Fairfield University's School of Engineering honor society inducts students and honorary members, UI president and CEO Anthony Vallillo and ASML Executive Timothy O'Neil


On Saturday, Feb. 23, Fairfield University's School of Engineering inducted into Tau Beta Phi-Fairfield, the School's chapter of Tau Beta Pi, the Engineering Honor Society, twelve of the School's top students. In addition, Anthony J. Vallillo, the president and chief operating officer of The United Illuminating Company (UI), and Timothy K. O'Neil, vice president of Operations for ASML, the world’s leading provider of lithography systems for the semiconductor industry, were inducted also into Tau Beta Phi as honorary members.

Mr. Vallillo and Mr. O'Neil are graduates of the Bridgeport Engineering Institute, which merged with Fairfield University in 1994. They were inducted for excelling in the engineering industry, and for their work as members of the School's Advisory Board.

With a focus on real-world learning for real-world engineering work environments, the SOE Advisory Board, under the chairmanship of Mr. Vallillo, is composed of engineers and executives from local industries who help students with career advice, mentoring, internships, and even employment. Board members offer their expertise and resources, taking the pulse of the engineering industry so they can advise Dean Evangelos Hadjimichael, Ph.D. 

Dr. Hadjimichael said of the honorary inductees, "Engineering is a complex and demanding field that needs innovators, visionaries and leaders. Individuals such as these who excel in their pursuits deserve recognition. As board members, they are essentially University ambassadors to the greater community and we are grateful for their efforts." 

Among the twelve students initiated into Tau Beta Phi, there were both juniors and seniors. Juniors must be in the top 10% of their class to be eligible, while seniors must be in the top 25% of their class.

Jerry Sergent, Ph.D., chairman of the School's Electrical Engineering Program, said, "This prestigious honor society serves as a way to recognize our students who through their scholarship and exemplary character help propel the School forward."

Dr. Hadjimichael said establishing a Tau Beta Phi chapter at Fairfield underscores the fact that the School's undergraduate and graduate programs are growing and engineering students are excelling in their academic tasks. "Our honor society inductees function as role models, especially for the younger students."

The initiation ceremony on Saturday started with an introduction by Dr. Hadjimichael, followed by remarks by Orin Grossman, Ph. D., academic vice president of Fairfield, and a brief history of Tau Beta Pi by Dr. Sergent. The Honor Society was founded in 1885 to recognize those engineering students who confer honor upon their alma mater through distinguished scholarship and exemplary character as undergraduates in the field of engineering, or by their accomplishments as alumni. There are collegiate chapters at 230 colleges and universities. Nobel Prize winners, astronauts, and academics are among its ranks. 

The keynote address was given by Dr. Mark Reed, the Harold Hodgkinson Professor of Engineering and Applied Science at Yale University. Dr. Reid discussed the future of nanotechnology in engineering and science.

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Media Contact: Meg McCaffrey, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2726, mmccaffrey@fairfield.edu

Posted on February 28, 2008

Vol. 40, No. 190