College Leadership

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Leadership Team

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.
Michael L. Vaughan
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education
Michael L. Vaughan 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. He was previously the Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. He is principal investigator or supervisor of several programs aimed at helping traditionally underrepresented students succeed in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) disciplines, including the National Science Foundation funded Greater Philadelphia Louis Stokes Alliances for Minority Participation (LSAMP) program; the NSF/AMP Bridges to the Doctorate Program; the Educational Advancement Alliance/UD Graduate Preparatory Summer Residential Program; and multiple summer residential and enrichments programs for high school and undergraduate students. Vaughan joined UD in 1992. He earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in electrical engineering from North Carolina A&T State University and a PhD in civil engineering at UD.
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.
Pam Cook
L. Pamela Cook
Associate Dean for Faculty Affairs
Pam Cook, who joined UD in 1983, currently serves as associate dean for faculty development in the College of Engineering and UNIDEL professor in the Department of Mathematical Sciences, where she served as chair from 1992-2000. She holds a secondary appointment as professor in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. She is President-elect of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, becoming President January 2015-December 2016. In 2009, Cook received the University's E. Arthur Trabant Award for Women's Equity for her work as chair of UD's Commission on the Status of Women. In 2012, The Women in Engineering ProActive Network recognized her efforts to improve the representation of women in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields with the 2012 University Change Agent Award. Cook is a fellow of the Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics (SIAM), and recently became a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In addition, Pam received the prestigious 2014 Torch Award from the UD Women’s Caucus.
Michael Matthews
Michael E. Matthews
Chief Financial and Administrative Officer
Michael E. Matthews is the Chief Financial and Administrative Officer. His responsibilities include financial planning and management, human resources, information technologies and more. He was previously the Senior Business Officer, where he was responsible for all college administrative activities and actively involved in shaping and executing the college’s strategic and business plans. Matthews joined the University of Delaware in 2010. Before joining the College of Engineering, he previously worked for the UD Budget Office from 2010 to 2016 where he most recently served as Director. His chief responsibilities were to manage the process of developing, implementing and monitoring the University’s annual budget and four-year financial plan. He holds a Master of Public Administration and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Political Science from UD.

Academic Leadership

Ken Barner
Kenneth E. Barner
Chair, Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering
Charles Black Evans Professor of Electrical Engineering
Kenneth E. Barner is the Charles Black Evans Professor of Electrical Engineering and chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. His research interests includes signal/image processing and human computer interaction (HCI), and his work addresses information extraction and display, medical imaging and surgery simulation, signal sampling, reconstruction and enhancement. He received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering (magna cum laude) from Lehigh University and master's and doctoral degrees in electrical engineering at UD. Barner, who joined the UD faculty in 1993, is a senior member of the IEEE; he has served as associate editor for numerous signal processing journals and was the Founding Editor in Chief of the journal "Advances in Human-Computer Interaction. He is a member of Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Phi Sigma Kappa.
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).
Sue McNeil
Sue McNeil
Chair, Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering
Sue McNeil, chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, joined UD’s faculty in 2005. She also teaches in the School of Public Policy and Administration and is a former director of the Disaster Research Center. McNeil’s research centers on transportation asset management, life-cycle costing, application of advanced technologies, economic analysis, condition assessment and deterioration modeling, and decision support. She is a distinguished member of the American Society of Civil Engineers(ASCE) and the Editor-in-Chief of ASCE’s Journal of Infrastructure Systems. Her research has been supported by the National Science Foundation, the United States Department of Transportation, Delaware Department of Transportation and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.  She earned bachelor’s degrees in civil engineering at the University of Newcastle in Australia and a master’s and doctoral degree from Carnegie Mellon University.
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.