Skip to Navigation
University of Pittsburgh
Print This Page Print this pages

May 17, 2007

New University, Distinguished professors named

Pitt has honored three faculty members, two as Distinguished Professors and the third as a University Professor. The appointments became effective May 1.

The rank of Distinguished Professor recognizes extraordinary, internationally recognized, scholarly attainment in an individual discipline or field.

The title University Professor is given in recognition of eminence in several fields of study, transcending accomplishment in, and contributions to, a single discipline.

Lucy Fischer, professor of English and film studies and director of the film studies program, was named Distinguished Professor of English.

Kenneth D. Jordan has been appointed Distinguished Professor of Computational Chemistry. He is a faculty member in the chemistry department, which he chaired from 2002 to 2005. He also is a member of the Petersen Institute for Nanoscience and Engineering, an associate faculty member in the Department of Computational Biology and director of the University’s Center for Molecular and Materials Simulations.

Savio L-Y. Woo was named University Professor of Bioengineering. Woo founded and directs Pitt’s Musculoskeletal Research Center, a multidisciplinary research and educational center.

Fischer has spent much of her career exploring the role of women in film. She teaches such graduate courses as “Maternal Discourse in Film,” “Cinema and Desire,” “The Body in Cinema” and “Women and Film.”

She was president of the international Society for Cinema Studies (now the Society for Cinema and Media Studies) from 2001 to 2003.

She has written several books, including “Designing Women: Art Deco, Cinema and the Female Form,” “Jacques Tati,” “Shot/Countershot: Film Tradition and Women’s Cinema,” “Imitation of Life” (editor), “Cinematernity: Film, Motherhood, Genre” and “Sunrise.”

Fischer has written on film history, theory and criticism in such journals as Camera Obscura, Cinema Journal, Film Criticism, Film Quarterly, Frauen und Film, Journal of Film and Video, Screen, Sight and Sound, Wide Angle and Women and Performance. She also serves on the editorial boards of the Canadian Journal of Film Studies, Wayne State University Press Contemporary Film and Television Series, and Journal of Film and Video.

In addition, Fischer has held curatorial positions at The Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Carnegie Museum of Art in Pittsburgh.

Her honors include a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for University Professors and an Art Critics Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts.

Fischer earned her bachelor’s degree in English at City College of New York in 1966 and a master’s degree in education at the University of Pennsylvania in 1967. In 1968, she received a professional diploma in the Teaching of English from Columbia University.

She earned an MA and a PhD in cinema studies at New York University in 1973 and 1978, respectively.

Jordan is an expert in the use of theoretical and computational methods for understanding the properties of molecules, clusters and surfaces. He has employed electronic structure methods to elucidate the origins of long-range interactions in molecules and to study chemical processes on semiconductor surfaces. In recent years, he has been interested especially in hydrogen bonding and how excess electrons and protons localize in clusters of water. Jordan’s research on water was included in Science magazine’s top 10 scientific breakthroughs of 2004.

Recently, Jordan’s research group has been modeling hydrates, including methane hydrate, a methane-containing ice found in large deposits deep beneath the ocean surface. His research focuses on how heat transfers through methane hydrate crystals, both ideal and defective. He is collaborating with researchers at the University of California-Irvine and the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory in Pittsburgh.

Jordan earned his BA at Northeastern University in 1970 and his PhD at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1974. He was on the faculty of Yale University from 1974 through 1978, when he came to Pitt.

He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. His awards include the Chancellor’s Distinguished Research Award and the Pittsburgh Award from the Pittsburgh section of the American Chemical Society (ACS).

Jordan is a senior editor of the Journal of Physical Chemistry and vice chair of the Telluride Science Research Center. He has served as a program officer at the National Science Foundation and as the secretary/treasurer of the Physical Chemistry Division, ACS.

Last term he was the David P. Craig Visiting Professor at the Australian National University.

Woo joined the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery in the School of Medicine in 1990 as the inaugural AB Ferguson Professor after 20 years at the University of California-San Diego. In 2004, he moved to the School of Engineering as a senior faculty member in bioengineering.

Woo’s research has focused on knee ligament healing and repair, particularly medial collateral and anterior cruciate (ACL) ligaments, two of the knee’s four major ligaments. He has published and lectured extensively.

More recently, his work has centered on functional tissue engineering of ligament healing and regeneration by examining the processes from molecular and cellular to tissue and organ levels, as well as the use of robotic technology to examine the function of the ACL replacement grafts.

Among his honors, Woo has been elected to the Institute of Medicine, the National Academy of Engineering and Academia Sinica.

In 1998, Woo won the Olympic Prize for Sports Science and Gold Medal. He has won highest honors from many professional societies: the Kappa Delta Award, Lissner Award, O’Donoghue Award, Borelli Award and the Muybridge Medal, among others.

Woo also has served as the president of the American Society of Biomechanics, the Orthopaedic Research Society, the Biomedical Engineering Division of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the International Society of Fracture Repair and the World Association of Chinese Biomedical Engineers.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering at Chico State College in 1965. At the University of Washington he earned a master’s degree in mechanical engineering and a PhD in bioengineering in 1966 and 1971, respectively.

In 1999, he received an honorary doctorate of science degree from the California State University System.

Leave a Reply