Swanson School of Engineering Names Martin New Dean

James R. Martin II has been named dean of the Swanson School of Engineering, Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor Patricia E. Beeson announced in March. He will begin his deanship on Aug. 15.

Martin is the Bob Benmosche Professor and Chair of the Glenn Department of Civil Engineering at Clemson University. He led the development of new curricula, establishment of new degree programs and forged new transdisciplinary research collaborations, having secured two institutional National Science Foundation (NSF) grants to implement innovations in engineering programs at Clemson and 60 other engineering schools across the nation. He also developed global partnerships, including a new dual PhD civil engineering degree program with top-ranked Tongji University in China. This program is similar to Pitt’s engineering partnership with Sichuan University.

“A fierce champion of global partnerships and world-class research, Dr. Martin is perfectly positioned to lead the Swanson School's next chapter of success,” said Chancellor Patrick Gallagher. “I am thrilled to welcome him to our University and I look forward to watching him elevate Pitt engineering and its role in Pittsburgh's innovation community.”

Provost Beeson said: “Dr. Martin will bring to the Swanson School the innovation-driven leadership style that he has honed during his years of academic leadership. I am confident in his ability to guide the School as it develops a dynamic and inclusive vision for the next chapter of its history.” 

“I'm excited to join the Swanson School and the entire campus community, especially because of the amazing people here. Pitt has a strong sense of community and a pervasive ‘can do’ mindset that is unique and inspiring,” Martin said. “It’s easy to see why there are so many world-class programs. As an elite comprehensive university located in a city that's always been known for innovation and forward thinking, all of the critical ingredients are in place. Our best days are ahead.”

Martin’s leadership will follow that of Gerald D. Holder, who has served as dean of the Swanson School since 1996 and returns to the faculty in fall 2018.

Prior to Clemson, Martin spent more than 20 years at Virginia Tech on the civil engineering faculty and served five years as director of the Disaster Risk Management Institute. His professional career focused on earthquake engineering and risk assessment of natural hazards. 

He earned a Bachelor of Science in civil engineering from The Citadel, and both a Master of Science degree and a doctorate in civil engineering from Virginia Tech. Martin has received numerous national, state and university awards for research, teaching and professional service, including the American Society of Civil Engineer’s Norman Medal, the highest honor for published work in his field.


Amerigo Allegretto, aallegretto@pitt.edu, 412-624-6128