The National Science Foundation (NSF) has named Richard O. Buckius, professor of mechanical engineering and former head of the department of mechanical and industrial engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), as the new NSF assistant director for engineering. Buckius begins a two-year term starting Sept. 15; he has been serving as acting assistant director since Sept. 1, 2005. An expert in thermal sciences, Buckius joined the UIUC faculty in 1975, and was promoted to professor in 1984. He also served as the associate department head from 1985-87 and as associate vice chancellor for research from 1988-91. Prior to serving in his most recent position at NSF, Buckius led NSF's Thermal Systems and Engineering Program and the Division of Chemical and Transport Systems from 2004 to 2005. He has received numerous UIUC and national awards for teaching excellence, authored over 80 journal articles and a textbook on thermodynamics and held editorial roles for the ASME Journal of Heat Transfer,the AIAA Journal of Thermophysics and Heat Transfer, Microscale Thermophysical Engineering, Heat Transfer Research and Heat Transfer-Japanese Research. Buckius recently received the 2006 James Harry Potter Gold Medal from the American Society of Mechanical Engineers for achievement in thermodynamics.