You’ll see from this issue of Auburn Engineering that our students are at the heart of everything we do, and they are active in a variety of endeavors from extracurricular activities to sports to service organizations. They are the reason that we do what we do, and we are proud to have a role in their development.
And yet, our academic neighbors and fellow students across the state in Tuscaloosa and other parts of Alabama have experienced untold devastation as the result of the huge band of tornadoes that threw a wrecking ball across much of Alabama in April. I can assure you that one of the first things we did was contact our colleagues to make sure they were safe. And, while Auburn itself was spared the brunt of the weather, many of our students come to us from the areas that were most affected.
I know that engineers will play a major role in the effort necessary to work our way back from this storm, and that it will take weeks, months and even years. The $400 million figure cited in the cost of removing debris from Jefferson County, where almost 6,000 structures were destroyed, implies it will take a great deal of rebuilding effort. I am confident that Auburn engineers will play a necessary and vital part in doing what we perhaps do best – build on and improve the lives of our fellow citizens.
As you read these pages, be reminded of our ongoing efforts to provide our students the best engineering education – one that will produce tomorrow’s leading engineers. This issue speaks of the opportunities we are offering, the innovative research that our faculty members are conducting, and the resources that our alums and corporate friends are providing. All of these things work together to make Auburn Engineering what it is today.
Our alums have always played a integral role in helping the citizens of Alabama weather tough times, storms or otherwise. It is my hope that as an alumnus or friend of Auburn, you will continue to play an important role in the future of the college, the university, the state and its citizens. Anything less would not reflect the leadership role that we have assumed as educators, colleagues and friends.