Jean-Pierre Bardet, chair of the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Southern California, has been named dean of the College of Engineering at UT Arlington.
Dr. Bardet will succeed Bill Carroll, who plans to step down this fall and return to teaching computer science engineering. Bardet is expected to join the University full time by January.
“As one of the nation’s fastest-growing regions, North Texas deserves a top-tier research university to educate the workforce for high-tech industries. Now is the right time to build a world-class College of Engineering with vibrant research and educational programs to invigorate the economy and improve the quality of life in North Texas and beyond,” Bardet says. “I am thrilled and honored to become the new dean and to be given the opportunity to work with faculty, students, staff, and alumni across the University to achieve great things.”
Bardet studied engineering at Ecole Centrale in Lyon, France, and earned his Master of Science and doctoral degrees from the California Institute of Technology. A member of the USC faculty since 1983, Bardet has chaired the Civil and Engineering department for five years and has seen its enrollment double since 2006. During his tenure at USC, Bardet was instrumental in attracting major, private philanthropic support for his department and the University overall.
Bardet’s diverse professional interests include civil infrastructure systems, earthquake research, geomechanics, and synthetic horseracing surfaces.
Most recently, Bardet founded and directed USC’s Center on Megacities, a multi-disciplinary research center that capitalizes on partnerships between universities, governments, and industries to promote innovation that will prepare and sustain the world’s largest cities for generations to come.
Such experience and expertise uniquely position Bardet to lead the College of Engineering, says Donald R. Bobbitt, provost and vice president for academic affairs.
“Dr. Bardet brings the College of Engineering and The University of Texas at Arlington national and international recognition,” Dr. Bobbitt says. “As a scientist, he has made major advances in the field of earthquake engineering. As an administrator, he is a proven progressive and innovative leader.”
Bardet was selected from an impressive field of candidates after an extensive, national search for UT Arlington’s next engineering dean. Ron Elsenbaumer, vice president for research and federal relations, chaired the search committee, which included Pamela Jansma, dean of the College of Science, department chairs, distinguished research faculty, and representatives of regional industry leaders.
The College of Engineering is propelling UT Arlington in its aggressive mission to become a nationally recognized research university. The University achieved a record $63.6 million in research expenditures in the 2009-2010 fiscal year with the College of Engineering directly generating about $33 million of that activity.
“We welcome Dr. Bardet to UT Arlington and know that his professional accomplishments and his enthusiasm for education and innovation will help propel the University’s drive to become a major national research institution,” President James D. Spaniolo says.
The College of Engineering currently enrolls 3,600 students in eight undergraduate and 22 master’s and doctoral programs. UT Arlington engineering research supplies major growth industries—from aerospace and Homeland Security to bioengineering and information technology businesses—with new technologies, devices, processes, know-how, and a highly trained workforce.