December 16, 2004

Around Campus

We'll See You in 2005

This is our last issue of the year. Publication resumes on Thursday, Jan. 13. Deadline for that issue is Friday, Jan. 7. Happy Holidays.

Open During the Holiday Break

While most WPI offices and departments will be closed for the holiday break (Dec. 24-Dec. 31), some remain open. If your office must be open for any time during that period, please notify Human Resources in writing so this can be communicated to Campus Police and Plant Services.

Farewell Reception for Provost Today

A farewell reception for Jack Carney will be held today from 3:30 to 5 p.m. in the Higgins House Great Hall. There will be a short program at 4:15 p.m.

Join the President for a Holiday Lunch

Administrators, faculty, and staff are invited to the President's Holiday Luncheon on Tuesday, Dec. 21, 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 or e-mail

President's IQP Winners Announced

Congratulations to the following winners of the 2004 President's IQP Awards:

First place: Energy Efficiency Guidelines for Low-Cost Housing, Andrew Mumford, Jessica Sulzmann, and Jesse Tippett, advised by Art Gerstenfeld and Susan Vernon-Gerstenfeld.

Second Place (tie): Development of Communal Washing Facilities for the Northwest Settlements of Windhoek, Namibia, Adam Bryant, Andrew Campbell, and Patrick Salmon, advised by Art Gerstenfeld and Susan Vernon-Gerstenfeld.
The Development of an Irrigation System in the Village of Nong Din Dam, Chase Cote, Kevin Monahan, and Steve Toddes, advised by Joel Brattin and Steve Weininger.

Third Place (tie): Noise Monitoring in San Juan, Puerto Rico, Krista Backiel, Andrew Day, Jamie Grouf, and Dimitri Stancioff, advised by Bland Addison and Tahar El-Korchi.
Increasing Awareness of Lahu Culture Through Solar Technology, Benjamin Mar and Christopher Treat, advised by Joel Brattin and Steve Weininger.

Help Them Do Their [Snow] Job

The recent ice storm, which dampened spirits and covered windshields and roadways with a slippery coating of sleet, reminds us that it's time once again to take caution while walking and driving. With that in mind, Plant Services is asking the cooperation and assistance of the WPI community to facilitate snow removal and sanding. The grounds grew is responsible for removing snow and the sanding of nearly 6 miles of sidewalks, 800 parking spaces, and all interconnecting campus roadways. Plant Services asks that everyone refrain from parking in unauthorized areas during a storm and not abandon vehicles in any of the parking lots. Call Campus Police at ext. 5433 if a vehicle cannot be moved.

The grounds crew's primary goal is to keep all campus roadways, primary walkways, and parking lots clear and safe during storms. Unsafe conditions should be reported to Plant Services (ext. 5500) during working hours, or to Campus Police after 4:30 p.m. Your cooperation and assistance will be greatly appreciated.


Kevin Rong Named ASME Fellow

Mechanical Engineering Professor Yiming (Kevin) Rong has been elected a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). The fellow grade recognizes significant engineering achievements and contributions to the engineering profession. Rong joins five other WPI professors who have received this distinction: Diran Apelian, William Durgin, Allen Hoffman, Hamid Johari, and Robert Norton.

Rong is internationally known for his contributions in the area of computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM), and computer-aided fixture design (CAFD). He has carried out pioneering work in the CAFD field, particularly with his research into fixturing and restraining parts in the machining operation. Since 2002, he has also been listed in Who's Who in Engineering Education.

Rong received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Harbin University of Science and Technology in China, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from Tsinghua University in China, an M.S. in industrial engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Kentucky.

Falco Receives Prestigious Jazz Award

Richard Falco, director of Jazz studies, received the annual Jazz at Sunset Music Festival Award earlier this year. The prestigious award is given to one person each year for outstanding contributions to the cultural life of Central Massachusetts through creative jazz performances of consistent excellence, dedication and commitment to music education, artistic integrity, presentation of performances featuring outstanding jazz performers, generating good will and enjoyment for audiences, generous sharing of knowledge and understanding of music, and longtime commitment to the region and its citizens.

Skull Inducts New Members

Skull, WPI's senior honorary society, recently tapped 16 new members. Founded in 1911, Skull honors students, alumni, administrators, faculty, and staff for their contributions to the advancement and betterment of the university. New members from the Class of 2005 are Laura Amodeo, biochemistry and humanities; Drew Copeland-Will, management engineering; Andrew Frascotti, manufacturing engineering; Daniel Gilbreath, humanities and electrical and computer engineering; Nicole Keenan, mechanical engineering; Tyler Longmire, biology and biotechnology; Daniel Martel, civil engineering; Whitney Moore, biomedical engineering; Gissel Morales, electrical and computer engineering; Daniel Pickett, computer science; Jonathan Rogers, biology and biotechnology; Jessica Roy, mechanical engineering; Anne St. Martin, biochemistry and international studies; Stephen Taylor, civil engineering. Paula Delaney '75, Computing and Communications Center, and David Lucht, University Relations, were also tapped.

Salamander Inductees

The Salamander Honorary Fire Protection Engineering Society recently inducted 12 new members and one honorary member. The society was founded in 1923 at the Armour Institute of Technology (now the Illinois Institute of Technology). It promotes high scholarship and original investigation in all branches of fire protection engineering. This year's inductees are Mark James Blackburn; Martin Pierre Clouthier; Angela Michelle Fuqua; Bo-Wen Liang; Amanda Edith Moore; Mi-Hye Seok; Joel Edwards Sipe; Matthew John Siska; Jamie Stern-Gottfried; Nicholas Joseph Williams; Soon-Pyung Kwon; Justin Schmeer; and honorary member Kathy A. Notarianni, new director of WPI's Center for Firesafety Studies.

Publications and Presentations

Biomedical Engineering

Downing, Brett R., Cornwell, Kevin G. Toner, Mehmet, and Pins, George D., "The influence of Microtextured Basal Lamina Analog Topography on Keratinocyte Function and Epidermal Regeneration," Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, 72A: 47-56 (2005).

Chemical Engineering

Camesano, T.A., "An Investigation of Microbial Polysaccharides Via Atomic Force Microscopy and Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy," GlycoGenesys (invited), Boston, Oct.29, 2004.

Liu, Y.*, and Camesano, T.A, "Surface Characteristics and Adhesion Force Investigation of E. Coli Mutant HB101pDC1 and E. Coli HB101 in Cranberry Juice by Atomic Force Microscopy," presented at the first seminar on Surface Metrology at WPI, Nov. 4, 2004.

Emerson, R.J. IV*, and Camesano, T.A., "Effect of Self-Assembled Monolayers on Bacterial Adhesion to Biomaterials," presented at the first seminar on Surface Metrology at WPI, Nov. 4, 2004.

Pinzon, P.A.**, and Camesano, T.A., "Effects of Cranberry Juice on the Morphologies of Escherichia Coli JR1, HB101, HB101pDC1, HB101pPKL-4," presented at the AIChE 2004 Annual Meeting, Nov. 7-12, 2004, Austin, Texas.

Camesano, T.A., "Probing the Properties of Microbial Polysaccharides With Atomic Force Microscopy and Single-Molecule Force Spectroscopy," Glycostructures in Biological Systems XIII, Dec. 1-3, 2004, Hamburg, Germany (Invited).

*WPI graduate student ** WPI undergraduate student

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Jayachandran, P., "Tall Buildings Design and Behaviour," in proceedings of eighth international conference on Structural Engineering and Mechanics, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Scotland, U.K., Edited by B.H.V. Topping., December 2004.

Humanities and Arts

Brattin, Joel J., "Introducing Charles Dickens," featured speaker for "Dickens Days," at the Westfield Athenaeum, Westfield, Mass., Dec. 8, 2004.

Dollenmayer, David, "1929, October: Alfred Doeblin's Berlin Alexanderplatz Puts Flesh on the Bones of Georg Simmel's Metropolis," in A New History of German Literature, edited by David Wellbery and Judith Ryan, Cambridge: Belknap Press, 2004, pp. 764-770.

Social Science and Policy Studies

Saeed, K., "Designing an Environmental Mitigation Banking Institution for Linking the Size of Economic Activity to Environmental Capacity," Journal of Economic Issues, 38(4): 909-937, 2004.

Recent Grants

Biomedical Engineering

Shonat, R.D., for "Three-Dimensional Imaging of Oxygen Tension in Diabetic Retina," from the Whitaker Foundation, $79,660.

Chemical Engineering

Ma, Y.H., for "Sulfur-Tolerant Palladium-Copper Alloy Membranes for Hydrogen Separation With High Pressure CO2 for Sequestration," from the Department of Energy, $192,000.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Mallick, R.B., for "Evaluation of Rutting and Shoving Potential of Rosphalt RX," from the Chase Corporation, $4,558.

Mallick, R.B., for "Determination of Laboratory and In-Place Structural Strength Related Properties of Hot Mix Asphalt," from the Maine Department of Transportation, $100,668.

Computer Science

Heffernan, N., for "Affordable Cognitive Modeling Authoring Tools Using HCI Methods," from the Department of Defense and Navy, $50,000.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Cyganski, D., for "Multi Objective Routing Control and Optimization for hc3 Networks," $90,000. Orr, J., Cyganski, D.,* and Michalson, W.,* for "Precision Indoor/Outdoor Personnel Location System," from the United States Department of Justice, $148,422.

Mathematical Science

Heinricher, A., Vernescu, B.,* and Weekes, S.,* for "Focus on Mathematics: Creating Learning Cultures for High Student Achievement," from Boston University, $77,973.

Walker, H., for "Nonlinear Equations Research," from the Department of Energy, $97,719.

*CPI (Co-principal Investigator)

Total October grants and contracts awarded: $841,000.

Ask Amy

What are endorphins? Is exercise the only activity that will increase their levels in your body? -- Carolyn Kelly, administrative assistant, Media Relations

Endorphins, or endogenous morphine, were first discovered in 1975 as one of several opiate-like brain chemicals that play a role in the transmission of signals within the nervous system. Most commonly, stress and pain lead to the release of endorphins, which explains why people can perform incredible acts of physical strength even when injured and why many flock to dangerous activities such as bungee jumping.

Endorphins interact with brain receptors in much the same way morphine and codeine do, but without creating an addiction or dependency. Endorphins reduce our perception of pain, increase euphoric feelings, regulate the appetite, release sex hormones, and enhance the response of our immune system. Those who exercise for prolonged periods of time are particularly adept at capturing endorphins, which provide them with an enjoyable "high" during and after their workout.

Although endorphin release varies among individuals (two people can exercise at the same intensity and for the same duration and not experience similar "highs"), other activities can prompt blissful highs, including meditation, deep breathing, laughter, massage, acupuncture, and sex. Too, what you eat can enhance the release of endorphins; chocolate and spicy foods top this list. In the case of chili peppers, the spicier the pepper is, the more endorphins are released.

Do you have a question about exercise, diet, or nutrition? E-mail

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Last modified: February 21, 2008 14:31:28