Samuel Graham Jr. will be the next dean of the University of Maryland’s engineering school, the university announced in a campuswide email Thursday.

Graham is currently the chair of the mechanical engineering school at the Georgia Institute of Technology. He was a professor in the school for 11 years before becoming chair.

Graham’s appointment marks the end of a nearly five-month search for the new dean. The position became vacant after Darryll Pines, former dean, became university president last year, and Robert Briber has served as interim dean since March 2020.

Graham will begin the role Oct. 1, according to the email.

[Luke Jensen, UMD’s LGBT Equity Center Director, retires after decades of service]

Graham graduated with a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering from Florida State University in 1993 before receiving masters and doctoral degrees in mechanical engineering from Georgia Tech.

After graduating from Georgia Tech, Graham worked at Sandia National Laboratories. He then returned to Georgia Tech as a professor.

Graham also holds multiple advisory positions, including one at the U.S. Department of Commerce.

His awards and honors include the National Science Foundation CAREER Award and status as a fellow of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers.

His research focuses on micro- and nano-engineering, according to Georgia Tech’s website.

Interim Provost Ann G. Wylie said in the email that Graham is the best person to lead the engineering school.

“[He] aligns with our vision for excellence and an unwavering commitment to a multicultural campus,” Wylie wrote in the email.