Pitt | Swanson Engineering
News Listing

Apr

Apr
19
2018

A world of opportunities

MEMS, Diversity

From The Pitt News When Irene Mena got her U.S. citizenship Feb. 28 at the Pittsburgh Courthouse, her colleague and friend Dan Budny brought her a cake adorned with an American flag and the words “Congratulations Irene!” written under it. She ate a piece and then drove right back to her office in Benedum Hall. “After that, it was like, ‘Well, okay, back to work,’” she laughed. This relaxed attitude has governed Mena’s entire life. It’s what’s kept her passionate about teaching, performing arts and science and ensured she stays focused on her work as an assistant professor in Pitt’s mechanical engineering and materials science department. It’s also enabled her to undergo major life changes without phasing her confidence. Read the full article by Brian Gentry at The Pitt News.
Brian Gentry, Staff Writer, The Pitt News

Mar

Mar
19
2018

Swanson School faculty and STEM program among 2018 Carnegie Science Award honorees

Electrical & Computer, MEMS, Diversity

PITTSBURGH (March 19, 2018) – Two professors and a long-standing STEM program at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering are among the 2018 Carnegie Science Award honorees, presented by Carnegie Science Center. The recipients are among honorees in 17 categories announced at a reception on March 13 at Carnegie Science Center on the North Shore. Winners and honorable mentions will be honored May 4 during the Carnegie Science Awards Celebration at Carnegie Music Hall in Oakland.  Albert To, PhD, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science, is the recipient of the Advanced Manufacturing and Materials Award. Dr. To was recognized for his research in design optimization for additive manufacturing, multiscale methods, and computational mechanics. He is actively working on developing “Lattice Structure Design Optimization” software for generating optimal lightweight design for 3D printing. Gregory Reed, PhD, professor of electrical and computer engineering and Director of Pitt’s Center for Energy and the Energy GRID Institute, was one of two honorable mention recipients in the Innovation in Energy category. Dr. Reed is recognized internationally for his research in advanced electric power grid and energy generation, transmission, and distribution system technologies; micro-grids and DC infrastructure development, renewable energy systems and integration; and smart grid technologies and applications. The Swanson School’s Investing Now program received an honorable mention in the Leadership in STEM Education category. Created in 1988, Investing Now a college preparatory program created to stimulate, support, and recognize the high academic performance of pre-college students from historically underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering and mathematics majors and careers. (Pictured from left: Justyce Hill, Kayla Ray, Nara Hernandez and Charlie Partlow) The Carnegie Science Awards champion efforts to strengthen science and technology in our region. This year’s winners range from a culinary arts teacher whose coursework extends beyond the conventional kitchen into food-science research and career exploration, to a tech start-up that secured $1 billion from Ford Motor Company. A committee of peers— past awardees and industry leaders— who rigorously reviewed nominations and selected the most deserving winners, selected winners. For more information about the awards celebration, go to CarnegieScienceCenter.org/Awards.“The Carnegie Science Awards applaud some of the most exciting leaders and innovators in our region’s science community,” said Ron Baillie, Henry Buhl, Jr., Co-Director of Carnegie Science Center. “They helped make Pittsburgh the technology hub it has become and inspire the young people who will become the next generation of professionals in the STEM fields of science, engineering, technology, and math.”Ann Metzger, Henry Buhl, Jr., Co-Director of Carnegie Science Center, said the awards are an integral part of the mission of promoting STEM education, which will be energized later this year when the Science Center’s PPG Science Pavilion opens in June and provides additional state-of-the-art classroom space. “Winners of the Carnegie Science Awards represent the pinnacle of excellence in STEM fields and STEM education,” Metzger said. “We are thrilled to recognize our amazing awardees and expect them to continue to do us proud with their accomplishments in the future.”Through the support of committed sponsors, the Carnegie Science Awards program has honored the accomplishments of more than 550 individuals and organizations. Eaton is the presenting sponsor for the Carnegie Science Awards. Chevron is the prime sponsor. ### About Carnegie Science Center Carnegie Science Center is dedicated to inspiring learning and curiosity by connecting science and technology with everyday life. By making science both relevant and fun, the Science Center’s goal is to increase science literacy in the region and motivate young people to seek careers in science and technology. One of the four Carnegie Museums of Pittsburgh, the Science Center is Pittsburgh’s premier science exploration destination, reaching more than 700,000 people annually through its hands-on exhibits, camps, classes, and off-site education programs.

Jan

Jan
22
2018

Small Chapter, Big Win

Diversity, Student Profiles

KANSAS CITY, MO. (January 22, 2018) … The Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers (SHPE) chose the University of Pittsburgh chapter as the National Outstanding Small Chapter of the Year for its efforts promoting diversity among students, advancing members academically and professionally, and encouraging students to engage with Hispanic culture.“It’s great to get national attention for all the hard work the students have put into this amazing resource for—not only Hispanic students—but the University community as a whole,” said Simeon Saunders, academic counselor at Pitt and chapter advisor. “The chapter is a small, inspired group. They continue to impress us here at Pitt and those at the SHPE national conference.”The SHPE determines the award recipient based on an annual assessment of the chapter’s activities called the National Reporting Program (NRP). The report summarizes the chapter’s progress and highlights in the categories of: Professional Development Academic Development Leadership Development Chapter Development Outreach and Community Service “A major contributor for this award was the strength of Pitt SHPE’s events, which included the annual Dia de le Raza, Noche de Ciencias, and Chocolate Night,” added Saunders.Throughout the year, Pitt SHPE hosts speakers to encourage professional development for students, study groups to improve grades, and outreach programs to help the Pittsburgh community. They also offer a variety of events to get University of Pittsburgh students interested in Hispanic culture.Current Pitt SHPE officers include: President: Alexander Mangus External Vice President: Joanna Rivero  Internal Vice President: Edward Ledesma Treasurer: Daniel Quiroga Secretary: Charles Butler III Outreach Chair: Mateus Pinho Social Chair: Olivia Lazarchick Academic Excellence Chair: Kaitlin Resendes Freshman Chairs: Valeria Tupac Yupanqui and Alexandra Zaharan Graduate Ambassador: Jorge Torres Faculty Advisors: Simeon Saunders and Dr. Irene Mena SHPE granted the award on November 4, 2017.About SHPEThe Society of Hispanic Professional Engineers comprises a national network of more than 300 chapters. SHPE’s mission is to change lives by empowering the Hispanic community to realize its fullest potential and to impact the world through STEM awareness, access, support, and development. SHPE provides a variety of programming, services, and resources including hosting the largest Hispanic STEM conference in the nation.The SHPE University of Pittsburgh Student Chapter was established in 2001 by Dr. Sylvanus N. Wosu, Assistant Dean for Diversity. This group of dedicated undergraduate and graduate students works hard to promote diversity at Pitt, Hispanic culture, and the STEM fields. ###
Matt Cichowicz, Communications Writer