Monday, December 10, 2012

18 Students Inducted in Tau Beta Pi at Brown

Tau Beta Pi, the engineering honor society, inducted 18 new members into the Rhode Island Alpha chapter at Brown University on Saturday, December 8. Ten juniors were inducted along with eight seniors.

Among the ten juniors elected were: Christy Chao ’14, Joshua Cohen ’14, Katherine DeSimone ’14, Conan Huang ’14, Daniel Jacobson ’14, Ramya Mahalingam ’14, Ryan McKeown ’14, Alisa Owens ’14, Rei Ukita ’14, and Jay Young ’14.

The eight seniors elected included: Matthew Barnes ’13, Alexander Berg ’13, Ian Brownstein ’13, Elliot Creager ’13, Paula Dixon ’13, Matthew Lim ’13, Therice Morris ’13, and Stephen Palazola ’13.

Tau Beta Pi, founded in 1885, is the second oldest Greek-letter honor society in America; the oldest is Phi Beta Kappa. While Phi Beta Kappa is restricted to students in the liberal arts, Tau Beta Pi is designed to “offer appropriate recognition for superior scholarship and exemplary character to students in engineering.”

In order to be inducted into the prestigious honor society, juniors must rank in the top eighth of their class and seniors must rank in the top fifth of their class. Graduate students who have completed at least 50% of their degree requirements and who rank in the top fifth of their class are also eligible to become candidates for membership.

The Rhode Island Alpha chapter is not only an honor society to pay tribute to outstanding students, it also provides a vehicle for these students to assume a role of leadership at Brown and to be of distinctive service. Tau Beta Pi members are active in leading engineering student admissions tours of Barus and Holley, and in a variety of other engineering student organizations.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Brown Mechanical Engineering Senior David Emanuel ’13 Wins Elevator Pitch Contest with idea for a Backpack Lock

Brown alumni and students had another strong showing at the seventh annual Rhode Island Elevator Pitch contest, as David Emanuel ’13, a senior mechanical engineering concentrator took home the top prize. It was the fifth consecutive year a Brown student or alumnus has won.

Emanuel pitched Lock’d, which enables travelers to attach their backpacks to stationary objects such as hostel beds and train seats.

“With even just a little bit of funding we will fully develop a working prototype, enabling Lock’d to give travelers what they deserve: a worry-free and relaxing adventure,” he said.

David Emanuel
Emanuel is currently in Danny Warshay’s ENGN1010 class, “The Entreprenuerial Process: Innovation in Practice,” and he and his team developed Lock’d as their semester business plan project. Emanuel has also been active in the Entrepreneurship Program’s Idea Labs. The other members of Emanuel’s team are Amanda Lee ’13, Matthew Klimerman ’13, Joseph Stall ’13, and Mehves Tangun ’13. Stall is a business, entrepreneurship and organizations (BEO) concentrator and Tangun is an engineering and economics double concentrator.

The event, sponsored by the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, was held at the Johnson & Wales University Harborside Campus and included 46 presenters. A total of $1,000 in cash prizes was awarded to the top 10 presenters. Out of the 46 to pitch, 14 had Brown connections, including 12 current students. Of the 10 finalists, an impressive six were from Brown.

Three of the top ten finalists were from Steve Petteruti’s Entrepreneurship I class, Engineering 1930G. Cory Abbe ’13, a BEO concentrator, pitched Sonacatch 3D, an all-inclusive trawl sonar system that keeps underwater fishing nets safe from harm. Other members of the team included David Killian, a computer science concentrator, Vanessa Munoz, a BEO concentrator, and Moss Amer, a BEO concentrator.

Teams from Steve Petteruti's Engineering 1930G class
Isha Gulati ’13, pitched PowerHouse, a power output meter that delivers key reading of power output of oarsmen. Other members of her team include mechanical engineering concentrators Elizabeth Gianuzzi ’13 and Francisco Oliveira ’13, and Alice Leung ’13, who is concentrating in electrical engineering.

Tim Kwak ’13, a BEO concentrator, pitched SEVA, software that will allow mariners to indicate their preferred content to be broadcast on a satellite network. Other members of his team included Ilana Foni ’13, a materials engineering concentrator, Ian Hovander ’13, a computer engineering concentrator, and William Gasner, a BEO concentrator.

The other two finalists are also active participants in the Entrepreneurship Program’s Idea Labs. Cliff Weitzman ’16, pitched BoardBrake, an attachable brake for longboards to make skateboarding safer. Sidney Kushner ’13 presented CCChampions, a nonprofit corporation he established to build a national network that links children with cancer to professional athletes.

Established in 2000, the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition recently was named one of the top 40 business plan competitions in the country, and has awarded more than $1.2 million in prizes to competitors developing companies across many industries. The contest required the competitors to pitch their business idea to a panel of eight expert judges from the Rhode Island business community in 90 seconds. The elevator pitch contest is a prelude to the annual Rhode Island Business Plan Competition, which features more than $200,000 in cash and prizes. Applications for the business plan competition close on April 1. Winners will be announced on May 2.

Previous Brown winners of the elevator pitch competition include: Julie Sygiel ’09 in 2008, Adam Leonard ’10 in 2009, Theresa Raimondo ’11 in 2010 and Kipp Bradford ’95 Sc.M.’96 in 2011.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Brown University Engineering Ranked Second Among Top 10 Graduate Engineering Programs has released its 2012 Top 10 Engineering Schools, and Brown was ranked No. 2, according to the site’s student reviews and ratings. The rankings are based on reviews of more than 500 engineering schools as of November 30.

“We are proud to have been recognized among the top engineering graduate schools in the country,” said Director of Graduate Studies Tom Powers. “It is impressive that a program of our size is so highly ranked.”

The programs are ranked in 15 different categories using a 10 star system. Cornell University was ranked first with 8.8 stars, while Brown was right behind with 8.7 stars.

A Brown graduate student wrote the following about its engineering program, “I think that my program at Brown is very unique and I would not want to be anywhere else. I am very pleased with the value of the education, as well as the quality of the teaching, professor interaction, and the material being covered.”

According to, the Top 10 Engineering Schools in the United States are:

1. Cornell University (8.8 stars)
2. Brown University (8.7 stars)
3. Stanford University (8.6 stars)
4. University of California-Berkeley (8.5 stars)
5. Massachusetts Institute of Technology (8.4 stars)
6. University of California-Davis (8.3 stars)
7. Carnegie Mellon University (8.2 stars)
8. University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (8.1 stars)
9. Princeton University (7.8 stars)
10. Purdue University-West Lafayette (7.7 stars)
10. University of California-Irvine (7.7 stars)
10. Northwestern University (7.7 stars)

“It is particularly gratifying to see that we are one of the top-ranked engineering schools among our Ivy League peers, a group that is somewhat distinct from many of the other highly ranked schools, who have a much more engineering and science directed focus,” said Dean Larry Larson.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

SWE Extreme Gingerbread Competition a Success

The Brown University Society for Women Engineers held its sixth annual “Extreme Gingerbread House Competition” on Friday, November 30. Thirteen teams of three to five students participated. The designs ranged from the traditional to the modern, and included a pyramid-shaped house and several circular/stadium-shaped houses.

Once again this year, the teams were challenged to build earthquake resistant gingerbread houses out of graham crackers, icing, candy canes, pretzels, gummy bears and other supplied materials in a one-hour time period. Houses were required to be hollow with a maximum wall thickness of one inch, and had to exceed 6” x 6” x6”. The houses were judged both for aesthetics, and amount of time without breaking on a shake table. Celebrity faculty judges included Dean Larry Larson, Professor Barrett Hazeltine, and Associate Professor and Associate Dean of the Faculty Janet Blume.

For the second consecutive year, the Band (David Emanuel ’13, Yukun Gao ’13, Rebecca Reitz ’13, Ian Brownstein ’13, Hannah Riskin-Jones ’13) won the competition.

Team Erica Kahn (Jill Pandiscio ’14, Amanda Doodlesack ’14, Allison Hojsak ’14, Julia Carr ’14, Alison Gale ’14) took second place.

Team MatLab (Daniel Gregg ’15, Pawel Golyski ’15, Daniel Audette ’15, Victoria Lee ’15, Samuel Friedman ’15) finished third.

All three teams received gift certificates to local restaurants for their efforts.

For a full photo gallery of the event, please go to:

School of Engineering Hosts Second Annual Internship and Career Fair

On Saturday, January 26, 2013 the School of Engineering will host its second annual internship and career fair at Barus and Holley. More than 100 students and over 20 different companies are expected to attend.

Last year, more than 15 companies attended, including Analog Devices, DPR Construction, Draper Laboratory, Google, Hamilton Sundstrand, Instron, Microsoft, Oracle, and Teledyne Technologies.

“The first annual career fair was a success,” said Professor Karen Haberstroh ’95. “It proved to be an excellent opportunity for current engineering students and faculty to network with alums - both in terms of internship and job placement possibilities, but also as a mechanism for reconnecting engineering alums with the new School of Engineering.”

This year, the career fair has been expanded slightly – nearly twice as many companies are expected to attend, the fair is now open to sophomore engineering students, and companies are encouraged to recruit for internships as well as full-time positions. In addition, more time has been allotted for interaction with engineering students and company representatives.

More than 20 high-tech companies are expected to attend this year’s fair, including Adobe, Amazon, AstroMed, Avid Technology, Charles River Analytics, Cogent Systems, Dassault Systemes, DPR Construction, Gilbane Construction, Google, IBM, Microsoft, nest, NVIDIA, Oracle, QD Vision, Qualcomm, Raytheon, Sensata Technologies, Stanley Black & Decker, and Wistia.

The fair is open to current Brown School of Engineering sophomores, juniors, seniors and master’s students. Students wishing to attend must register by Saturday, January 19, 2013, using only a Brown University e-mail address at the following link:

Tentative Agenda:
12:00 - 12:30  Lunch
12:30 - 12:45  Welcome/Opening Remarks
12:45 - 2:00    Company Presentations
2:00 - 4:00      Informal Conversations and Networking/Visit Company Tables

One extra incentive for students attending this year’s fair – prizes will be raffled off throughout the day. Students must be pre-registered and must be present in order to win.