An innovative college for next 100 years

At an alumni dinner to celebrate the College of Engineering’s 100th anniversary, President Joseph Aoun and Dean David Luzzi said the college is primed to continue its momentum in developing innovative programs and generating groundbreaking research in the century to come.

The event, “The College of Engineering Donor Centennial Celebration & Outstanding Alumni Awards,” was held April 8 at the Four Seasons Hotel Boston. The college was the first at Northeastern to adopt the co-op program, which was highlighted throughout the evening for its enormous benefits to students and partnering companies alike.

“It is no accident that the dean in the School of Engineering launched a model that makes us so special — co-op,” President Aoun said, referring to the former dean, Hercules Geromanos. “By definition, engineers have to be in tune with reality.”

Timothy J. McGrath, a 1973 graduate, recalled his first co-op job as a freshman at the firm Simpson Gumpertz & Heger. Today, McGrath is still there, now the firm’s senior principal.

“Northeastern really gave me my career and sent me on my way for the rest of my life,” McGrath said. “I hope it will continue to be a teacher to many young kids.”

Luzzi lauded the research achievements of the college, which he said has grown to become the largest recipient, per full-time faculty member, of National Science Foundation funding for engineering research. He hailed the extraordinary “use-inspired research” being done at Northeastern in numerous areas, such as developing nanosensors for disease detection and drug delivery, artificial replacements for the cornea, robotics for victims rehabilitating from stroke, explosives detection and solar and wind power technologies.

He identified four strategic priorities for future research at the college: health rehabilitation and well-being, energy, the environment and security.

“The research that we do is one of the big drivers of the reputation of the college around the country and around the world,” Luzzi said. “We have a great history of great innovation and great success, but we also have a future that is looking incredibly bright.”

President Aoun noted that the college is well positioned for future cutting-edge research in biomedical engineering and nanomedicine.

Also announced at the event were the 2010 Outstanding Alumni Awards in Recognition of Distinguished Leadership and Achievement in Engineering.

The winners were: Jack D. Bryant, ME’76, president of Bryant Associates; Steven Domenikos, E’83, ME’85, CEO of Identity Truth; Richard M. Feldt, E’74, chairman, president and CEO of Evergreen Solar; Dr. Bernard M. Gordon, H’07, cofounder and chairman of NeuroLogica, Inc.; Chaitanya Kanojia, ME’93, CEO of Navic Networks; and Donald R. Wood, E’68, vice president and general manager (retired) of Union Carbide.