December 2010

Professor Graham Candler (aerospace engineering and mechanics), professor Tom Schwartzentruber (aerospace engineering and mechanics), and professor Donald Truhlar (chemistry), have received a three year, $5M grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to develop hypersonic vehicles that will fly high in the atmosphere for extended periods of time.

Regents professor Donald Truhlar (chemistry) and his research group have received a U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Innovative and Novel Computational Impact on Theory and Experiment (INCITE) award. The award gives the group access to a national supercomputer, which is essential for energy research.

November 2010

Graduate student Prerna Nadathur (mathematics) has been named a 2011 Rhodes Scholar. This prestigious honor was bestowed on only 30 other Americans and one other Minnesotan this year.

Professor Jennifer Alexander (mechanical engineering) won the prestigious Sidney Edelstein Prize for the best book in the History of Science for Mantra of Efficiency.

Professor Massoud Amin (electrical and computer engineering) was recently featured in a University of Minnesota ad that was was selected by the Wall Street Journal as one of the best academic commercials and graded the highest by WSJ. In the video, Amin talks about the importance of creating a better power grid.

Assistant professor John Gunnar Carlsson (mechanical engineering) received first prize in the Interactive Session Competition at the INFORMS 2010 conference in Austin, Texas, for his presentation, “Dividing a territory between several facilities.”

Assistant professor Christopher Douglas (chemistry) received a Cottrell Scholar award from the Research Corporation for Science Advancement, which recognizes early career faculty who are committed to excel at both teaching and research.

Professor Emad Ebbini (electrical and computer engineering) has been named a fellow of IEEE in recognition of his contributions to ultrasound temperature imaging and dual-mode ultrasound.

Two doctoral students in chemistry, Mahmed Zahid Ertem and Bo Wang, have received the 2010 Overend Award for Graduate Research in Physical Chemistry, which honors outstanding physical chemistry graduate-student researchers. Ertem is a research assistant with professor Christopher Cramer (chemistry), and Wang is a research assistant with professor Donald Truhlar (chemistry).

Professor Ramesh Harjani (electrical and computer engineering) has received the endowed Johnson Professorship, which is named for alumnus Edgar F. Johnson and founder of E.F. Johnson Company.

Professor Marc Hillmyer (chemistry) has received the 2011 Carl S. Marvel Creative Polymer Chemistry Award from the American Chemical Society, Division of Polymer Chemistry, Inc. The award recognizes accomplishments and innovations of unusual merit in the field of basic or applied polymer science by individuals younger than 45.

Assistant professor Dan Keefe (computer science and engineering) was part of a panel that received the Best Panel award at IEEE VisWeek ’10.

Ilia Nikiforov, a Ph.D. student in mechanical engineering currently working with professor Traian Dumitrica (mechanical engineering), won the University of Minnesota Distinguished Master’s Thesis Award 2010-11.

Professor David Odde (biomedical engineering) has been elected a fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society for 2010, recognizing his outstanding contributions and achievements in biomedical engineering.

A University of Minnesota team of computer science and engineering students recently won first place in programming among 225 teams competing in the North Central North America Region of the ACM International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC) sponsored by IBM. The team will attend the World Finals of The ICPC held in Sharm el-Sheikh, Egypt, held February 27 – March 4, 2011. A second University of Minnesota team finished in fourth place. The teams were coached by Carl Sturtivant, instructor in computer science and engineering.

The Minnesota High Tech Association and the Science Museum of Minnesota inducted the third class of the Minnesota Science and Technology Hall of Fame at the 11th Tekne Awards ceremony on Nov. 3. They include:

  • Regents professor emeritus Herbert E. Wright, Jr. (geology and geophysics), internationally recognized researcher and scholar specializing in reconstruction and understanding of Quaternary history.
  • Alumnus Arthur L. Fry (ChemE ’55), chemical engineer and new product development researcher at 3M corporation; co-creator of 1980s breakthrough office product Post-It Notes®.
  • Alumnus Alfred O.C. Nier (EE ’31, M.S. ’33, Physics Ph.D ’36), pioneer in the development and applications of mass spectrometry.

October 2010

Professor Eray Aydil (chemical engineering and material science) has been appointed the Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Vacuum Science and Technology (JVST), the flagship publication of the American Vacuum Society, effective September 1, 2010.

Professors Jane Davidson (mechanical engineering) and Wojciech Lipinski (mechanical engineering) along with professors at Caltech and UCLA have been awarded an NSF Emerging Frontiers in Research and Innovation grant entitled, “Thermochemical Routes to Efficient and Rapid Production of Solar Fuels.”

Professor Jiali Gao (chemistry) has received an IBM Faculty award for his research contributions in the development of novel quantum mechanical methods.

Assistant professor Volkan Isler (computer science and engineering) and his research team recently won a Clearpath Robotics competition. Isler will have use of a Clearpath Robotics Huskey A100, a weather-resistant, all-terrain, unmanned vehicle for the next year to assist in their research project with data mules.

Professors Tim Lodge (chemistry), Chris Cramer (chemistry), and William Tolman (chemistry) have been elected Fellows for the American Chemical Society for 2010.

Professor Tom Luo (electrical and computer engineering) was awarded the G. Farkas Prize from the INFORMS Optimization Society for his contributions to the field of optimization.

Professor Satish Kumar (chemical engineering and materials science) has received the 2010 L.E. Scriven Young Investigator Award of the International Society of Coating Science and Technology, recognizing his achievements in the area of liquid film coating science and technology.

Graduate student Keith Palmer (civil engineering) is the winner of the 2010 George D. Nasser Award given by the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) for a paper he co-authored with his advisor professor Arturo Schultz (civil engineering) titled “Factors Affecting Web-shear Capacity of Deep Hollow-Core Units,” originally published in the Spring 2010 issue of PCI Journal.

Professor David Pui (mechanical engineering) was named president of the International Aerosol Research Assembly, and received organizations’ highest award for aerosol research, the Fuchs Memorial Award.

Associate professor Daniel Spirn (mathematics) and assistant professor Chad Myers (computer science and engineering) have been awarded a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award. This five-year award is the NSF’s most prestigious program to support the early career development of promising young researchers.

Research associate professor Craig Shankwitz (mechanical engineering) was part of a team that recently received the Management Innovation award from the Minnesota Public Transit Association for their work on the bus drive assist system, part of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s “Urban Partnership Agreement,” a grant to Minnesota transportation agencies.

The College of Science and Engineering (CSE) Alumni Society received a University of Minnesota Alumni Association 2010 Program Extraordinaire Award for its work on TechFest 2010, which was held in collaboration with The Works museum in Edina and the CSE Office of Diversity and Outreach. More than 2,000 people attended the event that featured a multitude of hands-on activities for people of all ages.