WPI Faculty Achievements

Past Year Brings Significant Honors for WPI Faculty

Steven C. Bullock, professor of history, and Constance A. Clark, assistant professor of history, completed research over the past two years with fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH). Bullockís work focused on "The Politics of Politeness: Culture, Class, and Power in Provincial America, 1690-1776." Clarkís project was titled "The Popularization of Science in America during the 1920s." The fellowships support individuals pursuing advanced research in the humanities that contributes to scholarly knowledge or to the general publicís understanding of the humanities.

David A. Lucht was honored in 2006 by the Society of Fire Protection Engineers. The David A. Lucht Lamp of Knowledge Award honors the original director of WPIís Center for Firesafety Studies. The award will be given annually to individuals or organizations who stand out in their support of fire protection engineering higher education. In 2004, Lucht retired from WPIís fire protection engineering program, after serving as its director for 28 years.

Gretar Tryggvason, head of WPIís Mechanical Engineering Department and well known for his research on computational methods and multiphase flow, received the 2005 Computational Mechanics Award from the Japan Society of Mechanical Engineers (JSME). The award was presented at the 18th JSME Computational Mechanics Conference in Tsukuba, Japan. Tryggvason gave an invited lecture at the meeting.

Makhlouf M. Makhlouf, professor of mechanical engineering and director of WPIís Advanced Casting Research Center, received the 2006 Hall/Heroult Scientific Merit Award from the Aluminum Division of the American Foundry Society Division Council. This annual award is given in recognition of scientific service that enhances the position of the aluminum foundry industry through contributions of original research, development of processes or materials, or providing significant engineering advances.

In 2006, Bogdan Vernescu, head of the Mathematical Sciences Department, was named a Member of Honor of the Institute of Mathematics of the Romanian Academy. Vernescu, who received his PhD in mathematics from the institute in 1989, conducts research on partial differential equations, phase transitions and free boundaries, viscous flow in porous media, and asymptotic methods and homogenization.

Roberto Pietroforte, professor of civil and environmental engineering, was selected to receive the rank of Cavaliere Ufficiale in the Order of Merit by the Republic of Italy. The orderís second highest rank, the honor is bestowed by Italyís president upon those who have distinguished themselves in rendering exceptional service to the republic. Pietroforteís contributions include his 1998 book Building International Construction Alliances and his macroeconomic studies of the Italian construction industry.

Richard D. Sisson Jr., George F. Fuller Professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of WPIís Manufacturing Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering programs, was named to the Academy of Engineering Excellence at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. The Academy of Engineering Excellence honors engineering graduates of Virginia Tech who have made sustained and meritorious engineering or leadership contributions during their careers.

Michael M. Sokal, professor emeritus of history, received the 2006 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society for the History of Psychology (Division 26 of the American Psychological Association). The award recognizes Sokalís out-standing service to the society and his numerous scholarly contributions to the history of psychology. Sokal has served as president of the History of Science Society, editor of History of Psychology, a scholarly journal published quarterly by the American Psychological Association, and program director in the Science and Technology Studies Program, Division of Social and Economic Sciences, at the National Science Foundation.

Jennifer L. Wilcox, assistant professor of chemical engineering, represented the National Science Foundation in New Faces of Engineering 2006, an annual tribute to the nationís top engineers sponsored by the Engineers Week Foundation. Wilcox was the only college or university faculty member and one of only five women included. A member of the WPI faculty since 2004, her research focuses on ways to eliminate toxic metals, such as mercury, arsenic, and selenium, from the gases emitted by coal-fired power plants. In 2005 she was one of three WPI faculty members to receive an NSF CAREER Award, the agencyís most prestigious honor for young faculty members.