I have now served as Dean for just over a year. It has been an exciting and busy time for all of us at Speed School. As a relative newcomer, I have been very pleased to find the excellent foundation that we have at Speed School. We have a very strong experiential learning base, largely due to our co-op program, which also provides us with excellent industrial contacts. The commitment of the faculty and staff is strong and I was very pleased that there are key research areas in which we are among the world leaders, including renewable energy and robotics & automation. What I was most pleased to find is the fantastic reputation we have in the greater Louisville area.
During this first year of my deanship, I worked with our faculty and staff leaders to initiate programs that I believe are key to the growth of our academic offerings and the expansion of our student body; both are key to a thriving Speed School. I will mention just a few here for the sake of brevity.
We have been building a communications and marketing team to help us to much better tell the Speed School story throughout the state, nation, and world. One of their big recent accomplishments (working very closely with our IT department) was the establishment of our new web site.
To enhance our research productivity, we have also strengthened existing research centers and begun the establishment of a new one, the Louisville Automation and Robotics Research Institute (LARRI). To attract more students to the in-demand computational fields, we have initiated the establishment of new degrees in computer science and data science. To provide our co-op program with more flexibility for both students and industry, we have added 3 new co-op tracks that give credit for more traditional internships, encourage internships in other countries, or give credit for research experiences.
Finally, I will mention that we established the annual Design and Innovation Showcase, to let the local academic, industry, and government community see the student talents displayed in our spring capstone projects.
Going forward, we will communicate with our alumni through regular newsletters. As an alum, please realize that you are vital to the health of Speed School. You are an essential part of our root system as we draw upon your time, energy, and resources to mentor, recruit, encourage, and help support our many programs. You also are ties between us and the numerous corporations in which you work. I have had the privilege of meeting many of you and look forward to meeting even more of you in the future.
Dean, J.B. Speed School of Engineering