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Professor Alec Gallimore

Wait – you already know him.

The University of Michigan Board of Regents has appointed U-M Aerospace Engineering Professor Alec Gallimore as the next Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering. He takes office in July. Gallimore succeeds David Munson, Jr., who held the post for two terms.

“When I started here as a 27-year-old ‘kid,’ nowhere in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that about 25 years later, I’d be named the dean. But I’m really looking forward to working with the faculty, staff and students to take an already world-class engineering college and make it even better.”
Alec Gallimore, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs,
Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Professor, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor

Propelling the College forward

Professor Gallimore has 24 years of service as a scholar, educator and administrator at Michigan Engineering. Today, he’s associate dean for academic affairs, and he holds two named professorships. He is the Richard F. and Eleanor A. Towner Professor and an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor.

Gallimore has mentored dozens of Ph.D. students – some of whom he now competes against for NASA funding. The students, post-doctoral fellows and research scientists in his lab have conducted fundamental plasma physics research in support of space missions such as NASA’s Deep Space 1 and Dawn. His lab is currently working on the thrusters that might take humans to Mars. Gallimore also holds the distinction of being the only “rocket scientist” ever to be interviewed by Chewbacca on a national tech blog. (It was about that Mars thruster.)

He has pushed for hands-on learning, interdisciplinary collaboration and innovation in the classroom and the research lab. He describes himself as passionate about diversity in engineering and academia, and serves as co-chair of the College’s committee on diversity, equity and inclusion. Gallimore is one of the founders of NextProf, an annual workshop that aims to prepare underrepresented graduate students and early-career scientists and engineers from around the nation for careers in academia.

News release: University of Michigan Regents announce the new Robert J. Vlasic Dean of Engineering.

Profile: Learn more about Gallimore.

In Recent 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

Article topics: Faculty , MCubed , Diversity

About Michigan Engineering: The University of Michigan College of Engineering is one of the top engineering schools in the country. Eight academic departments are ranked in the nation's top 10 -- some twice for different programs. Its research budget is one of the largest of any public university. Its faculty and students are making a difference at the frontiers of fields as diverse as nanotechnology, sustainability, healthcare, national security and robotics. They are involved in spacecraft missions across the solar system, and have developed partnerships with automotive industry leaders to transform transportation. Its entrepreneurial culture encourages faculty and students alike to move their innovations beyond the laboratory and into the real world to benefit society. Its alumni base of more than 75,000 spans the globe.