Day at NJIT
Newark, April 20- The girls will come to work with their mother,
but instead of seeing sterile offices carved into computer-laden cubicles,
they'll see a high-tech lab whose technology can identify deadly bacteria,
a lab that can help avoid soldiers from being exposed to biological
agents; a lab that can, in a phrase, save lives.
On Thursday, April 26, nationally known as Bring-Your-Daughter-To-Work
Day, researchers will give their daughter's an inside view of NJIT's
new Keck Lab. The lab is distinguished not only by its technology
but also by its director: Dr. Nadine Aubry, the only woman in the
state to chair a mechanical engineering department. Dr. Aubry also
holds an endowed chair, the F. Leslie and Mildred Jacobus Chair in
Mechanical Engineering at NJIT.
Asked how she is able to juggle a family - a husband, two girls and
a boy - a research lab and an engineering department, Aubry smiles
"I work hard all the time," she adds, her voice inflected
with a French accent. "No time for fooling around." That
her extended family lives in France makes it even harder for her to
raise her children - in today's hectic world of heavy work schedules
and no readily available babysitters - as her husband's extended family
also lives out of state.
But next Thursday Aubry won't need a babysitter for her daughters,
ages 12 and 7.
They'll spend the day with her at the Keck Lab, where they'll observe
scientists at work. Some will be working on a project for the U.S.
Navy - one that uses electrical fields to clean diesel fuel. United
States naval ships now use mechanical filters to clean diesel fuel.
But the filters, just like those on your car, cannot filter out minute
(micro-sized) particles. They quickly become dirtied by metallic wear
and need to be replaced.
New Jersey Institute of Technology received a $500,000 grant from
the W.M. Keck Foundation, of Los Angeles, to establish the lab; the
state later added a New Jersey Commission on Science and Technology
grant of $2.7 million to create "the New Jersey Center for Micro-Flow
Cleaning fluids with electrical fields and combating bacteria are
just two of the projects that the lab, due to officially open in May,
can perform. As lab researchers noted in their proposals: "We
have not even imagined some of the science, engineering and medical
research and development the lab is going to make possible."
The Keck Lab is located in Room 303 of the Otto H. York Center for
Environmental Engineering and Science at the NJIT campus, at 138 Warren
Street. Reporters and photographers who would like to tour the lab
and interview Dr. Aubry, should arrive at the lab at 10 a.m.
NJIT is a public research
university enrolling over 8,200 bachelor's, master's and doctoral students
in 80 degree programs through its five colleges: Newark College of Engineering,
New Jersey School of Architecture, College of Science and Liberal Arts,
the School of Management and the Albert Dorman Honors College. Research
initiatives include manufacturing, microelectronics, multimedia, transportation,
computer science, solar astrophysics, environmental engineering and
science, and architecture and building science. According to Yahoo!
Internet Life magazine rankings, NJIT has been America's most wired
public university for three consecutive years.