Spire - Spring 2008
A Message from Dean Grasso

Spring has finally arrived in beautiful Vermont; and with it, the end of the academic year—a year that has seen many major accomplishments for our faculty, staff, students, and alumni. Starting with this issue of SPIRE, we will have a separate section that highlights faculty accomplishments, awards, and milestones.

I hope to have a similar section devoted to our alumni in forthcoming issues. As with all great universities, the network of alums is one of major benefits of having attended such an institution. Our alumni are making a difference in various professional and leadership positions all around the world. I invite you as alums to write to Assistant Dean Dan Harvey with professional or personal news that you wish to share.

One upcoming event to which I would like to draw your attention is the Aiken Lecture, which CEMS is sponsoring in October. The speaker will be Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland—former Prime Minister of Norway, Director-General of the World Health Organization, and currently special envoy to the United Nations Secretary-General on climate change.

On a bit of a lighter side, this year we invited our student to produce short You Tube videos to highlight CEMS. The first
and second place winners, "The Engineer Hunter" and "Controlling Technologies" have been posted on our website for your viewing pleasure.

I invite you visit our website periodically to learn of other news stories and exciting happenings in the College.

With all good wishes for an enjoyable summer,
Domenico Grasso, Dean

David Gibson's New Book Integrates
Gaming into Classrooms

Games and Simulations in Online Learning: Research and Development Frameworks, edited by David Gibson of UVM's College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS), Clark Aldrich (Simulearn, USA), and Marc Prensky (Games2train, USA), examines the potential of games and simulations in online learning.

Although video games are everywhere — on websites, in stores, streamed to the desktop, on television — they are absent from the classroom. Computer-based simulations, a form of computer game, have begun to appear, but they are not as wide-spread as email, discussion threads, and blogs. more

First Woman Prime Minister of Norway
to Give Aiken Lecture

Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland to Deliver 2008 Keynote Aiken Lecture Emphasizing Holistic Solutions to Global Environmental Problems

The University of Vermont College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences and UVM Continuing Education program are pleased to announce Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland — former Prime Minister of Norway, Director-General of the World Health Organization, and currently special envoy to the United Nations Secretary-General on climate change — as keynote speaker for the 2008 UVM Aiken Lecture Series.

Brundtland's address, "Holistic Solutions to Global Environmental Problems: Integrating Technological Approaches with Political, Social, and Economic Realities," will be held at the University of Vermont's Ira Allen Chapel on October 15th, 2008 at 6 p.m. more

Melody Brown Burkins Joins CEMS

In February 2008, Dr. Melody Brown Burkins joined the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences full time as Associate Dean for Economic Development and Research Partnerships. In her role, Burkins works with the Dean and faculty to advance strategic partnerships and communications in support of College-wide priorities, including continued hires of world-class faculty, growth of an innovative research enterprise, and advocacy for a competitive, holistic approach to 21st century science and engineering.

Burkins is also a point person for individuals, companies, and organizations hoping to explore research ideas, partnerships, and technology transfer opportunities with CEMS. She visits regularly with small and large business and government interests, participates in statewide economic development and higher education discussions, and helps connect CEMS with federal opportunities and programs.

Educated as an earth and ecosystems scientist at Dartmouth College (M.S. and Ph.D.) and Yale University (B.S.), Burkins was chosen as the 1999-2000 AAAS Congressional Science and Technology Fellow for the Geological Society of America and U.S. Geological Survey, then became permanent staff to U.S. Senator Patrick Leahy as his aide for energy and environment issues in Vermont and the nation. more

CEMS Alum Lewis Named Named Director of
Rhode Island Department of Transportation

Michael P. Lewis has been named Director of the Rhode Island Department of Transportation by Governor Donald L. Carcieri. Lewis attended the McGill University's Civil Engineering program, and is a graduate of the University of Vermont, where he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Civil Engineering.

From 1984 to 1992, Lewis served as an engineer with the Massachusetts Highway Department. In 1999, he became a Deputy Project Director for the Big Dig project, responsible for engineering and construction and for reorganization of the project's management and leadership. From April 2000 through December 2007, he was Director of the project, part of the Massachusetts Turnpike Authority.

Lewis has received several awards including the Move Massachusetts 2000 Special Engineering Achievement Award, the National Engineers Week-Boston: New England Achievement Award, and the Boston Engineering Center Leadership Award.

He is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, the Boston Society of Civil Engineers, and was a member of the Chi Epsilon National Civil Engineering Honor Society.

Lewis's appointment is a feature May 1, 2008 article in the Warwick Beacon.

Career Services Update

At CEMS, we are committed to helping local, regional, and national firms connect with our engineering, mathematics, and computer science graduates (and vice-versa!). In the following paragraphs, CEMS Career Counselor Danielle Gallant shares tips with our graduating seniors and provides a spreadsheet with dozens of interesting job postings from around the country. If you are an employer and would like to have your company's postings added to our list, e-mail Danielle with the information.

Job Hunting Tips
Many seniors are pondering the question of whether or not they'll obtain a job after they graduate. We all have heard on the news and have read various articles in the newspapers about how the U.S. economy is slowing down and possibly heading towards a recession. Well, what does this mean for the graduating seniors of UVM? more


» Dr. Jeffrey Dinitz, professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics in UVM's College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, has received one of four University Scholar Awards for 2008. Each year faculty make recommendations for this award based on sustained excellence in research and scholarly activities.

» Dr. Frederic Sansoz, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and materials science in UVM's College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, has received a five-year National Science Foundation (NSF) Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award for $400,000 for his research entitled, "Microstructure and Size Effects on Metal Plasticity at Limited Length Scale." more

Faculty Promotions and Tenure in CEMS

Our congratulations go to Professors Margaret Eppstein, Jeff Frolik, Donna Rizzo, Rich Single, and Christian Skalka who have joined the ranks of newly tenured faculty. more

New Book Integrates Gaming into Classrooms
First Woman Prime Minister of Norway to Give Aiken Lecture
Melody Brown Burkins Joins CEMS
CEMS Alum Lewis Named Director, RI Dept. of Transportation
Career Services Update
Promotions & Tenure
Featured Alumnus:
Brian Dubie '81
Featured Student:
Harrison Goldberg
Featured Faculty Member: John Voight

Brian Dubie grew up in Essex Junction, and lived in Essex Junction attending local schools, and then the Air Force Academy. After two and a half years, he enrolled in the University of Vermont and then graduated with a degree in mechanical engineering. While at University of Vermont, he joined the Air National Guard and flew F-4s and then F-16s. Simultaneous with his time in the Guard he started at Goodrich Aerospace as a mechanical engineer and then as a manager in the aerospace fuel management side, commercial and military, in Vergennes. After eight years he changed careers, and pursued a job with American Airlines in 1989 where he continues as a pilot. more


Not many first-year students at the UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences can claim a U.S. patent to their credit, but School of Engineering student Harrison Goldberg can.

Growing up in Newton, Massachusetts, Harrison — like many other engineering students — loved to tinker with things, play with Legos, and just build stuff. more


Here's a question for our Spire readers: which primes are the sum of two rational cubes,
p = x3 + y3? For example, 7 = 2^3 + (-1)^3, 13 = (7/3)^3 + (2/3)^3,

If you aren't sure, just ask John Voight, one of the newest assistant professors in the in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. more

UVM Events
Alumni Events
CEMS Events
Mathematics Colloquia
School of Engineering Seminars
Computer Science Seminars


Faculty Directory




Explore CEMS

Giving to UVM


Past Issues

Winter 2008

Fall 2007

Ensure Delivery
Make sure you continue to receive Spire by adding
"uvm-cems@relationsmith.com" to your email address book.

Update Your Email Address
If you would prefer to receive
Spire at a different email
address, please click here to
send us your name and new/preferred email address.

Spire is produced by the CEMS Dean's office. Please feel free to contact us with questions, suggestions or comments at info@cems.uvm.edu

University of Vermont
College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences
109 Votey Hall
33 Colchester Avenue
Burlington, VT 05405-0156