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Vol. 7, No. 16; August 3, 2006


WPI and MBI Announce Incubator Facility

As an important new step in the continuing growth of the life sciencesbased economy in Central Massachusetts, WPI and Massachusetts Biomedical Initiatives (MBI) signed an agreement establishing the Gateway Park Incubator in a ceremony at the site of the WPI Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center on July 5. The new venture will identify and capture academic research discoveries in the life sciences and translate them into viable companies and jobs.

With laboratories, shared equipment, and offices for up to six startup biomedical companies, the incubator will be located on the ground floor of the new building under construction at Gateway Park. The facility will be adjacent to the WPI Bioengineering Institute, which will play a central role in the incubator program.

MBI, which has a history of promoting the successful statewide economic development strategy of life science business incubation, will build out and operate the incubator, which is scheduled to be completed in the first quarter of 2007.

Congressman James P. McGovern delivered the keynote address. "This marriage of a worldclass university engaged in groundbreaking bioengineering research to a rocketsized regional economic development engine with a proven record of job creation simply cannot fail," he said. "I know such rosy predictions are discouraged and frowned upon in some circles— particularly in the venture capital world— but I am convinced that this collaboration is going to launch the next giants in the biomedical industry."

Indoor Personnel Location Experts Gather

WPI, which houses one of the world's leading research teams in the field of indoor precision personnel location and tracking, will host a first of its kind forum for researchers in this emerging field. The meeting, set for Monday and Tuesday, Aug. 78, in the Campus Center Odeum, will provide an opportunity for researchers grappling with this major technological challenge to share their experiences and define the state of the art in the discipline.

A small number of university, corporate, and government research teams are attempting to develop solutions using various technologies. With $3 million in funding, to date, from the U.S. Department of Justice's National Institute of Justice, WPI's indoor personnel location and tracking research group is developing technology based on advanced radio and radar technology that can be used to track and locate first responders inside buildings. At the August forum, the WPI team will discuss the significant progress it has made toward solving the technological challenges associated with indoor personnel location.

Other workshop participants will come from companies developing indoor location and navigation technology, including Raytheon, ITT, Acceleron Technologies, and NAVSYS Corporation (a leader in GPS technology); from the University of Calgary's PLAN (Position, Location, and Navigation) Research Group; and from several federal agencies concerned with indoor location challenges, including the Department of Homeland Security, the National Institute of Standards and Technology, and the National Institute of Occupational Health and Safety. Learn more about the conference at www.ece.wpi.edu/Research/PPL/.

Award Winning Program For Girls Turns 10

Camp Reach, the award winning science and engineering summer program for rising seventh grade girls, has been celebrating its 10th anniversary the past two weeks with engineering design projects through which young girls developed creative solutions to problems faced by three Worcester organizations: how to create an accessible trail and bridge for Broad Meadow Brook Wildlife Sanctuary, how to best beautify the landscape at the Friendly House emergency shelter, and how to create a playground appropriate for the clients of Sherry's House/Why Me, which provides support for families dealing with childhood cancer. The girls present recommendations to their sponsors at closing ceremonies tomorrow, Aug. 4, starting at 3:30 p.m. in Olin Hall 107.

Camp Reach, was founded in 1997 by the late Denise Nicoletti, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering at WPI, and Chrysanthe Demetry, associate professor of mechanical engineering, with a grant from the National Science Foundation. Learn more at www.wpi.edu/Admin/Women/Girls/Reach/.

Research is Aimed at Regenerating Limbs

WPI has signed an agreement with CellThera Inc., a Worcesterbased biotechnology startup firm, to conduct joint research aimed at developing techniques for restoring tissue, including digits and limbs, damaged or lost due to traumatic injury.

As part of the agreement, two principals in CellThera, Tanja Dominko, CellThera's president and chief scientific officer, TanjaDominko and senior scientist Raymond Page, will hold research faculty appointments in WPI's Biology and Biotechnology Department and Bioengineering Institute. The research will be conducted in laboratories on the WPI campus and, beginning next spring, in the new WPI Life Sciences and Bioengineering Center at Gateway Park. WPI faculty members with expertise in tissue engineering, wound healing, stem cells, and related fields are expected to be involved in the project.

CellThera is a collaborator on a multiinstitution research program funded by a oneyear, $3.9 million award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Tulane University is the lead institution for the program.

WPI Hosts BattleCry Robotics Competition

Students from more than 60 high schools around the Northeast, as well as Indiana and Wisconsin, competed in one of the largest robotics contests in New England on June 23 and 24 at WPI. BattleCry@WPI7, hosted by WPI and cosponsored by Raytheon Integrated Defense Systems, offered high school FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) robotics teams the chance to test their skills and technical expertise in postseason competition. Woody Flowers, Pappalardo Professor of Mechanical Engineering at MIT and national advisor to FIRST, attended the competition.


Additional Staff Promotions

The following staff members have earned promotions. They were omitted form a listing published in June:

In addition, the President's Office has announced that Linda Looft has been promoted to Assistant Vice President for Government and Community Relations.

Publications and Presentations

Humanities and Arts

Dollenmayer, David, translation of Anna Mitgutsch’s

House of Childhood, New York: Other Press, 2006. Higgins, Lorraine, and Lisa Brush, “Personal Experience Narrative and Public Debate: Writing the Wrongs of Welfare,” CCC 57:4, pp. 694729, 2006.

Chemistry and Biochemistry

L. H. Berka, “Addendum to: Memorial to William Lewis Masterton,” NEACT Journal, 25, No. 1, pp. 2124, SummerFall 2006.

K. D. Smith, “Teaching Forensic Science at the High School Level,” L. H. Berka (Editor), Forensic Science Column, NEACTJournal, 25, No. 1, pp. 2124, SummerFall 2006.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Carlson, B., S. C. Long, and J. D. Plummer, “Performance evaluation of appropriate inhome drinking water treatment options for developing countries,” American Water Works Association Annual Conference, San Antonio, Texas, June 1115, 2006.

Tache, M. N., S. C. Long, M. A. Elbag, and J. D. Plummer, “Application of Microbial Source Tracking to Separate Microbial Sources to a Drinking Water Reservoir Tributary,” American Water Works Association Annual Conference, San Antonio, Texas, June 1115, 2006.


Burnham, N. A., discussion leader, Biotribology Session, Gordon Research Conference on Tribology, Colby College, Waterville, Maine, June 1823, 2006.

Burnham, N. A., “Puzzles of Atomic Contact,” Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Vermont, Jan. 27, 2006, and Department of Mechanical Engineering, Northeastern University, March, 24, 2006.

Burnham, N. A., “An undergraduate course on atomic force microscopy,” Materials Research Society Fall Meeting, Nov. 29, 2005.

Emerson, R., T. Camesano, and N. A. Burnham, “Getting to the root of bacterial hair,” International Conference on Nanoscience and Technology 2006, Basel, Switzerland, July 30Aug. 4, 2006.

Guo, W. H., M. T. Frey, N. A. Burnham, and Y. L. Wang, “Substrate rigidity regulates the formation and maintenance of tissues,” BiophysicsJournal, 90, pp. 22132220, 2006.

Guo, W., M. Frey, N. A. Burnham, and Y. Wang, “Substrate Rigidity Regulates the Formation and Maintenance of Tissues,” International Conference on Nanoscience and Technology 2006, Basel, Switzerland, July 30Aug. 4, 2006.

Kulik, A. J., G. Gremaud, L. Forro, R. Szoszkiewicz, and N. A. Burnham, “Nanoscale acoustical imaging— deep or superficial?” invited, 151st Meeting of the Acoustical Society of America, Providence, R.I., June 59, 2006.

Thoreson, E. J., J. Martin, and N. A. Burnham, “The role of fewasperity contacts in adhesion,” Journalof CooidandInterfaceScience, 298, pp. 94101, 2006.

Thoreson, E. J., J. Martin, and N. A. Burnham, “What's a few small bumps between friends?” Gordon Research Conference on Tribology, Colby College, Waterville, Maine, July 1823, 2006.

Thoreson, E. J., J. Martin, and N. A. Burnham, “A few asperities determine the work of adhesion in nanometer contacts,” Materials Research Society Fall Meeting, Boston, Mass., Nov. 30, 2005.

Thoreson, E. J., J. Martin, and N. A. Burnham, “Quantitative work of adhesion values for use as an infab monitor of stiction,” 52nd International AVS Symposium, Baltimore, Md., Oct. 31, 2005.

Thoreson, E. J., J. Martin, and N. A. Burnham, “A Few Asperities Determine the Work of Adhesion of Nanometer Contacts,” International Conference on Nanoscience and Technology 2006, Basel, Switzerland, July 30Aug. 4, 2006.

Recent Grants

Chemical Engineering

Camesano, Terri A., for “CAREER: MolecularScale Interactions Between Microbes and Surfaces in the Environment,” National Science Foundation, $81,582.

Chemistry and Biochemistry

Connors, Robert, for “SelfDecontaminating Barrier Material Incorporating Catalytically Reactive Membrane for Individual and Collective Protection on a Chemically/Biologically Contaminated Battlefield,” Ventana Research Corporation, $32,060.

McGimpsey, Grant, Terri Camesano*, and George Pins*, for “Analysis and Characterization of Bioactive Materials and Surfaces,” Boston Scientific Inc., $66,587.

Computer Science

Gennert, Michael, for “Patient Motion Detection and Correction in SPECT,” University of Massachusetts Worcester, $158,492.

Rundensteiner, Elke, George Heineman*, and Murali Mani*, for “CRI: High Performance Infrastructure for Data Intensive Stream Processing Technologies,” National Science Foundation, $100,000.

Mathematical Sciences

Lui, Roger, for “Dynamics of Actin in Normal and Transformed Cells,” University of Massachusetts Worcester, $37,317.

Mechanical Engineering

Apelian, Diran, for “CopperBased Casting Technology,” Advanced Technology Institute, $28,759.


Burnham, N. A., Analog Devices Corporate Fellowship in the properties of microsensor surfaces, $150,000.+

Norbury, John, for “Kaon and Pion Transport for Space Radiation and Continued Development of HZETRN,” NASA, $24,000.

*CoprincipalInvestigator +NotIncludedinTotalBelow

Total grants and contracts for May: $528,797

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Last modified: June 28, 2010 08:58:21