Santa Clara University’s School of Engineering Welcomes New Dean to Mission Campus

SANTA CLARA, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Santa Clara University is pleased to announce that Dr. Alfonso Ortega,
the James R. Birle Professor of Energy Technology and the founding
Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Programs at Villanova
University, will be appointed Dean of Santa Clara’s School of
Engineering and John M. Sobrato Professor.

Ortega, whose term will begin on Aug.1, 2017, will provide overall
academic, administrative, and financial leadership for the School of
Engineering. He will report directly to Dr. Dennis Jacobs, University
Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Ortega greatly expanded graduate education and research at Villanova
University. Moreover, he is in the vanguard of researchers seeking to
solve the increasingly complex problem of cooling electronics integral
to daily life, such as in laptop computers, mobile devices, and data

Through 30 years of research contributions to the field, and his
establishment of the National Science Foundation (NSF) Center for Energy
Smart Electronic Systems at Villanova University, Ortega has forged deep
relationships with the U.S. electronics industry and garnered
significant support from Silicon Valley technology companies such as
Cisco, HP, Intel, Facebook, and Microsoft.

“Joining the community of Santa Clara University, the Jesuit university
in Silicon Valley, is a dream come true,” said Ortega. “The need for
highly trained engineers and scientists in core STEM fields has never
been greater in our country. Santa Clara is at the forefront of
developing inspiring and ethical STEM leaders who will lead the next
wave of innovation. I am so excited to be a part of that mission in the
heart of Silicon Valley, the very epicenter of that innovation. The
prospect of helping Santa Clara broaden and deepen its relationships
within the Valley is an opportunity that I relish. I have deep Bay Area
roots, both professional and personal, and have a great affection for
the area.”

Among his many accolades, Ortega was named a fellow of the American
Society of Mechanical Engineers. He was also the recipient of the
inaugural Distinguished Service Award from Southern Arizona Math,
Engineering, and Science Achievement (MESA) for his contributions to the
math and science development of Southern Arizona’s underrepresented
middle and high school students and their teachers. This award has since
been named in his honor.

“Santa Clara University will benefit greatly from Dr. Ortega’s passion
for engineering education, deep embrace of the School’s Jesuit Catholic
mission, and vast administrative experience,” said Michael Engh, S.J,
president of Santa Clara University. “He brings impressive credentials
from his years serving as Program Director at the National Science
Foundation and from his roles as Associate Dean of Engineering and
Associate Vice President for Research and Graduate Programs at Villanova

Ortega will succeed Dr. Godfrey Mungal, who has served as Dean of the
School of Engineering at Santa Clara University for the past 10 years.

Ortega earned a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering from the
University of Texas at El Paso, and master’s and Ph.D. degrees in
Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University. He previously served as
a Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Arizona and
at Villanova University, as well as serving as Program officer in the
Directorate for Engineering at the National Science Foundation.

About Santa Clara University

Santa Clara University, a comprehensive Jesuit, Catholic university
located 40 miles south of San Francisco in California’s Silicon Valley,
offers its more than 8,800 students rigorous undergraduate curricula in
arts and sciences, business, theology, and engineering, plus master’s
and law degrees and engineering Ph.D.s. Distinguished nationally by one
of the highest graduation rates among all U.S. master’s universities,
California’s oldest operating higher education institution demonstrates
faith-inspired values of ethics and social justice. For more
information, see


Santa Clara University
Deepa Arora, 408-554-5125