School of Engineering

Five Ford Research Fellows named for 2008

2008 Ford Research FellowsFive innovative SMU researchers have received the University’s 2008 Ford Research Fellowships. This year’s recipients are Rhonda Blair, Theatre; Marc Christensen, Electrical Engineering; Rajani Sudan, English; Kumar Venkataraman, Finance; and Steven Vik, Biological Sciences.

Established in 2002 through a $1 million pledge from Gerald Ford, chair of SMU’s Board of Trustees, the fellowships help the University retain and reward outstanding scholars. Each recipient receives a cash prize for research support during the year.

Read more about this year’s recipients. Right, the new Ford Fellows were honored by the SMU Board of Trustees at its May meeting. Left to right: SMU Trustee Gerald J. Ford and his wife, Kelli; Vik, Blair, Christensen, Sudan and Venkataraman.


Three honored for distinguished service during Commencement 2008

National Archivist Allen Weinstein at SMU's 93rd Commencement

Three faculty members were honored with SMU’s annual Distinguished University Citizen Award at the Faculty Breakfast held May 17 before Commencement. The 2008 recipients:

  • Lynn Jacobs, Wellness
  • Jeffery Kennington, Engineering Management, Information and Systems
  • Harold Stanley, Political Science

The award, given by the Provost’s Office, honors three faculty members each year for service and activities that benefit students and the University’s academic mission. “It’s a chance to say ‘thank you’ to people who have given so much of themselves to SMU,” says Ellen Jackofsky, associate provost for faculty and administrative affairs. “The recipients truly have distinguished themselves as good University citizens.”

SMU awarded nearly 2,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees as part of this year’s graduation celebration. Dr. Allen Weinstein (above), the noted historian who oversees the nation’s presidential libraries, spoke at the all-University ceremony.

Read text of Weinstein’s Commencement speech.
See a video. video
Download the address to your iPod. iPod download
More from Commencement 2008.

Faculty in the News: May 23, 2008

Al Armendariz, SMU School of EngineeringGeoffrey Orsak, Engineering Dean, spoke on engineers’ responsibility to society at the recent 2008 Mechatronics Expo. His keynote speech was covered in the May 16, 2008, edition of Design News.

Jessica Dixon, Law, provided expertise for a story by The NewsHour with Jim Lehrer on the Texas 3rd Court of Appeals’ recent ruling that the state agency responsible for protecting children from abuse failed to prove that the youngsters it seized from a West Texas polygamist compound were in imminent danger and overreached its authority by taking them from their families. The segment aired May 22, 2008. Listen to the interview. audio

Katherine Presnell, Psychology, and Camille Kraeplin, Journalism, discussed how the media influences eating disorders and how sufferers can get help with ABC Channel 8’s “Good Morning Texas” May 13, 2008. video

Al Armendariz (right), Environmental Engineering, talked about possible avenues of investigation into a gas leak that caused an explosion in a McKinney, Texas neighborhood with NBC Channel 5 News May 19, 2008. video

SMU breaks ground for Caruth Hall 2.0

New Caruth Hall renderingEngineering education at SMU took a major step forward May 9 with groundbreaking for the School of Engineering’s new Caruth Hall. To date, commitments totaling more than $18.4 million toward a goal of $22 million have been received for the building project.

The W. W. Caruth, Jr. Foundation of Communities Foundation of Texas has committed $7.5 million toward the new building, which will be constructed on the site of the original Caruth Hall, the home of SMU’s School of Engineering since 1948. New gifts include $4 million from Robert Palmer of Houston, $2 million from the Hillcrest Foundation of Dallas and $1.5 million from the J. E. and L. E. Mabee Foundation of Tulsa.

The building will be constructed to LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold Standards of environmentally conscious design and will include more than 64,000 square feet of space for teaching, research and innovation – nearly double the size of the current facility. It will serve as home to the Caruth Institute for Engineering Education at SMU, as well as the Department of Engineering Management, Information and Systems, and the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.

“The new Caruth Hall will provide visible evidence of the growing national significance of SMU’s School of Engineering,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “We are deeply grateful for the vision and generosity of these donors in providing facilities that support our efforts to develop a national center for educating engineers who will be future leaders in the global economy.”

Read more from SMU News.
Watch video from the groundbreaking.

By | 2008-05-15T11:33:34+00:00 May 15, 2008|Categories: News|Tags: , |

SMU to host Sally Ride Science Festival April 26

Dr. Sally RideDr. Sally Ride, the United States’ first woman in space, has partnered with the SMU School of Engineering and ExxonMobil to bring the Sally Ride Science Festival to the Hilltop April 26.

The festival is designed to encourage more young women to pursue higher education and careers in math, science and engineering. Featured events include workshops for students, parents and teachers led by local scientists and engineers; a street fair with booths, activities, food and music; and a keynote speech by Ride herself.

Advance registration is required; the $18 fee includes all the day’s activities, plus lunch. Register online at the Sally Ride Science Fair website. For more information, visit the School of Engineering website.

Hear Ride’s interview on KERA’s “Think” or download it to your iPod (37 min.).

By | 2008-04-25T08:46:30+00:00 April 25, 2008|Categories: Calendar Highlights, News|Tags: , , |
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