March 22, 2023

Dear Members of Our Campus Community,

I am pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Umesh Mishra as our next Dean of our College of Engineering, effective July 1, 2023. In this position, Dr. Mishra will hold the Richard A. Auhll Professorship and Dean’s Chair of Engineering.

Dr. Mishra has served as a Distinguished Professor and the Donald W. Whittier Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at UC Santa Barbara since 1990. He was also the Associate Dean of Advancement for the College of Engineering, and prior to that served as department chair. Dr. Mishra’s research focuses on semiconductor device physics and technology, specifically of wide band gap compound semiconductors and dielectrics. He is currently focusing on Gallium Nitride (GaN) and Aluminum Gallium Nitride-based materials, devices, and technology for electronic and opto-electronic applications. His research leadership experience includes serving as director of numerous Multidisciplinary University Research Initiative Centers in addition to co-founding our Solid State Lighting and Energy Electronics Center.

Dr. Mishra received the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award and the ISCS Young Scientist Award for his work on Indium Phosphide and Gallium Arsenide-based microwave HEMT devices. He received the IEEE Jun-ichi Nishizawa Medal, the IEEE David Sarnoff Award, the ISCS Welker Medal, and the ISCS Quantum Devices Award for his contributions to the development of GaN electronics. He also received the 2016 IEEE-MTT Society Distinguished Educator Award, as well as the 2017-18 Faculty Research Lecturer recognition, the highest award to a faculty member by the UC Santa Barbara Academic Senate. He has supervised 76 Ph.D. students, mostly in the field of GaN materials and devices. Dr. Mishra co-founded Nitres, the first start-up in the world to commercialize radiofrequency GaN transistors and LEDs in 1996. He also co-founded Transphorm in 2007 and serves as its Chief Technology Officer to commercialize GaN-on-Si transistors for power conversion.

Dr. Mishra is a Fellow of the IEEE, an International Fellow of the Japanese Society of Applied Physics, Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering. He holds a Ph.D. from Cornell University, an M.S. from Lehigh University, and a B.Tech. degree from the Indian Institute of Technology, Kanpur, India.

We are grateful to our search advisory committee, co-chaired by Professors Glenn Fredrickson and Linda Petzold, for conducting a rigorous national search for this important position. The members of the search committee are listed below. We would also like to thank our Executive Vice Chancellor, Academic Senate Chair, our administrative colleagues, and the faculty, staff, and students of our campus community who provided important consultation, input, and advice throughout this search process.

I would like to take this opportunity to share my sincere thanks and appreciation to Interim Dean of Engineering Tresa Pollock, who has graciously served our campus in this role following the retirement of Dean Rod Alferness. We are deeply grateful to Professor Pollock for her extraordinary service and leadership to our students, faculty, staff, and alumni while our College of Engineering has continued to flourish.
I would also like to take this opportunity to thank former Dean Rod Alferness for his extraordinary leadership and devoted service as our Dean of Engineering for ten years, from 2011 to 2021.

We are confident that our College of Engineering will continue to thrive and achieve new heights under Dr. Mishra’s leadership. Please join me in extending our congratulations and appreciation.


Henry T. Yang

Search Advisory Committee for Dean of the College of Engineering
Glenn Fredrickson, Co-chair; Mitsubishi Chemical Professor, Chemical Engineering
Linda Petzold, Co-chair; Mehrabian Distinguished Professor, Mechanical Engineering and Computer Science
Divyakant Agrawal, Distinguished Professor, Computer Science
John Bowers, Fred Kavli Distinguished Professor, Materials, Electrical & Computer Engineering; Director, Institute for Energy Efficiency
César Castillo, Associated Students representative; Mechanical Engineering major
Steven DenBaars, Mitsubishi Distinguished Professor, Materials; Distinguished Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering; Co-Director, Solid State Lighting and Energy Electronics Center
João Hespanha, Professor, Electrical & Computer Engineering and Mechanical Engineering
Hannah Howard, Graduate Student Association representative; PhD candidate, Materials
Paul Leonardi, Duca Family Professor and Director, Technology Management
Kyle Lewis, Chair and Professor, Technology Management
Robert McMeeking, Tony Evans Distinguished Professor, Materials; Distinguished Professor, Mechanical Engineering
Beth Pruitt, Professor, Mechanical Engineering; BioMolecular Science and Engineering Director, Center for Bioengineering
Susannah Scott, Academic Senate Chair; Duncan and Suzanne Mellichamp Academic Initiative in Sustainability Chair, Sustainable Catalytic Processing; Distinguished Professor, Chemical Engineering
Ram Seshadri, Fred and Linda R. Wudl Chair, Materials Science; Distinguished Professor, Materials and Chemistry & Biochemistry
Tyler Susko, Lecturer SOE, Mechanical Engineering
Sharon Tettegah, Professor, Black Studies and Computer Science; Director, Center for Black Studies Research; Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion
William Wang, Mellichamp Chair, Artificial Intelligence and Designs; Director, Center for Responsible Machine Learning; Associate Professor, Computer Science
Pierre Wiltzius, Susan and Bruce Worster Dean of Science; Executive Dean of the College of Letters and Science; Professor, Physics

Ex Officio
Ricardo Alcaíno, Director, Equal Opportunity and Discrimination Prevention