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Eric Evans, a radar and optical-technology expert who has specialized in air defense systems, is the new director of MIT Lincoln Laboratory.

He takes over for David Briggs, who stepped down in June after eight years as director because of a lab rotation rule. Briggs holds Evans in “high regard” and says the lab, operating at its Department of Defense-imposed maximum in technical personnel and funding, is “in good shape.”

An IEEE fellow with three electrical-engineering degrees, Evans joined the lab 18 years ago to work on new radar systems for the navy. Since 1999, he has led the Air and Missile Defense Technology Division.

In July, Evans took charge of the lab’s more than 300 projects, from sophisticated radar systems to a telescope in New Mexi­co that watches space for objects coming close to Earth. Evans will guide the lab’s future research, which will include projects addressing what he calls “new national challenges” in homeland security, biological-weapons defense, and insurgency defense in the Middle East.

 

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