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WPI Announces Faculty Promotions and Tenure Awards 2011

February 28, 2011

Six members of the Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) faculty have been promoted; in addition, six faculty members, including four of those who were promoted, have been granted tenure.

"We are proud to be able to award tenure and promotion to such a distinguished group of teacher/scholars," said WPI President Dennis Berkey. "They are leaders in their respective fields, in our classrooms, and in our community. On behalf of the Board of Trustees I extend our congratulations and profound sense of gratitude to each of them."

Soussan Djamasbi has been promoted to associate professor of business and granted tenure. An authority on decision support systems, she has conducted award-winning research on the use of eye tracking to test the usability of websites. Her 2008 paper "Generation Y and Web Design: Usability Testing Through Eye Tracking" won the Best Paper Award in Human-Computer Interaction, the largest track at the Americas Conference on Information Systems (AMCIS). She has published 12 refereed conference papers and seven papers in top journals, and has advised two undergraduate projects that won the annual Provost's MQP Award. She earned a BS in computer science at Christian Albert Universität in Germany, an MS in computer science at the University of New Mexico, and a Ph.D. in communications and information sciences at the University of Hawaii at Manoa.

Glenn Gaudette has been promoted to associate professor of biomedical engineering and granted tenure. With funding from the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association, he has established an active research program in cardiac tissue regeneration. In collaboration with faculty at WPI and other universities, he has developed an innovative method for delivering adult stem cells to heart muscle damaged by heart attack. The method involves growing the cells on biological microthreads and stitching them into the heart. His research has resulted in more than 50 journal articles, book chapters, and conference proceedings, and he is a reviewer for several leading journals. He holds a BS in mechanical engineering from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, an MS in mechanical engineering from Georgia Institute of Technology, and a PhD in mechanical engineering from the State University of New York at Stony Brook.

George Kaminski, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry, has been granted tenure. Working in the area of computational chemistry and physics, his research focuses on developing new computational tools that can accurately predict how strongly a protein will bind to a ligand. These tools could be used to significantly speed the screening of potential medications that work by binding to harmful proteins. Kaminski's work, funded by more than $1.5 million from the National Institutes of Health, has resulted in numerous peer-reviewed publications and invited conference presentations. He holds a BS and MS in applied mathematics and physics from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology and an MS and PhD in physical chemistry from Yale University.

Nikolaos K. Kazantzis has been promoted to full professor of chemical engineering. An internationally recognized authority on the nonlinear control of dynamical systems, Kazantzis has published more than 50 peer-reviewed journal articles and presented his research around the world through many invited talks. His work has applications in the sustainable design and control of chemical processes, environmental and energy systems (including fuel cells), and process safety and chemical risk analysis. He has received more than $2.5 million in funding for his research, including a 2002 National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the most prestigious NSF award for young faculty researchers. He holds a BSc in physics from the University of Thessaloniki in Greece, as well as an MSc in physics and MSE and PhD degrees in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan.

Robert Krueger has been promoted to associate professor of interdisciplinary and global studies and granted tenure. In his research, he applies political economic theory to questions of urban sustainability, economic development, and the environment, and examines economic theory from a critical cultural perspective. He also seeks to apply his findings to real social, economic, and environmental problems, particularly as the director of the university's Worcester Community Project Center. In addition to more than 30 peer-reviewed papers and technical reports, Krueger is the author of the book The Sustainable Development Paradox: Urban Political Economy in the U.S. and Europe. A frequently invited speaker at national and international meetings, he holds a BS in political science from Oklahoma State University, an MSL in environmental law and policy from Vermont Law School, and an MA in environmental science and a PhD in economic geography from Clark University.

Rajib Mallick has been promoted to full professor of civil and environmental engineering. A leading expert in research on pavement engineering and smart roadways, Mallick has explored the design and construction of pavements, the development of new pavement mixes to extend the life of roads and runways, and the use of recycled pavement in road construction to lower the cost of road maintenance. In recent work, he has developed novel technology for extracting energy from sun-warmed pavement and preventing temperature excesses in roadways to reduce rutting. His work, supported by the National Science Foundation and several state transportation departments, has resulted in nearly 50 refereed journal articles, 35 conference presentations, and 28 research reports. He is the co-author of the book Pavement Engineering: Principles and Practice. He holds a BSE in civil engineering from Jadavpur University in India and an MS and PhD in civil engineering from Auburn University.

Charles Rich, professor of computer science, has been granted tenure. Rich, who joined the WPI faculty in 2007 after more than 16 years with Mitsubishi Electric Research Laboratories (MERL) in Cambridge, Mass., where he was a distinguished research scientist and a founding member, is an authority on artificial intelligence and human-robot interaction. His current research focuses on developing ways for humanoid robots to interact more naturally with people. He is the co-principal investigator for a new four-year, $1.8 million award from the National Science Foundation that will support the establishment of the theory and engineering for intelligent, autonomous agents capable of developing and maintaining long-term social relationships with humans. Rich holds a BASc in engineering science from the University of Toronto and SM and PhD degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT.

Joshua Rosenstock has been promoted to associate professor of humanities and arts and granted tenure. A creative art scholar, multimedia artist, and musician who teaches in WPI's Interactive Media & Game Development program, Rosenstock uses electronics and craft techniques to create dynamic works incorporating moving images, sound, sculptural installation, and interactive performance that examine the relationship of humans to technology. His work has appeared in more than 35 juried and curated national exhibitions and six international exhibitions, and he has performed as a musician nearly 40 times on the national state. He has worked in residence on three occasions and his art has received numerous positive critical reviews. He holds a BA in visual arts and semiotics from Brown University and an MFA in art and technology from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.