Mark Tuttle, a UW professor of mechanical engineering whose work includes studying the design and durability of the kinds of composite materials scientists say will make up the next generation of air and spacecraft, has been named new chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering.
Tuttle, 51, said he is excited about the prospect of leading a department that is quickly expanding beyond the role traditionally associated with mechanical engineering. Research awards have increased, he added, as have applications for undergraduate and graduate programs.
“The department has experienced a renaissance in recent years,” Tuttle said. “Many mechanical engineering faculty are becoming involved in more interdisciplinary pursuits, branching into such fields as nanotechnology and biomechanics. Others continue to push the boundaries in more traditional areas, such as energy conservation, fluid dynamics and solid mechanics.”
His primary goal as department head, he said, is to foster an environment that maintains the momentum.
“I think it will be important to encourage an atmosphere that continues to stimulate innovative research and collaboration among colleagues, both within and outside of the department,” he said.
Tuttle is well prepared for the task, according to Denice Denton, dean of the College of Engineering.
“Mark has strong experience and background in the mechanical engineering department,” Denton said. “He also serves as director of our new Federal Aviation Administration Center on Composites and has served as chair of the college council, so he has a broad perspective on the college and the university.”
Tuttle’s bachelor’s and master’s degrees are from Michigan Technological University, and he earned a doctorate in engineering mechanics from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1984. He joined the UW faculty in 1985. In 2000, he received a cross-appointment as an adjunct professor in industrial engineering.
He replaces William Wilson, who stepped down as chair last year. Bruce Adee was acting chair in the interim.