The physics professor replaces Michael Witherell, who is now the director of Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
Friday, February 19, 2016 - 18:45
Santa Barbara, CA
UC Santa Barbara physics professor Joseph Incandela has been appointed the campus’s interim vice chancellor for research. He replaces Michael Witherell, who will be the new director of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory.
“We appreciate Professor Incandela’s dedication to our campus, and his continued commitment as evidenced by his new leadership role,” said UCSB Chancellor Henry T. Yang. “His leadership and experience will serve our campus well during this important transition.”
Incandela joined the UCSB Department of Physics in 2000, after a 10 years at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory. For the past two decades, he has been involved with the Large Hadron Collider at the European Organization for Nuclear Research (CERN), initially leading the construction of a large part of the tracking system for the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS) experiment.
In early 2011, he was the first American elected to lead the CMS experiment, involving more than 3,000 scientists from 39 countries. The following year, he announced the discovery of the Higgs Boson, validating a 50-year-old theory about the nature of the Universe.
“It is an honor to be appointed the interim vice chancellor for research,” Incandela said. “UCSB is among the best research institutions in the world and I am very much looking forward to working with the outstanding scientists we have here.
“I also want to recognize Professor Mike Witherell for the excellent work he has done in the 11 years he held this position,” he added. “I will do my best to fill his shoes.”
Incandela, who holds the Joe and Pat Yzurdiaga Chair in Experimental Science, is a member of the prestigious National Academy of Sciences, a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a recipient of the 2012 Special Fundamental Physics Prize.
On campus, Incandela is a member of the Chancellor’s Advisory Committee on Faculty and Staff Housing, and of the Design Review Committee. He previously served on the Academic Senate’s Council on Planning and Budget, chairing the Social Sciences Capital and Space Planning subpanels.
Incandela will take up his new responsibilities on March 1.