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Dear Friends of Notre Dame,

We are more than halfway through another academic year, and I write to you filled with enthusiasm for the College of Engineering.

At the top of the list is Stinson-Remick Hall, the new multidisciplinary engineering education and research building. We have spent much of the last semester working with BSA Life Structures of Indianapolis, the architectural firm that has guided us through the intricacies of designing what will be a beautiful campus addition on Notre Dame Avenue, opposite the Eck Visitors’ Center and Notre Dame Bookstore, with more than 76,000 assignable square feet for undergraduate education and several of the signature research programs of the college. Centerpieces of the building include a beautifully-designed, centrally-located student learning center that is nearly four times the size of the experimental center created in Cushing Hall, and a state-of-the-art nano- and micro-device fabrication and processing facility. The building will also house the Center for Nano Science and Technology with associated electronic materials and device activities, an ultra-high vacuum crystal growth system, our newly-emerging Energy Center, and an extensive materials characterization facility. In addition, the building will provide space for the future senior faculty that we are aggressively recruiting. It is being named in honor of principal benefactors Kenneth and Ann Stinson and Jack and Mary Ann Remick. The learning center will be named in honor of major benefactors Ted and Tracy McCourtney. To these supporters we give our heartfelt thanks.

This fall we also opened a 16,000-sq.-ft. multidisciplinary engineering research building on the north end of the campus, which houses a team of five faculty working on various aspects of orthopedics. These young engineers maintain strong ties to the three major orthopedics companies in Warsaw, Ind., just 30 miles south of campus, providing the industrial experience for our students that should be a hallmark of a modern engineering program. Several of these faculty have joined with me to participate in a statewide task force to build on the presence of the Warsaw powerhouse and contribute to the economic engine of the State of Indiana.

Another opportunity has presented itself this year in the form of a major addition to the Notre Dame Center for Flow Physics and Control (FlowPAC): DARPA, a branch of the Department of Defense, has awarded Notre Dame a new turbine wind tunnel that will be housed this spring in yet another building for aeronautical engineering, located north of the campus across Douglas Road from the Hessert Laboratory. This $3 million machine will enhance the seminal work being conducted through FlowPAC in collaboration with a multitude of major industries.

Other important initiatives are being aggressively pursued for the college. These include an expansion of our bioengineering efforts (a Ph.D. program in this area has just been approved by the University), an interdisciplinary environmental research program that will extend to all corners of the University, and a Center for Research Computing for which we are currently recruiting a director.

Our Lady has blessed us with an inspired faculty, devoted members of the college executive team, and wonderful students. It is, in fact, the students who make this job worthwhile, for Notre Dame attracts the finest students in the land. I am proud and humbled to be allowed to preside over this college, but it is the work of many, many talented people who make the job possible. We are blessed with outstanding leadership in the Office of the Provost and the Office of the President, who envision a major role for engineering in our quest to become a truly great Catholic university. Thanks to my predecessor, Frank Incropera, to whom we owe a monumental debt of gratitude, the college is well positioned to move through the 21st century. So, my report to you, in essence, is that we are on track to be recognized as one of the outstanding engineering programs in the United States.


James L. Merz
Interim Dean and the Frank M. Freimann
Professor of Electrical Engineering