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May 29, 2008

Around Campus

During WPI's 140th Commencement, GE Chairman and CEO Jeffrey Immelt delivers the keynote address after receiving his honorary degree from the university.

At Commencement, GE Corp.
Donates to Cape Town Project Center

WPI’s 140th Commencement ceremony was held on May 17 on the campus Quad, where 738 bachelor of science degrees, 333 master’s degrees, and 18 PhDs were awarded.

Thousands of students, their families and friends, trustees, and other special guests were on hand to experience the inspirational messages delivered by keynote speaker Jeffrey R. Immelt, chairman and CEO of General Electric Co. (GE), and WPI President and CEO Dennis D. Berkey. In addition, it was announced during the ceremonies that GE Corp. recently made a $100,000 donation to support the expansion and operations of WPI's Cape Town Project Center, which is run by the Interdisciplinary and Global Studies Division.

Honorary degrees were conferred upon Woodie Flowers, Pappalardo professor of mechanical engineering, emeritus, at Massachusetts Institute of Technology; Richard W. Lyman, president emeritus of Stanford University, J. E. Wallace Sterling Professor of Humanities Emeritus, and FSI Senior Fellow in Stanford's History Department; and Elizabeth J. “Jing” Lyman, social entrepreneur, and founder and co-chair of the National Coalition for Women’s Enterprise.

In his address, Immelt challenged students to put the theories they have learned into practice and to address the challenges that limit America’s competiveness – the need for clean energy and affordable health care as well as growing economic disparities. Immelt encouraged the graduates to address these challenges through innovation, determination, global integration, and compassion.

“Through its focus on energy resources, water conservation, and the provision of housing, health care, and other issues of sustainability to underdeveloped areas, the Cape Town Project Center aligns very well with our own citizenship efforts taking place in emerging markets,” Immelt said.

WPI's 140th Commencement Exercises

For a larger image and more information, please click on the pictures.


Professors Adams, Emanuel Win Chairman’s Exemplary Faculty Prize

Two outstanding WPI faculty members received the Chairman’s Exemplary Faculty Prize during the May 17 Commencement. Established in 2007 through the personal philanthropy of Donald K. Peterson ‘71, chair of the WPI Board of Trustees and former Chairman and CEO of Avaya Inc., the prize honors WPI faculty members for overall excellence.

Two prizes, each in the amount of $10,000, were presented to David S. Adams, professor of biology and biotechnology, and Alexander E. Emanuel, professor of electrical and computer engineering.

Adams was honored, in part, for his ability to seamlessly blend his work as a teacher, advisor, and researcher, “so that teaching becomes a way to ignite student’s passion for learning by exposing them to the frontiers of knowledge, and the research lab becomes a venue for nurturing talent,” his citation notes. Described as a gifted teacher adept at finding everyday examples that make even the most difficult concepts understandable, he received WPI’s Board of Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1990 and the inaugural Board of Trustees’ Award for Outstanding Academic Advising in 2000.

Emanuel joined the WPI faculty in 1974 after holding engineering positions in Israel, Romania, and the United States, including that of senior research and development engineer at High Voltage Engineering in Westborough, Mass. Known as one of the university’s most devoted and passionate educators, he is the only faculty member to have received WPI’s Board of Trustees’ awards for outstanding academic advising, outstanding research and creative scholarship, and outstanding teaching. He has also won his department's outstanding teaching award several times.

Tang Wins 2008 Kalenian Award

Dalin Tang, professor of mathematical sciences, is the recipient of the 2008 Kalenian Award. As part of the award, Tang will receive $25,000 to help develop his invention, a medical software diagnostic tool for early identification and diagnosis of cardiovascular disease. The award, given annually or every other year on a competitive basis to support innovative ideas or the development of commercial products, was presented at the May 13 WPI Venture Forum meeting.

The Kalenian Award was established in 2006 by Alba Kalenian in memory of her late husband, inventor Aram Kalenian '33. Its purpose is to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship among WPI students, faculty, and alumni by providing seed funds to advance their ideas. Alba Kalenian says her husband believed "the highest and best use of a WPI education is to invent, and patent, then create an invention-based business and employ."

This award is designed to fuel the entrepreneurial spirit by funding a single viable invention each year. Proposals are reviewed by an award committee consisting of Paul Kalenian, son of Aram and Alba, and McRae Banks, head of WPI's Department of Management and director of the university's Collaborative for Entrepreneurship and Innovation.

Professor Tang was recognized for his research, "Image-Based Computational Mechanical Analysis and Indexing for Cardiovascular Diseases." He has developed a medical software diagnostic tool using computational methods for non-invasive early identification and diagnosis of cardiovascular diseases to be used by medical doctors to improve a patient's disease stage assessment to make better treatment decisions. A U.S. patent has been filed, and an initial market analysis has been performed. Tang's invention improves the prior art that lacks mechanical analysis by providing a 3D, MRI-based multicomponent model with fluid-structure interactions for mechanical analysis of atherosclerotic plaques, aneurism, and heart diseases.

"With the help and support of this award, WPI community, my family, and collaborators, I hope we can bring my invention to the market and clinical practice soon," Tang said.

Receiving honorable mentions for the Kalenian Award this year were Peder Pedersen, professor of electrical and computer engineering, for "Virtual Interactive Training System for Ultrasound"; Malcolm Ray, professor of civil and environmental engineering, for "Novel Highway Guardrail Concept"; and Quanqin Dai and Weiyong Yu, professors of chemistry and biochemistry, for "Efficient and Environmentally-Safe LED Lighting Material."

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5th Annual U.S.-Africa Business Conference to be held at WPI
on June 9 and 10

WPI will host the 5th annual U.S.-Africa Business Conference on June 9 and 10 in the Campus Center Odeum. This year’s conference will focus on the roles innovation and entrepreneurship play in U.S. and Africa business development.

The conference will include speakers and panel discussions on entrepreneurship and innovation, education (new approaches to teaching and methods necessary to develop new business enterprises in African nations); infrastructure, housing, and the environment; financing innovation; and developing technology (IT). Panelists will represent chambers of commerce in Africa, professors, and African and American community-based groups.

The U.S.-Africa Business Conference promotes partnerships and linkages between the educational, economic, and technological needs of U.S.-based businesses and African companies and government.

The conference came about through collaboration between WPI, the U.S. Department of Education’s Business and International Division and the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce. WPI’s strong connection to Africa was cemented in 2002 when the university’s project center in Windhoek, Namibia was founded as part of WPI’s Global Perspective Program. WPI also has a project center in Cape Town, South Africa.

Note: Information for the calendar comes from the Web-based WPI Events Calendar, which is powered by the Social Web. To have your events listed in @WPI, please enter them in Social Web and request that they be added to the appropriate WPI calendar. Visit Social Web to learn how.


Thursday, June 5

Monday, June 9

Tuesday, June 10

Monday, June 23

Events are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

Computer Tip

Notice About Email Phishing Attempts

Over the last several weeks, there have been many emails directed to WPI faculty, staff, and students attempting to scam people out of their WPI passwords. This activity is known as phishing. As we have seen by our experience here, educational sites are not exempt from these attacks, and the attacks are increasing in frequency all the time. It is important that users never give out their username or password to anyone. No one from the WPI IT Department will ever ask you for your password and you should never supply it. When you receive phishing messages please follow these basic steps:

This is the safest and easiest way to report these phishing attempts to WPI's system administrators and ensure they are processed appropriately. If there are any questions regarding this matter, send them to WPI IT Security at itsecurity@wpi.edu.

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Last modified: July 13, 2010 10:32:23