University of Vermont

Back to the Future: State of the College 2008

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New Hires

In the coming months we will welcome Dr. Arne Bomblies as an Assistant Professor in the School of Engineering. Professor Bomblies has a BS in chemical engineering from Cornell University, an MS in civil/environmental engineering from the University of Colorado, and a PhD in civil/environmental engineering from MIT. Among his many awards, Professor Bomblies has received the MIT IDEAS award for Innovation, Development and Enterprise.

Bomblies’ research is novel, insightful, and groundbreaking, focusing on the use of complex systems approaches to model malaria transmission. His position in CEMS was made possible through the $6.7M EPSCoR grant from the National Science Foundation awarded to UVM for complex systems approaches to the environment. We are lucky to have him.

We were also fortunate to attract Dr. Greg Warrington as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mathematics and Statistics. Professor Warrington received his BA in mathematics from Princeton University and his PhD in mathematics from Harvard University. He has held positions as a Visiting Assistant Professor at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, and was an NSF Postdoctoral Fellow at University of Pennsylvania. Currently, Warrington is Assistant Professor at Wake Forest University and holds an NSA Young Investigator's Award as well as a Wake Forest Sterge Faculty Fellowship. He has been the recipient of a Lilly Grant Award, an American Mathematical Society Project NExT Fellowship, and a Bok Center Teaching Award at Harvard.

Professor Warrington's research expertise is in the field of combinatorics and algebra. His research complements and expands the CEMS Mathematics Department's existing strengths, especially in the fields of combinatorial design theory, graph theory, group theory, and number theory. He is also enthusiastic about helping to enhance the College's initiatives in complex systems research.

Dr. Mary Dunlop, will also be joining the School of Engineering as an Assistant Professor. Professor Dunlop received her BSE in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University, and her MS and PhD in mechanical engineering, both from Caltech. Professor Dunlop's many honors include a DOE Computational Science Graduate Fellowship, Best Student Paper Award from the American Controls Conference, and the John Marshall II Memorial Prize for Independent Research at Princeton.

We look forward to Professor Dunlop joining the College in a full-time capacity in January of 2010, after she completes a post-doctoral fellowship at Joint Bioenergy Institute at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.

Finally, Associate Dean Melody Burkins joined us last year. As many of you already know in your work with her, she has brought new perspectives and energy to College partnerships as well as an excellence in strategic academic and research management. Burkins gained her PhD and MS in earth and ecosystems science from Dartmouth College and her BS in geology from Yale University.

She spent time in Washington DC in the AAAS Congressional Science and Technology Fellowship program and then as a legislative aide to Vermont’s Senator Leahy before moving back to Vermont and leading multidisciplinary research programs as well as directing federal relations here at the University of Vermont.

Just this past year, Dr. Burkins was appointed to the National Academy of Sciences’ US National Committee for the Geosciences.

In the spirit of welcoming our entire CEMS community back this fall, I hope you have saved the date of Sunday, October 5th, to join my wife Susan and me at our home in Shelburne. Families and significant others are welcome. You should have received an official invitation late last week and both Susan and I hope to see you there.

Faculty Accomplishments

As it was last year, the list of our faculty accomplishments this year is impressive and gives me, President Fogel, and Provost Hughes great pride in our College. Examples include:

  • Assistant Professor Josh Bongard was featured in a BBC article and invited to attend the 2008 Frontiers of Engineering Conference.
  • Research by Assistant Professor Paul Hines was featured in Scientific American.
  • In the inaugural year of UVM AERO and Project Greenspeed (an effort to build a hybrid race car), advised by Drs. Frolik and Hines with technical expertise from Mr. Floyd Vilmont, the car won four major awards this spring, was invited to Vermont’s Thunder Road and Stowe Classic Auto Show this summer, is being featured in Vermont Business Magazine’s outreach to Vermont high school students this fall, and recently received a $25,000 gift from one of our successful alums, Mr. Roy Crowninshield.
  • The 2008 SIAM Conference on Discrete Mathematics was held here at UVM.
  • Professor Jeff Dinitz was named a 2008 Distinguished University Scholar.
  • Former Prime Minister of Norway Gro Brundtland, who has also served as Director-General of the World Health Organization and was the leader of the first international group to define “sustainability,” will deliver a CEMS-sponsored Aiken Lecture.
  • A new professional development short course, EMERGEneering, generously subsidized by the State of Vermont, will make its debut.
  • Environmental activist and actress Daryl Hannah will visit and lecture in the Spring of 2009, also sponsored by CEMS and the Aiken Series.
  • An IBM Faculty Award was granted to Dr. Tian Xia.
  • New faculty member John Voight was featured on the front page of the Burlington Free Press in a story about how math protects people from information theft.
  • CEMS hosted delegates from Chongqing University who are collaborating with UVM to address the environmental quality challenges of China's Three Gorges Dam.
  • Another successful UVM CEMS first: the launch of the UVM Winter Sportec Competition.
  • Dr. Frederic Sansoz received the prestigious NSF CAREER Award.
  • For the second year, CEMS hosted Stephen Wolfram’s prestigious 2008 New Kind of Science Summer School.
  • Engineers Without Borders UVM Chapter worked to create potable water overseas.
  • Professor George Pinder published a new book on the physics of flow in porous media.
  • Professor Michael Wilson published a new book on Littlewood-Paley Theory.
  • A $6.7M NSF EPSCoR grant was awarded for complex systems and the environment.
  • And last, but by no means least, five excellent faculty members were successfully tenured and promoted: Jeff Frolik, Donna Rizzo, Maggie Eppstien, Chris Skalka, and Rich Single.

[For more details on these accomplishments, please see our News Archive.]

Next page: Administration
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See also: 2007 State of the College | 2006 State of the College