Meet The Leadership

Eric A. Roe, Executive Director, Cockrell School of Engineering TxEEE

Dr. Eric A. Roe UT AustinDr. Eric A. Roe has extensive experience in creating high-performance / high-profile programs and collaborative partnerships to make professional and workforce education relevant for employers and the economy through systemic reforms that align competencies with talent development pathways. He is currently the Executive Director of the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Texas Engineering Executive Education (TxEEE) department at the University of Texas at Austin.

At UT Austin, Dr. Roe is a member of the Cockrell School of Engineering’s Leadership Team and responsible for the college’s executive engineering Master’s degree programs, engineering professional development, conferences, Petroleum Extension (PETEX), Health & Safety Training, and customized corporate training.

Prior to UT Austin, Dr. Roe was the Director of Applied Technology and founder of the statewide Manufacturing Talent Development Institute. In these roles, he instituted one of the first public competency-based degree programs when he transformed a traditional Engineering Technology program to competency-based Open-Entry/Early-Exit, served the state through creation of a statewide resource center bridging industry and talent development systems, and served as PI or Co-PI of six NSF and USDOL grants to strengthen STEM training and education programs. These initiatives have created the toolkit for a unified educational system that provides the curriculum, continuing & professional education programs, educational articulation pathways, and certifications needed to deliver required workplace competencies for STEM and manufacturing careers.

Dr. Roe held various positions in manufacturing research, technical services, and engineering before joining the education sector. Dr. Roe earned his Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of South Florida. He has served as keynote speaker and technical lecturer at regional, national, and international conferences in economic and workforce development, education, and engineering.

Jamie Southerland, Chief Business Officer, Project 2021

Jamie Southerland, CBO UT AustinJamie Southerland was appointed as the Chief Business Officer for Project 2021. Working alongside Dr. Jamie Pennebaker, Executive Director of Project 2021 and Special Advisor to the Provost for Educational Innovation, Southerland will help lead the development of next-generation undergraduate programs through course design, technology integration and rigorous evaluation.
Since October 2014, Southerland has served as the Associate Vice President for Shared Services and Business Transformation where he led the development and implementation of shared administrative and IT services, as well as other business transformation initiatives.

Project 2021, which will be located in the Provost’s Office, has been formed to coordinate the units that help create, implement, and evaluate new teaching and learning methods through work with faculty, departments and colleges. Southerland will bring his business leadership expertise to Project 2021 as it introduces novel small and large classes — both online and in person — that will further the university’s reputation as a leader in higher education. Project 2021 is envisioned as a five-year endeavor to establish the infrastructure for innovation across the campus. At the outset, it will work closely with Extended Campus, Learning Sciences and the Faculty Innovation Center.

Southerland began his new role in February 2016 and will remain as a senior advisor for shared services which includes Academic Technology Support (ATS) and the Central Business Office (CBO).

Stephen Walls, Assistant Director of Career Accelerator Programs, McCombs School of Business

Dr. Stephen Walls UT AustinDr. Stephen Walls currently serves as a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Marketing and as the Assistant Director for Career Accelerator Programs and Instructional Innovation at the McCombs School of Business. He teaches courses on Design Thinking for Business Innovation, Digital Marketing, Marketing Principles, and Brand Management within the BBA, MBA, and Executive Education programs, along with the Masters in Engineering Management program.  He has received a number of teaching awards since joining the McCombs faculty in 2002.  Dr. Walls completed his Ph.D. in Educational Psychology and his MBA at the University of Texas and his BBA in Marketing at Texas A&M University.

Dr. Walls also serves as a Senior Consultant with Upstream Thinking on design projects with companies and organization interested in identifying growth opportunities, envisioning new customer experiences, and facilitating continuous innovation.  He also continues to consult with businesses and speak at industry conferences on a range of marketing topics, including design thinking for innovation, understanding your customers, and managing your brand.  He brings together practical, corporate lessons with established and emerging marketing strategy and design concepts and theories.  His varied industry experience includes marketing, human resources, and technology management positions at Dell, Vignette,, American Airlines, and Walmart.

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