Dear College of Engineering Alumni,

One year after taking the helm as dean of the College of Engineering, I have a more complete understanding of just how essential we are as the flagship of Drexel. Here, we educate the talented and ambitious 21st century engineer in fundamental and next-generation technologies. Here, we design and innovate for solutions under one of the best faculties in the country. And it shows.

Allow me to elaborate with a few examples from the past year: 

  • A PhD candidate in CBE won a Fulbright Scholarship—our ninth—for research in Amsterdam toward developing a biomarker for kidney cancer; a PhD graduate in materials science was named to the faculty of ETH Zurich, one of the world’s best technical institutes; and yet another graduate was handed an award by the undersecretary of the Department of Energy for work in the field of energy frontiers. 
  • Our faculty received generous grants from the National Science Foundation, ARPA-E, the Army Research Lab, the Human Frontiers Science Program, andthe Arthur Vining Davis Foundation, as well as plasma science’s highest international award, among many others. They have presented at the Department of Energy, earned new patents, even lectured on the TEDx stage.
  • Drs. Nicolas Alvarez and Aaron Fafarman (both CBE) each received a prestigious NSF CAREER award based on their early-career research. Dr. Ying Sun (MEM) is serving a two-year assignment as program director at the NSF. And locally, Dr. Pete DeCarlo (CAEE) is part of the Mayor’s Advisory Group for the Philadelphia Energy Systems refinery site. 
  • One of our alumni has just been named president and CEO of the Tennessee Valley Authority, and another is on the crew of the first spacecraft to launch from US soil since 2011.
  • Our NASA RASC-AL lunar design team advanced to nationals in June, as did our Steel Bridge Team; our Formula SAE Car team competed for the first time in seven years, placing 35th out of 77; and Drexel’s Paintball Team—chock full of engineers—won the national championships!

I hope you’ll join us for an exciting day of dragon camaraderie on Monday, Oct. 21, when I will host an inaugural State of the College event here on campus. I’ll highlight our robust new direction, honed through an ongoing Strategic Design process. Look for details in the next College of Engineering Newsletter and through our social media.

We’ve been accessing the future since Drexel’s first engineering degree was granted 100 years ago. Today, that future is more promising than ever with thanks to our fiercely gifted students … and with thanks to you. In that spirit, I hope you will consider supporting the College of Engineering with a gift as we commence another academic year. Click here to make your gift!

As always, feel free to reach out with comments or just to say hello and reconnect. Once a dragon, always a dragon! 

Sharon L. Walker, PhD
University Professor and Dean
Drexel University College of Engineering