Lance R. Collins, professor and the S.C. Thomas Sze Director of the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at Cornell, was named the Joseph Silbert Dean of Engineering for a five-year term beginning July 1, 2010.
As dean, Collins is the chief academic and administrative officer for the college, which has about 240 faculty, 250 non-professorial academics, nearly 3,000 undergraduate and 1,400 graduate students and about 225 staff. As a member of Cornell's senior administration team, the dean reports to the provost and works closely with other deans and executive officers on behalf of the university as a whole.
Collins joined Cornell in 2002, following 11 years as assistant professor, associate professor and professor of chemical engineering at Pennsylvania State University. Since 1999, he has also held a joint appointment in the mechanical and nuclear engineering department at Penn State, and in 1998 he was a visiting scientist at the Laboratoire de Combustion et Systemes Reactifs (a National Center for Scientific Research laboratory in Orleans, France) and at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He was director of graduate studies for aerospace engineering at Cornell 2003-05, and he served this academic year on Cornell's Strategic Plan Advisory Council.
Collins' research combines simulation and theory to study a variety of turbulent flow processes. His work on mechanisms of droplet breakup in turbulence was recognized with the 1997 Best Paper Award from the American Institute of Chemical Engineers. In 2007, he was elected a fellow of the American Physical Society.
He earned his B.S.E. in 1981 at Princeton University and his M.S. in 1983 and his Ph.D. in 1987 at the University of Pennsylvania, all in chemical engineering.