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VCU names new dean for School of Engineering

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Virginia Commonwealth University has named Barbara D. Boyan ― a member of the prestigious National Academy of Engineers—as dean of the VCU School of Engineering effective Jan. 1.

She joins VCU from Georgia Tech, where she is the associate dean for research and innovation in its College of Engineering. Boyan also holds an endowed chair in tissue engineering at Georgia Tech and is a professor in the departments of biomedical engineering at both Georgia Tech and Emory University. 

In addition to her academic background, Boyan has founded a number of companies, including Osteobiologics Inc., an orthopedic device company, and most recently SpherIngenics Inc., a stem-cell delivery company. She also sits on the boards of a number of companies, including Arthrocare Inc. and Carticept Medical Inc.

“Bringing someone of Dr. Boyan’s national stature, particularly given her standing in the National Academy of Engineers, signals VCU’s commitment to engineering and its move toward becoming one of the nation’s great research universities,” VCU President Michael Rao, said in a statement.

Boyan is a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science and in the American Institute of Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering. In 2012, she was elected to the National Academy of Engineering, one of the national academies, and this year was inducted into the Fellows of the World Congress of Biomaterials. She has received numerous awards, is the author of more than 370 peer-reviewed papers, reviews and book chapters and holds 14 U.S. patents.

“I have loved my time at Georgia Tech, and have been thrilled to be a part of its growth in biologically based engineering research and education,” Boyan said. “However, the opportunity to help VCU meet the challenges that engineering education will face over the next decade was irresistible to my entrepreneurial spirit. There is great momentum at VCU, and I am very excited about the enthusiasm I see in VCU’s students and the collaborative atmosphere that permeates the campus.”

Boyan will succeed J. Charles Jennett, who has been serving as interim dean of the VCU School of Engineering since Sept. 15, 2011.


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