Endowed Professorships

At a time of unprecedented activity in the area of global sustainability, scholars and researchers working in environmental engineering at WPI are superbly positioned to contribute new knowledge and innovative solutions to the most pressing environmental challenges of our day.

WPI's national and international reputation is built largely through the scholarly endeavors and teaching talents of its faculty, and like all prestigious universities, WPI faces increasing competition for outstanding scholars and educators. Professorships are the highest honors that the professoriate can attain. By naming a highly coveted professorship at WPI and providing the critical means for recruiting, retaining, and rewarding gifted faculty members, professorship donors help the university meet the world’s ever-growing demand for a knowledgeable and skilled workforce.

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Professorship Spotlight

Alena and David M. Schwaber ’65 Professorship

The Alena and David M. Schwaber ‘65 Professorship supports a distinguished scholar and educator in the field of environmental engineering. The sitting professor will have a breadth of understanding of environmental engineering problems stemming from population growth and its impact on resource and energy demands. Drawing on the problem-solving skills Schwaber learned at WPI, he developed a passion for the environment and environmental engineering to face the real-world challenge of recycling manufacturing waste.

It’s important that scholars have a strong voice in helping solve the ecological and health crises in the world. I’m excited about helping WPI rise to that challenge.
  • David M. Schwaber ‘65
Jamal  Yagoobi George I. Alden Chair in Engineering

The George I. Alden Chair in Engineering is awarded to a WPI faculty member in recognition of outstanding teaching in the field of engineering.

Recipient: Jamal Yagoobi, Mechanical Engineering

Cagdas  Onal

Thomas A. Arseneault '85 Faculty Support Fund

The Thomas A. Arseneault '85 Faculty Support Fund is to honor exceptional research and quality of scholarship on autonomous vehicles and to develop further contributions to WPI and the profession.

Recipient: Cagdas Onal, Robotics Engineering


Robert Essebe Balmat Jr. Dean’s Professor

The Robert Essebe Balmat Jr. Dean’s Professorship was created by Robert E. Balmat, III to support distinguished senior faculty at WPI whose cutting-edge research or interest is in physical metallurgy.

Recipient:  To be awarded

Rosanna  Garcia

Paul R. Beswick ‘57 Professorship

The Paul R. Beswick ’57 Professorship of Innovation and Entrepreneurship is to attract and support world-class scholars and teachers for the university’s Department of Management.

Recipient: Rosanna Garcia, Business, Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Kathryn  Moncrief

Paris Fletcher Distinguished Professorship of Humanities

The Paris Fletcher Distinguished Professorship in the Humanities is awarded to the head of the WPI Department of Humanities and Arts in recognition of fine teaching and to enhance opportunities for scholarship and research.

Recipient: Kathryn Moncrief, English

Richard D. Sisson

George F. Fuller Professorship in Mechanical Engineering

The George F. Fuller Professorship in Mechanical Engineering was established in 1964 by the George F. and Sybil H. Fuller Foundation to support an engineering chair in mechanical engineering.

Recipient: Richard Sisson, Mechanical Engineering


Harold J. Gay Professorship in Mathematics

The Harold J. Gay Professorship in Mathematics was established for the encouragement of younger faculty working in mathematical sciences. The professorship supports faculty who have demonstrated potential for achievement that might fittingly honor the memory of Professor Gay.

Recipient: To be awarded

Bernard M. Gordon Dean of Engineering

The Bernard M. Gordon Dean of Engineering is a distinguished leader and engineering educator who has demonstrated excellence in all relevant areas of faculty performance – including teaching, research, advising and scholarship. They also possess the administrative leadership to direct a program centered on the principles of innovation, collaboration, and excellence.

Recipient: John A. McNeill, Electrical & Computer Engineering


John Woodman Higgins Professorship in Engineering

John Woodman Higgins was a son of Milton Prince Higgins, the first superintendent of the Washburn Shops. WPI established this professorship in 1988 in gratitude for the 31 years of service that Milton P. Higgins II devoted to WPI as a member of its board of trustees.

Recipient: To be awarded

Diana A. Lados

Milton Prince Higgins II Distinguished Professorship in Manufacturing

Milton Prince Higgins represented the third generation of his family to serve on the WPI Board of Trustees. While chairman of the Board of Trustees, he helped implement the WPI Plan.

Recipient: Diana A. Lados, Mechanical Engineering


Howmet Professorship of Mechanical Engineering

This professorship was established in 1987 to recognize contributions made to Howmet Corporation by Diran Apelian, who served as chair of the scientific council for Howmet’s board of directors between 1983 and 1992.

Recipient:  To be awarded

Emmanuel O. Agu

Danielle Lynn Cote

Dmitry  Korkin

Pratap M. Rao

Carolina  Ruiz

Harold L. Jurist ’61 and Heather E. Jurist Dean’s Professorship

Distinguished faculty who are named the Jurist Dean’s Professors are pursuing cutting-edge research in one of WPI’s multidisciplinary concentrations: robotics, decision-making/autonomous robots, cyber security systems, biomedical devices/image analysis, climate change, sustainable fuels/energy, environmental science/adaption, and other disciplines closely aligned with these research areas.


Emmanuel Agu, Computer Science  

Danielle Cote, Mechanical & Materials Engineering  

Dmitry Korkin, Computer Science  

Pratap Rao, Mechanical and Materials Engineering  

Carolina Ruiz, Computer Science, Mathematical Science   

Patricia Zhang Musacchio

Leonard P. Kinnicutt Professorship

The Leonard P. Kinnicutt Professorship is for encouragement of younger faculty in their professional development. It was established to honor Leonard P. Kinnicutt, a professor who served on the WPI faculty from 1882 until his death in 1911. He was the first WPI professor with a doctorate; he specialized in sanitary chemistry.

Recipient: Patricia Zhang Musacchio, Chemistry & Biochemistry


James H. Manning Professorship – FFE

James Manning, grew up in Fall River, MA to a family of modest means. He never forgot how he arrived at WPI with only $10 in his pocket and the dream of becoming an engineer, and how a loan made it possible for him to earn his degree and realize his ambition. In 1973, he and his wife Frances established and endowed the James H. Manning Scholarship Loan Fund to give, in perpetuity, that same opportunity to students.

Recipient: Xiaowei Teng, Chemical Engineering

Brajendra  Mishra

Kenneth G. Merriam Professorship in Mechanical Engineering

The Kenneth G. Merriam Professorship in Mechanical Engineering was established to honor Kenneth G. Merriam who spent 30 years as head of WPI’s Aeromechanics Program and mentored many students into professional careers. The professorship awards an outstanding member of the Mechanical Engineering Department for a rotating term.

Recipient: Brajendra Mishra, Mechanical Engineering


John C. Metzger Jr. Professorship in Chemistry

The John C. Metzger Jr. Professorship in Chemistry is awarded to the head of the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, which is internationally recognized for its cutting-edge research on a broad range of topics with real-world applications.

Recipient: To be awarded

Sarah Jane  Wodin-Schwartz

Morgan - Worcester Distinguished Instructorship

The Morgan - Worcester Distinguished Instructorship supports a mechanical engineering professor for a three-year period. The purpose of this instructorship is to assist new promising faculty members to develop into outstanding teachers and professionals. 

Recipient: Sarah Wodin-Schwartz, Mechanical & Materials Engineering


Paul and Philip Morgan Professorship

Charles Hill Morgan, a WPI Trustee from 1866 to 1911, was the father of Paul Morgan. He started Morgan Construction Company. During the university’s early years, he was a WPI Trustee. Since WPI’s inception, the Morgan family has kept ties with the university by offering guidance and stability.

Recipient: To be awarded


Norton Assistant Professorship

This chair was created by Norton Company in 1988 for a professor in Manufacturing Engineering or a related field to support a junior faculty member who has shown distinction and potential to be a leader in their field. 

Recipient:  To be awarded

Jean Adelina King

Peterson Family Dean of Arts and Sciences

The Peterson Family Dean of Arts and Sciences enables the university to recognize a distinguished scholar and educator who will be charged with overseeing the integration and expansion of WPI’s growing research programs in the life sciences and bioengineering departments.

Recipient: Jean King, Biology & Biotechnology


Carol L. & Robert A. Peura Professorship in Biomedical Engineering

The professorship will support an outstanding faculty member who has demonstrated excellence in all relevant areas of faculty performance. The fund will be used for but not limited to recruitment and retention efforts, the purchase of equipment and materials, graduate student and/or research assistant stipends, conference travel, course release and professional development activities.

Recipient: To be awarded

Jose M. Arguello

Walter and Miriam B. Rutman Distinguished Professorship in Chemistry

The Walter and Miriam B. Rutman Distinguished Professorship in Chemistry is awarded to faculty whose superior and well-acknowledged accomplishments reflect teaching and research at the very forefront of modern chemistry. 

Recipient: Jose M. Arguello, Chemistry & Biochemistry

Berk  Sunar

Xinming  Huang

Joseph Samuel S. Satin Distinguished Fellowship in Electrical Engineering

The Joseph Samuel S. Satin Distinguished Fellowship in Electrical Engineering is awarded annually to a member of WPI’s electrical engineering department to increase their individual research and studies.


Berk Sunar, Electrical & Computer Engineering

Xinming Huang, Electrical Engineering

Harold W. Walker

Alena and David M. Schwaber '65 Endowed Professorship

The Alena and David M. Schwaber ’65 Endowed Professorship is awarded to the director of WPI’s Environmental Engineering Program. Its purpose is to enable the university to recognize a distinguished scholar and educator in the field of environmental engineering within the interdisciplinary Environmental Engineering Program.

Recipient: Harold Webb Walker, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Danielle Lynn Cote

Russell M. Searle Instructorship in Mechanical Engineering

The Russell M. Searle Instructorship in Mechanical Engineering provides an opportunity for recognition and support of a young member of the mechanical engineering faculty. This instructorship was set up as a memorial to Russell M. Searle and an inspiration to future faculty at WPI.

Recipient: Danielle Cote, Material Science & Engineering, Chemical Engineering


John E. Sinclair Professorship

This John E. Sinclair Professorship was created by Professor Sinclair in the early 1900’s to support a professor in Mathematics.  Dr. Sinclair and his children created this professorship to show affection for the Institute and gratitude for all the opportunities afforded to him and his family.

Recipient:  To be awarded

Gregory S. Fischer

Roger S. Gottlieb

Neil  Heffernan

Elke A. Rundensteiner

Michael T. Timko

Yan  Wang

Jing  Xiao

William B. Smith "Dean's" Professorship

William B. Smith "Dean's" Professorship has preference for the Mechanical Engineering Department and is awarded on a rotating term basis. Smith was an enthusiastic supporter of all Tech activities and was awarded an honorary doctorate in Engineering in 1949. The current William B. Smith Dean is a faculty member in Robotics Engineering with appointments in Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering and has played an integral part of developing the WPI Robotics Engineering program.


Greg Fischer, Robotics Engineering 
Roger Gottlieb, Philosophy

Neil Heffernan, Computer Science

Elke Rundensteiner, Computer Science

Michael Timko, Chemical Engineering

Yan Wang, Mechanical Engineering 
Jing Xiao, Robotics Engineering

Debora  Jackson

Harry Stoddard Endowed Professorship in Management

The Harry Stoddard Professorship is awarded to a member of the WPI department of Management faculty and beyond salary provides for professional research and development.

Recipient: Debora Jackson, Business

Suzanne Frances Scarlata

Richard T. Whitcomb Professorship

Richard T. Whitcomb ‘43 made supersonic flight a practical reality joining such luminaries as the Wright brothers, Amelia Earhart, Neil Armstrong, and WPI's own Robert Goddard '08. The Richard T. Whitcomb Professorship shall be used to provide financial assistance for one or more professors in the Department of Chemistry and/or Biochemistry.

Recipient: Suzanne Scarlata, Chemistry & Biochemistry


Ralph H. White Family Professorship

Established in 1987, the Ralph H. White Family Distinguished Professorship is not restricted to any department. The professorship shows Ann and Leonard ‘41 White’s and Shirley and David ‘75 White’s loyalty, trust, commitment toward WPI.

Recipient: To be awarded


Donald N. Zwiep Faculty Award

The Donald N. Zwiep Faculty Award is awarded to a tenured faculty member in the Mechanical Engineering Department who has demonstrated exemplary accomplishments and excellence in teaching and research and whose accomplishments will strengthen the capabilities and reputation of the department. Zwiep was the longest serving academic department head in WPI history.

Recipient: To be awarded

Name a Professorship

Endowed professorships emphasize maturity, experience, and past accomplishments. Though the terms of each chair vary, the purpose of the chair is to reward those professors who have made outstanding contributions in their field and to recognize the importance of the work in terms for both WPI as an institution and for WPI students. There are several ways by which an endowed professorship can be established to commemorate the name of a loved one, a family member, or an inspirational teacher. The Division of University Advancement will be happy to explore a variety of possibilities with you. For more information contact Karen Sharpe, Executive Director Leadership Giving at ksharpe@wpi.edu.