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April 2019

Engineering Dean

Engineering Dean

New Dean Appointed for Santa Clara University's School of Engineering

Elaine Scott comes to the Mission Campus from University of Washington

SANTA CLARA, Calif., April 10, 2019 — Santa Clara University is pleased to announce Elaine Scott, Ph.D., the founding dean of the School of Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics (STEM) at the University of Washington in Bothell, will serve as the next dean of Santa Clara’s School of Engineering. She will begin her term on August 1, 2019.

“Santa Clara University’s unique location in the heart of Silicon Valley, its talented faculty and staff, and its Jesuit Mission provide a unique opportunity to educate and inspire engineers and leaders,” said Scott. “I look forward to partnering with the university community to develop the next generation of mission-oriented leaders.”

Scott has been responsible for the overall formation of the STEM school on the Bothell campus. She has focused her energy on charting the school’s mission and vision, hiring and supporting distinguished faculty scholars, developing innovative degree programs, growing enrollment, and engaging the broader community. Among her many accomplishments, Scott tripled both undergraduate and graduate enrollment over the course of six years, doubled the amount of extramural research funding, and mentored dozens of faculty, three of whom earned the prestigious Presidential Early Career Award from the National Science Foundation. She has also garnered success in the public arena by developing strong relations with industry partners.

“As the founding dean of the School of STEM at UW Bothell, Dr. Scott brings extensive and innovative leadership to Santa Clara and the Sobrato Campus for Discovery and Innovation,” said Michael Engh, S.J, president of Santa Clara University. “She will be a welcome addition to the University community at this transformative time for our campus."

Prior to her work at the University of Washington in Bothell,  Scott helped establish the Virginia Tech–Wake Forest School of Biomedical Engineering and Sciences and its related graduate degree programs in 2001. Through this initiative, Scott brought together two universities, three colleges, two graduate schools, and 10 departments to build a transformative multidisciplinary academic unit that bridges the biomedical sciences, biomedical engineering, and real-world applications to enhance the quality of life.

Among her many accolades, Scott was named the Academic Engineer of the Year by the Puget Sound Engineering Council in 2016; received Distinguished Engineering Alumni Awards from Michigan State University in 2015 and from the University of California, Davis in 2014; was named among “Women to Watch in Life Science” by the Washington Biotechnology & Biomedical Association in 2013; and was named an American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) fellow in 2007.

“I look forward to working with Dean Scott as she leads the School of Engineering through a new period of growth, educational excellence, and collaborative research,” said Kevin O’Brien, S.J., President-elect of Santa Clara University. “Santa Clara University will benefit greatly from Dr. Scott’s passion for collaboration with faculty and staff, her commitment to the University’s Jesuit Catholic mission, and her vast administrative experience in implementing innovative STEM programs.”

Scott will succeed Ronald Danielson, Ph.D., who is currently serving as Santa Clara’s interim dean of the School of Engineering.  

Scott earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in agricultural engineering from the University of California, Davis, as well as doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering and agricultural engineering from Michigan State University.  She has served as a professor of mechanical engineering at Virginia Tech, Seattle Pacific University, and the University of Washington, Bothell. Scott was born and raised in Alameda, California; Her husband Jim Fridley is a professor at the University of Washington and their children live in Seattle, New York, and the Bay Area.

About the School of Engineering
The School of Engineering is dedicated to preparing students for professional excellence, responsible citizenship, and service to society. Santa Clara’s dynamic programs in bioengineering, civil engineering, computer engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical engineering, sustainable energy, applied mathematics, and engineering management & leadership provide the theoretical and practical instruction necessary for professional excellence. The School believes that combining expert instruction, a commitment to personalized mentoring, and the promotion of an ethical and entrepreneurial mindset in the curriculum produces a class of engineers who are not only technically outstanding but excellent citizens as well. For more information, see

About Santa Clara University

Founded in 1851, Santa Clara University sits in the heart of Silicon Valley—the world’s most innovative and entrepreneurial region. The University’s stunningly landscaped 106-acre campus is home to the historic Mission Santa Clara de Asís. Ranked the No. 1 regional university in the West by U.S. News & World Report, SCU has among the best four-year graduation rates in the nation and is rated by PayScale in the top 1 percent of universities with the highest-paid graduates. SCU has produced elite levels of Fulbright Scholars as well as four Rhodes Scholars. With undergraduate programs in arts and sciences, business, and engineering, and graduate programs in six disciplines, the curriculum blends high-tech innovation with social consciousness grounded in the tradition of Jesuit, Catholic education. For more information see

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