Chris Swan is Dean of Undergraduate Education in the School of Engineering and an associate professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) department. He also serves as the School of Engineering’s representative to the new Tufts University Cabinet on Diversity and Inclusion (TUCDI), an effort borne from his own education research on diversifying the audience for STEM education through service-learning efforts. He is also a senior fellow in Tisch College of Civic Life and serves on their diversity and inclusion committee as the faculty representatvie. Previously, he has served as the Associate Dean of Tisch College (2016), Associate Dean of Undergraduate Curriculum Development in the School of Engineering (2012-2015) and as CEE department chair (2002-2007). He received a Doctor of Science (ScD) degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from MIT in 1994 and both Bachelor (BS) and Master (MS) of Science degrees in Civil Engineering from the University of Texas at Austin in 1984 and 1986, respectively.
As noted earlier, his current engineering education research efforts focus on evaluating the impact of service-based learning in engineering education, as well as on applying entrepreneurial principles in examining sustainable and scalable pathways for innovations in engineering education and evaluating faculty perspectives on the inclusion of macroethics in engineering education. Additionally, he has served as a lead instructor for NSF’s national I-Corps™ for Learning (I-Corps L) program, which explores the use of an ‘entrepreneurial mindset’ to examine the sustainability and scalability of innovations in engineering education.
He also performs research on the development/implementation of reuse strategies for waste materials. Most notably, his research efforts have focused on the reuse of fly ash from coal burning facilities with waste plastics. This has led to the development of synthetic lightweight aggregates (SLA), an innovative construction material that can be used in place of traditional sand and gravel.
With respect to university service, he has served as an inagural member of the newly-formed University-wide Faculty Senate, and is a member of the the faculty advisory boards of the Center for the Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) and the Center for Engineering Educaton and Outreach (CEEO).