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Olson, Rader Named Academic Department Heads

July 21, 2014

Lorraine G Olson

Lorraine G. Olson

Distinguished Rose-Hulman faculty members Lorraine G. Olson, PhD, and David J. Rader, PhD, have new leadership roles in their academic departments. The appointments were made by Phillip J. Cornwell, PhD, vice president for academic affairs.

Olson is head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, which has the institute’s largest student enrollment. She joined the faculty as a professor in 2002, after serving as interim head of the Department of Engineering Mechanics at the University of Nebraska. She received the Rose-Hulman Board of Trustees’ Outstanding Scholar Award in 2013, and is a strong proponent for student undergraduate research experiences. She is one of the faculty co-founders for the institute’s Independent Projects and Research Opportunities Program.

Olson is an expert at applying finite element methodologies to non-traditional areas, such as ultrasonic cleaning of semiconductor wafers, laser welding, online machine tool monitoring, rotational molding of polymers, wear-resistant coatings, and inverse electrocardiography. She is working with two Rose-Hulman colleagues and several students on a research project, supported by the National Science Foundation, focusing on using inverse problems in the early detection of breast cancer.

During her career, Olson has become a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and has authored or co-authored one book chapter, 40 journal articles, and 92 conference papers, presentations, and reports. She earned her bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering at Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Her husband, Robert Throne, is head of Rose-Hulman’s Department of Electrical Engineering, and one of the couple’s two children, Samuel, is entering his senior year as a mechanical engineering student at Rose-Hulman.

David J Rader

David J. Rader

Rader is head of the Department of Mathematics. He joined the mathematics faculty in 1997 and earned the rank of full professor in 2011. He often teaches upper-level courses in probability, statistics, and operations research, and has authored or co-authored eight journal articles, 27 conference presentations, and the textbook, “Deterministic Operations Research: Models and Methods in Linear Optimization.”

Rader has been a leading contributor to the success of the Rose-Hulman Undergraduate Mathematics Journal, one of the few publications to feature the scholarly works of undergraduate college students. He was editor for the past four years, after being assistant editor for 10 years.

Rader earned his doctorate in operations research from Rutgers University. He received a bachelor’s degree from the University of Richmond.