Dear alumni and friends,

After a decade of dedicated leadership as dean of our college, Candis Claiborn has returned to the faculty ranks and resumed her teaching and research in environmental engineering. We are thankful for Candis’ leadership and passion for WSU. During her tenure, the college had dramatic growth in student enrollment, faculty, and research. Our programs expanded throughout the state, our college was renamed, and this year we opened the impressive PACCAR Environmental Technology Building. With continuing high demand for our graduates, the Voiland College is playing an increasingly central role as an engine for economic growth.

A national search for our next dean was launched this summer. During the one year search period, I am serving as interim dean of the Voiland College. I am a professor of civil engineering and director of the Composite Materials & Engineering Center. I am honored and excited to take on the new challenge of interim dean, and to build on our successful programs.

Our undergraduate engineering and design programs are the best in the region, with hands-on learning, industry connections, international experiences, student clubs, research experiences, direct contact with professors, and high paying, exciting jobs upon graduation. Our research targets important topics such as energy, natural resources, health, and infrastructure with impacts on the quality of life and economic development. As the land-grant university of Washington State, we also have a unique mission to reach out to our citizens and industry to educate and transfer technology.

We are pleased to welcome WSU President Kirk Schulz and his wife, Noel Schulz, to campus. Kirk is a chemical engineer by training, and Noel is now part of our power engineering faculty in the School of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. With their engineering backgrounds, they are very familiar with the important role that our graduates play in the state and national economy, as well as the challenges we face in meeting industry demands. We look forward to working with the Schulzes in the years ahead.

This issue of Innovation is dedicated to addressing national grand challenges. In the Voiland College, we educate our students to be problem solvers. Our students, faculty, and alumni are well suited to solve our nation’s biggest challenges in health, sustainable resources, national security, and smart systems. I hope you enjoy reading their inspiring stories.

Thank you for your continued support of the Voiland College. Go Cougs!

Interim Dean Don Bender signature

Don Bender,
Interim Dean
Voiland College of Engineering and Architecture

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