Jean E. Brenchley, professor of microbiology and biotechnology, has been elected a Fellow of the Society for Industrial Microbiology. The award is given in recognition of excellence in microbial research and contributions made in administrative, academic, industrial, governmental, military or public-health positions.
Brenchley is known for her distinguished career in microbiology, both as a researcher and as an administrator in academia and in the biotechnology industry. An acknowledged leader in the field of bacterial metabolism, her current research focuses on enzymes that thrive at unusually low temperatures and the organisms that produce them -- an area of considerable fundamental and commercial significance in situations where continued refrigeration is needed to prevent spoilage. One aspect of her current work is to discover and improve potentially useful microbial enzymes, such as lactases, which are used to reduce lactose in milk.
Brenchley joined Penn State in 1984 to head the former Department of Microbial Biochemistry, now the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology. Brenchley launched Penn State's Biotechnology Institute and became its founding director, raising funding for the institute and overseeing its design, construction and outfitting.
She also established a fermentation pilot plant and started short courses and workshops. She was the first woman to head an academic department in the Penn State Eberly College of Science and has encouraged and trained students and chaired panels addressing issues facing women in their scientific careers.
She has won numerous awards, served on numerous panels, professional committees and editorial boards, and was an editor of Applied and Environmental Microbiology and Microbiological Reviews.
Brenchley earned a bachelor's degree in biology at Mansfield University in 1965, a master's degree in marine microbiology at the University of California at San Diego in 1967 and a doctoral degree in microbiology at the University of California at Davis in 1970.
Robert B. Campbell, program coordinator for Penn State York's Division of Undergraduate Studies and coordinator of the Advising and Information Center, has been named a 1998 National Academic Advising Association/ACT outstanding adviser.
Campbell was given the award in recognition of his demonstrated abilities as an adviser in a nationwide competition. Campbell also was the recipient of the University's 1998 Excellence in Academic Advising Award.
Campbell has served Penn State York for 21 years and during that time developed a model program for change-of-assignment students. Campbell chaired the retention committee for Penn State York for six years and incorporated several new activities to encourage faculty and staff interaction with students. He has worked diligently to assist students who are undecided about their majors in making the right decisions in college.
A 1969 graduate of Penn State with a bachelor's degree in secondary education, Campbell earned his M.Ed. in counselor education in 1970.
Qiming Zhang, associate professor of electrical engineering and an associate at the Materials Research Laboratory, recently received a $3.5 million four-year grant from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency to work on acoustic transducer applications for the relaxor ferroelectric polymer that he and his associates developed last year.
The researchers also are exploring additional material improvements and new electroactive polymers.
New acoustic transducers from this material have potential applications in underwater sonar projectors, ultrasonic medical imaging, non-destructive evaluation and high power transducers for material processing.
The new material will improve the transducers' sensitivity, bandwidth, and power density.
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