Welcome from the Chair

Peter Kilpatrick

With a name like the “Global Engineering Deans Council,” you expect bold aspirations and actions in the service of humankind.  Our young organization (8 years young) now comprises over 500 deans from all continents with significant regional activity.  We have partnered with a few National Academies of Engineering, the World Bank, and others to bring the message and the value of the engineering enterprise to developed and developing countries alike.

Our Mission is to serve as the global network of engineering deans mobilized to advance engineering education, research, and service to the global community.  Our strategic plan is focused on institutional leadership formation, curriculum leadership, corporate and public engagement, and accreditation leadership.

In December 2015, GEDC held its annual conference in Adelaide, Australia.  As in previous annual meetings, we held a new dean mentoring workshop, and a workshop focused on accreditation, all expertly facilitated by international leaders.  We also had interactive sessions on the role of engineering in economic development, creating international consortia for addressing global grand challenge problems, innovation and entrepreneurship, humanitarian engineering, data driven education models, top tips and new ideas from 14 deans of engineering, and new tools for engineering education.  In addition, we awarded the 3rd annual GEDC-Airbus Diversity Award to Prof. Fadi Aloul of the American University of Sharjah, for his work in creating a diverse and inclusive first year engineering course.  All in all, our time in Adelaide was well spent with dynamic sessions and great networking among our dean colleagues.

Calendar year 2016 promises to be our Council’s most dynamic and interactive one yet, with supported regional and national meetings in India, China, Qatar, Malaysia, the United States, Turkey, Russia, Canada, and our annual conference, joint with the World Engineering Education Forum (WEEF), in Seoul, South Korea, from November 6-11, 2016.  Please place this event on your calendar: the theme of the conference is “Engineering Education for a Smart Society,” and the Conference and surrounding events promise to be informative, inspiring, and exciting.

With the growth of engineering in many countries around the world, and with the demands and challenges the world faces (as embodied by, for example, the sustainable development goals), our global society has never needed engineering more and we have never been in a better position to respond.  The Global Engineering Deans Council pledges to be one of those, if not the forum at which you can engage with engineering leaders from around the world to address the challenges of our time.  We encourage you to consider joining our Council and helping to make the 21st century the age of the engineer.


Peter Kilpatrick serves as the McCloskey Dean of Engineering. Kilpatrick was elected as GEDC Chair during WEEF-GEDC 2014 Dubai and was inaugurated during the GEDC 2015 Adelaide conference in December of 2015. He will serve as Chairperson of GEDC until WEEF 2017 Canada, hosted by McMaster University.

An accomplished teacher and researcher, Kilpatrick joined the University of Notre Dame in January 2008. He came to Notre Dame from North Carolina State University (NCSU), where he had served on the faculty for 25 years and as head of the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering since 1999. He also served as the Founding Director of the North Carolina Biomanufacturing Training and Education Center (BTEC), a unique learning and training facility designed to train the next generation of Biopharmaceutical professionals and Biotechnology industry professionals. BTEC now trains more than 500 North Carolinians each year for the biopharmaceutical and biotechnology industry. In addition, BTEC has a unique relationship training FDA inspectors.

Kilpatrick conducts research in colloidal and interfacial science, with an emphasis on the colloidal and molecular properties of crude oil and on biological membranes. His specific interests are in the ways in which complex molecules aggregate in solution and the ways in which those aggregates self assemble on and adsorb to interfaces. His work is leading to oil production and refining that is both more energy efficient and better for the environment. He is the author of more than 90 refereed journal publications and the holder of 13 patents.

Kilpatrick has collaborated in the launch of a unique professional MS program in technology entrepreneurship, an undergraduate engineering leadership program, and an interdisciplinary MS program in data analytics. He and his colleagues are also launching a new Department of Bioengineering at the University of Notre Dame.

In his time at the University of Notre Dame as Dean of Engineering, the College has grown its undergraduate enrollment by nearly 80%, has increased the size of its faculty by more than 40% and has more than doubled its external research funding to more than $50 Million per year.