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2005-2006

WPI Announces Promotions and Tenure Awards for Faculty

For Immediate Release/ March 29, 2006
Contact: Michael Dorsey
508-831-5609

WORCESTER, Mass., March 29, 2006 - Twelve members of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) faculty have been granted promotions and/or tenure, effective July 1, 2006..

John Bergendahl was promoted to associate professor of civil and environmental engineering and awarded tenure. Since joining the WPI faculty in 2000, Bergendahl, whose research focuses on colloid and surface chemistry in the environment and chemical oxidation of contaminants, is currently completing a textbook on treatment system hydraulics. A Licensed Professional Engineer in Connecticut (he has served as a consultant to wastewater treatment companies in New York and Massachusetts), he is also associate editor of the international journal Soil and Sediment Contamination. Bergendahl earned a B.S. in mechanical engineering (1985), an M.S. in environmental engineering (1996), and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering (1999) at the University of Connecticut.

Donald R. (Rick) Brown, who joined the WPI faculty in 2000, was promoted to associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and awarded tenure. Brown's research contributions include enhancement of wireless communication systems, optimum design and signal processing for channel equalization in wireless systems, and acoustical systems for noise reduction and speech detection. In 2005, he received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the agency's most prestigious award for young faculty members. His work has earned two patents; two others are pending. Brown earned a BS (1992) and MS (1996) in electrical engineering at the University of Connecticut and a PhD in electrical engineering at Cornell University in 2000. In 2002, WPI's Electrical and Computer Engineering Department named him the Joseph S. Satin Fellow.

Nancy A. Burnham, associate professor of physics, has been granted tenure. Burnham, who joined the WPI in 2000, is an acknowledged expert in the field of atomic force microscopy. Her published work in the field has been cited more than 2,000 times. She earned a BA in physics at Colgate University in 1980 and an MS (1985) and PhD (1987) in physics from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She held a National Research Council postdoctoral fellowship at the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C., before receiving a highly prestigious Alexander von Humbolt Scholarship to study in Germany from 1991 to 1993. Prior to joining WPI, she served for five years in a research position at L'Ecole Polytechnic Federale de Lausanne in Switzerland.

Terri A. Camesano has been promoted to associate professor of chemical engineering and awarded tenure. A member of the WPI faculty since 2000, Camesano uses the atomic force microscope to study the interaction of bacteria with surfaces, work that has important applications in medicine. She has received the National Science Foundation's prestigious CAREER Award for young faculty members, as well as WPI's Sigma Xi Junior Faculty Award and the WPI/Pratt-Whitney Women of Strength Award. Camesano earned a BS in chemical engineering and environmental science at the University of Rochester in 1995, an MS in environmental engineering from the University of Arizona in 1997, and a PhD in environmental engineering from Pennsylvania State University in 2000.

Edward A. Clancy, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been granted tenure. Clancy joined the WPI faculty in 2000 after spending nine years in industry, including a post as a senior engineer at Raytheon. Concurrently, he held positions as a lecturer at MIT and professor associé at Laval University in Quebec. He is widely regarded as a leading figure in the research areas of signal processing, modeling, and instrumentation with applications to biomedical engineering. His work has resulted in more than 25 peer-reviewed papers. He earned a BS in electrical engineering at WPI in 1983 and an MS (1987) and PhD (1991) at MIT. He was named the Joseph S. Satin Fellow in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department in 2001.

Erwin Danneels has been promoted to associate professor of management and awarded tenure. He joined the WPI faculty in 2000 after serving as a visiting assistant professor at the Goizueta Business School at Emory University and as a consultant for the business incubator associated with Pennsylvania State University. His research focuses on the growth and renewal of corporations through new product innovation, the nature and consequences of product innovativeness, and the characteristics of corporations with innovative new product programs. He received the 2004 Best Paper Award from the Journal of Product Management and was guest editor of a special issue of the journal in February. He received a BS from the University of Ghent in 1990, an MBA from the Vlerick School of Management at the University of Ghent in 1991, an MS from the University of California Davis in 1994, and a PhD from the Smeal College of Business at Penn State University in 1998.

Kathryn Fisler has been promoted to associate professor of computer science and awarded tenure. She joined the WPI faculty in 2000 after completing a four-year postdoctoral research appointment at Rice University. She has earned an international reputation for her research in formal methods and verification of computer hardware and software. Her research has also attracted significant external funding, including the coveted National Science Foundation CAREER Award, which honors the nation's top young faculty members, and an NSF Collaborative Research Grant. Fisler received WPI's Romeo Moruzzi Young Faculty Award in 2004. She earned a BA in computer science and Asian studies at Williams College in 1991 and an MS (1992) and PhD (1996) in computer science from Indiana University.

Robert E. Kinicki has received a promotion to full professor of computer science. A member of the WPI faculty since 1978, he was interim head of the Computer Science Department in 1986-87 and department head from 1988 to 1998. Under his leadership, the department experienced its strongest period of growth. He has published more than 30 peer-reviewed papers and nearly 30 technical reports based on his research in the areas of electronic commerce, computer network performance, network management, and multicast routing. Active in faculty governance, he currently serves as secretary of the WPI faculty. Kinicki earned a BS in mathematics from Case Western Reserve University in 1968, an MS in computer science from Indiana University in 1975, and a PhD in computer science from Duke University in 1978.

Sergey N. Makarov, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering, has been awarded tenure. He joined the WPI faculty in 1999 after serving for 13 years at St. Petersburg State University, where he was a staff scientist, senior staff scientist, and professor. He has built an international reputation for his research in acoustics and antennae theory, having published 14 peer-reviewed papers, 14 conference papers, and a textbook on antenna modeling. Makarov earned an MS in applied mathematics (1982) and a PhD (1986) at St. Petersburg State University. In 2004, he was awarded the Joseph S. Satin Fellowship by the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Marcus Sarkis-Martins, associate professor of mathematical sciences, has been awarded tenure. He joined the WPI faculty in 1998 and also holds an appointment as associate professor at the Instituto Nacional de Matemática Pura e Aplicada in Brazil. He has earned international recognition for his research in numerical analysis and computational methods, which has resulted in more than 30 peer-reviewed papers. In 2002, he received a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, considered the most prestigious award for young educators and researchers. Sarkis-Martins earned a BS in the engineering of infrastructure aeronautics at the Instituto, at Tecnológico de Aeronáutica in Brazil in 1984, a degree in petroleum engineering at Sector de Ensino de Bahia in Brazil in 1986, an MS in mathematics at Pontifíca Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro in 1989, and a PhD in mathematics at the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University in 1994.

George D. Pins has been promoted to associate professor of biomedical engineering and awarded tenure. Pins joined the WPI faculty in 2000 after spending two years as a postdoctoral fellow at Harvard Medical School and working for a year as a research scientist at Tensegra Inc. in Boston. A researcher in the areas of biological transport phenomena, biomaterials, and tissue engineering, he has received a highly competitive Whitaker Foundation grant and funding from the Johnson & Johnson Wound Management/UMass Medical Department of Surgery Research Program. In 2004, he received the WPI Board of Trustees Award for Outstanding Academic Advising. Pins received a BS in applied science (biomedical engineering concentration) from the College of Engineering at Rutgers University in 1989 and a PhD in biomedical engineering from Rutgers University/University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in 1996.

Berk Sunar has been promoted to associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and awarded tenure. He joined the WPI faculty in 2000 after working for a year as a cryptographer for rTrust Inc. in California. He is regarded as one of the leading researchers in the area of cryptography and embedded security, his work having resulted in a patent and garnering more than $1.2 million in external funding, including a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, granted each year to a select group of the nation's top young faculty members. He founded a student project center at General Dynamics Corporation and he organized the 2004 Cryptographic Hardware and Embedded Systems Workshop. In 2003, he received the Joseph S. Satin Fellowship from the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Sunar received a BS in electrical engineering from the Middle East Technical University in Ankara, Turkey, in 1995 and a PhD in computer and electrical engineering from Oregon State University in 1998.

About WPI

Founded in 1865, Worcester Polytechnic Institute is one of the nation's first and leading scientific, engineering and technological universities. Its 18 academic departments offer more than 50 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in science, engineering, technology, management, the social sciences, and the humanities and arts. WPI's world-class faculty work with students in a number of cutting-edge research areas, leading to breakthroughs and innovations in such fields as biotechnology, fuel cells, information security, and nanotechnology.