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Leadership Change

June 03, 2005 —
Yannis Yortsos
On June 1, Yannis C. Yortsos, formerly senior associate dean for academic affairs, became the dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and holder of the Zohrab Kaprielian Dean’s Chair in Engineering.
“Although this appointment is for an interim period, it is still one of great responsibility and challenge,” said Yortsos in a memo sent to Viterbi faculty and staff.  “My goal is to deliver to the next dean a school even more vibrant and promising than I receive it.  To this end I will devote all of my energies.”
Several other appointments became effective on June 1.
Cauligi S. Raghavendra, formerly chair of Electrical Engineering-Systems, assumed the position of senior associate dean for academic affairs.
Steven Nutt, Professor of Materials Science, was appointed as senior associate dean for research.
In addition, Alexander A, Sawchuk, associate director at the Integrated Media Systems Center, replaced Raghavendra as chair of Electrical Engineering-Systems.
All of these appointments are for an interim period.  C. L. Max Nikias, former dean of the Viterbi School from July 2001 until May 31, 2005, and the new USC Provost, as of June 1, will co-chair a committee to search for a permanent dean for the Viterbi School. That search will be formally launched in September.
Nikias announced on June 1 that Randolph Hall, formerly senior associate dean for research at the Viterbi School, had been appointed USC vice provost for research advancement, and that Susan S.  Lewis, formerly associate dean for program planning and design at the Viterbi School, had been appointed USC associate vice provost for planning and design.
Yortsos, who will also continue to be the Chester F. Dolley Professor of Petroleum Engineering, served as chair of the department of chemical engineering from 1991 to 1997 and has been part of the senior leadership team at the Viterbi School since July 2001.
He is well known for his work on fluid flow, transport and reaction in porous media with applications to the recovery of subsurface fluids (oil recovery and soil remediation). He also has been actively involved in the peer review of the Yucca Mountain Project for the disposal of high-level nuclear waste.
In 1981, he received the ARCO Oil and Gas Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, and in 1985 he was honored with the Rossiter Raymond Award from the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers. He also received the Orange County Engineering Council’s 2000 Distinguished Educator Award.
Yortsos earned a diploma in chemical engineering from the National Technical University in Athens, Greece, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Caltech.
Cauligi S. Raghavendra
Raghavendra, who is a professor of electrical engineering and of computer science, joined the USC faculty in 1982 but in 1992 left to become Boeing Chair Professor of Computer Engineering at Washington State University.  In 1997 he went to the Aerospace Corporation before returning to USC in 2001.
His research interests lie in parallel and distributed computing, computer networks, energy efficient protocols for wireless and senor networks and active networks.
In 1985, he received the Presidential Young Investigator Award and he became a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) in 1997.
Raghavendra received a B.Sc. (honors) physics degree from Bangalore University and B.E. and M.E. degrees in electronics and communication from the Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore.  He earned his Ph.D. in computer science from UCLA.
Steven Nutt
Nutt is the M.C. Gill Professor of Materials Science and the director of the Gill Foundation Composites Center.  He is well known for research on lightweight composite materials including sandwich structure dynamics, composite foam synthesis and nano-composite interface design.
Before coming to USC in 1994 and founding the composites center in 1995, he was on the faculty of Brown University. He earned his Ph.D. in materials science from the University of Virginia and for two years was a postdoctoral fellow at the National Bureau of Standards.  He is a fellow of the American Ceramic Society.
Sawchuk is a professor of electrical engineering. His research focuses on optical computing and interconnections, digital image processing and immersive media technology.  He has been on the USC faculty since 1971.  From 1978 to 1988 and again from 1990 to 1991, he was the director of the Signal and Image Processing Institute, where he continues as associate director.  Until recently, he was the deputy director of the Integrated Media Systems Center and continues to serve as an associate director and research area director for media and communications.
Alexander A, Sawchuk
He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA), the International Society for Optical Engineering and the IEEE.  He has received the Outstanding Teaching Award, the Lockheed Senior Research Award and the Halliburton Award for Exceptional Service, all from the USC Viterbi School.  More ecently, he also received the OSA Distinguished Service Award.
“I would like to communicate to all of you how important this moment is for the USC Viterbi School of Engineering,” Yortsos said in his memo.  “In the coming year, we will celebrate two historic milestones: the 125th anniversary of the founding of USC and 100 years of engineering at USC.  Together, they provide a wonderful opportunity for us to renew our focus and energy.”