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January 11, 2001


Frederick G. Pohland, Weidlein Chair and professor of environmental engineering, received the 2000 Gordon Maskew Fair Award from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers.

The award honors individuals who have contributed substantially to the engineering profession by exemplary professional conduct, have recognized engineering achievement in the practice of engineering and have made significant contributions to the control of the quality of the world's environment.

In addition, Pohland has been recognized by the International Water Association as an honorary member.


The National Science Foundation has awarded Pitt professor Andrew Connolly a Faculty Early Career Development Award, honoring Connolly's dedication to the integration of research and education.

For the past seven years, Connolly, an assistant professor of physics and astronomy, has worked on the Sloan Digital Sky Survey (SDSS), which will map one-quarter of the entire sky, determining the positions and brightness of more than 100 million celestial objects. The SDSS telescope also will measure the distances to more than a million galaxies and quasars.

"One goal of the project is to develop a virtual observatory. Rather than going to an observatory, researchers will have their own telescope on their computer," Connolly said. "We are trying to develop a system that will be effective and accessible for astrophysicists and graduate students as well as undergraduates and even high school students."

Connolly investigates how galaxies form and how gravity causes them to cluster in the sky. He has developed techniques for estimating galaxy properties that could reveal their age and how they evolved.

His recent work with the SDSS includes helping develop the spectroscopic component of the survey enabling the SDSS to map the highest number of spectra each night of any telescope in existence.

The Career Award is NSF's most prestigious honor for junior faculty members. The NSF established the award in 1995 to recognize scientists and researchers likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century.


Linda M. Siminerio, executive director of the University of Pittsburgh Diabetes Institute, has been named vice president for the International Diabetes Federation.

The International Diabetes Federation, headquartered in Brussels, is a non-governmental organization that works with member associations to enhance the lives of people with diabetes. It is the only global advocate for people with diabetes and their health care providers. The federation has 176 member associations in 132 countries.

Siminerio, who also is assistant professor of medicine in the School of Medicine, has been executive director of the Diabetes Institute since 1999.

Prior to that, she was coordinator of the diabetes education program clinic at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh for over 20 years and has been involved with numerous research studies and publications related to diabetes.

She serves as editor of Diabetes Journal and Diabetes Spectrum. She is a past senior vice president of the American Diabetes Association and has served on numerous committees and on its national board of directors locally and nationally.

She also is a member of the board of management of the International Diabetes Federation, the major international diabetes organization, and represents diabetes education internationally.


Christopher J. Earls, William Kepler Whiteford faculty fellow and assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, has won the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Enhancement Award 2000.

The $10,000 award is provided by the Oak Ridge Associated Universities for the purpose of enriching the research and professional growth of young faculty and resulting in new funding opportunities.


Ed Stricker, University professor of neuroscience and chair of the Department of Neuroscience since 1986, has begun a one-year term as president of the Association of Neuroscience Departments and Programs (ANDP).

The ANDP, a national organization of approximately 250 neuroscience department chairs and program directors from academic institutions in North America, promotes education and research training in academic neuroscience programs by disseminating information about neuroscience education and by providing a forum for discussion of issues in training and research at both the institutional and national levels. The ANDP is an independent organization that shares many interests with the 30,000-member Society for Neuroscience and works closely with that society.

Stricker also is co-director of Pitt's Center for Neuroscience.


Joel Abrams, chairman emeritus of civil and environmental engineering, has won the Engineering Society of Western Pennsylvania's Metcalf Award.

The award is given to an outstanding engineer whose field of accomplishment relates to those fields normally associated with western Pennsylvania.

During his tenure as chairman, Abrams was responsible for initiating a doctoral program in the department and was instrumental in starting a dual-degree program with the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs.


Christopher D. Harner, professor of orthopaedic surgery and chief of the division of sports medicine at the School of Medicine, has been appointed to a 10-year term on the board of directors of the American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery.

The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery serves to maintain and enhance the quality of orthopaedic care for the benefit of the patients and the medical profession.

The board also establishes educational guidelines for orthopaedic residents and evaluates the qualifications of orthopaedic surgeons through a nationwide standard certification process. The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons as well as the American Medical Association nominated Harner to this position.

Harner also serves as the medical director and director of education at the UPMC Center for Sports Medicine and is a member of the executive committee for the UPMC Musculoskeletal Research Center. His commitment to teaching and research earned him the Blue Cross of Western Pennsylvania endowed chair and professorship of orthopaedic surgery in 1998. In 1999, he received the Cabaud Award from the American Orthopaedic Society for Sports Medicine.

He also is a team physician for Pitt, Robert Morris College and Woodland Hills High School.


Anthony J. DeArdo, William Kepler Whiteford professor of materials science and engineering, has bee elected a fellow of ASM International, the Materials Information Society.

DeArdo was recognized "for outstanding contributions in the area of microalloyed steels, in particular relating to fundamental structure-property relationships and thermomechanical processing."


Philip Watts, faculty member in French and Italian languages and literatures, has won the Modern Language Associa-tion's Aldo and Jeanne Scaglione Prize for French and Franco-phone Literary Studies. Watts won for his book, "Allegories of the Purge," which was published by Stanford University Press.

The Scaglione prize is awarded annually to an MLA member for an outstanding book — a literary or linguistic study, a critical edition of an important work or a critical biography.

Watts is acting director of the Program in Cultural Studies and a member of the FAS faculty research grants committee and the executive committee of the Pittsburgh Alliance Francaise. He has been the recipient of Pitt's Tina and David Bellet Undergraduate Teaching Excellence Award, a Howard Foundation Fellowship for Study of French Film and Criticism and a National Endowment for the Humanities summer stipend.


Michael Lovell, associate professor and William Kepler Whiteford faculty fellow in mechanical engineering, has been named executive director of the John A. Swanson New Product Incubator (SNPI).

Lovell's work will include coordinating the overall operation, administering personnel and projects, working with industry to establish research and student projects, working with faculty and staff to further develop SNPI technologies and determining staffing requirements.


Savio L-Y. Woo, professor of orthopaedic surgery and vice chairman of research of orthopaedic surgery in the School of Medicine, has been appointed general secretary for the IOC (International Olympic Committee) Olympic Academy on Sport Sciences.

Woo was appointed to the academy by Prince Alexandre de Merode, chairman of the IOC's medical commission. In 1998, Woo was awarded the IOC's Olympic Prize for Sports Science.

The academy's goal is to chart the future direction of Olympic sport sciences based on research and education. The academy also handles intramural efforts on timely research and sponsors and conducts consensus workshops and symposia on cutting-edge topics in conjunction with the biennial IOC World Congress program.

As general secretary for the academy, Woo will lead scientific committees, establish procedures to elect memberships and form liaisons with IOC committees and other programs. he will serve a four-year term.

Woo is the director of the Musculoskeletal Research Center as well as a professor of mechanical engineering in Pitt's School of Medicine.

In 1994, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for his contributions to orthopaedic biomechanics, tissue engineering and the understanding of sports injury, repair and remodeling.

A member of the National Academy of Sciences' Institute of Medicine, Woo is one of only 17 people ever to be elected to both that institute and the NAE. In 1997, he was elected to Academia Sinica.

In addition, he has received the highest honors given by three international organizations: the Givanni Borelli Award from the American Society of Biomechanics, the H.R. Lissner Award from the bioengineering division of the American Society for Mechanical Engineers, and the Muybridge Medal from the International Society of Biomechanics.


Jeffrey A. Romoff, president of UPMC Health System, is the winner of the National Kidney Foundation of Western Pennsylvania's 2001 Gift of Life Corporate Award.

The Gift of Life Awards recognize those individuals who have contributed to making the quality of life better for kidney disease patients and, in particular, transplant recipients.

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