Dr. Alfonso Ortega Named Dean of Santa Clara’s School of Engineering and Sobrato Professor

Al Ortega photo

Alfonso Ortega, PhD, the James R. Birle Professor of Energy Technology and director of Villanova University’s Center for Energy-Smart Electronic Systems, will be appointed Dean of Santa Clara’s School of Engineering and Sobrato Professor. Beginning his term August 1, 2017, Dr. Ortega will provide the School’s overall academic, administrative, and financial leadership. 

Dr. Ortega joined Villanova University’s Mechanical Engineering department in 2006 and founded the Laboratory for Advanced Thermal and Fluid Systems that same year. From 2007-2012 he served as Associate Dean for Graduate Programs and Research, during which time he developed the policies and guidelines for the College’s PhD program and helped establish the master’s in Sustainable Engineering program. In 2011 he became site director of Villanova’s Center for Energy Smart Electronic Systems (ES2), which was launched with four other universities as a National Science Foundation Industry/ University Cooperative Research Center. In 2012 he was named the University’s inaugural Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Programs and served in that role until 2016.

An internationally recognized researcher in the areas of thermal management of data centers and electronic systems, convective and conjugate heat transfer in complex flows, experimental measurements in the thermal sciences, and thermal management in energy systems, Dr. Ortega has taught heat transfer, thermodynamics, fluid mechanics and thermal-fluid system design, and has served as a frequent professional short course lecturer in the areas of electronics cooling and experimental measurements. During his 11 years with the College, he supervised more than 40 MS and PhD candidates, five postdoctoral researchers and more than 70 undergraduate research students. 

A prolific contributor to the electronics thermal/thermo-mechanical management community, Dr. Ortega is an international conference speaker and the author of more than 200 journal and symposia papers, book chapters and monographs. He is the recipient of the National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award, the ASME Electronic Packaging Division Thermal Management Award, the SEMITHERM Significant Contributor Award, the Harvey Rosten Award for Excellence, and most recently, the 2017 IEEE ITherm Achievement Award. An ASME Fellow, Dr. Ortega has been an associate editor for a number of the association’s journals, and has chaired a variety of leading committees and symposia. He currently chairs the ASME Heat Transfer Division Honors and Awards Committee. 

Offering his congratulations, Gary A. Gabriele, PhD, Drosdick Endowed Dean of Villanova’s College of Engineering, says “While we will miss Al personally and professionally, Santa Clara’s School of Engineering is in excellent hands.”