Udpa's Update

Satish UdpaWelcome to another issue of e-Currents. In each issue of this newsletter, we share with you how we - together with all of you, our alumni - are engineering a healthier, safer, and more sustainable world.

As we settle into a busy summer in the College of Engineering, please join me in congratulating the members of the College of Engineering class of 2011. These talented engineers have compiled a most impressive list of achievements during their undergraduate careers at MSU. One of them, Kaitlin Tyler, was named a Goldwater Scholar this spring - the 9th in the college in the past 10 years - and Brian Rockwell was named Academic All-Big Ten in men's swimming and diving. You can read about them in this issue of e-Currents.

But sometimes, it's not solely about academic performance. Ryan Hunt, an electrical engineering senior, and Adam Rainbolt, a mechanical engineering senior, recently teamed up to save a pregnant 28-year-old Bay City woman from her burning vehicle after a car accident. Read the full story at mlive.com.

Click on the featured photo in the right-hand column of this issue of e-Currents to learn how one of our mechanical engineering alums - Sami Al-Araji - is getting Michigan businesses involved in rebuilding Iraq.

We are also very proud of our faculty and the recognition they receive for their many significant efforts. Wen Li received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award - the 9th faculty member in the college to receive this honor within the past two years. Two faculty members - Steven Shaw and Ning Xi - have just been named University Distinguished Professors. Norbert Mueller's wave disk engine and Anil Jain's work in our Pattern Recognition and Image Processing Lab have been receiving extensive media attention on a regular basis, including coverage by CNN, Scientific American, and Popular Science.

I regret to report that Professor Ronald Harichandran, long-time chairperson of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, will be departing to take a position as dean of the University of New Haven's College of Engineering, effective August 1. We wish him the best. Professor Neeraj Buch will serve as interim chair.

Finally, with this issue of e-Currents, I am pleased to introduce a new feature - a regular report from the College of Engineering Alumni Association Board. I have invited Joe Gentile, board chair, to begin a conversation with you on matters involving the worldwide community of Spartan Engineers. I think you will find these reports to be both interesting and informative.

But remember, communication works both ways. We want to hear what you are doing and how you are engineering a healthier, safer, and more sustainable world. We invite you to share your Spartan Saga at http://spartansagas.msu.edu/share/.