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Rensselaer Alumni Magazine Winter 2005-06
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ATRENSSELAER

NATIONAL MEDIA ATTENTION

Rensselaer in the News

John Blackburn, Tom Rossi, and Ryan O’Donnell

Photo by Michael Cogliantry

Rensselaer’s research and people continue to garner national media attention.

The November issue of Fortune Small Business magazine featured a full-page photo of Rensselaer alumni and students John Blackburn, Tom Rossi, and Ryan O’Donnell. The trio garnered an honorable mention in the publication’s student startup competition for their company, BullEx, which offers a safe and clean solution to fire extinguisher training.

After previous coverage in The New York Times and Voice of America, the collaboration between Pulickel Ajayan, the Henry Burlage Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, and scientists at the University of Akron continues to attract attention. Their research project to mimic the sticky feet of the gecko lizard recently appeared in the October issue of SmallTimes magazine.

IEEE Spectrum included Rensselaer’s Gulf Coast Scholars Program for students displaced by Hurricane Katrina in an Oct. 31 story about how technically oriented schools have responded to recent disasters. Rensselaer President Shirley Ann Jackson noted: “You want to do as much as you can, but you also want to be able to deliver on what you promise.”

Two winners of the Change the World Challenge, an idea competition funded by a $1 million gift from Sean O’Sullivan ’85, were featured in their hometown newspapers. The DesMoines Register carried a story about Casey O’Donnell, a Ph.D. student whose “Virtual DJ” program teaches students how to manipulate mathematical equations. The Springfield (Mass.) Republican wrote a piece about Brendan Kavanagh, a senior who designed a way to send a signal to a car’s taillights when the brakes are applied forcefully.

The Scientist magazine highlighted a Rensselaer team’s approach to predicting how proteins separate based solely on their chemical structure. The team was led by Curt Breneman, professor of chemistry and chemical biology, and Steven Cramer, professor of chemical and biological engineering.

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