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College Leadership

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College Leadership

Levi Thompson
Levi T. Thompson
Dean
Elizabeth Inez Kelley Professor of Chemical Engineering
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.
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.
David C. Martin
David C. Martin
Associate Dean for Research and Entrepreneurship
Karl W. and Renate Böer Chaired Professor of Materials Science and Engineering
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.
Harry (Tripp) Shenton, Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
Harry (Tripp) Shenton III
Interim Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
Harry (Tripp) Shenton III is the Interim 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.

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.
Julie Stewart
Julie Stewart
Director of Communications
Julie Stewart is Director of Communications for the College of Engineering. In this role, she develops and oversees communications and marketing efforts for the college, including websites, publications, social media, advertisements, and more. Stewart joined UD in 2017 as Communications Specialist II for the College of Engineering. Previously, she was a magazine editor with bylines for a number of national magazine brands. Stewart holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism and economics from Lehigh University and an MBA from UD’s Lerner College of Business and Economics.
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 is working toward an MBA with UD’s Lerner College of Business and Economics.
Crystal B. Maccari
Assistant to the Dean
Crystal Maccari is the Assistant to the Dean. She joined the University of Delaware in 1999 as a Staff Assistant in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and was promoted to Administrative Specialist in the College of Engineering Dean’s Office, where she has been since 2003. She has more than 40 years of experience in providing executive support, including workflow management, project coordination, bookkeeping, scheduling and staff supervision. She holds an associate’s degree in Executive Secretarial from Goldey Beacom College and a bachelor’s degree in Leadership and Consumer Economics from the University of Delaware.

Academic Leadership

Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan D. Busch
Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan D. Busch
Detachment Commander, AFROTC
Lieutenant Colonel Jonathan D. Busch is the Commander of Detachment 128 United States Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) located at the University of Delaware. He commands, leads and directs a college level officer training program while chairing the Department of Aerospace Studies in his role as a professor. Lieutenant Colonel Busch grew up in Portland, Oregon and earned his commission in 1999 from the United States Air Force Academy with a degree in computer science. In 2011, he earned his Masters of Military Operational Art and Science from Air University, Alabama. In 2001, Lieutenant Colonel Busch earned his pilot wings, flying the T-37B at Laughlin AFB, TX and the TC-12 at NAS Corpus Christie, TX. Lieutenant Colonel Busch has more than 3,000 flight hours, serving as an instructor in the C-130E, C-130H, C-21A and T-1A. He has flown over 500 hours of combat and combat support time in support of Operations ENDURING FREEDOM, IRAQI FREEDOM and ENDURING FREEDOM PHILLIPINES. Prior to assuming duties as the Commander of Detachment 128, Lieutenant Colonel Busch was the Inspector General at 47th Flying Training Wing Laughlin AFB, TX.
Dawn Elliott
Dawn M. Elliott
Chair, Department of Biomedical Engineering
Blue & Gold Distinguished Professor of Biomedical Engineering
Dawn Elliott is Blue & Gold Distinguished Professor and chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering. A biomechanical engineer by training, she is internationally known for her research focused on low back pain and osteoarthritis, studying how and why the intervertebral spine and cartilage break down with aging and developing and testing therapeutics used in treatment. Elliott, who joined UD in 2011 as director of the biomedical engineering program, spent 12 years in the University of Pennsylvania’s Departments of Orthopaedic Surgery and Bioengineering. She is a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, where she has served on the Bioengineering Division executive committee and in 2012 chaired the Summer Bioengineering Conference in Puerto Rico. Elliott earned a bachelors degree in mechanical engineering from University of Michigan, a masters of engineering mechanics from University of Cincinnati and a doctoral degree in biomedical engineering from Duke University.
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.
Kathleen McCoy
Kathleen McCoy
Chair, Computer & Information Sciences
Kathleen McCoy, who joined the University of Delaware in 1985, is professor and chair of the Department of Computer & Information Sciences. Her research focuses on computational linguistics/natural language processing (in particular, natural language generation) and accessibility for people with disabilities. McCoy earned her bachelor’s degrees in computerand information sciences from the University of Delaware. Shereceived her master’s and Ph.D. degrees in computer and information sciences from the University of Pennsylvania. McCoy served as director of UD’s Center for Applied Science and Engineering in Rehabilitation from 2000-2009. She has also been co-chair (2012-2013) and chair (2013-2014) of the College of Engineering Standing Committee on Diversity. McCoy is currently Editor-in-Chief of the ACM Transactions on Accessible Computing(TACCESS).
Jamie 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
College of Engineering Alumni Distinguished Professor
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.
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.