Established in 2012 in honor of Dr. Thomas J. Barber

Image Credit: Will Kirk DR. THOMAS J. BARBER (pictured here with Adam Riess to his right, taken at the professorship dedication) joined the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Connecticut in 2000 after his first try at retirement did not stick. Dr. Barber received his BS, MS, and PhD degrees in aeronautical engineering from New York University in 1964, 1965, and 1968, respectively.

In 1968, he joined Pratt & Whitney Aircraft and was responsible for the development of a variety of numerical solvers and associated physical models for the flow in gas turbine engines. In 1983, he joined the United Technologies Research Center, where he was responsible for the development and application of computational analyses for the investigation of fundamental fluid dynamics problems.

Dr. Barber has earned three patents for his work in applying enhanced mixing concepts to propulsion system nozzles and fuel cell systems. Dr. Barber taught graduate mechanical engineering courses for more than 30 years at Rensselaer of Hartford prior to joining UConn. He is an associate fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and a member of ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and has served as an associate editor of the AIAA Journal of Propulsion and Power.


ADAM RIESS is the inaugural Thomas J. Barber Professor of Physics and Astronomy at the Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, a distinguished astronomer at the Space Telescope Science Institute and a Gilman Scholar at The Johns Hopkins University. In 2011, he was named a co-winner of the Nobel Prize in Physics and was awarded the Albert Einstein Medal for his leadership in the High-z Supernova Search Team’s discovery that the expansion rate of the universe is accelerating, a phenomenon widely attributed to a mysterious, unexplained “dark energy” filling the universe. The discovery was hailed by Science in 1998 as “the Breakthrough Discovery of the Year.”

His accomplishments have been recognized with a number of other awards. He was named a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2009 and a recipient of the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation Fellowship grant a year earlier. In 2007, he shared the Peter and Patricia Gruber Foundation’s Cosmology Prize, and, in 2006, he shared the Shaw Prize, widely considered to be the Nobel of the East.

Dr. Riess previously held a Krieger-Eisenhower Professorship at Johns Hopkins.