January 15, 2009 –
The Department of Bioengineering is very pleased to welcome our new Professor and Department Chair, Dr. Matthew Tirrell!
Tirrell, currently the Dean of Engineering at UC Santa Barbara, will be joining the department on July 1, 2009 after a national search for a new Bioengineering Chair. He will hold the Arnold and Barbara Silverman Chairmanship in Bioengineering, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science & Engineering.
Tirrell is a talented leader and an eminent polymer scientist who has been a pioneer in the evolving field of soft materials, especially in macromolecular interface science and bionanotechnology. He has led UC Santa Barbara’s College of Engineering through a period of remarkable growth since taking the helm in 1999, to it’s present ranking in the top 20 nationwide and size of 150 faculty and 2,000 undergraduate and graduate students. At Santa Barbara he has been a strong advocate of interdisciplinary research and teaching, overseeing the founding of the Technology Management Program, the California NanoSystems Institute, the Institute for Collaborative Biotechnologies and the Institute for Energy Efficiency.
“I look forward with the highest enthusiasm and sense of excitement to beginning this appointment,” said Tirrell. “UC Berkeley has the vision, drive and comprehensive excellence to make groundbreaking advances at the interface between engineering and biology.”
Tirrell received his undergraduate education in chemical engineering at Northwestern University and his Ph.D. in 1977 in polymer science from the University of Massachusetts. From there he was on the faculty of chemical engineering and materials science at the University of Minnesota from 1977 to 1999, serving as the head of the department from 1995 to 1999 and also as the Director of the Biomedical Engineering Institute.
From 1977 to 1999 he was on the faculty of chemical engineering and materials science at the University of Minnesota, where he served as head of the department from 1995 to 1999, and also as the Director of the Biomedical Engineering Institute. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society and the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He has received numerous other honors throughout his career, including Guggenheim and Sloan fellowships, a Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award, the John H. Dillon Medal from the American Physical Society and the Allan Colburn Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers.
Professor Tirrell will be succeeding current Bioengineering Department Chair Dorian Liepmann at the end of his term this year. Liepmann has chaired the department since 2004, overseeing a period of explosive growth in bioengineering, including the addition of nine new BioE faculty and a near doubling of the number of undergraduate applications. Dorian is looking forward to being able to focus more on teaching, research and mentoring.
“Matt Tirrell is an engineer and scientist of the highest caliber with an unusual dedication to leadership and service,” said Liepmann. “We could not be more pleased to be welcoming him to Berkeley.”
Welcome events and opportunities to meet Professor Tirrell will be announced for later this year.