A very warm welcome to you on behalf of the faculty and staff of the College of Engineering and Computer Science at Arkansas State University. It is my privilege to serve as its Inaugural dean, a position I took up July 1, 2019. The college was constituted with the Department of Computer Science, engineering programs – Civil, Electrical, Mechanical - , Engineering Management and Technology (renamed Engineering Technology from July 1, 2020) coming together.
Since coming on board, I have had the opportunity to meet with the leadership of many companies in the region. I was energized to learn about and feel the tremendous support for the new college all across the board. The consistent message was “Your graduates are great but we need many more of them”. My colleagues and I moved quickly to increase visibility of the college and expand its footprint in recruitment and outreach. The college is continually brainstorming to ensure that academic programs stay in tune with current trends and the needs of the workforce. The college is focused on providing high impact student experiences – whether it be in the classroom or student involvement in campus chapters of professional associations, participation in industry internships and taking part in cutting edge research. Students can participate in research areas such as sustainable engineering, transportation engineering, alternative energies, electromagnetics and optics, multifunctional materials and fabrication, water resources, artificial intelligence, bioinformatics to name a few.
A very exciting development is the upgrade of infrastructure in the college. This effort got underway in late Fall 2019. Student workspaces are being upgraded, social networking areas for students intersecting with student advising space are being introduced and a brand new conference room is being prepared for students and faculty. By the time upgrades are done in Fall 2020, expect to see engineering and computer science to be put on display as you walk through the corridors of the college. If you visit us in 2021, you will see a striking contrast between what you see and what you experienced in the past, if you had visited the college. We are also in the process of developing an alumni academy to celebrate the accomplishments of the Red Wolves who graduated from the college and a Vision Council composed of a cross-section of the external stakeholders who will provide input and advice on the future directions of the college.
We are here to serve the delta region, the state of Arkansas and the nation. Over the coming months and years, you will see the college having a very visible footprint out in the community spreading the message about the importance of STEM education, recruiting students for our outstanding programs, solidifying internship opportunities for students as well as developing co-op programs, expanding high impact experiences for students and continually connecting with the community. The students, alums and external stakeholders are our lifeblood and we will stay connected. I appreciate that you have visited the college website. I invite you to visit us in person and take in a tour of the college. We would love to host you. Come, be a part of us as a student, faculty or staff as we continue this exciting journey. On behalf of the college, we wish you all the best.
Abhijit Bhattacharyya, PhD
Fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers