From the Interim Dean

Greetings!

In lieu of being able to personally interact with you, our alumni and friends, I thought it would be a good idea to update everyone in writing on the Samueli School of Engineering’s progress.

As we are well into the fall quarter, despite the unprecedented challenges we are facing, I’m pleased to report that we are doing well. We’ve achieved a well-coordinated balance between safety measures and maintaining academic integrity, allowing us to continue providing students with the rigorous educational experience for which UCI engineering is known. 

The UCI campus has put into place, with the advice of experts, a carefully thought out plan for bringing back a limited number of students to student housing with regular asymptomatic testing. In the Samueli School, most of our courses are online this year, with a small number of lecture- and project-based courses offered in a hybrid or in-person format. We are taking every precaution with these courses; the health and well-being of our students, their families and the UCI community is our primary goal.

Since we transitioned to teaching online last spring, the faculty have risen to the occasion, being innovative in development of new teaching techniques that lend themselves to online learning, while still providing experiential learning to our students. Some examples can be found on this undergraduate student affairs blog

I’m happy to share that we have 10 new faculty whom we have welcomed to the Samueli School so far this year, including three who have been appointed directors of research centers. Thomas Milner, Departments of Surgery and Biomedical Engineering, is director of the Beckman Laser Institute & Medical Clinic; Naomi Chesler, Department of Biomedical Engineering, is director of the Edwards Lifesciences Center for Advanced Cardiovascular Technology; and Voja Stamenkovic, Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, is leading the new Horiba Institute for Mobility and Connectivity, opening in January 2021.

Also, there’s good news regarding research funding for the 2019-2020 academic year. The UCI campus overall increased its research funding 20%, from $441M in the previous year to $529M. The Samueli School has increased research funding by 28%, from $40M in the previous year to $51M. At the present time, research labs on campus are at 30% of normal capacity, with all appropriate precautions being followed. Nevertheless, research is still going strong in the Samueli School, and the faculty have found ways to keep their research moving forward by careful scheduling of personnel in the labs and making optimum use of staff working from home whenever possible.

I look forward to the day we can gather in person again. In the meantime, please feel free to reach out to me at engcomms@uci.edu with any questions or comments.

Zot! Zot! Zot!

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