Microsoft Cofounder Helps Fund New Homeless Shelter, and a Professor Develops a Disposable Diagnostic Biosensor

These and other members made headlines this month

22 June 2017

IEEE Member Paul Allen, cofounder of Microsoft, donated US $30 million through his family’s foundation to design and build a housing and family service center in the Seattle area. The center will serve about 100 homeless families with children and will open in about two years, according to Mercy Housing Northwest, which is developing the complex. The city is contributing $5 million.

Allen and Bill Gates founded Microsoft in 1976. In 1982 Allen left the company and founded Vulcan, a venture in Seattle that manages his various business and philanthropic efforts.

He is a member of the IEEE Computer Society.


IEEE Senior Member Alexander Cartwright was named chancellor of the University of Missouri, Columbia.

Previously Cartwright was provost and executive vice chancellor of the State University of New York in Buffalo. He is a member of the IEEE Photonics Society.


IEEE Member Meenakshi Chatterjee was one of five female engineers profiled by Feminism in India. She is a senior hardware engineer at Twitter and is helping to run its data center.

Chatterjee is a member of IEEE Young Professionals.


IEEE Senior Member Jennifer Blain Christen is working to develop a disposable, point-of-care biosensor for rapid diagnosis and health monitoring. Her work is supported by a four-year, $1.8 million Smart and Connected Health award from the U.S. National Science Foundation.

Christen envisions the biosensor as a flexible patch that will absorb sweat. A small screen embedded in the patch could project light through the molecules, and the color of the light that emerges would indicate the presence or absence of disease. The patch might be useful in screening for Ebola, Zika virus, and Dengue fever. The patch will be disposable and inexpensive, Christen said in the post on the Arizona State University website—another potential benefit for health-care workers in developing countries.

She is an associate professor of electrical engineering at Arizona State University, in Tempe.


IEEE Senior Member Theresa Maldonado was named dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Texas, El Paso. Previously she was senior vice president for research, innovation, and economic development at the University of Texas, Rio Grande Valley.

Maldonado is a member of the IEEE Education and IEEE Photonics societies.

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