From the Dean

Liesl Folks, dean.

Addressing Society's Toughest Challenges

Today, more than ever, we find ourselves facing tough challenges in society and in the environment that require diverse teams and interdisciplinary efforts to solve.

Here at UB’s School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, we are moving quickly on a number of fronts to ensure we are positioned to address these challenges without weakening the deep disciplinary strengths on which our research excellence depends.

We have just launched the Department of Materials Design and Innovation (MDI) in collaboration with the College of Arts and Sciences, and our faculty members are playing lead roles in the three newly created, university-wide Communities of Excellence, as well as in the Institute for Research and Education in eNergy, Environment and Water (RENEW).

These five exciting new entities embody the vision of UB 2020 by integrating research, student learning, and community engagement to elevate UB’s scholarly and creative activities and learning across the disciplines, enabling UB to achieve even greater levels of impact.

Layered across these efforts is our commitment to broadening participation in the engineering disciplines to ensure we are meeting the needs of employers, now and into the future.

In what might well be our toughest challenge in this decade, we simply must figure out how to engage all demographic groups in the engineering enterprise to maximize our potential – regionally, nationally and internationally.

This year, as we celebrated the 20th anniversary of our Delta Society, whose members are our most dedicated and generous donors, I am reminded of how deeply indebted we are to the alums and friends who support our teaching, research and service mission with their time, talent and treasure. The ongoing support from the UB ‘family’ strengthens our school immeasurably.

Liesl Folks, PhD, MBA
Dean, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences