Rafael Bras named dean of UC Irvine School of Engineering

April 26, 2008

Contact: Denise Brehm
MIT Civil & Environmental Engineering brehm@mit.edu

Professor Rafael L. Bras, who joined the MIT faculty shortly after earning his doctorate here in 1975, and who has served as a lab director, department head, and chair of the MIT Faculty, was named last week as the new dean of engineering at the University of California, Irvine, effective Sept. 1.

“Rafael Bras is an internationally renowned scientist and educator with extensive expertise on water and the environment — two tremendously important topics to our community, state and to the world at large,” said Chancellor Michael V. Drake of UC Irvine. “I am excited to welcome this distinguished leader and scholar to our university.”

Bras, 57, is currently the Edward A. Abdun-Nur Professor in the Departments of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth, Atmospheric and Planetary Sciences. He served as head of the Ralph M. Parsons Laboratory at MIT from 1983 to 1991; head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering from 1992 to 2001; and chair of the MIT Faculty from 2003 to 2005. He currently is an associate director of the Center for Global Change Science and director of the alternative first-year program, Terrascope.

“I lived in Puerto Rico for the first 17 years of my life and at MIT for the last 40. Leaving home is never easy,” said Bras. “My career at MIT has been blessed with great colleagues, in and out of my departments, with wonderful mentors and extra