Logo: University of Southern California

Viterbi Newswire 7/12/05


SITeC Starts Registering Student Entrepreneurs-To-Be
Just seven months after its founding, USC's Mark and Mary Stevens Institute for Technology Commercialization (SITeC) has begun enrolling students - undergraduates and graduates - for innovative, multidisciplinary programs in engineering entrepreneurship.

Ultra-wide Band Specialist Wins IEEE Sumner Medal
Robert A. Scholtz, holder of the Fred H. Cole chair, has been named a co-recipient of the 2006 IEEE Eric E. Sumner Award "for pioneering  contributions to ultra-wide band communications science and technology." For nearly a decade, Scholtz has been studying how to use ultra-wide band - brief signal pulses spread over a very wide band of the radio spectrum - for imaging, data transmission and other tasks.
George Bekey Receives IEEE's Highest Robotics Honor
George Bekey, who once remarked that he found robotics fascinating "because you learn so much about humans," has earned IEEE's highest honor in robotics, the IEEE Technical Field Award in Robotics and Automation. He is the very first academic to receive it.
Yannis Yortsos, the dean of the Viterbi School, paid tribute to Bekey's enormous impact as an academic administrator. He noted that George was the first chair of electrical engineering/systems at USC when the department was firstm formed. Bekey also chaired the computer science department and was instrumental in founding the biomedical engineering department. He founded the robotics research and teaching program at USC, and later served as the Viterbi School's associate dean for research.
Medvidovic and Prasanna Win Okawa Research Grants
A pair of talented Viterbi School engineers has won $10,000 Okawa computer science grants.
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Departments of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Merge
The departments of chemical engineering and materials science have merged as the result of parallel interests and the natural evolution of the two disciplines. Professor Theodore Tsotsis, Vivian Chair in Energy Resources at USC, will chair the new Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science.
"We believe that this fusion will create a great deal of new synergy to the work of the faculty previously in the two departments, enlarge the visibility of their exceptional research, and increase resources for even greater growth," Yortsos said.
Professor Theodore Tsotsis, Vivian Chair in Energy Resources at USC, will chair the new Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science. A key member of the Viterbi faculty for the last 25 years, Tsotsis will hold the position for a three-year term ending June 30, 2008.
Tsotsis holds a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. Since joining USC, he has done groundbreaking research in chemical reaction engineering, catalysis and membrane reactors.
"One of Theo's first priorities will be to work with the faculty in the very near future to formulate a blueprint of the administrative, educational and research structure for the new department," Yortsos said.
"I am very optimistic that with Theo's leadership, the combined department, with its innovative research and educational programs in chemical
engineering, materials science and petroleum engineering, will flourish and become among the elite departments in the nation in these important research areas," he added.
Keith Uncapher's Legacy
A short film produced by the Viterbi School for the 2005 Awards Luncheon, "An Information Legacy: Keith Uncapher and the ISI Revolution,"  can now be viewed online at the ISI website:
Mapping the California Tsunami Threat
Jose Borrero, a member of the USC tsunami research team headed by Costas Synolakis, is mapping the tsunami threat to California  and according to the San Jose Mercury News he is the only one doing it.
The Bionic Builder
And KCBS-TV Channel 2 reported recently from ISI on Behrokh Khoshnevis' Contour Crafting project to build houses robotically.