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It Happened Here: RPI Summer 2005

Commencement 2005 thumbnailsThe campus may be less peopled in the summer but life and work at Rensselaer never stops. This year we celebrated our legacies and the achievements of our distinguished students and esteemed faculty. We also said goodbye to a few friends, and campus facilities and technologies were upgraded and updated.

People come, people go, things change, but the Institute abides.

On May 23, Rensselaer held its 199th Commencement. Approximately 1,075 students were awarded 836 bachelor's degrees, 194 master's degrees, and 47 doctoral degrees. U.S. Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.) delivered the 2005 Commencement address and was awarded an honorary doctor of laws degree.

Early in June, Rensselaer welcomed alumni and guests for Reunion 2005 (June 9-12). Events included the "State of the Institute" address by President Shirley Ann Jackson, the Rensselaer Alumni Association Awards dinner and presentation, a new Renaissance Fair, a keynote address by Sean O'Sullivan '85, the Parade of Classes, and a range of other activities, class dinners, seminars, and city and campus tours.

On June 4, Rensselaer held its 48th Commencement at Hartford. The 324 graduates of the Class of 2005 celebrated with family and friends, along with the faculty, staff, and administration of Rensselaer. The exercises began with a Hartford campus tradition: the academic processional led by bagpiper, Charles Murdoch.


  • Professor Wait Honored With RAA Distinguished Service Award (June 13, 2005)

    Samuel Wait Jr. '53 was honored with the Rensselaer Alumni Association (RAA) Distinguished Service Award at the Reunion 2005 RAA Awards dinner June 10. The award recognizes "service of the highest order to Rensselaer, to a profession, to the nation, and to humanity."

    Wait holds award
  • Langdon Winner in his office Professor Langdon Winner Appointed to the Thomas Phelan Chair (July 11, 2005)

    Langdon Winner, professor of science and technology studies (STS) at Rensselaer has been appointed to the newly endowed Thomas Phelan Chair in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences (H&SS). The chair was created in honor of Thomas Phelan, former dean of H&SS. Phelan, Professor Emeritus and currently serving as Rensselaer's Institute Dean and Historian, is known for his studies of the industrial history, architecture, and civic culture of the Hudson Mohawk region. Dr. Langdon Winner is a scholar of political science and an expert in the politics of technology.

  • Rensselaer Students Win Third Tier in NASA Competition (July 25, 2005)

    A team of six undergraduate students from the School of Engineering Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering (MANE) won the third tier in the University Level Student Competition (2004-2005 school year) of the Aerospace Vehicle System Technology Office at NASA Langley.

  • Lally School Names 2005 Recipient of the Herman Family Fellowship for Women in Entrepreneurship (August 1, 2005)

    The annual prize supports women enrolled in the Lally School's MBA program in their pursuit of entrepreneurial interests.

  • Raghuveer Makala

    Rensselaer Ph.D. Student Awarded MRS Gold Medal (August 8, 2005)

    Raghuveer Makala, a Ph.D. candidate in materials science and engineering at Rensselaer, received the Materials Research Society (MRS) Graduate Student Gold Medal at the Spring 2005 MRS Meeting in San Francisco. Competition judges selected Makala as one of 12 students to be awarded the "gold medal" designation based on an oral presentation of his paper, "Site-Selective Functionalization of Carbon Nanotubes."

Retirements Announced

July 2005

Prof. Marcelo R. M. Crespo da Silva, MANE
Prof. George F. List, Department Chair, CEE
(Polytechnote, PDF 537K)

August, 2005

Professor Frances Bronet
An open invitation to a celebration of Frances Bronet's years of service to Rensselaer, the School of Architecture, and to the Troy community as she leaves our campus to join the University of Oregon as Dean of Architecture and Allied Arts at the Greene Gallery, located on the second floor of the Greene Building, between 3:30pm and 5:00pm on Wednesday, August 24.

Sadly noted ...

July 5, 2005

Professor Gene Simons '57
Gene Robert Simons '57, professor emeritus and former associate dean in the School of Management and Technology at Rensselaer, died July 5. Simons spent more than 35 years at Rensselaer as professor and associate dean in management and in decision sciences and engineering systems, and was the recipient of the Darrin Counseling Award in 1989. He is survived by his wife and four daughters.


  • The recent departure of Professor Thomas Apple has left the position of Vice Provost and Dean of Graduate Education vacant. Effective August 1, 2005, Professor Lester Gerhardt, Associate Dean of Engineering has agreed to accept the position in an acting capacity, and to serve until a permanent replacement has been identified.

  • Professor Joseph Flaherty recently stepped down as Dean of the School of Science to return to his position as the Amos Eaton Professor here at Rensselaer. Dr. Samuel Wait, Associate Dean of the School of Science, has accepted the role of Acting Dean of the School of Science effective July 1, 2005.

  • Jerry Matthews has accepted the position of Director of Public Safety and Emergency Management effective August 1, 2005. Jerry comes to us from City University of New York, Lehman College where he has been Director of Public Safety since 1996. His background includes 27 years of police/law enforcement, security management, and emergency preparedness experience.

  • David A. Gautschi, Ph.D.

    Rensselaer Announces Appointment of Dean of the Lally School of Management and Technology (August 15, 2005)

    Rensselaer has announced the appointment of David A. Gautschi, Ph.D., as dean of the Lally School of Management and Technology. Most recently principal and director of research at CCG Group LLC, Gautschi has had a long and significant career in the academic and business arena. "His expertise in decision support systems and enterprise management, international business, and global information technology and telecommunications position him at the intersection of management, technology, and innovation, the focus of Rensselaer's Lally School. He brings an outstanding combination of successful teaching, scholarship, consulting, and program leadership to Rensselaer at a time when we are moving boldly into new fields that will be critically important in the 21st century." said Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson in making the announcement.

  • Alan Cramb, Ph.D.

    New Dean of School of Engineering arrives from Carnegie Mellon

    Alan Cramb, Ph.D., appointed as dean of the School of Engineering and the John A. Clark and Edward T. Crossan Professor of Engineering arrived in July of 2005. Cramb, whose career spans both industry and academia, was professor and head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University.


  • Design of new Folsom Library circulation desk

    Renovations continue in Folsom Library

    For the safety of all library patrons, the main part of the second floor where construction work will be taking place will be closed to the public.

  • New SolidWorks license server configuration (June 30, 2005)

    The SolidWorks license server has moved to new hardware running new software. As a result, all SolidWorks users must modify their SolidWorks configuration to use the new license server, which supports both SolidWorks 2004 and SolidWorks 2005.

  • Rensselaer Opens New $20 Million Center for Future Energy Systems (June 13, 2005)

    Rensselaer marked the opening of the Center for Future Energy Systems, a New York State Center for Advanced Technology. The new $20 million research center, in partnership with Cornell University and Brookhaven National Laboratory, seeks to meet the energy challenges of the 21st century by focusing on innovation in and commercialization of energy conservation and renewable energy systems.

  • NSF Awards RPI First-of-Its-Kind Grant for Fuel Cell Research Education (June 27, 2005)

    Rensselaer, as part of its continued expansion of energy research, recently announced a $4.8 million novel interdisciplinary program to train doctoral students in fuel cell science and engineering. The program is supported by a $3.2 million, first-of-its-kind fuel cell research education grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) combined with a $1.6 million investment by Rensselaer."

  • RPI One of 25 Schools in U.S., Canada Selected for "HP Technology for Teaching Leadership" Grant (July 1, 2005)

    Package includes HP Tablet PCs, docking stations, digital cameras, printers and digital projectors for faculty, and 42 Tablet PCs for student use.

  • Summer Computer Camp 2005

    Serving children from two Hartford area elementary schools, the program is designed to increase computer literacy and research skills for the technologically driven world.

  • Office of the First-Year Experience Hosts Student Orientation (July 25, 2005)

    The program - including general information about campus programs and departments, student clubs and organizations, advisement, and an introduction to the Rensselaer Computing System - is designed to help students make a smooth transition from high school to life as a student at Rensselaer.

  • girl on boat

    Rensselaer Participates in Development of River Summer Course (August 8, 2005)

    The course, developed in collaboration with 36 other academic institutions in New York State, focuses on an integrated, interdisciplinary analysis of the Hudson River and its watershed through diverse sessions in science, history, and culture while touring five regions along the Hudson.

  • MFA Student One of 22 in U.S. Selected for Media Arts Fellowship (August 8, 2005)

    According to Kanarek, the focus of the overall project is the Traveler's Journal - an original story about a search for lost treasure. Using the ancient genre of the traveler's tale, the project draws connections between storytelling, travel, memory, and technology.