Taylor named associate dean for research

Published: Jun 9, 2016 1:00:00 PM
Media Contact: Austin Phillips, adp0019@auburn.edu, 334-844-2444

Steve Taylor

Steve Taylor has been named associate dean for research in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, according to an announcement by Christopher B. Roberts, dean of engineering. Taylor will begin his new role July 1.

He previously served as professor and head of the Department of Biosystems Engineering, and also as director of the Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts.

Taylor will be responsible for coordination and promotion of the college's research through seven academic departments and 15 research centers. The associate dean for research also provides support and leadership through creative partnerships involving academia, industry and government research, facilities, collaborative opportunities and technology transfer.

“I am pleased to have Steve in this important role and I am confident that through his leadership he will enable our faculty to further elevate our college's research programs to higher levels of achievement,” Roberts said. “As department head, he hired new faculty into strategic research areas such as energy and environment and created a new platform of collaborative research not only across the Auburn campus, but with peer institutions as well. 

“We share in his vision to widen our efforts at collaboration because we believe it will result in an increased level of research as our faculty moves from single-investigator, single-institution grants to those that involve faculty teams that share expertise across their disciplines." 

Taylor holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural engineering from the University of Florida and a doctorate in the same discipline from Texas A&M.

He began teaching at Auburn in 1989, and has served as the biosystems department head since 2003. His research focuses on engineering for forest operations and improved utilization of forest biomass for energy feedstocks, as well as for structural products. He maintains a strong research presence in bioenergy and bioproducts.

He has served as director of the university’s Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts since 2007, leading the construction of unique bioenergy laboratories; assisting efforts to obtain more than $35 million in extramural funding for bioenergy research; and helping develop outreach and extension programs that bring renewable energy solutions to farms and local communities.

“I am immensely proud and excited for Steve in this new role,” said Paul Patterson, dean and director of the College of Agriculture. “We are extremely grateful for his service to the College of Agriculture, and the university as a whole. I believe this transition will only strengthen our ties with the College of Engineering, and further our mission to solve food, agricultural and environmentally related global challenges facing the next generation.”

Taylor succeeds Ralph Zee, who has served as associate dean for research since 2005. Zee has been with Auburn for 30 years, and served as university interim vice president for research for a period of time.

“Steve follows in the footsteps of Ralph, who has done an incredible job in this position for more than a decade,” Roberts said. “During his tenure as associate dean for research, Ralph has continually placed Auburn in the top 50 engineering research universities. He leaves an incredible legacy of commitment that is recognized not only within Auburn University, but in academic and research communities internationally.”