I Give

1997-1998

Newly Tenured/Promoted WPI Faculty

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/March 31, 1998
Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

WORCESTER, Mass. -- Sixteen members of the WPI faculty were recently granted tenure and/or promoted effective July 1, 1998:

Tenured:
Joseph D. Fehribach of Shrewsbury, Mass., and Arthur C. Heinricher Jr., of Rutland, Mass., both associate professors of mathematical sciences, were granted tenure. Fehribach joined the faculty in 1992. He received a bachelor's degree from Centre College in Danville, Ky., and a master's and doctorate from Duke University. His research and teaching interests are in applied mathematics and scientific computing and differential equations. Specific areas of interest include free and moving boundary problems and nonequilibrium thermodynamics.

Heinricher, who has been a faculty member since 1992, earned a B.S. at the University of Missouri, St. Louis, and a Ph.D. at Carnegie Mellon University. His interests are in stochastic differential equations; optimal control theory; applied probability theory and operations research. He has been active in developing industrial projects for math majors and in developing bridge projects that help students make connections between introductory courses and advanced courses in their majors.

The following individuals were granted tenure and promoted to associate professor:

Leonard D. Albano of Belmont, Mass., joined the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department in 1992. He earned a bachelor's degree at Tufts University, a master's at Northwestern, and a doctorate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He is a registered professional engineer in Massachusetts and serves as the advisor to the WPI chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers. His teaching and professional practice is in the area of structural engineering and his research activities focus on the integration of design and construction as the concept of performance-based design.

James K. Doyle of Framingham, Mass., has been a member of the Social Science and Policy Studies faculty since 1992. He received a bachelor's degree in environmental science from the University of California at Berkeley, and a master's and doctorate in social psychology from the University of Colorado at Boulder. His research and teaching focuses on applied social and cognitive psychology, system dynamics, judgment and decision making, risk perception and communication, the psychological study of environmental issues, and mental models of complex systems.

Peter H. Hansen of Worcester, Mass., joined the Humanities and Arts Department as assistant professor of history in 1992. He holds a B.A. in history from Carleton College in Northfield, Minn., and an M.A. and Ph.D. in history from Harvard University. His research and teaching focuses on modern European history, British history (especially of the 19th and 20th century), international studies, global history, the history of mountaineering, imperialism, sport and cultural studies. He spent 1995-96 as a visiting fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge University in Great Britain, where he also served as a historical consultant and commentator for a BBC television program on the first ascent of Mount Everest by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay. Later this year he will be a visiting fellow at the Australian National University, Canberra, where he will continue work on his book on the cultural history of mountaineering from the first ascent of Mont Blanc in 1786 to the first ascent of Mount Everest in 1953.

William R. Michalson of Charlton, Mass., earned a B.S. in electrical engineering at Syracuse University and an M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering at WPI. He has taught at the university since 1990 and has been a tenure-track faculty member since 1992. Michalson's research and teaching interests are in global positioning systems, performance prediction in distributed, real-time, multiprocessor systems, and performance optimization of highly parallel computer systems.

Promoted:
Andreas N. Alexandrou of Cambridge, Mass., was promoted to professor of mechanical engineering. A member of the faculty since 1987, Alexandrou is the director of the Semisolid Metal Processing Laboratory, a University/industry research program supported by 22 U.S. companies and the Department of Energy. From 1994 to 1998 he served as director of WPI's Aerospace program. Alexandrou received a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering from the American University in Beirut while on a U.S. AID/Fulbright scholarship, and master's degrees in mechanical and civil engineering and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan. He received the Board of Trustees' Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1992, the Morgan Distinguished Instructorship in Mechanical Engineering in 1993, and the Russell M. Searle Teacher of the Year Award in Mechanical Engineering in 1996. His research and teaching interests are in semisolid metals processing, microgravity fluid mechanics, wake flows, and theoretical and computational field mechanics.

Ming-Hui Chen of Worcester, Mass., has been promoted to associate professor of mathematical sciences. He earned a B.S. in mathematics at Hangzhou University, an M.S. in applied probability at Shanghai Jiao Tong University, and an M.S. in applied statistics and a Ph.D. in statistics at Purdue University and joined the faculty in 1993. Chen's research and teaching focus on Bayesian statistical methodology, Bayesian computation, categorical data analysis, Monte Carlo methodology, prior elicitation, variable selection, and survival models.

Chemistry and Biochemistry Department Head James P. Dittami of Holden, Mass., was promoted to professor. He received a bachelor's degree in chemistry from the College of the Holy Cross, a master's in chemistry from Boston College and a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Dittami completed a two-year postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University under a National Research Service Award from the National Institutes of Health prior to joining the WPI faculty in 1985. His research and teaching interests are in organic chemistry, natural product synthesis, new synthetic methods, alkaloid synthesis, organic photochemistry and medicinal chemistry. He currently directs a laboratory of five graduate and one undergraduate student. Projects under study include the development of therapeutic agents for the treatment of Alzheimer's disease, arthritis and inflammation.

Tahar El-Korchi of Newton, Mass., was promoted to professor of civil and environmental engineering. El-Korchi, a faculty member since 1987, holds a B.S., M.S. and Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of New Hampshire. In 1991 he received a Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation. His research and teaching interests are in construction materials and structural engineering, fiber-reinforced composites, high-strength concrete, nondestructive testing, and pavement design and evaluation.

Makhlouf M. Makhlouf of Shrewsbury, Mass., was promoted to associate professor of mechanical engineering. He holds a B.S. in materials science and engineering from the American University in Cairo, an M.S. in mechanical engineering from New Mexico State University, and a Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from WPI. He has been at WPI since 1989; tenure track since 1996. His research and teaching interests are in solidification of metals, application of heat mass and momentum transfer to modeling and solving engineering materials problems, and processing of ceramic materials.

W. Grant McGimpsey of Boylston, Mass., has been promoted to professor of chemistry and biochemistry. A native of Canada, McGimpsey earned bachelor's and master's degrees in chemistry at Brock University and a doctorate at Queens University in Kingston, Ontario. He joined the WPI faculty in 1989. His research and teaching focus on photochemistry, molecular scale devices, intramolecular charge and energy transfer, upper exited state chemistry and photophysics, photomedicine and photobiology.

Elke Angelika Rundensteiner of Acton, Mass., was promoted to associate professor of computer science. Originally from Hanau, Germany, she received a B.S.(Vordiplom) from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Frankfurt, Germany, an M.S from Florida State University at Tallahassee, and a Ph.D from the University of California at Irvine-all in computer science.

Throughout her career, Rundensteiner has received numerous honors and awards, including a Fulbright Scholarship, a National Science Foundation Young Investigator Award, an Intel Young Investigator Engineering Award, and an IBM Partnership Award. She joined the WPI faculty in 1996 after four years as a member of the faculty of the University of Michigan's Electrical Engineering and Computer Science Department. Her research and teaching interests include object-oriented databases, data warehousing and database evolution, multimedia databases, distributed databases, information technologies and Web tools.

Christopher H. Sotak of Jefferson, Mass., was promoted to professor of biomedical engineering. He joined the faculty in 1988 and received the Board of Trustees' Award for Outstanding Research and Creative Scholarship in 1996. Sotak earned a B.A. and an M.A. in chemistry at the University of Northern Colorado and a Ph.D. in chemistry at Syracuse University. His research and teaching interests are in the areas of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) evaluation of therapeutic interventions in stroke, MRI and magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) methods for evaluation of tumor oxygenation and response to therapy, and characterization of structural information in fluid-saturated porous media using diffusion-weighted MRI/MRS.

Pamela Weathers of Stow, Mass., has been promoted to professor of biology and biotechnology. Weathers earned a B.S. biology at Marquette University and a Ph.D. in botany and plant pathology at Michigan State University. At WPI since 1979, she was appointed to tenure track in 1986 and tenured in 1990. Her research and teaching interests are in plant cell and tissue culture, aeroponics, bioreactors, plant secondary metabolism, bioprocess design and downstream processing of plant-based systems.

Barbara E. Wyslouzil of Lexington, Mass., was promoted to associate professor of chemical engineering. She holds a B.Sc. in mathematics and engineering from Queens University in Kingston, Ontario, an M.Sc. in chemical engineering from the University of Alberta, and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the California Institute of Technology. She has been a faculty member since 1993. In 1995 she received a three-year award from the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program, which she is using to assist in her research in nucleation in multicomponent vapor systems. Other areas of research and teaching interest include using small angle neutron scattering to study the structure of nanodroplets. An independent technological university founded in 1865, WPI is renowned for its project-based educational program. Under the WPI Plan, students are provided with unique -opportunities to integrate classroom studies with preprofessional projects conducted on campus and at off-campus locations around the world.

WPI was ranked among the top 50 national universities in the 1997 edition of U.S. News and World Report's Best Colleges Guide and was ranked 35th among the top national institutions in the magazine's Best College Values report.