Flatau Appointed Interim Associate Dean

Prof. Alison Flatau (aerospace engineering) has been appointed as the Clark School's interim associate dean of research, for a period of up to three years. In making this appointment, Dean Darryl Pines stated he was accomplishing two important goals by, "securing the services of a highly regarded, nationally prominent researcher who will bring creativity, energy and insight to this important role, and expediting the implementation of the Clark School Strategic Plan, 2009-2014."

The associate dean of research oversees execution of the plan's research objectives; coordinates major research initiatives; controls distribution of Minta Martin seed funds for junior faculty and "big ideas"; chairs the research advisory committee proposed in the plan; works with associate deans of undergraduate programs to create research partnerships with government labs; establishes new strategic research alliances with corporations in conjunction with our corporate relations staff; interacts with the office of the vice president of research as part of the campus senior leadership council; serves on national boards of major funding agencies; and other duties. The associate dean must also teach, maintain personal research, supervise graduate students, and meet other faculty requirements.

"Alison possesses the expertise and drive to take on these challenges immediately, including direct experience as a researcher seeking funding and as a manager directing programs inside funding agencies," said Dean Pines.

Flatau joined the aerospace engineering department in 2002. Her research interests are in smart/adaptive structures, with an emphasis on actuator and sensor technologies, control of underwater and aerospace systems and novel sensors for biomedical applications. Alison's research programs have been supported with an NSF Young Investigator Award, as well as grants from DARPA, the Army Research Laboratory, NASA, NSF and the Office of Naval Research. She is currently the principle investigator of a Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative program on structural magnetostrictive alloys. Her research and educational activities have also been supported by large corporations such as the Boeing Company, and by smaller organizations including local Maryland firms and the Maryland Industrial Partnerships program. She is the recipient of a Connect Award from the Alexander Von Humbolt Foundation for support of international research collaborations with the Technical University of Dresden in Germany.

From 1998-2002, Flatau served as a program director at the National Science Foundation. While at the NSF, she also directed the foundation-wide CAREER Program for new faculty (1999-2001) and was a member of federal interagency coordination committees that included the PECASE Program. Prior to that, she served on the aerospace engineering and engineering mechanics faculty at Iowa State University (1990-1998), where she was also a member of the faculty of the biomedical engineering program. In 1997 she was a Boeing faculty fellow based in Seattle. She also worked for four years for Rockwell International at the National Small Wind Systems Test Center in Colorado. She holds a B.S.E. in chemical engineering from the University of Connecticut and M.S. and Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from the University of Utah.

Co-author of over 100 technical publications, including four best paper awards, Flatau currently serves as an assistant editor for Smart Materials and Structures and on the editorial board of new International Journal of Smart and Nano Materials. She was the symposium chair for the Society of Photo-Optical Engineers 15th and 16th Annual International Smart Structures and Non-Destructive Evaluation Symposia. She is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and an active member of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (including over 12 years as student branch faculty advisor). She is the recipient of the Clark School of Engineering 2009 Faculty Service Award, which recognized her service as a student organization mentor and undergraduate director in aerospace engineering.

Published September 28, 2009