As 2012 comes to a close, I would like to share with you some of this year’s successes in the College and tell you about developments that you can expect in the coming year as we continue to grow and strengthen our programs.
Our researchers continue to find success with more than $20 million in funded research in FY2012, making strides in addressing critical challenges in energy, the environment, and health and earning national and international recognition for their contributions to their fields.
Our students have also had a great year.
You may have also noted that we had exciting lectures throughout the fall as part of our space lecture series, including Roger Myers, executive director of Electric Propulsion and Integrated Systems at Aerojet; Iris Bombelyn, vice president of Manufacturing at Lockheed Martin Space Systems; and Tom Mueller, co-founder of SpaceX. We also hosted Jay Davis, president of the Fannie and John Hertz Foundation. Eric Horvitz, distinguished scientist and deputy managing director at Microsoft Research, gave the inaugural Distinguished Allred lecture in artificial intelligence. We’re pleased to let you know that Mae Jemison, the first African American woman in space, will be here in March and will give a seminar on the 100-Year StarShip project. We’ve been extremely fortunate to host these accomplished leaders and scientists. Please watch for more announcements during the spring.
As for the upcoming year, we have some exciting work ahead.
Through the Engineering Expansion Initiative (EEI), we are working to fill several new and vacant faculty positions. As you may recall, the state legislature recently allocated $3.8 million each to the engineering colleges at both Washington State University and the University of Washington to increase the number of engineering and computer science students and graduates, and our enrollments are expected to grow by more than 30 percent.
I am also pleased to let you know about progress we are making on the development of our new Clean Technology Laboratory Building (CTLB). We have selected Skanska Construction and LMN Architects as the design-build consortium for the project. The top capital project priority for the university, construction of the CTLB is set to begin in 2013, provided that the capital budget is approved. I’m excited about moving forward on this state-of-the-art research facility that will allow for collaborative, interdisciplinary research in our priority research areas, including in advanced materials, air and water quality, and sustainable infrastructure.
Please be watching in the very near future for another research opportunity that will be made available through the Joint Center for Aerospace Technology Innovation. This center was established earlier this year by the Governor and state legislature and is charged with pursuing university-industry technology research and enhancing engineering education for the benefit of the aerospace industry. The board of directors, of which I am a member, is developing an RFP that will provide funding opportunities for aerospace-based research.
I want to wish you and your family a joyous holiday season. I look forward to working with you to grow and build our programs in the next year and thank you for your continuing support and hard work for the college.
Candis Claiborn, Professor and Dean
College of Engineering and Architecture
Washington State University
Pullman, WA 99164-2714