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February 27, 2003

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   Denine Hagen, (858) 534-2920 or
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Frieder Seible, an internationally acclaimed expert in bridge design, structural systems and earthquake engineering, has been appointed, pending the approval of the University of California Board of Regents, Dean of the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Jacobs School of Engineering, Chancellor Robert C. Dynes announced today.

“Dr. Seible is a visionary leader, an internationally acclaimed engineer, and a teacher who is deeply committed to students and education. He exemplifies the extraordinary credentials we seek in our academic leaders, and has the strategic talent to lead the Jacobs School during a pivotal period of growth,” Dynes said.

Professor Seible joined the UCSD faculty in 1983, and served as the founding Chair of the Department of Structural Engineering from 1995 to 2001. As chair, he oversaw the development of the first nationally accredited program in structural engineering. He also developed the Charles Lee Powell Structural Research Laboratories, which have become a worldwide resource for large-scale structural testing. Many of the technologies used to retrofit California bridges and highways for earthquake safety were designed and tested in the Powell Labs. Seible has served as Interim Dean of the Jacobs School since July 1, 2002, and holds the Eric and Johanna Reissner Endowed Chair in Applied Mechanics and Structural Engineering.

“At a major research university, such as UCSD, the role of Engineering is to provide leadership and new ideas that will shape our future,” said Seible. “The Jacobs School faculty are internationally recognized in their fields, and are committed to providing an educational experience and research leadership that will respond to 21st century educational needs and the engineering challenges facing this nation.”

US News and World Report ranks the Jacobs School as among the top 15 engineering schools in the nation, and the youngest institution in that ranking.

With 160 faculty and 5,300 students enrolled through five academic departments, the Jacobs School is midway through a growth phase, with plans to reach steady-state of 250 faculty and 6,000 students by 2010.

“Frieder has been enormously effective as Interim Dean. Under his leadership the Jacobs School has gained remarkable momentum in terms of educational innovations, research leadership, and in forging corporate and community partnerships,” said Marsha Chandler, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs.

In the past year Seible helped recruit 15 faculty members, oversaw the development of the von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement, managed a $130 million research enterprise, and launched several advising and professional development services for engineering students.

“Our mission and our passion are to turn out the best qualified engineers. In addition to the engineering fundamentals, our goal is to teach our students to be life-long learners who can apply those fundamentals to ever-changing technology,” said Seible. “In the end, the quality of the education we provide, and the achievements of our alumni, will be the metric that will sustain the Jacobs School’s position as one of the best engineering schools in the nation.”

Seible is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, has received numerous awards for his research, and has published more than 500 papers primarily focused on the seismic design of bridges and buildings. He is known for the development of large-scale structural testing techniques, the seismic assessment and retrofit of bridges, and the application of Polymer Matrix Composite (PMC) materials in civil engineering structures. Seible is a member of the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) Seismic Advisory Board and has contributed to the Caltrans bridge seismic safety program through his large scale testing and retrofit research. He has served on or led many Caltrans committees on bridge reconstruction and retrofit.

Seible received a Dpl. Ing. from the University of Stuttgart, a M.Sc. from the University of Calgary, and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, all in civil engineering.

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About the UCSD Jacobs School of Engineering
The UCSD Jacobs School is the largest provider of engineering education in San Diego. The School’s five academic departments are Bioengineering, Computer Science and Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, and Structural Engineering. With $130 million in research support, the Jacobs School ranks second in the nation among engineering schools for research expenditures per faculty member. Bioengineering, communications, networking, information technology, earthquake engineering, materials and nanotechnology, and energy and the environment are among the School’s research strengths. Approximately 150 companies partner with the Jacobs School through its research initiatives and Corporate Affiliates Program. Its von Liebig Center for Entrepreneurism and Technology Advancement proactively works to facilitate the commercialization of Jacobs School discoveries.

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