Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

November 7, 1996


Two Pitt engineering professors have been named to chair departments in the school.

Rafael G. Quimpo has been appointed chairperson of civil and environmental engineering. William Soffa has been named chairperson of materials science and engineering.

Quimpo earned his Ph.D. from Colorado State University in 1966. A 30-year member of the engineering school's faculty, he earned the Beitle-Veltri Memorial Award for Excellence in Teaching, the school's highest teaching honor. He also has been selected as Professor of the Year by the American Society of Civil Engineers, Pittsburgh section.

His research focuses on water resources engineering.

Soffa has been a member of the school's faculty since 1968. He earned his Ph.D. from Ohio State University in 1967. In 1979, Soffa received an Alexander von Humboldt Research Award. He earned the Beitle-Veltri Memorial Award for Teaching Excellence from the engineering school in 1992.

Soffa's primary research interests are in the areas of phase transformations, magnetic materials and crystal plasticity. His most recent research involves the mechanical and magnetic properties of nanoscale materials.


David A. Smith has been re-elected and Suzanne W. Broadhurst has been elected to the Board of Directors at Magee-Womens Hospital. Smith has been a member of Magee's Board of Directors for the past six years and is the immediate past vice chair of the board. He is founder and partner of the commercial real estate mortgage banking firm of Lane, Noland, Smith & Company. Broadhurst is director of corporate giving for Eat'n Park Restaurants and serves as a member of their Board of Directors.


The University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute (UPCI) recently honored leaders in patient care, scientific research and community service.

Scott Williams, associate professor of surgery, received the Leo H. Criep Excellence in Patient Care Award, named for a former member of UPMC's Department of Medicine who maintained a strong concern for and interest in the nature of physician/patient relationships.

Wanda Patla, radiological technologist at UPCI's Comprehensive Breast Care Facility, received UPCI's Excellence in Patient Care Award.

John Kirkwood, director of UPCI's Melanoma Center and vice chair for clinical research in the Department of Medicine, received UPCI's Scientific Leadership Award for his achievements in the treatment of melanoma.


Bartholmew Nnaji has been appointed Alcoa Foundation Professor of Manufacturing in the School of Engineering's industrial engineering department.

Nnaji is editor-in-chief of International Journal of Design and Manufacturing and editor of SME Transactions on Robotics Research. He was a professor of industrial engineering and operations research and director of the Automation and Robotics Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. He is the founder and former director of the National Center for Computer-Aided Medical Imaging and Devices for Diagnosis and Surgical Intervention Systems. He also held the position of federal minister of science and technology in his native country of Nigeria in 1993.

Nnaji earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in industrial engineering at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He earned a B.S. in physics at St. John's University, where he graduated first in his class.


Mervat Abdelhak, chair of health information management, School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, has received the 1996 American Health Information Management Association National Edna K. Huffman Literary Award for the textbook and ancillaries entitled, "Health Information: Management of a Strategic Resource."

Leave a Reply