Allen Robinson Named New Director of CMU-Africa

Allen Robinson has been named the next director of Carnegie Mellon University in Africa, effective Jan. 1, 2022. Robinson is currently the David and Susan Coulter Head of Mechanical Engineering, the Raymond J. Lane Distinguished University Professor of Mechanical Engineering, and professor in engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University. In addition, Robinson is the founding director of the Environmental Protection Agency-funded Center for Air, Climate and Energy Solutions. In his new role, Robinson will also serve as the College of Engineering’s associate dean for International Programs in Africa.

Robinson will succeed Vijayakumar Bhagavatula, U.A. & Helen Whitaker Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, who will return to faculty in ECE. Under his leadership of Carnegie Mellon Africa, Bhagavatula leaves a legacy of high-growth and strategic program development to expand CMU-Africa’s impact on the continent through education and research.

Robinson has been selected as director of CMU-Africa because of his exemplary leadership of the Mechanical Engineering Department. During his time as department head, he transformed the MechE student experience and built a strong base of faculty and staff. He has also managed large scale projects such as the design and construction of ANSYS Hall, and now is directing the new Scaife Hall construction.

“As a visionary and impactful leader of Mechanical Engineering, I’m thrilled to announce that Professor Allen Robinson will be CMU-Africa’s next director and the College of Engineering’s associate dean for International Programs in Africa,” said Strecker Dean of the College of Engineering Bill Sanders. “Leading growth strategies, fostering a culture of collaboration and driving progress is something Allen does extremely well.”

The College of Engineering will soon name an interim head of Mechanical Engineering and initiate an international search for a new department head.

“I would like to express my gratitude to the search advisory committee that worked so diligently and provided input to me during the search process,” said Sanders. “The committee was chaired by Shelley Anna and had the following members: Gbemi Disu, Dan Giammatteo, Assane Gueye, Larry Pileggi and Martin Saint.”

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