Four faculty members attain emeritus status

Four retiring engineering faculty members will be recognized during Vanderbilt’s May 9 commencement ceremony when the university honors their years of service and bestows on them the title of emeritus faculty.

Thomas Harris, Paul King, Karl Schnelle and Richard Schiavi were also recognized May 6 during a School of Engineering reception in their honor.

Thomas R. Harris, M.D., Ph.D., Orrin Henry Ingram Distinguished Professor of Engineering, Emeritus; Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Emeritus; Professor of Chemical Engineering, Emeritus; Professor of Medicine, Emeritus

Harris joined the Vanderbilt faculty as an assistant professor of chemical engineering in 1964 and later received his medical degree from Vanderbilt.

He served as director of the biomedical engineering academic program for 10 years and as chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering from its establishment in 1988 until 2007, increasing faculty members from five to 17, increasing undergraduate and graduate student enrollments and increasing external research funding.

Harris is a past national president of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) and of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE). His honors include selection as the Whitaker Lecturer and Research Award winner for the BMES; Fellow of the AIMBE; Theo C. Pilkington Outstanding Educator Award, Biomedical Engineering Division of ASEE; Distinguished Service Award, BMES; and Inaugural Fellow, BMES.

Paul H. King, Ph.D., Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Emeritus; Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Emeritus

King joined the Vanderbilt faculty as an assistant professor of engineering in 1968. Within a semester, he became one of the founding members of the newly authorized degree program in biomedical engineering. He has held appointments in mechanical engineering and biomedical engineering, as well as in orthopedics, rehabilitation and anesthesiology. He was the director of the Division of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Anesthesiology.

King developed and taught many of the current offerings in biomedical engineering. His current field of expertise is design of biomedical engineering devices and systems; he has taught and published in this area (including a textbook) since 1991. He initiated a national biomedical engineering design workshop which has been offered yearly since 2002. His required senior design course that has been adopted and modified for use at a number of other universities.

He is on the editorial board for the International Journal of Engineering Education and is the book review editor for the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology newsletter. King is also in demand for forensic services involving medical device and process failures.

Karl B. Schnelle, Jr., Ph.D., Professor of Chemical and Environmental Engineering, Emeritus

Schnelle joined Vanderbilt as an assistant professor of chemical engineering in 1958 and was a member of the chemical engineering department committee that established the Ph.D. in chemical engineering.

Schnelle has served as chairman of the Division of Socio-technological Systems, the department of environmental and water resources engineering, the Department of Environmental Engineering and Policy Management and the Department of Chemical Engineering and as director of the environmental and water resources engineering program. He was elected a fellow of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and received a Fulbright Chair at the Université de Liège, Liège, Belgium.

In addition to his journal publications, Schnelle is the author of two books:  Atmospheric Dispersion Modeling Compliance Guide and A Handbook for Air Pollution Control Technology.  A third book, Tower Design and Applications for Separations, is to be published in 2009.

Richard G. Shiavi, Ph.D., Professor of Biomedical Engineering, Emeritus;  Professor of Electrical Engineering, Emeritus

Shiavi joined the Vanderbilt faculty in 1972. For 20 years, he was also active in biomedical engineering research at the Veterans Administration Medical Center in Nashville, studying electromyographic synergy patterns and knee kinematics. He has been a collaborator with the Centro di Bioingegneria of the Politecnico di Milano in Milan, Italy, and served as president of the International Society of Electrophysiologic Kinesiology.

He was a member of the Neurolab Spacelab Mission Science Team that investigated the effect of microgravity on control of the autonomic nervous system. His other current research examines speech correlates of mental state. He wrote book chapters for the Handbook of Pattern Recognition and Image Processing and Gait and Rehabilitation and a textbook titled Introduction to Applied Statistical Analysis.  In 1996, Shiavi was appointed a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.