Skip to main content

Alyson Rodriguez | February 1, 2022

Eric MacDonald Appointed College of Engineering Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research

Eric MacDonald Appointed College of Engineering Associate Dean of Graduate Studies and Research


The College of Engineering is pleased to announce mechanical engineering professor Eric MacDonald, Ph.D., as the College’s Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research. His appointment was effective December 17, 2021.

In his new role, MacDonald will be responsible for coordinating the advancement of research and graduate programs by supporting research productivity particularly with junior faculty. MacDonald replaces Heidi Taboada, Ph.D., who recently accepted a position as Dean of the College of Engineering at Texas A&M University–Kingsville.

“I am elated that Dr. MacDonald has agreed to serve as Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Research. He has been an active mentor for many graduate students in his role as faculty, and will be in a position to positively impact many more in his new position. Moreover, he has a stellar record as a researcher, and will leverage his knowledge, network, and experience to facilitate research productivity of faculty in the college. I look forward to working with him. I would also like to thank his predecessor, Dr. Taboada, for her service in the position of Associate Dean, for over four years. She injected the work of Graduate Studies and Research with an energy and enthusiasm that was admirable. She was very effective in growing graduate enrollment and facilitating research, and we wish her all the best in her new position,” said Patricia Nava, Ph.D. College of Engineering interim dean.

MacDonald holds a bachelor’s, master’s, and Ph.D. in Electrical and Computer Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. He is internationally known for his numerous engineering and scientific research contributions. He has received various awards in his field and has authored many scientific journals and books. Dr. MacDonald spent 2003 to 2016 at UTEP as the associate director of the W. M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation and held faculty fellowships at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, US Navy Research and was awarded a US State Department Fulbright Fellowship in South America.

Since joining UTEP in 2003, his research has gained international recognition. MacDonald recently obtained a joint faculty appointment with the Department of Energy, Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Before working at UTEP he worked at top companies such as IBM, Motorola and co-founded a CAD software startup that was acquired by a firm in Silicon Valley in 2003.

“My priorities as the Associate Dean of Research and Graduate Studies will include supporting research productivity particularly with early career faculty, focusing on graduate student recruitment, encouraging UTEP graduate students to pursue prestigious national fellowships, and increasing engagement with national laboratories”, said MacDonald.

In the almost 19 years of being at UTEP, Professor MacDonald has inspired countless UTEP engineering students. His influence on the college will continue to grow as he works alongside Patricia Nava, Ph.D., College of Engineering interim Dean. Together they will promote graduate student retention, junior faculty mentorship facilitating research collaboration with national labs and other universities and grow and support faculty research as well as promote and advance fellowships.

“I consider my research enterprise central to my life and self-expression, however this opportunity to foster scholarship throughout the College of Engineering is an honor and a privilege and I am excited to begin”, added MacDonald.

Congratulations Dr. MacDonald, welcome to our leadership team!

College of Engineering Communications

[Engineering News Archive]