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International academic publisher Taylor & Francis Group has announced that Pamela M. Norris, executive dean of the University of Virginia School of Engineering, has accepted the position of editor-in-chief of the Nanoscale and Microscale Thermophysical Engineering journal.

Norris is the Frederick Tracy Morse Professor of the UVA Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Norris joined the faculty in 1994, and founded both the Nanoscale Energy Transfer Lab and the Aerogel Research Lab. Today, she is recognized globally as a leading expert in both research fields. 

Taylor & Francis says that they are committed to publishing high-quality and responsible research and that they recognize editors play a vital role in ensuring the excellence of our journals, as well as safeguarding the peer review process and guaranteeing ethical integrity. They have also said that they greatly appreciate the time and commitment that dean Norris is bringing to this role and look forward to working with her.

Norris said she is excited to follow the strong leadership provided by the previous editors-in-chief to include: Li Shi, Ernest Cockrell Senior Chair in Engineering and professor in the Walker Department of Mechanical Engineering and Texas Materials Institute at the University of Texas, Austin, and Ken Goodson, Davies Family Provostial Professor and senior associate dean for faculty and academic affairs, and Arun Majumdar, Jay Precourt Professor of mechanical engineering and co-director of the Precourt Institute for Energy, both from Stanford University, and the founding editor, Chang-Lin Tien, the late chancellor and professor of mechanical engineering at the University of California, Berkley. Her goal for the journal is to offer an outlet that brings together disparate fields focused on advancing discoveries in nanoscale and microscale energy and mass transport.

“I hope the journal can be seen as a ‘go-to’ venue for the newest ideas from a wide array of fields, offering inspiration to others to help expand the scope and advance the impact of our work,” she said.

After receiving her Ph.D. from Georgia Tech in 1992, and meeting Tien after his distinguished lecture on “Excellence Through Diversity,” Norris completed post-doctoral studies at the University of California, Berkeley, with Tien. As Norris’ mentor, he introduced her to the rapidly growing field of micro-/nano-scale energy transfer, as well as a fascinating new class of materials, aerogels. But Norris says the most valuable thing she learned from Tien was the importance of a tailored mentoring approach for each mentee.  She says, “I learned valuable mentoring lessons from Tien in nearly every interaction I had with him, if I paid attention."

“I am certain Chang-Lin would be most pleased with this approach and I am honored to continue advancing the journal he established as a small way to honor him for his important role in my academic journey,” Norris said.

As a leader in her fields, Norris routinely chairs and speaks at international conferences and has published over 100 heavily cited refereed journal papers. She holds patents for applications of aerogels in areas ranging from biological warfare detection, to lab-on-a-chip, to thermal insulation, along with patents for innovative thermal management techniques for jet-blast deflectors and landing pads. Norris has drawn more than $25 million worth of research grants to UVA and she is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Following in Tien’s footsteps, Norris is also well-known for her mentoring skills and for her dedication to increasing the representation and retention of women in the STEM disciplines. She is among those responsible for making UVA Engineering the No. 1 public engineering school in the United States for the percentage of women graduates, among schools with at least 75 engineering degree earners.

She served as the director of UVA’s NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation program to promote gender equity among faculty in STEM fields.

She also has been honored with multiple awards for her contributions, including the 2016 Society of Women Engineers’ Distinguished Engineering Educator Award “for enduring, positive influence on students’ lives as a gifted teacher, mentor, and role model, and for promoting greater diversity in STEM higher education;” the Elizabeth Zintl Leadership Award from UVA’s Maxine Platzer Lynn Women’s Center; and the Raven Award given by the Raven Society, the oldest honorary society at UVA and the highest honor the society bestows upon an individual.