UB names School of Engineering and Applied Sciences dean

Engineering professor Kemper Lewis chosen for commitment to student learning, innovative research


UB named Kemper Lewis dean of UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Provost A. Scott Weber announced Wednesday.  

A 15-person committee of professors, faculty members and one graduate student chose Lewis from an international pool of candidates. Lewis is currently the chair of UB’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. He will begin his appointment on May 1, according to a Wednesday email from UB Provost A. Scott Weber.

Lewis, a recipient of teaching awards like the Donald N. Zwiep Innovation in Education Award from ASME, and the Sloan Foundation New Faculty Fellowship, has regularly earned recognition for “excellence in teaching and mentoring” during his 24 years as a UB professor, Weber said. 

Weber and President Satish Tripathi appointed the search committee in November after Liesl Folks — SEAS dean of six years — resigned on May 22. Rajan Batta, SUNY distinguished professor of industrial and systems engineering, served as SEAS interim dean while the committee worked with search firm Russell Reynolds Associates to identify a “collaborative” candidate with prior academic experience to lead more than 4,000 SEAS students by Spring 2020. 

Lewis has also developed new experiential learning opportunities and academic programs in his time as chair of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering — the third largest department on campus with more than 1,500 students and 50 faculty and staff — since 2014. 

UB community members hope Lewis will continue to improve UB’s international ranking, promote ground breaking research and continue developing “excellent, solutions-oriented academic programs that prepare students to address real-world needs,” Weber said.

Elizabeth Napolitano is the assistant news editor and can be reached at Elizabeth.Napolitano@ubspectrum.com and @LizKNapolitano.


Elizabeth "Liz" Napolitano is the senior news editor for The Spectrum. She's an optimistic pessimist who found her love for journalism in Ecuador. She likes late night walks and reading Twitter threads in their entirety.