The Dean's Award for Outstanding Engineering Achievement is given this year to Dr. Anthony L. Russo. This award is given each year to a person who has made an exceptional contribution to the practice of engineering; it is the School of Engineering's highest honor. Dr. Russo is an eminent figure in the nation's high-technology field of mechanical engineering. He retired last year from his posts as Executive Director of Calspan-University at Buffalo Research Center (CUBRC) and as Vice President of Calspan Corporation's Advanced Technology Center. Dr. Russo, who graduated with a Ph.D. from UB, has distinguished himself throughout his career with his combined research skill and management acumen.
In 1990 Dr. Russo was selected, after a nationwide search, to become CUBRC's Executive Director. Formed in 1983, CUBRC is an independent, not-for-profit corporation which provides the framework for developing close working relationships between the academic and private-industry communities, and for expanding the technology base of Western New York. CUBRC grew substantially under Dr. Russo's leadership, obtaining significant funding blocks in support of important engineering research. For instance, CUBRC won a major grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research to develop the LENS tunnel, the world's leading hypersonic shock tunnel.
In the course of his work, Dr. Russo became closely involved with undergraduate and graduate engineering students at UB. He always believed that one of the most important roles as Executive Director was to be an industry counterpart to the academic faculty advisor for these students. He is an active member of the Dean's Advisory Committee for Technical Communication, and a devoted mentor to engineering students. Over the years he has shared his valuable research and business knowledge through lectures to UB's graduate program. His commitment to engineering education has been a major reason for his interest in the CUBRC partnership. He has supported the endeavors of many Ph.D. and masters degree students who have received both financial support and research and professional experience while working at CUBRC.
Previous to his appointment as Executive Director of CUBRC, Dr. Russo was selected to be Director of the Franklin Research Center (FRC) in Philadelphia. The Center is a branch of the Franklin Institute, the first and oldest organization in the world dedicated to the advancement of science and engineering for industry. FRC provides a broad range of professional services in the areas of mechanical, electrical and nuclear engineering, applied science and information sciences, to government agencies and private business and industry.
With the exception of his years in Philadelphia, Dr. Russo has been a resident of Western New York, and an employee of Calspan (formerly Cornell Aeronautical Laboratory), since 1952. From 1952 to 1981, he was primarily a research engineer/scientist there. In 1981, he began to play a broader role in directing research when he became Head of Calspan's Transportation Research Department.
Dr. Russo has produced an impressive body of research. His is author or co-author of more than forty articles and reports. He was principal investigator of high-temperature machinery research, in which he oversaw the design, fabrication, testing and development of a state-of-the-art device for producing steady flows of very high temperature gases for various applications. He has participated in atmospheric pollutant dispersion research, and was involved in the design, testing and development of nonsteady flow engines for lightweight simple power plants. Dr. Russo's work has also included research and development in the fields of gasdynamic research, rocket research, and hydrodynamic research.
Dr. Russo is a member of the Technical Committee for Terrestrial Energy Systems at the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics. He is also a member of a number of professional organizations, including Sigma XI; the American Railway Engineering Association; and the Society of Automotive Engineers.
Dr. Russo is Director of the School of Engineering's Delta Society, a distinguished group of loyal friends of SEAS who support the school's efforts to maintain preeminence in education and research. He has been highly active in a wide variety of community activities from scouting to youth athletics, and he is a staunch advocate of education outside the university. He served for five years on the school board of Iroquois Central, including one year as president of that body. He has been a high school and college tutor, has interviewed candidates for the U.S. military academies, and is an active member of his church.
Dr. Russo received his B.S. cum laude in mechanical engineering from University of Notre Dame; he did graduate work at Cornell University and received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from UB in 1969. He has four children, Anthony, Mary, Lucy and Nicholas, and eight grandchildren. He lives with his wife, Madeline, in Clarence, New York.
We are pleased to have our eminently successful alumnus Anthony Russo here with us today to receive the 1996 Engineering Dean's Award.