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About the Dean

Patricia Culligan is the Matthew H. McCloskey Dean of Notre Dame’s College of Engineering. Since her appointment on August 1, 2020, she has led the College of Engineering’s nearly 160 faculty members, who oversee undergraduate and graduate education for nearly 1,900 students and a wide array of research programs.

Culligan is internationally recognized for her expertise in water resources and environmental engineering. Her research focuses on sustainable urban infrastructure, social networks, and the application of advanced measurement and sensing technologies to improve water, energy, and environmental management. She co-directs a $12 million research network sponsored by the National Science Foundation that is developing new models for urban infrastructure to make cities cleaner, healthier, and more enjoyable places to live. 



She previously was the chair and Carleton Professor of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at Columbia University. She is the founding associate director of Columbia’s Data Science Institute, a member of the Executive Committee of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, and the co-Founder of the Collaboratory @Columbia, which supports the development of cross-cutting curricula for a data-rich world.

Culligan is actively engaged in many efforts in faculty development and diversity as well as community outreach and citizen science programs. At Columbia, she served on Women in Tech, a university-industry task force to celebrate and support female engineers and applied scientists across the New York City global tech-hub.

Culligan earned her doctorate in engineering and a master’s degree in philosophy from the University of Cambridge. She holds a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from the University of Leeds. She also earned a diploma in language, literature, and civilization from the Université d’Aix-Marseille III.