McCormick Magazine

McCormick News


schapiroSchapiro named Northwestern president
Morton Owen Schapiro, president of Williams College, professor of economics, and one of the country's leading experts in the economics of higher education, has been named president of Northwestern. Schapiro, 55, will become the University's 16th president on September 1. He will succeed Henry S. Bienen, who will step down after his 14-year presidency.

Schapiro has been president of Williams since 2000. Before that, he was dean of the College of Letters, Arts, and Sciences at the University of Southern California. He previously was on the faculty of Williams from 1980 to 1991 as professor of economics and assistant provost.

"Northwestern has a long tradition of excellence," Schapiro said. "This is a tremendous opportunity to go to one of the best major research universities in the country."

baxterBaxter and Northwestern target new life sciences projects

Northwestern University and Baxter Healthcare Corporation have created a multidisciplinary research and innovation alliance. Under the three-year renewable agreement, Baxter will fund research collaboration projects at Northwestern. Funding for each year will be approximately $1 million, with Baxter determining specific funding levels on a case-by-case basis. These projects will be aligned with Baxter's diversified business model and will focus on new therapeutics, biomedical and device engineering, biomaterials, and drug-delivery technologies.

Faculty from across the University will conduct the research. A committee of senior research and development leaders from Northwestern and Baxter will assist in the identification of potential projects. The McCormick School's Office of Corporate Relations will administer the alliance.

McCormick has similar partnerships with Honeywell International, Ford Motor Company, and the Boeing Company.

McCormick in the media

A team of researchers led by Vadim Backman, professor of biomedical engineering, has developed a way to examine cell biopsies and detect never-before-detectable evidence of early-stage pancreatic cancer. He has also developed an optical technique shown to be effective in detecting the presence of pancreatic cancer through analysis of neighboring tissue in the duodenum. Stories about these new technologies appeared in a variety of media outlets, including The Guardian and the Chicago Tribune.

Noshir Contractor
, the Jane S. and William J. White Professor of Behavioral Sciences and professor of industrial engineering and management sciences, communication studies, and management and organizations, and his collaborators received media attention after presenting their research at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His group is studying nearly 60 terabytes of data from EverQuest II, a massive multiplayer online role-playing fantasy game in which players complete quests and socialize with each other (see article titled "What virtual worlds can teach us about reality). Their work was featured in Scientific American and the Los Angeles Times blog and on and the web site Ars Technica.

Yonggang Huang,
the Joseph Cummings Professor in civil and environmental engineering and mechanical engineering, was featured in Popular Science magazine for his work developing twistable, bendable, and stretchable electronics (shown right).

NSBENSBE wins awards

Members of Northwestern's chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers traveled to their fall regional conference and took home several awards. The chapter's Academic Technical Bowl team took first place in the regional competition. Team members included Okechukwu Chika (electrical engineering '09), Reginald Sandy (biomedical engineering '11), Evan Dickerson-Rusan (electrical engineering '11), and Taju Sanusi (biomedical engineering '12).

Other winners included Zuri Hemphill (biomedical engineering '11), who placed third for her research in memory alloy stents, and Uchenna Moka (biomedical engineering '09), who took first place for her research on the formation of pancreatic islets in the developing mouse.

kmc teamBiomedical student team wins awards

A team of undergraduate students from the McCormick School recently won two prizes for creating a device called the KMC ApneAlert, which is attached to a baby to monitor its breathing and alerts the mother if the baby stops breathing. Such a device is needed in the developing world, where incubators and heart-rate monitors used to monitor premature babies are rare.

Designed by biomedical engineering undergraduates Alec Zopf, Shonali Midha, Kurt Qing, Lauren Hart Smith (shown right, from left), and James Yang, the device was named one of the top ten finalists in the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovation Technology Prize for Primary Healthcare competition. The team received a $10,000 award and is now in the running for the top $150,000 prize. Last year the device won the Biomedical Engineering Innovation, Design, and Entrepreneurship Award from the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance.

Farley Center alumni event

The Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation will host its inaugural alumni event and speaker series on May 21. The event will examine current and future trends in the areas of entrepreneurship, innovation, and design. For more information, visit

McCormick redesigns its web site

Have you visited lately? McCormick has redesigned the web site to create a better user experience. It now features even more news and events information as well as videos, program information, and much more.