Enrique Lavernia, Dean

The dean is the administrative head, providing academic leadership, managing resources and representing the College of Engineering to the Chancellor, the Provost, UC Davis and wider communities. The dean is also a member of the faculty of the College.

Dean Lavernia

Distinguished Professor, Chemical Engineering and Materials Science

Kemper Hall 1021A
Website: Advanced Materials Research Group
Phone: 530-752-0554 


Synthesis of structural materials and metal matrix composites with particular emphasis on processing fundamentals; thermal spray processing of nano-structured materials; spray atomization and deposition of structural materials; solidification processing of metal matrix composites; synthesis and behavior of nano-crystalline materials; mathematical modeling of advanced materials and processes.


Ph.D., Materials Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1986
M.S., Metallurgy, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 1984
B.S., Solid Mechanics, Brown University, 1982


Enrique J. Lavernia returned as dean to the College of Engineering on January 1, 2011 after serving as provost and executive vice chancellor of the University of California, Davis, from January 2009–December 2010. He joined the campus in 2002 as dean of the College of Engineering, where he was also promoted to Distinguished Professor in 2007.

Elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2013, Lavernia is also a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2000); a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (2006); and fellow of ASM International (1998). Lavernia is recipient of the 2013 Edward DeMille Campbell Memorial Lectureship, and the 2013 ASM International Gold Medal Award.

Named Presidential Young Investigator by the National Science Foundation, Lavernia also received a Young Investigator Award from the Office of Naval Research. In 2011 he received the Hispanic Engineer National Achievement Award (HEENAC) and the Society for the Advancement of Chicanos and Native Americans in Science (SACNAS) Distinguished Scientist Award. Prior to his arrival at Davis in 2002, Lavernia served as Chair and Chancellor’s Professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering and Materials Science at UC Irvine.

Dean Lavernia has published more than 500 journal and 250 conference publications on topics ranging from nano-materials to aluminum alloys.


Jeff Lefkoff
Executive Assistant Dean for Administration and Finance


Kemper Hall 1042
Phone: (530) 752-3158


Since 2002, Jeff Lefkoff has served in a variety of administrative positions at UC Davis, working in central-campus units on budget and financial management, capital construction and facilities planning, and strategic planning and policy development. He joined the College of Engineering leadership team in February 2011. As Executive Assistant Dean, he is responsible for administrative operations and financial management to support the teaching, research, and service mission of the college. Prior to UC Davis, Jeff worked for 12 years as an environmental consultant, including six years as Managing Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for a water-resources firm.


M.B.A., Organizational Behavior and Finance, University of California, Davis, 2002
Ph.D., Water Resources, Stanford University, 1988
M.S., Forest Hydrology, University of Georgia, 1981
B.A., Political Philosophy, Bachelor of Arts, Northwestern University, 1977


 Associate Deans

The associate deans, also faculty members, provide leadership in matters related to the academic mission, faculty, instruction and student services. They report to the dean of the College.    

Jean-Pierre Delplanque
Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies
Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering


Phone: (530) 752-0556



Multiscale modeling and numerical simulation of complex processes and systems. Applications are interdisciplinary in nature, crossing the boundaries between Mechanical Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Materials Science. Examples of specific projects range from the strain-assisted microstructural development of polycrystalline materials to the dynamics and condensation of exhaled aerosols.


Ph.D. (1993) Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Irvine
M.Sc. (1989) Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering, University of California, Irvine
Diplôme d’Études Approfondies* (1987), National Polytechnic Institute of Toulouse, France
Engineer Diploma (1987) Energy and Processes, Hydraulics and Fluid Mechanics Department, ENSEEIHT, Toulouse, France


Jim Schaaf
Assistant Dean of Undergraduate Programs and Advising
Continuing Lecturer, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Kemper Hall 1050
Phone: (530) 752-1979

Since 1993, Jim Schaaf has been a lecturer in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering where he has been actively involved in curriculum development, program assessment, and undergraduate advising. Prior to returning to UC Davis, Jim was the first recipient of the Lee Hunter Assistant Professorship of Mechanical Design at the Washington University in St. Louis. In 1989-90, Jim spent a year as an NIDRR research fellow at MIT’s Newman Biomechanics Laboratory and Massachusetts General Hospital’s Biomechanics Laboratory. Jim’s primary teaching interests are in design and dynamics.


Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Davis, 1988
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, 1983
B.S., Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, 1981


Jean VanderGheynst
Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies
Professor, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Phone: (530) 752-4980
Website: VanderGheynst Lab


Investigating a diverse array of biological systems to address relevant problems in fields such as plant biotechnology, biofuels, and pest management.
Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Cornell University, 1997
M.S., Agricultural and Biological Engineering, Cornell University, 1994
B.S., Chemical Engineering, with Distinction, Syracuse University, 1991

S. Felix Wu
Associate Dean, Academic Personnel and Planning
Professor, Department of Computer Science

Phone: 530-754-7748


Social informatics and computing; Computer and network security; Social-aware operating systems; Future Internet architecture and experimentation; Software-Defined Anything (SDx); Anomaly detection and explanation.


Ph.D., Computer Science, Columbia University, 1995
M.S., Computer Science, Columbia University, 1989
B.S., Computer Science, Tunghai University, Taichung, Taiwan, 1985


Academic chairs are faculty members and have critical leadership roles in their units, acting as liaisons to higher administration and serving to advance the research, teaching and service missions of their departments.


Bryan Jenkins
Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Kyriacos Athanasiou
Biomedical Engineering
Ahmet Palazoglu
Chemical Engineering and Materials Science
Sashi Kunnath

Civil and Environmental Engineering
Nina Amenta

Computer Science
Kent Wilken

Electrical and Computer Engineering
C.P. van Dam

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering