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January 12, 2022

News Briefs

CMU, Wiley Sign Agreement to Make Research More Widely Accessible

Global research and education leader Wiley has announced a three-year open access agreement with Carnegie Mellon University.

The agreement will give Carnegie Mellon researchers the ability to publish all accepted articles in Wiley's journals, meaning they are freely available to read and share upon publication. This agreement marks a critical step in the university's open access journey, expanding the reach of the research published by its distinguished faculty, most notably in forward-looking fields of study, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and automation.

"We're excited to join Carnegie Mellon in advancing its open access journey, and bring findings from its leading academics to the global community," said Liz Ferguson, senior vice president for Wiley Research Publishing.

"This agreement with Wiley advances our strategic approach to make information available, understandable and impactful beyond the university," said Keith Webster, the Helen and Henry Posner, Jr. Dean of University Libraries and director of Emerging and Integrative Media Initiatives. "By leading and championing efforts in open access, Carnegie Mellon University creates opportunities for people everywhere to discover, access and use scholarly work."

Learn more about the agreement.

Faculty Awarded Funding to Support Research for National Defense

composite image of Marc De Graef, Anthony Rollett and Rebecca Taylor

Three College of Engineering faculty members, Marc De Graef, Anthony Rollett and Rebecca Taylor, have been selected to receive funding for their projects through the Defense University Research Instrumentation Program. The awards will support equipment and instrumentation to accelerate engineering research relevant to national defense. These include development and characterization of novel materials, quantum computing and quantum networks, bioelectronics, hypersonics, autonomy and more.

De Graef, a professor of materials science and engineering, received funds from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to acquire a laboratory diffraction contrast tomography instrument. The instrument creates the ability to follow an evolving microstructure in time with high spatial resolution. It will be used to study grain growth in ceramic materials, 3D microstructure in additively manufactured materials, and self-healing mechanisms in polymeric materials.

Rollett, a professor of materials science and engineering, was awarded funds by the Office of Naval Research for a robotic laser hot wire system for research on additive manufacturing (AM) via directed energy deposition. The robotic laser welding AM machine, one of the first of its type to be installed at a university, will be a platform for merging research, education and workforce training efforts within the CMU Next Manufacturing Center, the Robotics Institute and the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute.

Taylor, an associate professor of mechanical engineering, was awarded funding by the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to support her project in scanning ion conductance microscopy (SCIM). The research involves peptide nucleic acid-based nanostructures at biotic and abiotic interfaces. The nanopipette probes of the SICM instrument operate in liquid without making physical contact with the sample. A sensor measures the current flow, which decreases as the distance between the pipette and sample becomes smaller. This tool will have many practical uses in sample observation, especially label-free time course studies of living cell membranes.

Find out more.

Obituary: CMU Community Mourns Trustee Emeritus Jim Walton

portrait of Jim WaltonThe Carnegie Mellon University community is mourning the loss of Trustee Emeritus James M. "Jim" Walton, who passed away on January 2. He was 91. Walton served on CMU's Board of Trustees from 1969 until 2013, and became an emeritus trustee in 2000.

"We are deeply saddened to learn of Jim Walton's passing," said CMU President Farnam Jahanian. "Jim was a longstanding member of the Board of Trustees and his many contributions to the board helped shaped CMU into the institution it is today. He and his wife, Ellen, were loyal philanthropic supporters for more than three decades, including endowing a scholarship for graduate students in the Tepper School of Business. The mark he's left on CMU is indelible."

Walton served on a number of trustee committees during his tenure, including the development, executive, nominating and property and facilities committees. He also was a member of the School of Drama Advisory Board. Walton's late father, John, also served as a CMU trustee. In 2003, Walton received an honorary doctorate in humane letters from CMU in recognition of his distinguished career in business and community service.

"Jim Walton was a tremendously distinguished member of the Pittsburgh business community and local community-serving organizations," said David Coulter, chair of the CMU Board of Trustees. "He came from a long line of community advocates and philanthropists and spent the majority of his career contributing to some of Pittsburgh's most influential organizations, such as the Carnegie Museums and The Heinz Endowments. We're honored that Jim included CMU in the extensive list of organizations where he served."

Learn more about Walton.

Girls of Steel to Create Wearable Fitness Device for Kids with Autism

Girls of Steel, a FIRST Robotics Competition team at Carnegie Mellon University, recently received a $10,000 Lemelson-MIT InvenTeam® grant to create BuzzBand, a wearable fitness device designed for youth with autism who are facing sensory, physical and emotional challenges associated with exercise. Girls of Steel is one of only eight high school organizations nationwide to be selected as an InvenTeam this year.

BuzzBand assists users in maintaining motivation, focus and consistency by applying external sensory stimuli through tandem vibrations and rhythmic beeps. Developed as an adjustable armband, BuzzBand's portable, lightweight, comfortable and weather-resistant design allows it to function in physical fitness classes, schools, gyms, outdoors, homes or other settings. Theresa Richards, outreach program manager and Girls of Steel mentor at CMU's Robotics Institute, started the InvenTeam application process last spring and worked with the students over the summer to prepare the final proposal.  

Over the next eight months, the Girls of Steel InvenTeam will further develop BuzzBand. The team will build a working prototype that will be showcased at a technical review in February and a final prototype for the EurekaFest™ invention celebration in June.

Learn more about the Girls of Steel and BuzzBand.

Tepper Professors Honored with Junior Faculty Chairs

composite image of Hui Li, Andrew Li and Ben MoseleyHui Li, Andrew Li and Ben Moseley.

The Tepper School of Business has awarded three professors with junior faculty chair positions.

Hui Li, associate professor of marketing, has been named the Xerox Junior Faculty Chair and Andrew Li, assistant professor of operations research, is the BP Junior Faculty Chair. In addition to the two new chairs, the Tepper School announced that Ben Moseley will continue in his role as the Carnegie Bosch Associate Professor of Operations Research.

Hui Li joined the Tepper School faculty in 2015, and her research focuses on quantitative marketing, dynamic pricing, consumer digital product consumption, two-sided platforms and the sharing economy.

Andrew Li has been an associate professor of operations research at the Tepper School since 2018. He studies machine learning, high-dimensional data analysis, e-commerce, personalized medicine and stochastic modeling.

Moseley has held the Carnegie Bosch Associate Professorship of Operations Research and Machine Learning since 2018. His research focuses on algorithms, operations research, machine learning, optimization, parallel and distributed algorithms, scheduling, network algorithms and large data analysis.

Attention Ph.D. Candidates: Seeking Participants for Three Minute Thesis Competition

3-minute thesis graphicThink your Ph.D. students can discuss their thesis in plain language in under three minutes for a chance to win technology or research/travel grants?

The Three Minute Thesis (3MT®) Competition challenges CMU doctoral candidates to present a compelling oration on their thesis and its significance in just three minutes, in language appropriate for a general audience. 3MT is not an exercise in trivializing or "dumbing-down" research, but requires students to consolidate their ideas and crystallize their research discoveries.

Any currently enrolled CMU Ph.D. student may sign up to compete. Register online. The registration deadline is February 14, 2022, 5 p.m. ET. Preliminary heats will be held February 21 – March 16, with the championship round being held the last week of March.

Heat winners will win their choice of either $1,000 toward research/travel needs or $1,000 credit to the University Computer store to be used at their discretion. Championship winners will receive $3,000, $2,000 and $1,000 in research/travel grants and a potential $500 research/travel grant for the “People’s Choice” and “Alumni’s Choice” award.

Questions? Contact Andy Prisbylla, student engagement coordinator, at

Who's New at CMU?

Carnegie Mellon welcomes the following new staff members this week.

  • Natalie Mumich, OSP Research Administrator, Associate Vice President for Research & Academic Admin;
  • Megan Forry, Project Administrator, Community Health & Well-Being;
  • Diane DeNardo, Application Processor, Tepper Admissions;
  • Emily Callahan, Assistant Director, Learning and Performance, VP-University Advancement;
  • Fernando Lima, Adjunct Instructor for Process Systems Modeling, Chemical Engineering;
  • Kimberly Norris, Digital Accessibility Coordinator, Chief Information Office (Comp Services);
  • Mac Purvis III, Help Desk Support Technician, SCS Computing Facility;
  • Robert Goodeve, DevOps Engineer, Enterprise Information Systems (Comp Services); and
  • Teresa Dunn, Senior Administrative Coordinator, Dietrich Deans Office.

Did You Know?

portrait of Lawrence PeelerPaul Lawrence Peeler, Sr. (July 17, 1908 – October 7, 1992), a gifted and talented violinist, organist, singer and composer, was one of the first African Americans to graduate from Carnegie Mellon. He earned a bachelor’s degree in violin performance in 1933. When he was a music student at CMU, Peeler studied organ with the prominent organist, choirmaster, composer and music critic Harvey Gaul and studied violin with Karl August Malcherek. He became the first Black full-time teacher to be hired by the Pittsburgh School District in 1937. In the 1960s he became a supervisor for the Pittsburgh School District.  Read more from alumna Cynthia Lee in the series Black Singers of Concert and Operatic Literature.