Learning over Lunch

The recent "Faculty Meets Faculty" luncheon at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering on October 14 was attended by professors and staffers from every academic department in the school. They gathered not just to enjoy the camaraderie of their colleagues and a welcome break in their busy days, but to hear two new faculty members—Shaloo Rakheja of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering and Ryan Hartman of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering—discuss their work.

Assistant Professor Shaloo Rakheja

Assistant Prof. Shaloo Rakheja

Rakheja, who had worked as an analog design engineer before going on to earn her advanced degrees at Georgia Tech and conducting postdoctoral research at MIT, enthusiastically described her efforts to model and simulate electron transport in nanoscale transistors. Her lively talk touched in rapid-fire manner upon electron spin, magnetic fields, the SPICE circuit simulator, and more—leaving the few laypeople in the audience dazzled at her obvious expertise and her fellow professors appreciative, impressed, and glad to count her as a colleague.

Assistant Professor Ryan Hartman

Assistant Prof. Ryan Hartman

Hartman had a hard act to follow, but he was equally impressive. The recent recipient of an NSF CAREER Award, meant to support those teacher-scholars who are most likely to become the academic leaders of the 21st century, Hartman spoke about his research into controlling methane’s carbon-hydrogen bonds at moderate temperatures—a difficult feat given that methane is among the most stable of the carbon compounds.

While it’s often said after an event that a “good time was had by all,” it seems more accurate to say that in this case, a good time—as well as an informative and enriching experience—was had by all.