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Grace appointed engineering dean at Lawrence Tech

Release Date: June 3, 2010

Nabil Grace

Southfield, Michigan – University Distinguished Professor Nabil Grace has been appointed dean of the 1,200-student College of Engineering at Lawrence Technological University.

Lawrence Tech’s College of Engineering in one of the largest in Michigan and offers 14 undergraduate degree programs, nine master’s degree programs, and a doctorate degree in manufacturing systems. The college has also launched eight “fast track” certificate programs to help current degree holders prepare for growing career fields.

Lawrence Tech’s College of Engineering is ranked in the top half of the 100 best undergraduate engineering programs in the nation compiled by U.S News & World Report. The magazine also ranks the university among the best universities in its Masters Midwest category.

Grace began teaching at Lawrence Tech in 1988 and was appointed chairman of the Department of Civil Engineering in 2002. He is director of Lawrence Tech’s Center for Innovative Materials Research (CIMR). He has served as interim dean since January.

“Dr. Grace has demonstrated outstanding leadership abilities as a professor, a researcher, a department chair and most recently as interim dean,” said Lawrence Tech President Lewis Walker in announcing the appointment. “He sets high standards for himself and others. As we continue to strengthen the University’s academic success and services, and grow the entrepreneurial abilities of our students, I am confident that Nabil’s vision will result in ever greater achievements for Lawrence Tech’s College of Engineering.”

“Dr. Grace is a performance-oriented individual. He makes things happen,” said Lloyd Reuss, chairman of Lawrence Tech’s board of trustees.

Provost Maria Vaz added, “Under his leadership, the Department of Civil Engineering has thrived through the addition of new programs, development and implementation of an assessment program that drives continuous improvement, consistent enrollment growth and a dramatic increase in applied research. We anticipate that Dr. Grace will bring the same level of energy and accomplishment to the entire College of Engineering.”

A prolific researcher, Grace has been awarded more than 20 research grants and contracts totaling more than $20 million. Grants have financed the construction of Lawrence Tech’s CIMR and purchase of testing equipment such as the environmental/loading chamber that was installed last fall.

Grace is a leading proponent of using carbon-fiber reinforced polymer composites to replace steel in bridge construction, and has conducted extensive research on a variety of applications for reinforced polymer materials. Using those composites could virtually eliminate corrosion caused by salt and other chemicals and double the lifespan of bridges.

As civil engineering chair, Grace increased civil engineering enrollment by 50 percent. Faculty members increased their research activities, and students took advantage of many more opportunities to participate in applied research projects and industry partnerships, including at the undergraduate level.

“Schools must have outstanding professors and good students in order to grow. We have been able to attract both at Lawrence Tech with innovative projects that win grants and industry partnerships,” Grace said. “It has to be a continuous process. You can never stop innovating if you want to continue to grow and improve.”

A native of Egypt who earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering at Cairo University, Grace came to the United States by way of the University of Windsor, where he earned his master’s degree in 1981 and PhD in 1986.

He was a group leader at Giffels Associates of Southfield before coming to Lawrence Tech.

Lawrence Technological University,, offers more than 100 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral degree programs in Colleges of Architecture and Design, Arts and Sciences, Engineering and Management. Founded in 1932, the 4,500-student, private university pioneered evening classes and today has a growing number of weekend and online programs. Lawrence Tech’s 102-acre campus is in Southfield, and programs are also offered in Detroit, Lansing, Petoskey and Traverse City. Lawrence Tech also offers programs with partner universities in Canada, Mexico, Europe, the Middle East and Asia.