Penn Engineering: Four Newly Established Chairs
January 21, 2014, Volume 60, No. 19
Dawn Bonnell has been named the Henry Robinson Towne Professor of Engineering and Applied Science. Dr. Bonnell joined Penn Engineering in 1988 in the department of materials science and engineering after working as a research scientist at IBM Thomas Watson Research Center. She is an alumna of the University of Michigan, where she received a bachelor’s degree in 1983, a master’s in 1984 and a doctoral degree in 1986.
Dr. Bonnell is a member of a number of centers and institutes and was the founding director of the Nano/Bio Interface Center, where she served since 2004 until her recent appointment as Vice Provost for Research at Penn. In 2013, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, the highest professional honor accorded an engineer.
Dr. Bonnell’s work explores the fundamental basis of property variations at atomic scales in complex materials, exploiting these variations to make functional systems. The Bonnell Group images and manipulates atoms and molecules using scanning probes and develops new tools for examining behavior at these scales. Her group induces local property variations to be used as templates in patterning complex nanostructures, such as nanoelectronic and optoelectronic devices, and they analyze compound nanostructures, consisting of ferroelectric compounds, synthetic proteins and nanodots. Dr. Bonnell is a previous recipient of the School’s prestigious Heilmeier Award for Excellence in Faculty Research.
The Henry Robinson Towne Chair was established in honor of Henry Robinson Towne, an honorary Penn alumnus and former president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers. He is the son of John Henry Towne, a former Penn trustee, industrialist and namesake of Penn Engineering’s flagship Towne Building.
Robert Carpick has been named the John Henry Towne Professor of Engineering and Applied Science. Dr. Carpick joined Penn Engineering in 2007 in the department of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics from the University of Wisconsin, Madison. He received a bachelor’s degree in 1991 from the University of Toronto, a master’s degree in 1994 and a doctoral degree in 1997, both from Berkeley.
Dr. Carpick serves as the chair of the department of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics. He is a member of the Nano/Bio Interface Center, Penn Center for Energy Innovation, Laboratory for Research on the Structure of Matter and is the former director of the Nanotechnology Institute. He holds a secondary appointment in the department of materials science and engineering.
Dr. Carpick’s research is at the intersection of mechanics, materials and physics. He is an expert in experimental nanomechanics and nanotribology (friction, adhesion and wear). His lab has developed novel advanced scanning probe microscopy tools, used to investigate the fundamental nature of materials in contact. He has done seminal work on nanoscale characterization of friction for many important materials, including ultra-thin organic films, solid single crystal and thin film surfaces including ultra-strong carbon-based materials and polymeric materials.
The John Henry Towne Chair was established in honor of John Henry Towne, a former Penn trustee, industrialist and namesake of Penn Engineering’s flagship Towne Building.
Cherie Kagan has been named the Stephen J. Angello Professor of Electrical and Systems Engineering. Dr. Kagan joined Penn Engineering in 2007 in the department of electrical and systems engineering after spending nearly ten years at IBM Thomas Watson Research Center and two years at Bell Labs. She received bachelor’s degrees in mathematics and materials science and engineering from Penn in 1991 and a doctoral degree from MIT in 1996.
Dr. Kagan holds secondary appointments in materials science and engineering and in chemistry. She is a member of a number of centers across Penn, including the Penn Center for Energy Innovation, where she is the founding co-director.
Dr. Kagan investigates the chemical and physical properties of molecular, supramolecular and nanostructured materials and assemblies and their applications in electronic, optoelectronic, optical and sensing devices. She uses chemistry’s flexibility to tailor the properties of novel devices, and she employs spatially and temporally resolved spectroscopies and electrical techniques to characterize molecular and nanostructured materials and operating devices.
The Stephen J. Angello Professorship in Electrical and Systems Engineering was established by Paul S. Angello, Esq., EE’72, in memory of his father, Stephen J. Angello, EE’39, GEE’40, GrE’42.
Vaclav Vitek has been named the Harold Pender Professor of Engineering and Applied Science. Dr. Vitek joined Penn Engineering in 1977 in the department of materials science and engineering after beginning his career at Oxford University and serving as principal research officer at the Central Electricity Research Laboratories in Surrey, England. He received a bachelor’s degree in physics in 1962 from Charles University in Prague and a doctoral degree from the Czechoslovak Academy of Sciences in 1966.
Dr. Vitek holds a secondary appointment in the department of mechanical engineering and applied mechanics and is a member of the Laboratory for the Research on the Structure of Matter and the Penn Center for Energy Innovation. In 2010, Dr. Vitek was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, the highest professional honor accorded an engineer.
Dr. Vitek’s research is multiscale modeling of deformation and fracture behavior of materials that links electronic, atomic, nano and macroscopic scales. He works principally on the atomic level, which includes development of interatomic potentials that reflect both metallic and covalent aspects of bonding, as well as properties such as ferromagnetism. This modeling involves atomistic studies of dislocations and their glide modes, structure and properties of interfaces and interactions of these extended defects with other crystal defects.
The Harold Pender Chair was established in honor of the first dean of the Moore School of Electrical Engineering at Penn.