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Research Accolades

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Selected honors earned by Rensselaer’s faculty members:

Jonathan Dordick, the Howard P. Isermann ’42 Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, has been selected as a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Dordick is one of 308 newly selected fellows recognized for their efforts to advance science or its applications that are deemed scientifically or socially distinguished, according to AAAS. The announcement was made in the Oct. 29 issue of Science. In the announcement, AAAS cites Dordick for "fundamental discoveries in biocatalysis, drug discovery, and biomolecular science and engineering, resulting in new products and processes that benefit society." AAAS will honor the new fellows at its annual meeting on Feb. 19, 2005 in Washington, D.C.

Michael Hanna, associate professor of biology, and George Plopper, assistant professor of biology, were named "Education Fellows in the Life Sciences" by the National Academies. The designation was given to 39 educators around the country who successfully completed a summer institute aimed at fostering innovative approaches to teaching undergraduate biology. Hanna and Plopper were selected to attend the summer institute based on their research team's ideas for enhancing undergraduate biology education and a commitment by Rensselaer to support teaching innovations. Admission to the summer institute was highly competitive and only 20 research universities nationwide were chosen to participate.

Ravi Kane, the Merck Assistant Professor of Chemical and Biological Engineering, has been selected as one of the top 100 young innovators in technology from around the world by Technology Review, Massachusetts Institute of Technology's magazine of innovation. Kane's primary research focus is on investigating and solving problems in medicine and biology by the molecular engineering of materials and surfaces. He works in the areas of biotechnology, advanced materials, nanotechnology, and polymers.

Nikhil Koratkar, assistant professor of mechanical, aerospace, and nuclear engineering, and a team of researchers at Rensselaer have been awarded a $1.3 million Nanoscale Interdisciplinary Research Team (NIRT) grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to further develop nanoscale chemical sensors using carbon nanotubes designed to detect toxic gases and chemical warfare agents.

Toh-Ming Lu, the R.P. Baker Distinguished Professor of Physics and director of the Center for Advanced Interconnect Systems Technologies, has been selected to receive the 2004 Materials Research Society (MRS) Medal. The MRS Medal recognizes a specific outstanding recent discovery or advancement that is expected to have a major impact on the progress of any materials-related field. Lu is being honored for significant contributions to understanding mechanisms of thin-film surface and interface morphology evolution and establishing the foundations of diffraction and scattering methods for quantitative analysis.

Thomas Triscari Jr., clinical associate professor in the Lally School of Management and Technology, has received a Homeland Security Fellowship from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and will spend a year in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) working in the Directorate for Science and Technology. Triscari’s principal research efforts have focused on improving information and decision processes in complex organizations. According to AAAS, the fellowship provides the opportunity to learn through participation how scientific and technological information is used in federal policy-making, to demonstrate the value of science-government interaction, and to bring technical backgrounds and external perspectives to DHS.

William “Al” Wallace, professor of decision sciences and engineering systems at Rensselaer, received the 2004 Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences (INFORMS) President's Award for critical contributions to the public sector resulting from his research in information and decision technologies, according to INFORMS. Wallace received the award at the society's annual meeting in Denver, Colo. In a written citation, INFORMS acknowledges Wallace for nearly three decades of distinguished contributions to the understanding and management of urban service systems. The organization notes, in particular, his work on emergency and disaster management, ethics in modeling, operational risk management, and information systems for safe and efficient maritime commerce. The organization also credits Wallace's research with helping ensure safer, more productive transportation systems.

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