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Professorships go to five faculty members

Faculty members from four departments have been awarded endowed professorships.

Professor H. Harry Asada of the Department of Mechanical Engineering has been appointed the Ford Professor in the School of Engineering. A specialist in robotics and control, he is director of the d'Arbeloff Laboratory for Information Systems and Technology, where he has created a home automation and health care consortium. He also heads his department's Information Engineering Systems Group and has been active in the Leaders for Manufacturing Program.

Professor Asada received the SB (1973), SM (1975) and PhD (1979) from Kyoto University and was a research scientist at Carnegie Mellon University before coming to MIT in 1982 as an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 1985, then spent three years at Kyoto University before returning to MIT, where he attained the rank of full professor in 1990. He is the author of three books, has received best-paper awards seven times, and holds nine patents.

Professor of Chemistry Stephen L. Buchwald has been appointed as the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Professor of Chemistry. The chair was previously held by Professor Julius Rebek, who is now at Scripps Research Institute.

Professor Buchwald came to MIT in 1984 as an assistant professor, winning promotion to associate professor in 1989 and full professor in 1993. He earned the ScB (1977) from Brown, and the AM (1980) and PhD (1982) from Harvard. His research focuses on organometallic chemistry, making new molecular substances, proving their structure and establishing their properties. Professor Buchwald won the Harold E. Edgerton Award in 1990, given each year to a junior faculty member for outstanding teaching, research and service.

Elazer R. Edelman, the Hermann von Helmholtz Associate Professor in the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology, has been awarded the Thomas D. and Virginia W. Cabot Associate Professorship of Health Sciences and Technology for a six-year term.

Professor Edelman has been associated with HST since 1989, serving in many different capacities, most recently as director of the Harvard-MIT Biomedical Engineering Center. He is an internationally recognized expert in vascular biology and bioengineering who integrates skills as an engineer, biologist and clinician in studying mechanisms of arteriosclerosis and vascular repair. He holds four degrees from MIT--SBs in electrical engineering and computer science and in applied biology (both 1978), the SM in EECS (1979) and the PhD in medical engineering and medical physics (1984)--as well as the MD from Harvard (1983). Professor Edelman is also an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, and an associate physician within the Cardiovascular Divsion of the Brigham and Women's Hospital and its coronary care unit.

Professor Paul Schechter of the Department of Physics has been selected as the new William A.M. Burden Professor in Astrophysics for five years. He has done theoretical and observational work on the formation and clustering of galaxies and on their internal dynamics. The functional form used by most astronomers to describe the distribution of galaxy luminosities bears his name, as does a model for the hierarchical formation of structure in the early universe. Most recently he has carried out observations of distant quasars that appear double or quadruple as the result of of gravitational lensing.

Before joining MIT in 1988, Professor Schechter held staff astronomer positions at the Mt. Wilson and Las Campanas Observatories and the Kitt Peak National Observatory. Professor Schechter holds the BA (1968) from Cornell and the PhD (1975) from Caltech.

Professor Warren P. Seering of mechanical engineering has been selected as the next Weber-Shaughness Professor, a chair established by Harold C. and Marian F. Shaughness Weber. Harold Weber is an alumnus and former faculty member in chemical engineering.

Professor Seering is head of his department's Design, Manufacturing, Controls and Systems Division and is director of MIT's Center for Competitive Product Development. He teaches his department's senior-level course in product development and conducts research in product development practices and dynamic system performance.

Appointed an assistant professor at MIT in 1978, he was named an associate professor in 1983 and a full professor in 1989. Professor Seering received the BSc (1971) and MSc (1972) from the University of Missouri at Columbia and the PhD from Stanford in 1979.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 12, 1997.

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