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Ohio University Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering welcomes new department chair

ATHENS, Ohio (May 16, 2006) -- Valerie Young has been named chair of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Ohio University's Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology, effective July 1. Young replaces Michael Prudich, who is leaving the post after 12 years.

Previously, Young was the department's assistant chair for graduate studies since winter 2003.

Russ College Dean Dennis Irwin says Young represents a commitment to undergraduate education, undergraduate recruiting and diversity. 

"An accomplished researcher in the area of atmospheric chemistry, Dr. Young will bring leadership to the areas of chemical and biomolecular engineering that we believe are the future of the discipline – environmental and energy issues and the increasingly important area of biomolecular engineering," he said.

Young says that as chair, she hopes to generate more national and regional awareness of the Russ College. 

"One of my goals is to get the word out about the quality of what we do in terms of undergraduate and graduate education, and in terms of the cutting-edge research that our students at all levels are engaged in with our faculty," she said. "We are a department and a university that deserves to be more widely known." 

An associate professor since 2003, Young began her teaching career at Ohio University as an assistant professor in 1996.

Since joining Ohio University, Young has continued research in the sources and fates of trace gases in the atmosphere. She has been involved in major regional ozone investigations such as the Southern Oxidant Study and has studied chemistry in remote areas such as northern Michigan, Saskatchewan and the Arctic.

Young says she has enjoyed working with both undergraduates and graduate students in her research, and she is proud of the Russ College faculty's involvement with students. 

"We have an exceptional group of faculty that really values the students as individuals and is committed to providing opportunities for them to develop into engineering professionals," Young said. 

Young earned her B.S. in chemical engineering from Lehigh University in 1998 and her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in 1992. 

The Fritz J. and Dolores H. Russ College of Engineering and Technology at Ohio University in Athens, Ohio, educates well-rounded professionals with both technical and team-project skills who become our business, government, and industry leaders. The college offers undergraduate and graduate degrees across the traditional engineering spectrum and in the technology disciplines of aviation, computer science, and industrial technology. Strategic research areas include bioengineering, energy and the environment, and smart civil infrastructure. Named for alumnus Fritz Russ and his wife Dolores, the Russ College is home of the Russ Prize, one of the top three engineering prizes in the world. For more information, visit www.ohio.edu/engineering.

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Media Contact: Russ College Director of External Relations Colleen Girton, (740) 593-1488 or girtonc@ohio.edu, or Media Specialist Jack Jeffery, (740) 597-1793 or jefferyj@ohio.edu

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