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Dr. Samuel Graham, Jr., Dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park

Dr. Samuel Graham, Jr., Dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland, College Park


Maryland Engineers,

Change isn’t always easy, especially if you’re a creature of habit. I’ve spent the past 18 years as a faculty member at Georgia Tech and made lifelong friends and colleagues through that experience. 

But change is where growth begins — in this case, moving outside of what I know and embracing an opportunity to impact the lives of students and the future of engineering. The change comes with excitement and uncertainty. It’s been my experience, however, that if you work hard, have good resources, and surround yourself with good people and listen to them, the change works out. 

This change begins for me today with all of you in the A. James Clark School of Engineering. I’m excited to join the Clark School community, and to work with and learn from all of you.

For those of you I haven’t met, I’m Samuel Graham, Jr. I play the drums, enjoy live music, and amateur photography. I like to travel and am looking forward to exploring the local area. 

And I’m a proud mechanical engineer. 

I’m a first-generation college student who grew up in a military family. Like you, my curiosity was seemingly endless. Military hardware like planes, tanks and helicopters: I wanted to know how they worked, how they broke down - and if I could build them better. Then I started working on model rockets and airplanes, and It became clear that I was meant to engineer. This all happened during the time of the space shuttle, so working on rockets was exciting and relevant. 

Exciting and relevant is what drew me to Maryland Engineering.

You know well that we’re home to high-caliber students, faculty, staff, alumni, and supporters; a strong reputation; and a track record of outstanding innovation and impact. We’re home to cutting-edge research and widely-recognized interdisciplinary centers and institutes. We’re one of the nation’s leaders for entrepreneurial activities and for graduating underrepresented students in STEM disciplines.

All that attracted me to Maryland. But there was something more.

Society wants and needs solutions to the world’s Grand Challenges; engineers will play a central role in every solution. Even in these first few months since I accepted the dean’s role, it’s clear that when the world looks for solutions to global challenges, it goes to Maryland. The breakthroughs in new battery technologies from the Maryland Energy Innovation Institute, development of new building energy systems technologies, innovations in biotechnology and bioengineering, quantum computing, transportation, rotorcraft and hypersonics, and sustainability are just a few of the areas where the world knows about Maryland. I’m excited to help grow our impact across the college and create more opportunities for Maryland Engineering to impact the world.

Working with you, I’m looking forward to building a shared strategic vision to help accomplish that goal.


Samuel Graham, Jr.

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About Samuel Graham, Jr.

On June 3, 2021, The University of Maryland named Samuel Graham, Jr. dean of the A. James Clark School of Engineering, effective October 1. Graham previously served as Eugene C. Gwaltney, Jr. Chair of the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He holds a joint appointment with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Prior to Georgia Tech, Graham was a Senior Member of Technical Staff at Sandia National Laboratory in Livermore, California. He has served as a member of the Defense Science Study Group, a member of the Air Force Scientific Advisory Board and was the recipient of a National Science Foundation CAREER Award. Presently, he serves on the Advisory Board of the Engineering Science Research Foundation of Sandia National Laboratories and the Emerging Technologies Technical Advisory Committee of the U.S. Department of Commerce. He is a Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a Senior Member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.

October 1, 2021

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