A Message from the Dean

Alexander Cheng

Dean Alex Cheng

Welcome to the School of Engineering at the University of Mississippi. Our school is over a century old and is proud of its heritage of excellence.

Engineering was taught at the University of Mississippi since its founding in 1848. One of the first four professors appointed at the University was John Millington, Professor of Natural History. Millington was credited to be the first professor ever to teach civil engineering as a university subject, at the University College of London, England, in 1827. A few years later, Chancellor Frederick Barnard, the first Chancellor of the University, was appointed as Professor of Mathematics, Astronomy, and Civil Engineering, in 1854. Barnard was a highly respected scholar who later became the 10th President of Columbia University. The Barnard College in New York City was named after him. The School of Engineering was officially established in 1900 by the Board of Trustees, to become the first engineering school in the State of Mississippi. Dr. Alfred Hume, later Chancellor of the University, serving as its first Dean.

Being an engineering school in a liberal arts university, our graduates are well rounded, enabling them to have a broad career spectrum. Many of them became leaders of the society and their profession. Quite a number of our graduates were successful in academia, becoming Chancellors or Presidents of universities (Louisiana State University, University of Tennessee, National Ocean University, Taiwan), Provost or Vice President for Research (University of California, Berkeley, University of Texas), and department heads (Stanford, Clemson, Hawaii, George Washington University, City University of Hong Kong, ...). Their strong academic background led them to become Rhode Scholar, Fulbright Scholar, Guggenheim Fellowship, and Goldwater Scholar. In governmental service, we find our graduates as Director of NASA Kennedy Space Center, Deputy Director of Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Secretary of United State Senate, Program Manager at National Science Foundation, Chief Engineer at Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), and in many other leadership positions at NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Federal Highway Administration, Army Aviation and Missile Research Development and Engineering Center, Corps of Engineer Research and Development Center, to mention just a few. And of course, many of them have founded their own business, or become CEO's or top managers of national or international companies. The broad training they received from our school also allowed many of them to successfully enter the profession of medical doctors and lawyers. Our recent graduates were selected by National Engineering Week as 'New Faces of Engineering', and current students have won first place in the national student project competition of American Institute of Chemical Engineers. These are some examples of excellence of our students, past and present.

Our undergraduate curriculum has a long tradition of providing a firm ground in engineering fundamentals and engineering design, as well as a broad based education drawing from the Ole Miss liberal arts tradition. Our faculty members are rigorously trained, and many have practical experiences. They take teaching to heart as well as conduct advanced research. Many of our faculty members are nationally and internationally recognized, as evident by being elected Fellows or other honorary positions in their respective fields. In recent years, both student enrollment and research funding have risen to an all time high. However, the school still maintains its historical 'small school' characteristics of being student-centered and student-friendly. We will continue to educate and touch students one at a time.

The School of Engineering has six academic departments- Chemical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Computer and Information Science, Electrical Engineering, Geology/Geological Engineering, Mechanical Engineering -offering Bachelor's, Master's, and Ph.D. degrees, and seven research centers, many of which are nationally recognized.

The School of Engineering at University of Mississippi is still committed to its heritage of educating leaders one century after its founding. The School is also committed to the economic development of the State of Mississippi, the South, and the Nation, to create a sustainable world.

I encourage you to explore the School of Engineering web site, and to visit our campus and the charming City of Oxford, home of William Faulkner, Nobel Laureate in Literature, to experience for yourself the excellence of the School of Engineering, and the University of Mississippi, a Great American Public University!

Alexander Cheng
Dean