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Eric Klavins appointed as new UW ECE Department Chair

March 25, 2020

Headshot of Professor Eric Klavins

Professor Eric Klavins, UW ECE faculty member and newly appointed UW ECE Department Chair

We are pleased to announce that Professor Eric Klavins has accepted the position of Department Chair of the University of Washington (UW) Department of Electrical & Computer Engineering (ECE), effective April 1, 2020 subject to approval of the Provost.

Klavins has been with UW ECE since 2003 and holds adjunct appointments in the Paul G. Allen School of Computer Science & Engineering and the Department of Bioengineering. As the director for the Center for Synthetic Biology as well as the Biofabrication Center, Klavins fosters meaningful partnerships across campus and with industry. He is a dedicated educator, receiving the Faculty Innovator Award in Teaching and Learning from the UW College of Engineering for his work in course development and undergraduate research. As a scientific advisor to two UW-based startups, he has helped build a culture of entrepreneurship in research and education. Klavins is dedicated to the mission and excellence of ECE, and has a vision for the future of electrical and computer engineering firmly rooted in societal impact.

“UW ECE has incredible research, fantastic students, and a vibrant community all poised to make great advances. Simultaneously, UW ECE, the University and indeed the world are facing great uncertainty with current events. My plan is to ensure stability for our department in the short term, while simultaneously planning for future growth and excellence.” – Eric Klavins

In research, Klavins develops synthetic biological systems. When he first joined the UW, he focused on stochastic processes, robotics and self-assembly, before pivoting to biology and genetic engineering. Today, his work focuses on genetic circuits, protein engineering, mathematical modeling and laboratory automation. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Michigan, and is the recipient of many professional honors, including an NSF CAREER Award, an Allen Distinguished Investigator Award, an Innovation Award from the UW, an Amazon Catalyst Fellowship and a CoMotion Innovation Fund Award.

UW ECE would like to thank the search committee, Per Reinhall (Chair), Maryam Fazel, Ted Kummert, Mahnaz Sherzoi, Mo Li, Lillian Ratliff, and Joshua Smith, for their great work engaging the department and community in the search for UW ECE’s next chair. We would also like to thank all who shared input and opinions with the committee and UW College of Engineering Dean Nancy Allbritton during the selection process.

Finally, UW ECE would like to thank Bruce Darling for his outstanding service as Interim Chair.

Please join us in welcoming Eric Klavins to his new position as chair of UW ECE!