At an alumni dinner to cel­e­brate the Col­lege of Engineering’s 100th anniver­sary, Pres­i­dent Joseph Aoun and Dean David Luzzi said the col­lege is primed to con­tinue its momentum in devel­oping inno­v­a­tive pro­grams and gen­er­ating ground­breaking research in the cen­tury to come.

The event, “The Col­lege of Engi­neering Donor Cen­ten­nial Cel­e­bra­tion & Out­standing Alumni Awards,” was held April 8 at the Four Sea­sons Hotel Boston. The col­lege was the first at North­eastern to adopt the co-​​op pro­gram, which was high­lighted throughout the evening for its enor­mous ben­e­fits to stu­dents and part­nering com­pa­nies alike.

It is no acci­dent that the dean in the School of Engi­neering launched a model that makes us so spe­cial — co-​​op,” Pres­i­dent Aoun said, refer­ring to the former dean, Her­cules Gero­manos. “By def­i­n­i­tion, engi­neers have to be in tune with reality.”

Tim­othy J. McGrath, a 1973 grad­uate, recalled his first co-​​op job as a freshman at the firm Simpson Gumpertz & Heger. Today, McGrath is still there, now the firm’s senior principal.

North­eastern really gave me my career and sent me on my way for the rest of my life,” McGrath said. “I hope it will con­tinue to be a teacher to many young kids.”

Luzzi lauded the research achieve­ments of the col­lege, which he said has grown to become the largest recip­ient, per full-​​time fac­ulty member, of National Sci­ence Foun­da­tion funding for engi­neering research. He hailed the extra­or­di­nary “use-​​inspired research” being done at North­eastern in numerous areas, such as devel­oping nanosen­sors for dis­ease detec­tion and drug delivery, arti­fi­cial replace­ments for the cornea, robotics for vic­tims reha­bil­i­tating from stroke, explo­sives detec­tion and solar and wind power technologies.

He iden­ti­fied four strategic pri­or­i­ties for future research at the col­lege: health reha­bil­i­ta­tion and well-​​being, energy, the envi­ron­ment and security.

The research that we do is one of the big dri­vers of the rep­u­ta­tion of the col­lege around the country and around the world,” Luzzi said. “We have a great his­tory of great inno­va­tion and great suc­cess, but we also have a future that is looking incred­ibly bright.”

Pres­i­dent Aoun noted that the col­lege is well posi­tioned for future cutting-​​edge research in bio­med­ical engi­neering and nanomedicine.

Also announced at the event were the 2010 Out­standing Alumni Awards in Recog­ni­tion of Dis­tin­guished Lead­er­ship and Achieve­ment in Engineering.

The win­ners were: Jack D. Bryant, ME’76, pres­i­dent of Bryant Asso­ciates; Steven Domenikos, E’83, ME’85, CEO of Iden­tity Truth; Richard M. Feldt, E’74, chairman, pres­i­dent and CEO of Ever­green Solar; Dr. Bernard M. Gordon, H’07, cofounder and chairman of Neu­ro­Logica, Inc.; Chai­tanya Kanojia, ME’93, CEO of Navic Net­works; and Donald R. Wood, E’68, vice pres­i­dent and gen­eral man­ager (retired) of Union Carbide.