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Barnhart named associate dean for School of Engineering

Cynthia Barnhart
Cynthia Barnhart
Photo / L. Barry Hetherington

Cynthia Barnhart, co-director of the MIT Operations Research Center, has been named associate dean for academic affairs for the School of Engineering, Dean Subra Suresh announced today.

Barnhart, who holds appointments in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Engineering Systems Division, will assume her new role Sept. 1.

"I know we will all benefit from her wisdom and her perspective, and I look forward to working closely with her," said Suresh.

Barnhart holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from the University of Vermont and a master's degree in transportation and Ph.D. in transportation/civil engineering, both from MIT. She joined the MIT faculty in 1992.

Barnhart is a world-renowned expert in logistics problems in the airline industry, and her research interests include mathematical programming models and large-scale optimization approaches for transportation and logistic systems; and service network design and operations planning for scheduled transportation systems.

In 1997, she formed the Large-Scale Optimization Group at MIT, which is comprised of graduate students and researchers developing and applying optimization models and algorithms to large-scale problems in transportation, telecommunications and other problem domains.

She is also former co-director of MIT's Center for Transportation Studies and former leader of the Engineering Systems Group in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Barnhart is the current president-elect of the Institute for Operations Research and the Management Sciences, the largest professional society in the world in the field of operations research.

She will replace Philip J. Solondz Professor of Engineering, and Professor of Mechanical and Ocean Engineering Dick Yue, whose tenure as associate dean of engineering will conclude in December. In his announcement, Suresh thanked Yue for his eight years of "distinguished and dedicated service" as associate dean.

Yue will help guide the School of Engineering through the ABET accreditation process this fall, and then he will remain actively involved in several educational and research initiatives in the School of Engineering, Suresh said.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 12, 2007 (download PDF).

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