Sean Andersson Appointed Mechanical Engineering Chair

Sean Andersson (ME, SE)

Following a national search and recommendation by the search committee, BU College of Engineering Dean Kenneth Lutchen has appointed Professor Sean Andersson (ME, SE) chair of the Mechanical Engineering Department, effective May 1.

Andersson served as interim chair of the department from July 2022 through April 2023. “Sean has run the department with poise and impact under trying staffing conditions,” Lutchen wrote in a letter to the ENG community. “He has made persuasive cases and been successful at recruiting two excellent new faculty and at working with the college to identify growth space for the department.”

Since joining BU in 2006, Andersson has published 44 peer-reviewed journal articles and 95 refereed proceedings in his research fields—advanced systems and control theory with applications in scanning probe microscopy, dynamics in molecular systems, and robotics operating in real-world environments. He has secured more than $5 million as principal investigator in extramural funding from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation. Since 2019, Andersson has served as director of the Master of Science program in Robotics & Autonomous Systems and, together with Professor Yannis Paschalidis (ECE, BME, SE), he is helping to create the new Robotics & Autonomous Systems Teaching and Innovation Center (RASTIC).

“I am extremely excited to build upon the strengths of our department, including, of course, our amazing faculty and their passion for their research and for teaching, our culture of collegiality and collaboration that makes Mechanical Engineering at BU such an amazing place to be, and our dedicated staff that help make the department run,” says Andersson. “While we face a variety of challenges to our growth and to increasing our impact, I am confident that working together we can continue, and even accelerate, our upward trajectory.”

A senior member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), Andersson has served as associate editor for several journals, including IEEE Transactions on Automatic Control and the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics’ SIAM Journal on Control and Optimization. He has advised 15 PhD students and earned the College of Engineering Service Award in 2019.

Andersson earned his bachelor’s degree at Cornell University, his master’s at Stanford University, and his PhD at University of Maryland, College Park, and he worked as a postdoctoral researcher at Harvard University.

Prof. Andersson with students in lab
Andersson in 2022 explaining to two of his then-grad students a Lego-based atomic force microscope demonstrator system used in ENG outreach events.