Beginning March 2013, Ian Robertson is serving as the ninth dean of the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering.
Robertson, formerly Donald B. Willett professor of engineering at the University of Illinois and director of the National Science Foundation Division of Materials Research, leads a growing college with more than 4,000 undergraduates, 1,500 graduate students, and an annual budget totaling more than $200 million.
Robertson’s research focuses on how microstructure evolves in materials exposed to extreme conditions— stress, strain rate, gaseous and chemical environments and radiation—to enhance understanding of macro-scale property changes. He is author of more than 240 research publications on materials science topics and was named fellow of ASM International in 2009.
From 2011-13, Robertson was director of the Division of Materials Research for the National Science Foundation. From 2003-2009, he served as Department Head for the Department of Materials Science and Engineering, University of Illinois. He has been a member of the materials science faculty since 1983.
Robertson has received numerous teaching and research awards, including DOE awards for outstanding scientific accomplishment in metallurgy and ceramics (DOE Basic Energy Sciences, 1982) for contributions to our understanding of mechanisms of hydrogen embrittlement (DOE EE Fuel Cell Program, 2011), and is the 2014 recipient of the ASM Edward DeMille Campbell Memorial Lectureship.
He received his bachelor’s in applied physics, Strathclyde University, Glasgow, Scotland in 1978; and Doctor of Metallurgy, University of Oxford, Oxford, England, in 1982.