Category Archives: Women Engineers

Koomson awarded NSF early-concept grant

Valencia Joyner Koomson, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, has received a National Science Foundation early-concept grant for exploratory research (EAGER) to develop a 3D optical imaging device to report data on the real-time electrical activity of multi-cellular systems.

The research, conducted in collaboration with postdoctoral scholar Nurdan Ozkucur, will have broader applications for disease pathways, drug development, and bioengineering.

Tufts in Talloires: To new perspectives

This summer, two students from the Bridge to Engineering Success at Tufts (BEST) program will blog their experiences from Tufts in Talloires, a six-week summer program that offers students a dynamic group of courses taught by Tufts faculty in Talloires, France. Students enrolled in this program choose two courses from a selection of undergraduate offerings. In addition to coursework, a wide variety of optional outdoor activities, weekly hikes into the Alps, field trips, and organized events offer each student the opportunity to explore the unique Haute-Savoie region of France. 

Michelle 1 -  postBy Michelle Chan

“Je ne parle pas français.” Following the robot voice of Google Translate, I tried to learn a sentence, preparing to meet my host family who spoke no English. Even if I could pronounce anything correctly, nothing could have prevented the overwhelming first day at the dinner table in which I did not understand a single word of French.

I chose to study abroad through the Tufts in Talloires program precisely to experience this growth-promoting unfamiliarity. One advantage of studying abroad is that my peers are also adjusting to the new environment, so being bad at something suddenly becomes a little less embarrassing than usual. The old adage of “Everybody has to start somewhere” starts to feel realistically applicable. I glance around the dinner table at my French major roommate, my host parents, and the carton of grapefruit juice, feeling brave enough to give it a try, to say, “Pamplemousse.” Grapefruit. The official first word I learned in French.

My hopes for these six weeks extends past learning a language, but also includes gaining an understanding for French culture and taking unique classes contributing invaluable breadth to my engineering education.

One class I am particularly excited about is Global Health Crises, which the professor designed to be interdisciplinary in a way that causes students with a science background to complain about having too much policy, and those with a social science background to complain about having too much science. As a computer engineering major, which is frankly neither science nor policy, I find importance in learning these subjects to foster an understanding of the real world before tackling its problems.

Now is a good time to take a step back from technical work to develop new perspectives.

Michelle Chan is a rising sophomore from Eugene, Oregon, majoring in computer engineering.

Souvaine appointed to NSF leadership role

Professor of Computer Science Diane Souvaine has been elected vice chair of the National Science Board (NSB), the governing body of the National Science Foundation. It’s the first time in NSF history that women hold the three top leadership positions: director, chair and vice chair.

The 24-member NSB serves as an independent advisor to both the president and Congress on policies related to science and engineering, and education in those disciplines. President Barack Obama first appointed Souvaine to the NSB in 2008 and reappointed her to a second six-year term in 2014.

Zenyuk researches hydrogen fuel cells

Widespread use of electric vehicles could offer relief from pollution, says Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering Iryna Zenyuk, and hydrogen fuel cells present the option for a cleaner, more efficient power source. However, the water byproduct created inside a hydrogen fuel cell compromises the cell’s efficiency.

Tufts Now covers the work being done by Zenyuk and colleagues as they develop new ways to see how water droplets form inside a fuel cell’s tiny cathode layer.

Flytzani-Stephanopoulos receives IPMI award

Professor Maria Flytzani-Stephanopoulos has received the International Precious Metals Institute’s (IPMI) Carol Tyler Award for 2016, in recognition of her contributions to the research of precious metals.

The IPMI Carol Tyler Award recognizes the achievements of a distinguished woman in the field, spanning both industry and academia. The award will be presented at IPMI’s 40th Annual Conference in June 2016.

Hassoun to Receive EDA Achievement Award

Professor and Chair Soha HassounComputer Science Professor and Chair Soha Hassoun has been selected as the recipient of the Marie R. Pistilli Women in Electronic Design Automation (EDA) Achievement Award for 2016. The award is in recognition of her service to the Design Automation Conference “and the other communities of which she is a member, and for her contribution to research, technology, and the education of engineers in such a wide variety of fields.” It will be presented at the 53rd Design Automation Conference in June. Congratulations, Professor Hassoun!

Alumna Zimmerman Wins Top Prize in Health and Life Sciences Track

04/07/2016 - Medford/Somerville, Mass. -  Award presentation:  Lauren Linton, deputy director of Tufts Institute for Innovation and BrainSpec. The 2016 $100K New Ventures Competition at Breed Memorial Hall in Tufts University, Thursday, April 7, 2016. (Chitose Suzuki for Tufts University)

Alexandra Zimmerman of team BrainSpec poses with Lauren Linton, deputy director of Tufts Institute for Innovation.

In the recent $100k New Ventures Competition organized by the Gordon Institute, mechanical engineering alumna Alexandra Zimmerman, E09, was on the BrainSpec team, which won first place in the Health and Life Sciences track. BrainSpec is a software platform that enables the accurate and non-invasive diagnosis of brain disorders, using magnetic resonance spectroscopy. It can help diagnose neurological disorders like Alzheimer’s disease, traumatic brain injury, and brain tumor progression.

Casey and Wan Win Awards for Engineering Education

Carter Casey, computer science

Carter Casey, computer science

Qianwen Wan, electrical and computer engineering

Qianwen Wan, electrical and computer engineering

Carter Casey (CS) and Qianwen Wan (ECE) received awards for Outstanding Graduate Contributor to Engineering Education for significantly enhancing the education programs of their departments. Casey and Wan received the awards at the 18th Annual Graduate Student Awards ceremony on April 29, 2016 in Distler Hall, Granoff Music Center.

BME Receives Faculty and Graduate Student Awards

David Kaplan, Biomedical Engineering

Stern Family Professor and Chair David Kaplan (BME) received the 2016 Faculty Teaching and Mentoring Award for his outstanding support of graduate students from course completion through research and post-degree placement.

Biomedical engineering students Joseph Lyons and Kelly Sullivan received awards for Outstanding Academic Scholarship as master’s and doctoral candidates, respectively.

Doctoral student Pami Anderson received an award for the Commitment to the Practice of Engineering with her substantial record of practice-based experience and accomplishment.

Kaplan and students received the awards at the 18th Annual Graduate Student Awards ceremony on April 29, 2016 in Distler Hall, Granoff Music Center.