Alumni Updates '14-'15

  • Alan Chia (B.S. '05. Applied Physics) and Eiffel Zhang were married on September 9, 2014. (Spring 2015 Engineering Newsletter)
  • Matt Stiles Davis (Ph.D. '13, Plasma Physics) has had several of his cartoons published in The New Yorker. To view samples of his art work, type his name in the search engine on or check out The New Yorker Facebook page.
  • John Dwyer (Ph.D. '14, Applied Mathematics and winner of the 2015 Simon Prize) was recently featured in the Climate Central article, "Is Warming Changing Boundaries of Hurricane Season?" Dwyer is currently a postdoc at MIT.
  • Recent graduates of the Medical Physics Program are actively engaged in research at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). Hailiang Huang (M.S. ‘14 ) and Carl Philipp Gaebler (M.S. ’12) are named authors on an article by Dr. Guang Li, “Novel Spirometry Based on Optical Surface Imaging,” published in The Journal of Medical Physics.
  • Plasma Physics Alumni, Andrea Garofalo (Ph.D. '97), Brian Grierson (Ph.D. '09), Jeffrey Levesque (Ph.D. '13), and Steve Sabbagh (Ph.D. '90), presented new research on the stability and control of tokamak discharges at the 56th Annual Meeting of the APS Division of Plasma Physics.
  • Ky Harlin (B.S. '08 Applied Mathematics), the former director of data science at Buzzfeed, is now the first vice president of growth and data science at Conde Nast.
  • Chris Hegna (Ph.D. '89 Plasma Physics), won the 2014 John Dawson Award for Excellence in Plasma Physics Research.
  • Benjamin Jack (B.S. '07 Applied Mathematics) was featured in the article, "Board Rounds: Upgrading Emergency Care for the Mobile Age," in the Fall 2014 edition of Columbia Magazine.
  • Saurabh Jain (B.S. '02 Applied Mathematics) writes, “My wife, Seema, and I had our second son, Saarik, last March. My oldest, Aarav, just turned 3 in November. I am a partner at an investment firm called BHR Capital, based in New York. I am still playing lots of basketball and hope to see the Lions go all the way this year.” (Spring 2015 Engineering Newsletter)
  • Papot Jaroenapibal (B.S. '02 Materials Science and B.S. '02 Economics) writes, "After graduating from Columbia University in 2002, I attended the Ph.D. program at the University of Pennsylvania and graduated in 2007. After that I worked as a postdoc at the same university till 2009. Currently, I am an Assistant Professor at Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand. I am also holding a vice-director position for the Industry/University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) in HDD Component, Thailand. My current research topics include: Synthesis and characterization of nanomaterials, diamond-like carbon films, electron microscopy and tribological properties of materials."
  • Samantha John (B.S. '09 Applied Mathematics) was featured in the Spring 2015 Engineering Newsletter article, "Programming the Future" and in "Wonder Women: Five female tech entrepreneurs who never got the memo that the field was dominated by men" in United Hemispheres.
  • Oratai Jongprateep (B.S. '00 Materials Science, B.S. '02 Economics, and M.S. '02 Materials Science and Engineering) is an Assistant Professor at Kasetsart University, Bangkok, 10900, Thailand.
  • Christine Luu (B.S. '05 Applied Mathematics) finished her federal clerkship for a district judge in Memphis, and just joined the intellectual property department of Kirkland & Ellis, focusing on patent litigation, specifically infringement of medical devices. (Spring 2015 Engineering Newsletter)
  • After earning three degrees from Columbia in metallurgical engineering, Milton Ohring MS and DSc’64 taught metallurgy and materials science at the Stevens Institute of Technology. In addition to the expected teaching and research activities, he wrote four books published by Academic Press: The Materials Science of Thin Films (1992, 2nd Edition in 2002), Engineering Materials Science (1995), and Reliability and Failure of Electronic Materials and Devices (1998). However, it was in retirement that he returned to his first love, art, and, in particular, sculpture. He writes, “In the past dozen years or so I have created many pieces in stone and metal dealing with biblical and Holocaust themes, and exhibited them in various venues over the years. A sample of these works can be seen on my web page, I believe my Columbia education benefitted me in more than the usual ways.” (Spring 2015 Engineering Newsletter)
  • Alex Papandrew (B.S. '00 Materials Science) is a research assistant professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville (UTK). Prior to his appointment at UTK, he was a senior scientist at Superprotonic, Inc., in Pasadena, California, where he performed pioneering work on the first commercial fuel cells based on solid acid electrolytes. His Ph.D. work was conducted at the California Institute of Technology with support from a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship. At UTK, he is the institutional PI of a recently awarded ARPA-E grant for the development of nanocomposite fuel cell electrodes in partnership with Oak Ridge National Laboratory. His work is concentrated on advanced materials for energy storage and conversion, including intermediate-temperature electrochemical devices based on solid electrolytes, vapor-phase catalyst synthesis, and redox flow batteries.
  • Long Phan (B.S. '11 Materials Science) and David Ordinario (B.S. '11 Materials Science),  graduate students at the University of California,  Irvine, recently published the paper, "Infrared invisibility stickers inspired by cephalopods," in the Journal of Materials Chemistry C. Phan and Ordinario are members of the Gorodetsky Group for Biomolecular Electronics and are studying the development of infrared camouflage and reconfigurable biomimetic shapeshifter technology. The group's research has been featured in the Washington Post, "In the future, you may be able to turn invisible with this roll-on squid tape," in Popular Science, "Squid-Inspired Tape Could Help Camouflage Soldiers," and on CNN, "Can squid help make soldiers invisible?."
  • Jean-Michel Rendu (Mining Engineering, M.S.’68, Eng.Sc.D.’71) writes, “After more than 40 years in the mining industry, I am trying to retire while giving a few short courses at universities, writing technical books, and doing some consulting. Over the years, I had senior management roles in mining and consulting companies worldwide, wrote more than 50 technical papers, received multiple awards from the Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, and was elected a member of the U.S. National Academy of Engineering (1997). I now live in Santa Fe, NM, where my wife and I are enjoying the nice weather, relaxed atmosphere, and the multiple art activities that the city offers. I had a very enjoyable and successful career, which I attribute a great extent to the exceptional education which Columbia University offers to its students. (Spring 2015 Engineering Newsletter)
  • Steve Sabbagh (Ph.D. '90 Plasma Physics) visited the National Fusion Research Institute (NFRI) in Daejeon, South Korea to conduct an experiment on the KSTAR superconducting magnetic fusion tokamak device attempting to demonstrate plasma operation at high ratios of plasma pressure to magnetic field and plasma current (normalized beta) and to extend the understanding of plasma rotation control in the device.
  • Recently William T. Sha (Nuclear Engineering M.S.’60, Eng.Sc.D.’64) authored a book, Novel Porous Media Formulation for Multiphase Flow Conservation Equations, published by Cambridge University Press in 2011, and a paperback edition in 2013. Last year he published a paper, “Recent Improvements on Novel Porous Media Formulation for Multiphase Flow Conservation Equations,” in the International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer 73 (2014): 859-874. He has developed a theoretically derived multiphase flow conservation equation for the first time. He writes, “This is a major milestone for conservation of mass, momentum, and energy equations for multiphase flow.” (Spring 2015 Engineering Newsletter)

    In Memoriam - Vinod Kumar Vemuri (B.S. '11 Applied Math)
    We are very saddened to report that Vinod Kumar Vemuri recently passed away. A tribute was published in the Spring 2015 Columbia Engineering Magazine

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