UC Berkeley alum Reginald DesRoches named president of Rice University
Berkeley Engineering alumnus Reginald DesRoches (B.S.’90 ME, M.S.’92 CE, Ph.D.’97 CEE), an internationally recognized expert in structural engineering, has been named Rice University’s next president, effective July 1, 2022.
The announcement marks the seventh Berkeley Engineering alumnus to become the head of a university in the just the past four years. Other recent appointments include:
- In 2017, Gary May (M.S.’88, Ph.D.’91 EECS) was named chancellor of UC Davis after a three-decade career at Georgia Tech, including six years as dean of engineering. May was also the 2018 commencement speaker at Berkeley Engineering.
- In 2018, Xiang Zhang (Ph.D.’96 ME), assumed the role of president and vice chancellor at Hong Kong University after more than 14 years at UC Berkeley’s Department of Mechanical Engineering faculty.
- In 2019, Suresh Garimella (Ph.D.’89 ME) became the new president at the University of Vermont after serving as the executive vice president for research and partnerships and professor of mechanical engineering at Purdue University.
- In 2020, Darryll Pines (B.S.’86 ME) was named president of the University of Maryland after 25 years on the engineering faculty, including 11 years as dean of engineering.
- In 2020, Greg Fenves (M.S.’80, Ph.D.’84 CE) started his tenure as president of Emory University after serving five years as president of the University of Texas at Austin. Fenves was also a faculty member in UC Berkeley’s Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering for more than 20 years, including five years as department chair.
- In 2021, Kohei Itoh (M.S.’92, Ph.D.’94 MSE), began his term as the president of Japan’s Keio University, where he was professor of science and technology.
“It is a point of tremendous pride for the Berkeley Engineering community to see so many of our alumni rise to the highest levels of leadership in academia,” said Tsu-Jae King Liu, dean of UC Berkeley’s College of Engineering. “They inspire us to press on in our mission to educate leaders. I look forward to seeing all they will accomplish in the coming years.”