Clark School Alumni e-Newsletter

Clark School Human-Powered Helicopter Flies

Gamera TeamA team of more than 50 students at the Clark School has succeeded in flying their human-powered helicopter, Gamera (named after a Japanese film monster, a flying turtle that breathes fire). Pilot Judy Wexler, a 24-year-old biology graduate student at UM, pedaled furiously with both her hands and feet, taking the craft several inches into the air, setting a world record for human-powered helicopter flight with a female pilot.

New Department Chairs Named

Clark School Dean Darryll Pines has announced that Professor Balakumar Balachandran has been selected to lead the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Professor James Milke will chair the Department of Fire Protection Engineering.

Clark School Lab Donates Ornithopter to Smithsonian

The Clark School's Morpheus Lab, based at the National Institute of Aerospace, has donated an ornithopter (flapping-wing vehicle) sculpture developed by Clark School students and researchers to the Smithsonian American History Museum Spark! Lab in Washington, D.C.

Great Expectations Spotlight: Entrepreneurship Endowment to Support Innovation

Anchen Lin, the wife of Hung Chang "Jimmy" Lin (1919-2009), a beloved longtime professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has made a gift to the Clark School to endow a new fund in her husband’s name. The purpose of the Jimmy Lin Endowment for Entrepreneurship is to provide annual awards to students, staff, and faculty who transform their ideas into innovations through invention and technology commercialization. To learn more about the Great Expectations campaign and how you can make a difference through scholarships, fellowships, and support for competitions and student activities, please contact Leslie Borak.

Clark School Alumni Spotlight: Alumnus Is a Key Designer for Sikorsky X2TD

BagaiBuilding a helicopter that can fly 100 mph faster than current production models, with increased maneuverability, endurance and high-altitude performance, has earned a team of Sikorsky Aircraft Corp. engineers, including Clark School alumnus Ashish Bagai (pictured; B.S. '90, M.S. '92 and Ph.D. '95, aerospace engineering), the prestigious Robert J. Collier Trophy—one of aviation’s highest honors. The Sikorsky X2 Technology DemonstratorTM (X2TD) will, according to the company, change the way helicopters operate, delivering higher speeds and radically improved performance in medical, search and rescue and military applications, while maintaining the efficient hovering and low-speed attributes of conventional rotor-wing aircraft. Bagai was responsible for the aerodynamic design of the craft’s main rotor blades, a key element in its success.

Save the Date! 8th Annual Clark School of Engineering Alumni Chapter Golf Tournament, September 14

Come out for an afternoon of fun and networking with your friends and fellow alumni at the 8th Annual Clark School of Engineering Alumni Chapter Golf Tournament. Shotgun start is at 1:30 p.m. followed by an awards banquet and silent auction. If you would like to assist the Alumni Chapter Board in planning this tournament, please contact Gregg Wollard or Dan Fallon at Watch this space for more details!

Join the University of Maryland Online Alumni Community!

Connect online with friends (and friends-of-friends-of-friends) based on shared interests, common acquaintances, professions, locations and more. The Online Alumni Community is free and exclusive to Maryland graduates (former Terp Alumni Network members will need to re-register) and is a social and career tool brought to you by the Maryland Alumni Association. Register now and watch your Terp connections grow!

Your Name Here—Sponsorship Opportunities

Thanks to Corporate Partner Bechtel for sponsoring this month's edition of the Clark School's e-newsletter. There are many chances throughout the year to put your name and support behind the activities of the Clark School. Sponsorship opportunities include not only this e-newsletter but also alumni receptions and student projects! Contact us to learn how you can make a difference!

Find Work with Our Corporate Partners

Are you looking for a job? The Clark School's Corporate Partners are always looking to fill positions with experienced engineers! Below are direct links to their recruiting web sites:

Alumni Notes

Each month, we randomly select a name from Alumni Notes to win a Clark School t-shirt. This month's winner is John Firmin! Don't miss your chance to win the next t-shirt--send us your news today by emailing Josey Simpson.


Brian Alexander (B.S. '71, mechanical engineering) recently joined Catholic University as director of energy management and sustainability.

Norman A. Beck (M.S. '76, electrical engineering) reports that he has been retired for 17 years. His last position was as program manager at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport, R.I.

Michael Griffin (Ph.D. '77, aerospace engineering), former administrator of NASA, is president-elect of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics board of directors.

James D. Smith (B.S. '83, electrical engineering) has been named chief patent judge at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.


John M. Firmin (B.S. '36, civil engineering), who is retired from the building construction industry, informs us he is glad to still be here at more than 98 years old.

Jason Schoenbrun (B.S. ’06, computer engineering) and his wife, Sarah (nee Neumann; B.S. ’06, psychology), announce the arrival of their baby girl on March 28, named Hallel Hadasah.

The Clark School Mourns the Passing of...

Over the past month, we were saddened to learn of the passing of Fred Wheaton (former biological resources engineering professor); Martin Reiser (professor emeritus in electrical and computer engineering); Edward R. Saunders Jr. (B.S. '48, electrical engineering); Alden L. Rogers (B.S. 51, mechanical engineering); and Alexander Augustine Fleury (B.S. 51, civil engineering)

Tell Us Your News

Clark School Alumni, we produce this e-newsletter so we can tell you about the school, but also so you can tell your fellow alumni about yourselves. Send us news about your recent career moves and personal events and we will include them in upcoming issues. Please send your news to

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We encourage you to forward this message to friends and colleagues! If you do not normally receive this e-newsletter and would like to sign up for it, please send email to

This e-mail was approved for distribution by Josefina P. Simpson '84,
director of alumni relations.

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Join the Engineering Alumni Chapter!

Alumni Calendar

Clark School News

Clark School Human-Powered Helicopter Flies

Clark School Celebrates Hard-Working Staff

BioE Senior Wins Prestigious DoD Fellowship

Dean's Doctoral Research Awards Announced

Dean's Master's Student Research Awards Announced

Diagnostic Robotic System Wins Seed Grant

New Department Chairs Named

Congressman Ruppersberger to Speak at Cybersecurity Conference

Professor Martin Reiser Passes Away at 80

Clark School Lab Donates Ornithopter to Smithsonian

Mardirossian to Speak at Commencement

Pocket Change Improves High-End Sensors

Alumnus Is a Key Designer for Sikorsky X2TD

Entrepreneurship Endowment to Support Innovation

Outstanding Commitment Honors Awarded

Wylie Dissertation Fellowships Awarded

Numerous Clark School Students Earn NSF Fellowships

Mote Named USM Regents Professor

Telecommunica 2011 to Feature Broadband Satellite

Cybersecurity Event to Feature Sourcefire's Roesch

Alumnus Griffin President-Elect of AIAA

Taking Aim at a Rare Lysosomal Storage Disease

Gupta Wins Goldwater Scholarship

Clark School Invention of the Year Winners

Media Coverage

Associated Press video from our Gamera team's flight tests.

Washington Post coverage of the successful Gamera flight.

Baltimore Sun announces successful Gamera flight.

Washington Times video story about Gamera.

U.K.'s Daily Mail coverage of Wednesday's flight attempts.

ABC7 (Washington, D.C.) coverage of the flight attempts on Wednesday.

Washington Post coverage of the Gamera flight attempts on May 11. Photos.

May 11 Gamera coverage by The Baltimore Sun. Also photos and video.

UMd. Team Testing Human-Powered Helicopter Named Gamera:

MSNBC preview of our human-powered helicopter flight trials.

The New Zealand Herald and Discovery News cover our team's attempt to fly a human-powered helicopter.

The Washington Post features the Sikorsky Prize goal of our human-powered helicopter team.

Prof. Gerry Galloway talks about fighting flood waters with The Wall Street Journal.

National Geographic picks up Igor Smoyaninov's Big Bang experiment.

Prof. Gerry Galloway comments on the Obama administration's water efforts in The Washington Post. [article no longer available]

BioE Chair Bill Bentley comments on creating a better artificial intestine in The Los Angeles Times.

Igor Smolyaninov is featured by Wired for recreating the Big Bang using metamaterials.

Departmental & Institute News

Aerospace Engineering


Biological Resources Engineering

Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Electrical and Computer Engineering

Fire Protection Engineering

Materials Science Engineering

Mechanical Engineering

Maryland Technology Enterprise Institute

Institute for Physical Science and Technology

Institute for Research in Electronics and Applied Physics

Institute for Systems Research

Maryland NanoCenter

Center for Advanced Transportation Technology

Project Management Graduate Program

Office of Advanced Engineering Education

Master of Engineering and Public Policy

Master's Program in Telecommunications

Women in Engineering

QUEST Program

Great Expectations

Gear Up!

Alumni Merchandise
Check out the range of products available from Club Colors and then call 800-249-2582, ext. 169, to order with the Clark School logo.