McCormick Magazine

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From the Dean


Dean Julio OttinoGreetings from McCormick.

At McCormick, our faculty and students work on projects that have global and local impact. In this issue, you will read about our students’ and professors’ work on global health, from developing health care decision-making models and high-tech sensors with our collaborators at the Feinberg School of Medicine to projects conducted through a study abroad program in South Africa. Students on campus and in Cape Town work on finding low-cost solutions to medical problems in developing countries. They have developed a new way to remove HIV from breast milk and a low-cost placenta model to train midwives. I am continually impressed with how much these students can do when given important problems to solve in resource-scarce settings.

We also feature Professor David Kelso’s HIV test for infants. This ingenious low-cost test has been years in the making; we are just now seeing results from field tests in Africa. All signs point to success, and Dave has created a nonprofit foundation to manufacture and market the test. This is a great way to bring important products to market that would not make a large corporation’s bottom line.

Another theme in this issue is our partnership with the Feinberg School of Medicine. This is an ongoing collaboration that both schools have encouraged and fostered over the past several years by placing engineering faculty in the medical school, cohosting seminars and workshops, and developing new curricula. We are beginning to see the outcomes of these initiatives. Professor Sanjay Mehrotra is bridging operations research with medical decision making, and one of Sanjay’s students, Jonathan Turner, was hired by Northwestern Memorial Hospital to continue to improve processes there. Other professors are collaborating to create better medical devices: Chang Liu is using his state-of-the-art sensors in medical applications, and several of our professors work with the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago to create better prosthetics. We can expect many more innovations to come from the intersection of engineering and medicine.

We also feature NUvention: Web, an interdisciplinary course run by McCormick’s Farley Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation. NUvention: Web offers a unique curriculum that guides our students through the innovation and entrepreneurship processes. Several groups of students have created successful companies after the completion of the course. It’s another example of our desire to form graduates with technical excellence balanced with a creative, innovative, and entrepreneurial skill set. In short, whole-brain™ engineers.

As always, I welcome your feedback.

Julio M. Ottino, Dean | October 2011