Congratulations to our colleagues

As we start off the new year, I’m delighted to share with you some great news regarding several of my distinguished colleagues here at Berkeley Engineering.

On February 1, Grove Professor Costas Spanos began his appointment as director of CITRIS (the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society), a partnership among UC campuses at Berkeley, Davis, Merced and Santa Cruz. Costas joined our EECS faculty in 1988 and has served in such key roles as associate dean for research and EECS chair. He is an expert in integrated circuit fabrication and high volume production, as well as data mining and modeling to support manufacturing and energy.

As Costas begins his term, I’d like to acknowledge Paul Wright, Berlin Professor of mechanical engineering, for his service as CITRIS director for the past seven years. Under Paul’s leadership, CITRIS initiatives in smart infrastructure, health care delivery and data and democracy have greatly expanded the breadth of CITRIS’s engagement.

In addition to leading CITRIS, Costas will continue his role as CEO of the Berkeley Education Alliance for Research in Singapore (BEARS). Based at Singapore’s new CREATE campus, an international research and innovation hub, BEARS represents Berkeley’s engagement with the National Research Foundation of the Singapore prime minister’s office. See the BEARS CREATE story in this issue for more information.

BEARS is pursuing two high-stakes energy programs: SinBerBEST (Singapore-Berkeley Building Efficiency and Sustainability in the Tropics) and SinBeRISE (Singapore-Berkeley Research Initiative for Sustainable Energy). Costas is the principal investigator for SinBerBEST, which aims to improve energy efficiency in tropical buildings while maintaining comfort, safety and security.

Our executive associate dean, Fiona Doyle, joined BEARS in July 2013 as chief academic officer, taking over the leadership of SinBeRISE from MSE/physics professor Ramamoorthy Ramesh after he was appointed deputy for science and technology at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee.

This semester, Fiona is in residence in Singapore, working with her SinBeRISE team to develop new photovoltaic materials that can reduce solar energy installation costs while being more environmentally sustainable to produce. The group is also developing new materials for converting solar energy into fuels. Fiona is a globally recognized expert in solution chemistry and leads an outstanding team of researchers.

While Fiona is on research leave, Associate Dean for Equity and Inclusion Oscar Dubón has taken over the student advising and student life portfolio, Associate Dean Masayoshi Tomizuka has assumed responsibility for academic personnel matters in the College, and Associate Dean for Research Jeffrey Bokor has added College representation on campuswide committees and task forces to his portfolio for the spring term.

Fiona had been wearing yet another hat—that of interim director of the new Jacobs Institute for Design Innovation. Sara Beckman, who joined the College last fall as the Institute’s chief learning officer, has stepped in as interim director while the search for a faculty director is underway. Björn Hartmann of our EECS faculty is now serving as the Jacobs Institute’s chief technology officer.

I am grateful to my colleagues as they offer their administrative expertise, sound judgment and creative thinking to the cause of “engineering leadership for societal needs.” Please join me in extending your welcome to them in their new roles!

S. Shankar Sastry
Dean and Carlson Professor of Engineering
Director, Blum Center for Developing Economies

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