Leadership of the Department

The Materials Science and Engineering Department has had 10 Chairs or Directors over its 120+ years of history.  

It all started in 1901 when Professor Myers, then head of the Chemistry Department, determined the need for a School of Ceramics and organized its beginnings in 1902.

From 1902 until the present, here are the 10 Chairs or Directors:

I.    Mr. Cullen W. Parmelee, 1902 – 1916.

II.   George H. Brown, 1917 – 1943.

III.  Edward P. McNamara, acting Director, 1943 – 1944.

             1944 - 1945.  Vacant.  Ms. Emma Nawrot-Stett, a staff member, was vital in 

             keeping the Department functioning and in existence during this period.

IV.  Dr. John Koenig, 1945 – 1969.

V.   Dr. Malcolm G. McLaren (PhD Rutgers University), 1969 - 1994.  

            This was a period of extraordinary growth and vitality for the Department.  

            Two new buildings were constructed.

VI.   Dr. Dale E. Niesz (PhD Ohio State University), 1994–2000.

VII.  Dr. Steven C. Danforth, (PhD Brown University), 2000–2006.

VIII. Dr. Dunbar P. Birnie III (PhD MIT), 2006-2010.

IX.   Dr. Richard L Lehman, (PhD Rutgers University), 2010-2020.

X.    Dr. Lisa C. Klein, (PhD MIT), 2020-present.