Comings & goings
At the Millennium Colloquium in March 2000, the CEE Dept. established the Donald and Martha Harleman Professorship to honor this well known and well-loved faculty couple. Prof. Rafael Bras notified the Newsletter, "It is truly a pleasure to announce that the first holder of the Donald and Martha Harleman Professorship will be Prof. Chiang C. Mei. It is hard to imagine a more appropriate individual to hold this honor. Please join me in congratulating Chiang."
Prof. Cindy Barnhart has agreed to serve as the next Group Leader of the Engineering Systems. According to the official announcement, "In view of her own distinguished achievements, we can foresee that Cindy will help bring the broad spectrum of activities of the Group to new horizons, solidify our cooperation with the Engineering Systems Division and the Center for Transportation Studies, and lead the CEE department to still higher levels of excellence."
Grad student J. Samuel Arey has been selected to receive a Hugh Hampton Young Memorial Fund supplementary fellowship for the academic year. He is currently studying groundwater contamination caused by gasoline additives, and computational chemistry applications to environmental transport problems. Before coming to MIT, he earned a BS in public policy and environmental science from Univ. of Indiana at Bloomington and did research in environmental transport of both inorganic and organic contaminants.
The Technical University of Delft will give Prof. Richard de Neufville a Doctorate honoris causa at their 160th anniversary in January 2002, in recognition of his success in establishing the field of Technology Policy, which they are now developing as an undergraduate and graduate program.
CEE Awards dinner, Sept. 24, 2001
Every year the Tucker-Voss Award (honoring Ross Tucker and Walter Voss, department heads of old Course 17, Building Engineering and Construction), goes to a student on the basis of scholastic standing, leadership and promise in the field of building. This year's award winner was Benjamin Cheatham, a grad student in construction engineering and management.
The Dept. presented three Special Recognition awards, all for outstanding service to the Department plus something extra. Grad student Yo Ming Hsieh was honored "in particular to making computers user-friendly to all of us." Dr. Eric Adams was recognized for his contributions to the MEng program, and Prof. Herbert Einstein's citation mentioned his services to the undergraduate program.
Two students shared the 2001 Effective Teaching Assistant Award. As a grad student serving as TA for an undergrad class (1.070 Introduction to Hydrology), Steve Margulis received course evaluations such as, "Fabulous TAŠ well prepared, interesting," "the most friendly, accessible, and helpful TA I've ever had," "incredibly knowledgeable...Teaching seems effortless to him and he makes concepts easy to understand." The TA winner for a graduate subject (1.725 Chemicals in the Environment) was Kristen Jellison. Her students wrote, "Your recitation time facilitated my learning," "[she] was very well-organized," and prophetically, "TA deserves an award as she always made time to help those who wanted itŠ in a friendly way, and was helpful."
The 2001 Effective Teaching Assistant Award goes to George Kocur for the much-maligned Course 1.00 Introduction to Computers and Engineering Problem Solving and 1.264 Database, Internet, and Systems Integration Technologies. Course evaluations lauded his "knowledge and real world experience," "Great teaching. He has done a good job in passing along not only the knowledge but also years of practical experiences. Accessible and friendly to students. Best teacher I've met so far."
As of September 2001, Joan McCusker has worked in the CEE Dept. for 30 years with a host of professors, including William Litle, Bob Logcher, Ray Levitt, Henry Irwig, David Ashley, Ram Sriram, several visiting professors and visiting scientists. Currently she is the administrator for the Information Technology Program and assists Profs. John Williams, Kevin Amaratunga, Feniosky Peña-Mora, Jerome Connor and Rory O'Connor, plus 35 IT grad students.
Visits by cute babies are always welcome, even when they voice their displeasure at slow administrative procedures as did Melissa Liu, daughter of Lucy Jen '92 & '98 (PhD) and Sheng Liu '93 (Mechanical Eng.). Melissa was born on April 28, and has a two-year-old sister, Samantha. Cutting back her schedule, Lucy works part-time at Hart Crowser in Beverly, MA, as a geotechnical engineer. Later she will co-teach 1.361 Soil Mechanics with Prof. Charles Ladd.
Marika Santagata '94 (SM) and Joe Sinfield '94 (SM) want "to share with all of you the most amazing event of our lives: on August 22 our beautiful daughter Victoria Caterina was born at Northwestern's Memorial Hospital in Chicago."
Henri-Ann and Prof. Joe Sussman welcomed their second grandchild, Leda Kail Sussman, born on August 24, 2001. The proud parents are Andy and Kris Sussman of Westford, MA.
Profs. Heidi Nepf and Ian Waitz (Aero/Astro), and big sister Ava, announce the birth of Isabel Margaret on Friday, August 31st, just in time for the start ofthe academic year.
Emma Shepherdson '01 (PhD) and Eric Gimon were married on Aug. 18, 2001, in the spectacular setting of the groom's grandfather's ranch outside of San Jose, CA.
New CEE Prof. Ruaidhri (Rory) O'Connor extends his thanks to the many students, staff, and faculty members who gave him support and comfort after the sudden death of his mother, Zoe O'Connor, on July 30 on Achill Island, Ireland.
Mameet P. Khanolkar of Bombay, India, who received the MEng in Civil and Environmental Engineering this June, collapsed and died of a massive acute pulmonaric embolism in Waltham, MA on July 30, 2001. He was 24 years old, and had been waiting for a work permit in order to start a job as an information technology consultant in Cambridge.
Mr. Khanolkar, who was born in Mumbai (Bombay), India, had a degree in chemical engineering from Mumbai Univ., and had worked as a project engineer in India before arriving at MIT in September, 2000. As an undergraduate at Mumbai, he played cricket, table tennis, lawn tennis and badminton.
"He loved cricket," said Sebastian Boegerhausen '01 (MEng), who worked with Mr. Khanolkar on the IT group. "He taught me about the game and we watched matches together on the Internet." Mr. Khanolkar was his mentor in other areas as well. "When I had a question he'd work it out and give me the answer. It came to a point where I could look at a program and figure it out just because he was there with me. He was my best friend at MIT."
Mr. Khanolkar is survived by his parents, Prafull and Nayana Khanolkar of Bombay, and a sister in Waltham. He and Rachna Jotwani, a graduate student in computer science at the State University of New York/Buffalo, had planned to marry in India in February. At the time of his death, she was in India planning the wedding.
Abridged from a tribute written
by Kenneth, Johann and Kate Kruckemeyer:
After graduating from the Univ. of Cincinnati in 1963, she married Ken Kruckemeyer and they moved to Boston, settling in the South End in 1967. Both of them say that they "grew up" in the South End, learning and gaining strength from their neighbors and from the neighborhood.
In the 1970s, Ann taught first aid and became an emergency medical technician. She helped to establish the Boston Community Ambulance, a volunteer service headquartered near Dudley Square. She worked there as an ambulance driver and primary attendant, and served on the board of directors. To advance her medical understanding, she successfully sneaked into anatomy lectures at Harvard Medical School for an entire year.
Believing firmly in public school education, Ann was active as a parent at the Bancroft/Rice School and was part of the Community Board that planned the new Blackstone School in the 1970s. For several years, Anne drove school buses on runs across the city. This followed her fascination with big machines and helped her learn the city's network of streets to be prepared to respond more quickly on the ambulance.
Ann's activism in the South End began by working on the political campaigns of Alex Rodriguez, Chris Hayes and Mel King, and she was an effective organizer against the South End Bypass and the Southwest Expressway (never built). She served on the board of the Thom clinic and WalkBoston, volunteered at the Harriet Tubman House, and served lunch at Rosie's Place.
Ann leaves behind her husband Ken, son Johann, daughter Kate, a brother, and many friends in the South End, across the country, and around the world. Donations in Ann's memory may be made to the Boston Women's Fund (a foundation promoting social, political and economic justice for women and girls) at 14 Beacon St., Suite 805, Boston, MA 02108.
News has arrived that James (Jim) R. Simpson, '55 (SM, Sanitary Engineering), died on August 23, 2001 in England. "Jim was one of the first of three grad students we had from England and was very well liked by everyone. I feel lucky to have been with him for a short time," said Ross McKinney '49 & '51 (SM & ScD, Sanitary Engineering).
Intrigued by the meticulous work done by Prof. Martin Polz's group in Parsons Lab, the MIT News Office circulated a summary: "How tedious is Martin Polz's research with harmful microorganisms? 'Not only are we looking for needles in a haystack, but we want to quantify the needles in the haystack, too,' notes the assistant professor in MIT's CEE Dept. While incidences of marine-related illnesses and harmful algal blooms are increasing, the explanation for such rises is unclear. This is at least partly due to the difficulty of quantifying critical changes in small populations of microorganisms in the marine environment. Although there are programs to monitor a variety of pathogens, little is understood about the onset, duration, and general causes of conditions that allow the growth of microorganisms that cause illness in marine life and/or humans. To help remedy this, Polz and colleagues are studying the life cycles of these microbial pathogens. The research, which involves the development of new molecular techniques that detect and quantify small microbial populations, is funded by MIT Sea Grant, through a two-year Doherty Professorship. Polz's collaborators in the project are from Temple University, MIT, and the joint program between MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution." A more detailed description of the work appears in the Spring 2000 issue of Two if by Sea, the newsletter of the MIT and WHOI Sea Grant programs.
With dramatically escalating property values in formerly less choice areas of Boston, any available parcel of vacant land starts looking like a little gold mine to the owners. A photo in the April 27, 2001 Jamaica Plain Gazette shows a group of students with Prof. Ken Kruckemeyer studying one such controversy in a rapidly gentrifying area. The caption explains, "Ken Kruckemeyer, a former MBTA assistant project manager who now teaches at MIT, points out to his students during a walking tour of the Southwest Corridor last week that the original plans for the project called for lot 53a at Brookside Avenue, Amory and Green Streets to be used for community benefit. The T now wants to sell the lot to the highest bidder. Kruckemeyer is a strong advocate for disposing of the land under the original agreement, which expired in 1995. The city is now negotiating with the T for a community process that will assure residents have a say in how the lot is used."
"Civil and Environmental Engineering at