Georges Belfort, Institute Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, has been selected to chair the Society for Biological Engineering (SBE), a technological community within the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). SBE promotes the integration of biological principles with engineering, and supports the work of scientists who engineer living cells to create new products or to do useful work, including important applications in health care and the production of chemicals and energy. Belfort will chair the SBE for a three-year term. “In addition to his wide-ranging technical contributions, Belfort brings his expertise in downstream bioprocessing to SBE,” says Darlene Schuster, a director of AIChE. “AIChE is looking forward to the continued successful growth and expansion of SBE into new biological engineering domains under Georges’ leadership.”
President Barack Obama has announced his intent to nominate Francine Berman to be a member of the National Council for the Humanities. Berman is the Edward P. Hamilton Distinguished Professor in Computer Science. The National Council on the Humanities, a board of 26 distinguished private citizens appointed by the President and confirmed by the Senate, advises the chairman of the National Endowment of the Humanities. The National Council members serve staggered six-year terms. If confirmed, Berman would serve until January 26, 2020. Berman is the U.S. lead of the National Science Foundation-supported Research Data Alliance, a community-driven international organization created to accelerate research data sharing worldwide, through the development and adoption of technical, organizational, and social infrastructure needed to support data-driven innovation. She is a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers, and inaugural recipient of the ACM/IEEE-CS Ken Kennedy Award for “influential leadership in the design, development, and deployment of national-scale cyberinfrastructure.”
Lee McElroy, interim athletics director, has been named a 2015 Van Rensselaer Award recipient by the Rensselaer County Chamber of Commerce. McElroy will receive the Edward H. Pattison Citizenship Award, which recognizes good citizenship and a philanthropic spirit. He will receive the award at the Chamber’s Van Rensselaer Dinner on Sept. 10 at the Hilton Garden Inn.
Rich Radke, professor of electrical, computer, and systems engineering, has been named among “20 Under 40” by Prism magazine. According to the magazine: “What these accomplished under-40 academics all share is a demonstrated talent for teaching, real-world research, or—as is often the case—both. They were picked to highlight the role of engineering and engineering technology institutions in shaping a globally competitive workforce, based on recommendations by schools and colleagues and research by Prism staff.” Radke was cited for his work as a “special effects engineer” by the reviewers. “Few engineering academics find grist for their research, let alone for a 409-page textbook, in Hollywood blockbusters, but Richard Radke has found both. A specialist in such computer-vision techniques as camera tracking, 3-D reconstruction, and face and body-motion capture, he refines tools developed for the big screen—shifting a character’s image from a background shot to a new scene, for instance—to an expanding field of applications. These range from algorithms that provide a near-human reading of audio and video to locating individuals in a dense crowd and having industrial robots perform advanced tasks.” Read more.
Eklavya Singh and Rahul Mukherjee, doctoral candidates in mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering who are advised by Professor Nikhil Koratkar, won third place in the graduate student category of the 2014 Collegiate Inventors Competition, held Nov. 17, 2014, in Alexandria, Va. The duo was honored for their invention, “Advanced All-Carbon Lithium Ion Batteries.” They received a bronze medal and $10,000 cash prize. The Collegiate Inventors Competition, a program of the National Inventors Hall of Fame and Invent Now, is a national competition that recognizes and rewards innovations, discoveries, and research by college and university students and their faculty advisers.