The Society for Technical Communication (STC) recently awarded Miles A. Kimball, professor of communication and media in the School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences at Rensselaer, the Ken Rainey Award for Excellence in Research.

The award, given out annually, recognizes researchers who have made positive, significant contributions to the field of technical communication. It is given to mark a lifetime of quality research in the field and bestowed in honor of Ken Rainey, a late professor and STC fellow who devoted much of his life and career to research.

Kimball is honored by the STC for his “major contributions to research on the history of technical communication and document design and for providing research to broaden our understanding of the creation of technical communication as ubiquitous in contemporary experience.” His research focuses on information design, data visualization, pedagogy, and the history of technical communication.

Having just completed her sophomore year, Maggie McAuliffe, an industrial and management engineering major, is preparing to participate in the inaugural Arch program at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. In this innovative program, all undergraduate students live on campus during the summer after their sophomore year and participate in an off-campus experiential learning experience during the fall or spring semester of their junior year.   

Because of her established work experience, coupled with her proactive nature, McAuliffe has already landed her spring 2020 experience for her Arch semester away. She will spend the semester at BorgWarner, a propulsion system leader for combustion, hybrid, and electric vehicles.

With a global footprint of more than 70 locations, BorgWarner was recently named one of Forbes’ Best Large Employers 2019, which was determined based on working conditions, salary, potential for development, and company image. Another notable accomplishment includes receiving the 2018 PACE award for their groundbreaking S-wind wire-forming process for electric motors and alternators.

“I’m excited to learn about the industry, and to incorporate aspects of my major into my work,” McAuliffe said.

By the end of her second year at Rensselaer, McAuliffe had already developed an expansive portfolio of work experience. Just after her first year at the Institute, she secured a summer internship at Thermo Fisher Scientific, known for making the famously indestructible Nalgene water bottles.

As a work-study student in the Center for Career and Professional Development (CCPD) at Rensselaer, McAuliffe took advantage of the many career-related resources the center offers to help secure the opportunity with BorgWarner. She attended CCPD programs, had her resume critiqued, and received help with offer letters. On the academic side, she also tapped into resources available through the Advising and Learning Assistance Center.

McAuliffe said she would encourage her fellow classmates seeking semester away opportunities to start their search early.

“Make a plan. Go to career fairs and make connections,” she said. “Don’t just make it a one-time thing; keep up with it. Plan out times to search and apply.” 

The CCPD’s career coaches are available to Arch students throughout the summer to provide personalized coaching, guidance, and support. The Rensselaer Employer Relations team—resident industry experts—are cultivating career opportunities with hundreds of companies that align with Rensselaer students’ academic fields and interests.

When asked what she has enjoyed most about her Rensselaer experience, McAuliffe, who is also active in an a cappella singing group, said it was the balance of academic challenges with other opportunities.

“I can have this challenging academic environment, but then also this place where I can relax, like a cappella,” she said.  “RPI allows me to feel balanced in terms of work and outside-of-school daily activities.”

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study at Harvard University has announced that Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute computer scientist Francine Berman has been awarded a fellowship as part of the  2019–2020 fellowship class.

Berman, an international leader in data science, was recently elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. Her work has focused on the stewardship, preservation, and cyberinfrastructure of the digital data on which modern research relies. Her current research explores the social, ethical, and environmental impacts of the Internet of Things.

As the Katherine Hampson Bessell Fellow at The Radcliffe Institute, Berman, a professor of computer science, will develop a framework that promotes social and environmental responsibility in Internet of things design.

“This is a remarkable class of fellows,” said Radcliffe Institute Dean Tomiko Brown-Nagin RI ’17, the Daniel P. S. Paul Professor of Constitutional Law at Harvard Law School and professor of history in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences. “Radcliffe’s Fellowship Program—a microcosm of the Institute—is a laboratory of ideas where scholars, artists, scientists, and practitioners draw insights from one another and generate new knowledge that spans disciplinary boundaries. I am extraordinarily excited to see what emerges from this incredible group of individuals in the year ahead.”

Berman is a founder of the Research Data Alliance, an international community-driven organization created to accelerate research data sharing and data-driven innovation worldwide. She is former director of the San Diego Supercomputer Center, a fellow of the Association of Computing Machinery (ACM), a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In 2009, Berman was the inaugural recipient of the ACM/IEEE-CS Ken Kennedy Award for “influential leadership in the design, development, and deployment of national-scale cyberinfrastructure.” In 2015, Berman was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the U.S. Senate to become a member of the National Council on the Humanities.

The Radcliffe Institute for Advanced Study is a unique space within Harvard—a school dedicated to creating and sharing transformative ideas across all disciplines. Each year, the Institute hosts about 50 leading scholars, scientists, and artists from around the world in its renowned residential fellowship program. Radcliffe fosters innovative research collaborations and offers hundreds of public lectures, exhibitions, performances, conferences, and other events annually. The Institute is home to the Arthur and Elizabeth Schlesinger Library, the nation’s foremost archive on the history of women, gender, and sexuality. For more information about the people and programs of the Radcliffe Institute, visit

This semester, a team of students from the Lally School of Management at Rensselaer won the regional round of the 2018-2019 ASCM Case Competition that took place in Boston.

The annual competition, sponsored by the Association for Supply Chain Management (ASCM) and Deloitte Consulting LLP, requires students to present solutions to supply chain management problems based on real company experiences.

The winning team included Janey Hoefler, Colin Kreder, Yu-chin Tseng, and Niko Davis, students enrolled in the supply chain management master’s program at Rensselaer. The students were coached by T. Ravichandran and Hakan Hekimoglu, faculty members in the Lally School who specialize in supply chain management.

At the regional round of the competition, the students were challenged to analyze Amigo Toys, a company that was having problems meeting customer demands, and develop solutions that address those problems. They then had to pitch their solutions to a board of the company’s directors.

“The competition challenged us to address a tough business problem under strict time constraints,” said Kreder. “It gave us real-world problem-solving experience and allowed us to make important connections with industry professionals.”

The Lally School has participated in the regional round of the ASCM competition for the past five years and for the second year in a row, had its students take first place.

“It’s a really great outcome and a reflection of the quality of students we have at Rensselaer,” said Ravichandran. “Winning this competition is definitely going to have some lasting value for our students. They had the opportunity to meet professionals in the field who they will likely connect with down the road.”

The students are now invited to the international competition, which will take place in October of this year at the ASCM 2019 conference.

Minoru Tomozawa, professor of materials science and engineering, has been elected a Distinguished Life Member of the American Ceramic Society.

“The Distinguished Life Member grade of Society membership is the Society’s most prestigious level of membership and is awarded in recognition of a member’s contribution to the ceramics profession,” said Pawel Keblinksi, materials science and engineering department head. “Up to three such memberships are awarded to American Ceramic Society members annually since 1931.”

To put that in perspective, more than 11,000 ceramic and glass professionals are part of the organization from more than 70 countries, according to the Society.

Tomozawa’s research in the area of glass science has been published extensively. He will be installed at the Materials Science & Technology Conference and Exhibition in Portland, Oregon this fall.

This impressive acknowledgement comes shortly after Tomozawa was chosen to deliver the American Ceramic Society’s 2019 Edward Orton Jr. Memorial Lecture at the Conference in Portland, an opportunity given to those who have gained national recognition in the ceramics profession.

In addition, one of his current graduate students recently received the Norbert J. Kreidl Award for Young Scholars, recognizing research excellence in glass science.  

Six Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute students have been invited to participate in the National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP). The program supports students in science, technology, engineering, and math who are working on research-based master’s and doctoral degrees.

The GRFP is the oldest graduate fellowship of its kind and is known for choosing scholars who become highly successful in their future academic and professional careers.

Those who received offers this year include Robert Alan Culibrk, Jessica Lynn Funnell, and Samuel Stephen, who are all studying biomedical engineering; Mitchell James Cieminski, who is researching STEM education and learning; and Alexander Yepikhin and Parth Bhide, who are both studying macromolecular, supramolecular, and nanochemistry.

Rensselaer students have a history of receiving this prestigious three-year fellowship. For example, over the past four years, three students have been fellowship recipients in Ryan Gilbert’s lab alone. Gilbert is a professor of biomedical engineering.

Alexis Ziemba received the fellowship in 2016, Gilbert said, and is using it to study biomaterial approaches to dampen inflammation in central nervous system injury. Devan Puhl, who received the fellowship in 2018, is developing biomaterial scaffolds to deliver drugs and genes that promote regeneration after a spinal cord injury. Gilbert said that Funnell plans to use the fellowship to develop a hydrogel to reduce free radical damage and chronic inflammation that occurs after a spinal cord injury.

“I am honored to have been selected as an awardee out of so many impressive applicants. I hope to use this award to develop a clinically-relevant, non-invasive treatment to improve locomotor function of spinal cord injury patients,” said Funnell.

The projects that Rensselaer students will work on range in discipline and end goal. For example, Yepikhin plans to use the fellowship to create and study new polymers that will enable him to create high throughput and nanoscale resolutions in maskless 3D nanolithography, an objective that will make the process quicker and less expensive.

He has been working in Edmund Palermo, and Chaitanya Ullal’s labs. Both are assistant professors in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering.

A total of 2,050 candidates were offered an award this year nationwide.

Liping Huang, associate dean for research and graduate programs in the School of Engineering, has been accepted as a member of the 2019-2020 cohort of fellows for the Executive Leadership in Academic Technology, Engineering and Science (ELATES) at Drexel® program.

ELATES at Drexel® is a one-year, part-time fellowship aimed at advancing senior female faculty in academic engineering, computer science, and other STEM fields across the country.

According to the program’s 2018 statistics, since it started in 2012, more than 100 academic leaders have graduated from ELATES at Drexel®. They have been sponsored by 56 universities and colleges. Fellows are chosen based on nominations and recommendations from within their school or college.

Four Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute students have received a scholarship from the Vertical Flight Foundation. Undergraduate student Colin Hamilton and graduate students Ahmad Amer, Matthew Misiorowski, and Ariel Walter are among just 26 students nationwide to receive this honor this year.

The foundation, which is the philanthropic arm of the Vertical Flight Society, gives these merit-based scholarships to college students “demonstrating an interest in pursuing engineering related careers in vertical flight technology.”

All four recipients conduct research with the Center for Mobility with Vertical Lift (MOVE) at Rensselaer. MOVE is dedicated to research aimed at innovative development of vertical takeoff and landing aircraft.

Doctoral student Kaan Unnu has been chosen to receive the Storage Manufacturers Association Honor Scholarship for the 2019-2020 academic year from the Material Handling Education Foundation Inc.

The Foundation is an independent charitable organization that has been in operation since 1976. Since that time, it has awarded more than $2.5 million in scholarships and grants to university students. 

Jennifer Pazour, associate professor of industrial and systems engineering, has been invited to give the Distinguished Researcher Presentation at the World Class Supply Chain Summit this spring.

The event, which brings together more than 100 leaders in the field, will be held in May in Milton, Ontario. The summit serves as a forum to discuss the latest in supply chain and logistics, and ideas for solving challenges.

Pazour develops and uses analytical models to guide supply chain and logistics decision-making. Her research has made contributions to military logistics, distribution and transportation systems, healthcare logistics, and on-demand supply chains.