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New chairs appointed for two departments

Two Ohio State College of Engineering departments recently welcomed new leaders. Professor Allison MacKay is the new chair of the Department of Civil, Environmental and Geodetic Engineering (CEGE), and Professor Farhang Pourboghrat is chair of the Department of Integrated Systems Engineering.  

MacKay arrived at Ohio State in August 2015, after 16 years teaching and conducting research at the University of Connecticut.

“Allison brings a combination of first-rate scholarship in water quality and a dedication to teaching students,” said College of Engineering Dean David B. Williams. “She will be a strong advocate for the department, and we are delighted to have her as part of the college leadership team.”

MacKay’s research focuses on the physico-chemical processes that govern how environmental contaminants are transported and react in natural aquatic systems and engineered water treatment systems. Funded by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, among other sources, her work contributes to the development of predictive models for a wide range of contaminants and environmental systems. She also participates in the Ohio Department of Education’s Harmful Algal Bloom Research Initiative (HABRI) to examine how naturally-occurring algae toxins can be removed in water treatment plants.

She earned a BASc in engineering science from University of Toronto, and her MS and PhD in environmental engineering from MIT. She then served as a post-doctoral associate at the Connecticut Agricultural Experiment Station.

Since arriving at Ohio State in 2015, Pourboghrat, a professor with a joint appointment in integrated systems engineering and mechanical and aerospace engineering, has placed strong emphasis on experiential learning and interdisciplinary research.

“Farhang recognizes that ISE’s research portfolio—operations research, data analytics, manufacturing processes and human systems integration—is in perfect alignment with college priorities and the university’s Discovery Themes vision,” said Dean David B. Williams. “He will be instrumental in positioning faculty to collaborate with partners throughout the university and across the globe, taking our research and teaching to the next level.”

A highly regarded scholar, Pourboghrat’s research focuses on the computational modeling of metal forming processes using crystal plasticity and advanced phenomenological yield functions.

Pourboghrat received his BS and MS degrees from the University of Iowa, and his PhD in mechanical engineering from the University of Minnesota in 1990. From 1998-2015, he served as faculty in the Mechanical Engineering Department at Michigan State University. Prior to that he worked as a staff scientist at the Alcoa Technical Center.

Three additional faculty were appointed to key college leadership posts in recent months. Professor Dorota Grejner-Brzezinska, former CEGE chair, was named the associate dean for research. Professor Ann Christy was appointed assistant dean of teaching and learning, and Michael Hagenberger was named assistant dean of facilities planning and management.