The University of Massachusetts Amherst
University of Massachusetts Amherst

Search Google Appliance


Dean and Department Head Bios

Erin Baker

Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Affairs

Erin Baker has a PhD in engineering economic systems and operations research from the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University, and a BA in mathematics from University of California, Berkeley.  As associate dean for research in the College of Engineering, her responsibilities include initiating and coordinating major research proposals, centers or other collaborative research initiatives; managing government relations at both state and federal levels; and promoting research interactions with industry and technology transfer.

Her research is in decision-making under uncertainty applied to the field of energy and the environment, with a focus on publicly funded energy technology research and development portfolios in the face of climate change. She is the Armstrong Professional Development Professor in the mechanical and industrial engineering department and director of the Wind Energy Fellows Program.  Baker has generated more than $5,257,000 in sponsored research as a principal investigator.  She is a member of the Institute of Operations Research and Management Sciences, the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, the International Association for Energy Economics, and the Decision Analysis Society.

Michael Henson

Department Head, Chemical Engineering

Michael Henson received his BS in chemical engineering from the University of Colorado-Boulder, his MS in chemical engineering from the University of Texas at Austin and PhD in chemical engineering from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He has been a professor at the University Massachusetts Amherst since 2002. He is currently professor of chemical engineering and an affiliated faculty member in the Institute of Applied Life Sciences. His research focuses on systems level modeling and analysis of natural and engineered microbial communities with applications to human health and renewable liquid fuels. His work has produced over 125 referred journal publications and 70 invited presentations and seminars. Among his notable accomplishments are the NSF Early Faculty Career Development Award, the Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, the UMass College of Engineering Outstanding Senior Faculty Award and AIChE Fellow. He was founding editor-in-chief of the open access journal Processes and currently serves as co-editor of Engineering in Life Sciences, associate editor for IET Systems Biology and executive director of the educational non-profit Computer Aids for Chemical Engineering (CACHE).​  

Christopher V. Hollot

Department Head, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Kris Hollot received his BS in electrical engineering from West Virginia University in 1974, an MS in electrical engineering from Syracuse University in 1980 and a PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Rochester. He joined the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UMass Amherst 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 of Engineering during 2012-2013 and again in 2019. His research interests are in feedback control theory and it’s applications with recent work in computer networks and biomedical systems.  ​ Hollot received an NSF PYI Award in 1988 and was elected an IEEE Fellow in 2004.

Sundar Krishnamurty

Department Head, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering

Sundar Krishnamurty received his BS in civil engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur; an MS in civil engineering at the University of Pennsylvania and PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He has served as professor and head of the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering at UMass Amherst since 2015, having previously served as interim department head and associate department head. In 2020, Krishnamurty was named the Ronnie & Eugene Isenberg Distinguished Professorship in Engineering, which was created to enhance interdisciplinary teaching and research between fields of management, engineering and science.  He is a fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and he is an elected member of the 2020-22 Department Head/Chair of the ASME Executive Committee. His research interests include manufacturing automation, predictive analytics in design and manufacturing, innovation and entrepreneurship, and therapeutic & medical device design. Krishnamurty is the Site-Director for the NSF-sponsored Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (I/UCRC) Center for e-Design, Associate Director for the Center for Personalized Health Monitoring (CPHM) with the UMass Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS), and he is a member of the Innovation & Entrepreneurship Task Force at UMass Amherst.

Sanjay Raman

Dean, College of Engineering

Raman earned a bachelor’s of electrical engineering degree, with highest honors, from Georgia Tech in 1987 and a doctorate in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, in 1998.   He joined UMass Amherst in August 2019 from Virginia Tech (VT) where he was associate vice president for the VT National Capital Region, president and CEO of the Virginia Tech Applied Research Corporation, and a tenured full professor in their Bradley Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (ECE).   From 2007-13, Raman was a program manager in the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) Microsystems Technology Office.  Prior to his doctoral studies at the University of Michigan, Raman served as a nuclear-trained submarine officer in the U.S. Navy from 1987-92. He is a founding member of the Virginia Tech Multifunctional Integrated Circuits and Systems (MICS) group, focused on innovative research in analog, mixed-signal, and RF/microwave/mm-wave IC designs, optoelectronics, and RF interfaces. Raman is an Elected Fellow of the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) for leadership in adaptive microwave and millimeter-wave integrated circuits. Raman is also an elected member of the Administrative Committee of the IEEE Microwave Theory and Techniques Society.

Paula Rees

Assistant Dean for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

Paula Rees received her BS 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. Her research interests are in the areas of flood hydrology and hydrometeorology, water quality monitoring and modeling, water resources sustainability, and sediment transport. Rees was an assistant professor in the Department of 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 54 National Institutes of Water Resources supported by the U.S. Geological Survey, from 2007–2017. Rees was appointed director of the Diversity Programs Office for the College of Engineering in fall 2011, and assistant dean for diversity in fall 2017.  She 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.

James Rinderle

Associate Dean for Undergraduate Affairs

Jim Rinderle received a BS in 1976, an MS in 1979, and a PhD 1982 from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  He has been on the faculty of the University Massachusetts Amherst since 1993.  As associate dean for undergraduate studies and curricular innovation his focus is on developing and facilitating the undergraduate academic mission of the college, including chairing the college undergraduate curriculum committee; overseeing major academic innovations, e.g. maker-spaces; monitoring and improving pedagogy; and initiating cross departmental/college course activity.

His principal research interest is in the area of design theory and methodology. He served as associate head and undergraduate program director in the Department of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering from 2007 through 2016.

Russell Tessier

Senior Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Operations

Russell Tessier received his BS in computer and system engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and his MS and PhD in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. 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 for graduate studies and operations, Tessier supervises the college's graduate degree and on-line learning programs.

His 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. Tessier is currently head of the Reconfigurable Computing Group at UMass.

Thai Thayumanavan

Interim Department Head, Biomedical Engineering

S. “Thai” Thayumanavan received his BS and MS in chemistry from The American College at Madurai, India. After receiving his PhD in Chemistry with Peter Beak from the University of Illinois in 1996, he went to Caltech as a postdoctoral fellow working with Seth Marder. He joined the faculty at Tulane University in 1999 and then moved to the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 2003, where he is currently a professor of chemistry. Winner of the NSF’s Career award and Research Corporation’s Cottrell Scholar Award early in his career, Thai is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences. The Chemical Research Society of India bestowed its CRSI Medal for excellence in chemical sciences in 2016. He has received the campus’ highest recognition for excellence in research, Conti Award. He was also anonymously nominated twice by students for the University’s Distinguished Teaching Award. In addition, the College of Natural Sciences also recognized his contribution to the greater community through the Outreach and Service Award. He has served and continues to serve in advisory boards of chemistry-based journals, research centers and international organizations. Thai’s research interests revolve around developing fundamentally new molecular design guidelines for self-assembling macromolecules that predictably respond to external cues. Thai is the scientific founder of a start-up company (Cyta Therapeutics) that is based on a novel IntelliGel platform developed in his group. He is currently serving as the director of the Center for Bioactive Delivery in the Institute for Applied Life Sciences (IALS).

John Tobiason

Department Head, Civil and Environmental Engineering

John Tobiason received his PhD from the Johns Hopkins University in 1987, his MSEVE. from the University of North Carolina in 1979, and his BSCE. from the University of New Hampshire in 1976.  He began his academic career at UMass in 1987. Tobiason has over 30 years of research and professional experience in water treatment with emphasis on particles in water, coagulation, and water filtration.  In 2019, he received the Charles R. O’Melia Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors Distinguished Educator Award. Tobiason has served in national positions of leadership on important committees, including as president of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors, on the Editorial Board of the American Water Works Association, and on important National Academy of Sciences panels. He has published some 65 journal articles and book chapters, 50 conference proceedings papers, 26 technical reports, and he has given 78 invited presentations. Since its inception in 2004, Tobiason has also served as the faculty advisor for the Engineers Without Borders - UMass Student Chapter, a student-run organization dedicated to helping local and international communities create sustainable, community-driven solutions in order to improve their quality of life.

Mary-Knight "MK" Young

Assistant Dean for Development

Mary-Knight “MK” Young graduated magna cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a BA in Art History. As assistant dean for development in the College of Engineering, her responsibilities include creating, implementing, and executing a strategic plan designed to increase private support for the college.  MK joins our leadership team following 19 years of fundraising in the Philadelphia, PA region and a successful track record securing leadership level gifts, corporate and foundation gifts and planned gifts. In her most recent post MK spent 6 years leading a team at the University of Pennsylvania Health System as senior director of development. In addition to overseeing a team of fundraisers, she was personally responsible for securing significant funds for a portfolio including Healthcare Innovation, Health Economics, Medical Ethics and Health Policy, and population health priorities within the Division of Endocrinology. Prior to this tour at UPenn, MK was a development officer at Temple University; director of special projects at the University of Pennsylvania, School of Arts and Sciences; an advancement officer at The Franklin Institute; and she began her career at the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archeology and Anthropology. The roles that MK has held over the last decade have sparked in her an interest in engineering and the role that engineers play in solving the world’s greatest problems.