Alumni Updates '15-'16

  • Hubert Hugh Burke (Ph.D. '95) has a limited term appointment (August 1 2015 to April 30 2016) to the faculty in the Department of Physics & Astronomy at Trent University (Peterborough Campus) at the rank of Assistant Professor. He continues to look for a permanent appoint to the faculty at a Canadian University and to seek financing for 'A Very Canadian Film' a story told in six independent feature length films by Hubert Hugh Burke.
  • Ruth Griswold Abrams (B.S. '05, Applied Mathematics) and John Klinger (B.S. '70, Applied Physics) attended the Alumni Department Luncheon during the SEAS Reunion Weekend in May 2015.
  • Gabriel Ganot (Ph.D. '12, Materials Science and Engineering), a consultant at Exponent Engineering and Scientific Consulting, appears in the official NFL Deflategate report mentioned in The New York Times article, "Tom Brady Probably Knew Footballs Were Doctored, N.F.L. Finds." "Exponent analyzed pressure data collected at halftime on the day of the AFC Championship Game, and conducted a series of experiments designed to evaluate the impact of environmental and other conditions on the air pressure levels of footballs to determine whether the reduction in air pressure levels recorded during the AFC Championship Game was more likely the result of environmental and natural factors as opposed to human intervention." Please see page 35 of the official report for more references to Exponent and Dr. Ganot.
  • Ralph Izzo (Ph.D. ‘81 Plasma Physics) received the Samuel Johnson Medal for "distinguished achievement in a field other than engineering" at the 2016 Columbia Engineering Alumni Awards dinner on June 3 in Low Library.  Dr. Izzo is chairman, president, and CEO of Public Service Enterprise Group, Inc. (PSEG).
  • Paul Koch writes, "I finished my degree in plasma physics fifty years ago, and am long retired. However my scientific curiosity is unabated." Please see "Cortical Activity Waves are the Physical Carriers of Memory and Thought," which he presented at the IEEE conference on neural engineering in Montpelier France in Spring 2015. "I believe this work opens many possibilities for future research in a field that will be increasingly funded, and is quite suitable for APAM students," says Koch.
  • Shantikumar Nair (MS’78, Ph.D. ’83 Materials Science and Earth & Environmental Engineering) writes, “I am now the dean of research at Amrita University, the highest-ranked private university in India by Times Higher Education. I moved to Amrita University in 2006, before which I was an associate professor at University of Massachusetts at Amherst, MA. I am also director of the Centre for Nanosciences and Molecular Medicine at the University’s Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences. Recently I was invited to give a talk at the UNAI-START (United Nations Academic Impact–Science and Technology Accelerating Rapid Transformation) conference, on the role of nanotechnology in developing new solutions for energy, water, and health care—problems reaching crisis proportion in our world and requiring urgent action across all levels. I was also recently awarded the prestigious Professor C. N. R. Rao Award for outstanding contributions in the field of nanotechnology.”
  • Richard Robinson (Ph.D. '04, Applied Physics, under Prof. Irving Herman) has been promoted to Associate Professor with indefinite tenure, effective July 1, 2015, in the Materials Science Department at Cornell University. Richard’s lab works on nanomaterials synthesis and device integration. His group is researching the fundamental science of how to program and process nanoscale building blocks into functional architectures, and the structure-property relationships of the resulting nanostructured materials.

  • Steve Sabbagh's (Ph.D. '90 Plasma Physics) and Jack Berkery's paper, “Benchmarking kinetic calculations of resistive wall mode stability,” Phys. Plasmas 21, 052505, 2014, appeared on the top 20 list of most cited Physics of Plasmas papers in 2014. The paper summarizes a multi-year benchmarking effort of leading kinetic resistive wall mode computational analyses, and includes calculations for the ITER tokamak.

    Berkey and Sabbagh also received the Landau-Spitzer Award, presented jointly every two years by the American Physical Society and the European Physical Society (APS and EPS).

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