Linda Petzold, has been installed as the inaugural Mehrabian Endowed Chair in the UC Santa Barbara College of Engineering (CoE). The endowed chair was established through a generous gift from Robert and Victoria Mehrabian, longtime friends and benefactors of UCSB. As dean from 1983 to 1990, Dr. Mehrabian transformed and expanded the college and, in 1987, established the Materials Department in partnership with A. G. Evans, the department’s first chair. Mehrabian’s vision catalyzed a collaborative environment for faculty and advanced the college to international prominence.
“I am deeply honored to be the recipient of the Mehrabian Endowed Chair in the College of Engineering, particularly because Robert Mehrabian played such a central role in developing the College of Engineering at UCSB into the world-class institution that it is today,” Petzold said.
At a special event held last month to honor Professor Petzold’s selection, she presented a talk titled “Accelerating Scientific Progress and Technology Development.” In it, she noted some of her group’s contributions to what she described as “the vast infrastructure of mathematics, statistics, computational algorithms, and computing technologies that enables us to see what cannot be seen or directly measured, and to understand, predict, and control the consequences of highly complex processes and to discover the information hidden in noisy data." In addition, CoE dean, Rod Alferness; Computer Science chair, Matthew Turk; and Mechanical Engineering chair, Frederic Gibou, recounted her many achievements during two decades on the UCSB faculty.