I am honored and excited to join the School of Engineering this month as Dean. It is a privilege to lead this historic institution into a new era of innovative, strategic research and dynamic teaching and outreach to train a new generation of engineering leaders.
Before joining UConn, I was Associate Dean for Research and Graduate Studies in the College of Engineering, and Department Head of Mechanical Engineering and Mechanics at Drexel University. During my career, I have championed a number of major initiatives that transformed the institutional activities in emerging research and innovative teaching and outreach. I am excited about the opportunities to work with faculty and staff to implement these programs at UConn. My research interests focus primarily on the effects of sooting and radiation on combustion, and in the development of advanced diagnostic techniques. I’m also interested in understanding the performance characteristics of alternative liquid fuels and additives typically used in automotive and jet engines.
I am very impressed with the School of Engineering, not only for its superb heritage but also for its auspicious future. Almost from its inception, the School has played a vital role in the growth of technology throughout the region. As one of the leading engineering programs in the country, UConn Engineering continues to produce highly-trained graduates for the evolving technical workforce, contributes to research and scholarship in critical areas of national need, and provides service to the profession and the community. Our 110 faculty members are outstanding, both as teachers and world-class researchers who have secured UConn’s leadership in emerging fields such as nanotechnology, energy and sustainable engineering, informatics, environmental science, and biologically-inspired engineering, to name a few.
In the coming year, our school is poised to hire more than 25 faculty members across our five departments, and particularly in the area of sustainable energy. The School of Engineering secured funding to assemble a dynamic research nexus in pioneering green, renewable, sustainable technologies. We will also engage the faculty to develop new and innovative initiatives for strategic growth in research and scholarly activities. As we recruit new faculty for these programs, we are committed to attracting scholars of international stature and reputation.
Undergraduate education remains a strong part of our mission to Connecticut and the region. I am committed to expanding upon the successful outreach and undergraduate programs that have served the School so well. By continuing to provide small class sizes, ready access to talented faculty, extensive scholarships, and a nurturing undergraduate “community”, we will maintain our success in recruiting and retaining top students. We are also updating our curriculum to reflect the characteristics of creativity, innovation, and lifelong learning that embody the “Engineer of 2020” so our students can thrive in the new global workplace.
I have always been deeply rooted in the belief that people are the most important element and that they best define the success of an academic institution. So, one of my important priorities is to create an environment that embraces the diverse perspectives of our faculty and staff, students, alumni and employers. I will strive to be an effective and caring advocate for the School of Engineering and all of its stakeholders. I hope to engage you in this process and invite you to share your insights and thoughts with me at any time.
Mun Y. Choi