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Vol. 7, No. 7; January 11, 2006


Brown Diaries at Gordon Library

The WPI Archives and Special Collections has received a $30,000 grant from the Massachusetts Board of Library Commissioners to digitize the diaries of Theo Brown.

Brown, a member of the Class of 1901, was a leading engineer of the John Deere Company. He kept a series of diaries from 1893 to 1971 that prolifically documented his work and family life. The Archives office plans to make all of the diaries available and searchable via the Internet. Archives and Special Collections, located on the third floor of the George C. Gordon Library, is open by appointment only Monday, and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday.

Inclement Weather, Should It Ever Arrive

In the event that WPI’s regular business operations are closed because of inclement weather prior to the start of the workday, announcements will be carried on the following radio and television stations: WTAG (580 AM), WRKO (680 AM), WBZ (1030 AM), WORC (1301 AM), WXLO (104.5 FM), WORC (98.9FM), WWFX (100.1 FM), WBZ-TV (channel 4), WHDH-TV (channel 7), WCVB-TV (channel 5).

Announcements will also be available on the WPI homepage, www.wpi.edu, and on the campus snowclosing/ delay telephone line, 508-831-5744.

The university will also close in response to weather emergencies declared by either the governor or city manager.

If a decision is made to close school during the working day, Human Resources will advise departments; those that must remain open and faculty who must continue their classes, must advise Campus Police at ext. 5270.

For more information, see the Human Resources Web site, www.wpi.edu/Admin/HR.

Performance Appraisal Process Starts

The staff annual performance appraisal process has started. For information on the timeline of the procedure, as well as performance appraisal forms, see the Human Resources Web site www.wpi.edu/Admin/HR/. For this year’s process, Human Resources has created a guide book to explain to employees and supervisors what they need to know.

Employees should complete self-appraisals and prepare to meet with their supervisor to discuss their accomplishments during the past year as well as goals and plans for the new year. The training and professional development sections on both the self-appraisal and the employee appraisal forms have been modified from last year’s process. This change has to do with a campus-wide training development plan that will begin in the new fiscal year, and an effort to help employees in aligning their professional goals at WPI.

For supervisors and employees who are responsible for entering performance ratings into the Banner Web system later in the process, several training sessions have been scheduled in February. These sessions are outlined in the booklet on the Human Resources Web site.

For questions about the staff performance appraisal process, contact the Human Resources office at ext. 5470.

Tuition Assistance Benefit

If you are planning on utilizing the WPI tuition assistance benefit during the 2007-08 academic year, a Tuition Assistance Benefit Pre-Requisite form must be completed and submitted to Human Resources no later than Friday, Jan. 26. If you have already filled out a tuition exchange application, it is still necessary to complete this form. For more information on the benefit contact Melanie Desiata in Human Resources at ext. 6677.

Student Employment Info Sessions

The offices of Human Resources, Financial Aid, the International Students and Scholars, and Payroll will hold information sessions this month on the student employment process. Topics covered will include posting a position on the Human Resources Web site, employment forms and paperwork flow, international students and Social Security numbers, tax and time sheet information, and major changes to the federal work study program that start in fiscal 2008.

The sessions will take place today, Jan. 11 from 2 to 3 p.m., and Friday, Jan. 12 from 10 to 11 a.m. The sessions will be held in the Mid Century Room in the Campus Center. Refreshments will be served.

To register, contact Audra Gaul via e-mail at agaul@wpi.edu, or call ext. 5146.


Professor Heinricher Appointed Associate Dean of First Year Experience

Arthur Heinricher, professor of mathematical sciences, has been appointed associate dean for the first year experience, effective Jan. 1. Heinricher joined the WPI faculty in 1992. He has a bachelor of science in applied mathematics from the University of Missouri at St. Louis and a PhD in mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University.

At WPI, Heinricher’s teaching has focused on first- and second-year students. He is also active in advising MQPs and IQPs. "Art has demonstrated great interest and creativity in innovative pedagogical approaches for the early college years," says Carol Simpson, provost and senior vice president.

Heinricher has been principal investigator or coprincipal investigator on three funded projects involving first-year students. In addition, he teaches in the Project-based Learning Communities (PLC) program and serves as an Insight advisor. He has extensive experience in the pre-college area, including the Mathematics in Industry Institutes for Teachers and the Focus on Mathematics Partnership programs. Heinricher has served as principal investigator on a successful Research Experiences for Undergraduates in Industrial Mathematics and Statistics summer program that has brought college math students from across the nation to WPI.

"He is simply an excellent teacher, very much respected and admired by his students," Simpson says. "Art's breadth of teaching experience at WPI, as well as his demonstrated success in developing external support and recognition for undergraduate programs, provide a superb foundation for his success as associate dean for the first year experience."

Simpson notes that she and fellow search committee members were gratified by the strong pool of candidates who expressed interest in the position.

"In particular, I would like to express sincere appreciation to professors Holly Ault and Jill Rulfs for their thoughtful and insightful presentations," Simpson says. "The search committee carried out a very thorough and well-organized selection process, and I thank them for their excellent work."

Search Committee members were: Bogdan Vernescu, chairman, Joel Brattin, Phillip Clay, Bill Farr, George Heineman, Alison Leflore, Lance Schachterle, Dale Snyder, Kristin Tichenor, and Gretar Tryggvason.

SME Outstanding Student Awards

The Society of Manufacturing Engineers’ (SME) "Outstanding Students Award Night" dinner was held Nov. 14 at Tweed’s restaurant in Worcester.

The SME Outstanding Student Awards are given each year to a school’s top three manufacturing engineering students. Awards were given to seniors Joseph Hernandez and Freddy Jervis, and junior Gabriel Baldwin.

Keynote speaker Mustapha S. Fofana discussed "Manufacturing Engineering Dynamics: A Mark of Separation Between Japanese Manufacturers and the Rest of World."

Nominations for Faculty Award

Nominations are being sought for the 2007 Board of Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Scholarship. This year the recipient will be selected for achievement in natural, computer, or mathematical sciences; the award will be presented at the April 24 Faculty Convocation.

Each nominee must have completed five years as a full-time WPI faculty member by May 1, 2007.

Previous award recipients and selection committee members are ineligible.

The nomination deadline is Jan. 26. Letters of nomination, letters from external references, resume, reprints of publications, and other supporting materials should be sent to the Office of the Provost.

Publications and Presentations

Chemical Engineering

Choi, P., N. H. Jalani, T. M. Thampan, and R. Datta, "Consideration of Thermodynamic, Transport, and Mechanical Properties in the Design of Polymer Electrolyte Membranes for Higher Temperature Fuel Cell Operation," Journal of Polymer Science B: Polymer Physics, vol. 44, pp. 2183-2200, 2006.

Dixon, A. G., M. Nijemeisland, and E. H. Stitt, "Packed Tubular Reactor Modeling and Catalyst Design Using Computational Fluid Dynamics," Advances in Chemical Engineering, vol. 31, pp. 307-389, 2006.

Guazzone, F., E. E. Engwall, and Y. H. Ma, "Effects of surface activity, defects and mass transfer on hydrogen permeance and n-value in composite palladium-porous stainless steel membranes," Catalyst Today, vol. 118, No. 1-2, 24-31, 2006.

Jalani, N. H., R. Manikandan, K. Ohlsson, S. Buelte, G. Pacifico, R. Pollard, R. Staudt, and R. Datta, "Performance Analysis and Impedance Spectral Signatures of High-Temperature PBI-Phosphoric Acid Gel Membrane Fuel Cells," Journal of Power Sources, vol. 160, pp. 1096-1103, 2006.

Lewis, A., N. Kazantzis, I. Fishtik, and J. Wilcox, "Integrating Process Safety with Molecular Modeling- Based Risk Assessment of Chemicals Within the REACH Regulatory Framework: Benefits and Future Challenges," Journal of Hazardous Materials, in press, 2006.

Padak, B., M. Brunetti, A. Lewis, and J. Wilcox, "Mercury Adsorption on Activated Carbon," Environmental Progress," AICHE, vol. 25, No. 4, pp. 319, 2006.

Sonwane, S., J. Wilcox, and Y. H. Ma, "Achieving Optimum Hydrogen Permeability in PdAg and PdAu Alloys," Journal of Chemical Physics, vol. 125, No. 18, pp. 184714-184724, 2006.

Strauss, J., Y. Liu, E. Milkani, W. G. McGimpsey, and T. A. Camesano, "Inhibiting the Attachment of Staphylococcus epidermidis Using Self-assembled Monolayers," Materials Research Society Fall Meeting, Boston, Mass., Nov. 27-Dec. 1, 2006.

Urban, D., and J. Wilcox, "A Theoretical Study of the Kinetics of the Reactions Se + O2 ? SeO + O and As + HCl ? AsCl + H," Journal of Physical Chemistry A, vol. 110, No. 28, pp. 8797-8801, 2006.

Urban, D., and J. Wilcox, "A Theoretical Study of Properties and Reactions Involving Arsenic and Selenium Compounds Present in Coal Combustion Flue Gases," Journal of Physical Chemistry A, vol. 110, No. 17, pp. 5847-5852, 2006.

Wilcox, J., "Incorporating Computational Chemistry into the Chemical Engineering Curriculum," Chemical Engineering Education, vol. 40, No. 4, pp. 1, 2006

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Long, S. C., J. D. Plummer, T. Tauscher, and M. Aull, "Using a Weight-of-Evidence Approach for Management of Watersheds, " Water Science & Technology," vol. 54, No. 3, pp. 71-76, 2006.

Plummer, J. D., S. C. Long, M. A. Elbag, and M. N. Tache, "Assessing Surface Water Pollution via Indicator Organisms, Traditional Parameters and Microbial Source Tracking Tools," presented at and in proceedings of the AWWA Water Quality Technology Conference, Denver, Colo., Nov. 5-9, 2006.

Salazar, G., "The Use of the Building Information Model in Design Construction Integration," presented at the Engineering Research Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, 50th Anniversary Celebration Lecture Series, Mexico City, Nov. 27, 2006.

Interdisciplinary and Global Studies

Golding, D., and S. Krimsky, editors, Social Theories of Risk, published by Greenwood in 1992, recently released in a Chinese edition.

Hersh, B., "Area-Wide Approaches to Contaminated Site Cleanup and Redevelopment," panelist, National Brownfields Conference, Boston, Mass., Nov. 12, 2006.

Hill, C., "Factors Influencing the Career Choice and Career Development of Hispanics in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math Careers," presentation at the Hispanics in Engineering National Conference, San Juan, Puerto Rico, Nov. 15, 2006.

Recent Grants

Academic Affairs

Cyr, Martha, for "Tufts Pre-College Engineering for Teachers," from Tufts University, $41,822.

Computer Science

Fisler, Kathi, for "Redesigning Introductory Computing: The Design Discipline," from Adelphi University, $19,819.

Heffernan, Neil, for "Demonstrating Affordable Behavior Modeling with CTAT Through Machine Learning and Human-Computer Interaction Techniques," from the Office of Naval Research, $91,826.

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Brown, Donald, for "CAREER: Cooperative Communication Systems: Resource Allocation, Self- Organization, and Synchronization," for $68,650.

Sunar, Berk, for "Development of Hardware True Random Number Generator," from Electronics and Communications Research Institute, $54,986.

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Last modified: February 06, 2008 08:22:06