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Nominations open for Doherty Professorship

Nominations are now open for the Doherty Professorship in Ocean Utilization. All non-tenured MIT faculty members from any Institute department are eligible. Endowed by the Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation, the two-year chair opens the way for promising, non-tenured professors to undertake marine-related research that will further innovative uses of the ocean's resources.

The person appointed to the chair will receive $25,000 per year for two years, beginning July 1, 2009.

In 2008, the award went to Franz Hover, assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and Eric Alm, assistant professor in the Department of Biological Engineering and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

In his research with autonomous underwater vehicles, Hover is developing a manipulation system for unknown environments, which will support studies in earth history, climate change, paleoceanography and, potentially, drug discovery. Alm is studying genetic diversity in ocean bacteria to better understand the genetic basis of ecological specialization in marine bacterioplankton.

Department heads may submit one nomination every year. The deadline for nominations is Nov. 7, 2008. Final selection will be made by a committee that includes the vice president and dean for research, the dean of engineering, the dean of science, the chairman of the Sea Grant Committee and the director of the MIT Sea Grant College Program, following a review and recommendation from the full Sea Grant Committee. The vice president and dean for research will announce the new Doherty Professor in early 2009. While serving as the Doherty Assistant or Associate Professor of Ocean Utilization, the incumbent cannot hold another MIT-funded chair.

Anyone wishing to be nominated should contact his or her department head for procedures and selection criteria. Please contact Kathy de Zengotita for more information, Rm. E38-300, x3-7042,

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on September 10, 2008 (download PDF).

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