From the Interim Dean

Greetings!

As we prepare to enter the spring quarter, I wanted to provide an update on the Samueli School’s progress. For the safety of all, we continue to operate in a primarily remote environment with most courses offered online and some lecture- and project-based courses conducted in a hybrid or in-person format. Essential engineering research and activities that pose low risk of virus transmission continue, following the guidance and precautions from the UCI Office of Research. The health and safety of students, instructors and the UCI community remain our primary goal.

This unprecedented year has presented considerable challenges, but I am proud of our resilience. We are working together to creatively educate the next generation of engineers, as well as contributing research innovations that tackle societal grand challenges. 

Among the many faculty accomplishments, I’m thrilled to share that the National Academy of Medicine elected Distinguished Professor Kyriacos Athanasiou as a member for his contributions in inventing, developing and translating technologies that impact orthopedics, maxillofacial surgery, tissue engineering, diabetes and emergency care. Also noteworthy are the recognitions of several of our talented faculty in their early stages of promising careers. Tayloria Adams, William Bowman and Zhou Li received NSF CAREER awards, Stacy Copp was named a Young Investigator by the Airforce Office of Research and Han Li was selected for an Early Career Sloan Research Fellowship.

We are also eagerly anticipating the opening of the new Interdisciplinary Science and Engineering Building (ISEB), which brings researchers together from three schools. ISEB will house more than two dozen faculty from the Samueli School who are focused on two research areas: Engineered Health and Sustainability, with the latter area including water, energy and the environment. In addition, thanks to a generous gift from the school’s ardent supporter Stacey Nicholas, the Office of Access & Inclusion will be renamed in her honor in an April virtual celebration.

I’m proud of our school’s efforts to elevate its commitment to our core value of inclusivity. We are dedicated to dismantling anti-Blackness and institutional systemic racism, and ensuring equitable access and equal opportunity. We’ve established schoolwide and department-level task forces and working groups to listen to the issues, reflect on common practices and develop a course of action to introduce change within our school and greater community. An Equity in Engineering website was created, providing educational resources and avenues for reporting concerns. 

Our engineering students are finding inventive ways to continue their activities. The Engineering Student Council held online events for E-Week, the annual week aimed at increasing public awareness and appreciation for the engineering profession. The school’s virtual Winter Design Review went off smoothly, with more than 800 students working in teams to present over 175 design projects. 

Students have now been in remote instruction for a year and have developed a clearer understanding of what makes it work best for them. They greatly appreciate courses with recorded lectures, allowing them to review details that were confusing the first time. The recordings are also helpful for those in different time zones or who have occasional conflicts. Students value group assignments such as labs or projects that provide opportunities to interact with classmates.

We look forward to the day when the pandemic is behind us and when we meet in person again to continue the Samueli School of Engineering’s excellence.

Stay safe and be well.


Michael M. Green, Ph.D.
Stacey Nicholas Dean of Engineering (Interim)
UCI Samueli School of Engineering