04/20/2000 07:00:00

Caltech Appoints New Chairof Engineering and Applied Science

PASADENA—Richard M. Murray has been named chair of the Division of Engineering and Applied Science at the California Institute of Technology. The announcement was made by Steve Koonin, vice president and provost.

Murray replaces John Seinfeld, who is returning to full-time faculty and research duties after serving 10 years in the office. The appointment becomes effective June 1, and has been approved by the Caltech Board of Trustees.

"We feel very fortunate that a colleague of Richard's caliber has agreed to assume administrative responsibilities," Koonin said. "His vision and breadth of interests and experience bode well for both the division and the Institute.

"We would also like to take this opportunity to thank John Seinfeld for a decade of excellent and dedicated service as division chair," Koonin said.

Murray, who is professor of mechanical engineering at Caltech, has been a member of the faculty since 1991. His research interests include nonlinear control of mechanical systems with applications to aerospace vehicles and robotic locomotion, active control of fluids with applications to propulsion systems, and nonlinear dynamical systems theory.

Murray earned his bachelor's degree with honors in electrical engineering from Caltech in 1985, and his master's and Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley in 1988 and 1991, respectively. Prior to joining the Caltech faculty in September 1991, he was a visiting lecturer at Berkeley, where he taught graduate-level classes in robotics.

In addition to his academic work, Murray has worked as an engineer at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where he was assigned to work on the Galileo spacecraft, now orbiting Jupiter. In 1998-99, he was director of mechatronic systems at the United Technologies Research Center, where he managed a department of 80 engineers, technicians, and staff in the area of embedded systems and controls technology.

The Division of Engineering and Applied Science is one of the six academic divisions at Caltech. The division has 77 faculty, 330 undergraduates, and 458 graduate students, making it the largest on campus.

Written by Robert Tindol