Professor Volker Sick has been appointed Associate Vice President for Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering, effective September 1, 2012, pending approval by the Board of Regents.
In addition to being a Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Volker Sick is the Director of the Walter E. Lay Automotive Laboratory and a University Co-Director of the General Motors Engine Systems Research Collaborative Research Laboratory.
As AVP, Professor Sick will serve as liaison between the Office of the Vice President of Research (OVPR) and scholarly and creative activities across the University in the natural sciences and engineering. As a senior member of the OVPR administrative team he will help orchestrate major interdisciplinary initiatives, deal with policy issues, and work with U-M’s Washington, D.C. office to promote the university’s research agenda. He will also oversee several OVPR units, including the Center for Statistical Consultation and Research (CSCAR), the University of Michigan Energy Institute (UMEI), the University of Michigan Transportation Research Institute (UMTRI), and Women in Science and Engineering (WISE).
Professor Sick’s research focuses on developing and applying laser-based and other optical measurement techniques to enable studies of mass and energy transfer at high pressures and high temperatures in mechanically restricted and vibrating environments, such as in internal combustion engines, stationary combustion, and multi-phase mixing processes. For much of his career, he has championed the importance of international experience and perspectives for students and faculty, and he has served as visiting professor at both the University of Erlangen in Germany and Shanghai Jiao Tong University in China.
A graduate of the University of Heidelberg in Germany with degrees in chemistry, he came to U-M as an associate professor in the College of Engineering in 1997. Elected an SAE Fellow in 2008 for his contributions to automotive technology, he has been widely recognized for his leadership in research, teaching, and service.
Professor Sick will succeed Mark Banaszak Holl, Professor of Chemistry in the College of Literature Science and the Arts and Professor of Macromolecular Science and Engineering in the College of Engineering, who is returning to full-time faculty responsibilities.
With his strong academic record, his experience working with industry, and his strong commitment to international ties, Volker Sick is an excellent fit for the AVP position, and the right person to help guide the emerging intelligent transportation systems initiative to the next level.