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New academic year brings new faces, promotions

Seven new professors are joining the faculty of the P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science during the 2004-05 academic year.

One professor has received a promotion.

Richard P. Vinci, who joined the faculty in 1998 as an assistant professor of materials science and engineering, has been promoted to associate professor. Vinci, who directs the Mechanical Behavior Laboratory in the department of materials science and engineering, studies the processing and properties of thin films and small-scale metal structures, and their mechanical behaviors.

Vinci has received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation, the Bradley Stoughton Award for Young Teachers from ASM International, the Outstanding Young Member Award from the Lehigh Valley Chapter of ASM, the Lehigh University Junior Award for Distinguished Teaching, and the RCEAS Teaching Excellence Award.

From 2001 to 2003, he was P.C. Rossin Assistant Professor in his department.

He is also a three-time recipient of the Gilbert E. Doan Award, which is given annually by the graduating senior class to a professor in the materials science and engineering department.

Vinci came to Lehigh from Stanford, where he received his Ph.D. and served as acting assistant professor of materials science and engineering. He holds a bachelor's degree from M.I.T.

New professors

Henry Baird, professor of computer science and engineering, is renowned for his work in document image analysis and digital libraries. Baird comes to Lehigh from the Palo Alto Research Center where he was principal scientist and area manager. Previously, he taught at the University of California at Berkeley and Princeton and was a department head at Bell Labs Research in Murray Hill, New Jersey. Baird's technical interests include document image analysis, image processing, computer vision, and pattern recognition. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers and of the International Association for Pattern Recognition. He holds a Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton, a master's in computer science from Rutgers University, and a bachelor's in mathematics from Harvard.

Mooi Choo Chuah, associate professor of computer science and engineering, comes to Lehigh from at Bell Laboratories' High Performance Communication Systems Labs in Murray Hill, where she was a distinguished member of the technical staff and technical manager. She studies network protocols, architecture and security, holds 24 patents with 40 patents pending, and has published nearly 50 journal and conference papers. Her research interests include 4G architecture and protocol system research, providing multimedia services over heterogeneous wireless/wired networks, metro Ethernet, and next generation network architecture and protocol design. Chuah holds a Ph.D. in communication theory and systems and a master's in ECE communication and theory from the University of California at San Diego, and a bachelor's in engineering from the University of Malaya in Malaysia.

James Gilchrist, assistant professor of chemical engineering, studies particle self-organization across many length scales, including colloidal interactions in microfluidic devices and the interplay between chaotic mixing and segregation of flowing granular materials. He comes to Lehigh from the University of Illinois, where, as a research assistant in the department of materials science and engineering, he studied the phase behavior and 3D structure of self-assembled microsphere-nanoparticle mixtures. Gilchrist's papers have been published in Chaos, the International Journal of Bifurcation and Chaos, and Physical Review E. He is a member of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and the American Physical Society. Gilchrist earned his B.S. in chemical engineering at Washington University in St. Louis and his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Northwestern University.

Ian J. Laurenzi, assistant professor of chemical engineering, studies gene expression as a chemical process and employs a "physical chemical" paradigm to model the fluctuations of gene expression and elucidate the kinetic relationships between genes and the kinetic properties of RNA synthesis and decomposition. Laurenzi comes to Lehigh from Yale University, where he investigated bioinformatics, gene regulation networks, and microarray data processing. He has published papers in Blood, Physical Review, and the Biophysical Journal, and has reviewed articles for Chemical Physics Letters, Genome Biology, the Journal of Computational Chemistry, and the Journal of Physical Chemistry B. Laurenzi holds bachelor's degrees in chemistry, from the State University of New York at Albany, and in chemical engineering, from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. He earned his master's and his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, where he wrote his dissertation on statistical and stochastic approaches to aggregation and chemical kinetics and biochemical engineering.

Padma Rajagopalan, assistant professor of chemical engineering, studies the design of polymer scaffolds for multi-cellular architectures, cell-substratum interactions, stem cell differentiation, and stress-response metabolic pathways. Before joining Lehigh, she was a research associate in the department of biomedical engineering at Boston University and at the Center for Engineering in Medicine at Harvard Medical School's Massachusetts General Hospital. Previously, she conducted research in polymer surface modification and composite materials at the department of polymer science and engineering at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and at General Electric Co. Rajagopalan has published numerous articles and given presentations to the Materials Research Society and the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. She is a member of the Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, Materials Research Society, and the American Chemical Society. She received her B.S. from the Indian Institute of Technology and her Ph.D. from Brown University. Rajagopalan holds a Ph.D. in chemistry from Brown University and master's and bachelor's degrees in chemistry from the Indian Institute of Technology. She also holds a bachelor's degree in classical music.

Eugenio Schuster, assistant professor of mechanical engineering and mechanics, studies mechatronics and control systems and is particularly interested in the application of nonlinear control techniques to complex physical systems such as fusion reactors, plasmas, magnetohydrodynamic flows, and particle accelerators. Schuster comes to Lehigh from the University of California at San Diego, where he earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering, taught courses in linear control and electric circuits, and won the Best Poster Award from the School of Engineering Research Review. He also received a Best Presentation Award from the American Controls Conference. Schuster also holds a master's in nuclear engineering from Balseiro Institute in Argentina and a B.S. in electrical engineering from the University of Buenos Aires.

Aurélie Thiele, assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering, studies optimization under uncertainty, and applies robust optimization techniques to the modeling of randomness for operations management problems such as supply chains and revenue management. Thiele comes to Lehigh from M.I.T., where she earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in electrical engineering and computer science, and helped teach courses in data models and decisions, optimization methods and discrete stochastic processes. In 2003, she won first prize in the George E. Nicholson Student Paper Competition at the annual meeting of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS). Thiele is a member of INFORMS, the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), and the Mathematical Programming Society (MPS). She holds an engineer's diploma with a concentration in systems and control from the School of Mines in Paris, France.

Posted on Wednesday, September 01, 2004

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