Dean's Corner Spring 2016

Southern Illinois University



March 11, 2016


Dean’s Corner - Spring 2016

This year, our college is very excited about the quantity and quality of new assistant professors joining our ranks.  

We have two new faculty in our Civil and Environmental Engineering Department (Ajay Kalra and Jia Liu); one new faculty member in our Mechanical Engineering and Energy Processes Department (Farhan Chowdhury); and five new faculty in our Electrical and Computer Engineering Department (Iraklis Anagnostopoulos, Gayan Baduge, Kang Chen, Arash Komaee and Chao Lu).  We will be featuring all of these new faculty in future Vector editions, as their research and teaching interests are truly inspirational.

As indicated in our last edition (summer 2015), our American Society of Civil Engineers Concrete Canoe team won the regional competition last spring for the first time in our history and went onto the national competition at Clemson University in late June.  Our team tried its best, but regrettably did not win the competition.  This year the team’s first goal is to repeat a win at the spring regional competition so it can once again represent SIU at the national competition.  Lessons learned at the national level should prove most helpful going forward.  We wish our team well in the spring 2016 regional contest!

Did you miss the fall 2015 edition?  Not really, you simply experienced our subtle transition to a steady state publication model of twice per year (spring and fall), with the Summer 2015 edition in effect also serving as the fall 2015 edition.  We do however appreciate your “missing” the fall edition and hope that you will find future editions worth the slightly longer wait.

As is now our practice, we once again focus upon our “life blood” of people.  Our lead article features a prominent member of our college’s Industrial Advisory Board, Laurie Landgraf, senior counsel at The Boeing Co.  Another story notes how Terry Asher, a 1979 alumnus, committed the first $1 million planned gift to augment our engineering excellence scholarship fund.  This type of philanthropic support is truly transformational for our college in so many ways!  Iraklis Anagnostopoulos, assistant professor of electrical and computer engineering, is our featured new faculty member.  Finally, Steven Smith is our Engineering Student Council President for this year. 

Engineering students have expressed a consistent desire to increase interactions with alumni, prompting our developing an alumni mentoring program (more information to come) while modifying the timing and format for our forthcoming Engineering Banquet (see college calendar) to hopefully be more engaging for alumni.

In closing, please take 30 seconds to respond to our newest “flash survey.” Based upon results from our last survey we are moving forward with a new format for our Engineering Banquet.  This survey will give us an idea if you might be interested in attending our banquet in late spring.  Please visit the college’s website to stay abreast of our many activities and accomplishments.