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Dean Ronald Welch

Dean of The Citadel School of Engineering & Louis S. LeTellier Chair
Joined The Citadel: July 1, 2011

Retired Army Col. Ronald W. Welch began work July 1, 2011 as the 2nd Dean of The Citadel School of Engineering. 

Dean Welch comes to The Citadel from the University of Texas at Tyler where he was a professor and chairman of the newly founded Department of Civil Engineering within the College of Engineering and Computer Science. Before that he was a professor at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point.

Dean Welch is a graduate of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point where he earned a bachelor of science in engineering mechanics. He received his masters and doctor of philosophy in civil engineering from the University of Illinois. 

In addition to teaching, Welch’s research focus has been on behavior of structural systems, Homeland Security initiatives, and educational activities surrounding faculty development, curriculum redesign associated with the Civil Engineering Body of Knowledge, and teaching pedagogy. Since 1999, he has served as a mentor, program developer and coordinator of the nationally renowned Excellence in Civil Engineering Education (ExCEEd) Teaching Workshop sponsored by the American Society of Civil Engineers.  

During two assignments at West Point, Dean Welch served in leadership positions as Group Director of the Mechanics Group and then the Civil Engineering Design Group, Director of the Civil Engineering Division, and Deputy Head of the Civil and Mechanical Engineering Department. After nearly 25 years on active duty in the Corps of Engineers he retired in 2007. 

While in the Army he served in numerous leadership positions, including operations officer responsible for the construction of schools, dispensaries and wells in El Salvador and Ecuador and various platoon, company and battalion level positions where he was responsible for training and welfare of soldiers and supported combat engineering operations and construction projects. 

During Welch's tenure as Dean, The Citadel School of Engineering has grown more than 100 percent and has more than doubled its offerings. New programs developed in the past five years include undergraduate programs in Construction Engineering and Mechanical Engineering and master’s degrees in Civil, Electrical, and Mechanical Engineering.

Additionally, Dean Welch led the development of a new fabrication shop and the acquisition of an autoclave. Since 2013, The Citadel School of Engineering has been ranked nationally in the top 25 engineering programs with the master’s degree being the highest degree.

Dean Welch has been married for over 35 years to his best friend Laura (Abate). They have two daughters and four grandchildren ages 8, 6, 4, and 18 months. He loves to golf, run, and exercise, but currently most of his free time is spent being Poppi to his grandchildren and mentoring young engineers.

Contact Information

Telephone: (843) 953-6488

Office: Grimsley 128A

Education & Degrees

Doctorate of Philosophy, Civil Engineering
University of Illinois

Master of Science, Civil Engineering
University of Illinois

Bachelor of Science, Engineering Mechanics
United States Military Academy at West Point

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