The University of California, Davis today (July 2) named Richard Corsi, a dean and professor of engineering and computer science at Portland State University, as the new dean of the College of Engineering (COE).
“We are very pleased, Dr. Corsi as the new dean of the College of Engineering, ”said Mary Croughan, Probstess of UC Davis and Deputy Chancellor. “His extraordinary talents as an engineer and executive, and his commitment to world-class education and research for the common good make him an ideal personality to lead the college.”
Corsi H. Chik M. Erzurumlu has been Dean of the Maseeh College of Engineering in Portland State since 2018. Among his many accomplishments in this position, he has realigned each department to better support the college’s strategic vision; the faculty grew; increase the number of bachelor’s degree grants; new scholarships created for PhD students and faculties; developed and implemented a detailed strategy to increase faculty diversity; increased alumni relationships and public relations; and enabled a 250 percent increase in philanthropic donations in its first year.
On September 15th he will officially become Dean of the COE. He replaces Jeffery C. Gibeling, who has served as interim dean since January 2021. Gibeling, former professor of the COE and former vice provider of graduate education and dean of graduate studies, has put the college in a critical phase of the pandemic. “We owe Jeff our big thanks,” said Provost Croughan. “Having a leader with his wisdom and experience at the head of the college has been invaluable. Not only did he keep the college on track, he drove it. In addition, Jeff has kindly agreed to help with the change in leadership in September and October. Then we wish him all the best for his well-deserved retirement. “
Education and career
Corsi earned his BS in Environmental Resource Engineering from Humboldt State University and received both his MS and Ph.D. in Civil Engineering (Environment) from UC Davis. From 1994 to 2018 he was on the faculty of the University of Texas, Austin, and from 2013 to 2017 he was chairman of the Department of Civil, Architectural and Environmental Engineering. Since 2018 and concurrently with his position at Portland State, he has been a retired professor and professor of civil, architectural and environmental engineering in Austin.
Corsi and his research team, including 120 supervised students, have published nearly 270 peer-reviewed articles from 70 funded research projects.
His early research focused on toxic chemical emissions from municipal and industrial wastewater. He developed the first version of the Bay Area Sewage Toxics Emissions (BASTE) model, a novel model that can be adapted to any sewage treatment plant configuration. Later, his team was the first to predict and then confirm toxic hot spots related to chemical emissions from public sewer systems.
For the past 25 years, his team has focused on research related to indoor chemistry and reducing inhalation exposure of building users to harmful air pollutants both outdoors and indoors. Areas of study include novel uses of building materials to remove or bind pollutants in buildings, the chemistry of building decontamination, and methods and benefits of reducing ozone pollution for the U.S. population in homes, offices, schools, and long-term healthcare buildings. For the past 18 months, he has actively participated in national discussions on multilayered risk mitigation to reduce the transmission of COVID-19 through aerosol particles in buildings.
Corsi’s services to society, his area of expertise and his institutions have been recognized in many prizes and honors. Among them, he received the Certificate of Eminence from the American Academy of Environmental Engineers (2007); the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Medal (DEAM) from the College of Engineering, University of California, Davis (introduced February 2016); and the University of Texas System’s Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award (2016). In Austin he held the renowned Joe J. King Chair in Engineering (2016-18).
Corsi is a member and past president of the Academy of Fellows of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate. His research has been cited or featured in many leading media outlets, including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, NPR, Working week, National Geographic, and CDCs The nature of things, among other.
Becoming COE Dean “A Rare Opportunity”
Corsi regards his appointment as COE Dean as “a rare opportunity”. He is excited to be at the institution where he completed his MS and Ph.D. has acquired the ability to “come home”. He has many wonderful memories of his years at UC Davis and looks forward to being back on campus and interacting with the campus community. But his enthusiasm for his new position goes far beyond that.
He looks forward to joining an institution and college dedicated to excellence and creativity in education. “Teaching and mentoring is very important to me, both inside and outside the classroom,” he said. “I bother, to inspire Students to give them the confidence and entrepreneurship to use basic scientific and technical principles in their work. This will enable them to effectively research, innovate and overcome challenges of all sizes, from the everyday to the big. “
Corsi is also drawn to the university and college’s deep commitment to the good of the world. COE does this in part by addressing today’s most pressing local and global challenges in areas such as water, energy and the environment. “I am a firm believer in the importance of public service,” he said, “especially where we can make a significant difference.” The college, he notes, “has had an impressive record of leadership in these very areas and is extremely well positioned to develop this role in the years to come ”.
“But at UC Davis,” he adds, “there’s so much to admire.” He points to the university’s emphasis on promoting student success; Opportunities for practical and job-oriented learning experiences; a long tradition of community-based learning and scholarship; a campus community that values diversity, equity, and inclusion; an emphasis on innovative, often multidisciplinary approaches in teaching and research; and the “wonderful culture of UC Davis that is world-class, international, and small-town friendly at the same time.”
“Dr. Corsi is not just an aggie because of his two degrees from UC Davis,” noted Provost Croughan. “His innovative spirit, commitment to a better life, and love for his alma mater make him an aggie through and through. I know he will to inspire and let yourself be inspired by Students, colleagues, alumni and friends at the College of Engineering and in our larger university community. “
UC Davis College of Engineering
Founded in 1962, UC Davis College of Engineering produces diverse engineering graduates who appreciate its interdisciplinary and comprehensive approach to teaching and learning. Known for innovative, research-based solutions to complex problems and challenges, it has particular research strengths in biomedicine; Climate; Food, energy and water; Coffee science; Transport; and space exploration. Since its inception, the college has studied engineering and computer science more than 29,000 students. Today it has about 4,500 undergraduate students and 1,000 MS and Ph.D. Students and 220 lecturers.