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Campus news in brief

Hebert named head of Robotics Institute

Martial Hebert, a longtime professor and researcher in Carnegie Mellon’s Robotics Institute, was recently named the new director of the Institute. Hebert has been at the Robotics Institute since 1984, five years after it was founded, and became a full professor in 1999. Hebert originally hails from Chatou, France and earned his degree in computer science at the University of Paris.

“Having joined the institute shortly after its creation, I am honored and thrilled to now have the opportunity to work with the faculty, students, and staff to shape the next phase of its journey,” Hebert said in a university news release.

“Martial is a widely admired and respected leader in robotics,” Andrew Moore, dean of the School of Computer Science, said in the news release. “Over the years, he and the people who have worked with him have produced some of the most impactful work on robot vision and sensing that the world has seen. We are all very excited to have him lead one of CMU’s most important centers of excellence.”

Hebert has participated in research projects such as NavLab, a program for developing self-driving vehicles, and has worked on developing personal care robots in the Quality of Life Technology Center.

The 35-year-old Robotics Institute is the first robotics department at a U.S. university, and now has over 800 faculty, staff, and students, with a research budget of over $54 million.

Two CMU professors receive faculty chairs

Peter Boatwright has received the Carnegie Bosch Professorship in Marketing, established by the Carnegie Bosch Institute, and Javier Peña has received the Bajaj Family Chair in Operations Research, established by the Kamalnayan Jamnalal Bajaj Foundation. Boatwright and Peña are both professors in Carnegie Mellon’s Tepper School of Business.

Boatwright has been a member of Tepper’s faculty since 1997 and is currently co-director of the university’s Integrated Innovation Institute. He has co-authored two books on product and service innovation.

Peña joined Carnegie Mellon’s faculty in 1999, and currently teaches a variety of analytical subjects. Peña’s research has been funded by the National Science Foundation, and he received the Caterpillar Research Chair in 2001 and an IBM Faculty Award in 2010.

“Peter Boatwright and Javier Peña have not only made significant research contributions in their fields, but they are also recognized as outstanding educators and highly involved faculty members,” said Tepper School Dean Robert Dammon in a university news release.

“Javier’s research demonstrates a mindset of knowledge discovery, appreciation for collaboration both with his students and his colleagues, as well as a willingness to stretch beyond the walls of his discipline,” Dammon continued. “In addition to being an outstanding researcher, Javier is also an outstanding educator. Our MBA students recognized Javier in 2005 when he received the George Leland Bach Teaching Award for Excellence in the Classroom.”