In the News, July 2014

Professor Julia R. Weertman, D.Sc. (IL G ’46), is the recipient of the 2014 John Fritz Medal “for her exceptional contributions to our understanding of failure in materials and for inspiring generations of young women to pursue careers in the science and engineering disciplines.” She was recognized at the American Association of Engineering Societies (AAES) banquet earlier this summer in Washington, D.C.

Weertman is professor emerita of materials science and engineering and member of the graduate faculty at Northwestern University. She joined Tau Beta Pi as an eminent engineer in 1975. Click here for the Association’s web page recognizing its distinguished members.

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Last week in an interview with Bloomberg at the Automated Vehicles Symposium, Ken P. Laberteaux, Ph.D. (MI G ’92), discussed the possible consequences of the introduction of self-driving cars. “U.S. history shows that anytime you make driving easier, there seems to be this inexhaustible desire to live further from things,” said Laberteaux, the senior principal scientist for Toyota’s North American team.

Read the article for more of Laberteaux’s thoughts on the future of traffic and driving with driver-less cars and the opposite viewpoint of the potential positive possibilities created by self-driving cars.

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The Christian Science Monitor recently published an article related to applying the laws of physics to evolution. This is the main thesis of Adrian Bejan’s recent paper published in the Journal of Applied Physics. Dr. Bejan, Ph.D. (MA B ’71), is a mechanical engineer at Duke University and he argues that “that evolution is a physical phenomenon, with changes in animals driven by physical laws and consequently the development of aircraft over the past century has followed the same patterns as the evolution of flying birds.” Read the article for more details on Dr. Bejan’s paper and to hear what others in academia have to say about his argument.

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