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March 20, 1997


"Another Kind of Monday," a novel for young adults written by William Coles, faculty member in English, was selected for the 1997 Books for the Teen Age by the Office of Young Adult Services of The New York Public Library. Books for the Teen Age has been published as a list annually since 1929 and serves to recognize the best of the previous year's publishing for teenagers.

In this young adults' novel set in Pittsburgh, money, a note concealed in a copy of Dickens's "Great Expectations," and a native curiosity lead high school senior Mark and his classmate Zeena on a quest around the city researching such salient happenings from its history as the creation of Allegheny Observatory, the prison break of the Biddle Boys, and the attempted assassination of Henry Clay Frick. Anna Balazs, associate professor of chemical engineering, served as guest editor of a special issue of the MRS Bulletin, a publication of the Materials Research Society. The articles in the special issue featured how various theoretical and computer models have been used to probe behavior of polymers at penetrable and impenetrable interfaces. Among the contributors to the special issue were Galen Pickett and Chandralekha Singh, post-doctoral researchers in the Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, and Ekaterina Zhulina, visiting scientist in the same department. Balazs also was elected to be vice-chair of the division of High Polymer Physics, which is the Polymer Division of the American Physical Society.


The Pittsburgh Society of Professional Engineers (PSPE) presented James Cobb Jr., associate professor of chemical engineering and director of the energy resources program, with the Dedicated Service Award for 1997 in recognition of his continuous years of active participation in, service to, and support of the Pittsburgh Chapter, PSPE, the National Society of Professional Engineers and the engineering profession.

Cobb served on numerous PSPE and NSPE committees and has served as NSPE director, treasurer, various vice president positions, president and now serves as state director. He is co-chair of the PSPE education committee, a member of its executive director search committee and liaison to the task force organizing a statewide environmental network.


Bartholomew Nnaji, Alcoa Foundation Professor of Manufacturing in industrial engineering, has been elected to the Nigerian Academy of Sciences.


Chemical and petroleum engineering professor James G. Goodwin has received a $298,606 grant from the National Security Education Program to develop and fund a comprehensive program for high school science and engineering students to study in China.

"No other engineering program known to us tries to incorporate the study of Chinese and a viable China experience so extensively as this program," according to Goodwin.

The grant will fund a program created by Goodwin and Chinese professor Dayle Barnes for Freedom Area High School seniors who plan to major in science or engineering. The program's goal is to produce graduate engineers who are proficient in Chinese, knowledgeable about China, and conversant with the cultural aspects of technological application.

Four-to-eight college-bound students in Freedom's gifted program will learn "survival" Chinese language skills during preparation courses. A Pitt professor will teach these courses at Freedom High School every Thursday for 14 weeks. Then the students will study in China at Xi'an Highway University in Xi'an for five weeks beginning in June. n Rafael Quimpo, chair of civil and environmental engineering, has been named to a review panel of the National Science Foundation to examine proposals submitted to the CAREER program of the Bioengineering and Environmental Systems of the Engineering Directorate. The CAREER program provides research support for young faculty nationwide to assist them in their early career development.


The School of Engineering honored seven of its graduates with Distinguished Alumni Awards. The recipients are: Roger Barna, bachelors degree in electrical engineering, 1963, masters degree in electrical engineering at Ball State University. He is currently the president of Mitsubishi Electric Power Products, Inc. in Warrendale, PA. Barna was the first non-Japanese executive t ohead a Mitsubishi-named company.

Allen Biehler, bachelors degree in civil engineering, 1967, masters degree in transportation at Yale. Biehler is vice president of Frederick R. Harris, Inc. and is a registered professional engineer in Pennsylvania. His experience includes highway planning, aviation planning, waterway transportation and mass transit. He was responsible for the development of Port Authority's major fixed guideway improvements including expansion of the busway system and reconstruction of Stage II South Hills light rail transit. George Huber, bachelors degree from the U.S. Naval Academy and a masters degree in industrial engineering, 1965, second masters degree in systems management from the University of Southern California and a Juris Doctor degree from Duquesne University School of Law. Huber is vice president and counsel at the University Pittsburgh Medical Center. He also served as licensed professional industrial engineer in the U.S. Air Force and was a private practice attorney and faculty member in Pitt's Graduate School of Public Health and Department of Psychiatry.

Robert Luffy, bachelors degree in civil engineering, 1972, and masters degree in business administration, 1979. Luffy is the president and CEO of American Bridge Company whose recent projects include the Rock-N-Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, the Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, and the Williamsburg Bridge in New York City. Leighton Orr, bachelors degree in mechanical engineering, 1928. Orr is a retired technical consultant in glass and ceramics. He has published numerous articles and worked with many government agencies on strength, test procedures, and fracture analysis of glass and manufactured glass products.

Leonard Peters, bachelors degree, 1962, masters degree, 1969, and Ph.D., 1971 in chemical engineering. Peters is vice provost for research and dean of the graduate school at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. He has also held numerous positions at the University of Kentucky and Cleveland State University. Among his countless research areas, he specializes in atmospheric transport and chemistry, and physico-chemical behavior of aerosol systems.

Susan Wood, bachelors degree in physics at Victoria University of Manchester, 1969, Masters degree, 1973 in metallurgical engineering and Ph.D., 1976, in materials engineering. Wood is vice president and director of Savannah River Technology Center, Westinghouse Savannah River Company. She hold patents in materials engineering and has performed extensive work in advanced analytical techniques with a wide variety of materials. Author of more than 30 papers for scientific journals, in addition to seminars, reports and presentations, Wood often speaks at national and international conferences.

For more than 30 years, the School of Engineering has honored the professional achievements of its graduates through the Distinguished Alumnus Award Program. The accomplishments of these seven Engineering graduates have brought recognition to the University and its academic departments, to the engineering profession, and to the Pitt engineering alumni community.

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