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Engineering the Future Times Six

Engineering the Future Times Six

“With new endowed chair positions, we already have been able to recruit faculty who are the top of their fields. These positions provide a level of ongoing support for innovative research and excellence in teaching that is critical to our progress.”  —Leo Kempel, Dean, College of Engineering

From sustainable energy to healthier and safer products in every aspect of our lives, MSU’s College of Engineering is a pipeline to technological innovation. But the college lags behind peer institutions in its number of endowed professor positions. Today, six new endowments are driving the next generation of Spartan ingenuity through many firsts. 

A world leader in evolutionary algorithms, Kalyanmoy Deb became the first Herman E. and Ruth J. Koenig Endowed Chair in 2013. Wolfgang Banzhaf, a renowned computer scientist, will be the first to hold the John R. Koza Endowed Chair in Genetic Programming in 2016. And recruitment is underway for the first holder of the David L. and Denise M. Lamp Endowed Chair in Chemical Engineering.

Estate gifts also are playing a role. One from alumnus Doug Zongker will create the first endowed chair of computer science at MSU, while another from alumni Bob Nuber and Betty Shanahan will create the first professorship to support diversity and entrepreneurship in the college. Retired faculty member Dennis Nyquist also created a professorship in electromagnetics, another first, through his estate plans.

These positions are helping the college achieve one of its top priorities: creating a pool of endowed positions to both attract top talent and retain the most promising faculty, says Dean Leo Kempel.

Being a Force for Creativity, Discovery and Learning is just one goal of MSU’s $1.5 billion Empower Extraordinary campaign. We’re also working to provide opportunity for all students who qualifybuild a more vibrant community and provide resources to those working to solve the world’s most pressing problems.