School of Engineering

School of Engineering

New Clare Boothe Luce Professor in Engineering

After a national search, the School of Engineering (SOE) welcomed Dr. Shanon Reckinger, the new Clare Boothe Luce Professor in Mechanical Engineering. A $404,439 grant from the Henry Luce Foundation’s Clare Boothe Luce Program made the appointment of the new assistant professor possible.

Dr. Reckinger, who received her Ph.D. from the University of Colorado at Boulder in August, joined the Mechanical Engineering faculty, teaching fluid dynamics and numerical methods at both the undergraduate and graduate levels.

The grant that made Dr. Reckinger’s position possible comes at a time when the need for more young people carving out careers in the sciences and engineering – especially women – has become more urgent in the United States. It was specifically earmarked for Mechanical Engineering, the largest department in the School. “Fairfield is poised to provide a supportive environment where the talents of the new scholar will be nurtured,” said University President Jeffrey P. von Arx, S.J. “We envision the Clare Boothe Luce Professor excelling in her professional development here, inspiring students along the way.”

Dr. Reckinger has been a co-instructor and teaching assistant at the University of Colorado. Her professional research experience includes work as a research assistant at the Los Alamos National Research Lab in New Mexico. Her research focus is developing numerical methods for computational fluid dynamics and her thesis focused on improving numerical methods used in ocean circulation models, work she hopes to continue at Fairfield.

ENGINEERING HIGHLIGHTS

• In February, the School hosted “Innovation,” a lively discussion session with top Sikorsky Aircraft experts Chris Van Buiten, the company’s director of innovation, and Jim Kagdis, M.A. ’82, manager of advanced programs. Focused on a vital topic that may fuel a national economic upturn, the program drew about 70 students, faculty, and industry professionals from Connecticut and New York.

• The SOE and the NASA Connecticut Space Grant College Consortium co-hosted an event honoring four Shelton High School students whose microgravity experiment was selected to fly on the historic last mission of the Shuttle Endeavour. Brendan Hermalyn ’07, who was just days away from collecting his Ph.D. from Brown University, delivered a spirited discussion of a research project he has worked on that contributed to the discovery of water on the moon.

• Working under the director of Dr. Ryan Munden, assistant professor of electrical engineering, three 2011 graduates — Marco Hernandez, Luis Tintin, and Andrew Grandin — replaced a motorcycle’s internal combustion engine with an electric motor, controls, and batteries for their senior project. Painted bright Fairfield red, the motorcycle can reach speeds of up to 55 miles per hour.