Alec Gallimore

NAE Member

Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Provost of Duke University

Alec  Gallimore Profile Photo
Alec Gallimore Profile Photo


Alec D. Gallimore is the Provost and Chief Academic Officer of Duke University. Prior to his recent appointment at Duke (2023), Dr. Gallimore held multiple leadership roles over his 30+ year career at the University of Michigan, including the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering, associate dean for academic affairs, associate dean for research and graduate education, and associate dean at the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies.


Dr. Gallimore is a leader in the field of advanced spacecraft propulsion and founded a laboratory at the University of Michigan that is developing the plasma drive system that may ultimately propel humans to Mars. His work has been recognized by lifetime achievement awards such as the Wyld Propulsion Award from the AIAA, the Ernst Stuhlinger Medal from the Electric Rocket Society, and induction into the National Academy of Engineering.


Before the start of his career in academia, he solidified his credentials as a rocket scientist first at Rensselaer (RPI), where he received his BS degree in aeronautical engineering, and then at Princeton, where he received his MA and Ph.D. degrees in aerospace engineering with a focus on plasma physics and advanced spacecraft propulsion. He is the author of over 360 publications, has worked at NASA (JPL and GRC), and has been the advisor to 44 Ph.D. students and 14 master’s students.


  • B.S. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, 1986
  • M.A. Princeton University, 1988
  • Ph.D. Princeton University, 1992


  • Provost of Duke University
  • Professor in the Thomas Lord Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science
  • Alfred J. Hooks E '68 Distinguished Professor

Awards, Honors, and Distinctions

  • Membership (NAE). National Academy of Engineering. 2019