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Dean's Message

Posted on: August 31, 2010

In June we celebrated the graduation of more than 500 students from our eight departments in the 48th College of Engineering commencement ceremony. This is the most important event of the year in which we celebrate the success of our core mission—preparing future engineers. These graduates are off to careers in industry, graduate school and a wide variety of opportunities available to students with this rigorous preparation. We wish them all the best of luck as they build their careers and look forward to hearing their success stories. Meanwhile, in a few weeks, a new academic year begins and we will welcome another group of bright, promising future engineers.

The 2010 Engineering Commencement included the awarding of three Distinguished Engineering Alumni Medals to former students who have used their UC Davis education to build their own highly successful careers. The Alumni Medal recognizes alumni whose professional and personal achievements bring special honor to the College. This year we expanded the scope of the medal to include alumni in three categories: Academia, Business and Public Service. Michael Chajes, engineering dean at the University of Delaware and a national leader in engineering education and civil engineering, received the Distinguished Engineering Alumni Medal for Academic Achievement. Silicon Valley entrepreneur Tim Bucher, a serial entrepreneur, has created five successful consumer companies over the last 24 years which have either gone public or been sold to technology giants such as Apple, Microsoft, and Dell where he then served in executive roles for Steve Jobs, Bill Gates, and Michael Dell received the Medal for Achievement in Business. Flight test engineer, aviator and former Navy pilot Jeffrey G. Canclini has had a distinguished career in aviation; he received the Medal for Achievement in Public Service. We are very proud of and grateful to these exceptional alumni. See photos from Commencement on the UC Davis College of Engineering Flickr photostream.

In early May, the College of Engineering honored the achievements of a former dean, with a ceremony marking the naming of former Engineering III for Dean Mohammed S. Ghausi, who lead the College from 1983 to 1996. Dean Ghausi gave a lively talk for the assembly of guests that included family, colleagues, UC Davis and College of Engineering leaders, faculty and staff. Read more about Dean Ghausi.
See photos from Ghausi Hall dedication.

In mid-June, UC Davis’ Department of Biomedical Engineering and chair Kyriacos Athanasiou hosted bioengineering faculty and students from around the UC system at the 11th Annual UC Systemwide Bioengineering Symposium. The Annual Symposium, first hosted by UC Davis 11 years ago, provides a forum for the presentation and dissemination of research on a wide variety of topics related to bioengineering, including tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, nanotechnology and MEMS, bioinformatics and genomics and many others. See photos of the event taken by biomedical engineering professor Volkmar Heinrich.

In early August we welcomed incoming engineering freshman for summer orientation. An essential first step in a successful beginning for the class of 2014, freshman orientation provides guidance on campus and College resources, academic advising, placement exams and much more.

We also hosted a group of younger students on campus this summer as part of COSMOS, the California State Summer School for Mathematics and Science, a program for high achieving math and science students in 9th through 12th grades. The purpose of this four-week experience is to stimulate and motivate the most creative minds of the next generation of scientists, engineers and mathematicians. College of Engineering faculty and staff are involved in this exciting program.

Finally, the College recently began some significant administrative changes that are a direct response to the budget reductions with which we continue to cope. A shared services approach to administrative services is being implemented across campus to consolidate and streamline tasks, and the College of Engineering has taken this approach with several critical functions across eight departments. While budget reductions have forced difficult decisions, the catalyst for change must always be the value of our mission—cutting edge research and the education of future engineers.

To read more about this decision, the process we followed and immediate plans for the future, see the PDF linked below.

As always, thank you for your interest in and support for the College of Engineering.

Yours truly,

Bruce R. White
Dean of the UC Davis College of Engineering

PDF Downloads: (PDFs may require the free Adobe Reader)