SBU names Sotiropoulos engineering dean

Fotis Sotiropoulos has been named dean of SBU's engineering and applied sciences programs.

Stony Brook University has named a new dean of its innovative College of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Fotis Sotiropoulos, director of the St. Anthony Falls Laboratory at the University of Minnesota and an engineering professor at UMN, will take over SBU’s engineering college effective Oct. 15, the university announced Thursday. He succeeds Yacov Shamash, who remains SBU’s vice president for economic development.

Sotiropoulos was chosen following a competitive national search and brings extensive knowledge and experience to Stony Brook’s senior leadership team, according to SBU President Samuel Stanley.

“I’m confident that he will propel our acclaimed College of Engineering and Applied Sciences to the top tier of our nation’s engineering programs,” Stanley said in a statement.

The national search for Shamash’s successor in the dean’s office was directed by Joseph Mitchell, chairman of SBU’s Applied Mathematics and Statistics, and Wendy Tang, the university’s associate provost for online learning and associate chairwoman of Electrical and Chemical Engineering. Executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates assisted the hunt.

Ultimately, all roads led to Sotiropoulos. The incoming dean received his Ph.D. in aerospace engineering from the University of Cincinnati after earning a master’s degree in the same subject from Pennsylvania State University and a mechanical engineering diploma from the National Technical University of Athens in Greece. He also trained as a postdoctoral associate and assistant research scientist at the Iowa Institute of Hydraulic Research.

Sotiropoulos specializes in solving fluid-mechanics problems in renewable energy, environmental, biological and cardiovascular applications. Over the last decade, he’s raised over $17 million in research funding and another $17 million for facility development and renovation, with primary sponsors including the National Science Foundation, the Department of Energy and the National Institutes of Health.

The fellow of the American Physical Society said he was honored to join the Stony Brook faculty, citing a unique opportunity to promote “economic growth and societal prosperity.”

“The college is uniquely positioned to make a positive difference in the State of New York, the nation and the world,” Sotiropoulos said in a statement. “Through creative, cross-disciplinary research and educational programs, we will produce the next generation of leaders, entrepreneurs and innovators.”

Among other advantages that convinced him to jump to SBU, Sotiropoulos referenced the university’s excellent facility, commitment to diversity and “unique partnership” with Brookhaven National Laboratory. He also noted the strategic benefits of the university’s physical location, within easy reach of several other world-class research institutions.

In addition to his academic credentials, Sotiropoulos has amassed an award-winning curriculum vitae. The author of more than 160 peer-reviewed journal papers and book chapters has won multiple American Physical Society awards for fluid motion and a career award from the NSF.

In 2014, he was a distinguished lecturer at the Mortimer and Raymond Sackler Institute of Advanced Studies at Tel Aviv University. He’s also served on the editorial boards of the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Journal of Hydraulic Engineering, the International Journal of Heat and Fluid Flow and other international engineering publications.

With an undergraduate enrollment of 3,800 students and a graduate enrollment of 1,500 students, the college and its 162-member faculty offer 18 different programs of study.