Question of the Month

As you will see in the top story of this issue of eNews, I will step down from my position as dean upon completion of my second term in 2015. What qualities do you think the University should look for in the next dean of the Engineering School?

I look forward to hearing from you,     
Dean Jim Aylor      

Image of Dean James H. Aylor  
Engineering Dean Rejoins Faculty After Re-energizing School

As dean of the University of Virginia School of Engineering and Applied Science, James H. Aylor has grown enrollment, added faculty and increased research revenue. He has built new facilities and fostered a series of innovative partnerships with industry and government — successes that have helped improve the School’s stature on Grounds and nationally. After a decade of accomplishment, he is ready to step down. The University announced that Aylor will return to the School’s faculty when his second term ends in 2015. “Jim Aylor’s dedication to the Engineering School has been remarkable,” President Teresa A. Sullivan said. “He has been a powerful advocate for science and technology because he understands that excellence in these areas is critical to the University’s future.” (More)

Image of Alec Gosse  
Engineering Graduate Uses Big Data to Seek Insights to Bicycle Travel Flow

As a longtime bicyclist, Alec Gosse is concerned with bike safety and the desire to make bicycle travel practical in a society centered on automobile travel. As a civil and environmental engineering student at the University of Virginia, he wrote two published research papers on infrastructure and active transportation and co-led a “big data” project designed to get a better fix on bicycle usage and its relation to the more dominant automobile and bus traffic in Charlottesville. That work, and another paper, formed the basis of his dissertation, which led to Gosse earning his doctorate in civil and environmental engineering in December 2013. He now works for Commonwealth Computer Research Inc. (More)

Image of Associate Professor Kevin Janes  
Crowd Control and Cancer Cells

When Kevin Janes considers a tumor, he imagines the population of a dark and dystopian city. Originally colonized by the descendants of a single malignant cell, the tumor grows more diverse over time, as its inhabitants recruit different types of cells to join them and its cell of origin begins to evolve under the pressure of natural selection. “Seen in this light, treating a tumor is like managing a volatile and unruly mob,” says Janes, assistant professor of biomedical engineering. “Some of the cells may be truly bad actors, while others are swept along by circumstances.” (More)

Image of Vanessa Hurst  
Engineering Graduate is Founder of Businesses Aimed at Reaching Out to Underrepresented Groups

Vanessa Hurst knows how to adapt. The daughter of a Marine infantry officer, she moved so often that she attended three different high schools, along the way learning the skills needed to thrive in different environments. Now the 2008 U.Va. graduate in computer science is encouraging other young women to adapt to an ever-changing, technology-driven world: She is teaching them to program. Since graduating and moving to New York City just six years ago, the 27-year-old Hurst has launched two businesses aimed at reaching out to underrepresented groups in the computer science field and using technology for social good. Her efforts have been featured in national media, from NBC’s “Today” show to NPR’s “Science Friday.” (More)

Image from a Rolls Royce visit to UVA  
University of Virginia Joins Rolls-Royce University Technology Centers Network

Rolls-Royce announced in April that the University of Virginia joined the global Rolls-Royce University Technology Centers network, comprising research groups in world-class universities identified to develop long-term research and technology programs. Creating such a center provides each party with mutual benefits through funding of fundamental, collaborative research to advance key aerospace technologies critical to Rolls-Royce. The announcement was made at the U.Va. School of Engineering and Applied Science prior to the Rolls-Royce Distinguished Lecture presented by Lourdes Maurice, executive director of the Federal Aviation Administration Office on Environment and Energy. (More)

Image of Professor Jack Stankovic  
Computer Scientist Prepares for Next-Generation Sensors

U.Va. computer science Professor Jack Stankovic has won a Microsoft Research Award from the Software Engineering Innovation Foundation (SEIF) to study how to detect and resolve dependencies among various apps that could be run simultaneously for sensing and actuation in “smart” homes of the future. Stankovic, who also was recently chosen by the University of York for an honorary degree of Doctor of the University, was one of 12 recipients selected from more than 100 submissions for the highly competitive SEIF research grants. (More)