JoAnn Browning named dean of UTSA College of Engineering

JoAnn Browning

JoAnn Browning

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(May 8, 2014) -- JoAnn Browning, associate dean of administration and professor of civil engineering in the School of Engineering at the University of Kansas, has been named dean and David and Jennifer Spencer Distinguished Chair of The University of Texas at San Antonio College of Engineering. She will begin her duties in the college Aug. 1, 2014.

"Dr. Browning has great experience as a researcher and administrator, a strong commitment to student success, and, most importantly, a track record of collaboration and consensus building," said John H. Frederick, provost and vice president for academic affairs. "She is committed to expanding the college with a clear understanding of our goals of becoming a Tier One university and to further building on the college's community and industry partnerships.

"I want to thank the search committee and committee chair George Perry for their stellar work in the search process. I also want to express my deep gratitude to Mehdi Shadaram for providing exceptional leadership to the college as interim dean for the past year and through this important period of transition."

Browning earned both her bachelor's and master's degrees in civil engineering from the University of Kentucky. She earned her Ph.D. in civil engineering from Purdue University and joined the faculty at KU as assistant professor in 1998, earning tenure in 2004 and promotion to full professor in 2010.

Her career at KU has included service on the University Senate, as a faculty mentor for Student Athlete Support Services, and as a member of the Campus Historic Preservation Board and Bay View Alliance KU Leadership Group, among numerous department, college and university committees. She twice was awarded the university's Miller Award for Distinguished Professional Service (2004 and 2011) and was the 2012 recipient of the Henry E. Gould Award for Distinguished Service to Undergraduate Education.

"Joining UTSA is an incredible opportunity to take what I have learned about managing healthy growth in an engineering program and apply my knowledge so that the growth benefits UTSA's talented and diverse student body and supports the goals of the College of Engineering," said Browning.

Browning said that in addition to exploring ways to augment student development in the college, she is keenly interested in creating faculty development and mentoring programs to ensure the success of engineering faculty.

Her own research interests include structural engineering, earthquake engineering, engineering materials, and reinforced concrete design and analysis. She is actively involved in research to improve the durability of concrete bridge decks through studies of corrosion protection systems and low-cracking high performance bridge decks. Her work also is aimed at improving the design and performance of concrete bridges subjected to earthquake motion. She received the American Concrete Institute's Young Member Award for Professional Achievement in 2008 and was named an ACI Fellow in 2009.

Browning's husband, Adolfo Matamoros, also will be joining the college and Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering as professor and Peter Flawn Distinguished Chair.

Matamoros is professor and associate chair for undergraduate studies in the Department of Civil, Environmental and Architectural Engineering at the KU School of Engineering. His research interests include design and behavior of reinforced concrete members, fatigue repair in structural steel bridges and earthquake engineering.

Matamoros has been on the KU faculty since 1999. He earned his licentiate's degree in civil engineering from the University of Costa Rica; he earned both his master's and doctoral degrees from the University of Illinois at Urbana.

"KU has been wonderful to us by nurturing our careers and providing means to grow our research and leadership skills," Browning said. "But, we are now very excited about becoming part of the family at UTSA with the opportunities that lie ahead."

The UTSA College of Engineering is the major public provider of engineering education in South Texas with an enrollment exceeding 2,300 undergraduate and graduate students. The college seeks to provide world-class education and research opportunities to the region's multicultural community, as well as to the nation and beyond. This includes preparing students for lifelong learning and careers in the engineering profession and research leading to innovative technologies.