Bellamkonda Reappointed Dean of Duke Engineering
First term saw a reimagining of the undergraduate experience and record growth in faculty, students, research expenditures, philanthropy and rankings
Ravi Bellamkonda has been reappointed for a second five-year term as the Vinik Dean of the Pratt School of Engineering following a standard review process, Provost Sally Kornbluth announced this week.
Bellamkonda was first appointed dean of Duke Engineering in August 2016, after leading the Department of Biomedical Engineering at Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University as well as the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. He has been recognized as a distinguished scholar in in bioengineering and neurosciences and a leader in innovation, entrepreneurship and pedagogy. As dean, Bellamkonda has reimagined the undergraduate engineering curriculum at Duke while furthering the school’s growth and rise in national reputation.
“Ravi has shown incredible leadership of the Pratt School, recruiting and retaining outstanding faculty, introducing curricular innovations, and strategically growing the research profile,” Kornbluth said. “He is a wonderful colleague, committed to advancing the broader goals and values of the university. I look forward to continued successes throughout his next term as dean of the Pratt School.”
Over the past four years, Bellamkonda has reshaped the undergraduate curriculum by helping implement an innovative First-Year Design course, new data and decision sciences course, and new initiatives that integrate a focus on ethics, purpose and meaning into the curriculum through the Lane Family Program and Thrive pilot program for first-year students.
He also has built on the school’s existing research strengths in health, computing/intelligent systems, environmental and materials engineering by recruiting faculty with joint appointments that build collaborations across campus. Bellamkonda also has focused on equity and inclusion, increasing the number of tenure-track women faculty in Duke Engineering by 77 percent since 2016.
The faculty review committee, chaired by civil and environmental engineering professor Henri Gavin, noted Bellamkonda’s first-term successes with first-year engineering design, recruitment and advancement of senior faculty, and the coordinated creation of new spaces for research and hands-on experiences across all levels of the school.
“The identification and successful recruitment of Dean Bellamkonda underscores the ambition and support that the university leadership has for our school, an ambition that is at least equally matched in Dean Bellamkonda,” Gavin said. “He has a great capacity for collaborative administration and strategic planning. His leadership is informed by a high regard for members of our academic community as scholars and as individuals. Our ongoing challenges of remotely delivering quality education while developing engineered solutions to support COVID-19 responses are especially well met by his people-first values and leadership.”
“I am deeply grateful to have the opportunity to work with amazing faculty, staff, students, parents and alumni and a leadership team at Duke Engineering that is dedicated, collaborative and creative,” Bellamkonda said. “Provost Kornbluth has been unwavering in her support of our effort to reimagine the undergraduate experience and in helping us retain and hire great faculty. Thanks to the efforts of all of my outstanding colleagues, I have been fortunate to be at Duke Engineering through its exciting climb to excellence, and I look forward to the honor of serving Duke Engineering to the best of my ability during my next term.”