College Leadership

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College Leadership

Levi Thompson
Levi T. Thompson
Dean
Levi T. Thompson is Dean of the College of Engineering and Elizabeth Inez Kelley Professor of Chemical Engineering. Previously, Thompson was the Richard E. Balzhiser Collegiate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the University of Michigan, Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and director of the Hydrogen Energy Technology Laboratory and the Michigan-Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation. He is an award-winning educator and is internationally recognized for his research to design and synthesize nanoscale materials for catalytic and energy storage applications. Thompson earned his bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering at UD in 1981 followed by master’s degrees in chemical engineering and nuclear engineering as well as a doctoral degree in chemical engineering from the University of Michigan.
Elizabeth Inez Kelley Professor of Chemical Engineering
Rachel Davidson
Rachel Davidson
Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Rachel Davidson is the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Chief Diversity Advocate. Her responsibilities include faculty hiring, faculty development and support, promotion and tenure, and teaching and pedagogy. Davidson was previously the Associate Dean for Diversity. Davidson is a Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and a core faculty member in the Disaster Research Center at the University of Delaware. After completing her B.S.E. from Princeton University and M.S. and Ph.D. from Stanford University, Davidson spent two years at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, then six years at Cornell University, both as an Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering. Following a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor at Columbia University, she joined the faculty at UD in 2007. Davidson is a Fellow and Past-President of the Society for Risk Analysis, and past-Chair of the Executive Committee of the ASCE Technical Council on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering (TCLEE). She has been a mentor for the NSF-funded Career Enhancement of Academic Women in Earthquake Engineering (ENHANCE) program and the NSF-funded "Enabling the Next Generation of Hazards and Disaster Researchers" program.
Jill Higginson
Associate Dean for Graduate and Post Graduate Education
Jill Higginson is the Associate Dean for Graduate & Post Graduate Education. Her responsibilities include recruitment, financial aid and fellowship support for our graduate and post graduate students, enrollment management, and curriculum development. Higginson is a Professor in the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Delaware. She was trained at Cornell University (BS Mechanical Engineering ‘96), Penn State University (MS Bioengineering ‘98), and Stanford University (PhD Mechanical Engineering ‘05). Dr. Higginson has also served as the Director of the Center for Biomechanical Engineering Research, was the founding Director of Biomedical Engineering at UD in 2010 and coordinated the undergraduate academic program through 2013. In recognition of her contributions, Dr. Higginson was awarded the College of Engineering Outstanding Junior Faculty Award in 2014 and the Excellence in Education Award in 2015. Her research efforts are related to neuromuscular biomechanics of pathological movement using coupled experimental and simulation studies. She was also selected as a Fellow in the Defense Science Study Group in 2016/2017 and the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering in 2019.
Tripp Shenton
Harry (Tripp) Shenton III
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
Harry (Tripp) Shenton III is the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education. His responsibilities include leadership in key undergraduate areas such as enrollment management, advisement, recruitment, student development and support, K-12 Engineering, college event planning, educational assessment and evaluation, and global engineering activities. Shenton, a Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering, joined the UD faculty in 1994 and served as Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering from 2008 to 2017. Shenton’s areas of research focus include structural health monitoring and condition assessment of civil infrastructure, and innovative systems and materials for low-rise construction. He has received external funding from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, the Federal Highway Administration, NIST, the Delaware Department of Transportation, the University of Delaware Research Foundation, and industry. In 1999 he received the prestigious National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career award. Shenton is an affiliated member of the University’s Center for Innovative Bridge Engineering, Center for Composite Materials, and Delaware Center for Transportation. Shenton received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UD and his doctoral degree from Johns Hopkins University.
David C. Martin
David C. Martin
Associate Dean for Research and Entrepreneurship
David C. Martin is the Associate Dean for Research and Entrepreneurship. His responsibilities include cost share, initiation programs, strategic research initiatives, and entrepreneurship programs and activities. He is the Karl W. and Renate Böer Professor and Chaired Professor of Materials Science and Engineering. He joined the University of Delaware in 2009 as Chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. He was previously Professor of Materials Science and Engineering, Biomedical Engineering, and Macromolecular Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan. Martin’s research addresses a number of areas in polymer science, with a particular focus on the design and development of materials at the interface between prosthetic devices and living tissue. His work has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Army Research Office, NASA, DARPA and industry. Martin is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society, the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, and the American Physical Society. He earned his Ph.D. in Polymer Science and Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. He received his B.S. in materials and metallurgical engineering and M.S. in macromolecular science and engineering from the University of Michigan.
Karl W. and Renate Böer Chaired Professor of Materials Science and Engineering

Dean’s Staff

Joe Ryan
Joseph Ryan
Chief Financial and Administrative Officer
Joseph Ryan is the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer. His responsibilities include financial planning and management, human resources, information technologies and more. Prior to joining the College of Engineering, he worked with Temple University for more than 10 years, most recently as the Senior Associate Director of Research, Budgets and Administration for the Fox School of Business. He holds a bachelor’s degree in marketing and management from Pennsylvania State University. He holds an MBA and a master’s degree in business analytics from Temple University.
Kris Graves
Kristian Graves
Assistant Vice President, Regional and Global Programs
Kristian (Kris) Graves is Assistant Vice President for Regional and Global Programs at the University of Delaware. In this role, he leads Development and Alumni Relations efforts for the College of Engineering. Before joining UD in 2018, Graves held leadership roles at Temple University, most recently Assistant Dean for Development and Alumni Relations of the College of Liberal Arts, and at West Chester University. Graves holds a bachelor’s degree in economics and political science and a master’s degree in sports administration from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.
Ann Lewandowski
Ann Lewandowski
Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor to the Dean
Ann Lewandowski is Chief of Staff and Senior Advisor. In this role, she works closely with Dean Thompson and his leadership team to advance the mission, vision and strategic objectives of the college. She joined the University of Delaware in 2015 as the Director of Communications for the College of Engineering, and she has more than 15 years of leadership experience in the corporate and non-profit sectors as well as in secondary and higher education. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Mississippi and an MBA from UD’s Lerner College of Business and Economics.

Academic Leadership

Rudolf Eigenmann
Rudolf Eigenmann
Interim Chair, Department of Computer & Information Sciences
Rudolf (Rudi) Eigenmann came to the University of Delaware in2017 from Purdue University, where he was a Professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. From 2013-2017, he has also served as Program Director in the National Science Foundation’s Office of Advanced Cyberinfrastructure. His core research interests include optimizing compilers, programming methodologies, tools, and performance evaluation for high-performance computing, as well as the design of cyberinfrastructure. Dr. Eigenmann received his Ph.D. in Electrical Engineering/Computer Science from ETH Zurich, Switzerland.
Eric Furst
Eric M. Furst
Chair, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Eric Furst, professor and chair in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, joined the UD faculty in 2001. His research focuses on the physics and chemistry of colloidal, polymeric, biomolecular, and other soft materials. These findings have applications in complex fluids engineering, biotechnology, and nanomaterials for energy conversion. He is a Fellow of the American Chemical Society and the 2016 recipient of UD’s College of Engineering Excellence in Teaching Award. Furst earned a bachelor’s degree with university honors in chemical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University and master’s and doctoral degrees in chemical engineering from Stanford University.
Kristi Kiick
Kristi L. Kiick
Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering
Kristi Kiick is a Blue and Gold Distinguished Professor of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Delaware and chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. Kiick is an internationally recognized inventor and an expert in the design and synthesis of biologically inspired and biologically produced materials, developing materials for treating wounds, arthroses, and surgically manipulated blood vessels. A Fellow of the American Chemical Society and a member of the National Academy of Inventors, Kiick has published nearly 175 articles, book chapters, and patents, and has delivered over 200 invited and award lectures. Kiick’s honors have included several awards (Camille and Henry Dreyfus Foundation New Faculty, Beckman Young Investigator, National Science Foundation CAREER, DuPont Young Professor, and Delaware Biosciences Academic Research Award, Leverhulme Trust Visiting Professor, Fulbright Scholar) as well as induction as a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and of the American Chemical Society Division of Polymer Chemistry. She also serves on the advisory and editorial boards for multiple international journals and research organizations. Kiick received her bachelor of science in chemistry from UD as a Eugene du Pont Distinguished Scholar, where she graduated summa cum laude. She then received a master of science in chemistry as an NSF graduate fellow at the University of Georgia, followed by master of science and doctoral degrees in polymer science and engineering at the University of Massachusetts Amherst as a recipient of a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) fellowship.
Blue & Gold Distinguished Professor of Materials Science & Engineering
Jaime Phillips
Jamie Phillips
Chair, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Professor Phillips researches optoelectronic materials and devices, with primary emphasis on infrared detectors and photovoltaics. His expertise is in the growth, characterization, and device applications of compound semiconductors, including electronic and optical modeling and design. Prior to joining the University of Delaware, Jamie was a faculty member at the University of Michigan where he served in roles of Associate Chair of Undergraduate Affairs in the ECE Division and Director of the Lurie Nanofabrication Facility. Before joining academia, he was a Research Scientist at the Rockwell Science Center in Thousand Oaks, California, and a Postdoctoral Researcher at Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
Darrin Pochan
Darrin Pochan
Chair, Department of Materials Science & Engineering
Darrin Pochan is professor and chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. His research expertise is in developing new nanostructures and functional soft materials through the assembly of polymers and biomolecules like peptides and proteins. Pochan, who joined the UD faculty in 1999, is a fellow of the American Physical Society, a fellow of the American Chemical Society and an active member of the Materials Research Society and the Neutron Scattering Society of America. Pochan is also an associate editor for the journal Soft Matter. He earned a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Wisconsin Madison and a master’s degree and doctorate in polymer science and engineering from University of Massachusetts Amherst.
Ajay Prasad
Ajay Prasad
Chair, Department of Mechanical Engineering
Ajay Prasad has been at UD since 1992. An Engineering Alumni Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, his work with fuel cells and role in developing and directing UD’s Fuel Cell Bus Program has garnered widespread recognition. For eight years, he was the director of the Center for Fuel Cell Research, now known as the Center for Fuel Cells and Batteries. Prasad’s other research interests include lithium-ion batteries, thermoelectric devices, wind and ocean current energy, solar thermal energy, and connected vehicles. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineering and a recipient of UD’s Excellence in Teaching Award. Prasad earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, a master’s in mechanical engineering from the University of Miami, and a doctoral degree in mechanical engineering from Stanford University.
College of Engineering Alumni Distinguished Professor
Jack Puleo
Jack Puleo
Chair, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Jack Puleo, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, joined UD’s faculty in 2004 and has served as the department’s Associate Chair and the Director of the Center for Applied Coastal Research since 2017. Puleo’s research focuses primarily on sediment transport in nearshore environments, with other research projects including those concerning inlets, remote sensing of coastal and riverine processes, wetlands, object motion on beaches and beach safety. He teaches and works with undergraduate and graduate students, and he is actively involved in outreach activities aimed at providing opportunities for young researchers and early career professionals. He holds bachelor’s degrees in Oceanography and Mathematics from Humboldt State University, a master’s degree in Oceanography from Oregon State University and a doctoral degree in Coastal Engineering from the University of Florida. He is the recipient of an NSF CAREER award, three excellence in teaching awards and an excellence in advising award.
Lt. Col. Victoria Thomas
Detachment Commander, AFROTC
Lieutenant Colonel Victoria L. Thomas is the commander of Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) Detachment 128 hosted on the University of Delaware’s main campus. Detachment 128 is comprised of active duty Air Force cadre, non-military employees and students from the University of Delaware, Delaware State University, Delaware Technical Community College and Wilmington University. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas directs a college-level officer training program while chairing the Department of Aerospace Studies in her role as a professor. Lt Col Thomas earned her commission through the AFROTC program at the University of Washington, while completing a degree in Political Science at Seattle University. She holds an M.A. in Organizational Leadership from Gonzaga University and has completed the Air Force’s Air Command and Staff College as well as Air War College, and Joint Professional Military Education-II from the Joint Forces Staff College. Lieutenant Colonel Thomas is a command pilot with over 3,000 hours in T-37, T-44, C-130E/H, C-17A, and TG-16A aircraft. She has previously served in such roles as Director of Staff at the United States Air Force Academy’s glider training program in Colorado Springs, Colorado and as an Air Mobility Strategist assigned to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s Joint Air Power Competence Centre in Kalkar, Germany.