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Alumni Reception Marks Year’s End

More than 75 UConn engineering alumni and faculty members celebrated the year’s successes during a gala reception held at The Bushnell on the evening of December 6. The event marked the conclusion of the year as well as the term of Interim Dean Erling Smith, who will return to regular faculty duties prior to taking a sabbatical leave. The School will officially welcome incoming Dean Mun Choi on January 4, 2008.

Lisa Lewis, Executive Director of the Alumni Association, and Joseph Hanrahan, former Director of Development for the School of Engineering, also delivered remarks. Mr. Hanrahan lauded Interim Dean of Engineering Erling Smith for his investment of energy and drive while serving in an interim role during a time of transition.

In his remarks, Dr. Smith touched upon some of the year’s key achievements, including the establishment of the Eminent Faculty Initiative in Sustainable Energy and the selection of the Connecticut Transportation Institute as a Department of Homeland Security National Transportation Security Center of Excellence . He noted that the School of Engineering has enjoyed steadily growing enrollments of more than 2,000 students that approach the peak enrollments of the early 1980s. Dr. Smith said that despite the increasing teaching demands, engineering faculty members remain extraordinarily productive. He noted that the faculty hold more than 200 patents, apply $20M in research expenditures yearly, and produce more than 800 scholarly journal and conference papers annually.

Dr. Smith told attendees that the School’s engineering degree programs recently underwent a successful accreditation review and would receive formal notification from the Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology in summer 2008. He reminded attendees of the School’s recently launched monthly electronic news page, eFrontierNews, and invited alumni to submit their e-mail addresses so they may stay abreast of School activities.

He also encouraged attendees to become more engaged in the activities of the School through service on a departmental advisory board, volunteering to offer seminars to engineering students, etc., and he thanked alumni for generously donating to the Engineering Dean’s Fund.

Alumni from throughout the region and across the age spectrum attended the reception. Joining them were engineering faculty members, the Heads of the five engineering departments, associate and assistant deans, and a number of the School’s administrative personnel. The evening afforded everyone an opportunity to reflect upon recent achievements and to network with fellow alumni and faculty members.

For additional photos, please visit the reception album.