Research shows the success of a bacterial community depends on its shape.
Professor Rohan C. Abeyaratne, former associate head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, has been named the new department head as of July 2, succeeding Professor Nam Suh, who served for 10 years. Professor Timothy G. Gutowski is the new associate head, effective Sept. 1.
Institute Professor Thomas L. Magnanti, dean of engineering, announced the appointments. "I expect Professors Abeyaratne and Gutowski to be an outstanding team," he said. "They represent the diverse intellectual and programmatic landscape encompassed by our mechanical engineering department. I look forward to working with them to ensure the department's continued vibrancy and success."
Abeyaratne is internationally known for his work in theoretical and applied mechanics and has been recognized for his research contributions to nonlinear continuum mechanics by several national and international organizations. He is also a noted educator and was appointed a McVicar Fellow last year.
He joined MIT as an associate professor in 1986. He earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Ceylon in 1975, and the M.S. (1976) and Ph.D. (1979) from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech).
Succeeding Abeyaratne as associate head of the department is Professor Gutowski, whose research over the last 17 years has focused on basic issues in composites manufacturing. He received the bachelor's degree from the University of Wisconsin in 1967, the M.S. from the University of Illinois (1968) and the Ph.D. from MIT (1981).
Gutowski has contributed widely to the Institute in several capacities, including director of the Composite and Polymer Processing Program, as a Leaders for Manufacturing Professor, and most recently as director of the Laboratory for Manufacturing and Productivity.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on October 3, 2001.