Welcome to SPIRE

I am delighted to welcome you to the first issue of "Spire," our on-line newsletter for students, alumni, parents and friends of the UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS). We chose to name our online publication "Spire" because it reflects and amplifies our endeavor to become a "Spire of Excellence" for UVM, the State of Vermont, the nation, and the world. You'll learn more about these efforts in the issues to come.

Our goal is to stay in touch with all of you by sharing the exciting initiatives and accomplishments of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni, short stories of interest, news about community events and activities, and key dates that might be of interest to you during the course of the academic year. We are enthusiastic that this newsletter will be both a fun and an engaging way for our friends to remain connected with CEMS. We welcome feedback about content, format, quality, and timing of this newsletter to insure we are providing a publication that all of you will both read and enjoy.

With all good wishes,
Domenico Grasso, Ph.D., P.E., DEE
Dean of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

State of the College: Dean Grasso Sets the Course

In his 2006 State of the College address, "Preserve, Persevere, and Progress," Dean Domenico Grasso calls for a multidisciplinary approach to undergraduate engineering education and a complex systems focus in graduate education and research. The essence of his address is presented below. The full text of Dean Grasso's speech can be found here.

Building on a prescient "Unity of Knowledge" approach pioneered by 19th Century University of Vermont President James Marsh, the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS) will encourage its undergraduate students to explore different modes of reasoning and ways of knowing to prepare them for leadership roles.

Dean Grasso outlines the steps CEMS has taken to expand its faculty, renew accreditation, implement new administrative programs and practices, increase undergraduate and graduate enrollment and quality, and raise levels of donor and grant support.

Initiatives taken both by CEMS and programs and organizations related to CEMS are reported. CEMS initiatives focus on a research "spire of excellence" on complex systems analysis and a curriculum reform effort (Curriculum 21) that rethinks how best to educate our students and moves to a learner-based, hands-on curriculum, as well as the development of two new Bachelors degrees in engineering.

Says Dean Grasso, "The choice of Complex Systems Analysis and Engineering as our "Spire of Excellence" and the creation of Curriculum 21 will be the keys to our college's success. . . With research concentrations in transportation, environment, and bio-engineering, and a curriculum that recognizes that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, we aim to build leaders best suited to develop solutions to problems and issues that society faces today as well as designing for a sustainable future."

A Message from the Chairman of the Board of Advisors

These are exciting times at UVM- from the positive momentum and action directed toward fulfilling President Fogel's sweeping, strategic vision to most certainly the bold changes being initiated by Dean Grasso at the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS). As the Board of Advisors (BOA) for CEMS, we heartily endorse these changes and our role and commitment is to support these initiatives as the College, along with the University, continues to grow in stature. more

NSF Awards $1 Million Grant
to CEMS for the Global Challenge

The University of Vermont College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, in partnership with The Global Challenge, LLC, has been awarded a three-year National Science Foundation (NSF) grant of approximately $1 million for the Global Challenge, a project whose goal is to help U.S. high school students, through collaboration with their international counterparts, strengthen skills in math, science, engineering and critical thinking, while learning about global business practices. The Global Challenge Award proposal was ranked #1 out of over 300 proposals submitted to the NSF.

The project will partner U.S. students ages 14-17 with high school students from around the world in teams of four. Students will submit project proposals — ideas for technologies that address real-world problems using engineering, mathematics and physics — which will be evaluated for commercial viability. more

Ten Distinguished Scholars Join Faculty

After international searches, we are very proud to announce that the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences has recently hired the following ten distinguished scholars:

Jeffrey S. Marshall, Director, School of Engineering
Professor Marshall has BS and MS degrees from UCLA and a PhD from UC-Berkeley, all in mechanical engineering. Marshall has been a visiting professor at the Institut de Méchanique des Fluides de Toulouse in France and was most currently professor and chair of the mechanical engineering department at the University of Iowa. more

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

State of the College
A Message from the Board of Advisors
NSF Awards $1 Million Global Challenge Grant
Ten Distinguished Scholars Join Faculty
Featured Alumna:
Natalie Cartwright '93
Featured Student:
Alaina Dickason '07
Featured Faculty Member:
Dr. Joshua Bongard

Dr. Natalie A. Cartwright Receives Prestigious Air Force Young Investigators Research Award

After a highly competitive process, Dr. Natalie A. Cartwright, research assistant professor in mathematics in the Department of Mathematics & Statistics within the University of Vermont's College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS)has been awarded one of only twenty-one nationwide grants in the Young Investigators Research Program (YIP). more


CEMS Undergraduate Student Mixes It Up — Engineering, Swimming,
and Spanish!

"I truly love UVM!" says Alaina Dickason, undergraduate student majoring in the civil engineering program in the School of Engineering in the UVM College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences. But four years ago, UVM was not Alaina's first choice. more


Robot, Heal Thyself:
UVM Professor Airs Results on Discovery Channel

On November 16 and 17, 2006, the Discovery Channels in both Canada and the U.S. aired results of research done by Dr. Joshua Bongard on robots that can self-heal. In conjunction with this, Dr. Bongard's research article, "Resilient Machines Through Continuous Self Modeling," appears in the November 17 issue of Science magazine. more

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