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Lagace of aero/astro named new engineering co-director of LFM

Professor John B. Vander Sande, acting dean of engineering, has announced the appointment of Professor Paul Lagace to the post of Engineering Co-director of the Leaders for Manufacturing (LFM) Program, effective September 1.

Professor Lagace, the Class of 1960 Faculty Fellow in the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics, will succeed Professor David Hardt of mechanical engineering, who is stepping down after three years as LFM co-director.

A partnership involving US manufacturing firms, the School of Engineering and the Sloan School of Management, the LFM is led by a team of co-directors, one from each sector. Professor Lagace will serve with Management Co-director Professor Stephen Graves of the Sloan School, and Industry Co-director William Hanson, formerly with Digital Equipment Corporation. The program's goals are to discover and codify the principles that guide manufacturing, and to improve manufacturing practice by teaching manufacturing leadership and principles to students, faculty and company employees.

In announcing the appointment of Professor Lagace to the position of engineering co-director of LFM, Dean Vander Sande said, "One aim of the LFM partnership is to discover and translate into teaching and practice those principles which produce world-class manufacturing and manufacturing leaders. Being both an exemplary educator and an outstanding researcher in the field of composite materials, including manufacturing issues, Professor Lagace will be a dynamic addition to the LFM leadership. The team composed of Lagace, Graves, and Hanson is an excellent one to launch LFM into its next phase of activity."

Professor Lagace's principal fields of interest are structures and materials, particularly those used in the aerospace industry, and with emphasis on composite materials. He is also interested in manufacturing issues related to the design of such materials, and he has consulted for many companies and been active on many national committees within, and related to, the aerospace field. He is currently president of the International Committee on Composite Materials.

At MIT he has headed the division of materials and structures within the Department of Aeronautics and Astronautics since 1994 and served as executive officer of the department from 1990 to 1991. Professor Lagace has received several awards for outstanding teaching, including being named a MacVicar Faculty Fellow in 1995, receiving MIT's Baker Award for Outstanding Teaching in 1990 and the Aeronautics and Astronautics Teaching Award for 1988-89. He received the SB in 1978, the SM in 1979 and the PhD in 1982, all from MIT. He has been a member of the MIT faculty since 1982.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 12, 1998.

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