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Engineering's Squires fills interim chair position


September 20, 2006

Kyle Squires has been appointed interim chair of the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering in ASU's Ira A. Fulton School of Engineering. He succeeds professor Robert Peck, who led the department for the past five years.

Squires, who earned his doctorate in mechanical engineering from Stanford University in 1990, joined ASU in 1997 as an associate professor and became a full professor in 2002.

He also has been vice chair of graduate programs for the department for the past two years.

He takes over a growing department ranked in the top 25 in aerospace engineering and in the top 35 in mechanical engineering in the United States by U.S. News & World Report.

The programs have attracted more than 1,000 undergraduates and a graduate student enrollment of about 120.

“Strong mechanical and aerospace engineering programs are a cornerstone of most great engineering schools,” says Paul Johnson, executive dean of the Fulton School. “I'm very appreciative of the leadership provided by Bob Peck over the past five years, and grateful that Kyle Squires is stepping up to guide the department at this critical time of growth.”

Squires will help lead searches for additional faculty as part of the response to growth. He also wants to accentuate the faculty's research strengths through establishing connections to other programs and disciplines.

“Our mechanical and aerospace engineering research cuts across nearly every engineering discipline and shares elements in common with much of the research taking place throughout the university,” he says. “I will encourage the faculty to broaden the impact of our research through interaction with other departments, schools and institutes.”

Adds Johnson: “This department's faculty members are essential to the success of many of ASU's key initiatives, including the School of Earth and Space Exploration, the Global Institute of Sustainability and the School of Materials. Mechanical and aerospace faculty are expected to contribute significantly to developing research thrusts in high-performance computing, energy production and storage, and nanotechnology.”

Squires' own research expertise covers computational fluid dynamics, turbulence modeling of both single-phase and multiple-phase flows, and high-performance computing.

He recently has applied his expertise to exploring ways to improve the aerodynamics of aircraft, ground vehicles and sports equipment.