Professor Matthew Tirrell is Dean of the College of Engineering at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He received his undergraduate education in Chemical Engineering at Northwestern University and his Ph.D. in 1977 in Polymer Science from the University of Massachusetts. From 1977 to 1999 he was on the faculty of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at the University of Minnesota, where he served as head of the department from 1995 to 1999. His research has been in polymer surface properties including adsorption, adhesion, surface treatment, friction, lubrication and biocompatibility. He has co-authored about 250 papers and one book and has supervised about 60 Ph.D. students.
Professor Tirrell has been a Sloan and a Guggenheim Fellow, a recipient of the Camille and Henry Dreyfus Teacher-Scholar Award and has received the Allan P. Colburn, Charles Stine and the Professional Progress Awards from AIChE, as well as delivering its Institute Lecture in 2001. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineers, a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a fellow of the American Physical Society. In 2003, he concluded more than two years of service as co-chair of the steering committee for the National Research Council report "Beyond the Molecular Frontier: Challenges for Chemistry and Chemical Engineering" published by the National Academy Press. He currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Cottage Health System.