Some background on U of Minnesota prez finalist Kaler

From the Stony Brook Web site:

STONY BROOK, NY, February 17, 2010 — The National Academy of Engineering (NAE) has elected Stony Brook University’s Eric W. Kaler,

Eric W. Kaler

Provost, Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs and Vice President of Brookhaven Affairs, as one of 68 new members and nine foreign associates, announced NAE President Charles M. Vest today.

Election to the National Academy of Engineering is among the highest professional distinctions accorded to an engineer. Academy membership honors those who have made outstanding contributions to “engineering research, practice, or education, including, where appropriate, significant contributions to the engineering literature,” and to the “pioneering of new and developing fields of technology, making major advancements in traditional fields of engineering, or developing/implementing innovative approaches to engineering education.”

“I’m very pleased to see that Eric Kaler’s outstanding body of work has been recognized by the National Academy of Engineering,” said Dr. Samuel L. Stanley, Jr., President, Stony Brook University. “This formal recognition is a well deserved honor and a testament to Eric’s research and discovery as a distinguished chemical engineer. It is a great honor for him and for Stony Brook University.”

According to the NAE, Dr. Kaler, who is also a professor of engineering and of chemistry at Stony Brook University, was selected for his work on elucidation of structure-function relationships in surfactant systems that has led to novel formulations of complex, self-assembled media.

“What that means.” said Dr. Kaler, “is that I study ‘complex fluids’ containing many kinds of molecules, including surfactants, polymers, proteins or colloidal particles, either separately or in mixtures. These fluids can be found in numerous commercial products, including pharmaceutical formulations, paints, oil field chemicals, coatings, and foods, and have many practical applications.  Our work also points the way to enhanced separation methods, particularly for proteins, that can be used in the biotechnology industry. Additionally, I am interested in policy issues in higher education, particularly around science and math education and globalization.”

Appointed as the ninth Provost of Stony Brook University in October of 2007, Dr. Kaler received his undergraduate degree from California Institute of Technology in 1978 and his Ph.D. from the University of Minnesota in 1982. Prior to his appointment at Stony Brook, Dr. Kaler served on the faculty of the University of Delaware’s College of Engineering from 1989-2007 where he rose to the rank of Dean in 2000, and served as Elizabeth Inez Kelley Professor of Chemical Engineering from 1998 to 2007. Prior to joining the Delaware faculty, he was an assistant professor and an associate professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Washington from 1982 to 1989.

In 1984, Dr. Kaler was one of the first to receive a Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation. He also received the Curtis W. McGraw Research Award from the American Society of Engineering Education in 1995, the American Chemical Society Award in Colloid or Surface Chemistry in 1998, and distinguished lectureship awards around the world. He is the author or co-author of one edited book, over 200 papers, and holds 10 U.S. patents. His research has been cited over 8,000 times.

Dr. Kaler’s member class of the National Academy of Engineering includes distinguished colleagues from such institutions as Carnegie Mellon University, Harvard, Cornell, Princeton, MIT, and the University of California, Berkeley. The Induction Ceremony, a formal inauguration of new Members and Foreign Associates into the Academy, will be held on October 3 during the NAE Annual Meeting in Washington D.C.

Part of the State University of New York system, Stony Brook University encompasses 200 buildings on 1,600 acres. In the 50+ years since its founding, the University has grown tremendously, now with nearly 24,000 students and 2,100 faculty, and is recognized as one of the nation’s important centers of learning and scholarship. It is a member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, and ranks among the top 100 national universities in America and among the top 50 public national universities in the country according to the 2008 U.S. News & World Report survey. Considered one of the “flagship” campuses in the SUNY system, Stony Brook University co-manages Brookhaven National Laboratory , joining an elite group of universities, including Berkeley, University of Chicago, Cornell, MIT, and Princeton, that run federal research and development laboratories. SBU is a driving force of the Long Island economy, with an annual economic impact of $4.65 billion, generating nearly 60,000 jobs, and accounts for nearly 4% of all economic activity in Nassau and Suffolk counties, and roughly 7.5 percent of total jobs in Suffolk County.