Rice earns three invites to coveted engineering symposium

07/14/05

National Academy's 'frontiers' symposium showcases top young talent

HOUSTON, July 14, 2005 -- Three of Rice University's brightest young engineering faculty – Michael Deem, Rebekah Drezek and Marcia O'Malley -- have been selected to participate in the National Academy of Engineering's (NAE) 11th annual Frontiers of Engineering symposium. Rice is one of just a handful of institutions to earn three invitations to the prestigious gathering.

The three-day event brings together engineers ages 30 to 45 who are performing cutting-edge engineering research and technical work in a variety of disciplines. The invitation-only event is open to fewer than 100 participants from industry, academia, and government. This year's 88 participants were chosen from a field of 220 applicants nominated by fellow engineers or organizations.

"Significant advances in engineering are occurring where disciplines intersect," said NAE President William A. Wulf. "Frontiers of Engineering provides an opportunity for engineers to learn about techniques and challenges in areas other than their own. This new knowledge can spark insights and collaborations that might not have occurred otherwise."

The symposium will be held Sept. 22-24 at GE Global Research Center in Niskayuna, N.Y., and will explore aspects of ID and verification technologies, the engineering of complex systems, engineering for developing communities, and energy. Shirley Ann Jackson, president of Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute will be a featured speaker. Jackson has served as chair of the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission and worked in the field of theoretical physics at both AT&T Bell Laboratories and Rutgers University.

Deem, the John W. Cox Professor in Biochemical and Genetic Engineering and professor of physics and astronomy, specializes in statistical mechanics, specifically the computer simulation of complex molecular systems. He is interested in four main areas of research: the adaptive immune system response, cancer vaccines, protein structure and drug discovery, and zeolite structure and nucleation. His group uses both simulation and analytical statistical mechanics to attack these problems.

Drezek, the Stanley C. Moore Assistant Professor of Bioengineering and assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, conducts translational biomedical research at the interface between nanobiotechnology and biophotonics. In particular, her laboratory is developing new molecular imaging technologies for improved detection, diagnosis, and monitoring of breast, ovarian, and endometrial cancer.

O'Malley, assistant professor in mechanical engineering and materials science, is director of the Mechatronics and Haptic Interfaces Lab, which studies the use of robotic devices in virtual and remote environments. Her current research interests include the development of new techniques for the display of augmented feedback in virtual environments, the implementation and study of haptic feedback in simulated and remote environments, including associated control issues, and the design and control of wearable robotic devices for rehabilitation and training.

Source: Eurekalert & others

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