December 4, 2003

Around Campus

When It's "Frosty" Outside

1. Snow Announcements: WPI has established a special number, 508-831-5744, 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. They will also be posted on the WPI home page.

Announcements will also be carried on the following television stations: WBZ (channel 4), WHDH (channel 7) and WCVB (channel 5); and radio stations: 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 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 listed as time off without pay.

Join the President for a Holiday Lunch

Administrators, faculty and staff are invited to the President’s Holiday Luncheon on Friday, Dec. 19, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. in Harrington Auditorium. If you plan to attend, please return your registration form to the President’s Office by Dec. 12.

China Conference Set for February

"Meeting the China Challenge: Networking for Success," will be the focus of the WPI International Business Forum 2004, to be held between Feb. 3 and 4 at SRI International in Menlo Park, Calif.

Feb. 3 will be a half-day newcomers’ session designed for those who are new to or anticipate doing business in China. A full-day program on Feb. 4 will provide opportunities to meet with others already doing business in China, to develop business contacts, and to hear and share stories of success and failure. Christine Loh, CEO of Hong Kong-based Civic Exchange, will deliver the keynote address. Loh was a member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council from 1992 to 2000.

Meeting the China Challenge is open to members of the WPI community and their sponsored guests. It is the first of an anticipated two-part series on doing business in China; an on-site visit to China is planned for sometime in 2004. To learn more, visit the forum Web site,

Review the Fundamentals of Engineering

The Continuing and Professional Education Office will offer a review course for the Fundamentals of Engineering Exam. Classes will be held on the WPI campus from 6 to 9 p.m. on Mondays for 11 weeks beginning Jan. 19. The fee is $275 for WPI undergraduates and $425 for others. For more information, call 508-480-8202.

HR Has a New Home

Looking for the Human Resources Office? The staff recently moved into new offices on the first floor at 39 Dean Street. You can still contact the HR staff by calling 508-831-5470, sending a fax to 508-831-5715, or sending an e-mail message to

Museum of Science Lecture Series Planned

Six faculty members and one alumnus will be featured in a WPI-sponsored lecture winter series at the Museum of Science in Boston in January. Called "Tech-nologies That Are Changing Our World," the series will consist of three lectures held on consecutive Wednesday evenings beginning on Jan. 14. An opportunity to meet the speakers will follow each lecture.

Each program will begin at 7 p.m. in the Cahners Theater (free seating tickets are available at 6 p.m.). William Durgin, vice president for research and associate provost at WPI, will be the moderator. On-site parking is available for a fee. For more information, call 617-589-0419. Here is the schedule:

Jan. 14: "The Next Generation of Information and Communications Technologies: What Does the Future Hold?" Brian King ‘93, professor of electrical and computer engineering, and William R. Michalson ’85, professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Jan. 21: "Nanotechnology: The Next Small Thing," Nancy A. Burnham, professor of physics, and W. Grant McGimpsey, professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

Jan. 28: "The Hydrogen Based Economy: Dream or Reality?" (a panel presentation), Yi Hua (Ed) Ma, professor of chemical engineering ("Hydrogen Production"); Ravindra Datta, head of the Chemical Engineering Department ("An Introduction to Fuel Cells"); and James P. Dunn ’67, president of the Center for Technology Commercialization ("One Application: A Fuel Cell-Powered Airplane").


Ian Bonzani Named 2004 Marshall Scholar

Ian Bonzani ’04, a biomedical engineering major, recently became the second WPI undergraduate to be awarded a Marshall Scholarship. Bonzani will pursue graduate studies in tissue engineering at either Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine of the University of London or the University of Nottingham.

The Marshall Scholarship program enables students who will one day become leaders, opinion-formers and decision makers in the United States to study in the United Kingdom. The program was established by the British government in 1953 as a gesture of thanks to the United States for its assistance in rebuilding Europe after World War II. Bonzani was one of 44 undergraduates chosen to receive the scholarship from among from about 1,000 nominees from colleges and universities across the country.

Dembsey Named FM Global Scholar

Nicholas A. Dembsey, associate professor of fire protection engineering, has been named the FM Global Scholar for 2003-2005. This position is funded and supported by commercial and industrial property insurer FM Global, headquartered in Johnston, R.I., a world leader in scientific fire research for more than a century. The support will assist Dembsey and one of his doctoral students in their research, which focuses on composite material flammability and performance-based applications.

"Our partnership with WPI’s premier program in fire protection engineering is something we are proud to be a part of," says Paul Croce, vice president and manager of research for FM Global. "We expect the knowledge and insight gained will be invaluable to students."

Report From the Cabinet

Nov. 14, 2003, Meeting Summary

Financial Aid: Judi Trainor and Mike Curley led a detailed discussion, supported by data and analysis prepared by Trainor, of the demographics, quality measures and financial aid requirements of enrolled students compared to admitted students for the Class of 2007, as well as undergraduate student financial aid trends for the last three years. Curley then focused on proposals for changes in policy for the current recruiting year.

The Global Perspective Program: Paul Davis reported on trends in student interest in conducting IQPs, MQPs and Sufficiencies abroad. After several years in which roughly half the sophomore class applied for global IQPs, this year 69 percent applied, with similar increases in interest expressed in global MQPs and Sufficiencies. Various ways of responding to this increased demand were discussed.

Publications and Presentations

Biomedical Engineering

Kristen Billiar received coverage in the November 2003 issue of Mechanical Engineering (Vol. 125, No. 11) for a grant award she recently received from the Whitaker Foundation for a research project titled "Mechanically-Guided Wound Healing."

Civil Engineering

Salazar, G., "WPI Research Related to Integration of Design and Construction," presented at the WPI-Design-Build Institute of America one-day seminar, WPI, October 21, 2003.

Salazar, G., "The Role of the 3-D Parametric Building Model in the Integration of Design and Construction," presented at the Graduate Research Seminar, Department of Civil Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Mass., Nov. 7, 2003.

Almeida, J.*, "Assessment of the Building Construction Industry’s Performance: Improvements from the Technology Led Structural Change," presented at the ASCE Construction Research Council Ph.D. Symposium, Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 14, 2003.

Salazar, G., Polat, I., and Almeida, J.*, "The Role of the 3-D Parametric Building Model in the Future Education and Practice of Civil Engineering and Construction," poster presentation at the ASCE IV Joint International Symposium on Information Technology in Civil Engineering, and in proceedings, Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 15-16, 2003.

Almeida, J.* and Salazar, G., "Strategic Issues in Lean Construction," Proceedings of the 11th International Group for Lean Construction Conferences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Va., July 2003.

Almeida, J.* and Salazar, G., "Assessment of the Building Construction Industry’s Performance: Improvements from the Technology-Led Structural Change," Proceedings of the ASCE Construction Research Council Ph.D. Symposium, Nashville, Tenn., Nov. 14, 2003.
* Graduate student

Computer Science

D. C. Brown and M. Claypool, "CURIOUS BROWSERS: Automated gathering of implicit interest indicators by an instrumented browser," Human Computer Interaction Seminar Series, MIT AI Lab, Cambridge, Mass., Oct. 17, 2003.

D. C. Brown, "Explorations of a two-layered A-design system," Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering Seminar Series, UMass Amherst, Nov. 24, 2003.

Humanities and Arts

Forgeng, Jeffrey L. The Medieval Art of Swordsmanship: A Facsimile and Translation of Europe’s Oldest Personal Combat Treatise, Royal Armouries MS I.33. Leeds: Royal Armouries Museum; Union City, CA: Chivalry Bookshelf, 2003.

Mechanical Engineering

V. Warke and M. Makhlouf, "Inclusion Removal from Molten Metals by Particle Flotation: A Mathematical Model and Computer Simulations," Proceedings of the Tenth Conference on Modeling of Casting, Welding and Advanced Solidification Processes, edited by D. Stefanescu et al, pp. 599-606, Sandestin, Florida, May 2003.

Diran Apelian and Makhlouf M. Makhlouf, "The Metal Processing Institute at WPI: An Example of a Successful Industry/University Alliance," Proceedings of the First International Conference on Light Metals Technology, edited by A. Dahle, pp. 21-26, Brisbane, Australia, September 2003.

John L. Jorstad, Diran Apelian, and Makhlouf M. Makhlouf, "Novel, Slurry-Based, Semi-Solid Processing Routes," Proceedings of the First International Conference on Light Metals Technology, edited by A. Dahle, pp. 109-114, Brisbane, Australia, September 2003.

Makhlouf M. Makhlouf, Diran Apelian, Sujoy Chaudhury, and Charles Bergman, "Heat Treatment of Aluminum Cast Components in Fluidized Beds," Proceedings of the First International Conference on Light Metals Technology, edited by A. Dahle, pp. 371-376, Brisbane, Australia, September 2003.

Y.W. Riddle and M.M. Makhlouf, "Thermal Analysis of Magnesium Foundry Alloys," European Congress on Advanced Materials and Processes, Lousanne, Switzerland, September 2003.

S. Shankar and M.M. Makhlouf, "Nucleation of the Eutectic Phase in Al-Si Hypoeutectic Foundry Alloys," Proceedings of the European Congress on Advanced Materials and Processes, Lousanne, Switzerland, September 2003.

Did You Know?

Pluralism is Focus for Community Council

The Community Council is a group of faculty, staff and students who deal with issues of importance to the WPI community. For the past year and a half the council has elected to focus exclusively on pluralism.

According to the council, pluralism as a social condition means that several distinct ethnic, religious and racial communities live side by side, have equitable access to resources, are willing to affirm each other's dignity, are ready to benefit from each other's experiences, and are quick to acknowledge each other's contributions to the common welfare.

The Community Council has brought in consultants to help the university with strategic planning around the issue of pluralism, sponsored diversity workshops for the President's Cabinet, staff and faculty, and spearheaded a comprehensive evaluation (executed by WPI’s vice presidents) of how the university’s policies and procedures inhibit or encourage pluralism.

An additional piece of evaluation focused on students' perception of the racial climate at WPI. The results of this study, other evaluation items, and minutes of Community Council meetings can be found at the Community Council site.

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Last modified: February 20, 2008 08:34:09