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Answering engineering's most powerful question: "What if?"

Three faculty scholar funds established by a gift from L. Gordon Croft inspire top Whiting School minds to tackle challenges in medicine, energy, and the environment
Posted September 13, 2017

"If you can't ask the wild, crazy questions," says Dennice Gayme, an assistant professor in the Whiting School's Department of Mechanical Engineering, "you’ll never get the breakthrough solutions." Thanks to alumnus L. Gordon Croft, Gayme — and many other Whiting faculty — will have additional resources to pose those kinds of questions for years to come.

A portion of Croft's gift to the Whiting School in 2012 created three faculty scholar positions. The term-limited posts — the Kent Croft Investment Management, Russell Croft, and Carol Croft Linde faculty scholars — are named in honor of Croft's two sons and his daughter.

"Mr. Croft has generously and steadfastly supported our undergraduate and graduate students," says T.E. "Ed" Schlesinger, the Benjamin T. Rome Dean of the Whiting School. "Through his support of the Croft Faculty Scholars, he is having an equally indelible impact on our faculty, providing them with resources to promote their innovative research, teaching activities, and entrepreneurial thinking."

Recent faculty scholars — Sharon Gerecht, a professor of chemical and biomolecular engineering; Ciaran Harman, an assistant professor in environmental health and engineering, as well as earth and planetary sciences; and Gayme — recently spoke with Rising about their experiences. Follow the links below to learn more about how they've invested their Croft Faculty Scholars funding to advance research on tissue regeneration, the integrity of water sources and surrounding ecosystems, and the integration of renewable energy in the national power grid.

Sharon Gerecht: Advancing ideas, big and small

Ciaran Harman: Engaging students in a "growing community of scientists"

Dennice Gayme: Unleashing solar energy's full power

To learn more about the Croft Faculty Scholars or to make a gift to support Whiting School faculty, please contact Megan Howie, associate dean for external relations.