Carnegie Mellon University

Pittsburgh Campus News & Notes

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PostItWelcome to Campus News & Notes, where you'll find out about many exciting and interesting things happening on campus. From important campus news announcements to featured event listings, you'll find information here to help you stay informed. If you have news of campus interest — an announcement, event, new video or new research endeavor — please pass it on to Internal Communications. Our contact information is below. Stay Posted @ Campus News & Notes!

Andrew Gellman To Be Honored as an ACS Fellow

Andrew GellmanCarnegie Mellon’s Andrew J. Gellman will be recognized as a 2011 fellow by the American Chemical Society (ACS) Aug. 29 at its annual meeting in Denver. Gellman, head of Carnegie Mellon’s Department of Chemical Engineering, was chosen for the honor because of his outstanding achievements to science and the chemical engineering profession.
“This a wonderful accolade because it comes from peers and it comes at a time when the chemical engineering profession is changing and growing to meet many new challenges in molecular science and apply them to emerging social issues,” Gellman said.

In addition to his ongoing energy research, Gellman is leading a research team dedicated to developing new solid surfaces that can be used to select between the left-handed and right-handed versions of complex molecules that appear to be identical but have vastly different properties. Read more.

CMU, Eat'n Park Take Bite Out of Childhood Obesity

With obesity rates on the rise, the Carnegie Mellon School of Design's Fitwits™ project ( and Pittsburgh-based Eat'n Park Restaurants ( are joining forces to help fight the epidemic.

Fitwits is a fun, hands-on program designed to inform kids and families about healthy eating and active living. The game encourages families to interact with each other, ask questions and discuss health in a fun and engaging way. For five weeks, starting on Aug. 1, 2011, Eat'n Park Restaurants will introduce the Fitwits program to guests by offering a series of five Fitwits collectible character cards to families. Each card contains nutritional information, recipes, trivia and memory triggers to teach children about appropriate portion sizes.

During those five weeks, or while supplies last, families at Eat'n Park can request a free Fitwits Memory Game and Recipe Cards. In addition, families can participate in Fitwits' first-ever text-messaging game called "Road Trip with Elvis," which allows families to advise Fitwits character Elvis Pretzley how to make healthy choices during his busy travel schedule. Read more.

Staying Cool

This summer has felt unusually hot and humid, and right now we are in the midst of a dangerous heat wave.  When temperatures and humidity reach this level, it is important to know the signs and symptoms of heat stress, along with ways to protect yourself, your family, and your pets. Check out tips from Environmental Health & Safety. They include:

  • Wear light, loose fitting clothing.
  • Check on the elderly to make sure they are safe. People over the age of 65 represent 40% of the heat-related deaths each year in this country.
  • Stay hydrated, drinking only non-alcoholic beverages.
  • Postpone outdoor chores and exercise until it is cooler.
  • Do not leave your children or pets in parked cars. Also, minimize their outdoor activities.
  • Check with your physician if you are taking prescription medicines. Some drugs can exaggerate the effects of heat, or the weather may affect how or where you store your medicines.
  • If you must work outside, take regular breaks in a cool area, and work with someone else so you can monitor each other.
  • Know the signs and symptoms of heat-related illness, and know what to do if it occurs.

Jacobo Bielak Elected As Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers

Carnegie Mellon University's Jacobo Bielak has been named a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), the highest distinction that organization awards. He will be inducted on Oct. 20 at the 2011 ASCE convention in Memphis, Tenn.

"This honor recognizes Jacobo's outstanding work in the areas of earthquake engineering, seismology and computational science and engineering. We are very fortunate to have him as a member of our faculty at Carnegie Mellon University," said James H. Garrett Jr., head of the top-ranked Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at CMU. Read more.

Obit: Horacio Arló-Costa Was an Acclaimed Logician and Philosopher

HoracioHoracio Arló-Costa, professor of philosophy at Carnegie Mellon University, died July 14 at age 54. A renowned logician and philosopher, Arló-Costa's innovative research crossed many different fields, including formal epistemology, artificial intelligence, behavioral decision research and cognitive neuroscience. 

"Horacio was incredibly passionate and knowledgeable about his subject," said Richard Scheines, head of the Department of Philosophy. "He read everything and remembered all of it. He was one of those people who so loved the work that he could just never get enough of it. He was also an extremely kind and caring individual. He did not have a mean bone in his body. We will miss him terribly."

Arló-Costa's work focused on different branches of philosophical logic, formal epistemology, decision theory and behavioral decision theory. His main line of research centered on probabilistic models for conditionals and non-monotonic notions of consequence, epistemic logic, first order modal logic and belief revision.  Read more. 

Obit: Herbert Toor Leaves Lasting Legacy

Herbert ToorHerbert Lawrence Toor, former dean of Carnegie Mellon's engineering college and the emeritus Mobay Professor of Chemical Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy for more than 40 years, passed away Friday, July 15, 2011, from Alzheimer's disease. He was 84. 

A celebration of Toor's life is scheduled for 2 to 4 p.m., Aug. 6 at the Lodge at Otter Creek in Middlebury, Vt., where he lived since retiring from Carnegie Mellon in the early 1990s.

Toor was instrumental in increasing the number of women and minorities into the university's engineering programs. Beginning in 1973 he served as dean of the College of Engineering for nine years and helped spearhead the creation of the university's innovative Department of Engineering and Public Policy (EPP). During that time, Toor was an early pioneer in linking public policy and engineering issues and recruiting more diverse engineering students. He connected the importance of computation to engineering design, something that furthered the reputation of the Chemical Engineering Department at Carnegie Mellon. In 2008, he was named one of the hundred most influential chemical engineers of the second half of the 20th century by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. Read more.

FMS Reorganizes To Improve Efficiency & Customer Service

Following a two-year assessment and strategic planning process, Don Coffelt, director of Facilities Management Services (FMS), has announced a reorganization of his unit and several personnel moves to improve efficiency and customer service.

  • Ryan Brooks has been named to the newly created position of FMS Logistics and Storeroom Manager and will be dedicated to the FMS warehouse and supply operations. The move aims to improve parts availability, reduce maintenance costs and accelerate the overall repair process.
  • Kyle Tomer has been promoted to associate director for Client Services, and will serve as the FMS liaison to the campus community for special events, service center management and service delivery.
  • Lenny Libbon has been promoted to assistant director for Central Shops. Libbon and his team will focus on 24x7 operations and major project support. His team includes Glenn Gross and Tom Thornton, who will serve in the new positions of maintenance manager for MEP Trades (HVAC mechanics, electricians and plumbers) and maintenance manager for Structural Trades (carpenters, painters, masons and laborers), respectively.

In addition to the above moves, dedicated maintenance managers and teams have been assigned to specific zones to foster and improve working relationships between FMS personnel, facility coordinators and building occupants.

  • George Papuga has been promoted to maintenance manager for the Craig Street Zone, which includes the Pittsburgh Technology Center on Second Avenue, Mellon Institute, the Software Engineering Institute, the National Robotics Engineering Center in Lawrenceville and 300 South Craig Street.
  • Joe Vanyo and his team will continue to provide support to housing facilities including the "Hill" dorms, the residence halls located north of Forbes Avenue, Resnik/West Wing and Donner House.
  • John Duvall and his team will be supporting the West Campus Zone, including Cyert and Warner halls, the Gates and Hillman centers, and Wean, Doherty, Hamerschlag and Scaife halls. 
  • Ralph Hilbert and his team will support the East Campus Zone, including the College of Fine Arts, the Purnell Center, the University Center, Margaret Morrison Carnegie Hall, Skibo Gym, the Tepper School (GSIA/Posner Hall), the Posner Center, Hunt Library, and Baker and Porter halls. 

Questions or concerns should be directed to Coffelt at

Four Professors Earn Highest Faculty Honor

Four Carnegie Mellon University professors, Lorenz (Larry) T. Biegler, John P. Lehoczky, George Loewenstein and Mary Shaw, have been awarded the elite distinction of University Professor, the highest academic accolade CMU faculty members can attain.
"Professors Biegler, Lehoczky, Loewenstein and Shaw are pre-eminent researchers and educators who are highly regarded leaders in their respective fields. They join a most distinguished group of peers who represent much of the intellectual leadership at Carnegie Mellon. They are very deserving of this honor and we are very fortunate to have them as part of our university community," said CMU Provost and Executive Vice President Mark Kamlet. Read more.

Hollywood Comes to CMU; Access to Buildings, Streets and Parking Will Be Impacted

HollywoodAccess to several university buildings, and streets and parking in Oakland will be impacted later this month when Carnegie Mellon, which played host to scenes in the movies "Smart People," "Wonder Boys" and "Mothman Prophecies," once again welcomes Hollywood to its Pittsburgh campus.

Several scenes for a major motion picture by Warner Bros., currently using the working title "Magnus Rex," will be filmed outside of the Software Engineering Institute (SEI) in late July, and inside and outside of the Mellon Institute in early August. Carnegie Mellon is working closely with the production company to ensure that the university and its students, faculty and staff will benefit from the movie-making experience with minimal disruption to normal operations.

Scenes will be filmed outside the SEI at the intersection of Dithridge and Henry streets, and outside and inside the Mellon Institute's fourth-floor lobby facing Fifth Ave. Scenes at the SEI will be filmed from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, July 30-31. Exterior scenes at Mellon Institute will be filmed from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m., Sunday, July 31, and interior scenes will be filmed Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 3-4.  

The SEI will be open during the filming on July 30-31, but few employees should be affected since it takes place on the weekend. The Mellon Institute will be open for business during filming on Aug. 3-4 although some areas will be closed to employees and the public, including the fourth-floor entrance lobby off of Fifth Ave., the fourth floor elevator lobby and library. There will be no access to the building from the Fifth Ave. entrance from July 29 - Aug. 8. SEI loading dock deliveries will be suspended from Friday, July 29 through Monday, Aug. 1.

The Dithridge Street parking garage will be closed from the evening of Friday, July 29 through early morning Monday, Aug. 1.  Leaseholders will be able to access the garage on all other days regardless of traffic restrictions, which are currently under way. Prep work for the SEI shoot has closed Henry St., from Dithridge St. to Utica Way, until 10 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 9.

Prep work at Mellon Institute will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Friday, July 29 through Tuesday, Aug. 2.

For more details, including a list of upcoming traffic restrictions, go to General questions about the filming should be directed to Carrie Chisholm at

Bruce Gerson, Director,, 412.268.1613
Heidi Opdyke, Associate Director,, 412.268.7521

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Blood Drive @ SEI
To schedule an appointment, go to and enter sponsor code CU040013 or contact Rob Conway at 412-268-1205 or
9 a.m. - 3 p.m., Tuesday, July 26, Software Engineering Institute

Learn PowerPoint
This beginner workshop, taught by David Holzemer, will discuss PowerPoint 2007 and explore the basics.
9 a.m. - noon, Tuesday, July 26, Hearth Room, Whitfield Hall

Using Twitter
CMU's Amanda Berneburg and Jay Brown will discuss best practices for how using Twitter on behalf of the university can help spread university messages and connect with audiences around the globe.
10 - 11:30 a.m., Thursday, July 28, McKenna/Peter/Wright Room, UC

For more event listings, see the 8.5 x 11 News or online calendar.

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