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Department of Mechanical Engineering

Rife named department chair

Wednesday, September 1, 2021

Professor Jason Rife was appointed chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, effective September 1, 2020.

Professor Jason Rife
Professor Jason Rife (right) and a student in the mechanical engineering lab. Credit: Anna Miller/Tufts Photo, December 2018

The School of Engineering is please to share the appointment of Professor Jason Rife as chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, effective September 1, 2020.

Rife received his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. He joined Tufts University School of Engineering in 2007 as an assistant professor and, in 2013, was promoted to associate professor. He was promoted to professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering in 2020.

His leadership skills proved to be indispensable during his first year as chair, as students within the department excelled through a mixture of in-person and virtual course modalities. His talent as an administrator, instructor, and mentor was evident in his deep understanding of the material taught, his commitment to student comprehension, and his efforts to create an inclusive learning environment. He previously served as the associate dean for undergraduate education in the School of Engineering from 2015-2016, and chair of the School of Engineering Curriculum Committee.

As a researcher, Rife focuses on safety assurances for sensors in vehicle navigation. The Automated Systems and Robotics Lab, which he directs, develops novel control, navigation, and interface technologies to ensure safe, reliable, and seamless interactions between humans and machines. His lab has received funding from organizations such as the National Science Foundation (NSF), the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT), and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). Recent publications from the team investigate methods for validating and bounding navigation performance to enable safety in critical automated vehicle operations.

The School of Engineering thanks Professor Chris Rogers for his leadership of the department over the past five years. During his tenure, he shepherded the department through a successful ABET accreditation and spearheaded a multi-year effort to redesign the department’s undergraduate curriculum to better reflect the tools and skill sets needed for today’s engineer. We wish him success in his new role as the John R. Beaver Professor in Mechanical Engineering.

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