Engineers On Campus, June 2015

Penn State Erie, The Behrend College, has appointed Ralph M. Ford, Ph.D. (NY Q ’87), as the interim chancellor of the college beginning July 1, 2015. Currently, Dr. Ford is director of the School of Engineering and associate dean for industry and external relations at Penn State Behrend. According to the article, he “joined Penn State Behrend in 1994 and has led the School of Engineering since 2005, creating new majors and research centers and increasing enrollment.”

“We are stronger and far more effective when we work across disciplines and draw on diverse perspectives,” Dr. Ford said. “I am excited to continue the work of creating new academic, research and outreach collaborations that position our students for success.”


Associate professor of electrical engineering David A. Wetz Jr., Ph.D. (TX B ’03), was recently profiled for his research in “working to determine how oversized a battery has to be while operating safely and efficiently during its lifetime of use by the U.S. Navy.” Dr. Wetz is the principal investigator for an Office of Naval Research grant that investigates how batteries age when they’re run at high rates.

“The keys for the Navy are safety, size and weight due to the limited amount of room on a ship. To fit within the space, the batteries often need to be run at higher power to accomplish the mission even if that results in a slightly shorter battery lifetime,” Dr. Wetz said. Read the article from ECN Magazine for more information on his engineering research at the University of Texas at Arlington.


Highlights from the 209th Commencement at Rensselaer Polytechnic (RPI), included advice from the first female promoted to four-star Admiral and the first African-American woman to attain a four-star rank in the Department of Defense, Vice Chief of Naval Operations Admiral Michelle Howard.

She said, “Whether or not our ever work as an engineer, remember this from your time at RPI; embracing your inner engineer means that you will always learn, you will never lose your love for discovery, and you will always be ready to roll up your sleeves for hard work.” Click here to read more about “embracing your inner engineer” and the RPI Commencement.


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