William A. Baeslack III '78 Named Dean of Engineering
Rensselaer alumnus William A. Baeslack III '78, interim vice president for research at the Ohio State University (OSU), has been named dean of engineering, effective Nov. 1.
Baeslack, who received his Ph.D. from Rensselaer in materials engineering, currently administers more than $200 million per year in sponsored research at OSU, which is ranked 11th among public universities in R&D expenditures. Led by the College of Engineering, OSU has recently moved up to sixth nationally in industrial research funding. Baeslack also serves as professor of industrial, welding, and systems engineering.
Prior to his doctoral studies at Rensselaer, Baeslack earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in engineering from OSU. He is an authority on joining advanced materials, including titanium, aluminum and nickel-base alloys, intermetallics, and metal-matrix composites.
"We are extremely fortunate to announce that Dr. Baeslack will head our School of Engineering," said President Jackson. "He is an outstanding engineering scholar, teacher, and academic leadera man of great vision, energy, experience, and ability. As our engineering dean, Dr. Baeslack will bring with him the high regard of academic colleagues, corporate leaders, and government officials. The occasion of this announcement is a proud moment for Rensselaer and for me personally."
"I'm truly honored," Baeslack said. "While it will be difficult personally for me to leave my first alma mater, I look forward with great enthusiasm to returning to my second alma mater and undertaking new and exciting challenges that will further enhance Rensselaer's excellence and reputation as a premier technological university."
Baeslack, 47, joined OSU as an assistant professor in 1982, following four years of service as a scientist and administrator at the Air Force Materials Laboratory. He was promoted to associate professor in 1985, and to full professor in 1989. Following a one-year sabbatical to the Welding Institute in Cambridge, England, he served from 1991 until 1994 as a department chair. From 1994-98, Baeslack served as associate dean for research and college development in the OSU College of Engineering where he teamed with faculty and staff to develop the FAA Center on Airworthiness Assurance, the Gas Turbine Research Laboratory, the NSF State/Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Instrumentation, Sensors, and Measurements, and the NSF Industry/University Cooperative Research Center for Advanced Polymer and Composite Engineering. The Edison Joining Technology Center was established in a collaborative effort with the Edison Welding Institute.
Among his many awards, Baeslack received the American Welding Society's prestigious Comfort A. Adams Lecture award for lifetime research contributions. He has been elected as a fellow to three international societies.
As a Reserve lieutenant colonel assigned to the materials directorate at the Air Force Research Laboratory, Baeslack performs research on advanced material processing, consults with the Department of Defense on aerospace materials, and promotes the transfer of technology from the Air Force to industry.
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