A Letter from the Dean

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Dean Peter Kilpatrick of the College of EngineeringIt has been another year of growth and excitement in the College of Engineering as our faculty and students continue their quest toward excellence in research and education. Most recently, two faculty members — Harindra Joseph S. Fernando and Patrick Fay — have received substantial Department of Defense Multidisciplinary Research Initiative grants. Fernando, the Wayne and Diana Murdy Professor of Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences, received a $7.3 million grant to develop fundamental knowledge that will help improve forecasting models of weather in mountainous terrain. Fay, professor of electrical engineering, received a $6.3 million grant to develop electronic devices that operate in the terahertz range, which is ideal for communications, medical imaging, and security applications. College of Engineering faculty also received a $9.9 million grant from DARPA to continue our work in developing a magnetic logic system. A Notre Dame team has successfully demonstrated that nanomagnets can be used for logic functions and is continuing its work in this area, which could lead to all-magnetic information processing systems. In addition, we have received substantial awards for research in ionic liquids from the Department of Energy, as well as funding from the U.S. Army Tank Automotive Research, Development, and Engineering Center for the development of novel materials for next-generation batteries. We are especially pleased that these and many of the other research efforts you’ll read about in this issue support the goals of the University: research preeminence, a distinctive Catholic character, and an unsurpassed commitment to graduate and undergraduate education.

This issue of Amplitude highlights some of our efforts in biomedical engineering, which encompass every department and many researchers across the College of Engineering and throughout the University. One of our lead stories describes a new method of sequencing technology in which a single molecule of DNA can be sampled. Faculty are also developing lab-on-a-chip technologies and portable microfluidic diagnostic devices that can be used in areas as diverse as medical diagnostics, environmental safety, or homeland security. Studies on the effects of microdamage in bone, the interactions of chemotherapeutic drugs with healthy tissue, and medical imaging technologies are also being conducted with promising results to date. We believe that our efforts in these areas will prove to be a “force for good” in the world.

In addition, this year the Stinson-Remick Hall of Engineering received an LEED Gold Certification from the United States Green Building Council for its sustainable design and construction features. Four faculty ( Joan F. Brennecke, Prashant Kamat, Edward J. Maginn, and William F. Schneider) were named AAAS fellows; Professor Samuel Paolucci was named an American Physical Society fellow; and David B. Go was selected as a Young Investigator by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research. We have also added to our ranks more than 25 new teaching and research faculty this past year and a half, including two endowed professors (Grétar Tryggvason and Bertrand Hochwald). I hope that as you read you will be able to sense the momentum building throughout engineering at Notre Dame and that you will look forward with us to the exciting things that are just beyond the horizon for the college.

Sincerely,

Peter Kilpatrick
Matthew H. McCloskey Dean of Engineering