ODU names new engineering dean
Kenneth Fridley comes to ODU from Alabama
Old Dominion University has named Kenneth Fridley its new dean of the Batten College of Engineering and Technology, the university announced April 14.
He will start at ODU July 1. Khan Iftekharuddin, the Batten Endowed Chair in Machine Learning in the department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, has been serving as the college’s interim dean.
Ben Stuart served as interim dean from June 2019 until October 2020, when he was named the engineering college’s eighth dean. Iftekharuddin was named interim dean in October 2021.
“We are pleased to welcome Kenneth Fridley to Old Dominion,” ODU President Brian O. Hemphill said in a statement. “He has a distinguished career demonstrating excellence and innovation in engineering. I am confident that under Dean Fridley’s leadership and guidance the Batten College of Engineering and Technology will continue to advance in supporting the university’s forward-focused vision and fulfilling our important mission of teaching, research and service.”
Fridley is currently senior associate dean for administration at the College of Engineering at the University of Alabama, a role he has held since 2014, and was interim dean of the honors college from 2019 to 2022. He was head of the university’s Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering from 2003 to 2014.
Before going to Alabama, Fridley taught at Purdue University from 1990 to 1992, the University of Oklahoma from 1992 to 1994, Washington State University from 1994 to 2001 and the University of Nevada Las Vegas from 2001 to 2003.
Fridley is considered an expert in engineered wood construction, performance and hazard mitigation, has published 65 refereed journal papers and is the coauthor of a wood engineering design textbook, according to a news release from ODU about his hiring. He has been responsible for more than $14.4 million in sponsored research, which, according to ODU, has directly impacted the civil engineering profession, resulting in changes in national design specifications, standards and codes.
Fridley earned a bachelor’s in civil engineering from Washington State University, a master’s in architectural engineering from the University of Texas and a doctorate in civil engineering from Auburn University.
The Batten College of Engineering and Technology has about 3,000 students in more than 60 programs and has about 10,000 alumni.