From the Dean

Priorities for Impactful Discovery and Innovation

We are at a critical moment in the history of the Samueli School of Engineering. UC Irvine is under a mandate to grow and plans a major buildout over the next decade. Our engineering school plays a vital role in this expansion. A generous $30 million Samueli Foundation gift toward the construction of a 180,000-square-foot interdisciplinary science and engineering building is a significant milestone in this effort. With the additional space, we will build upon our distinctive Anteater engineering experience to ensure all students have the knowledge, skills and leadership to tackle today’s global grand challenges.

This year we launched the school’s 2025 Strategic Plan as our roadmap for excellence, and the true strength of our future resides in human connections. These connections instill collaboration across disciplines. Together, we are addressing societal needs, such as water and energy sustainability, accessible health care, and new materials and technology development. By engineering novel solutions for these challenges, we are poised to influence economic growth, create job opportunities and promote prosperity.

Within the plan, we have identifi ed four priorities that will drive the UCI engineering program’s excellence and growth in the 21st century:

  • Harness engineering innovation for a climate-resilient, thriving California
  • Lead the new industrial revolution in technology and manufacturing
  • Advance human well-being by way of a holistic, affordable approach
  • Provide thought leadership in engineering education and outreach

Our faculty continue to pursue groundbreaking research that is timely and impactful, addressing today’s global complexities. This past year, in an international study led by UCI environmental engineers, researchers forecasted large increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, including killer heatwaves. The headline-grabbing fi ndings brought heightened awareness to the dangers of climate change and the need for novel approaches.

The Samueli School is a key player in two U.S. Department of Energy large-scale, multi-institute efforts. Professor Julie Schoenung is heading UCI’s role in the REMADE Institute, whose goal is to forge new clean-energy initiatives critical in keeping the nation’s manufacturing on the cutting edge. Under the leadership of Professor G.P. Li, the campus serves as the Southern California demonstration site for the Clean Energy Smart Manufacturing Institute. Combined, the eff orts total more than $280 million in public-private investment focused on improving energy productivity and creating new jobs in U.S. manufacturing.

The school’s emphasis on experiential learning is attracting high-achieving students who want more than a classroom experience. We are excited about our new Moonshot Initiative, a hands-on program that intends to make UCI the fi rst academic institution to launch a liquid-fuel rocket into space. Thanks to a $1 million gift from Base 11, the program will include a mobile rocket lab for transporting prototypes to test sites and making off -site repairs.

With the strategic plan in place, our aspirations will inspire and encourage Samueli School faculty, students and partners to join in the pursuit of engineering solutions for global grand challenges.

Gregory Washington, Ph. D.
Stacey Nicholas Dean of Engineering