POTSDAM -- Professor John B. McLaughlin has been appointed chair of the Department of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering at Clarkson University, effective July 1.
"I am confident that under Professor McLaughlin's leadership the CBE Department will progress toward achieving even higher levels of academic excellence," said Wallace H. Coulter School of Engineering Dean Goodarz Ahmadi. McLaughlin replaces current chair Professor Ruth E. Baltus. "I thank Professor Baltus for her tremendous services as the CBE Chair over the past six years," said Ahmadi. "I greatly appreciate the leadership role that Professor Baltus has taken and wish her well as she continues in her teaching and research pursuits."
McLaughlin received his S.B. in physics from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1970, his M.A. in physics from Harvard University in 1971, and his Ph.D. in physics from Harvard University in 1974.
He was a postdoctoral research associate at Harvard University before joining the Physics Department at Clarkson University as an assistant professor in 1974. In 1979, he became an assistant professor. He was promoted to associate professor in 1980 and to full professor in 1989.
McLaughlin received the Omega Chi Epsilon Teacher of the year award in 1986 and 1987. In 1988, he received the Tau Beta Pi Engineering Faculty Award, and in 1991 he received the University Teaching Award.
For much of his career, McLaughlin's research has focused on computational fluid dynamics using direct numerical simulation ("DNS"). He co-authored a paper that presented DNS results for chaotic Rayleigh-Benard thermal convection in 1982 and subsequently developed a DNS program for turbulent channel flow that resulted in a long series of papers with colleagues at Clarkson and elsewhere.
Much of this work involved tracking of small suspended particles. As part of this work, he co-authored several theoretical papers in which results for the forces acting on small inertial particles were either derived or computed.
In the late 1990s, he began a research program that involved theoretical modeling and experimental measurements of the behavior of bubbles in water containing surfactants. More recently, he has worked on computational modeling of polymers that have potential applications in medical research, photovoltaic devices, and other potential applications.
McLaughlin's research has been funded by grants from the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, Amoco, the U.S. Army Research Office, Cameron Manufacturing, the Department of Energy, DuPont, NASA, the National Science Foundation, Primet Precision Materials Inc., Research Corporation, and Syracuse Center of Excellence.
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