After a competitive national search, a University of North Carolina (UNC) System veteran engineering educator and administrator has been named Provost and Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs at East Carolina University (ECU) by Chancellor Philip G. Rogers.
Dr. Robin N. Coger will join ECU in July 2022. She will also hold an academic appointment as a professor in the College of Engineering and Technology. (Archive photo of Dr. Coger at the College of Engineering, North Carolina A&T State University).
Currently the dean of the College of Engineering and professor of mechanical engineering at North Carolina A&T State University (N.C. A&T), Coger focused the college’s education, research, and corporate endeavors on preparing a globally competitive workforce. She led the college’s strategic planning process and worked with administrators, faculty, and staff to further expand the college’s enrollment, academic programs, research productivity, and visibility.
Before joining N.C. A&T in 2011, Coger was a faculty member in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering Science at UNC Charlotte from 1996-2011. At UNC Charlotte, she served as an interim department chair and was also the founding director of the university’s Center for Biomedical Engineering Science, a research center designed to synergize the efforts of biomedical faculty from across four colleges, multiple academic departments, and two Charlotte medical establishments.
Rogers noted that he was impressed with Coger’s time in the classroom and in leadership positions, and her knowledge of the rapidly changing academic environment.
“From my first conversation with Dr. Coger, her dedication to higher education and understanding of the opportunities and challenges the current national landscape presents were apparent. I believe her understanding of ECU’s mission, combined with her proven higher education leadership skills, makes her the right person to lead our academic enterprise,” Rogers said.
Throughout her higher education career, Coger has actively promoted engineering as a career for diverse minds, including underrepresented and female populations. Her technical research expertise is in solving design and performance problems related to engineered tissues and organs, with special emphasis on liver replacement devices and their safe storage for off-the-shelf availability.
“It is an important time in higher education, and I look forward to joining Chancellor Rogers and the students, faculty, staff, alumni and partners of ECU in further advancing the university’s educational and research strengths along with the commitment to the region, the state, the nation and beyond,” said Coger.
Coger received her undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering from Cornell University, earned her master’s degree and a doctorate in mechanical engineering from the University of California-Berkeley, and completed her post-doctoral research as a fellow at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital.
She is a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering. Coger serves on the National Science Foundation’s Directorate for Engineering Advisory Committee, chairs the Council of HBCU Engineering Deans, and serves on the Committee on Defense Research at HBCUs and Other Minority Institutions — convened by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. Coger is also a member of the editorial board of the American Society of Engineering Education publication, PRISM.
She is currently a board member of the Greensboro Chamber of Commerce, Advancing Minorities Interest in Engineering (AMIE), and FIRST — an organization founded to inspire the interest and participation of young people in engineering, science, and technology.