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.

Jennifer Sinclair Curtis joined UC Davis in October 2015 as the eighth dean of the College of Engineering.


Jennifer Sinclair Curtis

Phone: 530-752-0554

Research: Flow behavior of particles, with applications ranging from food processing, pharmaceutical manufacture, and the aerospace, energy and mining industries to natural processes such as debris flows and sediments. Her work has made important contributions to understanding how fluids and solid particles behave together.Prior to joining UC Davis, Jennifer Sinclair Curtis served as Associate Dean for Research at the University of Florida College of Engineering. She has served on the faculty at Lafayette College, Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Arizona and Purdue University, in addition to visiting professorships at the University of Minnesota; and at Monash University and the University of New South Wales in Australia.

Jennifer Sinclair Curtis is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, and the American Society for Engineering Education and has served on numerous national advisory boards and committees, including currently co-chairing the National Academies Chemical Science Roundtable.


Ph.D., M.S., Chemical Engineering, Princeton University, 1989
B.S., Chemical Engineering, Purdue University, 1983

Jessie Catacutan, Executive Assistant Dean for Administration and Finance

Jessie Catacutan
Executive Assistant Dean for Administration & Finance

Phone: 530-752-3158

Catacutan serves as a key adviser to the dean and the leadership team of the school. This position leads in financial reporting, forecasting and policy setting on administrative matters, organizational development, risk management and operations.Prior to joining the UC Davis College of Engineering, Catacutan served as the director of grants, budget, finance and administration at the UC Office of the President. In this role he was responsible for budget forecasting, including development of annual budgets for the Regents; overseeing resource allocation and recharge models for the Research Grants Program Office (RGPO); and facilitating office and facility management, business operations and financial reconciliations. Prior to his employment at the UC Office of the President, Catacutan served as the director of budget, finance and space for the UC Davis Office of Research. In this position he provided overall leadership and direction for training related to facilities resource information systems, including the campus space inventory and the divisional space usage information system. His responsibilities also included serving as a liaison between the Office of Research, the Office of Resource Management and Planning, Architects and Engineers and research units for space-related issues and questions.

Certified Public Accountant  – State of California (CPA # 66358 – May 1994 – present (inactive status))


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.

White,-Dean-Bruce-R-304Bruce R. White
Executive Associate Dean
Emeritus Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Phone: 530-752-4270


Since establishing in 2010, Bruce White has been the Director of the Engineering Technology Translational Center (ETTC) (, assisting College of Engineering faculty establish startup companies based on their UC Davis research and also, since establishing in 2013, he has been the Director of the Engineering Student Startup Center, assisting engineering students establish startup companies, with over 20 startups have been developed. Bruce White also continues his research in wind engineering specializing in environmental applications.


Ph.D., Aerospace Engineering, Iowa State University, 1974
M.S., Mechanical/Aerospace Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1972
B.S., Aerospace Engineering, University of Minnesota, 1971


Jim Schaaf
Associate Dean, Undergraduate Studies
Lecturer, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Kemper Hall 1050
Phone: 530-752-0556

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, Research and Graduate Studies
Professor, Department of Biological and Agricultural Engineering

Phone: 530-752-1650
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

C.P. “Case” van Dam
Associate Dean for Facilities and Capital Planning
Warren and Leta Giedt Professor, Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Phone: 530-752-7741


Wind tunnel testing of airfoils, wings, and wind energy conversion systems; computational fluid dynamic analysis of airfoils, wings, aircraft, and rotors; and full-scale aerodynamic testing. Involved in UC Davis work started in the late 1990s on active control of the aerodynamic loads on wind turbine blades that is now a major field of research in Europe and the United States.


Ph.D., Aerospace Engineering, University of Kansas, 1983
M.S., Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, 1979
M.S., Aerospace Engineering, University of Kansas, 1978
B.S., Aerospace Engineering, Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands, 1975


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

Alyssa Panitch

Biomedical Engineering

Roland Faller
Chemical Engineering


Subhash Risbud
Materials Science and Engineering

Amit Kanvinde
Civil and Environmental Engineering


Nina Amenta
Computer Science


Kent Wilken
Electrical and Computer Engineering

Stephen Robinson

Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering