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Dean's Column

Charting the Course: A Vision for 2010 and Beyond

Frieder Seible, Dean

Over the past several months, I have been working with the Jacobs School 's leadership to refine our vision and growth plans for the coming three years and beyond. This strategic planning process is particularly critical as we approach the new decade and the School's projected steady state of more than 200 faculty, 4,600 undergraduates and 1,700 graduate students.

We have outlined a vision and implementation plan to firmly establish and sustain the Jacobs School as one of the world's leading research engineering schools. It is not sufficient to drive innovation by just developing new intellectual property, but it is also important to market and translate the research findings for the benefit of society. Similarly, it is not sufficient just to produce large numbers of engineering graduates. Rather, we must provide our students with a broad and balanced education, and equip our alumni with the depth and flexibility to compete globally for the best technology jobs. We must educate graduates who can provide engineering leadership.

Further, our role as human and intellectual capital provider must directly support our regional and state-wide industry. Historically, the strength of engineering at UCSD has been in the applied sciences, in particular information science and materials science. These strengths helped catalyze the rapid development of San Diego as an incubator and industry leader in communication technology and biotechnology. Our continued contributions in these areas are critical to our role as the region's research engineering school. In addition, our state-wide economy, and indeed our nation, will be challenged by ever-increasing energy demands coupled with the need to sustain the integrity of our environment. We can and must apply our strengths in energy and combustion, nanotechnology, genomics and materials to develop new energy technologies, improve energy efficiency, and advance energy storage and distribution.

These three overarching focus areas of Information Technology, Engineering in Medicine, and Environment and Energy Sustainability are areas where UCSD has recognized leadership components and where concerted developments and strategic investments will put us on top for many years to come. The need and potential for human and intellectual capital development over the next decade is enormous, and the Jacobs School is ready to deliver with technology advancement and innovation across traditional disciplinary boundaries. Our mission remains unchanged, namely, to educate tomorrows technology leaders, to conduct leading edge research and drive innovation, and to transfer our discoveries to ensure societal benefit.

To view Charting the Course, A vision for 2010 and Beyond, visit Your comments are welcome.

Frieder Seible

Frieder Seible