PolyThinkers Awarded Sesquicentennial Medals

Talent, imagination and persistence graced the stage of the Dibner Auditorium as 18 PolyThinkers came to the MetroTech campus and were awarded the University's Sesquicentennial Medal commemorating Poly's 150 th anniversary.

President Jerry M. Hultin thanked the medalists for all they have done for the school, the nation and the world. He urged students to think about how they are going to build on the base that the alumni medalists have provided. “Shake their hands, listen to their stories and learn from them,” Hultin said. “We want to be able to celebrate your accomplishments one day.”

Medalist Charles J. Carmada '74AE, a crew member on the historic mission of the space shuttle Discovery, credits Poly for his career as an astronaut. “The education I received at Poly,” he said, “started it all for me.”

Cecilia A. Meza-Chipps '98AE, the first woman flight test engineer for Northrop-Grumman Corporation, spoke about the rigors of flight school and noted: “Poly gave me the perseverance and dedication to pursue my career in aeronautical engineering.

University Trustee William L. Friend '56ChE '05HON, recalled his mother and father and being raised in modest circumstances. “Poly is home to the American Dream,” he declared.

The selection of the medalists was based on nominations from administrators, faculty and staff at Poly. The Sesquicentennial Committee reviewed the nominations and selected 37 alumni to receive the award.

Receiving sesquicentennial medals at the award ceremony on September 29 were: Daniel H. Berry '74 EE; Franklin H. Blecher '49 '50 '55 EE; Martin H. Bloom '46 '49 '51 AE; Charles J. Camarda; Joseph A. Castellano '64 '69 ChEM; Randy W. Frey '79EE; William L. Friend; S. Steve Greenfield '43ME; Richard A. Gross '86 ChEM; Joseph G. Lombardino '57 ChEM; Cecilia A. Meza-Chipps; Herbert Morawetz '51 ChEM; Eli M. Pearce '58 ChEM; Joseph C. Salamone '61 '67 ChEM; William Schuster '73EE; and Paul Soros '50 ME.

Below are some of the honorees attending the event:

Franklin Blecher '49 '50 '55EE worked at AT&T Bell Labs for 37 years, during which he oversaw the development of the L4 and L5 long-haul telephone carrier systems, which served as the AT&T backbone wire communication systems for over two decades. He is currently a consulting engineer and elected member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Martin Bloom '46 '49 '51AE was a longtime Polytechnic faculty member and dean of engineering from 1966-74. He conducted pioneering research in hypersonic flow and thermodynamics and was among the first to ever use a personal computer for engineering research. A consultant on the army missile program, he received an outstanding civilian service medal from the U.S. Army.

Charles Camarda '74AE is a recognized expert on thermal structures with many patents and awards. He was selected for the astronaut corps in 1996 and became the first Polytechnic alumnus in space as a member of the crew of the space shuttle Discovery STS-114.

Joseph Castellano '64 '69Chem was a member of the RCA team that developed the liquid crystal display (LCD). He holds several patents on LCD technology and oversaw some of the first commercial applications of LCD technology before moving into market research.

Randy Frey EE '79 founded Autonomous Technologies, which developed the LADARVision System bringing advanced tracking, scanning and customized technology to LASIK surgery worldwide. He holds 25 patents, is a member of the NASA Space Technology Hall of Fame and is a founding board member of the Rollins College, Crummer School, Center for Entrepreneurship.

William L. Friend '56ChemE had career spanning more than 20 years at Bechtel Group Inc., where he oversaw engineering and construction operations on six continents. Today, he is chairman of the University of California President's Council on the National Laboratories. He is also an elected member and treasurer of the National Academy of Engineering.

Jay H. Greene '64EE has a distinguished career at NASA, including working in mission control on virtually every Apollo mission. He was the flight director for several shuttle missions and played a key role on the safety panel following the Challenger disaster. Most recent, he was chief engineer of the Johnson Space Center.

S. Steve Greenfield '43ME built the first hardened underground military facility in the United States and went on to design the ventilation system for San Francisco's BART system. He retired as the chairman of Parsons Brinkerhoff and is now a consultant.

Richard A. Gross '86Chem is the Herman F. Mark Professor of Polymer Science and recipient of the 2003 Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award. As the director of the nation's first Center for Biocatalysis and Bioprocessing of Macromolecules, he investigates new ways of producing environmentally friendly polymers using natural 

Cecilia Meza-Chipps '98AE is the first woman to ever be a flight test engineer for the Northrop-Grumman Corporation, working on the E-2C Hawkeye aircraft for the U.S. Navy.

Joseph G. Lombardino ‘58Chem during his 41-year tenure at Pfizer he focused on developing anti-inflammatory drugs such as Feldene.  He holds 57 patents for medicinal agents.

Eli M. Pearce '58Chem is a leading authority on polymers and inventor of fire-resistant polymers. He is the former president of the American Chemical Society and holder of the prestigious University research professor title at Polytechnic.

Stanley Prill '53CE was president of Blake Construction, where he oversaw the construction of the National Holocaust Museum, the Sackler Gallery for Asian Art and the National Museum of African Art for the Smithsonian Institute.

Joseph Salamone '61 '67Chem is credited with being one of the principal developers of the soft contact lens, as well as a wide range of other medical products. He is currently the vice president for research and development at Bausch and Lomb.

William Schuster '73EE had a 22-year career with the CIA where he was instrumental in developing several satellite-based surveillance systems. He is currently the chief operating officer of Orbimage, a leader in global imaging information.

Paul Soros '50ME founded Soros Associates, which pioneered revolutionary bulk handling equipment for ports. He has also become a well-known philanthropist; his $50 million Paul and Daisy Soros Foundation supports the education of immigrant students.

The following were also awarded medals, but were unable to attend the event: Leonard Bergstein '59 PH; Bruno Boley '45 AA; Vincent Calarco '63 ChE; John J. Farber '57 ChEM; Rachelle Friedman '71 ChEM; John Gilbert '53 '55 ME; Jay H. Greene '64EE; Shelley Harrison '66 '71 EL; Rudolph Marcus '86 HON; Rajiv Mody '82 InSE; Joseph Owades '44 '50 ChEM; Sang Kuen Park '77 '80 EE; Martin Perl '48 ChE '96 HON; Stanley Prill '53CE; Richard Santulli '66 '67 MA; Vincent Santulli '63 EE '70 MG; Joseph Singer '53 '57 AA '83 HON; James M. Smith '71 EE; Shivan Subramaniam '72 OR; and Jerome Swartz '63 '69 EE.

Posthumous medals were presented to the families of Bern Dibner '21 EE '59 HON; Jerome H. Lemelson '47 '49AA '51 IE '95 HON; and Joseph J. Jacobs '37 '39 '42 ChE '86 HON.