Academics University

Jean-Pierre Bardet Named Dean of the College of Engineering

The distinguished engineer and water expert will join the University of Miami on August 15.

A distinguished civil engineering professor who served as dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Texas at Arlington (UTA) and now heads its Urban Water Institute has been named dean of the University of Miami’s College of Engineering (CoE). Jean-Pierre Bardet will join the University of Miami on August 15.

Bardet replaces James M. Tien, who has served as dean of the CoE since 2007 and is stepping down to join the faculty.

“UM has experienced an incredible ascent as an institution,” Bardet said. “Miami as a gateway to the Americas poses great opportunities for greater collaborations with students and academic institutions in the region. UM is a great place to be and it is the right time to be here.”

Jean-Pierre BardetBardet also sees great opportunities in working closely with other UM schools on interdisciplinary projects to create “a nexus of engineering and other disciplines.”

Educated in engineering in Lyon, France, Bardet received his M.S. and Ph.D. degrees from the California Institute of Technology. He worked at the University of Southern California for 28 years as a professor. There, he founded the Center on Megacities, a multidisciplinary center to prepare and sustain the world’s largest cities for the future. He also served as chair of the Sonny Astani Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, which was named after a $17 million gift from a real estate developer.

Most recently, Bardet served as the director of the Urban Water Institute at UTA, a center with a mission to transform the water-related challenges of North Texas into opportunities by innovating sustainable solutions that affect the economy, people, and environment. He sees the work he has done at the institute as being very relevant to Miami water issues.

Bardet’s professional interests range from earthquake engineering and tsunamis to geomechanics, civil infrastructure systems, and megacities.

“I am delighted to welcome Jean-Pierre Bardet to the University of Miami to lead one of our institutional pillars of excellence,” said UM President Julio Frenk. “His extensive experience in engineering, academic administration, and community building will help to engage our students, faculty, and external partners in transformational learning and research with real-world applications.”

During his tenure as dean of the UTA College of Engineering, the college reached an all-time high enrollment, a record number of research expenditures, and the best year for fundraising. He also established strategic partnerships with chambers of commerce and various local industries.

“Jean-Pierre Bardet is a nationally recognized scholar and academic leader,” said UM Executive Vice President and Provost Thomas J. LeBlanc. “He understands and appreciates the important role engineering plays in the modern economy, the need for collaboration across disciplines to solve critical problems, and the importance of engineering education to the future of our globe. He is well poised to bring the UM College of Engineering to its next level of excellence.”

A UM search committee, led by Denis Hector, UM School of Architecture associate professor and associate dean, conducted the national search for the dean of engineering position.

Bardet has been widely published in scientific journals. He is a member of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, Tau Beta Pi, The Engineering Honor Society, and the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences. He has authored or co-authored six books, including a textbook called Experimental Soil Mechanics. He has received numerous awards, including some from the Texas Academy of Medicine, Engineering Science and Technology, the National Academy of Engineering, and the National Science Foundation.

Bardet is relocating to Miami with his wife, Olga, and their four-year-old daughter, Katherine.

The UM CoE offers accredited B.S. degrees in aerospace engineering, architectural engineering, biomedical engineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, environmental engineering, industrial engineering, and mechanical engineering. The college also offers M.S./Ph.D. degrees in architectural engineering, biomedical engineering, civil engineering, electrical and computer engineering, industrial engineering, mechanical engineering, and ocean engineering.