May 30, Vol. 23, No. 44

CMU Names New VP for Finance and CFO  

President Jared L. Cohon has announced that Amir Rahnamay-Azar, senior vice president for Administration and Finance at the Georgia Institute of Technology, has been selected to become Carnegie Mellon's new vice president for Finance and chief financial officer.  


"Both President-elect Subra Suresh and I are delighted with this appointment," Cohon said in an email to faculty and staff. "Amir

is an enormously talented professional who exemplifies the university's very best qualities of hard work, collaboration and innovative problem-solving. His experiences at Georgia Tech, and previously at the University of Southern California, provide an excellent foundation for the many facets of the vice president and chief financial officer position. His commitment to fostering the success of our faculty, staff and students was evident throughout the selection process."

Read the full announcement

Lorenz Biegler To Head Chemical Engineering    

Larry Biegler Carnegie Mellon has named University Professor Lorenz (Larry) T. Biegler, the Bayer Professor of Chemical Engineering, as the new head of its Chemical Engineering Department, effective Nov. 1. He succeeds Andrew J. Gellman, who has been department head since 2003.


"This is a wonderful honor for me and I pledge to work diligently with all my esteemed colleagues to continue the leading edge research so endemic to our outstanding Chemical Engineering Department," Biegler said. "CMU is a unique place where we continue to solve some of the world's most pressing challenges, including the ongoing debate about energy independence for the U.S."


Biegler is internationally renowned for his research in computer-aided process engineering and his projects in design research and systems analysis. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.  


Read the full announcement. 

Neuroscientists Make Discovery; Could Lead to Better Understanding of Learning and Memory
Students preparing for final exams might want to wait before pulling an all-night cram session - at least as far as their neurons are concerned.

It's well known that synapses in the brain, the connections between neurons and other cells that allow for the transmission of information, grow when they're exposed to a stimulus. However, new research from the lab of Associate Professor of Biological Sciences Alison L. Barth has shown that in the short term, synapses get even stronger than previously thought, but then quickly go through a transitional phase where they weaken.


"When you think of learning, you think that it's cumulative. We thought that synapses started small and then got bigger and bigger. This isn't the case," Barth said. "Based on our data, it seems like synapses that have recently been strengthened are peculiarly vulnerable - more stimulation can actually wipe out the effects of learning."


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Building Blocks: Guiding Campus Development
With an eye toward the west and northwest of the Pittsburgh campus, Carnegie Mellon's Simonds Commission has established 10 guidelines for future growth and development.

The principles, authored by the 14-member committee of trustees, faculty and senior administrators chaired by university trustee J. Lea Hillman Simonds and Vice President for Campus Affairs Michael Murphy, will guide new projects and renovations to CMU properties to the west of Morewood Avenue along Forbes and Fifth avenues, and to the north on Craig Street and its Henry, Winthrop and Filmore street arteries.


The 10 principles, which were approved by the Board of Trustees at its May meeting, cover the areas of building, community context, space and movement.  


In addition, the commission has formed ongoing task forces to discuss a CMU-affiliated hotel and conference center, Forbes Avenue traffic flow, Craig Street development and CMU's community partners.   


Pictured above is the busy corner of Forbes and Craig. A task force is looking into further development of the Craig corridor.     


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Calendar Highlights 

 Personal Mention
This issue features:

Katie Cecil
Timothy Leonardi
Tim Verstynen
Candace Thille

Steven Klepper

News Briefs
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