Dear CU Engineering community:
In July, we launched a new strategic vision for the College of Engineering and Applied Science. It was the brainchild of our entire CU Engineering community—faculty, staff, alumni and students were all engaged in its development. In this edition of the CU Engineering Magazine, we’re excited to provide a glimpse of our progress so far, organized around the four foundational goals of our new vision. We look forward to your continued feedback as we follow this roadmap for our future.
Accelerating our research impact. From a slate of more than a dozen topics proposed by our faculty, we initiated six interdisciplinary research themes that build upon our strengths and provide focus for cross-college and cross-campus collaboration. Dozens of faculty members have organized around these interdisciplinary efforts. Investments in these research areas over the next several years will amplify the positive impacts we can make at the state, national and global levels. An overview and additional detail of these efforts is provided here.
Embracing our public education mission. Growing our student population is critical to the economic competitiveness of our state. Ensuring students from all walks of life have the opportunity to join our community is an important aspect of our educational mission. While reflecting the demographics of our state’s high school graduates, we aim to become the first public engineering college to reach gender parity. Following the adage of “you can’t be what you can’t see,” we worked with graduate student Sarah Banchefsky to build community and break down stereotypes with our #ILookLikeAnEngineer campaign. Check out our early strides in this campaign throughout the magazine.
Increasing our global engagement. In late 2017, we celebrated the founding of Engineers Without Borders USA at CU Boulder 15 years ago. Former presidential advisor John P. Holdren stopped by to help us honor founder Bernard Amadei and the students who are leading this amazing organization into its next 15 years. Holdren also kicked off our CU Engineering Dean’s Speaker Series. Read more here, and join us on campus or via livestream to hear future speakers.
Enriching our professional environment. To accomplish our goals for the college, we also need to improve our professional environment. Our goal is to become the best place to research, teach and learn on campus and across the state. This year we launched our first professional climate survey, increased professional development activities, celebrated our diversity and highlighted the success of a broad range of high-performing faculty and staff.
As we celebrate our 125th anniversary as a college, we’re taking time to look back at our many milestones and successes. But I’m most excited about what’s coming next – in just the next few years. What will our faculty members, current and future, accomplish when they work together across departments? As each freshman class is more diverse than the one before, what global problems will they identify, learn about and work to solve? How innovative will we become when faculty, staff and students come together and debate difficult issues safe in the knowledge that all parties are starting from a position of mutual respect and good intent?
On a personal note, I also want to thank all of you who have welcomed my family and me so warmly in my first year as dean. Karen and I have enjoyed meeting so many of the college’s friends and supporters and learning how each of you are carrying the torch for CU Engineering. Please let me know if your journey brings you back to Boulder. We’d love to have you spend some time with our students. Finally, feel free to drop me a line if our university can be of assistance to you in any way.
All the best,
Dean Robert D. Braun