Let Us Introduce You: Theodosios Alexander

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Parks Dean hopes to increase research; practices martial arts

For the newly appointed dean of Saint Louis University’s Parks College of Engineering, Aviation and Technology, Theodosios Alexander, arriving in St. Louis is something of a homecoming.

“Everywhere feels like home,” Alexander said when asked what his favorite area of St. Louis was. “Literally, I came back after 12 years and we turned the navigation on and I said, ‘Oh forget this, I know where I’m going.’”

After holding a position as an associate professor at Washington University from 1988 to 2001, Alexander moved to the United Kingdom to work as a professor at University of Glasgow and then as a professor and chair of Energy Engineering at Queen Mary University of London, England. Last year, he applied to be the dean of Parks College.

According to Alexander, he was interested in SLU because it closely reflected his own goals.

“Saint Louis University has… a clear plan set by the president and the provost that fits well with my personal aspirations,” he said.

He was also attracted by Parks’ rich history.

He said his focus for his first few years in the position will developing research amongst the faculty in their respective fields and enhancing research output which can feed back in to teaching.

“Over time this provides more marketable and more valuable degrees to our students,” he said. “You need to build up both in order to improve in our future.”

Alexander started out in the field of power and propulsion systems with a personal focus unsteady thermofluid mechanics. His current research projects are still grounded in the disciplines he studied most closely in college, though the applications have grown – or perhaps shrunk – considerably.

“I have switched into work on turbomachinery devices for mechanical circulatory support,” he said.

In layman’s terms, Alexander is working on modernizing the heart-support devices which help those suffering from heart disease. Current Ventricular Assist Devices require major open-heart surgery;  their power output is not optimized and they are big and don’t fit well.

Alexander’s current research seeks to alleviate all these problems.

“We have come up with devices that are… installed distant to the heart, they are installed by a minimally invasive surgery, and they are miniature devices, and they are optimized from my experiences in aerodynamics and hydro dynamics.”

Engineering has been a passion for Alexander since childhood.

“From when I was five years old I knew that I wanted to be an engineer because I had seen an engineer measuring to build up my parents house,” Alexander said.

Alexander attended Newcastle upon Tyne University, United Kingdom for his Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering, where he also played soccer with the Greek team.

“We had a wonderful team,” he said, “and we were competing with very successful teams – players from what was then the second division in England that was just below the premiers.”

In his recent years martial arts have become Alexander’s sport of practice, although he still enjoys watching soccer. When he has time for fun, Alexander enjoys the Fox Theater, the Saint Louis Symphony and bike rides along the river road in Alton.