New directors to lead Babbage Institute, SAFL

Thomas Misa, associate professor of history at Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), has been selected as the new director of the Charles Babbage Institute, effective July 1, 2006. In January 2006, he will begin the phase-in process, working with current director Arthur Norberg.

Also beginning in July, Misa will hold concurrent appointments as Engineering Research Associates (ERA) Chair in the History of Technology, as a faculty member in the Program in the History of Science and Technology, and as professor of history of science and technology within the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Fotis Sotiropoulos will join the Institute of Technology as director of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory and professor of civil engineering in January 2006. Sotiropoulos currently is an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology, where he holds a joint appointment in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the G.W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering.


Misa to lead Charles Babbage Institute

Thomas Misa, associate professor of history at the Illinois Institute of Technology (IIT), has been selected as the new director of the Charles Babbage Institute, effective July 1, 2006. In January 2006 he will begin the phase-in process, working with current director Arthur Norberg. Also beginning in July, Misa will hold concurrent appointments as Engineering Research Associates (ERA) Chair in the History of Technology, as a faculty member in the Program in the History of Science and Technology, and as professor of history of science and technology within the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Misa graduated from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981 with a bachelor of science in applied biology and received a Ph.D. in history and sociology of science from the University of Pennsylvania in 1987. That year he joined the humanities faculty at IIT, where his work has focused on the role of technology in broad historical processes. The historical study of computing and information technology has taken an increasing role in his teaching and scholarship. Misa developed a new course at IIT in history of computing, and one of his early essays, on the development of the transistor, won the IEEE Life Members Prize. He has also won two major teaching awards at IIT.

Misa also brings to the Babbage Institute considerable experience in leading cross-disciplinary and international projects and working with key funding sources for science and technology studies. He is a member of the U.S.-European coordinating committee for Tensions of Europe, a large-scale project on the role of technology in creating 20th-century Europe. He is the author of two books, Leonardo to the Internet: Technology and Culture from the Renaissance to the Present (2004) and A Nation of Steel (1995), which place technology in a broad historical context.

The Charles Babbage Institute is the University’s historical archives and research center dedicated to the study of the history of information technology and information processing and their impact on society.


Sotiropoulos to lead St. Anthony Falls Laboratory

Fotis Sotiropoulos, currently on the faculty at Georgia Institute of Technology, will join the Institute of Technology as director of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory (SAFL) and professor of civil engineering in January 2006. Sotiropoulos currently is an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Georgia Tech, where he holds a joint appointment in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the G.W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering.

Sotiropoulos received a bachelor of science in mechanical engineering from the National Technical University of Athens in 1986, a master of science in aerospace engineering from The Pennsylvania State University in 1989, and a Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Cincinnati in 1991.

His research interests span a broad range of topics in computational fluid dynamics, cardiovascular fluid mechanics, hydraulics, renewable energy systems, environmental fluid mechanics, nonlinear dynamics, and chaos.

Sotiropoulos is an associate editor for the ASCE Journal of Hydraulic Engineering. He has authored and co-authored 80 journal papers, book chapters, and conference proceedings. He has received a NSF Faculty Early Career Development Award and has been invited by the National Academy of Engineering to participate in the 8th Annual Symposium on Frontiers of Engineering (2002) and the 2005 German-American Symposium on Frontiers of Engineering.

SAFL is a teaching and research facility of the Department of Civil Engineering and the Department of Geology and Geophysics at the University of Minnesota. SAFL advances the knowledge and understanding of environmental hydraulics, turbulence, earthscape evolution, and climate/ ecosystem dynamics through high-quality experimental, theoretical, and computational research.