Stephen P. DeWeerth, associate dean for research and innovation at the Georgia Tech College of Engineering, has been named the new dean of Lehigh’s P.C. Rossin College of Engineering and Applied Science (RCEAS).
DeWeerth, who also serves as professor of electrical and computer engineering at Georgia Tech and of biomedical engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory University, will assume his role at Lehigh on Sept. 1. He will succeed interim dean John Coulter.
“Steve is an accomplished scholar, a highly respected leader in the world of engineering, and a forward-thinking administrator who shares Lehigh’s belief in the importance of innovation in higher education,” said Lehigh provost Patrick V. Farrell. “We are confident that his insights, knowledge and enthusiasm will serve the college well.”
“I am excited to be joining the Lehigh family,” DeWeerth said. “Lehigh is an outstanding university that embodies innovation in undergraduate and graduate education as well as excellence in scholarship and entrepreneurship. I am extremely honored to have the opportunity to be the next RCEAS dean, as the college moves into this next stage of its very bright future. Working with its partners across and beyond the campus, the college has the opportunity to continue to leverage experiential education on the Mountaintop campus, to enhance interdisciplinary teaming and thought leadership around research grand challenges and to expand the innovation ecosystem and its role in economic development.”
In his current role at Georgia Tech, DeWeerth works to foster a robust, dynamic research environment in which faculty members and students are supported in their efforts to develop and sustain excellence in scholarship and innovation. Since his appointment as associate dean in 2013, he has played a key role in the strategic planning of the college’s research enterprise, has served as a liaison between the college and Georgia Tech’s interdisciplinary research institutes and centers, and has collaborated with the faculty to develop new research directions and expand opportunities in interdisciplinary team science. The college is the largest of its kind in the nation, with more than 13,000 undergraduate and graduate students, and ranks in the top five in both undergraduate and graduate engineering education, according to U.S. News & World Report.
Previously, DeWeerth served as founding chair of the Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Khalifa University of Science, Technology and Research in Abu Dhabi, UAE. As department chair, DeWeerth was tasked with defining the department’s founding strategic vision, developing its ABET-accredited undergraduate curriculum and recruiting top faculty members from the United States, Europe, Asia, and Australia. He also developed the initial research and educational agenda for the university’s College of Medicine and Health Sciences and led the redesign of the undergraduate curriculum for the College of Engineering.
DeWeerth received his Ph.D. in Computation and Neural Systems and his M.S. in Computer Science from the California Institute of Technology. He is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He is also co-founder and scientific advisor for Axion BioSystems, holds several patents and has published more than 130 peer-reviewed articles.
At Lehigh, he will chart a vision forward for the college, which is home to nearly 2,000 undergraduate students, more than 700 graduate students and 140 faculty members. With its long legacy of supporting interdisciplinary research, and with new groundbreaking initiatives such as Mountaintop and Data X now underway, DeWeerth says RCEAS is well positioned to grow and thrive as a leader in innovation in higher education.
“I have much to learn about Lehigh, its culture and its people. I look forward to meeting with the faculty, staff, students and stakeholders in the months to come,” he said. “I have already been inspired by the palpable sense of enthusiasm on campus at Lehigh. That enthusiasm is contagious and is firmly grounded in the great potential for heightened excellence as the university moves forward.”
DeWeerth was chosen from among a field of strong candidates after a global search led by the RCEAS Dean’s Search Committee, and supported by Russell Reynolds Associates. The committee was chaired by Mayuresh Kothare, department chair and professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering.
“The quality of internationally recognized scholar-administrators that we were able to attract to our search was a clear indicator of the outstanding reputation of RCEAS,” Kothare said. “We are delighted that Steve was identified as our next dean from this exceptional pool. He brings to Lehigh recognized scholarship, clear vision and proven leadership experience in administering interdisciplinary programs from a leading engineering institution. His commitment to excellence in research and education will be instrumental in leading the college during this transformative moment for engineering at Lehigh. We look forward to welcoming Steve and his family to Lehigh.”
“I want to thank all of the members of the search committee for time and effort they put into this important search,” Farrell added. “I also want to thank John Coulter and Dan Lopresti for their service as interim deans during this time of transition.”
The members of the search committee are:
· Paul Bosco ’80, Lehigh Trustee
· Paul Camuti ’83, Engineering Advisory Council Member
· Frank Curtis, Associate Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering
· Martin Harmer, Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
· Terry Hart, Professor of Practice, Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics
· Anand Jagota, Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
· Kristen Jellison, Associate Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
· Shalinee Kishore, Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering
· Kristen Mejia, Undergraduate Student, Integrated Degree in Engineering, Arts and Sciences (IDEAS)
· Sudhakar Neti, Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics
· Kelly Schultz, Assistant Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
· Michael Spear, Associate Professor, Computer Science and Engineering
· Robert Storer, Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering
· Georgios Tsampras, Graduate Student, Civil and Environmental Engineering
· Vassie Ware, Professor, Biological Sciences