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Gregory L. Fenves

Greg is Dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. He leads 270 faculty, 5100 undergraduate students, and 2100 graduate students in a three-fold mission of creating knowledge, educating engineering leaders, and distributing knowledge.

Greg was raised in central Illinois and went to high school outside of Pittsburgh. At Cornell, he was first interested in computer science but then changed to civil engineering. This was just one of several opportunities in his career to miss the brewing computing and information technology revolution. Greg chaired the Student Finance Commission as a senior, which was his first experience in university leadership. After graduation, Greg spent the next five years at the University of California, Berkeley, became interested in the design of buildings and bridges to withstand earthquakes, and earned a Ph.D. degree in the process.

After starting his academic career at UT Austin, Greg returned to UC Berkeley in 1988 where he became a leader in computational modeling and simulation for earthquake engineering. He is the creator of the most widely used open-source software for research in this area. Pursuing his interests in interdisciplinary research, Greg worked with electrical engineering and computer science colleagues to develop one of the earliest wireless sensor networks for infrastructure systems. In 2002, Greg became the chair of the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, serving five years in this role.

Following a sabbatical leave in Pavia, Italy and Kyoto, Japan with his wife and two daughters, now 22 and 23, Greg returned to Austin in 2008 as the eighth dean of UT’s Cockrell School. The school’s strategic focus is on engineering the future technologies for solving today’s problems in critical areas such as energy, health care, and infrastructure. Greg is passionate that a key to reviving the national and global economy is the discovery, creation, and marketing of transformative technologies that are affordable, sustainable, and serve society.