Taylor named interim dean

Published: Apr 5, 2022 2:00 PM

By Austin Phillips

Steve Taylor has been named interim dean of Auburn University’s Samuel Ginn College of Engineering, according to an announcement by Interim Provost Vini Nathan.

Taylor will begin serving in this new role effective immediately. He succeeds Chris Roberts, who was named as Auburn University’s 21st president in February.

Taylor previously served as the College of Engineering’s associate dean for research, where he was responsible for coordination and promotion of the college's research across all academic departments and research centers. He also provided support and leadership through creative partnerships involving academia, industry and government collaborators. Prior to his role as associate dean, he served as a professor and head of the Department of Biosystems Engineering, while also directing the Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts.

“In addition to his many years of service to Auburn, Steve Taylor’s understanding of the college’s research, teaching and outreach mission, combined with his outstanding leadership, ensures he is well prepared to lead the college through this transition,” Nathan said. “I am confident he will carry the college forward during this important time and ensure it is well-positioned for the next dean.”

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, served as the biosystems engineering department head from 2003-16 and as associate dean for research from 2016-22.

As associate dean for research, Taylor led the college’s research enterprise through an unprecedented period of growth where research contracts and grants grew from $26 million in FY17 to more than $74 million each of the past two years. He played a leading role in efforts to fund and construct the college’s Advanced Structural Engineering Laboratory; to purchase property in Huntsville to create the Auburn University Research and Innovation Campus; and he oversaw the creation of the Auburn University Transportation Research Institute, the National Center for Additive Manufacturing Excellence and the Interdisciplinary Center for Advanced Manufacturing Systems. As the biosystems engineering department head, he led the department through a transformative phase where he was able to hire new faculty, develop new undergraduate and graduate degree programs that spurred substantial growth in student enrollment, construct new laboratory facilities and significantly expand their research and extension programs. As director of the university’s Center for Bioenergy and Bioproducts, he led the construction of unique bioenergy laboratories; assisted efforts to obtain more than $35 million in extramural funding for bioenergy research; and helped develop outreach and extension programs that brought renewable energy solutions to farms and local communities. His personal research focused on engineering for the forest products industry and improved utilization of forest biomass for energy feedstocks, as well as for structural products.

“Having known Dr. Taylor for my entire career at Auburn, while also working shoulder-to-shoulder with him during these past few years, I am confident that the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering will continue on its amazing upward trajectory that he helped propel,” said Chris Roberts, Auburn University president-elect. “Dr. Taylor is one of the greatest minds and most effective leaders I’ve ever worked with, and I want to thank him for stepping up and volunteering to take on this vital role. The college is in great hands with Dr. Taylor at the helm.” 

Media Contact: Austin Phillips, austinp@auburn.edu, 334-844-2444
Interim Dean Steve Taylor

Interim Dean Steve Taylor

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