Patricia J. Culligan

Patricia Culligan

Matthew H. McCloskey Dean, College of Engineering

About the Dean

Patricia Culligan became Dean of Notre Dame’s College of Engineering on August 1, 2020. She previously was Chair and Carleton Professor of Civil Engineering and Engineering Mechanics at Columbia University. She is the founding associate director of Columbia’s Data Science Institute; a member of the Executive Committee of  the Earth Institute; and Co-Founder of the Collaboratory @Columbia, which supports the development of cross-cutting curricula for a data-rich world. She also served as the vice dean of academic affairs for Columbia Engineering.

Culligan is actively engaged in efforts in faculty development and diversity as well as community outreach and citizen science programs. She is a member of Women in Tech, a university-industry task force to celebrate and support female engineers and applied scientists across the New York City global tech-hub.

Master Integrator: New engineering dean seeks to bring voices, disciplines, together


Ph.D., University of Cambridge
M.Phil, University of Cambridge
B.Sc (Hons), Civil Engineering, University of Leeds
Diploma in Language, Literature, and Civilization, Université d’Aix-Marseille III

Research Interests

Patricia Culligan’s expertise is in water resources and environmental engineering. She focuses on sustainable urban infrastructure, social networks, and the application of advanced measurement and sensing technologies to improve water, energy, and environmental management.

She co-directs a $12 million research network sponsored by the National Science Foundation that is developing new models for urban infrastructure to make cities cleaner, healthier, and more enjoyable places to live. Through her research, she has developed several techniques to improve understanding of the fundamental mechanisms governing water and contaminant flows in soils and aquifer systems.

Culligan’s work transcends a variety of other research fields, including urban design, policy, microbiology, ecology, and geochemistry. She has served on the National Academies Nuclear and Radiation Studies Board as well as on the board of Governors of the ASCE’s Geo-Institute. She also has chaired the National Academies Standing Committee on Geological and Geotechnical Engineering.

She is the author of seven books, seven book chapters, and numerous journal articles, publications and reports.