Dean Vijay K. Dhir
Vijay K. Dhir, distinguished professor in mechanical and aerospace engineering, was named dean of UCLA's Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science in March 2003.
Born in India, Dhir received his Bachelor of Science degree from Punjab Engineering College in Chandigarh, India, and his Master of Technology degree from the Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur. He earned his Ph.D. at the University of Kentucky. Dhir joined the faculty at UCLA in 1974.
For a short time in the late 1960s he worked in industry as an engineer. Since then he has been a consultant for numerous organizations, including GE, Hughes Aircraft, Rockwell International, the Nuclear Regulatory Commission, and the Brookhaven and Los Alamos national laboratories.
Dhir served as vice chair of the UCLA Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department from 1988 to 1991, and was chair of that department from 1994 to 2000. From July 2001 to February 2002, he served as the school's associate dean for academic and faculty issues. He served as interim dean from February 2002 to March 2003.
He has worked to make UCLA Engineering a hub for interdisciplinary research and education. In recent years, the school has been awarded 15 competitive research centers from the federal government and private industry that have brought more than $235 million to Southern California to spur research and development on emerging technologies. UCLA Engineering currently is home to 10 active centers of excellence in cybersecurity, nanoelectronics, nanomaterials, renewable energy, computer network architecture, healthcare technologies and more.
In 2006, he was elected to the National Academy of Engineering – among the highest honors awarded to engineers – for his work in boiling heat transfer and nuclear reactor thermal hydraulics and safety. Dhir received the 2004 Max Jakob Memorial Award of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE). He is a fellow of the American Nuclear Society and a fellow and honorary member of ASME. In 2004, he was selected as an inductee into the University of Kentucky’s Engineering Hall of Distinction. He has also received the ASME Heat Transfer Memorial Award in the Science category and the Donald Q. Kern award from AIChE. He is recipient of the Technical Achievement Award of the Thermal Hydraulics Division of the American Nuclear Society. Twice he has received the Best Paper Award for papers published in ASME Journal of Heat Transfer. Dhir has presented ASME's Thurston Lecture, received an honorary Ph.D. in Engineering from University of Kentucky, Lexington, and received the Lifetime Achievement Award at the ICCES conference.
Dhir served as senior technical editor for ASME's Journal of Heat Transfer from 2000 to 2005. Prior to being named senior technical editor, he also served as the journal's associate editor. He is also a former assistant editor of Applied Mechanics Review. He has served on the advisory boards of several other journals. He served on the National Research Council’s Steering Committee on the “Decadal Survey on Biological and Physical Sciences in Space.” He currently serves on the National Research Council’s Aeronautics and Space Engineering Board (ASEB) and on a National Academies committee to understand and apply lessons learned from the 2011 Fukushima nuclear accident.
He also leads the Boiling Heat Transfer Lab, which has conducted pioneering work in fundamental and applied sciences involving boiling, an efficient process of heat removal. Currently the lab is involved in the study of flow boiling, micro-gravity boiling, and nuclear reactor thermal hydraulics. Since 1999 a team of researchers led by Dhir has taken part in a NASA research program to examine the effects of microgravity on boiling. In 2011, Dhir's nucleate boiling research project became the first UCLA-led project aboard the International Space Station.
Forty PhD students and 40 MS students have graduated under Dhir's supervision. He is author or co-author of more than 300 papers published in technical journals and conference proceedings.