Laurence Jacobs currently serves as interim dean of the College, effective October 1, as well as the associate dean for academic affairs. As interim dean, he will serve in this role until a new dean is in place, and will lead the College and its 540 faculty and more than 16,000 students. As the associate dean for academic affairs, he is the primary representative of the dean’s office on all matters affecting undergraduate and graduate academics. He is also responsible for developing programs related to innovation in undergraduate education, managing a range of assessment programs, and interacting with school chairs on matters of academic program. Jacobs received his Ph.D. in civil engineering from Columbia University in 1987 and worked for a year as an Office of Naval Technology postdoctoral fellow before coming to Georgia Tech in 1988.
He served as the associate chair for undergraduate programs for the School of Civil Engineering at Tech from 1995 to 2007. He received a joint appointment with the Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering in 2003. Jacobs' research is centered on wave propagation in solids, emphasizing guided waves, nonlinear ultrasonic waves and characterization of heterogeneous materials. He has authored or co-authored more than 120 papers in refereed journals and conference proceedings and is a past associate editor of ASCE's Journal of Engineering Mechanics. He is currently on the editorial board of NDT&E International.