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Dean’s portrait

Sept. 9, 2019

Portrait unveiling ceremony honors former college dean Satish Udpa

MSU Engineering honored former dean and current MSU Executive Vice President for Administration Satish Udpa with a portrait unveiling ceremony on Aug. 29.

A portrait honoring Satish Udpa, eighth dean of the college, was created by artist Brian Kirschensteiner (right).
A portrait honoring Satish Udpa, eighth dean of the college, was created by artist Brian Kirschensteiner (right).

Engineering Dean Leo Kempel welcomed attendees to the event at the Kellogg Center and gave opening remarks during the reception. Thomas Wolff, associate dean emeritus of the college, provided additional comments.

Photo Gallery - Udpa portrait unveiling

The artwork was created by local artist Brian Kirschensteiner, chief preparator of exhibitions for the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum at MSU, a position he has held since 2010. Kirschensteiner is a 1998 graduate of MSU, with a bachelor’s degree in fine arts.

The portrait will now join the collection of dean’s portraits that hang in the Engineering Building Auditorium.

It was created to recognize Udpa’s contributions as dean of the college from 2005-2013. He also served as acting president from January 2019 until the arrival of MSU President Samuel L. Stanley Jr., MD, on Aug. 1, 2019.

“As soon as Satish arrived at MSU, the faculty noticed that his optimism was contagious,” Dean Leo Kempel (left) said of Satish Upda (right), with Koenig Endowed Professor Kalyanmoy Deb.
“As soon as Satish arrived at MSU, the faculty noticed that his optimism was contagious,” Dean Leo Kempel (left) said of Satish Upda (right), with Koenig Endowed Professor Kalyanmoy Deb.

Upda, who is also a University Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was named the eighth dean of the College of Engineering in 2005, following the departure of Janie Fouke.

He served as dean from 2005 until 2013, when he was appointed MSU Executive Vice President for Administration. He was succeeded by Leo Kempel, associate dean for research, who was named acting dean, then appointed as the ninth dean of the college in 2014.

During Udpa’s tenure as dean, the college grew from 3,000 to 4,400 undergraduates and from 550 to almost 900 graduate students. Tenure-system faculty numbers grew from 153 to 169. Research funds more than doubled to around $52 million by the time he left the college.

​  Associate Dean Emeritus Thomas Wolff said “we watched Satish take the college to new heights. He believed that good engineering programs excel on all counts.” ​
Associate Dean Emeritus Thomas Wolff said “we watched Satish take the college to new heights. He believed that good engineering programs excel on all counts.”

Udpa came to MSU in 2001 as chair of the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. He was previously the Whitney Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Iowa State University, and served on the faculty at Colorado State University prior to his time at ISU.

He is a Fellow of the National Academy of Inventors, the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), the American Society for Nondestructive Testing, the Indian Society for Nondestructive Testing, and the Engineering Society of Detroit.

He is a full member of the Academia NDT International. Udpa also served as the permanent secretary of the World Federation of NDE Centers from 1998 to 2003.

He earned his PhD in electrical engineering from Colorado State University.

He is married to University Distinguished Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Lalita Udpa and has two grown children.

University Distinguished Professor Lalita Udpa reviewed the portrait of her husband, Satish, that will hang in the Dean’s Gallery in the Engineering Building Auditorium.
University Distinguished Professor Lalita Udpa reviewed the portrait of her husband, Satish, that will hang in the Dean’s Gallery in the Engineering Building Auditorium.