Chen and Mann were recommended to EMS Dean William Easterling by a selection committee consisting of highly regarded faculty from across the college that screened faculty candidates nominated by faculty, staff and students of the college.
Chen, professor of materials science and engineering, has earned world-wide recognition and acclaim for his leadership in computational materials science. He is attributed with pioneering the development of phase-field models to explain grain growth, domain evolution, interactions between defect and phase microstructures, and strain-dominated microstructure evolution in cutting-edge elastically inhomogeneous systems.
Mann, professor of meteorology and director of the Earth Systems Science Center, is an acknowledged leader in the climate change community. He has achieved research breakthroughs in the area of climate change science, especially the reconstruction of global temperatures over the past 1,000 years. His work has garnered national and international recognition, including his most recent election, by his peers, as a Fellow of the American Meteorological Society; as well as the 2012 Hans Oeschger Medal and Fellow of the American Geophysical Union.
"These are both outstanding and highly accomplished members of the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences faculty,” said Bill Easterling, dean. "I am delighted that we are able to honor them both with the distinguished professor designation."
According to Penn State Policy HR10, the number of distinguished professors in each college may not exceed 10 percent of the number of faculty members who hold standing academic appointments at the rank of full professor. With the recent retirement of Digby Macdonald, distinguished professor of materials science and engineering, and the awarding of an Evan Pugh Professorship to James Kasting, professor of geosciences, the college had two prospective appointments available this year.