Vol. 4, No. 7 - Dec. 5, 2002

In this issue:


Around Campus

When It's "Frosty" Outside
1. Snow Announcements: WPI has established a special number, 831-5744, to inform employees about snow-related closings or delayed openings. Announcements will be recorded as early as possible prior to the scheduled opening of the university. This information will also be posted on the WPI home page.


Announcements will also be carried on the City Line School Closings Network (792-5482, access code 4226) and on the following television and radio stations: WBZ-TV (channel 4), WHDH-TV (channel 7), WCVB-TV (channel 5), WTAG-580 AM, WORC-1310 AM, WBZ-1030 AM, WRKO-680 AM, WSRS-96.1 FM and WXLO-104.5 FM.


2. Pay Policies: In the event of inclement weather, if there is no announced closing, the following pay procedures will be followed:

If you report to work by 10 a.m. and remain at work for the rest of your regularly scheduled workday, you will be paid for your normal workday.

If you report to work after 10 a.m., you will be paid only for the balance of hours worked for the remainder of your normal workday.

If you do not report to work, are unable to work, or leave early (after notifying your supervisor), lost time may be charged to vacation/personal time or it may be listed as time off without pay.

Holiday Schedule

Holiday Concert
WPI's annual Holiday Concert, featuring the WPI Orchestra and Chorus, will take place tonight at 7:30 p.m., in Alden Memorial. For more information, call ext. 5696

Bring Me To The Mall!
Lunchtime transportation is available to the Greendale Mall this month. A van from Knight's Limousine will travel to the mall on Wednesday, Dec. 11, and Tuesday, Dec. 17. The van will depart from the front of Alden Memorial at 11:55 a.m. and return at approximately 1 p.m. Seating is limited. For reservations, call ext. 5470.

BWE Holiday Luncheon
The Business Women's Exchange will host a luncheon at noon on Thursday, Dec. 12, in the Campus Center Odeum. There will be a special musical performance by Kathy Schaffert and her accompanist, Kurt.

The menu includes assorted rolls and butter, prime rib and turkey, tossed garden salad, garlic mashed potatoes, acorn squash, eggnog and holiday punch, cheese and cracker tray, assorted fancy pastries, coffee and tea. The cost is $10. Send payment (checks should be payable to WPI) to Judith Shute in the Diversity and Women's Programs Office. Deadline is Friday, Dec. 6.

Winter Parking Ban
Worcester's winter parking ban is now in effect, with some differences this year. Public streets fall under two categories:

Permanent (Dec. 1 to April 30): No parking is allowed on one or both sides of the street from 2 a.m. to 6 a.m. and anytime a snow emergency is declared. A permanent ban will remain in effect on emergency arteries, WRTA bus routes and streets designated as critical to the flow of traffic.

Declared: Parking is allowed on both sides of the street until a winter parking ban is put into effect, which will likely happen whenever inclement weather is forecast. Residents are responsible for knowing when the ban is in effect.

For more information, visit Campus Police, contact the DPW at (508) 929-1300 or www.ci.worcester.ma.us/dpw, or tune into cable channel 12 and local radio stations.

Campus Map Update
If you know of changes that need to be made to the official WPI campus map, contact Bonnie McCrea at ext. 5305 or mccrea@wpi.edu by Thursday, Dec. 19. A revised map will be available by Jan. 2. Printing Services in Boynton Hall (ext.5571) will print multiple copies for a fee.


New Faces On Campus
WPI recently welcomed the following new employees: Torbjorn Bergstrom, temporary lab manager, Manufacturing Engineering; Tracey Coetzee, editorial assistant, Mechanical Engineering; Sandra Congdon, administrative secretary IV, Management; Christopher Dacunha, laboratory coordinator, Biology and Biotechnology; Theresa Lee, director of annual giving, University Relations; James Matthews, research scientist, Bioengineering Institute, and Suzanne Sontgerath, project coordinator, Dean of Students.

Employment Opportunities
A complete list of currently available positions is posted on the Human Resources Web site.

WPI's Human Resources Office encourages current employees to refer qualified individuals to apply for jobs at WPI. For each person you refer who is hired and who successfully completes six months of active service, you will receive a $500 bonus. The Employee Referral Bonus Program applies to all permanent nonfaculty, exempt and nonexempt positions.

WPI in the News

For summaries of where WPI has been in the news, please visit the official WPI In the News section of the WPI Web site.

Cabinet Meeting Summary

Summaries of Cabinet Meetings are available online to members of the WPI Community on the Cabinet Web site.

Nov. 12 Meeting
Laptop Debate: Bill Durgin reviewed the detailed schedule for the debate scheduled for Thursday, Nov. 14.

BEI Kick-off: A date in December is under discussion for the Bioengineering Institute's formal kick off event.

Economic Summit: WPI's annually sponsored economic summit on manufacturing, entitled "Manufacturing our Future." is scheduled for Dec. 2 The event, co-sponsored by Congressman McGovern and City Manager Hoover, is supported by the Manufacturing Advancement Center.

Budget Report: Judi Trainor presented a detailed forecast of budget issues for this year and for the next five years. The projected budget shortfall this year is on the order of $1 million. Using fairly conservative constraints for cost and revenue growth for the next five years, budget shortfalls through FY 08 are likely without changes in the way WPI does business. She and President Parrish stressed that the Cabinet will have much work to do on the budget this year, especially with prioritizing needs and making choices.

Master Plan Process: John Miller distributed a statement on the master planning process, which will involve Cabinet members and many others from the community as well as the external consultants. The goal is to finish the plan in summer 2003.

Update on WPI Web Page and E-Marketing: Tara Myers and Amy Marr reviewed the process and results in the last year of revamping the University Web site. Amy Marr detailed major changes in how the site is structured and supported to accommodate better user access to over 40,000 Web pages. Tara Myers reported on her work to gather data to guide developing the site as a marketing tool. She commented on how she uses data on the unique 70,000 external hits per month to try to maximize the structure and content of the site for marketing, in which effort she is supported by the weekly meetings of the Web marketing committee. Among the initiatives under development are e-mail templates for communicating effectively with targeted audiences.

Advisory Boards Meeting: Provost Carney reported that feedback was positive from the 80+ advisory board members who had met on campus the previous month.

Admissions Open House: Kevin Kelly indicated that attendance at the previous day's open house was up slightly from last year; the program went very well. Discussion centered on ways to continue increasing participation by women, which has risen steadily since the low point in the Class of 2004. George Flett commented that his office ran several focus groups to review the current admissions viewbook.

NSSE Results: Lance Schachterle reported that the second administration to first-year students of the National Survey of Student Engagement showed a marked increase in positive responses over last year in the category "student and faculty interactions." He attributed this change to the class in question being the first to experience the Insight program classwide. A detailed analysis is under way that should yield positive information for marketing.

New CE Programs: Arlene Lowenstein reported on two new continuing education programs that will begin this winter: an evening program in project management and an information technology certificate program in .NET. She also distributed a new brochure announcing the project management initiative.

Access Grid: Tom Lynch reported that the Access Grid project is almost completed in the Wedge. He invited suggestions for activities to incorporate in the opening of the new facility.


Faculty Meeting
Thursday, Dec. 5, 3:15 p.m., Olin 107

Monday, Dec. 9, 4 p.m., "Nuclear Power is Safe: With Next Generation Plants a 21st Century Imperative," James Muckerheide, Massachusetts State Nuclear Engineer and Co-director of the Center for Nuclear Technology and Society at WPI, Olin Hall 107(refreshments at 3:40 p.m. in Olin 118).

Tech Old Timers
Wednesday, Dec. 11, 10:30 a.m., "Holiday Music Performance," WPI Music Division, Campus Center Odeum (coffee at 9:45 a.m.)

Venture Forum Monthly Meeting
"Closing the Investor: Anatomy of a Venture Capital Transaction," Alexis Borisy, president, CEO and founder of Combinato Rx. Tuesday, Nov. 12, 6:30-9 p.m. (registration at 6 p.m.), Campus Center, $10 members; $20 nonmembers; faculty/staff/students free with WPI ID. For more information call 508-831-5075.

Publications & Presentations

Interdisciplinary and Global Studies
Vaz, Richard F, and Peder C. Pedersen, "Experiential Learning with a Global Perspective: Overseas Senior Design Projects," presented and in Proceedings, Frontiers in Education Conference, Nov 6-9, Boston.

Mechanical Engineering
Demetry, Chrysanthe, Suzanne T. Gurland, and Nicholas Kildahl, "Building Bridges to Material Properties in General Chemistry Laboratories: A Model for Integration Across Disciplines," Journal of Engineering Education, Vol. 91, No. 4 (2002), pp. 379-386.

Burnham, Nancy, Member of jury of Soutenance d'Habilitation, Mademoiselle Laurence ROMANA, Université des Antilles et de la Guyane, Sept. 27.

_____, Institute of Physics of Ireland Lecturer, "Pitfalls in the Interpretation of Atomic-Force Microscopy Images, University of Limerick, Oct. 14.

_____, Institute of Physics of Ireland Lecturer, "Pitfalls in the Interpretation of Atomic-Force Microscopy Images, University of Ulster, Jordanstown, Oct. 16.

_____, Institute of Physics of Ireland Lecturer, "Pitfalls in the Interpretation of Atomic-Force Microscopy Images, Trinity College, Dublin, Oct. 18.

_____, G.A. Matei, E.J. Thoreson, X.Chen, C.S. Hodges, "Calibration Method for Atomic-Force Microscopy Cantilevers," presented at the AVS 40th International Symposium, Denver, Colo., Nov. 4-8.

Social Science and Policy Studies
Meadows, Dennis, jorgan Randers, Khalid Saeed, Sustainable Development. Creative Pamphlet. Switzerland: World Business Council for Sustainable Development. (2002)

Recent Grants

Civil and Environmental Engineering
Ray, M., for "Recommended Guidelines for Curb Barrier Combinations," from the National Academies of Sciences, $200,000.

Ray, M., for "Drop Tower Tests of Fiber Reinforced Concrete Samples," from Lehigh University, $3,751.

Computer Science
Hefferman, N., for "Cognitive Tutor Tools for Advanced Instructional Strategies," from Carnegie Mellon University, $10,716.

Electrical and Computer Engineering
Brown, D., and R. Ludwig, for "Robust Measurement of the Glottal Waveform Using a Coupled Microstrip Line Transverse Electromagnetic Resonator," from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), $122,991.

Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division
Davis, P., and K. Clements, for "Implementation of a WPI Project Center at MIT Lincoln Laboratory," from MIT Lincoln Laboratories, $19,384.

Davis, P., and K. Clements, for "Implementation of a WPI Project Center at MIT Lincoln Laboratory," from MIT Lincoln Laboratories, $3,357.

Mechanincal Engineering
Katz, R., for "Mechanical Characterization of Functionally Graded Hybrid SiC/SiC-Squeeze Cast Aluminum Matrix Composites for Gun Tube Application, $150,644.

Tryggvason, G., for "Micro-Bubble and Micro-Bubble/Polymer Turbulent Drag Reduction," from Brown University, $100,000.

Lew Yan Voon, L., for "CAREER: Topics in Electronic and Optical Properties of Semiconductor Nanostructures," from the National Science Foundation, $55,000.

Total October grants and contracts awarded: $665,843.

Worth Noting

RoboNautica Returns to WPI
On Saturday, Dec. 14, beginning at 8 a.m., several thousand LEGO pieces and several hundred youngsters will come together for RoboNautica II. This FIRST LEGO League (FLL) tournament will challenge teams of students to use such LEGO elements as bricks, sensors, motors and gears to build a robot and compete for prizes in friendly, age-appropriate events.

This year's mission challenge, "City Sights," incorporates elements of urban planning. In addition to designing and programming the competition robots, teams will conduct a research project in which each designs a solution, using robotics technology to meet the needs of city inhabitants. They will then create presentations of their findings and conclusions.

"Over the course of 10-weeks, each team develops its own strategy to solve the year's challenge," says FLL coach Michael Sherman, WPI's design director and one of the organizers of the event. "Then they design and build a robot based on that strategy. At the tournament, they learn how successful their creations are, and how many different and clever solutions there can be. The kids learn about science and technology, but also teamwork and problem solving--and they have a great time."

Many youngsters who get involved with FIRST LEGO League go on to participate in the FIRST Robotics program at the high school and college level. They also come back as mentors to FLL teams.

"It's more than a competition," Sherman says. "With science and technology exhibits, demonstrations and activities for kids of all ages, it's a fun event for families."

The robotics competition will take place in Harrington Auditorium. Judging of the research presentations will take place in the Campus Center. The event is free and open to the public.

For more, visit the RoboNautica website.

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Last modified: July 12, 2010 11:46:18