Meet the Dean

photo: Donna Riley

Donna Riley

Jim and Ellen King Dean of Engineering and Computing

Professor, Department of Civil, Construction and Environmental Engineering
Centennial Engineering Center, Suite 3071
Ph: (505) 277-5522
Fax: (505) 277-5521

Donna Riley is a leader in engineering education and inclusive excellence. She was a founding faculty member of the Picker Engineering Program at Smith College, the first engineering program at a U.S. women’s college, where she spent 13 years. In 2005, she received a National Science Foundation (NSF) CAREER award for developing critical pedagogies for engineering classroom implementations. She is a fellow of the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) and was elected vice president of scholarship for ASEE in 2023.

Before joining UNM, she was the Kamyar Haghighi Head and Professor in the School of Engineering Education and Professor by courtesy in Environmental and Ecological Engineering at Purdue University. Previously, she was professor and interim head in the Department of Engineering Education at Virginia Tech. From 2013-2015 she was program director for engineering education at the NSF.

Riley is the author of two books, Engineering and Social Justice and Engineering Thermodynamics and 21st Century Energy Problems. She is the recipient of the 2016 Alfred N. Goldsmith Award from the IEEE Professional Communications Society, the 2012 Sterling Olmsted Award from ASEE, and the 2010 Educator of the Year award from Out to Innovate.


  • Ph.D. Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, 1998
  • M.S. Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University, 1995
  • B.S.E. Chemical Engineering, Princeton University, 1993