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Full text of "Transformations"

SUMMER 2009 



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WPI by Design 



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TRANSFORMATIONS • VOLUME 106 • NUMBER 2 • SUMMER 2009 



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DEPARTMENTS 

2 Starting Point 

3 Letters 

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. 

12 Explorations 

A student project explores a better 
waterfront design in Hong Kong. 

14 Investigations 

Professor Dave Brown seeks to find 
logic and reason behind creativity. 

34 Class Notes 
43 Obituaries 

40 Time Capsule 

Designing WPI's arm and hammer. 



FEATURES 



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, 
and ideas. 




J3 



Mixed Sources 

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 
redesign ourselves. 

Thanks for reading. 

Charna Mamlok Westervelt, Editor 




Charna Mamlok Westervelt 
Editor 

Chris Ritter 

Vice President for Marketing and 

Communications 

Joan Killough-Miller 
Alumni News Editor 

Peggy Isaacson 

Graphic Designer and Copy Editor 

Dianne Vanacore 

Print Production Coordinator 

Judith Jaeger 

Director of Advancement Publications 

Michael W. Dorsey 

Director of Research Communications 

Pamela Mecca 
Design 



wpi.edu/+Transformations 
email: transformations@wpi.edu 



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 






LETTERS 



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, 
Mr. Obama. 

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 
it represents. 

Thank you for the excellent reading opportunity! 

Philip E. Simon '53 

Vista, Calif. 





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 

Northwood, NH 



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 

Cambridge, Mass. 



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- 
active entertainment. 
This is the stuff of 
amazement, and I 
encourage you to see 
it for yourselves when 
WPI hosts the first 
Robotics Innovations 
Competition and Con- 
ference this November. 
Eagerly anticipated, 
this competition will 
challenge undergraduate 
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 



(((CAMPUS BUZZ 



Faculty News 




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 
UMass Dartmouth. 



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 

coach 

Mike Callahan. 





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 



(((CAMPUS BUZZ 



2009 Commencement 

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 














II *- 


1 \. 



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. 



CO 



03 



5,000 



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.) 



930 

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. 

500 

Approximate number of pages included in the launch (phase 1) of WPI's new website. 

20 

Number of new faculty members for the 2009-10 academic year. 



15 



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 
and innovators. 



wpi.edu/+K12 



Transformations \ Summer 2009 7 



(((CAMPUS BUZZ 



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 
hydraulics manufacturer. 

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 
aggressive goal." 

— 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 

enrollment management 

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 
workplace issues?'" 

— 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 



RIG€ 



s Innovations Competition and Conference 



CALL FOR ROBOTS 
AND SPONSORS 



riccwpi.edu 



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. 



:nsf: 




..< 




»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." 

—CMW 



10 Transformations \ Summer 2 009 






** 



Sy 






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. 

FLEXIBILITY 

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: 
online@wpi.edu 




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 
bustling metropolis. 

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- 
dents studied. 

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," 
notes Jannetti. 

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 
and recommendations." 

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 

discussion continues. 



Creative Computations 

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 - - 



/ 



J 







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 



o 



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 
tomorrow.'" 

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." 



Q 



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." 



■Ken Stafford 



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 
for me." 

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 
holistic view/' 



— 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 
full-time position." 

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 
the company. 

"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 
planning. 

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. 

Serious 

About 

Games 






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 
existence. 

"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 
conditions. 

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 
spice drops." 



"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 
its inspiration. 

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 
higher hoops. 

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 
that easy!" 

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 



CLASS NOTES 



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news by: Web: wpi.edu/+Transformations Email: alumni-editor@wpi.edu Fax: 508-831-5820 Mail: Alumni Editor, 
Transformations, WPI, 100 Institute Road, Worcester, MA 01609-2280 



1940S 



Correction: Frank Bodurtha '42 

lives in New London, N.H., not Connecti- 
cut, as was stated in the previous issue of 
Transformations. 

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." 



1950S 



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 
Systems. 

Stanley Jorczak '54 is a retired project 
manager. 

Classmates mourned the loss of the wife of 
Donald Ross '54. Prue died unexpect- 
edly on June 1 4, at their home in New- 
bury, N.H. 

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- 
ment. 

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 
granddaughter." 




"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 
Glenview, III. 

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." 



I96OJ 



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 
College. 

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 
in 2001. 

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 
Persistent Systems. 



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 



SEE 
PAGE 24 



1970S 




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 
Holyoke." 

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, 
Conn. 



Transformations \ Summer 2009 35 



= CLASS NOTES 



Bookshelf 



Recent and new publications by WPI alumni, faculty, staff 



^ Early Costa Mesa 

mesa| by Mary Ellen and Art Goddard '63 Arcadia Publishing Images of 
America Series 





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. 



JINDA MAIGE 




Beverage Industry 
Microfiltration 

1%J 



ffllfl IUVJCWEU 



/ 



I I 







Richard Sliwoski 
'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 

Record magazine. 

ME Professor Holly (Keyes) Ault '74 

was celebrated as a 2009 Woman of 
Strength at WPI. 

WPI alumni are 
reducing the 
carbon footprint 
and maximizing 
the Common- 
wealth's educa- 
tion budget at 
UMass Amherst. 
John Mathews 
'74 (pictured), 
assistant director 
of facilities and 
campus plan- 
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 
Here." 

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. 

Bill 

(Wilson) 

Dobson 

'75 (right, 
with wife, 
Lynn) and 
Amy 

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 
at alumniconnect.wpi.edu." 

Harrington Group 
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 
College. 

William Fay '83 is president of Swift 
River Hydro Operations in Wilbraham, 
Mass. 

Bob Marcotte '83 is operations man- 
ager and concept developer for Marcotte 
Creative Media. 

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, 
OHSAS 18001)."' 



I98O 




Theresa 

(Metcalf) 

Catanach 

'80 writes, 
"Our younger 
daughter was 
married in 
May 2008, 
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 
gard '80. 

EBV I David Lesser '80 
' 1 I was appointed CEO of 
I 



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 
Barrett '83. 

Bob Korkuc '84 returned to campus to 
sign copies of his book, Finding a Fallen 
Hero. 

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 
30th." 

Jennifer Udall Roy '84 and Steven 

Roy '83 are the proud new owners of 
a horse. Steven is now working at BAE 
Systems. 

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, 
Mass. 




CAREER 
CORNER 

By Connie Horwitz, Assistant Director, 
Career Development Center 



Life and Career by Design 

Design is a visual 
word. I see visions of 
blueprints, drawings, 
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 
career path? 

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 
cdcalumni@wpi.edu. 

Contact Connie at cdcalumni@wpi.edu 



= CLASS NOTES 




Edward Childs 86 

a portfolio services as- 
sociate with Back Bay 
Financial Group in 
Boston earned his certi- 
fied financial planner 
designation. 

John Jezowski '86, 

a financial advisor for 
Merrill Lynch Global 
Wealth Management, 
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 
Kathy Notarianni 

'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 
engineering. 

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., 
research headquarters. 

Curt Duffy '87 is an adjunct instructor 
at LA Pierce College. He recently pub- 
lished a short story on storyglossia.com 
titled "Hobblescotch." 

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. 




Suzanne (Lewis) 
Pisano '87 joined 
Geo-lnsight Inc. as a 
senior associate/com- 
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 
Cambridge Technology. 

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, 
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WE CALL IT SUCCESS. 

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38 Transformations \ Summer 2009 



TAKE THE 

CHALLENGE 

TODAY 



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) 
accredited professional. 

1990 

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 
Group. 

Christopher MacGregor works for 
Amazon.com. 

Scott Manchuso works in client devel- 
opment for Boston-based Circles Inc. 

Michael Pace is an associate vice 
president of investments for Wells Fargo 
Advisors. 



HIRF WPI 



Patrick Welge became president of 
Controx Cutting tools in Springfield, Ohio, 
in May. 



Richard Willet is president and CEO of 
NewPage Corp. in Miamisburg, Ohio. 



1991 



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, 
wpi.edu/+alumni. 

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, 
plus coxswain." 



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 

employer@wpi.edu 







1992 



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 
development. 

David Rostcheck works for Brinks Inc. 



1993 



9 T 



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 
2008. 

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. 



1994 



Jason Johnson is production manager 
at Karl Storz Corporation in Charlton, Mass. 



1995 




Tom Dube joined 
J. M. Coull in Maynard, 
Mass., as vice president 
of the company's pre- 
construction group. 



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. 



1996 



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. 



1997 



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 
Flight Center. 



1998 



Douglas Cloutier is demand manager 
for The Timken Company. 

Matthew Johnson and Melissa Clark 

'99 welcomed a son, Shane, in October 
2008. 

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, 
Maine. 



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 
game world. 

Eduardo Oliveira is a senior applica- 
tions engineer for Vicor Corp. in Andover, 
Mass. 

Nilufer (Saltuk) 
Soucek and her hus- 
band, Paul, welcomed 
their first child, Sofia 
Emine, on Jan. 25, 
2009. 




1999 



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 
New Jersey. 

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 
Brown. 



SEE 
PAGE 14 




Homecoming 2009 

BACK TO TECH 

OCTOBER 30-31 

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 
Conservancy. 

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 
2008. 

Jennifer Copponi is a structural engi- 
neer at Ocean and Coastal Consultants 
in Massachusetts. 

Major Matt 
Poisson gradu- 
ated from the Air 
Force Test Pilot 
School at Ed- 
wards AFB, 
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 
aircraft. 

2000 

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. 




2001 

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. 

2002 

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, 
Calif. 

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. 



2003 



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. 

2004 

John Chrzanowski has a new home 
in Marlborough, Mass., and is newly 
married. 

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 
2008. 



2005 



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 
Middletown, Conn. 

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 
Associates Inc. 

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 
Melrose, Mass. 

Marek Twarog is an independent con- 
sultant with Plymouth Rock Assurance Co. 



2006 



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. 

Daniel Pickett 

and Shannon 
Smith were 
married May 23, 
2009. 



Daniel Torrey works in tech support with 
Hewlett-Packard in Spain. 




2007 



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. 

Tarra Epstein 
and Paul Mar- 
chetti '05 are 

engaged and 
plan to marry in 
September 2009. 




Batsirai 
Mutetwa is 

soon moving to 
London to join 
her fiance, Taku 
Mutasa, whose 
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 
for accreditation. 

Jessica Rosewitz just got back from 
Singapore. 

Larry Sartoris has spent the last few 
years working at Raytheon in California. 
He was married in October 2007. 



2008 



Catherine Casey is a graduate student 
at Dartmouth College. 

2nd Lt. Kyle Dedmon is stationed in 
Georgia. 

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 
Hampshire. 

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 
student. 

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 
Worcester. 

James Yasuhara is a design engineer 
for Lineur Technologies in Grass Valley, 
Calif. 



David Beal is a civil engineer with 
Vanasse Daylor in Fort Myers, Fla. 



In the spirit of 

WPI BY DESIGN 

we've redesigned 
Class Notes 

What do you think? 
transformations@wpi.edu 



42 Trans fo r mat ions | Summer 2 009 




A OBITUARIES 



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- 
ery manager. 

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- 
chinery. 

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- 
ager. 

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- 
dren. 

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 
wife, Marguerite 
(Getchell), and a 
daughter. He was a 

retired project engineer for Engineering 

Services Co. 

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- 
ment Co. 

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 
Corp. 

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, 
Mass. 

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 

Southington, Conn., 
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, 
Conn. 

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 
design engineer. 

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 
children. 

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 
children. 

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 
Co. 



Transformations \ Summer 2009 43 




A OBITUARIES 



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 
emeritus. 

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- 
velopment. 

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 
and writing. 

Andrew T. 
Goettman '47 of 

Benson, N.C., died 
Nov. 16, 2008. An 
electrical engineer, he 
taught, worked in pri- 
vate practice, and later 



Trustees Remembrance 

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 
Carolina. 

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 
stepdaughter. 

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 
survive him. 

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.) 
Fire Department. 

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 
industrial projects. 

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 
General Dynamics. 



Faculty Remembrance 

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 
engineering firms. 

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- 
dren. 

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 
Division. 



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- 
dren. 

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 



A OBITUARIES 



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 
Mutual. 

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 
blade company. 

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 



Faculty Remembrance 

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, 
Christina Bowen. 

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 
River Site. 

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, 
Sheryl Molea. 

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- 
memorials. com. 

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 
children. 

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- 
putational capabilities. 

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 
Envelope. 

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 



S>4 



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 

•VfoRCEBTKR Ma8BACHUS«TT8 




U3^pJ 



fit— - 

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 



Graduate Studies 
in Science OC Engineering 

Discover. Innovate. Advance. 




:••/! 



choice. 



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

Graduate Programs at WPI 



• Biology and Biotechnology 

• Biomedical Engineering 

• Chemical Engineering 

• Chemistry and Biochemistry 

• Civil and Environmental Engineering 

• Computer Science 

• Electrical and Computer Engineering 

• Fire Protection Engineering 



• Management 

• Manufacturing Engineering 

• Materials Process Engineering 

• Materials Sciences and Engineering 

• Mathematical Sciences 

• Mechanical Engineering 

• Physics 

• Social Science and Policy Studies 



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

The following programs are available online: 

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



To Register for an Upcoming Information Session 
grad.wpi.edu • 508-831-5301 • grad@wpi.edu 



Graduate Studies at Worcester Polytechnic Institute 




*****************5-DIGIT 06281 S300 PI 16732 




liiiilliiiflilliilitiilliililiilliiliilliitlli 



minium 




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