Dean of Engineering Research Advisory Council Established

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As the College of Engineering continues to emerge as one of the nation’s leaders in academic research, Dean Kenneth R. Lutchen has announced the creation of the Dean of Engineering Research Advisory Council (DERAC). Serving as a faculty resource, the new council will initiate new interdisciplinary research projects and help identify larger, College-wide grants and programs.

“This group of esteemed faculty researcher will be instrumental in helping the College capitalize on its signature spirit of collegiality and collaboration,” said Lutchen. “The council will help us identify and pursue the kinds of cross-cutting research initiatives that will make an impact on society.”

The creation of the Division of Systems Engineering, and the Division of Materials Science and Engineering during the last academic year further facilitated interdisciplinary research. With College expertise that includes bioengineering, micro- and nano-technology, sensors and acoustics, photonics, imaging, and computational modeling, DERAC will identify and catalyze funding proposals for faculty and encourage them to pursue interdisciplinary research initiatives in larger areas.

“A distinguished group of faculty has accepted invitations to serve on this committee,” said Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Programs Selim Ünlü (ECE) said. “It reflects the College’s dedication to high-impact interdisciplinary research.”

The 17-member DERAC was formed on the recommendation of the Executive Committee of the College. The council is co-chaired by Lutchen and Ünlü. Council members include Professor Sandor Bajda (BME); Professor Soumendra Basu (ME); Professor Thomas Bifano (ME); Professor Irvin Bigio (BME); Professor David Castañón (ECE); Professor Clem Karl (ECE); Associate Professor Robin Cleveland (ME); Associate Professor Amit Meller (BME); Associate Professor Yannis Paschalidis (ECE); Associate Professor Ari Trachtenberg (ECE); Associate Professor Xin Zhang (ME); Assistant Professor Hatice Altug (ECE); Assistant Professor Luca Dal Negro (ECE); Assistant Professor Elise Morgan (ME); and Assistant Professor Kamal Sen (BME).

The council will meet once per semester. DERAC members will also lead large-scale grant initiatives and serve as ENG ambassadors by presenting the College’s research portfolio at conferences, symposiums and peer institutions.

“DERAC will be instrumental in identifying strategic areas for major research initiatives,” Ünlü said. “It will help identify and achieve strategic goals throughout the College.”