McCormick Magazine

McCormick News


rich lueptow and ajit tamhaneNew dean’s office appointments
The McCormick School recently restructured the Office of the Dean, making new appointments and altering duties. Ajit Tamhane, professor and chair of industrial engineering and management sciences, joined the office as senior associate dean for planning and graduate studies. Tamhane is responsible for faculty hiring, building planning and renovation projects, and graduate studies. Rich Lueptow, professor of mechanical engineering, was appointed senior associate dean last year. Lueptow now serves as senior associate dean for operations and research. He oversees research, administrative, and financial operations.

Copenhagen comes to Tech
One night in September 1941 the Nobel Prize–winning German physicist Werner Heisenberg visited his friend and mentor Niels Bohr in Nazi-occupied Denmark. The two went for a walk, and their conversation ended in an argument stemming from Heisenberg’s revelation that he was leading a research effort that might provide Nazi Germany with atomic weapons. In September three actors — including Matthew Grayson, assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer science — revisited that fateful conversation when the Tony Award–winning play Copenhagen by Michael Frayn was performed in the Technological Institute during Wildcat Welcome, Northwestern’s new student week.

McCormick in the media
Yonggang Huang, Joseph Cummings Professor in civil and environmental engineering and mechanical engineering, collaborated with researchers from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to create a camera based on the human eye. The device uses a new way of stretching electronics to allow them to conform to curved surfaces. Their research was featured on the cover of Nature in August, and dozens of media outlets — including the Chicago Tribune, Wired magazine, U.S. News & World Report, Reuters, and PC World — ran stories on the research.

The Northwestern Solar Car Team, which recently placed 13th in the North American Solar Challenge, was featured on CNN with commentary by team adviser Walter Herbst, clinical professor of mechanical engineering and director of McCormick’s Master of Product Development Program. That story was broadcast throughout the world, and McCormick friends reported seeing it in places as far away as Malaysia and Denmark.
Kristian Hammond, professor of electrical engineering and computer science, was featured in both Crain’s Chicago Business and TimeOut Chicago magazine this fall. Crain’s listed Hammond’s favorite television shows, web sites, and books as part of their “Info Junkie” feature. One of his projects, News at Seven, was featured in TimeOut Chicago in early October. That system automatically identifies who’s being talked about in the news, then finds images and videos that go along with that story. News at Seven was featured at Wired magazine’s Nextfest in Chicago’s Millennium Park, which showcased innovations that are transforming the world.

New programs for undergraduates
In September McCormick began offering a Certificate in Managerial Analytics in conjunction with the Kellogg School of Management. The program will teach undergraduates to apply their analytical skills to guide strategic as well as tactical business decisions in the context of finance, marketing, operations, and strategy. Kellogg also offers a financial economics certificate in partnership with the Judd A. and Marjorie Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences. That program, which began in September 2007, focuses on corporate finance, capital markets, and securities pricing and has been developed for undergraduates with a strong foundation in analytics, mathematics, and economics.

The Murphy Institute is a new program that enables a group of McCormick’s best undergraduates to engage in self-directed activities with support from faculty advisers. The invitation-only program allows students, known as Murphy Institute Scholars, to create their own curriculum, pursue a funded research or design project, and work with an interdisciplinary team of faculty fellows. Scholars also participate in a seminar series called Engineering Dialog, which covers topics like fighting disease in Africa with engineering solutions, emotional design, saving art through conservation science, and molecular electronic devices.

Tech plaza renovation
new tech plazaThe plaza in front of the Technological Institute has undergone a complete renovation this year. Throughout the summer and into the fall, workers installed new brick and stone paving, stone seat walls, accessible ramps, decorative lighting, and new planting beds and trees.

The landscape design includes 14 new Accolade elms (a disease-resistant hybrid) that will frame the courtyard with their classic urn shape. In addition, the plantings will include serviceberries, yews, hydrangea, spirea, and lilacs.

New engineering life sciences facility
A five-story addition to the Technological Institute will be built to house engineering life sciences programs. The facility will be a multidisciplinary center of research excellence designed to retain and attract the best faculty in the field of engineering life sciences. The addition, totaling 54,000 square feet, will occupy space on the north side of the Technological Institute between the B and C wings, currently a small parking lot. The two-year construction project is expected to begin in June 2009. The ground floor of the new building along with some adjoining space in the Technological Institute will be used for the Integrated Molecular Structure Education and Research Center, an improved and expanded version of the existing Analytical Services Laboratory, a facility that provides essential shared instrumentation for the analysis of molecules and materials. The building’s upper floors will provide core laboratory and office space for McCormick researchers whose work emphasizes the life sciences and their relation to engineering. The addition will not include any classroom space.