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nd Change 

^ 7 





2 Starting Point 

3 Letters 

4 What We Can Do 

A message from President Berkey. 

5 Campus Buzz 

Faculty appointments and awards; 

Bill Grogan '46 is honored; a look back 

at Homecoming 2008; and more. 

8 The Big Picture 

Alexia Bililies '09 is thinking big. 

1 Entrepreneurship 

For entrepreneur Chad Joshi '80, 
clean energy starts with grease. 

1 2 Explorations 

A student project brings a sustainable 
solution to the water crisis in Morocco. 

1 4 Investigations 

Research from Professor Malcolm Ray's 
lab is improving the safety of our cars. 


Alumni Connections 

Alumni Relations goes green; 

save the date for Reunion 2009; 

new Development faces; and 

Connie's Corner. 


Class Notes 




Time Capsule 

Goddard Hall's renovation. 

East Hall's green roof is, well, greens. 
Photo (this page) by Patrick O'Connor. For 
more on WPI's new green residence hall and 
other sustainable initiatives, see page 16. 

1 6 The Greening of WPI 

Sustainability is more than a buzz word at WPI. 

20 Improving the Human Condition 

Advancing care for HIV/AIDS. Improving technology to detect cancer. 
Just another day in the office for a couple of WPI alumni. 


® Mixed Sources 

Product group from well-managed 
forests, controlled sources and 
recycled wood or fiber Cert no. S 
© 1996 Forest Stewardship Council 

26 All Systems Green: 

Wind, Waste, Water, and WPI Alumni 

Andrew Stern '92 and Bernie Podberesky '58 envision a cleaner future. 

30 Redefining the Safety Zone 

Three alumni help keep the rest of us out of harms way. 

34 The Voices of Worcester's 

Barbara Haller '83 and Pat Spencer '05 share 
their perspectives on the neighborhood. 


Tar and away the best prize that life offers is the chance 
to work hard at work worth doing/' 

— Theodore Roosevelt 

I recently learned that a WPI colleague, Adam Epstein '05, leaves a copy of 
Transformations in the seat-back pocket of every airplane in which he travels. 
"Sometimes I'll even take a few and, awkwardly, put them in seats other than 
my own," he says. "On a trip last year, I remember a gentleman in my row 
who was actually reading it during the flight, and we made conversation." 

In short, it's some extra visibility for WPI with an especially captive 
audience. It makes me smile to think about all the JetBlues and Deltas of the 
world, unknowingly transporting this very magazine back and forth across the 
country, around the globe, and into the hands of people who may have never 
before heard of WPI. Lucky for me — and for all of us, really — Adam's job in 
Admissions involves a good amount of travel. 

If you're reading this column, this magazine, you're likely invested in some 
way in WPI. Perhaps you're an alum, a professor, a retired staff member, or a 
parent — or grandparent — of a current student. (Perhaps you're traveling on an 
airplane at this very moment and you've stumbled by accident onto this issue 
of Transformations. If so, please keep reading!) Whatever your connection to 
this university, won't you follow Adam's example and share this magazine with 
someone you know, or even someone you don't know. As a community, it's our 
collective duty to educate just a few more prospective students, parents, faculty 
members, or corporate partners, about why WPI is such an exceptional place. 

I imagine such people would be interested in, or even surprised by, the 
impact that a WPI education can have. Take this issue of Transformations, for 
instance, in which we tell the stories of the significant work and activities of 
WPI alumni, students, and faculty in areas as diverse as health, safety, the envi- 
ronment, and the Worcester community. In an uncertain economy — or any 
economy, for that matter — this work remains of utmost importance to 
advancing our knowledge, improving our standard of living, and contributing 
to the world in myriad ways. 

In Chicago, Bruce Minsky 77 (page 21) has improved the course of 
treatment for patients with colorectal cancer, the result of which has increased 
the survival rate for the devastating disease. In Paris, while traveling for work, 
Romiya Glover Barry '04 (page 25) is meeting with clients to bring to market 
technologies and products that will aid those with blood clotting disorders. 
In Anchorage, Peter Bellino '08 (page 30) helps protect the gas pipeline there, 
where the threat of fire stretches on for thousands of miles. In our own back- 
yard, Barbara Haller '83 (page 34) is improving our way of life, as a Worcester 
city council member and longtime concerned citizen. 

There's more: Faculty research improves the safety of our cars, and a stu- 
dent project helps a community in Morocco come up with solutions to relieve 
the water crisis there. 

While it may be difficult to whittle down the essence of WPI in just a 
few words or phrases, I'm hopeful that we've captured at least some of the 
spirit in these 56 pages. 

This is The Important Work We Do. Pass it on. 

Thanks for reading. 

Charna Mamlok Westervelt, Editor 

VOLUME 106 • NUMBER 1 • 


' WINTER 2009 






Charna Mamlok Westervelt 

Chris Ritter 

Vice President for Marketing and 


Joan Killough-Miller 
Alumni News Editor 

Peggy Isaacson 

Graphic Designer and Copy Editor 

Dianne Vanacore 

Print Production Coordinator 

Judith Jaeger 

Director of Advancement Publications 

Michael W. Dorsey 

Director of Research Communications 

Pamela Mecca 

Alumni Communications Committee 

Robert C. Labonte '54, chair; Phil Cyr '86 (MBA '02), James S. 
Demetry '58, William J. Firla Jr. '60, William R. Grogan '46, 
Dusty Klauber '68, Howard Levine 72, Megan Lindberg '04, 
Amy L. (Plack) Marr '96, Harlan B. Williams '50 

Editorial Board 

Gina Betti, Collaborative for Entrepreneurship and Innovation; 
Anne McPartland Dodd 75; Hossein Hakim, Electrical and 
Computer Engineering; Dana Harmon, Physical Education, 
Recreation, and Athletics; Natalie Mello, Interdisciplinary 
and Global Studies; Robert Oborne, Development; Robert 
Thompson, Chemical Engineering; Richard Vaz, Electrical 
and Computer Engineering, and Interdisciplinary and 
Global Studies. Transformations 

Diverse views presented in this magazine do not necessarily 
reflect the opinions of the editor or official WPI policies. 
Address correspondence to the Editor, Transformations, 
WPI, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609-2280. 
Phone: 508-831-6715; Fax: 508-831-5820. 

Transformations (ISSN 1 538-5094) is published quarterly by 
the Division of Marketing and Communications for the WPI 
Alumni Association. Printed in USA by Dynagraf. 

Periodicals postage paid at Worcester, Mass., and at additional 
mailing offices. Postmaster: please send address changes to address 
above. Entire contents © 2009, Worcester Polytechnic Institute. 


Proper Head Count Capturing a Snapshot of WPI History 

The "Women of WPI" article in the Spring 2008 Transforma- I read your excellent article "The Women of WPI" with 

tions states that 26 percent of the class of 2008 are women. great interest. Women have come a long way at WPI and 

It seems to me that 26 percent is still lower than it should be, you have captured the flavor of their presence. There were 

but don't short-change the progress WPI has made. Although 
women make up one-quarter of the Class 
of 2008, the ratio of women to men is 
1:3, not 1:4 as stated. 

Steve Delfino '89 

Somerville, Mass. 

Editor's note: Oy! We are still smacking 
our heads over this one. Thanks to Mr. 
Delfino, who was a math major at WPI, 
for pointing out our error. 

Further Explanation Needed 

I enjoyed "The Women of WPI" in the 
recent issue of Transformations. I had to 
laugh at the comment by Mary Farren 
McDonald 79 about the men memo- 
rizing all the women's names. That happened to me too, 
over 20 years later! 

One thing I didn't like was the statement, "For years, 
girls did not attend institutions like WPI because they weren't to campus Stephanie Blaisdell, the predecessor of Michelle 
taking the high-level math and science needed for admission." Nicholson, director of women's programs. 
This is whitewashing the sexist reality. Women were not 
allowed into these institutions for many years because of 
their gender, and even when they weren't officially denied, 
they often couldn't take the advanced courses needed to get 
in. My mother grew up in St. Louis, Mo., and went to an 
all-girls Catholic school. Hardcore math and science just 
weren't offered. She was stuck learning cooking and home 
economics. Women weren't even encouraged to go to college 
at all. My mother-in-law — who is a bit younger, grew up in 
Maine, and went to college in upstate New York — tells me 
she wanted to be a math major in college, but women were 
not allowed to take calculus. She had to settle for accounting 
since it didn't require the advanced math courses she was 
excluded from. 

The article makes it sound like it was entirely women's 
fault that they weren't entering science and engineering fields. 

Kerry Lee Anderson '03 

Brighton, Mass. 

just a few other notable events in the life of women at WPI 
that I thought I'd mention. There were 
two women faculty in 1967, both teach- 
ing in the Chemistry Department — 
Barbara Murphy and I. (I was on loan 
from Clark University, where I was 
teaching physiology). I taught molecular 
biology here and Barbara was a chemistry 
tenure-track professor. 

During his tenure here, President 
Edward Alton Parrish asked a number of 
us to form a Committee on the Status of 
Women, which we did. The Committee 
consisted of elected women members 
from all facets of women's life here on 
campus, with rotating terms of office. 
We met frequently at Higgins House, 
where I hosted a number of breakfast meetings. Recognizing 
that there needed to be a dedicated person to address women's 
issues, many of us were on the search committee that brought 

Helen G. Vassallo '82 (MBA) 
WPI Professor of Management and Secretary of the Faculty 

Correction: Kasia Koscielska '08 was the recipient of the 
Meridith D. Wesby Young Leader Award, given by the 
Women's Initiative of United Way of Central Massachusetts. 
Transformations regrets the misinformation in the Spring 
2008 issue of the magazine. 

Transformations \ Winter 2009 3 

A message from President Berkey 

What We Can Do 

As a nation, we recently witnessed the historic inauguration of 
Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States. Millions 
of Americans gathered on the National Mall to observe the 
peaceful transition of power that reflects the great strength of our 
democracy, while many times more watched on televisions across 
this country and around the globe. As one of those viewers, I 
found myself feeling at once deeply American and truly a citizen 
of the world. 

I also found the presence of so many young people especially 
compelling. Indeed, throughout the long presidential campaign, 
the passionate support of young people for each of the major 
candidates brought a marvelous energy and creativity to the 
process. As the cameras panned across their faces, my thoughts 
could not help but return to the inauguration of John F. Kennedy 
during my own coming of age. His words that day issued an 
important call to service that have remained in the hearts and 
minds of so many Americans because they speak to our best 
instincts — our spirit of generosity, passion for discovery, and 
commitment to hard work. 

When I think about WPI, I am reminded that asking what you 
can do is only the first step. Doing what you can do makes all 
the difference, and I believe few institutions prepare their students 
to take effective action as well as WPI. The Institute's distinctive 
project-enriched curriculum, the WPI Plan, focuses on the integra- 
tion and application of knowledge, precisely the skills required 
for imagining new possibilities, working collaboratively with 
others, and getting a job done. 

Throughout this issue of Transformations, you will find inspiring 
stories of WPI students, faculty, staff, and alumni who have asked 
what they can do — and then taken on the challenge of doing it. 
On any given day, whether in the most modern cities or the most 
remote villages, these remarkable individuals are doing important 
work to improve the health of our planet and the lives of their 
fellow man. Among them are alumni who are making great 
advances in the standard of care for patients suffering from 
colorectal cancer, developing a revolutionary process to recycle 
plastic and rubber trash into reusable materials, working on 
water and sanitation issues in developing countries, and helping 
to fight homelessness right here in Worcester. 

During these troubling 
economic times, we on 
the WPI campus are 
also asking ourselves 
what we can do to help 
this marvelous institution 
weather the storm and 
emerge stronger than 
ever. This we must do 
while protecting the 
core values that we all 
associate with WPI. 
These values include 
the WPI Plan, our inno- 
vative project-enriched 
curriculum; a tradition 
of excellence in under- 
graduate teaching; and research activities that are both intellec- 
tually challenging and truly important. 

To this end, we have implemented several cost-saving initiatives 
that will require all of us to work together — to do what we can 
do. We have instituted a hiring "frost" on staff positions, with only 
the most essential open positions being filled. We are continuing 
with faculty searches, although we anticipate that several of these 
will be held over for next year due to the complicated nature of 
landing truly outstanding candidates. We have eliminated non- 
essential expenditures in areas such as travel and meeting costs, 
and we will continue to reevaluate our financial health. 

Without meaning to minimize the challenges we will be facing, 
I believe that the good work we have done to strengthen the 
Institute in recent years, and the savings we can generate yet 
this year by the measures being proposed, will position us well 
to begin moving to a new equilibrium, a sustainable financial 
model, that can see us through the difficult years ahead and 
ensure continued success in the long run. 

So, yes, these are challenging times for our nation and for this 
university, but I am heartened each day by the knowledge that 
the people of WPI are on the case. This is our moment to do 
what we can do. 

When I think about WPI, I am reminded that asking what you can do 
is only the first step. Doing what you can do makes all the difference, 
and I believe few institutions prepare their students to take effective 
action as well as WPI. 

4 Transformations \ Winter 2009 


Faculty News: Appointments and Awards 

Longtime faculty member John Orr 

was named WPI provost and senior 
vice president last spring, following an 
intense yearlong, nationwide search. As 
provost and senior vice president, Orr 
is responsible for all of the university's 
academic and research programs; he 
serves as the senior member of the 
president's staff. 

Orr received BS and PhD degrees in electrical engineering at the 
University of Illinois at UrbanaOhampaign and earned an MS 
degree in electrical engineering at Stanford University. He began 
his career at WPI in 1977 as an assistant professor of electrical 
engineering and served as head of the Electrical and Computer 
Engineering Department from 1988 to 2003; in 2006 he was 
named dean of undergraduate studies and a year later became 
provost ad interim. 

Art Heinricher has been appointed 
dean of undergraduate studies, respon- 
sible for the quality and effectiveness 
of all aspects of the WPI undergrad- 
uate experience. 

Heinricher came to WPI in 1992 as 
a faculty member in the Mathematical 
Sciences Department, where he is cur- 
rently a professor. He was appointed associate dean for the first 
year experience in 2007 and was instrumental in the development 
and implementation of WPI's Great Problems Seminars, which 
serve as an introduction to university-level research and project 
work focused on themes of current global importance, including 
food, energy, infectious diseases, and materials science and 
sustainability. He holds a BS in applied mathematics from the 
University of Missouri-St. Louis and a PhD in mathematics from 
Carnegie Mellon University. 

Jeanine Plummer, associate professor 
of civil and environmental engineering 
and director of the university's Environ- 
mental Engineering Program, has been 
named Professor of the Year for Massa- 
chusetts by the Council for the Advance- 
ment and Support of Education. 

Plummer, who joined the WPI faculty in 
1999, received a BS in civil and environmental engineering from 
Cornell University; she earned both an MS in environmental 
engineering and a PhD in civil and environmental engineering at 
the University of Massachusetts Amherst. 

Last year, Robert Norton, Milton Prince Higgins II Distinguished 
Professor of Mechanical Engineering, won this prestigious award 
and in 2002, Judith Miller, then professor of biology and bio- 
technology at WPI, received the same distinction. 

Kristin Wobbe, head of the Depart- 
ment of Chemistry and Biochemistry 
became WPI's first Metzger Professor 
of Chemistry in October. The endowed 
professorship was established in 2007 
through a $1.5 million gift from John 
C. Metzger Jr. 46, and his wife, Jean. 
Metzger, who spent his entire career 
at E. I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., 
died in December 2006. 

Wobbe joined the WPI faculty in 1995; she holds a BA in chem- 
istry from St. Olaf College and a PhD in biochemistry from Harvard 
University. She was named the Leonard P. Kinnicutt Assistant Pro- 
fessor of Chemistry in 1999. In 2001 she received the Romeo L. 
Moruzzi Young Faculty Award for Innovation in Undergraduate 
Education, and was also promoted to associate professor of 
chemistry. In 2007 Wobbe co-developed and co-taught Feed 
the World, one of the inaugural Great Problems Seminars. 

WPI Is Ninth in Nation for Getting Rich 

A recent ranking compiled by recognizing the "Top Colleges for Getting Rich" rated WPI ninth in the nation, based 
on the salaries of both recent graduates and those with 10 to 20 years of experience. The median salary among WPI graduates with 
up to five years of experience was $61,000; among those with 10 to 20 years of experience, the median was $1 14,000. The mediar 
top salary among WPI graduates was $180,000. Colleges rounding out the Top 10 are Dartmouth, Princeton, Stanford, Yale, MIT, 
Harvard, University of Pennsylvania, Notre Dame, and the Polytechnic University of New York, Brooklyn. 



WPI's 140th Commencement brought together students, 
faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors from near and far on the 
campus Quadrangle, where 1,089 bachelor's, master's, 
and PhD degrees were awarded in May. 

Honorary degrees were conferred upon Jeffrey Immelt, chair- 
man and CEO of General Electric Co. and keynote speaker 
at Commencement; Woodie Flowers, Pappalardo Professor of 
Mechanical Engineering, emeritus, at 
Massachusetts Institute of Technology; 
Richard Lyman, president emeritus of 
Stanford University, J. E. Wallace Sterling 
Professor of Humanities, emeritus, and 
FSI Senior Fellow in Stanford's History 
Department; and Elizabeth "Jing" Lyman, 
social entrepreneur and founder and 
co-chair of the National Coalition for 
Women's Enterprise. 

Additionally, the Chairman's Exemplary Prize — established in 2007 
through the personal philanthropy of Donald Peterson '71, chair of 
the WPI Board of Trustees — was presented to two outstanding WPI 
faculty members. David Adams, professor of biology and biotech- 
nology, and Alexander Emanuel, professor of electrical and 
computer engineering, each received a prize of $10,000. 

Inspiring a lifetime of learning 

in math, science, and engineering 

The work of the WPI 
K-12 Outreach Program 

challenges students to grow 
academically, making a 
difference in educating the 
next generation of leaders 
and innovators. 


6 Transformations \ Winter 2 009 

Honoring a Man, a Plan 

Dean Emeritus William Grogan '46 

was honored in November at the annual 
dinner of the WPI Presidential Founders, 
the society made up of men and women 
whose lifetime giving to the university 
equals or exceeds John Boynton's found- 
ing gift of $100,000. Grogan was rec- 
ognized for his lifetime of service to his 
alma mater and for his own generosity, 

the latest in a long list of major honors WPI has bestowed on 

one of its most revered graduates. 

Generations of WPI students, faculty, and alumni know Grogan 
as a peer, colleague, professor, dean of undergraduate studies, 
and, most notably, one of the founders of the WPI Plan. He was 
part of the six-member faculty committee appointed in 1967 by 
President Harry Storke to review the WPI academic program, 
subsequently resulting in the formation of the WPI Plan, the uni- 
versity's groundbreaking curriculum that combines theoretical 
study with project-based problem solving. Over 40 years later, 
the Plan remains a much-admired and respected model of edu- 
cational innovation, in large part due to Grogan's devotion, 
passion, support, and constant vigilance. 

A Clean Win for WPI Students 

A student project that established a sustainable laundry facility 
in a village near Cape Town, South Africa, has won first place in 
the WPI President's IQP Awards competition. Researched, designed, 
and installed by Lauren Alex '09, Jessy Cusack '09, Augustina 
Mills '09, and Alejandro Sosa-Boyd '08, the laundry system is 
being hailed as a great 
labor-saving tool for the 
women of Monwabisi Park. 

"The students' plan will 

serve as a blueprint for 

all the other areas where 

we intend to build more 

community centers — 

each one with a 'WPI 

laundry system' attached," 

says project sponsor 

Dianne Womersley, of 

the Shaster Foundation. 

"The WPI students made a significant impact and an invaluable 

contribution to a poverty-stricken community." 

The project was completed during C-term 2008, when the students 
traveled to WPI's Cape Town Project Center — one of over 25 such 
centers around the globe where WPI students work on projects to 
solve some of the world's most pressing problems. 



WPI alumni felt right at home during Homecoming, 
Oct. 3-4. Weekend activities included athletic games, 
the family carnival and parade of floats, and myriad 
opportunities to reconnect with familiar friends (and 
mascots) and learn what's new at WPI today. 

Hogs in Heaven 

WPI Dining Services has begun recycling its leftover food scraps from Morgan Hall. 
Local farms will receive the leftovers (totaling 400 pounds a day!) to feed their pigs. 
See page 16 to read about additional sustainable initiatives around campus. 

Transformations \ Winter 2009 7 


By Judith Jaeger 

One Student's Odyssey 

Alexia Bililies '09 first came to WPI as a fifth grader to participate 
in an Odyssey of the Mind competition. Now Bililies is about to begin 
her own odyssey, helping people around the world survive disasters. 

Bililies is unusually prepared for the challenges of the path she's chosen. 
She grew up traveling the world with her parents, who ran Alternative 
Leisure Co., a nonprofit service organization for disabled children and 
adults. And she learned the depth of her own compassion through her 
volunteer work and professional activities. 

While pursuing a double major in international studies and Hispanic 
studies at WPI, Bililies has been a group leader for Alternative Leisure, 
an assistant to a social worker and a Spanish interpreter at Lutheran 
Social Services Adoption in Worcester, and a grant writer at Friendly 
House in Worcester. She was also a health care disparities research 
and policy development intern for the Massachusetts Public Health 
Association, a special events and outreach intern at the Massachusetts 
Breast Cancer Coalition, and a psychology intern at the Bureau of 
Prisons Federal Medical Center in Ayer, Mass. 

Bililies also undertook projects aimed at preparing her for inter- 
national humanitarian work. For her IQP, she went to Namibia 
to work with the Namibian Business Coalition on HIV/AIDS to 
develop innovative prevention strategies that could be imple- 
mented by the private business sector. She developed her own 
MQP in Santiago, Dominican Republic, working with Caritas, 
a Catholic nonprofit that empowers women to establish rural 
pharmacies to provide affordable drugs to the poor. 

Bililies, who graduated three terms early, is now preparing for 
the next phase of her journey. She has been accepted into a 
master's program in disaster management at the University of 
Copenhagen, Denmark, and will attend with the support of a 
Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship. She hopes to one day work 
with the Red Cross or United Nations, organizing disaster relief 
services to help those in need. Bililies is certain her WPI 
education and its emphasis on project-based problem 
solving will help her get there. 

"I'm a big advocate for practicing what you're 
learning," she says, "and I think that's what 
has kept me motivated these four years." 


8 Transformations \ Winter 2 09 




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,||| ENTREPRENEURSHIP By Kate Evans-Correia 

It was in the middle of the other U.S. energy crisis when Chad Joshi '80, a mechanical 
engineering student at the time, became interested in alternative energy. 

"It was all about being energy independent/' says 
Joshi, who recalled the energy embargo in the 1970s when 
gas prices skyrocketed and long lines at gas stations were the 
norm. But when the embargo ended in 1979 and oil started 
flowing again, the prices dropped and the interest in energy 
conservation waned. It was just the beginning for Joshi, 
though, whose major project looked at the cost-effectiveness 
of residential solar heating. 

Today, Joshi remains driven by the desire to turn alter- 
native energy initiatives into real working applications. The 
entrepreneur and businessman is co-owner of the Boylston, 
Mass. -based Owl Power Co., Inc., a venture whose co-gener- 
ation system turns used vegetable oil into electric power. 

"The key innovation is in how we process the vegetable 
oil," says Joshi, who also holds a PhD from MIT. 

For years, innovators have experimented with vegetable 

10 Trans formations \ Winter 2 09 

c o 

oil as a potential energy source, mostly for powering cars. But 
the challenge with powering motor vehicles, Joshi says, is that 
they require the use of diesel fuel as well as vegetable oil. Owl 
Power's Vegawatt power system can run purely on recycled 
vegetable oil. "We clean up the oil on site and use an internal 
combustion engine to generate electricity," he says. 

This waste-to-electricity system can produce about one- 
third of a restaurant's power, saving up to $10,000 a year in 
electricity costs for a 100-seat restaurant. At about $20,000 
per unit, or $500 a month to lease, the rate of return makes 
this system a compelling energy option. 

With two patents pending and a local customer site in 

beta testing, the company is tweaking the product to meet 
the strict state and local regulatory issues around combustion 
engines. Once that hurdle is cleared, the product is poised for 
tremendous growth, says Joshi, and he is heavily pitching the 
product to national food chains, such as McDonald's. 

Joshi, who provides corporate development and strategy 
consulting services to Owl Power and is responsible for busi- 
ness planning and raising capital for the company launch, 
says he's driven by the challenge of bringing an idea to market. 
He was bitten by the entrepreneurial bug as an engineer at 
American Superconductor Corp. in the late 1980s. "I liked the 
idea of being involved in things in the early stage," he says. 
"Building a company from scratch, taking what was being 
developed in the lab and turning it into a useful application — 
it was very intriguing to me." 

In 1996 Joshi left American Superconductor to form 
his own company, Energen Inc., a precision control device 
maker based in Lowell, Mass. The company's first product, 
based on technology to come out of the U.S. Naval Research 
Laboratory, took Magnetostrictive — a material that changes 
its shape when it connects with a magnet — and turned it into 
a precision motion application now used in the image stabi- 
lization feature of a movie camera. The product was licensed 
to Panavision in 2007, opening the door for yet another 
venture. "I decided to go back and look at what the energy 
industry was producing," he says. 

At the annual Clean Energy Conference in Boston, Joshi 
connected with people working on clean energy initiatives. "I 
started getting involved in helping these younger engineers 
build a company around their technology," he says. That's 
where he met Owl Power co-founder James Peret, a former 
development engineer at Boston-based Insight Product 

But Joshi attributes his desire to handle the business side 
of technological innovation to his years at WPI. It was there, 
he says, he worked on projects that showcased his technical 
skills. "The flexibility allowed me to go and explore what I 
was interested in — a solar heating system application. So I 
talked to [Professor] Jack Boyd and said, 'Here's what I'd like 
to do.' He allowed me to put together a team and explore 
what was involved in designing a solar energy system." 

As he immerses himself in bringing a new alternative 
energy plan to fruition, Joshi says the country, like his career, 
has come full circle. But he doesn't believe there will be any 
waning in environmental concerns this time around. In the 
1970s, the cost of oil drove people to turn to alternative 
energy sources. But today, he says, it's a change in attitudes 
toward fossil fuels and concerns about the environment 
that will sustain the alternative energy movement. 

Transformations \ Winter 2 009 II 

EXP 'RATIONS By Eileen McCluskey 

have turned the once-fruitful 
land of Adghagh into a place where the arid earth cracks. 
Until five years ago, a spring-fed river flowed through this 
Moroccan village in the Middle Atlas Mountains, continually 
replenishing a man-made reservoir. The lake irrigated plen- 
tiful crops and attracted wealthy 
tourists. Now, the springs have 
dried as the water table has plum- 
meted. The river's waterless ditch 
reveals bones and rocks, and few 
foreigners venture near the reser- 
voir's scooped-out remains. 

The Adghagh villagers have 
farmed their land for generations. 
As the water table has dropped, 
these villagers, like other Moroccans, have drilled ever-deeper 
wells. But only a few Adghagh residents can now afford this 
solution, which becomes costlier, the deeper they drill and 
pump. Families must pull children out of school to walk up 
to three miles each way for drinking water. As for crops, 

most families rely on scant rainfall. They can still grow staples, 
including wheat and barley. But residents' main cash crop — 
apples — requires a lot of water. 

Last August, WPI juniors Andrea Bisson, Paige Bourne, 
and Daniel Hassett spent seven weeks working with the 
residents of this close-knit Berber village, to learn about their 
needs and determine solutions to their water crisis. "This is 
the perfect project to look at sustainability issues in remote 
communities," says Tahar El-Korchi, civil and environmental 
engineering professor and interim department head, and 
director of the Morocco Project Center. 

It was also an excellent opportunity for students to learn 
about a new culture. "Over the past 20 years," says Bland 
Addison, associate professor of history and project advisor, 
"I've become increasingly concerned about how Muslims are 
portrayed in the United States as the enemy. This project 
was a great way to educate U.S. students about Islam and 

Early in their visit, the WPI students met with Adghagh 
residents. With Peace Corps volunteer Josh Cabell as their 

12 Transformations \ Winter 2 009 

liaison and translator, they con- 
ducted a survey with the heads of 
the village's 71 families about local 
irrigation methods and residents' 
hopes for the project's outcomes. 

In another on-site exercise, the 
students mapped the location of all 
water sources in Adghagh by walk- 
ing the village with a hand-held 
GPS device. Hassett led the map- 
ping effort, using skills he learned 
in the Marine Corps ROTC. The 
students pinpointed each canal of 
Adghagh's irrigation infrastructure. 

They mapped the town's water tower, which only better-off 
families can afford to use — its pump requires pricey diesel 
fuel, and all comers must pay for the fuel to run the pump. 
Adghagh's wells — only one of which is public — can also be 
found on the map. 

Solar hopes 

When they had finished their studies and discussions, the 
WPI team offered their insights. 

"We made recommendations that we think the villagers 
will be most likely to implement," says Bisson. For example, to 
bring water immediately to Adghagh, the students suggested 
raising the funds needed to drill a deep well, equipped with 
a solar-powered, submersible displacement pump, for all 
residents to use. 

Solar-powered pumps have worked elsewhere in Morocco; 
a displacement pump would be ideal, with its proposed 
depth of at least 525 feet. The submersible pump, located 
deep within the well, would weather the extreme cold of 
Adghagh's winters. 

"We believe that using sustainable energy makes it more 
likely that an NGO will be willing to fund the project," 
explains Bourne, who evaluated different types of pumps. 

Over the longer term, sustainable practices would allow 
villagers to make available water supplies last longer. A rain- 
water harvesting system would be practical for household use. 
Residents could inexpensively install corrugated plastic sheets 
on their roofs. A pipe running along the bottom of the sheet 
diverts the potable water into a large enclosed barrel, equipped 
with a spigot, on the ground. With one 55-gallon drum, 
most households could store enough rainwater from each 
storrh to supply drinking water for a week. 

Village-wide adoption of line-source drip irrigation 
would save on the inefficient pipes currently in use. In this 

form of drip irrigation, pre-spaced emitters built into the main 
water lines distribute water across an entire row of plants. The 
least expensive of the drip irrigation systems, line-source is 
also easy to install. 

To grow the local economy, the students recommended 
replacing thirsty apple trees with those that are commercially 
proven and less water-needy — such as almond, sweet cherry, 
and English walnut. "We know these trees flourish in this 
region," says Bisson, a biology major, who led this part of 
the research. 

Addison feels hopeful that many of the students' recom- 
mendations will be implemented. "Josh [Cabell] will work with 
a better-off family to experiment with drip irrigation and culti- 
vating almond trees to help overcome residents' concerns," he 
says. Meanwhile, Cabell and Aicha Brahimi, the Peace Corps' 
director of environmental programs, are seeking potential 
grantors and government loan sources for the well. 

While the students studied, wrote, and edited their report 
for the village, the people of Adghagh were busy winning the 
youths' hearts. "On our first visit," Hassett says, "we were 
invited into a resident's home for mint tea and Moroccan 
pancakes. We felt so welcomed." 

"When the students first came to Adghagh, they seemed 
a little nervous," says El-Korchi. "But over time, their fears 
dissipated. The transformation is really profound. It's a great 
accomplishment to see our students at ease in this North 
African, Arab country." 

Throughout the duration of ' : Al Akhav, sity 

(AUI) provided housing and jrces to the WPI students. 

John Shoup and Eric : Mil's School of 

Humanities and Arts, worked clo hroughout 

their stay. Peace Corps members Josh Cabell and Aicha Brah 
and AUI student Houssam Jedda also assisted the WPi team. 

Photos provided by Daniel Hassett '10. 


Before the late 1980s, 

when seat belts and airbags 
became common safety features 
in cars, head-on collisions 
tended to result in serious trauma 
to the head, neck, chest, and 
abdomen. In fact, a study by the 
National Highway Traffic Safety 
Administration (NHTSA) found 
that airbags alone have cut 
fatalities from frontal crashes 
by more than 30 percent, prin- 
cipally by markedly reducing 
upper body injuries. 

Addressing Safety, Head On 

That's the good news. The bad news is that drivers and front-seat passengers 
who survive head-on collisions often suffer serious injuries to the lower extremi- 
ties — particularly the knees, hips, and thighs. While rarely fatal, these injuries often 
result in costly, lifelong disabilities (one study put the annual price tag at $4 billion, 
along with 60,000 life-years lost to injury — a measure of lost productivity). 

The solution, most experts agree, is to redesign car interiors so they afford the 
lower body the same protection that seat belts and air bags now provide the upper 
body. But to do that, designers will need a new generation of tools that help them 
understand the kinds of insults that knees, hips, and thighs endure in a crash, and 
to cost-effectively test how well new designs can combat them. 

With more than $1 million in support from NHTSA, a WPI research team 
led by Malcolm Ray, professor of civil and environmental engineering and a widely 
sought-after authority on highway safety, has spent the last four years developing 
those tools. The result is a detailed three-dimensional finite element model of the 
bones, muscles, ligaments, tendons, and skin that make up the lower body. 

In essence, the model is a mathematical representation of the body — its 
structure, its mechanics, and its strengths and weaknesses — that can be placed in 
the driver's seat of a virtual car. When the digital car is put through a simulated 
crash test, the virtual human will react just as a real person would. Impacts with 
the car interior will create the same forces as real impacts, producing the same 
fractures and other injuries. 

To create the model, Ray and his team — which includes Chiara Silvestri '08 
(PhD), research instructor in civil and environmental engineering — worked from 
the inside out. They first built digital bones, a surprisingly difficult task. "The 
material properties in bones change with direction," Ray says. "Different bones 
will break in different ways for that reason." 

In addition, bones are not uniform: most have a hard shell that encloses a 
spongy interior. To the finished bones, the team added muscles. "Mechanically, 
muscles are like springs and dampers," Ray says. "They are one-degree-of-freedom 
elements that work only in tension." Next came tendons (which link muscles to 
bones) and ligaments (which connect bones to one another). There was little in 
the literature about how these tissues perform under stress. 

To fill this knowledge gap, the team placed bone-ligament units in a drop 
tower and subjected them to forces consistent with those experienced in automo- 
bile crashes. They found that ligaments behave like ropes, Ray says. "If you add 
weight to a rope slowly, it can hold more than if you drop the weight on quickly. 
Similarly, ligaments and tendons tend to get more brittle the faster you put ten- 
sion on them." 

As the model took form, Ray and his team sought to validate it by comparing 
its predictions with data from actual NHTSA crash tests that used cadavers. The 
model predicted some aspects of the test results almost perfectly, but certain 
results simply didn't add up. 

"As we looked into it, we found that the tests had not been thoroughly docu- 
mented and that some of the documentation didn't agree with what we could see 
in the test photos," Ray says. 

14 Transformations \ Winter 2 009 

Like detectives, Ray and Silvestri pored over the evidence and reconstructed 
the tests in detail, then adjusted the parameters they fed into the model accord- 
ingly. "We found that very small changes — perhaps just a few degrees in how the 
leg was positioned — could make a big difference in the outcome," Silvestri says. 
After the adjustments, the model's predictions and the actual test results came 
into close — though not perfect — alignment. 

The difference, it turned out, was only skin-deep. While the model accounted 
for the weight of the virtual human's skin and fat tissue, the mass of the flesh had 
been lumped at the joints, rather than being spread out more naturally. 

"The flesh and the bones are not rigidly coupled," Ray says. "So on impact, 
some of the force will go into the bone and some will be absorbed by the flesh. 
In our model, that wasn't happening." When an accurate representation of the 
flesh was added to the model, the discrepancy disappeared. 

"As an engineer," Ray says, "you are taught — and you believe with every fiber 
of your being — that physics is correct. So when physics and your results don't 
agree, you try to find out what it is in the evidence or the physics that you don't 
understand. Of course, that's what makes a model better." 

As the model development enters its final stages, Ray and his team are 
looking forward to seeing their work put into practice in the design of future 
cars, which, thanks to their diligence, will be able, finally, to protect occupants 
from top to bottom. The model will likely find other applications, such as 
helping prevent lower-extremity injuries in skiers or football players. 

The team is also finding time to reflect on other lessons they've learned. 
"I am an old-fashioned structural engineer," Ray says. "I deal with wood, concrete, 
steel. This project has been a lot of fun because I've found that while the geom- 
etry of the human body is very complicated and much different from most engi- 
neered structures, creating this model has been, at its core, a structures problem. 
Mechanics, it seems, is still just mechanics." 

Over the past four years, Malcolm Ray has led a team 
that has built a finite element model of the lower body 
that designers can use to create safer car interiors. The 
model includes realistic simulations of the structure and 
function of bones, muscles, tendons, ligaments — even 
flesh, which is represented by the yellow and brown 
areas in the illustration above of the model's workings. 

Transformations \ Winter 2 009 15 


As Q COrnrnunity, perhaps the most important work we can do 

together is to ensure a sustainable future for those who come after us. 

From recycling dining hall scraps into animal feed, to forward-thinking 

policy on the construction and operation of campus facilities, to a 

new environmental studies major designed to educate the leaders 

of tomorrow, WPI is deeply and widely engaged in the 

global effort to clean up, and green up, the Earth. 

The Greening 

.♦>. «*L 

W '.* '. 


v <• 

By Joan Killough-Miller 
and Charna Westervelt 

When Trustee Judy Nitsch '75 joined a group of WPI 
volunteers ar a Kensington, Conn., nursery last spring, she 
knew their work would sow the seeds — literally — for sus- 
tainability In August 2008, the 10,000 seedlings they hand- 
planted in modular pallets were installed atop East Hall — 
crowning WPI's newest residence hall with a living green roof. 
t$k m addition to providing thermal insulation and particulate 
filtration for storm water, Worcester's first-ever green roof 
allows students and faculty to gather research data on storm 
water quality and flow. "Our civil and environmental engi- 
neering students will be comparing and contrasting the storm 
water runoff so WPI can quantify the advantage of a green 
roof," says Nitsch, who has been a driving force and bene- 
factor for green design and sustainable construction on 
WPI's campus. 

East Hall, a showcase of recycled materials and energy- 
saving features, is on track to become WPI's second LEED- 
certified building. (LEED, Leadership in Energy and Environ- 
mental Design, is a national rating system by the U.S. Green 
Building Council for developing high-performance, sustainable 
buildings.) The first was Bartlett Center, home to admissions 

Transformations \ Winter 2009 17 

and financial aid, which opened in 2006. In February 2007, 
the WPI Board of Trustees voted to adopt a policy calling 
for all future campus buildings to be environmentally friendly 
and to be LEED certifiable. "WPI recognizes the importance 
of making permanent changes in how organizations do busi- 
ness — with respect to energy, the environment, and the econ- 
omy," says Fred DiMauro, assistant vice president for facilities. 
"Energy efficiency, the careful selection of a building site, 
responsible use of natural resources, and reduction in generat- 
ing waste are just some factors that need to become standard 
procedures in the design, construction, and operation of all 

At 5,000 square feet, the green roof stands as a visible 
symbol of WPfs commitment to environmental responsi- 
bility. A much smaller, but very important, patch of green 
bloomed on WPFs homepage on St. Patrick's Day 2008; 
it is a logo that links to the Sustainability at WPI website 
( The site was unveiled to mark the 
kickoff of a campus-wide effort, led by the President's Task 
Force on Sustainability, to strengthen the "sustainability 

sensibility" on campus, and inspire research 
and action throughout the world. Its mission 
embraces academic and operational initia- 
tives in the areas of climate protection, 
materials management, facilities operations, 
local and global communities, and academ- 
ics. The results can be observed in every 
corner of the campus and by all segments 
of the community. "We're looking critically 
at the way we live and work," says Liz 
Tomaszewski, WPI facilities systems man- 
ager and sustainability coordinator, "and 
encouraging changes that will have a posi- 
tive impact on our campus, on the city of 
Worcester, and throughout the world." 

18 Transformations \ Winter 2009 

echnic institute 

Already, WPI has installed solar panels to light Alumni 
Field walkways, instituted paperless billing, and designated 
choice parking spaces for carpoolers and hybrid drivers. 
Zipcar, a self-service, all-hybrid car rental system, is available 
on campus to faculty, staff, and students, as an alternative to 
car ownership. WPI Dining Services has begun recycling left- 
over food from Morgan Hall — an impressive 400 pounds 
daily — for use at local hog farms, and the university is cur- 
rently undergoing a carbon audit of the campus. 

With recycling bins taking up residence in dorms and 
offices, Recyclemania challenged students to tackle garbage as a 
competitive sport from January through March, when residence 
halls went head-to-head to recycle the most material. Spurring 
these efforts are student organizations such as GAEA (Global 
Awareness of Environmental Activity) and the Green Team. 
Their energy brought the National Teach-in on Climate Change 
to campus in February, and sent a video letter to congress. 
"Colleges are breeding grounds for alternative research, espe- 
cially WPI," says Green Team member Scott Guzman '09, who 
represents students on the President's Task Force on Sustain- 
ability. They are even changing the hue of April's traditional 
Quad Fest, which coincides with Earth Day. "This year it 
will be brought to you by the color green," Guzman says. 

As a student in WPI's Power the 
World class, one of the Great 
Problems Seminars, Kyle Bartosik 
'12 joined his peers during project 
presentation day. His team project, 
"Hydrogen Powered Vehicle: 
The Case for Hydrogen Internal 
Combustion," was one of 50 that 
explored aspects of sustainable 
energy and development. 

"We're looking critically at the way 
we live and work, and encouraging 
changes that will have a positive 
impact on our campus, on the city 
of Worcester, and throughout 
the world." 

— Liz Tomaszewski 

Perhaps the least tangible — but most promising — 
greening is taking place in WPFs classrooms, project sites, 
and laboratories, with student- and faculty research and new 
academic initiatives. Last year the Massachusetts legislature 
designated WPI as the site of the states Hydrogen and Fuel 
Cell Institute and authorized S10 million to spearhead 

In April 2008 the university launched an interdiscipli- 
nary bachelor of arts degree in Environmental Studies. "The 
new BA program in environmental studies complements our 
environmental engineering degree, with an emphasis much 
more on the human and public policy sides of the ledger," 
says WPI Provost John Orr. "It emphasizes the political and 
public policy aspects of human-induced changes to the envi- 
ronment, strongly drawing from areas of social science and 
providing education in sociological as well as scientific analy- 
sis. Of course, this program is conducted within the context 
of WPFs long-term strengths on the technological side." 

Regardless of major, WPI's project-based curriculum 
requires students to do some hands-on work on the complex 
challenges of the 21st century. First year students can begin 
their education with the Great Problems Seminars, which are 
organized around global topics, such as "Power the World" 
and "Making Our World," to investigate sustainable energy 
and development. At project centers around the globe, WPI 
teams have been addressing these issues for decades. This year, 
an analysis of greenhouse gas emissions at cafeterias in Lyngby- 
Taarbsek, Denmark, was a nominee for the 2008 President's 
IQP Award. Closer to home, project teams have also devel- 
oped tools to track and reduce greenhouse gases and monitor 
electric usage in campus dorms and academic buildings. In 
the larger local community, they assisted the town of South- 
bridge, Mass., with its municipal sustainability planning, and 
WPI students were critically involved in the city's first major 
wind turbine installation at Worcester's Holy Name Central 
Catholic Junior Senior High School. 

"This is an exciting time to be involved in the sustain- 
ability effort in the WPI community," Tomaszewski says. 
"The momentum is really building for WPI as a model of 
the sustainable campus and the leader of sustainability in 
our communitv." D 




-4 MLSi 

o one can argue that the interests and occupations of WPI 

alumni are vast and wide-ranging. Yet among our graduates 

exists a common thread that weaves itself from one generation 

to the next. In diverse industries around the globe, WPI alumni 

are engaged in important, thought-provoking work that will 

shape our future and impact the world in ways unimaginable. 

On the pages that follow, Transformations offers a glimpse into 

the lives of a select few graduates whose efforts and successes 

exemplify this notion — researching a cure for cancer, improving 

health care, finding sustainable solutions to environmental 

crises, to name a few. Together, it's quite an influence. 

Every day. Around the world. This is the important work we do. 

Improving the 
Human Condition 

By Michael I. Cohen 

Biology continues to astound, as discoveries 
at the cellular and molecular levels illuminate 
the elegant complexity of living things. Across 
many fields, WPI alumni are advancing this 
science and translating new knowledge into 
therapies and technologies that help diag- 
nose, treat, and even cure disease. 


Bruce Minsky '77 
Tuesday. 3:40 p.m. 

Each year colorectal cancer strikes 150,000 people 
in the United States. Until very recently, the standard of care 
for those patients was surgery to remove the tumor, followed by 
chemotherapy and radiation to kill any lingering cancer cells. 

That approach has saved many lives, but also has left many 
people with permanent colostomies and the impact on their 
lifestyle that entails. In 2004, however, the standard of care 
changed, because of research led by Bruce Minsky '77. 

"Our first principle in medicine is to do no harm. So 
when something is working, people are rightly apprehensive 
about introducing a new therapy," Minsky says. "But over 
the course of many years treating patients and studying new 
therapies, we believed that we could do better." 

After earning his BS in biology at WPI, Minksy went on 
to the University of Massachusetts Medical School. He then 
trained in Boston at New England Deaconess Hospital and 
the Joint Center for Radiation Therapy, an affiliate of Harvard 
Medical School, where he specialized in radiation oncology 
and gastrointestinal cancers. 

In 1986 he moved to New York to take a position at the 
Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, where he'd stay for 
20 years, treating patients and directing clinical trials. "The 
type of chemotherapy and radiation we used 20 years ago was 
much less sophisticated than it is today," Minsky says. "Part 
of my work at Sloan-Kettering was to run clinical trials to 
evaluate new therapies and new combinations of therapies." 

In the course of that research, Minsky developed a hypo- 
thesis — would patients with colorectal cancers, particularly rectal 
cancers, do better by reversing the standard of care? Instead of 
surgery first, what if patients were treated with radiation and 
chemotherapy before the surgeon removed the tumor? 

"This took a considerable amount of convincing and 
required a change in thinking among surgeons, because they 
believed reversing the treatment would make the surgery more 
difficult," Minsky says. "In fact, it turned out to be the opposite." 

Surgeons weren't the only ones wary of changing the 
standard of care. Patients facing life-and-death decisions would 
almost always opt for the proven therapy, even if the side effects 
were severe. "We had trouble randomizing patients into clinical 
trials for the new therapy, which is understandable," Minsky says. 

In time, however, with evidence mounting from Minsky's 
research, a large-scale randomized clinical trial was launched in 
Germany, testing the standard of care against the new approach. 
The results were conclusive. The combination of radiation and 
chemotherapy before surgery significantly reduced tumor sizes, 

Transformations \ Winter 2009 21 

the cellular and molecular levels. We want to understand how < 
function so we can engineer them, from the inside out, to produce 
a desired output/ 7 

so when the surgeons went in, they had to remove less tissue, 
thereby preserving a functional organ in many more patients. 
"The new standard reduced the number of colostomies by 
half," Minsky says. "That has a dramatic impact on the 
quality of life for those patients." 

In 2004, Minsky's approach became the recognized 
standard of care, worldwide, for treating colorectal cancer. 
That same year, Minsky received an honorary doctorate from 
Friedrich-Alexander University in Erlangen, Germany, in 
recognition of his contributions to the field, documented 
in his over 300 published medical journal articles about the 
treatment of gastrointestinal cancers. "I didn't know when 
I started this line of research that it would ultimately result 
in these advances," Minsky says. "It was really just about 
asking a simple question — can we do better?" 

It's a question that continues to drive Minsky's passion 
in health care today, only now on an even larger scale. Last 
January, he was appointed chief quality officer for the 
University of Chicago Medical Center. (He was also named 
associate dean for clinical quality in the Biological Sciences 
Division and professor of radiation and cellular oncology.) 

In his new role, Minsky is charged with nothing less than 
improving every aspect of patient care at the hospital and its 
associated medical offices and clinics. "I'm very excited about 
this new challenge," he says. "I hope to have a positive impact 
on an even wider range of medicine and patients." 

As the founding director of the Institute for Cellular 
Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, 
Susan Moser Roberts '92 is both a scientist and a teacher. 

In her lab, she's engineering plant cells to produce life- 
saving drugs. At the university, she's launched a new program 
to train graduate students in the rapidly expanding field of 
cellular engineering. Her goal is simple: to improve people's 
health and quality of life. "Our approach is the integration 
of life sciences and engineering at the cellular and molecular 
levels," Roberts says. "We want to understand how cells 
function so we can engineer them, from the inside out, to 
produce a desired output." 

Roberts focuses much of her own research on the drug 
paclitaxel, commonly known by the brand name Taxol, 
which is one of the most potent anti-cancer drugs in use 
today. Taxol kills cancer cells and shrinks tumors by block- 
ing the malignant cells' ability to reproduce. The drug is 
also being explored as a possible treatment for Alzheimer's 
disease and is used in coating heart stents. 

While the demand for Taxol is very high, the supply is 
limited. In fact, when Taxol was first discovered in the bark 
of the Pacific Yew tree in the 1960s, the species was at risk 
of being clear-cut into extinction because it takes three 100- 
year-old yews, on average, to make enough Taxol to treat just 
one cancer patient. Since then, Taxol has been synthesized 
from yew cell cultures grown in laboratories, but that process 

22 Transformations \ Winter 2009 

still does not yield enough material to satisfy all the research 
and clinical needs. Roberts hopes to overcome that problem 
by engineering yew cells to produce more Taxol. "We work 
with cell cultures generated from yew tree embryos," she says. 
"The cells we utilize in our processes are undifferentiated and 
can be considered stem cells of the plant world." 

Roberts has developed new methods for growing yew cells 
in culture and for identifying the cells that are overachievers, 
producing much more Taxol than other cells. Roberts has also 
identified several genes that appear to regulate the cellular 
machinery that produces Taxol. "If we can understand how 
the biosynthetic pathway in the cell works, we can engineer 
it effectively so that cells produce higher levels of Taxol," 
Roberts says. "We've honed in on two steps in the Taxol bio- 
synthetic pathway that we think are particularly important 
and are working on developing engineered cells through 
targeting those steps." 

Roberts is also developing a new technology that helps 
mammalian cells live and grow in culture and 
in the body by encapsulating them in materials 
that improve oxygen delivery to those cells. 
The novel process, for example, may help keep 
insulin-producing islet cells viable for extended 
time periods, which would enable implantation 
into patients with diabetes, potentially reducing 
the need for glucose monitoring and insulin 
injections for these patients. "Diabetes has 
touched my family, so its always been an inter- 
est of mine," she says. "But what really drives 
me is to work on projects that are relevant to 
improving human health for all." 

At WPI, Roberts majored in chemical 
engineering with a minor in biomedical engi- 
neering. She went on to earn a PhD in chem- 
ical engineering at Cornell and then joined the 
faculty at UMass Amherst, where she is now 
an associate professor of chemical engineering. 

While at UMass, Roberts saw the need 
for an enhanced educational experience for 
graduate students interested in the interface of 
engineering and life sciences. She also wanted 
to encourage her colleagues to do more inter- 
disciplinary, project-based research initiatives — 
the model that shed thrived on at WPI. 

In 2005 Roberts launched the Institute 
for Cellular Engineering, which has grown to 
include faculty from 10 academic departments 
and research programs at UMass, working 
together on cellular engineering projects with 
applications in clean energy, pharmaceuticals, 
and the environment. In September 2007, the 
institute received a $3 million grant from the 
National Science Foundation to establish a grad- 
uate education program in cellular engineering. 

"The institute has been an incredible spark for initiating 
new collaborations among faculty," Roberts says. "And to see 
the graduate students working in the labs, doing great things. 
is so rewarding. It's really all coming together." 

When researchers from the famed Institute of Applied 
Physics at the Russian Academy of Sciences came to the 
United States in the mid 1990s to commercialize their new 
medical imaging technology, they turned to Paul Amazeen 
'64 (MS), 71 (PhD) for help. 

This was no surprise. By that time, Amazeen was a well- 
known leader, innovator, and entrepreneur in the medical 
device and imaging fields. For more than two decades he'd 
led research and development efforts and built new business 
models around several medical technologies at companies 
both large and small. 

Trained as an electrical engineer, Amazeen's graduate 
work at WPI was the basis for a product developed to 

analyze cardiac arrhythmias and identify patients at high 
risk for a heart attack. He helped engineer Raytheon's early 
program in nuclear medicine. He crafted the business plan 
and launched General Electrics first three ultrasound imag- 
ing systems. So when the Russian technology came to the 
Cleveland Clinic for evaluation, Amazeen was asked to review 
it and advise on its technical capabilities and its potential 
commercial viability. He ended up founding a company to 
bring the new technology to market. 

"I tested their prototype and I could see pretty quickly 
that this was for real," Amazeen says. "It was an important 
new technology and I wanted to help develop it into a 
product that could fill a clinical need." 

Amazeen partnered with Felix I. Feldchtein, PhD, one 
of the Russian scientists who'd invented the new imaging 
technology, and became the founding president of the com- 
pany now called Imalux. The company's lead product is 
called Niris — a system that uses optical coherence tomogra- 
phy (OCT), which, simply put, bounces light off tissues to 
create detailed images of very small elements of those tissues. 

The Niris system works in real time, scanning tissue and 
instantly displaying images on a bedside monitor, allowing a 

physician to see the telltale signs of cancer, or guiding a sur- 
geon's scalpel to make sure the parts of diseased tissues are 
removed, while leaving healthy tissue in place. "This is not 
just a better version of an existing technology or product," 
Amazeen says. "OCT is something completely new. We see 
things that no other imaging technology in clinical use 
today can see." 

At first glance the Niris system is reminiscent of an 
ultrasound machine that uses sound waves, emitted from a 
probe at the end of a flexible cord, to image parts of the 
body Niris also has a probe at the end of a cord, but instead 
of sound waves it emits a pulsating beam of near-infrared 
light from a tiny diode. As the light is scattered and reflected 
back off the tissue, it is collected by the probe and processed 
by the system's software to generate detailed images of very 
small sections of tissue. 

The scale and resolution of the images produced by 
OCT is much finer than ultrasound. Using Niris, physicians 
can see the microscopic abnormalities that indicate cancerous 
or pre-cancerous tissues. And while ultrasound is typically 
used externally, with the probe moved over a person's skin, 
the Niris system is used internally. Its probe is small enough 

the patient, managing projects so we can get them approved 

to be sent through an endoscope's tube, to look at internal 
structures like the bladder, esophagus, or cervix. 

"We see tissue structures that can't be seen with the naked 
eye," Amazeen says. "Without this new imaging modality, the 
only way to test for these abnormalities is to biopsy the tissue 
and look at it under a microscope. That can take days, even 
weeks, all the while with the patient worried that he or she 
may have cancer. With our system, in about half a second, 
the image is on the screen. It's an optical biopsy." 

The Niris system is now being used in clinical trials at 
the Cleveland Clinic, Johns Hopkins Hospital, Massachusetts 
General Hospital, and other leading research centers. "Our 
clinical data is looking extremely good. We're able to find the 
boundaries of cancer, guide the surgery, then evaluate after 
recovery," Amazeen says. "We're about a year away from a 
full-scale launch, with significant publications showing the 
effectiveness of this system." 

It is a cruel irony in the battle against HIV/ AIDS that 
state-of-the-art therapies known to be effective are often not 
available, or are difficult to administer, in the areas of the 
world hit hardest by the disease. 

After earning her BS in biotech- 
nology, Romiya Glover Barry '04 joined 
a team working to overcome an impor- 
tant element of that treatment gap. She 
accepted a position in the research and 
development laboratory at PointCare 
Technologies, the Marlborough, Mass., 
company where she interned during 
her senior year at WPI. 

PointCare developed a portable 
blood analysis system designed for use 
in rural clinics treating AIDS patients. 
Barry's job was to help optimize and 
expand the functionality of that system. 
"The challenge is to have a self-con- 
tained product that will work under 
conditions you'll find in remote areas, 
and that will provide results right 
away, while the patient is still in the 
clinic," Barry says. 

To treat people infected with HIV, 
the virus that leads to AIDS, physicians 
must closely monitor the number of 
CD4 immune-system cells in the 
bloodstream. Based on that cell count, 
the clinician can safely start and man- 
age the cocktail of drugs that suppress 
the virus and delay the onset of AIDS. 

For most people in developed countries, waiting a few 
days for lab results before starting treatment is not a big issue. 
"In remote areas of Africa, Asia, and other parts of the devel- 
oping world, it's a problem," Barry says. "Patients will often 
walk for many hours to get to a clinic. So to tell people that 
they have to come back in a day or in a week for their test 
results before treatment can start is not realistic." 

To remedy that problem, PointCare's technology can 
measure CD4 cells in a blood sample in minutes, giving the 
clinic staff results while the patient is still present. It's an auto- 
mated system, with everything needed for the analysis built 
into one console that sits on a tabletop. "It's a very different 
approach to medical technology. It's not about frills, or putting 
in all the bells and whistles. You have to design it so that it 
is affordable and has what it needs to be effective in these 
remote areas," Barry says. "The system can even be powered 
by a solar panel, or a car battery, if necessary." 

At PointCare, Barry worked as a chemist to improve 
the reagents and processes used in the diagnostic system. She 
helped develop additional capabilities for the system— new 
blood tests beyond the CD4 assay that would give medical 
teams a more complete picture of a patient's condition. Barry 
also traveled to AIDS clinics in Trinidad and Barbados to set 
up the PointCare system and train the local staff. "It was a 
great experience to get into the field, and to work with the 
patients and the physicians to get this technology into action," 
she says. 

During her time at PointCare, Barry continued her edu- 
cation and in 2007 she earned an MS in clinical investigation 
at the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston. She's 
now applying that training, and her experience, to her current 
position as an in-vitro diagnostics clinical monitor specialist 
at Instrumentation Laboratory in Lexington, Mass. "I work 
with physicians in the United States and in Europe to identify 
clinical needs," she says, "then try to bring new products to 
market to meet those needs in the area of blood clotting 

On any given week Barry may be working at a hospital 
site monitoring a clinical trial of a new diagnostic test, and 
then analyzing the data from that trial. Or, she may be back 
at the lab in Lexington working with the scientific team to 
refine their product development or to prepare for a submis- 
sion to the FDA for approval of a new device. Other days, 
she'll brainstorm with the company's marketing team on how 
best to inform and educate the clinicians and technicians who 
will use the new products Instrumentation Laboratory is 
about to launch. "I like being one step from the lab bench, 
and one step from the patient," Barry says, "managing pro- 
jects so we can get them approved and into the clinic to 
help people." D 

"Romiya Glover Barry was photographed at Instrumentation Laboratory in Lexington, Mass. She was interviewed 
via phone from Paris, while traveling for work. 

Trans for m at i o n s \ Winter 2009 25 

■ V 

By Eileen McCluskey 


Wind, Waste, Water, and WPI Alumni 

Thousands of wind turbines send power from the broad prairies of North and South Dakota to the high-rises 
of New York City, providing enough electricity to keep the Big Apple humming. Meanwhile, waste becomes a 
thing of the past when the by-products of farms, lumber mills, and construction sites are no longer dumped into 
landfills but instead burn cleanly, producing heat, air-conditioning, and pure, distilled water and ice. Such 
scenarios could become reality in the next few years, thanks to the vision and perseverance of two WPI alumni. 

Andrew Stern '92 wears a lot of hats, but all of his titles 
and organizational affiliations boil down to one goal: to 
implement alternative energy projects that demonstrate suc- 
cessful solar, wind, and water power, and other sustainable 
solutions to solve the energy crisis. 

In 2006 he founded New England Windpower, a private, 
for-profit environmental consulting firm, and co-founded the 
nonprofit Action for Clean Energy. As well, he's an associate 
with Maxis Capital, a Boston-based private technology buyout 
group, where he serves as the firm's clean energy expert. With 
all three organizations, Stern is involved in bringing wind 
power to various communities. 

At New England Windpower, he's working with Cape 
Cod Community College on a wind turbine bid for the 
school. At Maxis, Stern is consulting with 18 Native American 
tribes in North and South Dakota who are examining the 
fiscal feasibility of a 2,000-unit wind farm in the two states. 
The electricity generated by this whirling collection would 
be enough to power a major metropolis, such as Manhattan, 
which consumes nearly 12 million MW/h annually. Stern hopes 
to see the tribes' project begin within two years. "The oppor- 
tunities for wind power are vast in the Dakotas," he says. 

Meanwhile, as director of Action for Clean Energy, Stern 
leads education and outreach efforts to help communities 
replace nonrenewable energy sources with sustainable, clean 
supplies like wind. For one such project, he works closely with 
town officials from Hull, Mass., to scope out a hydrokinetic 
tidal turbine power project. Hydrokinetic turbines, a relatively 
new entry to the sustainable energy field, are known to leave 
a very small environmental footprint. The water turbines pro- 
duce electricity using coastal tides and currents, an energy 
source that can be relied on 24/7/365. "And water is about a 
thousand times denser than wind," Stern notes. 

With broad support among town residents and leaders, 
it is likely that within two years, four hydrokinetic turbines 
will be placed in Hull Gut, a deep-water channel off the 
coast. Together, these four units would produce one to two 

megawatts for the town, further shaving its reliance on con- 
ventional electricity. 

Although he's based in eastern Massachusetts, Stern's 
projects have global impact. Through Action for Clean Energy, 
Stern brings officials to Hull from as near as Massachusetts 
and as far as South Africa. He inspires and instructs visitors 
about the wind turbines and discusses other alternative energy 
and fuel projects with his guests. 

"Leaders from Vermont, Jamaica, Haiti, and other places 
are trying to wrap their minds around how they can use clean 
technologies to solve their pressing energy problems," he says. 

As a result of discussions with Stern, Haiti is considering 
a carbon-friendly biofuel project. The flat island nation could 
be an ideal location for growing Jatropha, a nonfood crop that 
generates an easily crushed nut for a dense, oil-based energy 
source. The million-acre project under consideration would 
employ thousands of residents. Refuse from the harvests 
could also be used by locals for heating and cooking. 

With Haiti's interest piqued, Stern turned to WPI pro- 
fessor of chemical engineering Robert Thompson, who in late 
2008 brought in Stephanie Kavrakis '09 to study the yields 
from several Jatropha oils, as part of her MQP. Kavrakis will 
also assess the impacts that a biofuel industry could have in 
Haiti "given the available land, the typical oil yields per acre 
per year, and the biodiesel yields of the conversion process," 
Thompson says. 

Power to the people 

The people of Hull have known Stern since 1997, when 
he became a driving force in an ongoing community move- 
ment to bring wind power onto the municipal utility grid 
( Stern consulted with the town on the con- 
ception, development, and construction of the peninsular 
town's ambitious project to purchase two wind turbines. 
Over the next 10 years, Hull Wind 1 and 2 became 
spinning realities on windy hills, providing over 10 percent 
of the town's annual electricity needs. The proud town has 

Transformations \ Winter 2009 27 

earned numerous state and national awards for its greening 
efforts, including the 2007 Wind Power Pioneer Award from 
the U.S. Department of Energy for "advancing the use of 
wind power in a coastal community." 

Hull Wind 1 (rated power of 660 kilowatts) cost the 
town close to $700,000. In its first year, it produced 1,597 
megawatt hours (approximately three percent of the annual 
51,000 MW/h that Hull Municipal purchases). After paying 
for the town's street lighting, sales of this energy reportedly 
exceeded $150,000. Hull Wind 2 (rated at 1.8 MW) cost 
$3 million and came on the grid in 2006. During that year, 
it produced 4,088 MW/h, about eight percent of the town's 

Heartened by these successes, Hull began laying plans to 
install four wind turbines offshore to boost the town's wind 
production to 1 5 MW, or enough to supply all of the town's 
electricity annually. As of late 2008, Stern reports, town offi- 
cials were examining the new turbines' financial feasibility. 

"Projects like the Hull wind and tidal turbines help 
demonstrate that clean energy can be done," he says. "But it's 
not the whole picture. We also need government incentives 
and policies that reward alternative energy industries. When 
the government gives clear signals that clean energy is a prior- 
ity, we'll see real and lasting progress toward a future we can 
all live in." 

Bernie Podberesky '58 works enthusiastically to solve 
a major problem — or two or three. His interests lie in trans- 
forming biomass and other waste streams into clean power. 

"We see our technology as an ideal way to eliminate 
some difficult issues in a number of applications worldwide," 
says Podberesky, president of AgriPower Inc. He has held 
this position since 2004, but he has been involved with the 
company's predecessors since 1998. 

AgriPower's biomass-to-energy technology produces 
clean combined heat and power, and its latest units are rated 
at 300 kW per hour. The company's closely guarded technol- 
ogy eliminates two common problems associated with using 
biomass for fuel. The entire air-to-air electric power genera- 
tion system is contained in an easily transportable, modular 
mini-turbine, making it easy and inexpensive to transport 
the units to places where they are needed. And AgriPower's 
patented design — in which the biomass fuel combustion 
products are separated from the gas turbine cycle — greatly 
reduces costly and time-consuming problems with turbine 
maintenance and operation. 

The AgriPower unit, a transportab 
into clean energy. 

rts unwanted biomass 

These waste-to-energy workhorses use virtually free or 
inexpensive biomass and other materials for fuel. Everything 
from coffee bean shells, corn cobs, and nuisance plants, to 
furniture, wood chips, and sawdust, to construction debris — 
even that containing paint and creosote — can be tossed into 
an AgriPower hopper (once cut into chips) and burned, pro- 
ducing clean energy. For items such as finished woods, utility 
poles, or railroad ties, toxins can be scrubbed and set safely 
aside with an add-on scrubber. If distilled water or ice are 
required, a co-generation converter addresses this need. 

"When we started the enterprise, we immediately saw 
the market for replacing diesel generators," says Podberesky, 
pointing to the fact that most of the world's island nations, 
and many other remote rural areas, rely on diesel fuel as their 
main source of electricity. "There are several hundred thou- 
sand diesel-run machines operating globally, and although we 
wouldn't be appropriate for all of those applications, that is 
still a very large pool of potential customers. Our units are 
so portable, versatile, easy to operate, and low-maintenance, 
they could really help out in many of those areas. 

"We've also identified applications where companies face 
waste streams with costly tipping fees," Podberesky continues, 
referring to the price of dumping refuse at landfills. "In these 
situations, burning waste is quite advantageous, especially 
when you can also generate your own power, and sell electri- 
city back to the grid. So what started as a niche market has 

Small- to medium-sized lumber mills in remote areas 
could also use the units. "The hot air stream could dry the 
lumber, replacing natural gas kiln drying," says Podberesky. 
"The rest of the energy could supplant some of the mill's 
electricity needs." 

Podberesky is proud of AgriPower's technology assessment 
regimen. Rigorously testing units for four years, the earlier, 
80-kilowatt-hour unit was proven at a lumber mill, where 
wood chips and sawdust were burned as fuel. AgriPower also 
tested gas flows and heat transfer dynamics in its design and 
manufacturing facility near Sacramento, Calif. 

"We see our technology as an ideal way to eliminate some difficult 
issues in a number of applications worldwide." 

— Bernie Podberesky 

28 Transformations \ Winter 2009 

After accounting for the energy used in running itself, 
each of the company's new 300-kW-hour units produce 270 
kW per hour. With fuel prices at upward of three dollars per 
gallon, the unit pays for itself in less than 18 months. 

"These fuel savings," Podberesky says, "don't include the 
considerable value of the co-generation and thermal energy 
the unit produces, nor the carbon credits it could generate 
annually from using biomass as a fuel." 

Fueling the Spirit 

Whether he's troubleshooting with the research, design, and 
manufacturing team, or meeting with investment bankers or 
potential customers — state and federal agencies, waste man- 

agement companies, consumer paper goods manufacturers, 
energy mills, and others — Podberesky is running hard. 

"We see a high degree of interest," he says, "but with the 
current financial crisis, deals are scarce. We're actively seeking 
additional financing sources to help us move into commercial 

Like many visionaries, Podberesky would like to see 
more than just his own project succeed. "If we could get the 
AgriPower units to all of the villages and towns in Africa that 
desperately need them," he says, "the residents could grow 
their own fuel and power their villages. This kind of change 
could really build local economies across the world, and do 
it cleanly." D 

Bernie Podberesky '58 
Tuesday, 9 a.m. 
Los Altos. Calif. 

WPI graduates have a history of finding creative ways to use their educations 
to benefit the world. Among the most challenging — and rewarding — directions 
alumni have taken involve safety. Peter Belli no '08, Tom McAloon '76, and 
Ross Tsantoulis '07 have ventured far past what most would consider a comfort 
zone. Whether protecting the Alaska pipeline against fire, establishing sanitary 
water conditions in developing countries, or helping rebuild Afghanistan, they 
have found satisfaction in making this planet a less dangerous place to live. 

30 Transformations \ Winter 2009 

"The pipeline is a city among itself. Being part of this great engineering 
marvel is like working with a celebrity. It is such a great feat of civil 
engineering and mechanical engineering/' 

Peter Bellino '08 
Saturday, 10 a.m. 

Peter Bellino's desk may be in an office in downtown 
Anchorage, but his responsibilities stretch on for miles — 800 
miles, in fact. From Prudhoe Bay, on Alaska's North Slope, 
to Valdez, the northernmost ice-free port in North America, 
the four-foot-wide Alaska pipeline zigzags its way through 
America's largest state, carrying oil destined for far-flung 
consumers. Twelve pump stations interrupt its route, places 
where fire is always a danger. Bellino's job is to make sure 
that disaster doesn't strike. As one of only two fire systems 
engineers for Alyeska — the service company for the Trans 
Alaska Pipeline System — he works to maintain safety in one 
of the engineering wonders of the modern world. 

"The pipeline is a city among itself," Bellino says, speak- 
ing by phone one snowy Saturday in November, six months 
after arriving in Alaska. "Being part of this great engineering 
marvel is like working with a celebrity. It is such a great feat 
of civil engineering and mechanical engineering." 

As a 2008 WPI graduate with a BS degree in civil engi- 
neering, Bellino knows exactly how impressive the pipeline is. 
As a fire protection engineer who will complete his master's 
next year, he also realizes the extent of the hazards. Shortly 
after the pipeline opened in 1977, the project suffered its 
worst tragedy — a fatal explosion and fire at Pump Station 8 
near Fairbanks. During his time with AJyeska, Bellino has 
had to investigate an incident in Valdez, in which a 15-foot 
fireball erupted and the flame detectors didn't go off. The 

solution: to relocate and increase the number of detectors. 
Bellino also oversees testing of a variety of detection systems — 
from gas and smoke to thermal, which he prefers in a state 
prone to wildfires. He studies the advantages of different fire- 
inerting agents. He manages the paperwork to comply with 
the guidelines of 40 regulatory agencies. 

Since childhood, Bellino has had a fascination with fire. 
"I hate to admit this," he recalls, "but I always liked fire. I 
love campfires." In the third grade, when his parents were 
building a new house in Deerfield, Mass., he would make 
campfires using scrap wood left at the job site. "I would place 
the wood in different configurations to start the fire and watch 
how the flames and smoke would swirl around the pieces of 
wood," he says. "It was very fascinating to a young mind." 

Years later, his very first week at WPI, he discovered his 
ultimate career path. At new student orientation, fire protec- 
tion engineering professor David Lucht showed a video called 
"Fire Power" about what happens to a house when it catches 
fire. "I set my heart on that," Bellino says, adding that since 
the department did not offer an undergraduate degree, he 
decided to pursue his love of building as a civil engineering 
major. He did his IQP on response times of fire departments 
in Plymouth County, and had a summer job with RJA, where 
he was exposed to the consulting side of the fire protection 
industry. Through WPI's Advanced Distance Learning Net- 
work, he has deepened his knowledge with graduate courses 
in fire protection. 

Bellino is grateful for the preparation he has received. 
At any moment, one of the Alyeska technicians — who go up 
and down the pipeline checking for potential problems — 
could report a malfunctioning fire panel. Or an actual fire 
could break out, as it did in Valdez. In the process of reducing 
the number of pump stations from 12 to five over the next 
couple of years, Alyeska will require evolving strategies to 
ensure safe and smooth operations. After more than half a 
year on the job, as fall was quickly turning to winter, Bellino 
was still excited — about climbing mountains, cross-country 
skiing, and meeting challenges extending from one end of 
the state to another. 

Transformations \ Winter 2 00 9 31 


"Just because you have a good technical idea that works in the U.S., 
it is not usually relevant in a third-world or post-conflict setting/ 7 

For most Americans, finding Timor Leste (East Timor) 
on a map would be a fairly arduous task. Tom McAloon has 
taken on a far tougher challenge: In November 2008, he began 
working in the Southeast Asian island nation on a rural water 
supply project sponsored by the U.S. Agency for International 
Development (USAID). The one-time Portuguese colony in 
the Indonesian archipelago — which became the first new sov- 
ereign state of the 21st century — has water conditions that are 
among the worst in Asia. Only half the population has access 
to a water supply. Basic sanitation extends to barely a third of 
the people. 

Remarkably, McAloon is unfazed by such dismal statis- 
tics. Even more amazingly, he regards his current assignment 
as a chance not to pity, but to learn about others and to col- 
laborate. "We who are lucky enough to be from prosperous 
and functioning countries need to work together with people 
in the developing world and listen to them," he says. "We do 
not have all the answers for them and neither do they. But 
together, with luck and perseverance, we can move forward." 

A 1976 WPI graduate with a BS in civil engineering, 
McAloon points to the idealistic environmental movement 
of the '60s and 70s as an influence. But now, having spent 
years in places from Azerbaijan and Kosovo to Maldives, he 
acknowledges, "My views have tempered quite a bit, and a 
strong dose of realism is called for when working in develop- 
ing countries." Even though he did not pursue international 
affairs until well after college, "I credit WPI with piquing 
my interest in the balance between straight engineering and 
human behavior," he notes. "The WPI Plan was a big draw 
for me — an attempt to cultivate the Renaissance Man and 
Woman. I'm not surprised that I ended up doing something 
that really requires the ability to look beyond the technical 
to try to understand (and respect) why people do what they 

do — even when it results in terrible things like child mortal- 
ity, illness, and short lives." 

After almost two decades in New Hampshire, applying 
his engineering training to water-related ventures, McAloon 
faced a very different set of obstacles when he took an overseas 
position in 1994 with the International Rescue Committee in 
the Republic of Georgia. Instead of overseeing watershed pro- 
tection or sewer extensions in a peaceful, organized region, 
he had to confront the chaos that follows war. He managed 
a staff of two Nepalese engineers and a team of Georgian 
engineers to contract out installation of basic water supply, 
sewer, roofing, windows, doors, and electrical wiring in 
urban buildings that housed 100 to 1,000 people. 

Subsequent positions in a number of trouble spots — 
including Afghanistan, Kosovo, and Iraq — made McAloon 
painfully aware of the complex causes of water and sanitation 
problems. "It is almost always not as simple as building a 
new bit of infrastructure," he explains. "Just because you have 
a good technical idea that works in the U.S., it is not usually 
relevant in a third-world or post-conflict setting." In Timor 
Leste, as in many of the places he and his wife have lived, 
he cannot assume elements that Americans take for granted, 
such as a well-functioning judicial system that can enforce 
contracts, good communications, roads, or "a generally 
accepted belief that a person has to pay for certain things like 
water and electricity." Several years ago, McAloon returned 
to Georgia on a project for the national electric distribution 
system, implementing a metering program for the substations, 
to determine when major thefts of power were occurring. 

"I feel blessed that I have had the opportunity to live 
and work in different parts of the world," he says. "Most 
important, I've received far more wisdom and learning than 
I've been able to give." 

3 2 Transformations \ Winter 2 009 

Somewhere within the forts of his childhood backyard 
and the Lego city that sprang up in his bedroom, Ross 
Tsantoulis discovered a route to his future. Now, almost two 
years since he received his BS in civil engineering from WPI, 
he is building structures that not only satisfy his imagination, 
but also promise to improve conditions in a country wracked 
by war. Based in Kabul, Afghanistan, since March 2008, 
Tsantoulis works for Tetra Tech as a project engineer creating 
infrastructure to stabilize rural development in a USAID- 
sponsored program. On any given day, he could be tackling 
half a dozen assignments — from roads and 
bridges to dormitories and solutions for 
water storage. He does architectural design, 
drafting, management, whatever is required 
to bring these efforts to fruition. 

Numerous hardships confront Tsantoulis 
and his colleagues, but he minimizes these 
and celebrates the strengths of the people he 
meets. "I am fortunate to work with brilliant 
Afghan engineers, who continue to teach me 
to appreciate the differences between con- 
struction practices in the United States and 
those of Afghanistan," he says. "Here, we are 
limited by the small number of resources 
available, such as clean water and electricity. 
It's common that a five-story building is built 
with no consideration of seismic loads, and is 
constructed with small batches of concrete 
mixed by hand on the ground." 

Because of the remote locations of proj- 
ects, poor roads, and threats of insurgency, 
Tsantoulis usually remains in Kabul, inter- 
acting with the Afghan engineers who travel 
to the sites. When he was employed by Tetra 
Tech's Manchester, N.H., office — not far 
from his family's home in Hooksett — 
Tsantoulis was able to go onsite to assess 
conditions and "get my hands dirty and not 
just sit back and look at the design from my 
computer screen." In his current situation, 
he finds himself especially grateful for the 
knowledge of stone masonry cement and 
concrete he gained in his materials class with 
civil and environmental engineering professor 
Tahar El-Korchi. CEE associate professor 
Leonard Albano's design of steel structures 
class was a great challenge at the time, but 
has served Tsantoulis well. 

These days, much of his learning takes 
place during encounters with Afghan individ- 
uals. Rashad, 15, flies kites in the afternoons 
at a popular hill in town, but then works well 
past midnight on studies that he believes can 
take him to a university in America. He 

would like to return as an engineer to help rebuild his coun- 
try. There's also Omar, an engineer who has lived through 
the Russians, the Mujahideen, and the Taliban, is deaf in one 
ear, and yet radiates joy. "It is people like Omar, the humble, 
selfless, hardworking, devoted people that bring hope to sta- 
bilizing Afghanistan." For his part, Tsantoulis is studying the 
Dari language, so that he can establish deeper relationships 
with local shopkeepers and others he is getting to know. 
Already, he has realized that there is more to building than 
bricks and mortar. D 

-ss Tsantoulis 
Saturday, 6 
Kabul. Afghanis 

Trans formations \ Winter 2009 3 3 

The Voices of 

Worcester's Underrepresented 

By Joan Killough-Miller 

The Important Work We Do hits close to home — in WPI's backyard, even. Barbara Haller '83 
and Patrick Spencer '05 are just two of the many alumni whose work makes the Worcester 
community a better place to live, work, and play. 

Barbara Haller doesn't fit anyone's stereotype of a 

career politician. A plainspoken, plainly dressed grandmother, 
she is a former college dropout, VISTA volunteer, 60s activist, 
and blues bar owner. Her resume also includes 25 years as an 
engineer with National Grid. For four terms Haller has repre- 
sented District 4 on the Worcester City Council. It is consid- 
ered the city's most distressed district, with the highest rate 
of poverty and crime. 

"Many people get into politics because they want to 
be politicians," she says. They may be knowledgeable about 
fund-raising and voter data, and they're used to rubbing 
elbows with the movers and shakers, but they lack experience 
with inner-city issues. Without that background, "you don't 
know what an SRO is. [Single room occupancy, i.e., low-rent 
rooming house. — Ed] You don't know how prostitution oper- 
ates on your street. You don't know how kids have to walk 
the streets surrounded by drug trafficking and other crime," 
she says. "I may not have had the political competencies at 
first, but I had grassroots experience." 

The daughter of a mechanical engineer and a homemak- 
er, Haller rejected the conformity of suburbia and sought a 
bigger world. She initially studied sociology, wanting to make 
a difference, but left college to do community organizing in 
inner-city Chicago. She embraced the 1960s counter-culture, 
and has vivid memories of the riots that followed the assassi- 
nation of Martin Luther King Jr. and the demonstrations 
that rocked the 1968 Democratic convention. For a time, 
she lived in Arkansas and helped run a farm school collective 
there to help youths at risk of serving prison time. 

"It never occurred to me to become an engineer until 
I was an adult raising two children with a husband who was 
unemployed," she says. "My father was an engineer. My 
brother was an engineer. If I had been male, I would have 
been an engineer a lot sooner." 

She still remembers her father's reaction to her plans. 
"It will destroy your marriage," he declared. "It will make 

you too independent. You won't need a husband anymore." 

"It was an Aha!' moment for me," she says. Her parents 
had encouraged her to get an education, but only so she would 
have something to fall back on, in case her marriage failed. 
They never expected her to stake out a "real" career. 

After studying at the former Worcester Junior College, 
she transferred to WPI to earn a bachelor's degree in electrical 
engineering. It wasn't easy being female at WPI in the early 
1980s, and as an older student with children, she felt even 
more out of place. "I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown 
the whole time I was at WPI," she says. It took discipline to 
stay ahead of the curve in her classes. The personal and aca- 
demic challenges built confidence, which she carried into 
her career with National Grid. She retired as supervisor of 
metering in 2005. 

As a homeowner in Worcester's troubled Main South area, 
she joined with neighbors to organize crime watch groups and to 
pressure the city government and police to take action. When 
absentee landlords turned their backs on drug houses and let 
abandoned properties turn into dumping grounds, she led pro- 
tests to embarrass them into taking responsibility for screening 
tenants and maintaining properties. 

For a time, Haller was part-owner of Gilrein's, a Main Street 
nightclub around the corner from her home. As a small business 
owner, she was invited to serve on the City Manager's Advisory 
Committee on local redevelopment. She became active to pre- 
vent seeing the '60s and '70s repeated, when "urban renewal ' 
projects turned out to mean "urban removal" of poor residents. 

Her conversion from neighborhood activist to politician 
came in 2001, when the District 4 incumbent had a mild stroke 
and chose not to continue her campaign. Haller agreed to run 
in her place, and won. Last November she officially launched 
her campaign for a fifth term. 

"District 4 magnifies the issues of inner-city living," she 
says. "While all the other districts have pockets of poverty and 
crime and grime, District 4 is the epitome of all that." The 

3 A Transformations \ Winter 2 009 

(• (ft What do we need to make our neighborhoods strong? 
Those are the issues I am passionate about. ^ ^ 



Again offers permanent he 
and wraparound support service 
along with intensive case managemen 
to help chronically homeless adults 
break the cycle of living in transien 
1 shelters or on the streets. 

current economic crisis looks worse from where she sits: 
"When you're living on the edge already, and the economy 
falls out from under you — then you're over the edge." 

Over time, she's seen the challenges grow. The demo- 
graphics of her constituency show more minorities, immi- 
grants, and non-English speakers. There are larger households 
with more children, more single-parent families, and more 
children being moved from school to school. Her district 
has fewer registered voters and the lowest voter turnout of 
all districts. 

"Moving forward together" is her slogan. She likes to 
remind her colleagues on the council, "If we don't deal with 
the problems of the inner city, your neighborhoods are going 
to suffer as a result. Leave any part of the city behind, and 
you diminish the whole." 

Her district borders the WPI campus, and includes the 
university's off-campus housing, as well as Elm Park, Becker 
College, Clark, and Holy Cross. Although, in her work, she 
tends to stress the neediness, she says it's important to cele- 
brate the assets. Highland Street and Main Street are among 

the liveliest parts of the city, with diverse ethnic markets, 
restaurants, and mom-and-pop stores. 

"Do we continue to define our inner cities as being 
where people in poverty live?" she asks. "We want to change 
that and define them as vibrant. This embraces diversity of 
all kinds — not just racial, ethnic, and religious, but also eco- 
nomic. Many of us — including the 'new urbanites' — want 
to participate in the cultural, recreational, and culinary assets 
of the city." 

During her first campaign, she was caught off guard by 
a reporter's question about her platform. "Quality of life," she 
stammered. "You know... things like trash, abandoned cars, 
and noise." 

"You're running on trash?" the reporter replied, skeptically. 

She laughs about it now, but she hasn't wavered on 
speaking out on issues that others would like to ignore. "I see 
one of Worcester's greatest strengths as its livabiliry. Who's 
advocating for that? What do we need to make our neighbor- 
hoods strong? Those are the issues I am passionate about, 
and I have tried to be a voice for our neighborhoods." 

3 6 Transformations | Winter 2009 

d w What are the causes of homelessness? Why have previous solutions failed? 

How can we address this in a different way? ^ ^ 

Patrick Spencer was only 16 when tragedy thrust him 
into the public eye. "The phone calls started the day after my 
father died," recalls the son of Lt. Thomas E. Spencer, one 
of six firefighters killed in the 1999 Worcester Cold Storage 
warehouse fire. Media coverage spread rapidly, like an out-of- 
control fire, spiraling upward until even the president of the 
United States was involved. Patrick Spencer moved mechani- 
cally through the routines of waking, dressing, and eating, 
unable to grasp his loss, knowing he was not ready to grieve. 

"I needed to do something," he says. The engineer in 
him kicked in, and he took on the task of screening and 
logging phone calls for the family, meticulously charting 
who required a callback and the details of what they wanted. 
Tackling a problem with a systematic approach was just what 
he needed; it's what got him through those early days. 

Spencer has every reason to hold a grudge — the 1999 
fire was ignited by an overturned candle during an altercation 
between two homeless people who had taken shelter in the 
abandoned building. Yet his reaction has been anything but 
vengeful. While many people go out of their way to avoid 
contact with the homeless, this civil engineering graduate is 
championing a new approach to help them break the cycle 
of chronic homelessness. Earlier this year, he helped convert 
an old stucco mansion in Worcester to house 14 homeless 

Spencer is an upbeat, energetic young man at the start 
of his career. He has worked in construction engineering, is 
considering pursuing a master's degree through WPI's Fire 
Protection Engineering program, and, in the family tradition, 
has served on the Paxton Fire Department. He also serves on 
the advisory council of Home Again, a Central Massachusetts 
nonprofit with a simple motto: Only a home ends homeless- 
ness. He has led a team of local contractors and volunteers 
in renovations of Home Again's first program site at 62 Elm 
Street, Worcester. As a construction engineer, he was able 
to find low-cost work-arounds for electrical overloads and 
creative solutions to 100-year-old plumbing problems. As 
an ordinary citizen, Worcester born and bred, he offers an 
important perspective to the board. He's helped to quell the 
fear of neighbors who objected to program sites. He's met 
with officers of the exclusive nearby Worcester Club to gain 
their support. He notes that he showed up at the club, which 
has a strict dress code, directly from a construction site, 
dressed in work boots and jeans. His mission succeeded, but 
he was asked to use the back door on his way out. 

Home Again offers permanent housing and wraparound 
support services, along with intensive case management, to 
help chronically homeless adults break the cycle of living in 
transient shelters or on the streets. It's a model that makes 

sense to him. At WPI he learned how engineers work back- 
ward to analyze a building failure or a fire, then move 
forward with strategies for prevention. They want to know 
what systems failed, and what changes need to be made. He 
asks similar questions about the tragedy that took his father's 
life. "How did we get to the point where two people had to 
squat in an abandoned building on a December night, with 
no heat or light except a candle? What are the causes of 
homelessness? Why have previous solutions failed? How can 
we address this in a different way?" 

He's seen how large emergency shelters can become a 
revolving door. "It gets them out of the cold, but it doesn't 
address their real needs," he explains. Those needs — which 
often include assistance for addiction and mental health 
issues — can't be addressed in an impersonal, chaotic 

Most of us can't imagine a life on the streets, and 
Spencer admits feeling uncomfortable when he first started 
visiting shelters. He can even understand the backlash against 
the two homeless people who caused the 1 999 warehouse 
fire. In the divisive aftermath, it was often repeated that six 
fallen heroes had sacrificed their lives in an effort to save a 
couple of homeless people. 

"When six people die like that," says Spencer, "I think 
human nature says, 'Somebody is to blame for this.'" Many 
have questioned why the two did not report the fire or make 
their whereabouts known. 

"I'm not sure I'd be hanging around waiting for the 
police to come either," Spencer responds. "What were they 
supposed to say? 'Hey, I broke into the building and set it 
on fire. I just wanted to tell you there's nobody inside.' 

"Honestly, could they have anticipated that six firefight- 
ers would die? Hindsight is 20-20," he says. "Don't get me 
wrong — it took years for me to develop the right perspective. 
It still upsets me sometimes — on Christmas, Father's Day, 
and my father's birthday, especially." 

Spencer likens his involvement with Home Again to 
the zeal of families of cancer victims who run marathons 
and work for the cure. He seems to have grasped a message 
that was missed by many: that the real enemy is homeless- 
ness, not the homeless. 

The Lt. Tommy Spencer House, named in memory of 
Patrick's father, opened in November 2008. The House will 
scale up slowly over the next year to include 14 carefully 
selected residents, who pay 30 percent of any income they 
receive as rent, and a live-in manager. Spencer will continue 
monitoring, with an eye to expanding the best practices to 
future program sites. The goal, he notes, is to keep things 
"rigid, steady, stable — like you learn in civil engineering." II 

Transformations \ Winter 2009 37 


Crimson and Gray Goes Green 

It's time to rethink how WPI communicates with you. 
Consider: During the 2008 fiscal year, the Alumni Relations 
Office printed 92,861 invitations, postcards, brochures, 
envelopes, and other Reunion and Homecoming materials. 

And Alumni Relations is just one small part of the paper 
consumption picture at WPI, and an even smaller part nation- 
ally. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, the 
United States uses approximately 85 million tons of paper 
and paperboard each year — the average American family uses 
the equivalent of a 100-foot-tall Douglas 
fir tree in paper and wood products 

WPI is working to address 
these issues through its sustain- 
—^ , . ■ a | ■ ■ ability initiative, a campus-wide 

OUoLCliriClLJll I ty effort aimed at encouraging stu- 
dents, staff, and faculty to engage 
in research and action promoting sus- 
tainability on campus and in communities 

around the world (see story, page 16). The Alumni Relations 
Office is joining the effort, developing a paperless communi- 
cations strategy. As a result, you'll be receiving fewer postcard 
invitations and more email invitations and notices in the 
coming months. By September 2009, we hope to send all of 
your event invitations and special notices from the Alumni 
Relations Office primarily by email, saving trees and money 
on printing and mailing. 

In order to be successful, we will need your current 
email. If you haven't registered for AlumniConnect, visit and follow the instructions for "first- 
time log in." To obtain your constituent ID number, contact 
the Alumni Relations Office at or 
508-831-5600. (You'll be prompted to create a username 
and password on your first login.) 

If you've already registered for AlumniConnect, please 
make sure we have your current email address. Alumni who 
provide their email addresses for the first time will be regis- 
tered to win one of two prize packs of WPI merchandise. 

WPI Reunion 2009 

JUNE 4-7 

Mark your calendars now! All alumni 
are welcome to attend Reunion 2009. 

Anniversary classes celebrating at Reunion 2009: 
1934, 1939, 1944, 1949, 1954, 1959, 1964, 
1969, 1974, 1979, 1989, and 1999 

Don't let another year go by without 

WPI Alumni Association 

MAY 2 

8-30 a m. - 1 P- m * 

Association. Spears »» n* ^ ^^ 

The schedule of activities 
for Reunion 2009 includes... 

Thursday, June 4 

> Annual Alumni Golf Tournament 

Friday, June 5 

> Alumni College Keynote Session 

> Campus Fair 

> New England Clambake 

> Casino Night 

> 50-Year Associates Dinner 

Saturday, June 6 

> A Conversation with President 
Dennis Berkey 

> Reunion Parade 

> Alumni Recognition Ceremony 

> Class Receptions and Banquets 

Sunday, June 7 

> Jazz Brunch 

> Worcester Tornadoes Baseball Game 

> Class of 1959 Remembrance Event 

Questions? Please call the WPI Alumni Relations Office at 508-831-5600 or log on to 

By Connie Horwitz, Assistant Director, Career Development Center 

The Important Work You Do 

"We will build the roads and bridges, the electric grids and digital lines that feed our commerce and bind us together. 
We will restore science to its rightful place, and wield technology's wonders to raise health care's quality and lower its 
cost. We will harness the sun and the winds and the soil to fuel our cars and run our factories. And we will transform 
our schools and colleges and universities to meet the demands of a new age. All this we can do. All this we will do." 

President Barack Obama, in his inaugural address, may 
well have been addressing the WPI community — from the 
students and alumni whose career aspirations have no limit, to 
the faculty and staff who encourage and teach our students to 
find passion in all that they do, to the parents who support 
their sons and daughters in all of their endeavors. Everyone's 
contributions are important. 

So, here's the question: Do you feel that what you are 
doing today is important? If the answer is yes, have you let 
those who support you know the significance of their work? 
Would they agree? Are you documenting your major contri- 
butions to your client, family, organization, or community? 
In unpredictable times, particularly, it's a good idea. 

If the answer is no, and you are not feeling valued, ask 
yourself, "What would my manager/spouse/colleague say if 
asked to specifically describe my contributions, lest they be 
fired for lack of a response?" 

We know that the economy is difficult this year. Work — 
including the work we do as retirees — is the critical part of so 
many of our lives. Understanding where and how the value of 
your work contributes to life is, perhaps, what's most important. 

WPI graduates: That work began the moment you 
stepped onto campus, and it has flourished ever since. But if 
you should find yourself in doubt, don't hesitate to contact us 
in the Career Development Center. We'll help you see your 
strengths and get back on track! 

Contact Connie at 

New Development and Alumni Relations Staff 

Jo-Ann Alessandrini joined WPI in 
September as associate vice president for 
development and campaign director. She 
is working with Vice President Dexter 
Bailey, key volunteer leaders, and devel- 
opment staff members on the planning 
and implementation of a comprehensive 
campaign to support WPI's teaching and 
research mission, as well as the universi- 
ty's future philanthropic endeavors. 

Alessandrini most recently served as assistant dean for 
development at the University of South Florida (USF) College 
of Business in Tampa. Before joining the business school, she 
led the university's fund-raising efforts as interim CEO of the 
USF Foundation and as vice president of university advance- 
ment in preparing for a third comprehensive campaign antici- 
pated to achieve a goal of more than half a billion dollars. 

Jake Messier became the executive 
director of the Alumni Relations Office 
in November. Working with WPI's key 
alumni volunteer leaders and a dedicated 
staff, Messier directs the university's 
alumni relations programming focused 
on strengthening the bonds among fac- 
ulty, students, and staff with alumni 

Messier's varied career has spanned CBS news, print and 
new media advertising, high-profile public relations, and 
marketing for several technology firms. He also served nine 
years in the U.S. Marine Corps in public affairs. 

Samuel Stewart became WPI's execu- 
tive director of development operations 
and research in November. He directs and 
supervises programs and staff in advance- 
ment services, development research, and 
donor stewardship. He oversees aspects 
of gift processing, reporting and analysis, 
the biographical records system, prospect 
research, and stewardship. 
Before coming to WPI, Stewart spent 14 years at the 
University of Massachusetts Medical School, where he most 
recently served as controller for the development office of the 
UMass Memorial Foundation. He was also chief financial 
officer of UMass Medical School, responsible for accounting 
systems and financial reporting. 

I Michelle Vigneux joined the WPI 

J Annual Fund in December as director. 
She is working with the Annual Fund 
Board, student leaders, and staff to lead 
and grow WPI's Annual Fund program. 
Vigneux brings to WPI extensive 
alumni and annual fund experience. Before 
joining WPI, she was director of annual 
giving at Lasell College in Newton, Mass., 
where she established Graduates of the Last Decade, athletics, 
and parents programs and oversaw all annual giving activities, 
including a phonathon program. During her tenure, Lasell 
broke the $600,000 mark in annual giving for the first time 
in the college's history and saw a 10 percent increase in parent 
giving and a 5 percent increase in faculty and staff giving. 

Transformations \ Winter 2 009 3 9 

ass Notes 

Staying Connected with Old Friends Material for Class Notes comes from newspaper and magazine clippings, press releases, and information 
supplied by alumni. Due to production schedules, some notes may be out of date at publication, but may be updated in future issues. Please allow up to 6 months 
for your news to appear in print. Submit your Class Note at Transformations or You may fax it to 508-831-5820, or mail it to 
Alumni Editor, Transformations, WPI, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609-2280. 


Peter Koliss '38 

(left) is retired 
from Bell Tele- 
phone and now 
keeps busy raising 
funds to restore 
churches in 
Ghana. Contri- 
butions to his 

efforts can be made by check, payable to Fr. 

John Albert Opoku-Acquah (pictured), and 

mailed to Peter Koliss, 47 Dogwood Drive, 

Apt. 202, Nashua, NH 03062. 

Koliss is also pictured below (far right) 

with fellow Reunion 2008 celebrants Ralph 

Smith '43, Len Kuniholm '38, and Morton 

Fine '37. 


Frank Bodurtha '42 was a guest speaker at 
the Ossipee (N.H.) Historical Society on the 
70th anniversary of the "Long Island Express" 
hurricane that struck New England in 1938. 
He holds a doctorate in meteorology from 
MIT and in retirement has done much re- 
search and writing about hurricanes. He lives 
in New London, Conn., and has a summer 
home in Center Ossipee, N.H. 


Don Post '53 was featured in the "One on 
One" interview in Worcester Magazine in July 
2008. He is owner of The Farmer's Daughter 
garden center and Hillcrest Farm in Auburn. 

Milton Meckler '54 

received a Distin- 
guished 50-Year 
Member Award from 
ASHRAE (American 
Society of Heating, 
Refrigerating and Air- 
Conditioning Engi- 
neers) at the society's 
annual meeting in June 2008. A fellow and a 
lifetime member of the organization, Meckler 
is a former board member and currently 
serves on several technical and scientific com- 
mittees. He is president and CEO of Design 
Build Systems. 

Edouard "Mirff" Bouvier '55 moved from 
Connecticut to Maryland last fall. His email 
address remains the same: Muffl955@alum "It's another great service offered 
by WPI," he notes. "Once you get an 
'' email address, whenever you 
move you only need to let WPI know of your 
new ISP and the rest is seamless." He reports 
that he had lunch in D.C. with Pete Horst- 
mann, and dinner with Tom Mahar and his 
wife, Kathy. "Contact me by phone at 240- 
293-6764 or by email if you're going to be in 
the area or if you have any news to report." 

Ted Coghlin '56 was featured in the 
Catholic Free Press as a paradigm of giving to 
the larger community through stewardship. 

Bill Rabinovitch '58 is composing an Iraq 
Symphony for full orchestra, along with ani- 
mated visual accompaniment. He continues 
work on his film, "Pollack Squared," which 
now incorporates a sequence he filmed using 
a set from the movie "Be Kind Rewind," at 
the invitation of director Michel Gondry. 

Ralph Sellars '58 delivered a presentation 
entitled "An Ardent Account of the Sanborn- 
ton Snowroller Restoration" to the Sanborn- 
ton (N.H.) Historical Society, detailing the 
four-year effort to restore this donated 
antique machinery to working order. He is 
retired from a career in safety and fire protec- 
tion engineering, and lives on his family's 
farm in Tilton. 

Lee Courtemanche '59 was honored by the 
Technical Association of the Pulp and Paper 
Industry (TAPPI). He received the organi- 

zation's 2008 Paul W Magnabosco Out- 
standing Local Section Member Award at 
PaperCon 08, TAPPI's national conference 
held in Dallas, Texas, in May. 


Jim Dunn '61, president of Energy Tech- 
nologies Inc., was elected to the corporate 
advisory board of Solomon Technologies Inc. 


^i*L \ i ft 

\| fr£m 



Classmates of Jesse Erlich '62 gathered 
at the Mount Washington Hotel in New 
Hampshire for the wedding of his son, 
Adam. From left, Mike Gordon, Dick 
DiBuono, Myron Waldman, Jesse Erlich, 
Ted Cocca '61, Barry Cherkas, and Casey 

David Norton '62 traveled to the Middle 
East to present his "Balanced Scorecard" con- 
cept to area business and industry leaders. He 
is the founder and president of Renaissance 
Solutions and founder of the Nolan Norton 

Bob Magnant '63s first novel, The Last 
Transition, is an adventure in cyber-security 
and global relations. It is available on his 
website,, along 
with his photography and other writings. 

Nirmal Thakkar '63 is chairman of Tipco 
Industries Ltd., based in Mumbai, India. 
The firm, founded by his father in 1945, 
currently employs three of Nirmal's sons. 

Bob White '64 and his wife, Ginny, are 
pleased to announce their retirements — Bob 
from teaching at Northern Maine Commu- 
nity College, and Ginny from her post as 
performing arts director at the Caribou 
(Maine) Performing Arts Center. "We are 

40 Transformations \ Winter 2009 

Class N 

both looking forward to more time in Nova 
Scotia, much more time with kids and 
grandkids, keeping up with hobbies and 
volunteer activities, and enjoying life in 
general," he writes. 

Chet Sergey '65, a long- 
time EMT and EMS in- 
structor, was honored by 
the American Red Cross 
at the Waterbury Area 
Chapter's "Images of 
Heroes" gala event. Con- 
necticut Governor Jodi Rell was on hand to 
offer congratulations. Chet has chaired re- 
gional emergency services committees and 
worked to improve training, expand facilities, 
and recruit students into the field. 

Bill Elliott '66 has retired after more than 
35 years with the admissions department at 
Carnegie Mellon University. He got his start 
working in WPI's admissions office after 
graduation. At CMU, he developed com- 
puter models for class size and financial aid 
awards, and oversaw the university's shift 
from a regional school to a global university. 

John Lauterbach '66 was an organizer of 
Ohio State University's Sugar Alley Sympo- 
sium, held in conjunction with the American 
Chemical Society's 2008 national meeting in 
New Orleans. Lauterbach, who did his doc- 
toral work in the Sugar Alley laboratories of 
Ohio State's chemistry department, presented 
a paper, "Carbohydrate Chemistry in the To- 
bacco Industry." He is owner and principal, 
Chemistry & Toxicology, at Lauterbach & 
Associates ( . 

Dave Heebner '67 was elected executive vice 
president and group executive of General 
Dynamics Land Systems' Marine Systems 
Group. He previously served as president of 
Land Systems. 

Harry Taylor '67 is a management consult- 
ant with Manchester Consulting Group. His 
article, "A New Approach to Blind Riveting," 
appeared in Appliance magazine. 

WPI Trustee Michael DiPierro '68 was 

named president of the Fallon Clinic Foun- 
dation board of trustees. 


Domenic "Road Hog" Forcella '70 writes 

that classmate Greg Barnhart stopped by on 
his way to Harley Davidson's 105th anniver- 
sary party in August. Dom took a six-month 
sabbatical from his administrative position at 
Central Connecticut State University and is 
currently working on sustainability. "I watch 
the blues scene in Connecticut and travel to 

n me 

Public Eye 

Columnists Al Po.pio.nou '57 (The Foxboro 
■ I Reporter) and Solon Economou '58 (Cape Cod 

" r - ^ ^*^\ Today) exhorted voters to "Vote Early, Vote Often" 

I V^> and "Vote NO on Question YES!" in their pre-election 

humor features ... UFO expert Bruce Maccabee '64 
appeared on Dateline NBC in a segment called 
"10 Close Encounters Caught on Tape" ... Interim 
Superintendent Deirdre Loughlin '68 (MNS) made 
history as the first woman to lead Worcester's School 
District. A successor has been selected and will take up the post in July ... Dean Kamen '73 
put his vapor compression distiller to the test on The Colbert Report, showing a 
skeptical Stephen Colbert how the device could produce pure drinking water from puddles, 
oceans, or even (as Colbert joked) "a 50-gallon drum of urine." A profile of Kamen as 
"Lord Dumpling" appeared in the December issue of Esquire ... the U.S. Senate 
Subcommittee on Finance heard testimony from Alden Bianchi '74 last fall, as part of 
a hearing on health care reform. Bianchi, an attorney specializing in employee benefits and 
executive compensation, presented an overview and comparative analysis of single-payer 
and market-based health insurance mechanisms ... Certified Fire Investigator Dave Demers 
'74 discussed his role in high-profile investigations, including the MGM Las Vegas hotel fire, 
and The Station nightclub fire, in the Telegram & Gazette's "On the Job" profile ... 
Mike Kirscher '82 was prominently featured in a recent book, Exposed: The Toxic 
Chemistry of Everyday Products and What's at Stake for American 
Power, as well as numerous articles on the environmental toll of America's electronics 
manufacturing industry. He is president and co-founder of Design Chain Associates ... Carol 
Taubl '84, her husband, John, and their seven children appeared on America's Got 
Talent, earning them comparisons to the singing von Trapp family ... Marc Zimmer '88 
(PhD), a Connecticut College professor, responded to numerous reporters' inquiries after the 
2008 Nobel Prize for Chemistry went to a team of scientists studying bioluminescence, his 
specialty. Zimmer explained the importance of their discovery in an op-ed piece in the Los 
Angeles Times, and was quoted in many major publications, including Science and 
Wired ... Starbucks's senior vice president Michelle Gass '90 was profiled in The Wall 
Street Journal ... John Baird '04 gave the introductory speech for Congressman Ron 
Paul during a 2008 presidential primary campaign visit to the University of Pittsburg. Pitt 
News covered Baird's role in arranging the event. 

Memphis a couple of times a year," he writes. 
He can be reached at 

Jack Keenan '70 is the new CEO of Pacific 
Gas and Electric Co. He was previously sen- 
ior vice president of generation and chief 
nuclear officer. 

Toh-Ming Lu '71 (MS) was elected a fellow 
of the American Association for the Advance- 
ment of Science. He is the R. P. Baker Profes- 
sor of Physics at RPI. 

Kudos to Cutler Associates president Fred- 
eric Mulligan '71, who received the Merito- 
rious Service Award from the Design-Build 
Institute of America (DBIA). 

Herbert Nock '71 joined Ocean Power 
Technologies as vice president, business 
development and marketing. 

Donald Peterson '71, chair of the WPI 
Board of Trustees, was elected a co-chair 
of the Committee for Economic Devel- 
opment's business-led policy group. 

Justice Paul Fritzsche '72 was re- 
nominated to the Maine Supreme 
Court, where he has served for 2 1 years. 

Howard Levine '72 joined Synova 
USA Inc. as eastern region sales man- 
ager. He lives in Stamford, Conn. 

Transformations \ Winter 2 009 4 1 




our Legacy 

WPI can show you how to 
create a special legacy gift 
and have financial freedom to 
support your grandchildren for 
many years to come. 

A Charitable Lead Trust provides an annual gift for 
WPI, tax relief for you and your estate, and a special 
trust for your heirs for as many years as you wish. 
This could fund a WPI campaign gift, contribute to 
(or pay for) your grandchildren's college education, 
and give you an up-front tax deduction. 

For more information, call 888-974-4438 
(toll-free) or email 

Class N 

John Modzelewski '72 is office manager for 
the Hernando, Miss., office of Smith Seck- 
man Reid Inc. 

Philip Piqueira '72 is chief engineer, stan- 
dards integration, at GE Industrial Systems. 

Ray Roberge '72 is corporate vice president 
and CTP of Praxair Inc. 

Rev. BUI Ault '73 and HoUy Keyes Ault '74 

took the First Church of Templeton (Mass.) 
Youth Group to Orlando, Maine, where they 
spent a week volunteering for HOME Inc., 
helping with repairs and construction. 

Thomas "Fergie" Ferguson '73 writes, "I 
retired in 2006, after 25 years at Eli Lilly and 
Company. I'm now doing a little consulting, 
starting a vineyard, and enjoying my family 
and grandchildren." 

Roger Lavallee '73 recently joined Merrill 
Lynch in Hartford, Conn., as a financial ad- 
visor. He previously worked for Aetna Finan- 
cial Services, ING, and Phoenix Investment 

Alden Bianchi '74 was listed in the 2008 
edition of Chambers USA: America's Leading 
Lawyers for Business. He was ranked in Tier 1 
of the Employee Benefits and Executive 
Compensation category for Massachusetts. 

Jim Bowen '74 recently retired from Pratt & 
Whitney after 27 years. 

Timothy Murray '74 was elected chairman 
and CEO of OFS, a designer and manufac- 
turer of optical fiber products. 

Michael Dolan '75 was appointed senior 
vice president of ExxonMobil Corp. in April 

Jerry Forstater '75 is founder of Professional 
Systems Engineering in Lansdale, Pa. A fre- 
quent speaker on security issues, he recently 
traveled to Israel on a Homeland Security 
and Counter-Terrorism Observation Mission. 

David Fowler '75 was appointed senior vice 
president, marketing and product develop- 
ment, at VidSys in Vienna, Va. 

James Lane '75 is CEO of Novelty Hill 
Software Inc., an embedded firmware com- 
pany in the Redmond, Wash., area. He also 
serves as software architect at the Technical 
Committee formed as a part of the settle- 
ment reached in the Microsoft anti-trust 

David Eves '76 was named director of tech- 
nical operations at DuBois & King in Ran- 
dolph, Vt. • 

X Cafe LCC, the company of Paul Kalenian 
'76, was a finalist in the New England Inno- 
vations Award competition sponsored by the 
Smaller Business Association of New Eng- 
land (SBANE). 

Fran McConville '76 continues as a senior 
consultant for Impact Technologies in Lin- 
coln, Mass. A section of his book, The Pilot 
Plant Real Book, was excerpted in Chemical 
Engineering Progress. 

After a career in hardware design and appli- 
cations engineering, Art Stryer '76 writes 
from Milpitas, Calif, where he is taking 
some IT classes at Stanford and Foothill 
College. "I developed some great electronics 
(U.S. patent on PhaseLocked Loops, 1983, 
Sole Inventor)," he writes, "but it's time for a 
change. I'd like to develop websites and ulti- 
mately have my own online business site(s)." 
Art invites classmates to contact him at 

Steven Fine '77 was promoted to senior sci- 
entist at Laticrete International. 

Jeff Harrington '77 contributed a chapter 
called "Applications of Gaseous Agents to 
Special Hazards Fire Protection" to the 20th 
edition of the NFPA Fire Protection Hand- 
book. He was also a keynote speaker at 
SUPDET, the Suppression and Detection 
Research and Applications Technical Work- 
ing Conference in Orlando, Fla. 

Joseph Kilar '77 is CEO of Emaar, The 
Economic City, the development company 
for King Abdullah Economic City in Saudi 

Giacopassi '78 

completed a re- 
ligious pilgrim- 
age, walking 
the French way 
of the Camino 
de Santiago 
from St. Jean 
Pied de Port in 
France to Santi- 
ago de Com- 
postela in 

Spain. "Five weeks was barely enough time," 
he writes. "Altogether it was quite an experi- 
ence, touching me physically, mentally, emo- 
tionally, and spiritually." 

Houghton Lewis '78 was appointed vice 
president and treasurer of Lorillard Tobacco 

Pete Gould '79 was recently promoted to 
vice president of engineering and chief engi- 
neer at Raytheon Space and Airborne Sys- 
tems. He was previously deputy VP of 
engineering. Pete lives with his wife, Man,', 
and younger daughter, Mel, in Redondo 
Beach, Calif 


Mark Lefebvre is marketing director for the 
Rational Systems business within IBM Soft- 
ware Group. He writes, "Vivian (Martin) and 
I have been happily married for nearly 25 
years, and we have two great children, Joey 
(14) and Selena (12), adopted from Korea. 
We still reside in Hampton, N.H. I would 
love to hear from my WPI friends." 

Mario Marcaccio is a senior vice president at 
CDM. He joined as a project engineer after 
graduation and transitioned to the legal team 
in 1987, serving as lead counsel for company 
acquisitions, claims, and contracts. 


Ernie Cormier writes, "Jan and I have just 
moved back to the U.S. from England, where 
we lived for two years while I was working at 
Virgin Media as chief commercial officer and 
managing director, group strategy and corpo- 
rate development. I'd love to hear from any 
long-lost (or not!) friends from those great 
days at WPI!" 

Edward Gonsalves holds the post of senior 
vice president, product development, at 
Wavetrend Technologies Ltd. 

Lee Laviolette joined Arthur D. Little as 
managing partner, operating strategy and 
transformation, in the firm's global energy 


Steven Brown lives in Lyndeborough, N.H., 
where he has been active on the board of se- 
lectmen. He and his wife, Maria, have a 

Andres Molina joined 
Vanderweil Engineers in 
Boston as manager of sub- 
station engineering within 
the Transmission & Dis- 
tribution Specialty Group. 

John Willoughby is director of marketing at 
Carbon Design Systems. 



Karen Casella was promoted to vice presi- 
dent of engineering at, where she 
has been employed since 2005. Her responsi- 
bilities include search engine development, 
site operations, database administration, and 
information technology. 

Transformations \ Winter 2009 43 


Recent and new publications by WPI alumni, faculty, staff 
Skin Deep 

by Gary Braver (Gary Goshgarian '64) Forge Books 

A psychopath is preying on the most beautiful women in Boston — and 
homicide detective Steve Markarian secretly suspects that he might be 
the killer. Haunted by personal failures, and longing for his ex-wife, 
he suddenly discovers that she could be the next victim. Following on 
the success of his previous thrillers, Goshgarian now delves into the 
darker side of plastic surgery and the quest for physical perfection. 
"A nerve-jangling thriller that combines the horror of The Silence of the 
Lambs with the medical terror of Robin Cook," says bestselling author 
James Rollins. 

From Concept to Consumer: How to Turn Ideas into Money 

by Phil Baker '65 Financial Times Press 

Phil Baker's resume includes more than 30 patents and flagship 
products for Apple, Seiko, Polaroid, and others. Now he has written 
a practical guide through the product development process showing 
what it takes to deliver one winning product after another, from plan- 
ning and manufacturing, to market release and distribution. He is a 
co-founder of Think Outside and the creator of the Stowaway 
portable keyboard. 

No More Meetings from Hell: How to Structure and 
Manage the Facilitation of Teams 

by Jack Rahaim '66 CreateSpace 

After 20 years of facilitating groups in a variety of industries, manage- 
ment consultant Jack Rahaim knows how easily business meetings can 
degenerate into touchy-feely, content-free discussions that "go on for 
hours with the apparent objective of seeing who can dominate the 
conversation, suck most of the air out of the room, and look good to 
the boss doing it." His book defines the role of the facilitation and 
offers tools for engaging participants, structuring actions, and avoid- 
ing common problems. Rahaim holds an MBA from the University of 
New Haven. His clients include major hospitals, universities, nonprof- 
its, and high-tech businesses in the United States and Japan. 

No More 

by Jack Rahaim 

Where Have All the Emails Gone? 

by David Gewirtz '82 ZATZ Publishing 

Email operations at the White House need fixing, says David 
Gewirtz, a former computer science professor and author of more 
than 600 articles on electronic communications. "It's not about poli- 
tics. It's about national security." His concerns include unsecured 
communications and improper data management in the executive 
office. He offers historical perspective dating back to the Reagan 
administration, potential nightmare scenarios, and recommendations 
on everything from archiving to hand-held devices. Gewirtz is 
publisher and editor-in-chief of ZATZ Publishing, an independent 
publisher of digital magazines. 




Mark Hasso (PhD), a 
former BSCES president, 
received the organization's 
Citizen Engineer Award at 
its 2008 annual meeting 
in June. He was also hon- 
ored by Wentworth Insti- 
tute of Technology with the Presidents 
Distinguished Service Award and the Alumni 
Association Distinguished Service Award. He 
currently serves as a professor and coordina- 
tor of Wentworth's Construction Manage- 
ment program. 

Joe Morgan was appointed executive vice 
president and COO of Standard Register in 
Dayton, Ohio. 


Joseph Parisi is the new public works chief 
for Rockport, Mass. 

Ron Rappel is principal 
embedded firmware 
. 4rM engineer with Vicor Corp. 

£■ p^ He lives and works in 

^H ! Andover, Mass. 

fwT^^RM J osn Reed, writes, "After 
'^™' — ^^^^* 20+ years in the photo 
retail and imaging business, I have left Ritz 
Camera and The Camera Shop Inc. to join the 
management team of Lowes Home Improve- 
ment Centers. It's a welcome change, and I am 
using many of the skills developed at WPI." 

Christopher Scholl, director of health, 
safety, and environmental affairs for Saint- 
Gobain High Performance Materials in 
Worcester, was elected to serve on the Associ- 
ated Industries of Massachusetts board of di- 

Zhi Tan (MS CS, PhD '87) was appointed 
CEO of Focus Media in Shanghai. 


Chris Cavigioli was recruited by Intel Corp. 
as a strategic planner in the Ultra Mobility 
Group, developing the Atom™ processors 
for mobile Internet devices (MIDs). "Our 
son is now 2 years old and keeping us very 
busy and happily entertained," he writes. 


sends regards 
from the 
Hubble con- 
trol room, 
where he 

servicing missions. See for his 
interview in the 2008 NASA video "Extend- 
ing Hubble Vision." 

,s N< 

Paul Chodak was named president and 
COO of Southwestern Electric Power Co., 
based in Shreveport, La. 
Jay Cormier joined Sierra Monolithics in 
Redondo Beach, Calif., as VP of Optical 
Networking Products. 

Jeffrey Horowitz was named 2007 Lincoln 
Financial Group Planner of the Year by Lin- 
coln Financial Advisors in San Francisco. 



Bob Soares, Mike Gonsor, Rochelle 
(Boule) Heline, and Stefan Heline enjoyed 
a few days of sun and fun with their families, 
on a camping trip to North Truro in August. 
They posed while waiting for the bus to the 
P-Town carnival parade. 

Carol (Fik) Davis (MS) is an occupational 
medicine physician at Brookhaven (N.Y.) 
National Laboratory, working on wellness 
issues, travel medicine, ergonomics, and fit- 
ness-for-dury exams. "I am married to an 
attorney and we have a son, 5, and a 1 -year- 
old daughter. They keep us busy and very 
happy, but we're not up to traveling much 
just yet. I do miss New England and would 
love to hear from classmates." 

Craig Gosselin joined Solutions Group in 
Warren, N.J. 

Merc (Mirkazemi) Ward is back in South- 
ern California, working for Spin Master Toys 
as director of girls' products. "My son Kyle 
attended a summer program at WPI and now 
wants to be a robotics engineer," she writes. 
"I would be so proud to have him attend 
WPI. My daughter Arianna attended sum- 
mer camp in Maine where I used to be a 
camp counselor. Lastly, through the WPI 
alumni website, I was able to reconnect with 
my little sister from PSS, Vonnie." 


Jeffrey Bloom is co-author of a text on the 
fundamentals of image-, video-, and audio 
processing. The second edition was recently 
published under the title Digital Watermark- 
ing and Steganography. 

Cut Your Energy Bills Now: 1 50 Smart Ways to Save Money 
and Make Your Home More Comfortable and Green 

by Bruce Harley '85 Taunton Press 

For those thinking about converting to solar power — or simply 
weather stripping some leaky windows — Harley's book provides 
detailed instructions for do-it-yourself projects, as well as guidance 
on hiring contractors for complex jobs. Drawing on wisdom from 
his 18 years in helping others improve the energy efficiency of their 
homes, he aims to guide homeowners and renters toward steps that 
will realize maximum value. He currently serves as technical director 
of Conservations Services Group and is the author of Insulate and 
Weatherize (2002). 

Nanotechnology: Health and Environmental Risks 

by Jo Anne Shatkin '85 CRC Press 

In her contribution to the "Perspectives in Nanotechnology" series, 
Jo Anne Shatkin outlines current health and environmental issues of 
nanotechnology and introduces risk analysis as a means of making 
responsible decisions about product development. Current and 
proposed practices are explored, as well as international efforts 
to establish policies for a sustainable future. Shatkin held a book 
signing at the WPI bookstore on Nov. 6. She is managing director 
of CLF Ventures, a nonprofit affiliate of the Conservation Law 

John Grow married Yasuko Mitsuoka on 
Nov. 2, 2007. They live in Sandy, Utah. 

Lynn (Burlingame) O'Marra was promoted 
to tax principal at LGC&D in Providence, R.I. 

Suzanne (Lewis) Pisano 
is an associate at Tighe & 
Bond. She was elected to 
the board of directors of 
the American Council of 
Engineering Companies 
(ACEC) of Massachusetts. 


Ronald Horton of Gettysburg, Pa., is a proj- 
ect manager for Arro. 

Dave Picarillo was promoted to senior vice 
president at Topco Associates, where he heads 
up TopSource, the company's not-for-resale 
program for the food industry. 

Rob Provost founded Grand Slam Fly- 
fishing Destinations, specializing in hosted 
fly fishing trips to destinations around the 
world. Visit or call 
him at 808-224-2035 to learn more or to 
book your next trip. 

William Riccio was named director of 
public services for Newport, R.I., to head 
a newly created department spun off from 
the town's public works department. 
ECI Biotech, headed by Mitch Sanders, 
was awarded a phase II NIH grant to com- 
mercialize ExpressDetect®, a bioburden 
diagnostic that enables doctors to detect 
and treat wound infections without waiting 
several days for culture results. 
Angela (Iatrou) Simon (Perini Corp.) and 
Caleb Warner (Raytheon) returned to cam- 
pus in March 2008 for a Roundtable Discus- 
sion with Engineers, as part of Women's 
History Month. 


Dan Bruso specializes in intellectual prop- 
erty law, commercial transactions, and litiga- 
tion at Cantor Colburn LLP in Hartford, 
Conn. He and his wife live in Somers with 
their three children, Claire, Audrey, and 
Charlie. "In my spare time, I enjoy technical 
scuba diving. I concentrate on shipwreck 
exploration in the 150- to 250-foot range, 
using a Prism Topaz rebreather," he writes. 

Transformations \ Winter 2009 45 


Steven Delfino's toy store, The Construction 
Site, has closed shop in Waltham, Mass. 
Steve and his co-founder hope to launch an 
online operation and to open another physi- 
cal store in the future. 

Jeff Goldmeer is fuel flexibility leader for 
GE's F-class heavy-duty gas turbines. His 
article, "Heavy-duty gas turbines' fuel 
pick'n'mix" was published in the May 2008 
issue of Power Engineering International. 

Margaret Lynch is a success coach and 
author of motivational books and audio 
products. Her Internet radio talk show airs 
weekly on the Internet-based Voice America 
Network ( 

Lt. Col. Andre Mercier has been a Marine 
Corps navigator for 1 8 years, with tours of 
dun.' that included Afghanistan and Bosnia. 
He is currently working in Crystal City, Va., 
on a multi-service project to build the Joint 
Strike Fighter for the Marines, Navy, and 
Air Force. 


Navy Cmdr. 
William Bullard is 
commander of the 
USS Constitution, a 
I popular tourist desti- 
nation in Boston 
Harbor. His previous 
deployments include 
Operation Desert 
Storm and Operation Continue Hope in 
Somalia, as well as deployments in Bahrain, 
Yemen, and Iraq. 

Bob Morales joined Orbital Sciences Corpo- 
ration in June 2008 as senior principal lead 
for RF & electrical engineering. He is in- 
volved in management, design, integration, 
test, Field deployment, and operation of satel- 
lite ground stations and spacecraft. 


Gerry Burns was appointed president and 
CEO of Data2Logistics (, 
with headquarters in Fort Myers, Fla., and 
offices in Salt Lake City and the Netherlands. 
Data2Logistics provides freight bill audit, 
processing, payment, and logistics informa- 
tion management services to Fortune 1000 
companies across the globe. 

Sue (Chilvers) Jones is senior group man- 
ager of business engineering at JPMorgan- 
Chase in Wilmington, Del. She and her 

husband, Keith, are thrilled to announce 
the birth of their first child, a son, Parker 
Hudson, on Jan. 11,2008. 

Roy Nash was selected for rear admiral 
(lower half) by the U.S. Coast Guard. He 
was previously responsible for fire protection 
requirements on U.S. flagged merchant ships 
and presently works for the 13th Coast 
Guard district command staff in Seattle. 

Loan Ngo received her MS in manufactur- 
ing operations from Kettering University in 
June. She and her husband, Dana Jones, are 
proud to announce the birth of a healthy 
boy, Brandon, born July 24, 2008. 

Pamela Peterson was elected a shareholder 
of the Devine Millimet law firm. She is a 
cum laude graduate of Vermont Law School. 

Manish Singh (MS) is president and CEO 
of ImmunoCellular Therapeutics Ltd. 



Dave Andrade recently received his MS in 
education from Walden University. His spe- 
cialty was integrating technology into the 
curriculum, which he puts into practice as a 
physics teacher at Central High School in 
Bridgeport, Conn., incorporating resources 
from NASA and nearby Sikorsky Aircraft. 
Dave also works with the JHPC Paramedic 
Program and Stratford EMS. His wife, Cori, 
a fellow EMT, is studying to become a high 
school biology teacher. 

Magued Barsoum is chief technical officer 
of Fortress Technologies in Westford, Mass. 

Jim Lavallee joined Onaro Inc. of Boston as 
director of customer service. 

Patrick Tompkins and Lyle Coghlin are 

founders of CTA Construction Co., a 
Boston-area construction management firm. 


Cory Belden married Laura Marshall on 
Oct. 7, 2007. They live in San Pablo, Calif. 

Alan DiFonzo (MMS) received the Out- 
standing Teacher of the Year award from the 
Senator Louis P. Bertonazzi Foundation. He 
teaches at Milford (Mass.) High School. 

Stephen Foskett was awarded a Microsoft 
Most Valuable Professional award for File 
System Storage. He is director of the data 
consulting practice at Contoural Inc. in 
Mountain View, Calif. 

Becca (Mason) Yang and her husband, 
Roger, became the proud parents of Zoey 
Yi-Tian, born Feb. 23, 2008 in Los Angeles. 

Michael Briggs completed his PhD in 
physics this spring at the University of New 
Hampshire. His 700-page dissertation was a 
fundamental analysis of means of producing 
and storing energy, focusing on nuclear 


Caroline (Kondoleon) 
Bjune qualified for the 
2008 Women's Olympic 
Marathon Trials. She 
placed 35th, with a time 
of 2:42:02. Her No. 4 
finish in the Philadelphia 
Marathon (2:45:31) 
qualified her for the tri- 
als. She was New Eng- 
land Runner's 2007 
Female Open Runner of 

the Year. She lives in Andover, Mass., with 

her husband, Lars. 

Scott Duffey is captain of the Rockland, 
Mass., fire department. He also works part 
time as an engineer. 

Victor Hart, and his wife, Michele, are 
pleased to announce the birth of their second 
son, Henry Michael, born Aug. 18, 2007. He 
joins big brother, Owen. 

Amy (Plack) and Gregg Marr '95 joyfully 
welcomed their second child, Caitlin Emily, 
on Sept. 22, 2007. First daughter Ainsley is 
enjoying big sisterhood immensely. Amy has 
been employed as an information architect at 
Cramer in Norwood, Mass., since 2007. 

Erica Curran Mason had an exhibition at 
Gordon Library, featuring ink drawings of 
patterns derived from plant cellular struc- 
tures. Her artwork has won several awards, 
including the "Works on Paper" award from 
the Northeast Prize Show at the Cambridge 
Art Association. She lives in Lincoln, Mass. 

Eric Maynard (MSME) is a senior consult- 
ant at Jenike & Johanson in Tyngsborough, 


Marc Burke married Margaret Foley on 
Sept. 8, 2007. They live in Milton, Mass. 
Marc is a product marketing specialist at 
BOC Edwards. 

Katherine (Drainville) and Benjamin 
Higgins announce the birth of their first son, 
Alexander Benjamin, on June 18, 2008. 

46 Transformations \ Winter 2009 





Your gift makes an even greater impact 

Trustee Mike Dolan '75 is challenging WPI alumni from the last 20 years (1989-2008) 

to support WPI's innovative approach to science and engineering education. He will match 

(50 cents on the dollar) gifts to the Annual Fund of at least $100, now through June 30, 2009. 

When you give to the WPI Annual Fund, you demonstrate your belief in your alma mater and its 
noble mission — to educate the next generation of leaders in science and engineering and to create 
positive change in the world through the purposeful application of engineering, science, and technology. 

Your participation in the Annual Fund helps make WPI a world-class experience for students and faculty. 

Take advantage of the Dolan Challenge today: /dolan 


tSa? ' _ — 

^w* ' 


^*~l 1 


was pro- 
moted to 
in the U.S. 
Navy. He 
spent two 

weeks on the USS Ronald Reagan this spring. 

A reservist, he works as a project engineer for 

BP in his civilian life. He and his wife, Mary, 

have three children. 

Greg Cuetara and his wife, Bethany, married 
in 2004 and welcomed their son, Benjamin 
Lee, into the world on Nov. 3, 2007. Greg 
works for Industry and Energy Associates in 
Portland, Maine. He recently passed the 
Civil, Structural, and Structural II PE exams. 

Stephen Davis owns the Arena Cafe bar and 
grill in Woonsocket, R.I. "It's a small neigh- 
borhood bar with great food and fun bar- 
tenders. We always have something going 
on," he writes. 

Molly (McCabe) and Brian Gagnon '97 

welcomed Samuel Francis on July 7, 2008. 

Leanne (Stackpole) and Craig Hansen are 

proud to announce the birth of their son, 
Avery Robert, on Oct. 27, 2008. 

Jeannine (Block) and James Lovering had 

a daughter, Bethany Grace, on Jan. 20, 2008. 
Mom, Dad, and big sister Amelia are enjoy- 
ing rhe new addition. 


Tara Jo Devarakonda married Mark Gibbs 
last year. They live in El Paso, Texas, where 
Tara is working toward a teaching certificate. 

Mohan Jayaraman became a U.S. citizen in 
May, along with more than 500 others, in 
one of the largest naturalization ceremonies 
ever held in the state of New Hampshire. He 
and his wife and two children live in Nashua. 

Wayne Lilyestrom is a postdoctoral fellow 
at Colorado State University. His research, 
funded by the American Cancer Society, 
could improve the potency and specificity 
of future chemotherapies. He was a guest 
speaker at the Relay for Life in Carbondale. 

Laura (Pare) and Chris Milici of Wrentham, 
Mass., are excited to announce the birth of 
their daughter, Molly Grace, (grandchild of 
Mark Pare 75) on Jan. 26, 2008. Mom, 
Dad, and little Miss Molly are doing great! 

Capt. Matt 
Poisson was 
selected for 
the USAF 
Test Pilot 
School at 
AFB. After 
the yearlong 
program, he hopes to get involved in the F-35 
Joint Strike Fighter program. He and his 
wife, Jenny, have rwo children — Alexis, 2, 
and Christopher, who turned 1 in June 2008. 

Brendan Smith received his MBA from Har- 
vard Business School in June. He is a strategy 
consultant with the Boston Consulting 
Group in the firm's downtown Boston office. 

3 Under Forty 

Three WPI alumni made Consulting- 
Specifying Engineer's 40 Under Forty list 
this year: Jeffrey Tubbs '90, associate prin- 
cipal, Arup; Doug Nadeau '94, co-founder 
and principal, New England Engineering; 
and Andrew Purtell '05, application engi- 
neer, Kidde-Fenwal. 

Jeffrey Solari was promoted to manager of 
product development at Incom Inc. in Charl- 
ton, Mass. 


Glenn Barnett is principal consultant for 
Molecular Inc. in Watertown, Mass. He 
married Dianna Shepard last year. 

Kristin Connarn switched law firms to help 
start up the biotech/chemistry patent prac- 
tice at McDermott Will & Emery in Boston. 

^■■■^ I Tina (Casamassina) 

^f^^l Dannaker(MS'Ol) 

^V-> . ^^1 j°i ne d Harrington Group 

H ^^H (founded by Jeff Har- 

J^L ]M I rington '77) as a senior 

^^^^ I fire protection engineer in 

^h^^^I the firm's Charlotte office. 

Ben Nawrath married Kim McCabe on 
Oct. 6, 2007, near their home in New York. 

Brandon Ngo received his MBA from the 
Ross School of Business at the University of 
Michigan, Ann Arbor, in April 2008. He 
now works for Lehman Brothers in New 
York City as an associate. 

Check out 
/rockpaperscissors.html to see Sean Sears, 
national champion of the 2008 Rock Paper 
Scissors League competition in Las Vegas, 
sponsored by Bud Light. 

Megan Parsons '01 and Andrew Cook '00 were married Oct. 13, 2007, among many WPI 
alumni. The couple lives in Amesbury, Mass. 

Jocelyn Songer (MS BE) was awarded a 
postdoctoral fellowship from the National 
Space Biomedical Research Institute to ex- 
plore inner-ear function in outer space. Her 
research involves using sound to assess bal- 
ance problems encountered by astronauts on 
long-duration space flights. 

Steve Vallee holds the post of research engi- 
neer III at Powerspan in New Durham, N.H. 

Jay Viamari (MS) earned 
certification as a LEED 
(Leadership in Energy and 
Environmental Design) 
accredited professional. 
He was recently promoted 
to associate at Tighe & 
Bond in Westfield, Mass. 


Kevin Beverage married Kate Wrigley on 
Sept. 22, 2008. They are both working on 
graduate degrees at WPI. 

John Hammond serves as help desk manager 
for Wesleyan University. He was profiled by 
the Wesleyan Connection recently. 

Mike Mahan of Leominster, Mass., received 
his MBA from Carroll Graduate School of 
Management at Boston College. Before 
becoming a full-time student, he was a con- 
sultant at Accenture. 

Army Reserve Maj. Richard McGowan has 

been deployed in support of Operation Iraqi 
Freedom. He is a civil affairs specialist previ- 
ously serving in Warwick, R.I. 

Michael Quigley was 

promoted to principal at 
WB Engineers/Consul- 
tants in Boston. 

Tracy (Patturelli) and Antonio Troncoso 

welcomed their first child, Mia Lynn, on 
May 22, 2008. The family is currently resid- 
ing in Chelmsford, Mass. 

Vikki Tsefrikas was profiled in a Science 
magazine supplement focusing on career 
options. The article was called "Industrial 
Postdocs: The Road Less Traveled." After 
completing a PhD in organic chemistry at 
BU, she embarked on a two-year program 
at Astra Zeneca. 

Edward Vandedrinck writes, "I was finally 
married, on Aug. 15, 2008, to Agnieszka 
Sulich, in Warsaw, Poland." 

Jen Waite married Jamie Blair on Oct. 1 1, 
2008, at Cathedral of the Pines in Rindge, 
N.H. They live in their new house on 
Wilbur Street in Worcester. 


Anthony Berry, Air National Guard Airman 
1st Class, graduated from basic military 
training at Lackland Air Force Base in San 
Antonio, Texas. 

Marc Bullio joined Tishman Construction 
Corporation of Massachusetts as a project 

Craig Daniels graduated from Northeastern 
University with an MSEE in 2008. A lead 
systems engineer for GE Transportation, he 
lives in Weymouth, Mass., with his fiancee, 

Timothy Fisher married Amber Bifolck 
on June 7, 2008. He is a student at UC 
Hastings College of Law. 

Matt Killebrew is a senior project manager 
in the Denver office of Hughes Associates. 


Mark Arsenault married Carina Wohl on 
Sept. 2, 2007. They live in Philadelphia. 

John Berube is a web developer at Little 
Green Cube in Chicago. He married Shanna 
Cross in October 2007. 

David Campbell and Kathryn Lambert 

were married Sept. 15, 2007. He works for 
AFC Cable Systems, and she is employed by 
McLaughlin Research Corp. They live in 
Bristol, R.I. 

Samuel Gutmann married Jennifer Oppen- 
heimer on Nov. 24, 2007. 

Keith Hammerschlag works at Technic Inc. 
He and his wife, Nicole, live in Pawtucket, 

Jaclyn Maiorano works 
for Tighe & Bond in 
Westfield, Mass. She re- 
cently earned certification 
as a LEED (Leadership in 
Energy and Environmen- 
tal Design) accredited 

Geoffrey San Antonio 
was awarded his PhD in 
electrical and systems en- 
gineering from Washing- 
ton University in May 
2008. His doctoral thesis 
was on Waveform Design 
for Multiple-Input Mulriple-Output Radar 
Systems. Currently he is a research engineer 
at the Naval Research Laboratory in Wash- 
ington, D.C. He is the son of Pamela and 
Richard San Antonio '71. 

Marcela Skorik joined Mead & Hunt Inc.'s 
Minneapolis water resources team. 

Benjamin Thompson married Stephanie 
Seniecle in September 2007. He is an appli- 
cation developer at Aetna. 
Brian Thompson (MS FPE) presented an 
educational seminar called "Performance- 
Based Smoke Control Design" at the 2008 
World Safety Conference & Exposition. He 
is a principal at Aegis Engineering. 

48 Transformations \ Winter 2009 

Devin Wolfe married Sarah Pilato on Jan. 
27, 2007. The couple resides in Rochester 
N.Y., where Devin is currently pursuing his 
PhD in biochemistry at the University of 


Tim Baird holds the post of project engineer 
III at NyPro. He is still active with FIRST as 
a mentor for the Gael Force robotics team at 
Clinton High School. 

Love TV? Check out Bob Degon's new tele- 
vision commentary site, 

Christopher Lacasse works for Raytheon. 
He and his wife, Jennifer, live in Taunton, 

Kerry Malone and Michael Grant became 
engaged in April 2008, while vacationing in 
Florida. An April 2009 wedding is planned, 
with Erin Daly and Merry Furhman as 
bridesmaids, and Rob Malone '02 as a 
groomsman. The couple recently purchased a 
home in Northbridge, Mass. 

Tim McGreal's "AlarmArm" was featured 
in the Chicago South Town Star. He appears 
in a marketing video for his invention at 

Melinda Palma spent two years with the 
Peace Corps teaching chemistry and math in 
Ghana, where she received a national award 
for volunteer teaching by a foreigner. In 
February 2008 she lunched with George 
Bush, Condoleezza Rice, and other digni- 
taries who were visiting Africa to discuss 
malaria prevention. 

Tiffany Tarn and John Bubriski '06 were 
married on July 19, 2008, in Stockbridge, 


Sgt. Jason Cox received a U.S. Navy and 
Marine Corps Achievement Medal for his 
work on countering improvised explosive 
devices (IEDs). While serving on active com- 
bat duty in Iraq, he designed a device that 
validated the use of infrared spectroscopy to 
detect the triggering systems of these roadside 
bombs. His data enabled the Marine Corps 
to purchase life-saving technology of 
a similar design. Cox's honor was reported 
by the Boston Globe, Worcester Telegram & 
Gazette and Worcester Business Journal and by 
WPI on its homepage (go to 

. Our Spring 2008 photos of Jared 
Birmingham '02 and Nick Williams '02 bungee 
jumping from Macau Tower showed Nick on the 
platform with a jump company employee (who was 
misidentified as Jared) standing behind him. Here's 
a look at Jared's jump, y 

On July 12, 
2008, Josh 
Raines married 
Keala Blanton 
on Bailey Island 
in Maine. Keala 
is on her way to 
being a Spanish 
teacher, and Josh is working at an engineer- 
ing firm in Newburyport, Mass. They live in 
Old Orchard Beach, Maine. 


Eric Couture (MSME) is a mechanical engi- 
neer at Insight Technology. He married Erika 
Messinger in 2007. 

Paul Ragaglia married Jamie Ferreira on 
Dec. 7, 2007. He works for Pratt & Whitney 
in Grand Prairie, Texas. 


Gary Comtois (BSME) works for AstraMed 
in West Warwick, R.I. He married Diana 
Truesdale on July 28, 2007. 

Amanda McCullough and Andrew Bisol 

became engaged on July 21 , 2008. Andrew is 
working as a structural engineer in Blue Bell, 
Pa., and Amanda is in her second year of 
veterinary school at the University of Penn- 

Michael McKinstry joined Beswick Engi- 
neering's application engineering depart- 

Suzanne Peyser's 2008 civil engineering 
master's thesis, "Feasibility of Green Building 
at WPI," received an honorable mention 
from the Association for the Advancement 
of Sustainability in Higher Education for its 
Student Research on Campus Sustainability 
Awards program. 

Cale Putnam is active with Paraclete Acad- 
emy's Society of Paraclete Engineers robotics 

A cluster of recent chemistry/biochem alumni have gone on to 
graduate school at Yale: Eugene Douglass '07, Lori Ferris '07, Jill Goldstein '08, 
and Oana Luca '08 


^^■^^^ I Daemian Foster joined 

m ^k the Worcester office of 

J* Tighe & Bond as an 

jt^^^^ I Chuck Gammal won the 
J ^^ I Eta Kappa Nu Alton B. 

I . "7T f. I Zerby and Carl T Koener 

I Outstanding Electrical or 
I Computer Engineering 
^g^^H Student Award tor the 
^HL__^^H 2007-08 academic 
He will receive the awatd during the annual 
banquet of the ECE Department Heads 
Association at the HKN annual meeting in 
March 2009. 

Navy Ensign Jacob Russell married Jennifer 
Lindsay on May 18, 2008. They live in San 

Sanouri Ursprung published "The Latency 
to the Onset of Nicotine Withdrawal: A Test 
of the Sensitization-Homeostasis Theory 
in Addictive Behaviors, based on her IQP 

Virginia Ward was 

awarded a Fulbright 
Scholarship to teach Eng- 
lish in Taiwan during the 
2008-09 academic year. 
She also hopes to study 
the Chinese language and 
enhance mutual understanding between the 
United States and Taiwan. She is the first 
WPI student to be named a Fulbright 

Transformations \ Winter 2009 49 


WPI has learned of the death of Willard A. 
Gallotte '24 in 2005. He and his wife, 
Glenola, had two children. He worked for 
Puget Sound Power & Light Co. 

Chester A. Deane '27 of Pisqua, Ohio, 
died Oct. 1, 2006. Predeceased by his wife, 
Priscilla (Averell), he leaves five children. He 
was retired from Westinghouse Electric Co. 

WPI has learned of the death of Roscoe H. 
Bowers '30 (Lambda Chi Alpha) in 2003. 
He worked for Weyerhaeuser Corp. He and 
his wife, Ruth, had one son, who predeceased 

John W. Conley '30 (Sigma Alpha Epsilon) 
died Aug. 30, 2007. He was predeceased by 
his wife, Helen. He lived in San Diego and 
was retired from J. Walter Thompson Co. 

WPI has learned of the death of Leland H. 
Fisler '30 in 2003. He was retired from Sar- 
gent & Co. Predeceased by his wife, Frances 
(Hawkes), he leaves two children. 

WPI has learned of the death of Wilson H. 
Rice '30 (Phi Sigma Kappa) in 2004. A re- 
tired manufacturing engineer for Hamilton 
Sunstrand, he leaves his wife, Marie, and two 

William E. Ashe '32 (Phi Kappa Theta), a 
longtime Worcester resident, died Jan. 23, 
2008. Predeceased by his wife, Anna (Knox), 
he leaves a son. He was retired from the 
former Rice Barton Corp. as a mechanical 

Earle E. Green '32 

(Lambda Chi Alpha) of 
Inverness, Fla., died April 
11,2008. He was retired 
from Liberty Mutual In- 
surance Co. as an under- 
writer and executive 
officer. Predeceased by his wife, Elsie, he 
leaves a son, a stepson, and two daughters. 

Rocco N. LaPenta '32 of Southington, 
Conn., died April 27, 2008. He leaves his 
wife, Josephine, and three children. He was 
retired from a career in the construction 

WPI recently learned of the death of Joseph 
H. Fogg '33 (Phi Gamma Delta, Skull) in 
1999. He lived in Jacksonville, Fla., and was 
retired from the Department of the Navy. 
His wife, Shirley, survives him. 

Kenneth E. Gleason Sr. '33 (Phi Sigma 
Kappa) died Nov. 6, 2007, at his home in 
Newton, Mass. He leaves his wife, Mary 
Louise (Hall), and three children. Gleason 

50 Transformations \ Winter 2009 

spent most of his career at Gillette Co., 
where he rose to superintendent of quality 

John C. Powers '33 

of Bolton, Mass., died 
Nov. 27, 2007. He is sur- 
vived by his wife, Lillian 
(Cate), and a daughter. 
A structural engineer, 
he designed numerous 
Worcester landmarks, including several 
Catholic churches and the Worcester Center 
Galleria before his retirement from O. E. 
Nault Architects. 

Eugene J. Teir '33 (Theta 
Chi) of Gardner, Mass., 
died Nov. 24, 2006. 
Predeceased by his wife, 
Laura, he leaves a daugh- 
ter. Teir was retired as 
Gardner's city engineer. 

Robert M. Cape '35 of Minneapolis, Minn., 
died May 24, 2007. He worked for TAMS de 
Brasil as a civil engineer. He was predeceased 
by his wife, Mildred, and is survived by three 

William A. Dempsey '35 (MS EE '36) of 
Warwick, R.I., died Nov. 29, 2007 He leaves 
his wife, Eleanor (Fleming), and three daugh- 
ters. He helped develop RADAR technology 
during his naval service and later worked as 
an electrical engineer for Narragansett Elec- 
tric Co. 

J. Russell Hemenway '35 

of Worcester died Dec. 
10, 2007 His wife, Ann 
(Gagan) died in 2001. 
Five children survive him. 
Hemenway worked for 
Leland-Gifford Co. for 33 
years and later retired from Jamesbury Corp. 

Joseph A. Sukaskas '35 (Skull) of Westbury, 
N.Y., died Aug. 21, 2007 A longtime electri- 
cal engineer for the civil and defense indus- 
tries, he leaves his wife, Bep, and a son. 
Robert B. Taylor '35 (Theta Chi) died Dec. 
2, 2007. He was the retired president of 
R. B. Taylor Corp. Survivors include three sons. 

Scott K. Goodwin '36 

(Theta Chi) of Hartford, 
Conn., died Nov. 14, 
2007. Predeceased by his 
wife, Barbara (Mason), 
he leaves two daughters. 
Goodwin retired from 
Industrial Risk Insurers as executive engineer. 

WPI has learned of the death of John H. 
Wyman '36 in 2004. He was retired from 
the Maine Department of Transportation. 
His wife, Dee, and four children survive him. 

I««H| William Price '37 of 
^H Phoenix, Ariz., died Feb. 
I 3, 2008. A lifelong entre- 
« I preneur and inventor, he 
^M held numerous patents on 
^^^^ systems used in the manu- 
^Etl__J facturing, packaging, 
construction, and power industries, as well a 
variety of consumer devices. He also worked 
in banking, management, and real estate, 
ending his career as chairman and founder 
of Price Investment Fund. 

Richard H. Court Sr. '38 (Sigma Alpha 
Epsilon) of Portsmouth, N.H., died Sept. 26, 
2007. He was retired from a career as a sales 
director for several New England resorts, in- 
cluding the Morey Inn and Country Club, 
and Wentworth by the Sea. He and his wife, 
Jenny, performed as a vocal duo throughout 
the region and on national television and 
radio. He also leaves two children. His son, 
Richard Court Jr. '67, has donated a scholar- 
ship in his memory. 

Louis M. Saltsman '38 

(Alpha Epsilon Pi) of Los 
Angeles died June 30, 
2007. He leaves his wife, 
Florence, and three sons. 
He was the retired presi- 
dent of California Stay Co. 

Warren L. Hardy '39 (Theta Chi) of 
Prescott, Ariz., died Nov. 11, 2007. Prede- 
ceased by his wife, Elizabeth (O'Brien), and a 
son, he is survived by six children. He was the 
retired owner of Hardy Home Engineering. 

WPI has also received notice 
of the following deaths: 

Allan W Cahoon'15in 1997 
Warren L.Ellis '15 in 1988 
Elmer B.Haines '15 in 1982 
Rupert C. Pomeroy '17 in 1982 
Emerson B. Donnell '22 in 1986 
Sidney H. Avery '24 in 1976 
Dana L. Forbes '25 in 1983 
Harold B. Mallett '27 in 1996 
Edgar W Flinton '28 in 2000 
Martin B. Graham '35 in 1999 
Wendell D. Jewell '35 in 1998 
Ellery C. Merriam '35 in 1995 
Paul E. Siegmund '59 (SIM) in 1993 
George J. Waterfield '65 (SIM) in 1992 
Fred A. King '68 (MNS) in 1990 
Jon C. Freeman '83 (MSEE) in 1996 


Gleason W. Jewett '39 

(Sigma Phi Epsilon) of 
Kingsland, Texas, died 
Jan. 27, 2008. Prede- 
ceased by his wife, Mar- 
garet (Whitman), he 
leaves three children. He 
was retired from Peterson Manufacturing Co. 

Leonard B. Landall '39 (Sigma Alpha Ep- 
silon) of Peabody, Mass., died Sept. 27, 
2008. Predeceased by his wife, Ruth (Yule), 
he leaves three children. He was retired from 
L. B. Landall & Associates. 

Keith E. McKeeman '39 (Phi Sigma Kappa) 
of Tucson, Ariz., died Jan. 8, 2008, leaving 
his wife, Evelyn, and two sons. He was re- 
tired from J. C. Penney Co. as chief indus- 
trial engineer. 

Robert B. Mirick '39 of Minneapolis died 
March 28, 2008. He was retired from Sani- 
tary Farm Dairies. He is survived by his wife, 
Donna, and two sons. 

Raymond B. Shlora '40 

(Phi Kappa Theta, Skull) 
ofRye, N.Y., died May 
30, 2008. He was the re- 
tired president and CEO 
of H. H. Brown Shoe Co. 
He leaves his wife, Clare 
(Heffernan), and four children. 

Harry E. Stirling '40 (Theta Chi) died April 
25, 2007. Predeceased by his wife, Malema, 
he leaves two children. He served as a com- 
mander in the U.S. Navy Bureau of Ships. 

Michael Wales '40 (MS CHE'42) of Kula 
Maui, Hawaii, died Dec. 30, 2007. He was a 
researcher for Shell Oil. Survivors include his 
wife, Ginette, and three children. 

Gordon T. Gurney '41 

(Alpha Tau Omega) of 
Holden, Mass., died July 
20, 2008. He leaves his 
wife, Claire, and three 
daughters. Gurney served 
as chief engineer and di- 
rector of engineering at Rockwell Sprinkler 
and later held similar positions at Crompton 
and Knowles, Alden Labs, and Feecon Corp. 
A talented bass singer who took up music 
late in life, he performed as a soloist at many 
churches, sang in local ensembles, and per- 
formed at WPI. He also served as treasurer 
for Tech Old Timers. 

William C. Wikstrand '41 (Phi Sigma 
Theta) of Yarmouth Port, Mass., died March 
1, 2008. He leaves his wife, Jean (Milne), 
and two daughters. He was a researcher for 
American Cyanamid Co. 

Gordon J. Chaffee '42 

(Sigma Alpha Epsilon) 
of Chehalis, Wash., died 
Jan. 1,2008. His wife, 
Dorothy (Dick), died 
in 2001. Five children 
survive him. Chaffee 

was retired from Weyerhaeuser Co. as senior 

project engineer. 

Merrill W. "Bud" Higgins '42 (Phi Gamma 
Delta) of Worcester died June 15, 2008. He 
was the husband of Barbara (Shepard), and 
the father of Jonathan Higgins '81. He also 
leaves three other children. Higgins worked 
for Worcester Pressed Steel, Riley Stoker 
Corp., and Coes Knife before starting Inter- 
national Ceramic Engineering Co. with two 
of his sons. 

Richard H. Kimball Jr. 

'42 (Alpha Tau Omega) 
of Sharon, Mass., died 
Nov. 22, 2007. He is sur- 
vived by his wife, Barbara 
(Watkins). Kimball held 
bachelor's degrees from 
WPI in mechanical engineering and electrical 
engineering. He worked for Stone & Webster 
Inc. (now The Shaw Group). 

Raymond F. MacKay '42 

(MS EE'43) of Scotia Vil- 
lage, N.C., died Dec. 13, 
2007. Survivors include 
his wife, Patricia (Brett) 
and three sons. MacKay 
was an instructor at WPI 
for several years. He joined the Navy in 
1944, earned the rank of lieutenant com- 
mander, and remained in the naval reserves 
until 1964. He wrote numerous patents for 
the Navy and later retired from Leeds & 
Northrup (now a subsidiary of SPX Corp.) 
as group patent manager. 

Robert W. Mitchell'42 

(Alpha Tau Omega) of 
Concord, N.H., died 
' I July 9, 2008. Predeceased 
_^_ I by his wife, Marjorie 

I (Lindhal), he leaves three 
^LoL_^^H daughters. He was retired 
from the former Sperry Rand Corp. 

Adolph A. "Gus" Salminen '42 of Carroll 
Township, Pa., died March 16, 2008, leaving 
his wife, Kathleen, and three sons. He was 
predeceased by a daughter. Salminen began 
his career with American Steel & Wire, later 
part of U.S. Steel, and retired in 1983 as a 
senior systems analyst. 

Norman A. Wilson '42 (Alpha Tao Omega) 
of Concord, Mass., died Jan. 31, 2008. He 
leaves his wife, Jane (Wilson), and two chil- 
dren from his first marriage, as well as Jane's 
three children. A 1961 graduate of WPI's 
School of Industrial Management, he joined 
Morgan Construction Co. as a research engi- 
neer and retired in 1984 as director of 

Donald C. Alexander '43 (Sigma Alpha 
Epsilon) of Clark Fork, Idaho, died Dec. 12, 
2007. He was retired from DeAngeli Indus- 
tries. Predeceased by his wife, Margaret, he 
leaves six children. 

Edwin C. Campbell '43 (Phi Sigma Kappa) 
of Falmouth, Maine, died Nov. 7, 2007. 
He was preceded in death by his first wife, 
Dorothy (Stevens), and his second wife, Jean 
(Warren). Two children survive him. He was 
retired from Factory Insurance Association, 
later known as Industrial Risk Insurers. 

Friend H. Kierstead Jr. '43 of Cuyahoga 
Falls, Ohio, died Nov. 24, 2008. His wife, 
Isabelle (Bird), died in 2001. Two daughters 
and a son survive him. Kierstead was retired 
from Loral Defense Systems. 

Clifton B. Kinne '43 

(Sigma Xi) of Needham, 
Mass., died Dec. 6, 2007. 
The former operator of 
Kinne Electronics Repair, 
he also worked for 
Computer Control Co., 
Raytheon, and Honeywell. He is survived by 
his wife, Dorothy (Leeper), his daughter, 
Deborah Kinne Lyons '81, and four other 

Edward H. "Pete" 
Peterson '43 (Phi 
Gamma Delta, Skull), 
of Summit, N.J., died 
Oct. 17, 2007. He was 
the retired president of 
Magnus Chemical Co. 
He is survived by five children. 

Donald H. Russell '43 

(Lambda Chi Epsilon) of 
Naples, Fla., died March 
25, 2008. He was prede- 
ceased by his first wife, 
Ruth, and his second 
wife, Marjory. Four chil- 
dren and three stepchildren survive him. 
Russell was retired from Tippetts Abbett 
McCarthy Strat as a power engineer. 

Richard B. Shaw '43, a former Worcester 
resident, died July 14, 2007. He was retired 
from Riley Stoker Corp. as a mechanical 
engineer. Predeceased by a brother, he leaves 
cousins and a niece. 

Transformations | Winter 2 009 51 


Peter C. Dooley Jr. '44 

(Sigma Phi Alpha) of 
Lewiston, N.Y., died 
Oct. 24, 2007. He leaves 
his wife, Clothilde (Smith), 
and rvvo sons. He worked 
for Ptecision Prototype 
Machining Co. 

WPI has learned of the death of Joseph J. 
Kairis '44, in 2005. A retired physics 
teacher, he lived in Tallahassee, Fla., with 
his wife, Ruth. 

Ralph H. Keller '44 of Santa Ana, Calif, 
died Feb. 12, 2007. He was the retired presi- 
dent of California Non-Metalics. He is sur- 
vived by his wife, Jean, and two children. 

William E. Powers Jr. 

'44 of Clinton, Mass., 
died April 17, 2008. He 

earned a masters degree in 
aeronautical engineering 
at RPI and worked for 
United Aircraft Research 
Labs and AVCO Corp. His wife, Mary (Con- 
nors), survives him, along with three children. 

Frederick M. Chakour 

'45 (MS CM '47) of Sun 
City West, Ariz., died 
June 7, 2008. Predeceased 
by his wife, Maria, he is 
survived by five children. 
Chakour retired from the 
U.S. Department of Defense after 37 years 
in research and development operations. 

WPI has learned of the death of James 
Taylor III '45 in 2000. He worked for E. I. 
du Pont de Nemours & Co. and lived in 
Aiken, S.C., with his wife, Amy. 

Theodore E. Gazda '46 of Costa Mesa, 
Calif, died May 26, 2006. He leaves his 
wife, Anne, and three children. He worked 
for Fluor Corp. 

Walter O. Muller '46 

(Lambda Chi Alpha), of 
Naples, Fla., and Troy, 
Mich., died March 3, 
2008. He was retired from 
General Motors as a re- 
gional manager. He leaves 
his wife, Joan (Douglas), and two daughters. 

Rowland M. Newcomb '46 of Hatboro, Pa., 
died Nov. 14, 2007. Since 1949 he owned 
and operated R. M. Newcomb Co. Inc., 
manufacturer of foreign auto parts, hydraulic 
valves, "Brush-O-Matic" saws, and other cus- 
tom industrial machinery. Predeceased by his 
wife, Doris, he leaves five children. 

52 Transformations \ Winter 2009 

John G. Yorke '46 of Beaver Falls, Pa., died 
Sept. 15, 2007. He leaves his wife, Greta, 
and two sons. He was predeceased by another 
son. Yorke operated Yorke Insurance Agency, 
which he co-founded with his father in 1947. 

William E. Boyd '47 

(Phi Sigma Kappa) of 
Rochester Hills, Mich., 
died May 21, 2008. 
Predeceased by his wire, 
Mary, and a daughter, he 
is survived by three chil- 
dren. Boyd retired from the Fisher Body 
Division of General Motors Corp. and later 
worked as a resistance welding consultant. 

James M. Walker '47 of Brookside, N.J., 
died March 1 , 2006. He was retired from 
Hoechst Corp. as a project engineer. He 
leaves his wife, Jean, and two sons. 

Alfred C. Hellig '48 (Phi Gamma Delta, 
Skull) of Port Orange, Fla., died Dec. 5, 
2007. He leaves his wife, Margaret, and two 
children. He was the retired head of the sales 
department at Worcester Valve Co. 

Maclean Kirkwood Jr. 

'48 (Sigma Alpha Ep- 
silon) of South Orleans, 
Mass., died Nov. 6, 2007. 
Predeceased by his first 
wife, Marguerite (Overn), 
and a son, he leaves his 
wife, Justine (Sanford), three sons, and three 
stepchildren. Kirkwood worked for AT&T 
for 34 years, establishing and maintaining 
interstate telephone networks. He later 
served as vice president and director of the 
Operations Dept. of ITT/United States 
Transmission Systems. 

A. Joseph Ragonesi '48 (Phi Kappa Theta) 
of Trumbull, Conn., died June 18, 2008. 
He leaves his wife, Jacqueline (McGill), and 
three children. A longtime insurance broker, 
he also taught licensing courses. 

Roger C. Staples '48 of Santa Barbara, 
Calif, died Jan. 15, 2008. He leaves his wife, 
Anita, and four children. He was retired from 
Raytheon Co. as a publications specialist. 

Walter J. Charow '49 (Theta Chi) of 
Burlington, Vt., died Dec. 7, 2007. He was 
retired as engineering manager of the U.S. 
Air Force Electronic Systems Division. A 
1989 recipient of WPLs Herbert E Taylor 
Alumni Award for Distinguished Service, his 
fund-raising efforts brought about record 
class gifts for WPI. Survivors include three 

WPI has learned of the death of Peter A. 
Kahn '49 (Alpha Epsilon Pi) in 1999. A 
former self-employed consultant, he retired 
to Marco Island, Fla. He and his wife, Sylvia, 
had two children. 

Robert E. Lazzerin Jr. 

'49 (Alpha Tau Omega) 
of Bloomfield Hills, 
Mich., died Feb. 18, 
2008. He leaves his wife, 
Leslie, and a daughter. He 
was retired from Chrysler 
Corp. as a marketing manager. 

Hans E. Picard '49 (Alpha Epsilon Pi) of 
New Bedford, Mass., died Feb. 15, 2008. 
He worked at Aerovox Corp. as an electrical 
engineer and taught high school and college 
courses. Survivors include his wife, Shirley 
(Gerstein), and three children. 

William G. Sloane '49 

(Theta Chi) of Wood- 
stock, N.Y, died June 23, 
2006. He leaves his wife, 
Shirley (Mayne), and four 
children. He held mana- 
gerial positions with sev- 
eral manufacturing firms and was founder 
and president of the executive search firm 
Sloane, Sloane & Mayne. 

Joseph T. Starr '49 

(previously Gwiazda) of 
West Boylston, Mass., 
died Dec. 4, 2007. He 
leaves his wife, Genevieve 
(Pogorzelski), and four 
daughters. A longtime 
chemical engineer, he worked for Vellumoid. 

Edward L. Ahlstrom '50 

(Alpha Tao Omega) of 
Reading, Mass., died 
March 30, 2008. He was 
a retired staff engineer for 
the Avco Division of Tex- 
tron Defense Systems. He 
and his late wife, Hilda, had three children. 

Robert N. Cochran '51 of Gardner, Mass., 
died Dec. 1 1 , 2007. He was retired from 
Collier- Keyworth Co. as chief engineer. His 
wife, Grace (Bickelhaupt), and three children 
survive him. 

John A. "Jack" Dillon Jr. '51 (Phi Sigma 
Kappa) of Palm Desert, Calif, died March 
31, 2008. He is survived by his companion 
of 26 years, Peggy Anderson, and his three 
children. He was predeceased by a son. Dil- 
lon was retired from Purex Corp. as vice pres- 
ident of engineering. 

Donald Kolodne '51 

(Alpha Epsilon Pi, Skull), 
of Bethesda, Md., died 
Aug. 6, 2007. He was 
predeceased by his wife, 
Emily, and a brother, 
Walter J. Kolodne '51. 
He was retired from DeLeuw Cather Corp., 
where he served as director of preconstruc- 
tion services. 


William F. Mufatti Sr. '51 (Phi Kappa 
Theta) of Pittsfield, Mass., died March 16, 
2008. An intellectual property attorney, he 
served as senior counsel for General Electric 
Plastics and later joined the law firm of Cain, 
Hibbard, Myers & Cook. Survivors include 
his wife, June (Aromando), and two children. 

Frank L. Flood Jr. '52 (Phi Sigma Kappa, 
Skull) of Brecksville, Ohio, died April 8, 
2008, leaving his wife, Barbara (Clark), and 
two daughters. Two sons predeceased him. 
Flood worked for Dravco Corp. and later 
retired from Perini Corp. as manager of esti- 

W. Dieter Hauser '52 of Bradford, Pa., died 
March 3 1 , 2007. He leaves his wife, Jeanne, 
and a son. He was retired from KOA Speer 
Electronics as senior vice president of engi- 

Chester S. Kolaczyk '52 
(Sigma Alpha Epsilon) of 
Huntington, N.Y., died 
July 2, 2008, leaving his 
wife, Marion, and two 
children. He was retired 
from Underwriters Labo- 
ratories as engineering staff group leader. 

^^■^^M Robert E. Sullivan '52 
F "^ I (Phi Gamma Delta) of 

| >^^ ^ I I East Longmeadow, Mass., 
'» "^ " I died March 9, 2008. He 
mtrr- | leaves his wife, Doris 
(Chickosky), and two 

^ l sons. Sullivan was retired 

from Hamilton Standard Division of United 
Technologies Corp., where he served as qual- 
ity control manager. 

Robert G. Williams '52 of San Pedro, Calif, 
died Oct. 20, 2007, leaving his wife, Arlene, 
and four children. He was retired from 
Hughes Aircraft Co. 

Sidney R. Harvey '53 (Lambda Chi Alpha) 
of Belle Meade, N.J., died Feb. 16, 2008. 
He leaves his wife, Irene, and five children. 
A longtime chemical engineer, he worked for 
American Cyanamid and GAF Corp. 

William M. Walsh '53 (Alpha Tau Omega) 
of Pinehurst, N.C., died Jan. 24, 2008. He 
was retired from Tyrol and Wethey Corp. as 
a construction supervisor. He leaves his wife, 
Joanne (Gross), and two children. 

Lee W Catineau '54 (Phi Kappa Theta) 
of Southborough, Mass., died July 8, 2007. 
He leaves his wife, Rose, and two children. 
He was vice president, investment, for Smith 
Barney Shearson. 

George A. Gingras '54 of Trumbull, Conn., 
died Feb. 9, 2007, leaving his wife, Dorothy 
(Pelland). He was retired Irom Remington 

Faculty Remembrance 

H. Peter D. Lanyon, professor emeritus of electrical and computer 
engineering, died Aug. 7, 2008, as a result of injuries sustained in an 
automobile accident. He served on the WPI faculty from 1967 until his 
retirement in 1999. A native of Halesowen, England, Lanyon received 
BA and MA degrees in physics from Christ's College, University of 
Cambridge, in England, and a PhD in physics from the University of Leicester, also 
in England. He is survived by his wife of 29 years, Iris (Velez), five children, and 
eight grandchildren. 

Lyle E. Wimmergren, professor emeritus of management at WPI, died 
April 15, 2008, after a brief illness. He retired in 1994, having taught 
at WPI for 25 years. He earned a BS from Northwestern University in 
1953 and an MBA with distinction from the Wharton School of Business 
at the University of Pennsylvania in 1957. Wimmergren spent a sabbati- 
cal year in 1993 working at the National Center for American Indian 
Enterprise Development in Mesa, Ariz. For the past 12 years, he and 
his wife, Marilyn (Snyder), had worked as Volunteer National Rangers 
through the Volunteers in Parks Program of the National Parks Service. He enjoyed 
teaching Southwest history and culture to park visitors, most recently at Tumacacori 
National Historic Park in Tumacacori, Ariz. 

Full obituaries may be read at 

Raymond H. Naudin '54 (Lambda Chi 
Alpha) of Taveres, Fla., and his wife, Eliza- 
beth, died May 28, 2008. They are survived 
by three children. He was retired from the 
former Langston Corp. as director of interna- 
tional sales. 

Walter B. "Tip" Power III '55 (Sigma Phi 
Epsilon) of Salem, Mass., died April 18, 
2008. He was the father of Sherman Power 
'84 and Walter Power IV '85. He also leaves 
his wife, Sandra (Sherman), a daughter, and 
another son. Power earned an MBA at 
Northeastern University and founded Power 
Sales Group, which serviced utilities through- 
out New England. 

Sheldon C. Harriman '57 of Camarillo, 
Calif, died Feb. 27, 2006. He leaves his wife, 
Beverly. After teaching in the Worcester 
school system, he joined System Develop- 
ment Corp. (later part of Unisys), where he 
served as a project leader. 

Robert M. Griffin '58 (Phi Kappa Theta) of 
Swampscott, Mass., died May 14, 2008. He 
was retired from Sylvania Light Division as 
engineering manager for tungsten halogen 
lamp development. He leaves his wife, Alice, 
and three children. 

Harry W Simpson '58 (Sigma Alpha Epsi- 
lon) of West Springfield, Mass., died April 
19, 2008. Survivors include his wife, Jocelyn, 
and four children. He was retired from Hamil- 
ton Standard Co. as a mechanical engineer. 

Richard L. Bratt '59 

(MSM 79) (Sigma Phi 
Epsilon) of Holden, 
Mass., died Nov. 20, 
2007. A longtime product 
engineer for Norton Co., 
he was also the owner of 
Bratt Corp. and manufacturer of the "Bratt's 
Bat" invented by his father. He leaves his 
wife, Jean (Seavey), and three daughters. 

n Donald R. Ferrari '59 
(Phi Kappa Theta. Skull) 
of Webster, Mass., died 
May 9, 2008. He leaves 
his wife, Lorraine (Mar- 
monti), and three chil- 
dren. He was recently 
retired from Holy Name High School in 
Worcester as a chemistry teacher and head 
coach for football and basketball. He was in- 
ducted into the WPI Hall of Fame in 1989. 
John W Gray '59 (SIM) of Worcester died 
April 4, 2007, at the age of 98. He was re- 
tired from a 28-year career with Bay State 
Abrasives. Predeceased by his wife, Gladys 
(Gaboury), he leaves two daughters. 
Robert W Milik Jr. '59 (Phi Kappa Theta) 
of Nanticoke, Pa., died Oct. 11, 2007. He 
worked for Sperry Gyroscope as a systems 
engineer. His wife, Marie, survives him. 


Transformations \ Winter 2 009 53 


Leo J. Thomas '59 of Baldwinsville, N.Y., 
died Dec. 16, 2006. He was retired from 
Terry Corp., a division of Ingersoll Rand, 
as supervisor of manufacturing services. His 
wife, Ann, and three children survive him. 

Vincent J. Akelaitis '60 (SIM) of Naples, 
Fla., died June 17, 2006. He was 89. He 
worked for the former Simplatrol Dana 
Industrial Co. 

Irwin "Jake" Jacobs '60 (Alpha Epsilon Pi) 
died Dec. 10, 2008, at his home in Naples, 
Fla. He leaves his wife, Joanne (Haddad), 
and three children. He worked for Digital 
Equipment Corp. for many years and retired 
from DataViews Corp. in 1997 as president. 

David I. Westling '60 (SIM), 78, of Joshua 
Tree, Calif, died Sept. 1, 2006. He leaves his 
wife, Ethel, and four children. He worked for 
National Standard Co. 

Francis Dusza '63 (SIM) of Holland, Mass., 
died Dec. 1, 2007. He was 82. Dusza worked 
at Russell Harrington Cutlery for 61 years. 
He retired as manager of manufacturing 
processes and continued as a consultant. 
He leaves his wife, Rachel (Jalbert), and a 

Steven C. Grossman '64 (Alpha Epsilon Pi) 
of Brookline, Mass., died March 19, 2008. 
A self-employed technical consultant, he is 
survived by two daughters. 

Oke William Bjornlund '65 (SIM), 90, 
of Rochester, N.H., died June 9, 2008. His 
wife, Shirley (Hanson) died in 2002. Two 
sons survive him. He worked in the machine 
tool division of Norton Co. and Warner 
Swasey, and later worked at O. S. Walker 
and Walker Magnetics. 

Albert L. Giannotti Jr. '65 (Phi Kappa 
Theta) of Fishers, Ind., died Nov. 21, 2008. 
He leaves his wife, Denise (Gorgal), and two 
children. He was predeceased by a daughter. 
His career included 12 years with TCI (Tele- 
Communication Inc.) and seven years with 
Network Engineering Inc., as general man- 
ager. He was also owner of "Uncle Albert's 
Outlet," a chain of three retail fashion stores 
in Syracuse, N.Y. 

Lt. Col. John M. Porter (Ret.) '65, a former 
Army advisor on chemical and nuclear 
weapons, died Jan. 1, 2008, in Annapolis, 
Md. His military career included serving as 
advisor to the Vietnamese infantry, managing 
chemical and nuclear weapons in Europe, 
and designing curricula for the Army Chemi- 
cal School. Survivors include two brothers 
and a sister. 

Ronald C. Snell '66 of Marlborough, Mass., 
died Nov. 12, 2007. He leaves his wife, 
Judith (McKinley), and two children. Snell 
worked for Polaroid Corp. and retired in 
1995 as senior principal electrical engineer. 

Michael B. Barr '67 of Piscataway, N.J., 
(Alpha Epsilon Pi) died Nov. 27, 2007. He 
was an operations manager with C & K 
Scrap Metal. Survivors include his wife, 
Pamela, and two sons. 

Kenneth R. Prefontaine '67 (Sigma Alpha 
Epsilon) of Westfield, Mass., died Dec. 28, 
2007. He worked for Combustion Engineer- 
ing, where he designed and inspected pollu- 
tion control systems for power plants. 
Survivors include his wife, Frankie, a son, 
and his ex-wife, Evelyn. 

WPI has learned of the death of Edgar 
Rothschild '67 (SIM) in 2005. He and his 
wife, Sandra (Kahane), had two children. He 
was president of Abbott Equipment Corp. 

Robert P. Kusy '69 (Alpha Tau Omega) of 
Chapel Hill, N.C., died Feb. 6, 2008. He 
was a retired professor at the University of 
North Carolina, where he held a joint ap- 
pointment in the Orthodontics Department 
of the School of Dentistry and the Biomed- 
ical Engineering Program of the School of 
Medicine. Kusy was the author of hundreds 
of papers and presentations. He also held 
four patents. He leaves his wife, Gisela, and 
two children. 

John K. Redmon '70 (MSEE), 86, of Fay- 
etteville, N.C., died Oct. 6, 2006. He was an 
associate professor at New Jersey Institute of 
Technology and also worked in the utilities 

Walter I. Beinar '71 (SIM) of Auburn, 
Mass., died Dec. 22, 2007, at age 93. He is 
survived by his wife, Elizabeth (Hoyle), and 
four children. He was retired from Tupco. 

Steven H. Face '71 of Colorado Springs, 
Colo., died June 3, 2006. He was an engi- 
neer with Northrop Grumman and previ- 
ously worked for Kaman Sciences Corp. He 
leaves his fiancee, Martha Iverson, and three 

WPI has learned of the death of John J. 
Eagan '73 (SIM) in 2004. He worked for 
EG&G Rotron Custom Division. Widowed 
by his first wife, Alice, he was the husband of 
Madeline Eagan and had two children and 
two stepchildren. 

Karl S. Williams '73 of Craftsbury, Vt., died 
April 10, 2007. He leaves his wife, Cheryl 
(Miner), and two children. He was the plant 
manager for Sterling College. 

Louis J. Piscitelle 74 (MS ME 78) of 

Wellesley, Mass., died April 7, 2008. A 
former chief mathematician at the Army's 
Natick Laboratories, he also taught at North- 
eastern University Graduate School of Engi- 
neering. He leaves his wife, Suzanne 
(Offredi), and two daughters. 

Charles E. Pybas Jr. 74 (SIM) of Stur- 
bridge, Mass., died Dec. 26, 2007. He 
was 75. His wife, Jean (Dowd), and three 
children survive him. He was retired from 
Warren Pumps as a mechanical and marine 

WPI has learned of the death of Robert R. 
Rosander 74 (MSM) of Manhattan, 
Kansas, in 2002. He was president and CEO 
of Nanoscale Materials Inc. He is survived by 
his wife, Jan, and a son. 

Daniel C. O'Keefe 75 (PhD EE) of West 
Haven, Conn., died July 1 1, 2007, at the age 
of 63. He was a professor of electrical and 
computer engineering at the University of 
New Haven. He joined the faculty in 1969 
and was posthumously appointed professor 

WPI has learned of the death of Constance 
Huflf 76 of Atlanta, Ga., in 2005. She is 
survived by two children. 

Benjamin M. Jacobs Jr. 

76 died Aug. 3, 2008, 
after suffering a stroke in 
January. He was an actor 
and storyteller who cre- 
ated special programs for 
schools, museums, and 

cultural organizations, focusing on racial har- 
mony and urban cultural issues. Since 2002 
he was executive director of the Council on 
the Arts and Humanities for Staten Island 
(COAHSI). He leaves his wife, Diane 
Matyas, and two children. 

54 Transformations \ Winter 2009 


Bruce P. Wilmer '76 of Wethersfield, Conn., 
was killed in an automobile accident in 
Seville, Spain, on Feb. 15, 2007. His father 
also died in the accident. Survivors include 
Bruce's mother, Ann Wilmer, and his five sib- 
lings. Wilmer earned an MBA from the Uni- 
versity of Connecticut School of Business 
and worked for the Connecticut Department 
of Mental Retardation. He also was a busi- 
ness partner in The Inn at Bay Fortune, 
Prince Edward Island, Canada, which his 
family owned and operated. 

Hans W. Reinberg '77 (SIM) of Sterling, 
Mass., died March 13, 2008. He was 81. 
A longtime employee of Riley Stoker Co., 
he leaves his wife, Lisa, and two children. 

WPI has learned of the death of Alden E. 
Rice '77 (SIM) in 2003, at age 79. A long- 
time employee of Bay State Abrasives, he was 
the husband of Dorenda (Stewart) and the 
father of three children. 

WPI has learned of the death of Gerald L. 
Audette '78 (SIM) in 2004, at age 61. He 
and his wife, Carolyn lived in Auburn, Mass., 
and had three children. He was retired from 
Morgan Construction Co. as a senior planner. 

Robert L. Dufault '79 (MSN) of Hudson, 
N.H., died Sept. 15, 2007. He was 63. He 
leaves his wife, Susan (Holt), and two chil- 
dren. Dufault was a chemistry teacher at 
Salem High School for 32 years. 

William D.Jones '80 (MM) of Springfield, 
Mass., died Feb. 2, 2008, at age 63. A long- 
time math teacher in the Springfield public 
schools, he retired in 2007 as student data- 
base specialist. He leaves three children. 

Stephen Kuizinas '80 of North Oxford, 
Mass., died June 1 1, 2008, after a long 
struggle with multiple sclerosis. Survivors 
include his parents and four siblings. After 
graduating from WPI he worked for Parker 
Manufacturing and Flight Corp. 

John H. Milson '81 (MS CS) of Randolph, 
Mass., died Dec. 6, 2007, at age 80. He 
leaves his wife, Theresa (O'Donnell), and 
two children. Milson was a quality assurance 
engineer who worked for Interactive Data 
Systems and Prime Computer. 

Karen Ann Crall-Fallon '84 of Ashburn- 
ham, Mass., died June 10, 2008, after a 
sudden illness. She leaves her husband, 
Donald, and a son. After earning an MBA 
from Suffolk University, she worked as a re- 
search chemist for Sanncor Industries and the 
Shipley Co. 

John H. Scannell '85 (SIM) of Rutland, 
Mass., died June 1, 2006, at age 74. He 
leaves his wife, Mary, and a daughter. He 
was a general manager for Nypro. 

Richard A. Rosenthal '87 (MBA), a long- 
time resident of Lexington, Mass., died Oct. 
7, 2007. He was 71. He leaves his wife, Carol 
(Kadish), two children, and two stepchildren. 
He was retired from Polaroid Corp. after a 
30-year career. 

Robert C. DelSignore Jr. '88 (MS EE) of 

Shrewsbury, Mass., died Jan. 5, 2007. He 
was 57. He leaves his wife, Judith (Zeider), 
and two children. He was an electronics engi- 
neer for WPI's Bioengineering Institute and 
previously worked for Giant Loop Network, 
Digital Equipment Corp., and Lucent Tech- 

Robert B. Smith Jr. '95 of Atlanta died Aug. 
28, 2007. He was vice president of land de- 
velopment for Lennar Homes. He is survived 
by his wife, Darlene. 

Willis R. Whiting Jr. '98 (SIM) of Wood- 
stock, Conn., died May 14, 2008, at age 60. 
He was a plant engineer for Morgan Con- 
struction Co. He leaves his wife, Ellen (Mc- 
Caffrey), and three children. 

Kevin F. Keene '00 (Theta Chi) of Saugus, 
Mass., died unexpectedly on July 31, 2008. 
He was the husband of Jessica (Moya), who 
survives him. He was an aerospace engineer 
at Goodrich Corp. 

Former crew captain Jennifer McLaughlin 

'06 (Phi Sigma Sigma) of Marlborough, 
Mass., died peacefully in her sleep on Nov. 1, 
2006, while traveling on business. Survivors 
include her parents, three siblings, and her 
fiance, Ryan Wartman 03. A biomedical 
engineer at Hologic Inc., she previously 
worked for Innovative Spinal Technologies. 
The family welcomes contributions toward a 
new crew shell named in her honor. Checks 
payable to WPI may be sent to the Office 
of Development and Alumni Relations. 

Robert S. Weiler '06 of Wilmington Del., 
died March 6, 2006. He was 54. 

Postscript. . . 

Ralph K. Mongeon '55 (SIM 76), who 
died in 2007, was posthumously elected 
a fellow of ASME. A longtime manager 
at Riley Stoker Corp., he was instrumen- 
tal in obtaining research and develop- 
ment contracts. 

The Robert R Apkarian Integrated 
Electron Microscopy Core at Emory 
University was dedicated last year. 
Apkarian (Class of 1975), founder and 
director of Emory's first microscopy fa- 
cility, was killed in a motorcycle accident 
in 2006. A forest has been planted in his 
honor on the slopes of Mt. Aragats in 
Armenia; it will surround the cosmic ray 
facility of the Yerevan Physics Institute. 

Dear Tommy (Trafford Publishing) 
commemorates the life Thomas J. 
O'Neil '94, who was killed in a work- 
related accident during his senior year. 
The book compiles letters, dreams, and 
poetry by his sister, Christie O'Neil Har- 
rison, who used her journal to maintain 
a relationship with her younger brother. 

The Ryan Patrick Jones Heart of a 
Hero Foundation is the legacy of the 
2005 alumnus who was killed by a road- 
side bomb in Baghdad in 2007. Jones 
left a letter requesting that in the event 
of his death, the proceeds from his life 
insurance policy be used to create schol- 
arships for students at his high school. 
His parents, Kevin and Elaine Jones, 
accepted the Boston Celtics Heroes 
Among Us award on Ryan's behalf at 
the April 20, 2008, Celtics game. 

Transformations \ Winter 2009 55 


A major renovation of Goddard Hall is nearly complete. When all is said and done, the new Undergraduate Life 
Sciences Laboratory Center at WPI will comprise 21,300 square feet of laboratories and will feature vibrant, open, and 
technology-rich spaces that provide a host of new curricular opportunities. The Center will become WPI's main facility for 
undergraduate teaching and research in biology and biotechnology, biomedical engineering, chemistry and biochemistry, 
and chemical engineering. The renovation and integration of these labs was made possible by a $6 million gift last year 
from the George I. Alden Trust. 

Originally built in 1965, Goddard Hall is named for one of WPI's most distinguished alumni, Robert H. Goddard, class 
of 1908. Known as the father of modern rocketry, Goddard was celebrated on campus last year to honor the 100th 
anniversary of his graduation from WPI. 

5 6 Transformations \ Winter 2 009 

Graduate Studies 
in Science OC Engineering 

Discover. Innovate. Advance. 


^1 ^^^^ki^^K mM 


WPI's Science and Engineering Graduate Programs feature world- 
class faculty and facilities. At WPI, graduate students and faculty 
work closely together in a number of cutting-edge research areas, 
leading to breakthroughs and innovations in such fields as biotech- 
nology, fuel cells, nanotechnology, and information security. 

Graduate Programs at WPI 

Biology and Biotechnology 

Biomedical Engineering 

Chemical Engineering 

Chemistry and Biochemistry 

Civil and Environmental Engineering 

Computer Science 

Electrical and Computer Engineering 

Fire Protection Engineering 

• Management 

• Manufacturing Engineering 

• Materials Process Engineering 

• Materials Sciences and Engineering 

• Mathematical Sciences 

• Mechanical Engineering 

• Physics 

• Social Science and Policy Studies 


Opportunities for fellowships, teaching, and research assistantships 
are available for full-time students. 

The following programs are available online: 

Environmental Engineering, Fire Protection Engineering, Management, and System Dynamics 

To Register for an Upcoming Information Session • 508-831-5301 • 

Graduate Studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute 

*****************5-DIGIT 03224 S378 P3 
CANTERBURY NH 03224-2600 


II. .11. nil. ...II 

III. Mil. 1. 1 


''Everyone's future will be shaped by 
the students who are attending WPI 
today The research we conduct, the 
new technologies we create, and the 
discoveries we make could end up 
saving or prolonging lives tomorrow." 

— Jennifer Sansom '10 

> Alumni gifts of $100 or more to the Annual Fund 
will be matched (50 cents on the dollar) by Trustee 
Mike Dolan '75, through June 30. Give to the 
Dolan Challenge today: 


Thank you for your gift of discovery. Please make a gift to the WPI A 

1-877-WPI-FUND or www.wpi.ed u/+giving