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Update from the Chair

 “Patience is not an absence of action; rather it is timing.  It waits on the right time to act.” – Fulton J. Sheen

Timing is everything, as they say. In mid-2016 we began a journey of organizational change to address departmental challenges and seize opportunities to better support our educational programs. The transition has not been easy—but I am happy to report that we are making good progress.

Administrative restructuring is positioning us for unprecedented growth, bringing together best practices and innovative thinking in undergraduate and graduate programs, curriculum development, recruiting of outstanding students, staff and faculty, research and scholarship and outreach and engagement. This much needed restructuring is expected to reduce the administrative burden in managing our two large undergraduate (mechanical and aerospace) programs and high-caliber graduate (mechanical, aerospace and nuclear) programs. 

We are moving forward with a new Strategic Planning Initiative that is focused on developing a 20-year plan, out of which will evolve a near term five-year plan that will guide our recruiting, hiring and investments. A key complement to this strategic plan is the formation of a Diversity & Inclusion Committee to identify specific policies that can be enacted to promote diversity in our department.

Students are our main output and it is their quality and placement in industry and academia that reflect well on our reputation. We are already doing an outstanding job in training our undergraduate and graduate students to be productive engineers in industry. We will also be implementing a new initiative, the Future Academic Scholars Training (FAST) program, to foster high caliber research, encourage scholarship, promote diversity and a higher level of student mentoring to better prepare our PhD students for faculty positions in top-ranked U.S. universities.

We are also aligned with the College of Engineering’s broader vision to grow the number of tenure-track faculty, promote infrastructure to support new hires, do a better job of recruiting diverse candidates and attract faculty whose research areas are at the center of our strategic focus; mobility, manufacturing, materials and medicine.

We could not carry out the fine work we do or the mission of our department without your unwavering support. Many of you were an integral part of the college’s $350 million But for Ohio State Campaign goal, surpassed by nearly $50 million. Without you, our emergence as a top-ranked mechanical and aerospace engineering department would not be possible. With your continued support and engagement, even greater achievements await us. Thank you for coming back, giving back so generously, and for staying engaged.