College appoints Auad as new associate dean as part of administrative restructuring

Published: May 22, 2020 8:10 AM

By Cassie Montgomery

Maria Auad, the W. Allen and Martha Reed Endowed Professor of chemical engineering, has been named to the new position of associate dean for graduate studies and faculty development for the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, according to an announcement by Christopher B. Roberts, dean of engineering. The appointment is effective June 1.

As associate dean, Auad will be responsible for oversight and coordination of college-wide graduate academic matters and activities related to providing a superior educational experience for the college’s graduate students and postdoctoral scholars, both in on-campus and online programs. Additional responsibilities will include oversight and coordination of activities and programs to support and provide for the professional development of the faculty.

“Dr. Auad brings exciting ideas for engaging our faculty and elevating our graduate students’ experience and the depth of our graduate offerings. Having served as director of our Center for Polymers and Advanced Composites, and as an interim department chair prior to that, Dr. Auad brings both experience and inspiration to the administration of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering,” Roberts said.

Auad joined the Auburn faculty in 2006. She received a doctorate in material sciences from University of Mar del Plata in Argentina and completed a post-doctoral scholar position at the California Institute of Technology. In 2015, she was named director of the Center for Polymers and Advanced Composites and was promoted to full professor of chemical engineering in 2017.

As part of an administrative restructuring, Jeff Fergus will transition from associate dean for assessment and graduate studies to the role of associate dean for undergraduate studies and program assessment.

“The impact that Dr. Fergus has made on our graduate programs cannot be overstated,” Roberts said. “His dedication to our students’ success will have a positive impact on his new role overseeing our undergraduate studies.”

Steve Duke, the college’s associate dean for academics since 2013, will rejoin the faculty of the Department of Chemical Engineering. Duke, an associate professor of chemical engineering, first joined the Auburn faculty in 1996. His research interests include flow and energy visualization, polymer and drug particle processing, alternative fuels development and technology education.

“Dr. Duke is returning to his first passion of working directly with students through teaching and conducting research,” Roberts said. “Our college owes him a tremendous debt of gratitude for helping to elevate the quality of our engineering student experience and our reputation among engineering institutions nationwide. Our college is certainly stronger because of his fine efforts.”


Media Contact: Cassie Montgomery,, 334-844-3668

Recent Headlines