Michael Hoffmann, who is the James Irvine Professor of Environmental Science at the California Institute of Technology, has been appointed dean of graduate studies. His appointment is effective immediately.
The announcement was made Monday, July 15, by Gary Lorden, acting vice president for student affairs at Caltech. Hoffmann replaces D. Roderick Kiewiet, who returned to full-time professorial duties earlier this year.
Lorden praised Hoffmann's previous administrative experience at the Institute. "The job of graduate dean requires great skill in collaborating with faculty, students, and others in the administration to help make our graduate programs as strong and effective as possible," Lorden said. "In his long Caltech career, Mike has gained a wealth of experience in admissions, in working with graduate students as an option representative, and as the executive officer for environmental science and engineering."
Hoffmann has been on the Caltech faculty since 1980. An expert in environmental chemistry, he is a member of the editorial boards of the American Chemical Society's scientific journals Environmental Science and Technology and the Journal of Physical Chemistry. He is also on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany.
Hoffmann was awarded the Alexander von Humboldt Prize in 1991 for his research and teaching in environmental chemistry. In 2001, Hoffmann was presented with the American Chemical Society Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology for "his fundamental and lasting contributions to the science of aquatic chemistry, to the development of aquatic remediation processes, and to understanding heterogeneous and multiphase processes in the atmospheric environment."
This year Hoffmann was honored as the Barnett F. Dodge Distinguished Lecturer in Chemical Engineering at Yale University.
Before coming to Caltech, he was a member of the civil engineering faculty at the University of Minnesota. He holds a doctorate in chemistry from Brown University and a bachelor of arts from Northwestern University. He was a postdoctoral scholar at Caltech from 1973 to 1975.