A message from the Interim Dean of the College of Engineering
It is with great pleasure to introduce to you the fall 2013 edition of Innovations. On behalf of all faculty, staff and students in the College of Engineering at UTSA, I appreciate your interest and support of this wonderful college. In the late spring of 2013, Dr. Mauli Agrawal, after seven years of outstanding service to the College of Engineering as dean, was appointed as interim vice president for research at UTSA. Under his leadership, the College of Engineering flourished considerably and was transformed into a full-fledged research and teaching institution. It is a great honor for me to serve as the interim dean while the search for a permanent dean is currently underway. It is important for me to assure you that the momentum of our college will continue building.
To push our students to excel academically, over the last several years, undergraduate research programs have become part of the student learning process. Many of our undergraduates, along with faculty and graduate students, work in research laboratories on a variety of topics ranging from structural and finite element analyses to stem cells.
To further promote undergraduate research, the college created the Undergraduate Research Award, and the winners of this year’s awards are Jessica George, Andrew Shiels, and Jonathan Lwowski.
Within the scope of undergraduate research, engineering students, in collaboration with graduate students and students from the College of Sciences and College of Education and Human Development, have developed a virtual training system that uses real-time wireless feedback to measure data on the mechanics of football kicking. Their work has been supported by the College of Engineering’s Center for Simulation, Visualization, and Real Time Prediction (SiViRT) and funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). Undergraduate research like this has enabled our students to understand their fields of study, promoted team work, and prepared them for the challenges of graduate school.
Since last year, several professors have received prestigious research funding awards from agencies such as the NSF, National Institutes of Health, and Department of Defense totaling more than $7 million, and the annual research expenditure in our college reached nearly $14 million. Additionally, the College of Engineering has raised over $2.6 million in gifts and endowments towards UTSA’s efforts on becoming a Tier One institution. Each year, the college receives financial support from a variety of organizations and individuals in support of scholarships and educational activities. The latest donation, a generous contribution from the family of Dee Howard, a legend of the aviation industry in San Antonio, has created an endowment to promote aerospace engineering. And earlier this year, GreenStar Products, Inc. of San Antonio established the GreenStar Endowed Professorship in Energy for the benefit of the College of Engineering.
With so many exciting things happening within the College of Engineering, I invite all of you to visit our web page (engineering.utsa.edu) and see for yourselves what events we have coming up. And please, next time you are in San Antonio, stop by and share your thoughts and experiences with us. We would love to hear your feedback.
Mehdi Shadaram, Ph.D., P.E.
Briscoe Distinguished Professor
David and Jennifer Spencer Distinguished Dean’s Chair in Engineering