Whiting School Welcomes Four New Department Chairs

Fall 2002

Chemical Engineering:


Professor Michael J. Betenbaugh is taking the helm as department chair. His predecessor as chair, Professor Michael E. Paulaitis, notes, “I have known Mike Betenbaugh since he was a graduate student in chemical engineering at the University of Delaware, having served as a faculty member on his PhD dissertation committee. He had a strong sense of the direction our profession was taking towards molecular biology, even back then, and has been at the forefront of the ‘bio-revolution’ in chemical engineering ever since. Mike is extremely well-prepared to lead the department as we develop a Hopkins biology-based chemical engineering program that will be unique to chemical engineering academia.”

Betenbaugh, a Hopkins faculty member since 1995, conducts research in genomics, recombinant DNA biotechnology, biopharmaceuticals, metabolic engineering, insect and mammalian cell culture, glycosylation engineering, and cell death processes. In recognition of his work, he was named a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers in 2001.

Civil Engineering:


Robert A. Dalrymple joined the faculty this summer as the Willard and Lillian Hackerman Professor of Civil Engineering and chair. “We are all excited to have Tony on board, and to be our new chair,” says Assistant Professor Benjamin Schafer. “Tony has an energetic and innovative vision of civil engineering research and education. His research interests mesh well with the department’s long-standing focus on mechanics, and his affable nature makes him an outstanding mentor for students and junior faculty.”

Civil Engineering bid a fond farewell last summer to Nicholas P. Jones, chair and professor, who moved to the University of Illinois-Champaign.

In 1999, Dalrymple spent a year as a visiting professor at the Whiting School. His research interests include coastal engineering, water wave mechanics, fluid mechanics, littoral processes, and tidal inlets.

Most of Dalrymple’s career has been with the University of Delaware, where he founded and headed the Center for Applied Coastal Research, beginning in 1989. He also served as both assistant dean of the College of Engineering and acting chair of the Department of Civil Engineering there.

His wife, Candice Dalrymple, is an associate dean of the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences and director of the Center for Educational Resources.

Geography and Environmental Engineering (DoGEE):


Professor Benjamin F. Hobbs will serve as chair while Professor Marc Parlange is on sabbatical through August 2003 at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (EPFL) in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Hobbs, a professor at Hopkins since 1995, researches the development and application of systems analysis and economic methods to analyze energy, water, and environmental problems. He just returned from his sabbatical in Amsterdam at the Energy Research Center of The Netherlands, which explores renewable sources of energy and the reduction of fossil fuel emissions.

“Ben is a wonderful person, very enthusiastic and a good organizer,” says Parlange. “I know he’ll do much to continue the strong momentum DoGEE has gained over many years as a leading program addressing multidisciplinary environmental issues.”

Mechanical Engineering:


Professor Shiyi Chen is the new chair. He joined Hopkins in 1999 as an expert in computational fluid dynamics methodologies and holds a joint appointment as a professor in the Whiting School’s Department of Mathematical Sciences. Chen “is an outstanding scholar with administrative experience in his prior position as the deputy director for the Center for Nonlinear Science at Los Alamos National Laboratory,” says Dean Ilene Busch-Vishniac.

Chen’s broad research interests include turbulence, computational fluid dynamics, lattice Boltzmann applications, molecular dynamics, and flow in porous media. Practical applications of his research include solving problems ranging from the flow of oil and water through sandstone (oil extraction), to flow over and around tires and automobiles for industry partners, and the complex flow patterns of granular materials, such as sand or snow.

Chen succeeds Professor K.T. Ramesh, who stepped down as chair and is taking a one-year sabbatical at Cambridge University, where he is furthering his research on phenomena at the nanoscale. Ramesh holds a joint appointment in Materials Science and Engineering.