John Kolb '79 has been named to the new, cabinet-level post of chief information officer at Rensselaer. Having served most recently as dean of Computing and Information Services, Kolb has been part of the Rensselaer community in a variety of responsibilities for more than 20 years. He received both his bachelor's and his master's in electrical engineering from the Institute and has served as an adjunct assistant professor, manager of operations for the Center for Interactive Computer Graphics, director of Engineering Computing Services, and as assistant dean and head of the Core Engineering Programs in the School of Engineering. Under Kolb's leadership, Rensselaer has achieved excellence in information infrastructure. That leadership has been heralded in Yahoo, the Time/Princeton Review guide to "The Best College for You," and other national publications. Kolb also helped to lead the campus in developing a successful laptop computer program. He has worked with various campus units to help secure multimillion-dollar grants and gifts of computer equipment from IBM, Intel, NSF, and other sources. Kolb, who assisted in developing the Institute's pioneering program in interactive learning and its pacesetting bachelor's degree program in IT, was a co-winner of the 1995 Boeing Outstanding Educator Award and received the Rensselaer Alumni Award for Admissions in 1994.
David Haviland '64 has been named vice president for institute advancement after having served as interim vice president since February. Haviland, who served as a key drafter of the Rensselaer Plan and played a
pivotal role in its development, helped to bring Institute Advancement to the completion of a record-breaking fund-raising year. A member of the Institute's architecture faculty since 1965, he served as dean of the School of Architecture from 1980 to 1990. He was vice president for student life from 1994 until last February, when he assumed leadership of Institute Advancement. Haviland, author of more than 85 publications, is the only university faculty member to receive an Institute Honor from the American Institute of Architects for sustained contributions to the education of architects for professional practice.
Ted Mirczak '66, senior director of campus planning and facilities design, has been named acting vice president for administration. The appointment was announced following the resignation of Thomas Yurkewecz, who stepped down from the same position, ending 27 years of service to Rensselaer. Mirczak was named director of campus planning and facilities design in 1990. Since then, he has been responsible for providing architectural, engineering, and technical services necessary to develop campus facilities and infrastructure. A national search for a permanent vice president for administration is under way.
Ting-Leung (Sam) Sham, associate professor of mechanical engineering, aeronautical engineering, and mechanics, has been elected a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME). Sham's field of expertise is in solid mechanics with a special emphasis on fracture, finite element methods, computational methods, and viscoplastic modeling. He is recognized for his contributions to research on stable crack growth in elastic-plastic solids.
Nick Clesceri, professor of environmental engineering, has been named program director for the environmental engineering program in the bioengineering and environmental systems division of the Engineering Directorate. He has taken a one-year leave of absence from Rensselaer to accept the appointment within the National Science Foundation. Clesceri will work with other program directors in formulating research strategies; developing cooperation among government, academia, and industry; fostering outreach to underrepresented groups; and providing leadership within the NSF and the research community.
Mark Rea, director of the Lighting Research Center, has received the 2000 Illuminating Engineering Society of North America Medal, the highest honor in the field of lighting. The medal honors "meritorious technical achievement that has remarkably furthered the profession, art, or knowledge of illuminating engineering." Rea was cited for his leadership as editor-in-chief of the IESNA Lighting Handbook, his nearly 150 technical papers and presentations, his work on lighting technologies, and his contributions to the development of the world's first master's of science in lighting at the LRC.
David Duquette has been named head of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He will continue as an active faculty member and retain his part-time appointment as the associate director of CAIST (Center for Advanced Interconnect Sciences and Technology). Author or co-author of more than 180 scientific publications, Duquette received the Whitney Award from the National Association of Corrosion Engineers for his contributions to corrosion science.
Joseph Flaherty, Amos Eaton Professor of Computer Science and professor of mathematical sciences, has been named acting chair of computer science. He succeeds Frank Luk, who will begin a one-year sabbatical. A member of the Rensselaer faculty since 1972, Flaherty was acting chair of the department in 1984 and was chair in 1986.
Kenneth Gertz has been named director of research, development, and administration in the office of the vice president of research. A member of the Rensselaer staff since 1988, Gertz previously served as director of government and community relations. In his new position, Gertz provides support for the development of research sources and programs, and for the administration and monitoring of ongoing research programs.
Jack Wilson, J. Erik Jonsson Distinguished Professor and co-director of the Severino Center, has been chosen by the Association of American Colleges and Universities to serve on a national panel to formulate a statement of aims and purposes for undergraduate college education. The panel, made up of 25 distinguished leaders from higher and secondary education, business, government, and community service, will focus on essential outcomes of college learning and on new ways of connecting high school and college study to raise the overall level of student accomplishment.
Cecile Mars '86 has been named director of environmental health and safety. Mars' responsibilities involve designing, coordinating, and over-seeing a comprehensive environmental, health, and safety management system that addresses areas regulated by the EPA and OSHA.
Mars, who earned her bachelor's
in civil engineering, previously worked for Norton Company
as a health, safety, and training manager.
Michael Abbott '60, professor of chemical engineering, received the Trustees' Outstanding Teacher Award for 2000 at a meeting
of the board Sept. 23. Abbott, who received both his B.S. and his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from
Rensselaer and returned as a research associate in 1969, was recognized for his consistent ranking "as a distinguished teacher in chemical engineering, the School of Engineering, and the Institute as a whole."
E. Bruce Nauman, professor of chemical engineering, has received the NAMF (North American Mixing Forum) Award of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE), for sustained contributions to mixing research and practice. It is given by the North American Mixing Forum of the AIChE under the sponsorship of the Procter & Gamble Company.
Douglas Washburn, professor emeritus of language, literature, and communication, died Oct. 1 following a short illness. Washburn, who was 86, served as a member of the language, literature, and communication faculty in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at Rensselaer from 1949 to 1986. He was a member of the first Faculty Council and was awarded the Institute's first Newman Association Sun and Balance Medal and certificate for service to students. From 1959-1969, he was the adviser to students involved with Rensselaer's radio station, WRPI. He served on the student faculty committee of Phalanx in the 1960s, and the Student Affairs Commission in the early 1970s. In 1977, Washburn received the Darrin Counseling Award in recognition of his dedication and service to students. He worked extensively for more than a decade with the library in various capacities and donated more than 2,000 classical albums to the Chapel and Cultural Center and the Rensselaer Library. Following his retirement in 1979, Washburn continued his service to the Institute as adjunct professor emeritus of English and adviser on the Institutewide Core Curriculum Committee.