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School of Music renames recording studio

The Carnegie Mellon School of Music announced recently that it is renaming the school’s recording studio The Vlahakis Recording Studio, after Carnegie Mellon alumnus Nick Vlahakis (CIT ‘74) and his wife, Kimi, donated $1 million to the school.

Nick Vlahakis spent 25 years working at ATK, an aerospace and defense contractor, eventually being appointed the company’s chief operating officer. Vlahakis earned his master’s degree in mechanical engineering from Carnegie Mellon after receiving a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Northwestern University and an MBA from the University of Utah.

The couple’s gift also includes an annual portion to help sustain the recording studio, along with the initial $1 million. A plaque will be placed outside of the studio to honor the pair, reading “The Vlahakis Recording Studio at the Carnegie Mellon School of Music. Realizing Dreams with Music and Technology through the generosity of Nick & Kimi Vlahakis.”

“We are deeply humbled by the generosity shown by Nick and Kimi toward our school,” said Denis Colwell, head of the School of Music, in a university press release. “Their remarkable kindness helps to ensure that the Vlahakis Recording Studio will remain state-of-the-art into the foreseeable future, and CMU students will reap the benefit of working in it for years to come.

The gift also enables us to attract top musical and scholastic talent to the School of Music.”

CIT celebrates 30 years of self-driving cars

Carnegie Mellon’s College of Engineering celebrated the 30th anniversary of its research on self-driving cars last Thursday.

“The evolution of AV technology at Carnegie Mellon is a remarkable success story that epitomizes how innovation advances when engineers, computer scientists and robotics researchers collaborate,” said Farnam Jahanian, vice president for research at Carnegie Mellon, in a university press release.

The self-driving car, or autonomous vehicle, was invented at Carnegie Mellon in 1984, and since then the university has filed over 140 invention disclosures relating to autonomous vehicles.
Carnegie Mellon’s most recent self-driving car is a 2011 Cadillac SRX that looks just like any other car — the sensors are integrated into the car’s body, unlike earlier autonomous vehicle models.

“Through its desire and capacity for interdisciplinary research, the Carnegie Mellon’s College of Engineering is well positioned to address these challenges. By working on complex real-world problems, we provide students with exciting and meaningful educational and research experiences,” said James H. Garrett, dean of the College of Engineering, in the press release.