Three scholars in the College of Engineering are honored as named professors

The University of Delaware College of Engineering has honored three faculty members with named professorships. To be selected, faculty members must have a sustained record of achievement that goes beyond the normal requirements for promotion to full professor. For one, they must have standing in the top 10 percent in their research area, as determined by their peers. They must also have a history of departmental service and excellence in teaching.  The following faculty members are now named professors:

Kristi Kiick

Kristi Kiick, deputy dean of the College of Engineering and professor of materials science and engineering, has been named Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering.

“Kristi is a distinguished leader in the field of biomaterials, an outstanding citizen of the community, and a true changemaker at this university, inspiring others to engineer solutions to challenging problems,” said Babatunde Ogunnaike, dean of the College of Engineering.

Kiick joined the UD faculty as an assistant professor in materials science and engineering in 2001 and has been deputy dean since 2011.

Kiick’s research focuses on the synthesis, characterization, and application of protein, peptide, and self-assembled materials for applications in tissue engineering, drug delivery, and bioengineering, with specific research in cardiovascular, vocal fold, and cancer therapies.

She has published more than 120 articles and book chapters, and has delivered over 150 invited and award lectures. She holds 21 patents.

Kiick received her bachelor of science in chemistry from UD as a Eugene du Pont Distinguished Scholar, where she graduated summa cum laude. She then received a master of science in chemistry as an NSF graduate fellow at the University of Georgia, followed by master of science and doctoral degrees in polymer science and engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst as a recipient of a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) fellowship.

She received the Camille and Henry Dreyfus New Faculty Award in 2001, and an NSF Career Award and an Arnold and Mabel Beckman Foundation Young Investigator Award in 2003.  She has served as program and meeting chairs for the American Chemical Society and Materials Research Society, respectively, and has been a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering since 2012 and the American Chemical Society since 2014.

Kenneth E. Barner

Kenneth E. Barner, professor and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been named a Charles Black Evans Professor of Electrical Engineering

This professorship honors Charles Black Evans, secretary-treasurer of the University’s Board of Trustees from 1896-1933.

“Ken has made important contributions to the field of nonlinear signal processing and sustained an exemplary level of service to UD and the broader professional community,” said Ogunnaike.

Barner’s research interests include statistical signal processing, nonlinear and sparse signal processing, sensor network and consensus systems, machine learning, and information access methods for individuals with disabilities, including tactile, haptic, and multimodal systems.

He has published 75 journal articles, given nearly 200 conference proceedings, and co-edited a book, Nonlinear Signal and Image Processing: Theory, Methods, and Applications, which was published in 2004. He has also written nine book chapters and holds two patents.

Barner has been teaching at UD since 1992, first as a visiting lecturer. From 1993 to 1998, he was an adjunct assistant professor at UD and simultaneously worked as a research engineer in the Department of Applied Science and Engineering at the du Pont Hospital for Children. He joined the UD faculty full-time as an assistant professor in 1998 and has been chairman of the department since 2009.

Barner received his bachelor of science in electrical engineering at Lehigh University and his master’s and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering at UD.

He was named a Fellow of the IEEE in 2016 and won an NSF Career Award in 1999.

Dawn Elliott

Dawn Elliott, chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering, has been named Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering.

“Under Dawn’s leadership, biomedical engineering at the University of Delaware has grown from a small program to a thriving department with a team of very talented young faculty who are winning grants and publishing in high-quality journals,” said Ogunnaike.

“At the same time, Dawn has continued to develop her own thriving research program, which focuses on the biomechanics of orthopaedic soft tissues. She is well respected in the community at large both for her scholarship and for her leadership. I can’t think of anyone who is more deserving of this honor than Dawn.”

Her research expertise includes the biomechanics of collagenous soft tissues and intervertebral disc function, degeneration, and restoration.  In 2015, Elliott received the Van C. Mow Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) for contributions to the field of bioengineering. That same year, she also received the Inaugural Outstanding Achievement in Mentoring Award from the Orthopaedic Research Society.

Elliott came to the University of Delaware in 2011 as the founding director and sole primary faculty member of the biomedical engineering program, which achieved departmental status and received national accreditation four years later.

Elliott received her bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor. She earned her master’s in engineering mechanics at the University of Cincinnati and her doctoral degree in biomedical engineering at Duke University.

Elliott is a fellow of both the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and ASME.