LSU Names Vicki Colvin New Dean of the College of Engineering

May 06, 2024

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Colvin is currently the Vernon Krieble Professor of Chemistry and Engineering at Brown University and Director of Biomedical Engineering.

LSU has named Baton Rouge native Vicki Colvin the dean of the College of Engineering, effective August 1, pending approval by the LSU Board of Supervisors.

Colvin is currently the Vernon Krieble Professor of Chemistry and Engineering at Brown University and Director of Biomedical Engineering.

Her leadership experiences include serving a decades-long directorship of the U.S. National Science Foundation’s (NSF) Center for Biological and Environmental Nanotechnology (CBEN), Vice Provost for Research at Rice University, Provost at Brown University, and most recently, founding director of Brown University’s Institute for Biology, Engineering, and Medicine (I-Beam).

Colvin received her undergraduate degree in Chemistry and Physics from Stanford University and her Ph.D. in Chemistry from UC Berkeley where she developed the original technology for applying colloidal quantum dots in displays.

“We are excited to welcome Vicki Colvin to this critical role,” said LSU President William F. Tate IV. “The LSU College of Engineering is closely aligned with LSU’s Scholarship First Agenda, and Dr. Colvin’s career as a highly accomplished scientist and visionary leader of the scientific enterprise of NSF centers and at universities with stellar records of innovation will strategically accelerate momentum of our current partnerships and support the research conducted by the brilliant minds of our faculty, post-docs, and students. Influential success in engineering will elevate LSU’s reputation as a center of research, while generating technical insights for Louisiana and beyond.”

Colvin’s research focuses on how nanoscale materials interact with the environment and living systems, laying the groundwork for energy, environmental, and biological technologies. Examples of her research include the development of novel particles, such as smart and reusable magnetic materials, that can be used for target extraction of rare earths and lithium from industrial waste. These elements are critical to the United States supply chain and advanced manufacturing of device components found in wind turbines and advanced batteries. Additionally, Colvin’s research group explores the electrocatalytic conversion of lignin and other biomass feedstocks into hydrogen, leveraging metal oxide composites with graphitic shells, offering a sustainable pathway for clean hydrogen energy production.

“It is great to welcome one of Louisiana’s own back home,” said LSU Executive Vice President & Provost Roy Haggerty. “With a background at Stanford, Berkeley, Rice and Brown Universities, Dr. Colvin will lead our College of Engineering to be among the very best in the country.”

Throughout her career, Colvin has published more than 200 peer-reviewed papers; holds five patents; and is a fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering, or AIMBE, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, or AAAS. She has received numerous awards including the 2015 Sustainable Nanotechnology award, the Phi Beta Kappa teaching award from Rice University, and is an associate editor for the American Chemical Society journal Nano Letters.

"It's a great honor to return to Baton Rouge and to be part of an institution that's meant so much to me and my family. I look forward to working with LSU's amazing academic leaders, students, faculty, and staff to build on a foundation of excellence and take the College of Engineering to new heights."