From the Dean: Fall/Winter 2013

Christopher B. Roberts, Dean of Engineering

I am pleased to have recently begun my tenure as dean of engineering following the retirement of Larry Benefield. Dr. Benefield did a truly outstanding job in his 14 years as dean, most notably as a visionary leader who transformed the face of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering. Our college advanced in numerous capacities under his leadership, and he is going to be quite an act to follow.

I am ready for the challenge — which is to elevate us to the next level of academic and research performance, and to continue to build upon our reputation as one of our nation’s premier colleges of engineering. To this end, we will:

• Aggressively recruit, mentor, retain and support outstanding faculty who exemplify excellence and innovation in the pursuit of knowledge; some of their groundbreaking work is featured in this issue

• Offer world-class undergraduate and graduate programs at the frontier of engineering education, with a committed focus on being the best student-centered engineering experience in America; you’ll find stories throughout the magazine about the growth and success of our academic programs, and generous support for them provided by our passionate and dedicated alumni

• Train our students to serve as exemplary leaders in technological development and engineering practice that anticipates, and meets, the needs of tomorrow’s world; as you continue reading, you’ll learn more about one exceptional project where our students are developing accessible technology for the village of Quesimpuco, Bolivia

• Double our research enterprise to more than $100 million in annual expenditures, while significantly increasing the number of doctoral degrees awarded and peer-reviewed papers published; these pages highlight a number of those graduate-level projects and the collaborative effort to showcase this work in the newly formed Council of Engineering Graduate Students

• Engage in innovative research and technology that really matters to our society — research that addresses the grand challenges of our nation while improving our quality of life and industrial competitiveness; for example, our college’s research in cyber security and work to protect online privacy, as well as our nation’s secure information

I am extremely honored to have this opportunity to play a defining role in shaping the future of our fine college. We have been on a strong upward trajectory, and as dean of the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering I can assure you that I will work tirelessly to foster and build upon our strengths.

It is my strong desire to nurture a culture of excellence, innovation and collaboration, and our success will hinge on a high level of engagement from the entire Auburn Engineering family. I hope that you will join me in this endeavor.

Dean Christopher B. Roberts

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