Reginald (Reggie) DesRoches is the eighth president of Rice University, where he also serves as a professor of civil and environmental engineering, and professor of mechanical engineering. As president, DesRoches serves as the chief executive officer of the university and its 7,500 students, seven schools and more than 700 faculty. DesRoches’ top priority as president is to help Rice reach a new level of distinction nationally and internationally for impactful research, award-winning scholarship and insightful creative work. He leads the strategic efforts to ensure that the academic and research programs are world-class, and aligned with the university’s commitment to diversity, inclusion and equity. He previously served as Rice’s Howard Hughes Provost and William and Stephanie Sick Dean of Engineering. In these positions he initiated and expanded the development of several undergraduate and graduate classes and programs.
His primary research interests are in the design of resilient infrastructure systems under extreme loads and the application of smart materials, where he has published over 300 articles. Reggie is a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers and the society’s Structural Engineering Institute. He received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE) in 2002 — the highest honor bestowed upon scientists and engineers in the early stages of their careers. Most recently, he was an elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2020. He has been the recipient of the Distinguished Arnold Kerr Lecturer Award in 2019, the John A. Blume Distinguished Lecturer in 2018, as well as the 2018 Earthquake Engineering Research Institute Distinguished Lecturer Award – one the highest honors in the earthquake engineering field.