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News Service

News Service:

Annette Hacker, director,
(515) 294-3720

Office: (515) 294-4777

6-22-06

Contacts:

Carmen G. Neri, Materials Science & Engineering, (515) 294-0741, carmengn@iastate.edu

Dennis Smith, Engineering Communications & Marketing, (515) 294-0267, dlsmith@iastate.edu

Mike Krapfl, News Service, (515) 294-4917, mkrapfl@iastate.edu

LeSar to lead ISU's materials science and engineering department

AMES, Iowa -- Mark J. Kushner, the dean of Iowa State University's College of Engineering, has announced the appointment of Richard Alan LeSar as chair of the department of materials science and engineering. LeSar will assume his responsibilities August 1, in time for the start of the fall term at Iowa State.

"Dr. LeSar is a world renowned scholar who will bring not only his administrative and educational expertise to Iowa State, but also his substantial research activities," Kushner said.

An expert in the development and application of computational methods to problems in materials, LeSar is currently a technical staff member in the Theoretical Division of Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M. LeSar has served in numerous leadership positions at Los Alamos. He's also worked as an adjunct professor at the University of California, Santa Barbara, among other academic appointments. He has authored more than 70 peer-reviewed journal articles and numerous review articles and book chapters and has been a frequent invited speaker at conferences in the United States and abroad. He has also served on advisory boards for the U.S. Air Force and in an editorial capacity with leading materials science journals, including his recent appointment to a second five-year term on the editorial board of the Annual Review of Materials Research.

He earned his bachelor's degree in chemistry from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in 1975. He earned a master's degree in physics in 1977 and a doctorate in chemical physics in 1981, both from Harvard University in Cambridge, Mass. He did his postdoctoral work at Los Alamos and in 1983 joined the Los Alamos staff as a technical staff member in a series of positions, including work in condensed matter and statistical physics and materials science.

LeSar assumes leadership of Iowa State's department of materials science and engineering from Mufit Akinc, who will return to full-time research and teaching after leading the department for 11 years. LeSar inherits a department that has enjoyed unprecedented growth and success under Akinc. The department has more than doubled its enrollment and leads the College of Engineering in externally funded research grants.

A strong proponent of collaborative and multidisciplinary research and teaching, LeSar lauds "MSE's recent efforts to diversify its research portfolio from the strong programs in metals and ceramics that were the genesis of the current department to include polymers and electronic materials. This places MSE in a good position to attack current materials problems as well as future ones."

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Quick look

Richard Alan LeSar, a technical staff member in the Theoretical Division of Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, N.M., will assume leadership of Iowa State's department of materials science and engineering on Aug. 1.

Quote

"Dr. LeSar is a world renowned scholar who will bring not only his administrative and educational expertise to Iowa State, but also his substantial research activities."

Mark J. Kushner, dean of Iowa State University's College of Engineering