LAWRENCE — Elaina Sutley, associate professor of civil, environmental & architectural engineering, has been named associate dean for diversity, equity, inclusion & belonging for the University of Kansas School of Engineering. Sutley will guide KU Engineering’s Diversity & Women’s Program, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2021.
“KU Engineering has a strong tradition of support for underrepresented students, and we are thrilled to have Professor Sutley guide this program going forward. Beyond her notable research success and outstanding teaching performance, Professor Sutley is an empathetic and thoughtful leader who will work to ensure students have every opportunity to succeed,” said Arvin Agah, dean of engineering. “The search committee, led by Associate Dean for Research Candan Tamerler, is to be commended for their work throughout this process.”
Sutley joined KU in 2015 and conducts research on structures with an emphasis on disaster resilience and recovery. Sutley said she is looking forward to working with engineering students, faculty and staff on the shared goal of advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging.
“When this position became available, it created an exciting opportunity to expand the breadth of my work and apply my expertise on social equity right here in the school to work with our students, faculty and staff,” Sutley said. “I am most looking forward to creating community and the opportunity to work with so many people affiliated with the school.”
Sutley earned a prestigious NSF CAREER Award in 2019 for research examining the role different types of organizations play in helping a community withstand disaster. Her findings on the effects of damage from an E-F4 tornado that struck near Lawrence in 2019 were recently featured on the show "Weathered," available on PBS Terra.
Sutley earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in civil engineering from the University of Alabama and her doctorate in civil engineering from Colorado State. She replaces Andrew Williams, who was recently appointed dean of engineering at The Citadel in Charleston, South Carolina.