This Fall marks my last quarter as dean of the College of Engineering. After being invited by Chancellor May to be reappointed for a second five-year term, I will be stepping down at the end of December to begin a sabbatical in January and then return to teaching and research in the Department of Chemical Engineering. A national search for a new dean will commence this fall under the leadership of Provost Mary Croughan, who will also consult with members of the college and campus community to identify interim leadership effective January 1, 2021.
The college has seen tremendous growth in the number of students and faculty in the past five years, coupled with research achievements that have increased our visibility. Our college currently serves 4,647 undergraduate students and 1,195 graduate students (723 Ph.D. and 472 M.S.) under the guidance of 225 faculty members across eight disciplines.
With our ongoing commitment to mentoring women in engineering—30.1 percent of our undergraduates identify as women—we strive to create an environment that is welcoming to and supportive, coupled with an unwavering dedication to student success and diversity that sets us apart from other, large public institutions of higher education.
Our Leadership in Engineering Advancement, Diversity and Retention (LEADR) Student Support Program recruits, retains and graduate a diverse population of students from the college by focusing on first-year students and historically underrepresented groups, who make up 22.8 percent of our undergraduate population.
On the research front, I am optimistic that our efforts to bring a sustainable, healthier and more resilient world within reach are coming to fruition. From energy, climate and transportation to biomedicine, agriculture technology and space exploration, I am pleased to report that our faculty have generated $107M in research awards this year, an all-time high for the college.
This issue of Engineering Progress is about all the great work our faculty are doing to address current challenges of our time. We expect more great achievements through this academic year and hope you will continue to engage with us by mentoring students in our Mentor Collective program and following the progress of our Engineering Student Design Center expansion.
It’s been a genuine pleasure working with and hearing from so many of you in the last five years. I am fully confident that our college and university will continue to achieve even greater heights of excellence in the years ahead.
Jennifer Sinclair Curtis
Dean, UC Davis College of Engineering