Summer 2016

New Dual Degree At WSE

A new Johns Hopkins dual degree program will be offered this fall that allows students to earn a bachelor’s degree in engineering and an MBA within five years. Students pursuing a dual degree will begin with their bachelor’s degree courses at the Whiting School of Engineering during years one through three. In year four, students…

Curbing Air Pollution At WSE

A new interdisciplinary science team, led by experts from Yale and Johns Hopkins and funded by the Environmental Protection Agency, will study how power generation trends, climate change, and public policy interact to affect air quality. A key goal of the project: to trace how the resulting changes in air pollution may affect the health…

How the Brain Behaves At WSE

The Kavli Neuroscience Discovery Institute at Johns Hopkins University, launched in early 2016, brings an interdisciplinary group of researchers together to investigate the workings of the brain. Funded by a joint $20 million commitment by the Kavli Foundation and Johns Hopkins, the institute integrates neuroscience, engineering, and data science to understand the relationship between the…

In High Regard At WSE

Jordan Green, an associate professor of biomedical engineering, was selected to receive the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers—the U.S. government’s highest honor for scientists and engineers in the early stages of their research careers. Green studies biomaterials, drug delivery, gene therapy, and cell engineering. His research includes using tiny, biodegradable particles to teach…

Made in the USA At WSE

The U.S. Air Force has awarded two contracts totaling $1.48 million to the Energetics Research Group, based within the Whiting School of Engineering, to help set the stage for the next generation of U.S.-made rocket engines. The funding will be used to reduce the risks associated with new technologies that may replace the Russian-made RD-180 engine. The…

Fighting the Bite At WSE

Students, researchers, and health professionals gathered on the Homewood campus in April for a weekend-long Emergency Zika Challenge to find innovative ways to prevent the spread of the disease through protection from mosquito bites. Modeled after an exercise to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus by developing a protective suit for health care workers,…

At the Cutting Edge At WSE

On the seventh floor of the Johns Hopkins Hospital’s Carnegie Building, in what once was a postoperative recovery room, biomedical engineering students are designing tools, algorithms, and imaging systems that could shape the future of surgery. A giant video screen is on 24/7, linking the new Carnegie Center for Surgical Innovation to the BME Design Studio on…

Trending Impact

“It was painful to me, as an engineer, to see how badly we had failed society.”  2/16/16, Baltimore Sun Judy Mitrani-Reiser, civil engineering professor and a leading expert in the field of disaster resilience, describing her reaction to visiting Chile days after a massive earthquake hit the South American nation in 2010.   “The goal is to create a virtual…

Upstarts Impact

Disruptive ideas, findings, and products.

Going All-Optical Impact

One one-millionth of a second may sound rather brief to most of us, but to Jacob Khurgin, professor of electrical and computer engineering, it is eternity. “Ten to the minus-sixth seconds,” he muses, “is way too slow.” Khurgin believes that there could be a speedier way to process information than our computers are able to perform…

The ‘Charlie Sheen Effect’ Impact

After actor Charlie Sheen disclosed his HIV-positive status on NBC’s Today show last November, millions took to the Internet to find out more about HIV, according to a new study led by computer scientist Mark Dredze and two Whiting School alumni. The multi-institution study, published Feb. 22 by JAMA Internal Medicine, found record highs in…

Blocking the Bounce Impact

When a rubber ball or block falls to the floor, it bounces. Yet, recently, an architected rubber block made by mechanical engineer Sung Hoon Kang sat motionless when dropped. The block’s lack of movement inspired Kang and his colleagues to further investigate the potential to alter energy absorption in architected materials. To do so, the…

Seeing Is Believing Impact

The quest to create a camera that can see the way we see—continuously, selectively, alert to movement and meaning—is the challenge facing Ralph Etienne-Cummings, chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and an expert on human senses and the digital processes that one day may replicate or even exceed them. Etienne-Cummings is a specialist…

All Lit Up Impact

The membranes of our bodies’ cells contain signaling proteins called receptors. By interacting with peptides, drugs, hormones, and other molecules, receptors control the cell’s response to its environment. These protein interactions are implicated in diseases like cancer. But scientists don’t fully understand them, which has limited the development of effective drugs. “When you’re trying to target…

Backpedaling on Bike Ownership Impact

Bicycling has been shown to improve health and reduce the carbon footprint—which makes the results of a recent Whiting School study all the more discouraging. The study—published in the Journal of Transport & Health by Sauleh Siddiqui, assistant professor of civil engineering, and Olufolajimi Oke, a civil engineering PhD candidate—found that the number of bicycle owners plummeted nearly 50 percent over the…

Tech Tools: Drop It Like It’s Hot Impact

We’ve all seen movies where an asteroid collision is avoided because it was demolished in space. But could that actually happen? How does an asteroid absorb energy when hit? How does it break apart? Researchers within the university’s Hopkins Extreme Materials Institute are on a mission to protect people, structures, and the planet by analyzing…

New Thinking in Antibiotic Resistance Impact

The theory of evolution states that living organisms evolve to be fitter for survival. Conventional wisdom is that organisms become fitter through progressively more beneficial gene mutations. But new research by chemical and biomolecular engineering professor Marc Ostermeier provides an intriguing counterexample. He has found that mutations with poor intermediate outcomes can eventually lead to a fitter…

Bridging the Past Features

By looking back in time to study the evolution of covered bridges, Rachel Sangree equips students with wisdom they need to design structures of tomorrow. Early-morning sunshine floods the interior of the Gilpin’s Falls Covered Bridge in Cecil County, Maryland. It bathes the trusses, arches, wood deck, and lateral braces in a thick amber haze….

Good Behavior Features

Paul Ferraro is looking to win-win incentives to save the Chesapeake Bay—and the planet. By Mary Beth Regan  Photos by Chris Hartlove  When Paul Ferraro was a young, idealistic biologist working to preserve the eastern forests of Madagascar, a chance encounter with an economist sparked the idea that, just perhaps, he should consider the behavior…

Facing the Future Features

By creating ready-to-implant plastic bone that can turn into living tissue, Warren Grayson and his team aim to improve life dramatically for patients undergoing facial reconstructive surgery. by Douglas Birch photos by Howard Korn Close your eyes and try to think of a friend or family member, says Warren Grayson. What do you see in…

Modeling Truss Designs of Yesteryear Students

Claudio Malicdem was born more than a century too late to work on constructing any of the approximately 10,000 covered wooden truss bridges that spanned waterways in America from the mid-1800s to the early 21st century. Yet over the last year, he has spent close to 500 hours working to replicate four of the most famous wooden truss bridge styles in miniature.

Giving CT a Closer Look Students

Minutes before his doctoral oral exam, Qian Cao checked his email and got a thrilling surprise: The PhD candidate had been chosen for a coveted Howard Hughes Medical Institute International Student Research Fellowship, awarded to just 45 international predoctoral students studying in the United States. “I was overloaded with happiness that day,” remembers Cao, now…

Hands-On at Barclay Students

Sixth-grader Ryan Boyce eyes the tangle of straws, wooden dowels, and duct tape in his hand. He’s sitting in a classroom at Barclay Elementary/Middle School, where his science class, along with 13 Johns Hopkins undergrads, is tackling an engineering challenge: Each team must create a working claw with moving parts that can lift trinkets and…

The Power of Chocolate Students

While most are familiar with the rich taste of chocolate, few know what that sweet deliciousness looks like under a scanning electron microscope or in the graphs produced by an X-ray diffractometer. (Hint: With its craggy surface studded with crystals of sugar and fat globules of cocoa butter, chocolate resembles the surface of an alien…

Armed to Succeed Students

Lydia Carroll’s ’16 undergraduate major—biomedical engineering—is a sweet spot at the intersection of two passions: neuroscience and “building stuff.” So a 2015 summer internship with the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory’s prosthetics group felt like nothing short of heaven. “It’s phenomenally cool stuff,” says Carroll. Carroll was part of SPUR, the Summer Program in…

Meeting Needs in Rural India Students

When Param Shah ’18 traveled to the Himalayas in India on a service trip nearly three years ago, he was struck by the country’s astounding beauty—and overwhelming need of some who live there. “I saw that children and adults with disabilities did not have a voice in society and were not getting the medical attention…

REWIND: Bob Scanlan’s ‘Second Wind’ Alumni

At an age when others were retiring, he advanced the field of aerodynamics and aeroelasticity of high-rise buildings and long-span bridges. Robert Scanlan had already established himself as an international expert in aeronautics and aeroelasticity—his Introduction to the Study of Aircraft Vibration and Flutter was a classic text in the field—when he came to Johns…

Up and Comer Alumni

David Narrow, MSE ’13, the CEO of Sonavex, a company aimed at improving outcomes for surgical patients by providing clinicians cutting-edge visualization through imaging technology, has been named one of Forbes’ 30 Under 30 notable health care industry entrepreneurs. Forbes recognized Narrow, 25, for his company’s EchoSure technology, which was developed at Johns Hopkins and…

Sharing a Slice of the Action Alumni

On Super Bowl Sunday, David Gibbs ’85 and his wife, Sharon, of Dallas, Texas, were in the stadium, watching the game unfold. But while most of America was focused on the showdown on the field, Gibbs, then CEO of Pizza Hut Inc., was keeping close tabs on his cellphone. “I was getting minute-by-minute updates,” he…

Clean Water Maven Alumni

Debra McCarty ’79, Philadelphia Water Department commissioner, is the first woman to hold that post in the agency’s 200-year history. For 34 years, the intricacies of supplying clean water to 1.61 million people has been her round-the-clock preoccupation. A Baltimore native and environmental engineering major at Johns Hopkins, McCarty became a Philadelphia Water Department sanitary…

Destination: Cancer Care Alumni

When Michael Zinner ’67 arrived in Miami on March 1 as the founding CEO and executive medical director of the brand-new Miami Cancer Institute, it was both a homecoming for the South Florida native and the culmination of a celebrated medical career rooted in the inquiry-based approaches he first learned as an electrical engineering major…

Making Conversation Easier Alumni

KITT.AI, a new Seattle-based artificial intelligence startup whose founders include two Whiting School alumni, has landed funding from Founders’ Co-Op, Amazon’s Alexa Fund, and Madrona Venture Group. The company’s mission: to make natural language understanding—conversational interactions with nonhuman intelligences—easily accessible to nonexpert developers. Company co-founders include Guoguo Chen, MS ’13, PhD ’16, an expert in…

Memory Maker Alumni

When Alex Mullen ’14 pulled out a victory last December in the World Memory Championships, he surprised even himself. “I didn’t expect to win,” says Mullen, who was running second throughout the   competition held in Chengdu, China. But in a white-knuckle finish, he memorized the sequence of a deck of cards in 21.504 seconds, breaking…

Engineering the Financial World Alumni

Many students choose a major because the subject comes easily to them. Not Chris Perretta ’79—he chose electrical engineering at the Whiting School expressly because it was a challenge. “It was always hard for me,” he remembers. “I got the sense that if it’s hard, it must be worth doing.” Tackling new challenges has been…

From the Dean From The Dean

Dear Whiting School Community, As the Whiting School embarks on new initiatives aimed at realizing the promise of engineering’s role in health care and medicine, including the launch of the Malone Center for Engineering in Healthcare, it is easy for us to take for granted the ease with which our faculty and students partner with…