KINGSTON, R.I. – May 21, 2009 – Raymond Wright, a respected environmental engineering professor at the University of Rhode Island who has served as interim dean of the College of Engineering since 2007, has been appointed dean of the college on a permanent basis, effective May 17.
He succeeds Bahram Nassersharif, who stepped down as dean in June 2007.
“Dr. Wright has served in numerous leadership roles and has always been a valuable contributor to the University community,” said Don DeHayes, URI provost and vice president for academic affairs. “He is an admired and respected member of the faculty, one who will lead the College of Engineering during a critical time in the University’s history. Equally important, Dr. Wright gets it – he understands that URI can and must excel in undergraduate and graduate education as well as research and that these missions are complementary and not competitive. I look forward to working with him as he leads our College of Engineering into the future.”
Wright has served as associate dean of the College of Engineering, chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, interim director of the URI Transportation Center, acting director of the Rhode Island Water Resources Center, and in 1997 he was named a Distinguished Engineering Professor in the College of Engineering. He also received the Albert E. Carlotti Award and the Vincent and Estelle Murphy Award for Faculty Excellence in Engineering. He joined the URI faculty in 1981.
“I feel honored to be selected as dean, and I look forward to working with our students, faculty and staff, and to enhancing relationships with valued alumni and friends of the College,” said Wright, a resident of Wakefield.
“The times we live in also represent incredible opportunities for leadership that can provide innovative solutions to help shape the future,” he added. “The College of Engineering is poised to provide this leadership, and to be a catalyst that stimulates long-term sustainable economic growth in Rhode Island and beyond. This will require the development and coordination of integral partnerships between academia, government, private enterprise and the general public.”
During his URI career, Wright has been awarded $4.5 million in funding as the principal investigator on 47 environmental research projects in the areas of water quality monitoring, identification of non-point source pollutants, storm water monitoring and modeling, and the investigation of wet weather pollutant sources and their impact on receiving waters. He undertook a decade-long analysis of the water quality of the Blackstone River and authored a comprehensive report on the subject for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Wright has earned degrees from Tufts University and Pennsylvania State University, and he teaches undergraduate and graduate courses in hydraulic engineering and stream and estuarine analysis.
URI Department of Communications & Marketing photo by Michael Salerno Photography.