Skip to content

Dr. Michael Tanoff

Dr. Tanoff joined the KAMSC team as Director in August of 2011. He holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from Rutgers University and a Ph.D. in engineering and applied science from Yale University, where he received the Harding Bliss Prize for Excellence In Engineering and Applied Science as the graduating student “who has done the most to further the intellectual life of the department.”

His research career in the field of computational combustion, which included an expatriate position in the Department of Physical Chemistry at Chalmers University in Gothenburg Sweden, and research scientist and lecturer positions at Yale University, involved the development of computer models for understanding and predicting pollutant formation, fire extinguishment, solid propellant combustion, flame structure, and ignition phenomena, and included fifteen journal articles and numerous technical presentations.

Dr. Tanoff’s industrial experience included an engineering position in the process simulation and control area for the Exxon Corporation (now ExxonMobil) where he was co-inventor on a U.S. patent for developing a “Control Scheme and Apparatus for a Cogeneration Boiler,” and a senior research managerial position for the Kellogg Company. Dr. Tanoff served as a visiting associate professor of mathematics (two years), and then as an assistant professor of physics (seven years) at Kalamazoo College, where he developed a concept and lab-based introductory physics program, participated in state and national conversations on physics education research, directed the 3-2 engineering program, co-advised student mathematics teams, and served as co-director for a National Science Foundation-sponsored program for attracting students from underrepresented groups to the sciences and mathematics. Dr. Tanoff’s science classroom perspective coupled with his lengthy experience at Kalamazoo College and Yale University leave him uniquely qualified for his duties at KAMSC. He is excited about his continuing opportunity to help guide the KAMSC program.

Dr. Tanoff sits on the Board of Directors for the Michigan Mathematics and Science Centers Network, the Board of Directors for the Michigan STEM Partnership, and the Advisory Board for the Lee Honors College of Western Michigan University.