Difference Makers, September 2013

A sports fan and biomechanical engineering expert at UCLA has created “a polymer that could diminish the force of helmet-to-helmet hits on a football field.” Vijay Gupta, Ph.D. (MA B ’90), is a professor at UCLA that has been working with a team of students “to improve on the shock-absorbing ability of the standard football helmet without radically changing its design.” Read the news article for information on the 2-millimeter-thick wafer Gupta has created and added to reinforce a football helmet’s foam padding.

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The Seattle Times recently profiled real-life fighter test pilots and debunked some of the associated stereotypes. Specifically, profiled was a team of pilots working to develop the next generation warfighter — Lockheed Martin’s F-35 Joint Strike Fighter Lightning III. One of the pilots holds two engineering degrees. Click here to read the article

In describing what the pilots do, “Engineering knowledge is key for test pilots, who must understand the intricate layers of wires and systems that control the aircraft before they can troubleshoot. The pilots push the capabilities of the combat plane to the max, then provide information to design engineers and production employees so they can make improvements.”

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Gregory A. Sgroi, NY B ’41, recently celebrated his 95th birthday. The Independent Press (NJ) reported on his party and recalled his contributions as the Cranford (NJ) town engineer for 11 years (1973-84). Sgroi earned his mechanical engineering degree from Syracuse University and was cited for “playing a critical role in alleviating much of the chronic flooding that plagued Cranford,” including at least four flood control projects. According to the article, he is now retired but still a passionate advocate for flood control.

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