Michael F. Rubner, associate director of the Center for Materials Science and Engineering (CMSE) since 1999, has been appointed director of the center, effective January 1, by David Litster, vice president and dean for research. Former CMSE director Robert J. Silbey is now dean of the School of Science.
"Michael Rubner is the ideal person to replace Bob, and I am delighted that he has agreed to accept this important responsibility. The stewardship of CMSE is in capable hands," said Professor Litster.
Professor Rubner is the TDK Professor of Polymer Materials Science and Engineering within the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (DMSE) and director of the interdepartmental Program in Polymer Science and Technology (PPST).
CMSE fosters collaborative interdisciplinary research and education in the fundamental science of materials and in engineering materials for specific applications. MIT's broad work in materials science and engineering includes that of more than 100 faculty members in 11 academic departments.
One of a nationwide network of such centers sponsored by the National Science Foundation, CMSE also promotes collaboration among MIT researchers and those from other universities, industry, government and nonprofit laboratories.
A member of DMSE since 1986, Professor Rubner has received every major teaching award given by MIT, including the Everett Moore Baker Memorial Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching (1990) and the Bose Award for Excellence in Teaching (1994). He was named a MacVicar Faculty Fellow in 1996.
Professor Rubner received the BS in chemistry from the University of Lowell in 1982 and the PhD in materials science and engineering from MIT in 1986. While pursuing his undergraduate and graduate degrees, he worked as a full-time staff member at GTELaboratories Inc. in Waltham from 1975-86.
His research interests include the synthesis, molecular-level processing, and electrical, optical and magnetic property investigations of conjugated polymers, self-assembling polymers, various functionalized polymers, sequentially adsorbed polyelectrolyte layers and polymer-inorganic nanocrystallite nanocomposites.
Holder of seven US patents, Professor Rubner has given more than 100 invited lectures and published more than 150 technical papers, including five book chapters.
A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on February 14, 2001.