Mary Galvin appointed dean of College of Science

Author: Dennis Brown

Mary Galvin

Mary Galvin
Mary Galvin

An accomplished scientist with extensive experience in the academic, government and private sectors, Mary E. Galvin has been appointed the William K. Warren Foundation Dean of the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame by Rev. John I. Jenkins, C.S.C., the University’s president.

Galvin, who has served as director for the Division of Materials Research in the National Science Foundation (NSF) since 2013, will assume her new responsibilities Aug. 17. She also will be appointed professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. She succeeds Gregory Crawford, who will expand Notre Dame initiatives in California as vice president and associate provost, effective July 1.

“After a nationwide search, Mary Galvin rose to the top from among many outstanding candidates as the person to lead our College of Science into the future,” Father Jenkins said. “She brings leadership experience in various realms, an entrepreneurial spirit and a commitment to Notre Dame’s mission, all of which make her an ideal leader for the college and the University.

“We welcome her and look forward to many years of close collaboration.”

Thomas G. Burish, the Charles and Jill Fischer Provost of the University, added: “Mary Galvin has a wealth of research, teaching and mentoring, and leadership experiences in academia, industry and government. She combines these with high standards, an impressive work ethic, the ability to relate to disparate disciplines and research areas, and a strong belief in Notre Dame’s Catholic identity. I speak on behalf of the entire search committee in expressing our enthusiasm about and gratitude for her agreeing to serve as dean.”

Galvin, who earned her master’s and doctoral degrees in polymers and materials science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), said: “It is a privilege to be able to serve the talented faculty in the College of Science at the University of Notre Dame. Their dedication to teaching and scholarship is inspiring. I am excited about working with them to achieve the goal of making Notre Dame a premier research university with an unchangeable Catholic character and uncompromised dedication to undergraduate education.

“Fundamental science is critical to solving many of the problems faced by society and the nation. I believe the College of Science faculty will play a significant role in producing this knowledge.”

In her current position with the NSF, Galvin manages a $300 million budget and is responsible for setting scientific priorities. She previously was program director for the NSF’s Materials Research Science and Engineering Centers and a program manager with the Materials Chemistry Program in the U.S. Department of Energy.

Galvin earned her bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Manhattanville College and did graduate work in chemistry at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. After earning her doctoral degree from MIT, she joined Bell Laboratories, where she served for 14 years and became a distinguished member of the technical staff. In 1998, Galvin joined the University of Delaware as a professor of materials science and engineering and in 2004 was promoted to distinguished professor.

At both Bell Labs and the University of Delaware, Galvin established research programs on the structure and property relationships that govern the performance of organic materials in light-emitting diodes (LEDs), photovoltaic cells and thin film transistors. She has co-authored many publications in this area as well as on inorganic/organic nanocomposites and polymer blends, and has given numerous invited talks at national and international meetings. She currently holds five U.S. patents.

In 2005, Galvin joined Air Products and Chemicals Inc., serving as technical lead for the development of new electroactive organic products and later becoming a member of the Technology Leadership Team, where she was responsible for creating a vision that could develop new products by leveraging research and development done at global universities and national laboratories.

Galvin is a fellow in the American Physical Society, was elected to the board of directors of the Materials Research Society and has served on National Research Council panels, including the Board of Chemical Science and Technology.

Now celebrating 150 years of science research and education, Notre Dame’s College of Science was established in 1865 and currently includes 282 faculty, 450 graduate students and 1,683 undergraduates. Over the last decade, the college has experienced significant growth in its undergraduate, graduate and research programs.

On the horizon — both in the campus skyline and the near future — is the 2016 opening of McCourtney Hall, a 220,000-square-foot building dedicated to research. It will house and create collaborative space for the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry in the College of Science and the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering in the College of Engineering.

Originally published by Dennis Brown at on June 16, 2015.