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Michael Bragg Named Dean of UW College of Engineering


Susan Mumm

Michael B. Bragg, emeritus professor and former interim dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, became the new dean of the University of Washington (UW) College of Engineering on July 15.

“We are very excited that Mike Bragg will be joining us as our next dean of engineering,” said UW President Michael Young. “He is a renowned expert in aerospace engineering and a proven leader who gets results. Educating engineers is crucial to our economic future in the state, and Mike is a visionary educator who understands this issue. He is coming from one great engineering program to another, and we are certain he will build on the excellent work being done in the College.” The UW College of Engineering has ten academic departments, 5,800 students, and 40,000-plus engineering alumni.

Michael B. Bragg
Michael B. Bragg
Michael B. Bragg

Bragg earned his BS (1976) and MS (1977) degrees in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 1981, he received his PhD in aeronautical and astronautical engineering from The Ohio State University where he initially served as an assistant, and later, as an associate professor.

In 1990, Bragg returned his alma mater as an associate professor in the Department of Aerospace Engineering. Named a full professor in 1995, he went on to serve as department head for seven years before joining the administrative team in the College of Engineering.

In 2006, Bragg was appointed as the associate dean for research and administrative affairs, overseeing personnel and financial matters, physical facilities, and administration of the research program and graduate programs within the College. Two years later, he was named executive associate dean for the College, overseeing all faculty and academic personnel, budget and resources, diversity activities, and global initiatives. He was instrumental in curriculum innovation, improvement of student resources and research initiatives, and financial innovations including new college and campus ICR models. Bragg is also co-founder of two faculty start-up companies at Illinois. 

Bragg’s primary area of research is aircraft icing where he is an international expert and consultant on the effect of ice accretion on aircraft aerodynamics and flight safety. More than 50 graduate students and five post- doctoral researchers received their advanced degrees under Bragg’s guidance. He has directed over $15 million in externally funded research and published more than 200 research papers. 

Recognized as an outstanding advisor and teacher at the undergraduate and graduate level, Bragg appeared on the Incomplete List of Teachers Rated Excellent by Their Students six times. He was recognized with the College’s Stanley H. Pierce Award in 2004.

A Fellow of the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) since 2004, Bragg received the AIAA Losey Atmospheric Sciences Award in 1998 and the AIAA Aerodynamics Award in 2007. He recently completed his term as the organization’s vice president-publications. In 2012, Bragg was appointed to the Aeronautics Committee of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) Advisory Council.