ALONZO G. DECKER, JR. CHAIR IN SCIENCE AND ENGINEERING
Established in 1975 by Alonzo G. Decker Jr.

The Alonzo G. Decker, Jr. Chair in Science and Engineering was established by ALONZO G. DECKER JR., a university trustee for more than 30 years and national chair of the Hopkins Hundreds Campaign in the 1970s, during which time he gave generously to the university, including the establishment of this endowed professorship.

As chief executive officer of Black & Decker, Mr. Decker helped lead the manufacturing company to international prominence, devising some of its most successful products including the development of the cordless drill and the portable electric drill for home use.

With his wife, VIRGINIA DECKER, he actively supported educational institutions in Maryland. He was honored with the university's Heritage Award in 1999. Mr. Decker passed away in 2002. In 2007, the Alonzo G. and Virginia G. Decker Quadrangle on the Homewood campus was dedicated in honor of their legacy. Virginia Decker died in 2008.

 

K.T. RAMESH, the Alonzo G. Decker, Jr. Professor of Science and Engineering, received his doctorate from Brown University in 1987. After a postdoctoral fellowship at the University of California, San Diego, he joined the Johns Hopkins Department of Mechanical Engineering in 1988, becoming department chair in 1999. He remains director of the Center for Advanced Metallic and Ceramic Systems at Johns Hopkins, a role he has played since founding the center in 2001. Dr. Ramesh is active in all of the major professional societies in his field, including serving as a member of the governing boards of the American Academy of Mechanics and the Society of Engineering Science, and has played a significant role in blue-ribbon groups suggesting research and development directions for the U.S. Army and for the National Academies. In addition to over 130 peer-reviewed technical articles, he is the author of Nanomaterials: Mechanics and Mechanisms (Springer, 2009).

Dr. Ramesh is a brilliant scholar who has also been an extremely effective leader in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, not only as chair but also as a driving force in the department’s growth. He has garnered international acclaim for research that spans a wide range of subject matters, including nanostructured materials, high strain rate behavior and dynamic failure of materials, the dynamics of human tissues, and planetary impact problems. The common thread in all of Dr. Ramesh’s research is his interest in dynamic problems with applications on scales that range from asteroid hazard mitigation to understanding and mitigating traumatic brain injury and developing strong, lightweight structural materials for personnel and vehicular protection.