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E-News Online APRIL 2014

Question of the Month

This issue of eNews features stories about some of our graduating fourth-year students – young people who have already achieved extraordinary things, including successfully completing their undergraduate thesis requirement. What value did your fourth-year thesis have in your career?

I look forward to hearing from you,
Jim Aylor, Dean

Image of The BME Group

An Education in Device Design - Undergraduates Use Capstone to Solve Life-Threatening Condition

There are scores of reasons why people develop deep vein thrombosis, a condition caused by a clot blocking a blood vessel, typically in the leg. But as Lana Hoang (BME ’14) and Lindsey Morrison (BME ’14) discovered, there are few effective treatments. Hoang and Morrison were students in Advanced Design, the third-year biomedical engineering elective, when they first became aware of this problem. As part of that class, students identify a medical challenge, familiarize themselves with current practice and establish criteria for a new device, method or program leading to better care. They enlisted Grace Chung (BME ’14) to join them and took on as their Capstone project creating a design of a device to treat this condition. (More)

Image of Imran Khan

Imran Khan - Exceptional by Any Standard

Imran Khan (SIE ’14) has made a habit of doing the best he can — not an easy achievement given the circumstances. During his senior year in high school, he was diagnosed with Friedreich’s ataxia, a rare inherited disease that causes progressive nervous system damage and impaired coordination. Khan is not easily deterred. No longer able to walk, he will drive his scooter down the Lawn for graduation. “It will be a real milestone for me,” he says. “I’ll be able to feel that all my hard work and the efforts of those who have assisted me have truly paid off,” he says. While the disease has imposed its agenda on Khan’s life in the form of complications and hospital stays, he has not let it diminish him. (More)

Image of Michael Terrell

Michael Terrell – Finding His Way at the University

Michael Terrell (SIE ’14) embraces contradiction. Classically trained as a pianist beginning at age 4, he ran track and played football for the University until a torn ligament in his knee put an end to his professional sports aspirations. Terrell prefers science to the study of history and English, yet he is deeply inspired by his family history and the achievements of his grandparents and great-grandparents. “My grandmother was a sharecropper,” he says. “She told me one of the things she looked forward to most in her lifetime was to see me graduate, and I am determined for her to realize this dream.” But it has not been easy. (More)

Image of Gabriella D’Agosto

Gabriella D’Agosto - Well Prepared to Lead and Discover

The popular view of an entrepreneur is of a powerful solitary figure — a Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or Mark Zuckerberg — who, through force of personality, bends an entire organization to a founding vision. Gabriella D’Agosto (BME ’14) has a more egalitarian perspective. “One thing I really enjoy about entrepreneurship,” she says, “is coming together as a team, brainstorming solutions to all sorts of problems and then translating the best idea into a new design.” She first became enthusiastic about entrepreneurship when she took an Engineers as Entrepreneurs class. She was part of a team of students from the class that took third place in the Engineering School’s Entrepreneurial Design Competition. (More)

Image of Jacob Monroe

Jacob Monroe – Student, Researcher and Musician

Jacob Monroe (ChE ’14) has wanted to be an engineer since solving word problems in middle school algebra. “The process of setting something up mathematically in order to solve a tangible physical problem was always satisfying,” he says. “Studying engineering seemed like a clear choice.” Later, he discovered a love for high school chemistry, and the combination of the two interests cemented his career choice as a chemical engineer. He already has two published first-author papers and a first-place award in his division in the AIChE national student poster competition. He is also an accomplished musician, spending free time in the music department, playing violin in the orchestra and in chamber groups and taking private lessons. (More)

Of Note

Over 1,000 students and their families attended the 2014 SEAS Open House in March.

Fourth-year chemical engineering undergraduate Greg Jantzen won the Cville 10 miler. A three-time competitor, he was first out of 2,400 runners.

Computer Science Professor Mary Lou Soffa won the 2014 ACM SIGFOFT Influential Educator Award.

Systems and Information Engineering Professor Reid Bailey received the U.Va. 2014 Excellence in Education Abroad Award.