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Kimberly L. Foster, Ph.D.

Dean, School of Science and Engineering
Professor, Physics and Engineering Physics
Professor, Biomedical Engineering (by courtesy)

Dean Kimberly FosterKimberly Foster (formerly Turner) became the new Dean of the Tulane University School of Science and Engineering on August 1, 2018. Foster grew up in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering from Michigan Technological University in 1994. She then studied Theoretical & Applied Mechanics at Cornell University, receiving a PhD in 1999.

While at Cornell, she became fascinated by the “very small” and spent most of her time there building and inventing methods of characterizing microelectromechanical devices. Following her PhD, she moved to UC Santa Barbara, where as an assistant professor, she began a laboratory effort focused on understanding and exploiting nonlinear dynamics for a wide range of microscale sensors. She became Associate Professor in 2004, and Full Professor in 2008. She served as Vice Chair of the mechanical engineering department from 2006-2008 and department Chair from 2008-2013. She also co-Chaired UCSB’s BRAIN Initiative, and until her departure from UCSB in 2018, was Associate Director of the Center for Bioengineering at UCSB. She was the Sensors Task order Leader for the UCSB-MIT-Caltech ARMY Institute for Collaborative Biotechnology from 2004-2009.

Foster has always worked on research that falls at the boundaries between fields and has many research collaborators worldwide. She has over 175 refereed publications in journals including Nature and PNAS. Her research has been featured on TV shows, NPR (Canada), and many international publications. She has mentored 21 students to completion of PhD’s, and her interdisciplinary research has been funded by NSF, ARMY, AFOSR, DARPA, as well as the Keck Foundation. She is an elected Fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, is on the founding Editorial Board of Sensors Letters Journal, and on the editorial board of Microelectronic Engineering journal. She also serves on the Board of the Transducer Research Foundation which sponsors conferences, workshops, and supports graduate student participation in conferences and workshops. Foster is also a creative inventor, and holds 12 US patents. She is the recipient of a number of awards including the NSF CAREER award, and in July 2018 was featured as one of 120 worldwide “Women of Impact” in a recent book. She is an award-winning teacher and mentor, having won the UCSB Academic Senate Distinguished awards for both Teaching (2005) and Graduate Mentoring (2013).

Kimberly Foster’s current scholarly research interests include nonlinear microelectromechanical systems, micro/nanoscale mechanics and biomedical technology development. As a leader, she is committed to and passionate about interdisciplinary research and education for scientists and engineers, and on the continued evolution of engineering and science education at all levels.

Expertise: Biomedical micro devices. Interdisciplinary research. Microsensors.

Updated August 2018