March 28, 2011

K.T. Ramesh named to WSE’s Alonzo G. Decker Jr. Chair

K.T. Ramesh, a professor of mechanical engineering, has been named to the Whiting School of Engineering’s Alonzo G. Decker Jr. Chair in Science and Engineering, effective March 1. A dedication ceremony is planned for April 8.

“K.T. is a brilliant scholar who has also been an extremely effective leader in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, not only as chair but also as a driving force in the department’s growth,” said Nick Jones, the Benjamin T. Rome Dean of the Whiting School, in announcing Ramesh’s appointment. “He has garnered international acclaim for research that spans a wide range of subject matter, including nanostructured materials, high strain rate behavior and dynamic failure of materials, the dynamics of human tissues and planetary impact problems,” Jones said. “The common thread in all of K.T.’s research is his interest in dynamic problems with applications on scales that range from asteroid hazard mitigation to understanding and mitigating traumatic brain injury and developing strong, lightweight structural materials for personnel and vehicular protection.”

Ramesh received his doctorate from Brown University in 1987. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Diego, he joined the Johns Hopkins Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1988, becoming department chair in 1999. He is director of the university’s Center for Advanced Metallic and Ceramic Systems, a role he has held since founding the center in 2001.

Ramesh serves on the governing boards of the American Academy of Mechanics and the Society of Engineering Science, and has played a significant role in blue-ribbon groups suggesting research and development directions for the U.S. Army and the National Academies. In addition to more than 130 peer-reviewed technical articles, he is the author of Nanomaterials: Mechanics and Mechanisms (Springer, 2009).

The Alonzo G. Decker Jr. Chair in Science and Engineering was established by Alonzo G. Decker Jr., a university trustee for more than 30 years and national chair of the Hopkins Hundreds Campaign in the 1970s, during which time he gave generously to the university, including the establishment of this endowed professorship. As chief executive officer of Black & Decker, he helped lead the manufacturing company to international prominence, devising some of its most successful products. With his wife, Virginia, he actively supported educational institutions in Maryland.

He died in 2002, and his wife in 2008. In 2007, the Homewood campus’s lower quad was dedicated as the Alonzo G. and Virginia Decker Quadrangle in honor of their legacy.