March/April 2002
Volume Two - Issue Two

Ken Westerberg Memorial Blood Drive to be Held on April 9

Call for Proposals: Dowd Engineering Seed Fund for Graduate Student Fellowship

PITA's Engineering Design Projects Course: Bridging Education with Industry

ICES Community Meeting: Ice Cream Included

Online Phone Directories Now Available

CASOS Summer Institute

ICES Intranet

Cristina Amon named Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)

Phil Koopman receives tenure in ECE Department

Asim Smailagic appointed Associate Editor of new IEEE journal

Sarah Petricca, BHE Graduate Student

Wearable and Pervasive Computing: Seamless Computing Environment, Asim Smailagic, LINCS Director


ICES Calendar

PITA Symposium Harrisburg, PA, March 25

AIS Open House on April 4

Annual Spring Happy Hour ~ Salsa Style: Club Havana, Shadyside, Wed. April 24

ICES Seminars

Volunteers Needed for Expanding Outreach Activities


30-Day Travel Expense Reimbursement Policy

Rich Hoff: Prism Magazine

Kacey Marra: TEQ Magazine

Cristina Amon, PITA Symposium: Pittsburgh Business Times

Printable iNews

iNews homepage

iNews Archives

ICES homepage

Carnegie Mellon Engineering homepage

Carnegie Mellon University homepage


News & Announcements

In Memoriam of
Ken Westerberg


On Tuesday, April 9, ICES will sponsor a blood drive from 1 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Singleton Room in Roberts Hall. This blood drive is being held in memoriam of Ken Westerberg, son of Art Westerberg, Swearingen University Professor of Chemical Engineering and ICES. Ken died in January of 2001 of Leukemia at the age of 35. Prior to his death, he expressed extreme interest in recruiting donors to aid this cause.

Furthermore, the Pittsburgh area is currently experiencing a "state-of-emergency" due to extremely low blood supplies. If more donations are not received during the next several weeks, many area hospitals will be forced to cancel elective surgeries.

Participation in this blood drive is open to the entire campus community. To reserve a time slot to donate blood, please contact Dana Hilinski at Walk-ins are welcome, but those without an appointment may experience an extended waiting period.


Faculty members from the College of Engineering are invited to submit proposals for the Dowd Graduate Student Fellowship program. Proposals should be submitted via email to Cristina Amon, Director of ICES, by Monday, April 15, 2002. Fellowship selections will be announced in June to start in July or September of this year. If you have any questions regarding this call for proposals please contact Professor Amon at 8-4343 or at

The Philip and Marsha Dowd Engineering Seed Fund was established in 2001 through a generous gift to the College of Engineering (CIT) from the Dowds. The fellowship grant program, administered through ICES, awards a grant to a CIT graduate student in the second or third year of his/her graduate studies. The objective of the fund is to provide support for graduate students working on cutting edge research projects for which traditional sources of funding may not be readily available. Students receiving support will be referred to as Dowd-ICES fellows and will be required to present a seminar to the Carnegie Mellon community on the results of the work.

Proposals must describe the research project that the student is/will be working on and include a one page Curriculum Vitae of the student. Proposals will be reviewed for the innovative nature of the research, its relationship to CIT/ICES strategic focus and the
potential of this seed project to enable government and/or industry support in future years. A research project may receive a maximum of two years of grant support, but normally, funding will be limited to one year, covering the student's stipend and tuition.

Proposals are limited to 2 pages and should adhere to the following format:

  1. Project Title
  2. Research Team (PI, Co-PI, Graduate School) - Names and affiliation
  3. Project Description - Describe problem addressed and why this research is both important and novel
  4. Approach and Methodology
  5. Relationship to CIT/ICES Strategic Focus
  6. Future Funding - Describe how this seed project will enable future funding; identify potential funding source


As you may or may not be aware, the ICES Education Laboratory hosts several courses each semester for the College of Engineering. Course 39-605/6, the Engineering Design Projects course, is one of four courses currently taught by ICES faculty members.

Art Westerberg (ICES, Chem E) and Eswaran Subrahmanian (ICES) teach this course with assistance from Cristina Amon (ICES Director, Mech E), David Archer (Mech E), Ender Finol (ICES), James Garrett (ICES, CEE), Jeff Hansen (ICES), Annette Jacobson (ICES, Chem E), Dan Stancil (ECE), and John Wesner (ICES, Mech E).

Industry, government and university representatives propose real-world engineering projects for the class. They identify the problems and goals and also provide engineering constraints specific to their organization. Then, interdisciplinary teams of students working with faculty, industry and government sponsors define and carry out product design projects. Air Products, Inc., Bombardier Transportation Systems, Cutler-Hammer, Dupont, Medrad, Turner Construction and Siemens-Westinghouse Power Corporation are currently sponsoring course projects. The Medrad project and a joint Carnegie Mellon-UPMC project are being sponsored for engineering students who need to fulfill requirements for the dual Biomedical and Health Engineering major.

Because of the strong industry interaction, students must consider many issues for the product or process they are designing including product legitimacy, technical feasibility, the cost of production, utility and marketability. Students are expected to address these issues collaboratively, as course project teams are comprised of students from all departments within the College of Engineering and colleges across Carnegie Mellon. As such, students apply their unique talents and education to address one or more of these design issues.

Students conduct research to determine the current market status and embark on engineering designs to produce a proof of concept, software or prototypes depending on the complexity of the project and expectations of the project sponsor. The work culminates with final presentations that are scheduled for Tuesday, April 30. The entire ICES community and all interested parties are invited to hear about the exciting progress made by our faculty, students and industry sponsors on these course projects. For more information, please contact Professor Art Westerberg at

Course Project
Air Products, Inc.
Household hydrogen plan
Bombardier Transportation Systems
Novel guide way sensor system
Remote circuit systems repair/maintenance
Polymer sponge
Medrad, Inc.
Wireless MRI syringe control
Optimal fuel cell geometry
Turner Construction
Construction site information systems
Carnegie Mellon/UPMC
Novel aortic aneurysm stents


The entire ICES community is invited to attend a general information meeting on Friday, April 12, from 3:00 to 4:00 p.m. in 2224 Hamburg Hall. Information will be provided on timely issues such as:

  • Hamburg Hall Emergency Response/Disaster Relief Plan
  • Human Subject Protocol (studies & experiments)
  • Expense Report Handouts (for those not certified)
  • ICES Spring Happy Hour
  • iNews demonstration
  • Question/answer time for any administrative concerns

Ice cream and snacks will be provided. Please RSVP to Tiffany Booth at by Wednesday, April 10. All ICES members are urged to attend.


Verizon recently developed an on-line telephone directory to wean the public away from traditional bulky phone books. This will significantly reduce the amount of paper directories distributed on campus. The Carnegie Mellon campus community is encouraged to use this new feature. To access Verizon's on-line directory go to

Location: Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA

The CASOS summer institute provides an intense and hands-on introduction to computational analysis of social and organizational systems. The focus is on social network analysis, complex adaptive systems, designing and evaluating computational models, multi-agent systems, virtual experiments, and docking. Illustrative models such as VDT, ORGAHEAD, CONSTRUCT, and ORGCON will be discussed. Network tools such as NETSTAT and UCINET will be used. Sessions will be split between lectures and labs.

No prior programming experience is assumed. Attendees will be given readings and selected software. This institute is supported in part by the National Science Foundation, IGERT program. Ph.D. students who are U.S. residents can apply to the Carnegie Mellon IGERT program for scholarships to help cover part of the cost of attending this workshop. Simply mark on the application that you are interested in a scholarship and send email to Additional information is available on
Registration forms are available on line.


A new website, IRIS, has been designed to accommodate the needs of the ICES community. ICES Request Information System (IRIS) is the central information system for users to submit problem tickets, request software, hardware and systems, view the ICES phone list, general ICES announcements and current server backup information. IRIS also offers online discussion groups giving users a forum to communicate with their group mates and advisors.

Currently, IRIS is restricted to computers on the SCS network and can be found at

IRIS is supported by ICES Facilities Management and all requests are sent directly to the Facilities Management office. Many thanks to Justin Kulla for creating the new ICES intranet.


Honors & Awards

Cristina Amon, Director of ICES and Raymond J. Lane Distinguished Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and Biomedical & Health Engineering

Cristina Amon has been named a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for her contributions to thermal management techniques for wearable computers and portable electronics. This honor is bestowed upon a limited number of senior IEEE members who have made important contributions to electrical and information technologies and sciences for the benefit of humanity and the profession.

Phil Koopman, Director of ERIS Lab, Associate Professor, ECE

Congratulations to Phil Koopman. On July 1, 2002 Phil will receive tenure in the ECE Department.

Asim Smailagic, Director of LINCS Lab, Senior Research Faculty, ICES

Asim Smailagic has been appointed Associate Editor of the new journal IEEE Transactions on Mobile Computing for the 2002-2004 term.


In The Spotlight

Sarah Petricca, BHE Graduate Student

Sarah Petricca joined ICES in June of 2001 as a graduate student in the biomedical and health engineering department. She is co-advised by Prashant Kumta (MSE) and Kacey Marra (ICES). She is currently working with Kacey Marra, research faculty at ICES, on designing polymer and ceramic scaffolds for bone tissue. Prior to attending Carnegie Mellon, Sarah was an undergraduate at Allegheny College where she received her bachelor's degree ('01) in bio-chemistry. Sarah splits her research time between ICES, the Materials Science Lab and the Bone Tissue Engineering Center (BTEC). She expects to earn her masters degree in May of 2003. For her long term goals, Sarah is still debating between either a Ph.D. in her current field or a medical degree. In her moments of free time, Sarah manages to attend a training program for emergency medical technicians and is also a volunteer at the Carnegie Science Center where she teaches a workshop for children. Sarah is really enjoying her time here at Carnegie Mellon.

Tactile Display


Wearable and Pervasive Computing: Seamless Computing Environment
Asim Smailagic, LINCS Director

The essence of pervasive computing is the creation of environments saturated with computing and communication capability, yet gracefully integrated with human users. Wearable computing brings the power of a pervasive computing environment to a person by placing computing and sensory resources on the user in an unobtrusive way. These computers can be specialized and modular like items of clothing. Unlike laptops or handheld computers, wearable computers offer many new modes to interact beyond keyboards and touch screens, in a natural, intuitive way. Also, wearables can be easily reconfigured to meet specific needs or applications. A pervasive computing system that strives to be minimally intrusive has to be context-aware. In other words, it needs to be cognizant of its user's state and surroundings, and to modify its behavior based on this information. If a human assistant were given such context, he or she would make decisions in a proactive fashion, anticipating user needs. For example, if a driver were passing through dangerous traffic conditions, a pervasive computing system would note this and automatically direct all calls to voice mail.

The Laboratory for Interactive Computer Systems (LINCS), comprised of the Wearable Computers Lab and Industrial Design Studio, has been contributing to define the future for not only computing technologies but also for the use of computers in daily activities. The lab has designed and built over two-dozen novel generations of wearable computers over the last ten years, most of them field-tested. The application domains range from inspection, maintenance, manufacturing, and navigation to on-the-move collaboration, position sensing, two-way language translation, and real-time speech recognition. Our users include Boeing, Lockheed Martin, Adtranz, Electric Boat, Compaq, the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Air Force, IBM, Chevron, Intel, and more. Spot, the newest wearable computer, is intended to support context aware and augmented reality applications. We see ahead a world of near-zero energy-weight-cost wearable computers for individuals to support their education, work and play.

In addition, the lab has built several pioneering pervasive computing prototypes. Portable Help Desk (PHD) assists users in locating their colleagues and in finding useful resources, such as printers, audio/visual equipment, restaurants, vending machines, and free food. PHD integrates with a highly accurate location service invented by the lab, enabling students to instantaneously locate one another. This helps students manage their complicated team meeting schedules and projects. Because they have meetings at various times and locations, students are often unsure of where their next meeting is supposed to take place. The ability to observe team members' locations on campus helps students determine a meeting's location. The Portable Help Desk (PHD) application confers that ability.

Another prototype, Idealink, provides a virtual meeting and collaboration space in which people unable to meet in person can sketch their ideas, interact with other team members, and have meetings as rich as face-to-face ones, including remote collaboration. The system can capture the content of a meeting. Several design classes at Carnegie Mellon are using Idealink to have more effective collaborative design sessions than ever before possible.

Furthermore, the Spring 2001 Rapid Prototyping of Computer Systems class focused on the design and implementation of the Companion Contextual Car Driver Interface for General Motors. It can analyze the driver's intent and watch the driver's physical and cognitive state for any impairments or information overload. The prototype combines a smart car environment and driver state monitoring, incorporating a wide range of input-output modalities (speech, gesture, face, and fingerprint recognition and speech synthesis), and a display hierarchy featuring heads-up display for urgent information and a touch-screen display for less critical information. Intelligent agents offer capabilities ranging from learning about drivers' behavioral patterns to proactively helping when needed, taking into account our research regarding the limits of drivers' attention. The Companion makes driving a more useful, entertaining, and safer experience. It links information from many contexts, such as location and schedule, and transparently learns from the driver, interacting with the driver only when it is wanted and safe.

We are also creating new ways for users to interact with computers. Currently, projects are underway at the lab's Interaction Design Studio to create an interface that uses sound and tactile feedback to intuitively present information to a mobile user without using a visual display. These modes of communicating with users have been largely overlooked in the past, and provide a way to ease demands on users' attention. Not only are these senses capable of processing large amounts of information, often they are also the only senses which can be used by a mobile user.

Our research and prototypes are fostering a world rich in wearable and pervasive computing capabilities. What would it be like to live in that world?

Suppose you are rushing to a meeting to give a presentation. The pervasive computing system transfers the state of your work from your desktop to your wearable, allowing you to make final edits and additions using voice commands while walking. As you enter the meeting, your wearable senses its location and transmits your presentation to the projector. The computing environment knows where you are, knows who is with you and triages your incoming messages. If it is urgent and confidential, you get a silent "tap on the shoulder" or a private "whisper" from your wearable's tactile and audio interface. If it is for everyone, the caller (or a text version of their message) is flashed on a wall screen. While giving the presentation, the room's face recognition system senses an unfamiliar face present and silently advises you to not present a slide with confidential data. Meanwhile, you have the whole meeting automatically videotaped, transcribed, and indexed-either by an in-room system or by a "flight recorder"-type wearable. You can pull out selected notes quickly, and watch instant reply of key moments.

Furthermore, interaction with the computer will be at the task level. Rather than thinking about icons and files, and going through a sequence similar to a series of pedestrian steps, you will think in terms of tasks. For example, you will tell your computer, "I want to make a presentation, and this is what I want to include." Or, "prepare my trip to MIT" and it will automatically prepare what you need for a successful trip, such as your presentation files, hotel reservations, and maps.

The vision embodied in this research will help us break away from a forty-year computing machine preoccupation to a new era of people-centric computing, focusing our technologies increasingly on human needs, augmenting their capabilities and productivity, ushering in an age of distraction-free computing.

Spot Wearable Computer worn by Matthew Hornyak, ICES student

Idealink Virtual Meeting and Collaboration Space

Context Aware Portable Help Desk


ICES Events


The Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance (PITA) will host its annual symposium on Monday, March 25 at the Harrisburg Hilton & Towers. The schedule runs from 12:45 p.m. through 5:30 p.m. with a full list of speakers from industry, academia and government. Session topics will touch upon the successes of the PITA program, now embarking on its fifth year, and the economic development activities that have resulted from the program. The day will conclude with a poster session and reception from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. If you are interested in attending the symposium, or if you would like more information about the symposium schedule, please contact Dana Hilinski at Symposium Agenda...


The Advanced Infrastructure Systems (AIS) Laboratory at ICES is having an open house and reception from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. on April 4 in the Singleton Room in Roberts Hall. This event is open to university, industry and agency community members who are interested in design, funding, construction, maintenance, operation and monitoring of civil infrastructures. The Open House will display the depth and breadth of research happening in AIS and ICES to address current and future civil infrastructure challenges. An informal poster session and a feedback session will be the primary means of interaction.

Professor Jim Garrett (CEE), the Director of AIS, its faculty members and students would like to extend an invitation to members of the ICES community and anyone who is interested in attending. For more information or to register for this event, please contact Dana Hilinski at

In general, infrastructure (as defined by AIS researchers) is composed of various complex support systems upon which our society depends. These systems include transportation systems (roads, bridges, rails and guide ways), power distribution systems, telecommunication systems, and also water treatment and distribution systems. These systems are typically large, long-lived and exposed to the environment. They deteriorate with use and exposure, interact with other systems, and when disrupted cause major delays, loss of economic activity, and most importantly, loss of necessary support functions.

Researchers in the AIS Lab work at the interface between physical infrastructure systems and information management systems. The research in this lab is organized into:

  • Sensor systems - the development of new Microelectromechanical Systems (MEMS)-based sensors and field evaluations of off-the-shelf sensor systems;
  • Mobile IT support systems - the development of prototype mobile and wearable computer applications for workers and the development of frameworks and knowledge-bases;
  • Infrastructure system decision support - the development of integrated construction management systems to take advantage of the new streams of data made available by sensing and mobile IT support systems
  • Data mining - the development of new techniques of deriving valuable relationships from available data strea

Club Havana, Shadyside
Wednesday, April 24th

Join us on Wednesday, April 24 at Club Havana in Shadyside for our annual spring season happy hour. The festivities will start at 6 p.m., complete with food, libations, music, games and prizes. At 8 p.m., the happy hour will conclude and Havana's weekly Wednesday night latin dance party begins, featuring free dance lessons and endless salsa beats. A $5.00 cover will be imposed at that time, and this cover charge will also include one drink.
Club Havana, 5744 Ellsworth Avenue, is conveniently located within walking distance to campus, or via the Carnegie Mellon shuttle bus that runs through Shadyside. For more information or to RSVP, please send email to Dana at


Please mark your calendars for the following seminar brought to you jointly by ICES and Mechanical Engineering. For more information please contact Christina Cowan at

March 15, at 2:30 p.m. in room 125 Scaife Hall, Professor Amy Fleischer of Villanova will speak on "Thermal Management of Electronics."

March 28, 2002 at 10:30 a.m. in room 2224 Hamburg Hall, Professor Kincho Law of Stanford University will speak on Vibration-Based Structural Health Monitoring and Damage Assessment

April 22, 2002 at 11:00 a.m. in room 1202 Hamburg Hall, Professor Robert Savinell of Case Western Reserve University will speak on Fuel Cells

May 3, 2002 at 12:00 p.m. in room 1202 Hamburg Hall, Professor Chao-Yang Wang of Penn State University will speak on Fuel Cells


Volunteers are needed to represent ICES and the College of Engineering at two upcoming outreach events.

The Carnegie Science Center will host the Third Annual Pittsburgh International Science and Technology Festival (SciTech Festival)
April 6-14
Phil Campbell is currently seeking volunteers for various time slots throughout the week. This is a wonderful opportunity for faculty, staff and students to share their knowledge to a broad audience. This past February, ICES participated in Engineer's Week, a similar educational event that was also hosted by the Carnegie Science Center. Many thanks to the volunteers who helped make this event a success. Click to see Photos... If you are interested in participating or if you have an educational exhibit idea that may be a good component for the ICES booth, please contact Dana Hilinski at

Volunteers are also needed for Moving 4th into Engineering.
Each spring, ICES invites 4th-grade students from several Pittsburgh Public Schools to spend a full day on campus engaging in fun and educational engineering activities. This year's program will take place on Saturday, April 27. A diverse group of faculty, staff and student volunteers are needed to work with the children throughout the day. For more information about this program, or if you are interested in participating please contact Dana Hilinski at

ICES Policies


Travelers should spend university funds prudently. Business travel expenses will be paid by Carnegie Mellon only if they are reasonable, necessary and in accordance with this policy. Individuals who incur business travel expenses should neither gain nor lose personal funds as a result of their travel.

The traveler is responsible for submitting all forms related to his/her travel within 30 days of returning to campus. This 30-day policy will be strongly enforced by the university accounting department and all Carnegie Mellon employees should take action to follow this rule.

ICES Newsmakers

Prism Magazine

Rich Hoff is quoted regarding the Maglev project in Pittsburgh for the January 2002 issue. "Fast Track for Trains" by Erin Drenning. pp 32-33.

TEQ Magazine

Kacey Marra is quoted regarding the tissue engineering research being conducted in ICES for the November issue.

Pittsburgh Business Times
Cristina Amon
is quoted regarding the Pennsylvania Infrastructure Technology Alliance (PITA) Symposium in Harrisburg, PA.

To submit information for the next edition of iNews, please contact Tiffany Booth at

iNews Production Staff

Tiffany Booth, Staff Writer,
Dana Hilinski, Editor,
Donna Yocum, Webmaster,

iNews is a bimonthly newsletter designed to serve the ICES community. All faculty, staff and students are encouraged to email submissions, questions or comments they may have to any of the iNews staff members.