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Iwan Alexander portrait

Iwan Alexander, Ph.D., former dean of the School of Engineering and former chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was recently appointed Dean and Professor Emeritus by the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees.

The proclamation announcing his appointment cites Alexander’s six years as chair of the School of Engineering, three years as chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, and nine years as professor of mechanical engineering. His official emeritus titles are Dean Emeritus of the School of Engineering and Professor Emeritus of the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering.

Alexander came to UAB as the School of Engineering’s sixth dean in August 2013. He held that position until August 2019, when he stepped down and took over as chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. 

During his time as dean, Alexander oversaw the creation of a new joint Department of Biomedical Engineering shared between the Schools of Engineering and UAB Heersink School of Medicine. He also was instrumental in bringing the Engineering and Innovative Technology Development research operation into the School of Engineering. 

DeanAlex2 copyThis 2014 photo shows Iwan Alexander working with a student on a homework assignment in the Hoehn Building lobby. Photo courtesy of Ophelia Wells.Under Alexander’s leadership, the School of Engineering expanded its academic offerings through the creation of several new graduate programs and a new undergraduate degree program in engineering design. The Board’s proclamation also credits Alexander for helping the school increase “sponsored research project expenditures of over 60 percent and six-year graduation rates by 18%,” as well as crediting him for promoting “greater diversity of the engineering student population during his term as Dean of Engineering.”

Prior to his arrival at UAB, Alexander led a distinguished career as a researcher in a variety of fields; serving as a director of the National Center for Space Exploration Research and faculty director of the Great Lakes Energy Institute at Case Western Reserve. He has served as chair of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Water Technology Committee, is an associate fellow for the American Institute for Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) and received NASA’s Exceptional Public Service Medal in 2008. 

In a research career that spanned four decades, Alexander produced over 120 publications in peer reviewed journals and books, and mentored 14 doctoral students.