Page top
Skip navigation

Next story

Cover of the Winter 2008 issue


VOL. 34, NO. 2





Faculty news

James A. Dumesic

Chemical and Biological Engineering Steenbock Professor James Dumesic is one of the 2007 Scientific American 50. The respected magazine annually publishes a list paying tribute to individuals and organizations who, through their efforts in research, business and policy-making, are driving advances in science and technology that lay the groundwork for a better future. Dumesic and his team developed a two-stage process for turning biomass-derived sugar into 2,5-dimethylfuran (DMF), a liquid transportation fuel with 40 percent greater energy density than ethanol. Dumesic and graduate students Yuriy Román-Leshkov, Christopher J. Barrett and Zhen Y. Liu expanded upon their earlier work on improving the process for making an important chemical intermediate, hydroxymethylfurfural (HMF), from sugar to develop their new catalytic process for creating DMF. Dumesic was named to The Scientific American 50 in 2003 for his pioneering work on economical catalysts for turning sugars into hydrogen fuel. Dumesic and his team received additional recognition recently when the manuscript editors of Nature selected the team's paper on DMF as one of their "favourites" from the papers Nature published in 2007.

Tuncer B. Edil

In a ceremony at the presidential palace in Ankara, Turkey, and attended by Turkish dignitaries, including the president, president of the parliament, prime minister, cabinet ministers, university presidents, and others, Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor Tuncer Edil received the Special Science Award from the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey. Bestowed by the president of the Republic of Turkey, the award honors scholars abroad who have made outstanding contributions to science and technology at the international level. Edil is a geotechnical engineer whose research includes coastal erosion, construction of highways over poor subgrades, use of industrial by-products and geosynthetics in highway construction, filtration and interface friction of geosynthetics, and compatibility of geosynthetic clay liners and other geosynthetics with acidic mine waste, among other areas.

Weiyuan John Kao

The American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) elected Biomedical Engineering and Pharmacy Professor Weiyuan John Kao to its college of fellows. Kao has achieved this distinction for his exceptional contributions to medical and biological engineering. Election to AIMBE places him within the top 2 percent of the medical and biological engineering community comprising AIMBE.

Kumar Sridharan

Engineering Physics Research Professor Kumar Sridharan was appointed to the Federal Affairs Committee of the American Society for Materials. The committee informs members about issues and opportunities arising from governmental activities and provides forums for information exchange about government materials interests and the private sector. The committee is a resource for materials technical input into government issues and also helps select congressional fellows and distinguished lecturers for the materials science and technology annual conferences.

David E. Foster

Phil and Jean Myers Professor of Mechanical Engineering David Foster received the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Soichiro Honda Medal for outstanding contributions in the field of personal transportation. The award recognizes Foster's research in diesel engine combustion and his nationwide public service and international education efforts. Foster received the honor at the ASME president's luncheon November 6 in Chicago.

John H. Booske

Duane H. and Dorothy M. Blumke Professor of Electrical & Computer Engineering John Booske has been named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). Booske, also of the Materials Science Program, pursues a broad range of research interests involving electromagnetic fields and waves; IEEE cited Booske for his contributions to vacuum electronics and microwave processing of materials. Fellow is the highest grade of membership the IEEE offers.

Prof. Patricia Flatley Brennan

On December 7, the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation announced a new program, Project HealthDesign, to design and implement new tools for personal health record systems. The $4.1 million initiative, directed by UW-Madison Lillian S. Moehlman-Bascom Professor of Industrial and Systems Engineering Patricia Brennan, will fund eight interdisciplinary teams for 18 months. The teams will address specific health challenges for patients, physicians and caretakers by designing technology for personal health applications that can help patients with information management, communication and decision making.

Page topEnd of page