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Mark Dean, the John Fisher Distinguished Professor in the Min H. Kao Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Tennessee (UT), will serve as interim dean of the college, the university announced this week.

Dean succeeds Lynne Parker, who is stepping down as interim dean of UT’s Tickle College of Engineering to serve as assistant director for artificial intelligence for the Office of Science and Technology Policy.

“I’m pleased that Mark agreed to step in and assume the reins as interim dean,” Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor David Manderscheid said in a statement.

“After a history-making career in the private sector, Mark brought his pioneering knowledge of computing back to his alma mater. His research and teaching have been—and will continue to be—of great benefit to the Tickle College of Engineering,” Manderscheid said.

Dean, the 2001 Black Engineer of the Year, holds three of the nine patents in the earliest development of the personal computer.

He received his bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from UT in 1979, then completed a master’s degree from Florida Atlantic University and a doctorate from Stanford University, both also in electrical engineering.

Prior to coming to work at UT in 2013, Dean served in Dubai as chief technology officer for IBM Middle East and Africa. Before that, he was vice president at IBM’s Almaden Research Center in San Jose, California.

“It is an honor to be asked to serve as interim dean of the Tickle College of Engineering,” Dean said. “My primary goal in returning to the college was to do whatever was needed to support the growth and success of the college. I will do all I can to continue the progress and momentum established by Interim Chancellor Davis and Interim Dean Parker, and to support the TCE students, faculty, and staff in achieving their goals.”

Growing up in Jefferson City, Tennessee, Dean loved to build things. He was an athlete and a straight-A student. He landed his job at IBM shortly after graduating from UT in 1979 with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.

“It’s great to be back at my alma mater, where I can share what I’ve learned over the course of my career with student engineers who will shape the technology of the future,” Dean said as part of a Tennessee Alumnus‘ 100 Distinguished Alumni feature.

Dean was named an IBM Fellow, the company’s highest technical honor, and holds 14 IBM Invention Achievement Awards and six Corporate Awards. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, the National Academy of Inventors, and the National Inventors Hall of Fame. His honors also include the US Department of Commerce Ronald H. Brown American Innovator Award, the National Institute of Science Outstanding Scientist Award, and
NSBE’s Distinguished Engineer Award.

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