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President's Message

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  • 03-Sep-2020 11:25 AM | Greg Gdowski, PhD (Administrator)

    Dear Fellow Engineers,

    These are interesting times for the Rochester Engineering Society.  The Covid-19 pandemic has caused most professional societies to either cancel or deliver the majority of their events virtually.  Even our effort in delivering tutoring and other STEM-related activities have either been suspended or delayed.  This has created financial strains within the RES that have not been experienced since the Influenza pandemic of 1918 (more on this later).  In order to weather the pandemic, we have cut our expenditures and have refocused our efforts on reengaging our community through our monthly publication, The Rochester Engineer.  Last month we presented a gift to Jean Kendrick for being the first member to locate the 1920s artwork in the magazine.  Congratulations!  Like last month, we will provide a small gift to the first RES member to locate the 1920s artwork in the upcoming issue.  No repeat winners!

    Despite the current crisis, the Rochester community has not been idle waiting for the air to clear.  In this issue, and in the upcoming months, we will be highlighting how Rochester has stepped up to the plate to solve problems to keep our community thriving during the pandemic.  If you have children, the recent delays in starting in-person classes was not only disruptive but it was surely alarming in terms of ensuring their continual education.  On page 10, you will find our lead article about COMET; a group that brought together numerous local organizations to spearhead an effort to develop a software platform to track distance learning in our community.  What is striking was that the software was live within a week of conception.  Reading the article was not only inspiring but it was remarkably gratifying to know what Rochesterians are capable of in times of need.  Take the time to read the lead article about COMET, you won’t regret it!

    A person wearing a suit and tie Description automatically generatedSurely you have heard of the six degrees of Kevin Bacon, or Bacon’s Law.  Every day I am reminded of how tightly coupled the engineering community is within Rochester.  Last month, I was randomly speaking with my neighbor about current events.  In that discussion, I learned that he was the grandson of Harold O. Stewart – the RES President in 1921 during the era of all artwork I have been placing in the Rochester Engineer.  It is likely that Harold Stewart had a large role in starting the magazine – only 4 short years after the 1918 Influenza pandemic in November of 1922.  Ironically, the RES also had 8x10 portraits/photos taken of all 400 members in 1922.  To my knowledge, this was the only time this has been done in the history of the RES. The portfolios were placed in four large volumes that are so heavy that I could only bring two volumes home (for scanning purposes).  The signed photo of Harold Stewart was on pg. 1 of volume 1!  To my even greater surprise was that there was a signed photo on pg. 1 of volume 3 of William Stewart – the great-great grandfather of my neighbor.  Given that I will also be the RES President in 2021.  What are the odds of my neighbor being related to the RES President that preceded me by a perfect century, and that I would have signed photos of his great and great-great grandfather?  This must be a good omen.  Harold Stewart had a remarkable impact on the RES in 1921-22 – shortly after the Influenza pandemic.  I can only hope that I will have a comparable impact on the RES at the conclusion of the Covid-19 pandemic. 

    All my best, Greg Gdowski

    RES President

  • 28-Jul-2020 3:38 PM | Greg Gdowski, PhD (Administrator)

    Dear Fellow Engineers,

    One of the small pleasures that I have had since being given the keys to the office has been the unique opportunity to look through the RES archives that date back to 1897.  The RES has survived many crises including economic recession of WW1, the Great Depression, WW2, Viet Nam, and 911.  The Covid-19 crisis of 2020 has significantly impacted the RES in ways that we thought were unimaginable just a year ago.  This year we have had to cancel the RES Gala.  More recently, it was announced that the Rochester Engineering Symposium will also be changing due to the Covid-19 crisis.  These changes have caused us to refocus on the magazine and website which function to bring the latest information to all engineers within the Rochester area.

    The Rochester Engineer:  In the future, we will be only delivering the magazine electronically.  We will no longer be providing a service for receiving a printed copy of the magazine.  That said, there is good news!  The magazine will be delivered using ISSUU.com.  This service allows us to archive many issues of the magazine.  You can now find links to nearly the last 5yrs of issues on our webpages.  ISSUU also provides a printing service.  You may acquire a printed copy of any issue using their services.  We will also highlight articles and member notices directly to our Facebook and LinkedIn sites in the near future!  This means that your submissions will reach even farther within our community than ever before!

    A picture containing text, book Description automatically generated

    One of the more fascinating things I have encountered in the RES archives has been some remarkable artwork for monthly luncheons dating back to the 1920s.  I will be placing a different piece of artwork in each of the upcoming magazine issues.  The first person to locate the artwork in the magazine and email Lynne the page number will receive a small gift from the RES!  We have placed a copy of the artwork dated May 10, 1921, deep in the August issue! 

    Within this issue you will also find an exciting article that details a number of large solar projects happening in our area (pg 10)!  News about Bergmann Associates launching a new Science, Technology, and Industry Practice, and news about LaBella Associates acquiring Harmony Architectural Associates.  I would also like to personally congratulate to Wendy Smith for being promoted as the new Chief Operating Officer at Optimation Technology!  Wendy served as the 2009 RES President and has a long history of helping with the RES Scholarship Committee.  Finally, we also welcome Casmic Reid and Dwight Cooke as new RES members.  

    Other RES news!  At our last Board meeting, we decided to keep the membership dues levels the same for the upcoming year.  We felt this was in the best interests of the members.  Your contributions to the RES allows us to maintain the infrastructure needed to create the magazine, support community scholarships, and deliver STEM programs that reach numerous students in the Rochester area.  Please remember that your membership is highly valued and your support is what keeps our mission alive.  

    All my best, Greg Gdowski


  • 03-Jun-2020 10:03 AM | Lynne Irwin (Administrator)

    Dear Colleagues,

    I am honored to be taking on the role of President of the RES.  The RES has a long history of remarkable Past Presidents dating back to 1897.  I am humbled to be among some of the most accomplished engineers within Rochester area over this time period.  I am also grateful to those that have preceded me, especially Joe Dombowski (2018-20), Mike Triassi (2017-18), and Jon Kriegel (2016-17).  They have been instrumental in setting the stage for the continued success of the RES. 

    I am very fortunate to have an extremely talented set of officers in navigating the RES forward including Michelle Sommerman (1st Vice President), Dennis Roote (2nd Vice President), Andrew Hirsch (Treasurer), and Lynne Irwin (Administrative Director).  The Board of Directors also provides extraordinary depth in expertise that guides RES activities and endeavors.  These individuals include Joe Dombrowski (Immediate Past President), Kenton Hines, Richard Rice, Neal Illenberg, Stephen Day, Brett C. Eliasz, Mike Kurdziel, and the newly added members Dan Weaver and Nancy Crawford.  It is with great sadness that Michael V. Triassi, and Lee Loomis will be departing from their roles on the Board.  Their guidance and help will have a lasting impact on the RES and will look forward to engaging them on future special projects.

    As I look forward, the RES is rapidly approaching its 125th Anniversary.  It is hard for me to imagine what Rochester must have been like in 1897 when seventeen engineers came together to begin the RES.  Kodak was in its infancy, electricity had been just introduced, and the first Ford model-T had yet to be invented.  It is remarkable to me that the first RES President, Edwin Fisher, likely personally knew Frederick Douglass and Susan B. Anthony.  While we have made strides since that time in eliminating racism and establishing equal rights, clearly the recent incidents resulting in the death of George Floyd illustrate that we as a society in Rochester must aggressively continue the work of our most celebrated historical figures.  Like you, I am angered and saddened by the recent incidents in our country.  Violence is not the solution.  Frederick Douglass once said: “I prayed for twenty years but received no answer until I prayed with my legs.”  It is time for us to take a more pro-active role within the community to move us closer to the United States originally envisioned by Douglass and Anthony.   

    How can you help make a difference?

    We have tried to make this easy for engineers at the RES by facilitating engagements in important community STEM-related activities such as: E3, Stem-Bridges, and the Terra Science Fairs.  One activity where we need your help is in providing tutoring for the Walter Cooper Academy, School #10.  With the help of Lee Loomis, the RES established the Tutoring Team Project in 2012 at School #10. A school named in honor of Dr. Walter Cooper (1996 RES Engineer of the Year).  In 2019, the RES Tutoring Team included more than 20 tutors, providing over 100 hours of support to the scholars and their teachers, each month.  They were making a difference in the lives of many students.  Your help is needed more now than ever!  School #10 experienced layoffs and was closed for the Covid-19 crisis.  The new school is slated to be completed shortly and we are hoping to continue our efforts in tutoring in the upcoming year.  Please contact me or Lynne Irwin if you are interested in helping with this effort.  If you do not have the time to help with tutoring, please consider giving a charitable donation to this effort.  Your sponsorship will greatly help us to continue to support tutoring and other stem-related activities such as Science Fairs.

    All my best, Greg Gdowski

  • 26-May-2020 11:48 AM | Lynne Irwin (Administrator)

    It is the beginning of May as I write this it looks like spring has arrived. Sheltering in place because of Corona virus is not much different than retirement!  There have been many cancellations; PLEASE VERIFY IF EVENTS ARE ON OR OFF WITH THE OFFICIAL SOURCE BEFORE ATTENDING!

    Please have no doubt that the RES will continue on in this time of crisis. We are exploring our options to keep open, but I believe we have things well in hand. Our monthly board meetings are now virtual (thank you Greg!) as will be the annual meeting on 5/27/20.

    The Gala scheduled for 4/18/20 was cancelled for this year due to Corona virus fears. The Engineer of the Year, Young Engineer of the Year, Finalists for Young Engineer of the Year, Engineers of Distinction, and our high school and college scholarships selections will be honored virtually at our annual meeting on May 27, 2020. More details will follow. Many of our Gala sponsors generously let us keep their sponsorship dollars to meet our ongoing expenses. They will be also be honored at the annual meeting.

    The Engineering Symposium (PDH Fest) was rescheduled to September 22, 2020 from April 28, 2020 also due to Corona virus fears. The re-planning effort is already underway (thank you Chris DeVries). We will have sponsors but no venders this year at the Riverside Convention Center. And always, parking will be free, and 7 PDHs and a free lunch are available at a very modest fee. Help is always appreciated but we will especially need registration volunteers on September 22nd. Registration is planned to re-open August 1, 2020. Details regarding the rescheduled event will follow.

    As part of the year-end process, we were looking for nominations for our Board of Directors! Thank you to those who have joined the RES and volunteered to be directors.

    Our tutoring and Science Fair effort at Dr. Walter Cooper Academy were thrown into a tizzy with the Corona virus and recent layoffs instituted by the Rochester City School District; an effort to get it back on track in the fall is ongoing unless the virus interferes.

    If you have any concerns or input, or feel the need to volunteer for anything or to help us out, feel free to contact the RES via the website at www.roceng.org or me directly at jdombrowski3@rochester.rr.com. As always, I hope to see you at one of our RES events, the 2021 Gala, or the Symposium on 9/22/20.

    As this is my outgoing message, I would like to thank the board, both past and incoming and especially Lynne, for making my job much easier than it could have been. Times have been unusual to say the least, but with all of your help, RES will come through it successfully and better than it ever has been!

    Joe Dombrowski
    Outgoing RES President

  • 26-Mar-2020 2:42 PM | Lynne Irwin (Administrator)

    It is near the end of March as I write this, and I see in Rochester (I am in Orlando, Florida as I write this) it is snowing and hopefully spring will arrive soon. Our RES board meeting for March 27th is scheduled to take place online as many of us are doing now. We have many decisions to discuss with the cancellation of many events including the 118th RES Gala. Be sure to verify any events on the calendar before attending as many are getting cancelled or postponed.

    We have held a few programs this year and hope to continue to do so once things get back to a normal schedule. Be sure to learn about these programs on our website and calendar, and in our magazine, The Rochester Engineer.

    As mentioned, the RES Board will be meeting virtually on Wednesday to review the safest time to hold an event to honor many of our award recipients. We are considering doing a special presentation at our Annual Meeting at the end of May. In all likelihood, we may have no choice but to also cancel the Annual Meeting. 
     
    The Engineering Symposium (PDH Fest) has been rescheduled to September 22, 2020. The registration will re-open around August 1st. With the cancellation, Chris Debries, Symposium Chairman emailed the people already registered the option of a refund or keeping their registration active for September. When additional details are available, details will be on the website at www.roceng.org.

    As part of the year-end end process, we have a slate of officers that we will be introducing and voting on at the Annual Meeting scheduled for May 27, 2020 at the RMSC. See the next page for those names and details.

    Our tutoring and Science Fair efforts at Dr. Walter Cooper Academy were thrown into a tizzy with the recent layoffs instituted by the Rochester City School District. With the COVID-19 crisis the Science Fair this June has also been cancelled.

    If you have any concerns or input, or would like to volunteer feel free to contact the RES via the website at roceng.org or me directly at jdombrowski3@rochester.rr.com. As always, I hope to see you at one of our RES events, or the Symposium on September 22, 2020.

    Joe Dombrowski, RES President

  • 04-Mar-2020 11:36 AM | Lynne Irwin (Administrator)

    It is the beginning of February as I sit and write this, cold and dank. Hopefully spring will arrive soon, the Super Bowl is set and anxiously anticipated. Usually, we go to a neighbor’s house for a party.

    We have had several network events and more are planned, please see the announcement elsewhere in the magazine for details and register via the RES website.

    We have resurrected our Strategic Planning Process.  Changes are afoot, stand by for an announcement.

    Planning for the upcoming Gala on April 18, 2020 is underway. We are looking to increase attendance at the event; any input is appreciated! The Engineer of the Year, Young Engineer of the Year, the Engineers of Distinction and our college Scholarships selections have been made and will be awarded at the Gala.

    The Engineering Symposium is planned for April, 28 2020 (PDH fest). The planning effort is also underway (thank you Chris DeVries). We will have sponsors but no vender venue this year at the Riverside Convention Center. And always, parking will be free, and 7 PDHs and a free lunch are available at a very modest fee. Help is always appreciated, especially teachers, registration volunteers and moderators. We are expecting a record crowd for this event. Details are at http://www.engineeringsymposiumrochester.com; registration will be through the RES website, http://www.roceng.org.

    As part of end of the year process, we are still looking for nominations for our Board of Directors. If you think you are a good fit or know of someone who may be, please contact us for more information. The process is painless!

    Our tutoring and Science Fair effort at Dr. Walter Cooper Academy, were thrown into a tizzy with the recent layoffs instituted by the Rochester City School District, we should have those efforts back on track shortly.

    If you have any concerns or input, or feel the need to volunteer feel free to contact the RES via the website at roceng.org or me directly at jdombrowski3@rochester.rr.com. As always, I hope to see you at one of our events, the Gala or the Symposium.

    Joe Dombrowski
    RES President

  • 20-Jan-2020 11:57 AM | Lynne Irwin (Administrator)

    It is the beginning January as I write this, and the Holidays are behind us. Hopefully you had a Merry and a Happy! I know I am resting up from entertaining relatives in town.

    We have resurrected our Strategic Planning Process.  Changes are afoot, stand by for an announcement.

    Planning for the upcoming Gala in April 2020 is underway. We are looking to increase attendance at the event; any input is appreciated!

    The Engineering Symposium is planned for April 28, 2020 (PDH fest). The planning effort is also underway (thank you Chris DeVries). We will have sponsors but no vender venue this year at the Riverside Convention Center. As always, parking will be free.
    Seven (7) PDHs and a free lunch are available at a very modest fee.  Help is always appreciated, especially teachers and moderators. We are expecting a record crowd for this event. Details are at http://www.engineeringsymposiumrochester.com, and registration will be through the RES website again at http://www.roceng.org.

    The MPES scholarship process has begun and award winners will be announced in the Rochester Engineer and at the Gala.

    As part of end of the year process, we are looking for nominations for our Board of Directors. If you think you are a good fit or know someone who may be, please contact us for more information. The process is painless!

    If you have any concerns or input, or have the need to volunteer feel free to contact the RES via the website at roceng.org or me directly at jdombrowski3@rochester.rr.com.


    Joe Dombrowski
    RES President

  • 25-Nov-2019 2:03 PM | Lynne Irwin (Administrator)

    It is the beginning of November and as I write this, I am officially tired of raking leaves. Well, at least it isn’t snowing. Yet. Around here.

    We have had two RES events (one in October and one in November) and more are to follow. As always, contact RES with any feedback.

    We have resurrected our Strategic Planning Process, a meeting is planned soon. I will report on anything that needs to be publicized very soon.

    Planning for the Gala upcoming in April 2020 is ongoing. We are looking to increase attendance at the event; any input is appreciated!

    Our scholarship process is well underway and recipients will be announced in early 2020.

    As part of ongoing cost cutting, a decision has been made to utilize a less costly paper in the RES magazine. Please let us know if you have any comments, either for or against.

    The Engineering Symposium aka the PDH Fest (to be held  April 28, 2020) planning effort has kicked off. Help is always appreciated, especially teachers and moderators.

    The Holiday season is rapidly approaching, please relax, enjoy yourselves and stay safe.

    If you have any concerns or input, or have the need to volunteer to help RES out, feel free to contact the RES via the website at roceng.org or me directly at jdombrowski3@rochester.rr.com.


    Joe Dombrowski
    RES President

  • 29-Oct-2019 1:28 PM | Lynne Irwin (Administrator)

    It is the beginning of October and as I write this, I fear this is the last hurrah of summer here in Western New York.

    By now we have had a networking event at the Memorial Art Gallery. As always, don’t be bashful with any input and contact RES.

    Our next event is a joint tour with AFE.  Please see the announcement elsewhere in the magazine for details and register via the RES website.

    We have resurrected our Strategic Planning Process, meeting twice in October, changes are afoot, stand by for an announcement.

    In an effort to save money, we are trying a new printing process, (focusing on a different quality of paper) with this issue of the magazine. Let us know if you have any comments. Hopefully it will be to your satisfaction.

    Planning for the Gala upcoming in April 2020 is ongoing. We are looking to increase attendance at the event; any input is appreciated!

    The Engineering Symposium in April 2020 (PDH fest) planning effort is about to kick off. Help is always appreciated, especially teachers and moderators.

    I fear snow will be here soon and the Holiday season is following shortly. I know I’ll be busy.

    If you have any concerns or input, or have the need to volunteer feel free to contact the RES via the website at roceng.org or me directly at jdombrowski3@rochester.rr.com

  • 28-Aug-2019 2:44 PM | Lynne Irwin (Administrator)

     As I write this in early August I am in Orlando Florida attending to a personal matter. It is hot here! Too hot for an old Yankee!

     Not much is going on over the summer, we are moving forward with our strategic planning, a work in progress.

    The PDH Symposium to be held in April 2020 begins it’s planning process soon; stand by for details or contact me if you’d like to help out!

    Check out the RES website for details about applying for the upcoming Engineer of the Year, Young Engineer of the Year, and Engineer of Distinction awards. The process is not onerous!

    Please see my previous columns for what we are looking for be sure to contact the RES if you can help us out with anything!

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