OIST Welcomes New Faculty, Professor Eliot Fried

OIST is pleased to welcome Professor Eliot Fried, who will head the new Mathematical Soft Matter Unit.

OIST is pleased to welcome Professor Eliot Fried, who will head the new Mathematical Soft Matter Unit.  Prof. Fried comes to OIST from the University of Washington, where he was a Professor of Mechanical Engineering.  Previously, he was Professor of Mechanical Engineering, Professor of Mathematics and Statistics and the Tier 1 Canada Research Chair in Interfacial and Defect Mechanics at McGill University.  During his career, he has studied a broad spectrum of topics, including phase transformations in solids, the foundations of the equations underlying the behavior of liquid crystals like those used in LCD displays, and the stability of high-density lipoproteins, more commonly known as “good cholesterol,” all from a mathematical perspective.

Prof. Fried received his Ph.D. in Applied Mechanics from California Institute of Technology.  After postdoctoral training at the Center for Nonlinear Analysis in the Department of Mathematical Sciences at Carnegie Mellon University, he went on to serve as a professor at several universities.  His current research is in soft matter, which is the study of materials made of many atomic or molecular parts, which do not act in a way predicted by any one element within the substance.  Understanding these materials, which range from blood and tissue to fuel additives and adhesives, and how to manipulate them, can lead to advances in nearly every field of science and engineering.  Prof. Fried is looking forward to collaborating with several researchers here, working on topics ranging from protein structure and stability to experimental physics.  He also plans to build a laboratory for conducting experiments on soft-matter systems.

Prof. Fried says, “the intellectual atmosphere at OIST is immensely active and stimulating, and it seems likely that many cooperative opportunities that I haven’t even thought of yet will present themselves.”  He says he is particularly impressed with how successful the administration has been at creating an atmosphere with no barriers or hierarchies, and he is excited about becoming a part of this unique environment.  Prof. Fried sees coming to OIST and Okinawa as not only about the tremendous opportunities to grow scientifically, but also a chance to learn about Okinawan culture and experience the natural beauty of the island.  He is also looking forward to dusting off his skills from his undergraduate degree in East Asian Languages. 

He sums it all up by saying, “I’m excited to contribute to making OIST a worldwide success.”  We all look forward to seeing the new avenues that Prof. Fried will explore here at OIST.

By: Kathleen Estes


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