John Bennett is the Director of the Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society, or ATLAS, Institute at the University of Colorado at Boulder. The ATLAS Institute serves as a campus-wide entrepreneurial catalyst and incubator for innovative interdisciplinary research, educational, creative, and outreach programs. ATLAS brings together students, educators, artists, writers, scholars and leaders from the academy, industry, non-profits, and government who seek to develop ways in which information and communication technology can help advance all people, disciplines and communities.
Bennett is the Archuleta Professor of Computer Science, and holds joint faculty appointments in electrical and computer engineering and interdisciplinary telecommunications. Prior to becoming ATLAS Director, Bennett served for five years as the Associate Dean of Engineering and Applied Science. As Associate Dean, Bennett led the creation of the engineering honors program and a faculty-mentoring program, and directed a variety of service, assessment, recruitment and outreach programs. He also created the Engineering Fellows program, and established a new initiative designed to improve science and engineering education in rural Colorado schools.
Bennett currently is President of the national Governing Board of Engineers Without Borders-USA, a nonprofit, humanitarian organization established to partner with developing communities worldwide to improve their quality of life. These partnerships involve implementing sustainable engineering projects and training globally aware and responsible engineers and engineering students.
Bennett holds bachelor's and master's degrees from Rice University in electrical and computer engineering and a doctorate in computer science from the University of Washington, Seattle. He was co-founder and president of Pacific Mountain Research of Seattle, which provided hardware and software engineering services to startup technology companies. Prior to graduate school Bennett was an officer in the U.S. Navy. He has published more than 50 research papers and holds two patents. His research has focused on distributed information management, distributed robotics, and creating new information and computing technology that advances and empowers women in developing communities.