Ellen Arruda, Maria Comninou Collegiate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, has been named the Tim Manganello/BorgWarner Department Chair of Mechanical Engineering (ME), effective September 1, 2018. She will be the eighteenth chair of the department, which was founded in 1868. She succeeds Kon-Well Wang, Stephen P. Timoshenko Collegiate Professor of Mechanical Engineering, who has served as chair since June 2008.
“I am honored and excited to lead this fantastic mechanical engineering department at this time,” Arruda said. “The products and processes that mechanical engineers create are critical to our physical future. Mechanical engineering at Michigan is one of the best places in the world to be if you desire to engage in creative solutions that improve the quality of life and make the world safer, better, and cleaner.”
Recognized as a trailblazer in her field, Arruda’s groundbreaking research and teaching have secured her position as a world leader in the areas of theoretical and experimental mechanics of molecular materials, including polymers, elastomers, composites, soft tissues, and proteins, and in tissue engineering of soft tissues and tissue interfaces. Her work has made tremendous impact on improving human health and life, such as advancing technologies for the repair of the anterior cruciate ligament and the development of a shock-absorbing helmet to prevent brain injury.
“Ellen is an eminent scholar who has served the University of Michigan (U-M) with distinction,” Wang said. “I want to thank her for her willingness and passion in taking up such an important responsibility to serve the U-M ME community. This is a truly outstanding department with exceptional people and extraordinary accomplishments, and I firmly believe that it will continue to excel under Ellen’s leadership.”
Arruda was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2017, is president and fellow of the American Academy of Mechanics, a fellow of American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and fellow and former president of the Society of Engineering Science. She is co-director of the University of Michigan’s (U-M) Exercise & Sports Science Initiative (ESSI) and has joint appointments in the U-M College of Engineering’s Macromolecular Science and Engineering Program and Biomedical Engineering Department.
“Ellen’s long and accomplished record of research, leadership and service within the Mechanical Engineering Department–and her commitment to its future–make her an ideal leader,” said Alec D. Gallimore, who is the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering, the Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Professor, an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor, and a professor both of aerospace engineering and of applied physics.
“I know that under her guidance, the department will continue on its path of excellence in both educating the socially conscious mechanical engineers of tomorrow, and producing impactful research in service of the common good.”