Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Spring 2011 - (Page 5)
Going Green Continues After Graduation
just wanted to commend you on the latest alumni magazine titled “Green at Rensselaer” (Winter 2010-11) and thought I would let you know what some of your alumni are up to. Myself (’02), Keith Macchiaverna ’01, Chris Normandeau ’04, and now an RPI co-op, Russell Jones, are all part of the team at Omnibuild (www.omnibuildllc.com). We are a construction management firm based out of NYC with an eye for sustainable construction. Myself, Keith, and Chris are all LEED APs; I have a Green MBA and am also a carbon reduction manager. We’ve consulted on LEED projects and also built them. We couldn’t be happier with what RPI is doing on campus and with the message it is sharing with the world.
held positions at the time) to attempt to reduce RPI’s environmental impact without a notable increase in costs. My biggest accomplishment was increasing the amount of recycled paper bought and used on campus, from 3 percent (before I was hired) to 38 percent (when I graduated). All of my degrees are in the environmental field, and I am currently in the middle of my pursuit of a doctorate in energy and environmental policy at the University of Delaware. I am proud to hear that RPI continues to lead the way. ADAM SMARGON, M.S. ’99 Newark, Del. Changing Times! was stunned...nay, shocked! by the double-page photo at the beginning of the magazine (“Snapshot”). Let me explain...I can remember sitting in a physics lecture class with approximately 200 students. In this class, there was one female. (I often wondered how she felt). As Bob Dylan sang, “The times, they are a-changing…” KURT MEYERS ’55 Rockville, Md. Civil Engineering Impact eading the last issue of Rensselaer (Winter 201011) I felt very proud of having studied there and gotten my degrees in civil engineering (’52
community, our society, and our planet,” Dr. Rosowsky wrote. “And we rely every day on advances made by civil engineers toward improving and sustaining our quality of life.” That is the way I remember RPI. In addition, of course, to think based on what we have learned, added to our experience, instead of memorizing. ANTONIO PAEZ-RESTREPO ’52 Boca Raton, Fla. n the “One Last Thing” essay by Dr. Rosowsky, he states that “Ralph Peck ’34 is considered by many to be the founder of the field in soil mechanics, now known as geotechnical engineering.” Anyone who believes this should keep a sharp eye out for bolts of lightning heading their way from wherever Karl Terzaghi resides these days. Dr. Peck was an outstanding world-class engineer, who made many very important contributions to soil mechanics and geotechnical engineering, but he was not the founder or father of soil mechanics. Dr. Karl Terzaghi was Dr. Peck’s mentor (and boss, early in his career) and is recognized as the “founder and/or father of soil mechanics.” TOM BELLATTY ’51 West Caldwell, N.J. Early Days of AI t was nice to see the panel discussions involving RPI graduates of the 1980s and ’90s who were key members of the IBM Watson Jeopardy! Team (see page 2). But I am moved to point out that there was much earlier
BASSAM TARAZI ’02 New York, N.Y.
am thrilled that RPI has increased their commitment to sustainability. I earned my first master’s degree at RPI in the late 1990s, in environmental management and policy, as part of the Lally School. During my second year of study, I was fortunate to interview for—and be hired as—the school’s first Green Purchasing Coordinator; the position was funded through a grant written by Dr. Steven Breyman of the Department of Science and Technology Studies. Besides working with the purchasing department, I worked with the Recycling Coordinator and the Energy and Water Conservation Coordinator (all student-
and ’54). As a foreign student, perhaps I absorbed more deeply the true meaning of civil engineering—seeing its use in the development of basic human needs. In my career, I have had the opportunity of participating not only in my native country (Colombia), but later on work all over the world. Page 12 indicates that RPI ranks 41st among the nation’s top universities, thanks apparently now to The Rensselaer Plan initiated by President Shirley Ann Jackson in 1999. The plan involves “a strategic, comprehensive strategy to transform the Institute to achieve greater prominence in the 21st century as a top-tier world-class technological research university with global reach and global impact.” Great! However, where is “civil engineering” now, for which RPI became “a university with global reach and impact”? I had to reach the last page to feel somewhat relieved, reading the essay by the dean of RPI’s School of Engineering, Dr. David V. Rosowsky, titled “We Are All Civil Engineers.” “We are all citizens of our
MORE LETTERS ON PAGE 6
RENSSELAER/SPRING-SUMMER 2011 5
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Spring 2011
Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Spring 2011
Plotting the Journey to Life
Rensselaer Alumni Magazine - Spring 2011