Associate Deans

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

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Robert Butera, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Research & Innovation
Professor Electrical and Computer Engineering
Professor of Biomedical Engineering
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Robert Butera coordinates and prioritizes a research agenda for the College of Engineering and its stakeholders and acts as a focal point to establish and maintain the College's leadership in research commercialization.

A 1991 BEE graduate of Georgia Tech, Butera attended graduate school at Rice University in Houston, Texas, receiving the MSEE in 1994 and PhD in 1996. Following graduate school, he conducted postdoctoral research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) in Bethesda, Maryland. While at the NIH, he worked jointly in the Mathematical Research Branch and the Laboratory for Neural Control.

Prior to joining the Dean’s Office, Butera directed the Neural Engineering Center (2014-2016). He previously served as founding Faculty Director of the Grand Challenges Living Learning Community (2012-2015) and Director of the Interdisciplinary Bioengineering Graduate Program (2005-2008).  Butera’s research is focused on developing novel methods for peripheral and autonomic nerve modulation using electrical signaling, combining engineering and neuroscience to tackle clinically motivated problems.  Professionally, Butera has served as Vice-President for Finance (2011-2014) and was recently elected to serve as Vice-President for Publications (2017-2020) for the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society.  He also served on the Board of Directors for the Organization for Computational Neuroscience (2013-2015). Butera is a Fellow of the American Institute of Medical and Biological Engineering and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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Laurence Jacobs, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
Professor Civil and Environmental Engineering
Professor of Mechanical Engineering
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Laurence Jacobs serves as the associate dean for academic affairs. In this position, 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.

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Kimberly Kurtis, Ph.D.

Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Scholarship
Professor, Civil and Environmental 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.

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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.