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NEW Engineering Dean Jianmin Qu, whose research in theoretical and applied mechanics has led to safer airplanes, among other advances, has been appointed dean of Tufts School of Engineering. Qu, currently Walter P. Murphy Professor and chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Northwestern University, will start his new job on August 1, succeeding Linda Abriola, who is stepping down after twelve years to return to the faculty. Qu says one reason he was attracted to Tufts is the strong relationship between the School of Engineering and the School of Arts and Sciences. “I’ve always believed that engineers shouldn’t be just engineers. The liberal arts should be a prerequisite for everything,” he said. “Society and its problems are so complex that engineers have to go beyond the bounds of a classical engineering education.” full story

REBUILDING MEMORIAL STEPS A six-month project is underway to rebuild the Memorial Steps, a landmark on the Medford/Somerville campus that commemorates Tufts alumni who served in the armed forces from the Civil War to Vietnam. Built in the 1920s, the steps have fallen into disrepair as a result of the harsh New England winters. The Memorial Steps were part of a master plan developed for the university by the firm founded by the renowned American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, whose son and stepson took over the company after Olmstead’s death in 1903. full story

ABRIOLA NAMED UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR Linda Abriola, dean of the School of Engineering and a professor of civil and environmental engineering, has been appointed a University Professor, Tufts’ highest academic honor. Abriola is the first woman to be awarded the title. She was one of the first to develop a mathematical model that describes how organic chemical pollutants contaminate groundwater. Just four other faculty members are University Professors: Daniel C. Dennett, the Austin B. Fletcher Professor of Philosophy; former provost Sol Gittleman, the Alice and Nathan Gantcher University Professor; Irwin H. Rosenberg, the Jean Mayer Professor of Nutrition, former dean of the Friedman School, and former director of the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging; and David Walt, the Robinson Professor of Chemistry. full story

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