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Wilson Greatbatch Exhibit Gets a Major Facelift

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greatbatch-exhibit-webThe permanent exhibit in the Science & Engineering Information Center in Lockwood Library honoring Wilson Greatbatch, inventor of the first implantable cardiac pacemaker, has been given a dynamic new look.

The historical materials that comprise the exhibit are shown to advantage in the newly refurbished display.  They include a 1960 pacemaker potted in epoxy and coated with silicone rubber as well as one of the first programmable cardiac pacemakers dating from 1968 along with original battery packs, connection wires, and other components.  David Bertuca, Associate Librarian, Lockwood Library, is curator of the exhibit and Kim Wagner, Exhibit Support Specialist, created the overall design.

A native of Buffalo, Wilson Greatbatch was born on September 6, 1919.   He earned his bachelor of engineering degree from Cornell University in 1950 and a master’s degree in electrical engineering from UB in 1957.  Shortly after teaming up with William C. Chardack, then chief of surgery at Buffalo’s Veterans Administration Hospital, the two men on April 15, 1960, successfully implanted the first fully working pacemaker into a 77-year-old cardiac patient, Harry Hennafeld.  By 1961, Medatronics Inc. had licensed the Greatbatch-Chardack pacemaker, which dominated the field for more than a decade.

Greatbatch taught as an assistant professor in the Department of Electrical Engineering at UB for a number of years.  In 1981, the UB Alumni Association honored him with its Distinguished Alumni Award.  He was inducted in into the National Inventor’s Hall of Fame in 1986 for his invention of the life-saving implantable cardiac pacemaker.  That same year he received the prestigious National Medal of Technology, the highest honor bestowed by the President of the United States to America’s leading innovators.

Interviewed for the March 1999 issue of IEEE Spectrum, Greatbatch talked about his first job repairing radios in a Buffalo repair shop in 1938 for $12 a week.  His personal hero was Thomas Edison and his favorite authors were Herman Melville and James Michener.  Asked what his personal philosophy was, he replied: “Don’t fear failure, don’t crave success. Just immerse yourself in the problem and work hard. The true reward is not in the results but in the doing.”

Wilson Greatbatch died at the age of 92 on September 27, 2011.

Festschrift in Honor of Eli Ruckenstein, Distinguished Professor, Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering

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untitledThe June 2017 issue of Advances in Colloid and Interface Science is a festschrift in honor of Distinguished Professor Eli Ruckenstein, hailed as “A Rare Researcher, Teacher, and Mentor par Excellence” by the guest editors of the special issue.

From their dedicatory article:

Researchers cannot miss the name of Ruckenstein when they are looking in the literature for key insights and research directions in numerous and diverse areas including heat and mass transfer in laminar and turbulent flows, separation processes, catalysis, colloids and emulsions, molecular assembly phenomena, polymer membranes, superconducting materials, immobilized enzymes, nucleation, stability of thin films and foams, design of antifouling surfaces, thrombus growth, etc. They naturally wonder whether there are many researchers named Ruckenstein since the research areas are highly specialized and most researchers usually are confined to working in just a few closely related problem areas. Their suspicion of multiple Ruckensteins is reinforced by the prolific number of publications they find on each topic. When they finally learn that there is only one Eli Ruckenstein, the overwhelming thought that strikes one is how a single individual could have worked on such multiplicity of topics, and contributed significantly and in such depth to so many diverging themes of modern chemical engineering.

Ruckenstein is one of the world’s most influential chemical engineers. He has made ground-breaking contributions in many areas and published more than 1000 scientific papers. He was the first chemical engineer to receive the National Medal of Science, considered the U.S. equivalent of the Nobel Prize. To think of Eli Ruckenstein as an outstanding researcher, a dedicated teacher, and an inspiring mentor of many academic and industrial chemical engineers captures only a partial image of his persona. Indeed, he is among the select few in the community of international chemical engineering and in the history of our profession.

It is our pleasure and privilege to dedicate this festschrift issue of Advances in Colloid and Interface Science to Eli as he just marked his 91st birthday.

New Online Encyclopedia: Comprehensive Biomaterials II, 2nd Edition

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9780081006917We have purchased the online version of the seven-volume encyclopedia, Comprehensive Biomaterials II, 2nd edition (Elsevier, 2017).

This work addresses the current status of nearly all biomaterials in the field, their strengths and weaknesses, their future prospects, appropriate analytical methods and testing, device applications and performance, emerging candidate materials as competitors and disruptive technologies, research and development, regulatory management, commercial aspects, and applications, including medical applications.

Content coverage is as follows:

  • Volume 1: Metallic, Ceramic, and Polymeric Biomaterials
  • Volume 2: Biologically Inspired and Biomolecular Materials
  • Volume 3: Methods of Analysis
  • Volume 4: Biocompatibility, Surface Engineering, and Delivery of Drugs, Genes and Other Molecules
  • Volume 5: Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine: Fundamentals
  • Volume 6: Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine: Applications
  • Volume 7: Biomaterials and Clinical Use

You can access this major reference work from on- or off-campus via the following URL:

This URL can be embedded in your lab web pages, course pages on UBlearns, etc., as relevant.

Web of Science Now Back to 1945

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indexThe UB Libraries have been able to expand its coverage in the Web of Science database to include all post-World War II science and technology. This was made possible with one-time, end-of-the-fiscal-year funds allowing us to purchase  a 20-year back file that now pushes our coverage back to 1945. This acquisition will increase citation metrics for researchers with a long publication history. In addition, many classic sci/tech articles will now be discoverable, such as the work of Nobel Prize laureate William Shockley, co-inventor of the transistor; see, for example:

BELL SYSTEM TECHNICAL JOURNAL Volume: 28 Issue: 3 Pages: 435-489 Published: 1949
Times Cited: 1,203

UB Green Library Integrated into the UB Libraries

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The_Earth_seen_from_Apollo_17The UB Green Library was a well-used fixture in the old UB Green Office on UB’s South Campus.  Its unique collection of resources, periodicals, magazines, zines, books, and media were available for use by UB students, faculty, and staff as well as the general public. Topics covered included sustainable lifestyles, environmental politics, environmental social responsibilities, enviro-economics, smart-energy (aka alternative- or green-energy), vegetarianism and veganism, and green building design materials that appealed to the do-it-yourselfer and architecture students and faculty alike.

This past year, in search of a better permanent home with expanded hours of access for the materials, Don Erb, UB’s Director of Sustainable Operations Integration for UB Sustainability, contacted the UB Libraries. The result was the addition of nearly 1,500 items to the Libraries’ collections, including 1,428 books that have been integrated into Lockwood Library‘s book collection.  In addition, selected multimedia in the form of DVDs, CDs, and videocassettes were added to Silverman Library’s Multimedia Center.

New Databases in Support of Materials Science and Engineering

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The UB Libraries are subscribing to a number of new databases that directly support data needs in departments across the university engaged in materials-based research. This growing suite of databases contains data, images, and other non-bibliographic information in support of basic and applied research at UB across many disciplines and departments including medicinal chemistry, pharmaceutical science, protein science, biomaterials, and materials design and innovation. The databases include MSI Eureka, the Cambridge Structural Database, and the ASM Micrograph Database.

  • MSI Eureka is a research and information platform that compiles and critically evaluates data on materials constitution, phase diagrams, crystal structure, etc., for a wide variety of material types and systems. The database covers alloys (steels, bronzes, magnets, electronic materials, and more); non-metals (ceramics, sensors, semiconductors, and more); and composites (cermets and more). In addition to phase diagrams, it contains over 4,000 evaluation reports written by a global team of scientists affiliated with MSI (Materials Science International). The phase diagrams and evaluative reports are linked to bibliographic citations to the literature, which covers the period from 1830 to the present and are drawn from over 250 journals and grey literature that MSIT monitors continuously. There are two ways to access MSI Eureka: Direct, IP-controlled access via the Internet or using the MSI Eureka Viewer (client software). For more information and to connect, got to: and
  • The Cambridge Structural Database (CSD) is the largest repository for small-molecule organic and metal-organic crystal structures, containing over 800,000 entries from x-ray and neutron diffraction analyses. The database is an invaluable tool for chemists, structural biologists, biochemists, pharmaceutical scientists, physicists, and biomedical researchers. Structures can be retrieved by chemical formula, cell parameters, substructures, similarity, and more. 3D structures can be viewed and manipulated. Each structure entry is enriched with bibliographic, chemical and physical property information. For advanced users doing in-depth crystallographic research, CSD provides an extensive suite of downloadable software available only to UB patrons. Download instructions are available at This software provides additional searching and analysis of structures including protein-ligand docking, interaction maps, ensemble studies, cavity comparison, binding site analysis, solid form studies such as packing searches.
  • The ASM Micrograph Database contains more than 4,100 micrographs for industrially important alloys, including ferrous and nonferrous metals, ceramics, and composites, each with details about the material, processing history, specimen preparation, and microstructure. Users can examine images, look for typical or optimal structures, or compare the effects of alloying or heat treating regimes on microstructures. The database designed for anyone who works with materials, from metallography to all branches of engineering. Images include: Material designation and composition; processing history; service history; metallographic preparation/technique; magnification; significance of the structures shown; and selected materials properties data. The database can be searched by material, condition, product form, and image code. Content is updated annually, with an average of 150 new micrographs added to the database each year. To connect, go to:

New Exhibit: Long Live the Book!

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index The Science and Engineering Information Center (SEIC), located on the lower level of Lockwood Library, has a new exhibit that celebrates reading and the book.  Called “Long Live the Book!” it showcases books that staff librarians have recently read on topics in chemistry, physics, natural history, sociology, classics, and more, along with short reviews and associated artifacts.  The exhibit was curated by SEIC librarians Nancy Schiller, David Bertuca, Fred Stoss, Jill Hackenberg, and Ben Wagner, with support from Kim Wagner.

The Man Who Knew Infinity

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Based on the untold story of one of the greatest minds of his generation, the film The Man Who Knew Infinity charts the incredible life of Srinivasa Ramanujan (played by Slumdog Millionaire’s Dev Patel, who also starred in the The Second Best Marigold Hotel), whose genius for mathematics takes him from the slums of India to Trinity College, Cambridge University, in the early 20th-century. Spurred on by his mentor G. H. Hardy (played by Academy Award winner Jeremy Irons), Ramanujan overcomes racism and the rigidity of academia to revolutionize the field with his startlingly original theorems, which he attributed to divine inspiration. With no formal training, and in spite of the racism and culture shock he encountered, Ramanujan still managed to move mathematics forward much the way Sir Isaac Newton advanced the laws of physics, finding a formula for partitions that others thought was impossible. He was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society in 1918.

The film is based on the book The Man Who Knew Infinity: A Life of the Genius Ramanujan by Robert Kanigel (in Lockwood Library, QA29 .R3 K36; see also Ramanujan: Twelve Lectures on Subjects Suggested by His Life and Work, by G. H. Hardy, Lockwood Library, QA29.S67 H3).

Watch the movie trailer and read a more detailed review.

Now playing at 4:30 pm, 7:15 pm, and 9:30 pm at the Dipson Theatres-Amherst Theatre, 3500 Main Street, Buffalo, NY.


Science in the Time of Shakespeare

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The UB Libraries’ Science & Engineering Information Center and Map Collection have created an exhibit on “Science in the Time of Shakespeare,” an exploration of scientific discovery and scientific thinking in the Age of Shakespeare. It can be viewed in the lobby of Lockwood Library and continues on the lower level of the library (take the inside staircase to the left, one floor down).

The exhibit explores astronomy, alchemy, cartography, maps, and map-making, and profiles some of the major figures of the time, including Francis Bacon, who developed the scientific method, and the brilliant mathematician-astronomer Thomas Digges who championed the Copernican model of the universe, as well as early English navigators and explorers. Learn about Europe’s “Little Ice Age” and its connection to “Frost Fairs,” which took place on a frozen River Thames during this centuries-long cold spell.

The exhibit was researched, written and curated by Nancy Schiller, Fred Stoss, and David Bertuca.  Exhibit design by Kimberly Wagner. Image by Caitlin Russell, used with permission.

Other exhibits in the UB Libraries that are part of the Western New York-wide celebration of “400 Years Since Shakespeare” include:

•  Special Collections: The Rare & Special Books Collection holds Thomas Lockwood’s 17th century folio editions of Shakespeare’s works (1623). These rare Folios can be viewed by appointment only from April 19 through April 29, 2016 in Special Collections. Call 645-2918 for a reservation.

•  Music Library: “If music be the food of love: Shakespeare in the Music Library” from April 18, 2016 through May 31, 2016. Music provides a kaleidoscopic array of perspectives through which scholars can view the works and influences of William Shakespeare. This exhibit highlights some of the most significant topics with examples from the holdings of the Music Library.

•  Robert L. Brown History of Medicine Collection: A selection of books from the 17th to the 20th century are on display that focus on subjects such as life and death in Shakespeare’s London, Shakespeare and the influence of his physician son-in-law, Mr. John Hall, and William Shakespeare’s knowledge of medical and surgical practices and beliefs of that era. Surgical tools, representative of those used in Shakespeare’s England, are also on display.

•  Charles B. Sears Law Library: “Canst thou Spot the Issues?” On the Bard’s 400th Deathiversary, we ask, “What if Shakespeare’s plays were thy final exams?  Wouldst thou pass?” An issue spotter law exam based on select plays of William Shakespeare is on display from April 18 through May 6, 2016 on the 2nd floor of the Law Library. In the words of the great Bard, “If you have tears, prepare to shed them now.”

•  Lockwood Memorial Library: Browse through an array of books of all genres related to Shakespeare – from plays to retellings to fiction to criticism from April 18 through June 10, 2016.

•  UB Libraries Multimedia Collection: The Multimedia Collection in Silverman Library will showcase a selection of Shakespeare-related videos, including plays, documentaries, and adaptations from April 18 through June 10, 2016.

Knovel Academic Challenge: Let the Games Begin!

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The Knovel knove-challenge-logoAcademic Challenge is currently underway!

Knovel is an engineering database which the UB Libraries’ subscribes to.  It includes the full text of over 1,000 engineering handbooks as well as interactive data tables, equations, and graph plotters. Every year, Knovel has an Academic Challenge, where university science and engineering students answer a series of multiple-choice questions based on information in the database and become eligible for  prizes. New problem sets are posted each week on Monday at 12am.  Based on player performance, weekly and grand prizes are granted to the winning students.

The game began Sept. 28th but you can enter and play at any time.   The game ends on Sunday, November 1, 2015.

You must register to play, but registration is free.  To register and begin playing, go to:

 How do you play the game?

  • Every Monday at 12:00:00 AM PDT, new problem sets will go live in the game. Each week, students will log in with their Knovel Academic Challenge login and password once they have registered and solve 7-10 multiple choice problem-sets with direct links to Knovel accessible from within the game interface. Students have the option to exit and reenter the game anytime between problem-sets, and they have as much time as they need to answer each question, as long as they finish all problem sets each week by Sunday at 11:59:59 PM PST.
  •  Students have 3 attempts to answer each question correctly. If the question is answered correctly on the first attempt, they get 4 points; on the second attempt, 3 points; and on the third attempt, 1 point. Each week, students accumulate points to compete for weekly and grand prizes. Only grand prizes depend on total accumulation of points. The weekly prize only depends on points from that respective week.

What are the prizes?

  • Weekly Prize: The student with the highest points from that week will receive a $100 Amazon gift card
  • 1st Place Grand Prize: The student with the highest accumulation of points at the end of the challenge will receive an Apple iPad Air II with Wi-Fi 16Gb
  • 2nd Place Grand Prize: The student with the second highest accumulation of points at the end of the challenge will receive aSONOS PLAY:1
  • Challenge within the Challenge: The student with the highest score from each of the top ten schools will receive a $25 Amazon Gift Card

Good luck!