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Viterbi School Leadership Changes

July 05, 2006 —
Dean Yortsos Announces Viterbi School Leadership Changes
Dean Yannis Yortsos has announced several leadership changes for the USC Viterbi School of Engineering. 
Maja Mataric, professor of computer science and of neuroscience, and John O’Brien, professor of electrical engineering-electrophysics, have been appointed Senior Associate Dean for Research and Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, respectively.  Professor Cauligi Raghavendra, professor of electrical engineering-systems, who had been serving as Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs on an interim basis, was appointed to the newly created office of Senior Associate Dean for Strategic Initiatives.
“While the portfolios of the first two offices are well known, it is my intention to maximize as much as possible their creative and innovative aspects, so that the energy and enthusiasm of the offices be utilized to the creation of new programs of excellence,” said Yortsos.  “The portfolio of the new office for Strategic Initiatives will be to coordinate, implement and execute strategic initiatives that cut across the school, for example globalization.”
In addition to Raghavendra, Steven Nutt, a professor of materials science, had been serving last year as a senior associate dean (for research) on an interim basis. “I am looking forward to an opportunity in the near future to call upon Steve to serve the school again in a senior leadership position,” said Yortsos. 
Since assuming the office of permanent dean of the Viterbi School, Yortsos has announced several appointments and re-appointments of Viterbi School department chairs, all for an expected term of three years, beginning July 1, 2006:
Professor Jean-Pierre Bardet was appointed chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.  Bardet succeeds Professor Carter Wellford who had served for the past 10 years.
“Under Carter’s able chairmanship, the department experienced a steady quality in all its programs,” said Yortsos.  “I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Professor Wellford for his guidance of the department during the past 10 years.”  
Yortsos appointed Professor Alexander (Sandy) Sawchuk chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering-Systems. For the past year, Sawchuk had been serving as chair on an interim basis.
Professor Daniel Dapkus, the W.M. Keck Professor of Engineering, was appointed to chair the Department of Electrical Engineering-Electrophysics.  Dapkus succeeds Professor John Choma.
“I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Professor Choma for his leadership of the department during the past three years,” said Yortsos.  “Under John’s guidance, the department experienced a steady quality in all its programs, and the hiring of outstanding new faculty.”
The dean also re-appointed two serving chairs as department chairs.  They are Professor Michael Khoo, chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Professor Michael Kassner, chair of the Department of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering.

Short Biographies:
 Maja Mataric is a professor of computer science and of neuroscience, best known for her cutting edge robotics research. She was the founding director of the USC Center for Robotics and Embedded Systems and co-director of the USC Robotics Research Lab. She is a recipient of the Okawa Foundation Award, an NSF Career Award, the MIT TR100 Innovation Award, the IEEE Robotics and Automation Society Early Career Award, the USC Viterbi School of Engineering Service Award and the Junior Research Award. She is currently serving as president of the USC Academic Senate.
 John O’Brien is a professor of electrical engineering-electrophysics who has been at USC since 1997 and was promoted to professor in 2006.  He has received an NSF Career Award and the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE).  He is a senior member of IEEE and currently serves as Associate Editor of the IEEE Transactions on Nanotechnology.  His research interests are in nanophotonics and photonic crystal devices.
 Cauligi Raghavendra is a professor of electrical engineering-systems and of computer science and was formerly chair of the Viterbi School’s Department of Electrical Engineering-Systems.  He has published more than 180 papers and edited or co-authored several books on wireless and sensor networks, energy efficient algorithms and protocols, active networks and autonomic distributed computing.  He has received a Presidential Young Investigator Award of the NSF and is a Fellow of the IEEE.
 Born in France, Jean-Pierre Bardet is internationally recognized for his innovative research in geomechanics and geotechnical earthquake engineering.  His post-earthquake reconnaissance reports have been recognized by Frontiers of Engineering and the Gilbreth Lecture of the National Academy of Engineering.  He has received the NSF Young Presidential Investigator Award and serves on editorial or advisory boards of several geomechanics journals.
 Alexander Sawchuk’s research includes the use of optoelectronic devices and systems for high-information capacity parallel optical computing, interconnection and network applications. He is a Fellow of the Optical Society of America (OSA), the IEEE and the International Society for Optical Engineering.  He recently received the OSA Distinguished Service Award and the USC Mellon Academic Mentoring Support Program Certificate of Recognition.  He has also received the Halliburton Award for Exceptional Service, the Lockheed Senior Research Award and the Outstanding Teaching Award from the Viterbi School.
 Daniel Dapkus has done research on photonic materials and devices, reaction rates and growth mechanisms and atomic layer epitaxy. He co-founded the USC Center for Photonic Technology and was a leader of the multi-university consortium, the National Center for Integrated Photonic Technology.  He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the IEEE, the American Physical Society, the AAAS and the Optical Society of America.  He has received the IEEE David Sarnoff Award, the OSA Nick Holonyak, Jr. Award.  Before coming to USC in 1982, he worked at Bell Laboratories and Rockwell International
 Michael Khoo’s research expertise focuses on cardio respiratory control in sleep disorders, biomedical modeling and noninvasive physiological monitoring.  He is a Fellow of the Biomedical Engineering Society and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering.  He is a member of IEEE, the American Physiological Society, the American Academy of Sleep Medicine and the American Heart Association.  He also serves as co-director of Education and Outreach in the NSF Biomimetic Microelectronic Systems Engineering Research Center at USC.
 Formerly a commissioned officer in the U.S. Navy where he served at sea as an engineering officer, Michael Kassner now pursues fundamental research in the mechanical behavior of materials.  He was the head of the Physical Metallurgy and Welding Section at Lawrence Livermore Laboratory before joining Oregon State University as the Northwest Aluminum Professor of Mechanical Engineering. He received the College of Engineering Outstanding Sustained Research Award and was detailed to Basic Energy Sciences of the U.S. Department of Energy as a Program Manager.  He joined the faculty of the Viterbi School in 2003.