Millennium Prize, Academic All-American, & Distinguished Speakers (2016)

The Millennium Prize Foundation has announced Frances H. Arnold, Ph.D. (NJ D ’79), as the winner of the 2016 Millennium Technology Prize “for her discoveries that launched the field of ‘directed evolution,’ which mimics natural evolution to create new and better proteins in the laboratory.” According to the winner’s profile, “the awarded technology is being adopted for example in areas of green chemistry and renewable energy and Dr. Arnold’s innovation has been used widely also to create enzyme catalysts to manufacture pharmaceuticals.”

Dr. Arnold is currently a professor and Director at the California Institute of Technology. She has the honor of being elected into all three National Academies in the United States, won a Draper Prize (2011), and won a National Medal of Technology and Innovation (2013).


Tau Bate Kasey M. Cooper, AL A 2018, has been selected for the 2016 CoSIDA Academic All-America® Division I Softball team. Click here for the All-America Division I first, second, and third softball teams.

CooperAL A 2018, is a junior mechanical engineering major at Auburn University and first team All-American. She plays third base for the varsity softball team. She was NFCA First Team All-American in 2015, this is her second consecutive year as a Academic All-American, and she is Auburn’s all-time home run leader. This weekend her team plays in the Super Regionals and last year she helped lead her team to the Women’s College World Series.


On May 18, the California Gamma Chapter of Tau Beta Pi, at Stanford University, hosted a fireside chat with Marc Andreessen and Balaji Srinivasan as part of the Tau Beta Pi’s Distinguished Speaker Series. Andreessen is a co-founder of Netscape and the software company Loudcloud. Currently, he is a general partner at the venture capital firm he co-founded, Andreessen Horowitz.

Srinivasan is a general partner at Andreessen Horowitz as well as CEO of the bitcoin infrastructure company he co-founded, 21. He has also taught in Stanford’s statistics department. Click here to read The Stanford Daily’s coverage of the venture capitalism and entrepreneurship talk.



On Campus: EightE-Days, Eminent Engineer, & Senior Recognition

From March 30 to April 3 the EightE-Days festival will take place at the campus of the Colorado School of Mines. The festival was established in 1934 as an earnest showcase of engineering skills. Today, it is packed with activities designed to allow engineers to let loose. More than 25 Mines clubs will host events during the festival. The Colorado Alpha Chapter of Tau Beta Pi at Mines will host two events: a trebuchet contest (Friday, April 1) and a cardboard boat race (Saturday, April 2).

Read the article from The Oredigger for a complete list of planned activities and for more on all the volunteers that make the “Around the World in EightE-Days” festival a success.


The Twitter account for “streamlined news for Michigan State University (MSU) Spartan Engineers” recently announced that Laura J. Genik, Ph.D., will be initiated as an eminent engineer by the Michigan Alpha Chapter of Tau Beta Pi. Dr. Genik is the Director of applied engineering sciences at MSU and will be initiated on April 17, 2016.

She has been on the faculty at MSU since 2007. She earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering all from MSU. Click here for more biographical information on Dr. Genik.


Travis G. Smith, PA B 2016, is one of five students from the Penn State department of mechanical and nuclear engineering to be recognized for academic, research, and leadership accomplishments at a recent reception. Smith received the Beecher Loftus Leadership and Service in Nuclear Engineering Award.

He is a senior majoring in nuclear engineering, secretary of the local American Nuclear Society, and performed research projects in the Intense Laser Laboratory. Read the news story for the list of all five outstanding students and for more details on Smith who plans to join the Nuclear Operations Program at Bechtel Marine Propulsion Corporation’s Knolls Atomic Power Laboratory after graduation.


On Campus Newsmakers: Current, Future, & Past

Jeffrey P. Gold, Ph.D. (NY D ’74), has been appointed as the new chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). He will begin his new position on February 1, 2014. Currently, Dr. Gold is chancellor and executive vice president of biosciences and health affairs and executive dean of the College of Medicine at the University of Toledo (OH) where he previously helped merge the Medical University of Ohio with the University of Toledo.

Read the news release to learn about Dr. Gold’s responsibilities at UNMC, including a staff of more than 5,000 and 3,700 students.


CBS Detroit recently profiled a chemical engineering graduate of Wayne State University and her lifelong dream to work for NASA. Elizabeth A. Barrios, MI E 2013, graduated with a bachelor’s degree this month, worked four internships with NASA, and plans to pursue a Ph.D. in macromolecular science and engineering at Case Western Reserve University (OH).

“I’ve realized that I want to make and discover things that will benefit manned and unmanned spaceflight,” she said. “I want to conduct my own research. To do that, I need my Ph.D.” Read the article for more information on Barrios a previous corresponding secretary to the Michigan Epsilon Chapter of Tau Beta Pi.


Petroleum engineering authority and University of Houston College of Engineering adjunct professor Michael J. Economides, Ph.D. (KS A ’74), suddenly passed away earlier this month. “We are mourning not only the loss of an invaluable source of knowledge and leadership for our petroleum engineering program, but of a dearly respected professor, friend and outspoken ally of the Cullen College and the University of Houston,” Joseph W. Tedesco, Ph.D., P.E. said. “He is deeply missed, and our hearts go out to his family and his loved ones.” Dr. Tedesco, FL A ’71, is the dean of the UH College of Engineering.

Click here to read an obituary on Economides for biographical information about his work as a co-author of 15 books and the international demand of his knowledge on hydraulic fracturing.


Research & Awards

James A. Dumesic, Ph.D. (WI A ’71), was recently elected to the 2013 class of fellows by the National Academy of Inventors (NAI). Dr. Dumesic is an engineering professor at the University of Wisconsin and is a decorated scientist known for his “major contributions to the science and process of converting cellulosic biomass into products that benefit society.” Read more about Dr. Dumesic

A total of 143 fellows were elected by the NAI. Read the press release and see the full list here. Other Tau Bate 2013 NAI Fellows include: David E. Aspnes, Ph.D. (WI A ’60); Michael R. Ladisch, Ph.D. (PA Z ’73); and Ayre Rosen, Ph.D. (DC A ’63).


The 2013 Capital One Academic All-America® Volleyball Teams have been announced. One Tau Bate was named second team All-American for the NCAA Div. I team and one Tau Bate was named a third team All-American for the NCAA Div. II team. They are:

1. Ayesha G. Hein, CO Z 2015, United States Air Force Academy astronautical engineering major, Div. I second team.
2. Hayley L. Wright, MO B 2014, civil engineering major at the Missouri University of Science & Technology, Div. II third team.


The Austin Business Journal recently reported that Thomas M. Truskett, Ph.D. (TX A ’96), was among four researchers to receive the 2014 Edith and Peter O’Donnell Awards. “The awards recognize rising Texas researchers who address the essential role that science and technology play in society, and whose work meets the highest standards of exemplary professional performance, creativity, and resourcefulness, according to a statement from The Academy of Medicine, Engineering & Science of Texas.”

Dr. Truskett is a professor and chair of chemical engineering at the University of Texas where he is known for his “contributions in engineering research involving dynamics of confined liquids, and structural arrest of complex fluids.” Read the article


Announcements, Events, & Honors

The 2015 Class of George J. Mitchell Scholars was recently selected by the US-Ireland Alliance. Only twelve scholarships are available and nearly 300 applications apply. “Recipients are chosen on the basis of academic distinction, leadership and service. Recipients spend a year of post-graduate study at institutions of higher learning in Ireland and Northern Ireland.” This year there were two Tau Beta Pi members that were awarded scholarships:

1. Travis A. Davis (SD Alpha 2013) – is a mechanical engineering senior at the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology and will study bioengineering at Trinity College Dublin.
2. Destenie S. Nock (NC Epsilon 2014) – is a senior electrical engineering and applied mathematics major at North Carolina A&T State University and will study sustainable electrical energy systems at Queen’s University Belfast.


Tau Beta Pi is pleased to announce an initiative to make March 14, 2014, Pi Day, a nationwide event for its members. The new Tau Beta Pi Day will include collegiate and alumni chapter events, a design contest, and image awareness for the Association. The design contest is open to all TBP members to design up to two entries. The winning design will be printed on t-shirts, hoodies, and knit shirts to be purchased and distributed for events on Pi Day. Design contest rules can be found here


The 2013 Capital One Academic All-America® Men’s and Women’s Soccer Teams have been announced. The NCAA Div. I teams included three Tau Beta Pi men’s soccer athletes. They are:

1. Joseph M. Meyer, PA H 2014, mechanical engineering major at Bucknell University
2. Tyler H. Riggs, KY A 2013, University of Kentucky mechanical engineering major and two-time Academic All-America® first team selection.
3. Todd M. Vervynckt, IN D 2014, mechanical engineering major at Valparaiso University


Engineers & Innovation, June 2012

CBS Detroit recently profiled Dr. James M. Boileau, MI E ’87, and his daughter Stephanie. James has three engineering degrees from Wayne State University and is an engineer at Ford Motor Co. Stephanie is following in her father’s footsteps at Wayne State focusing on civil and environmental engineering.

I’ve enjoyed my career as a metallurgical engineer,” said James. “It’s given me great opportunities to make systems and products better.” Read the article for more information on the aspirations and accomplishments of James and Stephanie Boileau


John Andrew Jones, GA B 2011, has been awarded the Wallace Odell Duvall Excellence in Leadership Award, one of the top honors at Mercer University. Jones received his award at the May 12 commencement, where he also graduated with a bachelor’s degree in science and engineering and a master’s in engineering.

This fall, Jones will enroll in the Ph.D. program in chemical engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He is a former vice president of the Georgia Beta Chapter of Tau Beta Pi. Click here to read the news article


Earlier this week, A123 Systems “unveiled a new battery technology that the company says is a breakthrough in the industry (because) it uses a new chemistry that could permit the creation of a simpler, lighter, longer-lasting battery pack that does not require a system to cool or heat it.”

The New York Times profiled A123 in an article, detailing the struggles of the company in making lithium-ion batteries for electric cars. The success of this new battery technology is important to the future of the company and so is the continued growth and demand for electric vehicles. A123 CEO, David Vieau (NY B ’72), has secured a contract to supply batteries for the upcoming Chevrolet Spark, an all-electric minicar due next year.


DASH 4: National Puzzle Hunt

Check out DASH 4, the unique, coast-to-coast puzzle hunt that takes place in multiple cities across the country on the same day, this year on April 28. DASH (Different area —Same Hunt) is an interactive race that challenges teams in 14 cities to solve creative clues to reveal the location of the next hidden clue. It is also a great way for students to explore a city and have some fun.

Visit the website for more information and to register a team. Or read the article from Wired that describes how DASH puzzle hunts work.


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