Today, UC Santa Barbara Chancellor Henry T. Yang announced the appointment of materials professor Tresa Pollock as the interim dean of the College of Engineering. Her appointment, which follows the retirement of Dr. Rod Alferness, which will become effective tomorrow, September 21, after ten years of extraordinary service and leadership.. The appointment of Dr. Pollock, Alcoa Distinguished Professor of Materials, was made after consultation among Yang, COE faculty, the Academic Senate Chair, the Executive Vice Chancellor, and administrative colleagues.
Pollock is a world-renowned expert in the science and technology of advanced structural alloys having applications in aerospace, energy, and automotive industries. Her current research is focused on 3D materials science and the mechanical and environmental performance of materials in extreme environments. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and the German National Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and is a Fellow of The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society. In 2018 she was named an Honorary Member of the American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers and in 2021 received honorary membership in the French Society of Materials and Metallurgy.
Pollock joined the UCSB Department of Materials in 2010, and served as department chair from 2011 to 2017. She has served as Associate Dean of the COE College of Engineering since 2018 and was previously Director of our International Center for Materials Research from 2010 to 2017. Since 2019, she has served as Co-Chair of the UCSB Action Collaborative Steering Committee, which oversees UCSB campus participation in the national consortium Action Collaborative on Preventing Sexual Harassment in Higher Education, organized by the National Academies of Science and Medicine.
She holds a BS in Metallurgical Engineering from Purdue University and a PhD in Materials Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Pollock's professional career started at GE Aircraft Engines, where she worked on developing advanced superalloys for gas turbine engines. In 1991 she joined the MSE faculty at Carnegie Mellon University, where she was Alcoa Professor until 1999. From 2000 to 2010, she held the L. H. and F. E. Van Vlack Professorship of Materials Science and Engineering at the University of Michigan.
“We are grateful for Professor Pollock's dedication and willingness to assume the responsibilities of this important leadership position,” said Chancellor Yang. “I look forward to making an announcement in the very near future regarding the formation of a search advisory committee for our next Dean of Engineering. Please join us in extending our sincere thanks and best wishes to Dean Alferness and in welcoming Professor Pollock as Interim Dean."