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Ravi Bellamkonda named new Pratt Dean

He will take over for interim dean George Truskey Aug. 1

<p>Ravi Bellamkonda will take over as dean of the Pratt School of Engineering Aug. 1.</p>

Ravi Bellamkonda will take over as dean of the Pratt School of Engineering Aug. 1.

Biomedical engineer Ravi Bellamkonda has been named the new dean of the Pratt School of Engineering, President Richard Brodhead and Provost Sally Kornbluth announced Tuesday.

Bellamkonda is currently the Wallace H. Coulter Professor and chair of the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, a partnership between the two Atlanta schools. He will replace Tom Katsouleas—who became executive vice president and provost at the University of Virginia last June—Aug. 1.

"Ravi Bellamkonda has a record of outstanding personal accomplishment and visionary leadership," Brodhead said in a Duke Today press release. "Working with Pratt faculty and students, he will continue Duke engineering's remarkable trajectory and will be an excellent partner across the University."

Bellamkonda graduated from Osmania University in India and received his PhD from Brown University, before doing postdoctoral work at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. He taught at Case Western Reserve University, then transitioned to the Coulter Department in 2003 and served as vice president for research at Georgia Tech from 2010 until 2013.

The president of the American Institute for Biological and Medical Engineering, Bellamkonda focused on using biomaterials to support the nervous system and combat brain tumors in his research. He noted that he is looking forward to taking over for interim dean George Truskey.

“I am excited about the Pratt School’s future, and our ability to continue building an innovative engineering school where scholarship, inquiry and entrepreneurship are valued,” Bellamkonda said in the release. “Pratt’s faculty are thought leaders in areas of critical importance to our economy, security, health and the environment. We can help shape the future by fostering an experiential engineering curriculum that moves away from a ‘content-mastery’ emphasis, toward a ‘learning-mastery’ mind-set.”

Pratt experienced significant growth under Katsouleas, who during his seven-year tenure oversaw an increase in external research expenditures, the founding of six new research centers and a 62 percent increase in engineering graduate student enrollment.

The school also consistently ranked highly among the best undergraduate engineering engineering programs—in 2014, it was ranked No. 18 on the annual list compiled by the U.S. News and World Report.

“What I really want most [in the next dean] is someone that is going to continue that forward momentum and really put a premium on high-quality faculty hires,” Kornbluth told The Chronicle in September

Update: This article was modified late Tuesday to include information on Katsouleas' tenure.