USC names new dean for engineering and computing
Dr. Anthony “Tony” Ambler has been named dean of the College of Engineering and Computing at the University of South Carolina.
Ambler has been the chairman of the department of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Texas at Austin since September 2001. He is the Annis and Jack Bowen endowed professor in electrical engineering and the founder and director of the master’s program in engineering management at the University of Texas. He was the associate chair of the department from 1998 until 2001.
Before moving to Texas, Ambler was a professor at Brunel University in West London. A native of the United Kingdom, he earned his undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. degrees from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology.
“Tony Ambler’s command of the highest levels of technical research, plus his knowledge of the interface between the laboratory and the marketplace, were key criteria in our search,” said Michael Amiridis, USC provost and vice president for academic affairs. “His proven ability as an administrator further convinced us that he is the best choice to assume this deanship, and we look forward to his leadership.” Amiridis is the former dean of the College of Engineering and Computing at USC.
Amiridis said Ambler also brings expertise in developing university-industry collaborations, having experienced first-hand one of the most successful environments in the world for such collaborations in Austin, Texas.
Ambler said he was drawn to USC because of the university’s reputation, the quality of the research, the faculty at the College of Engineering and Computing and the Centers of Economic Excellence programs.
“Obviously it’s a great school,” he said. “And it is clear Michael Amiridis had done a wonderful job in moving the college forward. The college is being endowed with tremendous support from the university. The importance they apply to engineering education is tremendous, and it’s an exciting opportunity to be part of. I look forward to working with the faculty and the staff to take the College of Engineering and Computing to the next level.”
Ambler said he believes engineering education is vital to the nation’s future.
“The U.S. does not produce nearly enough engineers and is dependent upon an awful lot of qualified engineers coming in from overseas,” Ambler said. “We must continue to do our utmost to encourage the best and the brightest from the rest of the world to come here, but also convince more of our own sons and daughters that engineering is a very worthwhile profession, and then give them the best education they can possibly get.”
USC’s College of Engineering and Computing is home to five academic departments: chemical engineering, civil and environmental engineering, computer science and engineering, electrical engineering and mechanical engineering. The college also supports interdisciplinary degree programs in biomedical engineering (B.S., M.S., Ph.D.), nuclear engineering (M.S., Ph.D.), and engineering science (BS). There are approximately 94 full-time faculty members, 1,600 undergraduate students and 450 graduate students in the college.
Ambler will officially start as dean Jan. 1. Dr. Harry Ploehn has been serving as interim dean of the College of Engineering and Computing.