Kurt J. Colella, CAPT, USCG (ret.), Ph.D., P.E.
Dean of Academics, U. S. Coast Guard Academy
CAPT Colella joined the USCGA faculty in 1988. He earned his B.S. in Ocean Engineering (with high honors) from USCGA in 1981. He earned M.S. degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1985. In 1997, he earned his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Connecticut. His doctoral research involved the study of wall shear stress fluctuations beneath a turbulent boundary layer and their impact on hydroacoustics. He has been a registered Professional Engineer in the state of New Hampshire since 1991. At the Coast Guard Academy, he has taught a variety of courses in ship design, fluid mechanics, thermodynamics and thermal systems, aerodynamics, strength of materials, differential equations, engineering design and calculus. He has acted as faculty advisor for numerous senior design projects and directed study projects in both Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering and Mechanical Engineering. He was Chief of the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering section from 1997 to 2006.
CAPT Colella served aboard the USCGC Active (WMEC-618) as Engineer Officer in Training from 1981 to 1983, and as Engineer Officer aboard the USCGC Alert (WMEC 630) from 1985 to 1988. At USCGA, he has served on numerous boards and committees in service to both cadets and faculty. He chaired the task force that created and implemented the Mechanical Engineering major in 1995. Within the engineering department, he spearheaded the development of an outcomes-based assessment system that led the way to the successful re-accreditation under new criteria of all engineering programs in 2001. CAPT Colella is an experienced program evaluator for the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology. He is a member and active participant in SNAME, ASME and ASEE and a member of the University of Michigan’s Engineering Advisory Board. He has published technical literature in the area of fluid dynamics, and authored several papers concerning design in engineering education as well as engineering program accreditation. In 2000, CAPT Colella was selected as the Coast Guard Engineer of the Year for outstanding service and contributions to his profession. In 2001, he was elected to the Coast Guard Academy Athletic Hall of Fame. He is also the recipient of the USCGA Alumni Association’s Distinguished Faculty Award for 2003. In the local community, CAPT Colella has volunteered as a tutor in mathematics and physics as part of the Partners in Education program, and has coached youth soccer, basketball, and lacrosse. He has also served as a member of the board of trustees for a local education foundation. In 2006, CAPT Colella was selected to be the Coast Guard Academy’s Dean of Academics after a nationwide search, and presently serves in that capacity. He serves on many boards and committees both within the Academy and in the local community. His personal military awards include the Legion of Merit, the Coast Guard Meritorious Service Medal, the Coast Guard Commendation Medal, and three Coast Guard Achievement Medals. He resides in Gales Ferry with his wife, CAPT Mary Ellen Colella USCGR (ret.).