Once again, enrollment is up in our engineering programs, as it is in much of the country. And, we continue to add enhancements to facilities and curricula as we maintain the distinctive aspects of the education we provide— rigorous laboratories and design experiences, multi-disciplinary co-curricular opportunities, extensive student-faculty interaction, and the breadth of the liberal arts including global programs.

This year, we welcomed Joshua Levinson to chemical & biomolecular engineering, and we received approval to hire two new tenure-track lines in mechanical engineering and in engineering studies. We also started our own Grand Challenges Scholars Program at Lafayette with seven scholars funded for four projects during summer 2011.

The projects themselves illustrate the innovation that can occur when students are immersed in rigorous engineering and liberal arts education—evaluating the intersection of technology and socioeconomics to minimize natural disaster impacts from heat waves; determining the linkage between ancient world languages and cognitive processes to advance artificial intelligence, developing an artificial neuron while assessing the ethical issues, and designing small-scale hydropower for disaster relief efforts.

This issue of the magazine highlights only a handful of the activities that keep students, faculty, and staff busy in the Acopian Engineering Center. I hope you enjoy.


Sharon A. Jones, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE
Director of the Engineering Division
Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering