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Berry, Sahakian Appointed to New Leadership Positions

Two faculty members have been named to leadership positions at Northwestern Engineering as the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science separates into the Department of Computer Science and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

Alan Sahakian, currently chair of the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science, will join the senior leadership team as associate dean. Randy Berry, now professor of electrical engineering and computer science, will become John A. Dever Chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. The changes will take effect on January 1, 2019. The moves follow the announcement earlier this month of the appointment of Samir Khuller as the Peter and Adrienne Barris Chair of Computer Science.

Alan Sahakian“Alan has led the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science during a time of tremendous growth and change,” McCormick School of Engineering Dean Julio M. Ottino said. “One result of this growth is the formation of two departments, and I am pleased to welcome Alan to my senior team to help manage the tremendous growth at McCormick. I am confident that Randy will provide outstanding leadership for the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering as it plans for the future.”

Sahakian’s research focuses on the intersection of engineered electronic systems and medicine. He works in cardiac electrophysiology—treating atrial fibrillation with automatic implanted devices—and uses millimeter-wave and photonic methods for medical and non-medical imaging and monitoring. More recently, he performed research in electroporation ablation therapy for liver cancer. He has received many teaching awards, including the Bette and Neison Harris Chair, Charles Deering McCormick Chair, McCormick Teacher of the Year award, McCormick Adviser of the Year award, and the Northwestern Alumni Association Teaching award. He is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and IEEE.

“It has been an honor to serve as a department chair for EECS, and I am grateful to the faculty and staff who have been outstanding partners during a period of rapid growth,” Sahakian said. “I know that Randy and Samir will provide the necessary leadership for the newly separated departments to thrive.”

Randy BerryBerry currently serves as the director of Northwestern Engineering’s MS in Information Technology program. A member of Northwestern’s faculty since 2000, his research focuses on wireless communications and networking, and it includes various aspects of resource allocation in wireless networks, traffic grooming in wavelength-division multiplexing-based optical networks, and traffic control in TCP/IP networks. He is a fellow of IEEE.

“I am fortunate to have this opportunity at an exciting juncture for our department and our field,” Berry said. “Electrical and Computer Engineering have played a transformational role in society, and I am confident that researchers at Northwestern will continue to play a leading role in the field.”