UMBC Computer Science alumnus Ralph Semmel (PhD. 1991) was just named as the next director of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. APL has a staff of 4,600 and an annual funding level of about $980 million. Dr. Semmel’s dissertation, A knowledge-based approach to automatic query formulation, developed novel techniques to disambiguate conceptual queries against a relational database. His dissertation research was supervised by his mentor, Computer Science Professor James Mayfield. We congratulate Ralph and wish him well in his new position.