In this issue of Innovations, we share the compelling stories of people in our college who define the word innovate. These individuals think ahead and leverage engineering in ways you may not expect. These individuals are defining the new engineer, and if they do not touch your life today, they will soon.
For example, Professors Mohammad Faghri and Constantine Anagnostopoulos garnered worldwide headlines this year for their lab-on-chip technology. Their credit card-size device delivers blood test results in just 30 minutes. Soon, the technology will integrate into your smartphone and provide health care at your fingertips. The idea sprang not from a medical school or a medical device maker, but from engineers.
Professors Arijit Bose, Geoff Bothun and Vinka Oyanedel-Craver are in a race to apply nano-technology to containing oceanic oil spills. Their research fills a void Americans sadly discovered after the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster sent millions of gallons of oil into the Gulf of Mexico.
Of course, we also teach in unexpected ways. Professor Keunhan Park relies on Legos and a solid dose of charisma to teach complex nano-science topics to our next-generation of engineers. Meanwhile our students, like biomedical engineering major Brittany Alphonse, have set their sights on solving challenges we cannot imagine today.
Beyond the bounds of campus, our alumni are innovating for companies around the globe. Alumnus Jim Cafone (’88, ’90) at Pfizer manages a supply network that sends life-saving medicine around the world. Others manage space programs, run multimillion-dollar companies, serve in our armed forces and construct the transportation infrastructure we take for granted.
Our students, faculty and alumni all understand how innovation solves many of today’s challenges and will provide answers to challenges we have yet to face. I welcome you to read about them in the following pages.
Raymond M. Wright, Ph.D., P.E.