2018 Achievements

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At the end of each year we set aside time to reflect on both our challenges and achievements, and thank those whose support has made our progress possible.   We are tremendously grateful for the support and dedication that our College of Engineering family has provided this past year. 

These are among the many successes we have achieved together in 2018:

MSU Engineering snowflakeLeadership growth: 

Several important college leadership positions were established in 2018 –Yue Qi was chosen as Associate Dean for Inclusion and Diversity; Theo Caldwell was named Assistant Dean for Student Inclusion and Diversity; and Katy Colbry was appointed Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Services. Tim Hinds took over as Director of the First-Year Engineering CoRe program; Kyle Foster was promoted to Director of the Diversity Programs Office (DPO); and MSU Foundation Professor Yunhao Liu was named Chairperson Designee of the Department of Computer Science and Engineering.  

MSU Engineering snowflakeNew Faculty:

 The addition of 17 new ranked faculty for FY 2018-19 plus 26 that were added in FY 2017-18, brings our three-year total to more than 65 new faculty members – the largest expansion of MSU College of Engineering faculty in a generation.  


MSU Engineering snowflakeFaculty achievement:

 John Luginsland was named a Fellow of IEEE, Robert Ofoli was elected a fellow of AlChE, and Arun Ross was elected a Fellow of the International Association of Pattern Recognition (IAPR). University Distinguished Professor Anil Jain was presented an honorary doctorate by Autonomous University of Madridfor his 50 years of work in advancing pattern recognition, and was named a Fellow by the World Academy of Sciences. Koenig Endowed Chair Kalyanmoy Deb, was presented the 2018 IEEE CIS Evolutionary Computation Pioneer Award at the IEEE World Congress on Computational Intelligence.  Seven Engineering faculty members were among the 12 new fellows of the MSU Academy for Global Engagement. Chemical Engineering and Materials Science Chair Donald Morelli and University Distinguished Professor Lawrence Drzal were among top honorees at the 2018 MSU Innovation Celebration, and eleven members of the college received top honors at the 2018 Engineering Withrow Awards

MSU Engineering snowflakeResearch impact:

Although new accounting rules have pegged our research expenditures at just over $53 million, we actually topped last year’s record-setting output by more than five percent.  Major grants included: A $2 million for Transformational Energy Technology from ARPA-E, awarded to Mechanical Engineering professors James Klausner and Joerg Petrasch together with external partners. Two NASA grants totaling $3 million to find better ways to regulate dams – included Yadu Pokhrel as co-primary investigator. A cross-disciplinary team of biomedical and electrical engineering faculty – including Galit Pelled, Dana Spence, Lalita Udpa, Satish Udpa and Kurt Zinn – were awarded $1.3 million by the National Institutes of Health to advance biological circuits. Zhen Quiand Nelson Sepulveda were granted a $360,000 award from the National Science Foundation to investigate the limitations of wide-field tumor imaging in the fight against breast cancer. And, a team led by Timothy Gates (together with Mehrnaz GhamamiAli Zockaie, and other MSU partners) will use $231,000 from the Federal Highway Administration for the development of highway work zone safety guideline materials.  In addition, Yadu PokhrelJiayu Zhou, and Jeffrey Nanzer were each awarded NSF CAREER Awards in 2018, bringing the College of Engineering total to 16 in the past 8 years. 

MSU Engineering snowflakeStudent accomplishment:

Two Engineering graduate students - Matthew Andres Moreno and Jason Sammut – were named NSF Graduate Research Fellows; three others earned honorable mentions. Board of Trustees Awards were given to nine undergraduate students in May and five in December, for graduating with a perfect 4.0 GPA. The MSU chapter of the Engineering Society of Detroit (ESD) was presented with the 2018 ESD Student Chapter Leadership Award, and an MSU student team won the “foxhunt” at the 2018 IEEE Antennas and Propagation Symposium Student Design Competition.  

MSU Engineering snowflakeAcademic milestones:

The College of Engineering celebrated a quarter-century of student creativity and innovation with "25 Years of Design Day" on Dec. 7. This year we also celebrated the 10thanniversary of the First-year Engineering CoRe Experience that helps ensure first-year student success.

MSU Engineering snowflakeUnprecedented growth:

The College of Engineering welcomed its largest and most diverse group of undergraduate students ever this fall – including 383 women, 142 African Americans, 97 Hispanic students, and 57 multi-cultural students. The college also welcomed 900+ graduate students – an enrollment high mark. MSU also broke ground this summer on a new STEM Teaching and Learning Facility.  

MSU Engineering snowflakeTransformative support:

MSU closes its Empower Extraordinary campaign on Dec. 31, surpassing its fundraising goal of $1.5 billion with gifts totaling more than $1.7 billion. The College of Engineering surpassed its $80 million target, with a campaign total of more $110 million (38 percent over goal).  Donations included a $250,000 gift from James Schmidt to establish the JA Schmidt Manufacturing Teaching Laboratory, a $1 million gift from Thomas Wielenga to establish a Creative Engineering Endowed Professorship, and a $250,000 commitment from Consumers Energy Foundation in support of CoRe first-year engineering programs.  In November, MSU recognized College of Engineering supporter and friend John Koza with its Philanthropist of the Year Award. His $12.7 million commitment to MSU Engineering and BEACON is the largest individual gift in the college's history.

This message includes but a sampling of the many accomplishments achieved across the College of Engineering in 2018.  Our continued growth and success are possible only through the support and dedication of an extraordinary community of faculty, staff, students, alumni, university and industry partners. My sincere thanks to the entire MSU Engineering family for the commitment that you’ve shown, and the success stories that you have helped make possible in 2018. 

I look forward to working together to meet both the challenges and opportunities of 2019! 

Leo Kempel signature

Leo Kempel, Dean
College of Engineering
Michigan State University