Pitt | Swanson Engineering
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May

May
10
2017

Following two decades as Dean, Gerald Holder to return to faculty at Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering

All SSoE News, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, MEMS, Diversity

PITTSBURGH (May 10, 2017) ... Marking the culmination of more than two decades of dynamic leadership, Gerald D. Holder, U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering in the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, has announced his intention to step down from his position to return to the faculty in the fall of 2018.Holder, Distinguished Service Professor of chemical engineering, has been dean of the Swanson School since 1996 and a member of its faculty since 1979.“Two words come to mind when I look back on Jerry’s incredible career as dean of our Swanson School of Engineering: tremendous growth,” said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “Under Jerry’s leadership, our Swanson School has seen record enrollment levels and total giving to the school has topped $250 million. “The school has also expanded academically to support new knowledge in areas like energy and sustainability — and also new partnerships, including a joint engineering program with China’s Sichuan University. And while I will certainly miss Jerry’s many contributions as dean, I am grateful that he will remain an active faculty member and continue to strengthen our Swanson School’s bright future,” Gallagher said.       “Through a focus on innovation and excellence, Dean Holder has led a transformation of the Swanson School of Engineering into a leader in engineering research and education,” said Patricia E. Beeson, provost and senior vice chancellor. Beeson added, "From the establishment of the now top-ranked Department of Bioengineering to the integrated first-year curriculum that has become a national model, the Swanson School has been a change maker. And with nearly three-quarters of the faculty hired while he has been dean, the culture of success that he has established will remain long after he steps down.” The University plans to announce the search process for his successor in the coming months. Holder’s Many Accomplishments In his 21 years as dean, Holder has overseen school growth as well as increases in research awards and philanthropic gifts. Enrollment has doubled to nearly 4,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and the number of PhDs has increased threefold. Holder also has emphasized programs to nourish diversity and engagement — for example, in 2012 the Swanson School had the highest percentage in the nation of engineering doctoral degrees awarded to women. Co-curricular programs also have prospered during Holder’s tenure. The school’s cooperative education program, which places students in paid positions in industry during their undergraduate studies, has increased to approximately 300 active employers. International education or study abroad has also become a hallmark of a Pitt engineering education, with 46 percent participation in 2015 versus a 4.6 percent national average for engineering and a 22.6 percent national average for STEM fields. The school’s annual sponsored research has tripled during Holder’s years as dean, totaling a cumulative $400 million. Alumnus John A. Swanson’s landmark $43 million naming gift came in 2007, the largest-ever gift by an individual to the University at the time.University-wide initiatives developed during Holder’s tenure as dean include the Gertrude E. and John M. Petersen Institute of NanoScience and Engineering; the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, founded with support of alumnus John C. “Jack” Mascaro; and the Center for Energy.Holder is likewise held in high regard by his peers. "As a dean of long standing, many of us refer to Dean Holder as `the Dean of deans,’ not just because of his years of service but also because of the respect that we have for his leadership, mentorship and impact on the engineering profession,” said James H. Garrett Jr., dean of the College of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.“He is an accomplished academician, an exceptional academic leader and a tremendous human being.” Holder, a noted expert on natural gas hydrates and author of more than 100 journal articles, earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Kalamazoo College and bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan. He was a faculty member in chemical engineering at Columbia University prior to joining the Pitt engineering faculty in 1979. He served as chair of the chemical engineering department from 1987 to 1995 before being named dean of engineering.Among many professional accomplishments, he was named an American Association for the Advancement of Science Fellow in 2003. In 2008 he was named an American Institute of Chemical Engineers Fellow and was awarded the William Metcalf Award from the Engineers’ Society of Western Pennsylvania for lifetime achievement in engineering. In 2015 he was elected chair of the American Society of Engineering Educators’ (ASEE) Engineering Deans Council, the leadership organization of engineering deans in the U.S., for a two-year term. The council has approximately 350 members, representing more than 90 percent of all U.S. engineering deans and is tasked by ASEE to advocate for engineering education, research and engagement throughout the U.S., especially among the public at large and in U.S. public policy. ###
Author: Kimberly Barlow, University Communications
May
8
2017

Pitt’s Bopaya Bidanda Named IISE Outstanding Faculty Advisor

Industrial

PITTSBURGH, PA (May 8, 2017) … The Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers (IISE) named Bopaya Bidanda, the Ernst Roth Professor and Chair of the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, Outstanding Faculty Advisor for the Northeast Region.“We honor [Dr. Bidanda] for his guidance and availability to chapter officers and chapter members, his participation at chapter events, his interfacing for the chapter to the university and community, and his significant contributions to the IISE student chapter,” said Bill Boyd, Director of Membership Services at IISE.“When you have an outstanding group of students, it’s easy to be an effective Faculty Advisor,” added Dr. Bidanda.The IISE Northeast Region includes New England, New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Delaware. One of seven U.S. regions for IISE, the Northeast is home to 25 percent of the U.S. professional chapters and 16 percent of the U.S. student chapters.Winners of the regional award will receive a personalized certificate and recognition at the IISE Annual Conference and Expo. This year, the annual conference will take place May 20 – 23 in Pittsburgh.About Dr. BidandaBopaya Bidanda is currently the Ernest E. Roth Professor and Chairman of the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. His research focuses on Manufacturing Systems, Reverse Engineering and Project Management. He has published nine books and over 100 papers in international journals and conference proceedings. Recent (edited) books include books published by Springer Inc., on Virtual Prototyping & Bio-manufacturing in Medical applications, and on Bio-materials and Prototyping Applications. He has also given invited and keynote talks in Asia, South America, Africa, and Europe. He also helped initiate and institutionalize the Engineering Program on the Semester at Sea voyage in 2004. He has previously served as the President of the Council of Industrial Engineering Academic Department Heads (CIEADH) and on the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers. He has also served on International Advisory Boards of universities in India and South America. Dr. Bidanda is a Fellow of the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers and currently serves as a Commissioner with the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET. In 2004, he was appointed a Fulbright Senior Specialist by the J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board and the U.S. Department of State. He received the 2012 John Imhoff Award for Global Excellence in Industrial Engineering given by the American Society for Engineering Education. He also received the International Federation of Engineering Education Societies (IFEES) 2012 Award for Global Excellence in Engineering Education in Buenos Aires and also the 2013 Albert Holzman Award Distinguished Educator Award given by the Institute of Industrial & Systems Engineers. In recognition of his service to the engineering discipline, medical community and the University of Pittsburgh, he was honored with the 2014 Chancellors Distinguished Public Service Award.About IISEIISE, the world's largest professional society dedicated solely to the support of the profession, is an international, nonprofit association that provides leadership for the application, education, training, research, and development of industrial and systems engineering. ###
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer

Apr

Apr
10
2017

Pitt Names Senior Vice Chancellor for Research

All SSoE News, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, MEMS

PITTSBURGH—Rob A. Rutenbar has been named the University of Pittsburgh’s senior vice chancellor for research. In this newly established position, he will lead the University’s strategic vision for research and innovation, enhancing existing technological partnerships. “I am delighted to welcome Rob to the University of Pittsburgh as our inaugural senior vice chancellor for research,” said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “His experience as a researcher, innovator, collaborator and entrepreneur — both inside and outside of the university — make Rob uniquely qualified to support our faculty’s research and innovation efforts and to champion Pitt research on a local, national and global scale.” Pitt Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson said Rutenbar is exceptionally well-suited for the role. “His administrative, entrepreneurial and research experiences align well with our vision for a leader who drives excellence and will serve as a champion for the University of Pittsburgh,” she said. “Rob’s experiences and expertise in both the academic world and the private sector make him the perfect individual to fully integrate and expand upon Pitt’s University-level research and medical school endeavors,” said Arthur S. Levine, senior vice chancellor for the health sciences and the John and Gertrude Petersen Dean of the School of Medicine. “In the coming years, we hope to be an internationally recognized model for how the various divisions of an educational institution can communicate and work together. Rob Rutenbar is precisely the type of professional needed to accomplish that goal.” Working with other senior University officials, the senior vice chancellor for research is responsible for establishing and implementing a long-term plan for research infrastructure. The position manages the University’s Center for Research Computing, Economic Partnerships, the Innovation Institute, the Office of Export Controls, the Office of Research, the Research Conduct and Compliance Office and the Radiation Safety Office. Additionally, Rutenbar will have an active role with the University's Swanson School of Engineering. “Dr. Rutenbar is an internationally=acclaimed scholar in computer engineering, and we are most excited that he is joining the faculty of our Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering here in the Swanson School of Engineering," saidAlan George, chair of the Swanson School's Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. "We are looking forward to his contributions to and collaboration with our ECE research programs." Rutenbar brings nearly 40 years of experience in innovation and technology to Pitt. His research focuses on three broad categories: tools for a wide variety of integrated circuit design issues, methods for managing the statistics of nanoscale chip design and custom computer architectures for perceptual and data analytics problems. Rutenbar currently serves as the Abel Bliss Professor of Engineering and heads the Department of Computer Science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In this role, he oversees a department composed of 70 faculty members and more than 2,400 students that is currently ranked as the No. 5 computer science program in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Prior to assuming that position in 2010, Rutenbar was a faculty member within Carnegie Mellon University’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering for 25 years. As an entrepreneur, Rutenbar founded the tech firms Neolinear Inc. and Voci Technologies, Inc. in 1998 and 2006, respectively. He was the founding director for the Center for Circuit and System Solutions, a multi-university consortium that focused on next-generation chip design challenges. The recipient of 14 U.S. patent grants, his endeavors have been funded by such notable entities as AT&T, Google, IBM, the National Science Foundation and the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance. Rutenbar is the author of eight books and 175 published research articles. In recognition of his career accomplishments, Rutenbar was elected a fellow of the Association for Computing Machinery. He has twice won the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ coveted Donald O. Pedersen Best Paper Award. He was recognized with distinguished alumnus awards from both the University of Michigan and Wayne State University. In 2002, Rutenbar was named Carnegie Mellon’s Stephen J. Jatras Chair in Electrical and Computer Engineering, an endowed professorship position he held until leaving that university in 2010. Rutenbar earned his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering at Wayne State University in 1978. He earned master’s and doctorate degrees in computer, information and control engineering at the University of Michigan in 1979 and 1984, respectively. Rutenbar will join Pitt’s senior leadership team in July. ###
Anthony Moore, University Communications
Apr
3
2017

MCSI Seed Grants Fund New Round of Sustainability Research

Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Industrial, MEMS

PITTSBURGH, PA (April 3, 2017) … The Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation (MCSI) has announced the recipients of 2017-2018 MCSI seed grant funding. The annual seed grant program engages a core team of researchers who are passionate about sustainability. Seed grants support graduate student and post-doctoral fellows on one-year research projects. The University of Pittsburgh projects and faculty members to receive funding include:• “Protein lithograph: a sustainable technology for sub-5-nm nanomanufacturing.” Mostafa Bedewy, Assistant Professor, Department of Industrial Engineering.• “High efficiency refrigeration and cooling through additive manufactured magnetocaloric devices.” Markus Chmielus, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science.• “Toward machine learning blueprints for greener chelants.” John Keith, Assistant Professor, Inaugural Richard King Mellon Faculty Fellow in Energy, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering.• “H2P: HydroPonics to Pyrolysis: An enclosed system for the phytoremediation and destruction of perfectly persistent emerging contaminants in our water.” Carla Ng, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; David Sanchez, Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.MCSI developed the research seed grant program to provide faculty with funding support to allow students to participate in high-quality research, teaching, outreach and creative endeavors. The goals of the grants are: (1) seed funding to develop ideas to the point where external funding can be obtained; (2) awards to support scholarship in areas where external funding is extremely limited; (3) resources to introduce curricular innovations into the classroom; or (4) tools or techniques to encourage community outreach and education. ###
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer

Mar

Mar
28
2017

Pitt IE Professor Lisa Maillart Awarded Fulbright Scholarship to the Netherlands

Industrial

PITTSBURGH, PA (March 28, 2017) … Lisa Maillart, associate professor of industrial engineering at the University of Pittsburgh, was named a Fulbright Scholar to Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) in the Netherlands. Through her Fulbright award, Dr. Maillart will collaborate with researchers at TU/e on multiple projects related to maintenance optimization in healthcare, and she will teach a graduate course on Markov Decision Processes (MDPs). Dr. Maillart’s focus in applied probability as well as MDPs and Partially Observable MDPs (POMDPs) influences her research in maintenance optimization, healthcare operations and medical decision-making. “Dr. Maillart’s expertise on MDPs and in particular POMDPs will be a great benefit for us,” said Geert-Jan van Houtum, professor of maintenance, reliability and quality at TU/e. “We aim to work together on multiple joint papers, and the ambition will be to get them published in top journals in our field. With Dr. Maillart in our team, we will increase our possibilities to realize such top publications.” Dr. Maillart’s research at TU/e will be heavily driven by data supplied by the multinational Dutch electronics corporation Philips, which has a research facility headquartered in Eindhoven, Netherlands. She will collaborate with personnel from Philips Research and the faculty and students of Eindhoven University to gain a better understanding of smart maintenance approaches for healthcare systems and personalized health. Many healthcare settings require sequential decision making to manage systems that deteriorate randomly over time—for example, large-scale medical equipment or a chronically ill individual. Dr. Maillart will examine how new types of data can be analyzed to improve the decision making process for these complex problems. The new course on Markov Decision Processes will potentially expand into a permanent course at TU/e. Dr. Maillart will be instrumental in helping the faculty design the curriculum. She will also be involved in the supervision of PhD and master thesis research projects while visiting TU/e. About Lisa MaillartLisa Maillart is an Associate Professor and Co-Director of the Stochastic Modeling, Analysis and Control (SMAC) Laboratory in the Department of Industrial Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. Prior to joining the faculty at Pitt, she served on the faculty of the Department of Operations in the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University. She received her MS and BS in industrial and systems engineering from Virginia Tech, and her PhD in industrial and operations engineering from the University of Michigan. Her primary research interest is in sequential decision making under uncertainty, with applications in medical decision-making, healthcare operations, healthcare policy and maintenance optimization. She is a member of INFORMS, SMDM and IIE, and was recently named a Fulbright U.S. Scholar. ###
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer
Mar
22
2017

The Swanson School Presents Alumnus John Richter with 2017 Distinguished Alumni Award for Industrial Engineering

Industrial

PITTSBURGH (March 22, 2017) … Collectively they are professors, researchers and authors; inventors, builders and producers; business leaders, entrepreneurs and industry pioneers. The 53rd annual Distinguished Alumni Banquet brought together honorees from each of the Swanson School of Engineering’s six departments and one overall honoree to represent the entire school. The banquet took place at the University of Pittsburgh's Alumni Hall, and Gerald D. Holder, US Steel Dean of Engineering, presented the awards.This year’s recipient for the Department of Industrial Engineering was John Richter, BSIE ’75, retired, Vice President of Operation, PPG Coatings Asia.“After earning his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering from Pitt, John would embark upon a successful and global career at PPG Industries,” Dean Holder said. “Like the quintessential engineer who continually builds upon his knowledge, John started in coatings and resins, supply chain and process engineering, leading toward his jump to Valspar Highpoint Plant Manager. From there, his expertise would have an impact throughout PPG’s coatings divisions, first in the U.S. and later, around the globe at 42 plants as well as warehouses and distribution chains.”About John RichterJohn Richter graduated with his BS in industrial engineering in 1975. He became a manufacturing professional with extensive global experience in organizational structures, plant operations and supply chains, with a strong emphasis on environment, health and safety. He served as PPG Vice President, Asia Pacific Coatings Operations from 2011 to 2016. He was responsible for the supply chains and manufacturing plants for the seven coatings businesses through Asia Pacific and India.Richter became Valspar Highpoint plant manager in 1993, where he was responsible for the daily operation of a coatings manufacturing plant. In 1995 he was appointed PPG sr. engineering consultant and then PPG Springdale Plant Manager, Industrial Coatings. This plant remains the primary production site for Harley Davidson, Titleist, JEG lifts and steel and aluminum coil coatings. Richter quickly became the PPG Manufacturing Director, Industrial Coatings in Pittsburgh, PA, responsible for the seven manufacturing plants that produced industrial coatings products in North America, Europe, Australia and China. He was appointed PPG Global Operations Director, OEM Coatings in 2003, responsible for the 42 plants around the world, the warehouses that support the plants and the distribution of finished goods. ### Photo Above: Dean Holder (left) with John Richter and IE Department Chair Bopaya Bidanda.
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer
Mar
14
2017

Pitt’s Bioengineering and Industrial Engineering programs move up in 2018 U.S. News and World Report Graduate School Rankings

All SSoE News, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, MEMS

PITTSBURGH (March 14, 2017) … The University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering has moved up one slot among engineering programs in the 2018 edition of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Graduate Schools,” which will be available on newsstands April 11. The Swanson School is tied 42nd overall among university engineering programs, and 21st among all Association of American Universities (AAU) members. Two of its programs, bioengineering and industrial engineering, made significant gains over 2017. Bioengineering jumped from 18th in the nation to 12th overall, and remains at 6th among public AAU university programs. Industrial moved from 23rd to 17th overall, and from 13th to 10th among AAU publics. Other department rankings include: Chemical engineering: 33rd overall, 18th among AAU publics Civil engineering: 60th overall, 27th among AAU publics Computer engineering: 43rd overall, 20th among AAU publics Electrical engineering: 55th overall, 26th among AAU publics Materials science: 43rd overall, 22nd among AAU publics Mechanical engineering: 57th overall, 26th among AAU publics Complete rankings and information about the process can be found online in the U.S. News Grad Compass. ###

Jan

Jan
10
2017

Pitt’s Center for Medical Innovation awards four novel biomedical devices with $77,500 total Round-2 2016 Pilot Funding

Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Industrial

PITTSBURGH (January 10, 2017) … The University of Pittsburgh’s Center for Medical Innovation (CMI) awarded grants totaling $77,500 to four research groups through its 2016 Round-2 Pilot Funding Program for Early Stage Medical Technology Research and Development. The latest funding proposals include a new technology for treatment of diabetes, a medical device for emergency intubation, an innovative method for bone regeneration, and a novel approach for implementing vascular bypass grafts. CMI, a University Center housed in Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering (SSOE), supports applied technology projects in the early stages of development with “kickstart” funding toward the goal of transitioning the research to clinical adoption. CMI leadership evaluates proposals based on scientific merit, technical and clinical relevance, potential health care impact and significance, experience of the investigators, and potential in obtaining further financial investment to translate the particular solution to healthcare. “This is our fifth year of pilot funding, and our leadership team could not be more excited with the breadth and depth of this round’s awardees,” said Alan D. Hirschman, PhD, CMI Executive Director. “This early-stage interdisciplinary research helps to develop highly specific biomedical technologies through a proven strategy of linking UPMC’s clinicians and surgeons with the Swanson School’s engineering faculty.” AWARD 1: Intrapancreatic Lipid Nanoparticles to Treat DiabetesAward for further development and testing of use of lipid nanoparticle technology for the induction of α-to-β-cell transdifferentiation to treat diabetes. George Gittes, MDDepartment of Surgery University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine Kathryn Whitehead, PhDDepartment of Chemical Engineering Carnegie Mellon University (Secondary appointment at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine) AWARD 2: The Esophocclude - Medical Device for temporary occlusion of the esophagus in patients requiring emergent intubationContinuation award for further refinement of the Esophocclude Medical Device using human cadaver testing to simulate emergency intubation.Philip Carullo, MDResident, PGY-1 Department of Anesthesiology University of Pittsburgh Medical Center (UPMC) Youngjae Chun, PhD Assistant Professor Department of Industrial Engineering Department of Bioengineering (Secondary) University of Pittsburgh AWARD 3: RegenMatrix - Collagen-mimetic Bioactive Hydrogels for Bone RegenerationContinuation award for fully automating the hydrogel fabrication process, for animal studies and for fine-tuning related innovations. Shilpa Sant, PhDAssistant Professor Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences Department of Bioengineering University of Pittsburgh Akhil Patel, MS Graduate Student Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences University of Pittsburgh Yadong Wang, PhD Professor Department of Bioengineering University of Pittsburgh Sachin Velankar, PhDAssociate Professor Department of Chemical Engineering University of Pittsburgh Charles Sfeir, DDS, PhD Associate Professor Department of Oral Biology University of Pittsburgh AWARD 4: TopoGraft 2.0 - Anti-platelet surfaces for bypass grafts and artificial hearts using topo-graphic surface actuationContinuation award for in-vivo validating of results and developing a new approach for topographic actuation of the inner lumen of synthetic bypass grafts. Sachin Velankar, PhD Department of Chemical Engineering University of Pittsburgh Luka Pocivavsak, MD, PhD Department of Surgery University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Edith Tzeng, MD Department of Surgery University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Robert Kormos, MD Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery University of Pittsburgh Medical Center About the Center for Medical Innovation The Center for Medical Innovation at the Swanson School of Engineering is a collaboration among the University of Pittsburgh’s Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), the Innovation Institute, and the Coulter Translational Research Partnership II (CTRP). CMI was established in 2011 to promote the application and development of innovative biomedical technologies to clinical problems; to educate the next generation of innovators in cooperation with the schools of Engineering, Health Sciences, Business, and Law; and to facilitate the translation of innovative biomedical technologies into marketable products and services. Over 50 early-stage projects have been supported by CMI with a total investment of over $900,000 since inception. ###
Author: Yash P. Mokashi, Fellow, Center for Medical Innovation