Letter from the Chair – Spring 2020

Dear alumni, colleagues and friends,

I hope that this letter finds you and your loved ones well.

Our accomplishments this semester, while different from what you would normally read about in this space, are nevertheless as impressive as nearly anything we’ve done in the past. The department’s response to COVID-19 is going smoothly, thanks in no small part to the tireless efforts of our faculty and staff. In early March, we shifted our entire curriculum and workflow online in a matter of days. The entire department is currently working remotely for the time being. Although the Spring Banquet, Advisory Board meetings and Nuclear Engineering Alumni Reunion planned for early April have all been postponed, our day-to-day department business has not stopped.

This semester, three of our faculty members were recognized for their contributions to science and our society. Professor Christopher Batich, Ph.D. was recently announced as a Florida Inventors Hall of Fame inductee for 2020, Associate Professor Josephine Allen, Ph.D., was elected to the 2020 class of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) College of Fellows and Professor Kevin Jones, Ph.D., was chosen by the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) to receive the Michael Ashby Outstanding Materials Educator Award. Congratulations to all of them on their outstanding achievements.

UF’s official Giving Day event was held on February 20 and, thanks to the Gator Nation’s generosity, was an even bigger success than expected. To all of you who participated, thank you for supporting the University of Florida, the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering, and for continuing to help move the Gator Nation forward.

I hope you will take some time today to read about some of the other news from around the department. In addition to learning more about the exceptional research currently underway, catch up with Materials Science and Engineering alumni Tyler Lenzi as he shares his 23 years of experience climbing the technical and corporate ladder and learn more about our current Nuclear Engineering undergraduate standout Kaylee Cunningham.

Throughout this spring, in countless ways, the Gator Nation has shown its resourcefulness and its resilience. Though maintaining “business as usual” has been anything but “business as usual,” we will no doubt emerge from this stronger and even more prepared for whatever lies ahead.

Michele Manuel, Ph.D.

Michele V. Manuel, Ph.D.

Chair, Department of Materials Science and Engineering

Nuclear Engineering Program

Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering