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Spring 2008 Columbia University

In This Issue:

Astronaut Alums Take SEAS to New Heights

Biomedical Engineering Meets Art at MoMA

SEAS Establishes New Advisory Board For Entrepreneurship

Philips Electronics Honors Professor Gertrude Neumark

Deodatis Is Named First Calatrava Family Professor

Engineers Without Borders Brings “Power to the People”

Programs That Create Engineers Who Care

Doing Well by Doing Good


Faculty Notes


Nayar Elected New Member of National Academy of Engineering

Undergrads Contribute to Research

University Announces New Financial Aid Plan

SEAS Parents Program Formed

SEAS Goes West, Brings Columbia to CA

Reunion Program

Alumni Notes

In Memoriam

SEAS Establishes
New Advisory Board
For Entrepreneurship

For students interested in entrepreneurship, March was a month marked by significant progress. The initial meeting of the School's Entrepreneurship Advisory Board (EAB) was held as the first step toward establishing a Center for Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship. “Creating this center is beneficial for all our undergraduates, graduate students, alumni, the local community and the developing global community,” said Interim Dean Gerald A. Navratil. “The School will be able to focus on engineering innovations—new technologies and ventures, products, processes, and services—promote cooperation among all University-based entrepreneurship activities, and become a technology incubator for students, faculty, alumni, and the community.”

Shown in photo above, standing, from l. to r., Associate Dean Jack McGourty, Michael Bykhovsky ’83, Leonard Fertig ’69, ’71, Andreas Angelopoulos ’97, Jack Abel ’71; seated, George Schlowsky ’65, Interim Dean Gerald Navratil, and Ira Rimerman ’69.

“One of our core entrepreneurship courses, Managing Technological Innovation and Entrepreneurship, was completely filled within a few hours of registration,” said Associate Dean Jack McGourty, who teaches the course. “Our students have asked for these courses and we have responded.” This semester, McGourty has student teams working with community leaders to propose new ventures for low-income families. “The course is designed to give students opportunities to develop their own new venture ideas as well as generate business plans for potential community-based businesses,” said Dean McGourty. The course is one of several that can be taken to meet the requirements of an entrepreneurship minor.

Following the initial meeting of the EAB, several steps will be taken in preparation for the Board's next meeting in June. A formal development plan to create the SEAS Center for Engineering Innovation and Entrepreneurship will be drafted to set goals and outcomes, identify product and program development over the next three years, and propose a budget to fund the Center. A student survey/interview protocol will be created to solicit student views on their interest in entrepreneurship education and their expectations upon graduation and five years after graduation. By-laws and a mission statement are also being written.

Over the next three years, the School plans to institute a student venture competition and develop mechanisms for student product and venture ideas; develop graduate and executive programs and courses; establish a Morningside campus new technology venture incubator for students, faculty and the community; and begin long-term planning for new venture laboratories and a new SEAS Technology Incubator on the Manhattanville Campus. The Technology Incubator will be based on the School's five interdisciplinary research focus areas: biotechnology, energy and environment, financial engineering and financial math, information technology and advanced computing and materials.

Entrepreneurship Advisory Board

(in formation)

Jack Abel MS’71, founder and owner of Watermark Designs, a plumbing fixtures manufacturer in Brooklyn;

Andreas T. Angelopoulos MS’97, Regional Advisor, South East Europe, for Englefield Capital LLP, a private equity firm in London;

Michael Bykhovsky ’83, started Applied Financial Technology in early 1996, where he was president and CEO until its sale in 2006;

Leonard Fertig ’69, MS’71, was CEO and a director of Futuremedia, which offers e-learning applications and services for corporations and public sector organizations, until its recent sale;

Darren M. Manelski ’91, who founded E Commerce Group and developed its Speedpay software as an undergraduate, is now CEO of E Commerce Group, which, in 2002, was acquired by First Data Corporation, the parent company of Western Union;

Erel N. Margalit MA’89GF, MPhil’06GF, PhD’07GF, is the founder and managing partner of JVP (Jerusalem Venture Partners), which built technology companies that are global enterprises in Israel, United States, Europe and Asia;

Stephen G. Perlman ’83CC, a computer science major, is the founder, CEO, and sole owner of Rearden, Inc. in San Francisco, CA, the parent company of multiple media and technology companies;

Ira Rimerman PhD ’69, served 28 years with the New York-based Citigroup, and, after retiring, founded RSA Ventures, LLC, a venture capital and advisory firm;

George Schlowsky ’65 is the President of Koch Modular Process Systems, LLC, which specializes in the design and supply of modular mass transfer systems engineered to fulfill industry purification standards;

Spyros Tzoannos ’96, is currently Director of Asset Management and Development for Dolphin Capital Partners, an investment management company managing Dolphin Capital Investors, which invests in resort properties in South East Europe and Latin America; and

Sheldon Weinig MS’53, PhD’55, founder of Materials Research Corporation (MRC), a public, multinational company supplying materials and equipment to the semiconductor and computer industries acquired by Sony in 1989.

Faculty advisors for the Entrepreneurship Advisory Board include: Professor Daniel Bienstock (IEOR); Assistant Professor Marco Castaldi (Earth & Environmental Engineering); Professor James Im (Applied Physics and Applied Math); Professor Jingyue Ju (Chemical Engineering); Associate Professor Jeff Kysar (Mechanical Engineering); Associate Professor Jason Nieh (Computer Science); Associate Professor Kenneth Shepard (Electrical Engineering); Assistant Professor Samuel Sia (Biomedical Engineering) and Assistant Professor John Taylor (Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics).


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