Michael A. Henson has been appointed interim head of the Department of Chemical Engineering, effective May 24. He will replace current head, John Klier, who is stepping down to transition into the role of dean of the Gallogly College of Engineering at the University of Oklahoma.
Professor Henson joined the faculty in chemical engineering in 2002, and is an affiliated faculty member in the Institute of Applied Life Sciences.
He earned his PhD in chemical engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara and completed postdoctoral work at in the Advanced Process Control Group at DuPont Company in Wilmington, Delaware. Prior to joining UMass Amherst, Henson was on the faculty at Louisiana State University. In 2001, he was an Alexander von Humboldt Foundation Research Fellow at the University of Stuttgart in Germany.
Henson’s research focuses on systems level modeling and analysis of natural and engineered microbial communities with applications to human health and renewable liquid fuels. His work has produced over 125 referred journal publications and 70 invited presentations and seminars. He is an AIChE Fellow and received the College of Engineering Outstanding Senior Faculty Award in 2008.
A search will be conducted during Fall 2020 for a permanent department head, whose term will begin in January 2021.