Dear colleagues and friends,
As we are coming towards the end of such an unusual and challenging year, I wanted to let you know how proud and grateful I am for the continued success and strength of the Voiland College.
In spite of the many challenges of the past year, our students have succeeded and supported each other in an online environment. Our faculty have developed creative solutions for online teaching and have grown their research support to record levels – a total of $34 million this past fiscal year.
Among a few of our grants, Professor Xianming Shi is leading a national university transportation center focused on improving the durability of the nation’s transportation infrastructure. Professor Jacob Leachman is working with the U.S. Army on a $1.8 million project to demonstrate a liquid hydrogen-powered UAV and refueling system, and Professor Jennifer Adam received a Washington State Department of Ecology grant to protect Columbia River water resources.
We’re also excited to welcome several new faculty members to our college. They are strengthening our programs in computer science, robotics, and advanced manufacturing, in particular. Our assistant professors are highly active in research with approximately $28 million in grant support, and 70 percent of our assistant professors hired in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science since 2014 have received NSF CAREER or DARPA young faculty awards. The work of new faculty members, Dingwen Tao and Kaiyan Qiu, has recently been recognized. I look forward to seeing the dynamic growth and creativity this cohort will bring to the college in future years.
The work of our engineers, computer scientists, and designers is more important than ever in addressing the many challenges our state and country are facing.
In this difficult year, we are especially thankful to our donors who have stepped up to help us. Jack and Karen Bowers, who are longtime supporters of Voiland College tutoring services, along with Scott Cassels (CM ’81), Kiewit Corporation, and Kiewit Cougs have provided support to allow us to expand our peer tutoring and student services, allowing for expanded hours and more peer interactions. In our online environment, these connections are critically important in creating community engagement and a supportive environment for our students.
Times are uncertain, but we remain committed to our core principles. Our faculty and staff have gone the extra mile to continue providing valuable hands-on experiences even in a socially-distanced format.
We remain focused on the growth of our students, providing access, opportunity, and transformational experiences that change lives. And, I look forward to the days when we’ll all be back together in person again.
Dean, Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99163