This article is from the archives of the UB Reporter.

McCombe, Ryan named vice provosts

Published: December 16, 2004

Assistant Vice President

Bruce D. McCombe and Michael E. Ryan today were appointed to key leadership positions in his office by Satish K. Tripathi, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs.

McCombe, SUNY Distinguished Professor in the Department of Physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, was named UB vice provost for graduate education and dean of the Graduate School, effective Jan. 1, 2005.

In his new position, McCombe will lead the development of new and innovative graduate programs, coordinate the systematic review of existing graduate programs and be responsible for the continual improvement of graduate student central support services.

Also effective Jan. 1 is the appointment of Ryan, associate dean in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), as vice provost and dean of undergraduate education.

Tripathi said Ryan "will lead university-wide efforts to ensure that undergraduate students are provided an excellent educational experience and have appropriate opportunities to engage in truly distinctive research, scholarly, creative and public-service activities."

Tripathi said the search to fill the position of vice provost for faculty affairs continues and that he anticipates filling that position early next semester.

Tripathi had high praise for Ryan and McCombe.

"During Professor Ryan's tenure in the School of Engineering and Applied Science, he has worked tirelessly—through providing innovative academic programming—to promote the success of undergraduate students," he noted.

"His understanding of the entire undergraduate enterprise and the undergraduate experience, along with his first-hand knowledge of how faculty-guided research and creative activities enhance undergraduate education, make him ideally suited for this position."

Addressing McCombe's appointment, Tripathi said that "with his leadership and vision for graduate studies, I have every expectation that Professor McCombe—working with the College of Arts and Sciences and the 12 professional schools—will enhance the quality, innovativeness and national reputation of graduate and professional education across our campus."

Tripathi commended McCombe as "an internationally recognized scholar, a teacher who has mentored more than 35 master's and doctoral students, and a researcher who has supervised many postdoctoral students. His work always is characterized by excellence."



McCombe, who joined the faculty of the then Department of Physics and Astronomy in 1982, previously was head of the Electronics Technology Division at the Naval Research Laboratory. He has served in a variety of administrative posts at UB, including associate chair and chair of the Department of Physics, and more recently, as associate dean for research and sponsored programs in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Director of UB's Center for Advanced Photonic and Electronic Materials (CAPEM), he is an adjunct professor of electrical engineering in the School of Engineering and Applies Sciences. He served previously as co-director of the Center for Electronic and Electro-Optic Materials.

McCombe's research interests are in semiconductor physics, particularly infrared and far infrared spectroscopy of semiconductor nanostructures, and spin-dependent properties of semiconductors for spintronics applications.

A fellow of the American Physical Society, he is the author or co-author of more than 220 articles in refereed journals and refereed conference proceedings. Former editor of Physica E, Low Dimensional Systems and Nanostructures, he has presented more than 120 invited talks at national and international conferences and workshops, and has organized or co-organized three international conferences and several international workshops and symposia.

He has been a visiting professor at Institut National des Champs Magnetiques Pulses; INSA; Université Paul Sabbatier in Toulouse, France; Gastprofessor at the Institut für Physik, Montanuniversitüt Leoben, Leoben, Austria; and an NRC-CIAR (Canadian Institute for Advanced Science) distinguished visiting scientist at the Institute for Microstructural Sciences, National Research Council of Canada in Ottawa. He was a visiting scientist at the Max-Planck Institut fuer Festkoerperforschung, Stuttgart, Germany; the Institute for Applied Physics, University of Hamburg, Germany; the Grenoble High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Grenoble, France; the Francis Bitter National Magnet Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology; the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory at Florida State University; the National Pulsed Magnet Laboratory at the University of New South Wales in Sydney, Australia; and the Pulsed High Magnetic Field Laboratory, Univesité Paul Sabbatier, Toulouse, France.

A native of Sanford, Maine, McCombe earned a bachelor's degree, cum laude, from Bowdoin College and a doctorate from Brown University.

A professor of chemical engineering, Ryan has been on UB's faculty since 1976. He served as director of the Business-Industry Affiliates Program in the New York State Center for Hazardous Waste Management at UB from 1988-94.



Ryan has served as associate dean for student services in SEAS since 1995 with responsibility for matters relating to undergraduate engineering curriculum, recruiting, admissions, advisement, retention and articulation, as well as student clubs, outreach and such activities as open house and commencement.

His research and teaching at the graduate and undergraduate levels have been in the areas of polymer science and engineering, plastics processing, rheology and non-Newtonian fluid mechanics.

He has been a visiting scientist at the Industrial Materials Institute, National Research Council of Canada in Boucherville, Quebec, Canada; the Department of Chemical Engineering at McGill University in Montreal, Canada; and the Department of Chemical Engineering, University of California at Davis.

A member of the editorial board for Advances in Polymer Technology, Ryan has authored or co-authored more than 75 scientific publications and was co-editor with R.R. Rumer of "Barrier Containment Technologies for Environmental Remediation Applications" (John Wiley & Sons, 1995). He has served as a reviewer for 19 journals and a consultant to more than 20 companies or corporations.

Ryan holds bachelor's, master's and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from McGill University.