A boundary-crossing researcher who aims to make infrastructure more intelligent has been selected as the new chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Michigan, Jerome Lynch is the Donald Malloure Department Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
Lynch, who has been on the U-M faculty since 2003, is known for working at the interfaces of traditional civil engineering and other engineering disciplines, such as electrical engineering, computer science and materials science. He directs the Laboratory for Intelligent System Technologies, which works to convert traditional civil infrastructure into more intelligent and reactive systems by integrating sensing, computing and actuation technologies.
As an example, he developed a nanostructured “sensing skin” for bridges that can reveal cracks and corrosion beneath the surface, or too small for inspectors to see. Popular Mechanics named him one of the magazine’s Brilliant 10 in 2009, and dubbed him “The Bridge Whisperer.” Other technologies from Lynch’s lab such as wireless monitoring systems for asset management are being commercialized through a U-M startup called Civionics that Lynch co-founded.
Lynch is also a highly regarded teacher with a history of public outreach. He has earned multiple “Professor of the Year” awards from the U-M student chapter of the American Society of Civil Engineers. And in 2016, he was recognized by the Knight Foundation for the “Sensors in a Shoebox” concept he developed with a faculty member in the School of Education. The project trains young people to use sensors and data analytics to track environmental conditions in city neighborhoods.
Lynch holds three patents and is the recipient of the College’s 1938E Outstanding Junior Faculty Award, as well as the University’s Henry Russel Award.
He earned his PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from Stanford.