Kemper Lewis, PhD, MBA, a global leader in engineering design, system optimization and advanced manufacturing, is the new dean of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.
A UB faculty member since 1996, Lewis, who also holds the title of Moog Professor of Innovation, most recently led UB’s Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, the third largest department on campus with more than 1,500 students and 50 faculty and staff. Under his guidance, faculty diversity was enhanced, research expenditures grew significantly, the number of annual PhD conferrals nearly doubled, a number of new academic programs and experiential learning opportunities were developed, and the department’s reputation and ranking increased.
He is also the director of UB’s Sustainable Manufacturing and Advanced Robotic Technology (SMART) Community of Excellence, an initiative that harnesses the strengths of UB’s engineering, architecture, management and health sciences faculty to develop innovative solutions to a wide range of research problems catalyzed by Industry 4.0 including automation, fabrication, robotics, artificial intelligence and advanced materials.
He succeeds Liesl Folks, who left UB last July to become senior vice president for academic affairs and provost at the University of Arizona.
Lewis is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), and has served on the National Academies Panel on Benchmarking the Research Competitiveness of the United States in Mechanical Engineering. He has published over 200 refereed journal articles and conference proceedings and has been principal or co-principal investigator on grants totaling more than $18 million.
He previously led UB’s New York State Center of Engineering Design and Industrial Innovation (NYSCEDII). As executive director, Lewis led the center’s efforts focusing on scientific visualization, interactive design environments and cyberphysical systems. It helped numerous industrial partners achieve competitive advantages by solving complex design problems, and served as a breeding ground for academic research and engineering education.
Active in the profession, Lewis chaired ASME’s Mechanical Engineering Department Head Executive Committee. He has received numerous awards in recognition of his teaching and research excellence from several professional societies, including ASME’s Design Automation Award and its Donald N. Zwiep Innovation in Education Award; a National Science Foundation CAREER award; and a Sloan Foundation New Faculty Fellowship.
His work has been sponsored by variety of sources including the National Science Foundation, NASA, the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation Institute, the National Institutes of Health, New York State, the U.S. Department of Transportation and a number of corporate partners. Fourteen of his students have received PhDs, with two more expected, and three dozen have received master’s degrees.
Lewis joined UB in 1996. He earned a BS in mechanical engineering and a BA in mathematics from Duke University, his MS and PhD in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech, and an MBA from UB.