Enrique Gomez named interim engineering associate dean for equity and inclusion

June 13, 2023

By Mariah R. Lucas 

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Enrique Gomez, professor of chemical engineering in the Penn State College of Engineering and of materials science and engineering in the College of Earth and Mineral Sciences (EMS), has been appointed interim associate dean for equity and inclusion for the College of Engineering, effective July 1. 

“Dr. Gomez has an excellent track record of promoting institutional equity and inclusion across his sphere of influence in teaching, research and service at Penn State,” said Anthony Atchley, interim Harold and Inge Marcus Dean of Engineering. “We are pleased to appoint him to this role so that units across the college and around the University can benefit from his leadership and expertise.”

As interim associate dean for equity and inclusion, Gomez will assume oversight of an area previously led by Senior Associate Dean Tonya Peeples, who will become interim Harold and Inge Marcus Dean of Engineering on July 1

"In appointing Dr. Gomez to this important role, the College of Engineering will continue, without pause, its work to create a more diverse and inclusive community of belonging for all," Peeples said. "His experience, leadership vision and strong connections within the college and beyond are sure to benefit our entire community as we look to the future."

Along with leading the college’s Equity Action Plan, which serves to advance inclusion among all engineering stakeholders, including students, postdoctoral scholars, faculty, staff and the surrounding community, Gomez will provide oversight and guidance for the college’s Center for Engineering Outreach and Inclusion. He also will work collaboratively with the dean, other associate deans, academic departments and programs to advance diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging throughout the college. 

“The challenges we are facing today as a society are complex and require many different skills and perspectives to make progress,” Gomez said. “I am excited to build on our tradition of excellence in engineering at Penn State, particularly by supporting inclusion and belonging throughout the college.” 

Gomez joined Penn State in 2009 as an assistant professor of chemical engineering and was later co-appointed as a professor of materials science and engineering in EMS. 

Gomez was named the inaugural associate head for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering (MatSE) in 2021. In this position, he is responsible for furthering a diverse, inclusive and welcoming environment for all materials science students and providing education and engagement regarding equity, inclusion and community. He will step down from this role June 30 to take over responsibilities in the College of Engineering.

For his efforts in his MatSE role, Gomez was awarded the Charles Hosler Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Faculty Award by EMS in April. 

“Professor Gomez is a leading force in transforming how the department promotes and embraces a respectful culture for all students, faculty and staff,” said Susan Sinnott, head of the MatSE department, who nominated Gomez for the award. “His inspiring leadership has completely changed the cultural milieu of the department, where it has become second nature to be caring, inclusive, aware and welcoming of diversity.”

Gomez holds a bachelor’s degree in chemical engineering from the University of Florida and a doctorate in chemical engineering from the University of California, Berkeley. He served as a postdoctoral scholar at Princeton University before joining Penn State. 

“I hope to find ways to encourage engagement within all of our communities in the college and ensure we all have the opportunity to contribute to solving the problems we face, big and small,” Gomez said. 

Gomez’s research lab, the Gomez Group, focuses on connecting the chemistry, structure and macroscopic properties of polymers and soft materials to promote a sustainable society. His group has published more than 150 peer-reviewed journal articles in such journals as Science, Nature Materials and Physical Review Letters.  

Gomez leads the Center for Self-Assembled Organic Electronics, funded by the Office of Naval Research through a five-year, $7.7 million Multidisciplinary University Research Initiatives award.  

Gomez has received numerous awards for his research, including a visiting scientist fellowship from the National Center for Electron Microscopy, the Ralph E. Powe Junior Faculty Award by the Oak Ridge Associated Universities, the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Rustum and Della Roy Innovation in Materials Research Award, the Penn State Engineering Alumni Society Outstanding Research Award, the Arthur K. Doolittle Award and the Cooperative Research Award from the American Chemical Society, and the Creativity Award from the National Science Foundation. He also was elected fellow of the American Physical Society in 2021.  



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