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WPI Announces Promotions and Tenure Awards for 11 Members of the Faculty

April 5, 2010

Eleven members of the WPI faculty have been promoted; six were also granted tenure. The awards are effective July 1.

"Through the contributions they have made through their scholarship, their teaching, and their service to WPI and their disciplines, these men and women have brought distinction to themselves and to this university," said WPI Provost John A. Orr. "The Board of Trustees, President Dennis Berkey, and I congratulate them and look forward to their continued important contributions to the WPI community and to significant areas of human knowledge. The diversity of their accomplishments speaks eloquently of the breadth of learning and scholarship at WPI."

Terri Camesano has been promoted to professor of chemical engineering. Her pioneering research on bacterial adhesion and interaction forces using the atomic force microscope has been applied to problems as diverse as urinary tract infections, biofilms on indwelling catheters, and groundwater remediation. Funding for her research includes a National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the agency's most prestigious award for young faculty members. She has organized and chaired multiple symposia in her field and was a plenary speaker for the Australian Society for Microbiology Annual Meeting in 2008. Among her accomplishments as an educator is the founding of WPI's student project center in Nancy, France. She holds a BS in chemical engineering and environmental science from the University of Rochester, an MS in environmental engineering from University of Arizona, and a PhD in environmental engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

Constance Clark has been promoted to associate professor of humanities and arts and granted tenure. An authority on the history of science and the history of evolutionary thought, Clark's scholarship--in particular her 2009 book, God or Gorilla: Images of Evolution in the Jazz Age, and an award-winning article published in the Journal of American History--has reshaped intellectual debates about the history of science and perceptions about evolution. Clark holds a BS in biological sciences from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and an MA and a PhD in history from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Before joining WPI, she taught American culture at Randolph-Macon Woman's College, where she also served on the curriculum committee for a new environmental studies program.

Nicholas Dembsey has been promoted to professor of fire protection engineering. Dembsey's research interests include the fire properties of materials, the dynamics of fires in compartments, and the evaluation, development, and validation of compartment fire models. He serves on the editorial boards of three journals and chairs the Fire Committee for the American Composites Manufacturers Association; he previously served as chair of the Society of Fire Protection Engineers Publications Committee. He has developed or significantly updated more than 15 courses and helped design the majority of the Fire Protection Engineering Department's current course offerings. He received a BS in civil engineering from the University of Michigan and an MS in civil engineering and a PhD in fire safety engineering science from the University of California, Berkeley.

Michael Demetriou has been promoted to professor of mechanical engineering. His research interests include control of intelligent systems, control of fluid-structure interaction systems, fault detection and accommodation of dynamical systems, and acoustic and vibration control. An internationally recognized authority on distributed parameter systems, he is widely seen as the leading specialist in optimal actuator and sensor placement. He is an associate editor of three of the top five journals in the area of systems and control and has organized and served as session chair for a number of important conferences and meetings. With support from the National Science Foundation, he developed the WPI Controls Laboratory, a state-of-the-art facility for studying structural and vibration control and intelligent materials. He holds a BS in mechanical engineering, MS degrees in applied mathematics and electrical engineering, and a PhD in electrical engineering systems, all from the University of Southern California.

Xinming Huang has been promoted to associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and granted tenure. An expert in the fields of embedded systems, reconfigurable computing, and design for error-control coding, he received a DARPA Young Faculty Award in 2007 to fund the development of a new type of reconfigurable computing device that combines the speed and power efficiency of custom-designed chips with the low cost and flexibility of programmable devices. A paper he published in 2008 was the most downloaded paper that year in IEEE Transactions on VLSI Systems articles. He holds a BS and an MS in electrical engineering from Northwestern Polytechnic in China and a PhD in electrical engineering from Virginia Tech. He served for two years as a member of the technical staff at Bell Laboratories (part of Lucent Technology) and taught at the University of New Orleans before joining WPI.

Scott Jiusto has been promoted to associate professor of interdisciplinary and global studies and granted tenure. Jiusto's scholarship, which focuses on energy policy and socio-technical systems change, has been published in leading international journals. He directs WPI's Cape Town Project Center, one of the 26 centers in the university's Global Projects Program. His innovative work to coordinate the center's projects, which are focused on transforming the informal South African settlement of Monwabisi Park into a sustainable ecovillage, won him WPI's 2009 Romeo Moruzzi Young Faculty Award, which recognizes innovation in undergraduate education by a young faculty member. Juisto earned a BS in social theory, social structure, and change at Empire State College, State University of New York, an MA in geography at University at Albany, and a PhD in geography at Clark University.

Robert Lindeman has been promoted to associate professor of computer science and granted tenure. An accomplished researcher in the areas of virtual reality, human-computer interaction, and wearable computers, Lindeman is co-chairing the IEEE 2010 Conference on Virtual Reality. Teaching in both the Computer Science and Interactive Media & Game Development (IMGD) programs, Lindeman, with fellow IMGD faculty member Joshua Rosenstock, received the 2008 Romeo Moruzzi Young Faculty Award for innovative work in course development. He earned a BA in computer science at Brandeis University, an MS in systems management at the University of Southern California, and an ScD in computer science at George Washington University.

Eunmi Shim has been promoted to associate professor of humanities and arts and granted tenure. An authority on American music, particularly ragtime, and the history of jazz, she is the author of the book Lennie Tristano: His Life in Music, which won the 2008 Association for Recorded Sound Collections Awards for Excellence in Historical Recorded Sound and the 2008 Bronze Prize for the Independent Publisher Book Award for Performing Arts. A symposium she organized at WPI in 2007 on the Chicago-born jazz pianist, composer, and teacher garnered international interest. Shim has contributed to WPI's music curriculum by developing courses in music theory, world music, and ethnomusicology. She holds a BS in piano performance from Seoul National University in Korea and an MM and a PhD in musicology from the University of Illinois, Urbana. She taught at Stillman College before joining WPI.

Darko Volkov has been promoted to associate professor of mathematical sciences and granted tenure. His research in the area of analysis and partial differential equations with applications to wave propagation and geophysics has been funded by the National Science Foundation and has resulted in presentations at a number of major partial differential and geophysics meetings in the United States and abroad. He earned a BSc in mathematics at the University of Paris VI and a PhD in mathematics at Rutgers University. He taught at New Jersey Institute of Technology, where he held a postdoctoral fellowship, before joining the WPI faculty.

Craig E. Wills has been promoted to professor of computer science. Wills has attained international recognition for his research on user interfaces, distributed systems, networking, and online privacy issues, work that has been supported by a number of grants, including three awards from the National Science Foundation. His research on privacy leakage from social networking sites like Facebook has garnered national media coverage and has been presented before a panel on online privacy organized by the Federal Trade Commission. He is a founding associate editor of ACM Transaction on Internet Technology and has served as organizer, committee chair, and presenter at many prestigious conferences. He earned a BS in computer science from the University of Nebraska and an MS and a PhD in computer science from Purdue University.

Joe Zhu has been promoted to professor of management. An authority on performance evaluation, productivity analysis, process improvement, and operational system design and optimization, he is among the top researchers in the area of data envelope analysis. He has published four books and more than 70 papers, and his work has been cited more than 1,600 times. He has held editorial positions for three journals and has helped organize numerous conference sessions. He holds a BA in mathematics from Huzhou Normal College in China, an MA in systems engineering and a PhD in management science from Southeast University in China, and a PhD in industrial engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.