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Milestones

Shengbai Zhang, a quantum physicist renowned for his computational modeling and research in semiconductor defects, has been named senior chair of Rensselaer’s Gail and Jeffrey L. Kodosky ’70 Constellation in Physics, Information Technology, and Entrepreneurship. The first to hold the constellation position, Zhang is also a professor in the Department of Physics, Applied Physics, and Astronomy. Earning his bachelor’s degree from Jilin University in China and his master’s and doctorate in physics from the University of California at Berkeley, he is a fellow of the American Physical Society. Zhang joined Rensselaer from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and has received other prestigious awards such as the Chunky Bullet Award, the Outstanding Performance Award, and the Director’s Award from the U.S. Department of Energy/Basic Energy Sciences.

Kim Boyer, a renowned computer vision expert, has joined the faculty of Rensselaer as head of the Department of Electrical, Computer, and Systems Engineering. Boyer, whose research interests range from advanced heart imaging and human eye modeling to eye-in-the-sky satellites, joins Rensselaer from the Ohio State University where he was a professor and director of the school’s Signal Analysis and Machine Perception Laboratory. Along with being a published author, he also brings 30 years of experience in academia and the private sector with a robust research program.

Jacob Fish, the Rosalind and John J. Redfern ’33 Chaired Professor of Engineering and director of the Multiscale Science and Engineering Center, has been elected a fellow of the American Academy of Mechanics. He earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Israel Institute of Technology and his doctorate from Northwestern University. Fish became a full professor in 1998 and director of Rensselaer’s Multiscale Science and Engineering Center in 2005. Fish is a prolific author, including being the founder and editor-in-chief of the International Journal of Multiscale Computational Engineering.

Assad Oberai, an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering, has won the 2007 American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Special Achievement Award for Young Investigators in Applied Mechanics. The ASME award recognizes Oberai’s fundamental developments in solving inverse problems and problems with multiple spatial and temporal scales. Oberai joined Rensselaer in 2005 after earning his bachelor’s degree from Osmania University in India, his master’s from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and his doctorate from Stanford University.

David Duquette, a corrosion expert in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, has been named John Tod Horton Distinguished Professor in Materials Engineering, one of the highest honors bestowed on a Rensselaer faculty member. He is a world leader in the field of corrosion, electrochemical phenomena and processing, and through his academic career, has won numerous awards and recognitions for breakthrough research. After four years as a commissioned officer in the U.S. Coast Guard, he earned his doctorate from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and came to Rensselaer in 1970. Duquette served as head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering from 2000 to 2007, and graduated more than 40 doctoral students and 40 master’s students.

Achille Messac, a design optimization pioneer and professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering, has been elected a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). Messac was a pioneer of control structure integrated design in the 1980s and has continued his current research while inventing the physical programming method. He joined Rensselaer in 2000. Messac earned his bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Along with receiving prestigious awards and serving on editorial boards, Messac is one of the few engineers worldwide elected to both the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and the AIAA.

E. Fred Schubert, the Wellfleet Senior Constellation Professor of the Future Chips Constellation, and doctoral student Brian Schulkin have been named to the 2007 “Scientific American 50,” an annual list that recognizes research, business, and policy leaders who have played a critical role in driving key science and technology trends over the past year in biotechnology, microelectronics, energy, genetics, and other fields. Schubert was named a Research Leader in the list’s Light Manipulation category for his work over the past year on non-reflective coatings. Schulkin, a doctoral student in physics and winner of the prestigious Lemelson-Rensselaer Student Prize in 2007, was included for his work on terahertz imaging.

Toh-Ming Lu, the R.P. Baker Distinguished Professor of Physics, has been named a lifetime fellow of the Materials Research Society (MRS). The MRS has recognized Lu for his contributions to the advancement of materials research, specifically his “seminal contributions to the fundamental understanding of thin film morphological evolution.” Lu joins a distinguished group that includes 34 researchers selected for their out- standing contributions to the field. A nanomaterials expert, Lu strives to develop new, high-performing nanostructures that can be used in integrated electronics, semiconductors, and energy storage devices. Lu is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society, and the American Vacuum Society. He is author of more than 400 technical papers and holds nine patents related to his research.

Robert Doremus, emeritus professor, died Jan. 30. A prolific writer and esteemed materials scientist, Doremus published several books and more than 250 publications over the course of his career. His research entailed glass science, ceramics, crystal growth, bone implants, the growth of kidney stones, and the optical properties of metallic particles and film. Doremus held the title of New York State Science and Technology Foundation Professor of Glass and Ceramics until his retirement. He was also a member of the Materials Research Society, American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a fellow of the American Ceramic Society. He received several awards including the Outstanding Educator Award from Rensselaer in 1978, Outstanding Educator Award from the American Ceramic Society in 1995, and the Trustees Teaching Award from Rensselaer in 1997.

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Rensselaer (ISSN 0898-1442) is published in Spring, Summer, Fall, and Winter by the Office of Strategic Communications and External Relations, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Troy, NY 12180-3590. Opinions expressed in these pages do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors or the policies of the Institute. ©2008 Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.