Roger Bonnecaze Appointed Interim Dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering

June 29, 2021

Roger Bonnecaze, an internationally recognized expert in rheology and nanomanufacturing modeling and simulation and a former chair of the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering, has been named interim dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin.

Bonnecaze Roger

He will assume his new role on July 19, replacing Sharon L. Wood, who will become the university’s new executive vice president and provost on the same day.

“Roger Bonnecaze is a world-class researcher and a passionate educator, and the Cockrell School will be in excellent hands when he begins his position as interim dean next month,” Wood said. “As a professor, former chemical engineering department chair and co-founding director of the Nanomanufacturing Systems for Mobile Computing and Energy Technologies (NASCENT) Center, Roger has been an integral part of the Cockrell School’s success for almost 30 years, and I am confident he will continue to advance the school’s mission in the months ahead.”

A national search for a permanent dean will be launched later this fall.

Bonnecaze currently holds the William and Bettye Nowlin Chair of Engineering in the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering. He joined the engineering faculty at UT Austin in 1993 as an assistant professor and was later promoted to associate and full professor.   He served as chair of the McKetta Department of Chemical Engineering from 2005 to 2013. After his tenure as chair, Bonnecaze co-founded the Nanomanufacturing Systems for Mobile Computing and Energy Technologies (NASCENT) Center, the first National Science Foundation Engineering Research Center led by the Cockrell School, where he organized and led research projects with colleagues from numerous disciplines, engaged industrial partners in both research and entrepreneurial activities, and coordinated educational programs for the UT and greater Austin community.  

In 2019, Bonnecaze stepped down as NASCENT’s co-director to help launch SandBox Semiconductor, a startup spun out of the NASCENT Center, based on research and led by a former Ph.D. student in his research group.

“The Cockrell School is an extremely strong position, and I am excited and eager to advance the educational and research initiatives that Dean Wood has launched over the past eight years,” Bonnecaze said. “In the coming months, I look forward to talking to our students, faculty, staff and leadership to find new opportunities to advance the teaching and research excellence in the Cockrell School of Engineering and The University of Texas."

Bonnecaze’s research expertise includes nanomanufacturing modeling and simulation and the rheology and behavior of complex fluids. He has won numerous awards, including the NSF Young Investigator Award, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation Fellowship, the AIChE Thomas Baron Award and several teaching awards. He is a fellow of the American Physical Society, the American Institute of Chemical Engineers, the Society of Rheology and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

He received his B.S. from Cornell University and his M.S. and Ph.D. from the California Institute of Technology, all in chemical engineering.  Prior to joining the engineering faculty at UT Austin, he was a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics and the Institute of Theoretical Geophysics at the University of Cambridge.