A Moment with the Dean

A Moment with the Dean

Message from the Dean

June 07, 2012

Dean Debra Larson

Dean Debra Larson

On the eve of my first June Commencement as dean, I couldn't be more proud of the engineering students to whom I'll be awarding degrees. It's been a year of grand achievements - just take a look at the stories in this e-newsletter and posted on the college news site.

Student team highlights include:

• Cal Poly Society of Women Engineers (SWE) was named the nation's top Outstanding Collegiate Section and had two teams that tied for 1st in the Team Tech competition.
Engineers Without Borders-Cal Poly was named the National Premier Student Chapter.
• Cal Poly swept first-, second- and third-place in both the Undergraduate and Graduate AIAA Team Aircraft Design Competition.
• The Cal Poly Supermileage Vehicle achieved almost 1,400 miles per gallon and placed third at the Shell Eco-Marathon.
• Cal Poly collected every award at the concrete canoe and steel bridge events at the ASCE Pacific South West Regional Conference - and, just in!, placed third in the National Student Steel Bridge Competition behind UC Berkeley and MIT.
• Cal Poly won three first-place awards at the Chainless Challenge and placed third overall in the national competition.
• Cal Poly Engineering won first place in the national Heating Ventilation and Air Conditioning (HVAC) System Selection student design competition.
• Cal Poly Engineering's "Earth2Block" video entry won the Greatest Social Impact Potential award at the Open Minds 2012 video competition.


Individual students likewise garnered awards.

Biomedical engineering graduate and undergraduate students Marcus Foley and Rachel Gohres won first and second place, respectively, at the CSU Research Competition.

Aerospace engineering seniors Jonathan Lichtwardt and Eric Paciano received the NASA Aeronautics Research Mission Directorate High Potentials Award for their work testing a future aircraft model inside the wind tunnel at Moffett Field, Calif.

Mechanical engineering master's degree student Kevin Yamauchi was named Cal Poly's 2011-2012 Outstanding Graduate Student.

And, finally, I'd like to acknowledge our own College of Engineering Outstanding Graduating Seniors:

With a 3.96 GPA, Gordon Cline (mechanical engineering) was our topmost graduating senior for academic excellence. Dart Newby (biomedical engineering) stands out for his contributions to the college as an Engineering Ambassador. We celebrated Morgan Miller (civil engineering) for her contributions to the university and especially for her service as president of the Society of Women Engineers. And Tyler Smith (biomedical engineering) was recognized for service to the community because of how he developed research that will have community-wide impact.

These are just a few of the engineering students I meet every day who inspire me - they're the reason I have such confidence in our college. I know that these young engineers will not only make their mark in their careers, but they will contribute the innovations and engineering leadership that will serve our global community. I wish them and all the graduating seniors the very best.

Debra Larson, Ph.D., P.E.

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