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Dr. Achille Messac joined Howard University as Dean of the College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences on January 11.

In his new position, he will provide academic and administrative leadership, vision, and oversight for undergraduate and graduate programs in Engineering, Architecture, and Computer Sciences.

Dr. Messac comes to Howard from Mississippi State University where he served as dean of Engineering, professor of Aerospace Engineering, and Earnest W. and Mary Ann Deavenport, Jr., Chair (2013-2015).

Throughout his career, Dr. Messac has held academic and administrative leadership positions with increasing responsibilities, including distinguished professor and chair of the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department at Syracuse University (2010-2013), and prior to that as acting Department Head for the Mechanical, Aerospace, and Nuclear Engineering Department (2008-2009), at the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, where he was also elected and served as the Faculty Senate President.

Dr. Messac earned his Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and his Ph.D., from the Department of Aeronautical and Astronautical Engineering at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1981, 1982, and, 1986, respectively.

He is a Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA), where he serves as director for Aerospace Structures and Design. Additionally, Dr. Messac is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME).

Dr. Messac has received numerous awards throughout his career including the AIAA Multidisciplinary Design Optimization Award. In addition, he has authored or co-authored more than 240 peer- reviewed publications and frequently serves as industry expert and conference speaker.

“We are fortunate to have Dr. Messac bring his extensive leadership experience and vision to the College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences and Howard University,” said Howard University President Wayne A. I. Frederick.

“In addition, I want to thank Dr. Lorraine Fleming for her contributions to the College of Engineering, Architecture and Computer Sciences as Interim Dean, and also her leadership in directing the university’s successful Periodic Review Report accepted by the Middle States Association of Higher Education, and reaffirming the University’s accreditation through 2019- 2020.Dr. Fleming will continue to provide leadership to the College as Professor in the Department of Civil Engineering,” Dr. Frederick said.

Messac was the first Black engineer to be named dean of the James Worth Bagley College of Engineering at Mississippi State University. He is originally from Haiti.


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