A letter from the Dean

Amir Mirmian

FIU College of Engineering and Computing Dean Amir Mirmiran

Dear Faculty, Students, Alumni, and Friends:

2009-10 marked another banner year for our College – a year filled with exciting accomplishments for our faculty and students, a flourishing enterprise of research and education, and a testament to the strength of the College, despite the economic challenges all around the globe.

The College consists of one school (Computing and Information Sciences) and five departments (Biomedical Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Construction Management, Electrical and Computer Engineering, and Mechanical and Materials Engineering). We offer 11 academic disciplines (Biomedical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer Engineering, Computer Science, Electrical Engineering, Engineering Management, Environmental Engineering, Information Technology, Mechanical Engineering, Material Science and Engineering, and Telecommunication and Networking) through a total of 27 degree programs (nine  BS, one BA, 11 MS, and six PhD degree programs). We also offer a number of overseas and dual degree programs (e.g., MS in Engineering Management in Jamaica).

The College has over 120 full-time faculty positions, of which about 100 are tenured or tenure earning. This past year we welcomed four new faculty members. Also, six faculty members in the College received their tenure and/or promotion during this academic year. The bios of new faculty and those who received tenure and/or promotion are included in this report.

In fall 2009, we celebrated the College’s silver anniversary. Although our school has its roots in FIU’s College of Technology that opened in 1973, the College was officially formed in 1984 as the College of Engineering and Applied Sciences. Our tradition of excellence is built on a fertile ground of diversity and excellence, as reflected in our dedicated faculty and growing alumni base of over 14,000 Golden Panther Engineers.

The College continues to enjoy modest growth in its student body to 4,426 (3,610 undergraduates, 596 masters, and 220 doctoral) students. Both the undergraduate and doctoral programs saw rises in enrollment, whereas our masters programs experienced a decline. We hope to enroll more masters students in the coming years with the emphasis on professional masters, such as the new MS in Engineering Management for professionals – a one-year Saturday only executive program built at the cross section of engineering, business and law. In 2009-10, the College graduated a total of 812 students, conferring 488 baccalaureate degrees, 289 masters degrees, and 35 doctoral degrees.

According to the 2009 ASEE Profiles of Engineering and Engineering Technology Colleges, the College was ranked 28th largest undergraduate engineering program, the third largest in the state. Our School of Computing and Information Sciences remained the fourth largest nationally, and the second largest in the state. Our Computer and Electrical Engineering programs respectively were ranked 20th and 22nd largest undergraduate programs nationally, both the second largest in the state. Overall, the College was ranked 32nd nationally in awarding MS degrees. Diversity of the student body has always been a source of pride and distinction for our College. We continue to be the top producer of Hispanic engineers in the Continental US. This past year, the College ranked 19th, jointly with Howard University, in awarding BS degrees to African Americans.

Our research enterprise enjoyed a remarkable growth this past year. The new contracts and grants awarded during the year reached an all time high of $18.9M, marking a 23% increase over the last year’s previous high. Research expenditure lagged behind at $13.3M, but it was still the second highest in College history, representing an average expenditure of $133,000 per tenured/tenure-track faculty. To put things in perspective, the 2009 ASEE Profiles of Engineering and Engineering Technology Colleges lists the top 50 engineering schools posting research expenditures ranging from $43.6M to $266.3M last year, while the number of tenured/tenure-track faculty in the top 50 engineering schools ranged between 130 and 449 – an average per capita expenditure of $340,000 to $600,000. Our goal is to reach an average research expenditure of $250,000 per tenured/tenure-track faculty in the next five years.

This past year, a year-long college-wide effort led to the 2010-2015 draft strategic plan, which is now being reviewed by the faculty, staff, students, alumni, the industry liaisons and advisory board members of the college. It is expected that the plan will be finalized in mid fall, followed by an implementation plan.

Our story is not just about numbers. With the growth in enrollment, conferred degrees, and research awards, there is an equal dimension of quality as reflected in the scholarly work and faculty awards. This year we added three more NSF CAREER awardees to our hall of fame, which now includes 9% of our faculty holding such a distinguished award. I invite you to take a look at the highlights of accomplishments of our faculty and students in various units of the College featured in this annual report. For more information, please visit the College website at www.cec.fiu.edu. Our quarterly E-Bulletin is also online at  http://www.cec.fiu.edu/Enewsletter.

We have also launched our college page on facebook® in an effort to build an e-community of our stakeholders.

Amir Mirmiran

Professor and Dean

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