Brown University School of Engineering

Toussaint named Senior Associate Dean in the School of Engineering

July 31, 2020

Professor Kimani Toussaint has been named Senior Associate Dean in the Brown University School of Engineering, announced Sorensen Family Dean of Engineering Larry Larson. The appointment begins August 1, and is for a three-year term.

In Toussaint’s role as the Senior Associate Dean, he will work closely with the dean on all matters related to promoting the School of Engineering and its academic mission. As part of the leadership team of the school, he will work with the dean, associate dean, and the director of finance and operations on strengthening existing programs, advancement, and developing new strategic initiatives. Toussaint succeeds Professor Rod Beresford, who had served in the role since 2014.

“I am especially excited to welcome Kimani into this vitally important role in the School, and want to thank Rod Beresford for his six years of service to the School in this critical position,” said Larson. “Kimani brings a lot of energy and fresh ideas, at a time when unprecedented challenges are facing our future engineers. He is committed to helping realize the significant role that engineering education, and engineers themselves, will play in the coming months.” 

Prior to joining Brown, Toussaint was on the faculty at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for 12 years in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering. He directs the laboratory for Photonics Research of Bio/nano Environments (PROBE Lab), an interdisciplinary research group which focuses on both developing nonlinear optical imaging techniques for quantitative assessment of biological tissues, and novel methods for harnessing plasmonic nanostructures for light-driven control of matter. His research has been supported by a diverse array of federal and private funding sources including the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Department of Energy, the National Academies Keck Futures Initiative, and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund. 

“I’m honored to have been asked to step into this role,” Toussaint said. “I never quite saw myself in an administrative position at any university. However, I do think that the School of Engineering here at Brown is very special, and believe that I can work with the Dean to develop new initiatives to solidify Brown as the premier engineering program in the Ivy League.”

Toussaint was a recipient of a 2010 NSF CAREER Award, the 2014-2015 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Visiting Associate Professor at MIT, the 2015 Illinois Dean’s Award for Excellence in Research, the 2017 Illinois Everitt Award for Teaching Excellence, and the 2019 Campus Distinguished Promotion Award (at Illinois). He is also a Fellow of both the Optical Society of America and the SPIE (the International Society for Optics and Photonics), and holds senior member status in the Institute of Electric and Electronic Engineers (IEEE). In addition, he served as the primary investigator and inaugural director of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Nanomanufacturing (nanoMFG) Node at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 2017-2019. 

He earned his Ph.D. in electrical engineering from Boston University in 2004 for his work in quantum optics, and received an NSF minority postdoctoral fellowship in biology during his time at the University of Chicago before joining the faculty at Illinois in 2007.