April 23, 2009
Engineering dean candidates to visit campus
CARBONDALE -- The College of Engineering at Southern Illinois University Carbondale, as well as the entire University, will play host to three candidates for dean of the college starting next week.
At this time, the itinerary for two dean candidates scheduled to visit next week are complete and each will spend two days meeting with various individuals and groups on campus. Officials are working on completing the itinerary for the third candidate and will announce that shortly.
The three candidates, in alphabetical order, are:
• Alexander Cheng, professor and chair of the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Mississippi
•Darrell Pepper, professor and director of the Nevada Center for Advanced Computational Methods in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Nevada Las Vegas
•William Worek, head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Energy Resources Center at the University of Illinois at Chicago
Cheng and Worek will visit campus next week. Cheng will arrive the evening of Monday, April 27, and will spend Tuesday and Wednesday on campus. Worek will arrive the evening of Wednesday, April 29, and will spend Thursday and Friday on campus.
Officials will announce Pepper’s itinerary as soon as it is ready.
Along with meeting SIUC Chancellor Samuel Goldman, vice chancellors, Interim Provost Don Rice, department chairs and directors, both men also are scheduled to meet with faculty, staff and students during their visits.
Cheng will meet with faculty, staff and students at 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, in Engineering A 131. The meeting is scheduled to last one hour.
Worek will meet with faculty, staff and students at 3:30 p.m. Thursday, April 30, in Engineering A 131. The meeting is scheduled to last one hour.
Cheng earned his Bachelor of Science in 1974 in civil engineering at National Taiwan University. He earned his Master of Science in civil engineering in 1978 at the University of Missouri-Columbia and his doctorate in civil and environmental engineering in 1981 at Cornell University.
Cheng taught as an acting assistant professor at Cornell University from 1981 to 1982 before moving to the Department of Civil Engineering at Columbia University as an assistant professor from 1982 to 1985. He joined the faculty in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Delaware as an associate professor in 1985, becoming a full professor in 1993. Cheng remained there until 2001 when he became professor and chair in the Department of Civil Engineering at the University of Mississippi.
Cheng has served on the board of directors of the Wessex Institute of Technology in Southampton, United Kingdom since 2005. The institute named him a fellow there in 2001 and an adjunct professor in 2005. Kings College, University of Aberdeen in Scotland, named him an honorary professor in the Department of Engineering in 2001. He was also a consulting professor at the Wuhan University of Hydraulic and Electrical Engineering from 1997 to 2001 and was a National Science Council visiting researcher at National Taiwan University during a sabbatical from 1998-1999. He also was a visiting scientist at Schlumberger Cambridge Research during a sabbatical in 1991.
Cheng is editor-in-chief of Progress in Water Resources, a series of books, where he has served since 1997. He is editor of Engineering Analysis with Boundary Elements journal, serving since 1996. He previously served as associate editor of the Journal of Engineering Mechanics and in many other editorial positions.
Cheng’s awards include the Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize from the American Society of Civil Engineers in 1994, two Basic Research Awards from the U.S. National Committee for Rock Mechanics National Research Council (1994 and 1999); the Eminent Scientist Award from Wessex Institute of Technology in 2001; the Faculty Service Award from the School of Engineering at University of Mississippi; and the Outstanding Engineering Faculty Member of the Year from the University of Mississippi Alumni Association.
Worek earned his Bachelor of Science with high honors in mechanical engineering in 1976 at the Illinois Institute of Technology. He earned his Master of Science degree in aerospace engineering there in 1977 and earned his doctorate in aerospace engineering there in 1980.
Worek taught at the Illinois Institute of Technology from 1978 to 1986, when he joined the faculty at the UIC as an associate professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering. He became a full professor and associate department head in 1995 before becoming director of the Energy Resources Center in 1998. He became interim department head in 1999 and head of the department in 2000.
Along with his academic career, Worek maintained a consulting service beginning in 1976, working with groups such as the Association of American Railroads, Brookhaven National Laboratory, Kraft Foods and XDX Inc.
Worek is American editor of Applied Thermal Engineering and is on the editorial advisory board of International Journal of Heat and Mass Transfer and International Communications in Heat and Mass Transfer. He previously served many other editorial positions.
At UIC, he serves on the Chancellor’s Committee on Sustainability and Energy. He previously served as one of four UIC members on the Committee on Institutional Cooperation, which included representatives from several other universities. He has served on many other committees and in various roles at the department, college and university level.
Worek’s awards include being nominated for UIC Excellence in Teaching Award in 2003, and the Harold A. Simon Award for Excellence in Teaching in 2000. He was named a fellow, American Society of Mechanical Engineers in 2001, and a fellow of the University of Illinois Committee on Institutional Cooperation Academic Leadership Program in 2001-2002.
The three men are vying to replace William Osborne, who retired in January of 2008.
Ramanarayanan Viswanathan, professor of electrical and computer engineering, is serving as interim engineering dean.