Meet the Dean | A. James Clark School of Engineering, University of Maryland

Darryll J. Pines has served as dean and the Nariman Farvardin Professor of Aerospace Engineering at the Clark School since January 2009. He first arrived in 1995 as an assistant professor and later served as chair of the Department of Aerospace Engineering from 2006 to 2009.

As dean, Pines has led the development of the Clark School's 2020 Strategic Plan and achieved notable successes in key areas, such as improving teaching in fundamental undergraduate courses and raising student retention, achieving success in national and international student competitions, placing new emphasis on sustainability engineering and service learning, promoting STEM education among high school students, increasing the impact of research programs, and expanding philanthropic contributions to the school.

Thanks in part to these efforts, the Clark School's one-year undergraduate retention rate and four-year graduation rate is 90 percent and 60 percent, respectively. In addition, the university's Department of Energy Solar Decathlon team placed first worldwide in the 2011 competition, the Clark School's Engineers Without Borders chapter is considered one of the best in the nation, and the Engineering Sustainability Workshop launched by Pines has become a key campus event.

Pines has testified before Congress on STEM education and created the Top 25 Source Schools program for Maryland high schools.  At a national level, he has led an effort as part of the American Society for Engineering Education-ASEE Deans Council’s K-12 STEM Committee to develop a potential College Board AP Exam in Engineering.  He is also the current secretary for the Executive Committee of the National GEM Consortium,  a national non-profit providing programming and full fellowships to support increasing untapped domestic human capital at the graduate level in STEM fields.

Under Pines, the Clark School was a key player in the successful conclusion of the University of Maryland's most recent $1 billion campaign, raising more than $240 million—well over the school's initial fundraising goal of $185 million. The funds raised by the Clark School came from 14,945 donors and support critical areas:

  • $47 million for scholarships and financial support of undergraduate and graduate students
  • $48 million to help recruit and retain faculty
  • $27 million in support of innovation
  • $89 million for building and classroom upgrades

During Pines' leadership of aerospace engineering, the department was ranked eighth overall among U.S. universities and fifth among public schools in the U.S. News and World Report graduate school rankings. Pines has been director of the Sloan Scholars Program since 1996 and served as chair of the Engineering Council, director of the NASA CUIP Program, and director of the SAMPEX flight experiment. He currently serves on the boards of several major corporations. In 2015, Pines was awarded the State of Maryland House of Delegates Speaker's Medallion, presented to a citizen who has made an outstanding contribution to the state.

During a leave of absence from the University in 2003-2006, Pines served as program manager for the Tactical Technology Office and Defense Sciences Office of Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). While at DARPA, Pines initiated five new programs primarily related to the development of aerospace technologies, for which he received a Distinguished Service Medal. He also held positions at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), Chevron Corporation, and Space Tethers, Inc. At LLNL, Pines worked on the Clementine spacecraft program, which discovered water near the south pole of the moon. A replica of the spacecraft now sits in the National Air and Space Museum.

Pines' current research focuses on structural dynamics, including structural health monitoring and prognosis, smart sensors, and adaptive, morphing, and biologically-inspired structures, as well as the guidance, navigation, and control of uninhabited aerospace vehicles. He is a fellow of the Institute of Physics, the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics and has received an National Science Foundation CAREER Award. Pines received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He earned M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in mechanical engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.