Purdue News

August 2, 2006

Purdue names new dean for College of Engineering

Leah H. Jamieson
WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Leah H. Jamieson, interim dean for the Purdue University College of Engineering and a named professor of electrical and computer engineering, today (Wednesday, Aug. 2) was appointed dean of the college.

Purdue Provost Sally Mason said Jamieson was selected as the John A. Edwardson Dean of Engineering following a national search. The appointment, effective Aug. 15, is subject to approval by Purdue's board of trustees.

"Leah Jamieson is a world-class leader," Mason said. "She has performed at the highest level in every academic and administrative role she has undertaken at Purdue. Her colleagues throughout the nation recently acknowledged her leadership by electing her to be the 2007 president of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. This is a tremendous honor for Leah, but it also brings great recognition nationally and internationally to Purdue. I am confident she will build on the long tradition of excellence in engineering at Purdue."

Richard A. Cosier, dean of the Krannert School of Management and Leeds Professor of Management, chaired the search committee.

"We had five highly qualified finalists for this position," Cosier said. "Leah emerged as the best of an outstanding group of people. We thank everyone who attended the public forums and provided feedback on each of the candidates."

Jamieson said that in the past few years Purdue engineering has focused on recruiting faculty, building new facilities, such as the Robert L. and Terry L. Bowen Laboratory for Large-Scale Civil Engineering Research and Forney Hall of Chemical Engineering, and innovating education through advances such as the 2004 creation of the Department of Engineering Education.

"We have had tremendous growth during the past five years. Now I would like to focus on impact — that is to transform this growth into accomplishments through the work of our superb faculty, staff and students," Jamieson said. "It is important for us to build new research communities around Purdue's multidisciplinary signature areas, grow and enhance the graduate program, and revolutionize the undergraduate curriculum."

As interim dean, Jamieson recently announced the creation of a new division for environmental engineering that centralizes the environmental engineering studies in civil, mechanical, nuclear, and agricultural and biological engineering.

In addition to serving as associate dean for undergraduate education and as the Ransburg Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering, Jamieson also is co-founder and past director of Purdue's Engineering Projects in Community Service, known as EPICS, a national model for engineering service-learning. EPICS was formed at Purdue in 1995 to work with not-for-profit organizations to bring engineering to bear in addressing community needs.

The program began with 40 students and today includes more than 250 Purdue students each semester. It serves as a model that has been adopted at 16 universities and one high school. In 2005 EPICS was honored with the National Academy of Engineering's $500,000 Bernard M. Gordon Prize for Innovation in Engineering and Technology Education.

Jamieson, who joined the Purdue faculty in 1976, earned a bachelor's degree in mathematics from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and a doctoral degree in electrical engineering and computer science from Princeton University. She is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), and the recipient of several awards in research and education, including the 2002 Indiana Professor of the Year and the National Science Foundation Director's Award for Distinguished Teaching Scholars. Jamieson also has served on advisory committees of the National Science Foundation. She was recently elected to serve as IEEE's 2007 president.

The synergy between the two positions — dean of engineering and IEEE president — is remarkable," Jamieson said. "Both are grappling with key questions about the future of engineering. What will engineering careers look like in the future? How do we identify emerging areas? What is the role of technology in learning? How do we foster innovation? How do we become truly global?"

Jamieson succeeds Linda P.B. Katehi, who left Purdue in April to become the provost and vice chancellor for academic affairs at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

The College of Engineering's strategic plan, in parallel to that of the university, calls for increasing its faculty to 395 by the 2007-08 academic year. The plan also includes more than $273 million for facilities and equipment.

The College of Engineering is made up of 11 schools and departments: aeronautics and astronautics, agricultural and biological, biomedical, chemical, civil, electrical and computer, engineering education, industrial, materials, mechanical, and nuclear. The college includes the divisions of engineering professional education, construction engineering and management, and environmental and ecological engineering. The college also includes programs such as Engineering Projects in Community Service, the Minority Engineering Program and the Women in Engineering Program.

In the fall of 2005, the college enrolled more than 6,200 undergraduate students and more than 2,200 graduate students, making it one of the largest in the nation

Writer: Cynthia Sequin, (765) 494-4192, csequin@purdue.edu

Sources: Sally Mason, (765) 494-9709, sfmason@purdue.edu

Leah Jamieson, (765) 494-5346, lhj@purdue.edu

Richard A Cosier, (765) 494-4366, rcosier@purdue.edu

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096; purduenews@purdue.edu


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