I Give

1999-2000

WPI Announces New Promotion and Tenure for Faculty

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE/March 2, 2000
Contact: Arlie Corday, WPI Media & Community Relations

WORCESTER, Mass. - Worcester Polytechnic Institute's Board of Trustees announced the following new faculty promotions and tenured positions at its Feb. 20 meeting:

Frederick W. Bianchi of Worcester, Mass., has been granted tenure as an associate professor of music, a position he has held since 1994. Previously he was associate professor of theory and composition at the University of Cincinnati Conservatory of Music. His research focuses on the development and implementation of "virtual orchestra" technology. He earned 1985 D.A. and 1982 M.M. degrees in music theory and composition at Ball State University and a 1980 B.M. degree in music theory and composition from Cleveland State University.

Nikolaos A. Gatsonis of Newton, Mass., has been granted tenure and has been promoted to associate professor of mechanical engineering. An assistant professor since 1994, he received the 1995 Morgan Distinguished Instructorship in Mechanical Engineering and 1998-99 Norton/Saint Gobain Award in recognition of leadership in integrated graduate-undergraduate research. He established the Computational Gas and Plasmadynamics Lab, and his research focuses on spacecraft electric propulsion and space experiments. A member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics Technical Committee on Electric Propulsion since 1996 and Space Sciences (1992-1996), he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Space Department at Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory. He earned 1991 Ph.D. and 1987 M.S. degrees in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He has a 1986 M.S. degree in atmospheric science from the University of Michigan and a 1983 B.S. degree in physics from the Aristotelian University of Thessaloniki in Greece.

John A. McNeill of Stow, Mass., has received tenure and has been promoted to associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. An assistant professor since 1994, he has held several design and consulting positions at companies such as Analog Devices, EG&G Reticon, Adaptive Optics Associates and General Electric. Recipient of the 1999 Trustee's Award for Outstanding Teaching, he leads WPI's New England Center for Analog and Mixed Signal IC Design. He received a 1994 Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Boston University, a 1991 M.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester and a 1983 A.B. in engineering sciences from Dartmouth College.

Joseph J. Rencis of Paxton, Mass., has been promoted from associate professor to professor of mechanical engineering. Known for his work in the boundary element area, he serves as an associate editor for the International Series on Advances in Boundary Elements and is on the editorial board of the International Journal of Engineering Analysis for Boundary Elements. He has served on a number of national and international scientific boundary element conference committees. National chair of the Mechanics Division of the American Society of Engineering Education, he received the 1994-95 Russell M. Searle Teacher of the Year Award in Mechanical Engineering. Since 1995 he has been the faculty advisor for the Society of Automotive Engineers formula racecar project. He received a bachelor's degree in architectural engineering from Milwaukee School of Engineering, a master's degree in theoretical and applied mechanics from Northwestern University and a Ph.D. degree in engineering mechanics from Case Western Reserve University.

Fabio H. Ribeiro of Worcester, Mass., has been promoted from assistant professor to associate professor of chemical engineering. His research focuses on the kinetics of heterogeneous catalytic processes. An assistant professor since 1996, he was previously a staff scientist at Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory. He earned 1989 Ph.D. and 1986 M.S. degrees from Stanford University and a 1984 M.S. degree in chemistry and a 1982 B.S. degree in chemical engineering from the Instituto Militar de Engenhario in Rio de Janeiro.

Angel A. Rivera of Southbridge, Mass., has received tenure and has been promoted to associate professor of Spanish in the Department of Humanities and Arts Department. An assistant professor since 1994, he has served as an adjunct professor at Boston College and Williams Jewell College and as a visiting assistant professor and language coordinator at the University of Kansas. His publications deal with literary/cultural studies that highlight gender issues, modernity/modernization and national discourses in the Caribbean and Latin America. He earned a 1994 Ph.D. in Spanish and Portuguese from Rutgers University and 1987 M.A. and 1984 B.A. degrees in Spanish from the University of Puerto Rico.

Elke A. Rundensteiner of Acton, Mass., has received tenure as an associate professor of computer science, a position she has held since 1998. She was an assistant professor from 1996-98 and previously an assistant professor of electrical engineering and computer sciences at the University of Michigan. Her expertise is in database and information systems. She leads projects on data warehousing over distributed information sources, web-based database tools, object-oriented databases and visual data exploration. She received a Ph.D. in 1992 in computer science from the University of California, an M.S. degree in computer science from Florida State University and an M.S. in business administration and a B.S. in computer science from Johann Wolfgang Goethe University in Germany.

Diane M. Strong of Worcester, Mass., has received tenure and has been promoted to associate professor of management. She has been an assistant professor since 1995. Her research focuses on data quality and management information systems application software. She earned a 1988 Ph.D. in information systems and a 1983 M.S. degree in systems sciences from Carnegie Mellon University, a 1978 M.S. degree in computer and information science from the New Jersey Institute of Technology and a 1974 B.S. in computer science from the University of South Dakota.

John M. Sullivan Jr. of Worcester, Mass., has been promoted from associate professor to professor of mechanical engineering. Last year he was named to a collaborative appointment as associate professor of electrical and computer engineering. He has been an associate professor since 1991 and an assistant professor from 1987-91. Sullivan's research focuses on automatic mesh generation, and he received the 1997-98 Morgan Distinguished Instructorship in Mechanical Engineering in recognition of outstanding teaching and advising. He earned a 1986 D.E. degree from the Thayer School of Engineering at Dartmouth, 1978 M.S. and 1977 B.S. degrees in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst and a 1973 B.S. degree in zoology from UMass-Amherst.

Dalin Tang of Shrewsbury, Mass., has been promoted from associate professor to professor of mathematical sciences. His research interests include computational fluid dynamics, computational biomechanics, mathematical modeling for blood flow and arterial diseases. An associate professor since 1994 and an assistant professor from 1988-94, he earned 1988 Ph.D. and 1985 M.S. degrees in applied mathematics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a 1981 B.A. degree in applied mathematics from the Nanjing Institute of Technology (now Southeast University).

Matthew O. Ward of Worcester, Mass., has been promoted from associate professor to professor of computer science. An associate professor since 1992, he was an assistant professor from 1986-92. Before that, he worked at AT&T Bell Laboratories and Skantek Corp. His research centers on the field of data and information visualization. He earned Ph.D. and M.S. degrees in computer science (in 1981 and 1979 respectively) from the University of Connecticut and a B.S. degree in computer science from WPI in 1977.

WPI, founded in 1865, is renowned for its project-based curriculum. Under the WPI Plan, students integrate classroom studies with research projects conducted on campus and around the world.