Interim Dean's Biography
Patricia Nava, Ph.D.
Dr. Nava currently serves as Interim Dean of the College of Engineering at The University of Texas at El Paso, and is a Professor in the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. Her previous administrative service includes Undergraduate Program Director, Chair of the De-partment of Electrical and Computer Engineering Department, and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Undergraduate Studies. Prior to her work at UTEP, Dr. Nava held faculty positions at Northern Arizona University and California State University, Los Angeles, and worked as an Electronics Engineer at White Sands Missile Range and as a Computer Engineer at IBM.
Dr. Nava holds Ph.D., MSEE, and BSEE degrees in Electrical Engineering, and has been active in the discipline in different positions and projects. Her research interests involve the theoretical and applied aspects of Digital Design, Computer Architecture, and Artificial Intelligence: specifi-cally, Deep Learning Networks, their analogies to biological systems, and their design and im-plementation via digital devices, such as programmable hardware.
While at UTEP, she has been Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on successful grants totaling over $16.9M from a variety of agencies, including the National Science Foundation (NSF), National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA), Department of Defense (DoD), National Institutes of Health (NIH), Educate Texas, Department of Education, and others. Re-search endeavors have supported the generation of 59 technical publications, in addition to the-ses and dissertations related to the research.
Dr. Nava’s research has also allowed her to mentor more than 40 graduate students in research and guide them in successful completion of their Masters and Ph.D. degrees. Dr. Nava is a dedi-cated teacher and a member of the UTEP Academy of Distinguished Teachers, as well as the recipient of multiple awards for teaching: UT Regents’ Outstanding Teaching Award, the Chan-cellor’s Council Outstanding Teaching Award, and the Lockheed Martin Award for Teaching Ex-cellence. Most recently, Dr. Nava led a team that secured external funding to support engineer-ing students enrolling in Fast-Track Master’s degree programs. This work leverages and en-hances UTEP’s efforts to prepare a dynamic and diverse workforce in STEM fields.