Patricia J. Culligan

Patricia Culligan

Matthew H. McCloskey Dean, College of Engineering

Professor of Civil Engineering

About the Dean

Patricia Culligan became Dean of the University 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. While at Columbia, she was 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 a Chartered Engineer registered with the UK Engineering Council. She is a distinguished member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a fellow of the British Institution of Civil Engineers. Culligan honored as ASCE distinguished member

Research Interests

Patricia Culligan’s expertise is in geo-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. Much of her current research is exploring how green infrastructure can make cities cleaner, healthier, and more enjoyable places to live. She also has worked to improve understanding of the fundamental mechanisms governing water and contaminant flows in soils and aquifer systems. Her work on building energy explores intersections between residential energy use, human behavior, and policy.

With an emphasis on seeking solutions to complex, societal problems, Culligan’s work transcends a variety of research fields, including water resources, urban design, policy, data science, and human behavior. 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 more than 175 technical articles.



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