The purpose of the Doherty Professorship in Ocean Utilization is to provide development opportunities through research support for selected non-tenured MIT faculty members.
The Doherty Professorship was established to encourage young faculty members to apply their expertise to the development of meaningful uses of the seas for the benefit of this country and mankind. We believe the capabilities and enthusiasm of the Institute’s non-tenured faculty members will contribute to solve the problems currently faced in ocean utilization and coastal zone development. Faculty versed in these areas are of particular importance in teaching students that factual knowledge must be coupled with the ability to find workable solutions that are compatible with societal needs.
A grant to MIT from Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation, Inc. has established a fund to support the Henry L. Doherty Professorships in Ocean Utilization.
Persons interested in an ocean-related issue and holding an MIT assistant professor or non-tenured associate professor appointment in any academic department may be nominated for the Doherty Professorship, as long as they do not hold another MIT-funded chair concurrent with the Doherty.
NOMINATION AND SELECTION PROCEDURE
MIT Sea Grant accepted nominations through December 13, 2021. Nomination of a non-tenured faculty member for the Doherty Professorship must be submitted by the head of his/her academic department. Each department may nominate up to two non-tenured faculty members each year.
The nomination is to be in writing and presented in four parts:
- a description of the research or study program proposed by the nominee,
- an annual budget for each year of support requested,
- the professional resume of the nominee, and
- an evaluation and endorsement by their department head.
The research program description should include a statement of the program’s objectives, an outline of the planned approach, and an explanation of the need for the proposed research (why it is important). The applicant is to indicate in the research description any current or past funding he or she has had in the area of the proposed research. Even though a faculty member may be well established in one field, the Doherty provides an opportunity to branch into a new area. The nomination, evaluation and endorsement by the department head is the first step in the selection process.
The second step in the selection process is the review of nominations by a committee appointed and chaired by the MIT Sea Grant Program Director. The MIT Sea Grant Director will select four faculty members from among the Institute faculty at large to assist in the final selection of the winning candidate for the Doherty. These faculty members will be recruited on the basis of their broad interests in the marine, environmental, and coastal areas. The Director will summarize the results of their review and recommendations regarding the final award and present these findings to the Provost for final approval.
Selection will be based primarily on the nomination statement, on the relevance of the proposed research to important issues; potential applicability of the results; and the professional benefit to the recipient. It is intended that the Professorship provide seed research support in new and significant marine-related subjects.
The Doherty Professorship will be awarded for a two-year period effective on July 1 following the appointment. Requests for nominations will be sent to all department heads in the previous fall, and appointments will be made early in the spring term of each year.
Each Professorship will provide funding at the level of $25,000 per year for two years. Overhead is not charged on the funding but salary charges are subject to employee benefits. When used for salary and employee benefits for the academic year, these funds cannot be used by the cognizant department or accounting center. The funds granted may be used for the non-general fund share of the recipient’s salary, and for the following support items: the salary of a research assistant and/or a secretary, domestic travel, and materials and service. Also, foreign travel and research equipment may be supported if specifically identified in the original project outline and approved in the final selection action.
The Professorship will be funded through an account established by the MIT Sea Grant College Program office.
Each Doherty Professor will present a written annual report to the Director of the MIT Sea Grant College Program by 1 August of each year. This report will summarize the work performed, results achieved, publications made and plans for the next year (when applicable). Technical reports and journal articles should be published in cooperation with the MIT Sea Grant Program.
PAST DOHERTY PROFESSORS
|2020||Fadel Adib||Backscatter Positioning for the Subsea Internet-of-Things|
|2019||Wim van Rees||Design and Control of Soft Underwater Autonomous Vehicles|
|2018||Andrew Babbin||The Roles of Nitrogen Dynamics in Governing Coral Reef Health|
|2017||Themistoklis Sapsis||Design of Optimal Experiments for Determining Extreme Event Statistics in Complex Systems|
|2016||Otto Cordero||Systems Ecology of Particle Attached Microbial Communities|
|2015||Caroline Uhler||Bayesian Gaussian Graphical Model Selection and Ocean Energy Utilization|
|2014||Niels Holten-Andersen||Metal-Coordinating Polymers: Using Marine Biological Tricks to Assemble New Functional Materials|
|2013||Jonathan Runstadler||Influenza Ecology in the Ocean Environment: Environmental Persistence, Viral Adaptation, and Transmission between Seabirds and Marine Mammals|
|2012||Timothy Lu||Engineering Hybrid Biological-Electrical Systems for Ocean Engineering|
|2011||Kripa Varanasi||Nanoengineered Surfaces for Hydrate Mitigation in Subsea Oil and Gas Operation|
|2010||Janelle Thompson||Host-associated microbial communities (microbiome) in corals, their activity in response to environmental stress and to lesions caused by White Plague disease|
|2009||Pierre Lermusiaux||Adaptive Sampling Using Swarms of Smart Autonomous Underwater Vehicles|
|2008||Eric J. Alm||Modeling and Harnessing Genetic Diversity in Ocean Bacteria|
|2008||Franz S. Hover||Autonomous Underwater Intervention in an Unstructured Environment|
|2007||Roman Stocker||Insights in the Life of a Bacterium: Probing Microbial Processes Using Microfluids|
|2006||Vladimir Stojanovic||Utilizing the Multiple-Input, Multiple-Output Capacity of Multi-Mode Fiber-Optic Communications Systems|
|2005||Patrick Doyle||Drag Reduction: Investigating the Relation to Elongational Viscosity and Complex Polymer Molecules|
|2004||Anette Hosoi||Experimental and Numerical Investigation of Oceanic Particle-laden Flows|
|2003||Charles Harvey||Dynamics of Coastal Groundwater|
|2002||Alexandra Techet||Embedded MEMS Based Shear Stress Sensors for Flow Measurement and Control of Marine Vehicle|
|2001||Julian Sachs||Paleothermometry in Oceanic Sediments to Determine Abrupt Climate Change Mechanisms|
|2001||Bernhardt Trout||Formation and Dissolution of CH4-Hydrates and CO2-Hydrates in the Ocean|
|2000||Nicholas Makris||Monitoring Natural and Man-made Ambient Noise in Mass. Bay|
|2000||Martin Polz||Quantitative Ecology of Harmful Microorganisms in Coastal, Marine Environment|
|1999||Bettina Voelker||Effects of Terrestrial Organic Matter on the Speciation of Cu and Cd in Coastal Waters|
|1998||John Leonard||Dynamic Underwater Sonar Data Fusion|
|1997||Paul Laibinis||Reduced Metal Corrosion and Leaching Rates in Oceanic Conditions|
|1995||Frank Feng||Surfactant Effect on Nonlinear Wave-Wave Interactions|
|1995||Heidi Nepf||Hydrodynamic Effects of Vegetation in Coastal Regions|
|1994||Lee Krumholz||Development of Technology to Combat Highly Chlorinated Organic Pollutants|
|1993||J. Robert Fricke||Underwater Sea-Ice Imagery with an Autonomous Underwater Vehicle|
|1992||Linda Cima||arine Biopolymers for Medical Use: Cell Interaction with Alginate|
|1992||Harri Kytömaa||Dynamic Resuspension and Settling of Particulate Beds|
|1991||Henrik Schmidt||Autonomous Vehicle Acoustics|
|1990||Andrew Whittle||Modeling of Rate Effects in Cohesive Soils|
|1989||Nicholas M. Patrikalakis||Computer-Aided Design and Manufacturing for Marine Systems|
|1987||S. Shyam Sunder||Fracture Characterization of Ice|
|1987||Jean-Jacques Slotin||Adaptive Control of Underwater Vehicle-Manipulator Systems|
|1986||Dale G. Karr||Ice Acoustic Emission Theory/Micro-Mechanical Aspects of Ice Deformation|
|1985||Triantaphyllos Akylas||Long-period Edge Waves on Natural Beaches|
|1984||Dick Yue||Second Order Wave Forces|
|1983||Harold F. Hemond||A Molecular Probe/Field Mass Spectrometer System for Quantification of Sediment Metabolism in Coastal Marshes|
|1982||Michael Triantafyllou||A New Generation of Underwater Unmanned Tethered Vehicles Carrying Heavy Equipment at Large Depths|
|1981||Alexander M Klibanov||Enzymatic Removal of Hazardous Pollutants from Industrial Aqueous Effluents|
|1980||Sallie W. Chisholm||Study of Variability among Individuals in Populations of Micro-algae and its Role in Algal Dominance and Succession|
|1979||Harilaos Psaraftis||The Design of an Emergency Pollution Response System for Small Oil Spills|
|1978||Francis Noblesse||Implementation of a New Method for Evaluating the Wave Resistance of a Ship|
|1978||Alician V. Quinlan||Ecodynamic Analysis of Algal Blooms Fouling Nahant Bay Beaches|
|1977||Ole S. Madsen||Surf Zone Hydrodynamics|
|1976||J. Kim Vandiver||Dynamic Analysis of Offshore Structures|
|1974||Francois M. Morel||The Role of Trace Metals in the New England Red Tide|
We welcome Serguei Saavedra, Associate Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as our 2021 MIT Doherty Professor in Ocean Utilization.
RESEARCH FOCUS | Reverse Engineering to Maintain and Restore Marine Ecosystems
This research will set the stage for an urgently needed quantitative and empirical framework to improve the current sustainability paradigm of marine ecosystems. The goal is to reconstruct, understand, and predict the maintenance and recovery of more than 5,000 local communities (i.e., local collections of marine species) within marine ecosystems located across the world. Specifically, the focus will be on developing a reverse-engineering approach integrating a new mathematical framework with big data to characterize the set of both biotic and abiotic conditions compatible with the sustainability of marine ecosystems.
The Doherty Professorship in Ocean Utilization was established through a generous grant from the Henry L. and Grace Doherty Charitable Foundation, Inc. of Darien, Connecticut. The professorship, awarded to promising junior faculty, is a much sought-after prize at MIT. Young scientists embarking upon programs of innovative marine research often have difficulty obtaining funds from traditional sources. The Doherty Professorship provides a one- to two-year stipend to young faculty as they pursue new ideas and gives them the freedom to experiment. It is a formula for success. As noted by Kenneth A. Smith, Gilliland Professor in MIT’s Department of Chemical Engineering,
“Recipients of the Doherty Professorship have managed to turn ideas into technologies, developing better ways to use the world’s oceans.”
Though ocean utilization is a common theme, the recipients’ research has been varied, ranging from red tide to deep sea cables; from modeling ocean waves to DNA monitoring of coastal contaminants; from the mechanics of ice to the control of autonomous underwater vehicles. Many of these research programs are little more than ideas at their inception, but thanks to this professorship most mature to fully funded programs of marine research.
The Doherty Professorship was established under the direction of Professor Ira Dyer when he was the head of the Department of Ocean Engineering and director of the MIT Sea Grant College Program. MIT has selected MIT Sea Grant to administer the grants for the Doherty awards, in keeping with the vision of the first Sea Grant Director, Alfred Keil, who saw Sea Grant as an interdisciplinary program of ocean research. This philosophy, which has been espoused by subsequent directors, is evident in the design of Sea Grant activities. The Doherty Foundation also helped MIT establish its Sea Grant Program and increased the Institute’s participation in the National Sea Grant College Program through a grant in 1971.
The Doherty Foundation, established in the memory of the founder of the Cities Service Co. and his late wife, is principally devoted to supporting and encouraging the development of national resources related to the oceans and the coasts.