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New dean of engineering named

by Michael Kirk - July 23, 2007

Mun Young Choi of Drexel University has been named as the next dean of UConn’s School of Engineering. He will begin in January 2008.

Choi, 43, is currently the associate dean for research and graduate studies at Drexel University’s College of Engineering in Philadelphia, where he also heads the department of mechanical engineering and mechanics.

“I believe that in Mun we have found an outstanding leader for the school,” says Provost Peter J. Nicholls.

“He will not only lead the school to the next level of excellence but has already shared with me many exciting possibilities for collaborations with other schools and colleges at UConn that will be to the great benefit of the entire university.

“His significant interest and experience in increasing opportunities for engineering education and innovative programming for students at all levels will be invaluable to us as we realize the new academic plan,” Nicholls adds.

Choi is a graduate of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and received his Ph.D. in mechanical and aerospace engineering from Princeton University in 1992.

He served as a National Research Council Post-Doctoral Fellow at the National Institute of Standards and Technology and as a faculty member in the mechanical engineering department at the University of Illinois at Chicago before joining Drexel University in 2000.

Choi’s primary research interests are in the areas of combustion, energy, and experimental diagnostics.

His programs have been funded by various federal agencies, including the National Science Foundation, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, and NASA for experiments to be performed aboard the International Space Station.

Choi says that during his interactions with faculty, staff, and administrators at UConn, he sensed “tremendous excitement” about the opportunities for the University and the School of Engineering.

He also noted a strong commitment from the University and from the state to elevate the School to become one of the premier engineering schools in the nation.

“The key elements are already in place for success,” Choi says.

“The School has excellent faculty members in each department who are internationally recognized for their scholarship and educational programs. I look forward to working with them to promote multi-disciplinary research programs, inter-department collaboration, and innovative educational programs. We will also conduct outreach to enhance diversity, and strive to instill positive feelings of camaraderie.”

During the transition period, Choi will work with UConn administrators on academic planning and campaign goals for the School.

UConn’s School of Engineering has more than 2,000 graduate and undergraduate students, over 100 full-time faculty members, and roughly 20,000 alumni.

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