I was appointed the second dean of the U. A. Whitaker College of Engineering (WCE) on November 1, 2012. I wish to recognize the outstanding leadership of my predecessor, Dr. Susan Blanchard, the founding dean of WCE, which formally became a college in fall 2011. Prior to that, WCE was a School of Engineering within the Lutgert College of Business.
I came to FGCU after having served 15 years at Penn State University. I served as head of the Architectural Engineering Department for the first ten of those years (1997 – 2007), after which I was named the first Charles and Elinor Matts Professor of Architectural Engineering and founding director of the Smart Spaces Center for Successful Aging in Place (2007 – 2012). I am glad to be here in this beautiful part of Florida, and I am enthusiastic about the strong possibilities for growth and enhancement of this young, vibrant and emerging college. Much has been accomplished to date by our high quality faculty and staff, the FGCU administration, and the many generous supporters and benefactors of the U. A. Whitaker College of Engineering. A strong foundation has been laid for the College. We are blessed with an unusually high level of collegiality and enthusiasm amongst our faculty, staff and students. We are now moving our young college to the next levels of development and achievement.
Our Holmes Hall is a beautiful, new, fully equipped four-story building that was designed specifically to support active learning. We don’t do very much in terms of delivering traditional lectures. Rather, we employ combined lecture-lab classes with a modest number of students per class, which improves student learning significantly. Our talented faculty members are focused heavily on teaching excellence and the academic success of our students. The bottom line: We offer an outstanding value proposition for a high-quality engineering education.
If you are a serious student who is seriously interested in pursuing the noble profession of engineering – let us hear from you. We continue to recruit a diverse population of high-quality students to lead the all-important engineering profession into the future.
Richard A. Behr, Ph.D., P.E.