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Dayton Engineer

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Transforming the Future of UD Engineers

As the engineering industry rapidly evolves, there is a constant flow of new ideas into the School of Engineering to ensure students are prepared to make an impact in the workforce.

The Dean’s Cabinet, a working group of faculty and staff leading initiatives aligned with the School’s strategic vision, are working hard to make those ideas a reality. The cabinet collaborates closely with the dean, representing each department as well as the student body. 

The cabinet is leading three current initiatives, the Accelerating Curriculum Transformation Competitive Grant Program (ACT), Post-Doctoral Research Fellows Program (PDRF) and a staff professional development initiative. 

The ACT program allows faculty, staff and students to submit proposals for projects designed to innovate the engineering curriculum, ensuring the high value of a UD engineering degree.

This academic year, 13 proposals have been submitted through the ACT program, with five ultimately selected for funding. Among the five projects, a total of 27 School of Engineering community members will move their respective projects forward, including faculty, staff and students.

The priorities of the five funded projects include providing students with new options for majors and minors, amplifying the school’s recruitment efforts for future incoming classes, providing new lab spaces for in-demand industry skills and providing funding for student organizations to participate in competitions. 

The PDRF program will fund three post-doctoral research positions within the school, focusing on three strong, strategic areas of future research growth and recruitment of top faculty — supercritical CO₂ (sCO₂) cycle design and experimentation and/or thermomechanical design, intelligent infrastructure and machine learning autonomous systems and neurofeedback technology.

Post-doctoral researchers will continue research with a group of faculty mentors, plus have opportunities to teach and mentor undergraduate students. After two years, the post-doctoral researchers may be offered a tenure-track faculty position in the school.

The third initiative offers funding for staff members to seek professional development opportunities inside and outside the university to improve their current job skills and grow new ones for career growth. 

“These initiatives have generated much excitement across the School of Engineering community, leading to new collaborations and greater interactions across departments,” said Dr. Kim Bigelow, professor in mechanical engineering and member of the Dean’s Cabinet. “The ACT and PDRF initiatives have really jump started conversations about curriculum innovation, as well as the purposeful integration of research and scholarship.”

The cabinet is excited for future initiatives that will continue to grow opportunities for faculty, staff and students including graduate student belonging, student research recognition and reimagining seminar classes for undergraduate students.

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