By Kelsey Kendall

Old Dominion University will welcome Jeffrey Fergus as the next dean of the Batten College of Engineering and Technology, effective August 10.

“Dr. Fergus will be an excellent addition to our leadership team,” said Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs Austin Agho, Ph.D. “He is a proven leader in engineering research, and he has led several diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives, which aligns with ODU’s commitment to create a sense of belonging among faculty, staff and students. We are excited to welcome Dr. Fergus to the University community.”

Fergus is currently the associate dean for undergraduate studies and program assessment in the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn University. He will succeed Kenneth Fridley, who has served as the interim dean since last August and was named vice president for research in January.

“It was a great experience leading the Batten College of Engineering and College, and I am excited to see the college continue to thrive under Dr. Fergus’ leadership,” Fridley said. “I am confident that his experience in growing academic programs and supporting research will promote the college’s success in serving its students, faculty and staff.”

Fergus earned his undergraduate degree in metallurgical engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and his Ph.D. in materials science and engineering from the University of Pennsylvania. He also held a postdoctoral position at the Center for Sensor Materials at the University of Notre Dame.

As a leader in the engineering field, Fergus has more than 180 publications, which have been cited more than 14,000 times by other researchers. In addition, he has been the principal investigator or co-principal investigator on research projects involving materials for gas turbine engines, batteries, fuel cells and chemical sensors.

Additionally, Fergus has served in several leadership roles in industry organizations including the Boards of Directors for the Electrochemical Society and The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society. He has been active with the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology and served as the Chair of Engineering Accreditation Commission from 2019 to 2020.