Holmes named UAB School of Engineering dean

Jeffrey W. Holmes will join UAB as the seventh dean of the School of Engineering.

Holmes2Jeffrey W. Holmes, M.D., Ph.D., has been named dean of the University of Alabama at Birmingham’s School of Engineering following a national search. Holmes will assume his role at UAB in July as the school’s seventh dean.  

Holmes joins UAB from the University of Virginia, where he was a professor of biomedical engineering and medicine and the inaugural director of the Center for Engineering in Medicine. The initiative was designed to jumpstart medical innovation by fostering partnerships between engineers and clinicians. Prior to UVA, he taught at Columbia University and helped found and build a new biomedical engineering department there. 

“The UAB School of Engineering offers tremendous opportunities due to UAB’s collaborative nature, commitment to community engagement and educational mission,” Holmes said. “The presence of a world-class academic medical center and a vibrant local economy provide opportunities for research and educational partnerships that make an important real-world impact. At the same time, programs such as the Birmingham Promise and UAB’s tradition of educating first-generation and under-represented college students offer an important opportunity to recruit and train an exciting and diverse population of future engineers.” 

UAB School of Engineering comprises five academic departments and offers a curriculum focused on experiential learning and progressively advanced, hands-on applications. With more than 15 graduate degree programs and tracks to choose from at the master and doctoral level, plus a variety of certificates on offer, the school provides initiatives that range from traditional M.S./Ph.D. pathways to online master of engineering degree tracks for working professionals. 

“UAB’s School of Engineering presents unique opportunities both because of its presence in a vibrant economic area and because of the research and study collaborations possible within an academic medical center.”
– Jeffrey W. Holmes

“I also look forward to building further relationships with Alabama employers who will need engineers to help the state thrive, including not only biomedical engineers, but also civil and environmental engineers and construction managers, electrical and computer engineers, mechanical engineers and materials engineers,” Holmes said.

UAB President Ray Watts credits the search process led by Provost Pam Benoit and the search committee led by Graduate School Dean Lori McMahon for identifying Holmes as the next leader of the School of Engineering.

“I applaud Dr. Benoit, Dr. McMahon and the committee for leading this nationwide search that identified some talented and experienced candidates,” Watts said. “As a graduate of the School of Engineering myself, and a biomedical engineering alumnus at that, I will be keenly interested in Dr. Holmes’s plans for the school and fully expect him to be a transformational leader.”

Holmes succeeds Timothy Wick, Ph.D., professor of biomedical engineering, who has served as interim dean since Iwan Alexander, Ph.D., stepped down as dean to join the faculty in

April 2019.

“Dr. Wick provided excellent leadership during this period of transition,” said Benoit. “As a fellow biomedical engineer, Dr. Wick will be an even greater resource to Dr. Holmes.”

Holmes received his bachelor of science degree in biomedical engineering from Johns Hopkins University and earned both his doctorate in bioengineering and his medical degree from the University of California, San Diego.