June 03, 2005 —
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
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.
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.”