Duke University in Durham, N.C., announced yesterday that Robert L. Clark, chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Thomas Lord Professor of Mechanical Engineering, will become dean of the Pratt School of Engineering, effective Aug. 15. Clark, who previously served as the Pratt School's senior associate dean, will serve in the position until a national search finds a permanent replacement for Kristina M. Johnson, who is leaving to become provost and senior vice president of academic affairs at The Johns Hopkins University, Duke Provost Peter Lange said. A specialist in acoustics and bionanomanufacturing, Clark joined Duke’s Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science in 1992 as an assistant professor. He is a founding director of Duke’s Center for Biologically Inspired Materials and Material Systems (CBIMMS), an interdisciplinary program focused on bionanomanufacturing, nanotherapeutics, biointerface science and nanobiomechanics. As CBIMMS director, he helped establish a graduate admissions program for a certificate in biological and biologically inspired materials. Clark's research interests include enabling bionanomanufacturing by developing nanofabrication processes that are compatible with water, enable mass production without the need for a cleanroom and are biocompatible.