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Vest, Moses to Select Dean Of Engineering This Month

By David D.Hsu
News editor

A new dean for the School of Engineering will be named by President Charles M. Vest and Provost Joel Moses PhD '67 before the end of the calendar year.

The final report of the search committee was handed last week to Moses, who left the position in June to become provost.

"I further expect that the new dean of engineering will be able to take office before the beginning of the second term," Moses said. He and Vest will soon complete interviews of candidates.

Moses and Vest will then make a recommendation to the Executive Committee of the Corporation.

The search committee was chaired by Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics Jack L. Kerrebrock with 12 faculty and two student members.

The committee met with faculty in all the departments in the School of Engineering, said Professor of Management Arnoldo C. Hax, a member of the committee.

The search for the new dean was not limited to candidates from the Institute. The committee received suggestions on outside candidates and "gave serious attention to external people," Hax said.

The search process was an "exceedingly positive experience in how MITconducts its affairs," he said.

Student input involved in search

Randy D. Weinstein Gand Jacob J. Seid '96 were named to the committee after a nomination process and an interview with Kerrebrock, said Weinstein, who is also the secretary of Graduate Student Council.

Seid sent electronic mail to course mailing lists to solicit student input for the dean search and received 30 responses, which he summarized and forwarded to Moses, he said.

Students want the new dean to maintain funding for the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, Seid said.

In addition, students felt that classes currently do not teach students enough about team skills. Students felt that there was not adequate interaction between students and faculty, and that office hours should be encouraged to a greater extent, he said.

The candidates were well-qualified to address these concerns, Seid said.

The student members "played a very good role," Hax said. "They contributed as much as any other member of the committee."

Kerrebrock declined to comment on the search process. Both Kerrebrock and Hax declined to comment on the recommendations handed to the provost.

Possible candidates for the dean position include Professor Nam P. Suh '59, head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering; Professor of Materials Science and Engineering John B. Vander Sande, currently acting dean of the school; Professor Raphael L. Bras '72, head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering; Professor Earll M. Murman, head of the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics; Professor Robert A. Brown, head of the Department of Chemical Engineering; and Professor Jeffrey H. Shapiro '67, associate head of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science.

Nam P. Suh '59

Suh joined the mechanical engineering department in 1970 and now heads it. Suh was the founding director of the MIT Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity, one of the most active research centers in the world. In 1984, Suh was appointed by President Ronald Reagan to be Assistant Director for Engineering of the National Science Foundation.

Suh received his undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from MIT and his doctorate degree from Carnegie-Mellon University.

John B. Vander Sande

Vander Sande entered the materials science faculty in 1971. While in Course III, Vander Sande helped implement the current undergraduate curriculum, which has been modeled around the country. He was also part of a National Science Foundation initiative to improve undergraduate engineering education at several schools.

He was serving as associate dean of the school of engineering until Moses became provost, at which time he became acting dean.

Vander Sande received his bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering at Stevens Institute of Technology and his doctorate in materials science at Northwestern University.

Raphael L. Bras '72

Bras has been a member of the Course I faculty since 1976, and became department head in 1992. In 1994, Bras helped start a Master of Engineering program in Course I.

Bras has also been active in minority issues. Last year, he chaired the search committee for the dean of the Office of Minority Education, which resulted in the selection of Leo Osgood Jr. In 1987, he was director of the Minority Introduction to Engineering and Science Program.

Bras received his bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees from MIT.

Professor Earll M. Murman

After spending time with Boeing and NASA, Murman entered the Course XVI faculty in 1980. He was promoted to department head in 1990.

Murman was the director of Project Athena at its inception. During his tenure as department head, the department started an MEng program and revised its undergraduate degree program.

Murman was educated at Princeton University, earning his bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees in aerospace and mechanical sciences.

Professor Robert A. Brown

Brown joined the chemical engineering department as an assistant professor in 1979 and became department head in 1989.

Brown has helped improve computing resources at the Institute. In 1985, he helped coordinate a Consortium for Scientific Computing project to build a supercomputer. Brown also served as co-director of the MIT Supercomputer Facility.

Brown received his doctorate degree in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1979.

Professor Jeffrey H. Shapiro '67

Shapiro became an assistant professor in EECS in 1973 and is currently the associate department head. He has been a member of the Research Laboratory of Electronics and has published extensively in the area of wave propagation and optical communication through atmospheric turbulence.

Shapiro received his bachelor's, master's, and doctorate degrees from MIT.