Jayathi Murthy, incoming dean of the UCLA School of Engineering and Applied Science (starting January 2016). (Courtesy: Wyatt McSpadden | UCLA Engineering)

An Indian-American professor has been appointed as the dean of engineering and applied science department at University of California, writes Seema Hakhu Kachru. #UCLA, @JayathiMurthy, #JayathiMurthy, @Siliconeer

Jayathi Murthy, Department Chair of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, who also holds the Ernest Cockrell Jr. Memorial Chair in Engineering, has been named dean of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering and Applied Science at the University of California.

Her appointment becomes effective January 1, 2016. She will be succeeding current dean Vijay Dhir.

Murthy joined the Cockrell School in 2012, becoming the first woman to head the mechanical engineering department at The University of Texas at Austin.

Murthy has launched significant initiatives to expand hands-on and project-based learning opportunities and to increase female enrollment, the University of California said in a statement.