BENJAMIN T. ROME (pictured) (1905-1994) graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1925 with a degree in civil engineering. He spent his entire career at the George Hyman Construction Company, where he and his uncle, George Hyman, expanded the company’s business until it was one of the region’s largest construction firms, building numerous landmarks in the nation’s capital.
In 1950, a young civil engineer named A. JAMES CLARK joined the company and, together, he and Rome transformed it into a leading national firm. In the late 1960s, Clark succeeded his mentor as company president and today serves as chairman and chief executive of the company, now known as Clark Enterprises, based in Bethesda, Maryland.
Over the years, Clark has been a steadfast supporter and friend of Johns Hopkins. A trustee emeritus of The Johns Hopkins University and Johns Hopkins Medicine, Clark had the vision and generosity that allowed for the construction of Clark Hall.
In 2008, Clark endowed the deanship of the Whiting School in honor of his mentor and business colleague. The Benjamin T. Rome Deanship became the third endowed deanship in the nine academic divisions of Johns Hopkins, an institution Rome supported generously during his lifetime.
Dedicated to furthering education and tolerance among world religions, Rome was an advocate for the Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies, playing a pivotal role in the creation of the school’s China Studies Program as well as supporting many other organizations.
In January of 2014, T.E. “Ed” Schlesinger joined Johns Hopkins University as the Whiting School of Engineering’s Benjamin T. Rome Dean.
Schlesinger comes to Johns Hopkins from Carnegie Mellon University where he was a faculty member for 28 years and served as the David Edward Schramm Memorial Professor and the head of Carnegie Mellon’s esteemed Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. When his appointment at Johns Hopkins was announced in the fall of 2013, Schlesinger stated, “I am excited to work with faculty, students, staff, and alumni to ensure that the Whiting School continues to enhance the impact of all its programs, to foster collaboration, and to eliminate boundaries or barriers wherever possible.”
At Carnegie Mellon, Schlesinger presided over more than 100 faculty members and led significant growth in his department. Among his accomplishments were integrating electrical engineering and computer engineering into a single degree program (Electrical and Computer Engineering), expanding graduate course offerings, and increasing support for faculty while building productive corporate partnerships and developing successful research collaborations across the globe—from Silicon Valley to Portugal, Rwanda, China, Singapore, and India. Schlesinger also served as the Director of the Data Storage Systems Center, Associate Department Head in ECE, founding co-director of the General Motors Collaborative Research Laboratory, and director the DARPA MISCIC Center at Carnegie Mellon.
As a researcher, Schlesinger has focused on solid state electronic and optical devices, nanotechnology, and information storage systems. He is a leader in research related to the development of heat-assisted magnetic recording, viewed by many as the next-generation technology for magnetic hard disk drives. He has published more than 250 articles and conference proceedings and holds 12 patents. He established the first GM Collaborative Research Lab at Carnegie Mellon in 2000 and, in 2007, was part of the Carnegie Mellon team whose self-driving SUV won $2 million in a DARPA Grand Challenge sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency. The team’s vehicle outperformed 10 rival robot vehicles over a 55-mile course.
Among the many awards and honors received by Schlesinger are; the Carnegie Institute of Technology George Tallman Ladd Award for research, the Carnegie Institute of Technology Benjamin Richard Teare Award for teaching, a Presidential Young Investigator Award, 1999 and 1998 R&D 100 Awards for his work on nuclear detectors and electro-optic device technology and the Carnegie Science Center 1998 “Scientist” award.
He is a Fellow of the IEEE and the SPIE, was President of the ECE Department Heads’ Association and served on its board of directors, was a member of the International Advisory Panel for the A*STAR Graduate Academy in Singapore and is on the Advisory Board for the ECE Department, Georgia Tech and the Technology Commercialization Advisory Board for Innovation Works.
Schlesinger majored in physics at the University of Toronto, graduating in 1980, and earned his doctorate in applied physics in 1985 at the California Institute of Technology. He joined the Carnegie Mellon faculty later that year.