cover photo of the BCET newsletter

For previous issues, visit our archive.

The most recent copy of the Illuminator is online:

Stories include the new dean of Batten College, Ben Belfore - a recent doctoral graduate, the Nilsens - three siblings who all graduated from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, EEAP, new faculty members and more!

Cover Story

Willy Wriggers' Model Life

Willy Wriggers, the Frank Batten Chair of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Bioengineering, develops 3D computer modeling techniques to help scientists refine and reconstruct electron microscopy images. Read the article here.


Featured Stories


Researchers to Study Human Drivers’ Role in Automated Vehicles

The BCET Multidisciplinary Research Seed Grant was awarded to an interdisciplinary team who will develop a networked driving simulation platform. Read online.


ESPEX 2022

Door to Success: Billy Sykes

Chance meetings and opportunities can often change one's direction in life. For William "Billy" Sykes, this is certainly true. Sykes, B.S.E.E. '75, is an engineer, attorney, patent attorney, inventor and business owner. Soon, he hopes to add another title: college mentor. Read more about Sykes here.



Major Undertaking

Old Dominion University launched Virginia's first four-year major in manufacturing engineering technology (MfgET) at its Norfolk campus and at the Institute for Advanced Learning and Research (IALR), in Danville. The new major will be offered in the existing bachelor of science in engineering technology degree program and will be housed in Old Dominion's Batten College of Engineering and Technology's Engineering and Technology department. Read the article here. 


Golden Opportunity

You won't find this many women in a room when you're working," Sarah Golden told the crowd of female engineering students. "It's just not going to happen." Golden, keynote speaker for the fifth annual Women Excelling in Engineering (WE2) event, said people often ask her how she managed being the only woman at the table, in the room or on a team. "You can do anything you want to do," she told the group of nearly 50 women. "Just set your mind to it and you can accomplish it." Read the article here.


BCET Students

Peter Brennan
Peter Brennan on the jobsite

Peter (Pete) Brennan, civil engineering technology '22, did something practical for his senior design project.
Brennan, an Old Dominion University distance learning student and full-time senior inspector with the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT), served as the project manager for the construction phase of a bridge rebuilding project.
Read more about Brennan here.

Jasmine Tutt
Director of Communications and Marketing

An electrical engineering major, Jasmine Tutt will graduate this spring after going through the Professional Development Program - a partnership between Old Dominion University and Newport News Shipbuilding.
Read more about Jasmine here.


Catherine Fischer

Although Catherine­ Fischer applied for a highly competitive fellowship working in the aerospace industry, she was certain she wouldn't be selected.
The competition was tough. Only 51 students would be chosen from more than 1,000 applications, and no student had ever been accepted from a Virginia university.
Read more about Catherine here.

BCET Events

For the winners of the top prize at ESPEX 2022, tackling an important regional issue for their senior design project paid off. The William G. Sykes Innovator and Entrepreneur Award, and $2500 prize, was presented to a group of Old Dominion University civil and environmental engineering and civil engineering technology students who collaborated with Hampton University architecture students in the development of adaptive design strategies to alleviate flooding in Portsmouth's Port Norfolk neighborhood. Read more about ESPEX 2022 here

Inside News

Anna Lacy

ANNA LACY is the new transfer academic success advisor for the Batten College of Engineering and Technology. Lacy graduated from James Madison University in 2016 with a B.S. in Psychology and received her M.Ed. from UNC Greensboro in 2019. Lacy has a background in residence life and housing and advising. She emphasizes student support, empowerment and advocacy in her work. Outside of work, she loves to travel, try new restaurants, and spend time with her two kitties, Milo and Lucy. 


ASHLEIGH BLANCHETTE, the new fiscal operations specialist for the Business Services Center, graduated from ODU in 2007 with a B.S. in interdisciplinary studies and a minor in special education. Blanchette joins ODU with a background in customer service, including 17 years in retail management, four years in educational management and one year as a 911 dispatcher. Outside of work, Blanchette loves to travel, read and enjoy time with family and friends.

Faculty Notes

Isao Ishibashi

When ISAO ISHIBASHI first came to ODU in 1986, Ronald Reagan was president, gasoline was 86 cents a gallon and the top Billboard song of the year was "That's What Friends Are For" by Dionne Warwick and Friends.
Thirty-six years later, Joe Biden is president, the top song is Wait For U by Future, featuring Drake and Tems and the price of gas - we won't talk about that.
And, after a long and storied career, Ishibashi, professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, is retiring. Read the article online.

John Sokolowski

John Sokolowski has already retired at least once.
In 2001, he retired from the Navy after serving 27 years as a submarine officer.
On June 1, he will officially retire again - this time from his position as associate professor of computational modeling and simulation engineering (CMSE) at Old Dominion University.
After his military service, Sokolowksi became the first person in the world to earn a Ph.D. in computational modeling and simulation engineering - at ODU.
Read the article online. 

Sherif Ishak

Sherif Ishak, professor and chair of ODU's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was recently named a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE).
The fellow designation is a prestigious honor held by only 3% of ASCE's 150,000+ members. Candidates must hold a Professional Engineer (PE) or Professional Land Surveyor (PLS) license and have at least 10 years of continuous membership.
Read the article here.

Illuminator News Archive