Norman Tien, the Ohio Eminent Scholar in Condensed Matter Physics at Case Western Reserve University, Nord Professor of Engineering and chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science (EECS) at the Case School of Engineering, has been appointed the school's dean by Interim President Gregory L. Eastwood, M.D., effective February 1.
"Norman Tien is an outstanding educator, researcher and academic leader whose role will be essential to the future of engineering at Case," said John L. Anderson, provost and university vice president. "President Eastwood and I are pleased that he has agreed to take on the challenge of leading the Case School of Engineering. The school is one of the university's major focal points for research and teaching in materials and polymer science, biomedical engineering and imaging and nanotechnology. The new dean will play a key role in our efforts to advance interdisciplinary research and teaching across the schools of the university."
Tien replaces Robert F. Savinell, a leading researcher in fuel cell technology who is returning to the engineering faculty after more than six years as dean.
In his new role, Tien will head a school that has been a leader in engineering education and research for more than 125 years. The Case School of Engineering has seven academic departments, nearly 2,000 students, 117 tenured and tenure-track faculty and 27 endowed professorships.
"I'm particularly excited by working in Case's intellectually stimulating atmosphere with our faculty and students," Tien said. "We live in an era of rapid technological and social change, so our innovative engineering research and education will continue to play an increasingly important role over the next several years."
Tien joined the Case faculty in January 2006 as the Nord Professor of Engineering and chair of EECS. He came to Cleveland after serving as chair of the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of California (UC) at Davis. Since his arrival, he has facilitated and overseen the opening of the state-of-the-art, multimillion-dollar Sears Undergraduate Design Laboratory in EECS, which provides electrical engineering students with an environment that promotes and encourages hands-on engineering and design. The $6 million donation from alumni Larry and Sally Zlotnick Sears was the largest outright gift from an individual in the engineering school's history. In addition, Tien oversaw the building of new departmental facilities in EECS.
His research interests are in the area of micro and nanotechnology—including microelectromechanical (MEMS) systems—the fabrication of small structures, tools and instruments for use in wireless communications, biomedical systems and environmental monitoring.
Tien also was selected as an Ohio Eminent Scholar in Condensed Matter Physics by the Ohio Board of Regents in July 2006. He will continue his academic and research duties as an eminent scholar, which includes a faculty appointment in Case's department of physics. In that role, Tien encourages and works to foster research and teaching collaborations between faculty members in the College of Arts and Sciences and the Case School of Engineering.
While at UC Davis, Tien held a joint appointment at the University of California at Berkeley and served as co-director of the Berkeley Sensor & Actuator Center, where he was a postdoctoral researcher after earning his doctorate from the University of California, San Diego. He also held faculty appointments at Cornell University from 1996–2002.
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