minnesota provides the best ed uture flying to the f ucation there. i didn’t apply anywhere else. Azeem Khan is helping to take aviation to new heights. in my mind, it was the only option. ockwell Col - Khan works as software eng ineer at r ” lins in the field of next generation avionics. han M K a Zee — his team is developing the electronic instrument In aerospace engineering, demoz Gebre-Egziab - - displays known as the “glass cockpit.” Unlike a tra her, professor of aerospace eng ineer ing and mechan - ditional cockpit with mechanical gauges, the glass ics, taught him to approach problems from a system cockpit uses computer displays that show pertinent level and desig n, build, and test models — all of which information and simplify operation and navigation. turned out to be excellent training for his subsequent - “Every aspect of next generation avionics is excit career. ing,” he said, “because it touches both the technical Two internships also provided launching pads for and social challenges the aviation industry faces for his aerospace career. Khan spent one year working a better and safer air traffic system.” a software and electrical engineering internship at his interest in aerospace began at the Institute of Goodrich in Bloomington, Minn. In the summer of Technology when he joined the Nanosat-4 Project, a - de 2007, he won a NASA internship with the Space student-led effort to design and build a working sat - - hopkins Applied Physics Labora partment of Johns ellite. Khan worked as the embedded systems lead tory, where he helped research, develop, analyze, and designed the communication system to share and test reusable software components for future information among the subsystems. spacecraft. - Sponsored jointly by the U.S. Air Force, the Amer - rock In the fall of 2007, he started his new job at ican Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, and - apids, Iowa. Khan, who gradu well Collins in Cedar r NASA, the Nanosat-4 project seeks to train future ated with a bachelor’s degree in computer engineer - space professionals through a two-year competition ing and a bachelor’s in electrical engineering with to spur satellite research and development, integra - - software emphasis, said his education helped his ca tion, and flight testing. The University of Minnesota reer take off. is one of 25 institutions in the national program. “It’s given me confidence and enough knowledge - he be Khan’s interest in software started early. th that if they give me any problem, I know how to solve gan working part-time as a programmer in 10 grade - it,” he said. “It prepared me really to tackle any prob while attending high school in Karachi, Pakistan. h is n lem I may face.” family immigrated to Minnesota in 2000. After start - 15 Ing tomorrow Invent spr Ing/summer 2008

18 Christopher Paola, professor of geology and geophysics, specializes in the study of the Earth’s strata. his primary research revolves around restoring river deltas, with their dynamic interaction of sedimentation, flow rates, and aquatic organisms. 16 I nvent Ing tomorrow spring/summer 2008

19 echnology faculty play a key nstitute of t i role in meeting the environmental challenge RODERICK RITTEN BY W RICHARD B HAPMAN PHOTOS BY JONATHAN C The following profiles provide a sampling of h PASSING IT , it becomes h SEASON EAC Institute of Technology researchers who are helping i n c r e a s i n g l y c l e a r t h at e n v i r o n m e nt a l i s s u e s to realize a greener future for us all. w will pose one of the greatest challenges we face in the 21st century, and perhaps beyond. Some - We are how we must find ways not only to ameliorate the n aola: christopher p - damage caused by industrialization, mass consump ELTA SAVING THE D “ lucky that t ion, loss of habitat and spec ies d iver sit y, and cl imate - “We are lucky we live on a planet that keeps a dia change, while simultaneously creating new technol - ry of its own evolution,” observes Christopher Paola, we live on ogies that make sustainable economic development professor of geology and geophysics, whose research possible. Some experts predict if we do not find solu - specializes in the study of the Earth’s strata. “One a planet tions soon, we may find ourselves in an irreversible form of that record is found in sediments and sedi - environmental crisis within a few decades. mentary rocks. It is possible to extract from them in - that keeps But there is a ray of light. Long before the first Earth formation about how the Earth behaved in the past day in April 1970, University researchers were hard and how river systems work in natural settings.” a diary of at work on initiatives that today would universally Paola is director and co-founder of the National be recognized as “green” in nature. This leadership Center for Earth-surface dynamics (NCEd), a research its own continues with new organizations like the Initiative center funded by the National Science Foundation renewable Energy and the Environment (I rEE) for (NSF) and headquartered at the University’s St. Antho - evolution. and the Institute on the Environment, both of which ny Falls Laboratory (SAFL), as well as a founding fellow bring together world-class scholars and scientists to - of the University’s Institute on the Environment. Cur ” — chris topher paol a advance environmental research. rently, his primary research revolves around restoring “Our advantage is that we are a comprehensive - river deltas, with their dynamic interaction of sedi University,” said deborah Swackhamer, environmen - - mentation, flow rates, and aquatic organisms. In par tal health sciences professor and interim director of ticular, he has used the Indoor StreamLab at SAFL to the Universit y of Minnesota Institute on the Environ - model how stream channels are formed in deltas and ment. “There is no other university in the country how plant life affects the kind of flooding that depos - that has our kind of resources all in one place.” its sediment at the mouth of river systems. “Clearly, the Institute of Technology is one of the Below is sedimentary “peel” taken from an experiment conducted in the Experimental Earth - key colleges in this area,” she said. “At the Institute on scapes Basin. By taking vertical slices of the geomorphology modeled, then transferring the Environment, we have involved every college we them onto sheets of polymer, strata sections like these can be more closely examined. can, but there are some more critical to our work than others. It is the breadth and depth of the Institute of Technology that matters so much, the collaboration between civil engineering, organic and inorganic chemistry, environmental engineering, computer CAPTION science, geology, and more. Together they make it - possible for us to make a bigger splash on environ mental issues than would be otherwise possible.” 17 Ing tomorrow Invent spr Ing/summer 2008

20 SAFL’s new Outdoor StreamLab will facilitate this Associate professor of civil engineering Paige ongoing research by making it possible to study the - novak is researching the biological transfor interaction of plants and stream morphology on a mation of hazardous substances in sediment, larger scale. “The Outdoor StreamLab will enable us groundwater, and wastewater. her focus is on to do experiments with a larger variety of plants, how external environmental factors influence the more realistic ecosystems, and a more realistic ratio biodegradation of these substances, which is of between the size of plants and the size of streams,” critical importance in designing and implementing he explains. biologically-based remediation systems and using his work could not be more timely. Since 2002, he microorganisms to treat wastewater. has been part of a nationwide research team that is river working on restoring the Mississippi delta. Its dramatic decline played a major role in the flooding hurricane Katrina and is of New Orleans following one of the causes of the growing dead zone in the Gulf of Mexico. delta has lost about one-third of “Altogether, the its historic surface area,” Paola said. “The primary cause has been damming upstream which has de - prived the d elta of its sediment supply.” Although Paola makes it clear there is no way to delta to its “natural” restore the Mississippi river state—the same is true of any ecosystem altered by human agency—it is possible to restore some of - the river’s natural functions, and at this stage, abso lutely critical if we are not to lose one of the richest ecosystems in the world. delta “The choice is between a living Mississippi elta,” he said. “If versus a dead or dying Mississippi d elta today, you’ll see large tracts of you fly over the d dead trees and brown grasslands. It is too diked and dammed—we have made the r iver far too efficient in carrying sediment to the Gulf.” restoring the delta would take decades, rather than years, and requires summoning the collective political will to take the initial steps necessary to bring it back to life. “The first step is to make the decision to carry out the restoration,” he said. “That will involve removing or circumventing some of the dike systems that currently channelize the lower Mississippi and prevent sediment from settling on the d elta.” “Our aim is to create a more compact but vital delta that can sustain itself, provide recreation and support for the fishing industry, and that can take t he br unt of Gulf stor ms and protect c it ies and tow ns in the region,” he said. “If we can achieve that, you would see a dramatic elta—green versus brown.” turnaround of the d pai Ge novak: n ENGINEERING CLEANER WATER It is estimated that some 60,000 chemicals are discharged into the environment every year. Most of these may be harmless—although only 400 or so have been tested for their toxicity on humans—but I nvent spring/summer 2008 Ing tomorrow 18

21 some, including many once thought to be harmless, Polychlorinated bi - are not. phenyls (PCBs) may - Take, for example, estrogen. There’s growing con - be linked to develop - cern about the effects of endocrine-disrupting com mental and nervous dCs) like estrogen on the reproductive cy pounds (E - system disorders - cle of marine life, and perhaps on human reproduc and the induction of tion as well. Most concern has been focused on the some cancers. these by-products of birth control pills passing through containers of micro- municipal wastewater treatment plants. But Paige cosms are set up to Novak, associate professor of civil engineering, who study a bacteria called is also a Founding Fellow of the Institute on the Envi - dehalococcoides, an ronment, doesn’t think that’s the whole story. organism which may “Many people are looking at birth control pills as - lead to ways of accel the primary source of estrogen in the water supply, erating the degradation but they are not looking at plant-based estrogens,” of industrial PCB, a she e x pl a i n s. Th at o v er s ig ht le d her t o st udy e st r og en chemical once used to levels in industrial wastewater systems, especially produce transformers. - those located near facilit ies that process organic ma terial, like ethanol plants, pulp and paper mills, and food companies that process cereal grains. She has I’m an engineer, and my goal is always to solve a discovered these wastewater streams contain con - problem,” she explains. “I get excited by science, but centrated forms of natural or phyto-estrogens that - the motivation is always to come up with new tech pose as great a danger as anything passing through niques to clean up stuff which shouldn’t be in our municipal water treatment systems. She is now water supply.” working on ways to reduce the discharge of phyto- estrogens, research that could affect the design and oUla-Geor Gio U: UF eF i Fo n regulation of new ethanol and biodiesel fuel plants. i get “ HIDDEN UNCOVERING ” STRUCTURES THE “These industrial facilities are often in small “ towns—ethanol plants, corn processing facilities— OF THE NATURAL WORLD excited by and can have a big effect on fish populations,” she There’s a popular adage in the business world: said. “We want to find ways to better treat this mate - “What you can’t measure, you can’t manage.” The science, rial, not just to stir up water.” - same is certainly true of the complex interrelation her research also has led her to conduct ground - ships of the natural environment, except that the but the breaking studies of an obscure genus of bacteria challenges in trying to measure these variables dwarf dehalococcoides, a family of organisms that called anything faced by the business community. motivation s h a r e a p e c u l i a r c h a r a c t e r i s t i c : t h e y m e t a b o l i z e c h l o - When she began her work in environmental rinated compounds during respiration. One of the forecasting a quarter century ago, civil engineering is always compounds a certain species of the bacteria ingests professor Efi Foufoula-Georgiou, co-founder of the is PCB, or polychlor inated biphenys, an old industr ial d) dynamics (NCE National Center for Earth-surface to come up chemical once used to produce transformers. at the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory, and the current Novak is studying how to stimulate the growth rose S. Ling Chair in Environmental Joseph T. and with new of the PCB-degrading bacteria that contaminate the Engineering, focused on one highly variable natural soil and groundwater around industrial sites. She feature of river systems—precipitation. techniques and her fellow researchers were the first to discov - In those days, the most common way to measure dehalococcoides genus are er that members of the precipitation was to use rain gauges. Then came to clean up - also native to natural environments where they me weather radar systems, which gave much more in - tabolize naturally occurring chlorine compounds, formation about precipitation across time and space. stuff which such as those produced by dead leaves in the fall. And finally satellites began beaming back images of She is now studying whether these organisms will broad swaths of the earth’s atmosphere. Each addi - shouldn’t be also consume industrial PCBs. If so, it might lead to tional measurement tool not only added a different ways to accelerate the degradation of industrial PCB layer of data, but operated at widely different scales, in our water by introducing multiple forms of dehalococcoides to from on-site data gathered from a rain gauge measur - a contaminated site. ing precipitation within only a few square feet, to data supply. - Similar to her work on phyto-estrogens, her ob gathered by satellites measuring up to several square ” jective is always the same. “At the end of the day, kilometers. pa i no va Ge K — 19 Ing tomorrow Invent spr Ing/summer 2008

22 foufoula-g Efi eorgiou, professor of civil engineering, - examines data in non-traditional ways to create a con ceptual framework useful for predicting the effects of precipitation. I nvent spring/summer 2008 Ing tomorrow 20

23 - Potentially, data from a variety of sources operat ing at different scales is a recipe for more accurate description and, ultimately, prediction. The chal - lenge, said Foufoula-Georgiou, is how to make sense of all t hat data to create a concept ual f ramework use - ful for predicting the effects of precipitation. “If you visit any natural environment, there are going to be a lot of variables from one point to an - other point and over the course of time,” she said. “Those variables will govern many things, like the ecology and biology of a river valley and how pollut - ants and sediment are flushed into streams.” If one is “willing to look at data in non-traditional ways,” it may become possible to see what she calls “hidden structures” that can form the basis for sound environmental forecasting even of highly complex natural systems. models such as the wrap to re-sealable sandwich bags. “The tool for that is mathematical ‘renormaliza- one shown above are Polyethylene is produced from petroleum in an tion,’ looking at things in different scales through used to study some - energy-intensive manufacturing process that releas multi-scale analysis,” she explains. “ despite the of the processes that es large amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmo - huge variability of what we see, if you renormalize - shape the world’s high sphere. h ow much exactly is 30 billion pounds? the data, so you know what parameters to use, you est mountains. Using “I did a calculation once that shows you can fill can see structure behind variability. That makes it lab experiments, field t he M i nneapol is Met rodome about 10 t i mes w it h t hat possible to go from one scale to another in a simple work, innovative data - amount of polyet hylene,” said Marc h illmyer, Univer - way and to use this information to validate predic analysis techniques, sity of Minnesota professor of chemistry. And all of tions based upon mathematical modeling.” and mathematical it, he points out, is essentially non-biodegradable. In short, by extrapolating an understanding of the modeling, professor hillmyer, who oversees a 25-member research hidden structure of a natural environment, Foufou - eorgiou’s foufoula-g - his objec team, is working to change that equation. la-Georgiou’s research team can make predictions team works to model tive is to develop polymers—or plastics—that mimic about the effects of precipitation and other variables and forecast natural the properties of petroleum-derived materials but even at sites from which measurements are not and human-induced - are made from renewable resources that can be com - available. It also makes it possible to use measure effects on the envi - - posted and are carbon neutral, contr ibuting substan ments from smaller systems (such as those gath - ronment that lead to tially less greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. ered from the University’s new Outdoor StreamLab) changes in precipita- - The renewable sources for these “natural” poly to predict changes that will occur in larger systems, tion rates, erosion, mers can be grouped into a few broad categories: or to make measuraments from larger systems (like climate, pollutant carbohydrates, like sugar and starches; vegetables global precipitation rates taken from satellite sen- transport, floods, and oils, like soy, canola, and sunflower; and turpine, like sors) relevant to predicting changes in smaller, more shoreline migration. Ul- menthol, the volatile oil found in plants of the mint local systems. - timately, environmen family, and limonene, which comes from the peel of “The complexity in all natural processes is mind- tal forecasting is at citrus fruits. boggling,” she said. “Yet there is hope with the right the heart of effective “I am trying to understand the chemistry of these lab experimentation and with new data becoming resource management - compounds and how to convert them into new poly available in more locations, it will be possible to un - and policy decision- meric materials that can be competitive with more derstand these variables in a way that we can trans - making. traditional petroleum-based plastics,” he explains. late knowledge from one place to another and be able The challenges are both economic and scientific. to predict patterns of variability in places that are not - When oil is cheap, it’s hard to come up with a com currently monitored—and may never be monitored.” - petitively priced renewable plastic. When oil is ex pensive—as it is today—renewable plastics begin to n Marc hill Myer: look more attractive. As for the scientific challenges: “The focus of my 30 BILLION POUNDS AND COUNTING work is on how to change these [renewable resourc - With Amer icans consuming more than 100 billion es] into useful precursors for polymers,” he explains. - pounds every year, the U.S. appetite for plastic is vir “ The n at u r a l m at e r i a l s a r e of t en not u s ef u l r ig ht f r om tually inexhaustible. Of that, approximately 30 bil - the plant. We have to figure out how to manipulate lion pounds is polyethylene, the kind of plastic used them into forms that are usable.” in everything from product packaging and shrink- 21 Ing tomorrow Invent spr Ing/summer 2008

24 T marc Chemistry professor, hillmyer, is developing polymers or plastics that mimic petroleum-based materials but are made from renewable resources that can be these new environment-friendly plastics will composted and are carbon neutral. contribute substantially less greenhouse gas into the atmosphere. I nvent spring/summer 2008 Ing tomorrow 22

25 Some of this work draws upon his background in hillmyer also collaborates organic chemistry, but with inorganic chemists to develop catalysts that can convert natural materials into polymers with properties more like conventional polyethylene. For example, a project he undertook that was sponsored - by Cargill involved collaborative work with Bill Tol man, another University of Minnesota chemistry professor who specializes in inorganic chemistry, in - research on 3-hydroxy propionic acid, a molecule de rived from sugar. “We were interested in looking at how to convert that molecule into a polymer and came up with a novel way to change it into a high molecular weight the molecular model material,” he explains. It was so successful, he and foresees applications for renewable plastics in bio - shown above is a poly- Tolman ended up patenting the process. Meanwhile, medical products like stents, sutures and drug deliv - mer precursor derived as the price—both in dollars and in environmental - ery vehicles that could degrade naturally and harm from menthol, which damage—of petroleum-based plastics continues to lessly inside the body once their work is completed. is a readily available - rise, other companies have begun to search for re “It’s an exciting field to be in today,” he said. natural resource. newable replacements. The Toyota Corporation is - “What I like most is the challenge. It’s not easy turn currently funding another project by - hillmyer’s re ing something like menthol into a useful plastic. But search team into bio-renewable polymers that may it can be done. In the long-run, the success of renew - illmyer also be used in the company’s automobiles. h able polymers is just a matter of time.” n utdoor s the o reat science, great outreach tream lab: g where we can control variables, like It’s the largest challenge facing flow rate, sedimentation, flora and any scientist trying to understand fauna. The new facility will make it the dynamics of the natural world: possible to tackle a wide range of how to reconcile findings from con - - questions that relate to how ecosys trolled laboratory experiments with tems relate to flow dynamics.” data collected from the decidedly Tackling those questions grows uncontrolled conditions of on-site more critical by the moment. More field research. than half of the rivers and streams Researchers will now be able in the United States have suffered to do just that when the Outdoor degradation because of erosion, ex - StreamLab goes into operation. cessive nutrients, and altered stream The Outdoor StreamLab is a joint flow. As a result, stream restoration initiative of the Institute of Technol - represents a $1 billion business each ogy’s St. Anthony Falls Laboratory TEDDY HUYCK AND DAMON SIDEL year. (SAFL) and the National Center for - Despite that investment, accord Earth-surface Dynamics (NCED), a los. Situated opposite the Guthrie ing to Sotiropoulos, “Everything done search, several projects are already research center founded and head - Theatre, the Outdoor StreamLab is today in the field is ad hoc, not based scheduled to begin this summer at quartered at SAFL. located next door to Energy Water on sound science. That means there the new facility. SAFL overlooks the Mississippi Power Park opening this fall. SAFL are two kinds of stream restoration “The projects give you an idea of - River across from downtown Min plans to erect signage explaining projects: those that have failed; and the range of work that can be under - neapolis. Once opened, the Outdoor the research projects underway at those in the process of failing.” taken at the lab,” she explains. “They StreamLab will join SAFL’s Indoor and the lab and is already in discussions The Outdoor StreamLab, which cover the dynamics of streambed, Virtual StreamLabs where research - with the Science Museum of Minne - will allow researchers to control dis - sediment load criteria, the effects of ers use model stream flumes and sota about how the two institutions charge, water velocity, bed and plain - vegetation on stream flow, ground high-powered computers to simulate might collaborate on outreach and substrate, channel morphology, and water and more.” conditions in natural river systems. education. floodplain vegetation, includes two However research is not the only “It’s always been difficult to - “It is a unique facility unlike any structures: the 130-foot Riparian benefit the outdoor lab will bring - control the variables of on-site mea thing else in the world,” he said. “In Basin, which will open first, and the to the University. “The lab not only - surements,” said SAFL’s director Fo addition to great science and great 430-foot Riverine Corridor. presents an opportunity to do great tis Sotiropoulos. “This is what led to outreach, it is going to add a lot of According to Anne Lightbody, the - science, but also tremendous out the Outdoor StreamLab’s creation. beauty to the riverfront.” Outdoor StreamLab’s director of re - reach possibilities,” said Sotiropou - It allows us to use full-scale models Ing tomorrow Invent 23 spr Ing/summer 2008 23 Ing tomorrow Invent spr Ing/summer 2008

26 empowered by the s un two solar energy projects will enable institute of technology students and students from niversity colleges across other u to put their education to work WRITTEN BY JUDY W OODWARD PHOTOS BY BRAD S TAUFFER t was a dark hour for Adam Shea, a junior majoring in electrical engineering. The I Solar vehicle Project was in jeopardy. For nearly two decades, the project had given dedicated teams of engineering and science under - graduates an opportunity to design, build, and race across North America in a James Bond-style fantasy vehicle. resembling a moderate-sized, scaly airplane w ing , t he veh icle is powered on t he amount of energ y it takes to fuel a couple of hair dryers. For Shea and nearly three dozen teammates, the project, which members of the aerodynamics team examine the design of the shell culminates in the North American Solar Challenge solar students who work on the and fairings of the solar vehicle. vehicle rayce, was to be the crown of their undergraduate — Project are divided into four groups based on major vehicle systems career. aerodynamics, solar array, electrical, and mechanical. I nvent spring/summer 2008 Ing tomorrow 24

27 “It’s a lot of work, but it’s the most fun, and it’s - the biggest project undergraduates can get into,” ex plains Shea. Then without warning, government support for the project was withdrawn last year. A year earlier, the University team had placed second in the race— by only 11 minutes—behind the national champions. Was it now to be shut out of all hope for the winner’s circle? Looking back on those tumultuous days, Shea - reflects—only partly in jest—“When I thought the so lar car was doomed, I didn’t know what I was going to do with my life.” solar vehicle returns and more happily for the long-range life plans of Shea and his fellow students, help was at hand. At the elev - enth hour, the Toyota Corporation stepped forward to support the competition. The University was back ayce! in the r The team’s self-reported “lonely weekends and evenings” were once more filled. Project manager maclachlan ryan - Sam Lenius, a senior majoring in electrical engineer tackling tough problem-solving saul Phillips and ing, jokes about how he announced the revival to the - The undergraduates meeting in an empty class (foreground), both group. “What are you doing this weekend? Nothing? room in Akerman hall one cold February evening majoring in mechani- Not nothing! Solar car is back!” probably don’t think of themselves as anything so cal engineering, are Not only is the solar car back, this year it will be - portentous as ‘valuable contributors.’ That’s only be working on the array joined by a solar house. In a separate development, - cause they are absorbed in the sheer awesome cool of solar panels (shown the University of Minnesota has been chosen as one - ness of their project. Their current vehicle, Centau below) that will be of 20 teams out of a field of more than 500 colleges rus, is still in production in a St. Paul campus shop, affixed to the exterior decathlon, and universities to compete in the Solar but they are happy to show off the previous prize- of the solar car. the depart a four-year-old contest sponsored by the U.S. - winning model, Borealis III. University of minne - ment of Energy. Centaurus, they explain, will have design modifi - sota is one of the few - The goal is to design, build, and operate an ener cations that should make it more comfortable for the collegiate teams that gy-efficient, solar-powered house, which will even - driver. For one thing, the driver will be able to sit up. research, test, string, - tually be displayed on the National Mall in Washing With its tiny ventilation slits and narrow, recumbent encapsulate, and as - d.C., and judged in 10 categories. The University ton, driver’s space, Borealis III could reach interior temper - semble its entire solar of Minnesota is the first and only Minnesota team to atures of 135 degrees. however, comfort and interior array in-house. participate in this competition. luxury are not the point. This is a racing car, designed to go the distance under power generated entirely by “Competitions like these are an important way the array of solar cells delicately fixed to its exterior. to train the next generation of renewable energy “ The t r ic k i s t o r eg u l at e t he sp e e d t o ma x i m i ze t he - hemmingsen, director of the Ini dick experts,” said benefits of the available sunlight,” explains Lenius. tiative for renewable Energy and the Environment. A cloudy day in Minnesota is going to provide less he stresses the benefit to the University of involv - charge than the glaring sun of the Texas plains, and ing undergraduates in such complex, multi-faceted the savvy team must know how to deal with both. projects. - Otherwise, the vehicle might face the ultimate hu “Students are the engines that drive many of the miliation—a dead battery in the middle of the race. University’s renewable energy research labs...start - Weather forecasting is only one of the skills team ing out with projects such as these will allow them to members must master. Students are divided into become even more valuable contributors during the four subgroups: aerodynamics, electrical design, later stages of their academic careers,” he said. mechanical systems and, of course, the design and Working on a project like the solar car, said Jacob fabrication of the all-important solar array. hanna, a senior major ing in mechanical eng ineer ing, Participants acquire some interesting insights into “is a whole lot of fun,” but it’s also serious business vehicle Project. the educational value of the Solar at a University that’s known for the excellence of its “The interdisciplinary integrations,” are what hanna solar energy research. 25 Ing tomorrow Invent spr Ing/summer 2008

28 sponsors: • 3M • Advanced Circuits • AITech International • Caterpillar • Digi-key • DuPont • EMJ Metals • Empro Shunts • Freescale semiconductor • General Plastics • Institute on the konrad Brown, a junior majoring in aerospace engineering, Environment is the primary designer of the aerodynamic shape of this • Initiative for year’s solar vehicle, Centaurus i. here he tests a plywood r enewable Energy mock-up of the vehicle’s driver’s seat and inside frame - and the Environment work to ensure the driver can get in and out safely while • Lockheed Martin clearing the bulk heads and roll bars. • Magnetics, Inc. • Noritake Inc. • Northwest Airlines • PaR Systems calls the most useful part of the project. “Learning to has greatly improved my social skills and ability to • Philips organize a group of people and manage a timeline.” lead people.” • Remmele Engineering For Emily Johnston, a senior majoring in electrical The team also has the never-failing pleasure of • Sal Clear engineering, it’s the team effort. “It’s really cool to be watching the reactions of bystanders when they take • Stevens Urethane part of a process,” she said, “I enjoy problem solving their odd-looking vehicle out in public. They can draw • Tube Bending in groups.” a crowd in minutes, but the gold standard, said Nick s pecialists Watching “power flow” the first time he tested so - Simon, a junior majoring in aerospace eng ineering, is • Vicor lar cells delighted ryan Maclachlan, a junior major - seeing “how many kids fall off their skateboards.” ing in mechanical engineering, but he was surprised hammer, an instructor in the department of Jeff the U of m’s solar by something else. “The scope of interactions with Aerospace Engineering and Mechanics, became the iii , vehicle, Borealis people,” he said. “It doesn’t seem that there should vehicle Project this year faculty advisor for the Solar placed second in the be that much talk—but there is.” after long-time advisor Patrick Starr, a professor of 2005 north American For project manager Sam Lenius, working on the mechanical engineering, retired. “It’s amazing to rayce, solar Challenge vehicle Project has given him an unexpected Solar see how the students mature when they assume the 11 minutes behind the benefit. Not only has he has improved his technical responsibilities that go with the project. They beat University of michigan. savvy but his social skills. “I used to be introverted down my door wanting to learn. It’s wonderful to this summer, the 2008 and awkward,” he said in mock humility. Then he ammer said. teach under those conditions,” h race begins in dallas, squares his shoulders and, to the obvious enjoyment texas and ends 10 - of his fellow students, transforms himself into a par when it rains, it pours days later in Calgary, ody of a polished young professional as he intones, When it looked as though the Solar v ehicle Project Alberta. “My leadership experience in the solar car project may not go forward, a proposal was submitted to par - ticipate in the 2009 Solar decathlon. In January, the University learned it had been selected to compete in the prestigious international contest. “It’s just huge,” said Ann Johnson, the decathlon team faculty advisor and director of the University’s construction management program. “It’s one of the largest multi-disciplinary projects the U has ever done.” Led by the Institute of Technology and the College esig n, bot h underg raduate and g raduate st udents of d from a host of disciplines ranging from mechanical engineering and journalism to financial management will be needed to construct a 700- to 800-square-foot ALTER A totally solar-powered house, which will be part of an international Solar village display in Washington, d .C. STEFANO P I nvent spring/summer 2008 Ing tomorrow 26

29 Plans call for project participants to start gather - Beauty and efficiency ing building materials this fall, with construction to were integrated in begin spring 2009. Project organizers hope to show - the house created by case the completed solar house on the University’s technishe Universitat Northrop Mall before disassembling it for its journey ermany. darmstadt in g to Washington in late summer 2009. named overall winner - In addition to funding received from the Univer of the 2007 solar sity and the U.S. department of Energy, the $1 mil - decathlon, the team lion project will require additional private monetary used oak louvers in support and donations of in-kind materials. their solar-powered Nearly 125 University students have expressed in - home to provide - terest in working on the solar house, including an en shading and privacy. tire art class that showed up at the kick-off meeting darmstadt was one with plans to decorate the interior. Johnson said an - of seven teams to other group would study real-world issues including score a perfect 100 marketability and the cost to mass produce the solar points in the Energy house. Plans also include a Next Use group that will Balance contest, which UT TERODT focus on what to do with the house after its Wash - required teams to -L ington sojourn. Some have suggested the house be use only the energy VANS placed permanently somewhere on campus or the generated by the solar K AYE E Minnesota State Fairgrounds. electric systems dur - “One thing is clear,” said Johnson. “Students want Jodi Thomas, a senior in electrical engineering, ing the competition. to make sure the house is used afterwards.” - agrees. “The best thing about the decathlon is ‘disci For Steve Peichel, a senior majoring in electrical pline integration.’ As an engineering student, I have engineering, the project is already changing the way the chance to work side-by-side with students, fac - he thinks about the future. “When I did physics, I was ulty and staff members from the various colleges - thinking communications and fiber optics were the fu within the University,” she said. ture. But as I read more about global warming, I think Mechanical engineering professor Jane davidson this will be the issue of my lifetime,” Peichel said, who calls the Solar - decathlon an “amazing project for stu dent s.” holds an undergraduate degree in physics. he also has - competi - “The challenge is to make the building both el begun to appreciate the importance of teamwork. egant and technologically effective, so that visitors “You start, and you think you’ll find a ‘silver bullet’ “ tions like won’t say ‘there’s a solar collector,’ but ‘there is a technology, but it’s surprising how integrated the solu - beautiful house,’” she explained. n tion has to be, how many variables there are,” he said. these are an important all in w - An estimated 120,000 visitors toured the solar-powered homes on the n .C. during the 2007 solar d ational m e ashington, d innesota will be one of only 20 international teams displaying a home in the 2009 competition. cathlon. t he University of m way to train the next generation of renewable energy ex - perts. ” G sen in ic —D K eMM h UT TERODT -L VANS K AYE E 27 Ing tomorrow Invent spr Ing/summer 2008

30 alumni report Bill thiesse Itas president Passion is doing what you love to do hErE and another Institute of Tech PrING IS - nology class is graduating. As I look back on - my own commencement experience, I re S member it as a meaningful conclusion to years of study and preparation. But preparation for what? Many of us start at the University without a clear sense of where we are going. But even at gradua - tion, some of my fellow classmates had that sense of “what do I do now?” While I was still a student, I had secured a posi- tion in a small engineering consulting firm where I late the map onto the pieces that would be affixed would follow my interests and passion once I gradu - to the larger earth panels. Institute of Technology ated. But it wasn’t always clear what path my life folks were involved to help the young student groups would take. translate the technology that was involved. I started at the University in 1970. After a few Eventually, the students came to the University to We all need to months with no particular direction or degree in assemble the large earth on Northrop Mall. Although it took several hours, it went like clockwork. It was mind, I decided to stop wasting time and money, and find out what’s joined the U.S. Air Force. In the service, I became a genius in how it all came together. It was great to see important to us radio repairman, and learned that I would rather be thousands of junior high kids milling around on the and what drives the person who designs the radio, than the one who Mall and assembling their pieces. Invariably there repairs it. were some mistakes, but someone was there to fix us. It’s one of When I returned from the service, the GI Bill paid problems with a paint spray gun. It was fun, and we the reasons I were all solving problems together. for my education and I became an electrical engineer. Although my career path was a bit more circuitous I met students and faculty who I never would have participate in than most, I considered myself fortunate for I had met if I had not gotten involved. The University has the Institute found my real interest and passion—to help people always been a big part of my family—my parents, - solve problems. And even better—I had found a posi aunts, uncles, brother, and sister all went to school of Technology here. My wife works here and my daughter starts at tion in the consulting business where people came to Alumni Society. the University next fall. It’s in my blood and one of me, and paid me to help them solve problems. - If there is any advice I can impart to new gradu my passions—to be part of the University community ates—or anyone for that matter—it’s to follow your and be involved with cutting-edge technology. passion and do what you love to do. What is it that As new graduates become alumni, ITAS is a way interests you? What is it you yearn to do? to maintain a presence in the University community. The mentor program is a great example that started We all need to find out what’s important to us and with an idea. The Young Professionals Series is a way what drives us. It’s one of the reasons I participate in to network and attend professional development the Institute of Technology Alumni Society (ITAS). events. And there are more opportunities. I became involved with the University after one of It doesn’t have to take a lot of time. By doing my acquaintances, who was on the ITAS board, called something interesting and giving something back to ask if I would be interested in helping with a K-12 on a limited scale, you’ll be rewarded many times outreach project called “Building a New World.” over. I invite you to get involved. You will make a It was all part of a grand plan to build a large-scale difference, you will solve problems, and you may model of the earth. Each group had a map of its part even find your own passion. - n of the world (my group had Iraq) and we had to trans I nvent spring/summer 2008 Ing tomorrow 28

31 It aL umn I s oCI ety tiv EXECU E CommittEE UMAA annual tech fest draws 1,000 visitors President Bill Thiesse (EE, Math ’81) May 29 event Past President Dawn Spanhake (CivE ’92) (EE IT ALUMNUS EARL BAKKEN President-elect ’48) and cardiac researcher Doris Jim Pichler (CompE ’92, M.S.S.E. ’03) Taylor, Ph.D., will headline the K-12 Outreach VPs, Jim Pichler (CompE ’92, M.S.S.E. ’03) University of Minnesota Alumni Ellen Sorenson (CSci ’81, M.S.S.E. ’88) Association 2008 Annual Celebra - VP, Alumni Engagement tion, set for May 29 in Northrop (M.S. EE Raja Suresh ’75, Ph.D. EE ’79 ) Auditorium. VP, Industry Engagement Taylor, a world-renowned heart Katie Black (CompE ’02, MBA ’06) researcher and director of the VP, Student Enrichment Ken Floren (ME ’60) Center for Cardiovascular Repair , ZURN - is the keynote speaker. She re UMA A National Board Representative Rich Newell (Ph.D. Chem ’75) cently led a team that created RHONDA on an a beating heart muscle Bo Ard mE mBE rs Alumnus mE ’60, - m.B.A. ’67) and his grandson, Andrew, ex hallberg ( ken empty scaffolding, a breakthrough Lori Clark (ChemE ’77) amine a zoetrope, a device that produces an illusion of action from a rapid that could lead to growing new fest 2008, a hands-on science tech succession of static pictures, during Dick Clarke (ME ’53) hearts for cardiac patients. showcase in honor of works the the event at week. national Engineers Bakken, who created the first Don Craighead (ME ’57) minn., focused on a mechanical engineering theme and museum in Edina, first wearable, battery-powered , Professor E. Dan Dahlberg fest featured robot exhibits and build-your-own catapults. the annual tech Faculty representative transistorized cardiac pacemaker, technology and institute of the works event is a cooperative effort of the Kevin Grotheim (ME ’01) will introduce Taylor, who holds the digital river, and the with sponsorship this year from Alliant techsystems, Medtronic Bakken professorship in Ken Hallberg (ME ’60, M.B.A. ’67) society of women Center for transportation studies, and support from the the University Medical School. Tom Jakel mills. general Engineers and Student representative The annual celebration begins at 5:30 p.m. with a reception and Will Kuduk Student representative dinner on Northrop Mall, followed Cassian Lee (ChemE ’83) by the program at 7:30 p.m. young Professionals series Scott Rich (CSci ’03) Tickets are on sale now at www.alumni.umn.edu/AC08. Steven Savitt (EE ’71, Ph.D. CSci ’92) events feature timely topics Jerry Sosinske (EE ’78) IT public lecture Advisors Ard Bo Kyle Abraham (M.S.S.E. ’07) set for June 12 Jim Clausen (Aero ’63, M.S. Aero ’65) DOUG ARNOLD, University math Dick Hedger (EE ’62, M.S. EE ’68) professor and director of the Dick Westerlund (EE ’60, M.S. Math ’67, Institute for Mathematics and its M.B.A. ’96) Applications (IMA), is the featured Tom Young (Aero ’56) speaker at the next IT Public Lec - ture, sponsored by the IT Alumni Alumni Relations Coordinator Society, at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Liz Stadther C A SSIAN LEE June 12 in the Digital Technology institute of ryan makowski ( m.s. EE ’06) and technology alumni Jan - Center, 402 Walter Library, Uni IT Alumni Society 105 Walter Library young Professionals series o’leary (EE ’05, m.s. ’05) recently attended the versity of Minnesota. 117 Pleasant Street SE mechanical engineering professor Jane davidson presented “ hot event. Arnold recently was awarded a Minneapolis, MN 55455 [email protected] the technology.” young Professionals series is a thermal and solar hotter: Guggenheim Fellowship as one of www.it.umn.edu/alumni/itas networking and professional development opportunity designed for recent only five mathematicians in the U.S. 612-626-1802 800-587-3884 institute of technology graduates in the early stages of their careers. the - and Canada to receive the presti programs typically feature an industry or faculty keynote speaker, tours, gious award. a social hour, and time to network with other industry professionals. if The event is free and open to young Professionals series you would like to receive invitations to future the public. Registration is recom - events, please e-mail [email protected] or call 612-626-1802. mended at www.it.umn.edu. spr Ing/summer 2008 Ing tomorrow 29 Invent

32 tomorrow Investing in Kim dockter director of external relations Your support is more critical than ever hEAdLINES, it’s hard not worry EAdING ThE the hous- about the future. Stocks are rocky, ing market is falling, gas prices are skyrocket - r ing, the U.S. dollar continues to weaken, and experts warn that the country is sliding into a recession. As troubling, are indications of cuts in higher - education allocations as the state government an ticipates significant budget shortfalls. In the wake of this news, students today face tremendous financial pressures as the cost of education increases. percent of the undergraduate student body will attend These economic challenges make educating our free of tuition and fees. We’re the second university in future engineers and scientists even more urgent and the nation, and the largest, to initiate this program. essential. They have the ability to envision a brighter Attracting and retaining the most talented fac - future for our world, and the knowledge to create the ulty is key to providing a world-class education and path to get there through health care and medical conducting world-class research. Faculty salaries Keeping higher device advancements that enhance the quality of life; and research start-up costs are expensive and our innovations that meet our world’s growing need for state subsidy covers only a relatively small percent - education energy while sustaining the planet; and information - age—approximately 25 percent—of our budget. Pri accessible - technologies that enable artificial intelligence, com vate support for endowed chairs and professorships - munications, and e-commerce. But first, we must pro strengthen the Institute of Technology’s future, en - and affordable vide them with a high quality education. - abling the University to attract and retain the bright remains a The good news—we have an increasingly greater est faculty members in their fields. challenge. Next number of talented students applying for admission Top-notch faculty and students require state-of- to IT each year. For fall 2008, more than 4,500 applied the-art facilities. A new physics and nanotechnology year’s tuition is building is essential for IT to continue its cutting- for 825 openings and the average ACT score for those expected to rise edge research and provide a high-quality foundation accepted was 29.5. - - Keeping higher education accessible and afford al science education to its students. Additionally, to to more than able remains a challenge. Next year’s tuition is ex - attract top quality students and enhance the under - $10,000. pected to rise to more than $10,000. graduate experience, nearly $7 million is required to hall into a welcoming student center renovate Lind despite that challenge, there is more good news. - The Promise of Tomorrow scholarship drive has result for a variety of student services. ed in more than $222 million in contributions, which To maintain our nation’s economic leadership, we provides much needed support to undergraduate and must make it possible for talented students to pursue graduate students. As a result, we are able to offer 36 advanced degrees in science, math, and technology. percent of our Twin Cities graduates an average of In fiscal year 2007, donors gave a record $ 27 million in more than $4,000 per year in scholarship assistance. gifts and pledges to IT, reflecting our donors’ commit - And thanks to the University’s matching program, the ment to shaping a strong future for our college. impact of these scholarships will be doubled. We are Your support again this year will help us continue to make a high quality education accessible to our most grateful to those who have endowed scholarships students, and your investment will keep our pro - and fellowships, but the need is still great. - grams at the cutting edge. State and University re Also, the University’s groundbreaking Founders sources alone can’t meet IT’s financial needs. That’s Free Tuition program will provide $22 million in ben - why your support is so critical at this time. efits for 4,700 low-income students, which means 12 n I nvent spring/summer 2008 Ing tomorrow 30

33 deve Lopment team IT receives gift The Institute of Technology’s experienced development team can help you determine to establish your best options for supporting the college. environmental Kim Dockter engineering chair External Relations Director 612-626-9385 umn.edu [email protected] THE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY has received a gift from chemical Jennifer Clarke engineering alumna Rose Ling to Senior Development Officer 612-626-9354 establish the Joseph T. and Rose EARY [email protected] S. Ling Chair in Environmental Engineering. The $2 million PATRICK O’L Anastacia Quinn Davis endowment fund will support Members of the Fond du Lac Ojibwe School team make adjustments to Development Officer outstanding faculty involved 612-625-4509 their robot in the pit area at the FIRST Robotics Competition. The first-year in environmental engineering umn.edu [email protected] team from Clouqet, Minn., was sponsored by the University of Minnesota research and education. Foundation and mentored by staff at the Institute of Technology’s Center Efi Foufoula- Sally Euson for Compact and Efficient Fluid Power. Georgiou, a Development Officer 612-625-6035 McKnight [email protected] umn.edu A new kind of “March Madness” Distinguished Professor in the Kathy Peters-Martell Department of comes to University campus Senior Development Officer Civil Engineering , 612-626-8282 Foufoula-Georgiou THE UNIVERSIT Y’S WILLIAMS ARENA was the site of the first-ever will be the first [email protected] Minnesota High School Regional FIRST Robotics Competition held this faculty member to hold the chair. - spring. The FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Tech Foufoula-Georgiou is co-director Jennifer Pogatchnik nology) competition attracted more than 50 teams of students from the National Center of the University’s Senior Development Officer six-state region. 612-626-9501 Dynamics for Earth-surface [email protected] Borrowing a page from the sport playbook, the robotics competition funded by the National Science aims to use excitement of sports to engage students in science and Foundation and is a former Cheryl Pruden technology. director of the University’s St. External Relations Associate Their challenge was to build a competition-worthy robot in just six Anthony Falls Laboratory. 612-624 -5537 — including size and weight restric - weeks. There were rules to follow Ling established the endowed [email protected] umn.edu tions and each team was given motors, a battery, a computer controller, chair in honor of her late and other core components. Beyond that, it was up to the ingenuity of Annalisa Strohschein husband, Joseph, who received the teams, with a little help from their mentors. External Relations Assistant his Ph.D. in civil engineering at Just two years ago, there were only two FIRST Robotics teams in 612-626-7637 the University in 1952. He went [email protected] Minnesota. Due to sponsorships from the University of Minnesota and on to a long and distinguished corporations including Medtronic, Boston Scientific, 3M, St. Jude Medi - career as an environmental Office of Development cal, Lockheed Martin, General Mills, Cargill, Best Buy, BAE Systems, and engineer at 3M. Institute of Technology others, the number of robotics teams tripled from 16 last year to 54 this Foufoula-Georgiou will work 105 Walter Library year. Worldwide, there are more than 1,500 FIRST Robotics teams. 117 Pleasant Street SE to strengthen research at the Minneapolis, MN 55455 University on understanding [email protected] the vulnerability and resilience www.it.umn.edu/giving GIVING TO THE INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY of environmental systems in 612-624 -5537 The Institute of Technology plays a central role in helping the Uni- the natural and engineered 800-587-3884 versity prepare for a time of unparalleled scientific and technological environment. These include change. IT faculty and students are conducting cutting-edge re - controlling environmental to gif t mAkE A search and forging alliances with business and industry to improve To support a project you’ve read about in pollutants, floods and land- our quality of life. The future requires a substantial investment. or to designate a gift Inventing Tomorrow slides, as well as improving For more information on specific needs or instructions about how for any purpose, you may contact a ways to predict and manage development officer directly or call to give, visit the IT Web site at and click on the “Make www.it.umn.edu environmental impacts from 800-587-3884 for more information. a Gift to IT” link. climate and land-use changes. Ing tomorrow spr Ing/summer 2008 Invent 31

34 retrospect A gathering place for great minds hE NEXT TIME you’re browsing the Web or - having your groceries scanned at the super market, it’s likely that theoretical physics T won’t be the first thing on your mind, unless you’re For more than a researcher at the University of Minnesota’s Wil - liam I. Fine Theoretical Physics Institute (FTPI). 20 years, the While researchers in FTPI perceive the universe in terms of waves, particles and fields, their work is FTPI officially opened in January 1987, just before William i . Fine of significant importance to improving technology the dissolution of the Soviet Union, a period when in our everyday lives. scientists were suddenly able to travel more freely. theoretical - Founded more than 20 years ago, FTPI was large The development would prove fortuitous for FTPI. ly the work of physics professor emeritus Stephen When Gasiorowicz was named FTPI’s first acting physics - Gasiorowicz and University alumnus and Twin Cit director, he knew finding faculty for the Institute who ies real-estate developer William Fine, who had a would focus on theoretical work wouldn’t be easy. institute lifelong interest in the physical sciences. “Finding top minds in the areas of high-energy Convinced that the study of physics was vital to and condensed-matter physics who were willing to has laid the - theorize for FTPI was a major challenge. Luring fac the advancement of civilization, Fine was interested ulty away from other institutions would have been in supporting the science. Together, Gasiorowicz groundwork extremely difficult,” Gasiorowicz said. and Fine came up with the idea of starting a theo - Larry McLerran, then a physics faculty member retical physics institute. for advances who would later become FTPI’s first permanent di - At the time, the University’s administration was reluctant to approve a large initiative in the pure russia at least once a rector, had been traveling to in our sciences. Encouraged by outgoing head of the Uni- e had worked with many scientists there dur - year. h versity’s School of Physics and Astronomy Charles ing Mikhail Gorbachev’s policies of glasnost and per - everyday lives Campbell, and his successor, Marvin Marshak, the estroika which promoted freedom of information and University agreed to match Fine’s gift and provide an increase in international collaboration. ongoing funds in 1986. Several of FTPI’s current faculty first came to the University as participants in the long-term visitor program. “Within a very short time, we had recruited Physics used to fight viruses - five top-notch russian physicists for permanent fac ulty positions,” Gasiorowicz said. In 2000, former director of the Boris Shklovskii, They included Leonid Glazman, Mikhail Shifman, Fine Theoretical Physics Institute and holder of Bor is Shklovskii, Arkady v ainshtein, and Mikhail v o - the A.S. Fine Chair in Theoretical Physics, began loshin. These five, together with the later addition of exploring new applications for his research with Keith Olive, still make up the FTPI faculty today, with semiconductors. He now works with biologists, voloshin serving as director. The late Anatoly Larkin - chemists, and physicians to understand the phys was also a key member of the FTPI faculty until his ics behind viruses like HIV and how they assemble death in 2005. themselves. “Viruses are the most dangerous ter - FTPI’s current list of theorists reads like a Who’s rorists we face today. Once we understand exactly Who among physicists. Glazman, Olive, Shklovskii, INN how they function, we have a chance of effectively Shifman, - voloshin were elected fel vainshtein, and fighting the enemy,” he said. JOHN L lows of the American Physical Society. Shklovskii received the prestigious Landau Prize, named after I nvent spring/summer 2008 Ing tomorrow 32

35 then top minds in (left) theoretical physics use complex formulas in their work. ( right) marvin marshak, former head of the school of Physics and Astronomy, recruited five theoretical physicists at the fine theoretical Physics institute from the former soviet Union. Pictured in this 1992 photo from left to right are mikhail shifman, Boris shklovskii, leonid VOLOSHIN glazman, marvin WOIT MIKHAIL marshak, Arkady STEVE vainshtein, and mikhail voloshin. d. students, and mentor postdoctoral re advise Ph. - Nobel Laureate Lev Landau, one of the century’s most searchers. Many of their students have gone on to highly esteemed theoretical physicists. vainshtein, distinguished careers in university, industry, and voloshin, and Shifman were awarded the J. J. Saku - nOW laboratory settings such as the University of Cali- rai Prize by the American Physical Society, one of the he most (Below) t fornia, Berkeley; Lockheed Martin; and the European highest honors a physicist can receive. vainshtein important function research (CE Organization for Nuclear rN). also received the Pomeranchuk Prize, and Mikhail of ft Pi is to produce Shifman was recently honored with the Lilienfeld In 2002, the Institute officially changed its name significant, exciting, to the William I. Fine Theoretical Physics Institute - Prize. At least two of the members have laws of phys and sound theoretical to honor Fine for his critical role in the Institute’s ics named after them. physics that will creation. - “These people are truly leaders in their fields,” said he died in 2002, and his wife, Bianca Con have an impact on ti-Fine, a University professor, succeeded him as co- Allen Goldman, physics professor and current head of physics as a whole. chair of the Institute’s oversight committee. the University of Minnesota’s School of Physics and the institute provides “Physicists worldwide come here to study, conduct Astronomy. “In many cases, they define their fields.” a meeting place for research and learn from faculty who are great players Today, FTPI occupies offices on the top floor of the theorists from around in theoretical physics,” Conti-Fine said. “By exploring University’s physics building where the atmosphere the world. (left to fundamental questions at the forefront of theoretical continues to be decidedly international. Theorists right) f ormer postdocs, physics, we’re investing in the future.” russian, among often confer with one another in durmus demir, maxim n BY SILVA YOUNG other languages, and the manner in which they study Pospelov, and Adam - physics and interact with their colleagues has a dis ritz exchange and tinctly cosmopolitan flavor. see www.ftpi.umn.edu FOR MORE INFORMATION develop ideas. The effect of their research is universally under - stood. Their work is laying the groundwork for cut - ting-edge developments in many new technologies such as medical imaging, computer-assisted surgery, - emerging nanotechnology, computer miniaturiza tion, more efficient power lines, and new cell phone technology. Their research is often the springboard for experiments conducted by other scientists. FTPI has a worldwide reach. The Institute has hosted more than 800 individual researchers, from institutions in more than 18 countries, for working visits of one day to six months. The Institute also averages nearly 50 speakers a year. In addition to passionate researchers, the scien - VOLOSHIN tists at FTPI are dedicated teachers and mentors. As University faculty, Institute members teach courses, MIKHAIL 33 Ing tomorrow Invent spr Ing/summer 2008

36 Nonprofit Org. U.S. Postage PAID Minneapolis, MN University of Minnesota Permit No. 155 105 Walter Library 117 Pleasant Street SE 55455 Minneapolis, MN Can robots work together? Cooperative robots are the future Computer science and engineering professor Maria Gini is researching artificial intelligence and robotics. The goal is to develop robots that work together to accomplish tasks, despite unexpected changes in the environment or sensor failures. Specific examples of these tasks include exploration, mapping of indoor/outdoor environments, and navigation.

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