Effective Sept. 1, Robert Clark will assume his appointment as dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Clark was the former dean of Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering. Clark joined Duke’s department of mechanical engineering and materials science in 1992 as an assistant professor.

During his time at Duke, Clark spearheaded a materials governance committee and patent policy committee. As a former director of Duke’s Center for Biologically Inspired Materials and Material Systems, he created a multi-million dollar program with over 24 faculty members. He accomplished the feat with only moderate seed-funding.

Clark will be succeeding Kevin Parker, who has been dean since 1998. In his 10 years as dean of SEAS, Parker led an expansion of its research expenditures, number of faculty and growth in its endowment, established a new department of biomedical engineering and dedicated the new 100,000 square foot Robert B. Goergen Hall for Biomedical Engineering and Optics.

Parker was also a professor of electrical and computer engineering, radiology and bioengineering. He served from 1992 to 1998 as chair of the department of electrical engineering and university associate vice provost for research and graduate affairs. In 1998, he became director of the Rochester Center for Biomedical Ultrasound, and in 2005 he received the title of William F. May Professor of Engineering.

After a national search, Clark was recommended for the post by search committee member, Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship and Director of the Center for Entrepreneurship Duncan Moore. Senior Vice President and Robert and Mary L. Sproull Dean of the Faculty of the College of Arts, Sciences and Engineering Peter Lennie appointed Clark to the deanship.

‘The search committee did an outstanding job identifying a deep pool of excellent candidates itself a testament to the distinction of the School of Engineering and of recommending the outstanding individual in that pool,” Lennie said.

Clark’s deanship is one of the critical steps toward fulfilling UR President Joel Seligman’s strategic plan for the school.

‘The School of Engineering, which has grown considerably in prominence and achievement under Kevin Parker’s leadership, will play a vital role in our strategic growth over the next decade,” Seligman said. ‘Robert Clark is a distinguished researcher, a dedicated teacher and a committed and wise academic leader. He is a superb choice to guide the school through the exciting opportunities that lie ahead.”

Clark has experience with the implementation of a strategic plan. During his six years as senior associate dean at Duke, he was at the forefront of hiring for the Pratt School’s strategic plan. Clark helped to double the number of women on the faculty and triple the research expenditures. In the last academic year as dean of Pratt, he instated curricular innovations for non-engineering students and was responsible for fundraising.

Clark received his doctorate in mechanical engineering from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University. His area of expertise is in the science of acoustics and bionanomanufacturing. He has written over 100 journal publications on these subjects and has received numerous awards. He is a fellow of both the Acoustical Society of America and the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

Clark described his vision for SEAS in terms of a globalized field.

‘As we face greater competition for resources and as U.S. industry struggles to stay globally competitive, we have an obligation to both prepare the next generation of leaders in engineering and also to enlighten broader populations of students about the important societal role of science and technology,” Clark said.

‘The School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, with its high quality faculty and students and its growing connections to other areas of the University of Rochester, is very well positioned to be a leader in those efforts,” he said.

Schneier is a member of the class of 2011.

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