AAAS Fellow, Materials Science Pioneer, & Climate Change

The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) has elected Shankar Mahalingam, Ph.D. (AL D ’80), as a fellow. Dr. Mahalingam is the dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Alabama in Huntsville. Cited “for distinguished contributions to the field of combustion using laboratory scale experiments and computational models, leading to improved understanding of wildland fire behavior, and for service in administration,” he will be inducted as a new fellow on February 13, 2016 in Washington, DC. Click here for the news announcement

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Morris E. Fine, Ph.D., passed away in September at the age of 97. Dr. Fine, MN A ’40, was a co-founder of the world’s first department of materials science at Northwestern University. He was a faculty member at Northwestern from 1954-88 and later was named Professor Emeritus.

Current dean of Nothwestern’s School of Engineering and Applied Science, Julio M. Ottino, Ph.D. (MA Z ’76), said “He co-founded a department that was ahead of its time and dedicated his life to its success. Though Morrie retired before many of our current faculty joined Northwestern, he remained an active, engaged and highly respected member of our community.” Read the obituary for more details on his career and life.

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With the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference beginning today in Paris, France, the StateImpact Pennsylvania published an interview/ story with deputy commissioner of planning and environmental services for the city of Philadelphia, Christopher S. Crockett, Ph.D. (PA Z ’93), for an engineer’s perspective on climate change in Philadelphia, PA.

According to the article, one aspect of Dr. Crockett’s job is to help prepare the city for rising sea levels. “One of the fun things in engineering is, we would always teach this concept of stationarity, which is you go back and look at the historical record and say: OK, this is the 100 year storm, this was the fifty-year storm. And that sets your design criteria for how you design a road, a highway, a pipe, a bridge,” said Dr. Crockett. This practice is becoming more difficult and Dr. Crockett hopes that the meeting in Paris will give him the certainty he needs as an engineer to plan future construction.

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