It is my honor and pleasure to have been appointed co-editor of the ASME Journal of Biomechanical Engineering, taking over from Dr. Beth Winkelstein. Let me begin by expressing my admiration and thanks to Beth for the amazing job that she has done as co-editor, as well as her wise counsel to me as I considered the position. Beth and Victor have done a remarkable job as co-editors, and it is my pleasure to serve as co-editor with Dr. Victor Barocas until the end of his term in a bit less than a year.
When I applied for the position of co-editor, it was very important to me that the journal should continue to be a model of diversity and inclusion, and thus I was insistent that the co-editor who replaces Victor should reflect the diverse face of our community. I am pleased to report that Victor's replacement, in addition to being a remarkably accomplished biomechanical engineer, will also bring diversity to the editorial office. I look forward to sharing more details with the readership once the formal approval process has been completed.
Why did I apply for the position of co-editor? There are several reasons, but a key one is that I am a long-time member of ASME's Bioengineering Division, which I view as my biomechanical engineering “home.” I regard the journal as our Division's flagship; ergo, the journal matters to me. By serving in this capacity, I believe I can contribute to the professional life of our Division members.
Some of you know me well; others do not. In brief, I was born and raised in Canada. I received my Ph.D. in 1986 at MIT under the supervision of Dr. Roger Kamm. My major research area is in the field of ocular biosolid and biofluid mechanics, although I have also worked in large artery hemodynamics, and in musculoskeletal biomechanics and tissue engineering. I have a long history of service to the ASME Bioengineering Division, including serving as the Division Chair. I am also familiar with academic publishing, having served (or currently serving) on multiple editorial boards. I have leadership experience in diverse contexts, including as Department Chair at the University of Toronto, Imperial College London, and Georgia Tech/Emory. Finally, I am committed to the enhancement of diversity and inclusion. I strongly believe that as a community and society, our status quo is untenable and we must promote and recognize more women and, especially, URM colleagues to help build a better tomorrow. Journal papers are a currency of professional success in academia, and thus the journal has an important role to play in the diversity and inclusion agenda.
What about my editorial vision? The journal has some strong advantages which I will work to preserve:
It has good name-brand recognition and an illustrious history—I teach directly from several classic papers published in the journal, for example.
The journal has an engaged and high-quality board of Associate Editors.
The journal has a productive symbiotic relationship with the Bioengineering Division and our conferences.
On the other hand, there are some threats on the horizon. The entire model of publishing is in (apparently permanent) dramatic flux. Our publishing space is crowded, with many established and new journals competing for a finite pool of excellent papers. This leads to a statement of my editorial priorities:
Most importantly, maintain a relentless focus on quality. This is best effectuated through the recruitment, retention, and empowerment of an outstanding and diverse board of Associate Editors.
Although in tension with quality, we must also maintain and speed up turnaround. Nobody wants to wait months for reviews to come back on their manuscripts.
Continue to partner with key meetings (SB3C Meeting, IMECE) and events (ASME BED Medal lectures) to stream content to the journal.
Create more thematic special issues/sections, including review papers. Special issues/sections should be led by a diverse group of our community's up-and-coming researchers.
Establish an article category that accepts papers on experimental and computational techniques. So much of what we try to study is very hard to measure, and we do not share this knowledge efficiently; such an article category is meant to better share such knowledge.
I look forward to sharing more initiatives with all of you in due course. Meantime, I am getting settled in and look forward to interacting with our Associate Editors, ASME Staff, authors, and readers as we make the ASME Journal of Biomechanical Engineering ever more important and impactful. Please think about the journal when you are considering a venue for your new, exciting research.