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2004-2005

WPI Announces Promotions and Tenure for Faculty

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/June 2, 2005
Contact: WPI Media Relations, +1-508-831-5706

WORCESTER, Mass. - Ten members of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) faculty have been granted promotions and/or tenure, effective July 1, 2005.

Daniel J. Dougherty, professor of computer science, has been granted tenure. He became a member of the WPI faculty in 2002. Dougherty’s research focuses on logic, the concept that provides computer science with both a unifying foundation and a modeling tool. He holds a B.A. and Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of Maryland.


Nikolaos A. Gatsonis has received a promotion to professor of mechanical engineering. Gatsonis joined the WPI faculty in 1994, and he also serves as director of WPI’s Aerospace Engineering Program. His research areas include advanced onboard propulsion and micropropulsion, spacecraft/environment interactions, and micro/nanofluidics. This involves development of advanced computational models, ground experiments and participation in space experiments. He earned a B.S. from Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki in Greece, an M.S in atmospheric science from the University of Michigan, and an M.S. and a Ph.D. in the Aeronautics and Astronautics Department of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is an associate editor of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Journal of Spacecraft and Rockets.


James P. Hanlan has been promoted to professor of humanities and arts. Hanlan has been a member of the WPI faculty since 1979. His well- respected scholarship in American history includes a book that broke new ground in the application of computational analysis to historical data. He holds a B.S. in history from College of the Holy Cross, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in American history from Clark University.


Arthur C. Heinricher has received a promotion to professor of mathematical sciences. He joined WPI in 1993. Heinricher’s research, which has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Office of Naval Research, is in the area of probability theory and deterministic and stochastic optimal control theory. He holds a B.S. in applied mathematics from the University of Missouri and a Ph.D. in mathematics from Carnegie Mellon University.


Nikolas K. Kazantzis has been promoted to associate professor of chemical engineering. Kazantzis became a member of the WPI faculty in 2001. His research, for which he won a coveted NSF CAREER Award in 2002, is in the area of digital fault detection and diagnosis for nonlinear processes. He holds a B.S. in physics from the University of Thessaloniki in Greece. He also holds an M.S. in physics, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan.


William R. Michalson has received a promotion to professor of electrical and computer engineering. Michalson has been on the WPI faculty since 1992. His research areas include navigation communications, with special emphasis on satellite navigation systems based on the Global Positioning System. Michalson holds a B.S. in electrical engineering from Syracuse University, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from WPI.


Jeanine D. Plummer has received a promotion to associate professor of civil and environmental engineering with tenure. Plummer joined WPI in 1999. Her pioneering, National Science Fountation (NSF)-funded research activities focus on source water quality and alternative disinfection strategies with an emphasis on the protection of water sources. She holds a B.S. in civil engineering from Cornell University, and an M.S. in environmental engineering and a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.


Malcolm H. Ray has been promoted to professor of civil and environmental engineering. He has been at WPI since 1999. Ray is nationally and internationally recognized as one of the leading researchers in the areas of roadside safety, impact engineering, and crashworthiness analysis. Ray’s work involves the simulation of roadside safety crashes using finite element analysis. He holds a B.S. in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Vermont, an M.S. in civil and environmental engineering from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from Vanderbilt University.


Elke A. Rundensteiner has received a promotion to professor of computer science. She joined the WPI Computer Science Department in 1996. Rundensteiner’s principal research areas are in evolvable view environments for data mining applications, maintenance and synchronization of data warehouses, and the integration of relational data sources. She holds a B.S. in computer science from Johann Wolfgange Goethe University in Germany, an M.S. in computer science from Florida State University, and a Ph.D. in computer science from University of California, Irvine.


Satya S. Shivkumar has been promoted to professor of mechanical engineering. He became a member of the WPI faculty in 1990. Shivkumar’s research is in the area of electro-spinning of polymers and the use of polymers for biomedical applications, which extends to the development of foams based on algae and the processing and testing of biodegradable polymers. These latter polymers are used extensively in drug delivery devices and tissue engineering scaffolds. He holds a B.S. in metallurgical engineering from Regional Engineering College in India, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Science, and an M.S. and Ph.D. in materials engineering from Stevens Institute of Technology.


About Worcester Polytechnic Institute

Founded in 1865 as one of the nation’s first technological universities, WPI is renowned for its innovative project-based undergraduate curriculum and global projects program. With 2,770 undergraduates and 1,040 full- and part-time graduate students, WPI offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in more than 30 disciplines in engineering, science and the management of technology. Working in more than 30 research institutes, centers and laboratories, the university’s faculty and students are engaged in cutting-edge research in a broad range of fields.