Associate Deans

The associates deans within the College serve a valuable role in advancing our mission and purpose.


Laurence Jacobs, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Professor Civil and Environmental Engineering
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
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Laurence Jacobs currently serves as interim dean of the College, effective October 1, as well as the associate dean for academic affairs. As interim dean, he will serve in this role until a new dean is in place, and will lead the College and its 540 faculty and more than 16,000 students.  As the associate dean for academic affairs, he is the primary representative of the dean’s office on all matters affecting undergraduate and graduate academics. He is also responsible for developing programs related to innovation in undergraduate education, managing a range of assessment programs, and interacting with school chairs on matters of academic program. Jacobs received his Ph.D. in civil engineering from Columbia University in 1987 and worked for a year as an Office of Naval Technology postdoctoral fellow before coming to Georgia Tech in 1988.

He served as the associate chair for undergraduate programs for the School of Civil Engineering at Tech from 1995 to 2007. He received a joint appointment with the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering in 2003. Jacobs' research is centered on wave propagation in solids, emphasizing guided waves, nonlinear ultrasonic waves and characterization of heterogeneous materials. He has authored or co-authored more than 120 papers in refereed journals and conference proceedings and is a past associate editor of ASCE's Journal of Engineering Mechanics. He is currently on the editorial board of NDT&E International.


Kimberly Kurtis, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Scholarship
Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Professor, Materials Science and Engineering
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Kimberly (Kim) Kurtis is a professor in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology. She has served as Associate Dean of Faculty Development and Scholarship in the College of Engineering since 2014 and was interim chair of the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering for the 2017-2018 academic year. Kurtis earned her BSE in civil engineering from Tulane University under a Deans Honor Scholarship and her Ph.D. in civil engineering from the University of California at Berkeley, where she was a Henry Hilp Fellow and a National Science Foundation (NSF) Fellow.  

Kurtis’s innovative research on the multi-scale structure and performance of cement-based materials has resulted in more than 100 technical publications and two U.S. patents. Kurtis’s innovative research on the multi-scale structure and performance of cement-based materials has resulted in more than 100 technical publications and two U.S. patents. In addition to her technical and educational service contributions at the American Concrete Institute (ACI), American Ceramics Society (ACerS), Portland Cement Association (PCA), Transportation Research Board (TRB), American Association of State and Highway Transportation Officials (AASHTO), and Federal Highway Administration (FHWA), she has held two leadership positions – Chairman of ACI Committee 236: Materials Science of Concrete (2006-2012) and Chair of American Ceramic Society’s Cements Division (2008-2009) – central to advancing science-based research on cement-based materials. 

Kurtis will oversee the implementation of college-wide programs that help faculty advance in their professional careers. She also will oversee initiatives to enhance diversity of college faculty, and implement orientation, educational, mentoring, and recognition programs that aim to improve faculty satisfaction, well-being and performance.


Krista Walton, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Research and Innovation
Professor, Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
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 Before joining the Dean's Office, Walton was a professor and the Robert "Bud" Moeller Faculty Fellow in the School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at Georgia Tech. She also served  as the Academic Program Director for the Professional Master’s in Manufacturing Leadership. As associate dean, she will focus on enabling engineering faculty members to develop and sustain excellence in scholarship and research, as well as to create an environment in which innovation, entrepreneurship, and public service are fundamental characteristics of CoE graduates.

Walton received her B.S.E. in chemical engineering from the University of Alabama-Huntsville in 2000 and obtained her Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Vanderbilt University in 2005. She also completed a postdoctoral fellowship at Northwestern University in 2006.

As Associate Dean for Research and Innovation, Walton will coordinate a research agenda for the College of Engineering and its stakeholders as well as act as a focal point to establish and maintain CoE leadership in research commercialization. She will focus on identifying new research opportunities, encouraging research collaborations, and facilitating partnerships among faculty both within and outside of the university.



Douglas Williams, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Administration and Finance
Professor Electrical and Computer Engineering
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Doug Williams’ primary responsibility as the associate dean of administration and finance is to act as the dean’s office representative on all matters related to finances, facilities, and other resources. He is also responsible for budget allocation for the schools within the College of Engineering, as well as strategic planning surrounding faculty hiring.

Williams joined the ECE faculty in 1989, where he is affiliated with the Center for Signal and Image Processing. He most recently served as the senior associate chair for ECE and as interim school chair from July 2011-August 2012. He received the BSEE, MS, and PhD degrees in electrical and computer engineering from Rice University in 1984, 1987, and 1989, respectively.

Williams' research interests involve the application of statistical signal processing methods to communications, radar signal processing, and the study of nonlinear dynamics. He is a member of the IEEE Signal Processing Society's Board of Governors, Signal Processing Theory and Methods Technical Committee, and Signal Processing Education Technical Committee. Williams is currently Special Sections Area Editor for the IEEE Signal Processing Magazine and was co-editor of The Digital Signal Processing Handbook (CRC Press and IEEE Press, 1998). He is a member of the Tau Beta Pi, Eta Kappa Nu, and Phi Beta Kappa honor societies.