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Sara Kiesler

February 13, 2019

Personal Mention

Sara KieslerSara Kiesler, Hillman Chair Emerita of Computer Science and Human-Computer Interaction at the Human-Computer Interaction Institute, has been elected to the National Academy of Engineering, among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Her citation is "for leadership, technical innovation, and identification of social trends with the adoption of computers and robots in work and society." She is among 86 new members and 18 foreign members announced today by NAE President C. D. (Dan) Mote, Jr. Kiesler has served as a program director in the division of social and economic sciences at the National Science Foundation since 2016. Kiesler's research has revolutionized the field of human-computer interaction (HCI). She has focused on many of computing's most significant social impacts, including open communication, information sharing and distributed collaboration. She also has brought concepts from social psychology and HCI to robotics, helping to create the new interdisciplinary field of human-robot interaction.

Larry PileggiCMU’s College of Engineering has named Larry Pileggi to head its Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE), effective March 1, 2019. The college conducted a national search considering a diverse pool of both internal and external candidates. Pileggi was selected for his leadership in the field and his vision for the next phase of the department's growth. "His presentation to the ECE community outlined the creation of more maker initiatives throughout the curriculum and research thrusts," said Interim Dean Jon Cagan. "He identified the structuring of research around application domains that span from the electrical engineering to the computer engineering communities." Pileggi is the Tanoto Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering and has previously held positions at Westinghouse Research and Development and the University of Texas at Austin. Read more.

Adam FeinbergAdam Feinberg has been elected to the Leadership Advisory Committee (LAC) for the Advanced Regenerative Manufacturing Institute (ARMI). Feinberg is the Arthur Hamerschlag Career Development Professor and associate professor of biomedical engineering and materials science and engineering. The LAC advises BioFabUSA related to policies and strategic guidance concerning technology and research priorities, objectives, and content of research programs, policies and strategic guidance concerning the education and workforce development programs, and the strategic direction of BioFabUSA.

Obituary: John Wiss

John WissJohn William Wiss, a professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon for 30 years, died on January 13, 2019. He was a respected and beloved teacher, mentor and colleague. "Professor Wiss truly cared about the students, and this did not end at the classroom door," said Allen Robinson, head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. "He brought decades of experience from the military and industry to Carnegie Mellon, serving as a constant resource to students."

Wiss was an integral part of Carnegie Mellon Racing (CMR), the university's student chapter of the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) that designs, builds, and races vehicles. He served as the faculty advisor for many years, often generously funding the team from his own pocket. “John’s heart was really in the work. He enjoyed teaching the internal combustion engines course and working with the CMR team. Indeed, he was partly responsible for starting CMR," said Satbir Singh, an associate teaching professor who now teaches the course and advises the team.

Wiss received his education from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and the University of Michigan. He was a retired lieutenant colonel in the United States Army. His career included work at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, the White Sands Proving Ground, and the Army Tank-Automotive Laboratories where he served as chief. Additional roles included chief technical officer at Rockwell Engineering, Fulbright scholar, entrepreneur of a fuel cell start-up, husband, father, grandfather and great grandfather.

Wiss had been living in the Washington, DC area with his daughter. There will be a burial at Arlington National Cemetery with full military honors this summer. Read more.