Fall 2010

STEMming the Brain Drain Features

Against a dismal backdrop, our experts champion fresh ideas for making STEM–science, technology, engineering, and mathematics–a national priority. The country’s future depends on it.

Collateral Damage Features

In her research on the structural damage wrought by earthquakes and hurricanes, assistant professor Judith Mitrani-Reiser thinks broadly.

Planning for Failure Features

Last spring’s massive oil spill off the Gulf Coast left responders scrambling to deal with the aftermath. What lessons did we learn? Three Hopkins engineers offer their expertise from the field.

Letter from the Dean From The Dean

On the afternoon of September 15, alumni, friends, faculty, students, and staff gathered on the Decker Quad to celebrate the naming of Hackerman Hall, the Whiting School of Engineering’s newest research facility, and to thank Willard ’38 and Lillian Hackerman for their decades of support for the school and Johns Hopkins.

Gained in Translation Big Ideas

If you’ve ever used Google Translate, you know that you can instantly get a surprisingly serviceable translation between major languages such as English, Spanish, and French. That’s because the search engine giant has billions of dollars and a huge corpus of words to draw upon. But for languages with fewer speakers—or merely less available written…

Lighting the Way Out of Poverty Big Ideas

ALUMNI MAKING NEWS: Peter McPhee, MS ’07 is helping provide impoverished populations, including thousands of displaced Haitians, with renewable energy products that improve safety and quality of life.

NSF CAREER Awards Big Ideas

Using Legos, control science, and earthquake simulation, three Whiting School faculty receive the NSF’s prestigious CAREER award–honoring young researchers who show great promise.

The Shape Autism Takes Big Ideas

RESEARCH: A brain imaging technique developed by Hopkins engineers has revealed subtle but important differences in the brains of autistic children.

An Attention-Grabbing Finding Big Ideas

RESEARCH: The “cocktail party effect” is the subject of a new 5-year NSF-funded research effort led by Electrical and Computer Engineering’s Mounya Elhilali.

Research Briefs Big Ideas

Updates on new research initiatives at the Whiting School.

The Buzz Big Ideas

Engineering terms in the news.

Reds Wolman 1924 – 2010 Currents

Generations of students, colleagues, family and friends remember Reds Wolman.

Barbie Goes Binary Code Currents

ALUMNI MAKING NEWS: Erin Fitzgerald MSE ’04, PhD ’09 was tapped by Mattel through the National Academy of Engineering to consult on Barbie’s first-ever foray into computer engineering.

Whiting School Scores Currents

RESULTS: Student teams from the School of Engineering have tested their engineering mettle in a variety of milieus over the past months.

Alum Has Good Karma Currents

ALUMNI MAKING NEWS: Sapna Rohra ’07 teaches Bollywood classes, works as a choreographer and dancer.

WSE Weathers Financial Storm Currents

INTERVIEW: Jim Aumiller, the Whiting School’s associate dean for finance and administration, discusses how key decisions have put Whiting on a path to fiscal success.

“Reds” Wolman’s Legacy Currents

IN MEMORIAM: M. Gordon “Reds” Wolman, an internationally respected expert in river science, water resource management, and environmental education, a member of the National Academy of Engineering, and a faculty member at Johns Hopkins for more than half a century, died at his home in Baltimore on Feb. 24, 2010.

Remembering Alan J. Goldman Currents

IN MEMORIAM: Alan J. Goldman, a faculty member in the Whiting School’s Department of Applied Mathematics and Statistics, died on February 13, 2010.

Hackerman Hall Dedicated Currents

DEDICATION: The Whiting School’s newest research incubator, Hackerman Hall, was dedicated on September 15, 2010.

Mourning Fred Jelinek Currents

IN MEMORIAM: Fred Jelinek, director of the Center for Language and Speech Processing and a pioneer in computer research, died suddenly on September 14, 2010.

Alumni Mentors Share Expertise Currents

ALUMNI PROFILE: John Helwig ’04 volunteers with the Society of Engineering Alumni’s (SEA) Mentoring Program.

Hopkins Full Circle Currents

STUDENT PROFILE: Brian Shell ’12 achieves his dream of studying at Johns Hopkins, thanks to the engineering school’s most coveted merit-based scholarship.

Bjerkaas Retires Currents

Allan Bjerkaas, the Whiting School of Engineering’s associate dean for Engineering for Professionals (EP), retired this fall after 36 years of service.

Smith Takes Over EP Currents

Dexter G. Smith is named associate dean for Engineering for Professionals (EP).

Bouwer Receives Named Professorship Currents

Edward J. Bouwer, professor and chair of the Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering, is installed as the Abel Wolman Professor in Environmental Engineering

Alumni Awards Currents

Several alumni are honored for their service and commitment to the Whiting School.

Mechanical Engineering Gets Creative Final Exam

Mechanical engineer Reuben Kraft, PhD ’08, painted this artistic interpretation of the colorful results of his doctoral research in modeling fractures in brittle materials.