Office of the Dean
Alec D. Gallimore
Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering
Dr. Alec D. Gallimore is the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering at the University of Michigan. Dean Gallimore is a rocket scientist. He is a leader in the field of advanced electric propulsion, who has excelled in research, teaching and service. His experience and creativity have led to program innovations to assist the growth of faculty and students. He is passionate about creating an inclusive environment and ensuring all individuals are treated with equity.
Dean Gallimore has been a faculty member at the University of Michigan since January 1992. He is the Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Professor of Engineering, an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering, and founder and director of the Plasmadynamics and Electric Propulsion Laboratory. He is also a member of the Applied Physics faculty. He co-founded MCubed, a real-time seed-funding program for high-risk, multidisciplinary research--now adopted University wide.
Previously, Dean Gallimore served as associate dean for academic affairs in the College of Engineering, where he had oversight of faculty hiring, promotion and tenure; merit reviews, budget reviews and planning; and space allocation. From 2011-2013, Dean Gallimore was associate dean for research and graduate education. In this role, he was responsible for the education and welfare of some 3300 graduate students and 200 postdoctoral fellows, and for overseeing a research enterprise that exceeded $200M annually in expenditures. From 2005 to 2011, he served as an associate dean at the Horace H. Rackham School of Graduate Studies, where he developed and implemented programs in engineering, the physical sciences and mathematics. Dr. Gallimore’s term as Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering began in July 2016.
He has served on a number of advisory boards for NASA and the Department of Defense, including the United States Air Force Scientific Advisory Board (AFSAB). He was awarded the Decoration for Meritorious Civilian Service in 2005 for his AFSAB work. In 2010, he was elected a fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA). He has graduated 38 Ph.D. students and 14 master’s students, and has written more than 300 publications on electric propulsion and plasma physics.
Dean Gallimore received his BS in Aeronautical Engineering from Rensselaer (RPI), and his MA and Ph.D. degrees in Aerospace Engineering with a focus on plasma physics from Princeton. His primary research interests include advanced spacecraft (electric) propulsion, plasma physics and advanced plasma diagnostics, nanoparticle energetics, and the use of plasma for energy transfer and environmental remediation.
Under Dean Gallimore, Michigan Engineering is asserting a leadership role and voice in solving societal big problems, based on a strong foundation of breakthrough interdisciplinary research and forward-looking academic-industry partnerships.
Alec D. Gallimore: Professor, Aerospace Engineering, Applied Physics
- Profile story
- Plasmadynamics and Electric Propulsion Lab (PEPL)
- Michigan Space Grant Consortium (NASA)
In the News
- Thruster design central to $6.5M award to get humans to Mars
The engine that takes humans to Mars could be based on Gallimore’s prototype Michigan Engineering story
- Video: Chillin' with Chewie: Thrusters
Chewbacca interviews Gallimore about how far we are from Star Wars technology Michigan Engineering video | Coverage in Gizmodo
- Video: Asteroid Mining: Is it worth it?
Asteroids may be key interstellar stepping stones with precious resources such as metals and water. Michigan Engineering video
- U of Michigan’s microgrants encourage researchers to explore innovative ideas
A Chronicle of Higher Education cover story about Mcubed, U-M’s unique seed funding program Gallimore founded with two engineering colleagues. Chronicle story | Latest Mcubed news from U-M.
- NextProf workshop recruits underrepresented groups to consider academia
A NextProf workshop brought 53 PhD students and recent doctoral graduates and 20 presenters from around the US together at U-M to help diversify engineering academia. Michigan Engineering story
Robert J. Vlasic
Robert Vlasic is a distinguished civic leader who earned his bachelor's degree in industrial and mechanical engineering from U-M in 1949, where he was a member of Tau Beta Pi. After college, he worked in the Detroit food distribution business founded by his father. He assumed leadership of Vlasic Foods Co. in 1963 when it was still a small, local Michigan pickle producer. By 1978, the business had grown to $100 million and ranked number one in the nation, when it was sold to Campbell Soup Co. Bob served as a director of Campbell Soup Co. and retired as chairman in 1996. He founded O/E Automation, Inc., based in Troy, Mich. His 1988 gift to U-M established the endowed position known as the Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering. It was the first endowed deanship in any U-M school or college.