100 years of engineering excellence

Honorary degrees, alumni citations presented at celebration

At Homecoming Weekend in November, Trinity celebrated 100 years of educational excellence in engineering with several events, including a special convocation. Honorary degrees were conferred on eight people who have distinguished themselves in the field of engineering. Throughout the yearlong celebration, Trinity is recognizing the achievements of engineering students, faculty, alumni, and programs. The College is one of only two leading liberal arts colleges in the nation to have an engineering degree program that is both educationally and professionally accredited.

"The changing world economy has created the need for engineers with more than merely technical skills. The engineering education community is striving to respond to these needs as articulated by industry. The result will be an engineer able to function in the complex new environment," said Eleanor Baum, Dean of Engineering at The Cooper Union For the Advancement of Science and Art, in her remarks at the honorary degree ceremony.

Along with Baum, honorary degrees were presented to: Norman R. Augustine, Chairman of the Board of Lockheed Martin Corporation and faculty member at Princeton University School of Engineering and Applied Science; George Bugliarello, Chancellor of Polytechnic University;

Lynn Conway, Professor and Associate Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Michigan; Joseph F. Engelberger, Chairman of Helpmate Robotics, Inc.; Glen H. Hiner, former Chairman and CEO of Owens Corning; Howard St. Claire Jones, Jr., Army’s Chief of Microwave Research and Development and faculty member at Howard University; and Henry Petroski, A.S. Vesic Professor of Civil Engineering and Professor of Civil Engineering at Duke University.

Shown with President Evan S. Dobelle, far left, and Trustee Harvey Silverman '65, far right: front row, Glen Hiner, Eleanor Baum, and George Bugliarello; and back row, Henry Petroski, Howard Jones, Lynn Conway, Joseph Engelberger, and Norman Augustine.

As part of the celebration in November, alumni achievement awards were presented to 17 Trinity graduates in recognition of outstanding professional achievement in engineering. The recipients were: Fred Borgenicht ’80, engineer at Hewlett-Packard; Susan M. Miller ’83, Technical Manager at Bell Labs Innovations for Lucent Technologies; Eric Fossum ’79, Chief Scientist for Photobit, Inc.; Marshall Garrison ’71, engineer at PictureTel Corporation; Terry L. Jones ’68, President of Syndicated Communications, Inc.; Theodore Moise ’87, manager of the Memory Dielectrics Branch of Texas Instruments’ Components and Materials Research Center; Eric Rosow ’86, Director of Biomedical Engineering at Hartford Hospital; Harvey F. Silverman ’65, Dean of Engineering at Brown University; Jan Larsen ’77, VP and Chief Operating Officer of Versa Products Co.; Allen Lepore ’83, technical adviser and program manager of the Army Research Laboratory; David J. Logan ’54, director and technical consultant to Gerber Scientific, Inc.; Richard E. Machol ’60, Network Vice President of Operations Technology Center, Network and Computing Services at AT&T; Donald L. McLagan ’64, chairman, president, and CEO of NewsEDGE Corporation; Arthur S. Rathbun, Jr. ’54, consultant to Bettis Atomic Power Division of Westinghouse Electric Corporation; Joseph V. Reineman ’55, marketing and technology consultant of Reineman and Associates; Jon A. Reynolds, ’59, Brigadier General and Assistant Deputy Director for Attachés, Defense Intelligence Agency.

Also during the weekend celebration, announcement was made of the establishment of the Trinity College Engineering and Society Prize, an award created to honor individuals with a record of extensive accomplishment and strong leadership in their chosen professions. The $20,000 award will honor not only engineers but also individuals who, building on a background in engineering, have gone on to distinguish themselves in other fields such as business, law, medicine, education, politics, government service, or the media. In making the announcement, Thomas Johnson ’62, chairman of Trinity’s board of trustees and CEO of GreenPoint Financial Corporation, said that the award will be presented for the first time in conjunction with Trinity Commencement in May.

"However much the world has changed in the past 100 years, one aspect has remained constant. I refer to the wisdom of Trinity’s leaders, who saw merit in combining liberal arts with engineering— and vice versa. It’s been one of Trinity’s great distinctions, and I hope it will remain so in the years ahead. In this important regard, you have a 100-year head start over most other institutions."

— Norman Augustine, chairman of Lockheed Martin Corporation, speaking at the celebration of 100 Years of Engineering at Trinity College
in November 1997

As part of Trinity’s yearlong celebration of a Century of Engineering and as part of its marketing/educational outreach programs, the College launched two key efforts designed to encourage high school students to explore engineering. The first, a national engineering essay contest organized in four grade-level categories, offered an award of $1,500 to the winner in each grade level as well as honorable mention certificates. The second effort, "Discover E at Trinity," was a daylong event on February 16, to which high-achieving high school students from Connecticut and Massachusetts were invited to visit the College to hear several speakers, tour the engineering labs, and meet with Trinity students and faculty.

Notices of the essay contest were posted through a variety of print media for secondary school teachers and students, including Discover magazine’s "Educator’s Guide"; The Science Teacher; Teacher Magazine; Education Week; National Science Teachers Association Reports; and Next Step. Notices were mailed to all high schools in Connecticut and were faxed to teachers and students (who expressed interest) in 12 states. The Internet was also brought into play: notices were posted on sites devoted to high school math and science teachers, including the Eisenhower National Clearinghouse for Mathematics and Science Education and some 30 other sites; distributed to math and science school consortia in 22 states scattered throughout the country; and distributed to approximately 9,000 teachers linked to Internet list servers devoted to secondary school science and math. Additionally, many individual schools in a wide geographical range were contacted through e-mail posting.

A number of high school teachers contacted Professor David Ahlgren ’64, chair of the engineering department, and said they appreciated having this educational opportunity for their students and encouraged him to hold the contest again next year. In one instance, Professor Ahlgren was also invited to make a recruiting visit to the school, a math and science center in Mississippi.

Entries were posted from 11 states from all regions of the country. As this issue of the Reporter goes to press, the essays are being judged by the Trinity Engineering Advisory Committee. The engineering department is considering plans to offer the contest again next academic year.

"Discover E at Trinity" offered high school students an opportunity to explore engineering labs in biomedical engineering, optics, robotics, mechanical engineering, and materials science. To begin the day’s activities, Dr. Ed Crow, Senior Vice President of Engineering at Pratt and Whitney in Hartford, spoke about studying engineering and provided insights into some of the many things made possible by engineers and engineering. Events also included a NASA space suit demonstration, a talk by engineering major Jennifer A. Cooper ’98, and presentations by local professional engineers.

Phoenix travels to Michigan

Trinity engineering students Antony M. Arciuolo ’99 and Joshua M. Sachar ’98 travelled to Warren, Michigan on January 24, accompanied by Trinity’s mobile robot, "Phoenix." They participated in a robot demonstration as part of the Ann Arbor Science Fiction Association & Stilyagi Air Corps Convention. Arciuolo and Sachar were invited to give this demonstration to promote the College’s annual Fire Fighting Home Robot Contest. The local robot club was particularly excited to welcome the Trinity delegation to the convention, in part because the club plans to hold a Trinity College-sanctioned robot contest in the coming year. Trinity’s 1998 robot contest will take place on April 19 in Ferris Athletic Center.