-Jim O'Hanlon, Interim Dean
Warm weather and the end of another successful academic year in the College of Engineering find us looking forward to the arrival of our new dean, Timothy Wei, on June 1. As you will read in this issue, Dr. Wei brings a wealth of experience and vision to our college and he will be an excellent leader and representative as we continue our college’s upward trajectory.
Again this year we have seen a substantial increase in our research expenditures and doctoral students, both important metrics of our success. Joining the Big Ten will benefit the college in a number of significant ways, as will the development of Innovation Campus. This college has a very bright future as a driver of economic development in the state and beyond and as a center for the education of tomorrow’s engineers. Additional resources will be coming to the college with the establishment of differential tuition for courses in engineering. This will provide the college with about $1.8 million each year while maintaining our tuition as one of the lowest in the Big Ten.
Important program developments are in progress at the college. We are moving seven of our Ph.D. specializations out of the unified Ph.D. program to become stand-alone, department-based programs. We believe this will enable us to recruit students more effectively--and gain more visibility for our work in these programs as well--to keep them on the cutting edge of developments in their fields. The departments of Engineering Mechanics and Mechanical Engineering are being merged into the Department of Mechanical and Materials Engineering. We anticipate this will make that department and its faculty more competitive for grants and other resources, and will enable us to increase the number of students that we serve. Unfortunately, university budget cuts have led to the closing of our Department of Industrial and Management Systems Engineering. The good news from this is that all students currently in the department’s programs will be able to complete their degrees. Also, all of the tenured faculty will be maintained and will transfer to other departments. It is our intention to continue the Master of Engineering program IMSE offes, because we believe it serves an important audience of working engineers.
I have enjoyed the opportunity to work in the College of Engineering this year. It is an exciting place with a great faculty and staff and strong, dedicated students. The college is also blessed with a most supportive alumni base that is highly important to its continuing success. Thank you for your loyalty to the college.