New Dean of the College of Engineering announced

Dr. Jean VanderGheynst, expert on next-generation biofuels and bioproducts, to lead college of 6 academic departments, 1,300 undergraduate students, and 300 graduate students

Engineering Dean Dr. Jean VanderGheynst Headshot

UMass Dartmouth has appointed Dr. Jean VanderGheynst as Dean of the College of Engineering. Dr. VanderGheynst currently serves as Executive Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies and Professor of Biological and Agricultural Engineering in the College of Engineering at the University of California, Davis.

“Dr. VanderGheynst brings the perfect blend of experiences to UMass Dartmouth,” said Chancellor Robert E. Johnson.  “She will help us grow our research efforts and strengthen the world-class education that has helped our engineering students find success in so many fields. She is going to make a great impact on the SouthCoast and on our university.”

“Dr. VanderGheynst comes to us with extensive experience of having partnered with two US Department of Energy labs, namely, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory,” said UMass Dartmouth Provost Mohammad Karim. “While at UC Davis, she has contributed significantly to faculty development, funded research, distance learning, as well as student recruitment and retention."

“I am excited to work with the incredible faculty and students at UMass Dartmouth. The university offers a wide array of engineering programs and the success stories I have already seen have impressed upon me that something very special is happening here,” said Dr. VanderGheynst.

Dr. VanderGheynst's research focuses on next-generation biofuels and bioproducts and agricultural biotechnology. Current projects examine the management of microbial communities in applications including water treatment, food and energy production, and soil treatment for the control of pests and pathogens.

She has authored more than 150 publications and reports and has served as principal investigator on extramural awards totaling over $11 million and co-principal investigator on an additional $15.5 million in contracts and grants. More than $9 million of her extramural funding has supported the development of graduate and undergraduate students, K-12 teachers and students.

Dr. VanderGheynst’s prior leadership positions at the University of California, Davis include Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies (2009-2013), Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies (2013-2017), and Interim Dean (2015) in the College of Engineering. She received her BS degree from Syracuse University in Chemical Engineering in 1991 and a Ph.D. degree in Agricultural and Biological Engineering from Cornell University in 1997.

The College of Engineering includes the departments of Bioengineering, Civil & Environmental Engineering, Computer & Information Science, Electrical & Computer Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and Physics. It offers eight undergraduate programs, masters' degrees in nine fields and two doctoral programs in Electrical Engineering and Engineering & Applied Science.

Furthermore, it is an active participant in the intercampus graduate programs in Biomedical Engineering & Biotechnology and Marine Sciences and Technology. The College of Engineering boasts highly successful faculty researchers and excellent educational opportunities for students and contributes toward UMass Dartmouth's designation as a Tier1 national research university.

VanderGheynst will start on September 10, 2018.


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