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Joseph Hughes Named Drexel Engineering Dean

November 30, 2011

Joseph B. Hughes, Drexel's new dean of the College of Engineering
Joseph B. Hughes, the new dean of Drexel's College of Engineering

Drexel University has named Dr. Joseph B. Hughes, the Karen and John Huff  School chair and professor of civil, environmental and materials science engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology, as dean of the University’s College of Engineering. Drexel President John A. Fry has announced that Hughes will begin his tenure at Drexel on January 15, 2012.

“I am confident that we have found in Joseph Hughes the ideal leader to continue to build on the strength of Drexel’s renowned engineering programs, expand interdisciplinary research and increase global engineering initiatives,” said Fry.

As dean of the College of Engineering, Hughes will lead Drexel’s largest college with more than 3,500 students enrolled in six departments specializing in research, experiential and global education. In 2010, research expenditures within the College of Engineering totaled $28 million and the College received 118 new awards. The college has been consistently ranked among the best in the country for its undergraduate and graduate programs by U.S. News & World Report. Most recently it was ranked among the top 25 private undergraduate programs in the nation. Hughes succeeds Dr. Bruce Eisenstein, who had served as interim for the past 15 months.

“I’m extremely excited to be a part of the Drexel team and I’m impressed with the members of the Drexel community,” said Hughes. “My wife Laura and I look forward to bringing our family to the great city of Philadelphia and joining the Drexel community.”

Prior to his time at Georgia Tech, he served on the faculty at Rice University. He is active in the National Academy of Engineering's Frontiers of Engineering program as a speaker and organizer; is a Diplomat (by Eminence) of the American Academy of Environmental Engineering; and, is a member of the U.S. EPA science advisory committee on environmental engineering.

He has received the McKee Medal from the Water Environment Federation; the Walter P. Huber Research Prize from the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE); the Charles Duncan Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement at Rice University; is a member of Chi Epsilon, and twice was recognized with the ASCE Outstanding Professor Award at Rice University. Hughes earned his master’s and doctoral degrees in environmental engineering from the University of Iowa and received his undergraduate degree in chemistry from Cornell College.