Research shows the success of a bacterial community depends on its shape.
Professor Ian Hutchinson has been named head of the Department of Nuclear Engineering as of July 1.
"He is a recognized expert on virtually the entire range of fusion related issues, including macroscopic magnetohydrodynamic equilibrium and stability, radiofrequency heating, plasma transport, plasma wall interactions, and the whole gamut of experimental diagnostics," said Thomas Magnanti, dean of engineering. Hutchinson is the author of a widely used graduate textbook on plasma diagnostics.
"In addition, Ian is an accomplished teacher with a very strong commitment to education," Magnanti said. Hutchinson, who served on the School of Engineering's Education Committee, has developed several new graduate subjects and won several outstanding teaching awards, including the Ruth and Joel Spira Award for Distinguished Teaching.
Hutchinson served as the division head of the Alcator project in the Plasma Science and Fusion Center for almost 16 years. The Alcator Tokamak, with an annual budget of $19 million, is one of the three major fusion facilities in the United States. The experiment has both a national and international reputation for excellence and innovation in the development of plasma science for fusion applications.
He succeeds Professor Jeffrey Freidberg, who headed the department for six years. Freidberg will return to full-time teaching and research.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on June 12, 2003.