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February 13, 2009
By John Trent
Manos Maragakis, an internationally respected professor and researcher in civil engineering who has served as interim dean for the College of Engineering at the University of Nevada, Reno since July, has been named dean of the college, Provost Marc Johnson announced on Friday.
Maragakis joined the University in 1984 and had previously served for 14 years as chairperson of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering.
The appointment follows recent campus visits and interviews of Maragakis and two other finalists who met with a campus search committee, campus administration and participated in candidate forums.
The other finalists for the position were John Warwick, Executive Director of the Division of Hydrologic Sciences, and Director of the Nevada Water Resources Institute at the Desert Research Institute and Subhash Risbud, Distinguished Professor, College of Engineering, and Director of the Internship and Career Center at University of California, Davis.
“Manos has a strong record of teaching, research and service,” Johnson said. “His leadership performance as interim dean has convinced me that he has the ability and passion to lead the college through this difficult budgetary time and position it for growth in the near future.”
Maragakis succeeds Ted Batchman, who announced in fall 2007 that he was stepping down following 13 years as dean.
“I’m greatly honored to have the opportunity to guide engineering education, research and outreach in our college, and I am extremely eager to continue to work with our outstanding faculty and staff who are engaged in this important work,” Maragakis said. “This is an exciting challenge and a great opportunity to make an already very good College of Engineering into a college nationally recognized for its educational and research excellence.”
Maragakis has played an important role in the college’s growth, establishing a strong reputation in national and international research circles in the area of earthquake response of buildings and bridges.
His department’s Center for Civil Engineering Earthquake Research has received recognition from around the world. The multimillion dollar state-of-the-art laboratory has developed unparalleled capacities in the field of bridge engineering. An outstanding faculty, including Maragakis, have conducted numerous earthquake simulations on the bi-axial “shake tables” within the lab, helping to improve the design and structural stability of large-scale structures throughout the nation.
During Maragakis’ tenure as department chairperson, the department grew to include an environmental engineering program. A successful young faculty has furthered the growth by acquiring numerous national and local research grants. The department was recognized last year by U.S. News & World Report as ranking in the top 50 civil engineering programs among the nation’s public institutions.
Maragakis has received numerous National Science Foundation grants for research and has a lengthy scholarly record of published articles in a number of engineering journals. His most recent accomplishment includes a Grand Challenge project on the seismic response of nonstructural systems, in which he leads a multidisciplinary research team of researchers and engineers around the country. In recognition of his outstanding record as a teacher and researcher at the University, Maragakis was named a University of Nevada, Reno Foundation Professor in 2005.
Maragakis received his undergraduate degree from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece. He earned his master’s degree from the California Institute of Technology and his Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology.