Baker Institute Rice Faculty Scholar | Provost, Rice University
Office Phone: (713) 348-3786
Reginald DesRoches is Rice University’s provost and serves as a professor of civil and environmental engineering, and mechanical engineering. As the university’s chief academic officer, DesRoches works closely with the president to advance Rice’s teaching, research and service mission. The provost leads the strategic efforts to ensure that the academic and research programs are world-class, and aligned with the university’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity. These responsibilities include leading academic programs and initiatives across the University’s seven schools, which serve 7,000 students, and numerous centers and institutes.
DesRoches previously served as the William and Stephanie Sick Dean of Engineering at the George R. Brown School of Engineering at Rice. In this position, he provided leadership to a top-ranked engineering school with nine departments, 137 faculty members and 2,500 students.
His primary research interests are in the design of resilient infrastructure systems under extreme loads and the application of smart materials. His research is highly interdisciplinary and spans micro- to macro-scales. He has published approximately 300 articles and delivered more than 100 presentations in over 30 different countries. A fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the society's Structural Engineering Institute, DesRoches served as the key technical leader in the United States’ response to the 2010 Haiti earthquake, taking a team of 28 engineers, architects, city planners and social scientists to study the impact of the earthquake.
DesRoches received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2002 — the highest honor bestowed upon scientists and engineers in the early stages of their careers. Most recently, he was a recipient of the Distinguished Arnold Kerr Lecturer Award in 2019, the John A. Blume Distinguished Lecturer in 2018, as well as the 2018 Earthquake Engineering Research Institute Distinguished Lecturer Award – one the highest honors in the earthquake engineering field. He is a recipient of the Georgia Tech Outstanding Doctoral Thesis Advisor Award (2010), and the Georgia Tech ANAK Award (2008). The ANAK award is the highest honor the undergraduate student body can bestow on a Georgia Tech faculty member.
In 2020, DesRoches was elected a member of the National Academy of Engineering.