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New Chairholders

June 22, 2005 — Three distinguished engineering faculty — David D’Argenio, Muhammad Sahimi and Elaine Chew — will become holders of endowed chairs in the USC Viterbi School of Engineering beginning July 1, 2005.  
Professor David Z. D’Argenio of the department of biomedical engineering will become the first holder of the Chonette Chair in Biomedical Technology; Professor Muhammad Sahimi of the department of chemical engineering will become holder of the NIOC Chair in Petroleum Engineering; and Assistant Professor Elaine Chew of the Daniel J. Epstein Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering will become the first holder of the Viterbi Early Career Chair in Engineering.  

“David, Muhammad and Elaine have demonstrated exceptional distinction in their fields and shown unparalleled promise for breaking new ground in the future,” said Yannis Yortsos, dean of the Viterbi School, in announcing the new appointments.  “We are very pleased that the Viterbi School has honored them in this capacity.”  

David D'Argenio

D’Årgenio joined the faculty of the department of biomedical engineering at USC in 1979. From 1993 to 1995 he served as associate dean for academic affairs in the Viterbi School of Engineering and, from 1996 to 2003, he was chair of the department of biomedical engineering.  He also served as interim director of the Alfred E. Mann Institute for Biomedical Engineering from 1998 to 1999.

D'Argenio is co-director of the Biomedical Simulations Resource (BMSR). His research focuses on the development of advanced modeling and in silico methods for studying the absorption, distribution and elimination of therapeutic drugs, and for understanding how drugs produce their effects. Drug development researchers in pharmaceutical companies throughout the world use his methods.

D'Argenio is a member of the FDA Clinical Pharmacology Subcommittee and is on the board of directors of the House Ear Institute.

Sahimi served as chair of the department of chemical engineering from 1999 until the department's merger with the department of materials science on July 1, 2005.  He is known worldwide for his contributions to the understanding of the properties of heterogeneous materials, fluid flow in porous media with applications to oil and gas recovery, and the development of techniques for large-scale scientific computations and atomistic simulations.  He has also made major contributions to the engineering of reaction and diffusion systems, separation processes and the dynamics of biological systems.
Muhammad Sahimi

He received his bachelor of science degree from the University of Tehran in 1977, and a Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1984, both in chemical engineering.  In 1984, he joined USC.  

Sahimi has published more than 210 papers in peer-reviewed journals, written four books, and authored several invited reviews and book chapters.  He is also the recipient of a Humboldt Research Fellowship Award and the Khwarizmi International Award for Distinguished Scientific Achievements, sponsored by UNESCO.

Chew is an assistant professor of industrial and systems engineering and research area director of human performance engineering at the Integrated Media Systems Center (IMSC), a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center.  

She received a master’s degree and Ph.D. degree in operations research from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a bachelor of arts and sciences degree with honors in music and mathematical and computational sciences from Stanford University, and F.T.C.L. and L.T.C.L. diplomas in piano performance from Trinity College, London.  

Chew’s research focuses on applications and mathematical models for music computation and cognition. 

Elaine Chew
She is a recipient of the NSF CAREER Award and this year’s Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) "in recognition of her research on performer-centered approaches to computer-assisted music making, and for her efforts to integrate research and education at the intersection of music and engineering."

She has also been a recipient of the Josephine de Karman dissertation award, MIT's Weisner Award for her contribution to the arts, and an Office of Naval Research Graduate Fellowship.  

Chew serves on the editorial boards of ACM Computers in Entertainment, the Journal of Mathematics and Music, and the Journal of Music and Meaning.
--Diane Ainsworth