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WPI Announces Promoted and Tenured Faculty

Contact: WPI Media Relations, 508-831-5616

Worcester, Mass. -- Ten members of the WPI faculty were recently promoted and/or granted tenure effective July 1.


Joel J. Brattin of Worcester, Mass. was promoted to professor of English. An internationally recognized authority on Charles Dickens, Brattin was instrumental in arranging for the Dickens collection of Robert D. Fellman of Palo Alto, Calif., to be permanently housed in WPI's Gordon Library. He is also the leading academic authority on American guitarist Jimi Hendrix. Brattin joined the WPI faculty in 1990. He received his bachelor's degree in English literature from the University of Michigan and his Ph.D. in English from Stanford University.

David B. Dollenmayer of Hopkinton, Mass. was promoted to professor of German. A faculty member since 1988, Dollenmayer has served as the director of the Darmstadt, Germany Project and Exchange Program. His textbook (Neue Horizonte, in fifth edition) is widely recognized as an excellent German text and is in use in many universities throughout the country. He received his bachelor's and Ph.D. degrees in German language and literature from Princeton University. He previously taught at MIT, Smith College and Middlebury College.

Robert P. Lipton of Worcester, Mass. was promoted to professor of mathematical sciences. A member of the Mathematical Sciences Department since 1990, his research interests address fundamental issues in the newly emerging field of mathematical materials science. Lipton chaired the Graduate Committee for the department and served on WPI's Committee on Graduate Studies and Research. In addition, he has played an active role in the Mathematical Department's Ph.D. program, and has received continuous grant support from the U.S. Air Force and National Science Foundation. He served as the Harold J. Gay Professor of Mathematics at WPI from 1994 to 1996. Before teaching at WPI, Lipton worked as a postdoctoral fellow at the Mathematical Sciences Institute at Cornell University and as the Charles B. Morrey Assistant Professor of Mathematics at the University of California, Berkeley. Lipton received his bachelor's degree in electrical engineering/computer science from the University of Colorado and his master's and Ph.D. degrees in mathematics from the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences at New York University. (Professor Lipton's Web site is https://www.wpi.edu/Academics/Depts/Math/faculty/lipton.html)

Promoted and Tenured:

Chrysanthe Demetry of Worcester, Mass. was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor of mechanical engineering. She joined the faculty in 1993. Demetry has leveraged her Norton professorship to identify important Major Qualifying Projects that have earned campus awards and high quality refereed publications. She is the recipient of the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program award. Her disciplinary research in the area of nanocrystalline materials is nationally recognized.

She has contributed significantly to the local community through the implementation of Camp REACH, a summer program for sixth grade girls interested in mathematics, science and engineering. She received her bachelor's degree from WPI and her master's and Ph.D. degrees from MIT. (Professor Demetry's Web site is https://www.wpi.edu/~cdemetry/prof.html)

Paul P. Mathisen of Acton, Mass. was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor of civil and environmental engineering. He joined the faculty in 1993. Mathisen's research activities have involved the Department of Environmental Protection and Alden Research Laboratory Inc. His research includes urban hydrology, interactions between surface water and ground water, and surface water hydrodynamics. He has served on the Committee on Advising and Student Life and the Goddard Graduate Fellowship Selection Committee. He received his bachelor's degree from the University of Massachusetts and his master's and Ph.D. degrees from MIT. A registered professional engineer in Massachusetts, he is a member of the American Society of Civil Engineers and American Geophysical Union. (Professor Mathisen's Web site is https://www.wpi.edu/~mathisen)

Roberto Pietroforte of Newton Highlands, Mass. was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor of civil and environmental engineering. He joined the faculty in 1992. He is well known internationally for his analyses of construction industry organization and processes. His construction management practices have recently resulted in the award of a research contract from the National Cooperative Highway Research Program. His research interests include organization and economics of the construction industry, prefabricated building systems and building design, construction engineering and management. He earned a professional degree in architecture from the University of Rome and master's and Ph.D. degrees from MIT. Pietroforte recently published a book entitled Building International Construction Alliances that has received excellent reviews from around the world. (Professor Pietroforte's Web site is https://www.wpi.edu/Academics/Depts/CEE/People/Pietroforte)

Grover A. Swartzlander of Holden, Mass. was granted tenure and promoted to associate professor of physics. He joined the faculty in 1993. Swartzlander is the recipient of a National Science Foundation Young Investigator award and has received additional research support from the U. S. Air Force and several corporations. His main areas of research interests are laser physics and biophysics. One of his areas of research uses a technique called "optical tweezers" which uses a laser beam to trap and move small objects such as living bacteria. Professor Swartzlander is also renowned in the field of nonlinear optics for his discovery of the "optical vortex soliton," the optical analog of a hurricane. He teaches courses in electromagnetism and engages undergraduate students in research, both in his lab and as far away as China. He received his bachelor's degree from Drexel University, his master's from Purdue University, and his Ph.D. from Johns Hopkins University. He previously served as a postdoctoral fellow with the Office of Naval Technology. (Professor Swartzlander's Web site is https://www.wpi.edu/~grovers)


Ming-Hui Chen of Worcester, Mass., associate professor of mathematical sciences, was granted tenure. Chen joined the faculty in 1993. His area of research expertise includes Bayesian methodology, Bayesian computation, categorical data analysis and Monte Carlo methodology. He has secured research grants from the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Health. He has served as co-chair of the New England Statistics Symposium and as a member of the Committee for New Researchers of the Institute of Mathematical Statistics. He earned his bachelor's degree in mathematics from Hangzhou University and a master's degree from Shanghai Jiao Tong University and a master's and Ph.D. degrees from Purdue University. (Professor Chen's Web site is https://www.wpi.edu/Academics/Depts/Math/faculty/mhchen.html)

Mikhail F. Dimentberg of Shrewsbury, Mass., professor of mechanical engineering and faculty member since 1992, was granted tenure. He is an internationally recognized leader in the area of statistical dynamics and has made major contributions to this field through refereed journal publications and the writing of several books. He served on the editorial board of the Journal of Vibration and Control and has served as a member on several national and international scientific conference committees. Dimentberg received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the Moscow Institute for Power Engineering and served as leading scientist for the Institute for Problems in Mechanics at the USSR Academy of Science from 1960 to 1991. (Professor Dimentberg's Web site is http://me.wpi.edu/Documents/People/Faculty/diment.html)

Barbara Wyslouzil of Lexington, Mass., associate professor of chemical engineering, was granted tenure. Wyslouzil has been a faculty member since 1993 and is a recognized leader internationally in her field of nucleation kinetics and small angle neutron scattering to probe the structure of nanodroplet aerosols. She is also working on developing bioreactors that use mist to grow plant tissue cultures. She was a recipient of the National Science Foundation's Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program award in 1995. 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. (Professor Wyslouzil's Web site is https://www.wpi.edu/Academics/Depts/ChemEng/People/wyslouzil.html)