Home > Press > WPI Appoints New Heads for its Physics and Social Science and Policy Studies Departments
Worcester Polytechnic Institute has announced the appointment of new heads for two of its academic departments. Germano S. Iannacchione is the new head of the Physics Department; he has been interim head since April 2006. James K. Doyle will become head of the Social Science and Policy Studies Department on July 1, replacing Khalid Saeed, professor of social science and policy studies, who will return to teaching and research full time after 10 years as department head.
WPI Appoints New Heads for its Physics and Social Science and Policy Studies Departments
WORCESTER, MA | Posted on June 12th, 2007
Iannacchione, associate professor of physics, joined the WPI faculty 1998 after serving as a postdoctoral research fellow in physics at Kent State University and as a postdoctoral research associate in the Department of Chemistry and the Center for Materials Science and Engineering at the MIT. He holds BS and MS degrees in physics from the University of Akron and a PhD in physics from Kent State University.
He has published more than 50 papers in scientific journals in a number of areas in experimental physics, including order-disorder phenomena in soft condensed matter systems, liquid crystal phases and phase transitions, and critical phenomena. He is lifetime member of the American Physical Society and Sigma XI: The Scientific Research Society, and is a member of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the International Liquid Crystal Society.
Iannacchione says his plans as department head include responding to the growing emphasis on the life sciences—at WPI, and more broadly within academia and industry—by expanding the department's research strengths in areas directly related to the life sciences and by making the department's curriculum more relevant to students majoring in such areas as biology, biotechnology, and bioengineering. He notes that the department will hire new faculty this year with research interests in the area of soft condensed matter.
"This broad field, also called complex fluids, includes experimental and theoretical work on polymers and liquid crystals, but also biological systems, including cell membranes and proteins," Iannacchione says. "Our goal is to augment this particular research thrust, while also building on our other research strengths, including nanotechnology and nanoscience, wave function engineering, semiconductor research, photonics, and Bose-Einstein condensates."
Doyle, associate professor of social science and policy studies, has been a member of the WPI faculty since 1992. He earned a BA in environmental science at the University of California at Berkeley and an MS and a PhD in psychology at the University of Colorado at Boulder. His research has focused on judgment and decision making, risk perception and communication, and mental models of complex systems. He is a member of the American Psychological Society, the Society for Judgment and Decision Making, and the System Dynamics Society.
In his new role, Doyle says he will work to increase the visibility and role of the Social Sciences and Policy Studies Department. "This is a broadly defined social sciences department that will continue to embrace its service role," he says, "particularly with regard to supporting the university's social sciences requirement and its unique Interactive Qualifying Project. In addition, as the university develops new approaches to energizing the first-year experience and reexamines its general education requirement, I'd like to see this department play an important role in the discussions. At the same time, the department will continue to build and broaden its research strengths in applied social sciences, with particular emphasis on computational approaches to the analysis of social and economic problems."
Along with continuing to offer five undergraduate majors, and a unique master's program in system dynamics, Doyle says the department is developing plans for a PhD program in system dynamics and is collaborating with a wide range of faculty on a proposal for an interdisciplinary Bachelor of Arts degree in environmental studies. "These are all part of our ongoing efforts to re-examine and expand our role within the university," he says.
"Strong physics and social sciences departments are critical to WPI's continued success," says John A. Orr, provost ad interim. "Physics is the ultimate foundation for the life sciences and now these two areas are beginning to provide exciting cross-fertilization. A major piece of WPI's future will be built on the intersections among physics, the life sciences, and engineering.
"A unique hallmark of WPI's mission is the interrelation between technology and society," Orr adds. "Hence we need a vibrant social science department where the faculty are advancing the world's knowledge in realms ranging from economics to psychology, and are also helping our students understand the application of their technical knowledge in a societal context."
About Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Founded in Worcester, Mass., in 1865, WPI was one of the nation's earliest technological universities. From our founding days, we've taken a unique approach to science and technology education.
Where science and technology meet real world problems
We believe that students should understand how to apply knowledge – not just how to cite facts and theories. Our undergraduates and graduate students emerge ready to take on some of the most difficult challenges in science and technology. More important, they understand how their work can truly impact society and improve our lives.
For more information, please click here
Director of Research Communications
Eileen Brangan Mell
Director of Public Relations +1-508-831-6785
Copyright © Worcester Polytechnic Institute
If you have a comment, please Contact
Issuers of news releases, not 7th Wave, Inc. or Nanotechnology Now, are solely responsible for the accuracy of the content.
Global leader in solar cell manufacturing eyes New York for major expansion outside of Japan: CNSE and Solar Frontier Explore $700 Million Investment, Job Creation in New York State April 22nd, 2014
University of Waterloo Visits China to Strengthen Bonds With Research Partners April 21st, 2014
Director Wally Pfister joins UC Berkeley neuroengineers to discuss the science behind ‘Transcendence’ April 7th, 2014
First annual science week highlights STEM pipeline and partnerships: UB, SUNY Buffalo State and ECC team up with the City of Buffalo and its schools for April 7-11 events April 3rd, 2014
Berkeley Lab Researchers Demonstrate First Size-based Chromatography Technique for the Study of Living Cells April 22nd, 2014
PETA science consortium to present hazard testing strategy at nanotoxicology meeting: High tech field ripe for use of sophisticated non-animal testing strategies April 22nd, 2014
Harris & Harris Group Notes the Receipt of Proceeds From the Sale of Molecular Imprints' Semiconductor Business to Canon April 22nd, 2014
National Space Society Congratulates SpaceX on the Success of CRS-3 and the First Flight of the Falcon 9R April 22nd, 2014
Nanobiotix Appoints Thierry Otin as Head of Manufacturing and Supply April 15th, 2014
Industry Veteran Fergus Clarke Joins Picodeon as CEO: Appointment comes as Picodeon prepares for growth April 8th, 2014
Peter B. Littlewood appointed Director of Argonne National Laboratory March 26th, 2014
Global 450 consortium announces new general manager of internal operations: TSMC’s Cheng-Chung Chien Receives Unanimous Support, Brings History of Innovation and Efficiency to Global Consortium of Companies Driving Industry Transition to 450mm Wafer Technology March 26th, 2014
High-temperature plasmonics eyed for solar, computer innovation April 17th, 2014
Scientists Capture Ultrafast Snapshots of Light-Driven Superconductivity: X-rays reveal how rapidly vanishing 'charge stripes' may be behind laser-induced high-temperature superconductivity April 16th, 2014
Lumerical files a provisional patent that extends the standard eigenmode expansion propagation technique to better address waveguide component design. Lumerical’s EME propagation tool will address a wide set of waveguide applications in silicon photonics and integrated optics April 16th, 2014
Near-field Nanophotonics Workshop in Boston April 14th, 2014