Texas Tech University

Whitacre College of Engineering Names New Dean

Eileen Gianiodis

June 6, 2023

Roland Faller has served as the executive associate dean in the College of Engineering at the University of California-Davis.

Roland Faller has been named dean of the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering at Texas Tech University, the university announced today (June 6). He begins in the role Aug. 1.

Faller serves as executive associate dean in the College of Engineering at the University of California-Davis, where he also is associate dean for graduate studies and associate dean for facilities and capital planning.

In those roles, he leads the planning for online, self-supporting master's programs and certificates, and an upgrade to UC-Davis' Engineering Design Center and Coffee Center. Both projects were donor-funded.

“I look forward to Dr. Faller joining the Whitacre College of Engineering and bringing his experience in building collaborative research interactions and focus on student excellence to the college and the Texas Tech community,” said Texas Tech Provost and Senior Vice President Ron Hendrick.

A professor, Faller joined UC-Davis in 2002 as an assistant professor of chemical engineering and materials science. He became co-chair of that department in 2014. In 2016, he was named chair of the newly reconstituted chemical engineering department when it became independent from the Department of Materials Science and Engineering. 

He studied physics at the University of Bayreuth in Germany and earned his doctorate in physics at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz for work at the Max Planck Institute for Polymer Research. Faller completed postdoctoral work at the University of Wisconsin.

“I am thrilled to join this vibrant and growing college and look forward to working with all the great faculty, students and staff,” Faller said.

Faller's research focuses on multiscale modeling of soft materials and model and algorithm development. He uses computer simulations to study the properties of polymer brushes, glasses, ceramics, and biological membranes and proteins. Most recently, his group worked on studying the interactions of the COVID-19 spike protein as well as on theoretical models of 3D printing. 

His scientific work won a Department of Energy Early Career Principal Investigator Award in 2003, and he was the Joe & Essie Smith Endowed Chair of Chemical Engineering from 2007-11.

“My thanks to Stephen Bayne, who has served as interim dean and worked diligently on this front," Hendrick said. "I am grateful to the search committee, chaired by Margaret Williams, dean of the Rawls College of Business Administration, for its efforts in this endeavor.”

Bayne will remain in his role as interim dean until Faller arrives Aug. 1.