University of Massachusetts Amherst

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College Leadership: Bios

Tim Anderson

Dean, College of Engineering

Tim Anderson received his education in chemical engineering from Iowa State University (B.S.) and the University of California, Berkeley (M.S., Ph.D.). He joined the Chemical Engineering Department at the University of Florida in 1978 and promoted through the ranks to Distinguished Professor. He served as chairman from 1991 until 2003, and was Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Programs in the College of Engineering until 2009. He then was the founding Director of the Florida Energy Systems Consortium (FESC), which consists of the 11 State of Florida universities and dedicated to research, education, and outreach in Florida-centered energy systems. Tim joined the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2013 as the Dean of the College of Engineering.

His research includes the deposition of advanced electronic and photonic materials. In particular, his group has an active program in the growth of CuInxGa1-xSe2 absorbers for photovoltaics, group III nitrides for solid state lighting applications, and thin film materials for electronic device applications. Tim has been recognized for his research accomplishments through several awards, including the AIChE Charles M. A. Stine Award, the California Institute of Technology's W.N. Lacey Lectureship, the Professional Achievement Citation in Engineering Award from Iowa State University, the Michigan/Michigan State Joint Lectureship, and the DOE Research Partnership Award. Tim also spent a sabbatical year at the University of Grenoble as a Fullbright Senior Research Scholar. His group is credited with over 260 publications in his discipline research and he has supervised 70 Ph.D. graduates. Prof. Anderson is the inaugural editor-in-chief of the IEEE J. of Photovoltaics, inaugural and past Associate Editor (Solar Energy) of WIREs: Energy and Environment, past member of the editorial advisory board of J. Energy Systems. He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE).

Professor Anderson has long been active in engineering education. He served as editor of the Chemical Engineering Education journal for 19 years. In addition, he served as director of the NSF SUCCEED Engineering Education Coalition until its completion in 2003. This coalition of 8 colleges of engineering in the southeastern U.S. was an incubator of educational innovations whose mission was to effect systemic change in undergraduate engineering education. He has offered a workshop on career development for new faculty to more than 1500 people for which he received the Chester F. Carlson Award (ASEE). He is recipient of the Warren K. Lewis Award for Chemical Engineering Education (AIChE), ConocoPhillips Lectureship, Benjamin J. Dasher Award, and Union Carbide Lectureship Award. Tim has over 80 publications and presentations in engineering education research to his credit, and is a Fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education.

Erin Baker

Associate Dean
Focus: Research

Erin Baker has a Ph.D. in Engineering-Economic Systems & Operations Research from the department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, and a B.A. in Mathematics from U.C. Berkeley. She is the director of the NSF-funded IGERT: Offshore wind energy engineering, environmental impacts, and policy and of a related REU. Her research is in decision making under uncertainty applied to the field of energy and the environment, with a focus on publically-funded energy technology Research and Development portfolios in the face of climate change. She has received grants from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. E.P.A., NOAA,  the U.S. Department of Energy, the Sloan Foundation and others. She is the Past President of the Energy, Natural Resources, and the Environment section of INFORMS, and an active member of the Decision Analysis Society and the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists. She is on the editorial boards of Energy Economics and Decision Analysis.

Cheryl Brooks

Assistant Dean for Experiential Learning & Corporate Relations

Cheryl Brooks received her bachelor degree in Chemistry from the University of North Texas and worked in the cement industry doing research and development.  She returned to graduate school and received her MS in Interdisciplinary Studies focusing on Environmental Science. Her thesis was on the use of environmentally-friendly fuel alternatives for the cement industry. She received her Ph.D. in Education Policy, Research, and Administration from the University of Massachusetts. Her research focused on learning outcomes in the STEM fields. In 2003 she began working in the Chemical Engineering department at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst where she did academic advising, program evaluation, industrial relations and career development. She is currently the Assistant Dean of Experiential Learning and Corporate Relations for the College of Engineering and the acting Director of the Career Development and Experiential Learning Center where she oversees a comprehensive career program for 2000 undergraduates and 600 graduate students.  

Gregory Brown

Assistant Dean for Undergraduate Advising

After serving in the United States Army for 4 years, Greg joined the Massachusetts Army National Guard while completing his undergraduate degree. He gain experience in college admissions while a three year member of the UMass Undergraduate Admissions Office. Greg joined the College of Engineering in 2000 as the Asst. Director of the Multicultural Engineering Program. In the past seventeen years, he has served as the Director of MEP, Director of Recruitment and Transfer Affairs, and currently Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs. Greg has earned an A.S. from Holyoke Community College, B.A. in History and a M.Ed. in Education from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Undergraduates receive skilled assistance from Greg Brown who assists in a variety of ways, including:

  • Develop, implement, and direct plans for all facets of recruitment, retention, academic advising, and facilitate diversity in the transfer population to the College of Engineering.
  • Planning academic programs and career goals.
  • Helping to navigate academic difficulties.
  • Auditing student records to determine eligibility to graduate

Christopher V. Hollot

Department Head, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Dr. Hollot joined the ECE Department in 1984 as an Assistant Professor and was promoted to Associate and full Professor in 1992 and 2002 respectively. He served as Associate Department Head from 1994-1996 and 2002-2006.  He has been Department Head since 2006, serving as Interim Dean for the College during 2012-2013.

Dr. Hollot’s research interests are in feedback control theory and it’s applications with recent work in computer networks and biomedical systems.

His education includes a B.S.E.E. from West Virginia University in 1974, an M.S.E.E. from Syracuse University in 1980 and the Ph.D in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester.  Dr. Hollot received an NSF PYI Award in 1988 and was elected IEEE Fellow in 2004.

John Klier

Department Head, Chemical Engineering

John Klier arrived at the University of Massachusetts Amherst in the fall of 2015 to serve as professor in and head of the Department of Chemical Engineering. A member of the National Academy of Engineering, he had worked at Dow Chemical Company’s R&D laboratories since 1989, ultimately holding the position of global research and development director of Dow Performance Materials and Chemicals, where he achieved the position of distinguished fellow, the highest technical level at Dow, and led an organization of over 400 research, development and technical service professionals. The chemical engineering department was drawn to Klier’s focus on collaborative research, which promises to harness UMass Amherst’s power in such areas as polymer chemistry, material science, reaction engineering, modeling, analytical science, and inorganic materials.

At UMass, Klier is developing a leading interdisciplinary research program devoted to understanding and controlling molecular architecture, association behavior, and properties of interactive and responsive polymers, colloids, and amphiphiles. His research interests are in coatings, the release of active ingredients, and lightweight and functional materials.

Klier builds on his background in colloid, interfacial, and polymer science and engineering; research and development leadership; new-venture assessment; and organizational integration and change initiatives. He is author on over 70 patents and numerous professional papers. Klier has led a number of research and development programs involving interactive or responsive materials that have met significant commercial and technical success, including Betamate™ 1630 structural adhesives, Teraforce™ proppant coating, and Evoque™ precomposite polymer.

Education: BS, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1984; MS, Purdue University, 1986; PhD, Purdue University, 1989.

Sundar Krishnamurty

Department Head, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Dr. Sundar Krishnamurty received his B.S. in Civil Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, M.S. in Civil Engineering at the University of Pennsylvania and Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has been Department Head of Mechanical & Industrial Engineering since 2015, having previously served as Interim Department Head and Associate Department Head. He is a Fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), Site-Director for the NSF-sponsored Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) Center for e-Design, member of CPHM (Center for Personalized Health Monitoring) Leadership team, and Director of ADDFab (Advanced Design and Fabrication) Lab with the UMass Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS). In his role as Site Director for e-Design, he collaborates with the Center’s member companies and federal agencies (Raytheon, FTL Labs, PTC, Artaic Innovative Mosaic, Bard/Davol, Sara’s Wish Foundation, NIST, Army Research Lab) and associated university researchers at Penn State, University at Buffalo, Iowa State, BYU, Oregon State, Wayne State, and UMass Lowell. His research interests include design innovation, metamodeling and design optimization, additive manufacturing, medical device design, and engineering knowledge management.

Richard Palmer

Department Head, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Richard Palmer is the Department Head and Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He also currently serves as the University Director of the Northeast Climate Science Center, one of eight Department of Interior funded National Climate Science Centers. The members of the center include the University of Massachusetts Amherst, College of Menominee Nation, Columbia University, Marine Biological Laboratory, University of Minnesota, University of Missouri Columbia, and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

From 1979 to 2008, Dr. Palmer was on the faculty of the University of Washington in Seattle, Washington. His primary areas of interest are in the fields of climate impacts on water resources and urban infrastructure and in the application of structured planning approaches to water and natural resource management. This includes evaluating the impacts of climate change, drought planning, real-time water resource management, and the application of decision support to civil engineering management problems.  He helped develop the field of “shared vision modeling” in water resources planning and pioneered the use of “virtual drought exercises.”

Dr. Palmer received his Ph.D. from the Johns Hopkins University in 1979, his Masters of Science in Environmental Engineering from Stanford University in 1973, and his undergraduate degree in Civil Engineering from Lamar University. During his Ph.D. research he was a member of a team at Johns Hopkins University and the Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin recognized as a finalist by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) for the Engineering Achievement of the Year in 1983. He received recognition for the Best Practice-Oriented Paper of the Year in the Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management by the ASCE in 1989. He received the Huber Award for Research Excellence given by the ASCE in 1992. This honor was based upon his innovative application of simulation and optimization techniques to issues in water resource management. He was awarded the “Certificate of Recognition” for his editorial services to the Journal of Water Resources Planning and Management of ASCE in 1997, for which he was editor from 1993-1997. He received the “Service to the Profession” Award from the Water Resources Planning and Management Division of ASCE in 1998. In 2006, he received from ASCE the Julian Hinds Award for his contributions to water resources planning and his research related to the impacts of climate change on water resources. In 2014 he was recognized as one of four Distinguished Faculty Lectures at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. He has current research funding from the Department of Interior, NOAA, the Nature Conservancy, the Department of Defense, and a variety of public utilities. He is active in ASCE Environmental and Water Resources Institute and was the Technical Chairman of one of their recent national congresses (2010). He is married and the father of three children. He and his wife are exploring their new environs in Western Massachusetts.He is a jazz enthusiast and plays saxophone often but very poorly.

Paula Rees

Assistant Dean for Diversity

Paula L. Sturdevant Rees received her B.S. in Civil Engineering from the University of Iowa and her PhD in Civil Engineering and Operations Research with a focus in Water Resources from Princeton University. In addition, she received a Certificate in Science, Technology, and Public Policy from the Woodrow Wilson School at Princeton. Dr. Rees’s research interests are in the areas of flood hydrology and hydrometeorology, water quality monitoring and modeling, water resources sustainability, and sediment transport. Dr. Rees was an Assistant Professor in Civil Engineering at UMass from 1999–2008. She also served as Director of Education and Outreach for the NSF Engineering Research Center for Collaborative Adaptive Sensing of the Atmosphere (CASA) from 2007–2014 and as Director of the Massachusetts Water Resources Research Center, one of the 54 National Institutes of Water Resources supported by the U.S. Geological Survey, from 2007–2017. Dr. Rees was appointed Director of the Diversity Programs Office for the College of Engineering in Fall 2011, and as Assistant Dean for Diversity for the College in Fall 2017. Dr. Rees works with students, faculty and staff to make the College welcoming and inclusive for all, with a focus on recruitment and retention at all levels. In her free time, Paula enjoys reading mysteries, playing with her dogs, and watching her sons play hockey and lacrosse. She and her family have lived in Amherst since 1999.

Russell Tessier

Associate Dean
Focus: Graduate studies, CPE

Russell Tessier received his B.S in Computer and System Engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his S.M. and Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from MIT. He has been a professor at the University Massachusetts Amherst since 1999. Previously, he was a founder of Virtual Machine Works, a company that makes integrated circuit testing equipment. The company is currently owned by Mentor Graphics. He has also previously worked for Altera Corporation (now part of Intel). As Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Operations, Prof. Tessier supervises the College's graduate degree programs and the College's programs in Continuing and Professional Education.

Prof. Tessier principal research interests are in the areas of reconfigurable computing and field-programmable gate arrays (FPGAs). He has published over 100 papers and articles on the design and implementation of topics in these areas. He is currently head of the Reconfigurable Computing Group at UMass.