Plenary Speakers

Wednesday, June 6

Dr. Mauro Ferrari

Engineering New Drugs: Problems in (Nano)Medical Mechanics

Mauro Ferrari, PhD, is the Executive Vice President of Houston Methodist and the President and CEO of the Houston Methodist Research Institute where he is the Ernest Cockrell Jr. Presidential Distinguished Chair. As the Director of the Houston Methodist Institute for Academic Medicine, Ferrari oversees all research and education programs at Houston Methodist, over 1,200 research employees and credentialed clinicians executing more than 800 clinical protocols. He also serves as the Senior Associate Dean of the Weill Cornell Medical College, the primary academic affiliate of Houston Methodist and holds Adjunct and Honorary Professorships at many universities around the world.

Ferrari is the founder of biomedical nano/micro-technology, especially in their applications to drug delivery, cell transplantation, implantable bioreactors, and other innovative therapeutic modalities. Dr. Ferrari served as special expert on nanotechnology at the National Cancer Institute in 2003-2005, providing leadership for the formulation, refinement, and approval of the NCI’s Alliance for Nanotechnology in Cancer, currently the world’s largest program in medical nanotechnology.

He has to his credit more than 350 publications, including seven books and is the inventor of 30 issued patents in the US and Europe. Throughout his academic career, he has supervised trainees and students who have gone on to senior faculty positions at premier universities like Oxford, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), University of California Berkeley, University of California San Francisco, Duke University, University of Washington, and Ohio State University. Dr. Ferrari’s degrees are in Mathematics (Padova, Italy), and Mechanical Engineering (M.S., & Ph.D., U.C. Berkeley).

His seminal contributions to the field of biomedical nanotechnology have been recognized through numerous awards and accolades, including: Founders Award – Controlled Release Society, the Wallace H. Coulter Award for Biomedical Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the ETH Zürich Stodola Medal, Blaise Pascal Medal in Biomedical Engineering – European Academy of Sciences, and the Shannon Director’s Award of the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Ferrari is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, American Academy for the Advancement of Science and American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He also holds honorary doctorates in Electrical Engineering and Biotechnology from the University of Palermo and the University of Naples “Federico II”, respectively.

His career research and development portfolio totals over $50 million, including support from the NCI, NIH, DoD, NASA, NSF, DARPA, DoE, the state of Texas, the state of Ohio, the Ohio State University, and several private enterprises. He began his academic career at the University of California, Berkeley, where he tenured in Material Science, Civil Engineering, and Bioengineering. Upon recruitment to the Ohio State University, he served as the Edgar Hendrickson Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Professor of Internal Medicine, Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science. He was also the Associate Vice President, Health Sciences Technology and Commercialization, Associate Director of the Dorothy M. Davis Heart and Lung Research Institute and Director of the Biomedical Engineering Center. Upon recruitment to Houston, he served as professor and chair of the nanomedicine department at the University of Texas Health Science Center.

Thursday, June 7

Dr. C. D. Mote, Jr.

What’s Coming, Whether We Like It or Not

C. D. Mote, Jr. is President of the National Academy of Engineering and Regents Professor, on leave, from the University of Maryland, College Park.

Dr. Mote is a native Californian who earned his BS, MS, and PhD degrees at the University of California, Berkeley in mechanical engineering between 1959 and 1963. After a postdoctoral year in England and three years as an assistant professor at the Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh, he returned to Berkeley to join the faculty in mechanical engineering for the next 31 years. He and his students investigated the dynamics, stability, and control of high-speed rotating and translating continua (e.g., disks, webs, tapes, and cables) as well as biomechanical problems emanating from snow skiing. He coined the area called “dynamics of axially moving materials” encompassing these systems. Fifty-eight PhD students earned their degrees under his mentorship.

At Berkeley, he held an endowed chair in mechanical systems and served as chair of the mechanical engineering department from 1987 to 1991 when the National Research Council (NRC) ranked its graduate program effectiveness highest nationally. Because of his success at raising funds for mechanical engineering, in 1991 he was appointed vice chancellor at Berkeley expressly to create and lead a $1 billion capital campaign for the campus that ultimately reached $1.4 billion.

In 1998, Dr. Mote was recruited to the presidency of the University of Maryland, College Park, a position he held until 2010 when he was appointed Regents Professor. His goal for the university was to elevate its self-expectation of achievement and its national and global position through proactive initiatives. During his tenure the number of Academy members among the faculty tripled, three Nobel laureates were recognized, and an accredited school of public health and a new department of bioengineering were created. He also founded a 130-acre research park next to the campus, faculty research funds increased by 150%, and partnerships with surrounding federal agencies and with international organizations expanded greatly. The number of students studying abroad tripled, and he created an annual open house day that has attracted over 100,000 visitors on that day, founded a charitable foundation for the campus whose board of trustees launched a $1 billion capital campaign that reached its goal, and took every student to lunch that wanted to go. The Academic Ranking of World Universities ranked the campus #36 in 2010 and its Engineering School #13 globally.

The NAE elected him to membership in 1988, and to the positions of Councillor (2002-2008), Treasurer (2009-2013), and President for six years beginning July 1, 2013. He has served on the NRC Governing Board Executive Committee since 2009. He chaired the NRC Committee on Global Science and Technology Strategies and Their Effects on US National Security (2009-2010), cochaired the National Academies Government-University-Industry Research Roundtable (2007-2013), and cochaired the Committee on Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Workforce Needs for the US Department of Defense and the US Industrial Base (2011-2012). He was vice chair of the NRC Committee on the Department of Defense Basic Research (2004) and served on the NRC committee authoring the Rising Above the Gathering Storm reports of 2005 and 2010. He was also a founding member of the FBI’s National Security Higher Education Advisory Board (2005-2010).

Dr. Mote’s recognitions include the NAE Founders Award, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Medal, and the Humboldt Prize of the Federal Republic of Germany. At the University of California, Berkeley, he was honored with the Distinguished Teaching Award, Distinguished Engineering Alumnus Award, Berkeley Citation, and Excellence in Achievement Award. He is an Honorary Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Academy of Mechanics, the Acoustical Society of America and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He holds three honorary doctorates and two honorary professorships.

Friday, June 8

Professor Wanming Zhai

Challenges on Dynamics Problem in Chinese High-speed Railways

Professor Zhai graduated from Southwest Jiaotong University with BS degree in 1985 and received his PhD degree in Railway Vehicle Engineering in 1992. He became a full professor in 1994. In 1999, he was appointed Chang Jiang Chair Professor by Chinese Ministry of Education. Professor Zhai was elected a member of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in 2011. Currently, he is the Chairman of Academic Committee of Southwest Jiaotong University, the Director of Train and Track Research Institute, and the Editor-in-Chief of International Journal of Rail Transportation. He also serves as the President of Chengdu Association for Science and Technology, the vice President of the Chinese Society of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics, and the vice President of the Chinese Society for Vibration Engineering.

Professor Zhai is one of the leading scientists in railway engineering dynamics in the world. He developed a framework of vehicle-track coupled dynamics and a method for analyzing and assessing the running safety of high-speed trains passing through bridges based on train-track-bridge dynamic interactions, both of which have been widely cited and successfully applied to more than 20 large-scale field engineering projects for the railway network in China, mostly for high-speed railways.

He won the National Science and Technology Awards by State Council of China in 2005 and in 2009, respectively. In 2006, Professor Zhai was awarded the Prize for Scientific and Technological Innovation by Ho Leung Ho Lee Foundation (Hong Kong) and Chang Jiang Scholars Achievement Award by Chinese Ministry of Education. He is also the owner of the Chinese Young Scientist Prize.

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