National Spotlight Shines on Three Students
Lukens selected to
2003 All-USA College Academic Team
Scholar. Entrepreneur. Student leader. All of those qualities, and many more,
helped Rose-Hulman 2003 electrical engineering graduate Rachel Lukens be chosen
to the second team of the 2003 All-USA College Academic Team, published in USA
Approximately 500 college students from U.S. four-year colleges and universities
were nominated for this prestigious honor. Other colleges having first- or
second-team selections included Massachusetts Institute of Technology,
California Institute of Technology, Harvard University and Stanford University.
Lukens received high marks for her academic credentials (3.8 grade point
average) and involvement in a wide range of educational and community
While working at Rose-Hulman's technology-based product development center,
Rose-Hulman Ventures, Lukens played a significant role in the development of a
new breast cancer biopsy Automated Tissue Excision and Collection (ATEC) device
for Suros Surgical Systems of Indianapolis. ATEC, which makes biopsy much
faster and less painful, earned FDA approval in March 2002, and is currently
being used by physicians in 14 cities, including Indianapolis, Atlanta and
his letter of recommendation, Suros President and Chief Executive Office Jim
Pearson stated: “By taking the initiative to write this one-of-a-kind software,
Ms. Lukens offered Suros a way to guarantee that the ATEC disposable handpiece
met stringent performance criteria. Not only is this vital for the success of
Suros and its product line, but also for the thousands of breast surgeons,
radiologists and women across the country who put their trust and confidence in
the quality and reliability of the ATEC system."
on the project was personally satisfying for Lukens.
a young woman, I was especially interested in the device’s impact to assist the
hundreds of thousands of women every year who require a breast biopsy,” Lukens
states. “ATEC technology will mean that these women will not need surgery and
can resume normal activity shortly after the biopsy."
year in the United States, about 1.2 million women undergo a breast biopsy after
finding a suspicious lump.
Lukens has also designed electrical products for two other Rose-Hulman Ventures
clients: Camile Products and Home Data Source, both of Indianapolis.
“Rachel has it all," states Jim Eifert, Rose-Hulman Ventures president. “She's
very intelligent and a superior student with excellent people and communications
skills, terrific work ethic, and, perhaps most surprising for her age (21), a
very competent professional.
work (at Ventures) has spanned environmental, pharmaceutical, surgical, and
geriatric issues; to each of these endeavors she brought her technical talent,
unbounded enthusiasm, and creative energy."
campus, Lukens was editor-in-chief of Rose-Hulman's award-winning weekly student
newspaper, The Thorn, managing a staff of 15 non-journalism students; served as
president of the Spanish Club, planning and promoting club activities; and was
an active member and officer of the Delta Delta Delta sorority, serving as vice
president of finance for the 61-member organization this year. She volunteered
for an on-campus Habitat for Humanity house construction project, and was a
member of the Tau Beta Pi national engineering honor society, Society of Women
Engineers, Institute of Electronic and Electrical Engineers and Pi Mu Epsilon
“Like most Rose-Hulman students, I was constantly stressed out trying to squeeze
many things into a 24-hour day,” says Lukens, who is from Terre
Haute. “Rose-Hulman gives you many opportunities to learn -– in and out of
class. I tried to take advantage of things that interested me.”
Lukens is now working for Xetron Corp., a Cincinnati, Ohio-based company that
specializes in custom communication systems. She is concentrating on digital
“These are really exciting times to be an electrical engineer. I’m anxious to
get started and see what I can do,” Lukens said.
captures national swimming championship
Even Matt Smith
himself has a hard time believing those two words describe his accomplishments
in the pool this winter. The eight-time conference champion and holder of eight
Rose-Hulman school records achieved his top swimming goal in late March by
winning the 100-yard breaststroke NCAA Division III national championship at
Emory University in Atlanta.
“I’m still amazed
that I am a national champion. Since I came to Rose-Hulman, I have dreamed of
winning the nationals. I saw the top times and knew that I could compete with
the best, but it’s still amazing that it actually happened,” said Smith.
He became just
the third national champion in school history and the first for the college’s
swimming program. Smith joined track and field standouts Chris Trapp and Ryan
Loftus in the highest of victory circles. Perhaps more importantly to Smith,
the mechanical engineering major became the first Verizon Academic All-American
in the history of Rose-Hulman swimming in 2002.
“My parents made
it pretty clear that academics would be the main concern at Rose-Hulman. I’m
blessed to come from a smart family, and I have always had to organize my day
well to get all of my work done,” said Smith.
He followed up
the national championship performance with a fifth-place finish in the 200-yard
breaststroke the next day, capping his career with four All-American awards. A
career that attained the national spotlight nearly ended at age 15. Smith swam
competitively for eight years, but then grew weary of the trials and
tribulations that come with elite-level youth swimming.
“Growing up, I
was very serious about swimming. I trained for four hours a day, lifted
weights, and did all the things needed to succeed. Finally, my times weren’t
improving and I was tired of all the work. Looking back, taking a break was the
best decision that I could have made,” said Smith.
now holds a Rose-Hulman degree and his collegiate athletic career is in the
past, he will continue his swimming. His national championship time in the
100-yard breaststroke qualified Smith for the Phillips 66 U.S. Senior Nationals
at the IUPUI Natatorium. After a successful venture against the nation’s best,
Smith has enrolled for graduate school at the University of California-Berkeley
and will train for the upcoming Olympic Games.
“At the Senior
Nationals, I found out that most elite swimmers practice about 16,000 yards per
day. At Rose-Hulman, we practice about 6,000. I figured that if I could reach
the Senior Nationals and swim against the nation’s best with half of the
training, then full-time training should lead me to be competitive against
anyone in the country,” said Smith.
In addition to
success in the pool and the classroom, Smith improved his learning experience at
Rose-Hulman by spending a year abroad at the University of Stuttgart in
Germany. The year in Germany helped provide coursework that has allowed Smith
to earn academic minors in computer science and European studies at Rose-Hulman.
well-rounded Rose-Hulman experience has included serving as a resident assistant
in Skinner Hall.
national championship contains moments that last a lifetime. For Smith, those
moments began during the event itself.
“There are only a
few times in your swimming life when you are running completely your own race
and are totally unaware of your surroundings. It’s like you are in another
world. I had that feeling during the last 50 yards of the championship swim,”
Smith has entered
another world in 2003 – the world of a national champion.
IV receives national recognition
One of Rose-Hulman’s
clever student recruitment publications carries the simple statement “You’ve
known it since you were a kid . . .”
knows that feeling quite well.
At the age of
4, Flood was following his father, alumnus Walter Flood IV (Civil Eng. ’75),
around Chicago area construction sites for the family-owned Flood Testing
Laboratories, Inc. He wasn’t playing in concrete, he was testing it.
school, Flood became the youngest field technician (at 14˝) ever certified by
the American Concrete Institute and has obtained nine state and national
certifications in materials testing.
And, now at
21, he is a Rose-Hulman graduate, has been recognized as one of the nation’s top
undergraduate civil engineering students by CE News magazine, and is preparing
to study geotechnical engineering in graduate school at the University of
closer to my dream of following in my father’s footsteps,” Flood said. “One of
my father’s strengths is the ability to create a concrete mix that can meet very
unusual specifications. Through helping my father develop mixes, I have grown
to enjoy taking new approaches to develop an original product.”
The Floods’ latest innovation is developing an asphalt
mix that will conduct electricity in order to provide heat to a pavement system
–- a product called “Snowfree” (US Patent 5,707,171). It would prevent ice
and snow from accumulating on airport runways, roadways, and sidewalks.
to develop a less expensive concrete alternative with graphite that will achieve
strengths of 4000 psi, something that has not yet been accomplished.
“I have been experimenting with different admixtures and
aggregates for the past year, hoping to find the perfect combination,” the
Chicago native states. “When my design is completed the concrete system
can be used for de-icing roads, replacing the need for snowplows and salts.”
helped design high-strength mortar mixes for a bridge in Venezuela and assisted
in corrections to the South Bay Ocean Outfall near San Diego.
“I have learned to appreciate the degree of uncertainty in
ground conditions and the ‘on-the-fly’ engineering decisions that are necessary
for a successful project,” he said.
believes in keeping busy and enjoying life. At Rose-Hulman, he was a Resident
Assistant for two years in Deming residence hall; also served as a Sophomore
Adviser on the student life staff; was a two-year executive board member of the
student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers; and was an executive
board member of the Indiana Residence Hall Association.
Flood also found
time to join Delta Sigma Phi Fraternity; be a swing dance instructor; go scuba
diving, snow skiing and rock climbing with friends; and undertake wilderness
camping adventures in Canada.
“I fell in love
with helping people grow,” he stated. “Rose-Hulman has been very instrumental
in my personal development . . . I’ve matured a lot, basically because I had
to. I also learned very well how to work with people the right way.”
Flood listed time management as the biggest challenge of his collegiate career.
For the future,
Flood is striving to learn more advanced and accurate techniques for analyzing
and designing foundation systems. He plans to return to work for the family
business, possibly adding a consulting agency to the thriving firm.
“I want to follow
in the footsteps of the great engineers that I learn from and become a business
leader,” he stated. “Most of all, I want to have an opportunity to affect
people’s lives . . . In my dream job, I would have the opportunity to change the