July 26, 2001
Vol. 12, No. 3
The "8 1/2 x 11 News" is published each week by the Department of Public
Relations. News of campus interest should be sent to
Previous editions are available online.
ROBOT'S SUCCESS COULD LEAD TO SOLAR-POWERED SPACE EXPLORATION
Hyperion, a solar-powered robot developed by Robotics Institute researchers with support from NASA for future long-term exploration of distant planets and moons, has successfully completed two field experiments in the Canadian Arctic by tracking the sun to obtain power~-a concept called sun-synchronous navigation.
During the first experiment on July 19, Hyperion navigated 6.1 kilometers autonomously for nearly 24 hours on the solar power it collected while tracking the sun. Research scientist and project manager David Wettergreen said 95 percent of the mission was completed autonomously and that the experiment began and ended with Hyperion's batteries fully charged.
"The ability of the robot's perception/navigation system to find routes through rubble was very impressive," Wettergreen said. "Qualitatively, Hyperion wiggled through some pretty tight spots."
In its second experiment, a more extensive and difficult exercise that ended July 22, Hyperion made history by autonomously circumnavigating the Von Braun Planitia on Devon Island above the Arctic Circle. It also climbed a snowfield and traversed several rock fields that required significant maneuvering. Wettergreen said the robot's terrain perception and local navigation system performed flawlessly.
"The technology is a grand leap for planetary exploration," said William "Red" Whittaker, the Fredkin research professor in the Robotics Institute and principal investigator of the Hyperion project.
In addition to Whittaker and Wettergreen, Hyperion team members include Ben Shamah, Bernadine Diaz, Mike Wagner, Jim Teza and Chris Uhrman.
BEST-SELLING AUTHOR PRESENTS PLAY IN MONDAY NIGHT READING SERIES
Best-selling author Gail Sheehy will present her latest work, "Chasing the Tiger," as part of the School of Drama's Monday Night Reading Series at 8 p.m., Aug. 6 in the Helen Wayne Rauh Studio Theater in the Purnell Center for the Arts. Her play is the final production in the series focusing on new works by selected playwrights from around the country.
Sheehy, an award-winning author and journalist, made history when her groundbreaking book "Passages" remained on the New York Times Best Seller List for more than three years. A Library of Congress survey named the book one of the 10 most influential of our time.
Sheehy will be present at the reading of "Chasing the Tiger" and will participate in the following discussion session. For more information, call the Drama School box office at 412-268-2407.
The university changed Workers Compensation carriers this past July 1. Claims are now processed by The Hartford. The previous carrier was PHICO. There is no change for employees in the claim reporting process. Employees still need to complete a Supervisor's Injury/Illness report and an Employee Acknowledgment of Rights and Duties form and send the completed forms to the Benefits Office immediately following a work-related injury. Concentra is still the panel of physicians for university workers compensation claims.
Catherine Staniewicz, assistant director of annual giving, reports that the Faculty and Staff Campaign netted $143,000 from 626 donors for Fiscal Year 2001.
Environmental Health and Safety is offering a class on Laboratory Ergonomics from 1:30 - 3 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 2, in the third-floor conference room of the Facilities Management Services building. The class provides an opportunity for lab workers to learn how to protect themselves from ergonomic stresses. To register, contact Jim Gindlesperger at 412-268-3760 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Volunteers are needed at several Homecoming events this year, Oct. 12-14. If you would like to volunteer, contact Clinton Gatewood in the Alumni Relations Office at 412-268-2063. A schedule of events is available online at http://www.cmu.edu/alumni/news-evts/homecoming/index.html.
Cristina Amon, professor of mechanical engineering and biomedical and health engineering, has received the Raymond J. Lane Distinguished Professorship in Mechanical Engineering. Amon, an internationally known scientist in the fields of computational fluid dynamics and heat transfer, is director of the Institute for Complex Engineered Systems. She is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a past recipient of the American Society for Engineering Education's George Westinghouse Teaching Award. She has also received the Society of Women Engineer's Distinguished Engineering Educator Award and the College of Engineering's Benjamin Richard Teare Teaching Award and George Tallman Ladd Research Award. The professorship was endowed by life trustee Raymond Lane in memory of his father, who graduated from Carnegie Tech.
Janet Madelle Feindel, associate professor of voice and speech, has had a busy summer thus far. She is the drama coach for the Pittsburgh Public Theatre's production of "The Crucible," which opened July 21, and is also coaching at the Soulpepper Theatre in Toronto, one of Canada's leading classical acting companies. This past June, Feindel lectured at the ninth annual Care of the Professional Voice Symposium in Philadelphia. She also recently presented her play, "A Particular Class of Women," at the Teatro Della Bugia and the Teatro Colesseo in Rome.
Paul Goodman, the Richard Cyert professor of organizational psychology in the Graduate School of Industrial Administration, is a co-recipient of the Academy of Management's Distinguished Educator Award for his educational contributions. The award, one of the highest honors the academy bestows upon its members, will be presented Aug. 7 at the Academy of Management's annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Special Events Coordinator Andrew Pueschel (HS'00) and his dance partner Starlene Beran are preparing to represent Pennsylvania in the United States Amateur Ballroom Dance Association's National Championships in August 2002. The couple will begin their competition season Sept. 8 at the United States DanceSport Championships in Miami, Fla. They are also scheduled to compete in the prestigious Ohio Star Ball in Columbus, Ohio, which will be televised on PBS next spring. Pueschel and Beran are planning an on-campus performance this fall.
Freida Williams has joined Carnegie Mellon as a Human Resources representative replacing June Hicks, who resigned this past spring. Williams, who has extensive experience implementing human resources initiatives in higher education, will provide consultation and services to the Enrollment Division, the Graduate School of Industrial Administration, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the Heinz School. She comes to the university from the University of Pittsburgh, where she worked as a client services representative in Human Resources and a placement counselor in Career Services.
Saturday, July 28: "The Soap in Opera," an operatic performance presented by the School of Music, featuring soprano Veronica Tyler and Company. 8 p.m., Kresge Recital Hall, College of Fine Arts. Tickets are $5. For more information call 412-268-2383.
Monday, July 30: School of Drama's Monday Night Reading Series. "The Keys to Graceland" by Stephanie Alice Scarpinato. 8 p.m., Helen Wayne Rauh Studio Theater, Purnell Center for the Arts. Free admission.
Tuesday, July 31: Blood Drive, sponsored by the Graduate Student Association. 7 a.m. - 7:15 p.m., Rangos 3, University Center.
Friday & Saturday, Aug. 3 - 4: School of Drama's Summer New Plays Project. "Riding Fire," the story of the late astronaut Judith Resnik (E 1970) who was killed in the 1986 Challenger Space Shuttle disaster, by Denise Pullen and directed by Geoffrey Hitch. 8 p.m., Friday, and 2 p.m. and 8 p.m., Saturday, Helen Wayne Rauh Studio Theater, Purnell Center for the Arts. Tickets are $5. For more information call the Drama box office at 412-268-2407.
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