Gary S. May is the dean of the College of Engineering and Southern Company Chair at Georgia Tech. He serves as the chief academic officer of the college, where he works with four associate deans and chairs for each of the college's eight schools. 

Dean of Georgia Tech Engineering

Gary S. May, Ph.D.

  • Dean, College of Engineering
  • Southern Company Chair
  • Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

Gary S. May is the dean of Georgia Tech's College of Engineering and holds the Southern Company Chair. He also holds an academic appointment as professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering. As dean, he serves as the chief academic officer of the college and leads more than 400 faculty members and more than 13,000 students. The College of Engineering at Georgia Tech produces more engineering graduates than any other college in the United States. 

Prior to his current appointment, May was the Steve W. Chaddick Chair of the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and his field of research is computer-aided manufacturing of integrated circuits. He has authored more than 200 technical publications, contributed to 15 books, and holds a patent in this topic. He has also participated in acquiring over $49 million in research funding, and he has graduated 20 Ph.D. students. In 1993, May was named Georgia Tech’s Outstanding Young Alumnus, and in 1999, he received Georgia Tech’s Outstanding Service Award. In 2004, he received Georgia Tech’s Outstanding Undergraduate Research Mentor Award, as well as the Outstanding Minority Engineer Award from the American Society of Engineering Education. In 2006, he received the Mentor Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In 2010, he was named the Outstanding Electrical Engineering Alumnus of the University of California, Berkeley. May is a Fellow of the AAAS and the IEEE.

May created the Summer Undergraduate Research in Engineering/Science (SURE) program, for which he has been granted $3 million from the National Science Foundation (NSF). SURE hosts minority students to perform research at Georgia Tech in the hopes that they will pursue a graduate degree, and over 73 percent of SURE participants enroll in graduate school. May was also the co-creator and co-director of the Facilitating Academic Careers in Engineering and Science (FACES) and University Center of Exemplary Mentoring (UCEM) programs, for which he has been granted over $17 million from NSF and the Sloan Foundation to increase the number of underrepresented Ph.D. recipients from Georgia Tech. Over the duration of FACES, 433 minority students have received Ph.D. degrees in science or engineering at Georgia Tech – the most in such fields in the nation. As a result of these efforts, May received the Presidential Award for Excellence in Science, Mathematics and Engineering Mentoring from President Barack Obama in 2015.

May is a member of the Board of Directors of Leidos, Inc., as well as executive vice president of the National GEM Consortium and a member of the National Advisory Board of the National Society of Black Engineers.

May received his B.S. in electrical engineering from Georgia Tech in 1985 and the M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in electrical engineering and computer science from the University of California, Berkeley in 1988 and 1991, respectively. A native of St. Louis, Missouri, he is married to LeShelle R. May, and they have two daughters, Simone and Jordan.

“My vision is to create an environment where anyone with the aptitude and inclination to study engineering will want to come to Georgia Tech. In partnership with colleagues in the other colleges we will build a community of scholars to address the issues and challenges of the world through technology.”

Associate Deans

  • Robert J. Butera, Ph.D.

    (404) 894-2935
    • Associate Dean for Research & Innovation
    • Professor, Biomedical Engineering and Electrical and Computer Engineering

    The associate dean for research & innovation focuses on enabling engineering faculty members to develop and sustain excellence in scholarship and research, as well as creating an environment in which innovation, entrepreneurship, and public service are fundamental characteristics of CoE graduates. 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 CoE 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.


  • Laurence J. Jacobs, Ph.D.

    (404) 894-2344
    • Associate Dean for Academic Affairs
    • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

    As the associate dean for academic affairs, Laurence Jacobs serves as 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 E. Kurtis, Ph.D.

    (404) 385-0825
    • Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Scholarship
    • Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

    As the associate dean for faculty development and scholarship, Kimberly Kurtis manages the reappointment, promotion, tenure, peer review and selection processes for all faculty and researchers within the College of Engineering. In addition, she leads faculty development initiatives and assists with the management of faculty hiring strategies and inclusion programs. 

    Prior to joining the dean’s office, Kurtis served as associate chair of graduate programs in the School of Civil and Environmental Engineering and was the College of Engineering ADVANCE Professor, a position that seeks to increase the participation of women in the scientific and engineering workforce. Kurtis joined Tech’s faculty in January 1999, after earning her Ph.D and M.S. in civil engineering at University of California, Berkeley, under an NSF Graduate Fellowship and Henry Hilp Scholarship. She earned her B.S.E. (1994) in civil engineering from Tulane University. Her 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 has served as associate editor of ASCE Journal of Materials in Civil Engineering, on the Editorial Board of Cement and Concrete Composites, and is one of 12 members of the American Concrete Institute’s Technical Activities Committee. She has been honored with ACI’s Walter P. Moore Jr. Faculty Achievement Award (2005), ACI’s Del Bloem Award for Service (2013), and ASCE’s Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize (2013). She is a fellow of the American Concrete Institute and the American Ceramics Society.  


  • Douglas B. Williams, Ph.D.

    (404) 894-9832
    • Associate Dean for Administration and Finance
    • Professor, Electrical and Computer Engineering

    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.

School Chairs

  • Reginald DesRoches, School of Civil and Environmental Engineering Chair Karen and John Huff School Chair and Professor

    Reginald DesRoches, Ph.D.

    (404) 385-0402
    School of Civil and Environmental Engineering Chair
    • Karen and John Huff School Chair and Professor

    Reginald DesRoches is the Karen and John Huff School Chair. He earned his B.S. in mechanical engineering, M.S. in civil engineering, and Ph.D. in structural engineering – all at the University of California, Berkeley. In 1998 he came to Georgia Tech as as professor, and in 2012 he was named the Karen and John Huff School Chair. He has served as chair of the American Society of Civil Engineers Seismic Effects Committee and chair of the executive committee of the Technical Council on Lifeline Earthquake Engineering, and he is on the Board of the Earthquake Engineering Research Institute. He has been awarded the PECASE, the highest honor bestowed upon scientists and engineers in the early stages of their careers. He was also given the ANAK Award in 2008, considered the highest honor the undergraduate student body can present to a Georgia Tech faculty member.

  • C. Ross Ethier, Ph.D.

    (404) 385-0100
    Interim Chair, Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering

    Ethier was named interim chair of the Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Tech and Emory effective August 1, 2016. Ethier joined the BME department in 2012.  Prior to joining Georgia Tech Professor Ethier was the Head of the Department of Bioengineering at Imperial College, London. Before joining Imperial College in 2007, he served as Director of the Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto, where he was a Professor of Bioengineering, Mechanical Engineering and Ophthalmology. He received his Ph.D. from MIT in 1986. He is also the coauthor of Introductions to Biomechanics, along with Professor Craig Simmons. 

  • Steven W. McLaughlin, Ph.D.

    (404) 894-2902
    Steve W. Chaddick School Chair, School of Electrical and Computing Engineering

    Steven McLaughlin received his B.S. in electrical engineering from Northwestern University, M.S. in engineering from Princeton University, and a Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. He has held positions at AT&T Bell Laboratories, Eastman Kodak Co. and Booz Allen  Hamilton. He joined Georgia Tech's School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in 1996. He was previously deputy director of Georgia Tech Lorraine. McLaughlin has published more than 230 papers in journals and conferences. He is also the co-founder of Whisper Communications, a physical layer security company established in 2010 to commercialize technology developed in his research group. In 2011, he was awarded the honor Chevalier dans l`Ordre Nationale de Merite, the second-highest civilian award given by the Republic of France. McLaughlin was the first Georgia Tech recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers.

  • H. Edwin Romeijn, Ph.D.

    (404) 385-6178
    H. Milton & Carolyn J. Stewart School Chair, Stewart School of Industrial & Systems Engineering

    Edwin Romeijn oversees the nation’s largest industrial engineering program. He received his M.S. in econometrics and Ph.D. in operations research from Erasmus University Rotterdam in the Netherlands. He previously served as the program director for the Manufacturing Enterprise Systems, Service Enterprise Systems, and Operations Research program at the National Science Foundation, and as professor and Richard C. Wilson Faculty Scholar in the Department of Industrial and Operations Engineering at the University of Michigan. He is a member of the Institute of Operations Research and the Management Sciences, Mathematical Optimization Society, Society of Industrial an Applied Mathematics and the American Association of Physicists in Medicine. 

  • David S. Sholl, Ph.D.

    (404) 894-2822
    School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Chair
    • John F. Brock, III School Chair
    • GRA Eminent Scholar for Energy Sustainability
    • Michael E. Tennenbaum Family Chair

    David Sholl received his Ph.D. in applied mathematics from the University of Colorado. Afterwards, he participated in postdoctoral research programs at the Pennsylvania State University and Yale University. In 2008, he joined the School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering faculty at Georgia Tech. His awards include the University Medal from the Australian National University, the National Science Foundation’s CAREER award and the George Tallman Ladd Award for Excellence in Research from Carnegie Mellon University. His research group has published in the areas of computational materials modeling, porous materials for carbon capture applications, membranes for gas separations, and heterogeneous catalysis. Sholl has also served as the research and thesis advisor to more than 80 students at the bachelor’s, master’s, doctoral, and postdoctoral levels.

  • Naresh Thadhani

    (404) 894-2651
    School of Materials Science and Engineering Chair

    Naresh Thadhani joined the faculty of the School of Materials Science and Engineering in 1992. He received his B.S. in Engineering from the University of Rajasthan in India, M.S. at the South Dakota School of Mines and Technology, and his Ph.D. from New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology. Thadhani is currently working on research projects that are sponsored by the Department of Defense and industries. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society and American Society for Metals International. He is an author of more than 200 publications in journals and proceedings, as well as the editor of Spring Series on Shock Compression, associate editor of Shock Waves: An International Journal, and past president of the Alpha Sigma Mu, Materials Honors Society. 

  • William J. Wepfer, Ph.D.

    (404) 894-3200
    Eugene C. Gwaltney Jr. Chair, Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering

    William J. Wepfer began at Tech in 1980 as an assistant professor. He received his B.S. from Marquette University, M.S. from Stanford University and his Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1974, 1976 and 1979, respectively. Wepfer’s distinctions include being named the Atlanta Section Engineer of the Year in Education by the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and American Society of Heating Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers. He has also received awards from Georgia Tech including the Outstanding Service Award, Outstanding Teacher Award and the Outstanding Continuing Education Award. Wepfer’s research interests are in thermal systems, heat transfer and thermodynamics. His research investigates various techniques and methods for efficient drying of textile composites. 

  • Vigor Yang, Ph.D.

    (404) 894-3002
    Daniel Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering Chair
    • William R. T. Oakes Professor and Chair

    Vigor Yang received his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology in 1984. Then he joined the Pennsylvania State University in 1985, becoming the John L. and Genevieve H. McCain Chair in Engineering in 2006. In 2009, he began his tenure as Williams R.T. Oakes Professor and chair of the Guggenheim School of Aerospace Engineering. Yang has taught undergraduate and graduate courses in thermodynamics, fluid mechanics, heat transfer, propulsion, combustion and mathematics. He is also the founder of the International Symposium on Liquid Space Propulsion and has consulted with government and industrial organizations including NASA, the Department of Defense, and the European Space Agency. Yang was recently named to the National Academy of Engineering.