Studying these cells could lead to new treatments for diseases ranging from gastrointestinal disease to diabetes.
Daniel Hastings, professor of aeronautics and astronautics and engineering systems who served as chief scientist to the U.S. Air Force from 1997-99, has been named director of the Engineering Systems Division as of July 1.
"Dan brings enormous expertise in both engineering science and engineering systems to this position, including extensive leadership experience in the Air Force," Dean of Engineering Thomas Magnanti said. "He has done a marvelous job in several administrative capacities at MIT over the years, especially as ESD co-director. I can't imagine a better successor to ESD's founding director, Professor Daniel Roos."
Hastings commented, "Everyone in the ESD community -- faculty, students, alums, partner companies, and staff -- has an opportunity to help define and evolve the important field of engineering systems, and we need everyone's contributions. We also look forward to continuing to partner with our colleagues throughout MIT, as well as at other academic institutions and professional organizations."
Hastings has taught courses and seminars in plasma physics, rocket propulsion, advanced space power and propulsion systems, aerospace policy, technology and policy, and space systems engineering.
Hastings received a B.A. in mathematics from Oxford University in England in 1967 and earned his S.M. (1978) and Ph.D. (1980) from MIT in aeronautics and astronautics. He joined the MIT faculty as an assistant professor in 1985, advancing to associate professor in 1988 and full professor in 1993.
Hastings served as director of MIT's Space Grant Program from 1990-93, as associate head of aeronautics and astronautics from 1993-96, as director of ESD's Technology and Policy Program from 2000-03 and as associate director of ESD from 2001-03. In 2003 he was named co-director of ESD with Daniel Roos, professor of civil and environmental engineering and associate dean for engineering systems.
Hastings is a Fellow of the AIAA and a member of the International Academy of Astronautics, the National Science Board, and the Applied Physics Lab Science and Technology Advisory Panel. He also chairs the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board, serves on the MIT Lincoln Laboratory Advisory Committee and is on the board of trustees of the Aerospace Corp.