ERL names Brad Hager its new Director

ERL News
Friday, May 25, 2012

Bradford H. Hager, the Cecil and Ida Green Professor of Earth Sciences in the Department of the Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences (EAPS), has been named the Director of the Earth Resources Laboratory (ERL) effective June 1, 2012.

He succeeds Rob van der Hilst, the Schlumberger Professor of Earth Sciences who has served as the Director for the last eight years and now moves on to become the Head of EAPS.

“I see my new role as a tremendous opportunity, as well as responsibility, to facilitate cutting edge science that is of critical need to our society from so many perspectives: economic, environmental and geopolitical,” says Hager. “ERL has an opportunity as well as an obligation to educate both its own students and other MIT students about Earth Resources.”

Hager received his B.A. in Physics from Amherst College (1972), his A.M in Geology (1976) and his PhD in Geophysics (1978) from Harvard, where he also spent a year as a Postdoctoral Fellow. Hager joined MIT in 1989 after nine years as Professor of Geophysics at Caltech’s Seismological Laboratory.

Brad’s research interests include the relationship between space-geodetic observations of surface deformation, earthquakes, and dynamical processes in the Earth’s interior. He has expertise on tectonic earthquakes in regional fault systems, as well as deformation and earthquakes induced by reservoir production. Hager has authored well over one hundred peer reviewed publications and been an active speaker at geophysics related conferences throughout his career.

Hager is currently co-lead of NASA’s DESDynI Science Definition Team, responsible for earthquake, hydrocarbon, and carbon sequestration applications. He is also a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has been awarded the Macelwane Medal by the American Geophysical Union, the Woollard Award by the Geological Society of America, and the Augustus Love Medal by the European Geophysical Union.

Rob van der Hilst is stepping down as Director of ERL in order to focus on his role as Head of EAPS, which he took on effective January 1, 2012. “Rob van der Hilst made tremendous headway in integrating research across traditional academic disciplines and Departments in order to address complex challenges within the sub-surface,” says Hager. “He was also instrumental in developing a close relationship with MIT’s Energy Initiative (MITEI). I look forward to working with Rob as Head of our Department.”