URI names Anthony Marchese to lead College of Engineering

New dean hails from CSU’s Walter Scott, Jr. College of Engineering

KINGSTON, R.I. – Aug. 19, 2021 – The University of Rhode Island has announced the appointment of Anthony J. Marchese, Ph.D., as dean of the College of Engineering and Vincent and Estelle Murphy Professor of Engineering. Marchese comes to URI from Colorado State University where he has served as associate dean for academic and student affairs for the Walter L. Scott, Jr. College of Engineering. Marchese will succeed Raymond Wright who is retiring after 14 years as dean. Marchese is expected to begin his duties Jan. 1, 2022.

The University of Rhode Island College of Engineering is home to more than 1,600 undergraduate and 200 graduate students. Over the past decade, the College has seen enrollment nearly double, along with substantial growth in research funding, partnerships, philanthropic support, and investment in new faculty.

“We are thrilled to have Dr. Marchese on board to lead our engineering college,” said URI President Marc Parlange. “His expertise in methane emissions and clean energy aligns closely with our alternative energy and sustainability ambitions. He will continue URI’s leadership to provide opportunities for students and faculty to innovate and engage with industry and policy makers, as part of URI’s commitment to boosting the Rhode Island economy and finding solutions to the world’s most pressing problems.”

“We are so pleased to welcome Dr. Marchese to the University of Rhode Island. As an associate dean at CSU for the last five years, he brings an important ability to build solid relationships with faculty and students, helping to ensure that both succeed,” said Donald H. DeHayes, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Dr. Marchese is a respected administrator, researcher and educator who will be a valuable member of our team and the Council of Deans. We look forward to working alongside him as he leads the URI College of Engineering into the future.”

As dean, Marchese is charged with providing direction, advocacy and oversight for the College of Engineering, faculty, students and staff; promoting the academic, research and community service missions of the College and the University; building partnerships with national and international academic and research institutions, business and industry, federal state and local government, alumni and other constituencies; collaborating with other programs across the University; and enhancing the overall reputation of the University of Rhode Island and the College of Engineering.

A Mount Olive, New Jersey, native, Marchese arrived at CSU in 2008 as an associate professor of mechanical engineering before being promoted to full professor. In the Department of Mechanical Engineering, he was the director of the CSU Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory and founded and directed the Advanced Biofuels Combustion Laboratory, focusing on development of bio-derived, drop-in replacements for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel. Marchese also served as associate department head for graduate studies, overseeing the program in mechanical engineering. He was named associate dean in 2016.

Marchese is an expert in internal combustion engines, biofuels and methane emissions from the oil and gas industry and his work has been broadly disseminated in over 350 journal, conference and invited presentations. Results from his work on methane emissions have been published in Science, Nature Communications and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and have informed state and national policy makers on greenhouse gas emission regulations. Since 2019, he has served as the chair of the U.S. Sections of The Combustion Institute. He is also a dedicated engineering educator and recipient of numerous honors and awards for his excellence in teaching, including the American Society for Engineering Education Kauffman Award for Technology Entrepreneurship. In 2001, he was named a Carnegie Scholar by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. 

Prior to CSU, Marchese taught at Rowan University in Glassboro, New Jersey, where he created the Rowan Undergraduate Venture Capital Fund for rapid development of student inventions. While teaching, he also became the first executive director of the South Jersey Technology Park at Rowan University, overseeing its development and managing all day-to-day operations.

“My family and I could not be more excited to be joining the community at URI. As a first-generation college student, engineering researcher and educator, I am simultaneously humbled and exhilarated at the prospect of stewarding the College of Engineering on its upward trajectory, while staying grounded in its core values as a public, land-grant research university,” said Marchese. “The next generation of college graduates will be charged with solving civilization scale challenges in energy, environment, climate and human health, and I know that the URI community is ready to roll up their sleeves and get to work.”  

URI’s College of Engineering offers more than 25 academic programs across five academic departments, including the University’s world-renowned International Engineering Program. Each of these programs is built around hands-on, dynamic classroom and lab experiences combined with research and internship opportunities that provide students with the kind of well-rounded educational experience needed to begin their careers on the right foot.

In 2019, the College celebrated the opening of the new Fascitelli Center for Advanced Engineering, a six-story, 190,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art facility housing active classrooms, core laboratories, industrial interaction space, makerspaces, research laboratories, as well as 13 conference rooms and a student cafe. That project, along with an addition and upgrades to the College’s historic home, Bliss Hall, were funded primarily by $150 million in bonds approved by Rhode Island voters.

Marchese will be joined by his wife, Liz, an elementary school teacher, teenage sons, Tanner and Sam, and dog Mustard.

Marchese holds a Ph.D. and Master of Arts in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University and Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in mechanical engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute.