Reunion Kickoff: Welcome Dinner and Awards Ceremony

Apr 24 2014 | By Cliff Massey | Co-hosted by the CEAA, this special event serves as the official ‘welcome back’ for alumni returning to campus to celebrate their Reunion.

Columbia Engineering will kick-off Alumni Reunion Weekend on Thursday, May 29 with a welcome dinner and the Columbia Engineering Alumni Association (CEAA) Awards Presentation, which will be held in Low Rotunda. Co-hosted by the CEAA, this special event serves as the official ‘welcome back’ for alumni returning to campus to celebrate their Reunion, which includes alumni graduates from class years ending in 4 or 9. The three recipients of the Alumni Association’s achievement awards are: Charles Hoberman MS’85, founder of design firm Hoberman Associates; Wafaa El-Sadr ’91PH, University Professor and professor of epidemiology and medicine at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health and College of Physicians and Surgeons; and Xerox CEO Ursula Burns MS’82.

Charles Hoberman
Charles Hoberman

The 2014 Thomas Egleston Medal for Distinguished Engineering Achievement will go to Charles Hoberman, whose design firm cuts across sectors from consumer products, deployable shelters, and space structures. Hoberman is widely known for his work on “transformable structures,” demonstrating how permanent structures can involve movement such as folding, retracting, and shape-shifting. An example of his commissioned work includes the Hoberman Arch in Salt Lake City, installed as the centerpiece for the Winter Olympic Games in 2002. Hoberman also is known for his invention of the eponymous Hoberman sphere, an isokinetic structure that has become popular as a science toy.

Hoberman holds a bachelor’s degree in sculpture from Cooper Union and received his master’s in mechanical engineering from the Engineering School in 1985. He is currently a visiting scholar at Harvard University's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

 
Wafaa El-Sadr
Wafaa El-Sadr

Wafaa El-Sadr will be presented with the Michael Pupin Medal for Service to the Nation in Engineering, Science, or Technology by University Provost John Coatsworth at the awards dinner. In addition to her professorships, El-Sadr is the founder of ICAP at the University, a center she established more than a decade ago. Through ICAP, large-scale programs have been established in 20 countries in Asia and sub-Saharan Africa that integrate research, education, training, and practice with a focus on HIV, related conditions, and health system strengthening. El-Sadr has worked closely with U.S. government agencies, international organizations, academic institutions, community-based organizations, and others in pursuit of responsive and innovative approaches to address global health threats. Through such efforts, more than 1.5 million people have received access to HIV services in these countries.

El-Sadr received her medical degree from Cairo University, a master’s in public health from the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia, and a master’s in public administration from Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. She was named a MacArthur fellow in 2008.

 
Ursula Burns
Ursula Burns

Ursula Burns will receive the Samuel Johnson Medal for Distinguished Achievement in a Field Other Than Engineering. Under her leadership at Xerox, the company has continued to build its brand as the world’s leading enterprise for business process and document management. Shortly after taking over as chairman and CEO, she oversaw the largest acquisition in the company’s history: the $6.4 billion purchase of Affiliated Computer Services, which expanded the company’s presence in the business services market and diversified its offerings in fields such as information technology outsourcing.

Burns earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Polytechnic Institute of NYU and a master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Columbia Engineering. In addition to her role at Xerox, she also provides leadership counsel to community, educational, and nonprofit organizations, including FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology), National Academy Foundation, MIT, and the U.S. Olympic Committee, among others. In March 2010, President Barack Obama appointed Burns vice chair of the President’s Export Council.

 

Reunion Weekend will be held at the Morningside campus May 29 to June 1. To register for this event and find out more information about Reunion 2014, visit engineering.columbia.edu/reunion.