Professor Colette Heald has been appointed as associate department head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE), effective July 1. In this department leadership role, she also will chair CEE’s Undergraduate Education Committee. Professor Elfatih Eltahir, who served in this role for the past three years, is stepping down to take a sabbatical during the upcoming academic year. Heald plans to focus on core strategic initiatives to bring further positive change to CEE.
“I am very excited about Professor Heald’s appointment and thank her for her willingness to serve in this important role,” said CEE department head and McAfee Professor of Engineering Markus J. Buehler.
“Colette will carry on the efforts of Fatih, who has helped bring new programs and talent to the department,” added Ian A. Waitz, dean of the School of Engineering and the Jerome C. Hunsaker Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics.
Heald, who won the American Geophysics Union James B. Macelwane Medal last year in recognition of her significant contributions to the geophysical sciences, joined MIT in 2012. A graduate of Queen’s University and Harvard University, she studies atmospheric gases and particles, and how they affect air quality and climate. Over the last several years, Heald has advanced the overall understanding of the environmental impacts of both particles and gases and presented her studies on environmental interactions on food crops at the 2015 World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Buehler thanked Eltahir for his leadership services on behalf of the entire CEE community, and noted his countless important contributions to CEE and MIT through the years.
On June 1, Associate Professor Jesse Kroll assumed the role of chair of the Graduate Education Committee and chair of graduate admissions. After many years of service in these positions, Professor Heidi Nepf stepped down in May.
Kroll, who was granted tenure in July, joined MIT in 2009. He earned his bachelor’s, master’s and PhD degrees at Harvard University. His teaching and research focus on chemical transformations that organic compounds undergo in the atmosphere. His interests include the development of new analytical tools for the measurement and characterization of these organics in both the gas and condensed phase, and the use of these tools in the lab and field to better constrain the amount, nature, and chemical evolution of atmospheric organics.
“I am grateful for Professor Kroll’s willingness to take on these important educational program roles and express my sincere appreciation to Professor Nepf for her many past accomplishments,” added Buehler. “Heidi has done an incredible job and set a high standard for this office, and I know Jesse will continue to make great strides in the future.”