Happy tidings -- 2013 in review

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January 9, 2014

The new year of 2014 rolled in with a chilly start, but not even a polar vortex can cool off the accomplishments of the MSU College of Engineering during 2013.

As planning for 2014 continues, the changes and successes of 2013 will shape the upcoming year. Here is a sampling of activities and momentum in 2013 and a foreshadow of things to come.

Highlights of the accomplishments include:

  • In January, Department of Computer Science and Engineering University Distinguished Professor Anil Jain received the 2013 Most Cited Paper Award from Pattern Recognition Letters for the article "Data clustering: 50 years beyond K-means", Pattern Recognition Letters, vol. 31, no. 8, pp. 651-666, June 2010. He joins a very exclusive group of top researchers who have reached the 100,000 citations milestone. According to Google Scholar, his h-index of 138 is the second highest among computer scientists, behind only that of the late Nobel laureate Herbert A. Simon.Snowy scenes greeted students to begin classes.
  • Three faculty members in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science received National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Awards in 2013. Richard Lunt received the award in January for his work to develop transparent photovoltaics. Tim Whitehead, who also has an appointment in Biosystems & Agricultural Engineering, received the award in May to convert cellulosic biomass to next-generation fuels and value-added chemicals. Jason D. Nicholas received an award in August that will support his research on Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs).
  • In February, a new “Innovation and Creative Thinking” themed floor was dedicated in Wilson Hall, sponsored by Robert Bosch LLC. Through a contribution from the Bosch Community Fund, Bosch became a corporate partner in the Engineering Theme Partnership program, and will be involved with both the academic and co-curricular activities of the CoRe Experience for first-year engineering students.
  • Dean Satish Udpa was promoted to MSU executive vice president for administrative services in March. Leo Kempel was chosen as acting dean, and Karim Chatti was named acting associate dean for research.
  • In April, the U.S. Department of Energy renewed funding for the Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center (GLBRC) - granting the University of Wisconsin and MSU researchers $125 million to continue work on advanced biofuels.
  • Ground was broken for the new Bio Engineering Facility in June. This project involves a four-story research laboratory building that is designed to facilitate interdisciplinary research and interaction amongst researchers from a variety of disciplines.
  • Bruce Dale, professor of chemical engineering and materials science, and Fang Peng, professor in electrical engineering, were among the nine MSU faculty members named as MSU University Distinguished Professors in June 2013.
  • Since July, faculty and staff in the College of Engineering have been teaming up with the National Center for Women and Information Technology (NCWIT) to recruit more women to IT-related fields. MSU faculty and administrators participating in the NCWIT launch include Laura Dillon, Judy Cordes, Drew Kim, Teresa Vandersloot, Tim Grotjohn, Alex Diaz and Daina Briedis.
  • September saw the Fraunhofer Center for Coatings and Laser Applications (CCL) celebrate its 10-year collaboration with MSU as a research partner.
  • In October, the MSU Board of Trustees announced plans to open a new value chain research institute in Midland, Mich., focusing on value chain creation and management and tackling many of today’s grand challenges in business. MSU faculty from the College of Engineering, the Broad College of Business, the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, and the College of Social Science will be involved in the research. The institute will offer graduate studies in value chain management, as well as on-site and online non-degree courses and certificate programs.
  • In November, an investiture ceremony provided a formal welcome of Kalyanmoy Deb as the first holder of the Herman E. and Ruth J. Koenig Endowed Chair in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The Koenig Chair was made possible by a generous endowment established by Roger Koenig and his wife, Nancy Pierce, and provides funding in perpetuity that enables the college to attract and retain eminent scholars like Dr. Deb, as well as top graduate students and an increasingly strong pool of junior faculty that will be drawn to his mentorship.
  • In December, the MSU Transportation Center on Highway Pavement Preservation was designated as a U.S. Department of Transportation Tier 1 University Transportation Center. The center, headed by Karim Chatti, will lead a national consortium whose mission is to develop new strategies for extending pavement life.

College of Engineering faculty members and students were recognized in 2013 for significant academic, research, and distinguished career service accomplishments. Here's a look at some of the accomplishments.

Year in review for 2013: Month by month year in review.