Ranks of Distinguished Fellows Swells at Rose-Hulman

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Nine Rose-Hulman professors, including two just this year, have now attained elite status as distinguished fellows in their professional organizations for making significant technical and scientific contributions in their career fields, advancing emerging technologies, and shining as academic scholars and educators.

"Being a fellow is a badge of distinction and showcases the deep respect that our faculty members have earned as educators, researchers and scholars among their peers in national and international organizations," says Anne Houtman, vice president for academic affairs. "Rose-Hulman is blessed to have so many excellent professors in our classrooms and laboratories inspiring future scientists, engineers and mathematicians."

Three physics and optical engineering professors, including Associate Dean of Faculty Azad Siahmakoun, are fellows of the International Society for Optical Engineering (SPIE), the international society advancing the science and application of light. In addition, Siahmakoun is a senior member of the Optical Society of America (OSA), for advancing Micro-Electro-Mechanical Systems (MEMS) and nanotechnology, and a senior fellow for the U.S. Office of Naval Research, for development of optically multiplexed beamformer architecture projects at the Naval Surface Warfare Center in Crane, Ind.

Charles Joenathan's expertise in optical data processing, holography, optical component testing, and fiber optic sensors and technology have earned fellow status in SPIE and OSA, along with the Optical Society of India, his native country. His research activities focus on interferometry, speckle techniques, holography, and optical metrology, and he currently leads Rose-Hulman's involvement in a National Science Foundation-sponsored Smart Lighting initiative.

Renat Letfullin's role in advancing nanomedicine as a researcher and teacher has been recognized as a SPIE Fellow and a senior OSA member. One of his many discoveries, finding a new optical effect of diffractive multifocal focusing of waves, involving plane and spherical waves, was named one of the 20 best optics discoveries of the 20th century. He holds four patents in optical engineering and laser technology.

Meanwhile, three professors are fellows of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME): Lorraine Olson, head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering; Patsy Brackin, director of the institute's new engineering design program and professor of mechanical engineering; and Thomas James, associate professor of entrepreneurship in the Department of Engineering Management.

Olson is an expert at applying finite element methodologies to non-traditional areas, such as ultrasonic cleaning of semiconductor wafers, laser welding, online machine tool monitoring, rotational molding of polymers, wear-resistant coatings and inverse electrocardiography. A strong proponent of student undergraduate research experiences, she cofounded the institute's Independent Projects and Research Opportunities Program and is working with colleagues and several students on a National Science Foundation-supported research project that's focusing on using inverse problems in the early detection of breast cancer.

Brackin primarily teaches undergraduate courses in design and creativity and the senior-year capstone sequence. She has supervised two senior design projects that have led to a patent, and two projects that are under investigative review for commercial application. Brackin received ASME's Dedicated Service Award in 2015 for her academic and service work, was nominated as an outstanding STEM educator by Central Indiana's Women in Hi Tech organization and was named an Educational Fellow by the Kern Family Foundation.

James, an avid inventor whose name is on more than a dozen patents, has expertise in new product development, global business ventures and biomedical systems. He directs Rose-Hulman's Escalate program, a living-learning community focused on integrating entrepreneurship and technical disciplines. Prior to joining Rose-Hulman, James worked in the consumer products industry for 13 years as the director of engineering at Milwaukee Electric Tool. Following an acquisition by Techtronic Industries, he became the senior vice president of global engineering for the power tools division, headquartered in Hong Kong, where he lived and worked.

Kay C Dee, associate dean of learning and technology and interim head of the Department of Biology and Biomedical Engineering, is a member of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering's prestigious College of Fellows. This designation recognized Dee's contributions in research related to engineering education and tissue biomaterials. Dee was co-author of the textbook An Introduction to Tissue-Biomaterial Interactions (John Wiley & Sons), serves on the editorial board for the Journal of Biomedical Materials Research - Part A, and is an author of many peer-reviewed publications in the areas of engineering education, biomaterials and tissue engineering.

Craig Downing, head of the Department of Engineering Management, was named a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Management (ASEM) this fall. He is a certified Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt and has industry experience as a process engineer and private consultant for organizations such as Lockheed Martin/NASA, Parker Hannifin, Crain Enterprises and Peerless Pump. He continually explores new research opportunities related to quality and operations management.

Glen Livesay, professor of biology and biomedical engineering, is a distinguished fellow in the American Society of Engineering Education's National Effective Teaching Institute. His areas of expertise include orthopedic biomechanics and soft tissue mechanics, his research focuses on soft tissues, and he has mentored and worked with students on a variety of biomechanical engineering research projects.