Powering the New Engineer
Powering the New Engineer
Powering the New Engineer: 2014-2020
- 13 professors are hired as part of the state’s new Florida Preeminence plan.
- Juan Gilbert is recruited from Clemson University to be the Andrew Banks Family Preeminence Chair.
- UF enlists some of Gilbert’s Clemson University colleagues in a “cluster hire” to create an elite human-centered computing team. The hires include biometrics expert Damon Woodard, virtual spatial audio specialist Kyla McMullen and computer science education researcher Christina Gardner-McCune.
- Cybersecurity expert Patrick Traynor is named the John H. and Mary Lou Dasburg Preeminent Chair in Engineering.
- The university begins the quiet phase of its Go Greater campaign to raise $3 billion.
- Dr. Herbert and Nicole Wertheim make a $50 million investment in the engineering college; in recognition, it’s renamed the Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering.
- The college uses the Wertheim gift as the catalyst to embark on a $300 million private-public partnership to transform the college.
- UF establishes the Florida Institute for Cybersecurity Research.
- Alumna Linda Parker Hudson (BSSE ’72) gives UF $1 million to launch the Leader in Residence program in engineering college.
- The George Kirkland Professorship, the first endowed faculty position with a component dedicated to leadership education, is created with a joint $1 million gift from alumnus George Kirkland (BSCE ’72, ME ’74) and Chevron Corp.
- 9 more Florida Preeminence professors are hired. Among them are Mark Tehranipoor (the Intel Charles E. Young Preeminence Chair Professor in Cybersecurity) and Swarup Bhunia, the eventual director of the Warren B. Nelms Institute for the Connected World.
- Ground is broken on the Herbert Wertheim Laboratory for Engineering Excellence, an 84,000-square-feet state-of-the-art research hub.
- UF’s first engineering innovation station is launched in Sarasota County to support area businesses and entrepreneurs.
- The Go Greater campaign’s public phase begins.
- The Warren B. Nelms Institute for the Connected World is created with a $5 million gift from alumnus David Nelms (BSME ’83). The institute — named for Nelms’ father, a 1959 UF graduate — designs, develops and tests “Internet of Things” systems.
- Alumnus Sachio Semmoto (MSEE ’68, PHD ’71) gives UF $1.5 million to establish an endowment supporting the Nelms Institute’s director.
- The college’s Engineering Innovation Institute receives $2 million from alumnus Michael Durham (ME ’75, PHD ’78) to teach student entrepreneurs.
- An endowed directorship is established in the Engineering Leadership Institute with a $1.5 million gift from alumnus William Wadsworth (BSCE ’76).
- Alumnus Alex Moreno (BSCHE’ 83) invests $3 million in UF to create a professorship and new sustainable energy program in chemical engineering.
- The UF Transportation Institute launches I-STREET, places 200 sensors around campus and Gainesville to create a real-world testbed for emerging transportation technologies, such as autonomous vehicles.
- Three engineering professors are awarded Rising Star Professorships — established with gifts from Walden Rhines and alumnus Arnold (BSECI ’90) and Lisa Goldberg to recruit and retain premier junior faculty. The stars are: Erika Moore, Daisy Zhe Wang and Kevin Butler.
- UF becomes “America’s A.I. University” when alumnus Chris Malachowsky (BSEE ’80) and the company he founded, NVIDIA, pledge $50 million to place the university and the engineering college on the cutting-edge of artificial intelligence training and innovation. UF’s Herbert Wertheim College of Engineering will provide the programmatic backbone and develop the curricular resources so Gator graduates from every discipline will be empowered with an exceptional level of digital literacy and equipped to apply A.I. techniques in their chosen field of study.
The best is yet to come
Go Greater was a determination, embraced across campus. To continue that pursuit, the university looks to caring philanthropists — the people who feed ingenuity and exploration and create doers and bring ideas to life, imagination to fruition, promise to fulfilment and potential to exceptional. It’s those partnerships with far-sighted leaders that will make UF even more spectacular and enable the university to touch the lives of Earth’s 7 billion people.