Jeffrey Brock named dean of Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science

Jeffrey Brock
Jeffrey Brock

Jeffrey Brock has been named the next dean of the Yale School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS), announced President Peter Salovey on July 31. Brock’s three-year term is effective Aug. 1.

A professor of mathematics, Brock is also dean of science in the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) and will continue to serve in that role.

By serving simultaneously as the dean of SEAS and FAS dean of science, Jeff will be in a position to lead strategic thinking about the connections across science and engineering,” said Salovey. “In these two discrete roles, he will give shape to an engineering school and a home for science that both reflect Yale’s deep and distinctive commitments to the continuity and connections among different disciplines …”

Jeff is committed passionately to SEAS and its faculty and students, as well as its standing as a distinct unit with a distinct identity and governance structure,” Salovey continued. “He will encourage the university to leverage dynamic collaborations between faculty members in biomedical engineering; computer and data science; environmental engineering; quantum science, engineering, and materials; and other fields.”

Jeff is a generous and gifted leader, and we will all benefit from this expansion of his responsibilities,” wrote Faculty of Arts and Sciences Dean Tamar Gendler in a letter to FAS following Salovey’s announcement. “Yale remains committed to building a world-class School of Engineering and Applied Science, one that takes advantage of our broad institutional strengths within and beyond the sciences, bridging disciplines and advancing the human condition. Yale is proud of the way that we create ‘Y-shaped engineers’: engineers with breadth, depth and purpose.”

An internationally recognized data scientist and mathematician, Brock has collaborated in substantial research partnerships with computer scientists and engineers.

Jeff’s a strong leader who’s well positioned to head FAS science and engineering efforts and help implement Yale’s bold vision outlined in its University Science Strategy Committee report,” said Charles Ahn, the  John C. Malone Professor and chair of applied physics and professor of mechanical engineering and of physics.

Holly Rushmeier, the John C. Malone Professor of Computer Science, said, “This is an exciting time of change in engineering and science at Yale, with data science having a tremendous impact across all disciplines. Dean Brock is particularly well qualified to lead SEAS as we grow and develop new collaborations across campus.”

Brock earned a B.A. from Yale and a Ph.D. in mathematics from the University of California-Berkeley. Before coming to Yale in 2018, Brock held faculty positions at Stanford, University of Chicago, and Brown. While at Brown, he was the founding director of the university’s data science initiative and served as the chair of the mathematics department.

Brock has received many accolades for his scientific and teaching contributions, including a Guggenheim Fellowship in 2008, election to the American Mathematical Society in 2017, and service on the National Academies Roundtable on Data Science Education in 2018 and 2019.

In the announcement, Salovey also said: “I would like to take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt gratitude to Mitchell Smooke, the Strathcona Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Applied Physics, for his outstanding service as the interim dean for SEAS. During his 18 months in the role, Mitch hired and retained excellent faculty members and showed an unwavering dedication to teaching and mentoring.”

Salovey further thanked the members of the search advisory committees convened by Gendler, noting, “Their wisdom and perspectives — along with viewpoints of members of the SEAS community who reached out to me — informed my decision.”

Salovey concluded: “Please join me in congratulating Jeff on his new role. I know he values all that SEAS has contributed to the world so far and is looking forward to working with the school’s faculty, staff, and students to address global challenges with creativity, responsibility, and a commitment to excellence.”

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