The Office of Naval Research has selected Professor Arthur B. Baggeroer and Assistant Professor Nicholas Makris of ocean engineering as the new Secretary of the Navy/Chief of Naval Operations chair holder and institution scholar, respectively. The appointment includes four years of support for the research chair, associated scholar and at least two graduate students.
In applying for the appointments, Professors Bagg-eroer and Makris proposed to "optimize the performance of both sonar and remote sensing systems by coupling physical and statistical models to physics-based signal and array processing methods. Such research promises to have a very strong impact on ad-vancing the state of the art in ocean sciences and tech-nology and will further MIT's commitment to excellence in curriculum and teaching in ocean acoustics."
In addition to promoting excellent research and education, the program will foster closer relations between the ocean science community and the operating Navy through special liaison activities to be undertaken by the chair holder and institution scholar during their tenure, according to the ONR.
Dr. Baggeroer, a Ford Professor of Engineering who also holds an appointment in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, joined MIT in 1968 as an assistant professor, receiving promotion to associate professor in 1973 and full professor in 1980. He is a past director of the MIT/Woods Hole Joint program in Oceanography and Oceanographic Engineering. He holds the BSEE from Purdue University (1963) and the SM (1965), EE (1965) and ScD (1968) from MIT. He was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1995. Professor Baggeroer's research focuses on oceanographic and sonar systems, seismic exploration and acoustic communication systems.
Professor Makris does research in remotely sensing the marine environment with underwater sound, ocean-acoustic measurements and marine parameter estimates. He holds two MIT degrees: the SB (1983) in physics and the PhD (1990) in ocean engineering. He was a research physicist in the advanced acoustic concepts section of the Naval Research Laboratory from 1991 until August 1997, when he joined the faculty of the Acoustics Group at MIT. He was named a Fellow of the Acoustical Society of America last year and has won the A.B. Wood Medal of the Institute of Acoustics (UK).
The previous MIT recipient of the SECNAV/ONR chair was Professor Carl Wunsch of earth, atmospheric and planetary sciences from 1985-89.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 30, 1998.