Laursen Named Senior Associate Dean

Tod Laursen, an associate professor and director of undergraduate
studies in civil and environmental engineering at Duke's Pratt School of
Engineering, has been appointed the school's senior associate dean for
education, Pratt Dean Kristina M. Johnson announced Feb. 26.

"In this new position, Tod will help take the school to the next level of
high-impact engineering education as outlined in our Strategic Plan,"
Johnson said.

She said Laursen will develop a school-wide strategy for recruiting
graduate and undergraduate students. He also will work with other Pratt
faculty members to expand master's degree offerings and to improve the
Pratt curriculum with special emphasis on the first-year experience.

"The new senior associate dean for education also will be responsible for
developing and carrying out new initiatives for achieving our educational
mission -- to deliver a bold, personal engineering educational experience
within Pratt," Johnson said.

She said the new position is in addition to the senior associate dean for
undergraduate student affairs and the assistant dean for student affairs.

"We need all three positions to allow senior leaders to focus on fewer
tasks, which, as the school grows, will require more time to maintain our
high standards," Johnson said.

Laursen received his Ph.D. in mechanical engineering from Stanford
University. Before joining the Duke faculty in 1992, he worked as a solid
mechanics analyst at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory.

At Duke, Laursen teaches undergraduate courses in engineering
computing and engineering science and teaches graduate courses in
continuum mechanics, engineering analysis, finite element methods, and
the use of finite element methods for the solution of nonlinear problems.
His research activities fall largely under these same categories. ###