Penn State engineering dean to accept position at University of Houston

UNIVERSITY PARK -- Amr S. Elnashai, Harold and Inge Marcus Dean of Engineering at Penn State, has been named University of Houston’s new vice chancellor and vice president of research and technology transfer. Elnashai will end his tenure at Penn State in July and a national search for his replacement will begin immediately.

Elnashai became dean of the College of Engineering in January 2014. He begins his new appointment at the University of Houston in July 2017.

“Dean Elnashai has been a driving force in our College of Engineering since his arrival, providing strong leadership and a wealth of ideas to enhance a college that already is a formidable force in engineering research and education,” said Nick Jones, Penn State provost and executive vice president. “His departure is certainly a gain for the University of Houston and our search will focus on finding another highly qualified and effective leader who can continue the upward trajectory of the college.”

A fellow of the British Royal Academy of Engineering, American Society of Civil Engineers and the Institution of Structural Engineers, Elnashai is known as a global leader in earthquake engineering.

Elnashai’s accomplishments while at Penn State have been extensive, including hiring more than 40 new faculty in two years, with 40 more faculty searches in process; creating 16 new graduate degree programs; and welcoming record number of undergraduate students for the 2016-17 academic year.

“I believe in the deep excellence of the Penn State College of Engineering and consider myself very fortunate to have shared three years of exceptional progress with my colleagues the department heads, school directors and deans. I know that the College will continue its path toward our goal of global preeminence,” Elnashai said.

As part of his comprehensive strategic plan and implementation for the College of Engineering, Elnashai has been instrumental in launching multiple academic enrichment initiatives, spearheading 3+2 global engagement agreements, and creating a strategic communications office for promoting college research and educational accomplishments.

Before coming to Penn State, Elnashai was the department head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign as well as the Bill and Elaine Hall Endowed Professor and the director of hybrid simulation at the National Science Foundation’s Network of Earthquake Engineering Simulations laboratory.

At Illinois, Elnashai also served as director of the NSF’s multi-institution, interdisciplinary Mid-America Earthquake Center and as director and chairman of the Council on Global Engineering Initiatives at the College of Engineering.

A search committee will be named promptly to begin the search for Dean Elnashai’s successor.

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Last Updated December 07, 2016