Johns Hopkins Engineering Spring Magazine 2011

Alumni Awards

2011 Heritage Award Recipients

The Heritage Award honors alumni and friends of Johns Hopkins who have contributed outstanding service over an extended period to the progress of the university or the activities of the Alumni Association.

Morgan M. "Mal" Buchner Jr.,  EE '61, PhD '65

Morgan M. "Mal" Buchner Jr. PhD, an electrical engineer by training, has long worked with the Whiting School to shepherd the school and its endeavors, particularly in areas  of intellectual property and technology transfer.

As an undergraduate, Buchner played on the Hopkins 1959-61 men's lacrosse teams. After graduating from the Whiting School with a PhD in electrical engineering in 1965, Buchner began his AT&T career at Bell Labs, where he was broadly involved in a range of  Bell System issues and later in expanding the equipment manufacturing business into  the international arena.

Since retiring from Lucent Technologies, where he was vice president, he has worked with a number of smaller companies. At the Whiting School, Buchner serves on the school's Technology Commercialization Committee, where he lends his time and expertise to help guide technology from the intellectual property stage through to commercialization. He also assists the Homewood Intellectual Property & Technology Commercialization Office on long-term strategy.

Buchner is active with alumni events, too. He is a member of the Alumni Council and served on its executive committee from 2002 to 2006. He is a member of his 50th Reunion Committee and expects to celebrate that event this spring. For the Buchners, Johns Hopkins is a family tradition. His daughter Meredith, AS '89, is active at the School of Education, and his daughter Jennifer is a 1988 Whiting School alumna.  His grandfather was the first director of the Hopkins Teachers College. Buchner is a member of the Whiting Legacy Circle, and  he has created the Morgan M. Buchner Jr. Undergraduate Scholarship that supports students on Homewood campus.

Richard E. Edwards, BE '53, MS '56

Richard E. Edwards is a strong supporter of the alumni activities at  Johns Hopkins University.

His work career at the E.I. du Pont de Nemours and Company included both technical and managerial positions in the United States and abroad. His expertise was utilized in the transfer of technologies between plant sites, plant expansions, and start-up of new facilities related to the production of titanium dioxide pigment. He retired from the Edge Moor Plant in 1993.

Edwards and his wife, Louise, after raising four children, turned their support to the activities of the Whiting School and the Hopkins community. He has served two consecutive terms with the Alumni Council, from 2005 to the present.

In addition, Edwards has completed two consecutive terms with the Society of Engineering Alumni (SEA) Council, from 2006 to 2010.  He has served most recently on his 55th reunion committee.

He has not confined his involvement to the Whiting School; the School of Nursing  has also benefited from his generosity and counsel. Edwards and his wife are members of the Legacy Circle groups at both schools. The Edwardses have also established scholarships-the Richard E. Edwards Graduate Scholarship at the Whiting School and the Catherine M. Loeffler Scholarship at the School of Nursing. The latter was established in honor of Edwards' aunt who graduated from the Johns Hopkins Hospital Nursing School in 1932 and retired in  1973 from the hospital administrative staff.

2011 Distinguished Alumnus Award

The Distinguished Alumnus Award honors alumni who have typified the Johns Hopkins tradition of excellence and brought credit to the university by their personal accomplishment, professional achievement, or humanitarian service.

Richard A. Swirnow '55

Richard A. Swirnow, longtime supporter of  Johns Hopkins University, has been considered a visionary among peers and colleagues for his service and philanthropy to Baltimore.

As a business leader, Swirnow, founder of HarborView Properties Development Co., was the key developer who transformed the 42-acre former Bethlehem Steel Shipyard into the HarborView Marina & Yacht Club. The project helped revitalize Baltimore'sailing south side. Today Swirnow is president of Swirnow Charitable Foundation Inc. and chair of HarborView Properties. Swirnow is known for his generosity and civic activity. At Hopkins, he and his wife, Rachel, made possible a state-of-the-art mock operating room that creates an exceptional teaching area for students learning robotic surgery. They also provided seed funding and fellowship support for the very successful Center for Bioengineering Innovation and Design (CBID) in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, as well as a naming gift for the David E. Swirnow Master of Science in Engineering in Bioengineering Innovation and Design. The Swirnows also have a black box theater named for them at the Mattin Center in recognition of their support of that complex.  A 1955 graduate of the Whiting School, with a degree in industrial engineering, Swirnow also supports other areas of the university. In nominating Swirnow for this award, Dean Nicholas Jones said, "When asked, Mr. Swirnow will tell you that his crowning achievement is his ability to give back to the community, and to develop and share new innovations and knowledge. Mr. Swirnow's support of the Whiting School, our students, and faculty has made a difference."

Roger Joseph Hajjar, MD, BME '86

Roger Hajjar is currently the director of the Cardiovascular Research Institute, and the Arthur & Janet C. Ross Professor of Medicine at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. He received his BS in biomedical engineering from the Whiting School in 1986 and his MD from Harvard Medical School and the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences & Technology in 1990. He completed his training in internal medicine, cardiology and research fellowships at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Hajjar is an internationally renowned scientific leader in the field of cardiac gene therapy for heart failure. His laboratory has validated the cardiac sarcoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase pump, SERCA2a, as a target in heart failure, developed methodologies for cardiac-directed gene transfer that are currently used by investigators throughout the world, and examined the functional consequences of SERCA2a gene transfer in failing hearts. His basic science laboratory remains one of the preeminent laboratories for the investigation of calcium cycling in failing hearts and targeted gene transfer in various animal models. The significance of his  research has been recognized with the initiation and recent successful completion under his guidance of phase 1  and phase 2  First-in-Man clinical trials of  SERCA2a gene transfer  in patients with advanced heart failure.

Hajjar's active laboratory team has revealed the basic mechanisms of cardiovascular diseases. In addition to targeting signaling pathways to aid failing heart cells, he is studying how to block signaling pathways in cardiac hypertrophy as well as apoptosis. He is also targeting a number of signaling pathways in the aging heart to improve diastolic function.

Prior to joining Mount Sinai, Hajjar served as director of the Cardiovascular Laboratory of Integrative Physiology and Imaging at Massachusetts General Hospital  and associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Hajjar is also the scientific co-founder of a number of biotechnology companies including  Celladon Inc., Nanocor Co., and Stemheal Inc.

Earle S. "Jock" Freedman, BE '50

Earle S. Freedman, known by friends and colleagues as "Jock," graduated from the Whiting School with a BE in civil engineering in 1950. He began work for the State Highway Administration (SHA) as a bridge engineer that same year, and he has never stopped-making him the longest-serving state employee.

In his nominating letter, SHA administrator Neil J. Pedersen wrote, "Jock has been a strong advocate and mentor for generations of young engineers who began working for him in the bridge department and have gone on to productive careers in bridge design." In October 2010, the 80-year-old Freedman celebrated the 60th anniversary of his hiring by the State Roads Commission, the predecessor of today's SHA.

Since 1975, Freedman has served as director of the Office  of Structures, where he oversees bridge design, bridge remedial engineering, and the inspections of structures on the State Highway System. Throughout his career, colleagues say, he has stressed bridge safety and structural integrity. Today he is finding himself overseeing replacements of Beltway bridges for which he developed cost estimates in the 1950s.

In addition, he has earned  a reputation as an advocate for aesthetically pleasing bridges. The Baltimore Sun, in an October 2010 article, noted that he had in his office a sign that reads: "It is a crime to build an ugly bridge."  To that end, he worked on a publication, Aesthetic Bridges Users Guide, that was distributed worldwide in 1993.