Greetings UMass Engineering Community,

I am thrilled to welcome you all to our vibrant campus for the Fall 2023 semester. I would like to extend a special welcome to those of you who are new to our community: new undergraduate and graduate students, researchers, faculty, and staff. We are delighted to have you on campus, and we hope your experience here will be an extraordinary one.

To kick off the academic year, the college is hosting welcome events under the tent in the engineering quad. Please be on the lookout for additional emails about these events as they approach:

  • Reception for All First Generation and Transfer Students and Group Allies — Wednesday, September 6th, 5:30 to 6:30pm  
  • Graduate Student Welcome Event — Thursday, September 7th, 5:30 to 7:30pm
  • Undergraduates/All-College Welcome — Tuesday, September 12th, 10:30am to 3:30pm (featuring engineering student organizations, college support resources, and opportunities to interact with faculty, staff, and college leadership)   

I am also pleased to share several exciting college developments with you:

The college launched two new 4+1 programs, in Biomedical Engineering and in Manufacturing Engineering, which enable students to earn both their BS and MS in as few as five years. In addition, a new Graduate Certificate in Decision Analytics was approved and is now being offered through the Engineering Management Program. 

The college has been moving forward with its new building, the Sustainable Engineering Laboratories (SEL), which will be a state-of-the-art, approximately 80,000-square-foot facility providing specialized research laboratories and collaborative learning spaces and serving as a test bed for novel clean energy technologies. On April 24, we ceremonially broke ground and are entering the final design phase. We anticipate construction to begin early next summer, with occupancy expected by Fall 2026. 

On July 1st, Chancellor Javier Reyes officially began his tenure as the new chancellor of UMass Amherst. Shortly after, on July 11th, he visited several of our College of Engineering laboratories and met a number of our outstanding faculty, students, and staff. He also visited the Biomedical Engineering Department in the Life Science Laboratories separately on July 28th, as well as the Elaine Marieb Center for Nursing and Engineering Innovation on July 27th. He views engineering as a critical engine of learning, discovery and innovation for the commonwealth, the nation and the planet, and is excited to engage with our students, faculty, staff and alumni to advance our mission. 

Chancellor visit
L-R: Dean Sanjay Raman; Dandan Xu; Chancellor Javier Reyes; and Rolf Jentoft in the chemical engineering senior lab

There are a number of events and initiatives you should mark your calendar for: 

This year’s Tang Lecture will be presented by Dr. Heather Rothenberg ’03 MS, ’09 PhD (Transportation Engineering), Director of the Global Claims Council at YouTube. Mark your calendar for Thursday, October 5th, 4:00pm, in the Old Chapel.

The college will be hosting our Fall Engineering career fair on Thursday, September 28th, from 10:00am to 3:00pm in the Campus Center Auditorium. This is an opportunity to speak with employers interested in potentially hiring you for an internship or full-time position. In addition, the college is offering a Diversity Networking Night on Wednesday, September 27th, from 5:30 to 8:30pm in the Gunness Student Center.

The college recently re-launched the Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) Program, to support our students, faculty, and staff who are interested in innovation and entrepreneurship. Our EIRs are successful entrepreneurs who are also alumni with a strong history of commitment to the UMass Amherst innovation and entrepreneurship ecosystem. Get to know our current EIRs; they are available to schedule meetings, and can provide feedback on your ideas or as you prepare for upcoming competitions, such as the Tech Challenge.

The whole campus community is invited to participate in the second annual Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion (JEDI) conference on September 13th, which will feature a series of educational workshops, talks, panels, and networking events dedicated to helping make UMass Amherst a safe and equitable campus for all. Please note that the event is free to attend but advance registration is required.

Finally, I would like to address a broader issue that has recently had a major impact on higher education in our nation. On June 29th, the U.S. Supreme Court handed down a decision to dismantle affirmative action in college admissions. While the Court’s ruling does mark a challenging moment in higher education, I want to express unequivocally that it does not in any way change the fact that a commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is a core value of the College of Engineering. We continue to enthusiastically embrace diversity and the myriad ways it enhances engineering design and enriches our community.

I sincerely look forward to connecting with you all this year. Have a great semester, please take care of yourselves and each other, and Be Revolutionary Engineers!  



Sanjay Raman
Dean, College of Engineering
Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering

Article posted in Community