Fox named head of civil and environmental engineering

April 29, 2015

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. – Patrick J. Fox has been named the John A. and Harriette K. Shaw Professor and Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering within Penn State’s College of Engineering.

Effective Aug. 1, Fox will replace Peggy Johnson, who is stepping down after nine years in the position. Johnson will remain in the department as a faculty member.

“Pat has achieved a great deal in his academic career and has a nationally and internationally prominent research program as well as leadership positions in the profession,” said Harold and Inge Marcus Dean of Engineering Amr Elnashai. 

Fox will oversee and provide leadership for the department, which offers a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering, as well as master’s and doctorate programs in civil engineering and environmental engineering.

"I am delighted to join Penn State, one of our leading public universities, as department head of civil and environmental engineering,” Fox said. “I look forward to working with the faculty and staff to advance the reputation of the department and deliver a top quality education to its students.”

He is currently a professor of geotechnical and geoenvironmental engineering in the Department of Structural Engineering at the University of California-San Diego.

Prior to joining UC San Diego, Fox held tenured academic appointments at multiple universities including Purdue University, Ohio State University and the University of California-Los Angeles.

He has won awards for research, teaching and service and has published over 200 technical papers.  His research awards include the Arthur Casagrande Professional Development Award and the Thomas A. Middlebrooks Award from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE). He has also received the Chandra S. Desai Medal from the International Association for Computer Methods and Advances in Geomechanics, the IGS Award from the International Geosynthetics Society and best paper awards from several professional journals. 

An ASCE fellow, Fox currently serves on the Board of Governors for the ASCE Geo-Institute and recently stepped down as editor-in-chief of the ASCE Journal of Geotechnical and Geoenvironmental Engineering.

He is also a member of various other professional and scholarly societies.

“Pat's energy and drive, and vision for excellence in education, research and service, will be critical for the next phase of development for the college," Elnashai said.

Fox received his doctorate in civil and environmental engineering with an emphasis in geotechnical engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.


  • Fox named head of department of civil and environmental engineering

    Patrick J. Fox has been named the John A. and Harriette K. Shaw Professor and Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

    IMAGE: Penn State

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Last Updated April 29, 2015