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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

STEM department appoints Anthony Muscat to fill top position

Anthony+Muscat+was+appointed+to+the+department+chair+of+chemical+and+environmental+engineering+on+Oct.+1.+Muscat+filled+the+position+after+former+chair+James+Field+left+to+go+work+as+the+assistant+dean+of+graduate+studies+in+the+College+of+Engineering.
Meghan Fernandez

Anthony Muscat was appointed to the department chair of chemical and environmental engineering on Oct. 1. Muscat filled the position after former chair James Field left to go work as the assistant dean of graduate studies in the College of Engineering.

The department of chemical and environmental engineering recently appointed professor Anthony Muscat as its new head.

Muscat, a professor in the ChEE department, filled the position of department chair on Oct. 1 when the previous chair, James Field, left the position this semester after being appointed to assistant dean of graduate studies in the College of Engineering.

Field announced in August  that he was stepping down as department head on Oct. 1, two years into his second term. The voting process immediately commenced afterwards, a process Muscat was familiar with after running two years ago against Field.

“I thought that at this point in my career, I had something to offer to the department,” Muscat said, “and I just thought it was the right time both for what the department needed in terms of moving in a slightly different direction, and in my career, it was the right time. I felt the motivation to do it.”

The ChEE department has used a unique month-long voting process to choose its department head, which is a position held for three years for a maximum of two terms. The candidates self-nominate themselves for the position, and a voting committee is formed to marshal the voting process along. The department head candidates prepare two-page white papers, an official policy report, detailing their plans for the department during their three-year term, and prepare a presentation for the entire department faculty and staff.

Two weeks after the presentations, the 15 faculty members of the department vote, and the results of this vote are compiled by the voting committee. The committee then reports the vote to the dean of the College of Engineering, Jeffrey Goldberg, who makes the final decision.

“He’s [been] a very strong team player with the rest of the department, broad thinker, understands the role of engineering in the larger university picture, and I also think he understands what’s going on at the university as well,” Goldberg said. “He’s been both strong in undergraduate and graduate education, he’s got both a theoretical and an applied research portfolio and he’s [had] interaction with industry as well, mainly through our engineering research center and through ChEE.”

Feng Jiang, a former UA graduate student, worked with Muscat, who was his mentor. Jiang and Muscat and published two papers together and have two more papers in the revision process. Jiang now works in Beijing for BOE Technology Group Co., and said in an email statement that he also believes Muscat is well-qualified for the position.

“He has the ability to connect the department with more collaborators from both academia and industry, where he has [a] well-known reputation.” Jiang said. “He has been always caring about the development of our department, no matter in terms of teacher, research or outreach.”

Jiang said he also thinks Muscat’s personality will help contribute to the ChEE department.

“I think the department will become better under Dr. Muscat’s lead with his great ability and personality,” Jiang said. “I sincerely congratulate him on being elected as the new department head.”

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Follow Felipe Moreno on Twitter.

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