Santa Clara University



From the Dean's Desk
-Dean Daniel Pitt

The School of Engineering at Santa Clara University got off to a great start this year with the arrival of four new faculty members, and they have already made their presence felt. Let me introduce you to them and then say a few words about where they are taking us.

- Rong (Rachel) He, (Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, Madison), assistant professor of civil engineering, joined us from Princeton University where she conducted research in intelligent transportation systems.

- Ed Maurer, (Ph.D., University of Washington), assistant professor of civil engineering, specializes in water resources. Before returning to school for his Ph.D., Ed ran a consulting office in Berkeley working on Western water rights issues. He also spent several years in Peru developing clean water systems for the poor.

- Mark Aschheim, (Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley), associate professor of civil engineering, comes to Santa Clara with an accomplished record at the University of Illinois in seismic design and analysis. He has engaged SCU's Center for Science, Technology, and Society to look at grass-roots technology development in the Third World.

- Jorge Gonzalez, (Ph.D., Georgia Tech), professor of mechanical engineering, left the chairmanship of the mechanical engineering department at the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez, to join Santa Clara. A thermodynamicist, his interests span thermal management of electronic systems, urban-scale energy issues and technology for solar air-conditioning, which he has started to commercialize.

A common thread among these four individuals is environmental engineering, especially toward the goal of sustainable systems. Together with some of our current faculty, these new members are developing proposals for collaborative research in urban ecosystems and off-the-grid communities. Numerous developing countries have little hope for the installation of sophisticated infrastructure, so infrastructure-free utilities hold special promise for them.

What I find so exciting is the interplay between civil engineering, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering, and systems engineering in these efforts. One of the goals of Jesuit education is to demonstrate the interconnectedness of disciplines. Engineering is crying out for the breaking down of the barriers between its traditional branches, which have a lot more in common with each other than they did when they were born during the Industrial Revolution. Modern engineering, especially when applied to the real world and its societies, almost always incorporates elements of several engineering disciplines. Demonstrating this to our students equips them for professional success and beneficial impact to others. And is this not our main goal at Santa Clara?

If you would like to find out more about Dean Pitt, click here.

Awards Banquet

At the annual Engineering Awards Banquet held on May 17, 2003 (2.1 MB), the following individuals were recognized for their contributions to the School and the University.

Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients for 2003
  • Patrick Gelsinger (BSEE '83)
    Patrick Gelsinger award, DEA Dinner
    Patrick Gelsinger, CTO of Intel, receiving award from Dean Pitt
  • Glenn Harris (BSCE '48)
  • Norm Vogel (BSME '48)
Outstanding Service Award Recipients
  • Bill Adams, Jr., P.E. (BSME '37)
  • Ned Biglieri (BSME '51)
Engineering Faculty Awards
  • Adjunct Lecturer Of The Year - Khaled El-Ayat
  • Markle Award for Teaching Excellence - Stephen Chiappari
  • Researcher of the Year - Tokunbo Ogunfunmi

The Awards Banquet this year will be held on October 16. Please mark your calendar and plan to join the celebration of our accomplishments.

Alumni News

Frank J. Cepollina (BSME '59), an engineer at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center who leads the team responsible for the on-orbit missions that keep NASA's Hubble Space Telescope in peak condition, was one of 17 inductees named to the National Inventors Hall of Fame at a formal announcement in Washington, DC. For more information click here.

Register at Santa Clara Alumni Connections and become a part of the SCU Alumni online community. Registration is free to all alumni.

Engineering Alumni Board (EAB): Please check out our new webpage for the EAB. The board is recruiting new members for this year. Any interested alums should contact Richard Weber at

May 6 Senior Design Conference

There will be several satellite events on the day of the conference this year.

The tentative schedule is as follows:

  • The conference will kick-off with a joint meeting of all SOE Boards, including departmental advisory boards, the Engineering Alumni Board, and the Dean's Industry Advisory Board
  • A State-of-the-School address will be given by Dean Pitt at this meeting
  • In mid-morning, all SOE Boards meet individually
  • Luncheon for all board members and judges
  • Project presentations
  • Best projects award ceremony
  • Barbecue

Final schedule for the day will be posted on the SOE website by mid-April.

The Senior Design Conference showcases the learning experiences of Santa Clara University undergraduates in a teamwork venue. Judges from Silicon Valley industries decide on awards varying from "Best of Discipline" to "Best of Session." Seniors will have the opportunity to show off their technical achievements and demonstrate their audio-visual presentation skills. All are invited to attend this exciting event and stay for the award ceremony and barbecue.

To view last year's Senior Design Conference click here.

Leo W. Ruth CELSOC Memorial Scholarship

Leo Ruth Memorial Scholarship Signing
Leo Ruth Memorial Scholarship Signing

The Santa Clara County Chapter of the Consulting Engineers and Land Surveyors of California (CELSOC), along with more than 50 individual and corporate donors, has established the Leo W. Ruth, Jr. CELSOC Memorial Endowed Scholarship at Santa Clara University.

Mr. Ruth, a 1938 SCU civil engineering graduate known throughout the Valley for both his engineering and public service achievements, passed away on February 16, 2003. Leo was a partner in Ruth and Going, Inc. and helped develop much of the public infrastructure that now sustains Silicon Valley. He was elected into the Silicon Valley Engineering Councils Hall of Fame in 1990 and received a School of Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award in 1998. His many civic leadership activities included serving as president of the SCU Alumni Association, Board Chairman of the San Jose Redevelopment Agency, and Chair of the Metropolitan San Jose Chamber of Directors. This new scholarship has been established in& Ruth's name to provide financial assistance to current and future SCU civil engineering students.

Anyone interested in contributing to the Leo W. Ruth, Jr. - CELSOC Memorial Scholarship fund should contact Steve Bourdow of the SCU Development Office at (408) 551-7081.

Faculty News

Presidential Recognition Award

SCU President Paul Locatelli, S.J., honored Alex Zecevic, associate professor of electrical engineering, at the Faculty Recognition Dinner held last fall. The Presidential Recognition Award is bestowed upon those who best exemplify the teaching scholar, and Father Locatelli lauded Alex for the breadth and depth of his scholarship, for his distinguished teaching, and for his extensive service. He described Alex as one of our "purest scholars."

Dan Lewis, chair of computer engineering, has accepted a seat on the Advisory Board of the National Youth Leadership Forum on Technology (NYLF/TECH). NYLF/TECH was responsible for bringing 500 high school students to campus for an all-day workshop last summer.

Drago Siljak honored at International Engineering Workshop
The School of Engineering hosted an international workshop on "Stability, Complexity, and Robust Control of Dynamic Systems" Dec. 6, 2003 in honor of the 70th birthday of Benjamin and Mae Swig Professor Dragoslav Siljak, Electrical Engineering. This workshop was sponsored by the International DCDIS Conference on Engineering Applications and Computational Algorithms and will be featured in a special issue of the journal, Dynamics of Continuous, Discrete and Impulsive Systems.

Publisher's Notes

Our inauguration of this all-electronic newsletter coincides with the University's drive to convert most of its publications to the electronic media. The School of Engineering's website has been given a recent overhaul and offers the latest SOE news and information. As in all forms of communications, electronic or otherwise, we strive to continuously improve the quality of its content as well as presentation. We would be most grateful to hear from you any comments on this very first edition of Horizons. Your feedback can be sent to Barbara Paris at her e-mail address below or at (408) 554-5303.

For the spring issue of Horizons, we plan to present an overview of faculty research activities, new curriculum development, and education and research partnerships with both internal and external organizations.

Publisher: Cary Y. Yang, Associate Dean for New Initiatives and Partnerships
Editor: Barbara Paris
Editorial Assistants: Jonathan Christman, Andrew Luchsinger, and Diane Snodgrass

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Copyright 2004 Santa Clara University School of Engineering. All rights reserved. The links to other websites and all other information contained herein are provided for information purposes only.


SCU Hosts 1st Round MS Imagine Cup 2004:
The Microsoft Imagine Cup rewards students who use innovation and creativity when showcasing the Windows platform and the .NET Framework. There will be four teams representing the School of Engineering.

BotBall 2004!
The Robotics Lab will once again host the annual Northern Regional BotBall tournament in early April... more

Engineering Graduate
Programs Admissions
Spring Quarter
January 2, 2004
Certificate, MS, Ph.D.
March 25, 2004
Open University

Summer Quarter
June 10, 2004
Open University

Fall Quarter
June 1, 2004
Certificate, MS, Ph.D.
September 16, 2004
Open University

AGES continues to host social and academic programs for graduate engineering student.
Read more on their site, click here.

Chris Kitts, prof ME, was in an article in The Japan News, "U.S. weapons laws stymie school satellite." Read more about it...

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