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Wednesday, March 17, 1999 - 16:00
Santa Barbara, CA

Matthew Tirrell, professor and head of the department of chemical engineering and materials science at the University of Minnesota, has been appointed as Dean of the College of Engineering at UC Santa Barbara.

The Richard A. Auhll Professorship has also been endowed for the new dean.

Tirrell joined the faculty at the University of Minnesota in 1977, where he has served as the Shell Distinguished Chair in Chemical Engineering, the E. Bakken Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Director of the Biomedical Engineering Institute, and head of the department since 1995.

In the ranking of doctoral programs by the National Research Council in 1995, his chemical engineering department was ranked #1 nationally.

"Dr. Tirrell has established a reputation in the engineering community as a most distinguished scholar and accomplished administrator," said Chancellor Henry T. Yang.

"With his visionary and dynamic leadership, the academic stature of our widely acclaimed College of Engineering will surely continue to grow rapidly."

A member of the National Academy of Engineering, Tirrell's current research focuses on polymer interfaces and transport properties of materials used in applications from coatings and adhesion to lubrication and bioengineering.

He is also working in collaboration with colleagues in medicine and engineering on the design of biomaterials for applications in the area of human health.

Among his many publications is a recently co-authored book, "Polymerization Process Modeling," and more than 200 scientific articles and reports.

He has received numerous awards for teaching and research, including the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, Guggenheim and Sloan Foundation Fellowships, and the Allan Colburn and Professional Progress Awards from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.

"The appointment of Dr. Tirrell is a source of tremendous pride and optimism for UCSB," said Ilene H. Nagel, executive vice chancellor at UCSB. "Pride because of his extraordinary scholarly record, and optimism because of the excitement he brings to our College of Engineering as it charts a path to continued excellence." Tirrell received his bachelor of science degree in chemical engineering at Northwestern University in 1973, and a doctoral degree in polymer science and engineering from the University of Massachusetts in 1977.

"I am very pleased and proud to have the opportunity to work with the students and faculty in the dynamic environment of UC Santa Barbara," Tirrell said.

"The College of Engineering is one of the country's best and is poised to develop into a unique center for imaginative education and innovative research."

Tirrell will assume his new post Sept. 1.