Nadine Aubry appointed as dean of the College of Engineering

Northeastern University Provost Stephen W. Director has announced the University’s appointment of accomplished scholar Nadine Aubry as dean of the College of Engineering, effective September 1, 2012. Aubry comes to Northeastern from Carnegie Mellon University, where she most recently was Raymond J. Lane Distinguished University Professor and head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering. A widely known leader in the field of mechanical engineering, particularly fluid mechanics, Aubry was elected as a member of the National Academy of Engineering in 2011.

“An accomplished scholar and a member of the National Academy of Engineering, she brings a powerful set of experiences in leadership and innovation at the frontiers of engineering research and education,” said Director, provost and senior vice president of academic affairs, in his memorandum to the University community. “Under her leadership I expect the College of Engineering to reach new heights as a leader in experiential research and education, especially in interdisciplinary fields in collaboration with Northeastern’s other colleges,” he added.

Her groundbreaking contributions to fluid dynamics also earned her the distinction of fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Physical Society, the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

“I am deeply honored to have been selected as the next leader of this vibrant college of engineering,” said Aubry. “I feel extremely privileged and excited to have the opportunity to work with the faculty, students, staff, alumni and industry partners to bring the college to even greater heights and increase its impact.”

During her tenure at Carnegie Mellon, Aubry led her department through significant advances, including a major faculty hiring initiative, restructuring the graduate program, increasing the number of graduate students threefold, establishing dual Ph.D. programs with institutions in Asia, renovating and upgrading research and teaching laboratories and doubling the budget.

She also led a major undergraduate curriculum reform to strengthen the students’ laboratory and computer experience while also exposing them to global opportunities. She expanded the study abroad program and founded the International Service-Learning Engineering initiative, which — similar to Northeastern’s co-op and experiential learning programs — provide students with opportunities to apply their engineering education and confront real-world challenges across the globe.

“Nadine Aubry is a truly outstanding scholar in the field of engineering,” said Joseph E. Aoun, president of Northeastern University. “Her accomplishments in research and innovation make her the ideal person to lead the College of Engineering and advance the University’s momentum in developing scientific solutions to real-world challenges.”

In April, Aubry was named University Professor — the highest faculty rank at Carnegie Mellon — and has been leading the Department of Mechanical Engineering there since 2006. She has also held academic positions at the City College of the University of New York and at the New Jersey Institute of Technology, where she was the F. Leslie and Mildred Jacobus Chair and Distinguished Professor and served as chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering for five years.

Aubry has held leadership roles nationally and internationally. She was elected Vice Chair — to become Chair Elect and Chair — of the American Physical Society Division of Fluid Dynamics. She is a former chair of the U.S. National Committee on Theoretical and Applied Mechanics — the National Research Council committee that represents the U.S. nationally and internationally in scientific matters related to the field of mechanics.

She also serves as a member (and is a former chair) of the National Academy of Sciences delegation to the International Union of Theoretical and Applied Mechanics.

Born in France, she received a “diplome d’Ingenieur” from the National Polytechnic Institute of Grenoble, France, and a master’s degree from the Scientific and Medical University, also in Grenoble. She earned her Ph.D. from the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell University.

Aubry will succeed Allen Soyster, interim dean, who will return to the College of Engineering as a member of the faculty.