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Deborah Goodings to Lead NSF Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation

Photo of Deborah Goodings, CMMI Division Director

Deborah Goodings, Division Director, NSF Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation


January 26, 2015

The National Science Foundation (NSF) has selected Deborah J. Goodings as director of the Division of Civil, Mechanical, and Manufacturing Innovation (CMMI) of the Directorate for Engineering. Goodings, who begins her term at NSF today, has served since 2009 as Dewberry Chair Professor of Civil Engineering and Chairman of the Department of Civil, Environmental, and Infrastructure Engineering at George Mason University.

"The Directorate for Engineering is very pleased to welcome to Dr. Goodings, who brings a terrific record of exceptional leadership and expertise to NSF," Pramod Khargonekar, NSF Assistant Director for Engineering, said. "She is committed to exploring the frontiers of engineering and to addressing national challenges in research as well as engineering education."

While serving as department chairman at George Mason, Goodings led faculty and staff in the redirection of the department. Under her leadership, undergraduate and graduate curricula were expanded; laboratory facilities were increased; new programs for graduate student recruitment were launched; new funding resources were identified; outreach to engineering practice and federal research labs was strengthened and broadened; and opportunities for international experience were introduced.

Before joining George Mason, Goodings taught and conducted research in geotechnical engineering for nearly 30 years at the University of Maryland, where she rose from assistant to full professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She also co-founded and co-directed the Master of Engineering and Public Policy program with the School of Public Policy. In addition, Goodings served as the founding faculty advisor of the University of Maryland’s Engineers Without Borders-USA chapter, which completed ten projects in Africa, South America, and Southeast Asia under her direction in its first five years. An endowed chair was established in her honor upon her departure from the University of Maryland.

Goodings earned her Bachelor’s degree in Civil Engineering at the University of Toronto and her Ph.D. in Geotechnical Engineering at Cambridge University. Her technical expertise is in geotechnical engineering related to sustainability, extreme events, and resilience. She also has expertise in engineering and public policy and in international development engineering. She has more than 60 technical publications, and she served as graduate advisor for 24 students seeking MS degrees and PhDs.

Goodings has been an active member of professional societies and is a Fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers. She has served on university and agency visiting committees that draw on her research and education expertise, including several National Research Council committees and boards. She was recognized by the Transportation Research Board with the Fred Burggraf Award; by the Department of the Army with the Outstanding Civilian Service Medal; and by the U.S. Universities Council on Geotechnical Engineering Research with their Distinguished Service Award following her service as its President.

CMMI supports fundamental research and education directed at advances in civil, mechanical, industrial, and manufacturing engineering and materials design, with an additional focus on reducing risks and damage from earthquakes and other natural and technological hazards. These investments lead to advances that promote the global competitiveness of the nation's manufacturing sector and enhance the sustainability and resiliency of the nation's civil infrastructure.

The U.S. National Science Foundation propels the nation forward by advancing fundamental research in all fields of science and engineering. NSF supports research and people by providing facilities, instruments and funding to support their ingenuity and sustain the U.S. as a global leader in research and innovation. With a fiscal year 2020 budget of $8.3 billion, NSF funds reach all 50 states through grants to nearly 2,000 colleges, universities and institutions. Each year, NSF receives more than 40,000 competitive proposals and makes about 11,000 new awards. Those awards include support for cooperative research with industry, Arctic and Antarctic research and operations, and U.S. participation in international scientific efforts.

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