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David Srolovitz takes over MAE chair

David Srolovitz
David Srolovitz has taken over for Professor Lex Smits as chair for the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering (MAE).

In addition to being a professor of MAE, Professor Srolovitz is on the faculty of the Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM) and an associate of the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics (PACM).

Professor Srolovitz joined the Princeton faculty in 1999. Prior to that, he worked at the Exxon Research and Engineering Company, Los Ala-mos National Laboratory, and the University of Michigan.

His research efforts center around theoretical and computational aspects of materials science.

Professor Srolovitz’s current research interests include microstructural evolution, film growth, and mechanical deformation and defects in crystals.

Professor Srolovitz earned his bachelor of science degree in physics from Rutgers University in 1978. He holds a 1980 Masters of Science degree and a 1981 Ph.D., both in materials science from the University of Pennsylvania.

He is the author of over 300 technical articles and has edited several books on materials modeling.

Professor Srolovitz is also a fellow of the Institute of Physics and the Materials Information Society, now called ASM International.

His awards and honors include the ASM Research Silver Medal and the Technical Transfer Certificate of Recognition from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

Kulkarni earns promotion
Sanjeev Kulkarni has been promoted to full professor of electrical engineering and has been named master of Butler College.

As head of one of Princeton’s five residential colleges, Professor Kulkarni will build a supportive resident community and create programs that extend education beyond the classroom.

He succeeds Lee Mitchell, professor of English, in the position as Butler College master.

Professor Kulkarni earned the School of Engineering and Applied Science’s (SEAS) 2004 Distinguished Teacher Award and is the SEAS’s associate dean for academic affairs.

Junior Faculty Honored

Three junior faculty members were awarded prestigious honors from the School of Engineering and Applied Science.

Stas Shvartsman *99, assistant professor of chemical engineering, was given the Rheinstein Award.

Professor Shvartsman’s research interests include computational and experimental analysis of cell communication systems, transport processes in tissues, and epidermal growth factor receptor signaling in Drosophila development.

The Rheinstein Award provides a special grant to young faculty who have shown exceptional promise to assist them in furthering their work.

Moses Charikar, assistant professor of computer science, was honored with the Howard B. Wentz Award.

Professor Charikar’s research interests are in theoretical computer science, including the design and analysis of algorithms.

The Wentz Award is given to assist young, promising faculty members, who have also proven themselves to be exemplary teachers.

Li-Shiuan Peh, assistant professor of electrical engineering, was given the E. Lawrence Keyes, Jr./ Emerson Electric Co. Faculty Advancement Award.

Professor Peh’s research focuses on interconnection networks, which connect subsystems within a digital system. They include multiprocessors, blades, disks, clusters, router line cards, on-chip modules, and embedded systems.

This award was created to promote the recruitment and retention of junior faculty.

Faculty win prestigious grants for innovative research

Researchers at the School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) are earning accolades and support from national organizations.

Edgar Choueiri *91, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, and his research team were awarded a $4.4 million contract by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA).

NASA selected the Princeton team to conduct advanced electric-propulsion technologies research in support of the Vision for Space Exploration, as part of Project Prometheus.

The contract will fund work over the next three years to advance the technologies of a lithium-fed magnetoplasmadynamic thruster system.

Professor Choueiri aims at developing the most efficient, compact, and high-power plasma rocket ever for propelling robotic and piloted spacecraft to the moon, Mars, and beyond.

The Princeton team will work in conjunction with NASA, the University of Michigan, and the Worcester Polytechnic Institute.

Naomi Ehrich Leonard ’85, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering, was awarded a grant through the Department of Defense’s (DoD) Multi-disciplinary University Research Initiative (MURI). The grants each provide about $1 million per year for three years, with an option to extend the grant for two additional years.

Professor Leonard’s project will build on her extensive work on programming the behavior of fleets of autono-mous underwater vehicles (AUVs). Her research group helps the AUVs locate marine upwelling events and collect physical, chemical, and biological data.

See the fall 2003 issue of EQuad News for more (

MURI is a program designed to address large multidisciplinary topic areas for future DoD applications and technology options.

Szymon Rusinkiewicz, assistant professor of computer science, was awarded a Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Award by the National Science Foundation (NSF).

CAREER awards are NSF’s most prestigious grants awarded to young faculty members. Each provides about $400,000 in funding over five years.

Professor Rusinkiewicz will develop the theory and practical design of 3-D scanners, which produce a digital representation of three-dimensional objects. Such a device could be useful in fields ranging from cultural heritage preservation to law enforcement.

Rusinkiewicz will also work with fourth-grade students and teachers to use Lego® cameras and building blocks to make a rudimentary 3-D scanner.

Jha is honored for grad mentoring

Photo by Frank Wojciechowski
Niraj Jha won a Graduate Mentoring Award.
Niraj Jha, professor of electrical engineering, received a Graduate Mentoring Award from the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning.

The McGraw Center instituted these awards to recognize Princeton faculty who nurture the intellectual, professional, and personal growth of their graduate students.

Professor Jha teaches about and conducts research on low-power hardware and software synthesis, embedded system analysis and design, design algorithms and tools for nanotechnologies, system-on-a-chip synthesis, and digital system testing.

“ His enthusiasm and optimism always makes us confident and willing to take on more and more challenges,” said one graduate student in his nomination of Professor Jha.

Another wrote, “As much as he is our adviser and our mentor, he is also like a friend.”

SEAS welcomes five to faculty

Robert Calderbank
Emily Carter
  The School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS) welcomes five to the faculty this fall.

They are: Robert Calderbank, professor of electrical engineering (EE), mathematics, and applied and computational mathematics (ACM); Emily Carter, professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering (MAE) and ACM; Alexandre d’Aspremont, assistant professor of operations research and financial engineering (ORFE); Jason Fleischer, assistant professor of EE, and; Mikko Haataja, assistant professor of MAE.

Professor Calderbank comes to Princeton from AT&T Labs, where he served as vice president for Internet and network systems.

Widely recognized by the professional engineering community for his contribution to data communications and storage, he is the recipient of several awards from the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

He earned AT&T’s highest technical honor in 2000, when he was appointed an AT&T fellow.

Professor Calderbank, a specialist in coding theory, served as an adjunct EE professor at Princeton in 1993 and 1994.

He earned his bachelor’s degree from Warwick University in England, his master’s from Oxford University, and his doctorate from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).

Professor Carter comes to Princeton from the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA) where she has been faculty in chemistry and materials science and engineering since 1988.

Since 2000, she has also served as UCLA director of modeling and simulation for the California NanoSystems Institute.

Professor Carter’s research interests include metal-ceramic interfaces and semiconductor and metal surfaces.

She is both co-holder of three patents and author of many articles for scholarly publications.

Professor Carter is a fellow of the Institute of Physics, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the American Physical Society.

She earned both her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of California at Berkeley (UC Berkeley), and her Ph.D from Caltech in 1987.

Alexandre d’Aspremont
Professor d’Aspremont comes to Princeton from UC Berkeley. He earned his M.S. from Stanford University in 2001 and a Ph.D. from École Polytechnique in 2003. He has been a postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley for the last year.

His research focuses on finance, specifically arbitrage bounds on basket and multivariate option prices.

He will teach ORF 311: Optimization under Uncertainty and ORF 515: Asset Pricing II: Stochastic Calculus and Advanced Derivatives.

Jason Fleischer
Professor Fleischer comes to Princeton from the physics department of Technion, the Israel Institute of Technology. He earned his B.A. in mathematics and physics from the University of Chicago in 1993, and his Ph.D. in physics from the University of California at San Diego in 1999.

His research interests are in both optics and physics. They include photonic lattices, soliton dynamics, instabilities in excitable media, nonlinear wave dynamics, and nonequilibrium statistical mechanics.

Mikko Haataja
Professor Haataja returns to Princeton’s MAE department after spending a year as a postdoctoral researcher at McMaster University in Ontario.

He was a postdoctoral researcher at Princeton from 2001 to 2003, and now joins MAE as assistant professor.

Professor Haataja earned his master’s of science degree in electrical engineering from the Tampere University of Technology in Finland in 1995. He earned his Ph.D. from McGill University in Montreal in 2001.

His research interests include many topics in materials science, including theory, simulation, and mechanics of materials.

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