Don Giddens, Dean of the College of Engineering since 2002, has announced his intention to retire as Dean no later than June 30, 2011. Following his retirement, Giddens plans to return to the faculty of the School of Biomedical Engineering as a part time faculty member with research and teaching responsibilities, and in addition, will assume the presidency of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE) next summer.
“The impact that Don has had on this institution is immense, and we thank him for his tireless service on behalf of Georgia Tech,” President G. P. “Bud” Peterson said. “His enthusiasm for engineering cannot be overstated, and we will continue to look to him as a resource in assessing the future of engineering education in the United States.”
Under his guidance, the College of Engineering has grown to be the largest engineering school in the country and is now ranked as the number four program in the nation by U.S. News and World Report. Giddens arrived on the Georgia Tech campus as a freshman in 1958 and received all his degrees (BAE 1963, MSAE 1965, and Ph.D. 1966) from Georgia Tech and joined the Tech faculty in 1968, after two years in the aerospace industry. Giddens has also been active in helping the general public gain a better understanding of both the engineering profession and the engineer’s role in society. In 2008, he chaired a National Academy of Engineering committee that explored the ways in which messaging and practical communication could help change perceptions, engage students and portray a more positive image of engineering.
In 1992, he left his position as the Chair of Aerospace Engineering to serve as the Dean of the Whiting School of Engineering and Professor of Mechanical Engineering at The Johns Hopkins University until 1997. In 1997, Giddens rejoined Georgia Tech to establish the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, a joint department between Georgia Tech’s College of Engineering and Emory University’s School of Medicine. He served as the founding Chair until July 2002, when he became the Dean of the College of Engineering.
The Institute will form a search committee and initiate a search for a successor in the coming weeks.