Banks joins Texas A&M as vice chancellor and dean of engineering

Photo of Dr. M. Katherine BanksDr. M. Katherine Banks has begun her tenure as vice chancellor for engineering for The Texas A&M University System and dean of the Dwight Look College of Engineering at Texas A&M University — the first woman to ever hold the position.

Banks also holds the Harold J. “Bill” Haynes Dean’s Chair in Engineering and is director of the Texas Engineering Experiment Station, an engineering research agency of the State of Texas and a member of the A&M System.

She is looking forward to the opportunity to serve.

“I am honored to be selected as the vice chancellor of engineering for the Texas A&M System, dean of the Dwight Look College of Engineering and director of the Texas Engineering Experiment Station position,” she said. “The dedication of the Texas A&M community to excellence in research, teaching and engagement is quite remarkable. I look forward to collaborating with A&M System institutions and state agencies to develop new educational and research initiatives. As dean of the college of engineering, I am excited to work closely with the internationally recognized faculty and staff to produce a strong workforce of engineering graduates, enhance innovative research opportunities and develop new partnerships through unique engagement programs.”

She also expressed enthusiasm for working closely with two nationally and internationally renowned state agencies, also members of the A&M System and based in College Station, the Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) and the Texas Engineering Extension Service (TEEX).

Banks was previously the Bowen Engineering Head for the School of Civil Engineering at Purdue University and the Jack and Kay Hockema Professor at Purdue. She received her B.S.E. from the University of Florida, M.S.E. from the University of North Carolina, and Ph.D. in civil and environmental Engineering from Duke University. Banks has received research funding from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. Department of Energy and NASA, as well as industry and state government. She served as director of the EPA Hazardous Substance Research Center, associate director of the NASA Center for Advanced Life Support, and co-director of the 21st Century Center for Phytoremediation Research, all headquartered at Purdue.

Banks is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and is a licensed professional civil engineer in Indiana and Kansas. She received a number of awards including the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) Petersen Outstanding Woman of the Year Award, ASCE Rudolph Hering Medal and the Sloan Foundation Mentoring Fellowship. She is the author or co-author of more than 150 journal articles, proceedings papers, book chapters and has given more than 200 scholarly or technical presentations before professional groups. Banks served as editor-in-chief for the ASCE Journal of Environmental Engineering and associate editor of the International Journal of Phytoremediation.