Wednesday, May 11, 2011

7 million reasons for Technion science.

Approximately 7 million people suffer from Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases in the United States alone. Prof. Moussa B.H. Youdim, Director of the Eve Topf and U.S. National Parkinson Foundation Centers of Excellence in Technion's Rappaport Faculty of Medicine, develops drugs that restore neurons in the brain. Watch the full length clip here

A Tribute to Justice Moshe Landau

Justice Moshe Landau (1912-2011)

Technion sadly laments the loss of Moshe Landau, an Honorary Chairman of its International Board of Governors and fifth president of the Supreme Court of Israel, who passed away at home in Jerusalem on May 1, 2011, aged 99. Gen. (res.) Amos Horev, chairman of the Israel Technion Society, describes Justice Landau, Technion’s longest-standing supporter, as the standard bearer of Technion and its Zionist values.

Landau was born in Danzig, Germany (today Gdansk, Poland) in April 1912. In 1933 he graduated cum laude from the University of London School of Law. That year, he immigrated to the British Mandate of Palestine. In 1937 he was admitted to the Bar of Palestine and was the youngest ever to be appointed judge—at the age of 28. He served as judge in the Haifa Magistrate's Court (from 1940) and was appointed to the District Court in 1948.

Moshe Landau was among the leading participants in the administrative reorganization and the writing of a new constitution for the Technion in the 1950s. He gave legal counsel and acted as informal consultant for many Technion presidents.

Justice Landau, whose demise coincided with Holocaust Remembrance Day in Israel, presided over the trial of Adolph Eichmann 50 years ago. In 1974, he was a member of the Agranat Commission, which investigated Israel’s lapses in the run-up to the 1973 Yom Kippur War. In addition, Landau was a member of the International Court of Justice, and served as chairman of the commission for recognition of “Righteous among the Nations” in Yad Vashem. In 1991, Landau received the Israel Prize for his many contributions to the field of law.

From 1956 to 1962, from 1965 to 1966, and from 1969 to 1971 Landau served as chairman of the Technion's International Board of Governors. In 1980, he received an honorary doctorate from the Technion, and in 1996 he received the Technion Medal. From 1993 until his death, he was Honorary Chair of the Board. 

Monday, May 9, 2011

Happy Independence Day 2011!

Wishing you all a Happy Independence Day 2011 
from the entire Technion family.

A Message from Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie.

Prof. Peretz Lavie
Spring in Israel is a time we mark great transitions.
Following Passover, comes Holocaust Memorial Day, in which we recall one of the greatest affronts to humanity in history. Out of this despair, we move a week later to honor Israel's fallen - those men and women who lost their lives in building and securing our sovereign state. The culmination is Independence Day: the fulfillment of generations of yearning to have a place to call “Home”. 
That physical place - the Land of Israel - so often seems to have been won by wars, but this is only part of the story. The creation, independence and safety of the Land of Israel also depends on the wisdom and brainpower of its universities - in areas ranging from medicine, environment, energy, high-tech innovation and through to the most refined frontiers of research into nanotechnology. Welcome to Technion LIVE. 
Happy Independence Day! 
Technion President Prof. Peretz Lavie.

Technion workshop, 1940s.
Some History

In the years preceding the establishment of the State, Technion was an active center for the Jewish underground and a source of technological defense solutions crucial to the struggle for independence.
In 1948, with a student body of 680, Technion celebrated Israel's Declaration of Independence.
The developing state created new demands on the veteran university. To meet these needs, Technion launched a variety of ambitious projects, including the establishment of the Department of Aeronautical Engineering in 1949, which laid the foundation for Israel’s successful aerospace industries and insurmountable Air Force.
From electricity to telephone networks, from founding industries to producing rapid housing to meet the demands of immigration, Technion was the powerhouse behind the evolution of the state.

TeAMS - International Medical Studies at Technion.

A True Voice of TeAMS

Dr. Michael Star: "The research opportunities here were fantastic."

An interview with Dr. Michael Star, a student of the Technion American Medical Students program (TeAMS)

Q: How did studying medicine at TeAMS give an extra dimension to medical studies?

A: I think that, first and foremost, being in Israel is a great part of being at the Technion.  I came here to experience life here, and get a medical degree, and both ended up being very successful experiences. On the medical side, there is no question that the approach to the patient, both from the perspective of the doctor, and the system as a whole, is very different from that in the States. There is no question in my mind that the medical system, as a whole, is more efficient at delivering quality medical care, from preventative medicine to acute care, and having the privilege of experiencing this system from the inside will definitely give me a unique perspective on the timely issue of health care in the States.

Q: What is your medical passion/direction. How did studies in Israel support that?

A: I am going into neurology, and will start my residency at Loyola University Hospital in June.  I got interested in neurology after my 3rd year clinical rotation in Nahariya with Dr. Bella Gross, who is not only a world-renowned researcher, but also a fantastic teacher and clinician who really turned me onto the field of neurology by showing a more human side to the treatment of neurological disorders.  I was able to achieve this residency in no small part due to fourth year rotations that the Technion helped me acquire through relationships fostered by the former of the medical school Dean, Ido Perlman.  In addition, since returning for the remainder of my fourth year here, I have been working on some clinical neurology cases with Dr. Beth Murinson, a neurologist at Rambam, which has already been a tremendous learning experience into the in's-and-out's of writing and publishing in the academic medical world.

Q: How was it to live here... community, Technion integration, support infrastructure, language?

A: Living here in Haifa was absolutely a pleasure.  My first two years here, I lived in Bat Galim so I could be close to the Faculty, and there was a small community of medical students, which helped.  While some students have chosen to live on the Technion's campus in Neve Sha'anan. During my third year, I chose to move to Ahuza to be part of a larger, more established religious community, which has proven to be an amazing and warm community of families that has taken me in as one of their own.

Q: How would you sum up your experience at TeAMS?

A: The research opportunities here were fantastic, and the clinical teaching, where we got personal attention from doctors at the top of their respective fields, is something you don't find very often even at top medical schools in the States.  And while there is certainly room for improvement, I think that the TeAMS program, which is still in its infancy, has the potential to be a world-class medical program that would attract the best and brightest from North America to study here in Israel.  Not only would it continue be an asset for the Technion, but is also good for Israel to be training medical students who go on to be top doctors in their fields.  

TeAMS Students - hands-on English language medical training.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Holocaust Memorial Day 2011

French Technion Society Mission honors the Righteous among the Nations.

 Prof. Shmuel Reis addresses the mission of the French Technion Society (ATF) on Holocaust Memorial Day.
Together with the Annual Mission of the French Technion Society to Israel, Technion honored the grandchildren of those who helped Jews during the Holocaust in Europe this Holocaust Memorial Day. Pictured above, Prof. Shmuel Reis shared his research and reflections with the distinguished Technion guests.

Prof. Reis gives the Holocaust and Medicine Course at the Technion's Rappaport Faculty of Medicine. Physicians and health care professionals had a central role in every phase of the holocaust, and the lessons of the holocaust, says Prof. Reis, may contribute to the education of present and future physicians in the fields of medical ethics. The course addresses the roles of Nazi and Jewish physicians at that time, the treatment of survivors, the issues of next generations and the prevention of genocide.

Some snapshots of the ATF mission to Technion in May 2011.

Technion Maglev

Technion Autonomous Systems Program (TASP)
Technion student ingenuity wins 1st prize for Maglev car.

"Studying at the Technion has made me realize I can learn and create almost anything."

Alert to future need: graduate student in civil engineering Erez Horev.

Cars that use magnets to hover through the air could sound like science fiction, or the fantasy of children. But since the success of high-speed Maglev (Magnetic levitaton) trains in Japan, there is reason to dream. Having worked in Israel's transport system, Technion student Erez Horev is determined to explore the science that could make Maglev transport part of Israel's future - dramatically saving energy and reducing environmental damage.

Although he is a graduate student in civil engineering, Erez Horev heard of the competition at the Technion Autonomous Systems Program and seized the moment. For months in his spare time he had been working on his Maglev car, and although his supervisor saw it as "too futuristic" for a full-time research project, Horev (like his name-sake former Technion President and global leader in engineering Amos Horev), he doesn't give up.
The first prize, won together with another project in which a toolbox follows it's owner around, won the attention of Israel's national media. The idea first came to Horev when he was working on Israel's new fast pay-road Highway 6, and later on the new light rail project in Haifa. The car operates normally but has six magnets attached to underside. When it enters the magnetic highway, the system is activated. "With this system, you could live in Italy and work n Germany and commute the whole distance in 50 minutes," says Horev. "The car will go at 400 mph and the driver can go to sleep."
In ordinary vehicles, 99% of the energy is used to overcome the friction between the wheels and the road. In the Maglev car, the friction is so minimal that it would lead to enormous savings in fuel. The system  simulates a magnetic toll road for private vehicles. "Because of the high speeds that can reach them using this technology, the project could compete not only with existing toll roads, but even with domestic flights and trains," says Horev. 

Prize-winning Maglev car prototype "floats" above road surface at high speed.
"At the Technion, studies are always multidisciplinary. Although I study civil engineering, we also delve into physics, mathematics, organic chemistry. Studying at the Technion has made me realize I can learn and create almost anything."
One can't help think about Technion graduate Shai Agassi who presently launching his exemplary electric car system and infrastructure in Israel through his global company Better Place. A man who dares to dream and has the practical penchant for problem-solving and determination to see a project through, Horev admits that Agassi is in himself a template for Technion students.
"Every day is a new day," he smiles, "Today, there is little research in the field of maglev. It is seen as too futuristic. But I will go on implementing the idea in my space time. I want to address a huge demand for governments and companies to invest in research and development of new transportation methods and efficiency, since citizens are tired of spending more than two hours in endless traffic jams. This issue is close to my heart, and I'm going to go with it to the end."

To enhance their research, the Technion established the Technion Autonomous Systems Program(TASP), the only one of its kind in Israel, and the scientific home for dozens of advanced researchers from many faculties.  

Systems Engineering

It's in the system.

A pioneer of systems engineering in Israel, Bernard Marshall Gordon became an honorable member of the Israeli Society for Systems Engineers, in March 2011. The honor was conferred at the opening Session of the Bi-Annual conference on systems engineering "Look before you leap." The certificate was conferred in the company of of hundreds of engineers and Gordon's long-term friend former Technion President Amos Horev. Gordon was made an honorary doctor of science by Technion in 2005. You can read more about him on Wikipedia.

With vision and a passion for the trade, Bernard Gordon established The Gordon Center for Systems Engineering at Technion in 2002. The internationally acclaimed center is Israel's first stop for research and engineering into systems research.
You might not naturally think that engineers could multi-task, but the ability to hold many parameters in mind at once in order to produce an effective, targeted system is the main key to success. Excellence in engineering will always involve systems. Systems engineering focuses on defining customer needs and required functionality early in the development cycle, documenting requirements, then proceeding with design synthesis and system validation while all the time holding the template of the complete problem.
The Gordon Center's mission is to advance the practice, methods and theories of systems engineering applied to complex systems through collaborative research, training, post-graduate education and knowledge sharing.
Established in 2002 within the Technion, the center's acclaimed post-graduate program (Master of Engineering in Systems Engineering) is the leading academic organization in systems engineering training, education, and knowledge sharing in Israel.
The Gordon Center is affiliated with the faculties of Aerospace Engineering; Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Engineering and Management, although collaborations are active across Technion City.

Bernard Marshall Gordon, (known as Bernie), was born in Springfield, Massachusetts, in 1927.At an early age he developed an interest in electronics. Upon graduation from Springfield’s TechnicalHigh School, he enlisted in the U.S. Navy and later became a commissioned officer.  He earned B.S. and M.S. degrees in Electrical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology via the U.S. Navy’s V-12 program and the GI Bill. In 2002, Bernard and his wife Sophia turned their attention to engineering in Israel, and began supporting the new center at the Technion.