Carnegie Mellon Engineering




2017 Mentions


February

Cranor elected to CHI Academy

EPP/CyLab Professor Lorrie Cranor was elected to the CHI Academy, an honorary group of individuals who have made substantial contributions to the field of human-computer interaction. Individuals are elected to the CHI Academy based on the following criteria: cumulative contributions to the field, impact on the field through development of new research directions and/or innovations, influence on the work of others, and active participation in the ACM SIGCHI community. Cranor, along with the other SIGCHI award recipients, will be honored at CHI 2017 in Denver, Colorado.

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Researchers prove how difficult it is to spot phishing scams

Recently, scammers targeted Netflix customers, sending them fake email notifications that prompted them to update their membership by reentering their personal information. People might think they can detect a phishing scam when they see one, but CMU researchers proved just how complicated these scams can be. During an experiment, researchers taught people how to spot scams and then presented them with a pile of both fake and genuine emails. Even with their newly acquired knowledge, people still struggled to identify the scams. According to researcher Casey Canfield, “the only way to stay safe is to be a bit paranoid.”

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CMU joins the NIIMBL

CMU has joined the National Institute for Innovation in Manufacturing Biopharmaceuticals (NIIMBL), the 11th institute in the Manufacturing USA network. Under NIIMBL, more than 150 companies, educational institutions, nonprofits, and state governments will work together to advance U.S. leadership in biopharmaceutical manufacturing. Biomanufacturing is used to produce many widely-used recombinant protein-based therapies for a growing number of health conditions such as cancer, autoimmune disorders, and infectious diseases, as well as emerging cell and virus-based biologics for cell and gene therapies. Funded by the U.S. Department of Commerce, the institute will focus on bringing safe biologic drugs to market faster and on developing workforce training. Collaborating colleges and universities like CMU will work with industry to provide education and training programs, curriculum development, and certification standards that will ensure a pipeline of skilled workers in the biopharmaceutical field. BME Professor Todd Przybycien serves as the CMU lead for NIIMBL.

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Rugambwa interviewed by PC Tech Magazine

Bob Rugambwa, guild president-elect of CMU-Africa, spoke about Rwanda's partnership with CMU in an interview with PC Tech Magazine. For the past 10 years, the ICT sector has spurred up to 40% of economic growth in East Africa. The ICT sector has the potential to spur an even greater percentage of economic growth, so the government of Rwanda partnered with CMU to provide students in the region with educational opportunities.

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Fischhoff quoted in Fast Company

EPP Professor Baruch Fischhoff explains how business negotiation and strategy differs from political negotiation and strategy in relation to Trump’s presidency. Although Fischhoff notes the similarity between business and political strategies, he also says that business and political strategies have “different ramifications and ways that players intrinsically judge them.” In the political world, it’s impossible to predict the overall ramifications of a decision. So politicians must understand that there are various unknowns they must consider before making any large political moves. Overall, Fischhoff suggests that business acumen can lead to political prowess so long as individuals realize their limitations and “surround themselves with people who are well-versed in the areas they are not.”

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CyberScoop celebrates Brumley for teaching NSA’s best hackers

ECE Professor and CyLab Director David Brumley was featured in CyberScoop because of his knack for teaching students how to hack into technological devices, ultimately transforming them into top-notch employees for tech companies like Microsoft, Google, Facebook, and the National Security Agency (NSA). Brumley’s unique academic program produces experienced graduates that are “coveted by the federal and private sectors alike. Competition to secure their services is fierce.”

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Presto interviewed by 90.5 WESA on rooftop study

MechE Professor Albert Presto was interviewed by 90.5 WESA about a new air quality study out of CMU's Center for Air, Climate, and Energy Solutions. Presto and his team have installed air quality monitors on rooftops around Pittsburgh to collect data that will be compared with data from other U.S. cities. The study will help researchers better understand how factors like traffic patterns and business density affect air quality.

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Wadhwa featured on CNBC about Trump’s visa policy

CMU-SV Professor Vivek Wadhwa commented on Trump’s H-1B visa policy in an interview with CNBC. Wadhwa agrees with Trump’s notion that H-1B visas are being abused by the top visa holders in the country. Since the top visa holders, or outsourcing companies, use most of the visas approved by the U.S. government, Wadhwa says that Silicon Valley inevitably “starves for visas.” If Trump “clamps down” on top visa holders, Wadhwa says that the balance will shift in favor “of the Valley, and allow tech companies that pay the highest for any given wage level to hire the recruits."

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Beuth quoted on future of 3D printing in Manufacturers’ Monthly

MechE Professor Jack Beuth was featured in an article for Manufacturers' Monthly where he spoke about recent developments in 3-D printing and what he expects to happen in the metal additive manufacturing (AM) industry this year.

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Cranor, Bauer quoted in Consumer Reports on password managers

EPP/CyLab Professor Lorrie Cranor and ECE/CyLab Associate Professor Lujo Bauer were quoted in a Consumer Reports article on password managers. Cranor and Bauer recommend that everyone should use a password manager service that generates, retrieves, and protects all your passwords in one secure, convenient place.

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Fischhoff quoted in Quartz

EPP Professor Baruch Fischhoff was quoted in Quartz on why Americans fear terrorism more than occurrences that are statistically more likely to kill them, like car accidents or gun violence. "Terrorism is not like motor vehicle accidents, where past performance predicts future performance. Terrorism could change and it's not irrational for people to react differently to an uncertain risk," says Fischhoff.

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Rajkumar discusses autonomous vehicle reports in Wired

ECE Professor Raj Rajkumar was featured in a Wired article about how companies are tracking the progress of their autonomous vehicle programs. During autonomous vehicle testing, automakers like Nissan and General Motors keep a record of "disengagements," or instances when humans had to take control of the vehicle. But "disengagement reports" don't always tell the whole story because disengagements often involve many variables that are not logged. Rajkumar agrees these reports could be improved to more accurately represent autonomous vehicle progress.

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NextManufacturing Center Consortium welcomes new members

The NextManufacturing Center Consortium will welcome three new members at its next meeting on February 15. Covestro LLC, Eaton Corporation, and General Motors Company have joined the Consortium, which works to advance additive manufacturing technology to widespread adoption and certification through collaboration and innovation. The Consortium now has 14 members, with nearly 70 interactions across industry, government, and academia.



Peha invited to serve on State Department committee

EPP/ECE Professor Jon Peha has been invited by the State Department to serve on the Advisory Committee on International Communications and Information Policy. Members of the Committee advise on issues that involve users and providers of information and communication services, technology research and development, foreign industrial and regulatory policy, the activities of international organizations in communications and information, and developing country interests.



Suresh quoted in CNN article on Trump's travel ban

CMU President Subra Suresh was quoted in a CNN article on how universities are reacting to Trump's travel ban. According to the article, the website of the Association of American Colleges and Universities lists statements on the travel ban from 66 institutions of higher education, ranging in content from support of their international students to condemnation of the executive order. In his open letter to the CMU community regarding the travel ban, Suresh, who emigrated from India, wrote, "Our very prosperity and security as a nation, and thus our freedom, depend in part on the people who come to this country from around the world."

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Rajkumar quoted in US News on Tesla Model 3

ECE Professor Raj Rajkumar was quoted in US News on the Tesla Model 3 release date. According to the article, the Tesla Model 3—the first mass-produced, affordable all-electric vehicle—may not debut in 2017 as previously expected. Rajkumar agrees that production delays will likely push back the release date to 2018 or later. "With automation you add a lot more cameras, you add radars and such, so it does increase the complexity of the supply chain," says Rajkumar.

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Tsamitis quoted in Safertech

INI Director Dena Haritos Tsamitis was quoted in an article on Safertech.com about privacy issues and Google Vault. “In the past decade, rapid advances in workplace technology have often come at the expense of privacy and security. On one hand, we have enterprise-level software and applications like Google Vault offering incredible opportunities for collaboration and communication. On the other, we have the threat of compromising the privacy of employees. The balance lies in an organization’s commitment to understand how these tools work and educate its employees on safe and secure practices,” said Tsamitis.

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Cranor quoted in IBT on password security

CyLab/EPP Professor Lorrie Cranor was quoted in International Business Times on password security. Cranor suggests that one way to improve your password is to put digits, symbols, and capital letters in the middle of your password, not at the beginning or end.

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Wadhwa in The Economic Times on India's digital infrastructure

CMU-SV Professor Vivek Wadhwa wrote an article for The Economic Times on India's digital infrastructure. In the article, Wadhwa explains how India has surpassed the American technology industry as a global leader in innovation. One example is Aadhaar, India's national identification number project, which Wadhwa calls the largest and most successful information technology project in the world.

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Whitacre talks Samsung smartphone recall in Wired

MSE/EPP Professor Jay Whitacre was featured in a Wired article about Samsung's Galaxy Note 7 recall. Samsung recently announced the overheating was caused by separate design problems in lithium-ion batteries from two different suppliers. While they do pose a greater fire risk than other battery types, well-designed lithium-ion batteries should safeguard against such disasters. "It might vent or puff up, but not actually burn or flame," says Whitacre.

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IEEE-HKN Honor Society receives Outstanding Chapter Award

Carnegie Mellon University's IEEE-Eta Kappa Nu (IEEE-HKN) Honor Society received the 2015-2016 Outstanding Chapter Award. This award is presented to IEEE-HKN chapters "in recognition of excellence in their chapter administration and programs." When selecting a winner, the awards committee considers how each chapter improves professional development, raises instructional and institutional standards, encourages scholarship and creativity, provides a public service, and generally furthers the goals of IEEE-HKN. On March 20, CMU's IEEE-HKN will be formally recognized at the ECEDHA annual conference.



Build 18 project featured on Mashable, The Register

A mobility-enhancing fish tank created by a team of CMU engineering students for the freestyle-tinkering event Build18 was recently featured on Mashable and The Register. The project allowed a goldfish named Walter to drive its own fish tank around this year's Build18 festival. The tank was created by Aaron Perley (ECE), Jess Chernak (ECE), Alexander Kent (MechE), and Zachary Newman (ECE).



Suresh interviewed by Times Higher Education

CMU President Subra Suresh was interviewed by Times Higher Education at the World Economic Forum 2017 in Davos, Switzerland. Suresh, along with other university leaders, discussed how universities—and the principles for which they stand—will outlast short-term periods of political tumult. "Universities are the only place where you can take a long-term view to gather evidence, to explore the truth and nature of many fields, whether it's humanities and social sciences, or natural sciences, medicine, and engineering. Universities have a unique role to play," says Suresh.

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Jayan's gluten sensor research featured by Idea Foundry

MechE Assistant Professor B. Reeja Jayan was featured in Idea Foundry's newsletter for her gluten sensor research. Idea Foundry, a Pittsburgh tech accelerator, recognized Jayan as a leader in their science portfolio who has overcome personal and professional challenges to push boundaries in her field. Jayan, inspired by her own dietary struggles, is developing portable gluten sensor technology to help others suffering from gluten-related disorders.



Savvides gives talk at IDGA conference

ECE/CyLab Research Professor Marios Savvides was invited to give a talk at the Institute for Defense and Government Advancement (IDGA) Biometrics in Government and Law Enforcement conference in Washington, DC from January 23-25. Savvides joined an impressive lineup of speakers that included many government directors and program managers. Savvides talk was titled "Advances in Unconstrained Biometric Identification."



Congratulations to the 2016 Staff Awards winners!

On January 24, Dean Garrett formally recognized the winners of the 2016 College of Engineering Staff Recognition Awards. The award recipients are as follows: Stephanie Scott (Burritt Education Award), Sari Smith (Rookie Award), Christopher Hertz (Inspirational Leadership Award), Elisabeth Udyawar (Continuous Excellence Award), G. Ronald Ripper (Spirit Award) and Matthew Moneck (Innovation Award). The staff recognition awards are designed to honor "College of Engineering staff members whose job performance and dedication to the operations of the college merit special recognition."



January

ECE alum and wife give $3M to support inventors

ECE alumnus and adjunct faculty member Aleksandar Kavčić and his wife, Sofija Kavčić, have donated $3 million to create a new, endowed fund to support inventors at Carnegie Mellon University. Specifically, the Mary Jo Howard Dively Fund for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation will facilitate the smooth transfer of inventions and other intellectual property developed at Carnegie Mellon into the marketplace.

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Whitacre and Aquion to be featured on NOVA

On Wednesday, February 1, MSE/EPP Professor Jay Whitacre will appear on the PBS series NOVA for their segment, “Search for the Super Battery.” Whitacre is the founder and CEO of Aquion Energy, which will be featured on the program for its innovative approach to manufacturing safe and sustainable saltwater batteries.

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MechE alumna featured in Black Enterprise for startup

MechE alumna Hahna Alexander ('12) was recently featured in Black Enterprise for her Pittsburgh-based startup SolePower. The company creates shoe insoles that generate and store usable electrical power. Alexander and fellow students created the technology behind SolePower as a capstone mechanical engineering design project at CMU.

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MechE alumnus featured on WESA's Tech Report

MechE alumnus Josh Caputo was recently featured on WESA's Tech Report for his startup HuMoTech. Caputo is developing a robotic foot that can be programmed to exhibit all sorts of characteristics. Caputo says this technology will help patients overcome the challenges of finding the right prosthetic limb. "So we program this tool to mimic the behavior of these commercially available devices and the patient can come into the lab and virtually try on different product," says Caputo.

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Lucia featured in People of ACM

ECE Assistant Professor Brandon Lucia was featured in ACM’s People of ACM bulletin, a bulletin that “highlights the unique scientific accomplishments and compelling personal attributes of ACM members who are making a difference in advancing computing as a science and a profession.” In this issue, Lucia talks about his work with intermittent, energy-harvesting computer systems along with the underlying concepts of Chain, a programming language that his research team developed to guarantee the reliability of energy-harvesting computers. The Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) is the largest educational and scientific computing society in the world, providing its members with opportunities to expand their professional lives while also searching for ways to address the challenges of the computing industry.

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College of Engineering alumni honored with 2017 Alumni Awards

Congratulations to the College of Engineering alumni who will be honored with 2017 Alumni Awards on Friday, May 19, 6 p.m. in Chosky Theater, Purnell Center of the Arts! These individuals are recognized for their outstanding achievements in their professional fields and for their dedicated service to the university. The honorees from the College of Engineering who will receive awards are:

David M. Kirr (E 1959, 1960, TPR 1962): Alumni Distinguished Service Award

Adam G. Pennington (CS 2001, E 2003): Alumni Service Award

Wil Rouleau (E 1951, 1952, 1954); Alumni Service Award

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Porter elected 2018 President of AVS

MSE Professor Lisa Porter was elected 2018 President of AVS. AVS is an international research society for Science and Technology of Materials, Interfaces, and Processing with approximately 5,000 members worldwide.



Tilton named editor of Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects

ChemE Professor Bob Tilton has been named editor of Colloids and Surfaces A: Physicochemical and Engineering Aspects. The publisher, Elsevier, describes this journal as "an international journal devoted to the science underlying applications of colloids and interfacial phenomena."



CEE student wins awards at BuildSys conference

At this year’s ACM BuildSys conference, CEE Ph.D. candidate Jingkun Gao received the Best Demo Award for his work on the demo “Portable Queries Using the Brick Schema for Building Applications," and the Audience Choice Award for his work on the paper, “BRICK: Towards a Unified Metadata Schema for Buildings.” The annual BuildSys conference is an international conference that highlights research into systems for energy-efficient built environments, and was held in Stanford, California.



Stine to lead workshop at WE Local Pittsburgh event

EPP Professor Deborah Stine will be leading a workshop at the 2017 WE Local Pittsburgh event, held at the Omni William Penn Hotel from February 17 - 19. Hosted by the Society of Women Engineers, the annual event brings together engineers and organizations for educational workshops, networking, and professional development. Stine’s workshop, titled “Public Policy Analysis and Advocacy for Engineers,” aims to teach the basic principles of public policy analysis and how it can be used to advocate for change in a policy system in academia, government, industry, or non-governmental organization.

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Tilton receives Procter and Gamble Higher Education Grant

ChemE Professor Bob Tilton received a Procter and Gamble Higher Education Grant to develop a new course in Formulation Engineering that will prepare students for careers in pharmaceuticals, paints, consumer products, agrochemicals and other complex fluid formulation-based industries.



Datta quoted in Digital Trends on lack of diversity in AI industry

ECE Ph.D. student Amit Datta was quoted in Digital Trends about the lack of diversity in the artificial intelligence industry. Last year, Datta and other researchers found that women were shown far fewer Google ads for high paying jobs than men. Researchers believe that this data reveals the gender biases entrenched within artificial intelligence systems. According to Kate Crawford, a researcher at Microsoft, “artificial intelligence will reflect the values of its creators. So inclusivity matters… Otherwise, we risk constructing machine intelligence that mirrors a narrow and privileged vision of society, with its old, familiar biases and stereotypes.”

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ChemE student wins 2016 Facebook Global Hackathon

ChemE student Jean Haddad was part of a CMU team that won the 2016 Facebook Global Hackathon in November. The winning team included Haddad, MCDS student Abdelwahab Bourai, IS/HCII student Sebastian Guerrero Cardenas, and SCS alumnus Vivek Krishnan. At the finals, held at Facebook headquarters in Menlo Park, California, the team created software that scours comments on Facebook Live videos and filters them based on quantity and content. The team qualified for the Global Hackathon by winning TartanHacks2016 this past February.

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CMU-R featured in Disrupt Africa for ridesharing app

CMU-R students were featured in Disrupt Africa for their work on a new ridesharing platform called Gawana. The first prototype was developed as a practicum project for IT master's students. Gawana, co-founded by Darcy Dwyer, Rachel Howell, and CMU-R alumna Agnes Nyambura, will launch in March and allow travelers in Rwanda to share journeys and split the cost of fuel.

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Wadhwa published in VentureBeat on transportation revolution

CMU-SV Professor Vivek Wadhwa recently published an article in VentureBeat on transportation of the future. According to Wadhwa, we're on the verge of a revolution in transportation. "For decade—actually, centuries—we have been dependent on locomotives and, more recently, airplanes to take us long distances. The technologies have hardly advanced. Now, the entire industry is about to be disrupted," he writes. Wadhwa says we should invest resources into developing more efficient and cost-effective modes of transportation, like self-driving cars and Hyperloop systems.

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Armanios quoted in Gulf News Journal

EPP Assistant Professor Daniel Armanios was quoted in the Gulf News Journal discussing Egypt’s Ministry of Electricity and Renewable Energy’s plan to boost the use of renewable energies in the country. According to Armanios, “In terms of the Egyptian economy, increases to the local renewable sector should also increase the availability of high-paying jobs."

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Bezy appointed to National Science & Techn Council of Rwanda

CMU-R Associate Director/EPP Professor Michel Bezy has been appointed by Rwanda President Paul Kagame to serve on the National Science and Technology Council of Rwanda.



Koopman quoted in de Volkskrant and featured on embedded.fm

ECE Associate Professor Phil Koopman was quoted in an article for de Volkskrant that examined the fundamental problem of self-driving vehicles: car manufacturers’ inability to prove that these vehicles are safer than standard vehicles. Nowadays, car manufacturers compete to develop the safest and most efficient autonomous vehicles. Although autonomous vehicles know how to interact with other trucks, pedestrians, and traffic lights, they don’t always know how to react when confronted by extraordinary circumstances. “It’s hard to say that systems will respond well with certainty when faced with new data,” said Koopman. In addition, Koopman was featured in a podcast for embedded.fm called, "Robots Having Nervous Breakdowns," in which he discussed making better embedded software.



Stine quoted in FiveThirtyEight on energy policy

EPP Professor Deborah Stine was quoted in an article in FiveThirtyEight titled, “There’s Almost No Way Energy Policy Can Satisfy Everyone.” In the article, Stine discusses potential conflicts between different industries when it comes to future energy policy.

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Mertz and Noh quoted in ZDNet

Principal Project Scientist Christopher Mertz and CEE Assistant Professor Hae Young Noh were quoted in ZDNet about the possible collaboration between the United States Postal Service (USPS) and smart cities. Mertz and Noh suggest that USPS vehicles could help detect infrastructural issues by using sensors and videos to map cities. The vehicles could transmit collected data to the cloud. Then, computers could analyze the data to find flaws in the city's infrastructure. Although the USPS and cities could collaborate to enable different services, they note that "things are never as simple as they seem."

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Morgan featured on Pennsylvania Legacies podcast

EPP Professor M. Granger Morgan was recently featured on Pennsylvania Environmental Council's podcast, Pennsylvania Legacies. The episode previewed PEC's upcoming conference on deep decarbonization, where Morgan will be a keynote speaker.

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Presto discusses Pittsburgh's air quality in PublicSource

MechE Assistant Research Professor Albert Presto was recently featured in a PublicSource article on air quality in Pittsburgh. While Allegheny County is out of compliance for federal pollution standards largely because of industrial facilities in Monongahela River Valley, Presto explains that Pittsburgh's city center is less polluted, with levels similar to other U.S city centers.

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Rabin featured in ABC News

MechE Professor Yoed Rabin was featured in an ABC News article about nanotechnology and cancer detection. Researchers have found that "nanosensors" can detect early signs of cancer in everyday blood samples. The research could lead to quick, easy, and low-cost tests that can be done in a doctor's office to detect cancer before it becomes troublesome.

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Tsamitis joins Executive Women's Forum

INI Director Dena Haritos Tsamitis has been appointed to the advisory board of the Executive Women's Forum (EWF) on Information Security, Risk Management, and Privacy. In 2007, Tsamitis established a partnership between the EWF and INI to offer a full scholarship to an incoming INI student. The partnership has been renewed after 10 years and will continue to offer invaluable networking and mentorship opportunities to develop women leaders in information security and privacy.

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Zhang elected to Executive Comittee of Solid Modeling Association

MechE Professor Jessica Zhang has been elected as a new member of the Executive Committee of the Solid Modeling Association (SMA). The Executive Committee is responsible for maintaining the Solid Modeling website, for selecting conference chairs and program chairs for the symposia, for overseeing new initiatives, and for making important decisions that may affect the SMA and the community it serves.

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Fischhoff receives Best Reviewers Award

EPP/Dietrich College Professor Baruch Fischhoff received the Best Reviewers Award for 2016 at the December meeting of the Society for Risk Analysis.



Rubin delivers keynote at Congress of Research on Social Economy

EPP/MechE Professor Ed Rubin delivered a keynote speech to the XVI Congress of Research on Social Economy in Valencia, Spain on Oct. 19, 2016. In his speech, he discussed the main causes of climate change, its current and future impacts, and what policy measures we can pursue to reduce or avoid these dangerous impacts.

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Tilton elected to ACS Executive Committee

ChemE/BME Professor Bob Tilton has been elected to serve a three year term (2017-2019) as Member-at-Large of the American Chemical Society Division of Colloid and Surface Chemistry Executive Committee. Tilton has previously served as the Division as Chair, Councilor, and as a member or chair of several subcommittees since 1997.



Presto comments on scientific research under the Trump Administration

MechE Professor Albert Presto was quoted in Public Source about what a Trump presidency might mean for the future of scientific research. Presto explains that “there has been a lot of very slow and hard fought progress on environmental issues that can quickly be ripped away.” As an affiliated faculty member of CMU’s Center for Air, Climate, and Energy Solutions, Presto uses a portion of the $10 million grant the center recently received from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to investigate how air pollution affects climate change and local health. However, under Trump’s presidency, Presto is concerned about receiving all of the funding.

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Suresh featured in The Wall Street Journal

President Subra Suresh was featured in an article in The Wall Street Journal that discussed America’s “innovation slump.” Because of the many advances in the artificial intelligence industry, gene therapy, and robotics, it might appear like we’re in a “golden age of innovation.” But nothing has truly and meaningfully advanced Americans’ standard of living. However, Subresh states that we’re in the early stages of the fourth industrial revolution, and he “argue[s] emphatically that the pace of innovation is getting faster and faster.”

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