Born and raised in Columbus, IN, Dr. Livesay was a first generation university student, making him acutely aware of the challenges they face. As such, he understands that it is critically important that all students--regardless of background--have the opportunity and support needed to achieve their educational goals. In particular, broadening participation in engineering is a major priority for him and the College. A related emphasis is providing students opportunities to "do engineering" while at Wichita State because doing so leads to better academic and professional outcomes.

Dr. Livesay has spent his entire career working across discipline boundaries, which is another mindset that he brings to his role as dean. In fact, he is currently a tenured professor in both the chemistry and biomedical engineering departments. Prior to Wichita State, he also had primary academic appointments in bioinformatics and computer science. The College of Engineering has a long history of doing interdisciplinary work, and the dean is currently leading a number of efforts to extend that.

Dr. Livesay's research expertise is in the area of protein family sequence/structure/function relationships, with a particular focus on understanding how physical and chemical properties vary with evolutionary divergence. During his research career, his lab was continuously funded by external grants, primarily from the National Institutes of Health and biotech industry. He has served on the editorial board of several prestigious journals, including BMC Bioinformatics and PLOS Computational Biology, two of the top journals in bioinformatics.

Education: Ph.D. in physical chemistry, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (2000)

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Academic Interests and Expertise

Innovation in Engineering and Computing Education

Broadening Participation in Engineering and Computing

Enrollment Management

The Evolving Credentialing Landscape

Research Administration

Areas of Research Interest

Biophysical Modeling and Bioinformatics

Protein Family Sequence/Structure/Function Relationships

Protein Dynamics

Protein Engineering

High Performance Computing

Data Science and Analytics

Professional Experience

Dr. Livesay is a tenured full professor in both the Department of Chemistry and Department of Biomedical Engineering at Wichita State. He has been dean of the College of Engineering since January 2019. Immediately prior, he served as Dean of the Graduate School and Associate Vice President of Research and Technology Transfer. Prior to coming to Wichita in 2016, Dr. Livesay spent a decade at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, "North Carolina's urban research university." There, he was a founding member of the Department of Bioinformatics and Genomics, and he also developed two of the campus's most visible research programs, the Bioinformatics and Computational Biology doctoral program and the Charlotte Research Scholars undergraduate research program. Dr. Livesay began his professional career directly out of graduate school as a member of the chemistry faculty at California State Polytechnic University at Pomona.

Awards and Honors

Outstanding Graduate Teaching Award, College of Computing and Informatics, UNC Charlotte (2014)

7th Annual Goldstein Distinguished Lecture, Cal Poly Pomona (2014); previous Goldstein lecturers are some of the most influential people in computational chemistry, including multiple journal editors and a Nobel laureate

The National Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi (2013)

UNC Charlotte Honors Faculty (2013)

Outstanding Faculty Research Award, College of Computing and Informatics, UNC Charlotte (2010)

Undergraduate Award for All-Around Achievement in Chemistry; Ball State University (1996)

1st Place; Midwest Regional Undergraduate Research Poster Competition; University of Kentucky (1996)

Patents and other Intellectual Property

Jacobs DJ, Livesay DR (2013). Computer implemented system for protein and drug target design utilizing quantitative stability/flexibility relationships. United States Patent 8374828.

Additional Information

Dr. Livesay is married to Lauren (Beastall) with one son (Maxwell). Dr. Livesay spent much of his life racing bicycles, which eventually evolved into a passion for running. Additionally, all three family members love hockey, and they regularly travel to watch their beloved St. Louis Blues play. Maxwell is already an avid hockey player, and Dr. Livesay has recently started skating with delusions of one day playing rec league hockey.