Announcing the Appointment of the New Swanson School of Engineering Dean

May 28, 2024

Dear Colleagues,

Today, I am delighted to announce that, after a robust national search, Michele V. Manuel has been named the new U.S. Steel Dean of the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering, effective September 1, 2024.

Michele is a transformational and award-winning scholar and educator. She is a National Academy of Engineering (NAE) member and Fellow of the American Society of Metals (ASM). She is also the recipient of numerous awards, notably including The Materials, Metals, and Minerals Society (TMS) Brimacombe Medalist, TMS Early Career Faculty, Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER, NASA Early Career Faculty, and NASA agency-wide Group Achievement awards.

Michele is a seasoned innovator and entrepreneur. Her research is fueled by strong and significant industrial partnerships that seek to work collaboratively with her team or license technology developed by her research program. Additionally, her passion for translational research and commercialization led to the founding of Element12 Biotechnologies LLC, a medical device company advancing the biodegradable metals market for orthopedic applications. She has served on the TMS Board of Directors, contributed to the recent National Academies report on NASA’s 2023-2032 Decadal Strategy, and serves on the Board of Governors of Acta Materialia, Inc.

Michele’s outstanding higher education and industry experience uniquely position her to lead the Swanson School forward. She began her academic career at the University of Florida, joining the faculty in 2008 and serving as the Rolf E. Hummer Professor. Since 2017, she has served as chair of the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MSE) and the Nuclear Engineering Program at the University of Florida. As department chair, Michele led and advanced strategic planning, increased endowments, established and grew several professorships, scholarships, and innovative professional development programs, substantially increased research development and awards, and managed the recruitment and onboarding of over 20 faculty members, leading to one of the largest and the most diverse MSE departments in the country.

Michele’s servant leadership for students, faculty, and the broader community makes her an excellent fit for our University and the Swanson School of Engineering (SSOE). She has been awarded the ASM Bradley Stoughton Award for Young Teachers, the American Vacuum Society (AVS) Recognition for Excellence in Leadership, and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Distinguished Mentor and Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering Doctoral Dissertation Advisor/Mentoring awards at the University of Florida. Her students have excelled under her advisement, becoming leaders in academia, national laboratories, and industry.

Michele earned her PhD in materials science and engineering from Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree from the University of Florida.

I deeply appreciate the work of the search committee—co-chaired by Adam Leibovich, the Bettye J. and Ralph E. Bailey Dean of the Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences and the College of General Studies, and Stephen Wisniewski, Vice Provost for Budget and Analytics. The search was truly comprehensive, and I am grateful for everyone’s commitment and efforts.

I also sincerely thank Sanjeev Shroff for his dedicated service as Interim Dean of the Swanson School over the course of nearly two years. Sanjeev has done an outstanding job, leading the school through a successful ABET accreditation process, significantly increasing the production of doctoral degrees, and a nearly 50% jump in research expenditures to a school-record high of over $64 million. In addition, Sanjeev has been instrumental in advancing collaborative, interdisciplinary research and training grants, particularly in connecting engineering/science researchers to basic biomedical researchers and clinical practitioners. In addition, he has played a key role in creating interdisciplinary educational programs between engineering and Schools of Health Sciences. As such, I am further pleased to announce that Dr. Shroff has agreed to continue to contribute to the broader Pitt community in this arena by serving as Special Assistant to the Provost and the Senior Vice Chancellor for Health Sciences for Interdisciplinary and Translational Research, Training and Education.

Please join me in warmly welcoming Michele to the University of Pittsburgh.



Joseph J. McCarthy
Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor

William Kepler Whiteford Professor of Chemical Engineering
University of Pittsburgh