Faculty Recognized for Research
UMBC’s science, technology and engineering community ended 2007 on a prestigious note as five faculty members were named as fellows or board members of international societies for excellence in their fields.
The honors are just the latest in distinguished careers for the professors, but carry special meaning because they indicate the respect of peers.
Julia Ross, professor and chair of the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering, and Tulay Adali, professor of computer science and electrical engineering, were both elected fellows of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. It’s not the first time the two have been honored by the same organization, as both Ross and Adali received National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER Awards in 1997.
“It means a lot to be considered a peer in a group that represents the academy of biological and medical engineers,” Ross said. “I’m honored that others value the quality and impact of our research.”
Ross studies how drug-resistant forms of staph and other infections adhere and spread inside the body. In 2007, she received the American Society for Engineering Education’s Sharon Keillor Award for Women in Engineering Education.
Adali is currently working on several projects funded by the NSF, National Institutes of Health and other agencies to develop new signal processing techniques to better understand how the brain functions. “Recognition is always rewarding, especially when it is least expected and when in such great company,” she said. “I’ve been fortunate to work with a bright group of graduate students on a fascinating array of projects, in a forward-looking academic environment fostered by UMBC.”
Shlomo Carmi, professor of mechanical engineering and former dean of the College of Engineering and Information Technology, was recently elected to serve on the Board of Governors of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering (ASME). Carmi, who was named an ASME Life Fellow in 1992, has been a tireless advocate for science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education over his exemplary career.
“Having a positive impact on society has always been my desire, so getting elected to the ASME Board of Governors provides me with a golden opportunity to serve the engineering profession and put UMBC on an important global stage,” said Carmi.
Ray Hoff, professor of physics and director of the collaborative NASA-UMBC research centers JCET and GEST, was recently named a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society. Hoff’s expertise on air pollution, climate and the atmosphere has been reflected in a prestigious track record of collaborations with and honors from NASA, the Environmental Protection Agency, Environment Canada, the European Economic Community and other earth science organizations.
“I’m pleased and honored to have received a society fellowship at the same time as my colleagues,” said Hoff. “UMBC has clearly reached a point where awards and honors are becoming a larger part of the life of the campus. The story of UMBC as a prestigious place to do cutting-edge research is becoming more obvious to our peers and I hope that recognition spreads statewide.”
Govind Rao, professor of chemical engineering and director of the Center for Advanced Sensor Technology, was named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Rao develops new technologies for biotechnology manufacturing. He has licensed several of his patents to Fluorometrix, a company he co-founded. His many other career honors include the Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation and the 2001 Gaden Award from John Wiley for the most influential paper published in biotechnology and bioengineering.
“This level of recognition indicates that UMBC is finally coming of age,” said Rao. “We are a young institution and it simply takes time to mature and be recognized. It also shows the importance of picking a niche and excelling in it. We are too small to compete in every field, but in the ones that we do, we are stellar.”
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