Noted Researcher, Teacher and Administrator Named Yale Dean of Engineering

T. Kyle Vanderlick has been appointed Dean of Engineering and the Thomas E. Golden Professor of Engineering at Yale, President Richard C. Levin announced today.

An award-winning researcher and teacher, Vanderlick is currently Professor and Chair of the Department of Chemical Engineering at Princeton University. Her appointment at Yale is effective January 1, 2008.

“Professor Vanderlick is a respected scholar, dynamic teacher and seasoned administrator known for her unflagging energy, breadth of vision, charisma and ability to lead while building consensus,” Levin said. “She has worked to strengthen her department’s interconnections with other disciplines and has successfully led an expansion of the faculty in the areas of life sciences and soft materials.”

A leading expert on interfacial forces – interactions that occur near or between surfaces –Professor Vanderlick conducts research that aims to measure, control, and understand the properties of interfaces and thin films, especially those with relevance to materials science and biology.  Her research group specializes in the application and development of experimental methods designed to probe the properties of surfaces, confined fluids, and membranes.  Her work has led to new and fundamental insights across a range of areas spanning from metallic adhesion in micro/nano-scale devices to the action of antimicrobial peptides on cell membranes. 

At Princeton—where she has taught the campus-wide materials science course as well as courses in fluid mechanics, interfacial science and engineering, and a freshman seminar titled “The Engineering of Ice Cream” – she has been praised for setting a “new standard for teaching excellence.”  In 2002 she was awarded both the Princeton Engineering Council Teaching Award and the Princeton President’s Award for Distinguished Teaching. At the University of Pennsylvania, where she taught for nine years, she received the 1993 Lindback Award for Distinguished Teaching, the University’s highest teaching honor.

Vanderlick has a B.S. and M.S. from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and a Ph.D. in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota. She launched her academic career after completing a NATO postdoctoral fellowship in Mainz, Germany. She received a David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship in 1991 and was named a Presidential Young Investigator by the National Science Foundation in 1989.

Vanderlick will succeed Paul A. Fleury, the Frederick W. Beinecke Professor of Engineering and Applied Physics and professor of physics, who has served as Dean of Engineering since 2000. Fleury will remain the director the Yale Institute for Nanoscience and Quantum Engineering.

“We owe much to Paul for the growth and development of Yale Engineering during his tenure,” Levin said. “Among his many accomplishments are his leadership in a University-wide effort to establish a Department of Biomedical Engineering, the planning and design of the stunning Daniel L. Malone Engineering Center, and the recruitment of more than 50% of the School’s current faculty.”

On three occasions in recent years, Yale Engineering’s faculty publications were ranked #1 nationally by the ISI Citation Index for impact of published research in the top engineering journals.  In addition, the last survey from the American Society for Engineering Education showed that Yale ranked first in the percentage of bachelor’s degrees awarded to women.