McCormick Magazine

From the Dean

Greetings from McCormick


jmoOur cover story in this issue of McCormick magazine is one that illustrates the tremendous impact that engineering has on our world. Dave Kelso and his team have led significant efforts in applying our engineering strengths to problems of global health. The result covered in the story, a $1 diagnostic test for HIV, shows incredible potential for transforming medical care in underserved areas.

The story is also an excellent entry into the broader subject of international engagement, the theme for this issue. McCormick has a long history of strong partnerships with collaborators around the world, but we have now embarked on a new strategic effort to bring these relationships to an even higher level. Through an initiative called Global McCormick and led by Professor Vinayak Dravid, we have developed a comprehensive picture of our international collaborations and are prioritizing areas of future growth and collaboration. You can learn more about Global McCormick at

In the stories that follow, we feature several of the exciting international projects undertaken by McCormick faculty and students. We are also pleased to highlight three of our new junior faculty members who are bringing new ideas and research to McCormick. We also include profiles of two new professors, Dirk Brockmann and Noshir Contractor. On the inside back cover, we highlight McCormick's upcoming Centennial. Look for more details this summer.

Many alumni have expressed interest in how the financial condition of Northwestern has been affected by the recession. While Northwestern's endowment has suffered significant losses, financial prudence has left the University in a relatively strong position moving forward. President Henry S. Bienen outlined our financial situation in a message to the entire Northwestern community, which you can read here:

Given the financial challenges facing our world, it is more important than ever to have a lucid sense of direction and a well-defined vision for our future. Engineering thrives on constraints, and the current upheaval finds us well prepared to deal with changes and pursue opportunities.

Inserted into this issue is A Compass for the Future: The State of McCormick 2009, which includes a description of our strategy as well as succinct summaries of our new initiatives, ongoing activities, and metrics that chart our progress. We've made great strides over the past four years but still have much more to do. I hope that you will take the time to learn more about our vision for McCormick's future.

As always, I welcome your feedback.


Julio M. Ottino, Dean | April 2009