The University of Houston has named Joseph W. Tedesco the sixth dean of the Cullen College of Engineering, effective Jan. 1, 2008.
“I am delighted the Cullen College will benefit from the leadership skills of Joe Tedesco,” said Don Foss, UH senior vice president for academic affairs and provost. “He has a wealth of positive experience in both the teaching and the research domains, and has been a highly effective leader of his department at the University of Florida. Consistent with our emphasis on multidisciplinary work, he has been a leader and participant in numerous multi-million dollar consortia. I look forward to working with him in support of the Cullen College of Engineering and the University of Houston.”
Tedesco is currently professor and chair of the University of Florida's Department of Civil & Coastal Engineering, which boasts 42 tenure-track faculty members, more than 650 undergraduate students and 210 full-time graduate students. As chairman, he hasled the department to a period of great success: annual research expenditures have increased by more than 80% under his watch, totaling more than $14.2 million during the 2005-2006 academic year. He has also shepherded the department’s undergraduate program to a national top-ten ranking among public institutions and its graduate program to the number 16 spot nationally.
Tedesco has also proved to be a successful fundraiser at Florida. He has raised more than $3.5 million for faculty endowments and more than $4 million for facility improvements, including the construction of a new, 8,500-squre-foot research laboratory.
As a researcher, he has conducted dozens of investigations into the dynamic response of structures and materials to high-intensity, short-duration impulse loadings. He is currently the technical director representing the University of Florida in a consortium of six universities that were recently awarded a $51 million grant from the Defense Threat Reduction Agency. He also leads a multi-university consortium proposal for a National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center.
Tedesco earned his B.S. from the University of Notre Dame in 1971, M.S. from Tufts University in 1974 and Ph.D. from Lehigh University in 1982, all in civil engineering. In addition to his time at Florida, Tedesco has held professorships at Oregon State University and Auburn University. He is a Registered Professional Engineer in the states of Florida and Alabama and is the author of the internationally renowned textbook Structural Dynamics: Theory and Applications. He is a six-time U.S. Air Force Research Fellow and has worked in residence at several Air Force Research Laboratories, including Tyndall AFB and Eglin AFB.
Professor Fritz Claydon’s appointment as interim dean of the Cullen College of Engineering has been extended to run through the end of the calendar year, Foss said. “I appreciate his willingness to serve his colleagues and the university in this way,” he added. Raymond W. Flumerfelt, who served as dean since 1998, retired from that position on July 31.