December 2008 Beckman Bulletin

Image of a push pin on left, with the words Beckman Bulletin to the right

The Beckman Bulletin is a monthly digest from the director of the Beckman Institute. The Bulletin is sent to all faculty and staff. Each issue will highlight the latest happenings from around the Institute.

Communication from Tamer Başar, Interim Director
Issue 3: December 2008

This is the last issue of the Beckman Bulletin for 2008. As we approach the end of the year, I would like to thank you all for your hard work and dedication to the Beckman Institute. I wish you all the best for the upcoming holiday season, and I am very much looking forward to beginning a new year with all of you!


NEW STRATEGIC INITIATIVE BEGINS
Jesse C. Ribot will lead a new strategic initiative at the Beckman Institute that will explore the Social Dimensions of Environmental Policy (SDEP). This initiative will aim to understand the social and political-economic forces shaping just and sustainable environmental policy. Jesse has recently joined the Department of Geography as an associate professor. More information on this strategic initiative will be available on the Beckman Institute Web site in early 2009.

WINTER 2009 ISSUE OF SYNERGY NOW ONLINE
This issue includes: a story on cognition, aging and preventing decline; a feature on Beckman’s Fulbright Scholars; a story about the Beckman team that received the bronze medal at the Star Challenge; an alumni feature on Ashutosh Garg; and a faculty profile of Marni Boppart. http://www.beckman.illinois.edu/synergy/index.aspx

2009 BECKMAN FELLOWS PROGRAM
We received a record number of applications for our Fellows Program this year. The Program Advisory Committee is currently reviewing the applications. The announcement on the selection of the 2009 Beckman Fellows will be made towards the end of February.

NEW RESEARCH GRANT
Congratulations to our investigator who has received new grant funding in the period from November 8 – December 12, 2008.

  • Central Correlates of Chronic Tinnitus Assessed with Functional Imaging and Spectroscopy in an Animal Model (PI: B. Odintsov; Sponsor: NIH)

EXTENDED CAFÉ HOURS
Starting January 20, 2009, and by popular demand, the Beckman Café will be open Monday-Friday from 8:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. www.beckman.illinois.edu/cafe

NEW HIRES
Please welcome the following new people to the Beckman Institute:

  • Janet White, Extra Help (Business Office)
  • Wenming Zheng, Visiting Scholar (Tom Huang)

We also had several new postdocs join Beckman over the last month.

OPEN HOUSE 2009
The first call for exhibit registrations was made earlier this week. The exhibit registration form can be found at: https://intranet.beckman.illinois.edu/boh. An assigned person from your group can complete the registration form which includes information about your exhibit, space requirements, networking needs, shirt sizes, etc. The deadline for registering exhibits is January 30, 2009.

DATE CHOSEN FOR 20th ANNIVERSARY SPRING KICKOFF EVENT
The 20th Anniversary Planning Committee has selected Thursday, April 16 as the date to hold a public celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Beckman Institute. This event will feature a program that runs from 3:00 – 5:00 p.m. with a reception to follow. Please add this event to your calendar. This will be followed later by the 20th Anniversary Symposium which will be held October 5-7, 2009.

TEAM WINS PRIZE FOR THE DEVELOPMENT OF TRAIN INSPECTION SYSTEMS
A project team led by Narendra Ahuja won a prize for the development and deployment of an automatic train inspection site. The group has placed a working vision system on the side of a busy line for BNSF in Chicago. The system gets automatically triggered by approaching trains, inspects them for load efficiency (to minimize drag), and sends a report to BNSF administration.
http://www.imeche.org/industries/railway/prizeaward/T-A-Stewart-Dyer-F-Trevithick-Prize.htm

FACULTY HONORS
Congratulations to our faculty who have recently received honors. Below is a list that covers those honors from November 20 – December 15, 2009. If we happened to miss anyone, please send me your information and we will be sure to get it on our Web site as well as in the next Bulletin.

  • Stephen Boppart named Fellow of the Optical Society of America
  • John Rogers named National Security Science and Engineering Faculty Fellow
  • Richard Braatz named AAAS Fellow

If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions, please do not hesitate to contact me. As always, our website www.beckman.illinois.edu will continue to post in a timely manner all the important happenings in the institute involving our faculty, fellows, and graduate and undergraduate student researchers, their accomplishments, recognitions, and featured stories on our research programs.

Tamer Başar
December 17, 2008
Interim Director
director@beckman.illinois.edu