October 26, 2009

Two new Whiting School Faculty Scholars named

Natalia TrayanovaLouis WhitcombNatalia Trayanova and Louis Whitcomb have been selected as the first recipients of two new Faculty Scholar awards in the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins. This designation, awarded for a three-year term, provides exceptional faculty with flexible financial support to promote their research, teaching activities and entrepreneurial thinking.

Trayanova, a professor of biomedical engineering and a researcher in the Institute for Computational Medicine, has been named the Whiting School’s first William R. Brody Faculty Scholar.

Her award was established by Robert A. Seder in honor of former Johns Hopkins President William R. Brody. The award was given in recognition of Trayanova’sdevelopment of computational tools and simulations that advance understanding and improve the treatment of cardiac rhythm disorders.

Seder is a university trustee and a member of the Whiting School’s National Advisory Council and the Department of Biomedical Engineering’s Advisory Board. He is chief of the Cellular Immunology Section at the National Institutes of Health’s Vaccine Research Center.

The other new Whiting School honoree, Whitcomb, is a professor of mechanical engineering and director of the Laboratory for Computational and Sensing Robotics. He has been named the school’s inaugural Louis M. Sardella Faculty Scholar, recognizing Whitcomb’s research in underwater and medical robotics.

The award given to Whitcomb was established by Sardella, who received a degree in mechanical engineering from Johns Hopkins in 1969 and founded the Sun Automation Group, an international industry leader in the manufacturing of machinery used in corrugated-box production.

Sardella has long supported the Whiting School, both as a former member of the school’s National Advisory Council and Society of Engineering Alumni and through his philanthropic efforts. In addition to establishing the new Faculty Scholar award, Sardella has endowed a named professorship, the Louis M. Sardella Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and two undergraduate scholarships.

Nick Jones, the Benjamin T. Rome Dean of the Whiting School, praised Seder and Sardella for supporting the school’s educational and research endeavors. “Bob and Lou are providing far more than recognition of two outstanding members of the Whiting School faculty,” Jones said. “Their gifts will enable Louis and Natalia to pursue their interests, to conduct research that will have real and positive impact on the world. This type of support is critical to our faculty and the school’s success. We are extremely grateful for their generosity.”