Emily Carter, the University’s Founding Director of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment and a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering and applied and computational mathematics, has been appointed the next Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, effective July 1.
Carter said that she is hoping to make the Engineering School an even more welcoming place for all members of the University.
“I'm hoping we’ll get students so excited at the undergraduate and graduate level about the work going on and the kinds of ways in which students can contribute and create and invent — and contribute to serving society — that it’ll draw in a very broad demographic that looks like the rest of the population,” Carter explained.
Carter said she believes that part of what makes the Engineering School special is that it is deeply embedded in the University, where it can have an impact beyond engineering.
Regarding the role of the Dean, she said, “One very important aspect within Princeton is to continue to build bridges between the School of Engineering and the rest of campus. I worked very hard to do that in my role as Director of the Andlinger Center and I think that, now thinking in terms of a much broader portfolio of scholarship and teaching and activities, there are ways to engage really the whole University.”
She explained that one of her goals as Dean will be to look at the School of Engineering and examine ways in which its departments can think more collectively.
“I think there are opportunities within the School of Engineering to think more collectively about how we teach, and how we utilize the space we have, and just a lot of different ways in which it’ll be interesting, and a challenge, to take a fresh look at how we do what we do,” she explained.
Vincent Poor, the outgoing Dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Science, said that he is delighted with the choice of Carter as his successor, and that he has worked closely with her in her capacity as the founding director of the Andlinger Center.
“I would say the most important aspects of the job are the inter-related responsibilities of representing the school to its various constituencies and assuring that the school’s faculty and students have the resources they need to succeed,” he said.
Poor will return to teaching.
In terms of the Engineering School’s goals and challenges for the next year, Poor noted that engineering is a dynamic and competitive field. He explained that the next decade will involve many challenges and opportunities in fields like biological engineering, data science, robotics and sustainable cities. According to Poor, the University will need to invest its energy and resources aggressively to stay at the forefront of these and the many other important areas of research and teaching in which its faculty and students are involved.
University Media Relations Specialist Min Pullan deferred comment to the University’s press release announcing Carter’s appointment, in which University President Christopher Eisgruber ’83 and Provost David Lee GS '99 expressed their respect for Carter and excitement about her new role.
“She is a brilliant scholar, a capable and proven administrator, and a dynamic champion for engineering at Princeton,” Eisgruber said in the press release.
Cartergraduated from University of California-Berkeley in 1982 with a degree in chemistry. She earned her doctorate in chemistry from Caltech in 1987, after which she spent a year of postdoctoral research at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Before coming to the University in 2004, Carter spent 16 years at UCLA teaching chemistry and materials science and engineering.
Carter has applied her research in the fields of chemistry and physics to exploring materials for sustainable energy, including using oxide fuel cells to generate clean electricity, converting sunlight for electricity and fuel, using biofuels efficiently and developing materials for fuel-efficient vehicles.
Her many honors and awards include membership in the National Academy of Sciences, the International Academy of Quantum Molecular Science and the National Academy of Engineering. She is also a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
“Her intellect as a distinguished scientist and her proven experience as an administrator will be crucial to the ongoing strategic thinking about investments in the engineering school in the coming years,” Lee noted in the release.