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Michael Bragg

The University of Washington continues to undergo a radical transformation under the direction of president Michael Young. And today the university took a big step in one of its critical departments, naming Michael Bragg as dean of the College of Engineering.

Bragg — an aeronautical engineer who specializes in the effects of ice on aircraft — is a professor and interim dean of the College of Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. At Illinois, he taught flight mechanics and aerodynamics.

Bragg’s appointment, which still must meet approval by the UW’s board of regents, comes at a critical time when industry and political forces are clamoring for more science and engineering majors.

“Educating engineers is crucial to our economic future in the state, and Mike is a visionary educator who understands this issue,” said Young in announcing the appointment. “He is coming from one great engineering program to another, and we are certain he will build on the excellent work being done in the college.”

The College of Engineering oversees departments such as computer science, mechanical engineering, bioengineering and electrical engineering.

Technology leaders in the state will also be impressed that Bragg knows his way around the startup world, having previously co-founded two faculty-led startup companies while at Illinois.

As we’ve previously reported, Young is making a big push at the UW to spin out more startup companies, pledging to double the number of startups that emerge from the university.

Let’s see if Bragg, a graduate of The Ohio State University and University of Illinois, can help make that happen.

He certainly will be well paid, earning $340,000 per year.

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