BME The University of Wisconsin-Madison
College of Engineering Department of Biomedical Engineering


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BME advisory board meets

BME advisory board 2002

Meet the department's external advisory board, which last convened on campus March 15, 2002. From left: G. Steve Tan (substituting for Michael Harsh), GE Medical Systems; Robert Tham, PhD, Datex-Ohmeda Corp.; Walter Olson, PhD, Medtronic, Inc.; Professor Nitish Thakor, Johns Hopkins University; Dean Janie Fouke, Michigan State University; Professor J. Lawrence Katz, Case Western Reserve University; Provost Stuart Cooper, North Carolina State University; and Professor and BME Chair Yongmin Kim, University of Washington. Absent was Bruce Siebold, Phillips Plastics.

Associate Professor David Beebe has received the 2001 IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) Early Career Achievement Award, while Professor John Webster received the 2001 IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Career Achievement Award. Beebe also has been appointed to the National Research Council (NRC) review panel on nanotechnology. In addition to addressing the resources needed to expand nanotechnology nationally, the panel will advise the NRC on future investments in specific areas of nanotechnology.

Assistant Professor Wendy Crone was one of four COE faculty members to receive the National Science Foundation's 2002 Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program Award. Each $375,000 award is granted on the basis of creative career-development plans that integrate research and education effectively. Crone, who is studying shape-memory alloys, will investigate the effect of process-induced microstructure on the fracture and fatigue behavior. Among their applications, shape-memory alloys are used in stents that keep veins open after balloon angioplasty.

Assistant Professors Susan Hagness and Amit Lal attended the invitation-only "Frontiers of Engineering" symposium Feb. 28 through March 3, 2002, in Irvine, California. Sponsored by the National Academy of Engineering, the event featured topics including aeronautics and aerospace, civil systems, wireless communications, and technology and the human body. About 80 of the country's top young engineers from industry, academia and government attended.

Hagness also recently received a three-year, $631,000 grant from the National Cancer Institute of the National Institutes of Health to fund her project, "Dielectric Characterization of Human Breast Tissue." Her team will conduct comprehensive measurements of excised breast tissue to determine the dielectric properties of malignant, benign and normal tissue at microwave frequencies. The group will use the data to engineer noninvasive, nonionizing microwave technology to augment current early breast cancer detection, diagnostic and treatment technologies.

Assistant Professor Weiyuan John Kao has received the Society for Biomaterials 2002 Young Investigator Award. The award recognizes an individual who has demonstrated outstanding achievements in the field of biomaterials research within five years of completing his/her degree or formal training.

Professor Robert Radwin has been appointed to the Committee on Human Factors for the National Research Council (NRC). The committee advises the NRC and its sponsors on research needed to expand the scientific and technical bases for human-machine design. It also provides new perspectives on theoretical and methodological issues concerning the relationship of humans to technology and the environment and identifies critical issues in the design, test, evaluation and use of new human-centered technologies.

The Trace R&D Center, directed by Professor Gregg Vanderheiden, is hosting the new Linux Accessibility Resource Site (LARS), edited by J.P. Schnapper-Casteras of Project Ocularis. LARS promotes accessibility tools and infrastructure to provide visually impaired computer users access to the free, open and increasingly standard Linux operating system. Among the resources are links to Unix/Linux accessibility software for speech and Braille enhancements, and resources for Linux collaboration projects. The site plans to advance the communication of past and present efforts, identify future needs, and give voice to the challenges and considerations in building accessibility. Visit the website at

The Trace R&D Center also assisted Wisconsin-based Viking Electronics in developing the nation's first cross-disability accessible door entry system, the AES-2000. The system was unveiled in late February by San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown Jr. at a senior housing residence in the Bay Area. Students contributed to the design as part of a class project. The system incorporates Trace EZ Access interface techniques that include a "help" button to provide audible and visual instruction of button functions, and visual and voice output of the tenant directory.


BME MONITOR is published twice a year for alumni and friends of the UW-Madison Department of Biomedical Engineering.

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Date last modified: Wednesday, 15-May-2002 15:43:00 CDT
Date created: 15-May-2002