WPI by Design
TRANSFORMATIONS • VOLUME 106 • NUMBER 2 • SUMMER 2009
2 Starting Point
4 As Good As It Gets
A message from President Berkey.
5 Campus Buzz
Faculty appointments; athletic news;
2009 Commencement; and more.
IO The Big Picture
Indraneel Sircar '09 is poised to go
far in life.
A student project explores a better
waterfront design in Hong Kong.
Professor Dave Brown seeks to find
logic and reason behind creativity.
34 Class Notes
40 Time Capsule
Designing WPI's arm and hammer.
l6 Why, Robot
WPI's robotics major, the first of its kind
in the nation, gains traction.
20 Healing by Design
Harry Wotton '94 and Doug Noiles 44
share a passion for creating orthopedic
devices — for people and pets.
24 Big Picture Plans
Phillip Clark 67 and Mary Ellen Blunt '79
take a holistic approach to their projects.
2o Serious About Games
For Mercedeh Ward '86, Michael
Melson '02, and Michael Gesner '03
work really is all fun and games.
32 Brand Name Design
Joe Dzialo '76 talks physics, retail,
Product group from well-managed
forests, controlled sources and
recycled wood or fiber
© 1996 Forest Stewardship Council
About the Cover
Whereas purposeful, elegant design is
created by artists and engineers alike, there
are myriad illustrations of the beauty of
design in nature. One such example is the
nautilus shell, whose chambers are arranged
in an approximate logarithmic spiral.
> STARTING POINT
'Design is where science and art break even.'
— Robin Mathew
When I was in middle school, I aspired to be an architect. I was
fascinated by blueprints and I would continually revisit the sketch of
the house my parents had built some years before. Enamored by Frank
Lloyd Wright, I somehow amassed a collection of books detailing his
work. And when I was sick of practicing the piano or bored with
Barbie, I would sketch out one-dimensional residential floor plans.
(They were fairly functional homes, although I would sometimes
forget the bathroom.)
The beauty of design is that it bridges technical with creative,
science with art, left brain with right brain. And the same can be said
about WPI. Just look at our innovative curriculum, in which students
take a humanistic approach to engineering and science. Or our musical
and theatre productions, in which students find an outlet for their
many talents. Or the myriad humanities projects, in which students
channel their creative energy into purposeful projects. Last year, for
example, Damien Kane Rigden '08 painted a beautiful portrait of the
WPI campus — with panels depicting different aspects of campus life —
which now hangs in the Goat's Head Restaurant.
True, design means something different to everyone and every
field. But that's what has enabled us to share the stories of so many
alumni, students, and faculty across a broad range of disciplines and
industries in this issue of Transformations. In some way, shape, or form,
each person featured in this magazine is involved in designing things —
medical devices and video games, city streets and buildings, brand
names, and WPI's newest major, robotics.
There's more: faculty research focuses on artificial intelligence in
design and a student project in Hong Kong looks at redesigning the
city's waterfront to make it more functional and aesthetically pleasing.
In designing this edition around, well, design, we also took the
opportunity to refresh the look and feel of the class notes section.
After all, we couldn't let this designer issue go by without a little
Thanks for reading.
Charna Mamlok Westervelt, Editor
Charna Mamlok Westervelt
Vice President for Marketing and
Alumni News Editor
Graphic Designer and Copy Editor
Print Production Coordinator
Director of Advancement Publications
Michael W. Dorsey
Director of Research Communications
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 1538-5094) 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.
2 Transformations \ Summer 2009
Pride for All Things WPI
I am a graduate of WPI, Class of '53, and was quite pleased
with the current document [winter '09 Transformations}.
Frankly, I have always been, especially when I compare the
material to that which comes from other universities where
I was also degreed — University of Michigan, Harvard Uni-
versity, and Vanderbilt University. All was quite professional
and well done.
Worthy of note was the spectacular
message from President Berkey and how
it ties in so well with America today, as
we are guided by our new President,
Also worthy of note is Bill Grogan,
["Honoring a Man, a Plan," winter issue]
who I knew personally while attending
WPI from 1949 to 1953. There was no
question in our minds, our class, as to
what this person would mean and repre-
sent to WPI as he lived his professional
life. He is one of the many important
anchors of the school and the traditions
Thank you for the excellent reading opportunity!
Philip E. Simon '53
Where in the World?
I am puzzled. Do we live on the same planet? I have been
unable to match what appear — on the front cover of the
winter '09 publication — to be continents on the globe held
in someone's hand with continents I find on current maps
of planet Earth. There seem to be some similarities in places,
but relationships do not continue to match. Alternatively, the
presumed continents do not agree with
what I have seen as resulting from early
breakup of Pangea or with projections of
future continental drift. Where are we!? I
found no comment or description of the
front cover anywhere in the magazine.
Please elucidate when you have time.
Earl C. Klaubert '52
Editor's note: The image used on the
cover of the winter '09 Transformations
was not intended to be taken as a literal
interpretation of planet Earth. Rather, it's
an editorial comment to express the care
we must take to repair a world that faces economic turmoil,
energy and health crises, and war — to name a few — and the
important work we must do to solve some of these global
issues. So, where are we? We are here. Together. Making a dif-
ference in the world. Or, as my father likes to say, "Wherever
you go, there you are."
One of Two
I just found "The Women of WPI" article online [spring '08
Transformations] . I work at the Volpe Center in Cambridge,
and in the past three weeks we hired two new female
employees — both graduated from WPI. (I was looking for
pictures of our first female class to show to them and found
the article.) In our group of 30 engineers, six are female,
and now three of us have WPI connections!
Jayne Rossetti Granville '72
In the fall of 1968, Jayne Roserti (left) and Lesley Small were the
first female undergraduates to enroll at WPI, both math majors.
Transformations \ Summer 2009 3
A message from President Berkey
As Good As It Gets
Whether observed in nature or practiced by human beings,
design is a powerful and pervasive concept. Even in a subject as
esoteric as fractal geometry, one finds deeply complex geometric
patterns, resembling such natural phenomena as snowflakes,
mountain ranges, or coastlines resulting from repeated iterations
of simple equations.
Aristotle said of the natural world that it "does nothing uselessly,"
and that seems to me an apt description for the best of human
design as well. Consider the wheel, perhaps the most important
mechanical invention in history, which the Mesopotamians
attached to their chariots in 3000 BC and New Englanders used
to propel the Industrial Revolution in the 18th and 19th Centuries
AD. Or the Gettysburg Address, remarkably economic at only
three paragraphs in length yet so enduring in its power and effect.
Or Michelangelo's Pieta, with every fold of drapery, every detail
of expression, adding to its beauty and impact.
The principle of doing nothing uselessly can also be found in the
mission and ethos of WPI. During my inauguration five years ago,
I said of WPI that its "curriculum and research program centered
on science and technology, complemented and enriched by the
other fine and liberal arts and by programs in management, seem
to me about as good as it gets in higher education." Today it is
clear to me that I wasn't doing this splendid university justice.
When it comes to preparing young men and women with the
knowledge, skills, and imagination to contribute to this world, I
believe a WPI education is as good as it gets in higher education.
If nature does nothing uselessly, it is also ever changing, with
the shift of continents, fluctuations in climate, and spawning of
new species and even new planets. This, too, characterizes the
WPI curriculum — not lurching from field to field but evolving and
expanding by design in areas where we have real leadership
to provide, where there is profound interest on the part of our
students, and where opportunities exist for collaborations and
connections with firmly established programs and initiatives. These
were the principles we followed when we recently became the first
university in the nation to offer a bachelor's degree, and then a
master's degree, in robotics engineering. In just two years, WPI's
robotics engineering major has seen an explosion of interest and
activity, with students and faculty working together to develop
intelligent machines that can bring so much progress to our world,
in such wide ranging areas as national defense and security,
elder care, and inter-
This is the stuff of
amazement, and I
encourage you to see
it for yourselves when
WPI hosts the first
Competition and Con-
ference this November.
this competition will
and graduate students
from across the United
States to create robotic
solutions that improve
the quality of life.
If it sounds like a pretty exciting time at WPI, it is! And the world
is noticing. Again and again this year, WPI was cited among the
top universities in the nation for our innovative curriculum and the
competitiveness of our graduates who are so highly sought after
for their intellect, leadership skills, and ability to get a job done.
Mothers and dads may be glad to know that WPI was recently
ranked among the top colleges and universities that produce the
best-paid graduates, including 9th in the nation among Ivy League
and engineering schools, and 10th in the nation among all schools
for highest starting median salary. Just as gratifying, our students
are also among the very happiest in the nation according to a
recent survey in The Princeton Review. Finally, WPI climbed three
places among the nation's top universities in the latest U.S. News
and World Report. While numerical rankings can never capture
the richness and complexity of a university like WPI, we can be
most proud of this collective recognition and good news.
Happily, the theme of design in this issue of Transformations
captures beautifully the richness and complexity of a WPI
education. Design crosses science, engineering, management,
humanities, and the arts — and so do our alumni, who are artists
and engineers, writers and gamers, entrepreneurs and inventors,
and scientists and playwrights. Their stories, their lives — your
stories, your lives — provide vivid evidence that a WPI education
is indeed as good as it gets.
The principle of doing nothing uselessly can be found in the mission
and ethos of WPI. When it comes to preparing young men and women
with the knowledge, skills, and imagination to contribute to this world,
I believe a WPI education is as good as it gets in higher education.
4 Transformations \ Summer 2 009
Rick Sisson, George F. Fuller Professor
of Mechanical Engineering, was recently
named WPI's Dean of Graduate Studies,
a new half-time position. Sisson, a long-
time WPI faculty member and director of
the university's Manufacturing Engineering
and Materials Engineering programs, is
ranked among the top five percent of
scholars in his field. His contributions to
the literature in materials science and
engineering over the course of three decades at WPI include over
200 technical articles on materials process modeling and control,
hydrogen embrittlement of steels, and environmental effects on
metals and ceramics.
Kristin Wobbe, John C. Metzger Jr.
Professor of Chemistry, has been named
associate dean for the First Year Experi-
ence. Having co-developed and co-taught
one of the First Year Seminars, Feed the
World, Wobbe is intimately familiar with
the university's innovative program for
first year students. As a member of WPI's
Interdisciplinary Plant Research Group,
she has explored a number of ways to
augment the plants' production of artemisinin, a potent antimalarial
compound. Wobbe, who joined the WPI faculty in 1995, holds a
BA in chemistry from St. Olaf College and a PhD in biochemistry
from Harvard University.
Kristin Boudreau joined the WPI faculty
this fall as head of the Humanities and
Arts Department. Boudreau was most
recently professor of English at the
University of Georgia. In her research,
she seeks to understand cultural influences
on literature and literary influences on
culture. She earned a BA from Cornell
University and MA and PhD degrees
from the University of Rochester.
Frank Hoy, an international authority
on entrepreneurship, has joined the WPI
faculty as the inaugural Paul R. Beswick
Professor of Entrepreneurship and director
of the Collaborative for Entrepreneurship
and Innovation. Most recently director of
the Centers for Entrepreneurial Develop-
ment, Advancement, Research and Support
at the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP),
he holds a bachelor's degree in business
administration from UTEP, an MBA from the University of North
Texas, and a PhD in management from Texas A&M University.
The Beswick Professorship — established through the generosity of
Paul R. Beswick '57 and his wife, Siang Kiang — enables WPI to
make entrepreneurship an integral element of its mission and helps
instill the spirit of innovation necessary for students to succeed in
today's technology-driven world.
High Five for WPI Athletics
It was a slam dunk for women's basketball
last season, as the team captured its second ECAC
Division III New England Championship in three
years. With a 43-36 victory over top-seeded
Nichols College, the WPI team's final season stood
at 24-6, a new school record for most victories
in a season.
On the men's basketball team, their fifth straight
appearance in the NCAA Division III Champion-
ship ended in round two with an 81-68 loss to
WPI baseball also had an excellent spring season — for the
first time in the program's 106-year history, the team earned a spot
in the NCAA Division III Championship. "It's a nice reward for all
the .hard work the
guys have put in
this year," says
The team ended its best season yet with a 30-13 record, a third
place finish in the eight-team regional, a first-ever regular season
NEWMAC championship, and an all-time WPI record for wins.
In July, the men's crew team competed — for the first time in the
university's history — in the world-renowned Henley Royal Regatta
in England. WPI was one of just 27 American institutions partici-
pating in the prestigious crew event this year.
Transformations \ Summer 2009 5
The world needs people with passion, creativity, and drive.
And, according to 2009 Commencement speaker Ursula Burns,
the world needs people who will ask questions and challenge
convention. "We're finding that some of our old assumptions
and ideas don't work anymore, and we can use people who
H| are willing to ask 'Why do we do it that
k f way?' and 'How can we do it better?'"
said Burns, now CEO of Xerox Corp.
Burns spoke during WPI's 141 st Com-
mencement, held on the campus quad-
rangle on Saturday, May 16. During
the ceremony, 617 bachelor of science
degrees, one bachelor of arts (the first
BA awarded in WPI's history), 312
master's degrees, and 25 PhDs were
awarded. Honorary degrees were conferred upon Burns, as well
as Helen Greiner, co-founder and former president of Bedford,
Mass.-based iRobot Corp.; George C. Messenger Jr. '51, owner
and vice president of Las Vegas, Nev.-based Messenger and
Associates, and a recognized authority on transient radiation
effects on electronics; and Charles M. Vest, president of the
National Academy of Engineering and president emeritus of
the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Square footage of East Hall's living green roof, comprising sedum, chives, and other
plants. (WPI's newest residence hall recently received Gold LEED certification.)
Number of incoming first year students. Overall, the number of applications
for the Class of 2013 — a record — is up 10 percent over last year.
Approximate number of pages included in the launch (phase 1) of WPI's new website.
Number of new faculty members for the 2009-10 academic year.
Nationwide rating for WPI's MBA program in the finance category of a student survey
in The Princeton Review.
6 Transformations \ Summer 2 009
Supporting the City in Many Ways
This July WPI and the city of Worcester began a new voluntary Payment in
Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program that will support Worcester Public Library and
Institute Park. Through this 25-year commitment, WPI will increase its voluntary
annual payment to the city to approximately $270,000. This amount, in
addition to the real estate taxes on properties that qualify for tax exemption,
will bring the university's total voluntary payments to $450,000 in the first year
of the new agreement. WPI will further increase its contributions by 2.5 percent
annually over the next 25 years, for a total of more than $9 million over the
life of the agreement.
"We hold fast to the principle that what's good for Worcester is good for WPI,"
says President Dennis Berkey. "I am pleased to have reached an agreement
that reflects our strong relationship."
esigned ror a lifetime or 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
Transformations \ Summer 2009 7
Recognizing WPI Entrepreneurs
James Van de Ven, assistant professor
of mechanical engineering, and Allan
Katz '07, '09(MS) hope to turn their
invention into a licensed product. And
the duo just might be on their way.
Their invention — a high-speed hydraulic
valve for use in switch-mode control in
hydraulic hybrid vehicles — won the
2009 Kalenian Award, recognition that
supports innovative ideas or the development of commercial
products. The award includes a $20,000 prize.
Established in 2006 by Alba Kalenian in memory of her late
husband, inventor Aram Kalenian '33, the award encourages
innovation and entrepreneurship among WPI students, faculty,
and alumni by providing seed money to advance their ideas. This
year's award-winning invention is a new method for controlling
hydraulic systems that uses a hydraulic valve to rapidly switch
between efficient on and off states. The researchers' ultimate goal
is to develop the invention into a licensed product at a major
Receiving an honorable mention this year were Robert Breznak
'09, Alexander Camilo '09, Kevin Harrington '09, and Mark
Mordarski '1 1 of Neuron Robotics, for a system of interconnect-
ing modules, software, and parts that work together to allow
researchers, hobbyists, and developers to increase their
productivity while reducing their costs and waste.
n Their Own Words
"The goal is to genuinely replace a muscle
that's lost. I appreciate that's a very
— Raymond Page, research assistant professor in biology
and biotechnology, on his research to regrow limbs
March 25, Wired.com
"People laugh when I say we have another
record-breaking year. But [interest in WPI]
keeps going up."
— Kristin Tichenor, vice president for
April 24, Christian Science Monitor
"It saves a lot of spacecraft mass, and you
can go a longer way."
— Nikolaos Gatsonis, George I. Alden Professor of
Mechanical Engineering and director of WPI's
Aerospace Engineering Program, speaking
about new propulsion technologies
that increase fuel efficiency
July 20, Worcester Telegram & Gazette
"It's like a Tower of Babel situation. You
have police, fire, Coast Guard — all with
different wireless standards."
— Alexander Wyglinski, assistant professor
of electrical and computer engineering,
on research to develop cognitive radio
applications for first responders
March 27, Mass High Tech
"We're asking companies, 'What are you
struggling with? What are your skill gaps?'
We come back and talk with our faculty:
'How does WPI play a role in solving
— Stephen Flavin, associate provost and dean,
Corporate and Professional Education
May 7, MetroWest Daily News
8 Trans formations \ Summer 2 09
Science Summer Camp for All
Underrepresented students from Boston, Worcester, and Southbridge middle schools
experienced WPI's state-of-the-art robotics, science, engineering, and mathematics programs
during the ExxonMobil Bernard Harris Science Summer Camp, which the university hosted
for the first time. The two-week residential camp promoted future careers in the STEM fields.
"WPI is honored to be selected this year as one of 1 1 new institutions to provide this program to students who may not otherwise have
an opportunity to participate in such an intensive academic camp that encourages participants to pursue technical and science careers,'
says Nicole Bradford, WPI's director of diversity programs.
Bernard Harris, a former NASA astronaut and the first African American to walk in space, created the camps four years ago, with
support from ExxonMobil. More than 1,500 students across the country took part in this year's camps.
November 7-8 at WPI
s Innovations Competition and Conference
CALL FOR ROBOTS
The competition challenges college-age students to design and engineer innovative robotic
solutions to real-world problems. Cash prizes up to $5,000 will be awarded. Conference
activities will provide networking opportunities as well as interesting speakers. Learn how
you can get involved as a participant or sponsor.
This two-day event is free. Register now to attend.
»WPT Blucfin H education
▼ ▼ JL ^L ^ ■— ^" i H N0RTHAMB1ICA
Other sponsors include Tufts University Center for Engineering Education & Outreach, IEEE, and ACM.
RICC is supported by the National Science Foundation under Award No. CNS-0722218
MTHE BIG PICTURE
Running Fast, Going Far
The leitmotif that plays through Indraneel Sircar's
life seems simple enough: to seek out that which he
does not know.
"I like the challenge presented with learning new things,"
he says, speaking via phone from San Francisco, about
to depart for a trip to the Arctic Circle. "I'm easily dis-
tracted from something that gets repetitive and mundane."
His life has been anything but dull. When he came to
WPI in 2005, he'd already lived in India, Austria, Zaire,
Israel, and Malta, before moving to Worcester for four
years. The son of a diplomat, Sircar originally planned
to study international relations, business, or economics
at a liberal arts school. "WPI was the school I knew the
least about," he says, "and that excited me to come here."
Having graduated with a mechanical engineering degree
in May, Sircar is now pursuing a PhD in the same field at
Purdue — an impressive track for any youngster, especially
one who didn't originally set out to be an engineer. And
yet he looks forward to a career in sustainable energy,
ultimately returning to academia to teach.
'As engineers, I believe it's our duty to look at each and
every problem critically, with the intent to improve it and
ultimately better our society," he says. "We need engineers
and scientists to reshape our world — in developed and
underdeveloped countries — and realize a sustainable
future for our planet."
Sircar speaks from experience — his Major Qualifying
Project investigated the use of a liquid piston to optimize
the efficiency of gas compression technologies. The pro-
ject's scope included identifying the optimal operating
characteristics of the liquid-piston compressor, establishing
a foundation for future research. That project, along with
his academic record and involvement in extracurricular
activities, gained him entry to the Second Team in USA
Today's 2009 All-USA College Academic Team program.
On campus, Sircar was a Crimson Key tour guide and
the founding president of the Engineers Without Borders
WPI chapter. He also ran track and field, a sport he'd
never tried prior to WPI. "It gave me extreme confidence
in myself as an individual," he says. "On the track, you
must find the strength and motivation within yourself,
much like in most areas of life."
"Plus," he adds, "I never knew how fast I could run."
10 Transformations \ Summer 2 009
MASTER'S IN MECHANICAL ENGINEERING
NOW AT WPI
WPI proudly announces its highly respected Master
of Science in Mechanical Engineering is now available
to online students.
QUALITY KNOWLEDGE, QUALITY DEGREE
Learn from the expert faculty teaching on campus. You will be a virtual student
in the campus class with asynchronous access to lectures and materials.
The MS in Mechanical Engineering can be completed online, on campus,
or through a flexible combination of both. Your choice.
To learn more about the online Mechanical Engineering program: online.VNApi.edu
To learn about registering for an upcoming course:
EXPLORATIONS By Eileen McCluskey
ng government buildings or
barricaded by chain-link fences topped with barbed wire,
waterfront parks lie isolated at the edges of Hong Kong's
Last winter, four WPI undergraduates set out to help
connect these scattered boulevards, pools, and beaches with
their respective neighborhoods. Nate Jannetti, Aubrey
Scarborough, Paul Smith, and Liz Tuite, all Class of 2010,
assessed 48 cultural and recreational sites, most of which lie
along Victoria Harbor, situated between Hong Kong Island
and the Kowloon Peninsula.
The development patterns along the harbor have been
less than ideal. "The government of Hong Kong owns the land
and leases it to developers who, in order to increase profits,
build tall buildings on the scarce land," says Creighton Peet,
director of WPI's Hong Kong Project Center. "Construction
goes right up to the edge of the harbor.
"The push is on," he continues, "to get the government to
redesign the waterfront as a more aesthetically pleasing place."
Launched in 2002, WPI's Hong Kong Project Center
began working last year to address the harbor-front issues
with Designing Hong Kong, a prominent nonprofit striving
to protect and improve the local living environment. Hong
Kong's Leisure and Cultural Services Department (LCSD)
also worked closely with the students. A branch of the Hong
Kong government, LCSD owns and maintains more than
1,500 public sites in Hong Kong, including those the stu-
Not exactly walks in the parks
Building on last year's work, the students each took on a
dozen sites, riding on buses, ferries, and trams to the play-
grounds, cultural centers, and other sites on their list. They
visited each place twice — once to make firsthand observa-
tions, next to interview park visitors. (Graduate urban design
students from Hong Kong University helped translate for
the WPI students.)
Before flying to Hong Kong, the students established
criteria to systematically assess the sites. "We spent a lot of
time discussing how we ought to define each of the four
criteria," says Tuite. "This was one of the biggest challenges
about this project." After examining prior studies of the area,
the students chose four main characteristics — accessibility,
connectivity, quality, and design and maintenance — and
developed a methodology to evaluate each.
"They had to be clear about, for example, what they
12 Transformations \ Summer 2009
Photos provided by Nate Jannetti '10 and Stanley Selkow.
The development patterns along the harbor have been less than ideal.
"The push is on to get the government to redesign the waterfront as a
more aesthetically pleasing place/ 7
— Creighton Peet
meant by 'good design' so they could evaluate consistently
across sites," says Jeanine Skorinko, assistant professor of
psychology at WPI, who accompanied and advised the team.
The students characterized accessibility as a measure of
available facilities, such as buses, that allow people to reach a
site. Connectivity meant how well the park connects people
to the waterfront and vicinity. Quality referred to on-site
activities and amenities that encourage people to stay. Design
and maintenance was determined by aesthetics and upkeep.
The team created detailed checklists for each characteristic.
Every site received a score of one to four stars.
After criss-crossing Kowloon, Hong Kong Island, and
the New Territories to examine the sites and interview harbor
visitors, the students reported that the properties scored
poorly. Accessibility scores suffered because only 19 percent
of the sites were marked with directional signs from the
closest public transportation stop, even though most sites
had at least one form of public transportation within
walking distance (400 meters).
Connectivity lost points because at 8 1 percent of the
sites, access to the water, to nearby neighborhoods, and even
to the site in question was impeded by construction, fences,
walls, or roads. Within each park, the team kept an eye out
for signs pointing the way to facilities and nearby transport
and destinations, as well as for site layout maps; they found
that while 83 percent of the parks posted site signs, most
lacked other visuals to help visitors make their way around
the parks and environs.
Indicators of site design and maintenance included
the presence of trash bins and landscaping aesthetics. This
category scored higher than the others since all sites offered
some form of greenery; only a third had broken or closed
amenities. Still, interviewees wished aloud for less pollution
and more trees.
Quality encompassed a range of amenities including food
and drink, shade from Hong Kong's strong sun, and toilets.
Students also watched for the biggest amenity of all, Victoria
Harbour, and found that it's impossible to see the water at
nearly one-third of the sites. Interviewees frequently voiced the
need for shaded seating that faced the water, requirements the
students also noted in their observations.
One site — the Lei Yue Mun Typhoon Shelter Breakwater
Sitting-Out Area — provided a perfect example of poor design:
when visitors sit on park benches, their sea view is blocked by
a massive concrete breakwater. Another site received high marks
across categories: Hoi Sham Park in Kowloon City is easy to
find and offers plenty of shade, harbor views, and food.
After scoring the sites, the team correlated each park's
grade with its popularity. "We found that the sites with the
higher scores were also the ones where we saw greater numbers
of visitors," says Scarborough.
Sensitive presentations/ positive results
On paper and at formal presentations, the team offered prac-
tical suggestions to improve each of the parks: putting up signs
between transport drop-off points and sites, adding recycling
bins at all locations, and improving shaded seating and food
services. "We also suggested that chain-link and barbed wire
fences be removed or changed to
be more aesthetically pleasing,"
The team had spent three-
quarters of their time on site
visits, interviewing, and assess-
ment, which left only two short
weeks to finish up their report
and make recommendations to
LCSD. "The students presented
to officials who've been running
these properties for many years," notes Stanley Selkow, pro-
fessor of computer science, who advised the team. "It would
have been so easy for these administrators to get defensive. But
the students showed tremendous sensitivity in how they made
their presentations, and high
officials at LCSD were impressed with the students' results
So impressed, in fact, that LCSD will be enhancing its
facilities. "They will add shaded seating, food and beverage
facilities, toilets, and signage to improve the vibrancy of water-
front sites," says Paul Zimmerman, founder of Designing
Hong Kong, a sponsor liaison.
"The team balanced multiple competing demands on
the project," Selkow says. "They worked long hours to com-
plete it, and cooperated well with each other throughout."
Transformations \ Summer 2009 13
INVESTIGATIONS By Eileen McCluskey
A group of engineers
sits at a table discussing the
design of a new cell phone.
As they toss ideas back and
forth, they're gesturing to
show the possible width of
the screen and placement
of functions such as volume
control. A computer watching
the human gestures presents
the group with visuals that
approximate the potential
phone's dimensions. The
engineers manipulate the
images — changing, saving,
or discarding them as the
Professor of computer science David Brown envisions a time when
computerized systems, through the groundbreaking field of Artificial Intelligence
(AI) in Design, will assist people in harvesting their creativity in such scenarios.
Brown first discovered the world of AI in Design as a PhD student in com-
puter and information science at Ohio State University in the early 1980s. As he
considered his thesis options, his advisor suggested that he solve a design problem
faced by a sensor manufacturer: the company, seeking to boost production, wanted
a computer to recreate the problem-solving skills of their in-house expert.
The sensors detected thickness for machines that milled plastics and paper.
For each milling application, the staff engineer crafted routine but painstaking
design changes. Brown interviewed the engineer at length, essentially mining the
expert's knowledge of the design process.
Now firmly established as a pioneer in the field, he has delved ever deeper
into how AI can leverage and mimic human creativity. "The field has changed
dramatically over the last 25 years," says Brown, who arrived at WPI in 1985
and has held a collaborative appointment as professor of mechanical engineering
since 1999. "We've gradually moved from programming routine tasks to ever
more complex efforts — those involving creativity," he says. "So we've gone from
solving relatively easy problems to a point where now we don't have much of a
clue anymore about where we might be headed."
Brown received his appointment in mechanical engineering when he began
advising ME PhD students, guiding them in programming designs for manufac-
turing and other fields. One of his proteges — Janet Burge '05 (PhD), whose
thesis explored software engineering using design rationale — is now an assistant
professor in computer science and systems analysis at Miami University in
Oxford, Ohio. In 2009 Burge won the National Science Foundation's CAREER
award, one of the most prestigious for young faculty members, to support her
continuing research into design rationale, which explores not only the results of
design processes but also the reasoning behind design choices.
While AI in Design may sound esoteric to the uninitiated, Brown sees it as
a utilitarian tool, grounded in logical reasoning. Creativity, after all, "exists as a
judgment relative to personal or group norms," he says. "AI in Design looks to
take the subjective and make it objective and, therefore, computable. Creativity
can be modeled in computer code because it includes processes involving
knowledge and reasoning."
Brown's recent writings explore computational creative design. His articles
began touching on the subject in the late 1970s, when he explored a natural lan-
guage graphics project. More recently, Brown reported on how the AI in Design
community is developing definitions of creativity with an eye toward designing
and judging products. For example, Susan Besemer, founder of ideafusion, has
shown that people judge the creativity of commercial products by their novelty,
resolution (usefulness and user- friendliness), and style. Brown thinks that com-
puters should also be able to do that.
Additional characteristics refine those main categories. For example, novelty
refers to the use of new processes, new techniques, and new concepts in the
14 Tra nsform a t i o n s | Summer 2009
i - -
product. It also includes the newness of the product within and outside of its
field. Resolution, the degree to which the product addresses a specific need,
"underscores the fact that, for products at least, new but bizarre objects aren't
seen as creative." Salvador Dali's surrealist Lobster Telephone, for instance, is
widely accepted as creative in the art realm. But if viewed as a product, the
lobster phone would flunk the creativity exam due to its limited utility.
As such definitions emerge, Brown sees AI in Design stimulating creativity
by assisting human experts while they toil at complex projects. Computational
models that grasp the basic processes involved in, say, creating buildings, could
provide advice and cautions about potential pitfalls in emerging designs.
Next-generation computational design systems could also stimulate creativity
by alleviating tedium. Far more ambitious than Browns PhD thesis for designing
part of a sensor, he suggests that a brave new AI program might look more like an
architectural grammar to help create buildings. Such a tool would be similar to a
language grammar for word processing applications. But instead of piping up
when sentences ramble, this lexicon of windows, doorways, materials, and other
architectural elements could open imaginations to new ideas for floor plans.
Brown is excited to think about AI in Design interfacing even more actively
with people. He points to a special issue of a journal he edits, Artificial Intelligence
for Engineering, Design, Analysis and Manufacturing, that explores gesture.
When computers are capable of interpreting human gestures within a knowledge
context, such as architecture, building design discussions could evolve more
rapidly or simply more creatively. "I find this area of AI in Design fascinating,"
he says. "Computer design aids that interact with human designers to support
their activity seem to me the most practical next step in this field."
, But how or when will AI succeed in computationally modeling creativity?
"It's up in the air," says Brown. "AI in Design is so complex and rich that
whenever I look at it, I know we're just scratching the surface."
Transformations \ Summer 2 009 15
/, Robot, a collection of 1940s-vintage
short stories (which inspired the 2004
movie) depicts the perils of living and
working alongside quirky robots with
"positronic" brains. Struggling to hold
it all together is "robopsychologist"
Susan Calvin, who is so crazy about
robots that she actually studies them
in college and devotes her career to
the imaginary industry, after earning
a PhD at Columbia.
If only she'd gone to WPI.
WPI'S NEWEST MAJOR TELLS ALL
By Joan Killough-Miller
Author Isaac Asimov did not live to see Susan Calvin's
field evolve from science fiction to reality. In 2007 — as his
futuristic heroine was completing her doctoral work — WPI
launched the nation's first undergraduate major in Robotics
Engineering (RBE), followed by a master's degree track just
this year. (A PhD program is also in the works.)
The new program has taken flight faster than expected.
Undergraduate enrollment reached 150 within two years —
four times the initial projections — and it's slated to comprise
10 percent of the undergraduate student body by next year.
The first RBE diplomas were awarded in May — two years
ahead of schedule — to upperclassmen who jumped at the
chance to switch to the new major.
Building a new breed of engineers
Put simply, robotics integrates the skills of three traditional
disciplines to create a machine that can sense its environment
(electrical engineering), make decisions about the input
(computer science), and act on the decision (mechanical
engineering). The well-rounded roboticist brings a toolbox
of solutions to every challenge, employing an integrative,
systems engineering approach. And WPI is the ideal place
16 Transformations \ Summer 2009
for such a collaborative, hands-on program that brings
together theory and practice.
The birth of the university's newest major was driven by
a push-pull, says Mike Gennert, program director and com-
puter science department head. Pull from an industry gearing
up for applications in manufacturing, defense, medicine, and
healthcare; and push by a generation of young people moti-
vated by high school robotics competitions such as FIRST.*
Ken Stafford, director of the Robotics Resource Center,
calls FIRST the catalyst for the robotics academic program.
"Around the middle of the decade, we were seeing more and
more students coming to WPI expecting to do robotics," he
says. "It had gone beyond a hobbyist thing — they wanted to
do academic work in it. They were coming here because of
their FIRST experience, only to find that the only academic
work they could do was in industrial robotics — which is not
as satisfying, or sexy, as mobile robots."
The first step was to offer an introductory robotics
course, which Stafford adapted from a popular summer
program. All 48 slots in Introduction to Robotics were filled
before first year students arrived on campus. Extra sections
were added, but there was still a waiting list. At the provost's
*See sidebar on page 18.
Transformations \ Summer 2009 17
request, a committee was formed to begin research toward
establishing an undergraduate robotics major.
"Initially, I was not enamored with the idea," Stafford
admits. "I thought it was too specialized for a bachelor's
degree, and that it could turn out to be engineering lite, with
no real depth." But he worked with the faculty committee to
forge a curriculum with full academic rigor. "Little by little,"
he says, "I became a believer. Now I believe that robotics is
the elite major at WPI — elite' meaning the most challenging
form of engineering."
"Just in time" education
Introduction to Robotics, one of the first courses a WPI
robotics engineering major will take, is a microcosm of the
university's project-based education, says Stafford. "Our
vision is that if you lecture it, it should be used right away.
And when we review these courses, we make sure that the
word robot is spoken in every lecture, because the content
can't be isolated from the context.
"As a product of a more traditional ME program, I
remember how my eyes glazed over while I suffered through
the groundwork," Stafford continues. "In our robotics courses,
all the cool projects are put into practice, at an appropriate
level, in the freshman year. It's a 'just in time' fundamentals
approach. We do lecture, but we tell the kids, 'You probably
ought to listen up, because you're going to need this in lab
The challenge is to teach the content of three different
degree programs in four years without sacrificing depth. The
Unified Robotics curriculum was designed using a "spiral"
approach, which wraps the fundamentals of each discipline
into an integrated curriculum, rather than a "silo" structure
that slices off each discipline vertically. Or, as mechanical
engineering department head Gretar Tryggvason explains,
"Instead of reading each book all the way through, one by
one, and waiting until the final year to put the pieces together,
we start by reading Chapter One in all the books. Then we
read Chapter Two. We teach the students a little bit about
everything. Then we teach them some more about everything,
and then even more." All courses are team-taught, merging
fundamentals that are common across disciplines and focusing
on content essential to the robotics context.
FIRST Things First
It's impossible to talk about robotics at WPI without talking about
FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology),
the international robotics competition that engages more than
196,000 budding engineers ages 6-18, who work with 53,000
mentors, including WPI students. The connections run deep: FIRST
was founded by Segway inventor Dean Kamen '73, a member of
WPI's Robotics Engineering Advisory Board. His creation captured
the imaginations of a generation of high school students and
brought them to WPI wanting more.
From the days when a handful of students worked out of a corner
of a laboratory, Ken Stafford has watched FIRST grow into the
most popular student activity group on campus, with more than
200 WPI volunteers signing up to mentor Team 190, the original
WPI-sponsored high school team. What began as fun and games
for the students has become a national phenomenon in which
WPI makes significant intellectual and leadership contributions.
In 2007 — the year Team 190 won its first world championship —
news of WPI's new major was broken to FIRST enthusiasts with
a high-adrenaline video that rocked the Atlanta event. FIRST
exposure continues to pull in applicants from all over the country,
says Stafford, and when the robots go out to demonstrations at
high schools and community groups, a wave of inquiries follows.
Admission surveys confirm that many students choose WPI because
of its strong connection to FIRST.
Today one in ten students comes to WPI with FIRST experience
(half of RBE majors are FIRST veterans). WPI, a founding sponsor of
FIRST, continues to power the organization with an award-winning
Java""' Technology software platform used by all participants, and
an NSF-funded project to help teams help each other through an
interactive social networking site called ThinkTank.
"It may seem like back-of-the-envelope, garage-shop engineering,
but it's more than just fun and toys," says Brad Miller, associate
director of the Robotics Resource Center. "They're applying what
they learned in class to some very complex components, with
a very short deadline. There's no other place at WPI where
freshmen can have that expanse of responsibility, authority, and
commitment. And when they apply for internships and employers
hear what they pulled off in six weeks, they're hired right away."
Stafford says, "My colleagues see our students spending Satur-
days and Sundays, even missing the Super Bowl to work on their
robots, and they ask, 'What are you holding over their heads
to make them do that?' I don't think there's anything quite like
it on campus."
That doesn't mean it's all fun and games. "This is not
LEGO," Gennert stresses. "This is real engineering. We have
students who come in as tinkerers, who might have done some
neat things in high school, but it wasn't formal engineering.
They didn't learn to solve the mathematical equations involved.
Now they need to use their background to learn serious engi-
neering and design."
Help Wanted: Robot Visionaries
Although 2007 was a dismal year for the robotics industry in
Isaac Asimov's fictional timeline, reality tells a different story.
The year began with the less fanciful Bill Gates heralding the
dawn of the robot age on the cover of Scientific American.
("A Robot in Every Home," January 2007). Gates made an
analogy to the 1970s, the era of industrial-sized mainframes
and kooky electronics hobbyists, when the idea of the average
person owning a computer — and relying on it to get through
the day — seemed preposterous. Today, with the cost of robot
components falling and the sophistication of technology ris-
ing, we are about to see a transformation that's the magnitude
of electricity — or the Internet.
"The world is going to look very different in a few
decades," Tryggvason says confidently. "You're already starting
to see that. It's not always going to look like the humanoid
robots in the movies. It could be as simple as an automatic
door that senses when you actually intend to go through and
This year's winner of the Provost's MQP Award for
Robotics Engineering was a "sand-swimming snake" designed
by Brian Benson '09, a mechanical engineering major with a
robotics concentration, and Neal Humphrey '09, another of
the first RBE graduates. The snake, which travels beneath the
surface of a granular media, could have military or surveillance
applications. The two students were involved with all aspects
of the project: from the mechanical design and circuitry of the
snake's networked segments, to analyzing the physics of a real
snake's locomotion and writing software to replicate it.
Humphrey spent last summer as a robotics engineering co-op/
intern at Boston Engineering, and now holds the well-deserved
title of multidiscipline systems engineer at MITRE.
In fact, all of WPI's RBE students are graduating into a
billion-dollar robotics economy right here in Massachusetts,
with 150 companies, institutions, and research labs employing
more than 1,500 people. CNET recently ranked WPI among
the top 10 colleges for the robotically-inclined, noting the prox-
imity to metro Boston, a "geographic hot spot" for academia
and industry. To maximize their impact in this new sector, all
RBE majors are required to take a course in entrepreneurship.
"The world needs engineers who not only are problem
solvers, but are looking ahead to see what products are feasible,
attractive, environmentally conscious, and ethically significant,"
says Stafford. "It requires not just people who can figure out
stresses and strains, but also people who are visionaries."
"The world needs engineers who not only are problem solvers, but are looking
ahead to see what products are feasible, attractive, environmentally conscious,
and ethically significant."
doesn't open every time someone passes by. We already have
luxury cars that park themselves. We may not think of them
as robots, because there's no droid sitting in the driver's seat.
We'll also see more agile, versatile robots on the assembly line,
in the military, and in medical operations."
WPI faculty and students are already leading the way in
this research. Greg Fisher, assistant professor of mechanical
engineering, specializes in technologies for medical robotics and
robot-assisted surgery. Computer science professor Charles Rich
explores human-robot interaction, with the help of Melvin,
one of the few existing robots with human features and an
expressive face. Aaron Holroyd '09, a member of the inaugural
RBE graduating class, was part of a Major Qualifying Project
(MQP) group that improved Melvin's hand-eye coordination.
With software designed by the project team, Melvin can see,
name, and point to the correct object in response to the
actions of a human partner. Holroyd, who is interning at
iRobot this summer, is continuing in WPI's computer science
program. "My goal is to study the interactions between tutor
and student, and to develop robotic tutoring systems," he says.
"My degree will enable me to be part of a robotics research
company, or to do funded research at a university."
If the enrollment trends continue, RBE will soon be one
of the most popular majors on campus. What began as a joint
effort among three departments will eventually demand a
department — and a building — of its own.
Regardless of their majors, all students will benefit from
studying robotics, says Fred Looft, electrical and computer
engineering department head. "Students will likely need some
background in the areas of autonomous operations, sensing,
and actuation, which is the core of robotics," he says. "They
should have some grasp of the advantages and disadvantages
of robotic systems and autonomous operations. And they're
going to need to understand the systems-level design concepts
involved, because you don't design just a robot or an autono-
mous vehicle, you have to design the full system and consider
other factors, such as the operational environment."
As for those students who do pursue WPI's undergraduate
or graduate robotics program, the world awaits. "These are some
of the best and brightest and most creative students on campus.
They haven't taken the easy path, but they have a real passion
for what they do," Gennert says. "There's a world of untapped
applications out there. What they'll be, I don't know exactly,
but I'll tell you this — our students will figure it out." D
Robotics Innovation Competition and Conference (RICC): Nov. 7-8, 2009. Register at ricc.wpi.edu.
They are two very different people from different generations, but Harry Wotton 94,
'96(MS) and Doug Noiles '44 share a common passion — solving important problems
by looking at them in new ways. They also share the entrepreneurial courage to launch com-
panies, developing their innovative designs when others would not take the risk. Because of
their work, people who need knee or hip replacements now live better lives, and pets who
suffer from orthopedic injuries or disease have better care. Meet the bone fixers.
20 Transformations \ Summer 2 009
When freshman Harry Wotton stepped onto the WPI
campus in 1990, he had a plan. Train as an engineer, then
apply that knowledge to medicine. He hoped to become a
medical doctor, but along the way — while planning for his
Major Qualifying Project (MQP), actually — a flash of insight
set Wotton on a different path.
It started when his advisor, Rick Sisson, the George F.
Fuller Professor in Mechanical Engineering at WPI, spoke
with Dr. Karl Kraus, who was then a veterinary surgeon at
Tufts University. Kraus told Sisson that orthopedic devices
to treat dogs with broken legs were not optimal; many dogs
did not heal well because the existing devices were prone to
failure. Sisson arranged for Wotton to meet with Kraus, and
the seeds of his MQP took root.
As Wotton listened to the veterinarian, he immediately
realized an underlying flaw with the existing orthopedic
products — they were derivatives of devices first designed for
humans. "When people leave the hospital with a broken leg
they have crutches or a wheelchair, so they don't have to
carry their weight on the broken limb while it heals," Wotton
says. "That doesn't work for dogs — they need to walk on
the broken leg right away. The design for a dog device had
to be different."
So Wotton began to design a new orthopedic device for
dogs with broken legs. The project combined engineering
with his passion for working in a medical field. The fact that
it was a canine, not human, medical problem was a modest
adjustment he was comfortable making.
For the remainder of his senior year and into his grad-
uate studies at WPI, Wotton worked on the problem and
eventually designed an external fixation device. The design
provided stability for the bone and tissues to heal, while
carrying the animal's weight while it walked.
Wotton built and tested his prototypes in the Washburn
Shops. When the design reached a mature enough stage, and
the mechanical testing results were optimal, Kraus agreed
to test it in the clinic. "A dog had come into the emergency
room at Tufts with a fracture and, with the owner's consent,
Dr. Kraus used the new device," Wotton recalls. "It worked
well, right away."
That first success led to several additional clinical studies
at Tufts, with similar results, all of which were published in
leading veterinary journals. Kraus confirmed that the new
device was a breakthrough — it helped the dogs heal quickly
and it was exceedingly reliable. "After those studies, I tried
to sell the idea to a company that is now my competitor.
But they didn't want it," Wotton says. "Professor Sisson
encouraged me to start my own company."
It was 1996 and Wotton faced a major decision. In spite
of his growing interest in product design, and the success of
his MQP (shown in photo), he had applied and was accepted
to medical school. He could have been a doctor if he so
chose. "Ultimately, I had to say no to medical school. I was
having too much fun," Wotton says. "I love the creative
process of design — and there is a real excitement to building
your own company. I've never regretted the decision."
With an initial investment of $250, a $5,000 gift from
his mother, and hours of sweat equity, Wotton started
SECUROS in 1997 to build and market the external fixation
device. (SECUROS comes from "secure Os," a nod to the
Greek word for bone.) The product was a success from the
start, and SECUROS attracted a following among veterinary
surgeons, who in turn became a source of ideas for new prod-
ucts. "The surgeons were constantly telling me about the
Transformations \ Summer 2009 21
problems rhey were dealing with," he says, "and asking me if
I could come up with something to fix them."
Since 1997 Wotton has designed hundreds of innovative
products, from small screws to large implantable devices, to
meet the surgeons' needs. "I tend to do my best thinking at
night," he says. "I'll have a thought during the day, and I'll
fall asleep thinking about a problem or a design, and I'll often
wake up in the middle of the night with ideas to write down."
SECUROS has since grown to 29 employees, with loca-
tions in Massachusetts and Germany. The company has seven
product lines, hundreds of products, five U.S. patents, and
seven patents pending.
In 2007 Wotton sold SECUROS to MWI Veterinary
Supply, one of the county's largest animal health products dis-
tributors. But Wotton, who lives in northeast Connecticut with
his wife and three children, remains the principal designer for
the company. "I sold the company only to make it better," he
says. "As part of a larger company with a national sales force,
we can do so much more. I stayed on as president, and I have
quite a long-term contract, so I'll be here for a while. It's fun
This year, Wotton's story came full circle when he
became directly involved in the MQPs again, this time as an
advisor. Working with Glenn Gaudette, assistant professor
of biomedical engineering, Wotton advised four seniors who
took on his challenge to design a new product to treat chron-
ic hip dislocations in dogs.
The students, Meghan Pasquali, Nicholas Pelletier,
Jennifer Richards, and Jonathan Shoemaker, developed a
product design, then built and refined several prototypes.
They received the 2009 Provost's Award for their work, and
now SECUROS will explore commercializing their concepts.
"It was great working with the students," Wotton says. "WPI
changed my life, and I want to continue to be a part of it.
So this is my way to stay involved and give back."
Doug Noiles was in San Francisco for a conference
of orthopedic surgeons and had gone back to his hotel room
in Chinatown to think about the problems that doctors were
having with replacement hips and knees. It was the early
1 970s, and Noiles wasn't a physician but an engineer with
a track record of designing successful surgical equipment.
Specifically, he was in charge of the design and development
team at United States Surgical — a small but growing com-
pany in Norwalk, Conn. — who had developed the first
commercially viable, clinically effective, surgical stapling
system. Business was booming.
"Stapling has a lot of advantages over suturing," he says.
"Less handling of tissue makes for faster healing. Staples can
be placed more quickly and precisely. Some procedures and
delicate tissues permit stapling when suturing isn't possible.
Plus, the body accepts stainless steel well."
Orthopedic surgeons were among the biggest users of
the staplers, and while the surgeons Noiles spoke with at the
conference that day were pleased with his products, they had
many problems with the artificial knee and hip joints available
at the time. The failure rate for the artificial joints was high,
and when they did fail, they caused more damage to the rem-
nant bone and muscle, necessitating additional reconstructive
surgery. Patients who suffered a failure were often left with
little or no motion in the newly repaired joints. "The devices
used after the initial prosthetic failed were pretty awful,"
Noiles recalls. "Some were, essentially, heavy steel hinges."
Noiles listened to the surgeons at the conference, and, as
he had done all his life, he began to think about the problem
in a functional, mechanical way. Ever since he was a young
boy growing up in Hudson, Mass., he had been captivated by
how things worked. When he was just 6 years old, he began
building his own kites and model airplanes, inspired by both
the creative process of design and by understanding the
mechanics that allowed them to take flight. "As far back as
I can remember," Noiles says, "I liked to pick up things and
ask, 'What does it do? How is it made? Why is made that
way? Is there a better way to make it? "
As he focused on the problems of the existing knee
joints, Noiles took a new approach. "For the most part, those
devices were designed by physicians to reproduce the natural
structures of the joints — to make them look like what nature
had created — and that just wasn't working," he says. "Rather
than trying to duplicate the natural form, I believed these
devices had to be designed like machines. First, they had to
be durable, and then they had to closely replicate the forces
and the motions of the natural joint."
After the conference, the design of an artificial knee cap-
tivated his thoughts as he settled into bed in the hotel room.
"I remember this as vividly today as when it happened," he
says. "That night I woke up with a start, sat straight up in
bed, and said, 'Why not let it rotate?'"
Although some doctors said it wouldn't work, from that
insight Noiles would develop a revolutionary design for a
total knee replacement prosthetic that allowed natural rota-
tions. It would eventually become the global standard, but
his colleagues at U.S. Surgical were not interested in pursuing
the development of artificial joints. The stapling business was
growing so rapidly, the company wanted to stay focused on
that product line.
Noiles decided to leave the security of a prosperous
business and founded his own firm to commercialize the
new knee design, along with a new hip device he had also
invented. "I couldn't just let these concepts die. I believed
they would be better for people," Noiles says. "Plus, U.S.
22 Transformations \ Summer 2009
i important part ot the creative process is
rfo recognize that a good idea can come
from anyone, anywhere, at any time. You
' ' be willing to listen to people/'
Surgical was getting so big I wasn't comfortable there any-
more. There was something I liked about being part of an
embryonic start-up environment."
In 1982 Noiles convinced three of his colleagues to
make the leap with him, and they founded Joint Medical
Products Corp., which developed his new knee joint and
other devices. After a successful 13-year run, Noiles and his
partners sold the company to Johnson & Johnson in 1995.
Noiles is now retired and living in Connecticut with his
wife, Edna, a Navy nurse he met while serving as a Marine
in World War II. He looks back on a 50-plus-year career as
an inventor and engineer with 90 patents to his name, from
his' early days designing textile machinery and electronics to
his landmark work in medical devices. He is humble about
his impact on the industry, although the numbers speak for
themselves: Each year in the United States, more than
500,000 people have knee replacement surgery and some
200,000 have hip replacements. And most of those people
are living better, healthier lives, because of Noiles's contri-
butions to the field.
The key to a successful design, he says, is to first
understand the problem clearly. He favors simplicity over
complexity when imagining potential solutions and, most
important, he tries to keep an open mind. "When it came
to the knee, I say I had the advantage of ignorance. Not
being a surgeon, I had no preconceived ideas about what
the product should be," Noiles says. "And an important part
of the creative process is to recognize that a good idea can
come from anyone, anywhere, at any time. You have to be
willing to listen to people." II
Transformations \ Summer 2 009 23
"Engineers design, they adapt, they fill a specific need — the form,
the size, the scope, the functions — so that it all works. It's a more
— Phil Clark
BIG PICTURE PLANS
Design can be an elusive concept. But to Phillip Clark '67, '72(MS) and Mary Ellen
Blunt '79 design is at the core of what they do — from planning bridges to building museums.
These alumni are big picture planners, approaching each project from a conceptual point of
view. They design. They plan. They manage a project in its entirety from purpose to compliance
to return on investment. Top in their fields, their experience at WPI fueled their desire to look
at projects wholly and holistically and ultimately answer the question, "How are we going to
make this happen?"
Chances are you've been in the presence of Phil Clark —
if not the man himself, then certainly his work. As chairman
and CEO of Clark Patterson Lee, a design firm based in
Rochester, N.Y., Clark has been instrumental in numerous
high-profile civil engineering, architecture, and planning
projects, including a regional water supply system in Genesee
County, N.Y., and the Mint Museums in Charlotte, N.C.
Over the last 40 years, leveraging the civil engineering
education he received at WPI and advanced studies in trans-
portation planning, Clark methodically built a company
from scratch to the nationally recognized 200-employee
firm it is today.
What makes Clark and his company stand out among
his peers is his low-key but purposeful common sense
approach. He knows what works — whether that means
designing a multimillion dollar state-of-the-art emergency
room or a $400,000 addition to a public middle school.
Clark knew in the 7th grade he wanted to be a civil
engineer, after working on a career-focused social studies
project. "With civil engineering I could work with big
trucks," he laughs. "It was cool."
Like most men entering college during the '60s, the
Vietnam conflict had a life-changing influence on him. "For
my generation, it was the focus, right or wrong," he says. At
that time, ROTC was a two-year requirement for incoming
WPI students. Vietnam was ramping up and the war weighed
heavily on decisions about the future. "You had a choice:
Join the military (engineering corps). Get married. Be a
teacfter. Work in aerospace," he says. "For a civil engineer,
the choice was the Navy. It seemed pretty safe. Had there not
been a war, I probably wouldn't have gone that route, but I
still would have pursued civil engineering."
He joined the Navy Reserves, received commission
in the civil engineering corps, and began a master's in civil
engineering. But his reserve unit was activated just months
before graduation and a tour of duty as a Navy Seabee
Company Commander in Vietnam followed. Discharged
in 1971, and married with a child on the way, he obtained
a position in New York along with finishing his graduate
studies through WPI.
His next job was for New York's Monroe County, where
he helped manage its wastewater construction program. He
broke away in 1975 to start his own business. "I was as good
as anybody at it," he says, "and I assumed I'd continue with
it until one of the firms I was working with offered me a
But when he landed a major project, everything changed.
Within two years, the firm had grown to a staff of 20. "I had
a young family to support," he says. "It was like staying
afloat in the middle of the ocean without a life vest. Survival
is motivation." Eventually, the firm branched out into other
areas of expertise, including architecture, transportation, and
building systems engineering, in order to be a "full-service"
operation. "We do it because it works," he says.
Today, the firm focuses on the process of developing pro-
jects, not just designing a building, a bridge, or a museum —
a point he considers key to meeting market needs. "We
develop projects on all spheres," he says.
Transformations \ Summer 2009 25
For instance, Clark Patterson Lee is the architect of
record for the $50 million Mint Museums complex in down-
town Charlotte, N.C. "We lead and manage the project
team, which includes urban design and architectural special-
ists from Harvard, as well as the building engineering and
detailed architectural plans."
The perception of design is flawed, he says, for it applies
to both engineering and architecture. "Engineers design, they
adapt, they fill a specific need — the form, the size, the scope,
the functions — so that it all works. It's a more holistic view."
But high-quality, multidisciplinary design is not the only
cog in Clark's business model. Stay out of big markets, like
Boston, where you can't compete, he says. Focus on markets
that allow you to work on projects that are purposeful and
meaningful. Know the company you are and the company
you want to be. "We work on relationships," he says. It's
more important to focus on reasonable growth in a way that
is rewarding and fulfilling, without dramatically changing
"We've created a culture here that works," he says. "We
are not a mega firm, not an international firm; never will be,
never want to be. Being a mega firm is not on my bucket list."
Outside of Worcester's Union Station, Mary Ellen
Blunt is standing on a small grassy meridian, waiting to have
her photo taken. Behind her, a swirl of cars winds its way
through a rotary (a traffic circle, if you're not from New
England). A driver, entering the rotary from Summer Street,
rolls down her window and asks Blunt for directions to
UMass Memorial Hospital.
The fortuity of the situation is not lost on Blunt, trans-
portation planning manager for the Central Massachusetts
Regional Planning Commission (CMRPC). If you need
directions, she's the one to ask. Few people in the Common-
wealth know the roads better than she does. (In fact, she
explains that the rotary outside Union Station is a modern
roundabout — it was designed specifically to move traffic more
safely and efficiently than the old rotaries or traffic circles.)
The CMRPC includes the City of Worcester and sur-
rounding 39 communities. Through its regional perspective
and coordinated approach to planning and development,
the commission aims to improve the quality of life for those
who live and work in the area.
"There's a complex process that goes into designing
transportation corridors," says Blunt, who has worked for
the CMRPC since she took an internship one summer as
a student at WPI.
And while her department doesn't actually design the
roads, it does play a pivotal role in determining — and rec-
ommending — how the roadways, or other areas of transit,
26 Transformations \ Summer 2009
should be designed. They conduct major studies and colla-
borate with local and state officials, planning experts, and
engineers, all with an eye toward ensuring that projects meet
state and federal guidelines.
Blunt began at WPI as a math major, but she switched
to a degree in planning, an area that better suited her inter-
ests. The program offered a mix of disciplines from urban
development to environmental science, ecology, geology, and
biology. "The classes took a conceptual point of view," she
says. "In other words, we asked, 'How do you make that hap-
pen?' It gave me a holistic approach to how things are done."
For her Interdisciplinary Qualifying Project, she focused
on planning transit services in the Blackstone Valley for eld-
ers and people with disabilities. That project — coupled with
her internship at CMRPC — solidified her future career in
Indeed, WPI taught Blunt to consider all elements that
factor into any design decision. "If we know that an area is
a high-crash location," she says, "we have to look at why.
It may not be the design of the intersection, which is the
conclusion people often jump to. We might conclude that
people are driving while distracted. If that's the case, we
can't design something that prevents that."
Today, Blunt continues to ask how and why questions,
focusing on the impact of an overall project, rather than on
the minute details of one engineering problem. "I'm much
more the big picture planner," she says. "I like to decide
where to put bridges. I like to think about where people are
coming from, where they are going, and what they want to
do once they get there. I like to think about the purpose,
the order of magnitude." D
Tm much more the big picture planner. I like to decide where to put
bridges. I like to think about where people are coming from, where
they are going, and what they want to do once they get there. I like
to think about the purpose, the order of magnitude/'
— Mary Ellen Blunt
For some WPI alumni, it's not so much whether they win or
lose, but how they keep playing the game. Even well into
adulthood, they have found ways to use their advanced
training in such fields as engineering and computer science
to design toys and games. Mercedeh Mirkazemi Ward
'86, a mechanical engineering major, and Michael
Melson '02, '03(MS) and Michael Gesner '03,
who both studied computer science, have successfully
tapped their educations in the service of what might seem
to be more lighthearted enterprises. Mirkazemi Ward
focuses on girls' products for Spin Master Toys in California.
At ImaginEngine in Massachusetts, Melson and Gesner
develop both casual and serious games for consumers
ranging from children to prospective defense contractors.
All three individ-uals are serious about making fun an
integral part of their solutions to professional challenges.
Less than 24 hours after returning from two weeks of
work in Hong Kong and China, Mercedeh Mirkazemi Ward
is too busy to deal with jet lag. As she speaks on the phone
from her home in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif, the family's
bird chirps in the background, a dog occasionally barks, and
her son needs to figure out transportation to his junior prom.
Elsewhere in the household, her husband and daughter and
an assortment of pets are enjoying the Saturday morning.
For the moment, the prospect of Spin Master Toys' next new
girls' product is taking a back seat to this pleasantly hectic
"My life is fast," Mirkazemi Ward explains, referring to
the toy industry — but also, by extension, to the rest of her
activities. "One of the reasons I love this business is it changes
constantly. You're always working with new products." The
WPI graduate, who began with the Class of '86, but com-
pleted her degree in mechanical engineering in 1997 after
working at Mattel full-time, is a pro at navigating shifting
She started young, long before arriving at WPI, or even
in the United States. When she was only 14, the Iranian-born
tomboy daughter of an architect father and sociologist-trained
mother decided she did not want to remain in a country
where, as a female, she would have to cover her hair with a
chador. Having attended an American school in Tehran and
having visited the United States with her family quite a few
times, she hoped to move to the home of an aunt and uncle in
Worcester and go to school there. "I was always an independ-
ent child," she says. Currently the director of girls' products at
Spin Master Toys, she admits to having been "my dad's boy" as
a youngster, more interested in basketball than Barbie.
With the support of her parents, Mirkazemi Ward left
for high school in Worcester on the last day of 1 978 and
never looked back. (The rest of her family followed her lead
several years later when they immigrated to California.)
Design dazzled her — whether it was creating theatre sets at
Worcester Academy or making an oil painting of a flower
split into four panels for her freshman project at WPI. She
began college as a civil engineering major, with plans to pur-
sue architecture, but after a summer course in drafting, she
switched to mechanical engineering. "I thought, 'That's what
mechanical engineers do. They draw a lot,'" she says. "I like
drawing. I loved kinematics, anything to do with drawing,
graphics. I loved machine shop, carving things, drilling, spot
welding, arc welding, anything hands-on."
28 Transformations \ Summer 2009
What she didn't like was getting sick with mono and
pneumonia her junior year and falling behind in her studies.
True to form, however, Mirkazemi Ward turned a stint at
home in California into a design career opportunity. While
taking courses at California State University, Long Beach, she
began working for Mattel, in a job she directly attributes to
her experience at WPI, especially in the machine shop. She
also credits WPI's philosophy with her professional success.
"What I learned allowed me to do what I do now: thinking
on my own, working as a team member, brainstorming, com-
ing up with solutions, being open. Open to ideas. Open to
people. Professors' doors being open to you — it's a big bene-
fit that's not feasible for students at other universities." She
adds, "If that type of education was available to any child in
this country, what a country we would be!"
, If WPI initially made Mattel a possibility, the knowledge
gained at the toy maker and at Cal State enabled Mirkazemi
Ward to return successfully to WPI to finish her course work.
She did her senior project on Talking Barbie — something she
knew well from her time at Mattel — and drew the doll on
Pro/ENGINEER, the 3D CAD modeling system.
After eight years as an engineer at Mattel, Mirkazemi
Ward concluded, "I wanted to up my skills," and she trans-
ferred to product development, a role that exposed her to
every step in a toy's evolution. By the time she was hired at
MGA Entertainment in 2000, she was prepared to work on
development for the first four Bratz dolls. While in this
position, she made her initial trip to China, to select a manu-
facturer for what would become a hot girls' toy. She has been
dozens of times since then — so often, in fact, that one of the
border guards between Hong Kong and China recognizes
her whenever she passes through.
The pace of traveling back and forth to Asia a dozen
or more times a year represents only one piece of the high-
pressure toy business Mirkazemi Ward loves. For her first
assignment at the relatively young Spin Master, she developed
a line of plush, fashion-conscious dogs called Tini Puppini.
"Right now the doll market is low," she says. "Bratz and
Transformations \ Summer 2 009 29
Barbie are down. Every company is trying to come up with
a new product line."
During the quest for the next hit, she is involved in
every stage, "from conceptualization to making the first sam-
ples to sewing up outfits for dolls." Spin Master's design and
development departments collaborate with in-house sales and
marketing teams, who in turn consult and present to buyers
at Walmart, Target, and Toys "R" Us to determine the proper
price and audience. Fashion designers become part of the
process, too, as Mirkazemi Ward chooses what sort of acces-
sories a human — or canine — doll might need. There are
four seasons in the toy year, and so every three months she
must have new lines to show to management.
"Never give up. Never surrender," Mirkazemi Ward says
about finishing her WPI degree, wryly quoting from the
movie Galaxy Quest. She could as easily be referring to her
move to the States, her doggedness in founding a women's
swim team at WPI, her persistence in creating novel toys in
a down market. A year ago, when her son returned from a
summer program at WPI wanting to be a robotics engineer,
the one-time mechanical engineer found herself thinking
back on her own history. "I am very proud of my degree
from WPI. It has opened doors for me — more so than most
mechanical engineers get," she says. "I would be so proud
to have him attend WPI."
They have attempted to balance the Massachusetts
state budget, explored the nuances of office culture and
defense contracting, and ventured into the sugar-loaded
universe of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. For Michael
Melson and Michael Gesner — creators of MassBalance,
Q'Bicles, and a variety of other titles — the world of videogame
development has been sweet. So sweet — in carbohydrate
terms — that they had to accept a vast batch of chocolate
chip cookies as partial payment for the Charlie game. In the
decade since meeting at WPI, the two have already founded
a company — Dragonfly — which joined forces a year ago
with ImaginEngine, part of Foundation 9 Entertainment,
the largest independent game developer in North America.
On a June afternoon, while the two are busy readying a
Christmas game for the pre-release certification process, they
take a break to discuss their lives and work. In a nondescript
conference room at the Framingham, Mass., headquarters
of ImaginEngine, Melson and Gesner trace the two very
different paths that brought them together as schoolmates,
business partners, and friends. Conversation flows easily
between the two. They don't quite finish each other's sen-
tences, but they share so many experiences that the mere
mention of spice drops brings back memories of a game
they named Crystallum.
"We were dealing with a design problem with a
game," Gesner says. "Mike called me up as he was eating
"I kept eating like-colored drops," Melson explains,
"but I wanted to maintain a balance. I found myself subcon-
sciously grabbing the color I had the most of. I noticed what
I was doing and thought we could turn that into a game."
Gesner adds, "Sometimes the most inane things become
a game." To underscore his point, he mentions to SimCity,
the urban planning hit that drew upon city management for
Both alumni journeyed far to meet at WPI, where
Melson received his undergraduate degree in computer sci-
ence in 2002 and his master's in 2003, and Gesner was in the
class of 2003 but left before finishing. Melson started out in
Oregon City, Ore., a bright young student who "lettered in
chess" but couldn't afford a computer until high school, and
took his first plane trip when he arrived at WPI for classes.
Gesner, who lived in Hawaii, Virginia, and Colorado with his
military family, received his first computer at the age of five,
and at seven programmed a rudimentary game in which the
user played against Michael Jordan shooting at increasingly
In college and beyond, Melson approached his field from
the more technical, pragmatic aspect. "I was the visionary,
the loudmouth," says Gesner, who started WPI's Game
Development Club — which Melson later joined — and had
a role in establishing the university's Interactive Media and
Game Development major. Introduced in 2005, IMGD was
the first major of its kind in the United States.
Their professional lives really took off in the summer of
2003, when Gesner brought the MassBalance game with him
to the Electronic Software Association summit in Washington,
D.C. People in the industry told him he should start a game
development company. The two friends eagerly followed that
advice, launching into Q'Bicles, a fun journey into the minu-
tiae of life in an office. Before long, they were involved in
more offerings in the "serious" games category, too — such
as J RATS MindRover, developed for Defense Acquisition
University (an actual entity), which teaches people how to be
government contractors. The biggest design obstacle there was
sorting through DAU's 600-page table of contents — just in
the contract. A later application, Play the Case, was invented
for the New England Journal of Medicine, allowing doctors
to practice interacting with case studies. Another project, a
Gesner and Melson have worked on both serious and casual video
games. Konami Kids Playground (left) and Pinewood Derby are just
two of the many projects in which they've collaborated.
30 Transformations \ Summer 2 009
Michael Gesner (left) and Michael Melson met at WPI 10 years ago and have been working on video games ever since.
national budget simulation game for the U.S. Government
Accountability Office, presented a different sort of numerical
quandary. "The programming language didn't support num-
bers that big," Melson explains.
Whatever the game — whether it is casual or serious,
aimed at federal workers or schoolchildren — Gesner and
Melson ask one essential question: Is the game fun? "If it's
fun, players will forgive a lot of flaws," Melson says. And if
it's not fun, there's a very good chance players won't be inter-
ested. It need not have fancy graphics, although clearly the
visual component has come a long way since the early 1970s,
when Atari released the minimalist Pong as an arcade video
simulation of a tennis match.
In nearly 30 years, games have become more complicat-
ed, users have become more sophisticated, and the industry
has grown to encompass bigger companies, more applications
and formats, and a greater range of audiences. Gesner and
Melson look back fondly at the days when you would order
a game from someone working out of a garage, who wrote
the game, put it on a floppy disk, and stuck it in the mail.
In many ways, Gesner believes, the profession hasn't matured
from that garage development ethos. For one thing, a spirit
of sharing has survived. At postmortems — which feature
speakers and discussion groups and often sponsors — develop-
ers get together to look at past games and review what went
well and what didn't. "The exchange of ideas is what helps
our industry grow," Gesner says. "We are happy to share that
information whenever possible."
All the thinking in the world does not guarantee success,
however, as Melson and Gesner have discovered. "A lot of
times, you don't know a game will be good until you make
it," Melson says. Critical raves — such as those Q'Bicles
received — do not necessarily translate into sales.
As for the stereotype of gamers as antisocial young men
alone in their rooms, Melson and Gesner hold that it isn't
true, and never was. Gesner says, "Gaming is a very socializ-
ing thing. Rock Band and Guitar Hero encourage people to
sit in the same room and be social." He lists the many audi-
ences that exist for games today — from musicians to soccer
moms. "Everybody plays games now," Melson says. "There's
no stigma attached."
At ImaginEngine, where Melson and Gesner are always
happy to have WPI students as fellow employees or interns,
the two are thinking of where this expanding universe of
gamers might lead them. "The entrepreneurial spirit hasn't
died," Gesner says. "We're using this time to develop relation-
ships and skills, and become better managers. We wanted to
pursue the creation of our own titles in a more stable envi-
ronment." They have ideas for new games for health, a
relatively recent category, as well as less serious enterprises.
They never know when or where a new game concept will
surface, but they are ready to work — and play. D
Transformations \ Summer 2009 31
By Joanne Silver
"I have worked for companies where I believed in the
product. If you can find a way to delight consumers,
you can generally be successful."
— Joe Dzialo
Selling jeans may not seem like rocket science, but
that fact doesn't keep Joseph Dzialo from turning
to physics in his role as president of Lee. The 1976
graduate explains his logic: "The most valuable
aspect of WPI is it helped grow rigorous thinking
capability — a skill essential to success in any career
endeavor. As one example, I still teach my folks
about the physics law F=ma. We use it frequently
in business life to create programs that are powerful,
and we evaluate same based on their mass and
our ability to bring them to life quickly."
In the past three decades, Dzialo's forces, mass, and
acceleration have propelled products ranging from shoes to
tampons to eyeglasses onto store shelves with a steadiness
that has earned the respect of higher-ups at organizations
including Procter & Gamble, where he worked for a dozen
years, and his current employer, VF Corporation, the world's
largest apparel company.
Between an afternoon meeting in Bostons Prudential
Center and a flight back to Lee headquarters in Kansas,
Dzialo has stopped at the Prudential's food court to chat
about the route that has taken an environmentalist civil
engineering major deep into retail territory.
Youthful looking in jeans and a sports jacket, Dzialo
sounds enthusiastic, even about products he handled years
ago. He is as happy describing the inking process in designer
Bounty paper towels as the mindset of middle-age women
trying on jeans. Challenges — past, present, and future —
captivate him, and he offers recaps of some of his favorites.
Easy Spirit shoes, for instance. When he was named
president of the company in the early 1990s, after working
at Procter & Gamble and LensCrafters, Dzialo was eager to
develop a shoe that would be both stylish and comfortable.
That's when the company turned to an unlikely source for
inspiration. He says, "We knew that in New York City women
would go to work in sneakers and carry their shoes in a plastic
bag. We studied the NFL: How do these guys run into each
other and not get hurt? We looked at cushioning systems —
in helmets, in pads. We took cushioning technology, which
was developed before I arrived there, and looked at ways to
improve upon it and put it into footwear that was stylish."
Sales soared. Dzialo's career moved along nicely, as well.
He tends to credit "lucky breaks" for his progress, although
the breaks came from people with whom he had worked at
previous companies, who were familiar with his dynamism
and can-do approach. When he joined LCA- Vision in the
late 1990s, he was so positive about their service, he had laser
vision correction surgery himself. "I have worked for compa-
nies where I believed in the product," he says. "If you can find
a way to delight consumers, you can generally be successful."
At LCA, he realized this objective required finding two
groups of people: customers who would be receptive to having
the vision-improving surgery, and top-of-the-line surgeons who
would be drawn to the high standards of LCA. Dzialo outlines
various steps taken to create a business model that would satisfy
both groups, and shareholders, too. He estimates the stock price
increased 30-fold, following the lows from post-Sept. 11.
If such achievements have veered far from the subject mat-
ter Dzialo pursued at WPI, they nevertheless connect to the
education he values. "I remember my Major Qualifying Project
with Joe D'Allesio and Rich Allen," he observes. "We worked
with Professor Fred Hart, studying the effluent from wastewater
treatment plants and looking for ways to reduce the potential
for creating chlorinated hydrocarbons. I don't know why I still
remember that project, as it wasn't especially brilliant (though
we did get an article about it published) and it really has noth-
ing to do with life since WPI. But we managed to find ways to
have fun during our classwork at WPI. Professor Hart was a
pretty inspirational but clear-eyed guy. A good role model."
Nowadays, it's Dzialo who serves as the role model, leading
teams on a different sort of quest: building a brand. "At Lee
and everywhere else, too, being a multidimensional thinker
is important," he says, ticking off practical, analytical, strategic,
and conceptual capabilities. "Lots of Aha! moments come when
someone discovers a significant conceptual similarity between
things, places, ideas, despite significant perceptual dissimilari-
ties." Such insights were needed when Dzialo came to Lee three
years ago. "It had become kind of sleepy," he recalls. In his
assessment, the product didn't fit that well, didn't look that
good, and didn't offer a favorable price-to-value ratio.
Dzialo goes on to plot out a path to achieving the goal of
a great brand. "You really need to know and value your target
customers," he says. "Then build products that delight them
at a price they find desirable. Then have a great back-and-forth
dialogue with them. Then convince a retail partner to help
distribute your product/service (if you're a wholesaler). And do
all this in a way that competition cannot easily duplicate. It's
There are two moments of truth when Dzialo wants to
win over the consumer: when that person makes the decision
to buy, and then, later on, when the customer chooses to use
the product. To learn more about these pivotal times, Dzialo
has gone one-on-one shopping with individuals, and has done
what he calls "show me your closet."
The enterprise has the sound of reality TV — retail style.
For Dzialo, it's just another facet of a professional life that clear-
ly still excites him. Unfazed by the current financial climate, he
declares, "The economy is punishing everyone, but especially
the weak or faint of heart. It can be a great opportunity for us,
done right. That is our goal at Lee."
Looking back over his 33 years since WPI, he adds, "My
career goals were and continue to be pretty simple: I want to
be part of a winning team. I want to be where the action is.
I want to be able to support my family and give back to my
community. And I want to have fun along the way."
Mission — so far — accomplished. D
Transformations \ Summer 2 009 33
Stay connected. Material for Class Notes comes from newspaper and magazine clippings, press releases, and information
supplied by alumni. Production schedules vary; please allow up to 6 months for your note to appear in print. We welcome your
news by: Web: wpi.edu/+Transformations Email: email@example.com Fax: 508-831-5820 Mail: Alumni Editor,
Transformations, WPI, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609-2280
Correction: Frank Bodurtha '42
lives in New London, N.H., not Connecti-
cut, as was stated in the previous issue of
Robert C. Taylor '46 is now retired.
Sidney Madwed '49 returned for
Reunion and shared the following. "Sixty
years out of Tech, I've found that the wisest
investment I or anyone can make is health
and happiness. I am now focused on shar-
ing from my life experiences about this
wisest of wise investments with others."
Andrew Andersen '51 lost his wife,
Joan, on July 3, 2009. She was the sister
of William Coffey '58
Philip Simon '53 lives in Vista, Calif.,
with his wife, Patricia Ann. After retiring
from IBM, he taught at National University
in San Diego and now runs his own
company, Simon Computer Information
Stanley Jorczak '54 is a retired project
Classmates mourned the loss of the wife of
Donald Ross '54. Prue died unexpect-
edly on June 1 4, at their home in New-
Wesley Wheeler '54 continues
as a marine consultant and shipyard repre-
sentative for Blohm + Voss Repair.
Roger Tancrell '56 is now retired.
Ronald Fuller '57 has retired and plans
to sell his home so he can enjoy his retire-
Jim Alfieri '59 is retired from a 50-year
career in construction management. He
and his wife, Janet, a retired physical
therapist, have three children and one
grandson. Jim runs marathons and half-
marathons to raise money for the Leukemia
& Lymphoma Society.
Bob Allen '59 began his career as a
navy officer. He flew with the British Royal
Navy, flew in Vietnam, had Pentagon duty,
and served as commander at the Guan-
tanamo Bay Naval Base from 1 983 to
1 985. After retiring from the Navy he
became an environmentalist for the state of
Virginia. "I now play tennis, volunteer at
church and with the Master Gardeners,
travel, and walk our sheepdog. My great-
est joys of life are my 47 years of mar-
riage to my wife, Linda, and my daughter
and son and five grandchildren."
Don Kirk '59 lives in Carmel, Calif.,
where he is involved in service activities
and enjoys golf, hiking, and bike riding.
"My wife and I spend summers at a small
house at Lake Almanor," he writes. "We
have three daughters and, finally, one
"Sixty years out of Tech, I've found that the wisest
investment I or anyone can make is health and
happineSS. " — Sid Madwed '49
Mohammad Amin '59 taught at the
University of Illinois at Champaign Urbana,
then spent the 1970s in Iran, where he did
academic and administrative work. He
worked for Sargent and Lundy Engineers in
from 1979 to 2008. In retirement he still
consults on structural problems of nuclear
plants. He and his wife, Gloria, live in
John "Pete" Bade '59 is joyfully
retired and makes his home in Sharon
Springs, N.Y. Married 48 years, he has
two sons and two grandchildren.
"Nine grandchildren keep us busy," writes
Peter Bertsch '59. He retired to North
Kingston, R.I., in 2000.
Clifford Daw '59 went to work for the
California Department of Transportation
right after graduation and retired in 2008.
He also served as a U.S. Army lieutenant
from 1960 to 1962. "Carolyn and I have
taken several trips since retiring," he
writes. "I remain active with the Knights of
Columbus. We're enjoying our grandson,
Devin, who recently turned two."
Len Dutram '59 worked for General
Electric and retired in 1993. "Retirement is
great," he writes. "I keep busy with sailing,
cruising, and cars."
Eli Dworkin '59 writes, "I have been
retired for 20 years. The highlight of my
retirement is spending every Thursday with
two of my five grandchildren. My future
plans are to stay alive."
Frank "Skip" Pakulski '59 retired
from IBM in 1 993. He taught physics at a
local high school and then became a full-
time tutor. "I enjoy challenging my seven
grandkids with math and physics posers,"
he writes. "My hobbies include astronomy
and watercolor painting. I also practice
Buddhism and mindfulness meditation."
George Schreiner '59 writes, "Proud of
my wife, Betty; children Mike, Andy, Tim,
and Meghan; and grandchildren
Andrew and Elisabeth."
Richard Brewster '60 returned from
his tenth trip to Africa in as many years as
head technician for Mercy Ships. Since re-
tirement he has served along with his wife,
Susan, a nurse.
Kenneth Parker '61 had a terrific party
in December with about 10 other members
of Phi Sigma Kappa in Providence. A great
time was had by all!
Veikko Uotinen '61 made a trip to
Myanmar and Thailand this winter.
Jesse Erlich '62, a partner in the law
firm of Burns & Levinson LLP, of Boston,
was once again named a Massachusetts
Super Lawyer, representing the top five
percent of New England attorneys. He was
honored by the Federal Laboratory Consor-
tium (FLC) with the 2008 Eastern Regional
Outstanding Service Award and the 2009
FLC Technology Transfer National Out-
standing Service Award.
3 4 Transformations \ Summer 2009
n the Public
Milton Meckler '54 commemorated the 40th anniversary of the Apollo 1 1 moon landing with a reflection on his involvement in mis-
sion. His 2000 article "Apollo 1 1 Moon Rocks Revisited" in ASHRAE Journal describes the challenges his firm surmounted in the
race to prepare the Geology Clean Laboratory at the University of California, Santa Barbara, to receive and analyze lunar geologic
samples collected by astronauts # Curt Carlson '67 took part in Tampa Bay Partnership's Global Technology Leaders
Roundtable, which was moderated by Len Polizzotto '70 • an interview with Ken Wadland '72, developer of the autorouting
algorithms and database architecture for OrCAD's PC-based PCB (printed circuit-board) schematic tool, appeared in EDN (Electronics
Design, Strategy, News) # the "Arubans in the News" section of the Repeating Islands blogsite (repeatingislands.com) spotlighted the
ongoing work of Ed Cheung '85 on NASA's Hubble Space Telescope # Michael Zaramba '87, president of Altron, was pro-
filed in the Washington Post # Mitch Sanders '88, founder and executive vice president of ECI Biotech, offered nontraditional
financing advice to startups in Inside Finance # NBC Nightly News interviewed Starbucks senior vice president Michelle Gass '90
on competitive strategy in the restaurant industry's "coffee wars" # Karen Tegan Padir '90 gave the keynote address at the 2009
MySQL Conference & Expo # Dave Andrade '92 highlighted WPI's project-based curriculum in his Tech & Learning magazine
blog for high-school teachers. Read more atwpi.edu/news/perspectives/techblog09.html # Lisa Sorgini '98, global director for
municipal strategic marketing for Siemens Water Technologies, was interviewed by WaterWorld magazine # Medical Design
magazine sought out Lisette Manrique '03 for her views on the status of women in the medical device industry in an article called
"Women engineers and execs speak out." (She was also one of the female engineers featured in PBS's "Engineer Your Life" campaign)
# an interview with Create a Comic founder John Baird '04 appeared in Carmine Magazine The Grand News Community
Newspaper covered his involvement in the 3rd annual Comic Making Tournament in New Haven, Conn.
Ronald Lemansky '63 is now retired.
Tom Newman '64 is retired from Tera-
dyne as vice president, corporate commu-
nications. Tom and his wife, Bonnie, live
on Lake Winnipesauke in New Hampshire.
He looks forward to traveling in his retire-
ment and continuing his WPI involvement
as a member of the Annual Fund Board.
Carl Youngman '64, chairman of
Youngman & Charm, was recognized by
Cambridge Who's Who for career excel-
lence. In addition to his work in investment
management, he teaches entrepreneurship
and business management at Babson
Worcester Regional Chamber of Com-
merce CEO Richard Kennedy '65 took
a stand on old-fashioned business cards in
a Worcester Business Journal article called
"Who Needs Linkedln?" "My archaic sys-
tem works for me," he said.
James Pierce '65 ran an uncontested
race for selectman in Sandwich, Mass.,
this year. After working for MIT Lincoln
Laboratories he retired from E. I. DuPont
Jerry Cronin '66 ('84 MBA) is now in
the Worcester area looking to work part
time and utilize his experience in motors,
controls, PLCs, and control cabinet compo-
nents. Contact him via alumniconnect.wpi
.edu for details and resume.
Asok Shah '66 (MSEE) was appointed
to the newly formed advisory board of
Curt Carlson '67 gave the 2008 com-
mencement address at Stevens Institute of
Technology, where he received an hon-
orary doctor of engineering degree.
Phillip Clark '67 ('72 MS) is president
of Clark Patterson Lee, an architecture and
engineering firm in Rochester, N.Y
John Tureck '67 is now retired.
Michael DiPierro '68 was honored at
Worcester's annual Character Counts
breakfast for his dedicated service as a
Boy Scout trustee and board member. He
is president and CEO of Baystone Corp.
in Shrewsbury, Mass.
Robert Horansky '68 is now retired.
Cary Palulis '68 was promoted to vice
president of lubricants for Harrison, N.Y.-
based Chemlube International. "I am still
based in Avon, Conn., where I live with
my wife, Susan. Our daughter, Lauren, is
now a second semester junior at Mount
Joseph Stahl '69 is a professor of engi-
neering at Holyoke College.
Paul Wolf '69 is semi-retired but still
doing part-time traffic engineering. "I've
spent the last two summers working at a
summer camp for senior citizens in upstate
New York, teaching computer skills and
escorting the guests on field trips to museums,
theatre productions, Tanglewood, etc."
Anthony Ruscito '70 went to Costa
Rica with his two oldest sons. He said it
was "the best trip ever."
James Kaufman '71 recently gave
laboratory safety training presentations in
India, Bahrain, Germany, and Japan.
Former football captain Mike Santora
'71 was inducted into the Grafton (Mass.)
High School Hall of Fame. He is town en-
gineer for Milford, Mass., a position he's
held for 25 years.
Stephen Siok '71 is retired from Gen-
eral Dynamics Electric Boat Division.
Neil Herring '72 works for Partners
Healthcare Systems in Boston. His daugh-
ter, Kate, is a legislative aide for Alaska
State Senator Hollis French.
Congratulations to Diane Gramer
Drew '73, winner of the Women in Inno-
vation Award for Large Business Innovation
and Leadership from the Connecticut Tech-
nology Council. She is manager of thermo/
aerodynamics at Hamilton Sunstrand in
Windsor Locks, Conn.
Maryann (Bagdis) Goebel '73 joined
Fiserv Inc. as executive vice president and
CIO. She is based in the company's Nor-
cross, Ga., office.
Donald Kunz '73 is a principal engi-
neer for Veeder Root Co. in Simsbury,
Transformations \ Summer 2009 35
= CLASS NOTES
Recent and new publications by WPI alumni, faculty, staff
^ Early Costa Mesa
mesa| by Mary Ellen and Art Goddard '63 Arcadia Publishing Images of
Vintage photographs document the history of three California farming
communities that evolved into a modern "City of the Arts," with world-
class performance and retail centers. Art, who recently retired from
Boeing Co., has lived in Costa Mesa with his wife, Mary Ellen, since 1977. Longtime
members of the Costa Mesa Historical Society, they have assigned all royalties and pro-
ceeds from the book to the Society for the preservation and promotion of the city's history.
My Italy. My Greece. Our Table.
by Elena Troia and Zino Vogiatzis '81 Published by the authors
Zino Vogiatzis, a native of Athens, fell in love with the rich diversity of
ethnic food in America when he first came to the U.S. as a WPI grad-
uate student. Two decades of cooking and conversations with his Ital-
ian neighbor led to a series of popular cooking classes, and then to
a cookbook that alternates Italian and Greek recipes based on similar
ingredients and includes menu suggestions for complementary dishes.
Zino, who holds an MBA from the University of Cincinnati, is a small
business consultant and founder of Alexander Consulting. He lives in
Maryland with his wife, C. Minje Martinez '82.
Jinda Maige and the Bone of Evil
by Jack Speight '84 CreateSpace
Jinda Maige came to life in Jack Speight's mind during the off season
from his job as owner and operator of the Robbins Motel in Bar Har-
bor, Maine. In the first book of the fantasy series, Jinda — a one-eyed,
one-eared tempest on one foot — sets out on a quest to retrieve four
magical bones, accompanied by an arrogant teenager who may
or may not possess the requisite power to bring the bones together.
Fast-paced storytelling (with some gruesome details) and compelling
characters quickly snare readers' attention. Speight is already at work
on the second book in the series.
Beverage Industry Microfiltration
by Nathan Starbard '03 Wiley-Blackwell
In this unique guidebook specifically geared to the beverage industry,
Starbard provides a wealth of information on all sectors of the market,
including the wine, beer, bottled water, spirits, dairy, soft drinks,
sports drinks, and juice industries. As Millipore Corp.'s manager for
the North American beverage market, he helps commercial customers
optimize all applications of their filtration technology operations. He
previously worked for E. & J. Gallo Winery.
'73 is director of the
Commonwealth of Vir-
ginia's Department of
General Services. He
was selected to judge
the 2008 Best of the
Best Awards for Engineering and News
ME Professor Holly (Keyes) Ault '74
was celebrated as a 2009 Woman of
Strength at WPI.
WPI alumni are
tion budget at
of facilities and
ning, served as project manager on the
university's recently completed Central
Heating Plant. Pat Daly '73, director of
physical plant, is responsible for powering
the Amherst campus — essentially a city of
30,000. The innovative combined heat
and power energy center, which replaces
a 60-year-old coal plant, won a Pacesetter
award from Combined Cycle Journal, and
was featured on WGBH-TV's "Making It
Stephen Page '74,
shareholder in the firm
of Page, Mrachek,
Fitzgerald & Rose, was
named in the Intellectual
Property and Commer-
cial Litigation cate-
gories of the 2008 edition of "The Best
Lawyers in America."
Peter Thacher '74 is based in Dhahran,
Saudi Arabia, where he plans capital proj-
ects for Saudi Aramco. He has enjoyed
sailing the Arabian Gulf in his Hobie 17,
skiing in Courchevel, France, and renovat-
ing his wife's house in Spain. "Anyone
from WPI who passes through the Middle
East is most welcome," he writes.
Schneider '77 (with husband, Ed Sc-
ciore) report reuniting after more than 30
years. "We found each other on WPI's
AlumniConnect site. We arranged a get
together with our spouses about a year
ago, and since then our families have
been getting together regularly for dinners,
dancing, and theatre events. We're still
catching up on 30 years of personal his-
tory. If you want to learn more about what
we have been up to, check out our profiles
executive vice president
James Rucci '75
celebrated 20 years
with the firm this year.
Kenneth Fox '77 works for NextEra
Energy in Seabrook, N.H.
Barry Hamilton '77 writes, "I am now
open to suggestions in my career, as a
Nantucket Yankee living in Exeter, Eng-
land, as well as Alva, Fla. My background
can be found at TechDoctor.com. I sure
miss WPI and teaching!"
Kenneth Steinhardt '78 is the vice
president and chief technical officer for
customer operations at EMC Corporation
in Hopkinton, Mass.
Richard Buckley '81 received the
2009 Harris Fellow Award from his em-
ployer, Harris Corp. A 25-year veteran
of the RF Communications Division in
Rochester, N.Y., he was honored for his
multiband radio communications designs.
Kristi Thompson '81 celebrated 10
years in business as owner/principal of
Sierra Associates (kristithompson.com).
Her daughter is now a freshman at Union
William Fay '83 is president of Swift
River Hydro Operations in Wilbraham,
Bob Marcotte '83 is operations man-
ager and concept developer for Marcotte
Both Class of '83, Kenneth and Dale
(DeLibero) Webber's oldest son, Kenny,
is a junior MIS major at Cedarville Univer-
sity in Ohio. Their youngest son, Danny, is
attending Belmont University in the fall as
an economics major.
"We all had a great time at Reunion 2009 and look
forward to coming back for the 30th." —josh Reed 84
Mary (Farren) McDonald '79 will
keynote the NOSHCON'09 conference in
South Africa, focusing on Occupational
Health and Safety. "I am thrilled to accept
this invitation, and can't wait to go to
Natal! My talk will be on 'Integrating
Management Standards for More Agile
Implementations (ISO 9001, ISO 14001,
and it was a
great opportunity for dear friends to
gather. From left, Wally Catanach '79,
Theresa, Michael Curry '80, with
Maggie (O'Keefe) '80 and Art Hug
EBV I David Lesser '80
' 1 I was appointed CEO of
The Simon Group Inc.
Karen Brock Amoah '84 is sales and
marketing manager for IPS Corporation's
Weld-On* structural adhesives.
Sharon (Keyes) Barrett '84 is enjoy-
ing participating in WPI's Women's Indus-
try Network. She is married to Kevin
Bob Korkuc '84 returned to campus to
sign copies of his book, Finding a Fallen
Jim Melvin '84 is president and chief
marketing officer for Apparent Networks
in Wellesley Hills, Mass.
Josh Reed '84 lives in Burlington
County, N.J., with his wife, Karen, and
their two daughters, Kirsten and Hannah.
"We all had a great time at Reunion 2009
and look forward to coming back for the
Jennifer Udall Roy '84 and Steven
Roy '83 are the proud new owners of
a horse. Steven is now working at BAE
Gail Anderson Tenney '85 is a soft-
ware release manager for IBM National
Software. Her husband, Douglas Ten-
ney '86, is a senior development engi-
neer with Smith and Nephew in Andover,
By Connie Horwitz, Assistant Director,
Career Development Center
Life and Career by Design
Design is a visual
word. I see visions of
and plans. It's a con-
crete object, a concept,
a strategy. What design
doesn't immediately in-
voke is its potential ap-
plication to life. We didn't design our family
origins, our natural aptitudes or deficiencies,
or the unexpected events that occurred as we
have lived and grown. Surely, we can look
back and boast about some personal design
elements, which I like to call 20/20 Design
Sight. It's our ability to discern, with a fair
measure of visual acuity, where we applied
the brush strokes of design. For most of us,
the most relevant application is career.
Designing one's career may seem a luxury
during these difficult times. But you can take
control of your design strategy by reflecting
on your work to determine if the weight of
your time on the activities you truly enjoy is
properly balanced with your other obliga-
tions. Take a look at your career thus far —
when you were most happy? What were you
doing? What projects or accomplishments
were the most fun and exciting? What does
your 20/20 Design Sight Analysis tell you?
And if you could apply a computer-aided
design tool, how would you re-draw your
How many times have you heard someone
say that their career was the result of luck?
If you probe further, you'll often find that the
element of luck is intersected with a persistent
sense of purpose, a site plan. What is your
positioning for the future — your 20/20 De-
sign Site Plan? If you could throw caution to
the wind and start over, where would you
go? It's your design to create — have at it.
Pick an entirely different environment and
imagine how you would bring out your desig-
nated capabilities in a completely new world.
And then, with a pinch of luck and a dose of
happenstance, imagine how much impact a
career by design might have in contributing
to a life by design after all.
If you wish to explore the elements of your
design, you are invited to contact the Career
Development Center for an in-person or
phone appointment at 508-831-5260 or
Contact Connie at firstname.lastname@example.org
= CLASS NOTES
Edward Childs 86
a portfolio services as-
sociate with Back Bay
Financial Group in
Boston earned his certi-
fied financial planner
John Jezowski '86,
a financial advisor for
Merrill Lynch Global
was elected chair of
the Board of Trustees
for Easter Seals Greater
Hartford Rehabilitation Center.
Mark Matulaitis '86 is a hardware de-
sign engineer for Tritel in Hudson, Mass.
FPE department head
'86 was named 2009
Outstanding Alumna by
St. Mary Academy-Bay
View. As the academy's
first graduate to attend
WPIshe paved the way for other young
women to choose careers in science and
Andrew Schwarz '86 works for Supply
Frame Inc. in McKinney, Texas.
Jeffrey Bloom '87 joined Dialogic
Media Labs as director, video technolo-
gies, in the company's Eatontown, N.J.,
Curt Duffy '87 is an adjunct instructor
at LA Pierce College. He recently pub-
lished a short story on storyglossia.com
Bill McCullen '87 is director of Launch-
Capital's Boston office.
^^^ I Dave Partridge '87
7 M was promoted to associ
I'- ~? ate at Tighe & Bond in
M Westfield, Mass.
Pisano '87 joined
Geo-lnsight Inc. as a
pliance specialist in the
Westford, Mass., office.
Brian Teague '87
was named a share-
holder in the Richmond,
Va., intellectual prop-
erty law firm of Thomas,
Raring & Teague, PC.
El Richard Davis '88
111 (MS) took office as pres-
*■ ident of SFPE for 2009.
I He is assistant vice pres-
I ident and senior engi-
I neering technical
I specialist at FM Globat.
Joseph Fitzgerald '88 works at
Praxair Inc. named Larry Megan '88
a corporate fellow in its industrial gases
research and development organization.
Joseph Tracy '88 was promoted to
president of Travelers Inland Maine, where
he has worked since 2006.
Donna DeFreitas '89 is a senior associ-
ate with Genesis Engineers in Pennsylvania.
Daniel Ericson'89 (MS EE) is principal
technologist for M/A-Com.
Heidi Franklin '89 is a marine
researcher at the University of Maine.
Jeff Goldmeer '89
and his oldest sons,
Ezra, 12, and Eitan, 8,
received their second-
degree black belts in
Tae Kwon Do in May.
On the day of testing,
the three Goldmeers broke four bricks and
22 wood boards. "The good news,"notes
Jeff, "...no broken bones!"
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When you link business, technology, and innovation,
something powerful happens.
WE CALL IT SUCCESS.
Today, businesses around the world face unprecedented challenges. More and more, they are hiring WPI MBAs to
turn these challenges into opportunities. They have learned that our graduates possess the rare ability to approach
opportunities from new angles, develop innovative solutions, and move organizations boldly forward.
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IR WOMEN 4 OF THE PAST 5 YEARS (THE PRINCETON REVIEW). A TOP 10 MBA PROGRAM FOR CAREER
508-831-5218 I wpi.edu/MBA
38 Transformations \ Summer 2009
THE DOLAN CHALLENGE
Your gift mokes an even greater impact
Trustee Mike Dolan 75 is challenging WPI alumni from the last 20 years (1990-2009)
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, 2010.
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: wpi.imodules.com/dolan
Fran Hoey '89, senior vice president of
Tighe & Bond, has become a LEED (Leader-
ship in Energy and Environmental Design)
Rebecca Hutnak Berchem is a senior
systems engineer with Raytheon NCS and
is married to David Berchem '06 (MS).
Julie Bolton was appointed vice presi-
dent of risk services for Zurich Canada,
part of the Zurich Financial Services
Christopher MacGregor works for
Scott Manchuso works in client devel-
opment for Boston-based Circles Inc.
Michael Pace is an associate vice
president of investments for Wells Fargo
Patrick Welge became president of
Controx Cutting tools in Springfield, Ohio,
Richard Willet is president and CEO of
NewPage Corp. in Miamisburg, Ohio.
Jason Kallio a self-described "edutai-
iner," entertains schoolchildren with his
magic act while educating them about seri-
ous subjects, such a bullying. His business,
"Say it With Magic," is based in Sutton,
Mass. See Jason in performance in the
News section of WPI's alumni site,
Suzanne (Mador) Sturm and her hus-
band, Jeff, live in Waterford, Conn. Sue
left her job at Millstone Nuclear Power
Station six years ago and now stays at
home raising their five daughters. "Yes,
five daughters, you read that correctly!"
she writes. "We are looking forward to
someday filling our own four-woman boat,
Hire a WPI alumnus, new graduate, or
student and you'll gain someone who i
globally minded, collaborative, innova
ready to contribute from Day One...
In other words, hire someone like YOU
Career Development Center
After 1 2 years of corporate and founda-
tion fundraising for WPI, Terry Schmidt
Adams has become WPI's K-l 2 outreach
program manager. She, her husband, and
their 8-year-old son live in Douglas, Mass.
Concetta DePaolo and her husband,
David Rader, are pleased to announce the
birth of their daughter, Abigail Marie, on
Feb. 10, 2009. Abby joins big sister
Megan, who is now 6.
Cosme Furlong (MS, '99 PhD) was pro-
moted to associate professor of mechanical
engineering and awarded tenure. He
joined the WPI faculty in 1999.
Jeff Mathieu has been working for Tetra
Tech, Inc. in Santa Maria, Calif., for 1 1
years. He has also been an instructing
Pollution Prevention at Cal Poly, San Luis
Obispo, for the past seven years.
Ellen (Madigan) Newman and her
husband, Ben, are excited to announce
the birth of their first child, Riley Elizabeth,
on Jan. 8, 2009. They live in East Cam-
bridge, Mass. Ellen works for the Stop &
Shop Supermarket Company headquarters
in Quincy as director of organizational
David Rostcheck works for Brinks Inc.
Christopher Cyr and his wife, Heather,
are pleased to announce that their 4-year-
old son, Nolan, became a proud big
brother to Elliot, who arrived in October
Aline (Sangrey) and Kevin Davis are
the proud parents of twins, Rachel and
Hope, born in 2006, and a son, Nathan,
born in September 2008.
Trans formations \ Summer 2 009 39
m CLASS NOTES
Ashton Kane works for Westside Animal
Hospital in New Hampshire.
Jason Johnson is production manager
at Karl Storz Corporation in Charlton, Mass.
Tom Dube joined
J. M. Coull in Maynard,
Mass., as vice president
of the company's pre-
Yin-Ying Lu and Nicholas Sushkin
'98 are the proud parents of Nathaniel, 5,
and Maya, 1 .
Jeff Mullen and his wife, Kerry, are
proud to announce the birth of their second
child, Olivia Ann, born Jan. 9, 2009. She
joins a very excited big sister Julia, age 4.
Michelle (Bruneau) Atchison is a
global trial leader in Pennsylvania. She
and her husband celebrated the arrival of
their second child, a boy, last year.
Weston Clarke is a software engineer
with Sepaton Inc. in Marlborough, Mass.
Sameer Junaid is a clinical neurophysi-
ologist for Surgical Monitoring Associates.
Michael Driscoll conducted Chorus pro
Musica in March, in a program of Bach
and Handel, which also featured the
Boston premiere of a contemporary piece
by Jonathan Dove. After earning a mas-
ter's degree at New England Conserva-
tory, he launched a new career conducting
several Boston-area choral groups.
Flavia Souto Pastore is a senior quality
engineer at iRobot in Bedford, Mass.
Keith Strang is a hardware engineer
with LSI Logic.
Erik Thomas was honored by the arts
community in Waterville, Maine, for his
work in transforming a foreclosed depart-
ment store into a cultural center and mobi-
lizing a coalition of corporate and
nonprofit organizations to support it. He
received the William R. Cotter Award for
community service, named for a former
Colby College president. Thomas, an
active volunteer on the civil and cultural
scene, owns Digital Image Works and The
Blue Marble Gallery.
Peter Turek works at Marshall Space
Douglas Cloutier is demand manager
for The Timken Company.
Matthew Johnson and Melissa Clark
'99 welcomed a son, Shane, in October
Jeremy Johnstone is happily tweeting,
blogging, and enjoying life in Maryland.
Prudence (Martin) and Aaron Jones
welcomed a baby boy, Quinton Connor, in
August 2007. They live in Portland,
Ichiro Lambe is president of Dejobaan
Games. He returned to WPI last year to
teach a master class in WPI's Interactive
Media and Game Development (IMGD)
program last year. He shared his enthusi-
asm for his career with students in a pres-
entation called "Make the Most Happy
Game in the Whole World," noting that he
aspires to become the Walt Disney of the
Eduardo Oliveira is a senior applica-
tions engineer for Vicor Corp. in Andover,
Soucek and her hus-
band, Paul, welcomed
their first child, Sofia
Emine, on Jan. 25,
Family and friends gathered to witness the
marriage of Leigh Anderson to Michael
Cooke on July 26, 2008. The couple
honeymooned in Stowe, Vt., and currently
resides in Perth Amboy, N.J. Leigh is com-
pleting a dietetic internship through the
University of Medicine and Dentistry of
Janet Burge received an NSF CAREER
grant for her research on a Rational Man-
agement System to capture design deci-
sions during software development. She
is a computer science professor at Miami
University in Oxford, Ohio. Read about
Janet's work with CS professor Dave
BACK TO TECH
Mark your calendars now! All alumni
are welcome to attend Homecoming 2009.
Reunion activies are planned for these classes:
1994, 2004, and 2009
Friday, October 30
> Hall of Fame Inductions:
Larry Penoncello '66, Garrett Trombi
'85, John Loonie '87, Jonathan Pires
'00, and Kerri Coleman Oldmixon '03
Saturday, October 3 1
> Alumni Association Awards Ceremony:
Michael Bruce '94, Ted Dysart '94,
Bob Mason '94, Warren Smile '94,
and Harry Wotton '94
> Conversation with President Berkey
> Activities for all ages on the Quad
> Homecoming Parade of Floats
> WPI Football vs. Hobart College
CHECK YOUR MAIL SOON FOR COMPLETE HOMECOMING 2009 REGISTRATION INFORMATION.
Questions? Please call the WPI Alumni Relations Office at 508-831-5600 or log on to alumni.wpi.edu/reunion.
New Faces in Development/Alumni Relations
Aubrey Valley, associate director of
alumni relations, is leading WPI's
Alumni Chapter and Club and the Grad-
uates of the Last Decade programs. She
also coordinates Homecoming, annual
events at Tanglewood and the Boston
Museum of Science, and on-campus
events geared toward alumni families.
She also oversees the online presence for the Alumni Relations
Office. • Valley brings to WPI strong marketing and com-
munications expertise. Most recently, she served as a market-
ing communications professional at Hypertronics Corp. in
Hudson, Mass., and has held numerous positions in higher
education including Nichols College, Suffolk University, and
the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.
Audrey Klein-Leach, executive director
of planned giving, directs efforts to
strengthen and grow the university's
t planned giving program. She works with
WPI alumni and friends who are inter-
ested in giving to the university through
a deferred gift, such as a bequest, Chari-
table Gift Annuity, and Charitable Re-
mainder or Lead Trust. She also advises staff and volunteers
regarding deferred gift options. • Klein-Leach has extensive
experience as a trust officer and development professional.
Prior to joining WPI, she was vice president and trust officer
at U.S. Trust/Bank of America Private Wealth Management in
Worcester, she was also the first full-time development and
communications officer at the Greater Worcester Community
Foundation. In addition, she has held development positions
at Concord Academy in Concord, Mass., and The Nature
Maria Mike-Mayer, executive director
of corporate and foundation relations, is
responsible for planning and implement-
ing a comprehensive engagement strategy
for corporations and foundations. Work-
ing closely with senior administrators
and faculty, she will promote substantive
interactions with industry and philan-
thropic agencies to secure resources for WPI and establish
long-term, productive relationships. • Mike-Mayer comes
to WPI with expertise in both corporate grant-making and
development. At Tufts Medical Center in Boston, she estab-
lished a new and successful corporate and foundation rela-
tions unit. Prior to that, she served as director of corporate
and foundation relations at Boston College, and director of
corporate relations and interim director of foundation rela-
tions at Yale University. She gained firsthand knowledge of
foundations while managing Texaco Inc.'s worldwide corpo-
rate contributions program, but was also secretary of the
Texaco Foundation. Through a program that loaned the
expertise of Texaco executives to United Way, Mike-Mayer
spent three months in Europe establishing United Way of
Hungary, a rewarding experience that motivated her career
change to the nonprofit sector.
James and Gisela (Field) Carlson
welcomed a son, Benjamin, in November
Jennifer Copponi is a structural engi-
neer at Ocean and Coastal Consultants
ated from the Air
Force Test Pilot
School at Ed-
Calif. He is the
third WPI alum-
nus to complete
the course in the
past three years. He was also recently pro-
moted to major and will be spending the
next three years in Southern California,
where he will be flight testing new
weapons and systems integration on F-16
Brittany (Noga) and Eugene Camp-
bell '01 welcomed a son, Cole Raleigh,
in July 2008.
David Maxson is a senior investment
officer at ACCION International.
Alex Knapp writes for "Outside the
Beltway," an online political journal.
A graduate of the University of Kansas
School of Law, he is a self-described politi-
cal, philosophic, and pop culture junkie.
Jennifer Headman Van Vleet com-
pleted her PhD in microbiology at the
University of Wisconsin-Madison in April
2009 and relocated to Visalia, Calif.
In his second promotion in a year,
Michael Quigley has been named a
principal of WB Engineers Consultants.
Michael Dorval married Nadia Saleh,
Oct. 1 1 , 2008. He is a fire protection
engineer with ESPN in Bristol, Conn.
Brian LaPlume is an electrical and
systems engineer for Raytheon in San Jose,
Gosia Machate was named a New
Face of Engineering by the National Engi-
neering Week Foundation. Nominated by
ASME, she works for the Naval Undersea
Warfare Center in Newport, R.I.
Caitlin Callaghan (MS, '06 PhD) re-
ceived the degrees of juris doctor and mas-
ter of environmental law and policy from
Vermont Law School in May. She will be
working for the American Association for
the Advancement of Science as a science
and technology fellow at the U.S. EPA Of-
fice of Policy, Economics, and Innovation.
Edward SaiChung Lo is a test engineer
with Draper Labs in Cambridge, Mass.
John Chrzanowski has a new home
in Marlborough, Mass., and is newly
Tom Daly and Jeremy Hitchcock's
company, Dynamic Network Services Inc.
of Manchester, N.H., released its new
global server load balancing system,
Dynect Traffic Management.
Adam Flaherty is an instructor pilot with
the U.S. Air Force in Columbus.
Andrew Freeman is a software engi-
neer with Aastar Telecom USA.
Transformations \ Summer 2 009 41
= CLASS NOTES
Sarah Bellfy Koniers received her
VMD from the University of Pennsylvania's
School of Veterinary Medicine in May. She
will be working with VCA Northside Ani-
mal Hospital in Bethlehem, Pa.
Andrew Mellors is a software devel-
oper at BMC Software in Lexington, Mass.
Michael Orrel and Nicole McMahon
had a healthy baby boy recently.
Elisa Rodriquez is a lab manager and
research assistant with Caritent Therapeu-
tic in New Haven, Conn.
Daniel Rucci is a software engineer at
IBM in Boston, Mass.
Jillian (OToole) and John Urban '03
welcomed a son, Quinn Thomas, in August
Hunter Bennett-Daggett joined
Weston & Sampson in Portsmouth, N.H.
Matthew Chowaniec and Jessica
Blanchette '07 were married Oct. 1 1 ,
2008. Matthew is a biomedical engineer
for Covidien, and Jessica works for Ave-
rion, monitoring clinical trials. They live in
Jack Coyne is an electrical engineer with
Stoneridge Technology in Maryland.
The marriage ceremony on Oct. 1 7,
2008, of Sean Hoey and Elizabeth
Szafarowicz '06 included classmates
Rebecca (Nacewicz) Hallinan, An-
gela Martino, and Gilead Ziemba in
the wedding party. They currently reside in
Franklin, Mass. Sean is a project superin-
tendent with Northern Construction, and
Elizabeth is a project engineer with Gale
Michael LaBossiere married Katherine
Ames at Higgins House on June 28, 2008.
They honeymooned at Disney World and
live in Littleton, Mass.
Jonathan Meredith is president of
Meredith Enterprises Management in
Marek Twarog is an independent con-
sultant with Plymouth Rock Assurance Co.
Bardio Alavi works for Cisco.
Air Force 1 st Lt. Rececca Casey was
named 50th Space Wing and Team
Schriever Company Grade Officer of the
Year for 2008. She is chief of military
strategic and tactical relay operations,
weapons, and tactics.
Lieutenant (jg) Matthew C. Currid was
recently designated a naval flight officer.
He received his "Wings of Gold" after
completing the Advanced Jet Navigation
Course with Training Squadron 21 , Naval
Air Station, Kingsville, Texas.
Michael Lundy works in the Robotics
Division of NASA in California.
Jason Overson is thrilled with the pur-
chase of his new condo in Manchester, N.H.
married May 23,
Daniel Torrey works in tech support with
Hewlett-Packard in Spain.
Jessica Clark is an analyst with IMPAQT.
She is recently engaged to be married.
Timothy Connor is a business systems
analyst with Mass Mutual Life Insurance Co.
and Paul Mar-
chetti '05 are
plan to marry in
soon moving to
London to join
her fiance, Taku
family has been
close friends with hers for generations.
Batz recently completed a master's degree
in epidemiology and intends to pursue a
medical degree in England.
Suzanne Peyser, a civil engineer in
Woburn, Mass., office of GEI Consultants,
recently passed the LEED (Leadership in
Energy and Environmental Design) exam
Jessica Rosewitz just got back from
Larry Sartoris has spent the last few
years working at Raytheon in California.
He was married in October 2007.
Catherine Casey is a graduate student
at Dartmouth College.
2nd Lt. Kyle Dedmon is stationed in
Eric DeLuca is an application engineer
at ITW Devcon in Danvers, Mass.
Timothy Ebner is an R&D engineer with
Covidien in New Haven, Conn.
Ryan Graves completed Naval Officer
Training School and was commissioned
with the rank of ensign. He is continuing
naval aviation training in Pensacola, Fla.
Robert Groezinger is a process consult-
ant with OMKT, LLC.
Ryan Hollister is a system engineer with
Hamilton Sunstrand Corp. in Connecticut.
Jennifer Hosker works at FCI in New
Hai Ling is an analyst at Sunlight Financial.
Marty Maccaferri received a master's
in mechanical engineering from WPI in
May 2009 and starts work at GE in the fall.
Paul Moran is back at WPI as a grad
Devin Oakes married Oliver Salmon
Dec. 28, 2008. After a honeymoon in
Acadia, Maine, they live in Alexandria, Va.
Lee Pappas works for Gilbane Building
Co. in Providence, R.I.
Vincent Ran is an associate product de-
velopment engineer at Atrium Medical
Corp. in Hudson, Mass.
Michael Richard stayed on at WPI to
earn his master's in civil engineering
through the BS/MS program. He was a TA
in the CE department and graduated in
May 2009. He will spend the next three
years at the University of Pittsburgh to get
his PhD in CE.
Sean Waithe is working at Immedia in
James Yasuhara is a design engineer
for Lineur Technologies in Grass Valley,
David Beal is a civil engineer with
Vanasse Daylor in Fort Myers, Fla.
In the spirit of
WPI BY DESIGN
What do you think?
42 Trans fo r mat ions | Summer 2 009
Charles H. Cole '30 (Sigma Phi Epsilon)
of Pompano Beach, Fla., died Nov. 21,
2008. His wife, Charlotte (Flagg), died in
2001 . Four children survive him. A long-
time employee of Standard Oil, he over-
saw construction of the Amway Refinery in
Caracas, Venezuela, and retired as a refin-
Philip J. Foster '35 (Alpha Tau Omega)
of Eliot, Maine, died Nov. 20, 2008. He
worked for Mutual Benefit Life Insurance
Co. and was a certified financial planner.
Predeceased by his wife, Doris (Loehr) Fos-
ter, he leaves two children.
Alfred C. Ekberg
'36 (Phi Sigma Kappa)
of Indianapolis, Ind.,
died March 1 2, 2009.
He leaves his wife of
22 years, Leslie
(Shippey), and a step-
daughter. He was retired from Adams Ma-
A. Hamilton "Ham" Gurnham '36
(Sigma Phi Epsilon) died July 29, 2008, in
Hilton Head, S.C. His wife, Martha, died
in 1998. Four sons survive him. He retired
from the Country School as business man-
Lucian T. Allen '38 (Phi Gamma Delta),
former owner of Rockport Marine in
Maine, died April 6, 2008. Predeceased
by his wife, Norma, he leaves four chil-
Norman C. Coffin '38 of Melbourne,
Fla., died Dec. 3, 2008. He was retired
from Allied Chemical Co. Survivors include
his wife, Norma, and his two children by
his first wife, Jean.
Richard J. Donovan '38 of Winches-
ter, Mass., died July 1 1 , 2008. He leaves
his wife, Sally (Mittiga), and two children.
He founded Richard J. Donovan Inc., a
design and construction firm.
William D. Holcomb '38 (Phi Gamma
Delta) of Lake Forest, III., died Feb. 27,
2009. He was the founder, president, and
later chairman of Homaco Inc. (now part
of Wiremold), which grew to more than
200 employees. Holcomb leaves his wife,
Beulah, and a son.
Francis B. "Bill" Ritz '38 of Claremont,
Calif., died Jan. 20, 2008. He was retired
from Pittsburgh-Des Moines Steel Co. Three
children survive him.
Henry M. Ritz '38, retired president,
treasurer, and CEO of R & R Plumbing,
Worcester, died Feb. 4, 2007. Known to
classmates as "Big Ritz," he was the cousin
of Francis "Little Ritz" '38, who died last
year. He leaves his wife, Roslyn (Schorr),
and three children.
John W. Sutcliffe
'38 of Harrisville,
N.H., died Dec. 10,
2008. He leaves his
(Getchell), and a
daughter. He was a
retired project engineer for Engineering
Eugene L. Gravlin '39 (Phi Kappa
Theta) of Peoria, Ariz., died Sept. 25,
2007. He is survived by his wife, Ella
(Dunn), and three children. He was retired
from Knapp Shoe Co. as vice president of
the Safety Shoe Division.
William F. Payne '39 of St. Augustine,
Fla., died March 27, 2008. He leaves his
wife, Shirley, and two children. He was
predeceased by two sons. Payne was re-
tired from the former Singer-Kearfott Corp.
as a navigation systems engineer.
George F. George '41 of Hillsboro
Beach, Fla., died May 26, 2008. He
leaves his wife, Mae (Kouri), and two sons.
He was predeceased by a son. After work-
ing in the electronics industry, he founded
George Associates Real Estate Develop-
Arthur H. Allen '42 (Lambda Chi
Alpha) of Hopedale, Mass., died Oct. 28,
2008. Husband of the late Barbara (Leet),
he is survived by two daughters. He was
retired from a 25-year career with Draper
John M. Bartlett '42 (Lambda Chi
Alpha) died Dec. 24, 2008. Predeceased
by his wife, Genevieve (Mitchell), he
leaves two sons and a daughter. Bartlett
joined the Navy after graduation and
served in the Naval Reserve as a captain
until 1980. He retired from Precision Kidde
Steel Co. and founded Bartlett Engineering.
Mitchell Lerer '42 (Alpha Epsilon Pi)
died May 9, 2009. He leaves his wife,
Phyllis (Yavner), and a daughter. He was
founder of Belvidere Wine Co. in Lowell,
Francis J. Oneglia '42 of Harwinton,
Conn., and West Palm Beach, Fla., died
Nov. 26, 2008. He was the retired presi-
dent of O & G Industries, the diversified
construction company co-founded by his
father in 1923. Survivors include his wife,
Louisa (DaRoss), and two sons. Oneglia
was a 1 992 recipient of the Robert H.
Goddard Alumni Award for Outstanding
Professional Achievement and a member
of the WPI Athletic Hall of Fame.
Gordon H. Ray-
mond '42 of
died Dec. 9, 2008. A
loyal member of Phi
Sigma Kappa, he took
pride in the fact that the
fraternity house telephone was listed in his
name many years after he left WPI. His sur-
vivors include his wife, Shirley (Erickson),
and two daughters. Raymond was the re-
tired vice president of engineering for the
Electrolux Vacuum plant in Greenwich,
Philip J. Walker '42 (Theta Chi) of
Harrisburg, Pa., died Aug. 16, 2008. He
leaves his wife, Helen, and three children.
Walker was retired from AMP Inc. as a
Samuel W. Williams '42 (Alpha Tau
Omega) of Manlius, N.Y., died July 23,
2008, leaving his wife, Lila (Waring), and
two children. He was the retired chairman
and director of O'Brien & Gere.
Robert E. Gordon '43 died Nov. 15,
2007, at his home in Easthampton, Mass.
He was retired from Monsanto Co. Prede-
ceased by his wife, Eunice, he leaves two
Chester E. Holmlund '43 (Lambda Chi
Alpha) of Brevard, N.C., died Sept. 29,
2008. He leaves his wife, Kay, and two
children. He was a retired chemistry pro-
fessor at the University of Maryland.
Arthur E. Lindroos '43 (44 MS) of
Sandwich, Mass., died May 29, 2008. He
earned a doctorate in chemical engineer-
ing from Yale University and specialized in
research and development of pharmaceuti-
cals and plastics. He retired as director of
engineering for Bestfoods. His wife, Helen
(Nieminen), and four children survive him.
Albert J. Piatt '43 of Framingham,
Mass., died Sept. 5, 2008. He was retired
from The Richie Organization, Architects
and Engineers, as vice president. Survivors
include his wife, Alice (Wood), and two
Burton G. Wright '43 of Lanesbor-
ough, Mass., died March 20, 2008. His
wife, Beverly (Buck), died in 1992. Four
sons survive him. Wright joined the Navy
in 1942 and served in the reserves until
1962. He retired from General Electric
with 35 years of service.
Nicholas N. Economou '44 (Alpha
Tau Omega) of Rogersville, Mo., died Feb.
5, 2008. He leaves his wife, Eleanor
(Foley) and five children. He was the re-
tired owner of Western Road Machinery
Transformations \ Summer 2009 43
Richard G. Holden '44 (Lambda Chi
Alpha) of Newark, N.J., died Dec. 21,
2008. He was an electrical engineer for
the former Singer-Kearfott Corp. Prede-
ceased by his wife, Hedwig (Berthold), he
leaves four children.
John W. Fondahl '45 (Lambda Chi
Alpha) of Los Altos Hills, Calif., died Sept.
13, 2008, leaving his wife, Doris-Jane
(Plishker), and three children. He joined
the civil engineering faculty of Stanford
University in 1955 and retired as professor
Robert W. Lotz '45
(Lambda Chi Alpha) of
tf£^ | Darien, Conn., died
Aug. 19, 2008. He
leaves his wife, Betty
(Borgeson), and two
children. He was retired
as RND engineer for Printing Develop-
ments, a subsidiary of Time-Warner.
Robert E. Powers '45 of Red Bank,
N.J., died Sept. 7, 2008. He leaves his
wife, Helen (Spirkowyc), and a son. He
worked for Bell Labs and Western Electric.
John Lorenz '46 of Cincinnati, Ohio,
died March 25, 2008. A former quality
control engineer for General Electric Co.,
he is survived by his wife, Mildred (Clark),
and five children.
Former Alpha Tau Omega president
Robert C. Manahan '46 of Hudson,
Fla., died Sept. 8, 2008. He was a long-
time manager for Johns Manville. Prede-
ceased by his first wife, Mary Jo, in 1982,
he leaves his wife, Connie (Wakenshaw),
and eight children.
Albert H. Rawdon '46 (47 MSME)
(Phi Sigma Kappa) of Kingston, Mass.,
died Nov. 19, 2008. He leaves his wife,
Constance (Paul), and two children. He
was retired from Riley Stoker Corp., where
he served as director of research and de-
Charles M. Richardson '46 (Sigma
Alpha Epsilon) of South Setauket, N.Y.,
died March 1 3, 2008. Predeceased by his
wife, Mildred, he is survived by three chil-
dren. He retired from UNISYS Corp. and
founded The Literacy Council to advocate
for efficient methods for teaching reading
Goettman '47 of
Benson, N.C., died
Nov. 16, 2008. An
electrical engineer, he
taught, worked in pri-
vate practice, and later
Trustee Emeritus John C. S. Fray '64, a former professor at the
UMass Medical School Department of Physiology, died unexpect-
edly on Aug. 3, 2007, in Jamaica. An advocate for minority stu-
dents with an aptitude for the sciences, he founded the Thoth
Program for Science Education Training in Jamaica in 1994. He
leaves his wife, Jean King Fray, three children, and a grandson.
Trustee Emeritus Francis S. Harvey '37 died March 1 9, 2009,
at the age of 94. He was founder and chairman of Harvey &
Tracy Associates, a Worcester-based engineering and architec-
tural firm, and a leading force in revising the Worcester, Boston,
and state building codes to provide greater protection for the pub-
lic. A former Alumni Association president, Harvey received the
Herbert F. Taylor Alumni Award for Distinguished Service in 1973
and an honorary doctorate in 1 986. He leaves two daughters,
two sons, and seven grandchildren. He was predeceased by his
first wife, Genevieve Fanning in 1 989; his second wife, Pauline
Shields Harvey, in 2001 ; and his son Paul in 1994.
Full obituaries may be read at wpi.edu/News/Memoriam
retired from Lorillard Corp. His wife,
Dorothy, and four children survive him.
Teddy J. Morawski
'47 of Cary, N.C.,
died Dec. 1 , 2008. Pre-
deceased by his wife,
Lorraine (Trask), he
leaves two children.
After 30 years with the
Federal Highway Administration he retired
as division engineer for the state of North
Frederick A. "Mike" Curtis Jr. '48 of
Fort Worth, Texas, died May 1 , 2008. He
was retired from General Dynamics, Fort
Worth Division, as vice president of spe-
cial assignments. His first wife, Constance
(Rheaume), died in 1 987. He was also
predeceased by a daughter. He is survived
by his wife, Rose (Miller), two sons and a
William S. Dorman Sr. '48 (Phi Kappa
Theta) of Tulsa, Okla., died Oct. 27, 2008.
A patent attorney, he also served as an ad-
junct professor of law at the University of
Tulsa. Survivors include his five children.
Norman M. French '48 of West Boyl-
ston, Mass., died Jan. 7, 2009. He leaves
his wife of 20 years, Gail (Flagg), three
children, and three stepchildren. His first
wife, Anne (Swicker) died in 1982. He
was also predeceased by a stepson.
French was retired from Applied Plastics as
a quality & manufacturing engineer.
Carroll B. Church '49 (Sigma Alpha Ep-
silon) of San Jose, Calif., died July 1 4,
2008. He leaves his wife, Peggy (Pellerin),
and a son. He worked for the Santa Clara
Valley Water District for 30 years.
Peter J. Dalton '49 (Theta Chi) of West
Hartford, Conn., died Dec. 22, 2008. He
founded Peter J. Dalton and Assoc, and re-
tired in 2006. His wife, Justine (Gorman)
died in 2006. Five children survive him.
Gordon G. Duncan '49 of North Palm
Beach, Fla., died April 12, 2008. He
leaves his wife, Judith, and two children.
Duncan retired from Pratt & Whitney Air-
craft after 28 years of service.
Donald G. Weikman '49 (Phi Gamma
Delta) of Katy, Texas, died Sept. 8, 2008.
He was a retired vice president of Ten-
nessee Gas Pipeline Co. He leaves his
wife, Suzanne, and three children.
Louis J. Bauer '50 (Phi Kappa Theta) of
Port Richey, Fla., died Jan. 27, 2009. He
was retired from a 33-year career with
Norton Co. His wife, Rosemary, and five
children survive him.
Stanley Friedman '50 (Alpha Epsilon
Pi, Skull) of Ventura, Calif., died March 9,
2008. He leaves his wife, Sharon, and
three children. He was the retired vice
president of ITT Industries Inc.
Former Class Board president Daniel J.
Harrington Jr. '50 (Sigma Alpha Ep-
silon), died Dec. 29, 2008. He was the re-
tired president of Sunnyside Motor Co. in
Holden, Mass. He leaves his wife, Ann
(Oliver), and three children.
R. Ross Chapin Jr. '50 (Phi Sigma
Kappa) of Readington Township, N.J.,
died Oct. 4, 2008. He leaves his wife,
Phyllis (Spooner), and three children. He
was retired from Beecham Laboratories as
a chemical engineer.
Laurent C. Jutras '51 (Alpha Tau
Omega) of Amesbury, Mass., died Sept.
2 1 , 2008. A meter reader and lineman
44 Transformations \ Summer 2 009
in his college years, he spent almost four
decades with New England Power Ser-
vices, retiring as a division manager. His
wife, Leona (Ouellette), and seven children
Robert E. Baker '52 (Phi Sigma Kappa)
died April 6, 2008. He leaves his wife,
Evelyn (Suutari), and three children. A
graduate of Tufts Dental School, he lived
and practiced in Marblehead, Mass., for
almost 50 years.
John F. Burke '52 (Phi Kappa Theta)
of San Diego, Calif., died July 1 6, 2008.
Predeceased by his wife, Florence, in
2004, he leaves three children. Burke
taught electronics at Wilson Technical
School and served on the Deer Park (N.Y.)
Bruce S. Campbell '52 (Sigma Phi
Epsilon) of Livingston, La., died Dec. 19,
2008. He leaves his wife, Joy, two chil-
dren, and six stepchildren. He was prede-
ceased by a daughter. Campbell was a
mechanical engineer who specialized in
construction of commercial and heavy
Robert C. Henegan '52 (Lambda Chi
Alpha) of Margate, Fla., died Nov. 21,
2008. He was an electrolytic engineer and
production manager for General Instrument
Corp. He leaves his wife, Ruth, and four
sons. He was predeceased by a son.
Donald J. Kranz '52 (Lambda Chi
Alpha) of Waltham, Mass., died March
28, 2008. He was a retired accountant
for Raytheon Corp.
Albert C. Nasitano '52 of Cherry Hill,
N.J., died May 19, 2008. He was retired
from the New Jersey Department of Sys-
tems and Communications. He is survived
by two sisters.
J. Hamilton Givan '55 of West Boyl-
ston, Mass., died Sept. 25, 2007. He
leaves his wife, Patricia (Hedlund), and
two children. He was owner and operator
of Givan Associates Inc. and product sales
manager at David Clark Co.
Christopher R. Collins '56 (Alpha Tau
Omega) of Arnold, Md., died May 22,
2008. He was retired from Westinghouse
Electric Co., where he worked in the de-
fense electronics business. He leaves his
wife, Josephine, and four children.
Andrew Manzi '56 of San Diego,
Calif., died Oct. 4, 2008, leaving his
wife, Ruth (Hines), and two children. He
was retired from the Convair Division of
Roy F. Bourgault '42, emeritus professor of mechanical engi-
neering, died May 22, 2009, in Hampstead, N.C. A member of
the WPI faculty from 1 957 to 1 985, Bourgault became a recog-
nized expert in the field of failure analysis. He is also remembered
as an unsung hero of the WPI football team who rallied more than
a thousand supporters to keep the program going. He leaves three
sons, a daughter, six grandchildren, and his dear friend of the last
few years, Ruth M. Best. He was predeceased by his wife, Betty
Mae (Arp) Bourgault.
George E. Stannard '43, professor emeritus of electrical and
computer engineering, died Nov. 15, 2008. He earned a mas-
ter's degree on electrical engineering at MIT before joining the
WPI faculty in 1946. He was in charge of the ECE department's
first computer, an analog device and foresaw the limitless potential
of the new machine a half-century ago, declaring that "its possibil-
ities are practically limitless." Stannard retired in 1986. His sur-
vivors include his wife, Katherine Stannard, two sons, a daughter,
and two step-grandsons.
Walter A. Kistler '68, emeritus professor of mechanical engi-
neering, died Dec. 12, 2008. His wife, Joyce B. Kistler, died
March 25, 2009. Three sons and three grandchildren survive
them. A graduate of Clark University, Kistler taught in the ME
department from 1954 to 1994. He also consulted with numerous
Full obituaries may be read at wpi.edu/News/Memoriam
Michael Spiegel '57
(Alpha Epsilon Pi) of
Milwaukie, Ore., died
Dec. 21,2007. He
leaves wife, Sue (Lead-
ingham), three children,
and two stepchildren.
He taught drafting at vocational schools in
New Hampshire and Oregon and worked
for York Electronics.
Kenneth W. Clay '58, founder of
Spring Lake Products, died Oct. 4, 2007,
in St. Cloud, Minn. Survivors include his
wife, Marjorie (Webber), and three chil-
Bernard T. Cournoyer '58 (SIM) of
Holden, Mass., died Sept. 28, 2007. He
is survived by his wife, Philomena (Risi),
and four children. Cournoyer earned 1 7
patents in his years as design supervisor
for Wright Line.
Robert M. Kanen '58 (Theta Chi) of
Long Valley, N.J., died Dec. 30, 2008. His
career in electronics included HRB Singer,
Wager Electronics, and Bellcore. He
leaves his wife, Lynne, and three sons.
Neil T. Buske '59 (Phi Sigma Kappa)
died April 1 2, 2009, at his home in Syra-
cuse, N.Y. He is survived by his wife, Anne
(Worboys), and two daughters. He was re-
tired from Niagara Mohawk Power Corp.
as manager of the Central Engineering
Joel T. Callahan '59 of Lincoln, Calif.,
(Sigma Alpha Epsilon) died July 29, 2008.
He leaves his wife, Phyllis, and two chil-
dren. He retired from the Army Corps of
Engineers as a lieutenant colonel, then
worked as an engineering consultant.
Leo F. Cournoyer '59 (Theta Chi) of
Roseville, Calif., died June 26, 2009. He
worked for the Santa Clara Valley Water
District from 1974 to 1995 and retired as
water supply manager. He leaves his wife,
Lorraine (Roy) and two daughters. His wife
draped his 50-Year Associate medal from
WPI over his funeral urn.
John K. Sjogren '59 (SIM) of Irvine,
Calif., died Oct. 27, 2007, at age 86. His
wife, Patricia, survives him.
Roy A. Benson Sr. '61 (SIM) of
Worcester died Sept. 5, 2008, at age 92.
He was a retired machine shop superin-
tendent. He leaves his wife, Mildred
(Ewing), and three children.
Edward F. Dowling '61 (Sigma Alpha
Epsilon) of Forest, Va., died Oct. 7, 2008.
A nuclear controls engineer, he retired
from Framatome in 1998. Survivors in-
clude his wife, Rita (Fortier), and five chil-
Vincent A. Kost '61 of Longboat Key,
Fla., died July 20, 2008. He was the
brother of Robert Kost '65. He worked for
United Illuminating Co.
Transformations \ Summer 2009 45
Paul E. Nordborg '61 died at his home
in Holden, Mass., on Jan. 16, 2009. He
leaves his wife, Penelope (Bissonnette),
and two children. He worked as a senior
system analyst for Norton Co. and later be-
came an independent consultant for Liberty
Garo G. Papazian '61 (Sigma Alpha
Epsilon) of Thatcher, Ariz., died April 15,
2008. He worked for Digital Equipment
Corp. and retired as principal software en-
gineer. Survivors include two children and
his best friend, Carol Meredith.
Lawrence A. Staats '61, a longtime
resident of Rensselaer, N.Y., died July 28,
2008. He leaves his wife, Torill
(Kamsvaag), and two daughters. Staats
was a chief engineer for the Merchant
Marines and also worked for the Lake
George Steam Boat Co.
Wilfred E. "Chip" Brown III '63 (65
MS EE) died Jan. 7, 2009, at his home in
Okeechobee, Fla. He leaves his wife,
Karey, and three children. He was retired
from MITRE Corp.
Robert M. Mellor '63 (Phi Sigma
Kappa) of Worcester died Jan. 5, 2009.
He was retired from New England Electric
as a general supervisor. He was also co-
owner, with his brother, of the Gray Barn
in Whitinsville, Mass.
Joseph B. Brinkmann '64 (MS MTE)
of Oxford, Conn., died Aug. 2, 2008. He
was retired as director of the materials en-
gineering laboratory for the Schick razor
Bruce O. Elliott '64 (MNS) of Bristol,
Conn., died May 3, 2008. He was 88. A
longtime mathematics and physics teacher
in the Bristol schools, he leaves his wife,
Madelyn (Callaghan), and three children.
David L Gendron '64 (Theta Chi) of
South Hadley, Mass., died Sept. 19,
2008. He was retired from a 30-year ca-
reer with Monsanto Corp. (Solutia). Sur-
vivors include his wife, Nancy (Mahlman),
and two sons.
Ross A. Moir '64 of Marlborough,
Mass., died Sept. 1 2, 2008. He was re-
tired from Norton Co. as a senior product
engineer. Predeceased by his wife, Audrey
(Holdridge), he leaves his companion and
friend, Patricia Berwaldt, and two children.
J. William Bowen '66 (Theta Chi) of
Delaplane, Va., died July 6, 2008. After
earning an MBA at Harvard Business
School in 1 970, he helped revitalize the
City of New York under former mayor John
Lindsay. He later held executive positions
Carl H. Koontz, professor emeritus of civil engineering, died
May 13, 2009. Koontz joined the WPI faculty in 1952 and five
years later, at the age of 33, became the youngest person to serve
as a department head at WPI. He served on the Worcester City
Council and the Planning Board, and was code commissioner for
the city. He was an advisor on dozens of notable structures in
Worcester and a special investigator for the state into the collapse
of a bridge at College Square during the construction of
1-290. Survivors include his wife, Arline F. (Murphy) Koontz, six
children, and nine grandchildren.
Jim Jackson, former director of Computing Services, died June
27, 2009. Jackson came to WPI in 1 967 to manage the Worces-
ter Area College Computation Center (WACCC), which then had
a single mainframe for data processing. By the time he retired in
1999, the College Computer Center or CCC (which now stands
for Computing and Communications Center) had evolved into one
of the most important elements of WPI's academic and administra-
tive life. Jackson computerized the water billing systems in his
hometown and, as coach for the Northborough Little League
Hawks, was instrumental in computerizing the team schedules.
He leaves his wife of 54 years, Anne Jackson, eight children,
and 12 grandchildren.
Full obituaries may be read at wpi.edu/News/Memoriam
with GE Credit, Chase Manhattan Bank,
Booz Allen Hamilton, and First Manhattan
Consulting. In 1997 Bowen relocated to
Salem Hill Farm in Virginia, where he de-
veloped several business ventures. His sur-
vivors include his two sons, their mother,
Carlyn Sweithelm, and his former wife,
Frank B. Bryan '66 of Lakeland, Fla.,
died July 23, 2008. He leaves his wife,
Eve, and two children. He was planning
and purchasing manager for Rexnord Co.
Waldo M. Libbey '69 (PhD) of Bangor,
Maine, died Jan. 1 0, 2009, at age 86. A
member of the electrical engineering fac-
ulty of the University of Maine since 1 943,
he retired as professor emeritus in 1990.
Harshad K. Patel '69 died Sept 28,
2008, at his home in of Evans, Ga. He
leaves his wife, Pushpa, and two daugh-
ters. He worked as a chemical engineer at
the U.S. Department of Energy's Savannah
Ernest A. Carroll '70 of Fort Laud-
erdale, Fla., died Aug. 13, 2008, leaving
his wife, Anna. A businessman, scientist,
and inventor, he worked for the U.S gov-
ernment and private consulting firms.
Donald A. Hathaway '72 (SIM) of
Port St. Lucie, Fla., died Dec. 10, 2008, at
age 80. Survivors include his wife, Ruth
(Duhamel), and three children. He was re-
tired from Webster Lens Co.
John F. O'Donnell '72 (Phi Kappa
Theta) of Killington, Vt., died July 5, 2008.
A former civil engineer for the Town of
Wilmington, Vt., he also worked in the pri-
vate sector. He is survived by his girlfriend,
Richard C. Ojerholm '72 (SIM) of
Auburn, Mass., died July 31, 2008, at
age 82. He leaves his wife, Ruth (Ruk-
snaitis), and two children. A specialist in
the creation of dies for shape wire, he
worked for the former New England High
Carbon and Wire Corp. and later retired
from American Spring Wire.
Homoud A. Al-Rqobah '74 ('77 MS
CM), a former member of the Kuwait par-
liament, died May 25, 2007. A recipient
of the 2004 Robert H. Goddard Alumni
Award for Outstanding Professional
Achievement, he served as minister of elec-
tricity and water, and as minister of oil. Al-
Rqobah joined the faculty of Kuwait
University in 1981 and became dean of
the College of Engineering and Petroleum.
He was also chairman of the board of
Kuwait Petroleum Corp., managing direc-
tor of Abyar Engineering General Trading
and Contracting Co. and vice president of
HEMOCO Selayar International. He leaves
his wife, Lamiya Mohamed Bu-Hannad,
and two sons.
Gary L Drake '76 died Feb. 21 , at his
home in Sudbury, Mass., after a three-year
battle with cancer. He was a partner and
contributing engineer at C.S.D. Inc. Sur-
46 Transformations \ Summer 2009
vivors include his wife, Mary, and four chil-
dren. A tribute by his brother, Tony Drake
'77 , may be read at virtual-
Roy J. Moffa '77 (SIM) of Harvard,
Mass., died May 9, 2008, at age 65. He
was vice president of operations for 3Com
Corp. Two children survive him.
Paul B. Mountain '79 (SIM) of West
Brookfield, Mass., died Dec. 8, 2008. He
was 64. He was a plant engineer in the
wire industry. He leaves his wife, Gladys,
and the four children they raised together,
as well his first wife, Susan.
James E. Shannon '79 (SIM) of
Worcester died Oct. 4, 2008, at age 75.
He leaves his wife, Bettyann (Setterquist),
and three children. He retired from
Wyman-Gordon Co. after 35 years and
started his own construction company.
Richard D. Goldman '80 (Alpha Ep-
silon Pi) died peacefully at his home in
Bristol, Conn., on April 24, 2008. A grad-
uate of the University of Connecticut Law
School, he worked for the Connecticut De-
partment of Health. Survivors include his
loving partner, Paula Bombola, his mother,
and three brothers.
Nelson A. "Marty" Mattel Jr. '83 of
Ashville, N.C., died Aug. 1 , 2008, after a
long battle with cancer. He was a product
manager with IBM. Survivors include his
parents and two siblings. He also leaves
his beloved Denise and her two children.
Robert J. Hunter '84 of York, Maine,
died March 24, 2009, after a long battle
with Huntington's disease. He leaves his
beloved Debbie O'Leary and her two sons,
his mother, and three sisters. He worked
for AMETEK Aerospace Products.
Richard R. Carlson '85 of Worcester
died July 5, 2008. He was proprietor of
Ensured Commercial Services Inc. He
leaves his fiancee, Susan Lovett, and four
Robert W. Walters '85 died Sept 30,
2008. He designed steam engines for
Coppus Engineering Co. and operated his
farm in Athol, Mass. Survivors include his
wife, Mary (Page), and three children.
David W. Kellerman '86 (MS MTE) of
Washington, N.H., died April 27, 2009.
He leaves his wife, Charline (Epley), and
two sons. Kellerman worked for Digital
Equipment Corporation, where he was
awarded five patents. He also owned and
operated Material Solutions Consulting
LLC. While studying at WPI on a fellow-
ship from DEC, Kellerman orchestrated the
donation of more than $2 million worth of
DEC workstations and computers, which
significantly enhanced the university's com-
Thail J. Inman '88 (SIM) of Webster,
Mass., died Oct. 1 , 1 988, at age 54. He
was general manager of Wagner BMW
Motorcycles (now Wagner Motorsports In-
ternational) and had retired as president of
Berlyn Extruders after 27 years of service.
He leaves his wife, Deborah (Tittle)
Makowski, and a stepson.
John A. Jones '94 (SIM), 71 , of Wilbra-
ham, Mass., died May 3, 2007, leaving
his wife, Bernice. He worked for Worcester
Karen Hawes '97 (MBA) of Amherst,
N.H., died June 24, 2008, at age 58. A
graduate of Assumption College, she was
an executive for FUR Systems.
Brian A. Swanson '97 of Providence,
R.I., died unexpectedly on June 1 , 2009.
He was a mechanical engineer for Inver-
ness Corp., a division of A. Cookson Co.
Predeceased by his father, he is survived
by his mother and his twin brother.
Kevin P. Nordberg '00 of Charlton,
Mass., died unexpectedly on Dec. 17,
2008, leaving his wife, Jennifer (Zybort).
He was a senior manager for DHL.
Capt. Michael E. McCaffrey '06 (MS)
of Sutton, Mass., died April 14, 2008,
at age 52. A 1 978 graduate of the U.S.
Naval Academy, he earned a master's
degree in operations and information tech-
nology at WPI and was a project manager
at Morgan Construction Co. He leaves his
wife, Patricia (Fox), and two children.
WPI has also received notice
of the following deaths:
Gustaf H. Hakala '28 in 1993
Henry N. Deane '31 in 1998
Robert F. Webster '37 in 1 995
Pierce Ches worth '38 in 2006
William B. Mullin '39 in 2005
Joseph J. Conroy '46 in 2006
Gerald D. Ryan '47 in 2004
Elmer R. Griffith Jr. '49 (MS CM) in 2001
Raymond E. Hodgerney '52 in 2004
Herbert F. Kelly '52 in 2006
James H. Merrill '53 (SIM) in 2001
Davis C. McLeod '59 in 2000
Samuel J. Cashman '60 in 2005
Anthony J. Cirrito '60 (SIM) in 2006
Louis A. Castriotta Jr. '62 in 2006
Charles E. O'Connor Jr. '62 (SIM) in 1 999
Albert E. Truran Jr. '64 (MS ME) in 1988
William J. Barlow '65 (SIM) in 2006
Frank E. Brigham '65 (SIM) in 2001
Edwin L. Knight '76 ('85 MS ME) in 2005
Armen Mardirossian '80 in 1994
Deirdre Anne Malley '82 in 1991
Edmund V. Olson '85 (SIM) in 2006
Rajan R. Kumar '97 in 2005
Cyclist's Legacy Creates a Path for Others
Charles L. Semprebon '64 was touring the United States by bicycle when he died May 24, 2009, in
Santa Fe, N.M. He had retired from the family business, Calmont Beverage, in Barre, Vt., late last year to
pursue this long-held dream. An avid cyclist and runner, he skied and played soccer at WPI and belonged
to Sigma Alpha Epsilon.
Charlie bequeathed $1 million to complete a bike path connecting Barre and Barre Town. His will also names
the City of Barre as the primary beneficiary of the remainder of his personal estate, to provide civic improve-
ments that are beyond the reach of the town's general budget. At its June 16 meeting, the Barre City Council
voted to establish the Central Vermont Regional Bike Path Committee and approved the appointment of Char-
lie's brother, Thomas Semprebon '69, and two of his nephews as the initial members. The mayor says he
looks forward to dedicating the Charles Semprebon Memorial Bike Path soon.
Transformations \ Summer 2 00 9 4 7
<> TIME CAPSULE
Paul B. Morgan
erf *Hl f *^1
The weathervane that adorns the Washburn Shops cupola remains a distinguishing characteristic on campus today. Since
1868, the arm and hammer has symbolized the "practice" in the WPI motto, Theory and Practice. It was originally designed by
Charles H. Morgan, a WPI trustee and a leader in the American wire industry, whose original sketch was given to WPI in 1911
by his son, Paul B. Morgan, upon his father's death.
In October 1975, near tragedy befell the campus when the arm and hammer went missing. "No one thought it was funny," then
President George Hazzard remarked in the student newspaper, Newspeak, on the one-year anniversary of the prank. "There was
just downright indignation all over campus." While the original weathervane was never found, the university received, two months
after the prank, a ransom note with a color photograph of the copper gilded vane lying in the woods. (A mailing snafu prevented
any opportunity to recover the familiar sight. WPI received the letter on a Monday, but it was postmarked on the previous Friday
afternoon, the same date the ransom amount was to be received.)
In 1977, WPI received a replica of the arm and hammer as a gift from Richard Johns, a contractor who had done considerable
work on campus and who, at the time, had been restoring the Washburn Shops. Today, that replica remains firmly mounted atop
Washburn Shops, the oldest building in the nation used continuously for engineering education.
48 Transformations \ Summer 2009
in Science OC Engineering
Discover. Innovate. Advance.
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
• Manufacturing Engineering
• Materials Process Engineering
• Materials Sciences and Engineering
• Mathematical Sciences
• Mechanical Engineering
• 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
grad.wpi.edu • 508-831-5301 • email@example.com
Graduate Studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute
*****************5-DIGIT 06281 S300 PI 16732
This fall, you may receive a phone call from a WPI student on behalf of the WPI Annual Fund.
Over the years, the generous support of alumni and friends has made it possible for students like
Shaun Price '08, '09(MS) to take advantage of a WPI education. As a student caller, he spoke with
alumni and friends like you about the importance of giving to WPI. On campus, Shaun studied
mechanical engineering and was a member of the National Society of Black Engineers, Sigma Pi
fraternity, the varsity track and field team, and Graduate Student Government.
So when it's Tech calling, please take a moment to talk about your WPI experience
and the WPI of today. And please consider making a gift. Thank you!
wpi.edu/+giving or 1-877-WPI-FUND